Saturday 22nd November: Mini and MX Track OPEN and Trail Loops CLOSED The weather is a little inconsistant today so it's preferred you call before you come

Reece Burgess

Rider Profile

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Dirt Guide Crosscountry Series 2013  Round 3 June 15th

This is the same area as race 1 and very similar conditions with a rather tight track. Rain was forecast for the evening but we would only see a light shower so plenty of traction in the dense pine forest.

Final Result was 26th due to 1 flat tyre but still 1st in class for series

Everything was lined up to take the series overall so I was ready to go knowing I only needed a 5th to clench the top spot, aiming higher I knew I needed to ride safe still.

With a very tight start area I needed a good start to make life easy but when the bike did not fire up this idea went out the window (and it was starting first try just prior to this). Being so far back I did not know where I was but I passed a lot of riders before they could get settled in, this was not easy as it was very tight.

After the initial quick passes it was like being in 5 o’clock rush hour and I just had to wait for any opportunity to move forward but it was tight and getting too close to others into the corners left your goggles covered on the way out so it was frustrating to have more unused speed available.

After a while I had made it to clear ground and found 2nd place with slowly increasing corner speed as I found a good rhythm. I did not need 1st but could have closed in on Adrian still before the end at the current pace without taking any risks.

A sharp rock now exposed in a braking bump gave a compression flat due to the speed so it was an unexpected issue. Down the roads the bike was swinging all over the place but not violently and I found it could be controlled with the right positioning on the bike. I cut throttle to very low use and increased corner speed to jump in the ruts which worked really well. High speed was lost but very few straights so damage was minimal. This was actually a lot of fun for some reason, like a supermoto bike.

Coming past pits I figured the time to change tyres would be critically damaging, with only 1 lap to go at this reduced pace I could still get the overall but very close to the end the tyre wall gave out and the wire tangled everything, I was very close so tipped the bike on its side and untangled the lot. Moving again I was very happy but the rim spun inside the heavily mangled tyre and I could not get up even a mild incline pushing the bike so I was done and not particularly happy.

I still claimed 1st in class for series but I wanted to close down Adrian and have the overall. 

Enduro Round 5 Maramarua June 1st 2013

Usually a summer venue there is a lot of clay base roots and dust, however this is a winter round and would prove to be yet another wet, messy event. Heavy rain prior and light rain during ensured this would be tough over more than 200km of territory.

Final Result was 3rd in Class

Prior to this event we had clear weather all week but what I did not know was it was raining heavily at Maramarua and rained during the ride lightly also. This made for a much different day to what I prepared for and I really struggled for any traction as a result with the wrong rear tire.

After 200km over approximately 6 hours I am really looking forward to a single dry event to have some fun on instead of just rotating slowly around in the slop. To be fair the Maramarua event would have been a good event however the weather has once again proven a spoiler so it is what you make of it.

Most of the test were hard packed clay with a thin layer of slop on top which was the traction but when there was nothing on top moving was a struggle using very low revs which was stall territory. The real issue here was that in the test I would load the motor more and faster than on the trail so I had no issues until it was time to move mucking it all up as I just keep creeping up the pace because it seemed too slow. The battle was trying to switch onto race mode after miles of slow riding without pushing the bike or the track limits.

I think I hit the only hidden stump in the whole forestry which was enough by itself to end your day but these things make it fairly clear that mistakes are slow. A variation of mishaps kept me distracted even getting caught in wire at one point.

I would not say the bike had any issues rather the tight constant wet and wrong tire setup made life tough and if done all again things would be very different.

The only thing I haven’t mentioned was I cracked my body armour and broken a knee pad so the early deviation was heavy but it did not stop me but did slow me down.

I just cant tell you how much I am looking forward to a dry ride or one that I don’t need to shovel the mud off my drive after blasting.

The 3 day event only had 2 expert riders so that tells you I’m not the only one who feels 8 enduro’s plus the 3 day in the wet is far too much with any other events.

Dirt Guide Crosscountry Series 2013  Round 2 19th May 2013

Surprise surprise, it was another wet ride with rain prior, during and after.  

This area just out of Tokoroa offers a good draining soil and clay amongst the pine trees. Usually a good ride in any conditions, this race would still offer plenty of traction but form a thick sludgy top layer to soak up power.  

Final result was 1st in Class/overall, now 1st in the series  

The 450 is a great bike to ride at these pine forest trails and no matter the conditions you can have some fun, even with all the constant rain it would not get slippery enough to become difficult but the thick sludge would create a lot of issues, less of an issue when you have power to chew through it.

At the start of the day I was worried that traffic could be very difficult to get through due to vision, it would be one of the worst things to get stuck back in the pack and in no time at all lose your vision limiting your ability to move forward so I was keen to get a good start. With the option to do the first section “look lap” I nearly stayed to ensure a good start spot but really wanted to see what the traction was like and get a sneaky peak at some quick passing spots that can be key if you get a bad start.

On the way back to the start line my chain snapped under no load, with only minutes until the shotgun start I rolled back to the ute, parked on the road and with the help of Sean Clark and a couple of others the start was held until I was on my way. This was the best “worst luck” ever as I pushed through 3 rows of intermediate riders to park strategically just behind the front row.

The start was on and I was able to weave my way to the inside of the corner into the top 10. Shortly after I had picked up to 3rd where I had to wait for riders in front to settle so I could get 2nd but 1st was filling up my goggles. Backing off was not helping as I could not get far enough away without worrying that we were going too slow and every corner a lot of mud was thrown up which was hard to miss.

The 2nd lap & I had lost use of my goggles and the top 3 riders were sent the wrong way up a traffic jammed hill from lap 1!. The people on the hill were shattered and blocking the lanes. Pushing on extremely slowly I came out in 1st but well down the actual order on the track.

Pushing on with no idea on placing I just knew the track would worsen so you just keep going and because it was sludgy compared to slippery I was actually enjoying it. No goggles was very difficult worsened by the lapped traffic from lap 2 onward.

I did get stuck in traffic but I expected everyone would and consistency paid off as I know to fi it’s pointless being first if you don’t finish.

Dirt Guide Crosscountry Series 2013  Round 1 April 21st

The area is known as “the old Roger White rides”. Once known as a popular riding area for its bush riding and slippery clay in the often wet area. This is a new track for the series around 17km of tighter bush riding. There is still a lot of volcanic soil so even in the wet it would hold up well

Final Result was 2nd in class, 3rd overall

There was no look lap at this track so it was a race to the line on what was a tight start area leaving only 1 straight to sort out the order into the trees, a good start was essential and I had been struggling to fire up fast enough, until now thanks to a slight adjustment by Mazgear.

Not having the best spot on the line I still got out in the top 10 which was ok and there were few safe places to pass so I did what was required and just waited for the excitement to wear down and make clean passes.

The track was tight and line choice was important with many bumpy ruts to get stuck in so you had to choose the ones you needed which was a bit hit and miss to start with. Not quite having my balance in the right place was part of my problem but it was just a matter of time before I got that right and felt safe

My main aim this race was to keep the bike upright and on track all day as it was damp and tight so I was pleased to have done this. On the last lap I wanted to turn it up a notch if the energy was there and it was but I found this lead to a number of small errors which cost as much time as I saved due to the tight line choices so I had some fun and backed off. The bike could have done the whole race on 1 tank but stopped before the last lap not knowing it was so close to the end of the race.

Lapped Traffic was getting thick in the last 2 laps and one hill was blocked so I could only hope this cost time to others also.

All up I enjoyed myself and loved the way the bike rails around the corners & I often under estimated how fast it can do this sometimes. The power was great and this has to be one of the most fun bikes to ride that still allows you to relax when you need to.

NZ Enduro Champs Round 1 Oparau 2 Feb 2013

EnduroOparau has a lot of elevation changes and always an enjoyable place to ride. Rocks and river crossings are common ground and the terrain can be harsh so a good place to exercise caution and enjoy the ride as it will be easy to get into trouble

Final Result was 2nd in class to Chris Birch, 4th overall

Starting on minute 12, I was concerned that dust would be an issue along with traffic but good weather seems to minimise some issues also and although I did not know it at the time the track marking was poor in some areas.

The first stage had a “blind” test and I had a lot of concern about the front end of the bike feeling very unstuck (as I had just reset to standard and not tried it) so took a few clicks off compression which reduced this and it turns out all other riders were suffering from the small harsh dried bumps. I cruised cautiously through the test using only the low end of this XCF 450’s motor which is so well known for being powerful that its bottom end is overlooked. This gave me a surprising 2nd fastest time.

