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The rehabilitation of Sir Gustave Sebastian

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Box'a'bits, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

    Joined:
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    FRIDAY 20th MAR:
    Organised with Stuart Swan to ride up to the EddieB organised Central Plateau weekend (www.adventureriding.co.nz), going up Friday morning, in order to take in a few other riding options. He was on his KTM 990. Met at his work at 8.00am, then over Haywards Hill & Paekakariki Hill Road. Slabbed it from there thru' to North Range Road.

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    The weather was definitely cooperating, with minimal wind, & it was sunny. I was just getting chilled as we arrived at the Pahiatua Track summit, so the more off road activity was welcome as a quick warm up for the weekend. We were straight into the worst of that road (after the initial skittery gravel road). But really, that's the driest I've seen it. Still had some mud, but certainly not the levels of prior rides.

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    An earlyish lunch at Bridge Café, in Balance. Bacon & Egg Pie & salad (see Mandy, I do eat greens). And coffee.

    Once we'd finished up, we had a short blast thru the Gorge, thru Asshurst (Bart I like your mis-spelling), up the Pohangina Valley Rd to Takapari Rd. Takapari Rd goes from the valley, up a short gravel road, through a farm easement, & up into the Ruahine Forest Park. It's steep thru the native bush, but quickly heads into sub-alpine. The final destination is (usually) an A-Frame Hut on the Southern Hawkes Bay side. You get sweeping views of Dannevegas if it's clear.

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    Stuart discovered how wide his panniers were, trying to squeeze past a fencer going through the farm easement. We also had a panic moment on the very steep native bush section, when a 4WD coming down the hill came round a corner at speed. It was fully locked up & starting to go sidewise trying to avoid us. I rode around it. Stuart managed to pull up, only to put the KTM into a ditch as there was basically no footing on the left side. It was a struggle getting it upright, & moving again given the steepness of that section. Thankfully no damage.

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    Takapari Rd was still & sunny - the best conditions I have ever ridden it. We rode to the A-Frame Hut, but didn't push our luck riding further. Time was marching on as well.

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    Rode the seal from Takapari Road thru to Mangaweka. Absolutely no hardship there. It's a blast.

    Coffees & a top up at Taihape BP, then main road thru to the Taumaranui Holiday Park.

    I tented it - Stuart stayed in Eddie, Jennifer & Jakes Cabin (7). I was reasonably happy tenting. Apparently Jennifer got 3 snorers, & one on the next cabin. Quite a chorus.

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    I had yummy butter chicken & rice for dinner. A heat & eat meal, with some additional Uncle Bens Chicken Fried Rice. I was under strict instructions to keep the weekend cheap...
  2. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    SATURDAY 21st MAR:
    The ride started from the BP Taumaranui.

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    The people that followed me out immediately regretted it, as we had trouble getting to the start of the planned route. My version of the GPS track Eddie sent us said 'End' instead of 'Start'.

    We followed along Hikimutu Rd & Kawautahi Rd to the intersection with Oio Rd, left, & then right into Upper Retaruke Rd, then left into Karua Rd to hook into Fishers Track, going uphill.

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    I've said for some time I wasn't going back to that track, after the last quagmire ride in 2009 - very wet conditions. Been there, done that, had enough. But two things conspired to change my mind. 1. It's been a very dry summer (even allowing for TC Pam), & 2. It's now part of the National Cycleway, so it's had some upgrading work.

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    Looking forward from the gate

    Stuart had a mishap at the very beginning of the track, & later went for Taumaranui for 5 stitches in his leg (whatever he caught didn't cut thru his pants, & hit just above the bootline on the inside of his leg).

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    These guys got in the way of an otherwise great landscape photo. Bloody tourists

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    The landowner just off the track has long been opposed to people going thru'. When last we went thru there was stories of his meeting people with a firearm, & locks on the gates. This history is still there with signage at the gates.

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    Still wouldn't want to do that track in the wet.

    Possibly the trickiest part of the ride was the road out. I reckon the council had scooped all the road gravel, dumped that into the track, & left clay dust & papa on the roadway. No traction on the road out to speak of...

    Coffee at a café, then into a DoC campsite 12 kms off SH47 for an explore. The access road was fun, but the area leading into it had been logged so was quite desolate. Interestingly I had considered free camping there, but given I've now seen the site, I think I'll give it a miss. A few people took the opportunity to play...

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    Brent gets some air

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    Kel, styling it, to help market the launch of the new Touratech day-glo adv helmet

    I have an arrangement with the NZ Seismic Society that I won't jump Gus. They says it puts too many anomalies into their quake data.

    Back to Kapoor Rd to begin the 42nd. In common with the balance of the weekend, this was fairly dry.

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    Rhonda & Duncan. I think Duncan's bike may be for sale...

    The Clay Papa section was almost rideable.

