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Old 02-18-2013, 12:19 AM   #31
Oaters
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Great RR Bass - I was wondering when Koko might chime in he and I along with other Bimmer riders did that track in the summer of '08 if I recall - certainly that last steep descent was challenging on our leven fiddys ;)
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:45 PM   #32
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Sunday February 3rd

Today went up past Cromwell, heading in the general direction of the Lindis Pass. We then turned right and traversed Thomson Gorge. It was a pleasant run through typical Central Otago countryside, worthwhile without being challenging





There was the odd ford



We took a small diversion part way through to look at this.



There was a camp stool, an old car seat and the basics of a bunk inside, so I guess it gets used occasionally.
Then down the other side to Omakau where we were scheduled to meet up with Jantar.



A coffee later and still no sign of Malcolm, so I gave him a ring. He had buggered his leg somehow playing barman at the rally the previous day and wasnít going to make it. He was disappointed as he had fitted his Acerbis tank in preparation for our planned outing.
We will be back mate, maybe next time.


So still just two of us and across the valley onto the Dunstan Trail among the hills on the other side.

Lake Dunstan



Another lake further on Ė I canít remember the name of it but the maps show it as a swamp. Itís been deliberately flooded for some reason.



It was very like the terrain around Lake Onslow.
It was through here that I had a bit of an off going up a short steep rise just past Lake Dunstan.
Not really paying attention resulted in a lay-it-down and step away. Jamie was only seconds behind so we were soon on our way again. Stopped at Clarks Junction pub for a late lunch and an interesting chat with the publican.

Back on the road and we headed via some cool sealed twisties down to Mosgiel for fuel. Round the back of Dunedin and over to Waitati using the gravel alternative to the motorway (of course), then up highway 1 to turn left just before Waikouaiti and right through Ramrock Road. Now this was the sort of fast twisty gravel that I really enjoy but I wasnít altogether happy with my bikes handling. Jamie and I had been discussing different suspension setting theories so I decided to give his a go. I had always run a fair amount of rebound damping to keep it hooked up in the corrugations while he used very little to keep it hooked up elsewhere. So I stopped a few times and wound some damping off. It didnít make a lot of difference at first but by the time I had taken about 20 clicks out the bike was a different machine. The ride was much more plush and the back much more connected. As I found out a couple of days later however, it was totally useless in the corrugations. Guess you canít have it all at the same time, eh?





Ran for it down to Ranfurly via a few dusty deviations on the way to meet up with the girls who had moved the camper over from Alex



Dinner that night in the pub was disappointing which was odd as we had eaten well there before. It actually took the gloss off the day a bit when one meal was sent back twice. Sunday night Ė regular chefís night off maybe?



Monday February 4th

The plan was to do the Mount Buster track, then the Omarama Saddle, the Hakataramea Valley/ Pass with a few minor deviations and back to the same pub in Fairlie that we used on the way down. The return trip was under way and the girls were off to do their own thing while we headed home. It was well overcast and raining however, with no sign of a letup, despite what the forecast may have said. What to do? The stream crossings over the saddle would be flowing well.
Despite advice to the contrary we elected to do Mount Buster and see how it went. How hard could it be? It was only grade 1 to 2 after all Ė a walk in the park.
Talk about get it wrong Trev! We have no idea where we got that notion from Ė itís actually grade 4 to 5.

The ride in from Naseby was a hint. Itís a trifle rough gravel road that shouldnít have been a problem but from time to time the bikes tried to swap ends for no good reason that we could see. Through the gate onto DOC land and have a look at the map on the notice board. Yep, that tallies with the GPS although our electronic navigator shows a lot more tracks than the map does. It even hints that it might be possible to get right out to Kurow from here.
Any of you lot got more information on that?
The first obstacle is the next bit of road and itís a middling steep climb. Well, why donít we just go up the top of that and make a call from there? So we did.

About 2/3 of the way up, a pair of headlights appeared over the top out of the murk Ė 4WD coming down. We found space to pull over and had a yarn with the 2 guys on board. They told us that this was the worst part of the track and that it was a fine day where they had come from over the other side. To this day we donít know whether they were having us on or we were on different wavelengths. Itís possible that by ďthe other sideĒ they were referring to the first divide and not the other end of the track because there were a couple of camps set up in there. Anyway, of course it decided us and we carried on Ė down for them, up for us.




This actually looking back down the track and itís a moderately steep downhill Ė the camera has no horizon. Next, is looking uphill.