On the 3rd test I was caught out with what can only be called bad marking, I had already been off track twice with other riders trying to find the track but this is fine when it’s not in a timed section. It was a Y intersection and the track naturally leaned left (the arrows were on the right bank simply not visible enough for a race) I followed many other bike tracks to the left, when I noticed the other marks fading away, after some exploration I made it back then was unable to pass another rider for the 2nd half. I expected the day could be over but hoped the test would be thrown out due to so many missing the turn.

Every other test went ok but I had an inconsistent stall once or twice each test that was throwing me out and I could not seem to work it out well enough, if I stuck to a method it was fine but when I stared to “gel” and pick slightly faster lines I was prone to a stall. Knowing a top pace error at this event could cost you dearly and I had already messed up, I played it safe as is normally best at these often unpredictable rides.

After the day was done with a good result, I was pleased despite the 3rd test being included still. The reasoning was that “only 5 (top & angry) riders got lost in that test” which is absolute rubbish as I had 4 people sitting beside me alone and it was remarked on the next lap to prove it BUT that is enduro, you play the cards and see how they stack up at the end.

In summary the KTM brand had a good day, I enjoyed the XCF450 and the low end of this bike seems to be where corner speed will come from. Mr Birch was in good form and I will see if I can work on using the bike better. It is very different to the Husaberg and I hope to adapt to its benefits better as it’s a very capable bike.

Raglan Rocx 20th January 2013

Since last week’s ground hugging incident I had been on the bike to see if I was going to be good enough to race, still a bit tender I felt 4hrs would make or break the fitness barrier and I would go regardless.

The Bell Ray highlighted a few things for me to be mindful of in order to take advantage of this XCF450 power. After a brief adaption I was looking forward to seeing how well I could make the 4hr mark.

The shotgun sounded and the bike started fast but coughed out, the power then dug a trench to the first corner to reclaim a fair start before the bike coughed again and stalled into corner #2. This cost a lot more places and due to the erratic lines of the other riders I found it slow to advance without risk in the grass and the rear tire was spinning up. Lucky for me this bike breaks traction in an exceptionally predictable manor front and rear so I avoided a couple of loose units adding to my sluggish start.

The track was fun but not a good place to take any risk and passing in the dust was a waiting game. I made my way up conservatively knowing it was 4 to 4 ½ hours. This bike has a great capacity for speed and it’s hard to not get excited and use it all but iron man class is about being smart. I did not get a good start and I paid for that for a number of laps but I got to 5th overall against the teams which included riders like Ben Townley among others.

I was not at full speed as I could not burn energy like the teams and settled to a high pace. Jumping a creek slightly wrong jarred my body which was fine (no crashes) but from here occasionally I felt a bit sick. I pitted and tried to take on a bit of food and water in the event it was dehydration expecting to pit again next lap if I could not settle this. I tried to ease up but a team went past and I felt ok so picked the pace back up, 10 min later I was sick until I had nothing left.

With a very sore stomach I restarted and tried to take on water to replace what I lost but it was hard for a while until it settled down, I got the speed back to the same level on the next lap using very little energy.

I was very happy to finish and still get 2nd Ironman & I don’t know why I got so sick as I felt ok afterwards with exception to the burning post sick feeling. You don’t get tough by giving up.

The highlight for me discovering that the XCF450’s softer side, it might have a tonne of go but if you are feeling a bit second hand this machine is very well mannered which allowed me to pick up a few positions lost when I was feeling sorry for myself on the side of the track. Next week I will try some different suspension settings to compare.

Bell Ray RND 2   13th January 2013

Situated along the coast from Huntly This is a 2 hour race and usually very popular with motocrossers so this will be a good place to test the bike out and fitness as we have 1 week untill a 4hr at Raglan.  These tracks are open farmland – expect high speed obstacles

With the weather forecast ever changing I don’t even care to look but one thing I know is if it’s hot dehydration will be one thing to watch. The main thing I am looking at is pushing up my fitness fast and adding to the cycling and short riding time.

This Ktm feels significantly lighter and can be fast through rough sections, the only drawback I can see at this point is you want to ride so fast all the time that it can burn you out. I have found that if you dial it back a bit the bike has very smooth linear power and very good manners.

The race started extremely late and I was not prepared to wait so long so I had no lunch prepared, I was so hungry I had a dirty sausage to stove off the starvation.

Eventually we got to the start and not understanding the layout I picked a poor position, I just had to make do and when the gun sounded I was taken very wide by a loose unit that overshot the corner and hit me in the process. This put me well in the traffic and bad dust.

The dust was so bad I could not see a concrete gate strainer post and have no Idea on how I missed it. A gap formed from the leaders and for every pass there was open ground to be made up and I had no idea how far back I was. A small spill reminded me of how dangerous these open farmland tracks were but I regained the spots lost very quickly and continued marching through the pack.

Eventually on lap 2 I had found the leaders so I was in 3rd place. Just pulling in the last of the gap on lap 3 I had a self-inflicted crash where the front slipped on an off camber slope just as I pulled the front over a hole. The result was I got catapulted and landed on my lower back hearing all the bones in my body compress. I thought I was done for, painfully winded, hot and in a lot of pain and donated my sausage to the ground. After about 4min I could move and picked up the bike to ride back to pits very slowly.

After about 10min of seeing bikes go past I went a bit faster and found it hurt fast or slow so fast it was. By the time I got to pits were I planned on pulling in I had decided I wanted the fitness still and just kept going. I passed a lot of bikes to end up 9th. My wrist was very weak with a bruised palm and forearm, back and abdominal area. Todays lesson was when you relax you still got to stay sharp at speed or a minor error can hurt in this sport.

I hope to be feeling ok by next weekend or I will team up but my aim is still the 4hr ironman.

GNCC Round 1 Matata 13 October 2012

Greg had a really good track but the weather destroyed it, I went the wrong way then got caught on a log trying to get back. After that I rejoined the tail of the pack but got caught behind some slower riders who messed up my goggles etc. I could not see to get past, and they were not going fast.

Many people went the wrong way, some did loops inside of loops.

1 guy lost his bike over the edge of a steep bank.

Ruts destroyed the easiest of hills and people blocked the track.

On the open the wind was strong and rain was nasty.

I lost it trying to avoid people a couple of times, it was fairly dangerous at times as the brakes were chewed out before the end.

The track was different every single lap. Greg really had his hands full.

The most frustrating part was the rain stopped after it all but the winds did not.

Suzuki 6 Hour Ironman  6th Oct 2012 Tokoroa

Result: 1st Ironman, 4th Overall

For the first time, the Suzuki 6 Hr has been moved to Tokoroa Forest.  I anticipated a technical track with possible rain which would make it tough. With only a few showers, I had a chance to have some fun before getting into the grind of the event.  183 riders were entered with KTM being the dominant manufacturer with 3 times the number of bikes lined up over any other brand.

From the beginning, I made a plan to get near the front end then settle into a good pace free of traffic so I walked the first few km to give myself the chance I needed as passing would be hard once into the trees and mud etc.

I got to the first corner in 6th place and moved quickly into 3rd.  I was happy to stay there but the 2 in front were throwing up too much roost so I had to either move past or expect to be passed and lose my vision in the process.

Once onto the leader, he did not hold his lines as he could not hear my quiet bike coming up beside  him.  I had to get a bit grumpy as he was filling my goggles needlessly and they needed to last longer than any of the teams before changing, so I had to push forward to make things easier.

I did not want to hang around while the track was smooth and I could ride any line without using much energy.  I  got to the front and led the overall for 2.5 45 min laps.

On the 3rd lap it rained and the track became very mushy so I swapped lines to the 6 hour pace where I stayed out of the fast berms and did not do anything that took much strength or offered the chance of crashing. as energy lost here would be slow to recover.

8 laps was my new objective as I knew only the fast riders would come past me now and I could ride my own comfortable pace.  As soon as the teams caught me, I would let them pass and go so I did not get excited and waste energy for nothing.

I counted down the laps keeping consistent until the last one where I was going to put on a charge with what I had left but then my crew told me I had an extra lap to run!  This was not in the plan and was rather depressing news as the skin wears down so I continued on the same pace.  Oddly enough, to feel fresher, I just told myself it was the first lap and that worked for me.  The final lap was due to arriving 3 minutes before the 6 hours was up so my total riding time was 6 hours 44 mins.  Bugger!

