The Australian Property Centre Rally 2011 gets under way in Oz from 23rd July - 5th August 2011. Over 14 days riders cover a distance of 7000 kms. The Rally is designed for bike riders who want an adventure and not a race. The info & tips for competing in the event will be of interest for some riders considering more serious off road rides in & around S E Asia. Below is some info taken from their website http://rally.australianpropertycentre.net.au/?cat=1 The course has been designed to test riders ability, endurance and aptitude. The route shall be crossing the Simpson desert which is one of the biggest in the world. The rally will also go through the Victorian Alps where there will be snow and extreme temperatures . The riders shall be navigating using GPS units with a route that has been loaded at the start of the event. This means that they can either ride by themselves or with their mates. Riders must complete the route to be eligible for a “Nev Thorley Completion Medal”. What makes this rally special is that all riders must carry camping gear and there are no designated night stops so riders can go at their own pace. The riders cannot commence riding before 7-00 am each morning and they must finish riding by 5-30 pm each day. All riders shall carry a “spot” GPS tracking device and this means that all competitors' movements can be followed live on the APC Rally Website. Riders will have the option of staying at a country pub for the night or camping out. Before the event each State team will have a pre run weekend to make sure all riders know how to use the GPS and spot tracking device. They can also look at bike set up and see how much gear others are carrying. The less weight a rider carries the easier their bike is to handle, however all riders will need to carry gear so they can camp in cold conditions. Break Downs In this event there are no back up vehicles or recovery vehicles. If a rider breaks down they are responsible for their bike and themselves to be returned home. The event organiser will cover no costs that the rider has from an accident or break down. The event organisers should be called if this has occurred and they will try to help coordinate the logistics to help the rider get home. All riders are required to call the event organisers if they are leaving the course. All riders will be required to stop and help a fellow competitor get back to civilization. The riders can tow each other to the next town however both parties must agree that it is not to dangerous. Accident Procedures If a rider is involved with an accident where medical help is required 000 should be called from the nearest phone possible . Emergency services will be activated. All riders will be required to carry a mobile phone. Some areas the event are extremely remote and a mobile phone will not have coverage . A fellow competitor would be required to ride to the closest working phone and call 000. Emergency services would require details on the riders injuries and the location of the accident. The name of the road and the distance from the nearest town is the information emergency services will require. The spot tracking devices have an emergency button on them however it would usually take 8 hours for help to arrive so in most cases another competitor will be on the scene and helping a rider to communicate with emergency services way faster than activating a spot unit. The spot unit has an okay button that competitors should use if they are broken down, but not injured. This will allow their friends and the event organisers who are watching the progress of competitors to know they are okay Camping Gear and Survival Equipment All riders shall have the following equipment inspected before starting the event. It will be required to be functioning and must be carried through the entire event. 1. Sleeping Bag 0 degrees rated 2. (Ground sheet and tarp) or swag( or tent) 3. Cigarette lighter 4. Knife 5. Can opener 6. Warm cloths other than riding gear (in case it gets wet) 7. 2 litres of water in separate container to camel back bladder. 8. Torch or head lamp 9. First aid kit (must have large pressure bandage) and cpr guide 10. Food for 2 meals 11. Dry bags that will keep bedding dry and spare cloths dry 12. Sunglasses 13. Rain coat that will fit over ride gear. 14. Cup and cutlery 15. Toilet paper 16. Shoes that can be worn around a camp. 17. Hat 18. Mobile telephone charger Notes A Coleman king single blow up mattress with pump and a one man tent is a good option . Please test your sleeping bag before coming on the trip and make sure your mattress fits in your tent. A small tarp to lay your riding gear on and then to cover the gear is a very good idea. Clothes 1. Jeans 2. 3 x t shirts 3. Underwear for four days (socks and Jocks) 4. Thermal underwear Some optional items 1. Mattress 2. Small folding chair 3. Camera and charger 4. Balaclava 5. Spare gloves 6. Rag for wiping visor or goggles 7. Pen and notebook 8. Wet weather pants 9. Stove When riding adventure bikes most of the problems come from gear not being attached to the bike well enough. Elastic straps do not work on large trips because they wear out. Ratchet straps with the ends cut to a reasonable length have been the best method found for holding on gear. A set of ratchet straps holding panniers to the bike as a back up is a very good idea as well. When purchasing straps try to always go for good quality. The less weight the rider has on their bike the more chance they have of completing the event . Fuel Range and Acceptable All bikes shall require a range of 300 km of heavy going. This would mean on most adventure bikes that 30 litres of fuel would be required to be carried. Fuel Containers Riders must always use fuel containers that have been designed for that purpose. Fuel bladders could be the cheapest option for some riders to increase the range of their bikes. Bike Requirements Riders will need their machinery to be in 100% working order. For riders with little experience they should simply take their bike to a bike shop and show them this document so there is no confusion on what is required. All bikes will be required to be road registered in Australia. Lights, indicators and review mirrors are real safety items on an adventure bike and these need to be in good working order. Tyres And Tubes Riders will all have their own favourite brands of tyres but the event organisers will recommend what tyre set ups they believe are the best. When doing difficult riding on adventure bikes the following set up is recommended. 