Honda XRV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’d booked onto Simon Pavey’s off road skills extreme challenge at knockhill. I actually hadn’t realised it was a competition till the paperwork arrived earlier in the week but putting that to one side my main reason for going was to gain some off road experience on the R1200GS with the knowledge that when the inevitable falls came it wasn’t me that was footing the bill for repairs.

The day started with the inevitable welcomes and pep talks but quickly enough we were on the bikes. In a change to format it was decided we should rotate round the bikes having a session on each and followed one or two trials type sections (per bike type) which formed the competitive element.

The bikes were F800GS, R1200GS, G650GS and F650(twin)


Our group had the F800GS first. The first session involved picking up our bikes (something we would get used to) and some slow work in the flat gravel area just to get a feel for the bikes. A few mins later and we were off down what started as a grassy path but with all the rain it was a quagmire. Here we had our first of many fallers which set the theme for the day



That’s me behind the faller all nice and clean (but not for long)

The surface just seemed to get more and more rutted and everyone had some falls and moments but my first one of the day soon came on a really slippery bank we were traversing.



The trial sections were a large sand banking and then getting off your bike and walking along a huge pipe while driving your bike along side. At no time were you allowed to put a foot on the ground or stop.



We did a few more circuits and then it was time to change to the 1200s.. The 1200 sections were a seesaw built out of an old cart and an incredibly deep muddy slalom. Even the instructor we had (JP of bike mag fame) couldn’t clear that one. In fact I dont think anyone did. Unfortunately, due to us overrunning on the 800s our 1200 session was cut short (more on this later)



Next up was the G650 and again, after a wee play in the gravel it was off to do some circuits. The trails were getting treacherous now but our confidence was growing all the time. Still falling off all the same but more often than not we could save it with a dab or simply getting on the gas and powering through.




The trails section was, well a trials section. Some really tight climbs and descents with a couple of drops with deep ruts and a 4 foot near vertical grass bank to climb with a stop in a box just over the crest. This for me was the hardest as I pretty much had the back end locked up going down one of the descents but I made it through with a 3 on the score card so not a disaster. Simon did it on the 12 and he nearly cleaned it but for a single dab.

Lastly the f650 and the format was now set. Play in the gravel and then of to the muddy trails that although the shallower ones were beginning to firm up as the rain had gone the deeper ones just kept getting deeper. We were now riding like gods though and just pegging the throttle and skipping through mud that we had been crawling through in first earlier but now doing it in third and fourth gear.
The trial was a hill climb with a 90 degree turn half way up meaning you couldn't just gas it and hope for the best.




It was here I caught up with Simon and asked if I could get some more time on the 1200 as that was the main reason I booked and our session had been cut short. Being an absolute gent he immediately offered to take me out himself for another session so we rounded up a couple of 1200s and went out for a play. Half way round the first circuit Simon seemed to get lost and we ended up going off the trails and making our own for a good 30 mins or more. Deep deep mud and seemingly impossible climbs and drops were the order of the day and it was here I had another couple of falls but it was worth every one and when I fell we just did it again and competed all the obstacles.
One of the climbs I did with Simon. He just tore the marker tape out the way and went for it .


Simon was brill with me and really gave me the confidence to try things I would never attempted in a million years. Top bloke.

And remember that challenge? Well I came second in the intermediate class and Simon was kind enough to mention that the winner really should have been in the experts class. So I finished on a high note.

 
  • Like
Reactions: StorminNorm

·
Grumpy auld man!
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
Well done that man! :thumbright:It was raining here most of the morning so I did not bother coming up to spectate. I did get out later in the afternoon and put 78 miles on the new and front pads so it was not a total waste of a day. :)


Andy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well done that man! :thumbright:It was raining here most of the morning so I did not bother coming up to spectate. I did get out later in the afternoon and put 78 miles on the new and front pads so it was not a total waste of a day. :)


Andy.
I've actually been invited up for another free go tomorrow so if I can get my legs working again I'll be there.
 

·
hedgerow specialist...
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
good man Boris...just goes to show you dont need a KTM to play in the dirt.. and its ability over bike choice and confidence is everything and knowing when to give it some or back off and slow down...

Just for my info like how did the different bikes compare over the day as you road them all ...mainly the F800gs.. and 650.

cheers for the good pics and report...
 

·
Should know better
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
Top effort, Boris, well done. Sounds like a lot of muddy fun and a useful learning experience too. :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,746 Posts
Cool,brilliant stuff. How much does something like this cost as I would not mind having a go :)
 

·
Hill Rider
Joined
·
3,089 Posts
Nice one Gordon.

