Friday, April 30, 2010



Gas Gas Australia has just announced it has been able to sharpen the pencil on the trick new Yamaha-engined EC250 4T enduro weapon.

Thanks to a price adjustment from the Gas Gas factory, the local importer has been able to pass the savings on to Aussie buyers.

This means the EC250 4T has had $500 sliced from its RRP, bringing it in at a tasty $11,799 and placing it at the pointy end of the 250cc thumper price wars.

For more details on the Gas Gas EC250 thumper, check it out at your local Gas Gas dealer or check out the web site.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010



Australian Women’s Enduro Development (AWED) rider and multiple Australian Champion, Alison Parker, completed her ninth Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) in Portland, NSW last week with another podium finish. Parker steered her Yamaha WR250F to third place in the 2010 event making it nine straight podiums for Parker in nine appearances at the prestigious event.

Parker battled hard throughout the four days and is happy to again be on the podium, behind fellow Yamaha riders Jessica Gardiner and Jemma Wilson.

“This event was fantastic. The trails were challenging, special tests spectacular and, thanks to some pre-event rainfall, there was no dust all week” stated Parker.

“I’m so pleased that the standard of female enduro rider in Australia continues to improve. I expected the younger women to catch me eventually and 2010 has been the year”.

“I’m also very delighted that, despite dramas early in the event, all but one female competitor was still riding on the final day”.

Parker is now preparing to travel to Europe where she will contest the inaugural International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) Women’s Enduro World Cup in Italy, Poland and France.

“I am so pleased that the FIM has recognised that women’s racing has developed to a point where an individual championship is warranted” said Parker.

“I have always made an effort to support races that support women and this is no exception. I consider competing in this World Cup a natural progression in my own career, after strong result both in Australia and at three previous International Six Days Enduros (ISDE)”.

AWED coaching commitments have increased in 2010, with all-female riding schools now being held in QLD, with Jacqui Beattie and Parker, and in NSW, with Level 2 coach, Kellie Meehan.

The next events for AWED are a fundraiser cruise in Mooloolaba, QLD on 1
st May (contact Lance Ashton on 045864090 for further information) and all-female riding schools at Kenilworth on 2nd May (contact Jacqui Beattie on 0412 629 936) and Fairbairn Park, ACT on 15th and 16th May (contact Kellie Meehan on 0402 198 400).

AWED would like to thank Yamaha, GYTR, Yamalube, Suspension Matters, Fox, Barkbusters, Scott, Unifilter, Pirelli, Whipp’s Alloy Products, Quick Access Computing, Nine Two Decals, Galvin Constructions, Jamie Mackay Photography, Club Y and Camelbak for their ongoing support.

Further information can be found at


In the now combined world of BMW and Husqvarna (remember BMW now owns Husqvarna!), there's two things the brands have made very obvious in recent months:

1). Husqvarna is gearing up to bring a vast array of new models to the market in coming months and years.

2). Many of those new Husqvarnas will clearly show a BMW influence.

Check out these sneak peek images of Husqvarna's brand new 450cc MX bike, that will make its debut in the FIM World Motocross Championship next month, before going into production as a 2011 model.

Look deeper than the jet black plastics and Darth Vader styling of the new Husky thumper and the BMW influence is all too obvious.

Note the BMW engine, the combined countershaft and swingarm pivot point, the EFI, the under-seat fuel cell and the flat seat that stretches all the way to the steering head -- they're all features we've seen in BMW's ground-breaking G 450 X enduro bike.

But then note the rear suspension linkages that sit atop the swingarm, the KYB fork and shock, the Akrapovic exhaust and the raft of detailing touches that all signal this new Husky 450 has benefited from a sharing of R&D from both the BMW and Husky camps.

Best of all for us tree-huggers in the TRAIL ZONE, there's also an enduro version of the new Husky 450 four-banger under development, which will make its debut in the FIM Maxxis World Enduro Championship next month.

By taking the technical developments introduced on the G 450 X and 'transplanting' them into a new Husqvarna, BMW can be assured of far greater acceptance of the new machine by labelling it under the Husky brand.

As a pure off-road brand with a far greater dealer network in all major markets around the world, the penetration of the new Husqvarna 450 will be far, far greater than any BMW 'dirt bike' could ever achieve.

Husqvarna is aiming big for the 2011 model year and beyond and this first glimpse of the new 450 is just the first signal the Italian-built, German-owned brand is well on the way to kicking goals and going big in the years ahead.

