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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

My August 2012 Border Ride or Bust

After several weeks of getting the bike ready for the 1077km trip from home in Peterborough, SA to Border Village which is located next to the WA/SA border the time had came upon us to leave.

Planned Trip Route;

Border Villiage is the meeting place for the annual border ride which is held in early August.

There wasn’t much prep to do on the bike which is a 1999 Honda ST1100A either. The rear tyre needed replacing and the oil and filter were 500kms over due. It’s the first time in six years that these items ne...eded doing at the same time. Rear brake pads were checked and only half worn so they’re good for another 30,000kms. I also gave the side stand pivot point a going over.

On the Thursday the trailer tyre air pressures was checked and no loss of pressure since I last checked them. Classic Trailers recommend 12-15psi for their trailers so I have mine 13.5psi. The bike tyres needed a slight adjustment otherwise all ok.

I took this photo before we left home on the Friday morning. I’m not sure if we had a frost overnight or it was just heavy dew.

At 9:50am I started the bike and let her idle over while we put helmets and gloves on. I double checked the top case to make sure we had our debit cards etc. We then mounted our girl and headed for the local Caltex and added 15 litres of fuel. That’s more than enough to get us to do the 125km ride Port Augusta where we can use the Coles/Woolworths discount vouchers we had.
An hour and a half later at 11.36am we left the Coles Express servo at Port August East after adding 14.86 litres (topped to the brim) and a 10 litre fuel can. On longer trips like this I all ways take extra fuel.
Next stop was the local Honda dealer so Heather could get a balaclava for herself. Then it was around the corner for lunch at KFC. Next stop was the Woolworths supermarket for a few items to live on for the next few days. While getting back on the bike, Heather noticed a red ST 1300 heading south on the road bridge.
When leaving town we followed an unknown bike with a sidecar which was travelling with a red ST1300. We got held up by a campervan which the other bikes managed to pass and by the time the traffic cleared for us to pass the other two bikes were out of sight. Not sure if they were heading for the Border or heading to Whyalla or points south.

About seven kms east of Iron Knob I noticed two bikes coming up from behind. Only the headlights were visible at this time and Heather also made me aware that she’d like a photo of the bike with Iron Knob behind it. I started slowing a little to look for a good place to pull over and then two white ST1100s passed me. At that time I guessed it was Saaz and his mate.
Time of arrival at Kimba was about 3.00pm where we stopped at the Big Galah for another photo stop.

I also needed a loo stop which is just around the corner and just as Heather got back on the bike a red ST 1300 stopped behind us. Heather got back off the bike thinking I wanted to go and meet him but for me the loo stop was more important…lol. Heather is back on the bike and we ride the 250 metres to the rest stop which was all most full of caravans and camper trailers.

Before I’d even stopped the bike some guy was taking pictures. The Blue ST1100 has that effect on some people I have noticed over the years. About three or four more people taking pictures when I opened the trailer up to get a drink out of the esky.

I checked the fuel level before I left the rest stop and noticed that for the 160kms from Port Augusta I had used more fuel than usual for that distance. I would still make my planned stop at Wudinna ok but it was issue as to maybe adjusting planned stops after Ceduna.

A few things I had forgotten at the time were the number of hills between Iron Knob and Kimba. There was more uphill road than down hill road and I had Heather with me this time where normally I would be on my own. The trailer was larger than my previous one and overall I had more weight to tow.

As we passed the Mobil servo I noticed the two white 1100’s and their riders getting ready to leave. Triple disc brakes on an 1100 are still the best when stopping rather quickly even with a trailer on. Into the servo I went and pulled up beside Saaz. They were planning on an overnight stop at Ceduna (330kms away) and it was all ready 3.10pm. I only stopped for a minute and I was on my way again. About 10 minutes later they passed us and apart from a cloud of dust from a car they had passed I never saw them again. I think the car went off the road after see two white bikes. White bikes in SA are generally SA Police BMWs but you would rarely see them that far out of the city.

At 4:50pm we left Wudinna after fuelling the bike where it took 20.69 litres for the 263kms from Port Augusta or 12.71kms per litre. By far the worst figure I’ve had since having the bike in six years

We started looking for somewhere to camp overnight as well. It was a new tent and its first use. I pulled up off the main hwy at Yainee and set up camp.

Grain silos at Yainee

During the night I woke up with a sore throat which didn’t get any better by Saturday morning so I had to think about either going on or going home. I could see myself getting worse so I decided to go home while I could.

It was a slower trip home and I need to stop to keep fluids up but I managed one stop between Yainee and Kimba at a blink and you miss it place called Koongawa. I took a couple pics of there.

My partner Heather took a picture or two of me as well.
So I returned the favour
We stopped at Kimba for lunch at the Mobil Roadhouse and I was glad of the break. We did another stop off at Iron Knob for some more pictures and fluids for me.
Iron Knob is a small mining town located on the other side of the iron ore mine in the back ground

We stopped at Woolworth Plus for fuel (10cent discount) in Port Augusta where the ST1100 took 21.19 litres for the last 301kms or a slightly improved 14.2 kms per litre. We left the servo at about 2:45pm and headed for home where we arrived at about 4:15pm.

From about 7:00 pm Saturday night after I got home until midday Tuesday (7th) I spent most of time getting over a very bad cold or the ‘flu. In hind sight I made the right move by going back home when I did. On the Sunday I never had the energy to drive my car never mind riding a bike 1100kms back home.

I checked my GPS log of the trip:-

Average speed 87 kp/h
Max Speed 131 kp/h……wow!!! With a trailer…….downhill run with throttle lock on
Trip Distance 825kms
Total Time 13.59 Hours
Stationary Time 4.34 Hours