1. Ultra heavy Bridgestone tubes front and back. Make sure they are ultra heavy and not just heavy. If the bike shop does not have them in stock, ask them to order them and return later. The ultra heavy duty tubes are the only way to avoid flat tyres . 2. Tyre pressure 28 lb in front and rear tyres is recommended. Lower tyre pressure will result in rim damage and flats. 3. Tyre Selection Dunlop rally raid front and rear or Dunlop 606 for lighter bikes. For example on a KTM 950 . Rally raids will last 4000 km and then on the ktm 690 the Dunlop 606 tyres will last 4000km. 4. All riders should plan on putting on a fresh set of tyres about half way through the event. The route shall pass by bike shops so in a riders pre- planning they should call a bike shop approx 3 months prior to the event and purchase a set of tyres . This way they will be there when you go through. Most riders will want the bike shop to change the tyres for them therefore riders should organise this when they purchase them in advance. Bike shops do not stock that many tyres and because they are imported a rider needs to pre order. Putting incorrect tyres on a bike is the quickest way to get into trouble on the event. 5. Riders will be advised which bikes shops to contact once the route has been finalised. 6. Carry a spare front tube. This can be just a heavy duty. You will require a pump, tyre patching kit and a good tyre gauge and good tyre levers. 7. If a flat tyres bead is difficult to remove use the stand on the bike or even try riding it slowly till the bead breaks. Chains And Sprockets 1. Buy the best chain you can for your bike and carry a small can of chain lube. 2. Make sure your chain tension is correct at the end of each days riding. This way if you have a problem you can work on it at night. 3. Buy only steel sprockets and source the best quality you can. 4. When fitting the chain get an expert to do it and ask for a spare joiner for you to carry in your tool kit. 5. A small chain breaker is also very useful. Tool Kit All riders should at least carry their bikes factory tool kit and make sure they at least have the correct tools to change a flat tyre. A good multipurpose tool such as a Leatherman is also very useful. Air Filters Make sure your air filter is new when you start and check that it is well sealed. Brakes Make sure all your brake pads are new and carry spares. A small can of brake fluid shared between a couple of riders is a good idea. Wheel Bearings 1. Carry a spare set of wheel bearings. You and a friend might share a front and back set if you have the same bike. 2. If your bike has done more than 2000km with the bearings currently in the bike they should be replaced before the event. 3. It could pay to carry a socket that is a correct size for replacing bearings. Engine Oil 1. Make sure you start the event with fresh oil it should be the best you can buy. 2. It should be measured in carefully and not over filled. A rider should check this level at the end of every day. 3. New oil filters should be fitted before starting. A spare oil filter should be carried in the event. 4. Oil will be available at all the fuel stops . Electrics 1. Carry plenty of spare fuses . 2. Carry some electrical wire and tape. 3. Stand switches are the most common fault that occurs with adventure bikes. 4. Carry a set of jumper leads or even a second battery if possible. The most common mistake is when a rider does not use the key to switch the bike off and accessories are left running. Practice just using the key. 5. Get a professional to help connect your GPS to your bike for power if it requires hard wiring. A faulty power source to GPS units is very common. Keys For Adventure Bikes 1. Please wire a second key to the bike and make sure you are careful with the key each night . Heated Grips If you want to have a far more enjoyable ride get a set of heated grips and make sure you fit them a couple of months before the event to see if any problems exist. Exhaust Systems 1. If the bike has more than 10 ,000 km it could be worth getting the exhaust re packed. 2. Check the rivets in the exhaust are okay . Replace any bad ones with stainless steel rivets. 3. Check all exhaust mounts are in good condition. Steering Head Bearings 1. These should be checked by a good mechanic . 2. If the bike is older than 20000km I would suggest they be greased and checked. Suspension 1. If the bike has done more than 20000 km the rear shock especially should be serviced. This will include re-gasing . The oil in the front shocks would need to be replaced as well. 2. Springs may need to be upgraded if the rider feels the bike is bottoming out once the bike is carrying all the gear. This point is very important and it does not matter if the bike is new or not. Your local dealer should be able to advise you on this point. The bikes handling ability is not about trying to go faster it is about the bike being safer. Lights 1. A good working headlight and tail light are really essential. A headlight should be on at all times . The route is on public roads so there will be traffic coming in both directions. 2. A spare bulb for the headlight should be carried. Panniers And Protection Bars 1. Protection bars on adventure bikes are a good idea because it is very common the riders to lose balance at low speeds and fall over. 2. I would suggest that riders should use soft panniers because they are safer. Tow Strap All riders should carry a five meter long tow strap usually made from webbing material. When tying to the bike being towed it is essential that no knots are used simply put the webbing once behind the fork leg and then up to the bars. This way if you let go of the strap at the bars it will let go of the bike and you will roll to a stop. The bike that is doing the towing can be tied onto. Please ask experienced riders to show you this technique before coming on the event. Remember to start gently and not up a hill if it can be avoided. Summary Of Bike Setup This is an outline of what experienced riders do when they are preparing a bike for a trip of this nature. When on the ride the bike needs to be cared for at the end of each day. If the bike does break down just try to work through the problem. Stay calm and try to make good decisions. Check things on the bike one at a time so you can hopefully isolate the problem. A NZ friend (& GT Rider) will be competing in the event & thereafter flying his KTM into Thailand for a few months exploring in & around North Thailand - Laos - Cambodia.