Blake - I rode a modified first part of our next trip (Ramona - Butterfield) except for the gated Santa Ysabel TT yesterday. Pine Creek was new to me and a great road! I saw BMW/KTM and FuzzyNugs at the Desert Dash campground - they both rode the 200 mile trip on day one and I think Chris took day two off but my hat is off to both of them. They are a good resource to chime in about what I have to report next about Grapevine/Jasper.
I went to the hideout for a burger (and blondes) and rode DOWN the Grapevine/Jasper trail and I have concerns over the bigger big bikes riding up that trail. There are a couple uphills that will be short but steep and loose when coming from the other direction. Not sure I would want to run a 1200 up those and I consider myself a decent rider.
Also, today I scouted the Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail, this is the trail that is to the east of what we called Oriflamme (but is really Mason Valley truck trail that we rode). I rode it up from where it splits from Mason Valley TT at the bottom of Oriflamme canyon (it rejoins it just before the gate at the end by Banner grade). I am happy to say it is scenic and big bike friendly. Some of the off road sites say this trail is harder but only because of the big boulders the 4 wheelers cannot go around. It is less steep and rocky than Mason Valley TT. It will be an easy run downhill and I recommend we drop off Banner grade to this trail on the way to Butterfield on day one, just a thought.
Earlier comments about Santa Ysabel TT being harder than Grapevine is just not true coming from the direction we are planning on. There are no technical sections on SY TT, it is a Jeep trail that I used to run in 2 wheel drive. From the other direction (from Black Canyon towards Black Mtn) there are some short hill climbs but only a problem when wet and in May it will be real nice.
KTM 950 SE
CRF450 flat tracker
Get on with riding or get on with dying - one or the other