What’s up next?

Corona still keeping us hostage but that doesn’t mean life is standing still.
Tomorrow there was a VFROC ride planned but this one is also cancelled, at least as an official ride but will go on as an individual ride.
I planned to do all the cancelled rides on the set date and regular times and i know there are some other members who do that so i will see who i will be at the starting point tomorrow.

After the new vlog setup test i discovered that a external mike was needed and the mounting on the bike had to be more fixed.
To get that done i ordered an external mike and some different mounting parts.
One of the parts is in and i also ordered an extra base, now i have to change the base between Ragnarok and Ecstasy witch is annoying.
The mike is also in, maybe i will test it during the ride tomorrow.

The last expensive item on the wish-list also arrived. The Hyperpro rear suspension for Ragnarok and the shocktube to protect it.

Now i just need to find the time to install it and do the rear HEL brake-lines as well, those i had put on hold to tackle at the same time to spare an extra time taking the rear apart.

A small job on the back i did do was changing the oil in the final drive witch is scheduled every 3 years but with my mileage it was already 38k/km in 2 years and i will plan the next one at 25k/km because it is noticeable. That means 38k is too much.

The Fred Schoenmakers weekend is also officially cancelled due to Covid-19 as the Germans shut down the border with the Netherlands and is is unclear for how long this time.
This VFROC weekend is called after a board member who died in a motorcycle accident on the way to the hotel we would go 2 years ago.
He and i where on our way to do a final check of the routes and plan the final details with the hotel.
He was in a coma for another week and a halve and died on the 27th of April in 2019 after disconnecting the life support. He was nuts about ice cream, often we did an ice round on those weekends after the normal planned day-trip. Not rarely around 100km after the regular 250 – 300km day-trip.
Fred enjoyed life and died during what he loved doing so instead of weeping about our loss we remembered him enjoying an ice cream. Also just realised this year he died on Kingsday, that means we always have the day off to go for ice cream and hopefully with all his friends and family without Covid limitations next year.

Now the weekend is off the plan is to do another TET section, just figuring out if it will be North Netherlands or Belgium. Belgium just opened the borders but it’s still not completely clear in what degree but as far i know also for unnecessary travel and my colleague who lives in Belgium says even the police there doesn’t know for sure.
In that case a 3 day trip won’t be a problem.
Just need a new sleeping bag as mine is 30 years old and still fine but not suitable for these temperatures and last September at the Austrian – Italian border it wasn’t either.
If the Balkan trip or the Norwegian will be possible in September this year there will be places it also won’t be sufficient , time to go shopping next weekend.

A regular commute

After receiving all the parts to mount the old and the new GoPro on the bike end helmet it was sadly not the best of weather for filming.
Last week there was the right weather on the right day, not needing to take Ragnarok for grocery’s so time for the test.

The footage form the old Hero 3+ was not usable because the mounting with the RAM balls is too flexible and resulted in a wobbly image.
The new Hero 8 black on the Pro shot helmet mount is nice.
Below is an film of the “long way home” with just the camera. The long way is the first track in the opposite direction going a bit north-east instead of south to take a few extra tracks before going south.

The day after i did the direct route with after the start of the film below de parts from 7:18.
Even with Ragnarok i take the last bit regular, the forest part i also did with him but the exit is a bit tight and often i have the bags filled with grocery’s including eggs and i don’t want to bump those into the post.
I also filmed that and now with the mediamod but i need an external mike to make that work as i want. That’s what the test was for, to discover what the differences are and i already figured i would need an external mike.

I announced before that i wanted to film my way home to share that with you and this was a nice moment.
Now i can try to figure out a way to mount the old Hero 3+ steady enough and find an external mike to make future movies more interesting.
There are plans enough for this year. The VFROC weekend will most likely be cancelled and the TET Belgium or NL north. Belgium has opened up but still with limitations but i want to do them both this year and this is just choosing which can or has to be done first.
Then there is the next Adventure Shield training, now it’s time for the intermediate training and probably next year the advanced and off-course the 3 week trip, hopefully the originally planned Balkan tour from last year or plan B which is planned for next year.
Enjoy the film…

The channel is still alive

It’s been quiet but just because of lack of items.
There was a unofficial ride with the VFROC but the weather was not the best and filming would be just a waste of time but we had fun anyway.

