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Author Topic: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind  (Read 402 times)

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Offline rubiblue

Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« on: September 22, 2020, 08:23:03 pm »
The weekend before lockdown, Ludo and myself got away to Dullstroom, Long Tom Pass for 2 days. We kept chipping away at setting up another longer trip on the big bikes.
Lockdown allowed us to plan a trip mid September that didn't disappoint. Marcel, the crazy "Russian" was very keen. He loves his routes and is an avid adventurer/plastic bike rider. He got the task of planning the trip, Ludo was in charge of accommodation, and I, well got away with doing anything except hounding them for updates. Ludo had recently met someone at the Quest qualifier, Jason whom had been one of the lucky selected few to make it through to the final. 4 Gents. Then Jason had another buddy Sean whom wanted to join us. We capped it there, large groups shorten the ability to get far. When the other 2 joined in, the first question on the whatsapp group was "should i bring my gat (read gun) with?" - this should be an interesting trip.

The idea was to get up to Tzaneen from JHB, over Orrie Baragwanath. Sleep, then down through Wolkberg Reserve (and all the many rivers), down the Tonteldoos (which means “tinderbox” in English, always learning). Sleep. Then get home.

We met up in Cullinan. Met Sean and Jason for the first time, seemed like good okes, was I wrong...

Someone was late, the usual "oh the dog ate my alarm clock" was the excuse (Ludo is renowned for generally being late), fines later...
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Offline Noneking

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 08:26:21 pm »
Sub.... now hurry up and post some more
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Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 08:38:15 pm »
Once he all had a coffee, we left. Finally an adventure!

The first 200-300kms was pretty relaxed, mixture of fast gravel and tar roads, making our way through Marblehall then Jane Furse, and further North East. We did a short little pass, which i really enjoyed, not sure it even had a name, before getting to the bottom of Orrie Baragwanath. I had never ridden these routes before. But it was a great sprint to get here. Everyone was in high spirits.
Past; PW50,PW80,YZ80,KX80,KDX200,CR125,KX125,KTM250SX,KTM250XCW, F800GS
Current; KTM790R, KTM300TPI, KTM450XCW
 

Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 08:41:38 pm »
Oh yes, bikes.

Ludo on a 1200GS
Russian on an 1190R
Jason on a new AT
Sean on a 1090R
myself on a 790R

All the bikes, given the occurrences on the weekend, made it to the end.

Side note, I love this 790, it is such an unbelievable piece of engineering (some snags of course), but absolutely lovely to tour or take into the rocks with.
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Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 08:57:24 pm »
The Russian has stated that the ride would be mostly tweespoor, gravel highways and one or 2 technical bits. We flew up the Orrie pass, was a bit technical, which i am a huge fan of, especially on the plastics. Jason struggled a bit, this was by far the most technical riding he had done, his words not mine. It was great to get up to the viewing point, the views were magnificent.

I bunny hopped the bike going up to the view point, and suddenly my clutch went dead. I couldn't really find anything, so just rolled out the levers setting to almost full extension (from being in all the way). This seemed to have fixed the issue, but was concerning as i was not sure why i need to take the slack of about 1cm to make it work again. Oh well, it was functional for now.

A friend, JD, resides in Tzaneen and met as at the exit gate. The AT was leaking a bit of oil out of the sump, focring us to stop peridoically to top up the oil. The standard AT bashplate on it, being pathetic at most. After struggling to find "Oppie Oewer" accommodation in Tzaneen, we unpacked, found a snore free room, and had a few beers and great chow. Great hosts. We checked the AT's sump found a crack and let Pratley Steel work its magic.

On the last 50km, i noticed my rear was losing pressure, but not too bad so left it for the morning.

The host set fear in some when discussing our planned route for the morning. Telling us tales of utter devastation and rescue missions. He was right, he has been rescuing people for years in the WolkBerg Reserve.
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Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 09:48:31 pm »
Nice one Chris, enjoying the read :thumleft: O0
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more"
 

Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 06:39:44 am »
We woke up to a wet morning. Drizzling. The plan was to leave early, so we had a quick breakfast, ensured the AT was fully healed. My rear tyre was flat, pumped to 3bar, down to 1bar in a  few minutes - the assumption of a slow puncture was out the window. Found the leak and plugged it quickly. We then hit the road. We did a lovely little tar road from Tzaneen toward Hoedspruit, and soon found the gravel track toward Wolkberg reserve.

A few small river crossings, and deep cavernous hills lead us up what is apparently called "Rocky horror show" pass. It wasn't too bad, just a little loose and shaly rocks.

My clutch went again going up this so was a little tricky making our way up. But now that the adjuster was fully extended, it needed a further look. At the top of the pass, it seemed the clutch arm (got a longer one to lighten the feel), has rotated around the clutch pin. Silly design really, it should have splines on it. Regardless we adjusted the clutch, during which Sean, without telling us while we were tinkering with the clutch, let off a few pops from his gat. We kucked ourselves, I thought the 790 was busy exploding in my hands.

