Newsletter – November 2012

 

 

October was a very busy month. We had the Victorian High country ride which went for 4 days and was great because we had some great weather. Because we had good weather we included more technical sections. Since all the riders were on 600cc bikes we changed the course to include stuff that suited their bikes.

The navigation lessons will no doubt come in handy for the riders who are doing the 14 day rally next year. Photo 3 shows Scottys bad news skid mark!!!

A4DE

The day after the 4 day Vic high country ride we went to the Australian four day enduro championship . We went and rode this event so we could do some more research on the enduro scene.

As an event organiser I think it’s pretty important to go and ride other events so you can stay in touch with things. The A4DE attracts the best off road riders in the country and is becoming very professional but  the number of riders participating was half of what they were 5 years ago . On day 3 we were really tested in the wet conditions. To give you some idea we were riding in 2 ft deep ruts up and down hills and I got a flat tyre but could not see the valve stem because of the mud. I decided to find a creek and wash the wheel before changing it. I found a creek and was overtaking another rider when I hit a large pile of rocks that the locals had put in the crossing so they could see some action. I then proceeded to de-drown the bike and change a rear tyre and then continued. In the last 1 km of the day 3 I got another flat tyre when going over a jump . I then had to change another tyre and decided that my no drinking rule when racing was not working for me. When we finished the final moto we packed up the truck and headed to Phillip Island.

 

 

PHIILIP ISLAND   SUPER X AND MOTO GP  The “Chad “ and “Casey “show

I wasn’t really sure how I would enjoy this part of our trip but all I can say is that anyone who has ridden a motorcycle should at least go once.

What’s next?

Melbourne motorcycle show  where I will be part of the KTM 1190 release. It starts this Friday and should be awesome. I will be really interested in the new bikes electronic systems. There is a 4 stage traction control and a 3 stage ABS system. Both systems can be turned off but the bike offers a ride-able off road mode which will be great to try. I will be at the kTM stand for 3 days so please come and say hello. By the way I am getting asked about the 4CS closed cartridge fork that are in Husabergs and the 2013 KTM 6 day bikes. They are probably going in next years EXC as standard issue. At the start of December the rally team are getting into the serious work of building rally track. We have two tour operators showing us tracks in the high country. We will then spend another 8 days working on new track. The 2013 rally will be the hardest course we have set because riders will be in the mountain country for 10 days which will really test them.

Here are a couple of recommendations for KTM and Husaberg owners.

Fuel Injection mapping, carburetor specialist

Rex Fleiter ph 0408 732 471  To give you some idea it cost about $170 to get your bike mapped which will give you about the same power delivery as a new exhaust. My EXC 350 now gets 130 km per tank and Rex mapped it to suite the type of riding I like.

Suspension

Dave at Suspension matters who is located at Beerwah in Queensland is really impressing a lot of professional riders with his work. He owns a ktm 350 and has a test track at his shed. Here is a link to his website. He knows how to set up adventure bikes as well.   http://www.suspensionmatters.com.au/   Ph (0417 382 583)

Dave is not a motocross rider he is a good old “bush” rider and his set ups are nice and plush with good stability. He is doing great work with the Ktm 690 and 990 which up to now I did not think could be improved.

The APC Rally Calendar    Click here

Grabbos Pit crew: Please click the PDF above to find out more.

Here are some videos that I reckon everyone might be interested in.

Shane Watts Skinny ridge

Trophy truck at Finke

 

APC ENDURO RALLY

Have your say on an event that is in the design stage!!!!

This is a concept document . I would be interested in getting your feedback.

APC ENDURO RALLY:

A TEAMS EVENT   1500 km loop course up and down the Great Dividing Range between Sydney and Brisbane Teams can select which week in June/ July they wish to attempt the course. There will be a maximum of 6 teams at each start point each week. The teams will be required to start at 8-00am on a Saturday between June14th and July 14th from one of 5 start points. The course will take approximately 6 days to complete and riders will finish where they started.