Today i finally had the time and weather to test the new camera and the new mounting of the old.
I have a route home with some offroad and also an extended version and now i did the extended version. Tomorrow i have to be home in time so then i’ll do the direct version but will do another test, this time with the mediamod added to the GoPro 8.

I already took a quick peek and the setup for the old one (Hero 3+) is too wobbly so i have to figure out a solution for that.
After the test tomorrow i have some material to edit and share the two ways home.

The weekend following Ascension Day is normally the VFROC weekend but with a locked up Germany this will most likely be cancelled again.
In that case i probably will go do the TET Belgium as that country is back open since last Sunday night, that was already on my to do list for this year.
Wednesday the 28th we have the first step to reopen the country, a day too late because the 27th it is Kingsday but i have something planned anyway.
So there are things to come and hopefully nicer weather to go with those plans.

Working on Ragnarok

Last time i showed some goodies and in the mean time the HEL Brakelines came in so time to take Ragnarok apart.
Was asked if i could come in at work last Saturday for a job they really want me to do. It was not a big job so i said no problem, it was a long weekend any-way.
Off course they had something else but that was more play than work. Pick up a Scania 580 horse power V8 at the dealer, a full options model with a custom interior… what a beauty.

When i came home i removed the bashplate to let the oil drain when it was nice and hot, an aluminium foil is helpful to keep (most of the) oil of the exhaust.
Next was to put the plates in a container for a nice soak of oil before installing.

After this i didn’t feel like starting the next step because i don’t know how long it takes and i have the tendency to forget about time, it won’t be the first time if it turns up to be 3 in the morning when i realize it. The plates had to soak anyway.

The next day it was time to get to the clutch. I did a lot of work on all of my bikes but never tackled a clutch, i know how they work so that should help.
Not…. this is a different kind and it seems i need a special tool for it which i don’t have and cannot buy just around the corner, besides it’s Easter Sunday.
I looked it up and i figured i could make one so i send my boss a WhatsApp if it was OK to go to work to make one and like expected that was no problem.
Just made a template and went off after lunch.

It needed a little tweaking and then it got the job done.
Now i could take everything apart, put the new set of plates in and start assembling.
The friction plates still looked good but looking at the blue steel plates they’re probably glazed and pretty useless because of that.

Last time i changed the brake fluid i also should have changed the clutch fluid as it is the same with the same downside and it did need a change.
The fluid was dark and a good sign it was due but the reservoir was still clean and i’ve seen terrible reservoirs full of sludge and other filth, not real bad after all.

Being busy with the fluid it is a good time to get right to the next job, the brakelines.
This set is a bit more challenging than those of Ecstasy which had 3, 2 for the front (separate left and right).
The set for Ragnarok are 3 for the back which i will change when the rear shock is in from Hyperpro because it’s a waste of time to take the back apart two times when it can be done once. The brakelines are an upgrade, not a necessary repair so it can wait.
The front is nicely accessible but i took down the fairing anyway. I used the moment also to bend the crashbar back in place, the left side came in a bit when i crashed during the Adventure Shield training and now it was just a little too close to the fairing to take them of without removing the crashbar as well.

After installing the new lines the system has to be filled again and bleeded.
As you can see in the first picture i have a vacuum bleeder but when you replaced the lines it still can take a long time, especially with the complicated ABS plus DCBS system.
Best way is to fill it witch a big syringe from the bottom, push the fluid in where normally the air comes out.
Still need to bleed it afterwards but then the same like a change of fluid.

Before i start putting back al the parts i took off i first want to start him and let the oil filter fill up and put the level to spec.
This turned out to be chore which seemed cursed, already had an accident with the oil i used to soak the plates, need to make a special tool and no Raganrok turns over but doesn’t start 😧
Turned out that i put the pulse generator beck in upside down. I was certain that it fitted just one way but i was wrong.
Didn’t expect something on the inside of the cover to remove and i didn’t want to damage the cable and i didn’t look good enough how it was mounted.
Result…. I had to drain the oil again, turn the pulse generator around, clean and reseal the cover and wait again 24 hours for the sealant to cure but before i was to that point it was almost midnight.

By now the Easter weekend was over and had to finish the job Tuesday after work.
Good thing i have two bikes and this was the main reason why i didn’t want to wait with buying a second bike.
Without Ecstasy (or a car but why would i buy a car when i can buy a second bike) i couldn’t go to work to make the tool and i had to finish Ragnarok and had to risk a leak because i couldn’t let the sealant cure.
Tuesday after groceries and cooking it took another 3 to 4 hours to get Ragnarok up and running, ready for use which meant if i had to do that also on Monday i couldn’t go to bed any more.
By the time i’d be in bed the alarm would go off to get ready for work.
Tuesday and Wednesday was no weather for Ragnarok anyway. It snowed pretty bad an even though Ragnarok has ABS and traction control i choose the nimble and lighter Ecstasy in these conditions.
ABS only works when braking and traction control prevents only a slip caused by over powering the rear wheel but when it just slips it’s easier to correct a light(er) bike and when i don’t manage to correct it i have to pick up the bike. What will be the best bike to pick up from the tarmac, a 300kg bike or a 215kg bike?

That was the result of the first 20km, after that you can see it was nice and clear.

Early Christmas?

Nope… i don’t do Christmas.
Long story short, everything what Christmas stands for applies for every day so i don’t need a few special day’s for that.
Time for presents it is.

On the top left presents for Ragnarok and on the top right the same presents for Ecstasy.
A fresh set of clutch-plates, oil and filter for both.
Recently changed the oil on Ragnarok but it feels raw. I did use a different brand but it was a bit raw before and it probably is caused by the cries of the clutch-plates to be replaced.
To be sure everything will be perfect and ready for a lot of kilometres i was planning to ride i will be refreshing the oil again and than stick to the Motorex for Ragnarok.

Ecstasy also should have had fresh oil when i bought him but when the temperature is stable between 15 and 25 degrees (C) and i’m allowed to go to Belgium i will make an appointment for reprogramming the Power Commander to my likes and needs on a Dyno.
The signs are way less like with Ragnarok but Ecstasy also show some signs sometimes as if the clutch is not gripping like it should.
He has past the 100k/km and i don’t know the service history so best to change the plates also and put fresh oil in to be sure. Also better to have that done before the Dyno run, bit of a waste if the clutch start slipping at that moment
He has already had an spark plug and air filter change and when i change a air filter i always put an K&N in.
After that he will be mechanical up for another 100k with just the regular fluid and spark plug changes… oh yeah… tyres too off course.

At the bottem some presents for me to try making the vlogs a bit more interesting with an extra camera angle.
A GoPro Hero 8 Black with a media mod and extra batteries with a dual loader.
On it’s way is a Proshot helmet mount and some RAM mounts to get some possibilities to mount the old cam different on both bikes. Chosen the RAM because of the ball and durability after almost losing the Hero3+ on the TET. The mount broke when i opened the case at home to take the SD card out with just a slight touch.

Also on it’s way for Ragnarok are a set of HEL brake lines and a Hyperpro rear suspension which was on the wishlist for 2 years.
Also bought a tyre changing toolset. A devise to break the bead and bigger tyre irons for removing and a balancer as i’m expecting to use 3 to 4 sets of tyres per year in this new life.
After this the time has come to start saving and hopefully in 2 to 3 years i can take a sabbatical year to make a round trip to South Africa.
By then the Covid situation should be done also…. i hope.

Just some little things

The paintjob is the biggest thing left for Ecstasy and that have to wait for when the salesmen from Sikkens are allowed back on the road again.
I thought i have two items left but it seems i am smarter than i think and where i thought i changed the connector from the mini compressor but it turns out i made an adapter.
I’ll get to that part later, first the one item what was left.