I was 4th overall against the teams, 1st for the ironman. The next Ironman was Bradgroombridge in 7th, still strong for a non-team rider.

Leading for the first few laps was a real bonus as I otherwise stuck to my plan. It’s a shame the big 6 trophy has vanished as that’s why I went through all the punishment.

Tarawera 100 Mile Race 7/7/2012

The Tarawera is 100 miles of motocross type tracks with a high average speed. There are no teams and no breaks with all top riders in one shotgun start. For best part, the track is scoria based in pines. The scoria berms up and cuts out. The clay based areas were still rough from last year.

I finished 5th overall and 3nd in class, main 301cc plus.

 After last week’s Dirt Guide I knew what I needed to do this week to finish in the pointy end of the field. After putting the steering damper back on the bike I was immediately able to feel safe to push a bit harder with less energy.

Although I was concerned that I had been riding too smooth I was also aware that I did not have the strength just yet to charge from start to finish so I had to stick to a plan that will use a bit of both.

The start was clean and I was around 10th off to the first corner so immediately I picked off a few excited riders and relaxed. Sun strike was wreaking havoc with the goggles as they had the small spots to allow the rolls to work but they were coming off next pit for a standard lens after I completely misjudged a corner at speed and had to pull the bike back to the track. This was a shame as I had just caught the lead bikes again but that’s life.

After this Cody Cooper was behind me while I gathered myself so I let him past and got moving.

I went to follow Cody as he had a fast pace but I was getting kicked around a bit so I tried to charge on but bad marking meant I came unstuck twice more letting bikes past each time, re passing 1 bike 3 times now!

I could not go on like that so it was back to my original plan and if anyone caught me before I was prepared to speed up then I would let them go and get them later if I had the fitness. I knew the sun strike was distracting me and just needed to be a bit sensible about it until pitting.

The Husaburg really does handle extremely well as it is an FE standard enduro bike suspension and these bumps were very harsh. I was able to gain confidence and really use the track to spend my energy economically. The bike really laid down smooth power that did not tear my arms off so keeping a good pace was easy and I had a lot of fun doing it.

I found if I push the bike into face of the harsh bumps it reduced the bottoming and opened up some fast lines but I did not really have the strength to do this all day and saved it for the last lap where the track was at its worst and more speed is required.

At the end of the 3rd lap I had a challenge from Karl Powers and did not go any faster as I was sticking to my plan and felt good so on the last lap I broke out a bit and pulled clear. By this time I was comfortable and felt there was no risk of crashing or burning out now but was not quite close enough to close down on 4th& 3rd.

At the end of the day I had managed a top position by managing my energy and using the bikes strengths, if I wanted a better place primarily I know its my strength and then perhaps firmer suspension but is it worth setting up for 1 event that’s more like a motocross?

I say no, keep it standard and get hard and when you are at your best then look at your bike.

National Enduro Round 3 April 14th 2012

Whangamata is forestry and bush and can tend to be tight. A lot of fun in the dry but if it’s wet the soil seems to retain the water and the clay areas can become very slippery.

After riding around Maddix Park the week before where conditions were good, I was looking forward to Whangamata. With rain midweek, I knew the track would be a bit damp but not anything to cry about.

The event was made up of three 90min stages and about 130 km.

Setting off on the ride was very enjoyable and into the first test I found it to be similar to the trails but more single lane ruts. This was ok but traffic was a problem as they could not get out of the way, this caused me to come unstuck trying to pass. This cost a little time but I got restarted and on track fairly quick and the second pass was more successful. It was not a fast run but ok.

The next test and I started to get a much faster flow into the corners. I was trying to stay out of the rut but found it was the fast way around so I got in and went for it. Unfortunately for me one rut led into a deep bog. This was unexpected as it was the only soft ground in the whole stage and I was committed to the line.

I was really angry that I got into it, wasting my effort in the test, knowing I could only get an average time now, so I rushed lifting the bike out, tweaking my ankle once again.

The next stage I was not put off until I got stung in the face by a wasp stuck in my helmet. I

could not see straight for a brief period and went the wrong way down a marked but unused

track and the clutch vanished due to a leak near the lever caused by being knocked by a branch grabbing the bar! I mean come on! Is this a joke???

I made it back just on time and told myself to harden up. Riding ruts fast you use your foot

as a paddle to stabilize but I was in too much pain, worse than ever before, bringing tears to my eyes only to feel fine minutes later! But then I had to do it all again. With no clutch I was very frustrated but I was going to finish no matter what, even if it was not going to be pretty.

 

Last week I found very good corner speed so I was really gutted this weekend. I can’t run so I think it’s time the doctor did something for me. I know it’s not broken but hardening up isn’t working.

Grand National Cross Country - Maramarua January 28th 2012 

Reece Burgess Grand Champion!

Situated in Maramarua forest this round was expected to be very dusty but with rain the previous day it was just enough to make it pleasant. The tracks here are usually a well paced mix of tracks and roads.

GNCC Champion and Elite class

All I needed was a top 6 finish to win the overall so I arrived with the intention of relaxing and securing the series with a safe ride. Turns out what should have been the easiest day was one of the most stressful due to a broken battery shutting down the motor and causing havoc.

Right off the start I settled into 3rd just staying out of the dust and watching the other 2. In the first lap I felt a little off as I had some minor close calls in the dust. I overshot a few corners and hit a couple of holes wrong. On the second lap I launched too fast off some logs and landed nose heavy in the face of a jump going down hard.

I did not know what had just happened for a few minutes as I amazingly got up and kept going. A few minutes later and the odd backfire gave it away.

There was a battery or power issue of some sort which was stalling the motor for a second over any significant jolt only or heavy brakes which was much harder to pick due to the braking load and low throttle. This caused diving down hills, sliding off corners and interrupted drive up hills slowly worsening.

When I hit the logs the gas never came on to stiffen the suspension so it pogoed me up then failed to pull the front up.

On the second lap I passed into second place before the first big shutdown up a steep hill where I had to reluctantly give back 2nd place as I did not have the power to get up fast enough.

On the third lap I passed second again but then lost the place on the exact same hill.

By this point I backed off, life was getting dangerous as I could not hit any harsh bumps or ride any good lines. The following lap I pitted to find a battery terminal had snapped off. With no good solution I went out again only to stop dead 4 times.

Each time I pulled off the seat and tool bag to try to pinch the terminal.

It was not working. Hardly moving I stopped again and jammed sticks under the seat to keep it pressed down, it got me moving if I stayed seated in the right place.

My pit crew had a similar idea with sponge and it worked enough.

By this time a lot of time was lost but I managed to pick up 3 critical places on the last lap.

The funny thing was with the exception of 1 lap my times were consistent irrespective of the varying stops and issues.

Maddix Park GNCC Round 3 10th December 2012

Maddix Park has rich soil and clay base in parts. The tracks give a good variety of terrains but the majority of tracks are amongst the scrub with a clay/soil mix.

The tracks are fast in the dry offering plenty of grip but somewhat trickier in the wet. This year sported many short new sections.

Result - 4th with a firm grip on the series lead now

After just completing the 3 day enduro at Maramarua gaining 3rd overall and second in class, I was looking forward to a break to clean up and maintain the bike but there was 1 more race to complete.

Lucky for me the Husaberg is made tough and built ready with the exception of a large dent in the header pipe from something harder than my foot.

I went to Maddix on Wednesday to see if an SX muffler I had would make it easier to pass but I found it was noisy and poorly packed, so off it came. At least I was able to spot fresh tracks, although I did not ride them it did let me know what to expect.

The night prior had constant rain into the morning.

This was the last thing I personally wanted but I knew the game had just changed from a race to a survival ride for everyone and they probably didn’t know it. The fresh tracks would be soft and groove up into trenches so you could not ride at pace into them as you normally would.

The first lap and the track looked good. Everyone was racing as I settled into second and just tailed a rather loose John O’Dea waiting for a mistake.

Eventually he took a wrong turn where I nearly followed but Paul Whibley was behind us and slipped past into the lead as I remained in 2nd.

Whibley was not mucking too much around, I kept a casual pace. I knew who I needed to keep an eye out for and I was not going to toss away a series by getting carried away.

On just the second lap the track was totally different with people stuck on tight small hills already creating deep ruts. There was plenty of traction so I just rode slow but safe lines and even some of those lead to holes.

By late race it was inevitable that you would get stuck at some point and an even harder obstacle the queues of people stuck. Jason Davis ran some poor kid down who was stuck in a hole while I was finding a way round him, I was not that keen.