    I had a good try at running Nic Dooley over, on the steep uphill after the first stream crossing (missed, damn, can I have another go? No? )...

    The rock wall (descent) had more loose stuff on it than I remembered. I'd adjusted the rear drum just before I got there. Unfortunately I'd overtightened things, so over cooked the rear brake, stalled the motor & locked the rear wheel. Things started to get messy. But I rode it out.

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    A barrage of cameras pointed at you from the bottom of a tricky section is never (in my experience anyway) a good confidence boost

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    Photo courtesy of She WolfNZ

    The 2nd stream crossing was quite shallow.

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    Nic, moving way too fast for the camera

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    Eddie & Jen

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    Duncan styling it up

    There were a few new ruts on the track - one of which nearly stopped us. Eddie & Jen fell off just in front on us crossing thru' it. Gus almost didn't fit between the rut walls. I had to duck walk Gus with one cylinder head scraping one side. Because there was limited weight on the back wheel, that just spun up.

    I have to say I love it in there.

    Back to camp for a few well earned Coruba & Cokes, & a nice little Beef & Red Wine on Rice dinner.
  3. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    SUN 22nd MAR:
    Later 9.00 am start – just as well, as I needed to pack up my tent & panniers. Made arrangements to leave those in Eddie’s cabin for the day – so no need to drag those around the old Whanga Rd mudholes.

    The start point for the day was the BP again. I’d fueled the night before, but I did increase the front tyre pressure, given the road portion ahead. Grabbed a pizza bun & danish from the next door New World supermarket, given an expected lack of food outlets at Whangamomona.

    The road into Whanga is sublime as usual. A little bit of stock on the road. Got a brief bit of drizzle just before Whangamomona, which didn’t bode well for the ride, but fortunately that stopped & there was no further issues.

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    Photo courtesy of Eddie

    Most people coffeed & chowed down at the pub, which was open before we got there.

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    There were other groups of bikers on the road outside of the pub. A nice Laverda, Norton, MoT BMW & other road bikes. They didn’t mingle.

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    Kelvin on his F800, & Nicola on her XT

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    Jennifer holding the gate, Stuart on his KTM950

    The corduroy track outside of one of the tunnels (made of punga logs) seems to have disappeared.

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    Eddie & Jen hiding in the light

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    The track seemed longer than I remember it too. I think Jennifer was sick of me saying I think that’s the end of the worst bits, only to turn the next corner to see another challenge. But it was great fun. That said, Eddie, I don’t think Jen was expecting a walking holiday. I hope she had comfy boots.

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    Photo courtesy of Eddie

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    The ruts on the Old Whanga Rd caught a few people out I understand. Because I had self imposed tail end charlie duties I didn’t see them. Duncan lost his screen in one. Kel buried a wheel in a rut & tried to slingshot off the other side. But no apparent major injuries. At least there was good video footage.


    Video from Michael Breen.

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    Regroup at the cattle yards just before the ‘bridge to somewhere’.

    The history of this place & that of the ‘bridge to nowhere’ are near identical – land ballotted to returned soliders, where the soil subsequently proved to be too poor to support farming. The land around the ‘bridge to nowhere’ area (50 kms as the crow flighs) was abandoned. The land around the ‘bridge to somewhere’ was consolidated into the Aotuhia Station.

    We had access to the station, to ride out to Putikituna Rd, & then Kohuratahi Rd.

    The access track deteriorated the further along we went. The section towards the boundary gates was getting quite rough (but fun). I was bouncing Gus along there at speed, having left Eddie & Jen to it for a while.

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    Regroup at the end of the farm section, said goodbyes to a no of people who were heading home.

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    Swapped bikes with Eddie & Jen for a bit, given the pounding Jen had had from the DR over the farm section.

    Back to Taumaranui, to quickly get the panniers on, then slabbed it home. One stop at Taihape, had some minor skirmishes with the cops on the way, with a Marton one blipping his lights at us but not chasing. A few big rain drops at Taihape, & again at Pukerua Bay, otherwise an okay trip home. Pulled into the drive at 9.00pm.


    Finally, here's Bernard Fletcher's summarising video

  4. ztaj

    ztaj jatz

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    That D.O.C. campsites the one I stayed at on my last trip North. It's alright, I guess :eek1 But a bit of a hike to get water from the stream. It's cheap enough though :D
    Nice work so far on the RR, looking forward to the rest
  5. Oaters

    Oaters Old - not bold - moto riding addict

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    excellent stuff Steve - looks like you had a grand time - respect :)
  6. bart-nz

    bart-nz Been here awhile

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    Good stuff Steve. Empty your fuel tank and you might get a bit of air on Gus. :evil
  7. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    Spectacular stuff Steve, reminds me of what I'm missing out on....not for much longer though by golly :D
  8. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    Thanks for the report, brings back memories.
  9. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    Great RR, Steve. Sorry I couldn't make it for the weekend. Next time...
  10. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    [​IMG]:wink:
  11. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    Good RR nutso.

