Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yarrowitch Trail Ride

My lovely lady had informed me one of her workmates had a bike similar to mine.

I mentioned to her that I'd enjoy a shared trip out through one of our national parks maybe?

She passed on the message and John contacted me re a trip to Yarrowitch.

I'd arranged with John to meet at the Donut carpark near Wauchope.

Our bikes were quite similar in setup.

Similar? Same bashplate, same exhaust system, same mirrors, same tyres, same tank.

He even had the same helmet!

Apart from the colour they were peas in a pod.

Oh, and my crappy XL350 headlight fairing.

The weather looked a bit ordinary but we were both keen to get going.

A big deadfall log stumped us for a while until we worked out a detour.

Kangaroo Flat Rd was an option, but John decided to follow Cobcroft Rd.

He'd never travelled that track, and the GPS inidicated an exit to the Oxley.

It drizzled steadily for most of Werrikimbe State Forest.

I found a new respect for heated handgrips.

I repeatedly reminded John of how good they were.

Mainly because he doesnt have any.

John set a cracking pace and I was happy to try and keep up.

Some extremely greasy red clay had us both sliding about.

It eventually gave way to a yellowish sandy surface which was somewhat easier.

This Landrover looked a bit worse for wear.

My bike started to weep oil from behind the pipe somewhere. The flow wasnt bad initially.

Its a beautiful place.

I used what was left in my chain oiler to top up the crankcase just slightly.

I had all sorts of trouble keeping John in sight. He's incredibly fast.

In one trip of 240 odd kms, we'd seen Doyles River State Forest, Cottanbimbang National Park and Werrikimbe Wilderness.

Not bad for a days ride.

We exited the dirt onto the Oxley Highway and made our way down to Gingers Creek Cafe.

A pie and a coffee warmed us up somewhat. Great cafe and nice people.

By the time we'd hit some roadworks on the way down to Long Flat, my bike was smoking badly.

Hot oil was piping straight onto the exhaust.

It appears as though the pipe has little clearance between the oil feed line to the head.

Over time its worn a divot into the line until a pinhole was created.

My engine was low enough on oil to start worrying about seizure, and was flowing faster all the time.

I rolled down the hill as much as possble hoping to make Long Flat.

We made it but I didnt think it would be practical to roll on to Wauchope and Kempsey.

Even with a topup, I'd turn into a fire hazard eventually.

Plus oil was running onto my rear wheel, which made the handling "interesting".

I called my lovely lady, and requested she hook up the trailer to my old Hilux.

John and I enjoyed a few beers at the pub and talked to the locals until nearly dark.

I convinced John to make his way home, and not long after Michele arrived with the trailer.

We had tea in Wauchope at a great little shop called the Top Takeaway. Highly recommended.

We all saw the recovery as part of the adventure and were glad to arrive home.

Thanks for the invite John. Where do we go next time?

Chaff literally goes offroad.

I'd organised a trailride with my friend Chaff out through Stony Trail and into Boonanghi State Forest once again.

We decided to go in reverse of our previous ride and started from Willi Willi Rd up into Toorumbee Creek Rd.

Toorumbee Creek Rd is narrow to say the least and I was doing my best to stick left in case of traffic.

I spotted a blue ford station wagon approaching at rode into the drain at the side to let him pass.

I signaled to the driver "1 more" and watched my mirrors as the car continued down the road.

I saw the car stop and Chaff appeared on the wrong side of the car then dissappeared.

I was pretty sure he had shot off the road, so headed back to see if he was ok.

Here he was laid up in a huge lantana bush, surrounded by stumps and sharp rocks.

The fellow in the car had stopped to asked if he was allright. He then indicated he was in a hurry and left.

Probably late to file his dole form.

After I had worked out Chaff was unharmed I had a good laugh at his expense.

Considering the height at which he left the road, he'd been extremely lucky.

Chaff had a rope in his bag, which we secured to the bike and dragged it out.

We then continued our trip, and apart from one wrong turn it was pretty enjoyable.

Friday, June 25, 2010

DR650SE gets a refit.

The DR's sprockets were standard gearing and 525 chain.

It was much too tall at 16FR-41R and 525 chain is not the most common.

It can be a bit hard to find even a master link for them in the average bike shop.

So considering I've been doing a fair bit of narrow track bush trails lately I geared it right down.

Im using a standard 16 tooth front sprocket, and 45 on the rear.

Its best to keep the front diameter larger for better wear on both chain and sprockets.

