It has been a long wait... I have serviced the 1974 BMW R90S thoroughly and have been ‘ready’ for weeks... one more sleep!
Thursday 4th August
I left home at 10:30am, warm and dry, and headed towards York via the Great Southern Highway. Then... the freezing cold wind started! I had a good ride through Narrogin and Wagin and beyond, reaching Albany at about 5:00pm.
I was hoping the motorcycle shops were still open as I
desperately needed a balaclava. Luckily I found one and it
was $16.00 well spent. I arrived at Bob and Chris’s to
find Bob fine-tuning the carbs on the 1976 BMW R60/6.
Chris was in the kitchen cooking a lovely evening meal and after
an hour or so she called us in for a delicious roast... thanks
Chris it was yummy! After dinner, it was back to the shed
for the final assembly. We did find some rubber partly
blocking supply to the right hand carburettor. It was a
good job done and a couple of beers later it was time for bed.
Friday 5th August
We were up at 6:00am, as we were to be leaving dead on 7:00am. Matt rolled up looking like Michelin Man on his 1972 BMW R75/5 all shiny and loaded up with supplies for the next four days. We then heard the grumble of the 1987 Guzzi California... it was Ronnie rolling up with a huge smile on his face. And... dead on 7:00am, Chris had us all lined up for a departing photograph. Bob lead us out of Albany for a freezing ride, and I stress FREEZING, to our first stop at Jerramungup.
Matt forgot to use his left foot and missed to change down a
gear for the corner into the Service Station thereby going wide
into the gravel! We were all complaining about how cold we
were as we fuelled up. The day went quickly with fuel
stops and lunch at Gibson’s Soak.
The old bikes were going great. Finally after fuelling up at Balladonia we headed off just before dark to our bush camping spot two kilometres up the road, no showers here! Tents were soon up, the fire lit and the curry that Chris cooked for all of us was warming up nicely. Ronnie was well prepared with an esky full of Emu Export for all of us to drink. It was a beautiful night, warm and dry . . . ahhh this is the life!
Saturday 6th August
The morning soon came and at 8:30am we set off for the Border with a clear blue sky ahead . . . great stuff . . . life could not be better! Again we refuelled every 200km or so with a lunch stop at Madura Pass Service Station. All went well and after a full day’s ride we made it to the Border at about 4:00 pm. There were bikes everywhere! Again the tents were soon up across the road from the Border Village and it was time for a beer or two at the bar, socialising with all the other ‘bikers’.
There would have been close to 150 or so bikes, mostly from the
Eastern States with the usual Perth guys. Dinner was a
lovely roast and then following a couple of more beers we headed
for our camp fire across the way. This must have been
around 10:30pm and Jack Frost was on the tent and bike seats
already. After warming ourselves around the fire, most of
us hit the sack a few hours later. Some of us were more
the worse for wear than others.
Sunday 7th August
It was a frosty start the next morning and with the sun up we left for our homeward journey at around 9:00am. The bikes went very well although we had a slight pause in Madura again as Matt coasted into the Service Station with no clutch! Our first thoughts were that he had a broken clutch cable, but after further inspection it turned out that the adjusting bolt on the clutch arm has loosened and fallen off. Luckily Ronnie had a spare bolt and we were mobile again in a matter of minutes. That day’s ride was warm and sunny so we pressed on and made camp 30km east of Norseman, bush camping again... just how we like it! It was a warm dry night with Ronnie the pyromaniac building up a massive fire (plenty of dead wood in these parts).
Within a few minutes we had to move our chairs back about 100m
or so from the intense heat. The evening meal was
interesting as we used up all our tinned food . . . stews,
beans, tuna, curry, you name it we had it all warming in tins
around the fire. It got a bit windy later in the tents –
especially mine – after the baked beans and stew – phew!
So off to bed it was, not expecting a wet surprise the next
Monday 8th August
After quickly packing up our wet tents in the rain, Matt and I headed to Norseman. Ronnie and Bob followed some 20 minutes later. After breakfast and some hot, hot coffee I headed to Perth with the other three amigos heading to Albany. During the next four hours to Southern Cross, I rode in heavy non-stop rain, eventually getting a wet arse. With a couple of more thunderstorms to endure, I finally reached Perth at 4:30 pm. I did hear that the three amigos had a drier ride home from Norseman than I did! Elina was waiting for me with a beaut hot meal following a nice hot shower.
All had gone well. What could be better than a fantastic
5 day safe ride, clocking up 3330km on a R90S?
Finally, there is talk of us doing it all again in two years time on /2 BMW’s... you gotta have a goal to look forward to!