What you need for an Outback Motorcycle Trip around Australia

‘I’m no expert…but about to become one!’

This video will be of interest to anyone wanting to do a long distance motorcycle camping trip, who has a penchant for taking too much camera gear!

The Suzuki DR650 has remained unchanged since 1996. A dinosaur in the adventure touring world, this single cylinder ‘thumper’ with carburetor, harks back to simpler times. With a dry weight of 147 kg (324 lb) and a budget price, it has become a legend among RTW adventurers.

My bike is a 2007 model I picked up 2nd hand with 3500km on the clock. Off the shelf the DR needs a few modifications to prepare it for long distance travel, and to help the torquey 644cc motor breath better and thus improve on it’s rather tame 46 HP.

I will be going offroad to remote locations so needed to take camping gear, enough water and food and tools and spares to repair any possible problems like flat tires or broken chains.

As I work as a professional videographer, I will also need to be carrying enough production gear to do work for tourism business while on the road.

This video goes through what modifications I have done to my bike and what I will be carrying on my trip.

At the bottom of this write up I have included a list of my gear, but for now will give a brief overview of each section – bike mods, gear selection and what filmmaking gear I will be taking.

I was lucky that my motorcycle already came semi prepared for outback travel. It had a rear rack added, bark busters, stronger renthal bars, a bash plate and performance rear suspension spring set to 100 kg’s.

On top of this I have added a 30 Litre fuel tank, re-upholstered the seat and added softer foam, added a staintune performance exhaust, a screen, a usb charger, performance fork springs.

There are further performance mods I would have done if I wasnt taking such a long trip (at least 8,500 km) I would have removed the exhaust baffle and airbox snorkle to help the DR breath better and thus improve performance. I would also drill a extra hole in the carb slide for better throttle response. My Dr will be a beast of burden, so the extra HP sauce from these mods may have effected fuel economy, not something I need!

With regard to my camping gear, I am not taking any cooking utensils. I really enjoy cooking and I just find cooking on the road a little disappointing. So I will adjust my diet, eating raw veggies like carrots, salads and nuts. I will sometimes eat takeaway and sometimes find a public bbq to cook a steak or seafood. Given the dietary changes, I’m sure I will loose a few unwanted kilos!

Camera Gear
I wanted one camera with a small footprint that could do both video and stills. I purchased a Panasonic Lumix G7 for this trip. It is not the ideal video camera given sound restrictions, but the micro four thirds format is definitely going to improve my trip photos! I’m also carrying way too many sound options – a zoom H5 audio recorder, a Rode Ntg1 shotgun mic, a Rode videomic pro and a rodelink wireless mic kit. I made a budget $8 shoulder mount so as to get smooth shots with the G7. As you can see it is not exactly the type of camera you can hand to your dad – autofocus was crap and audio blew out, even at -12db!

So here is the extended list, hope you find it handy if you are planning your own long distance motorcycle trip:

2007 DR650 (currently 11,400 kms on the clock)
Tank – 30L Safari
fuel filter ( small carb filter removed)
Seat – re-upholstered and softer foam added by Camโ€™s Customs
Tank bag – Ajays
Rear bag – Motodry
pannier bags and racks – Andy Strapz
New fork springs – teknik .54 with 70mm spacer
Performance Exhaust – Staintune
Front Screen – Screen for bikes
Waterproof Phone Holder – Givi
USB charger – third gear
Metal Chain Guide – Warp 9
Magnetic Sump Plug to counter NSU screws failing
Countershaft Seal guard to counter oil spill
throttle lock
Custom led light number plate light
New rear spring – teknik set to 100kgs
Bashplate – B and B
Hand guards – Bark Busters
Rear Rack – B and B
New Handlebars – Renthal
Bar risers
sheep skin seat cover – old baby change
Upper Drive Chain Roller removed to stop frame damage

Helmut – Oโ€™Neal Sierra Adventure Helmut
Leather jacket – Torque with elbow, shoulder and back pads
Jeans – draggin black combat with kevlar and knee and hip pads
Motorcycle boots – RST adventure boots
Gloves C & R sport T-Lite
Dress boots – Blundstone
Sandals – Crocs
khaki cotton slouch hat
7 x jocks
7 x socks
2 x shirts
3 x t shirts
swim trunks
2 x shorts
warm beanie hat
wool jumper
rain poncho
rain overpants
ear plugs

2 person tent – outerlimits starlight 3 season 1.9 kgs
Sleeping bag – Microsmart 90, 5 degree min 1 kg
Self inflating mat – hi country 1 kg Hi Country
3 x 1 litre Aluminium water flasks Hi Country
1 x 750ml Aluminium water flask
Travel Towel – medium size Hi Country
Cotton youth hostel sheet – Aurora
Spork – spoon, fork, knife Sea to Summit
head torch

Camera/Video Camera – Panasonic Lumix G7
-14-140 lens
-On camera mic – Rode Videomic pro and dead cat
-25mm lens
2x extreme pro SDHC cards
Filters – UV, Circ-pol, ND4, ND8
Radio mic kit – Rodelink
gopro Gimble
On camera Led Light – Metz
Audio recorder – Zoom H5
rode ntg 1 shotgun
3m xlr lead
Laptop – Apple Mac book pro 15โ€
Tripod – Velbon CX480
GoPro hero 4 silver
USB solar charger – Bauhn
LG G2 Phone
shoulder stabiliser homemade
camera bag
hard drive
in ear headphones
various chargers – phone, camera, batteries, laptop
rechargeable batteries x 8

DR650 tool kit
multitool – leatherman
3 x tyre levers
spare rear tube
puncture kit
spare fuel hose
spare chain link
Prop Stand – homemade 50 cm
spare cross brace for tank
mtb air pump
gaffer tape
zip ties
electrical tape
spare rear sprocket
new hand grips
one man brake bleed kit
feeler gauges for valves
plastic gloves
various rags
tie wire
chain wax
prop stand home made
ice cream container for storing liquid e.g. oil, brake fluid

first aid kit
toiletry bag
toilet paper
soap container
brake disk lock

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “What you need for an Outback Motorcycle Trip around Australia

  1. VERYcool camera-man-dad you have!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰ in addition to your very cool packing and bike modification video!
    why don;t you make a BIKE TRAVEL GUIDE (BOOK) out of your trip? ๐Ÿ™‚
    have a GREAT TRIP, MARK … ๐Ÿ˜‰ KRIS

  2. Hi Mark,

    How did you find the lungbuster? I am thinking about going round
    OZ on a KLR650.
    Only a true bushman would list blunnies as dress shoes.

  3. I would choose the DR over the KLR650. More fun, lighter. I’ve ridden both. KLR was a little too vanilla for me. DR, with a few modifications is an amazing cheap option.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.