Tussock Buster (2.5-day trail bike ride)
Registration opens 1st August.
Tussock Buster is the largest trail bike event in New Zealand and is regarded by many as being the best event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The event dynamics, organisation, 2.5 day duration, camping facilities, terrain and tracks, make the event unique. One needs to participate to appreciate how different it is to other events.
Two-wheel motorbikes are welcome and registration will be available on the day. Fire extinguishers are compulsory for all riders over the age of 12 years. (These can be purchased from the Honda service tents at Tussock Buster for $35.) SORRY, NO QUADS OR SIDE X SIDES.
Tussock Buster utilises the 63,000 hectare Waiouru Army training area and has well in excess of 250 km of marked riding trails - most of which are bulldozed and graded annually by the Offlimits team. Camping on Friday and Saturday nights is provided on the Waiouru Rugby Club fields. This facility includes hot showers, portaloos, a rugby club bar and flat screen TV. Hot meals plus a variety of yummy snacks are available from the Waiouru community shop on site. There's also motorcycle service support facilities and the opportunity to purchase riding equipment from a range of vendors.
Camping and riding will be available from 1300hrs (1pm) on the Friday.
What’s new with Tussock Buster 2015
- We have undertaken further track development work to keep bikes as safe as possible by removing the gravel roads from our track system. This includes grading and bulldozing over 150 km of tracks plus bulldozing the river crossing entry and exit points to make things easier.
- We have continued improving the bridges and culverts on all tracks.
- The tracks will remain anti-clockwise thereby making the river crossings easier, especially when wet!
- The snipers track remains for expert and very competent intermediate riders only.
- Honda will be in force at the event and will have a full service support team in the camping area to assist with bike maintenance.
- There will be a number of stalls selling riding equipment so you will be able to replace lost or damaged gear and see the latest equipment that is on sale.
- We will have a demonstration track to enable attendees to test ride new dirt bikes.
- We will be locating the refuel station further into the ride (most probably at the Horse yards) so bikes have more fuel to complete the long loops. The use of tokens for fuel has worked well in significantly reducing the size of the queues.
- Trail intersection signs will be larger than in the past so they are easier to see.
- There are a number of bulldozed deviations for potential obstacles if tracks get wet.
Campsite and sign on: Waiouru Rugby Club grounds. Follow the signs at Waiouru township. Take the road beside the Army Museum.
Trails: Army training area on Eastern side of the Desert Road, SH1.
There are tracks for all levels of competency. There is a designated kids track for the little ones and those on bikes under 85cc. There are a number of short trails ranging from 10km -35 km. These are rideable by those on 85cc bikes or larger.
90% of the trails will be relatively easy but there will be about 10% which would be regarded as being a steep up or downhill. These will be easily navigated by intermediate or expert riders but could prove challenging for novice or younger riders.
If a novice or younger rider, please follow the signs and do not undertake ‘expert’ loops as you could find these well beyond your capability and your bikes fuel tank capacity! Parents should accompany all young children on the open tracks and assist them when they encounter difficulty.
The longer tracks can be over 105km in length and are not technically difficult (apart from where it indicates ‘expert only’) but they do go to higher altitude. Some riders will struggle with the longer tracks due to the altitude, the possible weather conditions and a lack of fitness. Please ride sensibly and take appropriate breaks on these longer tracks.
Waiouru soil is volcanic so rapidly becomes very dusty when dry and slippery when wet. Novice and intermediate riders should carefully consider their riding capability and track selection when conditions are wet. More experienced riders will love the wetter riding conditions as they will have the skill to use the power of the bike to gain traction through the top few mm of slippery conditions.
There are creek and river crossings on a number of tracks. The rivers can rapidly rise so it is recommended that riders walk their bikes through when the rivers are high. Follow the signs and select the correct river entry and exit points. Do not sit at the entry to river crossing as this can result in hundreds of bikes backing up behind you. Have a quick look at the river then commence your crossing (walking or riding).
6 main tracks, ranging in difficulty. The longest track is over 105km long. The first three tracks range from 10km-45km, with detours for difficult areas and short cuts home. The fourth track is up to 90km, with river crossings, formed trails and shortcuts home prior to the 30km mark.
Two dedicated kids tracks will be available. One is for really small kids and novice riders. This track is just beside the camping area and winds through pine trees. The second track is approximately 3km long, is flat and easy to ride. This track is for kids only or kids accompanied by their parents.
If there is an extreme fire risk or heavy rain, then the organisers reserve the right to close or alter tracks for the safety of all participants. This will be advised on the day.
Camping is available for approximately 800 people on the Waiouru Rugby Club grounds. This is a sheltered spot with on-site showers, toilets, rugby club bar and big screen TV. Additional portaloos will be provided. Offlimits has a zero tolerance for unsocial activity, and people over-indulging, running bikes after dark or undertaking burnouts will be evicted immediately. The campsite is a family friendly environment, and will be open from 9am on Friday.
Motels, lodges and hotels are available in Waiouru township (2 minutes away), Ohakune and Station Lodge (20 minutes), Taihape (30 minutes) or Turangi (40 minutes).
Big hearty cooked meals are available from the Community Shop located in the big green army tent close to the Rugby Clubrooms. You can also purchase a variety of energy snacks to keep you going out on the loops, or between meals from them. The community shop takes cash and EftPos payments. Yummy hot coffees are also available on site.
