60 dual-purpose motorcycles embarked on a journey last month from Kuala Lumpur to Mat Daling, Kuala Tahan for a weekend full of challenging off-road adventure.
Mat Daling is a small unheard of village deep in the jungles of Pahang bordering Taman Negara. There are two ways to access this obscure outpost, the first, via a logging trail from Tekam, or the second, via Kuala Tahan, where the ferry to Taman Negara operates. We start our journey from Kuala Tahan to Kampung Pagi, a village situated roughly right in the middle of the 80km’s that it takes to get to Mat Daling.
Out of the 60 bikes, 50 made it to Mat Daling, many riders choosing to turn back or encountering breakdowns. That gives you a rough idea of the prevailing condition of the trails leading in to the village. It is quite easy up to Kampung Pagi but after that it gets more challenging with all kinds of surfaces ranging from sandy, muddy to rocky.
If it rains it all turns into a slimy clay mud bath for any bike attempting the journey. Thankfully the weather held. We had a taste of how bad it got if it rained during our recce ride a week before the event.
As for the Husqvarna/KTM team which travelled a day earlier on Friday the 13th, it proved to be an omen of sorts as their truck got stuck twice going up two slimy mud covered hills. According to some of the participants, the lorry did some pretty unnatural things on the way in!
The organising committee behind this event included off road fanatics and familiar fixtures of the local biking scene, namely:
Sean Nunis (Event / Sponsorship Pointman),
Dato Capt. Nik Huzlan (Route planning and logistics),
Faudzi Din (CFO/Photography/Ops),
Sam Jamaluddin (Ride Support),
Jovey Lee (Support),
Robert Cheong (Route Exploration)
While day one was spent getting in to Mat Daling, Day 2 involved a whole day of test riding at the test track with 3 test bikes, a KTM 690 Enduro R, KTM 250 Six Day EXC-F and a Husqvarna TE250. Many big Dual-purpose riders found the lighter bikes very easy to ride and gave us positive feedback.
After lunch, it was time for the Rimba Raid Challenge Trophy. There was the big Dual-purpose category for bikes above 650cc’s and the Enduro challenge for bikes from 250cc to 450cc. A whole day at the track brought out a killer appetite by the time it was dinner.
While delicious locally prepared food seemed readily available at all times of the day at Mat Daling, participants were in for a real treat as a big barbeque on the last night of our adventure awaited with whole roasted lamb and chicken and beef cuts.
On Monday, the riders left for Tekam, which comprised 108km of pure off-road riding. The highlight of the day was when participant ‘Kuchai’ more than doubled his combat stripes by getting through 2 log bridges driving like a Dakar veteran!
The riders decided against the shorter route out via Kampung Pagi to Kuala Tahan after learning that it had rained heavily the night before in that area and some 4×4 buddies said the going was tough. It proved to be a wise decision to head out the longer but less problematic route.
It was almost sad to see tar appear at the end of the trail in Tekam. Mat Daling is on the clock as the modern world knocks on its door, already most of the once off-road sections of trail from Kuala Tahan to Kampung Pagi is now fully tarred over. In about 2 years time this amazing offroad destination will pass into to the realm of legend…. in the meantime, Mat Daling calls out to the adventurous and the brave to experience its wild beauty and friendly people.
RimbaRaid Trophy Challenge Results 14th June 2015
Big Enduro Catergory after 1 lap around the course
1st – Zubir @ Fazro Motorrad Garage – BMW F800GS 2:04:40
2nd – Ivan Yong Yamaha Tenere 660 2:14:43
3rd – Adrian Ho KTM 690 enduro R 2:21:72
4th – Adrian Ho Triumph Tiger 800 XC 2:25:82
5th – Daniel Hiew Triumph Tiger 800 2:28:45
Motorcross / Enduro Category after 2 laps round the course:
1st Dato Am Husqvarna FE250 4:48:10
2nd Faizal Sukree Husqvarna TE300 4:50:10
3rd Abu Zahrim Kawasaki KX450R 4:55:41
- 2 special achievement awards were also given out on this day to Rizzuan @ Ku Chai, PWM’s truck driver who bravely drove the 7 tonne truck into the harsh trails to get to RRMD 2015 with 10 bikes and goods on board.