DID 520VM X Ring chain this time, and I hope for good wear rates.

I called up a shop at Wauchope and ordered all the gear.

The tyre is a Mitas E-07. I'd read good things about them on the ADV Forums

I like the look of the tyre. I was pretty impressed with its performance both on and off road.

Its obviously not a knobby. It will load up in extremely muddy conditions, but its still a great tyre.

Previously I had a pair of Pirelli M21's, but the rear didnt get beyond 900kms of wear.

Ive done twice that now on the Mitas E-07 and its still got plenty of meat left on it.

I stuck with the M21 on the front though as I cant fault it. Its a great on-off road compromise.

I put 1200 kms on the Mitas and the bike sat for a few days.

I noticed it had gone flat. I took it to my local mechanic and we fitted a new tube.

He found a heap of sticky red paper had worked its way around the tube and chewed the sidewalls.

It seems the apprentice must have left a sticker in the tyre, and as the tyre carcase flexed it created wear.

It was a $40 heavy duty one. Im glad it didnt happen to me 300kms from nowhere.

You can see the wear marks around the edge of the tube.

The stock tank was good for about 180kms of riding, depending on riding style.

I kept a good eye on eBay lately and was lucky enough to spot an IMS 19 litre tank.

The auction was due to end at 3am on a Thursday morning, so I set the alarm and waited.

Luckily no one else was silly enough to wait up that late and I got it at a great price.

You can easily see the size difference.

So today I had a major clean and maintenance day.

Another DR650SE owner is keen to go for a ride out through Yarrowitch.

He's talking 260 plus kms so the tank will be a necessity.

It fitted up with no problems, looks pretty good.

Note my new BMW sitting in the driveway.

I had to grind out the chain block due to the greater diameter but thats cool

It gave me a chance to work out a cheap but effective chain oiler.

Whilst the oiler setup looks a bit bodge, it puts a drop on the sprocket every 5-10 seconds.

It can get a bit messy on the rim, but its a small price.

Considering what I paid for the chain and sprockets Im prepared to try anything.

The drop in gearing has done wonders for accelleration, and still allows 140km plus top speed.

I cant say much for the DID chain though, after 2000kms its looking pretty sad.

Even with a steady flow of oil on it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DR650SE rack

I needed a rack for my DR650SE. I looked around and found most were expensive or unsuited to my needs. I talked to my mate Doc Milligan at North Coast Steel and scored some 20mm pipe.
The size would ensure rigidity and fit the average ocky strap.

I took a section up to my dads and used his pipe bender to form out a rough pattern.

I cut the kink out of the rear bend and narrowed the whole thing. It just seemed too wide.
The foil made a reasonable spatter barrier to keep paint and plastic in good order.

I had some smaller section tube in the shed, so it made good sized cross bars.

The rear mounts are welded in and its balanced up nicely.

Out with the sandpaper to give it a finish ready for paint.

The blinkers needed some tabs welded in.

A coat of paint and its starting to look ok,

Fitted and ready for its first road test.

What would I change? I'd possibly go wider on the next one.
This makes a good weekender, but for a few days away I need some more space. I'd also incorporate some means of mounting saddle bags. I'd go out as far as the pipe on the right and balance it on the other side with with a tool tube.
Also the blinker tabs need to be mounted a bit more inboard. I find Im knocking them more than I should. A wider rack will give them more protection, and in the event of a fall support the sides of the bike from the ground. Still its turned out pretty well, and its had a few hard trips away since I built it. No cracks or looseness so far.

Stony Trail Ride

Chaff organised a few blokes to go for a ride out Boonanghi way.

We pulled up at Steves place and got ourselves organised.

Rob was testing his new TTR250. Here they are straightening the bars after a low speed fall.

He landed in some sawgrass of to the right here.

Chaff thinking himself king of the blowhole.

This is the Blowhole. Its deep.

The creek before the falls.

Pretty little place.

Steve just reflecting on the scenery.

Getting ready to head off again.

Working out the next turnoff.

This is how I saw Rob for most of the day.

The top of Boonanghi Trig.

Dont get cocky.

I went out on a job yesterday, and had to bring the system in for a full tuneup.

It was running on the bench doing antivirus scans.

I heard a pop from the workshop, and we lost power to half the outlets in the house.

A very stinky smell was permeating the atmosphere, somewhat different to the usual charred silicon.

Here is why.

Cockies love computers. They provide a nice warm habitat.