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Thread: Lessons in dirt continue

  1. #81
    Tried this out the other day, KTM 350 EXC. Lots of power (8 more than the DRZ) and light ( 60 lbs lighter than the DRZ) ... and my thought after riding it was "Nah .. I need a 500 ... "

    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  2. #82
    Flirting With The Redline alba's Avatar
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    Those are great bikes....but you really need a 600!



    http://motoajp.com/enduros/models-features/pr-7/

  3. #83
    Specs too much like the KTM 620 I had. Pretty well have my max tolerable weight in mind with the DRZ400 and really I want closer to the weight of the XR400 I had.

    The numbers on a KTM 500 EXC look pretty good with the question being what does 50 real rear wheel HP do on a 265 LB wet weight moto-sickle ... when I'm on it. (I've seen Jimmy Lewis on one ... but I am clearly not Jimmy.) The XR400 had ~ 33 hp and weighed about the same ... and would throttle lift the front wheel pretty easy ...

    Gigi did ask me what I wanted for my birthday ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  4. #84
    Flirting With The Redline alba's Avatar
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    Late summer update....
    I've been doing a lot of day rides on my 250/300 and getting to grips with riding off road again. Good news is kick starting is super easy now and is something I no longer worry about. Bike has been running great apart from one minor hiccup where the engine died on me coming back from a day in the mountains. Thankfully it died when we were on a major highway and not in the middle of nowhere. My friend towed me a few miles off the highway to a brewery where I got to wait several hours for the AAA man. If you're going to break down I recommend doing it in front of a brewery We got the bike to my mechanic friend and he fixed it pretty quickly. Turns out the valve was stuck open on the carb after I went full throttle. He bent something out of the way and it was all working again.

    My long planned summer trip to Oregon never happened. Only two friends had signed up and one of them pulled out a month before and then the other lost his job. That turned out to be a good thing for him as he got a better job almost immediately and a redundancy package, but it meant no vacation time for bike trips.

    So instead of an ambitious trip to Oregon I hastily planned a simple trip in Washington with a prepackaged tour. Just to the west of Seattle is the Olympic National Forest and a local guy there sells a GPS tour around the peninsula. With not much planning I bought the tour and 3 of us headed off for three easy days in the woods.


    This is the second time this has happened

  5. #85
    Flirting With The Redline alba's Avatar
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    GripTwister Tour

    To the west of Seattle is the Olympic Peninsula that contains a large national forest. Skirting the outside of this are a multitude of forest roads and a local guy sells a GPS tour of the area. Itís not supposed to be difficult riding but the weather causes a multitude of road closures every year and scrambling past them turned out to be the highlight of the trip.

    I debated over what to wear on this trip. A simple moto jacket or my off road armor? A jacket is much easier to live but obviously has less protection than armor. In the end I went with the armor and neck brace even though this was supposed to be an easy ride. Figured there is no point having armor in my closet at home if I was to ever need it. I also had had a narrow escape not too long ago when I was riding along a forest road that was gradually deteriorating into a Romaniacs enduro course. I was having a blast, totally in the zone and killing it when suddenly the bike changed direction by 45ļ and Iím off into the woods and hit a tree. Thankfully all I hit was the handlebars and got a bruised rib, but it scared me after what happened to my friend (documented towards the beginning of this long thread). So, self conscious or not I was going with the RoboCop look!


    The route


    The beautiful Lake Cresent


    Contemplating if we can scramble over this rock fall (we didnít)


    Another road closure that looks pretty serious


    This doesnít look good


    But I set my minions the task of clearing a path and we are soon able to get through


    Blasting along the many fast paced gravel roads

    One of the major highlights for me was feeling my skills improve. For the first time I got comfortable leaning the bike into corners and using the throttle to steer. Probably wouldnít have been visible to a bystander but it was a major mental shift for me and increased my comfort level tremendously.


