Let me tell you a tale.
It involves dubious choices, dirty bikes, rocky climbs, steep descents, crashes, beer, sand, dust, rain, forests, mountains, deserts, jungles, oceans, mermaids, and buried treasure.
Well, it involves most of those things.
It started when I got the urge to do another trip. It had to be doable in about a week, and involve lots of dirt. After searching around a bit, I heard about the WABDR. So I watched the video and I thought, that doesn't look hard. Heck if those guys can drive a Toyota FJ down the thing, how bad can it be? Now I had to find someone gullible enough to convince that this was actually a good idea.
I know, I'll get Ken.
As expected, it took very little arm twisting and he was on board.
Now to get the bike ready.
I'm taking the F800, but first she needs a couple additions.
I dont know how I got along without a damper before. This baby proved invaluable on loose rocks, long gravel sections and in sand. It really saved my strength and made it much easier to ride for hours on end. If you don't have one, get one.
The well known torture device disguised as a seat on the F800 just won't do. I'm still waiting for my Renazco build date on a custom seat so in the meantime, the Airhawk will have to do. Very nice.
After several repacking sessions and and attempt to lighten the load as much as possible I ended up with this.
Wolfman soft bags on my SW Motech racks and my North Face Base camp duffel. The Wolfman bags are well built, tough (personally crash tested), and sit in tight to the bike. The SW Motech racks are a bit wide and I did add a heat shield to the left one to protect the Wolfman from the exhaust. The right rack has two tool tubes mounted inside it that hold almost all my tools and tire stuff. The duffel holds all the rest. Strapped to the top of the duffel is a water bladder (turned out to be unnecessary) and a Kriega 10 bag that holds my days food and raingear. All told including bags, racks, tools it was about 60 pounds. Still too much weight, but manageable. On the bike the setup is the same width as my bars.
One luxury I took on this trip was all my electronics.
On top is a Goal Zero Sherpa 50 battery. This guy can be charged off a Powerlet SAE cable from my bikes battery while I ride. It then can be used to recharge everything else. From the left: I-pad (books, internet, weather, etc.); I-pod; still camera recharger (requires AC inverter - the orange thing); Go Pro camera for videos; battery recharger (for AA's and AAA's). Total overkill I know, but nice to have all this crap on a long trip.
Ken took his trusty KLR.
Note the homemade crashbars.
And the homemade skid plate.
Yes the guy has some fabrication skills. He even painted my F800 its cool green color.
On a side note, do not do this route without a good skid plate and probably other decent bike protection. Your bike will take countless rock hits and you could be left stranded in the middle of nowhere.
So we loaded up our bikes and trailered them 10 hours up the slab from our homes in Northern Cali to Stevenson, Washington.
Next up, day one of our ride, including video.