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av_mech 06-26-2011 09:58 PM

The Adventures of Tyson and Hobbes
Introductions first. I'm Tyson.

And this is Hobbes. My orange Tiger 800XC.

Yup. This Hobbes.

I ride more than most and way less than some. I like to share my stories and they're pretty good most of the time. I wanted to make a solid string of my ride reports so that family and friends can follow along as I break stuff and get lost. Just as fair warning, I use a bit of strong language from time to time.
Still reading? Good.

With out giving my entire life story, I'm 29, single, no kids, and I call Idaho home. Although, my job keeps me in Colorado quite a bit. They are both shitty places and I highly advise never going there and especially don't move there. Those of us already here will suffer through it for you.

This is the bike I have beat the crap out of in the past year. Fantastic bike, but just not enough GO juice. If the picture of me above giving the thumbs after I just hit a rock and landed in puddle of cow piss and rain water is any indication of the stuff I do, you may want to pay attention to this thread. I mean c'mon, when you come home and your bike looks like this, you must have some good stories to tell.

This is how my first report will begin. I was working in Colorado and I was going insane with out a bike. I've been waiting for the Tiger since February!!! The Tiger is finally mine after months of waiting, and then waiting more for the R&D to be done by Happy Trails Products. All the crash guards and panniers will be available for the Tiger from Happy Trails soon! :spam Sorry, I had to. My bike was finally ready for pick up. I flew home to pick up the bike and spend some time with family that came to visit for a few days. I had managed to get a few miles on Hobbes before Happy Trails got a hold of him, so he wasn't brand brand new. This will be the first trip we take together though. Idaho to Colorado in two days and just a little interstate.

On the road. The bike is barely broke in at 350 miles before I jump on the Interstate and hold him steady at 80. I left Boise on Thursday, June 23 at 830. And like I said before, Idaho is shitty (don't move there), so there will be no pictures from the intestate. The fun starts after Salt Lake City when I turn south off of I-80 onto US 40 towards Park City. Never been by there before. I could see wasting a few years as a ski bum there. I have some years left, I might just do that. I made a left onto 32 just before Herber City.

I followed the meandering two lane highway along the Provo River and enjoyed the scenery. Then the road started to gain altitude and I started to enjoy the bike more. A little mini review of the Tiger 800 XC. HOLY SHIT THIS BIKE RIPS!!! ON AND OFF ROAD!!! K. Moving on.

Wolf Creek Summit was full of snow and cold. I briefly contemplated putting on another layer but thought better of it since I knew I'd be in the desert soon.

I was having fun on the empty road and I found out that my toe will scrape the pavement before the foot peg or pannier. Duly noted. Good to know.

Not too many pics of the decent off Wolf Creek to Duchesne. Please keep in mind I've been waiting for this bike for four months now and I'm really enjoying it. You'll get your pics. I promise.

While we're at it, lets just skip to Dinosaur, CO. 40 is full of white pick up trucks and boring. I was falling asleep and needed a Red Bull in Vernal. Gett i n g t i r ed.....WHOA...Red bull kicked in! Well alright alright.

Here we are coming to Dinosaur.

Gas and COLD beer in Dinosaur. Just an FYI to all you alcoholics out there, when buying beer in Colorado, buy from a liquor store. Gas stations have that 3.2% bull shit.

Ok, now I'm starting to get weak and shaky while that red bull wears off and I start to crash. Need food now. Heading off the tarmac soon and I can't be feeling like this in control of a 93HP dirt bike. I pulled over to the side of the road right there and pulled out the last of the pizza I had brought. It was pretty warm and probably full of growing stuff by this point, but it did the job and I never got sick.

I took some pics of flowers while I was eating. Well dammit, I think they're pretty.

It's getting to be a long day at this point. Camp is going to be down there somewhere.

Finally I get to leave the pavement.

I head down Sand Canyon Road towards Echo Park. The road is stunning and the bike is fantastic. Even the Death Wings are doing a lot better in the dirt than I expected. Pretty damn good for a 90/10 tire.

More flowers

Steamboat rock

The water is really high right now. I couldn't get any pics of the river from the bank. Next time I guess.


When I slid off my bike into a pile, I was immediately swarmed by mosquitoes. I jumped up and gathered wood as fast as I could. Once the fire was started, the bugs went away and I cracked a beer while setting up camp. No rain fly tonight. Perfect weather!

Day 1 of 2 was 605.6 miles, 9 hours 49 minutes saddle time, and nearly 13 hours elapsed. Good night Hobbes. See ya in the morning.

Tomorrow the really good riding starts!!!

squonker 06-27-2011 06:26 AM

:thumb I like it. Tell me more about the bike, I'm having to live vicariously through those that already own an XC until I can have my own....

Jason Abbott 06-27-2011 07:34 AM

Along for the ride
Hey Tyson, good to see you finally out on that thing. Looks like you'll be a pro on it when you're back to ride with the Boise folk. I like your pics and write-up. :clap

Petrolburner 06-27-2011 07:34 PM

I got to ride it last weekend on the pavement and in the dirt/snow :eek1:bow:tb:eek2 Yup, all of those.

av_mech 06-27-2011 09:36 PM

Ain't such a bad life when you wake up to this view from your tent.

Good morning Hobbes!

I was up early. I naturally wake up at five nowadays. Weird getting old. Had some coffee and broke down camp. The bike was started at six and I was on my way.

There were a lot of unknowns for the day ahead. I had a general idea of where I wanted to go, but no real plan. Just an end destination with no deadline besides bedtime. This is probably also a good time to mention that I don't have a GPS. I use the Benchmark atlas series. I have a good sense of direction and I understand maps. I think navigating is a skill that will be lost in the coming generation. Too bad.

I left camp and began heading up the canyon. The sunrise was beautiful and the temperature was already climbing.

I stopped off to check out some petroglyphs.

The red mud roof camouflaged this old place and I almost missed it

I'm now out of Sand Canyon and on the Yampa Bench Rd. It follows along the canyon rim of the Yampa River and offers some spectacular views to the bottom in several places.

The road leaves the canyon rim and heads through the desert.

This is a fun one. I almost got to test out those new Happy Trails crash guards. I slipped a bit and almost dropped the bike trying to take a good pic. I got this one instead.

This was the desired pic.

It was now decision time. I needed to decide which way I was gonna go and that was dependent on the hard working county employees of Rio Blanco County.

Colorado had a metric shit ton of snow this year. I know this because I lived in Breckenridge, CO for five seasons and I still have friends there who felt the need to rub it in that I wasn't there for one of the best snow years ever.

Earlier in the week when I was route planning, I decided it was prudent to call ahead and find out if Ripple Creek and Dunckley Passes were open for the year. The lady that answered the phone said, "No, they're working hard at it and are hoping by the end of the week." Ever heard the joke, what's yellow and sleeps three? A county dump truck. :lol3 It's Friday, which is the end of the week.

At&T amazingly had service in the middle of nowhere. So, I called the county and got the same lady again. She said they got through late last night. I'm guessing late means 4:55. But, they got through none the less! "It may be muddy" Oh yeah? Sounds like fun. I have no idea what to expect, but that is where I'm going.

I head south on Cty 95 over Jack Springs Pass as I leave Dinosaur National Monument. A beautiful gravel road all to myself. Have I mentioned yet that this bike rips?!

Two miles on Hwy 40 brings me to the next dirt stretch over Coal Ridge and across the White River.

I'm back on the asphalt. This bike transitions perfectly from dirt bike to crotch rocket. Rock and Roll! 30 ish miles later and I'm in Meeker, CO. I stopped to get chain lube, sunscreen (should have had this yesterday :deal), and a crappy breakfast sandwich.

I head out on Route 8 which is the Flat Tops Scenic Byway. My pace has slowed a bit as I'm enjoying the lush green country side along the White River. The White River is a bit brown right now from the volume of snow melt that's carrying the mountains downstream.