    Give me long dry roads over puddles any day:D That was a funny video.
  12. innathyzit

    innathyzit AKA Woodman

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    Good stuff.:clap

    Love the bogginess up norf.
  13. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    Great RR, on my bucket list to ride some of those spots some day - Is that an EXC300 next to the ST Steve?

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  14. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    Yes. :lol3
    Was showing a plate ATWAT
  15. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    THE PANZER BRIGADE ATTACK ODLINS ROAD. 1ST APRIL '15
    Maybe we should have paid more attention to the date.

    I have decided to try the Padmei writing style...

    'I went for a ride today on my motorbike. It was good. That is all'.

    Oh yes, took a couple of photos.

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    Pretty poked this evening...But apparently not as poked as someones sump...
  16. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

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    not poked but a split about 40mm long behind that big ding in the bashplate

    based on the ice cream container I stuck under it when I got home I was losing about 500ml an hour

    I thought airheads were supposed to be tough?

    what an unstallable tractor - I was amazed where it could find traction

    Thanks for the rescue run to get more oil :)
  17. innathyzit

    innathyzit AKA Woodman

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    Two things :

    Did you leave the deep sump on?

    You are an ex KLRer, so why were you not carrying oil?

    Yup , traction is uncanny.

    Good stuff
  18. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    2 things from me.

    1. Unfortunately my rides are pretty much the same ones I do all the time so the RRs would be like groundhog day.

    2. Mark I don't know if I did warn you previously & if I didn't I apologise. I have found that the biggest hinderance to riding Schmidt off road is the (very) low ground clearance. I hit rocks & crap all the time. So much so that I really do think about what I'm going to ride over. For example I won't take him over the Maunga for a joy ride as i'm worried about sumping out. I seem to be the only one that has this concern that I know of so maybe i'm paranoid but there you go.

    I would like to hear more about the ride & your thoughts.

    That is all:D
  19. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

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    re the deep sump - I'm not admitting to anything otherwise I'll get a pile of 'I told you so's....'

    only my 1st klr burned oil - so I sold it and brought no 2 and no 3

    groundhog day maybe (one of my favourite movies) but its still nice staring at photos of other peoples latest ride. That said - that is why I stopped posting ride reports

    it is possible that i may have still had the sump extension on making my ground clearance about 40mm less than yours and Odlins Rd has cornered the local market on rocks.

    I'll deep six the sump extension and get a serious bashplate sorted out - otherwise I'll do what you do and stress out every time I get close to rocks.

    Odlins Rd was not ideal as a place to get to know the bike off road but it handled the conditions really really well. I can't believe where the super smooth anakee 3's found traction.

    Plenty of changes needed:
    a kit to stop the leaking master cylinder
    some lowered footpegs
    a back brake that actually reduces the speed of the bike
    a throttle that doesn’t take forever to return to idle
    stop the instrument binnacle thingy from flopping around like a cock in a sock

    all pretty minor stuff really

    I'm so so tempted to rip everything off that’s not absolutely needed and make some sort of off road scrambler thingy (when I say 'make' - I mean pay people who actually have skill to make the changes for me....)

    A great day and like steve I'm feeling more than a tad knackered at the moment
    Thanks again guys for the rescue assistance.
  20. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    To extend the RR a little...

    I had a ball :rofl

    Left Taihape a bit behind time and arrived in Kapiti to meet up with Mark and Steve. Mark set the scene, by trying to call work, which continued on and off all day as reception drifted in and out. A fill up with gas and up the Akatarara rd to the Saddle.

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    Minor adjustments were made and on up the track we went. The bikes lined up shows the stages of GS Degradation and resurection...

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    We rode up Odlins track to the Summit where we had lunch then carried on down to look at the next section of track, but with Mark riding on Road tyres, it was decided to play safe and head back up to the top.

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    The track was so good I had to go back and do it again...

    Heading out down the Track, Mark was found on the side of the track looking for the source of oil on the ground. Only to discover the extended sump has definate draw backs. So Steve and I headed out to find Black Gold. Which we were lucky enough to get from some hunters who had just got back to the Saddle car park ahead of us.

    Grabbing the 1.5 liters they had, I headed back in to have another ride of the track, 'cause I was enjoying it so much :rofl

    Getting back to Mark, we topped it up and headed back out, checking the dipstick at regular intervals.

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    We met Steve, who had gone out to Waikanae to get more oil and a stick of neadit for repairs, a short distance from the start, so regrouped at the Saddle.

    By this time it was near the end of the day, so we headed off to our repective homes. Some to wash bikes and some to repair them.... Cheers Guys for the great ride.