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Author Topic: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO about halfway.  (Read 51844 times)

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Offline Scooterbike

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #260 on: September 02, 2014, 08:16:31 pm »
holy green space crap! am I the green midget? whats next, T shirts??  :laughing4:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #261 on: September 02, 2014, 10:33:04 pm »
Haha. I thought you were the wise leader.

Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #262 on: September 07, 2014, 01:32:17 am »
Its not often i fall in love...however the Orange Hubs, Anodised Spokes & Nipples and the Custom Wheel Weights got my blood going! Nice one Panda!
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #263 on: September 08, 2014, 08:24:02 am »
Thanks Pete! Those rather zef wheels were chosen by the former custodian of my ride. He can't actually be called an owner, seeing as he spent all of a year only putting 17 hours on the bike, but he did a lot of pimping.

Here are said wheels on way back from a little trip to Outriders to use the balancing stand and get some Tyre shield pumped in:



Got me some re-useable balance weights off ebay. Nice. That's about the accumulated weight of the Tubliss rim-lock there (17oz):



And speaking of Tubliss... everyone makes big scary noises about Mitas E09 tyres and the fear of having to replace them in the field. I can safely tell you that a rear E09 is a piece of piss - well the 130/18 anyway. Now.... on the other hand... a front Dessert is the most stubborn, pig headed, nasty little bitch from hell, with zero sense of humour on a bad day, I've ever had the displeasure of encountering with a set of tyre irons in my hand.

After sweating, swearing and complaining to any anyone who'd listen, I finally got it on, and then heard a horrible little whistling sound as soon as I inflated the Tubliss. Bugger.

Getting the tyre off again (left it to the next day) was even worse than getting it on. I'm sure that bead is about three sizes too small. Tubliss have a new rim lining tape, and mine had slightly folded over and something pricked the inner liner.



I evened it out as best I could and then thought fuckit and put a layer of duct tape over the whole lot to hold it all in place. I'm sure someone at Tubliss thinks that is a bad idea, but their liner seems ill-conceived to me. After balancing, the inner got a few squirts of Tyre Shield too, so that should rescue it from full delation if there are any more little pin pricks.

I do like riding on Tubliss though - you can run super low pressures (1 bar in the front Desert, and 0.7 bar in the rear E09 so far) without fear of snake bites, and it just seems to hook up nicely.

Sort of Team Skywalkers plus Rudie, missing Hendrik - so, I dunno, team HDB or something like that - went out for another road book session on Sunday. Incidentally, the HDB kit is just brilliant and everyone is very happy. You don't feel it on the bars at all, so I think the rally lite setup was a great way to go since we're not putting Irritracks or Sentinels or anything on the bars for this event.



I got so lost at about the 12km mark that I had to evacuate to a padstal on the N2 for a pie and recovery. Took a right turn I was certain was correct, that started on a track and ended up on a 3km dive down the side of a mountain through the undergrowth in a 1m-wide stream bed. The end of of that was a T-junction and no turning in the road book. Shit. Backtracked around the dirt roads to get back to the turn into the stream bed and then tried to piece together where I'd gone wrong.

The problem is that at this point the mind starts to play tricks on which turn was which and what one's km reading should be. If one could just go back to turn 11 and re-start from there it would be fine... but which is turn 11 exactly? In the actual rally, this would have been the point I bailed and headed to my next waypoint on the GPS, no doubt picking up dozens of penalty points for missed hidden waypoints in the process. But this is the game, right? I think of myself as a reasonably smart bloke, but I'm packing a large spoon for all the humble pie I'll no doubt be eating.

Rudie had a loose battery terminal and no tools, so hadn't even made the start. But loving wife duly arrived with tools, and he fixed that and met us after Dirk came and joined me at the padstal. The photo above is is us about to start the road book again. Running the same route, it then becomes very confusing as to why one got lost in the first place. Confusion upon confusion. Sigh.

