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-   -   Finke 2012 Done and 'Dusted' (http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/showthread.php?t=93280)

Gibbit 22-06-2012 03:40 PM

Finke 2012 Done and 'Dusted'
This may be a bit long winded and boring for those that have done Finke, but I have focused it to be informative to those that want to do it for the first time.


I spent a far bit of time working on my fitness for 6 months prior to the race. I didn't go over the top, but by the time I finished I was riding the treadly 15-20km about 4 times a week and was doing 30mins a day 3 times a week, on cardio and core strength. I wish I had done more core strength, as that is what let me down in the race. My lower back got so sore in the woops, that I had to slow down.

The bike had about 120hrs on it and I was worried about its reliability, so I did a complete rebuild on it, replacing transmission bearings, crank, piston, valves ect. It was a big job, but very satisfying and gave me a 'peace of mind'.


The trip from Goondiwindi to Alice.

The first part of the trip was 700km out to Hungerford to meet up with the old man. One of his dreams was to do Finke but never did it. So I guess I was doing it for both of us. We were taking his ute so once I got out there we spent the day packing all my spares and our camping gear for an early start the next day.

Neither of us could sleep so we got away at about 3:30am which was good because the first 400km was all rough dirt road and we could only average about 60-70km/hr (broke 2 tie downs on the bike). We only got a bit over 1,100km for the day and camped at a rest stop near Port Augusta.

BP at Port Augusta.

The next day we made it to Kulgera. It was only around 1,000km but we stopped in and had a look at Woomera Missile Park and I brought some Opal earrings for the misses from Coober Pedy (to keep her on the good side for next year). We camped on the road between Kulgera and Finke that night.


Our primative camp between Kulgera and Finke

Pre-Running the Finke track.

The next morning I was so excited! I was finally going to ride the Finke track! As we drove into Finke, we discussed if we should have a look around the town or not. We got a few "Dark" looks and decided we might just go straight to the track and get ready for riding after 12pm. (There is an unwritten rule of pre-running that you ride south before 12pm and north after 12pm. I was very surprised that even the ******s seem to obey this.)

Within the first few km's, I was turning the MSC Steering Damper up from 4 to about 6. That seemed to stop the handlebars from jumping out of my hands on the square edged bumps.

I rode from Finke through to Alice with the old man as my fuel crew. I just "trail-rode" it and did it in 3.5 hrs (well within the required 4 hrs). I highly recommend doing this before the race to anyone that hasn't been before, so you get an idea of distances between fuel stops and how the track is set out. Pre-running small sections of the track could get confusing.

The big Jump-up just as you come into Finke.

Bundooma. 140km mark.

Woops at Bundooma.

I had the 12L tank on and rode from the halfway club refuel, to Alice with 3L to spare in the tank. I was tempted to miss the first fuel stop on race day 1, but I thought it was possible to use an extra 3L at race pace and I didn't want to DNF for something as stupid as running out of fuel. The club stops ended up being quite quick and I probably only lost 1-2 positions at them anyway. I got them to only fill it to about the 8L mark each time, as I knew this would get me to each fuel stop and keep the bike a bit lighter.

I was going to run 15/45 gearing, but after pre-running with 15/49 I decided to stay with that. It gave me more grunt in the woops and there was only a couple of times during the race that I was looking for another gear.

40km Jump.


We got to Alice and set camp at my cousin's place. He has 5ha on the south side of town and only 5 mins from the start-finish line. Because both my cousin and his fianc'e are cops, and living out of town, there was no chance of anything being stolen. It was perfect.

I did a total of about 800km of pre-running, which was even more fun than the race itself (no dust). It certainly helped me to get to know the track and learn how to "surf" the woops.

I belive the organised pre-run is a bit of a waste of time. It cost $49 for the permit and people were riding all week anyway. My cousin even came out with me for a ride and he is a cop as I mentioned. They have more important things to worry about.

I met RYAT21 and PRIOR525 while pre-running. Both are great blokes (but they ride bikes and race Finke, so of course they are great). KTM400 stayed with me at my cousin's place and the overnight stop at Finke. He's a top bloke and would do anything for you. Good with electronic gizmos too!

Gibbit 22-06-2012 03:46 PM


Did a bit of sight-seeing around the place. We went to the National road transport hall of fame.


Due to my cousin, we also went on top of Heavitree gap which is a restricted area. This loader went over the edge while working up there. It's really quite steep and still pretty unstable where it came to rest.


I would have liked to get to Ayres Rock but just didn?t find the time. Maybe next year.

Scrutineering night.

Team Stevo.

Hayden cleaning up for show and shine.

The bike passed with flying colours. I was surprised how little they check. All they did was check the brakes, spokes and vin/engine number. A good tip here is get your riding gear checked first, as they won't do your bike until it's done. A few got caught by sitting in the bike line only to find out when they got to the front, they wouldn't check them.

It was great to soak up the atmosphere and see all the bikes cars and buggies on display. I had a bit of a chat to Grabbo , AJ Roberts, Jarod Bewley and Ivan Erceg. Ivan is a pretty loose dude.