    Planning our way across the river

    I also got to tackle my first river crossing. It wasnít very deep but the boulders were plentiful and slippery so that it was pretty difficult to walk across. Not having a clue how to fix a drowned bike it was a bit nerve racking but we all got across safely. I would actually like to go back and try it again, this time with more enthusiasm!


    Taking in the view

    On the last day we ended up with no water as we missed the State Park where we could have found some. I had never been there before and was just following the route, not realizing it kept us completely in the woods. We then had a choice of pressing on 50 miles with no water, or backtracking to find water and potentially running out of gas later. We chose to press on. Ití only 50 miles, a couple of hoursÖweíll be fine!

    Well, turns out wearing all black was not the best idea as I was getting hot. I was also getting pretty thirsty and started getting clumsy, needing me to manhandle the bike, which made me get hot, which made me get thirsty. I then proceeded to fall over for no apparent reason in a simple rut. I guess my brain wasnít really working properly at this point. Got the bike back up and then tried to kick start it. No joy. Kicked it a few more times and nothing. Since I was on a steep slope I just started rolling down and bumped started it. That sort of worked but as soon as I touched the throttle or clutch the engine would immediately die. Did this 3 or 4 times before I ran out of hill. Kicked it a few more times and the engine is just doing nothing. By this time Iím really overheating and getting a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that the bike is toast. It seems like something got whacked out of joint in my little fall. I drop to the side of the road and strip off my armor and just relax for a bit to try and cool off.

    All sorts of thoughts are going through my head at this point. I envision having a nice KLX bonfire when I get home and I have the perfect excuse to get that Husky 701 I really like. But more importantly for right now, we are 30 miles from the nearest paved road, we have no water and Iím dehydrated. This is pretty bad. Also, my wife didnít want me to take the KLX as she doesnít trust it. Iím never going to hear the end of this. She even bought premium AAA coverage for me for this trip, but thatís not going to do me much good stuck up the side of a mountain. The good news is we have cell coverage so I can reach out for help. Iím running through all the potential friends who have trucks who could come save me, but no one is closer than 3 hours away. Looks like I might be spending the night on the mountain. Iím getting close to sending out an SOS on Facebook (blocking the wife so she doesnít see) as I can see no other option. Iíll have one last attempt at starting it first. I get on once more, look down and seeÖÖ.the kill switch is off. When I fell over I killed it using the switch. As I never use it normally I completely forgot about it when trying to start it again. I felt a mixture of huge relief that the crisis was over and embarrassment that I had been so stupid. I blame the dehydration! Can honestly say I donít think Iíll ever forget to check that switch ever again.

    After that episode, it was late afternoon and it was time to call it a wrap, head into town and get some cold water and real food (weíd been living on dehydrated food for 3 days). In all I had a blast. It was one of those trips where everyone just gels, no egos, no drama, just good friends riding and having a great time.

    A longer movie than normal this time.

  6. #86
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    Specs too much like the KTM 620 I had. Pretty well have my max tolerable weight in mind with the DRZ400 and really I want closer to the weight of the XR400 I had.

    The numbers on a KTM 500 EXC look pretty good with the question being what does 50 real rear wheel HP do on a 265 LB wet weight moto-sickle ... when I'm on it. (I've seen Jimmy Lewis on one ... but I am clearly not Jimmy.) The XR400 had ~ 33 hp and weighed about the same ... and would throttle lift the front wheel pretty easy ...

    Gigi did ask me what I wanted for my birthday ...
    Only motorcyclists that have been exposed to the detriments of "weight" when it comes to offroad machinery can grasp the largeness of it's effects on acceleration/braking & handling in turns. And, also the energy the rider expends to ride it quickly can be taxing, and this is when bad things happen. Yes, 5 pounds makes a difference when talking 250lbs or less.

    Just imagine a 21 or 22 year old Norty racing a 218 pound bike with 49hp with an explosive powerband. I weighed considerably less than I do now too! I was about 370 pounds total, with a foot of travel on both ends. Ah, the good old days...
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

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