Again , itís steeper than it looks as the camera still has no horizon.
As we tried to move off, I lost my line completely and just couldnít get it back again. Only trivial damage done and we soon had it upright. Jamie asked if I wanted to walk it up but I said I didnít have the energy for that, threw a leg back over and rode the bitch up.

Over the top, the track was easier but also very rutted in places you we still had to pay close attention. As you can see, there were no views. The track dropped down into a river valley a bit later with some rather interesting descents. It wasnít as rocky as the bit shown but some of it was still loose and really steep. There were several stream crossings Ė mostly rough and rocky. There was also a campsite set up off to one side.




Then we had a testing climb up to the next ridge and the descent from that one down to a major ford, was one that we did not want to attempt the other way. We were now committed. We had however seen a couple of huts and we did have dry clothing and a little food with us. So if we found ourselves in here for the night we would be OK. This was not altogether comforting because if we didnít contact our wives that evening, there would be search parties out looking for us.

The further we went, the more remote and tougher it got. It would have been very different on a fine day aboard an unladen 250. The views would have been magic and the track quite manageable. We are on well loaded 650ís however and it was far from easy.





Wet through, in varying visibility (sometimes down to about 15 meters) we found ourselves summiting Mount Buster at 4500 feet (according to the GPS) in half a gale. Some wag had stolen an AA road sign and stuck it up there. Fools that we were, we took it seriously for a while. Then it was into the scree fields.





Again, steeper than it looks so that if we stopped, there was no getting started again Ė we just dug a hole. It was walk it to the top. We both stopped. Hard work getting to the top from here. It was around here that we really started to wonder.
Eventually it was downhill but just as rough. The temperature started to rise quite quickly as we moved down although for me in particular it was painfully slow as my wrists were done and so I had to take it really carefully. Eventually we made it down to the flat and from there out to the main road. We had discussed heading for the Vulcan pub at St Bathans and quartering ourselves there. We had ridden enough for one day. However we figured that if we were to regain our schedule the next day then going back through the Danseys was the way to go. So we ran for Naseby and I was glad to get there. I was just getting too cold for comfort.



Recuperating in Naseby



We ran all our wet gear through the dryer, had another great feed and an early night. Tomorrow was another day.

Bass screwed with this post 02-19-2013 at 12:01 AM
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:36 AM   #33
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Now I understand just why my good wife spends so little time at home with me.......going by the pik above here I don't blame her at all.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:47 AM   #34
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Hahahaha........................
Whats that on yer head ?

Gaz
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #35
Bass OP
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Originally Posted by Ducatijim View Post
Now I understand just why my good wife spends so little time at home with me.......going by the pik above here I don't blame her at all.
I know just what you mean - like that photo of me on the previous page, crouched over the bike, wearing riding boots, riding jacket, shorts and an expression of pure panic. It took me years of that sort of photo before I realised that it's normal. That is exactly how the rest of the world sees us and expects to do so. It's our own view of ourselves that's screwy and why reality comes as a bit of a shock.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #36
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Good stuff mate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass View Post
our electronic navigator shows a lot more tracks than the map does. It even hints that it might be possible to get right out to Kurow from here.Any of you lot got more information on that?


.
Access to Kurow is via the Awakino Saddle that the DB1K route goes over. It's nominally a paper road but as is often the case the actual track doesn't follow the surveyed route exactly so permission is required. Imagine going up the section in your above pic but a lot steeper & about 5x bigger rocks

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:45 PM   #37
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Quote:
The ride in from Naseby was a hint. It’s a trifle rough gravel road that shouldn’t have been a problem but from time to time the bikes tried to swap ends for no good reason that we could see. Through the gate onto DOC land and have a look at the map on the notice board. Yep, that tallies with the GPS although our electronic navigator shows a lot more tracks than the map does. It even hints that it might be possible to get right out to Kurow from here.
Any of you lot got more information on that?
I have been from Nasbey over the Awakino saddle to Kurow half a dozen times, Here is a link to my report of the latest ride over.
http://southernrider.co.nz/ocportal/...cview&id=11083
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #38
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Thanks for the tips guys - I'll look into it. Anything that works, eh?
I looked into it.
Rekluse don't appear to offer a clutch for a DR 650
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:02 PM   #39
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.... from there but just as we passed the 50 kph sign on the way into Culverden, Jamie swung left. Following our nose took us up into another little winding pass that no-one seems able to tell us the name.
No idea if that's correct, but we were told it's the Old Culverden Stock Route.

What a great yarn....absolutely LOVE IT!! :
And many thanks for a few more tips and ideas, it'll make the plans for the next 2 weeks really shine.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #40
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....... to the Myers pass turnoff
....Myers Pass was fun and worthwhile without being startling....
It really looks better going the other way...






