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Old 20-08-2012, 08:08 PM   #1
penguineer
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Default didn't make it to Nindigully 2011....

....but I did make it to Imbil!

This is a ride report I did a while ago about an ill-fated trip during a bit of a bad trot I'd been having.

The background to the trip was to go to the Friday night at the Imbil Rally and then get to Nindigully on the Saturday, spend some time with FarRiders, ADV, and whomever else turned up before ridng home on the Sunday.

Not too many piccies, a bit wordy....

As for why reposting this RR now? I was reminded by the Birtles thread, I hadn't posted it on Aus-Touring previously, and a few people might be interested in some of the back roads......

Note - added postscript(with pics) for further laughs....

Spot track: http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?...f4ec2324797f74

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So now for your further amusement:

Simple plan - ride a roundabout/backroad route to the Imbil rally on the Friday to meet up with friends, spend the night, and then make a direct run to Nindigully to meet more people on Saturday and ride home Sunday.

About 1800km all up over the three days, so not really pushing it - the idea was to spend time socialising.

Many years ago, I went to the school in a place called Gallangowan, a forestry camp on the range north of Kilcoy and inland of Gympie. A bit of a look at the maps showed a back road from Jimna to Imbil. Dirt road, but from the looks of it in pretty good condition. I haven't done much dirt, so that made my mind up - go for it!

So off we go, taking my time on Friday.

Had lunch in Fernvale and had a bit of a chat with a couple heading to Canungra in their Valiant - with a matching caravan!



Pretty uneventful trip to Kilcoy really - stopped for fuel and met a group of cruiser riders also heading to Imbil - they headed off via Montville and I made my way north. This road used to be a regular trip for our family about 20 years ago so I was interested to see how things may have changed.



While I was taking this photo the last of the timber trucks came down out of the hills - I didn't see another vehicle on the way up the hills......

This used to be Yedina sawmill:



Yedina used to be a working steam powered sawmill, now it appears it's long unused except as a shelter for goats. I hope the machinery found a good home!

Just past here the road used to turn from bitumen to gravel as you climbed the range, the rough road made more exciting by the prospect of oncoming timber trucks or a heavily laden bee-keepers truck.

I was surprised to find they had laid bitumen as far as the Jimna turn off, but in many places the road had collapsed, so safety fences and warning signs restricting the road to one lane were pretty common.

Just past the turn into Jimna is the Jimna fire tower.



The firetower was used to keep watch over the state forests in the hills - it's over 100m tall and made completely of wood. There were similar towers (some taller) further to the north, including one of the hills over Gallangowan. From the top, the coast is visible, even though it is about 50km away.

More recently the towers have been found wanting in the safety department(wood does tend to rot and decay) and there was a push to preserve or restore the Jimna tower instead of tearing it down. I don't know what the result was but the place is a fenced off and a set of concrete anchors have been laid off to the side of the clearing - to take it down or for restoration work I don't know.....

After a walk around, some dried fruit and a drink it's back on the road!

The road is quite wide now and varies wildly from hard packed earth to exposed rock and loose gravel, keeping my speed down and keeping me on my toes. As long as I keep ahead of the dust I kick up I can smell the clear mountain air and I can hear the bellbirds over the engine and road noise....

Eventually I get to the turnoff for Landcruiser Park:



No motorbikes? Good thing I'm going the other way!

The road turns into a single-car-width track of what I think is fairly good dirt - nothing to get complacent with and has occasional loose bits, but nothing as bad as the main road that has been churned up by timber trucks.

I was surprised to see some roos and then a group of deer by the side of the road and quite inconcerned about me - as long as I kept my distance of course....



This might explain why:



I remember there were a few attempts to get deer farming going up here in the mid 80's and there were quite a few deer running wild in the forest - so much so that trappers were brought in from New Zealand to catch them by helicopter.

At this point the road was reasonably level and I believed it was going to stick to the ridge tops until it reached the end of a line of hils and then gently descend.