Lessons learned this weekend: (1) this whole rally road book thing involves really having your wits about you. Once you've taken a wrong turn, you better be very careful backtracking before you land in a whole confusing mess of where on the road book you are and which turn and ICO marking is which. (2) I am deeply unfit. Five weeks of intermittent flu have left me cramping like a Comrades runner after only half a day in the saddle. Two months left to do something very serious about that!

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #264 on: September 08, 2014, 08:30:35 am »
Don't get me wrong. I love the Mich Desert rear, and although being a 140, noticeably heavier compared to 130's, I chose to live with it and enjoy the puncture resistance, the offroad capability and the not to bad longlivity even when doing the odd bit of tar.

For our Angola trip, knowing we will do a lot of offroad, I fitted the Mich Desert front, and yes, when conditions is gnarly, it is great, but anything less than gnarly it sucks, even on the typical smooth gravel roads that you find going up in the Tankwa.

On smooth surfaces it has a wobble as you go past 100/110, which I can live with, but chop your throttle and come down past 100/110, man o' man - it was so bad, the first time it happened I stopped to check if I had a flat.

Incidentally, the Desert front (with E09 rear) was pretty stable on debut on Sunday. Didn't have much wobbling - perhaps a little lightness in the bars from time to time, but nothing I haven't had with other tyres and it hooks up nicely in the rough. I did balance them, though - don't know if that helped.

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #265 on: September 17, 2014, 02:04:36 pm »
My body hurts all over.

The downside of browsing Youtube in idle moments, is you come across perverted shit like this: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJAvmhgP0h1AEKY8vTEJPJg

And then you remind yourself that you bought a lowly KDX earlier this year in order to trash it and learn skills you were too scared to, and couldn't afford to (or had too much respect for the machinery to) learn on a big bike. In the dry words of the Aussie narrator:

Quote
You came into this world screaming, and covered in blood, so it's only appropriate to take every opportunity to engage in a sport which will give you every chance of leaving it the same way!

(Or something like that.)

These boys are devotees of The Jarve, otherwise known as "His Holiness, May His Name Be Praised" and other appropriate titles. Basic principle: if yo wanna learn to ride fast, mofo's, learn to ride slow. They advocate trials techniques as the ideal cross training for enduro riding. And by virtue of the same logic, enduro skills as the ideal cross training for rally riding. So - vis-a-vis - trials training as the ideal development for rally riding. Yadda yadda.

So, I've dragged myself off to Zone 7's enduro-cross track the last two weeks - the tight little part on the side with tree trunks across the path etc. - and attempted to learn how to ride this stuff. I still can't balance standing on the bike for more than a few moments with the engine off, but that's cause I'm a bit, well, shit. But after a few tumbles and being thrown over the bars once or twice, I am now proud to say I can sort of get around that track, after a fashion.

I'm not brave enough yet to try the vertical tractor tyres, or the huge tree stump with roots coming out. But come hell or high water I will. Soon. 45 days and counting...

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #266 on: September 17, 2014, 03:15:30 pm »
 :laughing4: We had a 12yr old girl go over that vertical tractor tire at Toni Jardine's Ladies training day  :P  :o

Sorry, just had to share that  :imaposer:
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 04:53:47 pm by Buff »
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Offline LoopSoosStroop

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #267 on: September 17, 2014, 03:21:00 pm »
Hahaha, good stuff, where's the vids?

I'm also starting to lean towards the slow/enduro stuff. Partly because it's cheaper than ralley, but mainly because it's safer. I'm a bit of a pissie, not too fond of speed. I've got kids, hehe.

Will sell my TTR after the Amageza and probably get a 200/250 2 smoke, do some enduros and get my skills up.

I'm also getting off the road at the same time. There is just no way to ride a motorbike safely in Gauteng. Once you get on a bike the hooligan in you takes over, there is no stopping it. Weaving between cars, popping the front onto the pavement etc. I'm not a believer in the "he died doing what he loves" thing. Just not worth it anymore.

