RR: Dual sporting, camping, and awesome trails all at once...
This trip aimed to explore the idea of dual sporting/camping mixed with some good trails. My perspective on dual sporting has changed since I moved here and I find myself riding slab less and less for dual sporting and my street bike only gets ridden to work now... I find riding with camping gear harder and harder on the stuff I really want to ride so we decided to try dual sporting to good trails, dropping gear, and then riding trails. We cheated a bit by camping with others who had more amenities but I think the idea still works. Turns out you get tired a lot quicker doing it this way! I am used to big(er?) bikes on trails now, this is the main compromise as I see it.
Kyle and I did the whole TAT (sans a few miles in TN) back in 2008 while I was working in TX on wind farms. He was in the middle of changing jobs and moving to Philadelphia and I was just in dire need of a vacation. That was an awesome trip but I have since moved to the front range and become a much better dirt rider (still suck compared to most).
Kyle hasn’t been riding much this year, he is more of a street guy anyway (doesn’t even own a dirtbike…yet!) so I was scared of what I wanted to put him through for our next adventure… The plan was to just ride good dirt and stop along the way at some epic trails and drop our gear and ride. He did amazingly well and plans to buy a DRZ or similar ASAP.
Here we are packing the bikes, trying to shed some gear…
We started out with a few different plans, some involved heading south from the front range through Rampart, 717, 4mile, over to BV, down into Telluride, back trough northern stuff such as Breck etc. A few friends ended up heading to Stillwater for the holiday weekend so we decided to meet them there and mooch food and beer from them.
We left Boulder mid afternoon and headed up through Estes via Old Fall River Road just for Kyle to get the feel of dirt under him again.
We headed down into Grand lake, got some gas and headed back north the dirt via the back way into Stillwater on CO Hwy 4 to the campsite close to the Illinois Pass trail just as dark fell. We spent all of Sunday and half of Monday riding Gilsonite, Willow creek, etc. It was an awesome group of people and great weather. Thanks to Dan and his family, Lisa, Berzerker, and everyone for the hospitality and the ride!
I ended up smashing my foot between the frame on my XR and a stump and man did it hurt! This pic was taken two days later and it still swollen today…
Monday we headed out mid afternoon after some epic singletrack (1226 I think), slabed it down to Hot Sulfer Springs (PS that gas station is closed, we had enough to make it to Silverthorne but it looked like the gas station recently closed), by the Henderson Mill, over Ute pass, into Silverthorne, more slab over Hoosier, then to Mosquito Pass.
Ute Pass facing the wrong direction…
Cool two stage IR air compressor… My guess is that it is a double acting compressor since the crank arms were phased 90 degrees but others may know more? I love these mining relics and wish there were more information on the mechanics of how things worked back in that day, can anyone recommend any books?
Up over the pass…
We ended up camping near Turquoise lake.
We headed out early over Hagerman down the old RR grade
Then onto Fryingpan Rd which is an awesome piece of slab into Basalt. Kyle promptly got a flat somehow and the rim strip was much longer than it needed to be so we had to resort to taping the inside of the rim… Very strange… At least we found a perfect rock for the tube change!
From Basalt we slabed it down to Aspen and rode up the slopes. Epic views…
Then down 15E or Richmond Hill Rd which is one of my favorite ways to get into Taylor Park…
Then through Taylor Pass into Taylor Park (that pass seems to get harder every time, the creek was low but the baby heads seems to multiply each time…) We ended up over at Spring Creek Res, set up camp and went for a nice ride on Bear Creek, Reno Ridge, and Deadman Gulch. We were beat by the end of the day.
Camping next to Spring Creek.
My Maxxis was getting low…
The 908 was holding up great! I like this tire, thanks to Geek for the recommendation!
We had planned to ride more awesome singletrack the next morning but it rained fairly hard that night so we though twice about the wear we would put on the trail. We also heard breakfast calling in BV,,,
Heading out the next morning…
Up over cottonwood…
We rolled into BV and grabbed some food, I picked up a paper at the gas station and saw the Fourmile Fire pictures… I called a friend who lives in the area and it turns out (still pending clarification) that the firefighters cut a fire break right on her property, with the burn ending right at her house. Reportedly the fire may have started from a downed powerline near their house… Thanks to all who helped fight this fire!
We headed into 4mile on 300, Kyle still hates sand…
Then up 185
We then took dirt towards the front range, I think signs said Heritage Park or something like that. This was infinitely better than 285…
The clutch lever busing in the Husky disintegrated and luckily I had another in the spare lever… Husky gets a 0 for that bushing design…
At some point we headed north towards Eleven Mile Canyon
Then onto 717 where we rode a good chunk of the actual 717 trail then north via 363.
At this point we decided to make it back to Boulder that night and headed north up the South Platte River
By this point it was raining and we rode through Evergreen and took Peak to Peak to Magnolia and got back right before dark. The next day we did an easy day trip up through Caribou, 105, and Rollins Pass. Overall a great trip!
Looks like a great loop.
How are you digging the new TE-610 compared to the XRR?
Thanks for the pics. Looks like an awesome ride. I'm really interested in getting out to Taylor Park.
