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  • Mikeymagic Posts: 4
    Ermington
    Stock Poster Mikeymagic
    18 Feb 2020 05:47 PM
    Hi everyone,
    Thanks to the mods for accepting me into this group and I’m so happy to be here. Hi, I’m Mike and I was hoping to get some advice and guidance from members specially to those who’ve done Sydney to Cairns. A bit of a background- I’m 48 and a returning rider, bought my first HD in 2018 which is a Superlow XL883L. Haven’t ridden it yet but will do once I get my full licence in July. I haven’t done long distance rides and I wanted to get advice regarding this. I’m moving to FNQ in August and instead of shipping the bike, I’d like to ride and break her in. What I want to know is- how many days should I allocate for the ride? How many hours of riding per day, normally? Is it better to go through in-land route via Gregory Hwy (2,421 kms) or via Pacific/Bruce Hwy (2,600 kms) where there are plenty of servos along the way? (Considering fuel tank capacity is 17L and consumption 5.2L/100 kms). I haven’t done 100kph and sat on a bike for long periods so should I get windshield, engine guard/hwy pegs? Any thing else that I should think about and consider? I would appreciate all your inputs, advice, and sorry if this has already been asked in the forums. Cheers

  • stevo fxsb Posts: 166
    West of Brisvegas
    Stock Poster stevo fxsb
    18 Feb 2020 10:02 PM
    Welcome to the zoo Mike!
    Did Bris to Canberra last August and Bris to Cairns in December..so Syd to Cairns would be a great run. I'm no expert but the following is my 2 bob's worth!
    1) The bike: My first comment is has the bike been run in yet? Had its 1st service? Not sure I'd want to sit in top gear for long periods breaking in a new donk but I'm no engine expert. Not sure how tall you are but I'd look at forward controls on a Sporty. I have a bolt on Memphis Shades fairing for longer rides on my Breakout, cuts down the buffeting and helps with fatigue. Only other suggestion would be a sissy bar and rack to throw all your gear on and a comfortable seat!
    2) Your kit: I always dress for the slide, full face helmet, good quality boots, kevlar jeans and shirt and my leather jacket..given the time of year you'll want thermal leggings and undershirt, balclava and bloody good gloves! I always carry a basic set of tools and a puncture repair kit in my swing arm bag.
    3) Long distance riding: Depending on your fitness, I normally do between 700-900k's in a day [that depends on the amount of daylight available] and your destination each day, sometimes I'll do shorter If I'm stopping to see shit! Golden rule when riding outback never before dawn, and be off the road a good hour of more before sunset. I stop every hour or so to stretch the legs, have some water and a bunger..lol. Apart from wildlife, look out for caravaners and cattle trucks, passing the latter is a required skill if there full of livestock..lol
    4) Which way: I tend to stay away from the Coastal roads where I can, less traffic and coppers/cameras etc. I enjoyed both the Newell and New England Hwy's in NSW, If your wanting to do the Gregory Hwy in QLD you'll need to watch your fuel, there only one stop prior to Charters Towers. Grab yourself a set of Hema Maps, great for accurate distances and servo's. I sit down and work the distances between fuel stops and plan accordingly.
    Like I said just my 2 bobs worth, I'm sure the other blokes will chip in, most importantly...enjoy the ride! :-)

    Pic of my setup!Cardwell.jpg




  • Mikeymagic Posts: 4
    Ermington
    Stock Poster Mikeymagic
    19 Feb 2020 10:57 AM
    Quoting stevo fxsb on 18 Feb 2020 10:02 PM
    Welcome to the zoo Mike!
    Did Bris to Canberra last August and Bris to Cairns in December..so Syd to Cairns would be a great run. I'm no expert but the following is my 2 bob's worth!
    1) The bike: My first comment is has the bike been run in yet? Had its 1st service? Not sure I'd want to sit in top gear for long periods breaking in a new donk but I'm no engine expert. Not sure how tall you are but I'd look at forward controls on a Sporty. I have a bolt on Memphis Shades fairing for longer rides on my Breakout, cuts down the buffeting and helps with fatigue. Only other suggestion would be a sissy bar and rack to throw all your gear on and a comfortable seat!
    2) Your kit: I always dress for the slide, full face helmet, good quality boots, kevlar jeans and shirt and my leather jacket..given the time of year you'll want thermal leggings and undershirt, balclava and bloody good gloves! I always carry a basic set of tools and a puncture repair kit in my swing arm bag.
    3) Long distance riding: Depending on your fitness, I normally do between 700-900k's in a day [that depends on the amount of daylight available] and your destination each day, sometimes I'll do shorter If I'm stopping to see shit! Golden rule when riding outback never before dawn, and be off the road a good hour of more before sunset. I stop every hour or so to stretch the legs, have some water and a bunger..lol. Apart from wildlife, look out for caravaners and cattle trucks, passing the latter is a required skill if there full of livestock..lol
    4) Which way: I tend to stay away from the Coastal roads where I can, less traffic and coppers/cameras etc. I enjoyed both the Newell and New England Hwy's in NSW, If your wanting to do the Gregory Hwy in QLD you'll need to watch your fuel, there only one stop prior to Charters Towers. Grab yourself a set of Hema Maps, great for accurate distances and servo's. I sit down and work the distances between fuel stops and plan accordingly.
    Like I said just my 2 bobs worth, I'm sure the other blokes will chip in, most importantly...enjoy the ride! :-)

