We love our old CRF230 project bike here at DRD. The thing has taught more than its fair share of riders how to fly, but this CRF powered Barbie Mustang, now this thing REALLY knows how to send it!

This foray into the world of four-wheeled lunacy comes from the lads behind the YouTube channel Grind Hard Plumbing Co. .Though it doesn’t seem that do all that much plumbing, they are rather adept at putting good old fashioned internal combustion engines into what on the surface looks like that electric Barbie car your niece got for Christmas.

While it may look on the surface like the same setup you’d get for your favourite 3-year-old, it is in fact a proper go kart chassis underneath the bright pink body.

With the CRF230 engine squeezed into the front of the thing, and a few teething issues sorted out, the boys claim their little pink ‘stang will do 115km/h! #%^* THAT!

That’d be a screaming pink blur if you happened to see it, but despite how much fun it looks sounds, we’ll probably keep our CRF230 in one piece as a fun and friendly two wheeler.

Because two wheels will always trump four when it comes to fun factor.

The DRD CRF230 will probably remain a friendly learner machine… for now

Ask yourself this… Are you always waiting for your mates to catch up on the trail? Are you always first back to the pits after a bush loop with said slow mates? Do you win your local trail ride? If you answered yes to any of these, then some enduro might be the next step for you.

Words & Pics: DRD

 

Enduros. Think long trail ride, with bits where you go really fast in, followed by more trail ride. That is in essence, what an enduro is all about. There is nothing too fancy, nothing too technical and certainly nothing too hard – just a sweet trail ride that you probably have not ridden before. If you can count to 100, tell the time off a wrist watch and enjoy trail rides, you are enduro ready.

Competition

Is this the scary aspect of Enduro’s…the competition of it all? Well, it really shouldn’t be. You are not so much racing against other riders, bar-to-bar, but more against the clock. Think less crashing into each other going for the inside line and more dodging trees that happen to jump out in front of you.

Format

Like we said – Enduro is like a trail ride with fast sections thrown in. Ranging anywhere between 100-150km of track to complete over the course of the day, you are given a set amount of time to complete each section of trail. In this day and age, you don’t have many sections anymore that are too tight to complete in the allotted time. So long as you ride at a steady pace throughout the entire section, you should arrive on time easily.

During an Enduro, you might come across a terrain test. This is the part where you are to go as fast as you can and it is what determines who is the winner at the end of the day. You will be met with time scorers who will take your number and clock-in your time into a hand-held device as you start the terrain test. At the end of the terrain test, you will see some more time scorers, who will take down your finish time. Then it’s back to trail riding pace.

Typical Day at Enduro

8am – Sign-on opens and you collect your time card and start number. Experts start together and Intermediates start after the Experts.

10am – The first three riders head away at 10:01am, (minute 1) followed by another three riders at 10:02am (minute 2). This continues until all riders are away. Your number for the day (35A as example) means you leave on minute 35 (at 10:35am).

First section – You are given a set amount of time to complete the first section. It might be a 37km section and you are given 90 minutes to complete it. This means your minute will tick over 90 minutes after you start (taking your finish time to 12:05pm). Chances are you will get there early and will have some time to re-fuel your body and your bike, and have a rest, before its time to tackle the next section.

First Test – somewhere during the day, you will start hitting terrain tests. There can be anywhere between 4-10 terrain tests during the day, usually run more than once per day. Charge as hard as you can during these and chill out on the trail sections.

You’re late – if you are late to a check point for whatever reason, fuel your bike up and head straight to the check-in as soon as you can, to lose the least amount of penalty points as possible. Those lost minutes can’t be made up, and you now have to adjust your time so that you stay on your new minute, whatever that is.

At the end of the day, whoever had the quickest accumulated time in the terrain tests, with the least amount of penalty points is deemed the winner. It’s that easy.

Enduro is a great way to see and ride places you will never otherwise get to, as well as ride with buddies and meet new people along the way. Enduro is a real community where everyone is around to lend advice and help where they can.

The only catch is that Enduro is a man and machine discipline. You are not allowed outside assistance with maintenance on your bike during the event. It’s not only about competition, but finishing the event, which can sometimes be tricky if you crash and break your bike. But there is always someone around to guide you through a repair to get you back out on the trail.

A full briefing can be given to anyone who is new to the sport before the start of the day. Get a few buddies together and give Enduro a go. With so many rounds happening this year up and down the country, you won’t be disappointed with the variety of terrain and awesome riding you never knew was out there.