There are a ton of magnificently expensive lodges and outfitters along this road. Apparently, this is where all the rich people come to hunt. The airport in Meeker is big enough to get private jets in.

The road once again turns to gravel and I pass the road closed barrier which is flipped in the ditch. Guess it was 5:01 when they passed the sign after clearing the pass and decided they'll pick it up on Monday after the morning coffee.

I finally hit the snow as I continue to climb. The road was in great shape and I doubt I'll find mud.

My favorite picture of the trip.

The view from cockpit is "oh so good."

I begin the descent down the East side of Ripple Creek Pass and was treated to this alpine lake.

Rough life touring on a motorcycle.

I haven't seen a car now since the pavement outside of Meeker. Needless to say I'm moving along a pretty good clip on these empty gravel roads. Speed limit's 35 and I'm doing 70 most of the time. I am one of the few that even knows the pass is open and I was one of the first though for the year. I came around a corner and saw another picture opportunity, so I slammed on the brakes and came to a quick stop (thanks ABS!!). Just as I was pulling out my camera, a vehicle came around the corner in the pic below. Low and behold it's a cop. Man, somebody loves me. I finally see a car on this road, it's a cop, and I'm stopped to take a picture. :clap I kick myself for not getting a picture of the cop. He stopped and we chatted for a minute. He seemed a little irritated. Probably knew he would have had a ticket towards his quota. :rofl

I arrived in Yampa and turned South on 131.

Finger Rock. Really? That's the best fucking name you can come up with? People weren't very creative back in the day. How about "Spire of Death"? You know, something that sticks out? These are the things that roll around in my helmet while I ride.

I decided to go over Gore Pass since I'd never been that way before. Time to get in sport bike mode again and put to coals to Hobbes. Goddamn this bike is great on the pavement.

The Pine Beetle kill is horrible in this area of Colorado. You look out on the mountains and they are brown. It started quite awhile ago, but back when I lived here things were still green. Now it is a tinder box and I am very afraid for the catastrophe looming on the horizon. All it is gonna take is one lightning strike or cigarette butt. The high country of Colorado will burn uncontrollably. It is part of the natural cycle of things, but it will destroy thousands of homes and probably kill a few people.

At Kremmling, I headed South on 9 towards Dillon. I'm getting pretty good at shooting while riding.

I took Loveland Pass over the Continental Divide. I should have taken a pic at the summit with the new bike, but I have so many pics from snowboarding the back country up there I decided to press on. Plus, I had clear road to rock and roll on, and that doesn't happen often on that road with all the tourists. I took my opportunity to scrape some foot peg.

Then some more boring interstate and I'm home at my second home in Denver with close friends. Saturday morning tomorrow brings me back to work. This ride was just what I needed. Back to the grind...

ryanwilliamcantrell 06-28-2011 12:31 AM

Great pics!

Jason Abbott 06-28-2011 08:46 AM


Originally Posted by av_mech (Post 16269197)
Rough life touring on a motorcycle.

That's one beautiful trip. I enjoy having the wife or buddies along for a ride but getting out solo like that ... I don't know, just connects. Great stuff.

TallRob 06-28-2011 01:02 PM

Those are the biggist engine crash bars ive ever seeon. I hope that you post those pics on the message board.

Bill_Z 06-28-2011 01:32 PM

I like your writing style as well as your riding style. Thanks for sharing.

av_mech 06-28-2011 07:47 PM


Originally Posted by squonker (Post 16262021)
:thumb I like it. Tell me more about the bike, I'm having to live vicariously through those that already own an XC until I can have my own....

This is a copy and paste of my first impressions:

More thoughts about the bike. I went for a "spirited" ride up to Bogus Basin. I don't have any chicken strips left and the tires are completely scrubbed of their newness. This thing handles like a sport bike. The turn in is a little slower, but it just holds a line. Transitions from side to side are very fun! I would consider this bike "flickable" considering it's wet weight. Oh my God this engine is just fantastic!!! I can not rave enough about it!! I am completely hooked on the triple sound. Ryan, after I get an exhaust on it, I might even like it a little better than your 950 with the Remus. And that's saying a lot cause the Remus sounded soooooo good. But it'll be damn close.

