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Posts tagged “Off road

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.

 

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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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The changing state of things.

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,

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to slightly lighter BSA and Triumph Desert sleds,

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to dual shock Japanese dirt bikes,

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to the current crop of ultra light, single shock, single cylinder, 300 foot jumping dirt bikes.

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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.

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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.

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New Projects in the Works

Well things here are IMS are getting exciting.  As of now we have come out with a new tank for the CRF450R

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The CRF250L

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The TE/TC/TXC449/511

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As well as the Beta 300/450RR tank.

ImageSo all in all it has been quite the exciting 5 months.  IMS is working full steam ahead doing what we do best, and that is make tanks and make them well.  But now we have ventured out into new and exciting territory, the side by side, or UTV.  Since it first came out the RZR has dominated the UTV scene, fast, handles great, and can take up to 4 people in style.  But like all race machines it seems to suffer from one major flaw, fairly low MPG.  Now maybe stock it isn’t to bad, but if you are like the guys that work at IMS, you can leave it stock for long.  Engine mods make more speed, but speed burns more gas, and for some of the extreme turbo RZRs out there I have heard of people getting as low as 7.5 MPG.  So what do you do when you only got a 7.5 gallon tank and that kind of MPG, most of us have had to resort to the good ole gas can, or just not ride for very long.  The gas can seems ok, but after seeing pictures like this

Imagekind of makes me think that that extra can of fuel on a bed that can get pretty hot due to exhaust and turbo heat might not be a great idea.  So that just leaves you with short rides.  Let figure this out, if you got a full decked out turbo RZR and get 7.5 MPG and a 7.5 gallon tank that means you have, at best, 56.25 miles of riding.  That means no later then 28.125 miles you have to turn around and head back.  And when you have a machine with that kind of power and speed you are looking at a very very short riding day.  On top of that you can not get any further then 28.125 miles away from camp, not a whole lot of exploring.

There is a third option now coming out, and IMS has it.  We are currently working on a auxiliary tank (so an easy install) that will increase the total fuel capacity of the RZR to 12-13 gallons.  Since the tank will be installed near the stock tank, it is in just as safe a place as the stock tank.  We know people have been asking for this tank for a while and we are pleased to announce that we are finally doing it.  It still has at least 30 days till production but we will keep you posted as to when it is available and the total gallons you will get.  We hope you guys are as excited as we are.

Here are a few pics to help you out.

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Taking out the Trash

Ok, I am not going on a rant here.  I just wanted to talk about something that was near and dear to my heart as well as to many off road riders out there.  That is the trails that we ride and the trash that we find.  This is prompted by a recent ride I did on one of my favorite trail systems.  I was just riding along getting near the end of the trail where it hits the road, when I crossed this beautiful little stream.  Now recently I have decided that I was going to try to become a professional “Free Camera App iPhone Photo Taker” so I stopped to take a picture with my XR in the middle of a stream, because that would look cool.  Anyway here I was taking pictures walking around my Dual Sport when I walked up the stream a little to get a more dramatic shot when I looked over and saw it, a nice little collection of trash (primarily water bottles and a few miscellaneous other things).  This really made me sad, and at first I was just going to leave, after all I had nothing to carry the trash in to properly dispose of it, but at the last second before I left I decided to take a picture and post it up here, hoping to raise awareness to this problem.

 

A few months ago I had posted a picture of my mountain bike on a local ride I did and commented on how so many trails that had been formed by off road riders had been shut down and how if we don’t figure out how to fix it more and more will continue to get shut down.  I see things like this and honestly can understand why.  This area is absolutely beautiful, (as this photo hopefully shows) and if you look not too closely you can see the first bit of trash that caught my eye laying on the bank in front of my bike, a little white trash bag.

 

Now I said I wasn’t going to rant, and I am not.  I realize that just a few days before this ride was a holiday weekend and there was a lot of campers, and maybe someone was riding out of this trail with a bag full of trash and it got caught and ripped open and they didn’t notice.  Who knows, all I can say is that it was there and if we don’t take care of our trails then eventually they will get shut down, and I totally understand.  Who wants their trails to look like this.