Unbenville , Bulladella , Kempsey , Coffs harbor ,Woodenbong, 

Each team must have a minimum of 4 riders completing the course. Each team must have a support vehicle. A spare bike is allowed on the support vehicle .Each teams support vehicle requires a navigator and a driver. Team members can change positions at any time, the original number of riders who start the rally must complete the entire course.  A minimum of 6 people make up a team and any of them can be on the bikes at any point in time.

Essential items for each team: 2 spot trackers and 2 GPS units, first aid kit, mobile phone, tow straps for bike and vehicle, support vehicle does not need to be 4WD however it would be most suitable.

The concept.

The course consists of 1500 km of trails that are a loop, riders will finish at the point they started.  Spot trackers record the starting and finishing position of each day. All teams must start at the exact location they finished the day before. The support vehicle must rendevuex with the bikes to refuel them every 80 -100 km. The start time is 8-00 am and the finish time is 4-30 pm each day. Riders can rendevuex with their support vehicles at any location to camp but the team must record their position using the ok button on the spot tracker at 4-30 pm and this is their starting point for the next day. On the course there are photo points. A team must take a photo of all the bikes and riders at this location and then send the photo to rally h.q. The top 5 teams will be required to send their GPS unit to rally H.q at the end of the event so the unit can be checked to verify that they rode the entire course and stuck to the rules.

Riders will navigate using Gps units the support vehicles will require Gps units as well so they can navigate to the refuel points. The vehicle GPS units can be normal domestic GPS units that will navigate to a street.

Logistics

The event is designed so a support vehicle carries camping gear, fuel, water, food and a spare bike. If a rider is injured the team can replace this rider with the navigator or driver from the support vehicle as well as replace a broken down bike. The support vehicles will be required to complete most of the refuels on the course. Teams can camp or stay where they like they just need to start at the point they hit the spot tracker at the finish of the day before. The support trucks will be supplied a route to navigate they will not be on the bike course unless they are doing a recovery. In this event the support vehicle arriving on time to do refuel is essential to a team’s success. The vehicles will have plenty of time to get to fuel stops.

Teams Safety Gear

The reason there is a minimum for 4 riders is so if someone gets in trouble a rider can stay with them whilst another two go for help. In the event teamwork will be essential at all times. Navigation will be a challenge most teams will have a chief navigator and then another rider will be checking their GPS as a backup or if the primary units fails. Same with the spot tracker units the reason we need two is in the case that one fails. Both spots will need to hit the ok button at the start and finish of each day. The event will be live on the net and the support vehicles if carrying a computer can see the location of their team. Teams can have more than 2 GPs units if they wish.

Timings

The number of riders who start the course must be the same that finish if a team loses a rider time penalties will apply. If a team has more than 4 riders they will receive a 20 minute time deduction for each rider over 4. If any team cannot finish with the same amount of riders at the start 3 hours will be added to their time per rider they are missing. At each start point teams will start on a different minute. The teams will then add the number of minutes they were from the first team and be able to ride till this time on the first day. For example if you left at 8-15 am on day 1 your team can continue riding till 4-45 pm on day 1 only..

Hospital time if a team is required to take a member to hospital they will have their time frozen on the course they simply hit the spot tracker ok button and call rally H.q. In other words there team can stay in the event and resume without the injured rider with no loss of time. The teams time can stay frozen if there is chance there rider can be checked out within 24 hours.

Fees:    $600 per rider

When a team nominates a deposit of $600 is required they then must pay the balance of funds for all riders by the 1st April. If this is not done the deposit will be refunded and the starting position shall be given to another team.

Start points

The start points will have a parking area for teams to leave a car and trailer at. When teams arrive at the start points they should organize their gear so they are carrying as little load as possible. The support vehicle in most cases will require a bike trailer to carry a spare bike and have enough room to carry 6 swags and stretchers and enough camping gear for the team. The driver or navigator will need their ride gear in the vehicle in case they need to replace an injured rider. They will need 4 jerry cans for fuel and two for water. A bike spares kit and toolbox would also be a good idea. Teams can take as many support vehicles as they like. Fees only apply to riders. If riders think that the 1500km could be too much for them they could look at sharing the ride with someone. They could ride alternate days and do the car navigation when resting.