    Pic of my setup!Cardwell.jpg




    Awesome bike you got there Stevo! Yeah my bike’s only got 20 kms on it so might have to do a few hundred kms within NSW and get the first service before the long run. Excellent point, thanks! That’ll be a priority for me ?? I’ll think about the forward controls (I’m 180cms) and would definitely gear up, get basic tools + puncture repair kit. I think I might aim for 600kms per day via coastal route so I can easily access servos and help as I’m not an experienced long-distance rider. Many thanks Stevo, I’m taking all your comments and suggestions on board. Cheers! 
  • Soapbox2627 Posts: 3461
    Whyalla South Australia
    Forum Legend Soapbox2627
    19 Feb 2020 11:57 AM
    I bought my bike in Canberra, rode it home (1400Km) then down to Adelaide a week later for the first service (400km)


    sat on 100 - 120 all the way, 4th, 5th and 6th gear, don't over rev but more important, do not labor the engine (run to high a gear)

    always better with a mate, when you get close to the ride, post up your plan and the chance others may do a leg or part there off, always good
  • Ken in Cairns Posts: 635
    Cairns FNQ
    Performance Poster Ken in Cairns
    19 Feb 2020 12:33 PM
    Inland via Charters Towers s a lot better than the coast hwy. That way truly sucks, and hwy  roadside fuel is scarse in places.

    As long as you can get 250 km a tank you will be fine. Fuel at Clearmont Roadhouse then it's 175 to the Banyano Crossing Roadhouse, fuel is a bit expensive there, but it costs em to get it trucked in. 190 from there to Charters Towers.
    Most other legs are under 150 Kay's.

    Gets pretty cold overnight, Bilowela was 3 degrees when I went through in spring.
    Take good layers and rain gear, and some summer and winter gloves, and you'll be fine.
    Also make sure you carry plenty of water, at least 3 litres. I had my camel back occy strapped to the bars, and had a 2.5 litre coke bottle as emergency reserve.
    Give us a shout when you come up.

    Get Wiki camps and fuel finder app, plan you legs and fuel stops, makes it easy as.

    Cheers
    Ken
  • Birtyyy Posts: 161
    Sunshine Coast
    Stock Poster Birtyyy
    19 Feb 2020 12:40 PM
    I've never been further north than Brisbane but I've ridden my old Sporty from Melb - Bris and back and had no issues with getting fuel. You'd want to break that down into 3 days at least. Once you start getting over 800kms in a day it can get a bit rough. I recently did 1100km in a day and by the end you're just completely fucked and not even enjoying the ride anymore... (my experience anyway)
  • tussuck Posts: 2307
    Melbourne
    Motor Head tussuck
    19 Feb 2020 01:01 PM
    Done some long hauls on the FXR and my thoughts are: (I ride a 883L every day rain or shine)
    - Get the fwd controls as the stock pegs on a 883L are too far back for us long legged folks (I'm 6'2").  Even simple highway pegs will be a bonus here.
    - Get a good seat!  The stock solo one is HARD so look to a two up seat as they do tend to have better padding.
    - A fairing is good too... BUT in all honesty I find the buffeting from the fairing to be worse than without; I have a full height clipon Sporty one vs a Ness style bikini.  I only run the fairing on rainy days - and for keeping dry they are bloody brilliant.  If your expecting sunny weather then perhaps give it a miss as in high temps you can overheat sitting behind one.
    - Definetly get the bike run in and past the 1st service (Oil, Filter + loose nuts and bolts) .  No way do you want to be doing a long haul with ALL the metal shavings that get dumped into the oil from a brand new engine.  Even if you can only get say 200-500km under your belt and then change Oil and Filter then thats perfect.  From about 500km onwards its all about not lugging the engine or overreving for the remaining 2000km.  Plus things like Brakes / Tyres etc will be properly bedded in; which you want on a long trip.
  • Mikeymagic Posts: 4
    Ermington
    Stock Poster Mikeymagic
    19 Feb 2020 02:51 PM
    @soap – Will definitely post my plan. My tentative dates are; leave SYD on the 21st of Aug, arrive Cairns either 24 or 25 Aug. Don’t over rev – got it! Cheers
    @Ken - Guess I better get that Hema Map and look at in-land route more closely. I’ll take note of fuel stops at Clearmont and Banyano. Will message you when I’m in Cairns, thanks Ken. Actually my journey doesn’t stop there. From Cairns, I’ll have the bike shipped to TI via Sea Swift as I’ll be starting work at TI Hospital as a new grad RN. Dunno if there are any Harleys up there… Cheers
    @Birtyyy – Thanks! Yep I’m planning at least 4 days only because I get cramps on my hips when riding in the cold so I’m factoring in heaps of stops.
    @tussuck – I had my bike winterised last year and when I bring it to the dealer in July, I’ll have a look at highway pegs, seats, etc. and see what’s comfy for me. Yeah, the plan is to get at least 200kms in July and August then do the first service before the long haul. Cheers
    Thanks everyone!

