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I am a desert racer! Ride Report.

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G'day all TTalkers,

Just a quick update on last weekends ride through the sand and bulldust of Sunset Country - Outback Victoria.

Myself and a fellow Amtra member drove for 5 long hours to arrive late on Friday night at the Ouyen Pub. There we met 3 other riders and a 4WD backup driver. In total - 2 XR600's, 1xKTM300, 1xDRZ400 and the WRF.

Saturday morning we geared up and were ready to ride by 8:00AM. Try as I might, the WRF just would not start up. It would cough, pop and fart and then nothing. Right, a tow down the main street will fix it. Nope - just alot of backfiring. :) Ripped the seat and tank off the bike and changed the plug. It was fouled!?!? First time ever. Anyhow, new plug and she fired right up after the second kick. :D

A 30km transport section and we were into the sandy desert terrain. I must admit, I was intimidated at first at how the bike drifted at speed along the sandy tracks. However, km after kn my confidence grew. I just gripped with my knees and let the bike choose its own path through the soft stuff.

Yamakaze - I nailed a rider as well! :D My new rear M12 spat out a rock the size of my fist to strike the guy behind me on his XR6. Luckily it hit his leg but left him limping until the next day! :D

Basically - we rode flat out all day for 360km's. Ron, the recovery driver, met us halfway to fuel feed and water the dirtriders. The bike was able to achieve about 180km without hitting reserve which is great economy even in the power hungry sand. NO BK mod, stock jetting and a pipe on a '99WRF.

There are numerous salt lakes out in Sunset Country. To ride them is awsome. Both wheels drifting tapped out at in 5th on the salt is like iceskating. Bloody awsome.

The second day we rode 180 km's up and around the Murray River. Beautiful territory and wildlife - except for those crazy packs of emus. Those things are damned unpredictable!

Picture this. Two sandy tracks either side of 50km STRAIGHT section of trainline. I was on one side and a dude on his DRZ was riding the other. He had about 3 minutes head start on me but I was determined to catch his dust trail. Caught him, passed him and his comment at the end of the rail line was "Man I heard you before I saw you and when you passed you were bloody flying.". :D

Lessons learnt on the 2 day 540km adventure.

Bring 2 airfilters.

Ride the sand at 80-100kph+.

Tyre selection is not critical until it rains.

Ride with my tools in a bumbag not in my backpack.

Pack extra water and fuel in the space previously occupied by the tools.

Stay out of the dust as it is bad on the lungs, eyes and airfilter.

Sand is more forgiving and line selection not as critical as bush riding.

Cheers everybody and hope you enjoyed reading about my desert experience as much as I enjoyed riding it.


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