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What are you thankful for?

So Thanksgiving has passed now, and Christmas is coming along very soon.  It is a great time of year to sit and reflect on what we have to be thankful for.  Over here on the Central Coast the winter is pretty mild, we don’t have to pack our bikes up because of the snow, or convert them into snow mobile type machines.  Instead we are pretty lucky to get to ride all year long.  Now since I am a school teacher I was thankful to get the entire week of Thanksgiving off and took the opportunity to ride down Highway 1 from Monterey to Pismo Beach (while my wife took our daughters the faster way on the 101) to meet Scott Wright, the owner of IMS, for a Thanksgiving getaway with my family.  I of course was riding the IMS Triumph Tiger 800XC and was hoping to get some time at the Oceano Dunes, and was not disappointed.

First off the road riding section.  WOW, I am very thankful of the men and women that put countless hours of time into crafting what has got to be one of the most amazing stretches of road in California.  The most beautiful sections of road were from Monterey to about Cambria.  It was tight, twisty, forest, ocean, cliffs, and just all together amazing views and roads.  The opportunity to pass slower moving traffic is not as abundant as I would have liked, but it is times like that I still found something to be thankful for because it allowed me a chance to just really admire the views and enjoy the scenery.

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After about 3 and a half hours of amazing riding I arrived in Pismo.  Spending time with family is always something to be grateful for, and after an amazing dinner I followed Scott out to Oceano Dunes for some riding and a impromptu photo shoot.  The bike tracked great in the sand.  I didn’t go into any of the deep stuff out in the dunes, staying primarily on the compact wet stuff near the water.  I was very thankful for the GPR Steering Stabilizer as it helped in the few rough spots, or where the sand was a little softer.

GPR Stabilizer was a great help.

GPR Stabilizer was a great help.

Love the panniers.

Love the panniers.

Excellent Grip.

Excellent Grip.

Best view of the day.

Best view of the day.

The sand was perfect for riding.

The sand was perfect for riding.

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End of the day rider and bike.

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Beautiful sunset, just one more thing to be thankful for.

IMG_7192 IMG_7187End of the day, there is a lot to be thankful for.  Your adventure ride doesn’t have to be a 6 month tour to South America from Alaska, it can be something as simple as a ride down the coast for Thanksgiving, and a cruise on the beach.  Thankfulness is a frame of mind, don’t let other things get in the way, and if you have time, just get out and ride.

Dual Sport Adventure Riding   Part 2 of 2: The Build: The racer, KTM 500 EXC, and the easy-to-ride Honda CRF250L

The first of our two part series focused on Adventure Riding, an overview identifying the types of riding and bike selection recommendation based on two riders of opposing skill level.  For part two, we will continue to use both myself, Scott Wright, owner IMS Products and Chris Hardin, IMS Products General Manager, contrasting the differences between an experienced racer and an entry-level rider, respectively.

As we referenced in Part 1 of this blog, we will focus on excellent machines for each of our abilities, myself and Chris.  My weapon of choice and the model I’ve chosen to build out for my adventure riding is the KTM500EXC.  Chris Hardin, choose the Honda CRF250L, an excellent and reliable machine for any novice rider.  We have modified each bike, and in detail, will review our project and detail our build.  I hope by breaking down each model I can provide a platform that may be used as a guide for you for your bike build and next adventure.

The Build: KTM 500 EXC

In stock trim the KTM is well suited for me, although for those longer Adventure rides, even the KTM needs to be properly set up. First off, the KTM is good for maybe an 80-to 100-mile loop depending on how hard the bike is ridden. The stock tank on the KTM is only 2.2 gallons, and unless you wish to carry extra fuel on your back or strapped to your belt (which I don’t) jumping to a larger tank is one of the most important components of this build. I definitely wanted more fuel, but wanted to stay as near as possible to the OEM feel of the bike.  For this I chose the IMS 3.1 gallon tank, which extends fuel stops up to 50 miles and provides the added security of not running out in the middle of who knows where.

Now that I extended the ride between stops, I needed to make sure I was comfortable as I’m not 20 anymore!  When racing or hard-core trail riding, most of the time the rider is standing and having a comfy seat is not as much of an issue. Yet with Adventure riding, the pace is slowed down and the rider spends more time sitting. Because we have all done the butt dance to relieve the pain during an 8-hour ride, I opted to upgrade to a Seat Concepts dual sport/Adventure seat. The SC units are designed to reduce the pressure points of a long ride by creating a wider seat and using unique seat foam for added comfort.

