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Posts tagged “trail

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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Big Bear Dual Sport Ride

What an exciting weekend.  June 21-22-23 was the Big Bear Run Dual Sport Ride.  This is a very well known ride inside the state of California and luckily for me is only about an hours drive from where I live.  Big Bear is a pretty cool place to begin with, it is in the mountains, surrounded by trees, a beautiful lake, great weather, skiing in the winter, downhill mountain biking in the summer, and the best part, over a thousand miles of Dual Sport trails that are pretty much open all year round.  Because of this it attracts all kinds of off roading, from jeeps to mountain bikes to dual sports and adventure bikes.  Since the 1980’s the Big Bear Trail Riders club has been hosting this event including a easy and a hard loop.  The hard loop is so tough that just finishing it awards you a plaque to take home.

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 The easy loop on the other hand isn’t so easy. It is funny how different people’s ideas of what is easy and what is hard are very different.  This year’s ride also included hard sections of the easy route you could take if you were feeling adventurous or just wanted a little extra challenge without fear of breaking your bike, or your self.

So this year I, along with the GM of IMS, got a chance to participate in this event.  I had heard that even the easy loop was pretty challenging and not being an expert off-road rider, I was a little cautious and took extra steps in preparing for the ride.  I normally ride with a Kenda 270 rear tire and a Kenda Track Master front, provided for us by MTA, with some STI heavy duty tubes.  This is a great 70/30 on road/off road combination.  The 270 is a hard enough compound to withstand the brutal power of my 650 (bored to a 680, HRC cam, high compression, full exhaust, you get the picture) on asphalt and still provide a pretty good level of grip along with being very predictable in how it reacts on the dirt, all while lasting a long time.  The Track Master in front is grippy in the dirt, grippy on the asphalt and long wearing as well, way better then the matching 270 I used to run.  For this ride I was advised that the current rear tire I had wouldn’t probably be enough, and with my riding skill I figured as much.  See when I say the 270 is predictable in the dirt what I mean is it predictably slides a lot. Now I like to rear wheel steer a little so this isn’t bad, and most of the trails I ride are two track or fire roads, and I don’t need a high level of grip, so this tires work great, but for this ride I needed more.  Once again MTA stepped up and provided us with brand new Kenda Track Master tires front and rear and ultra heavy duty tubes.  Now I admit I am not very good at changing tires, and even after watching a million Youtube videos on how to change Dirt Bike tires I still am not great at it, but it was worth the effort.  On a spare rear wheel I had I removed a old worn out tire and replaced it with the new Track Master and STI Tube, and oil change, wash, and chain lube later I was ready.  (The front tire still has over 80% tread left so I kept it the same).

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The day of the event the GM and I loaded our bikes in his truck and drove up to Big Bear, getting there around 6:30am.  We unloaded, got the GPS tracks, geared up and hit the trails by 7am.  After only a few miles I understood the need for my new tires, it was a rocky, tough, sandy, loose, hard, soft, combination of dirt.  I did not want a pinch flat so I started the day, on the recommendation of the owner of IMS, with about 22 psi in both tires, and even at that “high” of pressure those tires would grip.  After a few miles my confidence was up, and the tubes were doing good, so I dropped the psi down to about 16 and nailed it.  Let me tell you, when I was finally able to relax, and calm down and realized that even though this was tough I still could do it, I had a blast.  The scenery was amazing, the trails were well thought out and planned, and the multiple bikes that passed me were amazing.  There was everything, from other dual sported XR650R’s to two stroke 250’s, and everything inbetween.  Also a lot of KTMs… I mean a lot. Probably 3 out of every 5 bikes was a KTM, not that that is a bad thing, it isn’t, it was just funny, but with them and Husky being the only real makers of a large variety of dual sport bikes it makes sense.

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 After only completing half of the easy route the GM and I decided, now that it was Noon and we had started at 7am, we were done.  Getting off the tracks and stuck in a dried up sandy creek bed for over an hour might have contributed to the length we were out there.

Some of the highlights of the trip would probably be the above mentioned Creek incident.  You see, sometimes GPS tracks are a little hard to read.  Because of this the GM and I might have taken a wrong turn and ended up in a very deep, very sandy dried up Creek Bed.  This one incident taught me a lot about teamwork and how hard it can be to move a 300 pound dirt bike buried in sand.  It also taught me the benefit of having a light bike, the GM’s bike is a TE310 much lighter then my XR.  Luckily this happened in the beginning of the ride, so we were still fresh and the weather wasn’t too hot. Near the end was probably the other major highlight for me, we encountered a hill, and not just any hill, a pretty steep, rocky, and long hill.  Now for the hard loop guys it was probably just a slight incline but to us mere mortals, it was tough.  So tough in fact that most of the people we saw approach it turned back and found a different route.  The GM of IMS had more guts than I did and attempted it twice, but eventually we turned back.

Looking at the GPS the GM was able to find an alternate route, that even though it wasn’t as tough as the hill, was still quite a challenge.  The best part was the 20-30 yards of uphill bowling ball size rock section that we had to go through.  At this point I was glad for the heavy bike I had, the weight kept the bike from deflecting too much, and the torque allowed me to chug up and over the rocks in a higher gear, instead of just spinning the rear wheel.  And once again, the tires and tubes provided by MTA gripped and I didn’t get a single flat.

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Overall this was one of the best rides I had ever done.  Even though I didn’t do the hard sections of the easy route, there was still enough challenging sections to keep me on my toes and help me improve, mixed with some high speed gravel roads to really let the XR stretch her legs.   I got a chance to meet some really cool guys, like Jeffery Glasset, who was still in high school and completed the hard loop as the 8th finisher, and his custom WR250R tank his dad made.  As well as Ken “Iron Man” Kosiorek The Baja Turtle, he had done 12 solo Baja Races (five 250’s, five 500, and two 1000’s) all with IMS tanks on one of his three XR650R’s.  

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The entire event was well organized and everyone had a great time.  The food was good, the prizes were nice, and the people were super friendly.  I look forward to doing this ride for many more years, and highly recommend it to anyone who can make it.

 


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.