Not jealous in the slightest :rolleyes: :mad: :grin:

Steve T

:cool:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm just back again from another session. The first session of the day was pretty quiet booking wise and only eight turned up so Simon split them into two groups of four and doubled up the instructors. That left him at a loose end so myself and a couple of others who were there yesterday blagged three hours of Simon's time on the bikes of our choice. The others took the 800s and Simon and me I took the 1200s. It had pissed with rain overnight and what was a good muddy hill yesterday was like a skating rink. This gave us the first casualty of the day. None other than Simon. I was about to pass the prone Mr Pavey and I also came a cropper. When I got up I looked round and the two guys behind were also on the deck. It really was that slippy.



In fact the whole bottom end of the course was so wet and muddy it was decided to make it out of bounds for the other groups so we had the run of the place. I lost count of the number of times I fell of but unlike yesterday the only way to cross the mud was to gas it in 3rd and 4th gear so the inevitable falls usually involved me ending up yards form the bike and the whole thing looked like a reenactment of the Battle of the Somme.

We eventually gave up after an hour of mud plugging and seeked out firmer ground. A lot of gassing it around on a fire road drifting the bikes and trying to spin it round on throttle and brake cooled is down a bit and helped us get our breath back.

We then headed to the trials sections that we did yesterday on the 650 singles and they were a complete git on the 1200. I did my best and made it round but with nothing like the finesse of yesterdays efforts. The guys on the 800s were brilliant but in fairness to them they were much better riders than me.


Finally we went back down and played in the mud again and this really took it out of me. I was just so shattered I was making mistakes in places I whizzed through the day before. My first attempt of the really steep climb I did wit Simon ended in failure and a puddle of oil under the 1200 as I whacked one of the cam covers it spring a leak.



My second attempt also ended in failure as I lost the front at speed and caught the edge of the screen right across the chest which really winded me and that was me done. I just couldn’t even pick up the bike again and Simon took the bike up the hill for me (but not before falling off himself).




So that was it another 3 hours or so tuition from the master and I’m really feeling the pain now. Arms and legs are sore but the bruise right across my chest is coming up nicely now and I can see why the guys wear chest protectors. It really hurt that did.

Fantastic day and fantastic bloke. I can heartily recommend his course. Worth every penny.



And I was a bit muddier than yesterday. For some reason my wife wasn’t too keen on me coming in the house :)



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
good man Boris...just goes to show you dont need a KTM to play in the dirt.. and its ability over bike choice and confidence is everything and knowing when to give it some or back off and slow down...

Just for my info like how did the different bikes compare over the day as you road them all ...mainly the F800gs.. and 650.

cheers for the good pics and report...
In truth the 800s were probably the best all rounder. The 1200 was better on the rough stuff and possibly even on the big expanses of mud but the tighter more technical stuff the 800 seemed to be the better bike. Both 650s were also good the twin being lower made for an easier time when feet were needed and the single was great at the trials section as it was so much lighter for throwing around.

In saying that they were all really good and in the right hands I'm sure they could have all managed all the stuff we did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Fantastic, thanks for posting need to look into this ...... :blob:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
  • Like
Reactions: Catweasel

·
it's about an hour......
Joined
·
2,198 Posts
Fantastic posts Boris. Great photos. Really enjoyed reading them. Glad you had a great day....maybe the trail ride at the National now???????.......cant imagine anything being any harder than all that mud you went through?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Fantastic posts Boris. Great photos. Really enjoyed reading them. Glad you had a great day....maybe the trail ride at the National now???????.......cant imagine anything being any harder than all that mud you went through?
It's easy to be brave when you don't have to pick up the repair bill.. Can I borrow your bike?
 

·
it's about an hour......
Joined
·
2,198 Posts
It's easy to be brave when you don't have to pick up the repair bill.. Can I borrow your bike?
NO:D. Sorry. Finally getting the KTM back on Friday. Off up to Lyndon's Fri morning and we will spend the day getting the engine back in the bike and building it back up. I then need to get out on a few trails the week after before deciding which bike to bring to the National. The KTM with brand spanking newly built engine that I havent rode on any hard trails or the @ which I know will get up???? Decisions decisions.
 

·
whys the rum always gone?
Joined
·
17,680 Posts
Epic boris absolutely epic:cool: , and seeing this does nothing for weening me off the GSs i can tell you:(
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top