Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Motorcycle Journey: Gear and Cost

Someone recently asked me what they’d need to bring on a trip like the one I’m on now, and the cost. The only real requirement of a motorcycle trip is a motorcycle! That said, here’s a list of the things I’ve taken along on this current journey across Australia.

– Fuel efficient Motorcycle
– Jerry can half full of gas and two bungie cords (haven’t had to use it once even though I only get 200kms before my gas light comes on)
SPOT tracker (makes mom feel better and dad gets a real kick at looking on Google maps to see the actual roads I’m traveling on)
Motonaut strap system (Motonaut Rack, 4th gen) an updated one from the Americas trip. Works very well! I’m a big fan. So easy to take things on/off bike.
-Large Ortlieb dry bag
Large Guide Gear dry bag backpack, $30 bucks from Amazon and great
-REI half done tent
-Backpacking style cooking pot and MSR stove (tiny one), one large can fuel, Turkish coffee maker
-Cascade Design sleeping mat, which I hate, but is very lightweight and small. Sorry to the friend of mine who designed this one, but it is so freaking uncomfortable. I often find myself sleeping half on the ground.
-$10 battery pack. Can charge iPhone 4 times. So worth it!
-MacBook Air, GoPro, iPhone and cords (it cost a lot to buy a new-refurbished Macbook, but my old one wasn’t up to making videos). I plan on selling the GoPro because the iPhone does a great job.
-1.5 liter hydration pack (to small, should be double)
-Down jacket (thank god I brought this- almost didn’t and it’s quite cold at times)
-Minimal tools. Chain lube, one spare tube, tire irons, front and back light spares, patch kit, tire pressure gauge (but no bicycle pump this time- forgot it, so what’s the point of carrying tire irons?)
-2 ratchet straps in case bike breaks down and I get a lift on a truck (heavy, but these have come in handy in the past)

Besides clothes, my super nice Garmont hiking boots and toiletries, and a few odds and ends, that’s about it.

As for budgeting, I took out $1,000AUD ($720USD) at the beginning of this journey. I now have $250AUD left, and have been on the road for 22 days, so that’s $34AUD a day. That’s $24USD for the three weeks I’ve been on the road, not including cost of motorcycle and insurance. Dang, that’s a lot better than I expected!

I bought the bike for $4,500AUD. If I sell it for $2,500AUD and lose out on a $2,000AUD, the trip will have cost $75USD/day. Hopefully I can get more for the bike, though, bringing the true daily cost way down. Of course, since I’ve owned this bike for a lot longer than the 4 weeks I’ll be on this journey, it’s hard to estimate the real daily cost of owning this bike.

Fuel has been an average of probably $1.50/liter (it’s expensive across the Nullarbor, otherwise it’s usually about $1.35). I’ve free camped most nights, or stayed with Couchsurfers. Paid two nights camping ($10 and $20, respectively), so I could shower. I’ve bought inexpensive food along the way (couscous, some fruit and veggies, granola bars, etc), and have my own coffee. That said, I’ve been buying a lot of cappuccinos and treats, which is where the bulk of my money has gone, outside of fuel. The rest of the money has gone to the occasional bottle of wine or food to make dinner for my Couchsurfing hosts (so sometimes camping is actually cheaper, but it’s nice to have the company, not to mention a bed!) and a few things like $30 dollar lithium batteries for my SPOT device, $55 for chain lube, tube, lights, hydration pack and stove fuel, etc.

Fuel economy: I’m estimating my bike gets 68 miles to the gallon, or 30kms to the liter. Thanks, Fuelly, for those numbers. I’ve ridden (so far) 3,000 miles, with a few hundred more to go. That’s 4,800kms. So 160 liters to get me this far means $240AUD in fuel (Would have cost me $380AUD on my KLR650, for comparison’s sake).

Subtracting fuel, batteries, two paid camp spots and the $55 mentioned above, I’ve spent $395 in three weeks on food, wine, chocolate and coffee (I’ve spent at least $100 on coffee alone in three weeks- yikes! About $5 a cup using soy milk, here. No option for cheap drip coffee like in the States, and since an Americano- a ‘long-black’ here, costs as much as a fancy drink, I’ve been going with the fancy stuff).

Hmmm… I think I can afford a cappuccino and a treat RIGHT NOW!


More videos to come!


10 thoughts on “Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Motorcycle Journey: Gear and Cost”

  1. I found your information on fuel costs particularly helpful as I’m planning a road trip in Australia! I’m a new blogger myself and would love for you to take a read.

    1. Yeah George, that was a real luxury item on this trip!! Oz doesn’t have cheap drip coffee like the States, unfortunately. Still, I could definitely have been making my own.

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