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Old 05-16-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
richo360 OP
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Bottom of the barrel and still digging
Oddometer: 912
2 Day high country ride

So its been a couple of weeks since this ride, about time i did a report...

Seeing as a mate and I are doing the APC Rally in about 11 weeks, thought we'd better get out again for another shake down/sort out/training ride for a few days. Victorian High Country was the destination, and I already had a rough route in my head.

Dave (AusGoFar) met up with us at Pete's weekender in Warburton out east of Melbourne for a coffee and a meet and greet before we headed off. The plan was to get going about 9 am Saturday but we had to wait for Mudguts and a passenger to arrive, who had decided to drive in his 4wd and do some bowhunting along the way.

My 07 640A, Pete's new '12 DR650.
Basic specs:
Both set up with Andy's Straps panniers, the DR has a safari tank, Staintune pipe, jetting etc, airhawk seat, bars and risers, heated grips.

My 640 has Akro pipe, pumper carb, Rekluse clutch, ER triple clamps and dampener, rear subframe bracing heated grips etc

AusGoFar's 690 looking like a good unit, well sorted.

Headed off closer to 10am, initially some bitumen via Reefton Spur, then onto Big River road where we turned right onto Hope Track about 25k's further along. Left onto Terrible Tk, where we stopped at the summit of Mt Terrible for a break and leg stretch. AGF noted the rear of my 640 seemed to be jumping around a bit, so a softening of the compression clickers by two, and a increase in rebound by 4 seemed to give an immediate improvement- the extra load of the full panniers and sleeping gear etc hanging off the back the reason.

Fitted a Mitas E09 the week before, I was happy with the performance so far on bitumen, dirt roads and some rocks we'd encountered thus far.

Back on the bikes, down Terrible Tk then Poletti's Track to emerge on the Jamieson-Woods Point Rd where we headed to Jamo for a fuel top up.

Given we all had full tanks from Warburton, and we'd done about 105k's so far, interesting to note consumption (which we were keeping an eye on given the upcoming rally)- I used about 5.5 litres, Pete's DR was closer to 7. Given he'd been in contact with Vince Strang and Sig at Mick Hone's recently for jetting tips, maybe another call is in order- still using too much.

I'd considered heading out to Granny's Flat to cross the Jamieson river there, but with the amount of rain over the preceeding days knew we'd be facing a deep water crossing, so instread chickened out and headed to Howqua Track about 10 k's north of Jamieson to then head towards Sheepyard Flat.

The track was in fine condition and about 1/10 on difficulty scale (as expected), but as time was getting on decided to stop at Fry's Hut for lunch. On the way down to Fry's I confirmed I'm going to get rid of the f#$@ 606 on the front, its OK on road, but understeers and tracks more sideways than straight ahead when it comes to offroad and mud which we encountered a bit of.

Got going after about half an hour, headed through Sheepyard Flat and on towards Bluff Link Tk/Hut.... a brief stop to look down at the tunnel from the road, but given the river was high, no way I was going to walk through, save that for summer.

Encountered a 4wd about 3 k's before refrigerator gap, he wasnt watching and I think he maybe let some number 2's out when he did see me beforre swerving violently to his left LOL

Had Bluff Hut to ourselves, the weather was mainly clear and not too cold at all- given the day before we'd had forecasts for snow down to 1200m.

Some bright spark had noted in the visitors book "took a s#!t right where you are standing" , nice.

Via Bluff Track, stopped briefly to look back at Mt Buller village which was clearly visible- didnt take a pic here, should of I guess. But further on took a few.

Then at Lovicks Hut (rebuilt about 18 months ago after 06/07 fires destroyed the original)

Interesting to see a couple of hunting dogs roaming around the hut with tracking collars- fines are quite steep if caught as we were now inside the Alpine National Park.

Back riding with the GoPro running, along Lovicks Track where a couple of 4wd's heading the opposite direction didnt bother to move over or slow, one twit with P plates was on his phone at the time and had his head inserted up his own ass with zero consideration to anyone else. Thanks and FU tool.