 Since I will be putting this bike through the paces on a regular basis, a host of Enduro Engineering components were added for increased protection and to avoid potential problems on the trail. The stock handguards were swapped out for wrap-around guards with debris deflectors. An EE skid plate as well as rear disk guards were installed to protect the undercarriage and rear rotor. The stock radiator hoses were also replaced for more durable units from Samco.

With regard to performance, there were a few changes including the addition of a Yoshimura slip on exhaust with spark arrestor, which presented not only a better note but more low-end performance off idle. The suspension was also sent off to Precision Concepts. I wanted the bike set up for my weight and riding ability that garnered a plush ride for those long treks, yet could still handle more challenging terrain when it came time to have more fun and attack a trail with aggression. When setting up suspension for an Adventure ride, it is a good idea to consider the added weight if you plan on strapping on a lot of gear to the rear of the bike or even the possible 15-20 pounds you might be wearing as a backpack. Be sure to inform your suspension tuner of the possible added weight, it could affect the spring rates and settings. To also complement the suspension changes and riding ability, a GPR steering stabilizer was installed to calm down any twitchy feelings in the handlebar when the bike was put through the paces in fast, rough sections. The GPR units are adjustable so you can change the resistance depending on riding conditions.

Other changes will depend on the rider. For example, the stock EXC gearing is good for well over 100mph, but on tight trails even first gear can be too tall. Consider changing out at least the countershaft sprocket from a 14 to a 13 tooth. This is an easy change and does not require altering the chain length. This will split the gap and give the bike a comfortable road speed of up to 70mph and make negotiating tight trails easier. Dual Sport Adventure Riding

At this point the KTM has been elevated to the next level and should be ready for any Adventure. There might be a little fine tuning and setup to suit your exact needs but, for the most part, my outfitted KTM 500 EXC is easily ready for 100-300 miles per day.

The Build: Honda CRF250L

Because the performance difference and the intended use between the KTM and the Honda differ so much, the direction of the build was also altered slightly. The 250L is more of a recreational use, entry-level machine but that also means it will need some upgrades to become a true dual sport Adventure-level motorcycle. Even though Chris is considered a mid-level novice rider, he will still find the limits of the stock CRF fairly easy, and all of these factors were considered.

Dual Sport Adventure Riding

Like the KTM, extending the distance between stops is paramount. With an IMS 3.1 gallon tank installed, it ups the capacity by over 1 gallon. The fuel injected CRF250L gets very good mileage and with the IMS tank it should garner up to 200 miles between stops. The stock CRF seat is soft and comfy, but for long rides it is almost too soft. This is why Chris also upgraded the seat to a Seat Concepts  seat. The wider seat will help on long rides and it will give the bike a better feel because Chris will not be sitting in the seat, but on the seat.

Tuning the ergonomics is key on the CRF, trying to step up the gap between an entry-level bike and a full race bike will make all of the difference on a long ride. First we swapped out Chris’s stock foot-pegs for IMS Pro-Series foot-pegs offering a wider platform for comfort and grip on his boots. To increase strength and improve crash protection, the stock steel handlebar was replaced with a Renthal aluminum bar and grips. From there, Cycra ProBend CRM Enduro handguards went on to help shield some wind on the road and protect the controls during a spill. The sprockets were also upgraded to Renthal components with a 13-tooth countershaft sprocket and 42 teeth in the rear.

Tuning the suspension was more of a factor on the Honda than the KTM. The stock CRF250L suspension is set up from the factory very soft and works decent for fire roads, but even a novice like Chris will find it too soft once he starts hitting trails, dips, and g-outs.  Precision Concepts tuned the suspension to offer a smooth ride for the fire roads but with an overall firmer feel to better handle off-road conditions. These changes helped improve the overall handling of the 250L in more traditional off-road conditions.

Performance-wise, Chris swapped out the stock CRF250L muffler to a less restrictive Yoshimura slip on spark arrestor for added throttle response and it also helped shed a few pounds on the 300-plus pound motorcycle.

The changes to the CRF250L were just enough to improve the feel and help create an Adventure-worthy motorcycle. This is a great starter bike packed in with Honda durability and the low seat height is ideal for inseam-deficient riders.  

Additionally, all of the fluids in both bikes were replaced with tried and true Maxima products and every nut, bolt, and spoke was tightened, torqued or adjusted to the proper specs. Remember that just because you build it once, doesn’t mean the work is done. Double checking the essentials before you start every ride is very important. Tire air pressure, sprocket bolts, spokes, chain tension, oil and fluid levels, axle nuts, and anything and everything that can and will fall off should be given the once over. Another added note is that we have found balancing the wheels, especially on the KTM, can make a big difference if you plan on doing long stretches on pavement as the front wheel has a tendency to have a slight hop/vibration at higher speeds.

Choose your Weapon:

With two types of riders and abilities, we now Now we have two bikes ready for a dual sport or an Adventure ride; the KTM500EXC and the Honda CRF250L. Chris Hardin’s CRF250L is ideal for a beginner to novice-level rider and my KTM, armed for seasoned expert. 

I hope my blog was informative and helpful and welcome questions and comments adventure riding community.  Stay tuned for my next series which will cover proper riding gear for an adventure ride and future blogs covering what to pack for a multi-day outing, as well as some neat gear to stow your goodies on the bike. 

Life is an Adventure, enjoy the ride!

Dual Sporting Adventure: Bike Selection: The racer, KTM 500 EXC, and the easy-to-ride Honda CRF250L

As the owner of IMS Products and lifelong rider, my passion for ‘Adventure’ riding can be traced back to my days as a kid growing up in Huntington Beach, California.   Adventure riding was simply the fun I had taking off on my Schwinn Stingray and riding all day, whether with my best friends, or by myself—it wasn’t always about the destination, it wasDual Sport Ridingsimply the love of riding, exploring and finding cool new places.   That sense of adventure carried over to riding motorcycles, both on and off road, so these days I am spending my time on bikes capable of doing both.  I’m sure many of you reading this share this same passion, and thankfully it is a passion that can be filled regularly.  My name is Scott Wright, and I love Adventure Riding.

Attending events and races throughout the years, we are blessed to come across so many great riders and supporters of IMS.  We are often questioned about ‘what do you use on your bike’ or ‘what should I use for my’, ‘is it better to put money into my motor or suspension’; questions that all riders face and ones I hope to address with this, and forthcoming, blogs.  I will break down Adventure riding, needs and requirements, from my perspective as an expert-level off-road rider, Baja 1000 winner and a lifetime of racing experience as well as the perspective of Chris Hardin, IMS General Manager. Chris is an entry-level rider with the same amount of passion but vastly different needs for bike and set-up.  The contrast between us (experienced and novice) will be reflected in my recommendations throughout this blog. 

Adventure Riding

For this series we will be using dual sport bikes (single-cylinder) as our ‘adventure bikes’. I have broken down our take on adventure riding into a two-part series, the first part being an overview of two diametrically opposed bikes, the Honda CRF250L and the KTM500, the benefits of each model and how they best suit individually skill and type of riding each model prefers.  Part two of the series will identify in detail the model build for each bike and how they can be modified to best suit rider and riding conditions.

Dual Sport

The terms “adventure riding” and “dual sport” may seem similar, but they can be completely different concepts. Traditionally, a dual sport bike is a single-cylinder bike that is off-road/off-trail capable, but also street legal (KTM EXC) to help link off-road sections together. Modern adventure bikes are often thought of as a big twin-cylinder machine such as a GS BMW or KTM Adventure or SuperEnduro. The large adventure bikes are best suited for two-track trails, fire roads, and, if needed, long sections of tarmac. When properly outfitted, the larger bikes are often capable of carrying more supplies and camping gear. With that said, I feel true adventure riding is about the ‘Adventure’, not the bike. I want to feel that sense of discovery I had as a kid, and my ideal bike setup is going to be suited to doing so.

Entry vs Experienced:

Today more riders are taking the lighter, single-cylinder dual sport bikes and using them for long-distance Adventure riding. The lighter bikes are often easier to ride off-road and can take on tighter trails compared to full-sized twin or triple cylinder Adventure machines. Plus the cost between getting started on a single compared to a twin can be as much as $10-15K. With regard to dual sport bikes, the range is vast as well. At the entry level, several manufacturers offer machines such as the Honda CRF250L (featured in this story), yet Yamaha offers two bikes as well, the midlevel performance WR250R and the easier to ride, lower seat height XT250. At the entry level, Suzuki has the DR200SE and Kawasaki has the entry/midlevel KLX250S. Then when we are talking KTM, there is no real entry-level option, their bikes are performance driven, lighter than even the entry-level 200cc and 250cc machines. You can expect an elevated price tag well over the $9,000 mark. If you have years of experience riding, the KTM is a great option, yet if you’re just starting out, you might want to look at one of the less aggressive bikes for the first few years of riding. There are a few bikes that bridge the gap between the entry level machine and full performance so do your research to pick a bike that is best suited for your riding ability and intended Adventure.