At the end of the day I actually extended my points lead in the series by playing it safe as others may have tried to seize the opportunity at their peril.

GNCC Round 2 Te Puke 12th November 2011

This round is a mixture of high speed paddocks over farmland and tight single lane tracks in equal parts. With the large number of riders the tight sections will be an issue and riders will be lapped on the second lap.

There are many high speed bumps in the open and exposed roots in the tighter areas.

1st Overall and now leading the series

After Makzgear cleared up the fuel issues (bad fuel blocking fuel filter) I was able to test the bike at Maddix Park to find I had been missing a notable amount of power. After a lap, I had a smile on my face and I went home confident that it would perform as normal the next day.

Arriving at the event the weather was good and the track looked good. I knew what to expect from the year before so the tight sections were not going to catch me by surprise.

Running more combined classes on the day means there was a fair hoard of bikes lined up and lapping riders on the second lap was a certainty. This proved difficult due to the polite and quiet nature of this bike.

I was not fast enough off the start line but a few corners in I was able to pass to second before being taken wide by a throttle happy rider dropping a few spots into the trees.

After a few kms I had picked off a couple of riders with 3 more to go. 2 more tangled in a corner and I pulled in behind Jason Davis.

The open sections were unknown and fast, Jason acted as a braking point guide and I passed under late brakes.

The bike was cornering nicely so I felt comfortable so I kept a good pace starting a small gap. This disappeared as soon as we hit traffic causing me to get knocked over a bank handing over the lead. Knowing Chris Power’s bike is loud, I pulled him in to help get through traffic and it worked as no one seems to hear me coming, which costs a lot of time. When there was a break in the traffic I passed again to try to get away.

This time I was held up less and was able to coast in on the last 2 laps. I had been pitted early by mistake so I knew I needed to conserve fuel and some energy in case of a last minute sprint.

All up I was happy with my effort & had managed to put a better cornering method into practice which worked well for me adding to the enjoyment of racing. I hope to continue in this way and see what happens. All going well I can hold onto this series lead.

Matata GNCC Round 1 October 15th 2011

Matata is mainly clay base with very few sections of white clay and when wet is a bit greasy. 40% pine trails ties the more open paddocks together. When wet as this was the track can degrade quickly but the rain was short lived so the impact was less.
3rd Overall
With a large turnout the last riders starting the race would almost certainly be lapped within their first lap. To me this means we were going to see a lot of traffic and expecting the track to rut up. After a good start I slotted into 2nd behind Jason Davies and off we went. The first lap was very slick so it was going to be a cautious ride approach.
Sure enough we were lapping riders midway into the next lap as they struggled with the slick surface. The track had changed a lot since the last lap and on the third I was caught out when a small stream of water had been redirected down the track and the perfectly good line I was in last lap turned out to be a water filled knee deep rut that wedged the bike in. I lifted it and pushed the bike out.
Feeling a bit tired I followed a rut down a hill that suffered a similar fate and got jammed again. This was enough time for Chris Power to slip past and it drains your energy a bit. After I got out I pulled up behind Chris again just as we hit heavy traffic. The traffic was thick and frustrating as both riders were within reach but after a number of issues with the slower riders I was losing touch with every lapper we came across.
The further I got away from Jason and Chris the harder it got as their bike made a significant amount of noise whereas the Husaberg is far more polite and no one could seem to hear it coming.
On the last lap I put in a decent effort while the traffic was a lot less and made up a lot of the lost ground but it was still a bit slick and a front wheel washout slowed me down a bit. I did not want to end the ride stuck in a tree so I coasted in from that point.
All up it was an enjoyable event with only a few tricky sections. It was a bit more technical than what you would expect from many cross countries and kept you looking for traction.

Taupo Enduro Round 6:  23rd July 2011

2nd in 300cc+ class for the National Enduro Series 2011

Taupo Enduro was 155km of pine base trails being mainly scoria and rich soil with the odd clay base section. There were 4 tests in total, each done twice. Rain was forecast for the weekend but held off for ½ the day and this soil drains well so it’s the best place to be in the wet.

Expecting the track to be parts of existing tracks and a strong possibility of rain I signed in on minute 2, meaning I would depart at 10:02 and be one of the first 6 to see the track. Unfortunately the tracks were virgin trails that were hard to follow when trying to go fast and I was caught out in each of the first tests making a mess of my times.

The first test was eventually thrown out due to the track being able to have major shortcuts and I decided that my approach was all wrong for this event so I took it easy over the next few tests and evened out my times to a stable 5th in each test.

During the endurance stage a hare came barrelling down the track towards me on a road in a game of chicken over about 30m and surprisingly did not veer off. Needless to say it came off worse dropping dead in the middle of the track.

During the last 2 stages it began to rain and track conditions deteriorated. It was going to be tight on times for the last stage before the rain but I was still surprised to come in 6 min late. Every rider lost time so it did not affect my times but again the pace expected in the rain was asking a lot for the final stage of the day. I don’t know if it was air flow through the radiators being restricted or a leak but my bike was very hot and boiling the water it had remaining so I was weary of this in the last 2 stages taking care to not cook the motor. Even on my own in the trails vision was tough and goggles only provided 20min before they had to come off so your eyes got a work out along with the rest of the body. The 150km of abrasive soil had worn out the front sprocket so it shows how the grit gets everywhere and wears into everything including your clothing chafing more than in the Tarawera 100.

 

Overall I am happy with the six rounds. Each round has its own difficulties in a challenging series and you learn from these experiences. Thanks for your support.

Here is another link to an article prior to the event with a good picture of the Burg:

http://mnz.co.nz/newsDetail.aspx?SectionID=29&ArticleID=36572

Tarawera 100 Mile Race 9/7/2011

The Tarawera is 100 miles of motocross type tracks with a high speed average speed. There are no teams and no breaks with top riders in one shotgun start. The track is always wet but drains extremely well for best part of the track as it is scoria based.

The scoria also berms up and cuts out so it can drain your energy if you’re not careful.

3rd overall and 2nd in class

After winning the Dirt Guide Series and having the good fortune to get in a few Newspaper articles the expectation was to do well with potential to win.

Cody Copper once again proved he was in unstoppable form but even so he very nearly ran out of gas on lap 1 so anything can happen in this sport.

The start was on a very soggy paddock and a single bike will fill your vision up in a second. There were few lines that would work around the first corner so I was teeming with anticipation. The bike started well and I shot off but could not get it out of 3rd gear right away which may have been due to the tape strengthening my ankle. As a result I got a bit covered by the hoard of bikes. Not a perfect start but good enough as I was able to make some smart moves to 5th by the 4th corner where I slipped in just behind Daryl King. At this point I just relaxed keeping pace.

I was not feeling the flow on the bike for most of this lap as the track was actually a bit rough at the speed we were going and the bike was being bottomed in places I did not expect to be hitting so hard. Following Daryl railing the berms was putting me off as he had a typical 2 stroke rider approach and I mistakenly followed until I settled in.

Once I settled I picked good low energy lines with little chance of crashing. When I got past Daryl I sat down when I could and pulled a gap until Daryl and Rhys Carter both caught me back up and they were going for it. It was too early for me to get excited so I held them off for a while without getting carried away but the foam came away from my goggles and started to block my vision and I lost the front around a sandy sweeping corner and they got past so I took them off after that. They were an old pair I wanted to start with as I expected they might get some abuse but did not have time to change at the first pit.

The third lap I caught and passed Daryl back when he lost the front on the same corner I had a lap prior. After smoothly pulling a gap Daryl put in a late charge where I let him go past but kept him in sight until lap 4 where I knew it counted. I thought to myself it was too early for this burst.

My pit crew put me in front and I broke out of the smooth easy lines to pick up the pace increasing my speed to a point I knew would keep him off my tail and if second places Rhys Carter got tired or anything I would have him also and it sounds like he was.

I hit the half way mark of the lap with a very fast flow until I hit a bump slightly wrong and hit a tree hard taking skin off my right shoulder putting holes in my shirt before hitting the ground on my other shoulder flattening my fire extinguisher on my back.

The bike proved tough and in one piece with the bars and wheel twisted about 30deg so I picked it up and listened for any sound of a bike then got moving again before I felt any pain.

It was hard to ride at first trying to get my bearings back and turn with the bars all messed up so I plugged on and hit a few hard bumps to force the forks to straighten the wheel out. I knew it was just bad luck in this case as I was riding solid and fast so I was determined to stay out of touch of King even if I had possibly lost the chance to get 2nd. In the end I finished not too far off second and safe enough from Daryl so I felt I had gained a result I could be pleased with after 100 miles against a respectable field of riders.

Reece

Central North Island Dirt Guide Series 26/6/2011

Situated between Taupo and Tokoroa the soil is able to handle the wet. The track is 100% amongst the pine trees. This is a tighter track than most with few places to rest and tree roots become exposed towards the end. The key here is a reasonable start and keep corner speed consistent, smooth and free of mistakes.

Final Place was 1st in Series Class & Overall

Arriving to the race I was clear on what I needed to do. Get a clean start and find out where I need to be to win the series. This means not pushing too hard or getting carried away if it means throwing it away. I also needed to be wary of a weeping front fork seal that had dripped a lot of oil out on the way to the event as this could get on the disc. It had no signs of weeping before this so I popped the dust cover and ran a feeler gauge around it to hopefully dislodge any grit forced into it. Some fluid had soaked into the brake pads.

After the look at the first km I noticed that some riders had waited on the line to get a better starting position but I was able to sneak in the inside right next to Adrian Smith making it a tight turn but you were able to push the riders with the better lines out at the first corner.

Once the shotgun sounded the Berg jumped into life and I was 4th to the first turn. The fluid on the pads made hard braking tough so I bumped Adrian into the turn. The next straight I just rode to the inside of the corner straight into second and immediately relaxed behind Adrian. It seemed like no time at all and the first lap was done. Adrian was on the next straight from me and I knew that I did not need to beat him so kept in the mid throttle using the smooth and effortless mid-range power to keep corner speed consistent.

I was struggling with any heavy braking and dragged the front brake for a while to try to cook off any fork fluid but I could tell it was still seeping so I braked early and did not wind the bike out. I had 2nd easy and the overall was mine to lose so I played it safe and would only speed up if caught, in this case I had the energy and a fuel stop advantage up my sleeve.

The Berg made 4 laps on a single tank where everyone else had only 2 or 3 max so this was my cushion.

The track was a lot of fun but on lap 4 I encountered a large number of lapped riders and a few hold ups. One rider in particular managed to snag my bike on the way past but I kept on going when his rear guard somehow caught my boot and dragged me off the bike! The funniest part was that this rider was my father! This lap concerned me a bit as passing was slow in cases but with any luck others would suffer also.

I think the Husaberg is so quiet and smooth, no one hears you coming.

Riverhead – National Enduro Round 5 June 5th 2011

Riverhead is not a pleasant place with hard packed clay covered by an inch of soil that retains the water. Exposed roots are guaranteed to shape the track and it is rare you will find good lines forming. It requires a different riding style to most areas. Only 16 people finished after some track editing so Riverhead lived up to its reputation of being nasty. The reward was simply to finish.

With such few finishers, I still gained 2nd in the class

 After the forecast of heavy rain and showers for the day, it was remarkable to find a clear blue sky greet us in Riverhead. I won’t pretend I have ever enjoyed Riverhead since riding a 125 where if you were going to get stuck at least it was light and you got stuck last.

The first thing I noticed was the soil. You could see the inch of top soil was thick with water. The second and most important was that there were only 3 terrain tests with an early finish time. I immediately put these together to realize the terrain tests would count for nothing at the end of the day unless 2 riders finished on the same number of lost minutes.

Through the first sections and terrain test I would ease in to working out how to ride in this mess than try to work in a bit more pace and have a strong finish. However, it was a real struggle to find any rhythm that worked in the early stages. The track was very low speed, therefore hard to clear mud and few line options.

In the very first stage I got a bit off line going up a hill somehow stapling a tree side on bruising my knee and lower back so any mistakes would make you pay so this kept me from getting too excited when things were going right.

In the later stages I started to pick up the pace just after the times were tightening up. Mud had come off the back wheel and stuck to the seat and pegs, I slipped to the rear of the bike when I lost footing going up a hill and struggled to stay on so stopped before I came off. Scraping off the mud helped but now it was on my handgrips also. Soon after I was at an unexpected 4th test where the 2 inches of mud covered every line on every inch of the track. The only way to clear this off your wheels was to go faster and spin the wheels so I did. On an uneventful easy step down the front wheel was a bit too clogged and under steered slightly offline sliding to the side of the track where the bike got wedged under a large fallen tree on a wayward gradient. With all my strength I could not pull it out from any angle. I snapped off the branches holding the bike in place and dug out enough to move, then dragged upward to slide out. Once out I used the motor to stand it up vertical and pulled the front down facing the track and rode out but I was so physically drained I could barely stay on the bike checking in quite late.

The last stage I made a lot of time back but in this event, none of that matters. I knew I blew it. There was an easy top spot for anyone who recognized the test meant very little and focused of staying out of trouble.

Central North Island Dirt Guide Series 28/5/2011

Situated between Taupo and Tokoroa, the soil is able to handle the wet. The track is scoria based and 100% amongst the pine trees. This is a tighter track than most with few places to rest and tree roots become exposed towards the end. If you want to succeed here you need to have your eyes peeled for good lines.

And Tauranga’s Reece Burgess did succeed.  It was extremely close but Reece won the overall and his class, the Expert 4stoke overs, and is now leading the TriSeries.

Reece filed this report.

“Coming into the race I was keen to see if this clutch was going to help my result as I was expecting and it was a prime track to find out. After walking the first 100m it was evident the soil had drained well but every single corner was still saturated. A good start would be a key here or vision could be an issue if the water gets forced into your goggles from other bikes.

After the shotgun start, the bike took 5 turns to start which is unusually long so I had 3 corners to pass as many as possible before filing into the tighter tracks. Running wide I managed to pass 3 bikes then a further 5 in the next 2 corners before the pines. This took me to about 12th.

Since I pushed a bit hard at the start of the last race and paid for it at the end, I figured focusing on keeping clean and vision clear from the other bikes, saving something for a later lap might be more beneficial. I moved up cautiously only passing when it was easy then when I cleared the main group there was a sizable gap to the final 4 so I picked up the pace a bit. Before the lap was out I had them in sight.

One straight was a bit of disaster. I was clipping the tips of the bumps when a well hidden log crossing the track and covered in soil kicked the rear wheel up.  Already being high in the rev range, I could not bring the front up and it landed in the next dip doing a full “endo”. I got up fast and back on the bike before I could work out if it hurt or not. Riding off I was seeing stars for the next few km with the bars twisted and clutch lever pushed downward. It would be another lap until I would learn the cause so until then it was business as usual.

I knew if I relaxed I could skip the pits.  I suspected the other riders would pit if not just to change goggles and it worked. It was thought that pitting was shorter than the bypass but they still needed to stop and I rolled straight into 2nd place.

In the last National, Adrian Smith had a 15min lead before blowing his oil line so I expected he had some pace and he was pouring it on to try to break away. I could see he was pushing hard and the pace we were running at was risky so I backed off till he was just in sight thinking that he would slow if he was not being paced but we were still going fast. You need to finish to win and sure enough Adrian was running too hot and went down so I made sure to put in a solid lap to keep the others away from me while I was in the pits.

At the end of the lap I was still in the lead and needed to pit. The pace was enough to keep the lead after an efficient pit stop. I was expecting to be passed as I had made 3 places by skipping the pits prior. I headed out in 1st  place which I kept to the finish”.

National Enduro Round 4: 12th March 2011 Whangauru – above Whangarei

Based at “the farm” you would expect an open ride but it is quite the opposite with extremely tight and technical trails for miles. Clay based and a lot of roots with occasional farmland.

On Friday I finished work and drove till near 11pm, pitched the pup tent and got to sleep.

Travelling in the dark you cannot see the terrain you are driving around so when I woke up and could see native surroundings suspicions of a nasty tight track were growing and would be confirmed not far into the first stage.

The terrain tests were not so tight with the exception of 1. In total there were 3 tests run 4 times each. With a large number of tests to get through I was off to a cautious start and the last thing I wanted to do was DNF through poor judgment.

After the first test the track got tight and the trees closed right in to the point where you could only idle the whole section. At one point while following the track the bars would not fit between the trees as was discovered when I tried riding through crushing a few fingers.

The next test I followed the taped track but did not spot a shortcut over a log. There were also a number of small stumps in the grass so riding with your eyes peeled is highly recommended here.

By the time we came back to the first check I had lost 2 spokes and quickly rescued a further 4, if it was not a moose tube inside this would have been an issue so I was prepared at least.

