- It’s what we do
- Northern Congregation – Fantastic!
- Gone pear-shaped – On the SPOT
- Tread carefully – Adventure Tractionators
- TransTerra Four Day – Mark your calendars for 2017
- Reader’s Ride – Good mates and good riding
- Tech – Lubing cables
- Ride right – Bike set- up advice
- Ténéré not so tragic – another Peter Payne creation
- Doohickey demystifed – KLR owners pay attention
- BMW F800GS – Last ride…almost
- Kashmir: mystic adventure – Part two
- Inspirations with Karen Ramsay
- How To Ride with Miles Davis
- Preparing For Adventure with Andrea Box
- Fit Out
Want to ride like a Maschine? Here’s your chance.
The TransTerra series of rides is the work of Trudi and Nick Selleck from Maschine, a couple very much devoted to offering premium adventure rides to people who appreciate the meaning of ‘premium’. As the company’s promotional material says: ‘Eat. Ride.
Sleep. Repeat…for four days.’
What that implies is there’s not much else a rider on a Maschine event needs to do, and as it turns out, that’s pretty close to the mark.
: Father-and-son team Leroy (left) and Terry Day seemed to enjoy themselves. Terry loaned Leroy his BMW F800GS and jumped on a CRF250L.
The routes took in the best terrain and scenery, and allowed time to enjoy both.
There were three TransTerra four-day rides in 2016. The first was in Victoria in April, then Queensland in August and, finally, in the beautiful mid-north of NSW in October.
The roll-up for the final ride was a fair indication of the quality of the first two, and Adventure Rider Magazine was invited to spend a couple of days tagging along.
Nick and Trudi Selleck have plenty of experience running events. Terry Day – behind Trudi – paid close attention during briefing.
Around 70 riders sat down to breakfast at the moderately up-market Quay Lime Bar And Grill on the waterfront in Port Macquarie, northern NSW, ready for four days of mixed riding in one of Australia’s most dualsport-friendly regions.
The course was set to loop around through the mountains and hinterland of the New England area, north to Coffs Harbour and back to Port Macquarie again.
On the way riders would have their catering, accommodation and route-finding needs covered, and if something went a little awry, assistance in the form of sweeps, a medic and a baggage trailer were all laid on. All the riders had to do was…well…eat, ride and sleep.
To their credit, all the riders seemed to be fairly good at these three basics.
It was great riding for big and small bikes.
Maschine has done some fairly ambitious and successful rides in the past, and the experience started the organisers thinking about what they’d learned from taking groups on big tours – like the 2016 run from Alice Springs through the Kimberley. One thing that stood out was a section of riders found the level of fitness and endurance needed for a week like that one very challenging. Also, the time away from work and family made things difficult for a lot of people. Nick Selleck explained: “With the week-long rides we see a lot of fatigue kick in by day four.
A lot of people aren’t used to spending multiple days on the bike. So this year we thought we’d have a go at a series of shorter-length rides.
“For the TransTerra Four Days we thought to stage the rides over, basically, a four-day weekend – Friday through to Monday.
People could take a day off work either end of the weekend and get four days free for only two days annual leave.”
The strategy seems to be working.
The rider list for this particular Trans Terra was a healthy one, and, as Nick pointed out, “We have more riders this year than at the same event last year.”
In the future the expectation is for the Maschine calendar to include a mix of long and short rides.
Good briefings kept everyone informed.
Each day ran to an amazingly well-planned, well-executed itinerary which made the most of riders’ expectations.
After breakfast and briefing the all-clear was given and a wide variety of bikes hauled their coffeed-up, full-as-googs riders out to follow arrows, route sheets or GPS tracks, depending on their preference and level of equipment. On this final four-day for 2016 there was everything from a CRF250L ridden by Terry Day – Terry gave his son Leroy his Beemer for the TransTerra – through a KLX450, Africa Twins, a GHR Safari bike, plenty of BMWs, Triumphs, Yamahas, KTMS and just about every brand imaginable. There was even a Ducati Multistrada Enduro 1200 which came in for plenty of rock-star attention.
From the start each day the course wandered its way around, following the best tracks and including the sightseeing highlights in the regions covered. Things like lookouts, historical sites, tourist attractions or just amazing geological features were all marked on each day’s maps, and riders were free to stop or pass by as they chose. Coffee stops, lunch venues and fuel supplies were all pinpointed and the variety meant all 70 riders didn’t find themselves queued up at the same small, village general store with a single fuel pump…although Bellbrook on the second day probably hadn’t seen that many customers at one time since Fred ‘Thunderbolt’ Ward and his gang arrived and offered a few horses at a good price.
Are there any pics of Nick Selleck with his front wheel on the ground?