Not sure who this bloke is but he asked if he could have a photo with me and his bike so I thought I would be nice. He looked a bit injured.


Gibbit 22-06-2012 03:47 PM


I was amazed at how many riders where on the start line with long range tanks filled to the brim with fuel for an 8.3km track.

I started a 2:02pm and he nerves really got to me. I nearly spewed in my helmet. Dunno why cause I had a blast. I was on the start grid with a KX450F on either side of me. I blew them both of the line and held the lead for a few km?s until I came into a corner too hot and had to go wide. One of the KX?s blew past me and then the rest was dust. I also caught a rider from the start grid in front of me and had to deal with his dust.


I got 6min 33sec for my time which put me at 189th out of 519 riders. I use the dust for my excuse for the bad time but everyone was in the same boat. I had some work to do over the next two days.

Race day 1.

It was cold.

My game plan for day one was to take it easy for the first half so I had some energy left for the woops down near Finke and for day two.
The nerves were not as bad, I had 8 other bikes and a Yamaha Banshee on my start grid. I blew them all off the line and kept them all off until the quad with a pink tue-tue came past me on a big sweeper. He then proceeded to cover me in dust until I laid it down when my front wheel washed out in a rut. This can be all seen on my helmet cam footage.
The rest of the trip to Finke was pretty non-eventful. I just rode my own race and passed people where I could. I had a few ?loose? moments, mainly where a nicely graded section would finish with a series of deep woops. A couple of times I was doubling and tripling woops with lots of "panic" revs when I really shouldn't have been.

I arrived in Finke in 3:08 mins which put me in 155th place. "Apparently" I jumped the start (have a look at my vid) and I got a 5 min penalty. So 3hr 13mins put me in 180th, spewing! I didn?t get much clean air due to passing slower riders but had a ball with a grin from ear to ear.

We camped down near the river away from all the "riff raff". Once I found our camp I changed the oil an air filter, had a heap of 'Endura', a few beers and went to bed (with ear plugs). The old man had a few red wines so it was like sleeping next to a v8. He had fun though.

End of race day 1 with a big smile.

Race day 2.

Had a good night sleep and woke up a bit stiff and sore. I lost a bit of bark when I fell off at the start which stung a bit and I had no skin left where my steg pegz rub my calves. Once it warmed up a bit, I came good.

I didn?t get a real good start (about mid pack) so I had a bit of dust for the first few km. I had a good run back to Alice with hardly any dust. I just kept catching and overtaking people.

I forgot to do my chest strap up on my Camel Bak so when I got to the woops, it started bouncing around and falling down my back which made the shoulders straps fall down my arms and restrict my arm movement. I rode all the way to the first club fuel stop with my arms pinned back like a spastic. Man I was glad to get to the stop and fix it up. I nearly pulled up a few times to fix it but decided to push on.

I made it back to Alice in 3hr 6mins which put me in an overall of 152th and 16th in my class (35yrs - 39yrs.). Considering I was only hoping for a finish in the top 50% of 520 riders, I was stoked!

I met up with #39 during the race and REDK after the race. Both are nice blokes and do well to handle big bikes on the track.

The rear tyre.

This Dunlop D952 120/90,19 did the pre-run from Finke to Alice and also the race both ways. I'm very happy with the grip it provided and how it lasted.



swapper 22-06-2012 04:21 PM

Great read so far mate, enjoying it, looking forward to more.

Could you have run with the standard tank you think?

Gibbit 22-06-2012 04:59 PM


Originally Posted by swapper (Post 1426175)
Great read so far mate, enjoying it, looking forward to more.

Could you have run with the standard tank you think?

It would have been a very fine line. I didn't see a single FI YZ450 there with a standard tank. The pros get 8km/L on a YZ450 at finke. That gets them 48km on a 6L tank. The fuel stops are 65Km. I wouldn't risk it.

Mad Mike 22-06-2012 05:43 PM

That's a dead set cracker of a ride report Gibbo and some top vids too! Well done on the finish and if you're riding next year i'll see you up there.:cheers
I'm going to try and just do 2 stops next time as I have a 12.5l tank for the YZ and was spewing at the extra time it took to fill the bike at the club fuel stops as we had to supply our own fuel for the 2-strokes and the helpers (while excellent) were more interested in pumping the gas outta the 44's into the 4st bikes...

Team200 22-06-2012 05:45 PM

Great report and well done ^whi


Le Squid 22-06-2012 06:02 PM

Awesome report and ggood on you mate :tick:tick:tick

Thanks for posting..


#39 22-06-2012 07:02 PM

Great report Gibbit. It was nice of you to let that injured fellow in the back brace get a photo with you. :laughing-

Gibbit 22-06-2012 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by #39 (Post 1426278)
Great report Gibbit. It was nice of you to let that injured fellow in the back brace get a photo with you. :laughing-

Haha. I thought so too. He was a nice young fellow. I rekcon he could be a good rider on day. ^rof

My prolouge of 6:33mins

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