I like the 610 a lot, here is a list of the Pros and Cons. Just as a reference I have ridden the XRR for years on all kinds of terrain and they are very similar bikes realistically. I have ridden the Husky on everything out here from singletrack to rocky passes to highway but have only had it for a few months.
-Infinitely better at highway speeds (6 speed trans), smoother, the ratios are spaced very well with the stock gearing and stock power even at altitude. LOVE the transmission.
-Fuel mileage is vastly better than the XR but I have the XR jetted rich as crap right now.
-Electric start... duh Fatal flaw of the XRR for some.
-Great ergos with the Husky high bars (thanks Geek!)
-Good to slightly overpowered front brake, I like it though.
-Finicky starting, no kick backup to magic button... guess I am paranoid and old school.
-Runs like crap cold, I haven't rejeted yet so may not be a real issue.
-Less power than the XR, makes its power in a very different way. No massive torque available at low revs like the XR, have to ride the bike higher in the rev range for sure. I really love the flexibility of the XR power. (My XR is just uncorked, no fancy carb, stock exhaust with different tip) Realistically they probably make the same peak power but the XRR makes so much more down low where I like to ride for flexibility...
-Even taller than the XR??? I have short legs...
-Heavier by a bit, can't really feel it except pushing the bike around
-Trail in the front end is supposedly the same between the XR and 610 but the steering is WAY slower on the 610 at low speeds. The Husky is way more stable dirt tracking sideways, so kind of a compromise. Haven't set the sag on the Husky but it seems close.
-Suspension is interesting, front end feels strange over really rough rocks, high speed damping seems off even through all adjustment settings. The rear seems to work well. I like the stock spring rates, some think it is stiff. I had Borynack do my suspension on the XRR and love it, most will think it is insane for woods riding and it is not so great in the really rocky stuff. In the whoops and tighter smooth stuff it is epic so maybe not a fair comparison...
-Steering stops are VERY close together, max turning angle is very small in comparison, makes turning around in tight spots a giant pain. The IMS tank will allow for the stops to be shaved a bit allowing for more lock angle but I may sell the bike and have not come up with a way to make this mod reversible if someone wants to use the stock tank...
-Crappy stock lights (tail and headlight), I bought a Cyclops so that should help!
-Rear brake is so overpowered it is dangerous if you are not used to it. Still very little modulation available after riding it for a while...
-Cam chain issue
Overall the Husky is an AWESOME bike for CO, I can put more miles in daily with it than the XR for sure. I can't justify selling the XR (just isn't worth much) and would have to drop a lot of money into the Husky (I think?) to get the suspension and power to where the XRR is. Ideally I would have the XRR with electric start and the trans from the Husky but that isn't possible/cost prohibitive. I have been eying the 690 white hard but damn they are $$$.
Looks like a great week of riding.
I wonder if Geek will have any comments as to the 610.... :ear
Great analysis of the Honda Husky pros and cons!
Cool loop Owen, I dig the new bike! Now you should bring it down and ride the San Juans before the snow flies.
I've put 15K on my XRR(sold) and 12K on my 08 610(still own).
Technical offroad ability goes to the 610 by a wide margin. The TE610 turns like a dirtbike and has a better suspension. It feels lighter than the XRR, but it isn't.
non-Technical offroad ability goes to the XRR by a small margin. The XRR is super stable. It shines in the dessert. I like stability for non-technical riding as it is less tiring.
Onroad ability goes to the XRR by a small margin. The XRR is smoother and has more power. Note that I have the 08 FI 610, which is very low on power but great on fuel milage. I've ridden Geeks bike(carbed) and the power difference is stunning.
Versatility goes to the 610 by a small margin. It has a large stator output(340W) and has a strong rear subframe. You can run electric gear easily for colder times and put a killer headlight on it. I had 200w on my XRR so I could do the same as well. Plus, the 610 is street legal off the showroom floor.
Maintenance goes to the XRR by a HUGE margin. Kick and Ride and check the valves when you feel like it. In 15K miles of usage I had one bolt back out. I wish I could say the same about the 610.
I think the 610 is a better bike for me since I like technical dualsport riding.
Is your XRR uncorked? I seem to remember Geek saying that the exhaust made a big difference on his bike in terms of power but maybe i should ride it to see...
Thanks for the input toddler! Where is Geek when you need him...
The 06 610 front suspension has the compression adjusters, the 08 does not. Otherwise, the same.
My XRR was as smooth as any bike I've ever owned at 80mph with stock gearing. The XRR was uncorked and had a header/pipe, but I'm not sure it added any power over the standard power up.
I also had the same ginormous tank you do. What a great bike.
Owen: we can get together and you can ride my 610 if you like. Great pics!
I do need to get my valves adjust sometime this week though.. I've a squeaky one right now.
As for yours & Todds observations.. I can think of times/situations that both of you are right with your descriptions of the 610. :D
My front suspension is set really nicely.. I'm running 5wt oil & a 140mm air gap.
My rear shock is in need of some work... I think I've just worn it out. I'm debating on sending both ends to slavens or superplush or someone this winter... or instead taking the time to learn far more about suspension than I ever wanted to know :D
Like Todd mentioned.. our bikes had a noticeable difference in power... but yours is the same as mine so it should be similar? (I've a LEO X3 pipe & JD jet kit in mine).
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