-- Clubby, (want to comment? Then email

Wednesday, April 21, 2010



Hardly a day goes by without a Photoshopped cut-and-shut ‘artist’s impression’ of a rumoured new dirt bike model landing in the TRAIL ZONE Inbox.

Here’s the latest one, which hit our email pigeon-hole yesterday: is Honda’s famed Africa Twin set to roost the outback once again?

This draft design from Italy could be fact or could be fantasy, but either way this beast sure looks horny, even if some of the Photoshopping is a little bit clunky and the shock looks kinda spindly and the back end of the seat and rear guard looks a little out of proportion ... and hey, dreams are free!

It’s over to Honda now to see if this one ever becomes reality.

-- Clubby, (Want to comment? Email:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010



South Australian off-road rider, Shane Diener renowned for his multiple wins in his home state’s reliability trials series, will take to a KTM for the 2010 racing season, riding the 450 EXC -- a bike he believes will help him achieve his eleventh SA 24 Hour Trial title in July this year.

Riding for the love of dirt bikes rather than the love of podium glory, Diener hints that he is still a little excited about the potential of the KTM in a racing environment, recognising how highly regarded the KTM EXC range is for off-road motorcycle racing.

“I’ve ridden for a shop called SA Dirtbikes for the past nine years on a variety of manufacturer's models, and when a locally collaborated approach from SA-based companies came my way with an option to ride a KTM 450 EXC, I must confess the KTM tag line of ‘Ready to race’ entered my mind,” said Diener.

“My new ride for 2010 is a collaborated approach from KTM dealership Kessner Motorcycles, plus Grove Scafold & Scissor Hire, Chad’s Off-Road Set Ups, Spark Management, Bettabikes, Solomons Flooring and the company I work for Argoweld. Each of these companies are backing me with time, money and hands-on support to race in the 24 Hour Trial, plus the SA Reliability Trials Series and the Australian Safari.

“I’ve been riding for over 20 years now, with Freeling (around 60km from Adelaide) being my base. I’ll continue to focus on local events in South Australia, namely the Reliability Trials series starting in May, but I’m really looking forward to heading to WA as well for the 2010 Australian Safari.

“I last entered the Australian Safari in 2008, and unfortunately collided with a kangaroo, which came away from it better than me, as it hopped away, I sat on the dirt with a broken leg unable to finish the race.

“Nothing like that deters me though, and I’m really looking forward to a great year of racing ahead on the KTM 450 EXC.”



Hi guys: Just recieved issue #29 of your great mag. It's good to finally see a bit of work on the KLX250. Now that you have covered the powerplant, I wonder if you could educate myself and other KLX owners on the minor suspension upgrades nessessary for off-road riding. I myself sit in at about 86kg. Would be very interested in your advice. Love the mag, so keep up the good work.
-- Shane, via

Thanks for your email, Shane. We contacted Tony Janicksa at Kawasaki Australia head office and he explained that Kawasaki don't actually stock OE part optional fork and shock springs for the KLX250, so you instead have to call in a specialist suspension service centre workshop. They will be able to set-up your KLX's fork and shock with aftermarket fork springs and a shock spring to better suit your weight, speed and riding conditions. Obviously the harder you want to push it off-road, the more you will benefit from having a fork and shock dialled-in to suit. They can also make intricate valving and oil set-up mods, and once you get it done, you will be impressed by just how much better the ride is in off-road conditions. Stock suspension set-ups are always a compromise, and the stock set-up on the KLX is aimed at city commuting, road riding and soft-core trail riding. Two of the leading suspension centres here in Sydney where we are based are and and it's more than worth your while checking out their web sites and then contacting their workshops and discussing your needs with them. A few hundred dollars spent on fork and shock set-ups will pay big dividends with a faster, more comfortable and safer rider in the bush. Get onto them and get it done, mate.
-- Dr Phil, (Want to comment? Then email


Hi Dr Phil: Mudguards in front of engine cooling radiators, oil cooling radiators, crankcases and now that inconvenient little gap between the frame tubes (Radiate Me page 73 of TRAIL ZONE issue #29). Call me a classic bike fan if you wish (ex-Triumph Thunderbird and Greeves Scottish), but put the mudguard around where the mud and stones comes from and not where it goes. Put it back around the tyre. Just like on the new Tenere. Second point, what is this mud you keep mentioning? Victorian two-wheel trail riders need to be very adventurous to find any. Keep up the good work. I might even add a motor onto my Specialized Epic dual suspension mountain bike one day when I am too weak to push the pedals.
-- Dave Chadderton, via