Man and Machine

The best way to break down bike setup is to determine which motorcycle is best suited for a particular rider and their abilities. We can start with my personal favorite, the KTM 500EXC.  This bike is truly amazing!  Just walking by it in my garage commands my respect and appreciation, not to mention it begs me to lay down my laptop and put on my Klim gear.  It is pure performance and plenty capable of taking off-road or even to a grand prix race with very few changes to the showroom stock model. For some, it’s difficult to believe the EXC is a dual sport machine because of how well it works off-road. Yet KTM worked overtime to build a machine that is street legal, meets the DOT requirements to get a license plate in all 50 states and is a beast off-road. 

On the other side of the coin, Chris is a novice rider. As such, he chose the Honda CRF250L, it’s an easy-to-ride motorcycle with a lower seat height compared to the KTM and caters to the entry-to mid-level rider. It’s far from a competition machine, yet the smooth performance and stable handling make it ideal for what it was designed for.

Dual Sport

Final Word…for now

I have tried to clearly define the distinctions between types of riding, riders and machines.  The model offerings from OEMs, fortunately, is vast and there is model bound to fit your exact preferences and ability.  Part two of this blog will focus on the KTM500EXC and the Honda CRF250L and how myself and Chris modified each bike, in detail, and hope our build and experiences can be used as a guide for you  for your bike build and next adventure.

The 1%

After the ride to Colorado and back the IMS Triumph Tiger 800XC has been regulated to what 99% of all motorcycles do, commuter duty. Since the ride I have moved back to Monterey CA where I teach at a elementary school 21 miles away from home. In the last few months over 2,000 slab miles have been put on the bike, and I have learned a few things. One of them being, even though TKC80 tires are phenomenal in the dirt, and grip really well on the road, they suck on mileage. After the 2,000 some odd miles of commuter duty the tires are over half way gone. I learned that on the street I can almost drag the pegs with out any trouble in a fast corner. I learned that even though the bike may be advertised at 45mpg, 38mpg-40mpg in stop and go normal everyday traffic is what is really going to happen. I also learned that having a bike like this isn’t just about big adventures, but the 1% of the time that you get to really just ride, and that 1% is what it is all about.

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Clean bike, no bags, looks kind of naked.

On Sunday I finally got a chance to do that. About 20 miles from my house, on Highway 1 is Bixby Bridge, the most photographed feature on the West Coast, and just north of the Bridge is a 11 mile dirt road called Old Coast Road. At one time this was the only way people could get from Big Sur to the Monterey Penninsula, and is now open to all street legal vehicles. I have ridden it before on a older IMS dual sported XR600R, with 90/10 street/dirt tires. But now I had the right bike, with the right tires, and all the time I needed to just enjoy it.

I usually have Touratech 45L bags on the bike, but for this ride I took them off, and I suited up in my full KLIM gear, and SIDI boots. I have not worn all this gear since the ride to Colorado and I forgot how nice it really was (I normally just wear the jacket when I commute). Since I was going to be meeting my wife after the ride, I had jeans on under the pants, and a normal shirt on under my KLIM Jersey and Jacket. The pants and jacket kept me warm during the cool morning fog here on the Central Coast, and when the sun came out they unzipped and ventilated really well. The TKC80 tires, even though the back was over half gone, still gripped really well, especially after I dropped the pressure from the high street pressure of 36-38psi down to about 18psi in the front, and 22psi in the rear. After that they stuck like glue, I could corner as hard as I was comfortable with and brake with confidence, even with ABS causing a few pucker moments in the loose stuff.

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Start of the ride, lose, downhill, cars. Good combination.

The first part of the ride is a lose gravel downhill dry section. Since this road is a street legal vehicle road, you have to keep your eyes open for the random truck or SUV. Coming behind me at the beginning of the ride was a guy in a SUV following a little to close behind me. This did cause a little bit of a rush and I over cooked a corner and with the ABS almost slide into the ditch on the side of the road. After that I simply pulled over and let the SUV pass, aired down the tires, and just had a blast.