We went through the gates of the reserve and started descending - which is quite tricky on the bigger bikes, a few switchbacks caught Jason out, and he did some damage to self and the AT. We made it to the bottom, and then started the river crossings. We made good headway, until Jason managed to drown the AT. Now the AT has its airbox in each shroud, which is great when the bike is upright, but when lying down it sucks water in relatively shallow waters. Each airbox fills each cylinder.

We pulled the bike out, concern was well set in. Having experienced a few 4 stroke drownings, i suggested to take the left plug out, turn the bike to on its head to let the excess water escape, turn it over a few times, put the plug back and then give it a go. Luckily the left side cylinder plug is easy to access, had it been the right side, we would have needed a special deep plug tool, which none of us had.

Russian loves goPro, so enjoy...


« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 06:44:13 am by rubiblue »
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Offline Sheepman

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2020, 07:06:11 am »
Great stuff  :thumleft: Looking forward to the next chapter
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2020, 07:55:44 am »
Limpopo rocks  :thumleft:
Little by little, one travels far
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2020, 10:34:55 am »
Sub!! :thumleft:
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Offline MonkeyNot

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2020, 11:58:16 am »
Flip 23 Rivers on big bikes is no joke! Cool report!
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Offline Roadhawg

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Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2020, 12:57:59 pm »
A mate and I were the other bikes at HighSide when you guys arrived.


All I can say is mad respect, and you okes are clearly nutters :biggrin: :thumleft:
 

Offline OomD

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Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2020, 01:29:59 pm »
Sjoe.  :o Looks lekker!  :ricky:
 

Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2020, 03:56:47 pm »
A mate and I were the other bikes at HighSide when you guys arrived.


All I can say is mad respect, and you okes are clearly nutters :biggrin: :thumleft:
Howsit man. Yeah we started late after that day.
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Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2020, 04:41:16 pm »
As I said, thankfully the water fall was to the left, I think if to the right we would have still been there towing Jason out.

The bike sparked into life. We still had a long way to go, and time was already ticking by swiftly. River crossing after river crossing, we decided to get 2 through, then walk back and assist the others to try prevent further drownings, the earlier realisation was a lesson we didn't want to learn again, we got off lightly.

We were trying to beat the previous nights hosts expectations, which earlier we thought were way over the top. However given circumstances we realised how valuable experience was.

We continued, testing all our patience levels. On the last or second last river crossing, Jason dropped the bike again and I was too slow to kill the bike. Luckily it fell to the left again.This time we were all very much more chilled and followed the same process, 15 minutes later the AT burst into its beat. Jason also had another savage blow to the clutch cover on a rock, oil spewed. We decided to get out of the reserve and find a coke and shade to allow us to pratley the problem out of the way. We came out at the start of the same pass we had done yesterday, being Orrie Baragwanath Pass. We found an awesome spaza shop close by, and got to repairing the AT.

It was now late, the sun soon to disappear. We made it to Burgersfort as the sun was setting, fighting township traffic with many animals in the road. We were meant to head out to Pilgrims rest and then down to Tonteldoos, but given the day that lay behind, we opted to bee line to Burgersfort, steelport, Rossenekal and then Tonteldoos. We rode for 2 hours in the dark before veering off on the gravel roads toward Tonteldoos. There is something peaceful about riding at night, but be aware, always, there are animal dangers everywhere. We arrived around 8pm

We arrived to a very festive Bush boys, had quick burger and some beers as we had much to celebrate. Then found our spot for the night. We all had a good rest. Jason and Sean decided to hit the tar back to JHB as they had something to shoot, and our reprimand from the previous day "surprise gat" incident set them on their way  ;).

The 3 remainers gravelled to Dullstroom for a quick breakfast and then followed the gravel tracks to Loskop, before deciding to slab it home to be able to spend some time with the families and the 3pm MotoGP.

So i was wrong about our 2 fellow travelers, they weren't good okes, they were great guys! The determination to continue moving forward when exhaustion sets in, was awesome to see. We just kept lying and saying its 800m to go, which was a white lie only, as the crow flies it was 800m, but we couldn't fly. So the 800m turned into 4 or 5 kilometers of river crossings.

Thanks Russian for the video footage. Ludo, you ride that big lump of 1200 like a legend.

The last in the video series:

« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 04:45:08 pm by rubiblue »
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Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2020, 04:50:09 pm »
Nice one Chris, enjoying the read :thumleft: O0
Hey Johan. Hope you well man. Thanks for reading
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Offline DjfLoYd

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Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2020, 05:11:32 pm »
Lekker one, Chris!
Was a great ride with greats lads. Nothing like a little struggle to make the memories run deeper.

Also, just wanna say thanks to XPat and Minxy for some pointers and route advice between PTA and Orrie.   :thumleft:
 

Offline rubiblue

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2020, 06:27:12 pm »
Lekker one, Chris!
Was a great ride with greats lads. Nothing like a little struggle to make the memories run deeper.

Also, just wanna say thanks to XPat and Minxy for some pointers and route advice between PTA and Orrie.   :thumleft:
Shot Russian! Always good to peddle with you.
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Offline Sheepman

Re: Some Orrie+23 Rivers to unwind
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2020, 06:42:40 pm »
Tough outing on the big bikes - well done  :thumleft: