Published on September 4th, 2019 | by Boris0
THE GORILLA FILES – Gorilla Guts and I go trespassing
As my local climate punched me in the face with Spring beautness, I saddled up Gorilla Guts and went to find some dirt not to crash on.
I live in the Hunter Valley. Dirt roads are not hard to find. Terrifying cattle is not hard to do – especially when they’re all a bit mental from the drought.
So this new Super Ténéré with the electronic bouncers is like a familiar friend who has been taking drugs and squatting large-style at the gym, ie. It’s all kinda the same big, friendly, hefty beast…and then you hit some ruts and you think: “Oh…um, that kinda works a bit better.” And then you think: “What kind of brutish psychopath pressed the suspension button all the way to ‘HARD’?”
Probably someone who rides dirt better than me. Like Chad Reed.
I pressed buttons on the switchblocks. I turned my heated handgrips on to Level Three. I turned them back off again. It was 28 degrees, but it will be cold again so it’s nice to know they are there. I pressed more buttons (the menu is quite simple, actually. It’s just that I’m horse-dumb sometimes), and finally managed to set the suspension to NORMAL. I felt SOFT was a bridge too soft at this stage.
And then off I went – vaguely north.
The bitumen soon turned to dirt, which I expected, and because I was on my own, I agreed with myself that when it turned into terrifying rubbish I would turn back.
But it was good for ages. And maybe about 20km along I came to an open gate.
Thus far, the Super Ten ES was lovely. You can glom along in fourth at just off idle, and it will still pull sweetly when you turn it up. Yamaha has the fuelling spot-on, in that regard.
The seat is broad and firm, but I ride dirt standing up as much as I can. Firstly, it’s easier to shit yourself when you’re standing up. It comes out smoother. And secondly, everyone should ride dirt standing up, because it’s just better and smarter and the right thing to do.
So on bitumen the seat is fine for big miles, and when it gets dusty, the stand-up ergos are perfect. You can even change gears easily, which is a big bonus. Not all Adventure bikes put the gear and brake levers where they should be for stand-up riding. Yamaha does.
Anyway, through the open gate I go, and the dirt gets a bit rougher and it starts to wind and climb.
I’m good. Nothing is challenging my limited skill-set just yet.
Cows are running free, and I’m thinking I’m no longer on a public road. I’m switched-on as hell like that. You only need to get shot at once to learn things.
Sure enough, about 10 klicks in I come across a farmer’s ute parked on the track. The farmer is at the wheel.
I pull up, his window goes down.
“G’day,” I say.
“G’day,” he replies. “What you doing on my land?”
“Probably leaving. I’m sorry. The gate was open and the road just went right on ahead.”
“That’s not a noisy thing is it?” he asked.
I gave Gorilla Guts a rev and he went “whirrrgh” very politely. He looks like he kills things, but he is quite well-mannered underneath the black paint and monkey-bar piping.
The farmer nodded in approval. “Can’t have you scaring the stock.”
“I’ll leave my helmet on then.”
He laughed. He would probably not shoot me.
“Where’s the road go?” I asked.
“Nowhere. It’s a dead-end.”
I shrugged. “It sure is pretty out here.”
“Be a lot prettier if we had some rain,” he said quietly.
We’d had a day of rain two days prior, but it disappeared without a trace. The place was a dustbowl.
I thanked him for not shooting me and rode back the way I’d come.
The Super Ten ES and its paddle-wheel Pirellis skated and gripped and skated and gripped, and I considered what Dakar might be like. And how quickly I would die.
I pushed a little harder and its weight became noticeable. It picks up speed quite eagerly, and then inertia comes into it and if you’re looking at cows, Gorilla Guts and you are going to go off-off-road deluxe.
I stopped looking at cows.
But I’m going to go back and look at them again.
I reckon there’s a back way into the Barringtons from my joint. I reckon I might go look for it soon.
The Super Ten ES also lives on a website HERE, if you need to look at the specs