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Beautiful Day.

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Beginning of the good stuff. Those tracks in the middle were left by a kid on a CR250R, that got dropped off to ride.

As I moved deeper inland and further into the forest the ground got wetter and the grip just got better. I come from riding a dual sport XR650R, and to be honest once the Tiger got moving it felt almost the same. Only the sound of the engine was different. The power that the Tiger was addictive, the linear way that the power just came on and kept coming on, was amazing. There was a direct connection between your right hand and the rear tire, and how much you slide is completely up to you.

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Messing around with my Panoramic setting on my iPhone Camera.

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Recent rains means this little creek had some water in it finally.

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Bike on a bridge.

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Throwing roost like this was all to easy and actually very controllable. Who needs traction control?

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With the recent rain we have had here on the coast, the plants can finally start to grow back.

One thing I love about Old Coast Road is that along the way you see that people have build and still live in houses hidden deep in the mountains. The area is absolutely beautiful, and with the recent rain, the plant life is amazing. Near the end of the ride I stopped at a point that over looks the ocean and Highway 1 to take a few pictures. During my little break, a small group of maybe a half a dozen riders on F800GS bikes came riding by. While I was there another guy stopped at the same point, in a brand new 1200GSA on it’s maiden voyage. He said he was taking a picture to send to a friend to make him jealous. This is when it hit me. Yeah 99% of these Adventure Bikes will spend 99% of their time on the road, commuting back and forth. Most of the guys who own one of these bikes is in a similar life situation as I am, kids, wife, regularly scheduled job, bills, the whole lot. We can’t just drop everything, travel from Alaska to South American and then on to Africa, up to Russia, Europe and back home. But it is the times like this when we get to ride with our buddies, or make our friends jealous, or just get away, it is these times, these 1% times, that make riding what it is. It is these times that help define this Adventure we call life.

Almost done.

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F800GS rider.

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Another F800GS rider.

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Making his friend jealous on his brand new 1200GSA.

Dirty bike parked outside swanky Carmel Plaza Shopping Center in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.

What Adventure is really all about.

Mini Update

IMG_4974IMG_4975 IMG_4976 IMG_4977 IMG_4978Ok so here are a few pics of the Owner of IMS Scott Wright and his 2014 BMW 1200GSA.  This was taken along Engineers Pass near Ouray Colorado.  More to come.  As you can see the KLIM gear still looks great after two days and 850 plus miles and then another many miles of dirt riding.  The bike (as all BMWs do) performed great even with the street type tires, the different traction control settings alone with the D-ESA helped a ton in making it a smooth ride in the dirt, but even without the GS series are just great ADV bikes.

Also as you can see in the first pic the new IMS ADV 1 foot pegs provide a great standing platform, allowing much more of your foot to be in contact with the peg, giving you more control and more comfort.

 

Update and Apology

Ok, so first the apology.  We knew where we were going would have no cell reception, but we thought it would have some internet, even if it was at a coffee shop or something, turns out we were wrong.  So, with that said, I am sorry for not updating this blog like I had wanted to.

Now the update, the second half of the ride from St. George, Utah to Ouray, Colorado was a blast, we hit Zion and Moab on the way and took so amazing photos.  The new IMS ADV 1 foot pegs really proved their worth considering every bike we took weighed north of 500 pounds (except the TE310).  Having the extra leverage from the wider and longer foot pegs really helped to maneuver the big bikes around and made even the novice and inexperienced on big bike riders feel much more at ease.  The panniers worked great, no locks burst open or got stuck and all of our stuff stayed put the entire time, and the fit and finish really held up to a good amount of abuse.  The Overland Jacket and Pants really came into their own on the off road rides, they allowed plenty of airflow in the hot weather we were in, and kept us from sweating to bad or dehydrating our selves.  The SIDI Armada boots did a great job, even though they are primarily geared more towards street riding (the Touring part of the Adventure/Touring segment) they still did very well in the dirt.  They provided good ankle support and shin protection while also giving the rider a full range of motion.  Now if you smack your foot hard on a rock you feel it, but nothing short of a full moto boot would be any better.  The helmets and googles did very well as well, providing protection and ventilation as well as a clear line of sight.

