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Old 12-30-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
lotsa OP
Ride while you can
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Oddometer: 43
Gloucester and north 28th,29th Dec2011

The bikes were trailered to Gloucester for a 9am meeting and Gav rode. Everyone was there at 8.30am so we had a latte and left for the departure point.

Base camp where we left the trailers

Bowman Farm Rd


Through Goucester and out to Bundook and then north.

Lots of great dirt road, twin trail and wide single.

I hit a wallaby with the result being bike and ride ok but the wallaby was beyond repair so was, unfortunately, dispatched.

Just out of the forrest near Comboyne Jeffro’s bike started playing up and we found a problem with the battery but it ran ok once we jump started it again. Looking for a replacement battery, it was off to Wauchope on the slim chance Mud N Tar was open. No luck there but Jeffros bike was running fine and starting so back to the forrest we went.

It was a nice day for it though


Holliday traffic was pretty bad. We had this caravan in front of us holding up traffic flow until we got to a creek crossing.

These blokes were following me

Tryhard through the caravan creek crossing

More top trails and we came out here


There were nice dirt roads and another creek crossing, which I wasn’t too keen on as it was getting late in the day.

What lay ahead


A walk revealed largish river rocks, a broken concrete causeway, missing sections and the flow was pretty fast. After the words “we wouldn’t be men if we didn’t”, Gav took the plunge, not literally, crossing first and everyone followed with varying success.

Shortly after my bike developed an oil leak. It was getting on in the day so instead of going for fuel we made the priorities beer, food, accommodation and headed to Taylors Arms pub for the last pizza about 7pm.

Gav and his flies eyes, lucky the photos blurry


Being the only ones in the accommodation we had a bathroom each and at $25 a head is great value.

The next morning the output shaft seal on my bike was repaired as best we could to stop the oil leak.

No fuel in the morning threw a spanner in the works as far as the planned route was concerned. A reroute was mapped and Tryhard and myself had nice morning blast into Macksville for fuel (and a latte, but don’t tell anyone). We were back by 8am, fuelled the other bikes and set off to Willawarrin for fuel and breky.

Taylors Arm pub

Good roads, nice weather to Willawarrin

Detoured around the creek crossing this time


Not this way

This way

Brings you up here

and down here

The DR sprung a leak again so were picking up oil where we could.

At Elands we stopped at the café an had a chat to some blokes on XR650 who were getting racks to do more adv riding and camping, had a quick latte and took off.

Tar to town

Got into Gloucester where Gav and Tryhard took off for home and Jeffro and myself went back to the trailers and home.

Luckily Tryhard had his plastic poncho on the last half of the day which kept the rain off us but not off him if it had

About 750km for the two days.

Thanks to Jeffro, GavB and Tryhard for sharing the good company and great riding.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Sydney Australia
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Great RR thanks for sharing its a great part of the country for a few days exploring.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:30 PM   #3
trying to get there
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Townsville
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Bloody good country down that way. Enjoyed your RR.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:07 PM   #4
Not for Highway Use
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Canowindra, NSW, Australia
Oddometer: 1,011
good read. Thanks.
DL650, DRZ400,CRF250X, PW80

Legend in my own Control Panel
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Oddometer: 124

Gloucester to Taylors Arm and Back.
2 big days of riding, thanks to Lotsa, Tryhard and Gavb for allowing me to come along on what was a bit of an epic adventure with numerous turn arounds, bike dramas (both Suzuki’s had trouble, mine was electrical and Lotsa’s countershaft seal didn’t want to stay in place), deep creek/river crossings and some awesome leafy mountain trails.

Disclaimer: the sequence of events as listed may have occurred in a completely different order to how I remember them.

Met up with the guys getting some breakfast in Gloucester just before 9, I had already eaten (2 bananas) so went to get some fuel then came back and had a drink while they finished then we set out to the start point.

We left the cars at a farm about 30km outside of Gloucester and headed back in to Gloucester but not without a few detours along the way. I don’t know what it is but I have an urge to wheelie every time there is a bridge or a tunnel, shame I can’t wheelie to save my life though. Gavb and I had trouble trying to wheelie in the same little railway tunnel, I tried and the front wheel came up but the bike went sideways as well pointing me towards the wall then Gav nearly flipped it seconds later.

The offending Tunnel

Not sure of the route (but then again I'm not sure our leader wasn’t either :whistle: ) but we headed out of Gloucester along the buckets way and we turned left heading out into a valley with magnificent scenery and nice windy gravel roads. With all the rain that had been around the roads were in surprisingly good condition and there was even plenty of dust (not that it’s a good thing). The early going was pretty open and we were making good speed.

