a quick note to share an epic experience over the weekend.... i was talked into riding my 650 dakar on a ride with a mate and his (hard core) enduro crew in the deua nat park area. 'mate, were just doin the forestry roads, you'll be right' he said, knowing the dakars tank weight was gunna be interesting out there... A wet few weeks prior making the creeks and rivers flow, the fresh roadworks inconsistent and the rocks nice and slippery. perfect for the lads and mighty Leah, the solo female and team leader, on an assortment of ktms, most looking like they've been rolled off bendethera mountain a few times, and reconstructed faster and better. the looks i got pullin up late , 12 crew fully armoured, on bikes, waiting, waiting, then in comes the dakar, loaded up, then had to unload , get new armour on (never used any before), the looks were just classic!! i dont reckon daz had let on what this late newcomer was riding. but off we go.. needless to say, not even half hour into it, after half the boys had to push the tank up out of flowing creek, and the sweep had to help me get bike up after dropping it over logs and mud a couple of times, the waiting crew spoke as one. 'mate, might be best if you right round and link up with the support truck....' fair call. i was gunna ruin their day as well as my own, and the area is bloody full on in there. round i rode, great day, easy ride, met the lads. drank beer in the shade in the river... not so bad. They said look at it like youve been 'upgraded' to the support crew...... crew are two hours late, bloody wild ride, a few drowned machines, bust sump... happy as , great day! all rode to pub 20 ks up road. as i'm pulling in, looking at this ragged thirsty mob, i felt fresh as a daisy, so took off, spent a couple of hours riding up the nearby escarpment and around a few villages up there (festival going on? next day too), great roads, great time of day. had to make the most of the situation. was a bit disappointed at being cut, but enjoying the day. i ended up on a cliff, halfway up a goat track road, used to be the road, now a gravel winding track down the mountain. my phone gps sent me down this way some years ago with a fully loaded trailer of scaffold which bounced loose, and i had to stop and re tie. i found the same spot heading up, and stopped, pulled over dakar on to a skinny edge, looking way across the valley, late arvo, blue sky day. I heard the bike from the edge of town several ks away, big bike, highly revvin, real high pitched, different sort of sound. thought it was on the main road, then i realised it was heading my way. it was peaking. what the hell. The revs didnt slow down as it started up the goat track, i couldnt see it yet, as its windy but i could see 50-60 or so down the steep track. i was off the road, but still a skinny track, a little sketchy of my position on edge of cliff. Then it came around the corner below, fully sideways, absolutely flat stick!! Big bike, think it was f1200gs new beemer(or f800gs), just remember the crash bars, happened bloody fast. He was still sideways when he went past me...., hadnt noticed me till real close, and our eyes, bloody whites of our eyes met for that instant when he was only 6 feet from me, still drifting at pace, on a goat track with cliff to the left, at full throttle on a BIG bike. flying. had to be a pro, or someone who should be! gone in a flash, but i heard him maintain revs to the top and beyond. riding down i saw the sideways scidmarks in the gravel road the complete way. he was sideways the whole track. not just spinning, he was fully drifting, sitting down low, feet on pedals. it was the maddest thing ive ever seen. that track was sketchy, consequences huge. best riding ive ever seen, and i just wanna say, mate if your out there, that was the wildest showcase of that bike and your capabilities, awesome. Hope i didnt freak you out too much when you saw me so close. (didnt seem to...) blown away. rode back to the pub for my enevitable saturday night of copping it from the enduro crew, with my faith in the adventure touring bike fully restored.