Even has some dead roos around

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:19 PM   #41
Bass OP
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Tuesday February 5th

Today we went back over the Danseys, crossed the Waitaki at Kurow, up the Hakataramea Valley, over the Hakataramea Pass, over the Mckenzie’s Pass to Fairlie and then up IL72, eventually stopping the night in Hanmer Springs. Now we had done all this before on the way down with the exception of the Hakataramea, so here it is.






Wednesday February 6th

Hearty breakfast in Hanmer (i.e. enough cholesterol to stop your heart dead) and off up Jack’s Pass. It was a bit more civilized than Jollies Pass had been on the way down. Turn left and a very pleasant run across the lower part of Molesworth.
Now we had agreed that since we were big tough adventure riders, we would bypass the bridges and ride the fords, until we got to the first one that is. It had a deep swift central channel and while it was rideable OK, I wasn’t going to ride it until I had walked it. I was not going to risk drowning the bike and I figured that I had done enough the previous day to prove what a klutz on a bike I am. Also the thought of a full day with boots full of water didn’t appeal in the least.
We used the bridges.









Yeah, I know.
You’ve seen it all before, but I hadn’t – so tough titty.
As I said earlier, I’m compiling this mostly for my purposes, so you will all have to just put up with some familiar scenes.

It’s still kinda magnificent though, eh?





And then into Rainbow. It makes Molesworth look drab. I didn’t take nearly enough shots through there. I was far to busy enjoying the experience.





Jamie told me that someone had drowned his new Multistrada in the ford a few K’s past the gate where your fees are collected. It was no obstacle at all when we went through however, except that Jamie got a bit keen and filled up his left boot.



Out to St Arnaud for fuel and an ice cream then a pause alongside the glider field as Jamie had never seen a full size winch launch, which is what was happening as we went past.

Then over the Porika – beautiful spot.







All the way down I was trying to figure out whether I could be tempted to have a go at it the other way. You know, I’m not what you would call a confident rider at all, but without luggage, I would give it a crack.
We spent the night in the camp ground at Tahunanui. Dinner was a supermarket chook, some coleslaw and bread rolls – pretty good actually, but the wine helped.




Thursday February 7th

Maungatapu was closed for some sort of waterworks at the Nelson end and so not knowing about other access possibilities, we headed east down the seal and headed out towards French Pass. It’s an extensive but stimulating seal ride for the most part with lots of gravel options at the end.
It drops down to the coast at Okiwi Bay.




It then climbs back up on the ridge and spoils you for views.



Eventually the view down to French Pass opens up.







At French Pass Village, there was a pod of dolphins playing in the bay and at times only a couple of meters from the beach. I tried several times to get some shots of them in the air, but the delay my camera has between pushing the button and the picture actually being taken, beat me every time.

The water colour is extraordinary.



We headed back and turned toward Port Ligar







Eventually we headed down to the end of the road at the Bulwer reserve






So many magic places.

We let some air out of the tyres and so the run back out was even more fun and a great deal quicker than the ride in. We went round Queen Charlotte Drive and into our Cabin in Picton for the night. It had been a really good day despite not doing Maungatapu.







Bass screwed with this post 02-19-2013 at 11:48 PM
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:45 PM   #42
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What a great yarn....absolutely LOVE IT!! :
And many thanks for a few more tips and ideas, it'll make the plans for the next 2 weeks really shine.
You're welcome mate and also a much better photographer than I am
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:58 PM   #43
Bass OP
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Originally Posted by Skiwi View Post
I have been from Nasbey over the Awakino saddle to Kurow half a dozen times, Here is a link to my report of the latest ride over.
http://southernrider.co.nz/ocportal/...cview&id=11083
I recognise that ford in your video - the remnants of the bridge give it away. It had a lot more water in it when we went through. Several of your photos are familiar too, the sign and the hut for example
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:40 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Bass View Post
I looked into it.
Rekluse don't appear to offer a clutch for a DR 650
no
they only make them for proper bikes

still - owning a klr has got to be better than not riding at all - even for a dr rider?

Interesting - your comment about wondering if you would ride up the Porika when you'd had no problems going down it.
I always find uphills less stressful than downhills - always worried about the bike getting away from me going down steep downhills...

great RR BTW
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:02 AM   #45
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Thinking about the Porika is harder than doing it.

Just a 1st gear cruise going up the zig-zags.

Unless it's wet and you add in the pylon tracks...
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