BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Thursday, 1 September 2016

It's not always all about me.

Some moto visitors from Kuwait in Perth.


One of the best things about travelling on a motorcycle is that you get to meet so many different people. You can be anywhere in the world, and if you meet up with another motorcyclist you instantly have a friend.

I met Sherri-Jo Wilkins through one of the motorcycle travel websites, and then in person on a trip through Adelaide a few years ago. Sherri-Jo spent a few years travelling the world on her KTM690 and is currently in Iceland on another moto adventure. She recently contacted me and told me about three guys from Kuwait who she had met at the Argentinian border crossing. They were soon heading to Perth to start their trip across Australia. Would I meet up with them and help them out if they needed anything? Of course I would.

You'll find Sherri-Jo's world trip blog here:

Ali, Muhanad, and Hussain were staying in a Perth hotel while they waited for their bikes to clear customs and quarantine. They were getting a little bit anxious as they'd been waiting for a few days already, and still had no ETA for their bike's release. I met up with them at the hotel and we chatted about their trip and their plans. Hopefully I was able to give them some good local advice.

Ali, Hussain, Muhanad, and little old me. 

Here's the plan.
If you see the boys on the road, stop them and buy them a cuppa. I guarantee you'll have a laugh.

As usual with overseas visitors I was asked the familiar questions:

"What about snakes?" I've probably seen a total of two or three in the bush.

Since I was about fourteen I've spent a lot of time in the bush, travelling, camping, racing enduros, in the Army, hiking, and I've seen bugger all. I think snakes are more scared of us than we are of them.

"What about spiders?" OK, you'll see a few spiders, but unless you touch them they'll leave you alone. Most of them are harmless. Just remember to check your boots in the morning before you put them on.

"What about scorpions?" I've seen one!

"What about dingoes?" I've seen two, one a few weeks ago, and one twenty years ago.

For some reason people from overseas think that Australia is crawling with things that desperately want to kill you. This is not the case, and if you see anything like the above beasts, just leave them alone. I don't ever remember reading about a herd of scorpions chasing down a motorcycle traveler and tearing him apart. People are more dangerous than any of our animals.

I must be getting soft on my old age because I didn't tell they guys about our "Drop Bears".

...and here.

With all the horror stories out of the way we found a little restaurant and enjoyed a few more laughs over diner.

The crew had aimed at reaching Southern Cross on their first day on the road. Southern Cross is only 420 kilometers so I suggested Kalgoorlie as a first stop because it's only an easy 600 kilometer ride.

They had also allowed a lot of time to cover the Great Central Road, an eleven hundred kilometer dirt road between Laverton and Uluru, working on the theory that they would travel at 50 kph. I've been down that road, and another mate went a few weeks ago so I checked with him, and we both reckon that 120 kph is a comfortable speed to sit on.

I was thinking that the boys now had three or four extra days up their sleeves which will make up for the hold up with our Australian bureaucracy and waiting for bikes.

We called it a night and as I made my way home I must admit that I was thinking about telling the guys about Drop Bears before they left. ☺

On Thursday the bikes finally arrived at the hotel.

The bikes have arrived. 

The boys look happy. 

A plan was formulated and departure time was set for ten on Saturday morning. My mate Andrew is always up for a ride, so even with the threat of a huge downpour we met up and planned to ride to Toodyay, have a coffee, and send the boys on their way.

Andrew and I just spent two weeks together and we think along very similar lines. Generally, if we plan to leave somewhere at seven a.m. we are both ready before seven, and in the road at seven.

At ten, we were sitting in hotel reception waiting for the guys to pack their bikes. Hussain was the last to get ready as he had to find some way to strap a very large box (that contained a drone he had just bought) to the back of his bike. By eleven we were ready to roll.


Hissain's bike wouldn't start. The battery was dead flat, but it was OK because he had one of those little auxiliary batteries you see advertised on TV. They'll start anything.


When they are flat.

Luckily Andrew had a good, fully charged, auxiliary battery.


It was at home.

Andrew's Harley rumbled up Hay Street on a mission of mercy to retrieve his battery from home. Now I have my doubts about starting a BMW R1200 GS Adventure with one of these batteries. I flattened the battery on mine once, and a car battery wouldn't turn it over, so what chance did a little, pocket sized battery have?

Andrew returned and in a few minutes Hussian's BM was purring away in the car park. Thanks Andrew.

Muhanad and I waiting for Hussain. 

Our next problem was that the boys required fuel. Not usually a big issue, but will Hussain's bike start after he turns it off to fill it up?

Everybody was pretty happy when Hussain's bike fired up and happily idled away after the refuel.

The clock was ticking and it was now after twelve. Andrew and I decided that Toodyay was a no go as it was about forty five minutes out of the way, and Kalgoorlie was still six hours away. We'd make Northam our coffee stop as it's on the direct route to Kalgoorlie.

After a coffee in Northam, and a few more laughs, we parted ways and the boys were off on their big Aussie Adventure.

Andrew, Mahanad, Ali, me, and Hussian. 

I've since found out that the team made Merredin on the first night. That's just 300 k from Perth. Andrew and I covered 200 ks just to have a coffee. It could be a long trip.

We'll see how happy the guys are with road trains after a few weeks in Australia. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If motorcyclists ruled the world it would be a much, much better place. It was a pleasure to meet you guys, and a whole lot of fun. Enjoy your adventure, and if you're ever in Perth again, make sure you catch up.

Safe travels.

You can follow the guy's antics on their webpage:

Our Shared Planet Motorcycle Adventures:

...and their Facebook page:

"Our Shared Planet Motorcycle Adventures" 

All photos here were stolen from the guys webs site and Facebook pages.

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