Rider Survival Tips for Outback Riding



The following points are posted for your information and guidance when traveling on the Long Ride.

When packing your gear for a trip such as this, do so with safety foremost but be sensible as to what personal items versus practical items you really need to pack for the trip. 

Pack only the clothes you will need each other day and or night.  Normally 9Kg of clothing will be more than adequate.  Pack once then throw out half of what you have already packed.

Do not overload your panniers and ensure that there is no metal fatigue or wear present on the carriers or racks mounted on the rear of your bike.  Continuous flexing of these items if overloaded will cause them to break.

Do not set unrealistic kilometre targets between stops to refresh and to refuel.  Enjoy the ride.

I encourage riders to ride with others and to let other riders know if you intend to leave early or late and where you may be if intending to take a side trip along the way.  This is more about your safety if you should have an accident with a critter along the road whilst on your own.

Carry an adequate supply of water and rehydrate at every stop, whether you think you need water or not, drink.  If you wait until you are thirsty it may already be too late - heat exhaustion can set in and it?s not nice.  Do not underestimate the combined effect of tropical heat and humidity.  A "camel-bak" is desirable in these conditions as long as you can operate this device without causing unsafe riding practices.

Ensure your motorcycle is mechanically sound at all times.  If it needs servicing or is close to needing a service, get it done before you leave.   There will be no servicing provisions at many of the smaller towns.  If you can't do the return trip on the same tyre you started with, don't assume you will be able to get your favourite tyres along your route.  If your tyres will not last the return distance, phone ahead, in advance, and confirm with a local dealer that your favorite tyres are in stock, and if not, get them to order them in.

Vehicles with a long wheel base and multiple trays, Road Trains, caravans, cattle trucks and semi-trailers should all be approached with caution and with good road sense and safe riding practices.  To overtake such long vehicles, ensure that you can do so safely and have the distance to do so without endangering yourself or others.  When being approached by a long vehicle, veer to the left side of the road giving yourself a good buffer against the wind shear effect.   Riding along narrow developmental roads and approached by a vehicle, it is best always to stop on the left edge of the road until the vehicle has passed.  Normally, a large vehicle will run its left hand wheels off the road creating a dense and dangerous dust cloud.

Riders should be aware that at times cattle and other wildlife may be on the roadway and as such constant visual checking should be employed whilst riding.  All forms of wild life are abundant along these roads and riders beware that an animal may unexpectedly venture onto the road way.  Keep a keen look-out at all times for animals on the road or the side of the road.  If so, slow down or stop until the danger has passed.  Make sure that you keep a safe distance from all animals and slow down or stop if not sure of an animal?s intentions.  Wedge Tailed eagles may also be feeding on the road.  When approaching such a large bird that is stationary on the road, slow down and keep a safe distance from them; they have a slow take off and will almost always veer into your pathway.

Please take careful notice of posted speed signs in all areas where you travel.  Especially on roads that you have not traveled on previously.  Keep a keen watch on the road surfaces for gravel, sand, branches, water or any other detritus that may cause your motorcycle to slip or crash.  If raining whilst you are riding, you should only continue if you consider the environment safe to continue.  If you encounter weather conditions such as rain, fog or low cloud, do not continue if you consider the situation to be unsafe.  Exceeding the speed limit on roads or low speed corners is a dangerous activity and should not be undertaken.

 If your motorcycle fuel tank does not carry sufficient fuel to get you between fuel stops, consideration must be given to including in your gear an approved fuel container with sufficient capacity to get you to the next fuel stop.

Safe riding practices and mechanically sound motorcycles prevent poor performance.

The Long Ride