Unfortunately, I was wrong. The road dropped out from under me and looks to have made a couple of hundred metre drop in one go, then back up the other side - as I saw the road drop I just apply a small bit of brake and...



Bugger.

One blast of the horn as the handlebar hit and then everything shut down. The bike was nearly stopped so as usually happens the bike is on it's side and I'm standing beside it with a not a scratch.

Doesn't look too bad damage-wise, but the smell of fuel is a bit disconcerting - hopefully it's just coming out of the nearly full tank due to the angle.

They're a heavy bugger to lift, even with all the luggage removed, particularly when the angle is greater than 90 degrees. So then I had a brainwave(or brainfart) and turned the bike on the ground - the side of the bike is resting on the bash plate, pannier rack and crash bar, so no real worries there. With the bike facing back uphill, the tyres are above the drain on the side of the road and I have a better angle to lift the bike. Once she's up I have a quick look (scratched crash bar, bent bar end and hand guard, broken gear lever and the bars have rotated in the clamps but no visible bends). And she starts, but she doesn't want to move on her own.......

Double bugger.

So I cache my gear behind a bush, put a note on the bike to say which way I've gone(uphill towards the last house I saw), put on the FarRiders cap, grabbed the water bottle and pressed the "need help" button on the SPOT.....there hasn't been a lot of traffic along this way.......

A couple of hundred metres up the road I hear an engine.......a bike engine......and I meet Mick.

He's out for a bit of a constitutional ride of a few hundred k's on a day off and this is one of his regular roads....

So we had a bit of a talk(he knew about FarRiders!) about what happened and he offered to help get the bike up to the flat and we'd take it from there.

Once the bikes on level ground I find the problem - the bent hand guard is keeping the clutch in!!! AAARGH! Too bloody simple!

So now a ride out is possible and it sounds like forward is the way, even if i do have that sudden drop and climb(the road crosses from one ridge to another) and a couple of creek crossings(my first) with Mick leading the way.

Since I don't have the confidence in clean gear changes I leave the bike in first. Guess which spare lever I didn't have under the seat?

At Imbil I had no problems getting Mick into the rally and and few beers - but at the front gate I was met by a very concerned Fairy - people had seen the help message on the SPOT and been making phone calls.....Imbil police station transferred to Gympie, Gympie police put motorcycle + trouble together and dispatched an ambulance, my parents happened to be passing through Gympie and were now somewhere up in the hills looking for me.....

Eventually it all calmed down a bit, parents made sure I was still in one piece and headed home, introduced Mick to a few people at the rally and had a bit of a look around......

Mick heading home to Yandina before his family wonder where he's gotten to:


That bike(and Mick) must have a few stories - it's a 1972(?) R100 with a homebuilt fibreglass tank(700km range) and a few other custom additions.

Well, if you're going to Imbil, Friday night is the more interesting night, not too crowded and a better chance at the bar and food!

The next morning I was off to the Suzuki bike shop in Gympie to see if I could sort a new gear lever, get the bike looked over and head off to Nindigully.

No joy - no parts and no ideas on any mechanics in Gympie on a Saturday.....

Christo offered to pick a gear lever up in Brisbane and meet me and Browni managed to find a guy in Dalby that was willing to take one from a crated bike if I could get there by 12:30, so that's it - about 300km, 4 hours to cover it and meet Christo.

About halfway to Kilkivan I realise the bike isn't giving me as much power as it should. It's not down to my clunky gear changes(using the whole foot to rake the gear lever), and there's bit of a whining noise......bugger - clutch? Did I take too much slack out of the cable when I put the bars back in place? Try adjusting the free play, stop further down the road and try readjusting the bars......why now?

It gets better and worse as I travel....I can make about 80kph as long as I don't have to deal with hills or get above 5000rpm.....the more times I stop to try to figure out the problem is less time to make Dalby.....

