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.
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.
In life change is inevitable. The same is true for technology of every kind. As time goes on things change, sometimes it is good, sometimes not so much. If we look at the advancement of Dirt Bikes, we have moved from 500lb Harley Davison Hardtails,
to slightly lighter BSA and Triumph Desert sleds,
to dual shock Japanese dirt bikes,
to the current crop of ultra light, single shock, single cylinder, 300 foot jumping dirt bikes.
At this point we could ask the question is there really anywhere else to go? Is all that is left to do just small changes in frame and engines? We can look at the new Honda CRF450R, a great bike, but is it really all that much different then all the other dirt bikes out there. The basics are the same, some things got moved around but is it the same leap forward that the dual shock to single shock was? Is it the same as moving from no rear suspension at all on old Harleys to the 3-4 inches that Triumph had?
The big question as I see it is what happens when a company is truly innovative? I look at the Husky TE449/511. Husky decided to throw out the rule book and make something different (yes I know they stole it from BMW but just hang with me). The gas tank in the back, the sprocket on the same pivot as the swing arm, air box in the front. Now David Knight couldn’t ride the thing, but is that because it is truly bad or is it because most of us that ride were brought up on more traditional bikes that have different handling characteristics? Take a kid with no other riding experience and natural talent (like Knight), teach him to ride solely on a Husky TE449 and you would have an award winning champion on a “impossible” bike. And what doesn’t work in racing may work in other things, like Dual Sport riding.
Yamaha has been one of the chief innovators of things that work that are different, such as one of the first mass produced single shock dirt bikes, and now they have the backwards engine. Yeah it is different then other bikes, it steers with the front wheel more, but is that necessarily a bad thing? With the new crop of riders coming up that have not been riding a “normal” bike their whole lives, maybe now is the time to try something new? I love innovation, it is one of the things that makes America great, we embrace and encourage new ideas. Before we decide if something isn’t good just because it is different, maybe we should try it out, give it a shot, todays “weird” is tomorrows normal.
Ok so we didn’t come up with this but some one did. It shows you how to fit your 2013 IMS Beta tank to your older model 2010-2012 Beta bike.
So this morning it was a cold and windy day, the forecast was only a 30% chance of rain, plenty low enough for me to ride. So I left my warm windless house got on my XR and headed out to the Starbucks to do some work. For the first hour I was there it was fine, still cold but no rain. I figured I had plenty of time to work and so I kept at it. At that point it started to sprinkle only a little at first but enough that I decided to move my motorcycle out of the rain and under the over hang by the window I was working at. This turned out to be the smartest decision I made all day. Within a few minuets of doing this the rain decided to come down and with a fury. The wind is still going strong and the temperature has dropped, all in all it turned out to be a pretty bad day for a ride. I know not everyone minds the rain, and after living in Hawaii for 4 years I learned, by necessity, how to ride in the rain. My real problem is the wind. When a 40 mph gust picks up, and that is what they are calling for today, and you are not ready for it it is a really heart stopper. Add on top of that the cold and you got a triple whammy. The only thing that would make this worse would be snow, and now that I said that it will probably start doing that as well. Luckily for me I only live a few miles from this Starbucks, so I am not to concerned. Heres to days turned bad, may they be few and far between.
Not the best photo, but if you look real hard you can see the pools of water in the parking lot. It wasn’t like that 10 min before this photo.