Alcoholic beverages can be purchased from the Rugby Club once the tracks close each day. A number of food outlets are available in Waiouru township (2 minutes away by car).
Broxy Rider Coaching
Once again Broxy will be offering special coaching sessions. Sessions will only be held on Saturday and are invaluable for riders wanting to improve their riding skill and take it to the next level.
Cost: $to be confirmed.
Session start times: 9am, 10.15am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm
All those who sign up for coaching go into a special prize draw to win a set of gear.
For more information on Broxy Coaching, and to register, check out Broxy's website.
Pre-registrations will close at mid-night on Monday 23 March. It is quite a bit cheaper to pre register, However, riders are welcome to register on the day at the event.
On the day registration is at the registration tent which is near the Rugby Club building. Registration times are:
Friday: 11:30 am- 2:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 7:30am -10:30 am
Pricing for registration at the event: This will be confirmed when registrations go live on 01 August 2014
Registration will be available on line from 1st August 2014.
The Army training area has a number of hazards that must be correctly explained. All riders must attend the ‘rolling’ briefings held each day. All riders must read the Rules & Legal Issues, and must read the rules that are handed out at registration.
Due to the potential fire danger, fire extinguishers are compulsory. All riders over 12 years of age MUST carry a fire extinguisher to participate in this event. Small 0.3kg extinguishers can be purchased at Tussock Buster from the Honda Service Centre tents for $35.
No open fires are permitted at the campsite.
Tussock Buster has comprehensive medical coverage that includes St John Ambulance, a paramedic, an onsite helicopter and if required, an event doctor. A number of the event marshals will carry a comprehensive medical kit.
91 and 95 octane fuel is available at the Waiouru township. 98 octane fuel cannot be purchased in Waiouru.
Fuel will be available for purchase on the two longer tracks. Fuel trailers will be positioned at approximately the 28km mark (Horseyards. These trailers have fuel dispensing pumps. We want to reduce the queues at these facilities so fuel can only be purchased in $10 increments using a pre-purchased token. Please purchase these tokens at the registration tent BEFORE YOU DEPART on your ride. We do not have change out at the fuel stations nor is there any facility to pay by credit card (NO cell phone coverage). We will only dispense fuel in 3 litre increments costing $10 per increment. It is incredibly expensive for us to get fuel to these locations so we need to pass on these charges to you. Therefore, do not buy more fuel than you really need. If you purchase 5 litres but don’t need that amount then you can share it with a fellow rider. Therefore group yourselves together at the fuel stop if you are planning to share $10 of fuel amongst two riders.
Carry the required amount of 2 stroke oil with you for your 3 litres or 5 litres of fuel as you will need to mix that yourself onsite.
Fuel consumption will vary from bike to bike and depend on how hard you ride. A 9 litre tank should travel around 70-85 km and a 5 litre tank should do 40-55 km. Bikes with 11 litre or larger tanks should make it all the way around. However, you need to take responsibility for your own bike and ensure you do not run out.
Due to the terrain and number of riders, we do not have the facility to pre-position your fuel containers at the fuel dumps. Note: if you turn up at the fuel stop without a token then you may have to wait as priority will go to those who have a token.
Serviceable helmet, boots, long trousers and long sleeved top are compulsory. All bikes must have a serviceable muffler.
Recommended items are: goggles, gloves, body armour or enduro jacket, rain jacket and thermal undergarments. The weather is changeable in Waiouru and in less than an hour it can go from hot sunshine to strong winds and cold rain and sleet.
Tussock Buster is held at altitude plus a number of tracks are longer than where you normally ride. Please keep hydrated and carry adequate drinking water. Carry tools to repair your bike plus a spare tube or puncture repair kit to fix a puncture.
Bike recovery is time consuming and expensive. All riders are advised to ensure their bikes are serviced prior to attending the event. Offlimits reserves the right to charge a ‘recovery fee.’ This fee will not be charged for those who are injured but it will be charged if bikes or quads need to be recovered due to mechanical breakdown. A helicopter recovery will be $100 per bike regardless of the mechanical situation. A vehicle mounted recovery where the recovery time is greater than 1 hour will be $50 but this will be dependant on the type of mechanical breakdown. If the breakdown is due to rider stupidity or something that would have been picked up with reasonable bike maintenance then the fee will apply. If the breakdown is something which is unforeseen and not due to a lack of normal maintenance then the marshal onsite can make a call regarding the fee.
Respect the venue
This is Defence Force land and in order to continue to make it available for future events, all riders and campers must respect the venue. Please be aware of the following:
- Obey all speed limits on roads.
- Keep to the left on the gravel roads.
- Do not litter - this includes tear offs.
- Don't spin your wheels or in any way damage the grass on the rugby field and surrounds and within the confines of the fenced Army camp. Once out on the tracks, you can spin your wheels as much as you want.
- Respect others living within the camp and Army housing area and don't make excessive noise with your bike.
- Do not touch any unexploded or exploded ordnance.
- Stick to the designated tracks and zones. If you are found riding in unauthorised areas, you WILL be sent home.
- Take appropriate clothing with you on the tracks (especially the big loop).
Cancellation and refunds
Events could be cancelled or modified due to military requirements, weather conditions or unforseen logistical issues which make the running of events either unsafe or unable to be conducted on the scheduled dates and in the locations advertised. Please refer to the Payments and refunds section for details on the cancellation and refund policy.