The track

Expect to be really tested by the course it is designed to test a team of riders. If you come to fences or locked gates you will be off course. Many of the tracks will be single tracks and navigation could be very difficult when in doubt zoom in and out. If the Gps line crosses the river you will be required to somehow get across the river you may need to navigate to a bridge or carry your bikes across the river don’t expect an easy ride we are trying to work out who are the best team of trail riders in Australia. In some parts of the course the tracks will be very hard to see this is part of the navigation test.

Level playing field

Good riders may not be good navigators; good riders and navigators could be sitting waiting for fuel from a lost support vehicle .This rally is designed so every member in a team must be doing their job well to be successful. There is a limit of one professional enduro, motocross rider per team. Most teams will camp out and this will mean that they will need to be organized. In many cases the support vehicle will need to leave the camp before the bikes to be able to make the next fuel point on time. Each team will only be as quick as the slowest riders, the photo points will ensure that teams must stay together, so will the refuel points. We require teams to travel together because the gps and spot tracker units are essential pieces of equipment and if a gps unit fails the riders will be lost immediately because there are very few arrows on the course. A key to a team doing well is they need to travel in an organized manner. When overtaking another team it can get very confusing. Teams will need to mark their helmets and bikes or ride in the same gear so they know who their corner men are. The photo points on the course are a compulsory stop and can’t be missed so the lead rider must keep an eye out for these and pull up when one is sighted.

Involving everyone.

If a rider cannot find a team to enter the event they can simply register their name and pay a deposit .They will nominate their own riding ability and then be put in a “rebel team” which is made up of riders in a similar circumstance and ability. Once the team is formed they will then be required to sort out a support vehicle, driver and navigator between themselves.

Teams can have as many support vehicles and helpers as they want. We really are hoping that families can follow riders and be part of the action. The scenery and country is really spectacular. They can also have as many riders as they want as long there are more than 4. The key rule is that the number of riders and bikes that start in each team must be the same that finish otherwise a three hour time penalty is added to the team’s time for each rider and bike   that does not finish, a navigator and driver can swap with any injured or exhausted riders at any time so teams do have a buffer.  If the team leave the course to help an injured rider they must restart at the point they left the course with the same number of riders as they have nominates otherwise a 2 hour penalty will be given.

A team shall have 20 minutes deducted for each rider more than 4 that complete the rally. The theory is that larger teams will have more chances of mechanical failure so they will receive a time deduction bonus so groups of mates don’t feel disadvantaged by having a large team. For example if a 7 man team with a driver and navigator enter the event.  They would start with a 1 hour deduction from there finish time. If they had a rider gets injured and replaced him with navigator they would have no extra time added to their time. If 3 riders in this team withdrew and 2 were replaced by their navigator and driver but the 3rd one had to withdraw they would receive a 3 hour penalty which would be added to their finish time.  To have a clean run they need to have 7 bikes complete the entire course.

Daily routine

  1. Wake up at 6-00 am Roll up swag and stretcher
  2. Have breakfast  and pack up camp and vehicle
  3. Final check of bike and ride gear.
  4. Ride to start point where “ok “ mark was hit at 5-00 pm day before
  5. 8-00 am start riding get to first fuel point refuel and get water
  6. Ride to next fuel and water rendevuex stop and take team photos at nominated points
  7. Have lunch at support vehicle stop (lunch compulsory 40 minutes ) Make plans for night stop
  8. Ride till 5-00 pm and then rendevuex with support vehicle
  9. Set up night camp ,do bike maintenance ,help with dinner have a bush shower
  10. Get some sleep

Hints for teams

  1. Good GPS units that are easy to see, that are hard wired and must have rugged mounts will be the greatest advantage a team could get. Garmin Montana and garmin 62s units are what the organizer would recommend. Two gps units are required per team. Teams will need to use a corner man system when following there chief navigator. It’s best if the sweep has the second GPS so if a corner man has been forgotten the back group can know the way. An accurate map set such as OZ topo or tracks4aust is required to be on the GPS for the unit to work well in this application. When hard wiring a GPS it could be wise to put similar connection wires on another bike so if the navigator s bike stops the unit can be changed over easily to another bike. The team with best navigator will probably finish the course in the quickest time. If you need to buy a gps and spot tracker please contact GPSOZ 029999 2313. This company will sell units set up correctly for the rally. Please take this advice because this stuff need to be right.

