Archive for the ‘Ride reports archives’ Category

Note: Not all of the pictures are my work. Some of them were taken from various social media pages and they are the work of other photographers at race!

Day3: RACE Day

So the day whe have been looking forward to has finally arrived… …race day is here. We grab a good breakfast and headed to the start line. Once at the start you could see all kind of motorcycles in heavy, super heavy and C class.
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Looking dow the start line I was getting a bit nervous. Why? Well I have never jumped a log before and this was the first obstacle here.
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So it was time for me to start. Adrenaline was already high. But after clearing a log and hearing the roar of the crowd the levels of adrenaline went sky-high.
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Here is a video from the first special test of the race, the rest can be found on youtube:

There are not a lot of pictures during the race, but I have found some from the start of the last special test. This was a fast one, with speeds well over 100km/h.
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This was a really great experience to have, and it kinda got me a race bug, but don’t tell anyone.

After the race it was time to get the bikes ready for a return trip home.
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While setting up the bikes, we got a visitor…
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After all that work, we were quite hungry, so we went to the hotel restaurant to eat. We got the menus but it all looked like I was going to bed hungry.
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Luckily Robert knew how to read this gibberish so we ordered a plate of grilled meat. After a good lunch, we took a few hours off for a nap. Later in the evening, it was time for a debrief and a few beers with old and new friends.
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Here is a promo video from one of the media that was there, it gives a great overview of the action taking place:

We went to bed quite early as we still had 2 rainy days of riding to do to get home. We took a different route back home. It was quite interesting, and we also hit some dirt roads.
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After this pic, it started to rain, heavily, and after all day of riding in rain, my hands looked beaten.
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We heave booked a room in the hotel we were staying on day 1, so we knew we are going to be warm and dry in the evening. Another drying marathon commenced when we arrived at the hotel.
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We were hoping to get better weather in the morning, but we weren’t so lucky. At least the weather was stable the whole trip.
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So we geared up and headed for home, another whole day of riding in pouring rain. Got home late in the evening, got dried out and well rested, before I reflected back to the whole adventure. All I can say is that it was worth all the riding in the rain. I have to thank Robert for great company along the way, all the friends we have meet and made and organisers for making a event for big bikes. See you next year!

Stay safe!

Last year, about the same time as today, I was going around Google searching for some enduro gatherings, rides,… here in central EU/Balkans and curiously enough I came over a Serbian enduro challenge. Unfortunately I have been to late for last years edition of it, so I have decided I will make a mark on the calender so that I don’t miss it next year.

New year has passed and a new site was created for the race. I marked the date 22.5-24.5.2015 and asked around a bit if anyone wants to join. I was lucky enough that a good friend decided to join the ride. As we live around 750km from the race site and we have decided to ride our bikes there, do a race and ride back, we needed more than just a weekend off from work. And that is when we have decided to start on Thursday, after work and return on Monday evening.

So the fact that we are leaving for a race got me a bit worried and I packed more stuff for the bike that I might actually need. I had a redundancy planed for almost every occasion and the gear showed that. From oil, to coolant, clutch fluid, spark plug, levers, patches, engine block sealant, JB weld,… It might have been a bit of a overkill but better safe than sorry.

Day 1
The departure day has arrived… I left the work early as I had 3h of riding to do to our meeting point. All packed up and ready to go I left for my first destination, Bregana border crossing.
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Half way to the border it started pouring from the sky. But I was on my LC4 heading towards a adventure. I arrived to Bregana a few minutes early, just enough to stretch a little and grab a sandwich.
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From here on out, there was 2 KTM’s riding towards the same goal. Since we were a bit tight on time for the first day and it was raining we took the Croatian highway from Samobor to Slavonski brod, which took another 3h of riding. Riding a enduro bike, without any fairing and with knobbly tires in pouring rain on highway is not my idea of fun ride, but it was a necessary evil to get half way towards our final destination.