Thanks for your email, Dave -- I'm pleased to see you too are a Greeves fan-club member, I’ve got a ‘72 or ‘74 model MX 250 Griffin! You make a good point about stopping mud at the front wheel with a mud guard, unfortunately with today’s 320mm front fork travel the rear trailing edge of the front mudguard would be skating along the trail at only half front fork travel if we implemented your suggestion! Not like the old days, eh!? Actually Yamaha Australia's Queensland office has done plenty of evaluation on this matter, what with their extremely hot summer temps, and they (and I for that matter) have proven that a roaring hot set of dirt bike thumper crankcases cools SUBSTANTIALY BETTER surrounded by air and not caked solid-to-the-frame-rails with dried mud, and their clutches last longer too due to cooler oil temps.
-- Dr Phil, (Want to comment? Then email

Monday, April 19, 2010



Kawasaki Australia has just taken the knife to the price of the latest KLX250S trailbike. Here's the official announcement from the crew at Team Green:

"Kawasaki is pleased to announce that as of today, Tuesday 20 April 2010, the dual purpose KLX250S will become the best value model in its class due to a $500 retail price reduction. Even more affordable for new license holders and now Kawasaki’s lowest priced Learner legal motorcycle, the new RRP for the 2010 KLX250S is $6,999 + ORC.

"An all-new model in 2009, the Kawasaki KLX250S is the whole package featuring LCD display, KX inspired styling, light weight and high capacity radiator, race bred front and rear suspension and D shaped aluminium swing arm,

"The KLX250S features unbelievable off road performance and real KLX heritage making it an awesome on or off road machine. Whether you’re tearing it up on the weekends with your mates or hauling to work and back through the week, enjoy the best of both worlds with the Kawasaki KLX250S.

"See the 2010 Learner Approved Kawasaki KLX250S at your nearest Kawasaki dealership with its new low regular retail price of $6,999 + ORC thanks to a $500 price reduction."

If you're toey for the latest green meanie, then make sure you check out TRAIL ZONE issue #29, which includes a feature story detailing the mods Kawasaki technician Tony Janicska has made to his personal KLX250S.

-- Clubby,



Hi Guys: Just some more feedback on 'The Reprisal' article in TRAIL ZONE issue #28. It looks like Scott has been too busy bashing the Bishop to check out the wonderful world of Enduro riding. I know he mentioned the A4DE, but what about Red Bull Romaniacs? Or Dakar? I'm not comparing Motocross/SuperX and Enduro, as I think they are as hard as each other at professional levels, but seriously, I think the image of hillbilles with 15-year-old bikes and flanno shirts is a little stereo-typical. What a turkey. I'm looking forward to Bishop's '101 Ways to Sit on a Spanner' book in the near future. Keep it up fellas!
-- Zac Madden, via

We love your style, Zac. Almost as much the Bish loves slapping fresh new stickers on his YZ450F. One day we might just get the Bish back into the bush and rest assured that will be the day he cops his comeuppance.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Listen up all trail, enduro and adventure bike riders: TRAIL ZONE issue #29 has hit the newsagents’ shelves nationwide and once again we’re a full week ahead of schedule!

And just as you would expect TRAIL ZONE issue #29 is absolutely jam-packed with a feast of powerful reading, highlights of which include test rides of the 2010-model Suzuki RMX450Z (yes, the thundering yellow off-road weapon is finally here!), Husky WR250, KTM 125EXC and bargain-priced Suzuki DR650SE adventure bike.

Meanwhile on the rides front we’ve ventured far and wide this issue to cover the Dakar Rally in South America, the High Country Trail Long Way Home ride in the spectacular South Island of New Zealand and the latest offering from the good ol’ boys at Sunny Corner Trail Tours.

Of course Dr Phil has been going hard at it in the workshop, and this issue he delivers a mountain of tech tips and bike prep advice, while this issue also includes the latest updates and set-up tips for our Husqvarna TE310, Yamaha WR450F and Yamaha XT660Z Tenere Project Bikes.