ABout 3 k's before the corner of King Billy I managed to ride like a complete novice clown, crossed it up heading up a steep rocky pinch, before touching down OK with the left boot facing sideways across the track. Cursing myself for being a squib i tried to get moving again, but this time managed to stuff it properly, lost balance and went to put my right foot down this time to the ground that wasnt there......over i went, sideways across the track, bars down hill. Biggest concern was for the bottle of red in the right side soft pannier. Thankfully was OK.

Down the hill along King Billy, cursing the 606 all the way, crossed the McAllister River a few times, was deeper than I'd ever seen it but probably still only 40cm at most. Climbed up past the rock scree, wiondering how the hell all those rocks formed like that. AGF was displaying a bit of MX skills jumping the water diversion humps with some pace :) (did I mention Mudguts had half his camping gear in the 4wd?).

Emerged onto the high plains before Butcher Country and Zeka Spur tracks, and motored along to Howitt Hut where we were meeting Mudguts and a work colleague who was also coming up with his young son.

Arrived around 5ish and set up camp whilst Mudguts and his mate collected firewood and got the fire going.

Just as well, I reckon it got well into the minus temp range later that night.
Tried some freeze dried food, not bad.

I was expecting Pete (restaurant owner) to serve up some sort of sumptuous meal, but what the hell?

A few beers and reds around the fire werre enjoyed, but around 10pm was feeling the cold too much and headed to bed.

Mudguts spent the evening shooting illuminous tipped arrows into the sky with his hunting bow, and subsequently searching for them. Got a fair bit of exercise too, LOL

Next morning took my work colleagues' young son for a quick ride much to his delight. Definitely a potential ADV'r in the future.

Headed down to Licola (about 75k's) easy enough where we all fuelled up. Up the Mt Skeene/jamieson Rd, turning right onto South Road, stopping for a quick leg stretch at Mt Selma (no snow, nothing). After turning right onto the Matlock Rd, remembered what a rough rocky bastard of a track this is, although easy enough otherwise.

Stopped in at the Gap Gataway tavern as arranged for lunch around 1pm.... even though I'd arranged it the week before and said we'd have burgers for lunch, their 'hamburder' consisted of egg, bacon, tomato on toasted bread..... they had 'forgotten' to bring up the meat etc. Just as well they had cold beers and bourbons then.

After lunch, we decided to head home, with AGF and Pete heading to Warburton, and I headed to Tanjin Bren via the Triangle and Nine Mile/Link road to catch up with a mate for a frothy.

Finally arrived home around 5-30, about 600k's all up, great terrain, good range of tracks, no mechanical issues for any of us, and no get offs (ahem) or carnage.

I reckon we can squeeze in another good ride before APC, but happy with the set up.

Thanks for coming along for the ride AusGoFar, god to meet you and Mudguts.

richo360 screwed with this post 05-16-2012 at 07:00 PM
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:07 AM   #2
get back on that horse
AusGoFar's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Burwood, VIC, Australia
Oddometer: 918
Nice RR. Go job, except I'm wanting to see some GoPro footage Richo,

I know you had it running on King Billy -

I have one more video to edit and post from the trip


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Old 05-17-2012, 05:21 AM   #3
get back on that horse
AusGoFar's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Burwood, VIC, Australia
Oddometer: 918
Hey Richo

I mentioned that i had a great shot of the bike you now own. This is one of my top ten motorbiking shots i have taken. It was of CamoKTM down in Beachport 2007.

and another one of Knackers from the same trip

AusGoFar screwed with this post 05-17-2012 at 05:51 AM
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:40 AM   #4
richo360 OP
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Bottom of the barrel and still digging
Oddometer: 912
What, it's been thrashed???
Anyone want to buy a 640?

Lived in Robe between ages of 14 and 18, rode those dunes every day after school and on weekends.
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