Mt Beauty - Thurra River(AUS) Winter ADV

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Paddypalin, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    Hi! Paddy from North East Victoria, Australia. Its 5 years on since my elder son, Christopher and I moto camped across the the Pyrenees, France. We're planning a mid year ADV and introducing my younger son, Benjamin, to the trials and celebrations of a week travelling through the Alpine terrain of south east Australia - mid Winter
    IMG_1667.JPG
    #1
    cyclopathic, Richarde1605 and Sfcootz like this.
  2. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    It all begins with Christopher, my elder son and I chatting interstate back in April on the mobile and reminiscing about our Pyrenees ADV ride some 4 years ago.

    Follow the link below:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/tour-of-the-pyrenees-september-2015.1093563/


    In France and even at altitude up to 2500m, it was relatively warm, being mid summer.
    This time it is a different adventure on home turf. We want to explore the high country in the north east of Victoria and may spill over to the NSW southern tablelands.

    My younger son, Benjamin, wants to be part of it, but has had very little moto experience, yet alone riding an endure bike with a load of camping gear.

    I’m not getting any younger, so sooner the better. We decide the only time we can go is early July. Chris has work commitments before and After and Ben has university commitments till mid-June.

    Ben commits to gaining his “L” plates and we 3 search the internet.

    We start looking for a KTM of similar age and capacity as my KTM EXC 450, as they’re a capable bike and we can share tools and spare parts on the journey.

    Eventually we find a KTM EXC 450 2005 in Melbourne. A mate of nine John takes it for a test ride and gives it the thumbs up. IMG_1627.JPG
    #2
  3. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    I commit to the purchase subject to inspection. I drive down to Melbourne and pick up the KTM mid May.
    She's a 2005 KTM EXC , Rec. Registered, but appears to be reasonably intact. Ben and I decide it must have full road registration to avoid the cost and hassle from the constabulary

    But as always there are a few gremlins lurking with the acquisition of a moto ..........
    IMG_1645.JPG IMG_1656.JPG
    #3
  4. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    Once I get Ben's KTM home I start servicing and build a maintenance schedule.Ben's flight is booked in a fortnight's time, so I take time out to figure the crazy electrics with the wiring loom...
    In the process of taking the seat off I discover one rear guard bolt is missing and the other is sheared off - just 5mm of the bolt left. I soak it with WD 40 for a couple days before finally the blighter lets go!
    Next the wiring loom...... The tail and brake lights remain on as soon as the moto is fired up.
    Next I find the front indicator loom wrapped around the triple clamps and the rear indicators tucked under the battery... so far so good.
    Its handy having my Kato, aka Katarina, nearby, to use as a guide for what the electrics should look like.

    Photo below: Katerina atop of local Mount Emu, our local hang gliding launch above the Kiewa Valley.........but that's another story for another time..... IMG_1015.JPG
    #4
    Richarde1605 and Suncoaster like this.
  5. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    I trail the Kato

    Ben manages to pass his Learners Moto test for time, then the following week he flys south a fortnight before our departure date.

    We start to prepare his KTM 450 EXC to convert the registration from Recreational registration, (aka Rec Reg).
    View attachment 1893478

    I discover the wiring loom for the front indicators taped up & wrapped around the suspension forks and the rear tucked up against the battery.

    We spend a few sessions dismantling bits and pieces off my moto and swap parts to Ben’s to ready for the road worthy certificate.


    We decide to ride into Albury to pick up moto parts. Ben can’t ride his EXC because of his Rec Reg. I take the big bike, the 1190 Adventure and Ben rides my 450 EXC.

    IMG_1463.JPG


    We ride up Reid’s Lane then climb up on the mountain range that runs the length of the Kiewa valley north to The Hume Weir. We bounce along the top then descend to the tiny town of Eskdale. WE cruise the perimeter of Hume weir before veering off to Albury.

    Upon pulling into the Moto shop we discover my 450 EXC has been leaking oil…..

    It has sprayed oil all over the motor and the rear wheel.

    The mechanic comes out for a look, rubs his hands with glee and announces this could be a major problem.

    I’m thinking we’re a week away from departure and this is the last thing we need.

    WE gurney the moto and then buy some oil and see how much oil the bike’s lost. It turns out only about 150ml.

    That’s good news.

    We check the gasket that splits the engine case…. All good.