We’ve also taken a close-up look at the all-new Yamaha Super Tenere adventure bike that is set to hit the Aussie outback in the middle of the year, while the crew at Kawasaki Australia have built-up a special KLX250S that is sure to shake things up in the 250cc trailbike class.

Add into the mix our regular columns and news coverage, new product reviews and a brand new ‘The Garage’ section featuring trick workshop tools and equipment and TRAIL ZONE issue #29 is another cracker-jack production that will provide hours of fun for any dedicated trail, enduro or adventure bike rider.

So check it out: TRAIL ZONE issue #29, on-sale now at newsagents nationwide ... or subscribe this issue and score a brand new TRAIL ZONE T-shirt for just $10 extra!

Saturday, April 17, 2010



To Clubby at TRAIL ZONE: I'm the silly bugger on the Husaberg from Gerringong who didn't know when to quit on Bel-Ray Breaker hill at the Kowen Ride last weekend. I'm just wondering if you've stopped laughing yet and could forward on the photos of me on the hill as I need to study them to work on my technique for the next ride? Thanks mate.
-- Andrew Gordon, via

G'day Andy: Okay mate, there are a stack of photos of you poor buggers on that hill, so check out the next few emails. You should also check out Wazza's video of the hill on Youtube at this link: Enjoy!
-- Clubby,

Hey Clubby: Thanks for the great photos and the link to Youtube. I'm spewing the video bloke missed me gettin' to the top, as no one believes me, even my mate that was with me says his memory is fading fast. I can't believe the video bloke thought I wasn't going to get to the top after 58 goes and left -- did he have no faith?! He even says im on a 390 Berg -- my mum rides a 390! I was on a 570! Now I've gotta go back next year and do it again. Feel free to use any photos of me in a what-not-to-do article on how to ride big hills. See ya at the next one ... and if you need any crash-test dummies, you know how to reach me.
-- Andy Gordon, via

Hi Andy: Mate, I was there and I've got ya back! Fair dinkum, you had more hits than Elvis on the Bel-Ray Breaker but you can stand tall and proud and tell the world you scaled the top in the end and made it. After 58 attempts, you deserved it -- or a coronary! See ya at the Kowen Ride next year; we'll be the blokes with the cameras waiting at the top again. Ride on,
-- Clubby,

Friday, April 16, 2010



Aussie enduro hero Shane Watts and the DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding schools is stoked to announce the exciting new addition of his YouTube Channel! Be sure to check it out by following this link dirtwiseridingschool for some spectacular footage of Shane Watts in action along with other offroad pro riders tearing it up on the track and trails. Also included on our channel are videos of DirtWise students practicing the skills learned at our wildly popular schools, Shane Watts demonstrating free riding tips, and our Instructional DVD trailers!

“I’m stoked to have this channel out there!,” Wattsy announced. “It’s packed full of great action and is another way for everyone who enjoys this awesome sport to see the best of offroad riding!”

We will be adding new videos regularly so stay tuned! With our brand new ContourHD helmet camera that is secured in place by the sensational mounting system from you can be sure to expect some more fantastic video footage coming your way!

Shane Watts and the DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding schools and Instructional DVDs are supported by, DirtBaby, Dirt Tricks Sprockets and rotors, Fun Mart Cycles, Stillwell Performance Suspension, Extremeion/Carbon Raptor Factory fork tube coatings, dB Snorkel, GPR Stabilizers, Domino Grips from, IMS fuel tanks and footpegs, Fasst Co. Flexx Handlebars, Maxxis, and DeCal Works.

A portion of each student’s tuition fee to the DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding schools is donated to the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the RiderDown Foundation.

Visit for more info on how to register for upcoming schools and to sign up for the periodical “Watts Happening” Newsletter, or to purchase Volume #1 (How to master Mud, Sand, and Rough Ground technique) in the new DirtWise Advanced Instructional Riding DVD series, on sale now. Along with the original DirtWise Instructional DVD which covers over 25 different general Offroad riding skills and trail situations, there is also additional merchandise available to purchase on our website such as DirtBaby “track ready” baby apparel and more!

Sunday, April 11, 2010



The annual Kowen Forest Ride at Canberra is a regular stop for the TZ team and last weekend's 2010 event was yet another ripper that all the guys and gals from the DSMRA ACT branch should be extremely proud of.

A total field of almost 350 riders lined up for two days of pine forest action this year, with the DSMRA mapping out two 60 to 70km loops that certainly gave everyone plenty of value for money by mixing a sweet blend of open fire-trails and gnarly fresh-cut single-track in the pine plantations of the Kowen forests.