 

It is true that every once in awhile I do find cool things on the trail, once I found the remains of a car front seat set up so that whoever sat there got an amazing sunset view, (when I found it it was just a rusted bunch of metal but I could see the potential) and I understand that, it was right near a campsite.  (If you want to read about some really neat trail finds click here http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/847470-weirdcreepy-things-youve-found-on-the-trail/)  All I am trying to say is if you pack it in, pack it out.  Like I learned in sixth grade Science and Conservation Camp, (yes I was that kid still kind of am) “Take only photos, leave only footprints.”  Keep it safe and ride clean.  

So to conclude what do you guys think we should do to keep our trails clean and open for years to come?

 


Crime Scene: Do Not Cross

So today I went for a ride, the first one since our daughter was born. For the last week we have been cooped up inside the house not going much of anywhere for any length of time and I was feeling it. So today, my wife and her sister went to the park, taking my niece and our oldest daughter along with the newborn. This gave me a few precious hours to hit the trails. So I threw on my riding gear (blue Moose jersey and pants, Answer boots, and a GMAX helmet, just in case anybody wants to know what I wear) and hopped on the XR and took off.

Now from my house to where I usually ride is only about a 5-10 minute ride. Today though I had some extra time so I decided to go a little further before hitting a different trail that connected to a huge network of other trails, my first mistake. You see, after 20 minutes of twisty mountain road I came to the trail head, and BAM there was a “Road Closed” sign. Not a big deal, the road workers here have a tendency to leave the signs up even after they are done. Not this time. Next to the sign were two workers and a cop. Further down the road was a HazMat truck and some more people. That was a major bummer as I had already wasted over 20 minutes of riding time just getting to a trail. I knew where another trail was, the problem was that I have only ever exited the trail where it ran into the paved road, never started the trail from that point. Because of this I missed the trail, by a good mile or more. I had to pull over, take out my phone, and look at a Map App to see where I was and the place I wanted to be. I finally found the trail head and took off.

After 40 minutes of road riding I had finally hit dirt. This turned out to be my second mistake. You see I had ridden the trail I was now on many times, and it is actually one of my favorite local trails. The problem was that I was now riding it backwards. What was usually a slightly up hill trail with twisty left and right hand bends, was now a slightly down hill trail with twisty right and left hand bends. It is really weird for my brain to know that I was on a trail I can ride but to be doing everything backwards. So what would have taken no time at all, now took twice as long and was not very fun. To top it off, during the last rain storm the trail had become extremely muddy and the 4×4 truck guys took advantage of this to go mudding. I have absolutely nothing against that, the trail is open to all street legal vehicles so bring it on. If I had a big truck I would be out there too, the problem is the ruts are still there when the mud dries. The ground is rock hard, with ruts everywhere, and I am going the opposite direction. All in all this was not a very good trail riding day. When I got to the end of the trail I saw this:

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Yes, apparently I had just ridden down an active crime scene. That might help explain all of the cops I had seen on the way up. As I stood there confused as to why the tape was only on this end of the trail as well as trying to figure out a way to get around it without breaking the tape, I saw a big white van heading down the paved road that this trail ended at. On the side of the van it said San Bernardino Fire Department. As I was mentally preparing my flight or fight response, the driver of the van looked at me, and waved, and then kept on going. I quickly got around the tape and took off going the opposite direction of the van. As I headed back I saw HazMat trucks and tankers at various places on the road and was actually kind of glad that I hadn’t spent that much time in the dirt, since I had no idea what was going on. When I got home I used good old faithful Google to find out what had happened. Turns out a tanker truck carrying over 4,600 gallons of fuel had crashed and dumped most of its payload on to the road. (http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_23139067/highway-38-reopens-cleanup-goes)

Now this totally sucks, not because my riding areas have been shrunk, but because of the environmental damage. I hope that they get it cleaned up fast and not too much gets into the Santa Ana River. In the mean time I had better get used to riding some of my favorite trails backwards.


