Call of the wild

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motorcycling

The wild areas of Australia are the playground of Dr Bill Burn, a general dentist and forensic odontologist from Nedlands, WA, when he goes adventure motorcycling. 

“I bought my first bike while at uni—a Lambretta scooter. After graduating, I worked in a country dental practice north of of Perth and purchased a Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans. At that time, this was a state-of-the-art bike and I rode it for 10 years, until marriage and kids.

“One day in the mid-’80s, I was looking around ebay and came across an ex-police BMW bike for sale in Melbourne. I caught a plane to Melbourne, purchased the bike and spent four days riding it back to Perth. This was how I got back into motorcycling. At present, I own a BMW R1200 GSA off-road bike and a BMW 1200 RT for hard-top riding. I also own a Suzuki DR650 dirt bike.

“The BMW GS has knobbly tyres for riding on sand, gravel and dusty outback tracks. When I first purchased it, I was keen to try it off-road and went for a ride in the Perth hills with a mate. I soon realised these bikes need to be respected. I high sided it on a steep rutted gravel track when the front wheel got caught in a washout. As the bike went over, it landed on my leg and broke my fibula.

“I’m a member of the BMW Motorcycle Club of Western Australia and enjoy off-road motorcycling with them. I’ll also get three or four mates together and we’ll head off to somewhere new. Once we rode to the Kennedy Range about 1200 kilometres north of Perth.

“One of my favourite places is Stirling Range to the south-west of Perth. It’s a great place to ride with lots of dramatic views and scenery. During a week-long trip organised by the BMW Club with 80 BMW off-road bikes, we rode the back tracks of the south-west of WA. That was an eventful and challenging 1000km journey with lots of loose gravel and water crossings through rivers and swamps. Intense concentration was needed at all times to stay upright and a number of bikes ended up being drowned at the river crossings.

“Adventure motorcycling is my way of recharging my batteries. When you spend all day concentrating on people’s teeth, you need to be able to switch off. Riding a powerful motorbike to wild areas where I can appreciate the environment and get away from people is my relaxation therapy.” 

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