 

 

Enduro Kit Essentials

Having these in your tool box and up your sleeve will go a long way towards helping you finish and enduro, whether it’s for the first time or the 100th time.

*Spare Gas – bring at least 20l of spare gas in two containers, as there is sometimes an away fuel stop.

*Food – bring food that is easy to throw back in a rush should you be cutting it fine for time.

*Tool belt – bring one – wear one. Have essential tools and spares like brake levers, zip ties, spanners and spare bolts in case you need to do mid-track repairs.

*Camelbak – carry water with you, whether it’s hot or cold. Riding can be draining, and hydrating will equal better riding.

*Pit Crew – if you can rope someone into it, bring along a mate/husband/wife to be your pit crew. Nothing better after a hard section than having someone hand you food with a little back rub.

*Attitude – Your first enduro might be tricky, depending on your ability and skill level. Choose your class wisely and if in doubt, worry less about your terrain test times and more about getting to the end. The terrain test times will come eventually, when you start having fun.

 

For 2018, the KTM Adventure Rallye hit middle earth, much to the delight of all who attended.

Words: Chris Birch Pics: Wilkinson Photography

The KTM Adventure Rallye’s have gone global in the last two years with Team Orange holding events in America, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Italy and of course, New Zealand, with each event being as unique as the country hosting it.

Wanting to build on the success of last year’s Coast-To-Coast Rallye, KTM enlisted a legend of South Island trail riding, none other than Joe Forsyth. Rumour has it that Joe has ridden every trail in the Central Otago region…at least twice. The route he put together took the riders to places that they have never been before – and that my friends, is what Adventure bike riding is all about.

KTM Rider Rallye’s are not a race, oh no. More like the ultimate five-day trail ride, exclusively for KTM Adventure bikes like the 690, 990 and 11, 10 and 1290’s too.

New Zealand rides are limited to 100 participants, on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and this year, saw many riders from Australia, six Americans, one guy from Israel and another fellow from Japan.

The route was made up of an easier main course, mainly gravel roads and easier 4WD tracks, with many optional off road ‘break out’ trails off the main course to spice it up. These break out sections are rated as one, two or three ‘chillies’, to try and let the riders know if the challenge is for their taste buds. Chris Birch explains; ‘One ‘Chilli’ you can do it in a Toyota Rav 4. Two ‘Chillies’ you could do it in a stolen Rav 4, while three ‘Chillies’ is best tackled on an Enduro type bike.

Kicking off from Mount Cook in perfect sunshine with clear views of the mountain, was a suitably epic way to start Day One. After a cruisy road section to get warmed up, it was straight into one of the most difficult off-road ‘break out’ sections.

This caught a few riders out, as it was maybe more of a challenge than they expected with a long twisty hill climb. Actually, it was more of a mountain climb, then a beautiful flowing trail across the tops, before a long technical descent back in to the valley floor. Chilli- coded of course. That pretty much set the tone for the whole event. It seemed riders were either climbing their way to the top of a mountain, riding across the top of a mountain or plunging back in to the valley only to start another climb back up to another impressive view.

The route took the guys from Mount Cook to overnight stops in Alexandra, Cromwell, Wanaka and finishing in Queenstown.

Over the five days, the ride took adventurers through pretty much every trail and back country road worth riding in the region.

River crossings are a big part of riding in Central Otago, and there were plenty of them this trip. It was interesting watching the different techniques people use. The ‘lean back, pin it and pray’ technique seemed popular and was great to watch. The ‘stand back and watch someone else’, technique was a common one too and – for some of the less experienced riders – walking through next to their big bikes was maybe a safer decision. At night, you could always tell who had taken the more challenging options by the upside down moto boots outside the motel rooms.

Another highlight of the ride was the amazing views enjoyed from the top of the mountains. Mother Nature obviously approved of the excursion too, as riders were lucky to get almost perfect weather and even had wind-free rides across the Old Man and Old Woman ranges. If you know them, that’s apparently a pretty rare thing.

After five days of epic riding, it was a good feeling to arrive in Queenstown, and as most would know, Queenstown is not a bad place for a post-ride party.

The KTM Adventure Rallye will be in New Zealand again, this year most likely taking in Northland and the Coromandel. If you’ve got an orange bike or one that comes from the same factory, it’s something you really should get in. And if you don’t play for Team Orange, well, maybe you should!

