What started as a plan to cross Australia from east to west in a modified Ford F250 turned into a world record-breaking 5710-kilometre ride across the continent on an ATV quad bike.

Story By David McNamara

At the Birdsville Races in 2004, Matt Brown and David McNamara came up with the original idea of crossing Australia in a F250. Bringing along some ATV off-road quad bikes appealed to them, as they both owned Yamaha Raptors 660s. But when Matt came up with the idea of actually riding his ATV the full distance rather than driving the F250, David, who had already undertaken several extensive trips across the country, was not so sure. “I told Matt that he was mad,” David laughs. “There was no way that his butt would be sitting on an ATV for 5000-plus kilometres.”
Matt was not deterred and, after contacting Guinness World Records, found out that the ATV ride would set a world record. Next, he needed permission to embark upon the trip as well as fulfilling the conditions for the record attempt, one of which entailed police officers from each town along the way signing a register to verify that Matt and Ross Ledger, who came on board as the second quad rider, were in fact riding the complete trip. A support team was gathered, with David driving the F250, John Kelly cooking and taking photos and John Sherlock helping with mechanical repairs. Yamaha supplied two Raptor 700 ATVs and the Variety Club was endorsed as the official charity to raise funds for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children. Finally, the Yamaha Coast to Coast Raptor 700 World Record came to fruition.

This story excerpt is from Issue #44

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2006