I wanted an oiler system for the chain because i don’t like carrying spraycans around wasting space on trips and in daily life i mostly think about it too late.
On the VTEC i owned before Ragnarok i had a Pro-oiler which was great but on Ecstasy i like things analog and mechanical, not as fragile in the harsh conditions i may end up in.
After some research i ended up with Osco, it’s a container for the oil with a pump activated by pulling a plunger creating a drip of oil for a few seconds.
You pull the plunger when you pull up at a gas station or just before you get home at a point where the speed is as low as possible and the oil drips on the chain.

Other systems are electrical or vacuum operated and the vacuum operated system drips all the time, even when running idle at a stand still.
Both systems are great because you cannot forget to operate it but fragile, at least for an offroad bike used as it should be.
Last week i went to Purmerend for a fresh set Anakee Adventure on Raganarok and AFS Motorparts is also a dealer for Osco and i get a discount there as a VFROC member.
Normally i order the tyres to mail them to me but i had to be in Rijsenhout which is only 30 minutes from Purmerend.
Had the tyres mounted and took the Osco with me which i installed today.

The most difficult part of installing the Osco is finding the right spot for the container. It needs to be tucked away so it don’t get smashed when you dismount involuntary but reachable to pull the plunger.
After holding it in different places walking around Ecstasy about 3 times i finally found the right place… i hope.

Next challenge is is finding a place to mount the holder for the hose that comes above the sprocket releasing the oil on the chain.
I decided to have him on the front sprocket instead of the rear where it’s mounted mostly.
In the rear the hose and hose holder, bracket if you will, are too exposed.

Hard to see but it’s just behind the roller.

After that i only had to cut the hose to size, fix it in place and put the cover back on.

There was another job but that was in the wear and tear department.
This week i had a flat tyre again. This time no nail or anything why it was obvious why it was flat, it just was.
I just left work but didn’t want to go back so i went on to the nearest gas station. I know they mostly have a coin operated pump but this one needed a Euro for a bit of wind???
No fucking way.
The next was not far away and there it was 50 cents, still a lot for a bit of air but the normal price and we have to thank the assholes amongst us for that. The only reason for this is because some people find it necessary to vandalise the hoses or steel the nozzle.

It got me home and somehow it seems like the air is not escaping in a steady pace.
After installing the Osco i took down the front wheel an took the tyre out.

To find a positive side to it. I used the toolset i put together for the trips and this was just like the rear is had to fix at Jeffrey’s place after the TET a test if the set was complete.
I knew that somethings where missing and i had the patches (thanks to Frank of AFS) but i didn’t have the vulcanising solution yet.
No problem because when i bought the Anakee Wild and the Hyperpro streetbox i also ordered the inner tubes for both tyres.

Getting air in was not how i planned it…

That’s not working any-more.
But i have the 12V mini compressor for the trail repairs and that is where i thought i had to find a place to install a 12V socket.

At least some luck because for some reason i decided to keep the connector on the USB socket rather than cutting it of and fix the wires directly on the battery.
This connector is an universal 12V connector and the same is also on the compressor which i didn’t cut of also like i thought i did.
Only downside is that i have to take of the Bags to take the buddyseat off and get access to the connector next to the battery. Maybe i try to find a way to have it accessible without taking the buddy off but it’s not a lot of work to take the bags off. Something for when i get bored….
Now he’s ready to get dirty again and waiting for paint to finish him but at least he’s now fully functional.

Ragnarok had also some last details to get him completed and the belastingdienst (Dutch IRS) was superfast so i have ordered those last pieces to the puzzle but that’s for another blog when i get them in and have it installed.

First back-up is ready

At Valentines day i told you about my travel plans for this year, nice coincidence i published it on the day of love because i love to travel and explore.
Today i will tell you about my plan for next year as it is also the first back-up for this year just like it was last year when both bucket list trips became impossible.

I made a second plan and a third and kept changing the plans as the time went by but corona didn’t.
This year there is a little hope for at least one of the original bucket list items but when my personal situation changed the bucket list changed too. It grew and keeps growing but now i can cross one off every year.
Having a longer list gives me options for a second back-up but that will only be when the starting date for the trip comes closer and the first two are in danger.

This year i’ll travel alone and again only with a route route as a plan and the timeslot planned, the rest will be how it comes.
By now you’re probably curious what plan B has become, or not?