In Slavonski Brod we have crossed the border into Bosnia and started looking for a place to sleep and dry out as we didn’t have any reservations. At 8:30pm we arrived at a good looking Motel Dvor in Derventa. Luckly the staff was great and though full on their regular rooms, they found a spot for us. Once here a marathon drying has begun.
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Day 2
In the morning we saddled up for another rainy day of riding. We headed south towards Tuzla on on the main road. It was slippery as hell, from all the oil and stuff on it, you could spin the rear wheel in 4-gear. Also the traffic was suicidal. We made a quick break just outside Tuzla to check the map, as my GPS was acting up the whole time.
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From here we started looking for some gravel roads over the hills to get out of traffic. We have found a nice, about 30km, long stretch of gravel, unfortunately no pics as it was raining hard. When we came back to the main road and checked the map, I saw that we were really close to Srebrenica. On my wish we made a detour to there, as I wanted to see the memorial site for the victims of genocide. We didn’t take any pictures there as they were having a ceremony, so we looked for a far and went to get some gas.
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We were really close to the border and weather was getting better. As soon as we crossed the border the rain stopped. So we took one last look towards Bosnian hills from which we have just descended.
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And took a quick look down the road where we had to go.
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From the border to race site and our hotel was just a 20km ride in DRY conditions for the first time in 2 days. Arriving at the hotel, we checked in and went to our rooms. Well lets just say that the rooms weren’t much…
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I wanted to dry my gear outside, lets just say that it was a bit of a challenge getting to the balcony. 22

So we changed into our civil clothes and went to the race officials to get registered. Let me just say that the organisers really had put a lot of effort into organising this event, it was really top notch.
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Now it was time to get the bikes ready for the race day. Lowering tyre pressure, getting rid of all the unnecessary gear and most importantly adding a start numbers to the bike.
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Now it was time to go for a beer and than to bed, because after 2 rainy days in the saddle on our LC4’s we were really tired.

Stay tuned for part 2, the race day.

This year I have finally decided to go to Verona and visit a Motor Bike Expo 2015. This is one big motorcycle show, you definitely have things to see and lots of stuff to buy. There are a lot of chooper and custom bike stuff and street bikes, but not a lot of off-road stuff. Here are a few pictures of the overland/off road bikes that I took that were the most interesting to me:
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Unfortunately KTM did not have his own booth, it would sure be nice to see some of their bikes up close.

Stay safe!

Marathon ride

Posted: 30/09/2014 in Ride reports archives

Today was a sunny day, and supposedly the last one for a while. So in the morning I saddled up my LC4 and headed to the best mountain passes in the country. Now here are a few pictures from today.

First pass was Ljubelj pass
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Descending from that pass, the bike turned 30.000km on the clock
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The views were spectacular today
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Here is the lake under Predel pass, mountain water only so it is cold as hell
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On the Slovenian side of the Predel pass
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On top of Slovenian highest road, Mangart pass
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Taking a break on Vršič pass
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Pass Korensko sedlo has a tank on the Austrian side of the border
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I got back home with night fall after 371km in the saddle. It was a really good day riding.

First good ride

Posted: 26/09/2014 in Ride reports archives

It was a nice, beautiful, partly cloudy Saturday. It showed like it could start raining, but I didn’t care. I have saddled up my bike and went for a few hour ride. I have set off towards Pavličevo sedlo, through Austria. This route would give me the best conditions to test the bike out on twisty pavement and some gravel roads.

The view from behind the bars
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A lonely rode in a lonely world
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Taking a break on the way up
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It was a good ride up, but as always, what goes up must come down. So I have started my descent towards the border and Solčava valley.
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I have taken a quick look into Logarska valley, but the view isn’t that great as it was really cloudy.
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In a small town of Solčava I have stopped for a quick cup of tea as it was really cold on the KTM. They have a really nice tourist centre called Rinka, it is worth a visit.
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After getting my core temperature back up, I headed back up in to the hills, over to Črna. In a few kilometres out of town I have spotted something interesting just by the road. It looked like someone was carving a bear out of the log.
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When I have got on the gravel it quickly got really interesting. I thought I knew how to ride off-road but my beast has quickly proved me wrong. But I have to say that the bike has a used Metzeler Sahara front tyre, to low bars for sanding and it is much lighter than KLE, so I guess it rides differently that what I used to from KLE.
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With a few more minutes back to the house I have looked up and didn’t like what I saw.
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Hopefully the weather has held up until I got to the garage. It was a nice day for riding and I really had a good time. Riding really is the best medicine for clearing your head.

Enguro 2014

Posted: 13/07/2014 in Ride reports archives

Hey!

