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Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back.
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TOPIC: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back.

Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5145

After ten years of owning a 100 acre property and not trail riding during that time, an invitation to ride over the ranges to Bendethera then onto Moruya for lunch then turn around and ride home was offered by a friend who only lives about two kilometres up the road.

My only reluctance was that my riding partner was riding his new KTM1190R, I thought I would be trailing behind on the fast open roads, and waiting on the tough stuff ahead.
I needn't have worried, this guy can throw that big barge around very capably and that takes some skill!


I had been wondering where the DRZ was going to go on it's maiden voyage (while I've owned it) and this looked like the perfect opportunity to put the old girl to the test.

So at 9.00AM on Sunday morning, Labour Day 04/10/2015, I met my riding partner at his front gate where we set off toward the coast.

The previous Thursday I had two new knobbies fitted, a Pirelli Scorpion MX Extra on the front and a Mitas Stone King on the rear.
I was almost caught out a couple of times while heading up into the Tinderry Range and at first I thought I had made the wrong tyre choice, but the road is very hard packed with a thin layer of sandy crap on the surface so the tyres got the benefit of the doubt, I had put 20 psi in the tyres since I knew how rocky the terrain was later in the trip and this was the problem it turns out.

We made good time across the Tinderry's then onto Anembo State Forest, through to the southern end of Tallaganda State Forest along Jerrbatgula fire trail which brings you out at Badja then onto the Minuma Range fire trail by 10.30AM where we stopped for a drink.

I had noticed on the Jerrabatgula fire trail that I was running wide in a couple of corners, eventually to overshoot not one but two or three corners, something I am not prone to do, so during our stop I inspected the bike only to find that the front brake had been over adjusted and was pushing on the master cylinder piston all the time, overheating the front brake and just giving me a very hard but ineffective lever!

The trails ahead are not where any sane man should go without a good front brake, so an adjustment was made and we set off with a little concern as to how well my front brake was going to hold up.

It was immediately obvious that it was much better than it had been so no mishaps on the snotty down hill spoon drains into Bendethera. These down hills are not too hard just as long as you don't get too much momentum, which is why I was worried about my front brake.

A quick stop at Bendethera and we headed for Moruya for lunch. On the way out of Bendethera there is one river crossing that I've crossed probably 6-7 times in the past without incident, but this time I took the wrong line and found the "hole" not visible from the entry point, well it almost got me this time, the DRZ decided to splutter and misfire at the worst possible time, I managed to keep the revs up but came to a stop in water that was deeper than anticipated, but it kept going and eventually pulled me out of the crossing.

Shortly after that we crested a hill and parked at the base was a National Parks vehicle flashing its lights for us to stop, which we did and always have done.
They were good natured and just said they were looking for unregistered bikes, we offered licences but they said that if we weren't registered we wouldn't have stopped anyway so they applied a little logic, nice to see.
While we had their presence, we used the time wisely to quiz them about alternate routes to the south,they were very helpful.
When they asked us where we had come from, they insisted that we were quite mad.

After both of us had a couple of very un-stylish landings over the many, many spoon drains, I was beginning to think the rangers could be right after all.

Quite a lot of wildlife was missed, don't ask me how but those wallabies got out of the way on quite a few occasions thankfully.

About six or seven kms out of Moruya, my bike spluttered onto reserve, soon we were sitting eating our fish and chips at 12.30PM in the main street, we had made fairly good time.

Fuelled up in Moruya, we decided to go home through Araluen for a quick liquid refreshment at the pub, then onto Captains Flat for another top up, then south on the Jerangle Road and back over the Tinderry Road, this was a good plan we thought, so with little regard for fuel economy, it was a fairly brisk pace from Araluen to Captains Flat, only to discover that the service station had gone out of business!!

On the climb out of Captains Flat, I once again hit reserve, oh shit!
With 50 kms left to travel, I was certain that I would run out of fuel, but we proceeded at a more leisurely pace back down the Jerangle Road, onto the Tinderry Road and 50 kms later I pulled into the Michelago service station, my 10 litre tank took 9.88 litres!

All things considered, the DRZ performed well, the front brake being the only problem but you can't blame the bike for operator error.

The old fart riding it didn't fare quite as well, my arse was killing me by the time I got home. I had been wondering why everyone says DRZ seats are terrible throughout the entire trip, wondering why this keeps being mentioned, well the last 50 kms did it for me, after that I agree 100%.

The tyres faired very well, particularly the rear as it spent a lot of time spinning up on the fast sections, and digging some rocks on the more technical trails. It appears to have lost about 3mm off the centre knobs, the front tyre doesn't look much different to when I left.

So, in the not too distant future, there just may be a seat on order along with a long range tank.

The entire trip totalled 327.5 kms and my muscles and bones can now feel every one of those kilometres, I guess being 56 years old is taking it's toll!
I pulled into my driveway at 4.00PM just in time for an icy cold beer!


I am sore, tired and aching, but can't wait to do it again. The past ten years have cost me a fair bit of ride fitness, but I figure the only cure for that is time in the saddle, just maybe not this particular saddle.


Now about those Vinduro events..........
Attachments:
2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5146

Must fix that leaking countershaft seal too!
2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5159

Before heading off.
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2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5160

Bendethera camping area.
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2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5161

Bendethera camping area
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2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5162

Bendethera camping area
2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5163

Bendethera camping area. 2006 DRZ400, 2015 KTM1190R
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2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5164

Main St of Moruya, good feed of fish and chips too!
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2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5165

A quick beer at the Araluen pub on the way home.
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2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5166

Back where we started, a little dustier but no spills, no breakdowns and good fuel economy.
Attachments:
2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5190

  • wayno
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Great ride report , don't let the lack of reply's worry you , a lot will read this . There is a lot of good useful information there . Sounds like a great ride . A good distance for the day , and not knowing if your going to make it adds to the fun ... Thanks ...

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5192

Thanks Wayno, I see 91 people have "viewed" it, so that's not too bad for just over a week.
It really is a great ride, a good mix of open roads and tough bush sections.
I knew before I left that it would be tight for fuel, and the guy on the KTM was supposed to carry a fuel bladder, but forgot! Oh well, maybe next ride?
The Snowy Mountains/Victorian high country are on the agenda, should be interesting!
Tony.
2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5196

  • wayno
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sounds good , I never can understand those guys on the big off roaders , they look to be doing it hard . And the DRZ does it all so easy and is a lot more fun ..

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 2 years, 4 months ago #5197

Yes I agree, the guy on the 1190 is a bit younger and fitter than I am, he can probably ride better too!
I was a little shocked at how capable the 1190 is though, very impressed!

I think managing the weight going into corners could be tricky, and slamming into rocks!

No flats or dinged rims though.

I prefer a lighter smaller (less expensive) bike for most conditions. The DRZ fits my intended riding better than most. Reliably.
2006 DRZ400E

Re: Michelago to Bendethera and Moruya and back. 1 year, 9 months ago #5466

  • richard
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Just read this. A magic area, I live on cooma rd & prowl this area.
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