The spot tracker is especially difficult to set up .

  1. Telstra next g phone will be required by at least two team members so photos can be taken and sent by the teams at the photo markers.(waterproof case or plastic bag)
  2. Spot tracker units with tracking will be handy for 5 reasons.

a.       Safety ,the spot tracker has an emergency button that can bring emergency services to you exact location.

b.      The unit also has an okay button which teams must hit at the start and end of each day so the organizer can record that they are not travelling overtime.

c.       The support vehicle can see exactly where there team are using an iphone, ipad or computer

d.      All the family friends and fans can see where a team is up to and can track the progress.

e.      If a team gets split up an I phone or smart phone can be used to see the location of the other spot tracker in the team or where other teams are up to.

  1. Uhf radios can be very handy especially from the lead to the sweep and then in the support truck as well.
  2. Ultra heavy duty tubes or mousse tubes are essential for minimizing flats.
  3. Good heavy duty trailer in good condition. (check tyres and bearings and carry spare tie downs )
  4. EASY TO SET UP CAMPING GEAR.  Swag and stretcher and camping chair per man with a big tarp is probably the best option for teams. If teams take too much gear the trailer and vehicle will have problems. One set of ride gear and two sets of camp cloths is really all that is required.
  5. A lighting system to work on bikes at night is important.
  6. Food and drink.  Teams should plan on cooking a fresh meal every night. A couple of large pots and a Billy and a couple of fry pans. Breakfast should be simple and lunch can be sandwiches at a fuel stop during the day. The support teams should get the evening supplies each afternoon when they get fuel and ice. A $100 kitty per rider per day will mean that the support team can quickly keep the show on the road and not have to worry about paying for things out of their own pocket. Riders will need to look after themselves in this event they should drink at least 6 litres of water per day.
  7. Sharing the work load. You are only as fast as your weakest link in this event everything will take energy. The key to being a good team member is making sure that everything is sorted before you relax. At the end of the day make sure all the bikes have been maintained, everyone’s camp is set up and the meal is under way before you stop to relax. If you’re not involved in cooking you should be involved in cleaning. Spanner men should have their camp set for them while they use the daylight to work on bikes. Your support team need to be treated like “Gold “it is easy to find riders but very difficult to find support staff. Don’t be the angry rider when things go wrong it will achieve nothing but a negative outcome. Part of the test in this event is keeping a cool head and getting everyone to the finish line.

 

  1. The navigator will need space to do their job so don’t put pressure on them. In many parts of the course it will be a 50% call on which is the correct track. On many occasions the team will need to go up the track a little to know it is the wrong one. Riders need to account for this because there navigators will often stop and turn around. Sometimes the best thing to do if a navigator makes 3 errors in twenty minutes is to give the second navigator a try just to let things settle down. In single track this amount of errors could actually be okay because it is so difficult to do.

 

  1. Bike setup   . Nothing over 690 cc is recommended. These tracks will really suite 250-500cc enduro bikes that weight between 110-120 kg. Riders who do have smaller adventure bikes such as dr 650 and ktm 690 should make sure they get the bike as light as possible. Good steel sprockets with a high quality chain are important with fresh brake pads. At least one spare air filter is a good idea. Bark busters to protect levers and radiator guards as well as bash plates are highly recommended, Grips wired and fresh engine oil. Some type of small fairing to protect the Gps is also very handy. Tyres need to last 1500 km so select wisely. Airfilter cleaner and airfilter oil will also be essential. Modern fuel injected bikes should bring spare fuel filters and riders of these bikes should check to see what precautions they can take. A spare injector in a team of these bikes is advised. Don’t be too worried about comfort these will be real tracks where you will need to be  standing most of the time.

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