Summary: 1. Statistics: 1.1: Length : 6,930 km in 16 days 1.2: 349 ltrs of fuel - AU$607 1.3: Avg fuel used: 5.09 ltrs/100km 1.4: Fastest daily speed: 99.5km/hr (Alice to Coober Pedy) 1.5: Slowest daily Avg: 57.5km/hr (Marree to Oodnadatta) 1.6: Longest day: 899km (bitumen from broken hill)
2. Weather: 2.1: Coldest: -3 deg c at Gunning 2.2: Hottest: 37 deg c; 4 days in SA & NT
3. Hardest dirt roads 3.1 : 211km from william creek to Oodnadatta 3.2: Last 30km of Meneenie Loop (200km dirt) to Hermansburg from Kings Canyon
4. Scenery highlight: 4.1: sunset on Ayers Rock 4.2: sunset 6km walk at Kings Canyon. At every turn the scenery is stunning. 4.3: any afternoon on the road in the outback as the shadows get long.
5. Riding highlights: 5.1: Arriving at Oodnadatta in the dark after 4hrs standing to cover 211km 5.2: bitumen to Blinman in Flinders Ranges : new, twisty and quiet, and a pretty village at the end. 5.3: Blinman to Parachilna: (Barndioota Rd): 30km of dirt through 3 river crossings. A good test for Oodnadatta Track.
6. What worked: 6.1: Camping . Camping grounds are full of adventurers, grey Nomads and tourists, all willing to swap advice either going to or from Central Oz. 6.2: VStrom. With Conti TKC-80 on front and my lack of red dirt powder skills, I eventually settled into gaining confidence. My rule on the soft stuff was to only travel as fast as I was willing to fall off in the outback. 6.3: Uniden 5watt UHF radio : all the truckies, miners , 4wd and hotels monitor for emergency calls. There are lots of repeaters to extend the range. Fortunately, I never made a call on mine, but was told by all travellers how important it is. Else, hire a satellite phone, especially if solo and not doing well worn tracks, but u probably are not talking to someone nearby. 6.4: iPhone/smartphone: my main camera was never used as iPhone quality for landscapes is excellent. Used Wordpress to update my blog over dinner. When no 3G Telstra coverage, wrote notes in native Notes app for use later. 6.5: MotionxGps app for daily ride stats and to sent periodic emails of location to home base location. (when service exists). Recharged from 12v socket on bike 6.6: 12volt socket on bike. Finished installing the night before I left. A must for phone, Gps and torch battery charging. 6.7: Going solo. A total selfish holiday, but u are very approachable and humans seem to have a characteristic to watch out for solo travelers. You travel to your timetable and all decisions, either right or wrong, are yours. 6.8: this blog. The intention was to reduce the number of emails sent. It kind of became more of a diary & due to ease of uploading photos I did that in low quality (minimize 3G data usage).
7. Would I recommend a Vstrom on Oodnadatta Track: Cautiously yes. It's big and heavy if u drop it; that was my main fear as I'm only 67kgs. Take it slow and it will handle it and u will improve your skills. Riding to other's pace may force you to exceed your ability window with loss of confidence or worse. Crashing is not an option as help can be a long way away.
....and finally: Outback Australia is a stunning place. The distances, scenery and changing landscape have to be experienced to understand the early pioneer's challengers. The Oodnadatta track is iconic due to it's close relationship to the old Ghan railway and original 1850 telegraph line, so there is a lot to see and it's well sign posted. Plan, read and research and like my trip you will enjoy the great rewards of outback travel on a motorcycle.