We did have a little to much fun out in the desert, and as a result we were a little late coming into Ouray, and the last 30 miles or so were on dirt roads in the dark.  As a result one of the guys had a accident, and ended up in a ditch.  The bike, a 2010 F800GS, survived with only a little damage, and the rider mounted back up .

In Ouray itself we got a chance to ride up and over Engineers pass.  I have heard that this ride can be tough, rocks, ice, snow, standing water, ect.  and the Triumph Tiger as well as the rest of the BMW bikes handled it great.  The Husky TE310 was really in its element, but considering every other bike there outweighed it by 200 pounds, it wasn’t really fair.

Now, my personal bike, the Triumph Tiger 800XC has been completely worked over in the suspension department.  The Touratech rear shock was amazing.  I came off of riding a Baja prepped XR650R dual sport to this bike, and lets just say, once the Tiger was moving I could have been back on my 650.  The same goes for the Precision Concepts Front Forks.  The stock front end is very soft, but with the suspension gurus working at Precision Concepts with all of their race know how, the front end was perfect.  The engine, very linear, and tons of power, was a little tricky to control at first at least for me.  I was used to the tractor like low end torque of the 650 single in my XR, but after a few miles of riding the Tiger I was able to adapt and was soon kicking out the rear end and powering out of corners like a real racer (at least in my mind).  All that to say the Tiger is a great ADV bike, very capable in the dirt, and a excellent almost sport bike like ride, on the street.

Now today is the day that we are heading back and I was able to get a few minutes of internet to write this, but since we are trying to do the entire ride back to Yucaipa in one day I don’t have a ton of time to post pics.  But I promise more will come in the next few days, until then happy and safe riding.

And We Are Off!

So yesterday was a big day, not only was it Father’s Day but it marked the start of the Two Day ride from Yucaipa to Ouray, CO.  Overall things went great.  No accidents, no dehydration, no problems.  The Klim Jackets and Pants did great.  Now nothing aside from true A/C is going to keep you from feeling hot in the 100 degree weather that we experienced riding through Barstow to Vegas.  But once you unzipped the jackets a few inches, and opened up all the vents, it did a really good job getting decent airflow regardless of the model (Overland, Traverse and Badlands Pro).  Our Camel Backs full of ice helped to keep us hydrated by providing a constant trickle of cold water and helped keep our backs cool as well.  The SIDI boots were incredibly comfortable, and the Gore Tec lining did as advertised, and keeper our feet dry and fairly sweat free.  The KLIM helmet did a great job.  An open face helmet at highway speed does have some drawbacks, namely wind noise and things hitting your face at 65mph plus hurts, but it did give you extra air flow to keep your head from sweating to much.  And a good set of headphones or ear plugs do wonders at reducing the wind noise.  Our Seat Concepts seats were worth every penny, after a 6 hour plus ride, those of us lucky enough to have the Seat Concepts seats felt a lot better then those that did not, and could have easily done a few more hours.

Lastly the new IMS ADV 1 foot pegs were great, they gave us a huge platform to move our feet around while seated, giving us the much needed room to move to avoid leg cramps and general discomfort, and the extra leverage they provided really did wonders in the dirt.  I leave you with a few snap shots of the ride, and not to worry, there will be plenty more to come.

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Gear part 2

Getting that box in the mail is always exciting, but when it contains Touratech Zaga Pro 45 liter bags, it is even better.  Thanks to Touratech for these Triumph Specific bags.  They are very well built, as are all items from Touratech, they will swallow a full helmet without a hitch, and give the bike a more aggressive, Adventure stature.  They are also locking, so you don’t have to worry about your valuables disappearing if you leave something in them, and they pivot open, making it very easy to get your items in and out.  On top of all of that, a KLIM set of goggles, neck warmer, and aggressor undershirt, just round out the package.  Once again thanks to all the companies that made it possible.

