and  the


2 Brothers
 2 Motorcycles
  7 Months
   4 Continents
    30 Countries

a travel tail




Donkey in Darwin

Choose an image to begin

Donkey has returned from holidays in Darwin, greeted by a double whammy. Work and winter!

A successful mission all in all, some well deserved rest and the opportunities to test man and machine on a couple of levels. The ‘Toom was shipped to Darwin by the most obliging people at Toll transport. Great guys, very bike friendly.

The first test was the picturesque Litchfield national park, the home of the stunning Wangi Falls. Donkey and Bride took much pleasure in a refreshing dip after the 80 or so k’s of dirt road to get there. The enormous ‘steel horse’ had enjoyed its first taste of unpaved road, the Bride not so much.

On the paved return journey to Darwin, the machine suffered its first major setback, no doubt caused by the Donkeys perpetual quest to find the limits of the equipment. A blow out at speed was almost certainly induced by the removal of the speed rating sticker left prominently on the dashboard at delivery. Mission accomplished, lesson learnt.

Fortunately, a friend named ‘Hangsi’ armed with spare wheel was close at hand. Cheers Hangsi.

A couple of valuable lessons to come from this:

·         Don’t exceed the speed rating of tyres, especially when HOT

·         Carry plenty of water

·         Practice fixing punctures

·         Always carry a clear visor

·         Take into account Brides bad temper when making trip related decisions


The next adventure involved the fitment of Forged wheels and road rubber for a few laps of ‘Hidden Valley Raceway’. Wow, what a hoot! The orange bike performed amazingly well, much to Donkeys surprise. The brakes held out and a few respectable lap times posted. For a bike so top-heavy, it was amazingly well behaved and quite precise. The track is a pleasure to ride with gentle undulations and nicely banked turns, indeed well worth the effort to make it happen.

The final excursion was a few days in Kakadu. The fitment of ‘rim locks’, a seemingly minor oversight, induced a chronic vibration that made the trip up there a little uncomfortable. The next day was to produce the KTM’s second off-road experience, and again see the Bride’s wits tested. Donkey loved it, every second of it, but admits to being a little humiliated by the machine. He felt as though the bike was constantly laughing at him, ever ready with the inevitable ‘cup of concrete’ when the going got tough. Off road this bike is really retarded, stonking motor and great suspension means that only a true expert will ever approach its limits. Overall a great experience, the Donkey and the ’Toom made friends, and silently agreed that the bike was boss. The underpants had been allocated.

A few more valuable lessons.

·         Carry plenty of water (slow learner)

·         Don’t try to walk ‘difficult’ tracks wearing thongs

·         Carry plenty of water (yes, I know)

·         Always carry a clear visor

·         When a local says, "you sure you wanna go that way?” LISTEN

·         Don’t lose concentration when you’re near the end, bike’s are hard to           pick up in sand

·         Don’t piss off Bride by falling over in sand

·         Carry plenty of water (I’m hoping this repetition will help me remember)


All in all a great holiday, just about checked all the boxes. And, some valuable lessons learnt, hopefully...


Back to travel log