  • Krash Kinkade Posts: 2824
    Forum Legend Krash Kinkade
    19 Feb 2020 03:15 PM
    Mike welcome, bit over 3 years back , I flew to Cairns & stayed one night, road the sporty that I ride still, from Cairns to Deep South coast NSW. bike was all stock carb model. had crash bar fitted that had pegs on, worked like highway pegs, seat was stock. I was still getting used to the bike as I road home. now I could do the ride up and back easy. like ken said inland road a good short cut, but when I done it they had just had a cyclone through and inland roads still stuffed so I took the longer coast, longest distance between fills for me was Makay to Rocky.
  • stevo fxsb Posts: 166
    West of Brisvegas
    Stock Poster stevo fxsb
    19 Feb 2020 06:39 PM
    Hey Mike, thanks for the comments! Told you the boys would pile in..some great points to note!
    Couple of things I forgot to mention:
    Get yourself a set of rain gear [just in case]...yet to use mine but always strap it to the front of my HD bag.
    I'm 6ft and have a Sporty as well [pic attached] forward controls are the best, if you want to keep the mids, go for a crash bar with Highway pegs, riding a Harley long distance it helps!
    Having said that plenty of Sporty stuff on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace as well as some Sporty sites in Oz. Grab yourself the latest HD catalogue and go shopping..e-bay included!
    If your going the coast road, fuel shouldn't be a problem  [not sure what your choice is], but having done the back roads even the big rig runs well on 91 when I've had to use it!
    Accomodation, I try to find somewhere that has undercover parking, most motels average $100 a night, but a pub is around $50-60, my experience!
    Keep us posted, I'm west of Brisbane, but happy to ride with you as you pass through if I'm not working??
    Cheers and Beers
    Steve
    HD Forums Australia - Sporty Feb 2020.jpg

  • Ken in Cairns Posts: 635
    Cairns FNQ
    Performance Poster Ken in Cairns
    20 Feb 2020 01:02 PM
    I did Bilowela to Charters Towers in a day, a very early start, about 6500, and arrived at 430.
    Charters Towers to Townsville is about 2 hrs, and then 4 hrs to Cairns.
    Most servos had 95, the fuel finder app is great, as is wiki camps (costs 8 bucks) you can do all the route planning in wiki camps, and it has distances between waypoints, accommodation options with prices, other info and attractions, well worth the small fee.

    I would try and make Dululu as there is a pub with rooms or a great free camp there, think it 80 or maybe 100 km so north of billo and that would  take an hr off the CT leg.

    My daughter, son in law and two grandkids are on Ti. Make sure you have good insurance before you hand the bike over to Sea Swift, just saying...
  • Mikeymagic Posts: 4
    Ermington
    Stock Poster Mikeymagic
    20 Feb 2020 02:27 PM
    @krash – Thanks mate! The crash bar with hwy pegs is really my first option. I hope August weather this year will be good. Cheers
    @stevo- Absolutely, the boys have been very helpful and supportive! I’m now starting to plan my legs, fuel stops, accommodation and of course costings. I’ve penciled in a St. George to Roma fuel stop on day 2 but I’ll touch base before I leave Sydney. Thanks Stevo!

  • JamesJ Posts: 609
    Performance Poster JamesJ
    20 Feb 2020 05:34 PM
    Quoting Mikeymagic on 20 Feb 2020 02:27 PM
    @krash – Thanks mate! The crash bar with hwy pegs is really my first option. I hope August weather this year will be good. Cheers
    @stevo- Absolutely, the boys have been very helpful and supportive! I’m now starting to plan my legs, fuel stops, accommodation and of course costings. I’ve penciled in a St. George to Roma fuel stop on day 2 but I’ll touch base before I leave Sydney. Thanks Stevo!

    Hi Mike
    welcome to the forum
    If you have the chance before your interstate trek ,try and be on your bike for a few hours' long ride.You may have the endurance for 600k days or you may not? Your bike is not a purpose built tourer so the time in the saddle may be a challenge after extended periods? don't get me wrong it'll be a great trip but just try and test the water a bit before being 1200k's from home with a long way to go!Good luck and I agree with much of the above advice.If you're comfortable ,warm and have no aches and pains long trips are brilliant. 
  • Ken in Cairns Posts: 635
    Cairns FNQ
    Performance Poster Ken in Cairns
    20 Feb 2020 06:10 PM
    Pm sent.

  • tussuck Posts: 2307
    Melbourne
    Motor Head tussuck
    20 Feb 2020 06:51 PM
    AND an X-Grip mounted to the handlebars to hold the iPhone.
    AND a set of good noise cancelling ear buds plugged into said phone
  • Ken in Cairns Posts: 635
    Cairns FNQ
    Performance Poster Ken in Cairns
    21 Feb 2020 12:07 PM
    Best price I found for the x grip was at Johnny Appleseed in Brisbane when I got mine.
    Good bit of kit, USB charger mounted next to it works great 
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