Anyways, hijack off.
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #268 on: September 17, 2014, 03:35:22 pm »
I'm also starting to lean towards the slow/enduro stuff. Partly because it's cheaper than ralley, but mainly because it's safer. I'm a bit of a pissie, not too fond of speed. I've got kids, hehe.

Hang on a second...Rally hardly involves any traffic at all if youre doing it right. :scratch: Unless you mean the racing part of it. But racing  at full gas is not wise in a rally because you will likely miss a turnoff or a danger in the road book.

And you have a road book telling you where to slow down.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 03:36:41 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline Beserker

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #269 on: September 17, 2014, 03:40:50 pm »
My body hurts all over.

Maybe an age thing, getting married an' all.

Even 9 year olds does not have a problem with it.







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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #270 on: September 17, 2014, 03:42:20 pm »
That makes me tired just looking at it. If we have that kind of obsticle 500km into Day 2 Im going afkak big time. :P
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Offline LoopSoosStroop

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #271 on: September 17, 2014, 03:48:56 pm »
Hang on a second...Rally hardly involves any traffic at all if youre doing it right. :scratch: Unless you mean the racing part of it. But racing  at full gas is not wise in a rally because you will likely miss a turnoff or a danger in the road book.

And you have a road book telling you where to slow down.

Full gas is relative, 120kph on dirt for one man might be slow, for me it's faster than I want to go. Even the GOC's are too fast for me.

To train with a ralley bike you have to ride a lot on the road as well, it's not just the race itself.
 

Offline Dwerg

Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #272 on: September 17, 2014, 03:51:24 pm »
That makes me tired just looking at it. If we have that kind of obsticle 500km into Day 2 Im going afkak big time. :P

You and me both bud. I could barely manage 50kms at De Wild last weekend  :lol8:
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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #273 on: September 17, 2014, 03:58:43 pm »
That makes me tired just looking at it. If we have that kind of obsticle 500km into Day 2 Im going afkak big time. :P

You and me both bud. I could barely manage 50kms at De Wild last weekend  :lol8:

Yous are not looking properly - where you see a tree, I see a road right next to it  :ricky:
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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #274 on: September 17, 2014, 04:52:38 pm »
That makes me tired just looking at it. If we have that kind of obsticle 500km into Day 2 Im going afkak big time. :P

 :imaposer: Oh boy, the medical tent is going to have its hands full in the evenings  ;) Reading some of Alex reports, you guys are going to be going down more than one or two riverbeds... and they normally have rocks in them, BEEG WOCKS  ;) :imaposer:
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Offline markdiver

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #275 on: September 17, 2014, 05:05:17 pm »
That makes me tired just looking at it. If we have that kind of obsticle 500km into Day 2 Im going afkak big time. :P

 :imaposer: Oh boy, the medical tent is going to have its hands full in the evenings  ;) Reading some of Alex reports, you guys are going to be going down more than one or two riverbeds... and they normally have rocks in them, BEEG WOCKS  ;) :imaposer:

Oh boy, that river bed from last years 1st stage still haunts me  :-[ :xxbah:  It almost got the muuuuch beeter of me.  This years policy and remider for me - DO NOT LET ALEX OR ANY RIVER BED GET TO YOU!!   :patch:  ;) ;D
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #276 on: September 17, 2014, 06:06:59 pm »

Maybe an age thing, getting married an' all.

Even 9 year olds does not have a problem with it.


Haha - I said I was shit. But no man - you cheeky bastard - that stuff you posted was the easy stuff. I'm talking about this:



There's set of vertical tractor tyres a bit like these - I'll take a picture next time I'm there. And Buff, if there was a 12 yr-old girl doing that on her first training day Laia doesn't have a chance in about 3 yrs time! ;)

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #277 on: September 17, 2014, 09:25:38 pm »
:imaposer:

I like Cracker´s approach, although in truth sometimes its easy to say, not so easy to do.