And yes, the infamous Russian Blackberry Tunnel of Death section was back again, along with the famed Lamb Chop Hill, which was joined this time around by Bel-Ray Breaker, another ugly rock-infested hillclimb as a Hard split on the North loop that soon surpassed Lamb Chop in the take-no-prisoners stakes.

There were also sperate Beginner loops and a special Demo loop where riders could sample an extensive range of new model dirt bikes courtesy of the crews from Picton Motorcycles, Gecko Motorcycles and the Canberra Motorcycle Centre, amongst others.

Now, it's not every day you get to swing a leg over new bikes, so the demo rides did a roaring trade!

And speaking of roaring trade, the Vietnam Vets once again kept the troops fed and watered all weekend long, with the majority of riders making a weekend of it and camping out and getting into the spirit of a great weekend away with your mates and a great ride, which is what the Kowen Forest Ride is all about.

I had to fly solo at Kowen this year, as Dr Phil was away on vacation with his family during school hols, while cinematographer to the two-wheel stars, Lance 'Russ' Turnley was in the midst of a major corporate DVD shoot, which had to take priority given he was getting paid real bucks in the real world rather than the free-stickers-and-all-you-can-drink-voucher-from-Grind that we bribe him with to do TRAIL ZONE DVD shoots.

I rolled into Kowen at dusk on Saturday night, grabbed a steak sanga from the Vets and pulled a few brews from the esky and started shooting the breeze and before I knew it was 11pm and time for shut-eye ... which I enjoyed in copious quantities, save for the dulcet nasal tones of Wazza Nose emanating from the tent next-door to me ... and the occasional bunger belting into the night-sky from the other side of the camp ground.

Come Sunday morning it was time to get up and get into: on the advice of Peter 'El Presidente' Daley from the DSMRA, my first port of call was Bel-Ray Breaker: the first Hard split hill on the North loop. It was carnage I was after and it was carnage it delivered!

It was an ugly rocky mother of a hill and it got the better of many a rider, with only very few victims scaling it cleanly. Wazza Nose was atop the hill with me and had his classic Sony 8 home movie camera running, so to get a gander at the visual treats the Bel-Ray Breaker provided, go to this Youtube post:

After almost an hour of mountain goat mayhem, we hightailed it to the Russian Blackberry Tunnel of Death, which this year was bathed in a foot of swamp water -- you beauty!

Truth be told the RBTD looked worse than it was, but only a few victims took the plunge, much to the delight of myself and Wazza and our cameras.

Thanks to everyone who hit the RBTD in typical Dr Phil gusto: "Second gear, full revs!"

With a feast of pixels in the can, I finally got a chance to put a few miles under the wheels of our Yamaha WR450F Project Bike and cut across to the South loop and made my way to the top of the Widowmaker, which provides a panoramic view over the pines and all the way south to the southern suburbs of the ACT.

Stopped atop the hill for a while, I was joined by more than a few riders short of breath and feeling the pace after completing the full loop.

The DSMRA boys sure know how to link pine forest single-track together and both loops contained huge slabs of it. With rain overnight on Saturday, there were plenty of greasy sections laced with slippery roots and rocks, which kept you on your toes the whole way. Perfect.

By the time I got out of the South loop and back to the Parc Ferme the Sunday lunchtime prize give-aways were in full swing and I got there just in time to witness Ben Morass score the biggest win of all -- by being plucked from the barrel to win the major prize: a brand spanking new Yamaha WR450F courtesy of Yamaha and the Canberra Motorcycle Centre and the event organisers.

On ya, Ben! But get this, Ben got his entry in the event after it was given to him by a mate whose bike had busted the week before and he couldn't ride! Hmm, wonder if this WR450F is gonna have to be split down the middle?

After that, well, it was time for more BS and benchracing and then loading the vans and trailers for the drive home.

Top job DSMRA, and take a tip from TRAIL ZONE: check out the web site pencil in the 2011 Kowen Forest Ride in your schedule right now!

-- Clubby, (Want to comment? Email

Thursday, April 8, 2010



Did you know that the wrapping and packing of each new issue of TRAIL ZONE is lovingly completed by the TZ Executive staff?