As we headed further into the mountains the roads narrowed somewhat and became steeper with more twists and turns. I was having a great time with the exception of right hand bends, for some reason I was struggling to turn to the right. I never felt comfortable with the front end and it felt awkward even putting my leg out. On one corner I ended up drifting of the edge where it slopes away quite steeply and was covered in leaf litter but somehow managed to keep it upright and carry on but that only made me feel worse on the following right hand corners. Left handers were no problem, I could feel the front shifting around under me and wasn’t bothered by it but as soon as I felt the front start to go turning right I would panic and back off, straighten up and nearly miss the corner.
I was also having some minor bike issues, I had a similar problem once before where it wouldn’t idle and whenever I hit the steeper, rougher sections the bike would cough and fart. Last time the problem went away mid ride but this time it stayed with me the whole way. Fortunately there weren’t too many rough steep sections so it was only the not idling that was a pain in the you know what. Around 1.00pm I noticed that I had no instruments display, the bike was still going ok except for the coughing and farting getting a little worse but then it started to get a lot worse to the point where if I tried to give it any more than about ¼ throttle it would backfire and die then eventually just died. We pulled over and checked all the usual DRZ problem areas but apat from some dirty connections everything seemed ok. We then tried bypassing the ignition switch which got the headlight working but only just. Tryhard thought the battery may have died so we hooked up some jumper leads and the lights and instrument display all came back on an I was able to start it. After we disconnected the jumper leads everything looked to be working fine but as a test a switched it off then on again and again there was no power. We decided the battery must have died and so headed for Wauchope to see if Mud & Tar were open to get a replacement battery. On the trip into Wauchope the bike was running good again with none of the misfiring and when we got to the bike shop (and they were closed for the Boxing Day holiday) the battery was fine again. I think the dirty connections were stopping the battery from getting charge and it eventually went flat from the starting and lights which are what caused the problem.
By this time it was 1.30pm and we hadn’t had lunch, as Lotsa headed off again I assumed he would find somewhere to eat but no, back out of Wauchope we go and into the forest (don’t know where, I accidentally deleted the GPS log from day 1) and just kept riding. There was really only 1 stop all afternoon for about 10 minutes, the other stops were only for a minute or 2 while Lotsa and Gav worked out the next trail to take.
At one point we came up behind a 4wd with a caravan on the back and I couldn’t believe that someone would purposely bring a van along these roads. Normally when you came across this sort of thing they pull to the side and let you past but not this guy, he either wasn’t moving for anybody or was so busy driving he hadn’t noticed us. It wasn’t long though before we came to the first of our deeper water crossings. The water was up at most in pretty much all of the waterways in the area and this one was no exception. There was a concrete causeway that went about half way across then it dropped off to about 2ft deep, I don’t know what the bloke in the van was going to do.
More to come.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:52 AM   #6
Going South
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Albany WA 400km to the nearest traffic lights
Oddometer: 90

Great RR men, beautiful country, what's with all the lattes??
Age doesn't matter as long as what matters doesn't age
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Oddometer: 124

