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.
From 1951 to 1958, the Catalina Grand Prix was one of the biggest motorcycle races on the West Coast. Held in the beautiful city of Avalon on California’s Santa Catalina Island, the Catalina Grand Prix was immensely popular amongst both fans and riders. Unfortunately, the event stopped in 1958 and many feared the race would never return.
Fast-forward to the present – in just one month, the Catalina Grand Prix returns to the island after a 52-year long hiatus.
Projected to be “the most unique motorcycle race in 50 years,” promoters received authorization to run the race earlier in 2010 and immediately created a buzz that spread through the Internet almost immediately. Riders and racers from dirt to street and beginner to pro are eager and excited to be a part of the historic event.
The Catalina Grand Prix brought out some of motorcycle racing’s best riders of the time. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductee Walt Fulton, riding aboard a Triumph, won the inaugural running of the race in 1951. The next year, another Hall of Fame Inductee, Nick Nicholson, took the top spot aboard a BSA. All around off-road legend Chuck “Feets” Minert and famed stuntman Bud Ekins, both Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductees, were race winners at the Grand Prix, as well.
This year’s event, to be held on December 4th and 5th, will look a bit different, as the Triumphs, BSAs, and Matchless motorcycles will be replaced with modern machines such as Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha and KTM.
Already signed up for the upcoming event, are riders representing a “Who’s Who” of top competitors. The rider who ends up winning the race will look a little different then those who came before. The leather riding suits of days gone by have been replaced with modern materials, plastic, and carbon fiber. Essentially though, the 2010 winner will be a younger version of the legends who came before.
Speaking of the legends, there are many of the original racers planning on making it out to the event and participate! There is never too much of a good thing. One thing for sure, the participants can expect to see many glimpses into the past, both on the track and off. The spirit of the racers, and the Island itself remain the same.