The ride was 5 ½ hours but we only used about 1 tank of gas so it was slow hard work and nearly all in first gear but the Husaburg just ticked along happily enough with a bit of clutch work.

I was a bit nervous with the tests, we were told penalties would be given for going outside the flags but it was not enforced so this was a bit of a letdown as it made corners a bit slower for those who did play the game. For some reason I found it a bit hard to read some of the many blind crested corners so it was a bit of a conservative ride. It is a feeling that can be hard to shake but this is better than ending up off the track like Adam Reeves who can no longer beat me in the championship points which just leaves Rory.

One section I got stuck which took a lot of energy out to get back on track so it was lesson learned as it is a lot of weight to lift when you can’t ride up. This was a result of simply having the front end deflecting off a root taking your momentum off course (which was about 300mm wide in this case) I enjoyed the ride far more than the 6hr drive home immediately after and gained 3rd in class. I know what I can improve on so I have a direction to work towards.

Thanks for your support

Matata Area 5th – March 2011 – Iron Man Class

The track was a good combination of farm and forest with all kinds of soil base from hard packed and slippery to soft pumice.

The weather was a big factor with constant rain over the duration of the event.

Final result was 3rd Iron man after a broken chain not long over 5 hours while leading.

Rory Mead had entered the Iron man class to make things interesting and he asked how it was. I told him its fine till about 3 hours and you realize you are only half way. You need to be very careful with your energy reserves in an event like this as once they are depleted, you are finished. Right off the start Rory rode hard so I did not worry about him as I suspected he would clap out or give up and if he did not then I would see him towards the end.

The very first lap a root caught the front wheel putting the bike into a slide clipping a tree and causing minor swelling on my right hand. For the next 3 laps I would have a stroke of bad luck and end up picking up the bike, it was infuriating as it was constantly raining so everything got covered in mud meaning each lap I needed to stopped and pit for fresh goggles/gloves.

Sick of constant stopping I went a lap without goggles and without passing anyone my eyes were getting filled with grit. The Iron Man class is about survival in these conditions so the next lap I stopped, cleaned my eyes out and replaced goggles once again as vision is a key to finishing.

As the race wore on the reason why I had come unstuck became clear, it seemed like pure bad luck but I found I was riding in an energy efficient ½ throttle zone and leaning into the corners but there was not enough aggression, traction or power being used to keep the bike up if it deflected. I opened it up for a quick thrill then settled back into the grind.

After 5 hours I was in the lead and cruising along a road when the chain snapped. The bad news is I had taken all my tools out in the pits after requiring some adjustments from a prior spill but did not put them back in. By the time I got a chain link sent to me via another rider the damage was done but I still had to get back so after a quick nap under a tree waiting for the link I washed the grit out of the chain and use sticks to get the thing semi on enough to ride back.

It was a frustrating experience as 5 hours was the bulk of the event, the last hour you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is a small bonus that I gained 3rd still but not what I was there for. It is a survivor’s game in this weather and if I was going to quit I would have rather done it after 1 hour and saved the hassle but that’s racing

Matata Area 5th – March 2011 – Iron Man Class

The track was a good combination of farm and forest with all kinds of soil base from hard packed and slippery to soft pumice.

The weather was a big factor with constant rain over the duration of the event.

Final result was 3rd Iron man after a broken chain not long over 5 hours while leading.

Rory Mead had entered the Iron man class to make things interesting and he asked how it was. I told him its fine till about 3 hours and you realize you are only half way. You need to be very careful with your energy reserves in an event like this as once they are depleted, you are finished. Right off the start Rory rode hard so I did not worry about him as I suspected he would clap out or give up and if he did not then I would see him towards the end.

The very first lap a root caught the front wheel putting the bike into a slide clipping a tree and causing minor swelling on my right hand. For the next 3 laps I would have a stroke of bad luck and end up picking up the bike, it was infuriating as it was constantly raining so everything got covered in mud meaning each lap I needed to stopped and pit for fresh goggles/gloves.

Sick of constant stopping I went a lap without goggles and without passing anyone my eyes were getting filled with grit. The Iron Man class is about survival in these conditions so the next lap I stopped, cleaned my eyes out and replaced goggles once again as vision is a key to finishing.

As the race wore on the reason why I had come unstuck became clear, it seemed like pure bad luck but I found I was riding in an energy efficient ½ throttle zone and leaning into the corners but there was not enough aggression, traction or power being used to keep the bike up if it deflected. I opened it up for a quick thrill then settled back into the grind.

After 5 hours I was in the lead and cruising along a road when the chain snapped. The bad news is I had taken all my tools out in the pits after requiring some adjustments from a prior spill but did not put them back in. By the time I got a chain link sent to me via another rider the damage was done but I still had to get back so after a quick nap under a tree waiting for the link I washed the grit out of the chain and use sticks to get the thing semi on enough to ride back.

It was a frustrating experience as 5 hours was the bulk of the event, the last hour you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is a small bonus that I gained 3rd still but not what I was there for. It is a survivor’s game in this weather and if I was going to quit I would have rather done it after 1 hour and saved the hassle but that’s racing

Whangamata Enduro R3 National Series 26th Feb 2011 

The track was clay based with some rocks but mainly forestry trails. The track was 95km long and we did 2 laps. Included in the distance a number of linking roads you can relax on. All tests were very tight and you would be lucky to use third gear but they had some flow so it was enjoyable.

Final Result 5th overall and 3rd in Class – still the class leader.

The weather had held up well and it had been quite wet in the region over the last few weeks so I was not sure what to expect. All tests were blind and I was on number 1 so if the weather packed it in I would have an advantage but otherwise you can find yourself cutting the trails so the other riders can see where to go and where not to go.

After 30km we came into the first test where I met an intermediate rider somehow but he was fast enough in moving out of the way. The test was extremely tight so I was pleased about my choice to gear the bike down or this would have been very tough. At the end of the test an unseen hole caught me out but I got up and running fast enough just 5m from the end.

After another long section we came to the next 2 tests fairly close together and I was getting a bit worried they were tight also. Sure enough they were but at least at 1 point you could make 3rd gear but it was short lived. I did not push too hard in these tests as it could cost too much time if you make a mistake and even then there was the odd time where you needed to pull the front round the corner but I felt good and the Berg steered nicely aided by the lower gearing so I could stay off the clutch.

The day wore on and it was back to the old test again. This time I did not dump it till the last test from being cross rutted as it was hard to know how hard to ride.

This time around there were ruts so I did not need to worry about where I was going but at the same time they caught me off guard a bit as they were deep enough to cross rut if you got out at the wrong time and as the track was so tight it essentially was single lane and gave you little choice on where to ride but I still was having fun although it did wear the skin off in a few spots.

Maddix Park Grand National Cross Country Final  Sun 13th February 2011

This was a freshly groomed and new track running in reverse to normal with many changes. The track was a solid and slippery clay base with freshly turned soil on top. Due to the recent rain the topsoil turned to mush a bit but it was 10 times better than dust at this time of year. Feeling a bit beaten up from the past few days I did not know what to expect when I turned up and bikes were covered in mud on quite a hot day. Once the race got off to a start we found the track was quite tight in spots with a few grooves to catch you out. Some of the more open spots were in immaculate condition with a perfect amount of moisture and others had a thick layer of slop on top. The slop was great fun using all of the 450 power to churn through and you could hit it at a fair pace but what would catch you out was the constant changing lines that would often cross and zig zag making it hard to power down. At the half way point of the race the sun strike on your goggles was getting quite bad in areas but I did not take them off as sun strike was better than a stick in the eye ball. Overall the track was soggy and therefore challenging with the clay base but it was a great track and for every sludgy section there was a thrilling fast section to make up for it. After pitting I ran out of fluid and it was starting to have an effect. The next lap I was to pit again to prevent dying a slow thirsty death but in the last 800m I washed out the front end on a fast and easy corner snapping the front guard off. It was a real shock, I did not expect it and have no idea how it happened but I was feeling the lack of water and aching muscles from yesterday’s entertainment so I called it a day.

For the GNCC series overall I was 3rd Grand Champion and 1st  in Elite class.

Te Puke Endurocross 12.02.11

The 2nd Annual Endurocross organized by the Te Puke Motorcycle Club and held at the Te Puke A & P Show was once again a great success with Rory Mead edging out Michael Philips in the final.

I won my two heats and came second to Rory in the semi final after getting stuck in the rocks and coming back from 6th.

