April 11, 2014
If you are from the higher populated parts of Oz you might have your favourite flavour of fuel and you only buy that flavour. You might usually buy fuel on Tuesday or Wednesday because fuel is cheaper then but never on Friday or Saturday because the price rises on the weekends.
Due to transport costs, you will find that fuel prices outside of the Cities are generally higher. This will apply to your travels to the 2014 AGM Event in Alice Springs.
Fuel stops are generally frequent enough that most bikes should be able to make it between stops. However there are two stretches where it might be advisable to carry extra fuel, depending on your tank size and fuel consumption. Between Barkley Homestead and Camooweal is 265 and heading east there is often a stiff headwind to help fill the coffers of the fuel companies. Between Coober Pedy and Glendambo is 252 km.
No, I'm not talking about the semi precious stone from Coober Pedy (although if you have time this is an interesting place to spend a bit of time, especially the underground places). I'm talking about fuel – that is why the heading is “Fuel”. Opal fuel is low aromatic, unsniffable fuel introduced to the outback to stop petrol sniffing. I am not sure how widespread it is in SA but I think most places in the NT have it. So far there is only Opal Unleaded so Premium will still give you a high if you are into that sort of thing. Personally I'd rather wait in a queue at the liquor shop after 2pm.
Anyway, the reason I mention Opal fuel is that it is not recommended for old vehicles. There were quite a few reports here, when it was introduced, about older cars breaking down. Most of them were dismissed by mechanics as badly maintained vehicles just waiting to cark it and BP (the originators of Opal) claim it is perfectly safe.
I have been using it in my bikes since 2006 and haven't had any trouble although I wouldn’t use it in my 1971 BSA.
Most pumps say something about Opal or Low aromatic fuel if the servo has changed over. If you usually use standard UPL and if you have an older bike/car you might want to consider the extra expense of Premium fuel.