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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
This is Scott Wright’s BMW 1200GSA
Yes, we get snow in southern california. Now it isn’t much and it isn’t often and it isn’t at the beach, but still we get some. Where most of the riding that I do is around 2,500+ foot elevation and the snow doesn’t really start till about 3,500 foot elevation it makes for some disappointing rides, where it starts off with nice tacky dirt and then after about a mile of great riding, BAM, snow and ice. So after a few months of this kind of riding, it finally cleared up so that I can get in a good ride. So off I went last Saturday to get in a quick ride. With my wife 38 weeks pregnant and a 2 year old at home I couldn’t be gone long but still in the end any ride is a good ride.
Now if you are a fan of our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IMSproducts you will notice that most of the pictures are of a very specific bike, a 2003 XR650R. Now the reason for this is that this is the only bike that I own. We plan on including more bikes and locations in future entries but for now this is what we got to work with.
Now the bike is awesome, 680 big bore, HRC cam, derestricted intake and exhaust, Precision Concepts suspension, 3.2 gallon IMS dry break tank, BRP triple clamps, and Kenda Trackmaster II front tire and Kenda 270 rear tire with heavy duty tubes provided by MTA. And the best part is the bike is street legal. With these modification and my amateur riding level there is more then enough power and performance to get me into and out of trouble, and I love it.
Most of the trials around where I ride are in the Angelus Oaks/Big Bear area, if you have done the annual Big Bear Run then you know the stuff I am talking about. Today’s ride was a shorter more local ride but after not being able to ride for a while and with all the snow and melting snow the landscape was completely different. It could best be summed up in one word, ROCKS. Man they were everywhere, from marble size to bowling balls, I didn’t know there were even that many rocks period and they just got worse. I had decreased my normal riding pressure for dual sporting from 22 psi front and rear to 16 psi because the tires just wouldn’t grip. I know in rocks you want to run a little higher to avoid flats (and since I didn’t have any of my tools with me I should have left it) but the 270 is more of a street biased tire and the low psi helped. After dropping to the 16psi the bike was a different animal completely instead of sliding and slipping around the bike would grip, yes the street biased 270 was like a trials tire and in a straight line even with all the power I had on hand in the 680 motor it had a hard time breaking traction, it would even pull the front end up. I normally have a Trackmaster II on the rear as well, but I have been doing a lot more street commuting and I felt bad wearing out such an amazing tire on the asphalt. Plus anyone who has ridden a hot XR650R knows they go through rear tires like no bodies business. But the tubes supplied by MTA were awesome not only did it make it through 11 miles of rocks but they got me home doing 65mph+ on the street with out feeling like I was on a half flat tire.
Even though IMS offers two other tanks for the XR650R, both which are bigger at 4.6 and 7 gallons, I prefer the 3.2 for off road work since it is slimmer at the knees and when full doesn’t upset the balance of the bike. Back when I was commuting a lot more during the summer months I was running the bigger 4.6 gallon tank and when I do long dual sport rides I use that tank as well, but for sorter off road riding I prefer the smaller tank.
With all the changes that IMS is going to be making in the next few months in the social media arena I hope that those of you who read these blogs can get something out of them and the jumbled process that is my writing style. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions and keep your eyes peeled, there is much more exciting things to come.