That's right, me and the missus get to spend hours on end stuffing magazines into envelopes and then load them all into the mighty TZ Trafic transporter to take 'em down to Dave and the boys and girls at the Brookvale Mail Centre, from where they will wing their way to all corners of the country and overseas to land in the mailboxes of our treasured TRAIL ZONE subscribers.

All up the process takes a solid day and a half, from the time we collect the new issue from our printers, Good Impressions, and bag them and post them.

We do the subscription mail job ourselves to rule out all the potential stuff-ups from mailing houses, because if there's one thing I've seen many times in all my years working on dirt bike magazines, it's irate subscribers who get detuned when their mag goes missing, or they get it AFTER the mag goes on-sale in newsagents, or they wind up with a copy of Pigeon Fanciers Quarterly rather than their dirt bike mag.

By keeping the subscriber mail-out process in-house and under our control, we know exactly when the subscriber copies are posted out, and by doing it as soon as we get the mags, it means subscribers should get their mags BEFORE the newsagents do -- which we feel is an important part of the service for our subscribers who show their faith in the mag and sign up for a year.

TRAIL ZONE issue #29 has been in the hands of Australia Post since yesterday lunchtime, which means a whole lot of subscribers will be receiving their mag today -- newsagents are scheduled to receive their copies in the middle of next week.

So check out the new issue of TZ and in the meantime we're loading the van again and heading to Canberra this weekend for the annual Kowen Forest Ride ... woo hoo! See you there!

-- Clubby, (Want to comment? Email

Sunday, April 4, 2010



The awesome thing about holiday long weekends is getting away with your mates and your bikes and roosting it up for a good ol' time in the sticks.

Which is precisely what we did on Good Friday when we took up an invite from Club Y head mistress Cheryl Muldoon to lead a trail ride for the Yamaha owner's group in the lush green hills surrounding Oberon in the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney.

Myself and Dr Phil headed the charge, with me on point-duty up front as Trail Boss and leading the way, and the good Doctor bringing up the rear as Sweep, dealing with the carnage and getting everyone home in one piece -- hopefully!

So we kicked off from the renowned Big Trout Motel at Oberon bright and early on Friday morning, with the plan being a nice and cruisy 200km or so trail/adventure ride to ease everyone into the dirt.

Our pack was 14-strong and included a few 'celebrity' participants, such as legend Aussie womens enduro racer Alison Parker, who was breaking in a new WR-F for next week's Yamaha A4DE at Portland, and industry heavyweights such as Adventure Moto honcho Steve 'Wolfman' Smith, Ficeda Accessories main-man Racin' Dave Maddock and Yamaha Australia execs Hiro Koike and Denis Roberts.

The range of hardware at the Big Trout 'parc ferme' included everything in the Yamaha off-road line-up, from Club Y member Keith's XT250 through TT-Rs and WR-Fs to Denis's mighty XT660Z Tenere -- complete with stock tyres slicker than Uncle Fester's hair cut.

I immediately knew I would have my work cut out for me, in terms of leading a course that would give everyone something to smile about at the day's end.

With a diverse range of bikes and riders, everyone has to be ready for a little give and take -- and the rookies like Keith need to be ready to be thrown in at the deep end.

About 40km later everything was going swimmingly and the pack was making good time ... until we hit the first section of single-track I had hand-cut for the ride. It was in a massive stand of pine trees and the rain three days before the ride had made every branch and sapling on the ground as slippery as a butcher's work bench.

As we regrouped, Ali P (no relation to Ali G -- allegedly) decided to test the protective qualities of her new WR-F's bashplate by practising her giant log crossing technique ... and promptly took a trip over the hangers. Luckily she came out smiling and went back for more.

Then we hit the single-track and 100 metres in Denis and his slick-tyred Tenere were looking for the bypass, so I sent him and Hiro out to the nearest fire-trail with directions to meet us at the next major intersection.

Cutting a fresh line up the first long hill, I reached the top and waited ... and waited ... and waited. Big Al on his snarling KTM EXC thumper appeared, then so did Mullos on her TT-R and Kellie on her WR-F. But there was silence after that.

Turns out there was a bit of carnage back there on the hill as the rest of the pack struggled with the greasy log crossings.

Playing the role of Trail Boss to the hilt, I said to myself, "Self, they'll be right, the Sweep will get 'em all up!" and roared off to the next cornerman position and kept on going.