On a weekend from 4.-6. July I was in Bosnia on a first time event called Enguro. It was held on a old military airfield in Banja Luka. I have teamed up with 2 other riders from Slovenia, but due to unfortunate circumstances, only two of us made it to Banja Luka.

The day started out quite interesting. After only 400m from the point of meeting the other 2 riders, I got a flat tire.
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So 2h after me getting a flat tire, we were finally back on the road heading south. After getting past Zagreb in Croatia we have hit some dirt roads.
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We have hit 2 dead ends, one would be ridable if we wouldn’t have been loaded with panniers and camping gear. But we have turned back and headed to the border on road.
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Here we have encountered a problem. Our leader has forgot his bike papers and green card at home. So he couldn’t cross the Bosnian part of the border. So only 2 of us could carry on. We have arrived at the destination at 20:30 in the evening. Here is our HQ in the morning before the ride.
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There was around 30 of us there, the bikes varied from KLE’s, TTR’s, XT’s Africa Twins, Super Teneres,… As many as there were bikes, there were different tires. From full knobbly tires to slick road tires. Here was a quick stop after a steep and technical decent.
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The rest of the terrain varied from fast gravel roads to rocky technical trails.
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Midday we took a brake on a river bank, to which only a handfull of us have descended as is was some steep and slippery rocks.
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After lunch, we were riding in between 2 mine field’s but unfortunately I didn’t took any pictures of it 😦 But I have a picture of how to get around a big obstacle blocking the road. There were 2 wood trucks on the road and we had to make a detour through some thorns.
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The Enguro trail took it’s tool on some bikes
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And that is how the day ended. On Sunday morning, we have saddled up and hit the road home. We took a road less travelled on our way to Kozara national park.
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Just before the border we took our final brake.
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All I have to say is that it was really a great weekend. From riding to drinking and meeting new and old friends. Hopefully there will be a part 2 of this event in September as it was rumoured by the organisers.

Regards.

So as I have described in the previous post, I have attended a enduro event in Croatia. And in this post I will try to look back at the event, and talk a little of what I have experienced there and so on.

First thing that will stay in my memory for the riding days to come is an advice that I got from one of the riders: “When in doubt and things start to go wrong, just open the throttle”. And I must say that opening the throttle saved me a lot of times from picking up the bike in hard parts.

Next observation I made was that getting drunk the night before the ride, waking up with a hangover and climbing on a 200 kg beast of the bike isn’t the best combo 🙂

Moving on to the bike. I must say that I was really surprised that I could keep up with the smaller bikes and more experience riders with my KLE, and that the KLE didn’t fail me. My biggest worry was that I would had some mechanical brake down. But the worst thing that happened was a bent shifter lever after a spill in mud. this picture was taken after field straightening, before it was bent complete 180 degrees to the foot peg. IMG_4375

Luckily the KLE shifter pedal is made out of some soft steel insted of aluminium (it would snap off). So I took it to work with me straighten it out and had it painted black, this kind of paint should stand up good to all the rocks and debris as we use it to paint pneumatic rock drills and hammers. Also I have checked at Kawasaki dealer for a new part and they wanted 70€.
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The front suspension handled really well, and soaked up the bumps without throwing me off course. At the end of the day there was still some room left to move on the forks and the wheel never hit the front fairing. Overall I couldn’t be more happy with the front end of the bike, it was really worth all the work and money spent on it. There was approximately 40-50 mm of unused travel, which translates to around 250-260 mm of the 310 mm travel was used.
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I think that KLE covered in mud looks quite good. Do you agree?
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Other things I have found out on the bike that needs some attention in the future:
1. Get some sort of folding mirrors. Not because I am afraid of breaking the OEM ones, but to get them out of the way when riding off road.
2. Carry pressure gauge with me and appropriately change tyre pressure depending on the terrain. I don’t want to ride off road with that much air in my tyres again.
3. Remove the front wind screen as it is tinted and in shadowy forest you can’t see s*** through it.
4. Get some new handguards ans those are pretty beaten up after 3 years on Varadero and 4 years on KLE.
5. Sort out the rear suspension. Though it isn’t as bad as the OEM forks were.
6. Put KLE on a diet 🙂
7. Don’t drink to much the night before riding 🙂 🙂

I guess a project bike like this there is always something to do on it. But the bottom line is, I have really enjoined attending this event with KLE, meeting new people and I will be going to other similar events for sure.