On an annual trip with nine of my riding mates, this time to the West Coast, South Island (someone different organises it each year so we go different places in New Zealand), three of us scanned the net for info and branched off into the gravel and possibilities of a river crossing on the second day. The three of us get a bit of dirt every trip if we can, not too gnarly to meet the others later. This trip we wanted to try a couple of tracks loosely connecting us to our night's destination Karamea (St Aranuad - Murchison (Porika Track) and Inangahua - Denniston (Mackley pylon road) so split from the others and went for it.
What followed was surely the roughest day my poor R65 has been through! She made it with flying colours tho and only a few gouges on the bash-plate-less sump! Mud puddles, steep slopes and firm rocky footing through beautiful beech forest on the Porika Track, down on steep dry increasingly loose track to a beautiful lake, out on a remote gravel road with stream crossings and wildlife on the road, on the road for 40km then off road again at the Mackley pylon road, known as a mountain bike/ 4WD road. It was pretty rough!
I was imagining a 1930's enduro race or a BMW bike proving ground. Rocky, up and down little looked after, it's a testing ride on anything bigger than a 250cc dirt bike. We pushed the R65 through the river, engine running and in gear. At least one pipe went under water. Other bikes were a KLR650 and Yammie XT660, we pushed these through the river too. The banks both sides presented problems, a bouldery stream the arrival side and a steep clay bank the far side. A CRF250 passed us going the other way after we crossed the river, perfect bike for it! Also a group of three 4WD, first got stuck on the rocky stream. Second managed get over boulders and get in front to tow it out, those boys were havin fun as we were.
Soon after crossing there was a scree slope about 25deg steep 30m high and presented a major test of clutch work and hill starts on a loose and rocky surface, getting bounced all over the place! The photos only do a fraction of justice, there were so many patches tough to ride there was no time for the camera.
We had to help each other through the worst (well at least the R65) so wouldn't been able to do it solo, but still made it and a good possibility the only R65 to have done so!