Credit where credit is due.

Ok so lately I know I haven’t been talking about off road riding directly and with the weather being amazing and riding conditions being perfect I should be but bear with me just a little longer, I am waiting on our second baby to be born (any day now) so I am “riding’ on my computer so to speak.  But as I was cruising the internet, I came across this article http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/racing/motogp-summary-sunday-american-gp-2013/#more-42249  Now I love off road but I am also a huge MotoGP fan and try to keep tabs on what is going on.  Jumps and dirt are cool but so is 200mph with your elbows and knees dragging the ground.  Anyways I think it is appropriate to mention that this new rider, Marc Marquez, has now taken the place of Freddie Spencer as both the youngest rider ever to take a premier class pole, and the youngest rider ever to win a premier class Grand Prix.  

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This took place at the  inaugural round of MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.  The most interesting part was that he had a harder rear tire, so less traction but longer wearing, and had a front end problem but still managed to pass Pedrosa, a 8 season veteran, and broke a record standing since 1982.  Pretty cool huh.  It is really neat to see when young talent comes out and sets new records and establishes himself right out of the gate.  Now something is to be said of hardwork and dedication, 99% of people in this world will not get anywhere with out it, but in the rare instances when human development takes a leap and  you end up with almost freakishly skilled people, like Tiger Wood, or Michael Jordan, you have to set back and says “Wow” .  In these cases I feel that these people need to be recognized for what they can do.  No I do not recommend idolizing these people because even the best of people fail, and if you put your hope and faith into something temporal it will let you down.  As Marc’s dad says ““What you have to remember is that one day, a rider will come along and beat Marc’s record. And from that day on, nobody will remember it was Marc who once held the record,”  But still as the title says Credit where credit is due, congratulations Marc and many more wins to come.

 


Family

After what has happened in Boston and in West Texas it is always good to look back on your own family and rejoice in the good times and learn from the bad times.  I had the privilege of spending the day with my wife and daughter in Palm Desert at the Shops at El Paso.  Now I am a male and yes shopping and looking at a purse that cost more then my first dirtbike is not my idea of the best way to spend my time (especially with the day a beautiful as today was) but in the end I need to remember what really matters the most in life, it is not the trophies you win or the epic rides that you do, but the people you influence and touch.  My wife is now 3 days over due with our second daughter and our first daughter is almost 2 years and 5 months old and a fireball of energy, she only has two speeds, sleep and warp.  But I can not think of a better way to spend this day especially when you think of all the people that wont get to after what happened this week.

I know that lots of you feel that there is plenty of time left to spend time with your family, and that riding or wrenching on your bike/quad relaxes you and is your only “fun” activity you get to do.  I can totally understand where you are coming from, I felt the same way for so long, I would get up early on my days off and go ride, either mountain bike or dirt bike, and then come home after the wife and baby had gotten up, sometimes missing them completely as they had already started their day and left to go do what they do.  After months of doing this something clicked in my heart, I only get so much time with these people, I only have so many moments to influence for good (hopefully) my daughter, I only have so many chances to build up and encourage my wife, to love her and appreciate her, and I was wasting so many of them doing things that, in the end, don’t really matter.  I am not a pro racer, my lively hood is not dependent on if I can be 3 second faster a lap then last time.  Now yes, bikes and off road is a major part of my job, but on my days off, my family is what matters, and when I am off the clock my family is what matters.  Instead of thinking I will have plenty of time with my family later, I realized that I will have plenty of time with my bikes later.  I encourage you to take a second look at your life and reevaluate what really matters, what is really deserving of the majority of your time out side of work, and (if you have them) go home, kiss your spouse, hug your kids, tell them all you love them, because for many people it is to late.  Enjoy this time because in the end you wont want one more lap or one more hour of riding, you will want one more moment with the ones you love.  Make those moments now.

ImageWife and I riding at South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii back when we lived there.  We only had one dirt bike helmet and I let her have it, I wore my street helmet.

ImageOne of my favorite times with my daughter, the last time she ever slept on my chest at a little less then a year old.