The turning-point will be North cape!

My initial bucket list didn’t change. The north of Europe is already expensive and the Balkan was at least until corona an upcoming holiday destination for Europeans and i want to experience that part of Europe before it is ruined by commerce.
That’s why the north is plan B.
The Balkan trip was slightly changed at the end because the end became the start of the corona edition.
For the north i didn’t had the need to get to the North Cape but somehow that idea changed… okay, Noraly a.k.a. Itchy Boots was the reason but not because i have a bit of a crush on her 🤭.
She had the same idea about the North Cape but she ended up there anyway and she said that it is one of those points where you just have to get when you get the opportunity.
That opportunity for me is during the North Europe bucket trip so i changed it.

That’s not the only change i made.
By going to the North Cape i have to skip Sweden but as a compensation i decided to not take the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn but go overland via St Petersburg.
Plan is to get an E-visa which is possible as a Dutch citizen and due to the limitation on that visa call it a night close to the border.
The next day i will cross it and get my visa stamped at one of the four checkpoints you have to use and then ride to St Petersburg for the night.
The next day i will continue the trip to Tallinn, Estonia. The day after i will go to Riga, Latvia continuing to Berlin.

At that point i leave it open how i end the trip. In the plan it takes another 4 days form Berlin but when i take the highway it’s just one day.
There are some places where i’ve been already but i know there are some nice roads but i’ve been there and some points several times and with the VFROC there are places i know i will get there again.
So it’s not a big sacrifice to have the peace of mind knowing that i can loose 3 days without getting into trouble at work.
With that in mind i can even afford a day off since the trip is 8857km to be covered in 23 days.

Having 2 bike gives me the possibility to get Ragnarok ready in the last days of work and put the last things on in the evening of my last day of work and leave the next day.
When i need al 23 days it means i have to get back to work the day after i come back so i aim at maximum 22 days but rather 21. The whole trip according to Basecamp (the routing program from Garmin) i need 22 days when i follow the only plan i have.
Not having anything else planned is a risk for that one plan but that one plan is a “want to” and not a “have to”.
Having freedom limits because of a job this way of travelling gives me at least a few weeks of freedom by planning just the bare minimum and even not having to stick to that plan.

This is what i hope to cover in my 23 days of total freedom…

Still corona, what next?

As i explained in my word of welcome i also share some of my work as a volunteer and sometimes the topics cross with my daily life, this week it was one of those times.

For this topic i think i have to explain my thoughts about the Covid-19 situation.
Good thing i don’t have much followers because it’s not the most popular in this world full of snowflakes so not may people to walk away.
On the other side, after explaining it might make sense after all.

I love nature. A lot op people today think you have to be a vegan but humans are omnivores and that means we eat meat.
We are also just mammals and just like all mammals we should live by the number one rule of mother nature, survival of the fittest.
That rule keeps the species strong and the numbers in balance but we humans think we’re better and that doesn’t apply to us.
When an animal delivers 3 baby’s but can feed just two the weakest is thrown out of the nest making sure the other two survive at full strength. If not all three may loose their lives or end up to weak to reproduce the next strong generation if they don’t loose their lives after all.
We humans can’t accept that and feel the need to help the weak to survive making the species weaker with every generation. The intelligence which made that possible is draining away also with every generation and the movie “Idiocracy” is becoming more of a documentary than a comedy when you look at he actions our species take nowadays.

With that we also created a huge overpopulation and several environmental problems we try to fight with one stupid idea after the other, all short term thinking as a base when even an average person with just a little logic can see it’s ending up with more problems in a decade or two than it solves now.
Meanwhile mother nature tries to reduce the population back to a balanced amount with new deceases, the plague, Spanish flu, aids, cancer and now corona adding some natural disasters in the mix too.
But no, where not accepting that and fighting the new virus with even more resources than we ever did and guess what?
Again short term thinking. Regular care is put aside to save people from corona but when that problem is away people start dying from cancer and other regular deceases discovered too late. The economy has been shut down which will leave a mark as well with probably a lot of suicides from people not able to cope with losing everything because they’re fired or lost their business.