    The mechanic seems to think it must be the rear shock, because it appears the motor is intact….. I’m not convinced, but I bought the bike 5 years ago and I don’t think the shock has ever been reconditioned.

    We leave my beloved 450 EXC at the shop and Ben reluctantly rides pillion on the 1190 Adventure.

    We make it home on dusk after a young fox wisely decides not to run the gauntlet and backs away rom the edge of the road at the last minute.
    #5
    Jeff Sichoe likes this.
  6. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    upload_2019-9-23_11-6-1.png
    We keep working on Ben's Kato then pick up my bike the following Saturday.
    The mechanic discovers the main oil leak is caused by the clutch cover gasket. I had a suspicion the oil leak was coming from elsewhere, because it had sprayed everywhere rear of the engine.
    What makes a gasket fail?? Heat?? Fatigue??
    The rear shock had been weeping and I guess the rear shock has never been re-conditioned in its 12 years of faithful service.
    The Clutch Cover Gasket is still on order so we take my Kato home on a trailer to keep preparing for the big adventure.
    #6
  7. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    I remove the old gasket


    upload_2019-9-23_11-41-37.png
    The gasket had a section of about 15mm long missing at the top of clutch cover flange. I'm tempted to try a Loctite product that wicks into the oil, but decide against it, as we will be remote in Eastern Victoria with help potentially days away.
    A mate, Andrew, kindly picks up the gasket for me, then I carefully clean the surfaces then apply an additional layer of Loctite type 3 gasket goo, which looks & feels like molasses, as added protection.
    A necessary, but unwanted task in our preparation for the ride to Thurra River.
    #7
    Suncoaster likes this.
  8. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    I forgot to mention we managed to squeeze a couple of day rides before our mishap on the the way to Albury.
    The weather is fine but cold.
    Ben And I don thermals under our moto gear and brave the elements heading east into the timbered hills sidling Mt Bogong our highest mountain in Victoria.

    We head out mid morning up to Mountain creek, cross the creek and head up to Trappers Creek Gap then on to Holloways Log road.
    upload_2019-9-23_12-31-44.png

    The cold temperatures keep the normally muddy tracks firm. We sidle around our big mount then descend into the Mitta Mitta valley before having a beer and with lunch at the Mitta Pub.
    We mosey back home via the initially steep Disappointment Spur track, which then becomes a fun roller coaster ride as it stays on top of the range. We cross over the Mt Beauty - Mitta Rd, then take the Short cut track on to Mt Emu proper.
    upload_2019-9-23_12-37-26.png

    We come across an abandoned loggers hut..... its kinda spooky..... perched remote in the forest.
    We climb up on to Mt Emu before descending steeply back into the Kiewa Valley and home.

    Below is our route for the day.
    upload_2019-9-23_12-24-45.png

    Attached Files:

    #8
  9. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    The following day we decide to head out south and west towards Mt Hotham up the Kiewa West River before the seasonal gates cause our turn around. ig-upload-7.jpg
    The puddles are frozen and the ground is rock hard after another cold frost over night.
    The southern shadowed foliage looks like snow cover, caused by continual frosts adding their icy veneer each night before it can thaw.
    Ben & I stop at a bridge to warm up in the morning sunshine.
    The KiewaWest River reminds me of a beer commercial........
    ig-upload-6.jpg
    Credit all B & W photos to Ben

    IMG_1713.JPG
    In between me working and Ben and or I working on the bikes we wedge in another ride......
    We start out on a sunny winter day, this time heading west, up on to the range which divides Mt Beauty and Bright.
    We pop into the forest at Tawonga Gap and bounce along the Tawonga Gap Divide Track. Its an easy 4WD track hugging the spurs and saddles, so we're either going up or down like a roller coaster.

    I pause at one of the high points and wait for Ben.
    He rolls up and kills the motor, gazes into the distance and says nothing.
    I say: " What's up?"
    He replies he's just done his first mono up a steep section for some period of time, but not intentionally!
    He did well to cap the front wheel and hang.
    He reckons he was a nano second from letting the Kato go, but all ends well, other than pumped full of adrenaline!

