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Offline Nutter

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 08:15:08 PM »
 :028: ta

Offline Stillwobbling

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 09:34:01 PM »
Kielder 500 drawing closer. Only 2 weeks to go. Entry list is closed and places all filled. 140 riders in all. I got the competitor list this week. Not that many Explorers on there but a few.

Didn't recognise any names but there were 3 other riders local to me. Anyone on here going? Camp site open from Friday 16.00

Offline Nutter

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2019, 10:33:10 AM »
How did it go, Stillwobbling?

I'm signed up to the Wales 500.

Offline Stillwobbling

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2019, 07:58:55 PM »
20 miles into a stage, I lost the front end in mud, flipped the bike got thrown into the trees. Bust me knee and the ankle I broke previously. Parts bill alone was £500.

I would say in all honesty, even for an more experienced rider than I, this event is not for bikes this size. The Tigga is the heaviest in its class and their suggestion that it can be done on road tyres is what I'd call slightly disingenuous. I have TKC70s on and they were new and even that didn't stop me losing traction. There were people flying around on enduro bikes on super knobblies. This is supposed to be for big adventure bikes. I'd do it again if I had a Huskie maybe or KTM. I love my Tex to bits, but anything more than a Scandinavian gravel road and I'd get off and push it. Some of the tracks were two ruts with a hump in the middle. You only needed to catch the edge of the green bit and you were off.

I tried it, great weekend, won't ever be doing it again on a bike this big. Even the GS Adventures were finding the ditches

Offline Nutter

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2019, 11:31:23 AM »
 :012: Oh dear!

Hope you're on the end and no permanent damage to yourself.

I'm surprised there were people on enduros, because the organisers go to great lengths to say it's for big bikes only, there's a minimum weight, etc. Having just watched a couple of videos I also wonder whether the organisers did a recce in the dry and didn't account for how things would get in the wet, especially once churned up by tens of bikes. I've read that the Wales 500 is meant to be a bit easier than the Kielder, but in any case I now feel more confident in abandoning the ride if I get to the point where I feel too uncomfortable with it. I also read that on last year's Wales 500 there were a number of skills sections where you got penalty points for putting a foot down in slow manoeuvring etc. If I don't like the look of them I'll be quite happy to bypass them and take all the penalty points - I'm doing it for a bit of fun, not to win or get a medal so I don't care about points in the slightest.

Offline Stillwobbling

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2019, 01:54:46 PM »
Sounds like a very sensible approach
They did a recce in the snow can you believe. Yes it was supposed to be for adventure bikes but people’s interpretation of that seemed quite varied

Offline Nutter

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2019, 04:46:52 PM »
It was the Wales 500 and I did it on my R1200 GS, my wife was on her F650 GS and a friend on his R1200 GS Adventure. We had all fitted different tyres for this (my wife and I Karoo Streets, which are a 70/10 on/off road) and our friend the Karoo 3.

The first day was quite short. It consisted of a technical practice area on the site we started from, which was tight, twist and bumpy through the trees. The experienced off-road riders got through this easily, especially those on smaller bikes (400-600s) but the off-road novices amongst us found it harder, often having to put our feet down to steady ourselves. The rest of the day was then an on-road route to get us used to navigating using a roadbook.

Day two saw the first riders leaving at 7am. This was a mix of paved roads and off road sections. The off road sections through the forests were quite nice, though the weather was cold, wet and foggy for much of the day which dampens the spirit somewhat. After a lunch break under the canopy of a petrol station, the trickier bit of the day was soon upon us. There was a narrow section of packed mud and rocky surface, with large holes/puddles which us novices found particularly tough going. Then came a fairly deep water crossing. I'd seen a couple of riders go through in front of me and realised it was harder than any off road riding I'd done before. I stood up on the pegs, picked a side and went for it; I immediately hit the loose gravel bottom and various rocks in my path which threw the front wheel from side to side, but adopted the approach of keeping the power on and got through the other side. My wife pointed out to me afterwards that the roadbook said in small print to keep left, which might explain why I seemed to hit more rocks than anyone else.

After hitting tarmac again we stopped to recover our nerves, and realised the route would have us repeat that section. Taking into account that we'd done well not have any serious incidents on it first time through, that we were getting tired and were still wet and cold, we decided to skip the loop and the second time through it. Instead we took a shortcut and rejoined the route later on, doing a further forest section. By that time it was warmer and sunny, and I really enjoyed playing in the forest.

The bikes, and our clothing, were completely caked in finest Welsh mud by the end of the day, and my wife's headlight bolts had shaken themselves out at some point, leaving the headlight dangling by it's electrical connector, but we'd had a good day and pushed ourselves beyond what we thought we could do.

From what I've heard of the Kielder 500 this one was easier, but even so I wouldn't dare ride it on full road tyres as the organisers say is possible. I'm not sure whether I'll sign up for next year's yet, but I don't regret doing it.

Offline Stillwobbling

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Re: This looks fun
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2019, 04:50:27 PM »
Well done. Yes it's quite an experience and worth the lesson. But not one I'll be repeating on a big bike - worth this much!

 


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