From there we carried on for a while until eventually we had our 10 minute rest break at about 4.00pm where Tryhard and Gav had a little play and I had a sandwhich I had packed in case of emergency and considering I had only eaten 2 bananas all day by this point, I declared it an emergency.
Again I am not sure of where we wet other than we came to our biggest obstacle of the day, a river crossing probably around 50m across with the water flowing quickly and a slippery unstable bottom. Lotsa walked it first and wasn’t keen on the idea of crossing, Gav then had a walk and though it was doable, then encouraged Tryhard to walk it as well which he did but not without some grumbling (he like to grumble ). So it was with calls like “we wouldn’t be men if we didn’t try” Gavb was sent into try it out. The first 10 meters weren’t too bad as it had a concrete bottom although very slippery and after that the concrete had broken up and left some big holes and an uneven surface for the next 10 meters and that was followed by a rocky river bottom with large boulders for the rest. Tryhard walked out into the middle as catcher for Gav and with some pushing and shoving he got through without too many dramas. Lotsa was next and with Tryhard and My help he too got across with minimal problems except for the fact his clutch didn’t want to play when he was 2/3 of the way across, I minor adjustment of the cable and he was away again. Tryhard Joe was next in line and with Gav and Lotsa there in support I took on the role of camera man and good thing I did. About halfway across things went wrong and Joe went down on the bikes right side. Luckily the airbox is quite high on the 690 and there was no water taken in as the bike didn’t get completely submerged (It wasn’t until this point I came up with the camera man idea). They picked up the bike and (I don’t even think the engine stopped) Joe remounted and with the boys help got to within a meter or to of the far bank when he went down again, this time on the left side and again no water was taken in so no dewatering required. Then it was my turn and after seeing Joes effort I decided on a defferent line and to walk the bike across (with the engine running and in gear) I got about 2/3 of the way across without any assistance and just as was feeling confident, I lost my footing. As I was falling back I was trying to reach the kill switch which only caused me to rev the bike harder and just when I thought I was gone Gav grabbed the bike and it was only me that required dewatering.
It wasn’t long after that Lotsa realised his oil seal had come loose again and oil was pissing out all over the back of his bike and the front of Joe’s who was following behind. This has happened before and Lotsa new that bike would only lose about a litre and the remain 1.6litres would still do the job so we continued on to Taylors arm as it was not far to go by this stage.
Just after that I went onto reserve at 328km and at 331km that was the end of reserve (well done safari tanks, great design). We siphoned some fuel from Gavb and continued on.
Eventually we arrived at The Pub With No Beer which was short of the planned Bellbrook destination at about 7.15pm, all of us with wet pants and boots and in Joe’s case, a wt jacket as well. We headed inside to get a room and a feed only to find the kitchen wasn’t open this night, Gav’s dream of a huge steak was shattered. There was some finger food on the bar which we devoured and they had 1 pizza left which we shared between the 4 of us. A few beers later and it was about 9.30 and we were all still in our wet gear and still had water coming out of our boots with every step. Eventually we found our room, showered put on dry clothes, laid out our wet gear in the off chance it might dry overnight, NOT.
The following morning Lotsa pushed the seal back into place and tried some glue to hold it there, then he and Joe headed off to get some fuel for their bikes and fill the fuel bladder so Gav and I has enough to get to a servo. We headed out then to Willawarren where we refuelled the bikes and had a pie or sausage roll for breakfast before setting off on the return journey. Again I am not sure where we went other than to say we went through Comboyne at one point where they were out of fuel, then to Elands, where they were both out of fuel and the kitchen was closed except for a couple of lattes and some raisin cake for some and a packet of twisties and a can of coke for me (maybe I was too hasty in declaring that sandwich emergency the day before :unsure: ). It was decided at that point as it was already 2.30 in the afternoon that we had better start heading back and so Mt George was the next destination. Once we were close to Mt George itwas then decided to just head straight back to Gloucester as I (with the shortest fuel range) would have enough to make it (going on the previous days effort, with 4 or 5 kms to spare).
We rolled into Gloucester at about 6.00pm and headed straight for the servo where I put 19.5 litres into my 17litre tanks. While I was filling the bike Joe (who had trailered his bike out with Lotsa) decided to ride back to the Central Coast with Gavb so it was an even bigger day in the saddle for them. Lotsa and I headed out of Gloucester towards the cars which were near Tibbuc and even though by this stage it was 6.30pm, Lotsa still wasn’t done and we took the back roads to the cars. It was about 7.15 by the time the bikes were loaded and I was ready to head for home. I stopped in Gloucester for a $7 plain hamburger that was pretty ordinary even for a bloke that had hardly eaten all day, then headed home and arrived about 8.30.
Some memorable moments in no particular order where:
· Stunning scenery with everything so green at the moment
· The videos don’t show it but some of those firetrails looked like no-one had been on them in years and they just flowed up and up and up. Some sections were around the 45° + mark at times.
· Panicking every time I came to a tight right hander
· Coming off (ohh I forgot to mention that earlier) when I was so focused on this little creek crossing that I failed to notice the log on the other side which was about a meter from the embankment at the closest point and touching it at the furthest point. By the time I spotted it there was no chance to get the other side of it and once the front wheel hit it I went down pretty hard. Even left my watch on the ground there but didn’t realise until later on.
· The numerous turn arounds, they got funnier eveytime
· The laughs with the guys everytime we stopped.
· And lastly, as I said the guys, there are not many forums where you can get away with saying this but after being away with the 3 other guys over night my arse in killing me .
· All the different riding terrain, fast open dirt, leafy mountain tracks, rough rocky mountain tracks, tight twisty dirt and tar, water crossings and skatey gravel sections.
Thanks guys for a great trip.
I had a heap more video but had too much trouble uploading to you tube and gave up.
Trailside repars

This trail started like this and got better and better

The route back to Gloucester
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:14 AM   #8
lotsa OP
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
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I didn't realize you posted up Jeffro. Didn't have my subscribe thingy on. Thanks for sharing.

No food stops because I forgot about food...having too much fun.
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