The standing position is good. Bars could be 1/2" or 1" higher. There's plenty of stock cable length to make that happen. You can see right out over the front of the bike. Totally different view than standing on the KLR. Harder to hold on though!!!

I screwed around in the dirt parking lot at Bogus for awhile. I made it barely to 100 miles before I got it dirty. The power is going to be completely manageable off road. Wheel spin, yes. But fun and controllable. I'm guessing my first knobbie won't make it to 1000 miles. :deal

I got going about 60 and grabbed the front and back brakes as hard as I could. The ABS KICKS ASS!!!! It dropped my jaw how quickly I was able to stop in dirt with essentially street tires on. It was amazing! I think I will run off road with the ABS on, except for steep downhills where I need to lock the ass up. It'll be an ongoing experiment. But, I was thoroughly impressed with the system. Nothing scary about it at all. The bike just tracked straight and came to a stop waaaay sooner than I thought it would. When I do need to turn it off, I believe it is only three button pushes and it's disabled. Easy.

The suspension is stiff out of the box. I haven't played with any adjustments and it needs to be broken in. Sasquatch and I are going to do a lot of learning and work in this area. Stay tuned... It's great on the road!

Have I talked about the engine yet? I think I may have mentioned it. WOW!!!!!! I haven't talked about the low end. In first gear, I can apply the front brake and slow the bike down to three or four miles an hour and the r's are at a little less than 1k. No sputtering or chugging. Let off the brake and grab some throttle and the r's just climb with out any lugging of any kind. Then it hits the power band and hold on! It throws your butt into the raised pillion. Smiles for miles!!

The seat is really comfortable in it's stock form. I remember riding the F800 for 15 miles and shifting around. I was really excited for that test ride cause at the time (January) I thought it was going to be my next bike. I got off the F800 after the test ride and went "Meh. Did not meet expectations." Then I read about this bike. It hadn't even been released yet. Then I kept reading and doing internet sleuthing to find more info. I knew the Triumph was the right choice.

The only thing that bugs me a bit is a characteristic of the fuel injection. When you let off the throttle, it really lets off and rocks into the deceleration stance. Holding a steady speed will take some practice. I am sure this will become a non issue after some miles pass by.

I came home in the dark tonight. The headlights are amazing! They are brighter than the HIDs in my Acura. Unless you were doing some serious off roading at night, PIAAs are a waste of money. Don't need em on this bike. They look pretty cool. But not 600 dollars worth of cool when the stock headlamps are so good.

I am simply giddy with this purchase. No buyers remorse here! I think I am going to have the perfect trio of bikes. The Triumph for road trips, good gravel highways, and some rough stuff here or there. I wouldn't have any issues taking this up Trinity or doing Fisher Creek single track. I'd take it into Louie Lake once I got some experience on it. For stuff like that I am going to get the KLX functional though. The KLX will be a great bike to do things of that nature which aren't too far away. Then the CRF. Man I love that bike too! Keepin that one for winter OHV area riding and the occasional mid week evening romp out Blacks Creek/Danskin. The KLR will be sold. I have put many memorable miles on her and built my experience and confidence. But, that is one too many bikes to insure.

av_mech 06-28-2011 07:49 PM


Originally Posted by TallRob (Post 16274036)
Those are the biggist engine crash bars ive ever seeon. I hope that you post those pics on the message board.

Will do! They are fantastic. A serious crash bar for the serious dual sporter. Beefiest bars on the market IMO.

av_mech 06-28-2011 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by Jason Abbott (Post 16271950)
That's one beautiful trip. I enjoy having the wife or buddies along for a ride but getting out solo like that ... I don't know, just connects. Great stuff.