The scenic highlights were much appreciated, but by far the biggest standout was the terrain itself. After some rain in the days prior there was very little dust.
The overcast and lowering skies of the first day offered hardly more than a short section of drizzle here and there, and the sunshine and blue skies for the rest of the event meant the riding was about as good as it could be.
Of course the sweeps kept an eye on everyone and cleared each section, the luggage trailer hauled riders’ spare clobber from place to place, and the medic trailed along offering good advice to anyone silly enough to slam their foot into a tree trunk and try for sympathy during dinner.
It was a very competent and efficient support crew from front to back, and the riding was superb, especially for riders on the big adventure bikes, who purred around some really fabulous dualsport terrain before lobbing in to the over-night stop at Mount Seaview Resort on the first afternoon.
Mind you, some of guys on the smaller bikes had whopping great grins as they fanged about the place. It seemed they were very happy with the trails as well.
After whatever necessary main-tenance and bragging was dealt with, there was time for a clean up, a change of clothes and a drink or two before dinner.
While the assembly watched for the gate to drop on the self-serve bain marie, Nick handled the briefing for the following day and introduced Rick Atkinson of Motoz tyres. Rick had some examples of the new Tractionators and gave a rundown on how the tyres had developed and some hints about Motoz’ plans for the future.
Rick is a keen enduro rider and loves his 450EXC. Adventure Rider Magazine wondered how he’d enjoyed his first day on a BMW F800GS.
“It’s awesome!” bellowed the clearly very happy new adventurer. “I’ve moved over to the dark side!” he beamed. “It was really fun!
Phil Emery carved up on an ex-GHR Honda Safari bike.
Ride and learn
While the more confident riders went like cut cats or puttered along in a carefree and environmentally friendly manner, those who opted for on-trail coaching enjoyed the benefits of Nick Selleck’s expertise as he accompanied them, watching their riding styles and offering helpful tips and advice where it offered the greatest benefit. Not only did Nick offer the service during the ride itself, but each night he’d sit with the day’s riders and run through video, pointing out various aspects of their riding styles.
It was an excellent service.
There were some optional harder sections for those who wanted them.
The second day ran in similar fashion to the first: a leisurely breakfast and briefing, load the maps or route sheets, then hit the trail.
It was a repeat of the first day as far as great riding went, with inclusions like Racecourse Trail and the old Kempsey-Armidale road, lots of waterfalls and sight-seeing spots, some good grunt work to get the bikes over the trails early in the day and then cruising into a flash motel in Armidale.
Anyone who’s ridden New England will know what we mean. Anyone who hasn’t should be trying to get there ASAP – maybe book now for TransTerra NSW in 2017.
Adventure Rider Magazine could only spend two days on this ride, but it was two glorious, toe-tapping days of great riding and good people. The organisation and support from Maschine was excellent – and we’re not using the word lightly.
That standard of logistics and personnel really does deserve the praise.
Our only problem with this ride was our dickheadedness in not organising to ride all four days. We won’t make the same mistake if we have the chance to ride with these guys again.
Socialising and relaxing form a big part of the TransTerra rides.
aschine may seem a new name in the adventure-riding world, but in fact, the Victorian-based Nick and Trudi Selleck have some big achievements and successes to their credit and have been planning and running great rides for quite a while. They were responsible for the running of the BMW Safaris and Safari Enduros for many years before branching out on their own.
Nick told us the Maschine story.
“Trudi and I used to run a web and graphic-design business,” he reminisced, “and then we got into event management with BMW Safaris. In 2015 we began running our own Maschine events, open to all brands.
“The first one we did was actually a European tour, over in Italy and Germany last year. When we came back from that we did a trip retracing the Burke and Wills route. That was in August 2015.
Since then we’ve decided we want to grow our own brand and encourage riders on bikes of all brands to attend.
“Project management is Trudi’s forte, and we’ve built up a few assets now. We have the four-wheel-drive ute and a couple of different trailers we use depending on the trip we’re doing.
We have one affectionately named the ‘Desert Sled’ set up specifically for desert trips.
“We just took a group of 20 riders up through the Kimberleys.
In the past we’ve managed events for up to 250 riders, and we’ve taken 15 riders on a European road tour. We have the logistics sorted to handle any sized group.
“The other thing we’ve added, aside from the riding, is we do a lot of rider training now. We have an association with KTM and we’ve been helping them with their Rally events, and with some training events with Chris Birch earlier in the year. But we’re doing our own training events too, and we’re kind of specialising a bit.
We find a lot of adventure riders really struggle with sand, so we do a sand-specific course. We also do a rider-training course with trials bikes.
“All these training activities help get the Maschine name out there and invite more people to the bigger rides. It’s the bigger group rides we really want to focus on.”