In my last post I detailed the work I put into the KTM 350 Flat Track / Road bike I had been building.
This bike broke me good and proper earlier in 2016, I attempted to right the wrongs and tie up my loose ends created by a series of issues, my thought was if I could rectify the issues I would end up with a rideable bike for my summer holidays.
Well at the 11th hour I gave up on that dream and took off on my summer holidays sans motorcycle.
That’s not where this story ends though, I loaded all my motorcycle gear into the van, signed off work for 2016, locked up the shed and hit the highway, watching the rolling hills pass by with numerous fire trails leading up deep into the pine forests, I convinced myself that life is to short to start 2017 without the thrill and excitement of a 2 wheeled Alpine adventure.
It was Christmas eve and I found myself looking through my local classifieds, just up the road was a 2014.5 KTM 450 SXF Factory Edition, I made a decision and went to purchase the bike, the price and condition of the bike was good enough that I could almost sell it ten days later for the same amount as the purchase price, I just had to keep it in one piece.
What transpired from that moment on was pure good times, I had never ridden a 450 before, it was very much like the 350 but required a little more forearm strength than what I was accustomed to.
Most people choose Enduro bikes for riding like this, for me I find them too plush and dulled down, I prefer to stay light on the bike, move fast and work the trail to suit the stiffer suspension.
After my first ride I shifted a few things around to suit my riding style, summer holidays for me goes like this- breakfast, coffee, moto, lunch, trails on the mountain bike, swim, beers, dinner and then bed. Its a routine I never tire off.
Speaking of MTB I headed to the Mystic Mountain Bike park for the first time, after hearing good things about the new Hero Trail I thought I would give it a go, I got a shuttle up to the start and pedaled hard into the descent, big table tops shaped perfectly, one after another separated with tight berms and long rollers it was a heap of fun.
The ten days went by so fast, before I knew it I was heading back home, rolling the 450 off the trailer and working out how I was going to make my money back on it.
A good clean, some fresh tyres, oil and filters and it was back on the market, I was able to get the asking price and it capped off the perfect summer holiday.
Heading back to work after all of that fun was hard but daylight savings meant there was still plenty of fun to be had after work.
I made some new bars for my 1967 Harley, also finished off a fuel tank that I had mocked up over a year ago, its fun keeping the bike fresh with small changes.
I loaded it into the back of the 1965 Econoline for a local car show.
They are a perfect match and a lasting memory of our Honeymoon.
I also added a set of 15×10 Cragar SS rims to match the 14x7s that I added in California, I had the wheels for about a year and it wasnt until I found a pair of 275/50/15 Radial T/A’s for a decent price that I decided to run them, I am glad I did.
Because Lee, Dean and I have been working on a pilot to hopefully produce another film.
Summer sunsets never get old.
I love working with these two, in the few hours of daylight that we have after our normal jobs we can create some pretty amazing content.
In the surrounding areas close to home.
We are hoping we can do more of this in the near future.
Fast forward a few weeks and Australia day long weekend loomed, we made plans to head back to our little caravan in the High Country but this time I wanted to conquer a long term dream of mine.
To take on some big downhill trails on a proper downhill bike.
Again I hit the online second hand market, searching high and low for a suitable bike.
What I settled on was a Specialized Sworks Carbon Demo 8, littered with high end aftermarket parts.
My first ride on the bike was really uncomfortable, some new grips, cut down bars, re-positioned levers and shifter, flat pedals and some tweaks to the suspension transformed it into the most comfortable and capable bike I had ever ridden. I had done a heap of research leading up to the purchase, the amount of technology that is built into this bike is amazing, its light and refined but I love the fact its done in a “burley” way and makes the bike almost indestructable, to have something that’s capable of going through hell yet weights under 13kg is amazing.
Coming from a lifetime of BMX I felt confident on the bike, I headed to the peak and prepared to drop in.
Apart from the bike being sprung a little soft (I had everything on the bike cranked and it was still bottoming out pretty hard on both the up and downramp) it was a heap of fun, the bike fills the hole between BMX and Moto, the 27.5 wheels can roll over anything and the 200mm of suspension travel really makes it smooth and controlled through jumps, corners, rocks and sharp terrain.
There are trails and jumps littered everywhere in this region, so much fun sailing through the forest.
Oh and yea I love monos!
So that’s pretty much the exciting parts of my summer, throw in some good food, scenery, company, beers, swims and that is summer in the Alpine region of Victoria!