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Work progresses toward preparing the new, second hand, Yamaha Big Bear quadbike (ATV) for an outback trip in late May and early June, 2013.

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Two of my grandchildren have checked out the new bike with Mum and Grandma in charge of safety.

A new box for the front rack and the old boxes from the Kawasaki fitted to the rear rack.

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Travelling lighter this trip and making only short day trips on the bike while camping with the ute means not going so far into remote areas. I don't expect to be more than 20km from help for most of the trip.

My last three trips to the South Australian outback were all to be my last, but on the most recent, I made a resolute decision to quit while I'm on top, and curtailed my route significantly, feeling so isolated and vulnerable. I'd spent part of three days and camped pretty rough on two nights, covering what should have been a 65km, 4 hour ride from Arcoona Homestead to Andamooka Waterhole on Andamooka Station.

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But with the smouldering desire to appreciate and photograph the arid region landscape once more, increasing as the months went by, permission from my good lady was gained and planning and preparation commenced.

When I tried to get the Kawasaki ATV out of the shed, she wouldn't start, insufficiently reliable for such inhospitable and downright dangerous country. With planning well advanced and the excitement well up, a new bike was the next step.

The Yamaha Big Bear is the third bike I've bought from Mick Cole. First the Kawasaki Bayou and then a Suzuki JR80 for my grandson Nicky who's accompanied me on many rides and camping trips, including one major outback trip, quite an accomplishment for a 10 year old boy on a small bike.

So with two boxes on the rear rack, white for photography gear and blue for a comprehensive array of emergency gear including tyre repair, tools, recovery gear and a few spare parts, plus a new box on the front rack to carry all the miscellaneous items from satellite phone to toilet paper, the bike is about ready for a great outback adventure on Pernatty, Andamooka and Stuart Creek stations in Outback South Australia (SA).


Mick Cole Motorcycles
14 Ridge Street
Bega North, NSW 2550
Phone: 02 64923122
Fax: 02 64923740