Remember in this year´s Dakar when some the boys found their way the wrong way off a ridge 4,500m high. Ended up going down a slope too steep to ride up again. Finally in a canyon and after carrying their bikes down a series of 3m ledges got blocked by a huge house sized rock with a hole too small to fit the bikes through. ;D

Game over.

Riverbeds are one thing. Big rocks are another. Its when riverbeds become canyons and big rocks become huge boulders that I start to get nervous.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 09:26:20 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #278 on: September 22, 2014, 11:35:11 am »
We'd planned a weekend Amageza intensive training run and road book practice for anyone in the Western Cape who was interested. In the end it was only the Skywalkers crew who went for it, so a perfect opportunity to discuss secret tactics and practice emergency repairs and servicing. And tend injuries in private.

As is my way, this is what my bike looked like at 6pm the night before:



Rerouting brake lines, changing sprockets, oil, filters, trying unsuccessfully to fix faulty fuel injection warning light etc. There's a method to the madness - I plan to deal with all mechanical crises and last minute repairs well before Amageza so that I get to sail plainly through the event without a trouble in the world. Best laid plans and all.

A 450 XC-W comes geared at 13-52 which is useless for open desert stuff. A quick shout out to Dave at Rally Management Services divulged that they run 14/48 or 14/50 on the XC-W-based Dakar bikes, which training partner Rudie agreed with.



Out with the old bling (sorry Pete) and in with the new:



It's got plenty of top end like this, and will happily sit at 140kph for extended periods. I didn't flat tap it, but I'm guessing it would make around 170kph on a wide open road. The standard front brake hose interferes with the nav gear, so that has been re-routed across the lower triple and p-clamped in place.

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #279 on: September 22, 2014, 12:01:54 pm »
Locked and loaded in Somerset West for three full days of riding. Friday was surprisingly cold. Snow on the mountains in September...





And frost on the seat.



That Seat Concepts is the most comfortable plank I've ever had on a bike, by the way. Great purchase!

The first day was a few hundred kays of dirt road riding and nav practice. Operating a road book should be pretty simple, but it takes some getting used to. It's finally sinking in - I guess it's just habits and routines. I tend to drift off in my head a lot, which is the enemy of finding your way. Riding is one thing - navigating requires constant concentration.

Dirk had a buddy with a farm outside Lainsburg, and he kindly offered to host us for the weekend. The farm has an awesome 60km loop on some very rough mountain terrain, which made for a real workout and a few falls from yours truly.







640's are demanding, impetuous rides. They crave committed, constant attention and throw their toys (or subframe bolts, as it so happens) if you don't give it.





Still, Hendrik loves the old girl, and he rode her up the mountain faster than either of us did on our 450's! She's a 2001 model, and I'll lay some good money she'll be the oldest bike at the Amageza. Oh, and she was also sporting well used 50/50 Heidenau's - otherwise known as 'The Rekluses'. We can also now confirm that if you don't reattach the fuel lines, a 640 will run for about half a kay with what's left in the carb.

Cameras always flatten hills, but this track had a few completely washed away sections that had to be man-handled through.









Day 3 involved a ride back to the trailer in Montagu, but via a great track I'd done once before - a 4x4 trail up and along the mountains above the Anysberg valley. It's gorgeous, and a bit of a workout.







That stubborn mule also tried to take a drink in a sloot without rider-warning and sent her loving pilot over the bars.



And then the Yammie even got in on the act. This hill looks flat. It wasn't.



The 640 wasn't finished yet. Rekluses and pebbles go together like black cats and peanut butter. This was a S-bend worthy of a Monaco F1-track immediately over a blind rise that Hendrik must have hit over 100kph. Amageza note to self...





Hobbling, scraped, bumped and a little broken: a good training weekend then. Hendrik did a bit of work on my hill technique, which paid massive dividends on day three. The bike - and my wonderful Highway Dirtbikes kit - was stellar, and shook off a 40kph off on a rocky descent as if she'd landed on a pillow made of marshmallows. KTM make their enduro bikes tough. I've got a feeling that's a quality I might be making good use of.