Moto coach Broxy swaps out his CRF450R for an Africa Twin and heads down to the deep south for the 2018 Dusty Butt.

Words and Pics: Peter ‘Broxy’ Broxholme

So what is the Dusty Butt? It’s what’s behind you, or perhaps will be behind you this time next year, if you like the look of what you are about to read.

My first real life introduction to this epic ride was exactly one year ago as I was fuelling my van in the small town of Lumsden.

With a low sound of rolling thunder, half a dozen bikes and their riders rolled into the small petrol station, all tinted with the same shade of light brown. While they showed the signs of weariness that you would expect from having already ridden around 700km of rocks and hills over the past 30 hours, there was also the unmistakable sparkle in their eyes that only comes from grown men who have been pandering to the man-child who hides just below the surface.

They joked about big slides and silly little mistakes.

I heard of things like “Slate steps” that sounded barely rideable.

These guys were just one of the many Dusty Butt groups who would pass through that petrol station that day, and little did I know that I would be in their boots for 2018, nor that they had only scratched the surface of what makes this ride so memorable. Let’s elaborate:

Fairlie – good start

The adventure begins long before you even arrive at the farming town of Fairlie. The anticipation grows as the date nears and your preparations come together.

Just reading the briefing package that Epic Events – the organisers of many an epic adventure ride – give you will add to your excitement. That’s even the case for those who have done it before, because no one really knows what you are in for. You are often well above the snow line, and while a fresh dusting of the white fluffy stuff might sound like fun, it could also make life interesting very quickly.

We actually pass through the very area where many people have had to be rescued from their 4WD when snowed in, which – while some of the passes have been improved to minimise the worst bog holes – is a good reason to be prepared and that adds to the adventure.

Some North Islanders ride their way down, extending their fun and helping the less experienced get warmed up. Then on arrival – after an entertaining briefing and buffet meal on the Thursday night – it’s all on with a very early start the next day.

We began with a decent river crossing right off the bat, for those of us who didn’t choose the easy option. Providing you survived that without drowning your bike, the next few hours were spent finding your feet.

Laugh till you drop

As the boys I met the year before had hinted, you do get to be a hooligan. It would be rude not to leave a few long, slide lines on the gravel for your mates to enjoy. But half the battle is not giving them too much entertainment, like I did at the first fuel stop when trying to get aboard my bike from the opposite side of what I was used to.

Andy Wiig’s quick wit saw him ask if I had been riding long after dropping my big bike in front of everybody, much to the boys’ enjoyment.

Soon after that came the section I had been gearing up for; the Awakino Challenge. It involved some long stretches of rocks that helped the pass live up to its name, with the satisfaction of conquering it doubled, thanks to the kind of views I am unlikely to forget.

Some light rain made the second day challenging in its own right, especially down those slate steps that the 2017 boys had mentioned, and over the pass that followed. The reward for this was just as satisfying, with eerie views over valleys of blackened trees and through the most incredible gravel road I have ever ridden.

Racing through the smooth and banked corners with beech trees whizzing past was something of a dream come true. And this was no short burst; the goodness just kept coming.

Meeting up with riders along the way showed that I wasn’t the only happy camper, right down to those riding two-up. No doubt the passengers had to walk some of the hardest sections, but then you never know; that extra traction might have come in handy.

Unfortunately, commitments back home meant I had to miss the Sunday ride through legendary sections like “The Serpentine”, but I wouldn’t be leaving before experiencing the solitude of the Old Woman and Old Man’s passes. You could be excused for thinking you were the only soul left on earth while riding these great expanses, or that you had been transported to a new planet, judging from the time-ravaged rock towers, which sprang up at every turn.

The whole experience is so far removed from everyday life, it’s no wonder people like Richie Ebbett called it their favourite ride and tried not to miss a year.

Make sure you are subscribed to the Epic Events newsletter for notice of when entries open for next year. With the Dusty Butt limited to 150 riders, you better be in quick for your taste of Middle Earth.

In this How Too video, Chris explains the three different options you can chose from when negotiating log crossings and how easy it can make your life when out on the trail. 

Thanks to Husqvarna Motorcycles for the TE 250 TPi | THOR for the riding gear, EKS Brand for the sweet goggles, and FFM helmets for the cool lid. 

Go out and support those who support the sport.