    ig-upload-4.jpg

    After downing one of Gum Tree's famous pies, we head up Havalah's Track and eventually find Mt Porpunkah. The fire tower gives 360 degrees vies and is crucial for spotting fires.
    ig-upload-3.jpg
    Views looking south: Left of photo is Mt Bogong to the east, then coming west is: Falls Creek Ski Resort, Mt Mackay, Mt Hotham, Mystic Hang Gliding launch above Bright township, then way west: Mt buffalo.
    IMG_1688.JPG
    #9
    mrsdnf, Suncoaster and Richarde1605 like this.
  10. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    Inmates out there in the world of internet ether: Feel free to make comments or ask questions.
    I probably shouldn't advertise the fact that Victoria's High country has some of the most pristine and remote areas Australia has to offer.
    When planning our sojourn to eastern Vic., one of our dilemmas is the lack of fuel outlets!
    More on that later.....
    #10
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  11. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    We head back down into the Bright environs, then head home via Snowy Creek and Pyramid Hill, the remains of a volcanic granite cone along the range which splits the Ovens & Kiewa valleys.

    P6162378.JPG
    We stop to catch the last of the sun and views before descending into Mt Beauty township.below is a map of our route today.
    #11
  12. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
  13. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    upload_2019-9-23_21-41-30.png

    Ben's off road skills are getting better every ride. - he's like a duck to water - a natural.
    We keep working on the Katos when we can...
    Finally we have Ben's KTM ready for a road worthy inspection and certificate for road registration.

    upload_2019-9-23_21-49-55.png
    I have to go back to work, so Ben trailers his 450 EXC over to Luke the mechanic and comes home a happy man !
    WE make the trip to Wodonga and gain his new rego licence plate.
    #13
    Suncoaster likes this.
  14. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    The day arrives when Ben's older brother, Chris, makes the long journey south from northern NSW in his trusty VW Transporter.
    He does well making the journey in 14 hours, rolling up late afternoon.
    As usual, Chris' Kombi and 350 EXC are meticulously organised - unlike his domestic chores - father like son!

    ScanImage2107.jpg

    Its great to have my 2 sons committed to our Moto adventure. I feel privileged to have my sons take time out of their busy lives with an old weekend warrior of a dad.

    Its mid winter. The shortest day of the year happens this week and we're fired up!
    The weather typically is utter shite the following morning. Doh! Rain sets in so decide to spend the day making last minute adjustments, packing and loading our EXC mules and a few celebratory beers........
    #14
    Suncoaster likes this.
  15. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    I managed to melt my plastics on the Kato on the last camping trip when the Giant Loop Coyote bag found a way to get past the heat shield so I had a longer one made up.

    upload_2019-9-23_22-34-15.png

    I belt out another one from some scrap galvanised sheet metal for Ben so we all have one.
    #15
  16. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    ScanImage2111.jpg
    The KTM EXC is a difficult moto to ADV pack.
    As the ADV Rider aficionados will attest, the EXC is designed incredibly light for racing without any extraneous weight other than a young lean rider full of testosterone.

    I'll leave Chris and Ben to elaborate on their packing strategies....

    As for me, I've recently fitted a 21.5 litre long range tank, to eliminate the hassle and potential danger of a fuel bladder. hanging on the moto inches away from the exhaust.
    It gives me close to 400km range, so long as I don't Braaaap too often!
    I use a Giant loop tank bag of about 8 litres and I've fitted a Garmin GPS to the handle bars along with Heater grips and a 12 volt charger.
    It makes the handle bars and its wiring a very busy area.

    I use a Giant loop Coyote bag, which cleverly wraps itself across the end of the seat os its weight is carried by the frame of the bike.
    I end up taking my own tent and the MSR shellite stove along with cooking gear, so Giant Loop bag is "Chokkas" as they say......
    My gear I guess ends up weighing best part of 25 + kgs - a lot to ask of a high performance bike.
    #16
    Suncoaster, Richarde1605 and gperkins like this.
  17. reed valve

    reed valve Just ride.....

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Durban,KZN Saffa land
    This looks great!!
    Dig the choice of moto's too.
    Please. sir, continue!
    #17
  18. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    Hi Reed Valve,
    Thanks for the feedback!
    We're about to head out on our journey.
    I'm hoping Chris & Ben will join in and tell their part of the story.....
    Its not the destination but the journey!
    #18
  19. jimmydteach

    jimmydteach Living the Dream

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Valparaiso, IN
    Keep it coming; this is promising to be a great ride report!
    #19
  20. Paddypalin

    Paddypalin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Mudgegonga, NE Vic
    Thanks Jimmydteach... we're about to head out..........
    #20