The bike that carried me for the duration of this trip is now parked up at my brothers and getting prepped for sale. The DL1000 V-Strom wouldn't be my usual choice of ride, and I probably wouldn't own one as my daily ride, but I wouldn't hesitate to take one away on another extended journey across Australia.
The DL was typically Suzuki (built tough where it counts, but with a lot of cheap plastic finish), having said that, it was super reliable, cheap on fuel, and super cheap on maintenance. It was fully serviced and had new tyres on it when I bought it, and apart from lubing the chain, the only other thing I did over the distance was replace the rear tyre in Adelaide after 7,000 k's of bolt upright riding (but almost all the wear was down to the abrasive road surface in NT). By the time I'd finished the trip, the front tyre was only half worn, and the new rear still appeared 'as new'.
It was a comfortable bike to ride, even on the longest days, and its performance in the corners far exceeded my riding capability. My only complaint is they're not designed for touring and as such luggage choice is quite limited. At speed, the Givi bags sat so far outboard of the arse-end that they acted like windsocks, creating quite a wobble at anything over 120 kph (and yes, that's legal in some states, and if you're in the red centre, there is no limit).
I've had a truly fantastic time with some amazingly unforgettable moments. Of particular note for a bike journey of such distance and time, there were only 2 occasions where it actually rained (although for the first half, rain would at least have offered some respite from the constant heat).
Next stop, home, Mainland NZ.
|Brisbane - Blue skies and mid 30's|
|Entering the land of the long white cloud|
|South Island at last....|
|Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains - clearing but cold....|
|Home at last....|