Trip Report

Luzern, Switzerland - Perth, Western Australia

My husband Khim and I are currently travelling on two R 100 GS PD . We left home, which is in Lucerne Switzerland, on the 10th October 1994 after having prepared for this trip for five years. We made it to Perth in April 1996 and dropped in on the meeting since we needed a place to do some work on one of the bikes. Ross Richards lent us his garage, which was a real lifesaver. I have been asked by Graeme to put together a road report for the newsletter. And here it is for everybody who is interested enough to read through it.

Packing was the first major challenge and friends who were stopping by to say good-bye didn't make things easier. Nevertheless we took of on the 10th as planned. We were headed for Rotterdam, from where a freighter was supposed to take us and the bikes to Savannah Georgia. But as we were to learn very soon, things seldom work out exactly as planned. We did board a freighter but it was headed first to England, then to Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and finally to Ft. Lauderdale in Florida.

What should have been a 14 day trip turned into a 40 day cruise ! Anyway, glad to be on Land again we headed West to New Orleans, where we spent Christmas and New Years, before venturing further West to Big Bend National Park and New Mexico. We were basically trying to stay warm until Spring so we could head North to Canada, which we wanted to cross from East to West. On the way up there we came across some great roads amongst them 700 miles through the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoa National Park.

The Atlantic Provinces of Canada were fun to tour. The famous Cabot Trail around the northern tip of Nova Scotia made for great riding. In Newfoundland we admired the whales and the icebergs and after a long ferry ride from Lewisport to Happy Valley / Goose Bay in Labrador we finally got to check out the track through Labrador down to Quebec. This dirt road has only been open for a couple of years now and although they are now working hard to improve it we still got to have some fun on it. In Quebec the bad weather caught up with us and so we escaped to Michigan to visit friends. Here our roll of bad luck started. First we had to interrupt our trip across Canada to take care of some personal business in Florida. What we hoped could be settled in a couple of days turned into a couple of weeks. On the way back North the wiring harness on my bike shorted out and burned out completely on the busy highway around Atlanta. Luckily a member of BMW MOA was kind enough to tow the bike to his garage where Khim replaced the fried harness with a new one. Back in Michigan it was clear that summer was almost over and so we were eager to get on with the trip. But we only made it across the border to Sault St. Marie, where the driveshaft on Khim's bike had to be replaced. After that we had a wonderful time crossing Canada. Yes, it was getting a bit cold, but the autumn colors were just beautiful. In Vancouver we started looking for a freighter which would be willing to take us and the bikes to Sydney. Even my charm didn't help and so we headed South along the west coast in search of other ports. We tried Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. No luck. Finally we crated the bikes and had them shipped to Australia, while we spent a month on Hawaii on what we call a vacation from our vacation.

We loved Sydney, but we were upset at having to spend 400 AUD just to get the to bikes unloaded. ( It had only cost us 800 USD to ship them !) Khim was even more upset not to say shocked to find out that his bike didn't want to start ! As it turned out the pistons got jammed because of carbon buildup in the cylinders. With the bikes running again and having cleared customs and quarantine inspections we left Sydney we followed some great tracks to Canberra and then on through the Snowy Mountains to Melbourne. There we were stuck for a while, since on of the cylinder studs on Khim's GS had to be helicoiled. Onwards we went up to the Grampians and through the Great Desert National Park to Adelaide and Kangaroo Island a truly wonderful place. We also spent some time in Adelaide working on the bikes, nothing major, the magnets on my starter motor had come off and Khim was having some problems with his rear brake.

Once these thing were sorted out we toured around the Flinders Ranges and then headed across the Nullabor to W.A. and finally to Perth, where we are now replacing the bearings on Khim's diff. Most people who stop to talk to us, ask if we ever had any problems with the bikes. We always say: 'No, nothing major !' Because we found that with a little bit of patience and the help of all those other helpful BMW riders out there, anything can be fixed !

P.S.: Should any of you have any questions about our trip or shipping bikes or whatever, here our E-Mail address: or by regular mail at: Cecilia & Khim Rojas Ahornsteig 5 CH-6047 Kastanienbaum Switzerland


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