Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Roarin goes mud & rock slingin'

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Roarin, May 2, 2006.

  1. Like all great rides this one one sorta happened on the spur of the moment. You know, impulse takes over & off you go :LOL:
    I happened to be working a shutdown over Easter & got yarning to a couple of dudes in the smoko huts. Bikes somehow entered the conversation & in particular dirt bikes. They mentioned going for a ride out the back of Jamieson in a week or so & asked if I might be interested. "Yeah" says I, we swapped phone numbers & promptly forgot about it.

    Friday night the phone rings. "You still up for that ride mate?" "We've decided to camp the night & make it a 2 dayer" So I thought long & hard about it, gave it carefull consideration & within .25 of a second replied. "So when are we leaving?" "We'll pick you up at seven Sunday morning" Cool as. Heaps of time.

    So all the neccesary preperations were made. Tank full? Yep. Tyres look all right. I think thats oil in the crankcase sight glass. Ready as I'll ever be.

    Sunday morning finds us at Granny's Flat -about 10kms east of Jamieson on the Jamieson river. A light mist is just sort of clearing up. Bikes are unloaded. B#gger the tents, we can put them up in the dark if we have to. There's riding to be done :LOL: .

    "So how do you go on the hills mate?" I suppose if I saw someone for the first time roll a shiny new KTM 625 off a trailer wearing a pair of old jeans, new helmet & jacket I might be a little sceptical as well. "One way to find out I suppose" "Lets go see" I say.

    And we're off. Nothing like a thigh deep river crossing to start the day huh. All make it through without incident. And about 200 metres later we hit the first hill. Now as far as hills go, I have seen a few in my time. And this one ranks among the best I have seen. That is if your definition of best means steep -I mean can't hardly stand up steep, long, slippery, rutted, a couple of tight corners thrown in & interspersed with muddy patches. "Let's see how you go mate" So off I go.

    Now my KTM is not the lightest dirt bike around. Not compared to the modern 250 & 450 weapons available. And not the most powerful either. (must be pretty damn close though :wink: ) But it does have one thing in its favour. And that is torque. You know, grunt. Crack the throttle anywhere in the rev range & watch the scenery start to blurr type grunt. In pretty much every gear. Not these modern Shetland ponies in the engine department,but real Clydesdales. If you get my drift. Which, if you know what you are doing with them, can be a pretty darn good thing :LOL: :LOL: .

    And quality suspension. 320 odd mm of WP's finest, plushest, controlled wheel travel at both ends. Which all adds up to traction.

    Where were we? Aah yes -that hill. So I slot it into first, ease out the clutch, click into second & off we go. Build up a bit of speed & we’re flying. Bouncing from one side of the track to the other. Spinning & sliding, the back end trying to pass the front, & every so often the front trying to head for the sky as the bike tries to loop its self. This is where the Clydesdales come into play. One can afford to get off the gas for an instant to grab a bit of traction & gently roll it back on without loosing momentum. Which is king. When climbing hills. Momentum that is.

    And all of a sudden we’re at the top. First time lucky I guess. Sit there for a few seconds waiting for the heart rate to drop from its current 5000rpm to something resembling normal. And wait. Off comes the helmet & start listening. I can hear plenty of revving, then a thump & then silence. Then some muffled swearing. A minute or so goes by & it starts all over again. Finally another bike appears at the top of the hill. “Damn that’s a tough hill” “You did alright though” “Must be beginners luck eh”

    So, to prove it wasn’t a fluke, I slipped & slithered my way to the bottom, hooked a U bolt & blasted my way back up again. Hehehehe. Who said it was beginners luck :grin: .

    After about 5 unsuccessful attempts by one of the other dudes we decided to modify our route & try another track to the top. Which all went rather well –until we hit another hill. Another beauty. Same thing happens again. The mighty KTM goes flying up the hill like a magic bullet, bouncing, leaping & zigzagging from side to side at speed with all the grace of a startled feral cat.

    Hahahaha. Did it again. However, this time I didn’t ride back down & do it again. No one likes a smart ar$se. Plus I might not manage it a second time & loose the god like status I seem to have aquired. Off comes the helmet & I wander back down the hill a bit to enjoy the entertainment.

    Isn’t it strange how funny it is watching crashes –when it’s someone else. Another bike makes it to the top. The third bike is just not going to make it. So a rider swap takes place, & another attempt made. ¾ distance is managed this time. A conference is called & the outcome is 3 blokes pushing, sweating & much swearing. But the 3rd bike makes it to the top

    Smoko is called. Drinks are sculled. Two hours have gone by & we’ve managed to travel a whole 6 km’s. But it gets easier from here in. Smiles return & we’re having fun again. Speeds increase & a bit of sideways action starts to fire up.

    I prove I can fall off with the best of them by managing about a 270 degree spin on an innocent looking hill within the length of the bike & manage to break the end off my gear lever :oops: . Nothing a couple of cable ties can’t fix though.

    Another drink & we’re off again. Sliding & spinning up out of the corners, front wheels pawing at the sky. Flying through the air as you leap over the drainage ditches crossing the track for kilometer after kilometer. Finally pulling up puffing & panting like you’ve just run a marathon & swapping stories of near crashes & wild passing maneuvers between fits of laughter.

    If you’ve never had the experience of going dirt bike riding with a couple of mates, then let me tell you something. Its about the best fun you can have with your pants on. Come to think of it it beats the shit out of a lot of fun things to do with your pants off. Well it lasts longer than 4 minutes 27 seconds anyway. And doesn’t require flowers & begging if you catch my drift. Hahahaha. You should try it at least once in your life. Bet you’ll have fun. As long as you’re not fussed about getting sweaty, muddy, wet & feeling like you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson by the end of it all.

    But you also get to see some of the most awesome panoramas imaginable. I can personally tell you how good a mangled sandwich & cool sip of water tastes when one is sitting on top of a mountain looking out over at the snow on Mt Buller in one direction, Lake Eildon in another & mountains, bush & valleys for as far as the eye can see. With a couple of mates.

    I could go on & regale you with stories about racing down gravel roads at 160 plus, fishing drowned bikes out of the Goulburn river & trying to get them going again, getting stuck down the bottom of the steepest hill you’ve ever seen in your life & wondering how we are going to pull the bikes to bits & carry them out piece by piece, & other outrageous sounding tales –but I fear you would not believe me. I guess you just had to be there. Go out, ride & have fun people.