Creepy Death Valley
Our club (Creeps M/C) is planning a lil run to Death Valley at the end of March and need some experienced insight. We will be staying in Furnace Creek Camp and one of our day trips will be out to Ubehebe, Teakettle & Racetrack. Roughly 85 miles 1way! Originally, we were thinking to just double back from the Racetrack, but seems we might be pushing it for gas on a couple of the bikes. So I am wondering, would it be better to exit out through Lippencott and Saline Valley Rd? I haven't crunched the numbers, but it definitely looks shorter in miles. What about in time? How many hours of sunlight in late March?
Our current bike roster looks like:
- Low594 on KTM 640A 275mile range 18/21 heidenau K60Scouts [lil experience in dirt; did well thru Titus Canyon][1.5gallon Kolpin]
- DJ Cycles on BMW R1100GS 250mile range 17/19 K60Scouts [lots of dirt experience; did well thru Titus Canyon][1.5gallon in Kolpin]
- panda! on Suzuki DRZ400 275mile range 18/21 K60Scouts [very lil dirt experience; did well over Titus Canyon]
- jejtastic on KTM 690E 170?mile range 18/21 K60Scout [almost no dirt experience]
- (non-inmate) on Honda XR675L/SM 175?mile range 17/17 Heidenau K76 Sumo Tires [lil dirt experience]
- reaymorgan on Suzuki DR650 150?mile range 17/21 Bridgestone front/K60Scout rear [no dirt experience][1gallon car jug]
I'm kinda concerned about the 17s or will they be ok? All the riders are proficient street riders of more than 10 years each, but most have little to no time in the dirt.
I wouldn't worry about fuel on your proposed route. It looks like the big tank bikes can share with the small tank bikes (can't they?)
The 17 inch wheels may not be ideal, but they will be ok. Just run slightly lower than normal street pressures to help prevent rocks denting the rims and pinch flats. Pirelli MT60's should be fine too. I mainly like a knobby on the front to help prevent front end wash outs in high speed turns. Slow Down!
Rider experience should be ok going out to the Racetrack. Going down Lippencott is one of the tougher rides you can find in DV though. BIG BIKES and inexperienced riders on Lippencott are not a good combination.... If Hunter Mountain is not still snowed in it is a good option to get out to Saline Road and over to Panamint Springs for fuel...
Watch the road report thread over in West Regionals for latest updates. We will be there at the end of March too...Good information in ADV Rallies too.
Thank you! Thats some great info! I have been watching the Road Report, even linked to here! Yes, we plan to share using the Roto-Paxs and a auto-siphon.
We will be there 3/23-26, how about you?
I agree, plus going up the South Pass isn't easy right now...complete destruction compared to the past. I don't recognize any of it from the Lippencott turn all the way to the pass.
Double back from the Racetrack, take a right at Teakettle. Watch for the silt bed in Hidden Valley and find your way over Hunter Mtn.
On mpg's, I always improve mileage on dirt with over street, except on...BMW twins, drops to about 25 mpg. Figure about half your street mileage for the big bikes.
Ahh, good to know that Lippencott is out of the question! I'll have to take a look at that Hidden Valley/Hunter Mtn route!
BTW, people are welcome to join up with us, either on the trails or around the campfire. We just don't have any camp vacancy. Overbooked, actually!
Furnace Creek to Panamint Route
The following is a 150 mile route:
1. Furnace Creek
2. Ubehebe Crater
3. Race Track
4. Double back to Teakettle Junction
5. Ride over Hunter Mountain
6. Connect to Saline Valley Road
7. Gas stop at Panamint Springs Resort
Based on your group and time of year, that looks like your best route.
With the two R1200GSA's I have ridden in Death Valley, I would usually get about 38-45 MPG based on this type of riding. It is all dependent on how hard you twist the throttle. I tend to ride in a more conservative manner.
I rode my GSA up Lippincott and just barely made it with TKC 80's installed. I dropped the air pressure to 20 psi but when you do that you have to be careful not to ride too aggressively. I hope he knows to disable his ABS when heading down hill on some of these dirt roads.