So yes, i’m against all the nonsense the governments worldwide tell but i cannot do anything about it.
I comply with the rules and respect the opinions from others even though i think it’s a result of weakness and i expect the same respect from everyone while i look for the edge of freedom to take as much out of my life as possible. I can’t see the future so i don’t want to waste my time now to take a change on having time to do everything later in life.
Like i said, survival of the fittest. I believe i will survive corona being one of those “fittest” but i accept it if i’m not, that is how i love nature.
All the problems we face is not the result of what we do but with how many we do it.

Now it’s time for the topic.
Last week i picked up something about the EU planning some kind of vaccination passport for free travel. This week the Netherlands expected that by July everybody who wants to be vaccinated can have their first injection.
I think that passport is a violation of privacy and i don’t want a vaccination.
Problem is that governments do whatever they want and when they cover each-other rules don’t apply any more.
I just got into the position to explore the world on motorcycle and i don’t want to give that up already so when i get the massage that i can get the vaccine i probably will.
When i’m positive i will survive corona a vaccine won’t be a problem anyway but i don’t like being forced to do something i don’t want to be free.
It’s like be taking hostage.

With the VFROC (Honda VFR Ownersclub Netherlands) we also had to make a decision involving corona.
Sunday the touring season is starting again. Last year we had an anniversary, the VFROC existed 25 years and to celebrate that i had a special plan for the tours.
Normally we have 9 tours al over the country all ending close to where we started.
This time i wanted to connect all tours to make a big circle instead of 9 small circles calling it “Rondje Nederland” (Round across the Netherlands) but then corona entered our country and everything was brought to a halt.

Later on we where able to organize some tours again thinking it will be over soon but when planning my vacation signs of a second wave popped up, that story is to be read in the earlier blogs. The last tours of 2020 also have to be cancelled when the second wave landed here and that second wave was taking a long time compared to the first. It’s even still going with a curfew as well.
Time to make some important decisions for the tours this year, thinking everything will be back to normal we moved our anniversary rides to this year.

Curfew is from 21:00 till 4:30 and during the day we still have some freedom but events are not allowed. Organizing a tour as a club is an event but we still decided to make the idea happen.
When there are limitations we provide our members with the GPS files to ride as individuals, when they coincidentally meet at the starting point they’re allowed to ride together (we always ride in smaller groups) anyway.
When it’s allowed the ride will be organized as usual.
There will be a present for everybody who ride all tours and that is also covered, they only have to provide me with some pictures as a prove they rode the tours that where not officially organized in the timeslot they’re given to keep it exclusive.

We hope it will end soon but in de mean time we adapt and make the best of in within the freedom that’s left.

Bash plate extension

The Ténéré has a factory fitted bash plate but it’s made of plastic.
It’s pretty strong but even strong plastic breaks easily and they know that at Yamaha.
In the OEM accessory catalogue there is a aluminium version with pretty much the same shape and the same flaw.

One weak point on the XT660 engine is the placement of the water-pump at the front bottom but high enough not to be hidden behind the bash plate and therefore the hose can be punctured by a branch or the housing damaged by a rock.
A bit of a shame that the aluminium version doesn’t cover that giving it a proper advantage over the standard plastic one.
Luckily i know my way around aluminium and now i had the time to finish war i started earlier.

Plan was to extend the bash plate and cover the hose and housing. It’s quite a puzzle to find the shapes going around and between the different parts so i started with cardboard.

After step 3 i had to shape those into aluminium and tack it on. The last piece of the puzzle can only be made to fit with the firm aluminium in place because the cardboard moves too much.
But first i have to make the parts using the cardboard as a template.

The bash plates have holes in it for cooling and drainage and i was thinking for a pattern for the vent holes in the big side plate.
In the bash plate there are slot holes so that’s the logical way to have it look like it’s original but then i thought that i also can make slot holes in a specific order…

Yep… XTZ
Only have to transform those lines into slot holes.