I had a really good time by myself. I really enjoy the company and safety net having others on the trip, but it won't stop me from going alone. Next time we are on a gravel highway together, I'll be able to keep up!!! Hope ur summer is going well.

flyboats 06-28-2011 09:50 PM

Ride done
I always hate to see your ride, and therefore your report, come to an end. I had fun on your trip so can just imagine how much fun you had! :rofl

av_mech 06-28-2011 10:23 PM

Just had to get out. The weather was way too nice on Sunday. Geared up, Fueled up, Lets Go!! I headed west to the mountains. What way did ya think I was gonna go? East to Nebraska? No thanks. I'm sure there is good riding out that way. Somewhere. Maybe.

My plan for the day was an attempt at Rollins pass. I know there's a lot of snow, but some passes do get plowed and that is pretty major one between Denver and Winter Park. What's the worst that can happen? I hit snow and get turned around.

Begin the normal route to leave the city. 6th ave to Golden. Then one of a few different canyons to get to the dirt. I know the pavement routes here, but the dirt is all new. I took Coal Creek Canyon today.

This is a fun stretch of pavement and it wasn't too busy today. I turned South at the intersection of 72 and 119. Only two miles and I'm in Rollinsville. Pretty popular this Rollins guy is. He has a pass AND a town named after him.

The dirt is packed and actually more like pavement than gravel along the valley floor.

I got to the end of the line. I missed my turn. These things happen with out GPS.

That's the train tunnel that goes under the continental dived to Winter Park. Hmm...If the pass is snowed in and I really wanna get to WP, maybe I could just go through there!

I head back the way Hobbes and I came and found the turn I missed. Up we go! Lots of baby's heads makes for a bumpy ride. Increase speed and it smooths out nicely!

I have noticed this bike does have some bump steer. A steering dampner may be in order. I think a knobby front might take care of it too and that'll be a helluva lot cheaper. The standing position is great. I'm getting really used to it. I was never comfortable standing on the KLR. It is much easier to get over the tank on this one.

End of the line. Well shit, that was quick.

I don't think this pass will open this summer. I wasn't even close to hitting tree line. I had at least 1500 of elevation to gain yet.

Well there was a little offshoot back there. Lets see if that goes higher. Nope just a water crossing.

Great place to get Hobbes wet for the first time. I pissed him off and he called it quits in the middle of the stream. Actually, the bike has a really tall first gear and I fucked up. My boot is now five pounds heavier with cold ass snow melt. And on a side note, why the hell can't anyone make a waterproof motocross boot?!

The climb out on the opposite bank was interesting with wet street tires. This bike is a bit of a hand full on stuff like this. A little more seat time and it won't be a problem.

I made it back down to the bottom of the pass and started heading towards home. The only problem was I wasn't done riding yet. A gravel road to the right you see? Roger. This one took off towards Mammoth Gultch. Lots of Jeeps coming down the trail. That's usually a good sign.

There are some good exploring possibilities back there. But light would soon begin to fade and I needed to press on to get home.

The no name pass was only 10,400 feet and in the sun, so no problems with snow. I kicked up a herd of elk on my way up, so I stopped to say hi.

I understand why this section of mountains divides the continent. They sure are massive. And too much damn snow. I wanna get to the top!

Good gravel back to Central City.

I passed though the gambling district of Blackhawk and they have built one huge monstrosity of a casino into the mountain there. All the blue hairs stared at me as rolled down the main drag. I look out of place amongst the Harley riders in tank tops and lack of brain buckets. Have fun skidding on the pavement with that tank top! I'm sure your wife will be happy that she won't ever have to shave her legs again cause of the scars you gave her since she was wearing shorts when your drunk ass low sided that pig. I'd rather sweat my ass off in all my gear every time I ride, thanks.

A quick climb over Smith's Hill and I'm on my favorite section of pavement in the world. Golden Gate Canyon Road just outside Golden, CO. Oh what a sweet piece of tarmac that is. Just a little Sunday jaunt for a few hours.

Petrolburner 06-29-2011 07:57 PM

Time to put real tires on it.

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