Long story short, Dr Phil did get everyone up and save for Al's Kato weeping a little hot water from a radiator hose clamp, we all eventually regrouped with Denis and Hiro and left the gnarly pine forest single-tracks behind us.

From there it was on to morning tea (albeit a little late) with support vehicle driver Terry, then came a sweet section of trail down to the Kowmung River and on to Dingle Dell.

There was just enough water in the Kowmung to make us check it carefully before diving in and across, however it was the renowned 'Swamp' crossing on the Boucher Fire-Trail that gave us more reason for concern.

The Swamp has been getting pretty chopped out by 4WDs over recent times, so the exit banks are steep and slippery. But that didn't stop Iron Man Russ Turnley from ORE leaping headfirst into the black abyss aboard his Adventure Moto WR250R and promptly sinking to his waist -- which means anyone else would have been knee-deep in the gloop.

Russ bulldogged it and made it out alive, at which point Wolfman followed him in on his WR250R and chose an alternate line that was equally deep and gnarly.

We dragged Wolfman out but right then I made the call for the rest of the pack to take a detour, which involved a piddling one-metre wide crossing of the creek downstream. Only problem was, the alternate crossing was almost one-metre deep in a V-shape, so it was a little tricky ...

We did our best to fill the crossing with logs, then started the procession of bikes across -- which promptly resulted in CARNAGE!

Racin' Dave was the first to go down for the count, his kickstart-only 250F leaving him hucking a lung on the side of the trail as he tried to get it lit up on the bank of the exit side after stalling a couple of times.

Then came Denis and the Tenere, which Dr Phil offered to ride across. Not even a multitude of gnarly European ISDE experiences could get the Doctor through unscathed and he promptly went down like a sack of spuds on the greasy logs -- so it was all hands on deck to drag the mighty adventure machine out of the hole.

Just about everyone binned it here, but the best was left to last thanks to Lizard, who was actually across, up and out of the hole when he suffered a bad case of whiskey throttle and his WR-R launched in a rev-driven panic up, around and back down into the creek, off the metre-high bank in spectacular fashion! Struth!

Thankfully Lizard's landing in the creek and reeds was soft, so once again it was all hands on deck (with Al tripping and falling into the creek as well!) to get Lizard back on the trail.

But the carnage wasn't over: Wolfman rode Lizard's bike back to the track, but got hooked up on a giant green tussock and was promptly slapped hard onto the ground in an impact that left him nursing a tender thumb.

After all that, how good was it to meet up with Terry for the lunch stop and get some sausage sangas and drinks into us?! After all that work, we needed it.

With about 80km remaining for the afternoon, the ride back to Oberon should have been pretty cruisy. And it was -- until we hit another section of single-track.

At this point I suggested to Denis that he take the Tenere around it, but he was having none of that -- that's the spirit, mate!

So with the Tenere's slick rear tyre spinning like a top, Denis hit the grassy trail and started the climb up the hill -- and was doing unreal until the last ten metres, when he missed the exit out of the bush and went straight ahead -- directly up a near vertical bank, which he hit with gusto in a take-off attempt Robbie Maddison would have been proud of.

Only problem was, Denis was on a 200kg-plus Tenere with street tyres!

I've got to give Denis full marks for trying, but the forces of gravity just weren't on his side and the Tenere promptly spun a 180, flipped and crashed down on its right side -- thankfully WITHOUT Denis beneath it.

I was right behind Denis and it looked brutal -- but bugger me if he didn't jump back to his feet in no time flat. We ran to the Tenere to pick it up, fearing the damage report -- but all that was crunched was one rear view mirror and a scratch on the right side of the tank. That was it! Lucky ...

And on that note I calculated everyone had enjoyed their money's worth, so we cruised home via the fire-trails all the way back to the Big Trout Motel, where the post-ride smiles and bench racing indicated good times were had by all on Good Friday in the Club Y and TRAIL ZONE trail ride.

Lizard and Denis scored my bonus Trail Boss Bravado awards -- for their respective crashes -- so each of them scored a TRAIL ZONE T-shirt. Wear 'em with pride, boys!

Believe it or not, we're backing up for more carnage and chaos with another Club Y and TRAIL ZONE trail ride next month (Saturday, May 8), this time over at Clarence near Lithgow, and this one is going to be filled with single-track as a pure enduro ride.

If you want in on the action, check out the web site and email and we'll see you there -- just bear in mind fresh knobbies are recommended!

-- Clubby,