Hogsback Rally Raid - Testing the Batt X-Terrain By John Harris – Part 2 of 2
Article by John Harris | Instructor: CountryTrax
Part 2 of our Hogsback Rally Raid with John Harris and Team, testing the BATT X-Terrains on some challenging terrain.
Bike Tyre Warehouse with MotoMedia and Dirt & Trail Magazine
Day 2 – Rally Raid 1
The first day of official riding on Rally Raid 1 was a 160km loop, which included a nice descent via Michel’s Pass to Seymor followed by an ascent of Katberg Pass, before looping through the Retief Conservancy back to the Katberg Eco Golf Estate for lunch.
Going down Mitchel’s was great, as mentioned before, the downhill braking on the Batt X-Terrain is very predictable and confidence inspiring. As I entered Seymor, my conscience got the better of me and I decided to wait on my group, who arrived a little later.
We continued with the ascent of Katberg pass, the same pass we had descended the previous afternoon and at this point it was the first time the Batt had some limitations. Going up the woods in wet conditions over lose pebbles, the Batt had moments where traction was broken thinking to myself that I would like just a tad more traction.
As we exited the woods, the road dried out completely and the Batt X-Terrain came back into its element, hooking up on the loose rocks and step ups with ease, providing enough traction to lift the front wheel over obstacles.
We continued the route until we got to a river crossing with huge boulders, it was anarchy, something you normally only see on a Redbull Scramble, but this time it was made out of T7s (excuse the pun). It was a little “Tenerestellend” to see all the bikes blocking the route as we arrived at what would be the only bottleneck for the weekend. Bikes sounding like four stroke chainsaws, each rider trying to get in front of the other, but very few able to navigate over the loose wet boulders by themselves. For me, it was not different, I needed some assistance to get through as well.
My tyre did not grip on wet builders, but in all honesty, I didn’t see any other bike there with better grip. It was the only time over the weekend I was longing for my KTM 300. While I was revving my way through the river crossing, our group found a less crowded spot to pass through and ended up waiting for me on the other side.
We continued the route and just before lunch we had a muddy ascent, grassland, but muddy as hell. As I approached it, I wondered how well the Batt X-Terrain would hold up, given my previous wet scenarios, but the aggressive tread pattern dug into the turf and navigating up the hill was done with ease.
We had a nice little lunch next to the pool, and continued back to Hogsback, riding the same route we did the morning, but only in reverse.
Getting Back early, allowed us to complete some bike maintenance, such as washing air filters, lubing the chains and some other little maintenance necessities.
At dinner we were advised that it may rain the next day, but with stars that bright, none of us had reason to believe the locals.