Yesterday i already punched the holes and today i thought i only had time to smoothen the holes and shape the plates. Several bends are needed to get it fitted and then i wanted to get the last piece also fitted.
I was making progress but because of that i forgot to make some pictures of the shaping progress.
As i said i needed the aluminium parts in place for the last piece and the only way is to tack it on and when i start welding i need to finish it or take the bash plate of until it is finished.
Friday is grocery day, no time for DIY and than weekend with some other projects planned and Monday is a long day…. just get on with it and finish it.

After tack-welding the parts in place i could make the last piece and with that in place it’s time to take the bash plate off to weld it completely.

I know, the bash-plate already looks pretty used and the rest will be look the same fast enough. I’m thinking of getting it anodised in blue but i have to check for prices first.

Only thing left is bolt it back in place with this as the end result (unless i have it anodised)

That will do it 😎

TET NL South section A.K.A. Mudmasters

With the brake-lines and levers installed Ecstasy is almost completed, time for a test if he became what i wanted.
The weather is great and a very big difference if you think about the fact that is is just a week after heavy snowfall. Let’s ride the TET South section since i live in the south so easy to do on a Sunday.

I also wanted to show the bike to a friend with whom i’ve ridden the TET already for a part with Ragnarok and he also has plans for buying a Ténéré. He has a BMW GSA which is just as Ragnarok a bit heavy for real offroad.
He lives about 30 – 45 mins form the start but he had to work until about 15:00h so i can’t go before. Riding the trail in the opposite direction will solve that problem.
I skipped the a little bit and entered the track near Nederweert and i will enter it there also when i go for the TET Belgium later this year (hopefully).

It started with a few paved roads and along those roads where some meadows with loads of water and that was not a good sign.
Off-course that should not be a surprise after the snow but i was hoping it would not be too bad.
The first stretch of dirt was a bit muddy but not bad indeed… for a couple hundred meters.

This was already after the worst part which was bout 800 meters. This went on for over 2km but after just over a kilometre i decided to take a side road and skip that other kilometre. Remember that i’m a rookie in offroading and this is the first time i encounter this much and deep mud.
Keep going when having other options is unnecessary demanding for mind and body plus i have to keep in mind we have an evening clock and all possible resting places are closed due to a partial lockdown.

After that the track improved with a few exceptions here and there but overall it was what i hoped it would be.
The first part of Mud-masters i had to cross the “road” to get to a rideable type of ground and there i almost went down already but i managed to keep Ecstasy upright. That was a nice confidence boost after the scare from seeing the pool of mud, it meant the Ténéré was light enough so i would not drop it at every bump or mistake.
At the second part of Mud-masters it went wrong and i dropped Ecsatsy… twice (second time was just a stupid mistake, even for a rookie), funny because i dropped Ragnarok at almost the same point when on my way to the same friend i would visit after this day of riding. Than it was because it was too dry, i hope Ecstasy will also do well in loose sand because Ragnarok and i are not friends with that stuff.

At this point i discovered that taking away the passenger grips was logical for a better fit of the luggage system (Mosko Moto Reckless 40) but i also lack every type of grip at the back.
Not that i could get to them when having the bags on which is always because of the daily use.
Without any grip at the back it’s still a heavy lift, way better than Ragnarok but i do need to figure out some kind of handle to make picking him up easier

The last bit a also skipped, i think the bit in Germany is all paved so i decided to turn around and go to my friends place.
Just on my was i got a message that he was a little later so i stopped for an ice-cream.
We didn’t see each-other since his accident on the way to the Adventure shield offroad training and after a short test ride for him on Ecstasy we catched up a bit.
Time to go home and when i pulled Ecstasy back it felt not right. Fuck… a flat rear tyre 😫

Luckily Jeffrey had a repair kit and a compressor. I did have the toolkit with the Bead Pro tyre irons but i didn’t had a repair kit for tubes (Ragnarok has tubeless) and the compressor was still on Ragnarok.
It was a bummer but a good one because i discovered some issues which i have to address before i go on the next trip.

Things to address:
– Tube repair kit plus some lubricant for seating the tyre after the repair
– Center stand
– Place for the compressor plus a power socket to plug it in
– Wrench 22mm
– Fabricating some kind of grip at the back
– A mount for the GoPro
And just like that almost complete has already a new list…