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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:13 am 
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MSF Student
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:15 am
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Location: Moorebank, Sydney.
Biting off more than I could chew...

Saturday I packed the DR650 into the Hiace and drove out to Wisemans for a day of riding in the area.

The day got off to a good start, the weather not to hot, not too cold and while it was very windy every where I rode was fairly sheltered from the winds.

I made my way to St Albans, on to Bucketty, Lagunna turned off Great North Road ignoring the road closed sign due to the washed out bridge and pushed on into the Wattagans

Enjoying the sun and scenery I cruised along taking it all in looking forward to the tracks ahead and exploring the less travelled trails.

Before the washed out bridge the wind had taken down small tree and I weaved my way through the field of debris passed the road closed barrier and over what is left of the bridge.

The climb up the hill was thoroughly enjoyable picking what I felt was the best line between the large rocks my course taking me perilously close to the escarpment below.

When I reached the top I pulled up for a rest, unpacking my Helinox and nibbled on some trail mix and rehydrated before gearing up and setting off again.

This is where my day took a bit of a turn and the "adventure" began.

As I ambled along with no where to be and no rush to get there I spotted an over grown trail that disappeared into the bush and thought to myself "where does this go" a quick look at my Montanna showed it appeared to be a loop so off I went.

when I reached a fork and where the trailed appeared to come back on itself I decided to take the high road to my right.

I started the climb weaving through the various obstacles, Large rocks, vegetation and the like the path clearly had not been traversed by a vehicle recently. The trail was littered with pockets of sand between rocky sections and was a treat to ride.

As I reached the sumit this is where in hindsight I should have turned around.

I started to descend. Standing on the pegs, one finger on the front brake, the edge of my boot on the rear brake my subconscious carefully modulated the levers controlling my speed to a slow walk and doing its best to not lock either wheel all the while my eyes darting left and right, out a head of me and down in front of my front wheel looking for the route least likely to see me bin it and tumble the rest of the way down.

The surface was loose sandy and made up of rocks ranging from small nothings to football sized and larger, combined with deep washed out ruts and small steps.

As the decent gradually got worse I thought to myself "I can handle this" and even if I couldn't there was no turning around now.

it was then I realised I'd bitten off well and truly more than I could chew!

I stopped short of a drop-off of easily half a meter at its shallowest and may be a meter or more at its deepest.

I looked further down to see what else this trail had in store for me and it wasn't good. The other thing to catch my eye was the assorted plastic panels, a mirror and other pieces of clearly different bikes littering the way down. The descent or just as possible ascent, had clearly taken its toll on those who had come before me.

My optimism to push my skills and test myself turned to "f*** this!".

While continuing downward was no longer an option especially if the path was not a loop and I had to double back getting backup the drop-off would be well beyond my skill set but thoughts of what might be were gone from my mind as I had an equally difficult problem to solve.

I killed the bike carefully dismounted and did my best not to slide the rest the way down on my arse. I stripped off my gear and sat down on the rock ledge to cool off rehydrate and plan how I was going to get myself out of this pickle.

Like any complex task I broke it down into smaller tasks to solve one at a time.

Task 1: get the bike turned around and pointing upwards. With the bike only a meter or so away form the drop-off, only about three-quarters of the total width of the very narrow track available due to a deep erosion on one side and the hill to steep to push the bike backwards as I'd be fighting almost all of the bikes total weight it wasn't going to be easy.

I tried to pivot the bike on the kick stand but the hill was to steep and every time I took the weight off the wheels gravity wanted to fold the kick stand up and send the bike down the steep descent.

Oh and did I mention I have a spinal cord injury from an accident a few years back? I walk with a limp and don't have full strength in my left leg.

dripping with sweat I decided to lie the bike down on its side and pivot it around on its foot peg.... With the front wheel now pointing up hill I stood the bike back up and contemplated the next problem.

task 2: Riding back up the hill was not going to be an easy feat, if it weren't for the very large rocks scattered randomly I could just use raw power and hammer it up the hill, but with so many obstacles and ruts hitting anything could mean glancing off at an awkward angle and with some luck dropping the bike and tumbling head over heels back down the hill and if I wasn't lucky over the edge of the trail and god knows how far vertically down.

No, this was going to take finesse and not muscle. the next problem and easiest to solve was going to be traction. I was going to need to keep all my weight over the front wheel to stop it coming up which on the other hand would leave the rear light and with the surface made up of loose sand and rocks keeping traction was going to be difficult.

I let out as much air as I could from the rear tyre, took a few minutes to relax myself, clear my mind, cool off and again hydrate.

I wasn't getting any closer to the top of the climb sitting in the shade thinking about it, so I mounted the DR started the engine and pulled a make or break hill start.

I tackled the climb 10-20meters at a time stopping where I could to think and plot the best way up the next section the whole time battling to keep the front wheel down and traction to rear wheel pick my line and not die.

