Ep 13: Mountain Madness 2009

We did it! Mountain Madness 2009 is done and dusted, with Garage Night “satellite squad” the Mushman Candidates placing FIRST in the under-650cc class and 2nd outright on points.

Trent and Pete again teamed up with KTM rider and navigator extraordinaire James to produce an outstanding result – though scoring second overall for the second year running left them even more determined for outright victory next year.

Our not-so-hotly-competitive “official” entry Team Garage Night – myself (Waz), Richard and Etienne – placed 8th out of 14 in the over-650cc class.

Richard and I hadn’t ridden on dirt for years, and for the three of us it was our first outing as a team. Not making excuses – but it took us a while to find our offroad legs.

Team Garage Night had an exhausting first day scoring not many points, then a mad dash home to check in, only avoiding a penalty by three minutes.

On the second day we were much more confident riders, but found ourselves prematurely knackered from two full days of manhandling our bikes around mountain tracks. We never thought we’d win, or even score a podium finish, so 8th is fine with us and there’s plenty of room for improvement if we want to take a more competitive approach next time.

The Mushmans, on the other hand, ran a very disciplined operation with many hours dedicated to map preparation and course plotting. Their seriousness became a bit of a running joke in the Garage Night camp but you have to seriously admire their riding and route-finding skill.

As for the bikes, we had no major problems. On Team Garage Night, the KTM forks on Richard’s BMW worked flawlessly; Etienne’s DRZ-400 performed in the usual bulletproof fashion of these bikes; and I felt that the others’ doubts about my Elefant’s offroading abilities and reliability were finally put to rest, along with some doubts of my own.

And no punctures, except before the rally had even started when I pinched a tube fitting my offroad tyres.

So now it’s back to the garage. Richard’s bike needs some repair work after a minor low-speed crash during the event, and I’m turning my mind to fitting the Elefant with some Husqvarna-Showa offroad forks I scored on eBay for cheap. I think my carbs need a mixture adjustment and balance too, so we’ll be filming that.

See you back at the workbench.

– Waz

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10 thoughts on “Ep 13: Mountain Madness 2009

  1. This brings back some good memories – it looks so much easier on video doesn’t it? End of day two I was so knackered I’d have told you ‘never again’, but now I am thinking ‘hey, that looks like a good idea’… That mud hole where you turned around looks very familiar and if it is the same one I think it is then it’s one we decided to follow through on but ultimately came to grief in another hole further up the mountain – possibly a good strategy on your part deciding to give it a miss….

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  3. Yes definately brings back memories – see you guys chickened out of mud hole tho – wise decision – we did it but took all three of the charlies angels team to get my africa twin through!And we were all bloody knackered before we got to it!!

    great vid maybe see you all next year – just looking at investing in laminator – not a bad idea for holes tho!


    team charlies angels

  4. The trick to riding the big bikes like the elefant and the super enduro is to stand up. It is hard at first but once you get used to it you wont sit down in hard conditions.

    Great video


  5. Hi John, my arms are not long enough to stand up for very long – got to get some risers on the Elefant. For me the main thing I remembered is to get the weight on the outside peg through the corners – keeping your body upright and weighting that peg as you lean the bike through the turn.

  6. Great video guys, I’m very jealous, would love to have a go at that one. I think i will pencil that one in for next year, just have to organise a bike to get over there. Bar risers are definately the go for extended standing while riding. The fant looked horn with the knobbies on. That wasn’t the rear tyre that myself and Al picked up at the elephant rally in Austria.

  7. Rave, that would be one and the same tyre. The brand is Mitas – made in the Czech Republic. Good set of rubber, I rode all the way back to London on it and it’s still on the bike.

  8. Looks like jolly good fun – congrats on finishing so well too.

    Pete – the TDM is finally being retired. 250 000 kms, a ride half way around the world and silly amounts of wheelies have taken their toll.

    I’ve bought a 900 Elefant as a replacement – what a great toy !!!

    The ultimate urban holigan weapon. Why slow down to go around round-abouts when you can go straight over the top…

  9. Richard you made my day with the Elefant comment there. I have the 750 now but previously had the 900. The 750 is a more refined version but I miss the rorty, clattery nastiness of the 900 sometimes. Hope you have bags of fun with it and please get in touch anytime for advice and assistance – I’ve been right over these bikes.

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