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GEAR part 1

Everyone loves new gear.  Nothing beats opening that box from the mail, or picking up that perfect helmet or jacket from the dealer and putting it on and thinking, “Oh yeah, that works.”  That is how we feel about the awesome KLIM gear that we have for this ride.  We are all outfitted with KLIM F4 ECE Helmets, they offer great protection, do not interfere with your peripheral vision, and looks the part.  Our Jackets and Pants are all KLIM as well, we’ll be using some of their Overland Gear, as well as their Traverse and Scott, the owner at IMS, will be rocking a Badlands Pro Jacket. They offer great ventilation from the multiple zippers that open up and allow great air flow, with out compromising safety, a theme you will notice about KLIM gear throughout this post.  The arms can get a little hot but by simply undoing the velcro straps at the wrist and forearm opens up the jacket to amazing airflow with out compromising your safety (again).  Inside the jacket on the right hand side is a zippered mesh pocket with a small hole on the top.  It quickly become apparent that KLIM has not forgot that for many of us our ADV bikes do not have speakers to allow us to listen to our favorite music.  But you can easily fit a iPod, iPhone, Android, or whatever electronic device you have in the pocket, zip it up, and have a place for the headphone wires to come out of, with out (once again) compromising your safety.  This is a great option to have on long rides with open face helmets, since the wind noise can become tedious after a while.  I will up date this post with more pictures as I get them, until then enjoy the few pics of one of the Helmets we will be wearing, as well as some of the gear.

 

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Yucaipa, CA to Ouray, CO and back. The Pre-ride.

Life sometimes can take you down unexpected and strange paths.  It reminds me of a old Lord of The Rings saying, “All who wander are not lost.”  My life has been an interesting roller coaster, I moved my family to Yucaipa to work for IMS Products, but life had a different path for me.  I am now back to teaching elementary school and will be moving back to Monterey, CA in a few weeks, but before that happens I will be making my first adventure ride.  Scott Wright of IMS, myself, and 6 other men will be making a 2 day 850 mile ride from Yucaipa, CA to Ouray, CO for a church men’s retreat with Wildwood Calvary Chapel.  Two of the six men will be riding in the chase truck towing a 16 foot trailer big enough for 4 ADV bikes to fit in.  One of them, Chris Hardin GM of IMS, will be a trade out rider for anyone that gets tired, where as Tim Fogle will be the permanent chase truck guy.  It should prove to be a very interesting and awesome trip and I can’t wait to get started.  So with out further mumbling on my part, here is the list of men, the bikes that they ride, and a little photo shoot of the bike I will be riding, as more pics and info come I will keep this updated so keep a keen eye out, this should be fun.

The Bikes and Men:

There is me on my 2014 Green Triumph Tiger 800XC

Scott Wright men’s pastor and owner of IMS Products on a 2014 BMW 1200GSA.

Chris Hardin Manager of IMS Products and his 2009 Husky TE310 (he won’t be riding that bike, simply because of comfort)

Mark Schlichter on his personal 2010 BMW800.

Jeremy Fogle 2014 1200GSA (on loan from BMW of Escondido)

Keith Morabito on a 2014 BMW 800GSA (also on loan from BMW of Escondido)

The Gear:

For this ride we have been completely outfitted (minus boots) with Klim Overland Pants and Jackets, as well as Klim Helmets, F4 ECE to be exact.  This is something we are all very excite about and very grateful to Klim for the equipment.  These pants and jacket are very well ventilated, so even in the heat of the Vegas Desert we should be nice and cool.  The jackets come equipped with a back protecter, and elbow and shoulder armor, and lots of pockets for storing things.  The Pants have tons of pockets, several vents, as well as hip and knee protection.  We are hopeful that we never have to find out how good the armor is but it is better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

The Plan:

Our plan of attack is to leave Sunday the 15 at around 2pm and then hit Vegas for some IMS promotional shots and videos. Then bomb out to Saint George Utah for the night. The next day we will be hitting Moab and Zion on the way to Ouray. Once at the camp we plan on going over Engineer Pass and a few other yet to be determined rides. We will be there from the 17-21 when we leave to ride the full 850 miles back in one day.
As we prepare I will post more pics and info but now for what you all really want to see the bikes, or at least one of them, my personal Tiger 800XC.

I have added a RS4 Yoshimura exhaust, Alt Rider guards, Precision Concepts redone front suspension and Touratech rear shock, TKC80 front and rear tires, Renthal Twinwall Handlebars, Cycra Hand guards, and a very comfy Seat Concepts seat. I will be wearing KLIM Overland Pants and Jacket and a KLIM Helmet.

On top of all of this IMS has loaned me a set of their Rally Adventure bike foot pegs. I will get some pics when they arrive but let me say I have ridden with them on this bike before and they are great, big, lots of grip, and easy on the eyes. Scott Wright will have a set of the new Adventure Pegs on his 1200GSA as soon as they are finished. He told me they should be really cool with a special shape just for big ADV bikes. I will keep this updated as things develop.

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This is Scott Wright’s BMW 1200GSA

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