With the end nearly in sight the worst thing possible was happening... the DR's clutch was fading and fast.

I got my self to a spot where I could stop the bike and let both her and me cool down. I gave it half an hour and then got back on. No good, I had been working the DR hard and between the overly hot air cooled bike and the not so cool ambient air temperature the bike hadn't cooled much and even if it had of it wouldn't have done me much good as I had fried the clutch.

The remaining ascent wasn't so steep now so I decided to give the DR and her clutch a break and power it up the rest of the way as I walked beside it. However I still had all the rocky debris to navigate and with not much clutch left feathering the lever was not an option so it was up to me to limp along side as fast as I could and not let the bike run away from me.

VICTORY I'd made it back up to the summit. it was only then I thought to myself "adjust the clutch cable dumb arse".

Now before anyone harps on about not riding alone, save it ya big pussy ;) lol. I had a ton of water plenty to eat 2way satellite communication and if I'd wanted to I could have hobbled back to the main track and flagged down some help and besides what's an adventure without some element of danger?..

With most the day gone now it was time to head back to the Hiace and home anyway.

As I limped the bike back to Wisemans I can honestly say I was thinking to myself "Now that was fun!" of course it would have been nice to make it back to the main track with out cooking my clutch but the feeling of victory was still sweet.

With a new Barnette HD clutch on the way I'll be back out risking life and limb again in a week or two.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:41 am 
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MSF Student
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:15 am
Posts: 29
Location: Moorebank, Sydney.
The new Barnett clutch has since arrived

Image

well there's ya problem

Image

new clutch plates

Image

Heavy duty springs on the left

Image

fitted some warp 9 levers which are great and dont contact the barkbusters


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:41 am 
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Map & Manual Master Moderator
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:18 am
Posts: 2450
Location: SW Oregon
Clint wrote:
Biting off more than I could chew...
Congrats on getting yourself out by keeping your head, resting, and persisting one step at a time. As you inferred, one always has the option to walk out and return later with help to retrieve the bike; if not seriously injured.
:hang:

My neighbor and I, both of us riding 250s, once went into a canyon on a trail that kept getting steeper and more rugged the further we went. Finally at the bottom it became obvious that the only way out was the way we came in, and only managed to do so by pushing each other one bike at a time. While I have frequently ridden alone in wilderness areas on the DR, I try not to take uneccessary chances and do not hesitate to get off and walk through rough stretches to make sure there is a way out on the other side.
:rolleyes:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:51 pm 
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SuperMoto Dude
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:27 pm
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Location: Ventura, CA
Wow.. that's a story. I think there are times when you have to know when to throw in the towel. Getting hurt when you're alone doesn't ever turn out well. (except for the buzzards circling you). Neither does a broken bike. :crutch:

You need to ride more.. so you can write more. Well written ride reports like that are few and far between. :RTFM


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:18 pm
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Location: Traveling in the USA
Awesome ride report, thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:46 pm 
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Adventure Rider
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Location: Apex, NC
Quote:
Now before anyone harps on about not riding alone, save it ya big pussy ;) lol. I had a ton of water plenty to eat 2way satellite communication and if I'd wanted to I could have hobbled back to the main track and flagged down some help and besides what's an adventure without some element of danger?..


Haha...if I didn't risk riding alone, I'd never ride. I prefer riding in small groups for safety and also because peer pressure is usually enough to try harder obstacles and less concern about getting stuck, but that seldom works out.

Great ride report. Too bad you didn't get any pictures of the trail.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:55 pm 
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Adventure Rider
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Location: City of Angels
Rule #1, if you're going to do stuff like this, don't ride alone.

Getting into (real) trouble is just too easy.

Glad you got out! :2_thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:40 pm
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Location: Eugene Oregon
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Pics or it didn't happen. :rofl:

Good story, and good work keeping your cool. Sorry about the clutch.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:27 pm 
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SuperMoto Dude
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:27 pm
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Location: Ventura, CA
Hey Clint.. Please report back on that Barnett clutch. I've had mixed results with them. Always worked great on my street bikes, but didn't work well on one of my dirt bikes. I also tried them on my 67 Triumph and it was so bad, I took it all back off 3 weeks later. Grabby, and hard to pull.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:48 pm 
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Location: Mackinaw City, MI, USA
Todd157k wrote:
Hey Clint.. Please report back on that Barnett clutch. I've had mixed results with them. Always worked great on my street bikes, but didn't work well on one of my dirt bikes. I also tried them on my 67 Triumph and it was so bad, I took it all back off 3 weeks later. Grabby, and hard to pull.


The picture of the springs says it all. At least there is more likelihood of the clutch abusing the rider than the rider abusing the clutch. :s_yes Heard of riders using two of the stock springs with two of the Barnett springs. That leaves two Barnett springs for replacing the ones on your garage door. :rofl:

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