Riding from Ubehebe Crater to the Race Track will be a good test for your riders as there is loose gravel and rocks to contend with but it is level ground. There is also some silt to ride through as you head south on Hunter Mtn road which can also be a challenge but it is only about 100 yards long.
It is good you have a good size group so you can help each other if needed.d
You should have a great trip.
Well if you are truly creepy in the Creepy motorcycle group, then you will want to stay at the Amargosa Hotel in Death Valley Junction.
I like the place, and do like to stay out there when I am out there.
However, I have been told the place is 'creepy'. And haunted.
I can only attest that the dead do walk the halls at night. But I don't see that as creepy. I like the place.
We were going to ride Lippencot a few years ago but didn't get the chance due to time.
What is so hard about it? Is it harder than going up the ledges in Golar wash, Mengel Pass, or Echo Canyon?
Any pics of the hard spots?
Nothing really hard about Lippencott...for me. :deal
I get this question a lot, so I taped the whole thing.
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18397902" width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/18397902">Lippencott Grade #1</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3619323">larryboy8821</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18398703" width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/18398703">Lippencott Grade #2</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3619323">larryboy8821</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18400214" width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/18400214">Lippencott Grade #3</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3619323">larryboy8821</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18401107" width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/18401107">Lippencott Grade #4</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3619323">larryboy8821</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
The flat that I didn't film down in Saline Valley can be much more difficult than the grade itself. Especially after a nice flash flood coming off of the South Pass like this year.
Lippencott, like all of DV changes almost daily. There was a large thunderstorm that came through in August. Took out a fair amount of Goler Wash, made it almost impassable. Then someone (who?) came in and filled the steps with large gravel, making it the easiest I've ever seen it.. :huh
Anyway like LarryBoy's videos show Lippencott has tons of loose rocks on top of hard packed sand/gravel.. With the psychological effect of the drop off to the one side, the mountain on the other, and a hard bounce from that unseen rock... :eek1 The bike is dancing around and traction is like you are on ball bearings..
A big bike with a load is a handful.... a small bike it's not really a problem..
ALWAYS watch for small washouts crossing any of the roads. The most injuries I've seen was from hitting these. Distances are great so you want to kick up the speed.. then it looks like a little 1 foot wide washout and bam you're over the bars.
Ubehebe Road is loose gravel and usually washboarded. Your group will learn quick about letting the bike float and "dance" underneath you. I find that I have to get up over 40 miles per hour to smooth out that dance.. Of course at that speed your eyes have to be way out ahead of the bike! :wink:
Sounds like you're asking all the right questions and going to have a good time with the right planning.
Our group is going March 30. Thread is here... http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=841673
The county did, there is a residence up there and they have an obligation to maintain the county road.
I never even noticed the 'step' until 2010, the county had fixed it after the 2005 washout and it took until 2010 to become even a blip in the trail for me.
<IFRAME height=375 src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18246915" frameBorder=0 width=500 allowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen webkitAllowFullScreen></IFRAME>Goler Wash from larryboy8821 on Vimeo.
It was definitely difficult on the 1150.
<IFRAME height=375 src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33541422" frameBorder=0 width=500 allowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen webkitAllowFullScreen></IFRAME>Goler Wash from larryboy8821 on Vimeo.
and now, it's buried and doesn't even exist. :lol3
The route proposed by 2on2off would be a fun one.. plus you can have a meal at Panamint Springs (the food is good). Hunter Mountain is a fun ride if it's not too snowy or muddy. And yeah for the love of God, do NOT go down Lippencott on a big bike. Yes it can be done but if you've never done it before, don't let your first attempt be on a big bike. And if anybody in your group isn't absolutely up to it, you WILL regret it.
Thanks guys! I'm really glad I asked for help! I cant wait to get home and watch those videos, since my phone doesnt support flash!
Larryboy. Thanks for the videos. That looks like great fun. But I can where one would have to be very careful of the dropoffs.
Golar was pretty hard in Apr 2010 when we went. I made it up the ledge on my loaded KLR and a couple of guys on KTM 990s made it up. But most of our group opted to be pulled up. It was the single hardest thing in our 1600 mile trip. Pics of Golar and the whole trip report are here:
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