The heat was intense in such an energy demanding event and I think I cooked my goose a bit in the semi finals as the final I started banging bars to get to 3rd but made a bit of a mess in the rocks again draining energy. After this I coasted over the next few obstacles making them way harder but I needed to get some strength back. The result was being pitched over the front by the firewood (see photo above).

The intensity caught me by surprise a bit. My plan was to wait till the final then go big off everything except the logs but getting pitched put a big dent in that plan as I was a bit bumped but drained of energy. I finished up 5th.

We made the track over the last week and tested it out the night before but a couple of the guys could not circulate so for the morning we ramped the bases slightly which unfortunately meant you could hit them a lot faster and jump off them but it was still very demanding and great to watch between our heats so it was a good compromise.

Ian & Julie from Coastline Honda put up the prize money for the Endurocross and everyone in the final got something – in fact, except for 1st place, it paid better than the Tarawera 100. 

Oparau National Enduro 29th January 2011

This was held in Oparau which is clay based native verging on steep farmland. This area has a lot of rocks and large river crossings. In the dry it is great but in the rain it becomes almost impassable and a survival game at times.

3rd in the 300+ Class on the day but still 1st for the season

I was planning on camping the Friday night but due to heavy rain and flooding I saved the drive for the morning when the rain eased eventually to a stop. Rivers were flooding and paddocks underwater but arriving at the event it made little difference to the format as it was all go. The first large section gave you a false sense of the traction and riding as it soon got tough and ugly with riders getting stuck and struggling for traction. The day eventually took its toll on a number of bikes and riders including Sam Greenslade and Mark Penny.

I was running my tyres in the 13 psi range causing an unexpected loss of traction as I got

dumped in one corner landing on my right leg. It was a bit sore but okay so quickly got up and going.

The next test rolled up and the front brake was very sensitive throughout putting me off before I came across 2 slower riders on a very steep clay section costing valuable time as one crash across the track stopping my momentum. At the end of the next stage I discovered the brake lever rubber was forced into the brake by the hand guard so this was one problem down. I wanted to drop tyre pressure to 10 PSI for traction but with the sharp edge rocks it was simply too much of a risk.

The next test I hit a neutral on a tight uphill corner before catching one of the same slower riders as the previous test, this time I went off course to get past twice and twice finding myself off the track as a result the third time I ran into him but the damage was done on

this steep down hill track. It was a struggle to clear the mud and get back into a rhythm.

By half way through the ride my leg was starting to cramp up so I decided to ride more

conservatively than I would like that ensured a finish.

Some of the tracks were very difficult with little traction and single line hills meant for a good challenge. The Husaburg’s chassis seem to keep you safe from bellying out which was great as over 1/3 of the experts either did not finish or lost time so this was a notable benefit in the ruts.

My leg was starting to become a real distraction and when it came time for the Extreme Enduro test we had a 40min wait and walked the track. This did me no favors as we got cold and I could hardly walk after that as my calf muscle went rock hard but I knew it was simply a strain so I am a bit disappointed that I let it distract me so much but it is hard not to be sometimes.

In the end I held on for third in class so it wasn’t all bad and we live to fight on in the next round.

GNCC Maramarua 8th February 2011

This race was in the scorching heat and dust of the hard packed clay and gravel  mix at Maramarua. The track was covered in the M3DE 2nd day section (I have just received my gold medal for this event).

Results: 3rd Overall and 2nd in class to Paul Whibley. Overall I will now be 2nd in the Elite championship as Yamaha rider Rory actually DNF’d this round.

The Husaburg FX was unpacked on Friday and run in after work at Maddix Park which lucky for me is quite close and open most of the time. I have not ridden since the last race as I had no bike so really pleased to get the feel for the bike at Maddix park track which was superb. The suspension has not been moved one click out of the box and the suspension seemed where I needed it to be. I was not mucking around with putting on the steering damper for this event so it was a true test of the bike alone.

This Husaburg fired straight up and put me 2nd into the first corner which was critical in the dust with Adrian and Rory hungry for some points behind me. I had to ride slow to see the track with less dust and as a result Paul Whibley wanted past so I let him through. Whibbs is not in the championship points and is a career rider so I was looking at an overall and not pushing hard enough to go to hospital losing more than just the race.

Once the dust settled it was back to pace. Dust clouds still lingered giving chance to a big crash, it nearly happened over a blind crest into a tight 90 degree corner unable to be seen in the dust. I locked up pitching it 90 degrees before dropping the clutch sliding off the bank. Lucky I kept in control and the burg was decisive in its steering or it was game over at that speed, I was able to just ride back up and out with no incident.

In general my steering damper acts like insurance at speed and this was a fast track, I was cautious but did not feel insecure on the FX as I expected. It is what I was missing on the FE  seeming far more capable of hitting the hard rough lines. In some cases I braced for impact and was shocked when it had no effect on the bike. The thought ran through my mind that I now have the choice to push harder when you can no longer be smooth due to conditions.

Due to the heat every pit I swapped goggles to keep the massive sweat build up in the foam out of my eyes.  In the last 2 laps an external knocking developed, turns out the muffler looked fine but only had1 bolt remaining holding it in place and it was about to fall off. The NEW rear tyre shown to the top right is destroyed and I was being nice to it with throttle  delivery. The worse it got the more I fed the throttle to keep driving.

I feel the Husaburg showed remarkable stability and control as remained in control at speed regardless of having no knobs remaining. I am certain that that the last 2 laps would have been much faster if not for these 2 things as I was feeling comfortable that the bike could be safely pushed harder at that point.

Thanks for your support - Reece Burgess

Waimiha National Enduro

 

 

 

5th overall and 2nd in the 300+ Class

 

Behind Paul Whibley

It was a good turn out with recent “Roof of Africa” champion Chris Birch and AMA #3Paul

Whibley thrown in the mix and to make things more intense.

Unfortunately I drew minute 1 and to make matters more difficult Chris Birch was on minute 2

threatening to make us feel slow. If that was not enough of a distraction the other riders on my

minute were slow but I did not know that at the time.

The first blind test I let the other the other 2 riders go in the hope that they would leave some

track showing where to go but unfortunately the gap was not enough and I caught them both but

hit an unseen stump while passing. After catching them again on the single lane track 1 rider was

slow to move while the other fell down.

They were long tests and Birch also crashed on the hidden roots so to keep him away from me I

tried a new plan and headed in 1st to the next blind test. I like to see tracks to know how to exit

the corner and spot faster lines but I did what I could. I feel I pushed hard but mucked it up a bit

so had no idea on the time and only hoped others struggled with hitting trees as I did.

Test 3 was not blind but this time being minute 1 was an advantage as I had no traffic and with

the odd nasty groove you had to be fast on your toes. With ruts and line to follow life was much

easier spotting the odd trap that caught many out saving me time.

Test 4 I hit a tree hard getting a bit too confident and wanting to go faster but it was not worth

the risk as Chris found out after a tree ended his day in Test 2.

After the final test and 160km I finished feeling ok but the fork seal had been hammered and was

leaking on the disc break as many suffered from the intense workout in one particular area.

After checking the results I was happy as 2nd to Whibley is as good as first to me especially as he

will not be doing the season.

Thanks for your support - Reece Burgess

Waimiha Grand National Cross Country 3

This was held in the Waimiha Forestry

Well known for being tough in the dry

and impossible in the wet.

3rd Overall and 2nd in class to Paul Whibley

After an enduring enduro on the Saturday no one looked overly keen on Sunday.

The heat was beating down and it was so hot and dry it was hard to sit without breaking a sweat.

The race was set an hour late so we did not finish before 6pm but at least it was cooler.

Unfortunately it was a section on single lane track used on the previous day enduro but with an

additional 4 hours of riding on top of that so needless to say I was not so impressed.

The trick was survival on this day as it was such an intense tight track.

Most of the time I was in 2nd gear and it really was a single line track. If you got too clever it

could end in tears as the trees were extremely close that acted like magnets giving a couple more

grazes.

During the course of the race I went through 2 full camel packs and still started to dehydrate as I

was only pitting once due to the Husaburg’s remarkable fuel economy.

I struggled with the heat and kept my excretions to limits you would not normally concern

yourself with in a cross country but the track was so busy I felt it was more about survival

partially due to a long day yesterday. I was sure Whibley would be untouchable here due to his

fitness level, energy = fast on this unrelenting track.

On the 2nd to last lap I picked up the pace a bit and was rewarded with a tree hugging moment

which took it out of me. All the sweat from the goggle foam spattered in my eyes breaking my

peak and cracking the goggles. I was sore but ok.