To save time I'm not taking the helmet off when I stop which means I don't take a few sips of water to keep my brain right.....Dalby is where I need to be, it's hot, it's slow, but at least there's something can be done if I get to Dalby......

I refuel in Murgon and have a refreshing drink.....like magic the little aches seem to disappear, but I still have to make Dalby....Christos on his way there, brake lever is there and I'll be closer to home......

Eventually it all comes to a halt outside Kingaroy.....the bike can't move it's own weight on the flat....if I could keep moving I'd make it, but that's it....



So it's on the phone to RACQ, let Christo know I won't be meeting him, call Pat from Advance Motors in Dalby to let him know I can't make it, arrange to get trucked back home with the bike....and wait.....at least I had my kindle so I could have a bit of a read while waiting.....

Again, the kindness of strangers....from nowhere a lady in a 4wd does a quick u-turn and comes back to give me a can of cold Pepsi!

Eventually I'm back on the Gold Coast - I really have to say thanks to Mal and Karen McConville from GC Suzuki for looking after me so far after hours and letting me drop the bike off in a safe place.

And home at about midnight.....not my best trip, but I'm glad to be home and sleep......

Epilogue:

So why did the bike stop moving? We thought it might be a cooked clutch(!!!!), but Steve at GC Suzuki figured there was no free play in the cable, even though everything looked OK, examining the lower end (clutch actuator under the front sproket cover seemed OK, so he took it for a quick run....and all was well. The best we can come up with is a bit of grit or roadmetal dropped into the actuator at some point to wedge it and fell out when it was taken apart too look for the problem.

To add insult to injury after I collected the bike(and a spare gear lever!) the stator cooked itself about 5km down the road - possibly something to do with the heat on the day out at Kingaroy? That's the second time that's happened......

Cheers!
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Postscript: Turns out the clutch was a good guess - by the time the mechanics had a look at the bike everything had cooled down and the clutch wasn't slipping. I managed another 5000k before I realised that I wasn't just imagining things and there really was a problem.....one of the plates was worn flat, several others were on the way.....

Clutch plates:


Burnt stator:
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Old 20-08-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
BB63
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Default Re: didn't make it to Nindigully 2011....

So was it the clutch material in the oil that contributed to the stator burn out perhaps and are you going to Nindigully this year?
Cheers Brian
PS: First things I bought for my strom was spare clutch, brake and gear levers.
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Old 20-08-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: didn't make it to Nindigully 2011....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BB63 View Post
So was it the clutch material in the oil that contributed to the stator burn out perhaps and are you going to Nindigully this year?
Cheers Brian
PS: First things I bought for my strom was spare clutch, brake and gear levers.
Not sure what to put the ultimate cause down to. I have had a stator burn out previously that was dealt with under warranty - no idea what caused that...

I've been putting it down to heat, but bits of clutch mucking things up makes sense. That oil would have been replaced with the stator.....

I'll be at Nindigully this year! But it's on a different weekend to Imbil, so I'll probably go the short way this time

I did have brake and clutch levers - it's always the ne you don't have!!!

Cheers!
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Old 20-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: didn't make it to Nindigully 2011....

Funny you should post this today. I was sitting at work with nothing to do today, so I started planning my route to Nindigully this year.

I don't think Christo has posted anything in this forum, but the date for this year's Run is Saturday 17th November. I'll probably be heading off from Melbourne around 5:30am on the 16th. Have a 450km detour planned if the weather is good, to hit a bunch of roads I've never ridden through central/northern NSW.
I'm aiming to get there at lunchtime on Saturday, leave at the crack of dawn Sunday and be home either late Sunday night or lunchtime Monday if I stop somewhere for the night.
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Old 20-08-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: didn't make it to Nindigully 2011....

Quote:
Originally Posted by nev View Post
----8<----
but the date for this year's Run is Saturday 17th November
----8<----
Are you sure of the date? I thought it was in October this time.....

Cheers!
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