After getting going I lost the front on some roots a short time later. I could feel the dehydration

setting in so I changed my lines and riding style back to conservative mode.

At the end I was pleased to have survived the “battle of attrition” but did not feel I had done a

cross country as it lacked that “speed factor” of above 2nd gear.

Paul Whibley could have had tea and crackers half way through and still won, he is that tough so

I am pleased enough to be 2nd in class and 3rd overall.

Thanks for your support - Reece Burgess

Race Report : Leatt 4 Hour 22nd August 2010

With 370 riders combined with a wet week, the Suzuki 4 hour was going to get interesting.  I had teamed up with Phil Singleton as we were a solid team in the Castrol six hour easily winning the class and 2nd overall.

 

It was important to get a good start with 4 rows of bikes waiting to stuff into the first corner. When the shotgun sounded it took me slightly longer to get away then hoped for and it was an instant mess. I tried to stay clean and out of trouble but with bikes going in all directions it was hard to stay clean. Into the trees the track was very soft and the traffic was very thick.

The plan was simple, keep clean and ride smooth so when the traffic thins we can break free of the mess with good vision. It started out that way for the first 12km picking up places here and there. Finally the riders seemed to settle into lines so I decided it was time to move on up without as much risk of being taken out. After passing quite a lot of bikes I caught a scrappy group, they were all riding hard but sadly held little corner speed so I had to break hard to not hit them as they crossed lines all over the place. the lack of pace was frustrating slowly filling my goggles for no gain so I made a risky fast pass on all three of them and as I cleared my vision one tried a desperate pass back but lost his rear end. The rear wheel caught my leg and jammed it around his rear guarddragging me off my bike and up a hill until it stalled his bike with my other leg stuck under the bars.

I was quite angry untangling myself and got going after losing all my vision along with a lot of places. The bike fuel light was on permanently and it was hard to start with an occasional miss on low revs throwing you off balance. As a result I had to pit in the case a lot of fuel was lost while being on the ground losing yet more places at a critical time. The bike did not require fuel but would not start and backfired. We got it going and sent Phil on hisway. Phil came back he said it was fine after about 5km but the light was still on and it was turning over but running like it had water in the fuel. After another pit I ripped the seat off and checked the battery had its terminals loosened by the spill and the fuses. After this it started fine to add to my frustration as I did should have checked sooner but I figured it was very wet so - water in air box or fuel?

Passing was a bit slow to start with but we put in some solid laps to make it into the top 10. Darrel Hurley and Brad Groombridge won the event. We had a few people mention we did well to come back to the top 10 but we were not very pleased with how the day went but that’s racing. Thanks for your support.

The goal for me now is to train & win the Hawkes Bay 6hr Iron man again. I felt robbed when my chain derailedin a rut while in the lead on the last lap previously so its pay back time.

 

Tarawera 100 July 10th 2010

With this number of entrants,  it is very important to get a good start so I planned accordingly, choosing a direct start position with a ditch knowing that most slower riders will go for the smooth line. I was lined up beside Cody Cooper and Damien King so that was confirmation I was in the right spot.

When the shot gun sounded I got the Husaburg started before I was on the seat and charged straight to the front. I lost a couple of spots in the first corner but it was planned so I could get a faster run down the next steep hill to a ditch and this shot me into 2nd place.

The first lap saw Damien get ahead before we headed into the trees, I pushed him into a couple of corners making some short lived passes but he was pushing hard so I settled in behind him as it was early in the race. His pace slowed up in the trees so mid way through the first lap I made sure he knew I was there. He picked up the pace any time I showed him a wheel and he was covering his lines.

The Husaburg was so easy to ride in the forestry I was able to maintain an easy pace riding inside lines while he railed hard around the berm but I could hear company coming and felt we were losing ground. We both came in hot to a corner and I rode wide to cross his line but the corner disappeared unexpectedly and so did I, down a steep bank with felled pines. I heard bikes go past and I hopped over the logs and somehow up this bank to stay in it.

By the end of the lap I was back up to following Damien. I took advantage of one of his mistakes and whipped past in the tighter track and spent the next 20min staying smooth. Then I wasted it when I overshot a corner clipping some trees, allowing him to close right up again in the next fast rough section. This ended in a crazy drag race of who was more mental  when I got on the wrong side of a berm on an off camber corner into harsh high speed bumps. He seemed shocked the Husaburg could not be dragged off as it is so smooth and quiet.

Now while passing a number of lapped riders it was easier to follow him past. The last lap and I sneaked out of the pits just ahead of him again but he was closer than I thought. It was another drag race. He braked late and I did not see him coming and he got back past. I lost the front around an off camber corner in a lapse of concentration and lost touch with Damien.

I had great trouble with lappers slowing me down and I hit a few as they nearly took me out. The speed we are going at leaves no room for these guys who just change lines and they cannot hear the quiet Burg coming. I yelled at so many I lost my voice. Revving the bike was pointless so progress slowed when it needed to be raised. Passing was much faster with Damien as his bike was so loud.

By the end of the lap I had lost some ground to Damien.  He sneaked past a worn out Rory but I just ran out of time to do the same.

End Result for me - an easy 1st place for the Enduro bike class and 5th overall.

Cody Cooper took out the win with Foggarty in second and Damien third”.

26th June 2010 :  Dirt Guide Series

I picked up Scotty (Scott Barr-Smith) and we both headed to the final of the Dirt Guide Series on Husaburg 450’s.

It had been wet all week so it was going to be a tough day.

It was my hope that Scotty would beat Chris Powers who had been riding well recently. If I won

this round and Scotty come in ahead of Chris then I would win the series class and have a good shot at the overall with Rory and Adrian both having DNF’s at 1 round each.

 

It was not to be. Scotty hit a tree in the first lap essentially taking him out of the event

I also hit a tree after a slower rider forced me offline as I went past at a speed that was not too

friendly when you are cross rutted. I was fine and managed to get to the front but it did wipe off my hand guard making my hands extremely cold in the constant rain. This also cracked my speedo.

Even though it constantly rained as the track got more and more inhospitable, we were still able to keep goggles on which was a real life saver and I pulled a good lead on my nearest class rival.

Knowing it was a day of survival I rode clean until the last lap when I really put in a charge to try toget Adrian. The bike barely went past half throttle till now and I had plenty of energy still.

After 15 minutes of hauling I felt great but the bike started to stall easy and steam in the tight

sections so I backed right off again fearing it would overheat and cause damage.

 

Riders were falling off everywhere and getting stuck going down hills. This thick mud had blocked my radiators so I nursed it back to the finish.

I was 3rd on the day, 1st easily in class and 2nd for the series. All up a good day.

I will ride on Sunday – Prep for the T100. (that damper is a life saver and the Scott goggles worked brilliantly and can’t thank Scott enough on a day like this where vision makes or breaks).

 

Whanagamata Enduro

The track was clay based with some rocks but mainly forestry trails. The track was 95km long and we did 2 laps. Included in the distance a number of linking roads you can relax on. All tests were very tight and you would be lucky to use third gear but they had some flow so it was enjoyable.

Final Result 5th overall and 3rd in Class – still the class leader.

The weather had held up well and it had been quite wet in the regional over the last few weeks so I was not sure what to expect. All tests were blind and I was on number 1 so if the weather packed it in I would have an advantage but otherwise you can find yourself cutting the trails so the other riders can see where to go and where not to go.

After 30km we came into the first test where a met an intermediate rider somehow but he was fast enough in moving out of the way. The test was extremely tight so I was pleased about my choice to gear the bike down or this would have been very tough. At the end of the test an unseen hole caught me out but I got up and running fast enough just 5m from the end.

After another long section we came to the next 2 tests fairly close together and I was getting a bit worried they were tight also. Sure enough they were but at least at 1 point you could make 3rd gear but it was short lived. I did not push too hard in these tests as it could cost too much time if you make a good mistake and even then there was the odd time where you needed to pull the front round the corner but I felt good and the Berg steered nicely aided by the lower gearing so I could stay off the clutch.

The day wore on and it was back to the old test again. This time I did not dump it till the last test from being cross rutted as it was hard to know how hard to ride.

This time around there were ruts so I did not need to worry about where I was going but at the same time they caught me off guard a bit as they were deep enough to cross rut if you got out at the wrong time and as the track was so tight it essentially was single lane and gave you little choice on where to ride but I still was having fun although it did wear the skin off in a few spots

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