I assure you guys no one is more impressed with my perfromance than I am so I am not sure if it is skill or luck or survival from pure terror or stupidity... maybe a little of all. The more I think about it the more excited I get about it.
Had I been smart enough to walk in a bit and look the trails over I doubt I would have tried it on my 1200gsa so I am kinda glad I didn't. It was awesome. After the first foray into the woods on the first time when Twisty stopped to see if everyone was in one piece I was like, what the heck have I gotten myself into! But I was grinning. The sudden shock of that first stretch still takes my breath a bit. The transition from highway riding to that was abrupt to say the least.
A few things are for sure... the pictures are VERY misleading as to the nature of some of the trails we hit. If I go back my panniers will certainly come off first! My new Heidineau tires ROCK! literally actually. That is without a doubt some of the steepest stuff I ever took a bike that big on, The climbs and sudden steep drops and sharp turns where awesome. If it had been muddy I would not have faired so well that is for darn sure. Luckily the trails were pretty dry other than the creeks and occasional puddles. Momentum was definitely the key to my success. Carefully controlling your speed on the steep drop sections was also critical though. If in doubt don't go over a crest with too much speed because you might be looking at a thirty foot steep drop and tight turn to avoid trees at the bottom. In my case I had no idea what was over those crests but almost all had huge drops and another steep climb at the bottom.
At one point when Ab broke his bolt off I shut off my bike while we checked on him. I restarted and neglected to turn off asc and abs... I had two steep hills back out to the main trail and did not realize what I had done. I was like holy crap, I am NOT going to make it all of a sudden! It was like kryptonite was all of a sudden sitting on my gas tank. Those two hills where a nightmare. I thought to myself... did I just stop long enough to freak myself out so much I can't perform anymore or was it the lack of momentum or what? I then realized what I had done and I was back in business. So... make sure you turn off ASC and ABS... lol.
On the big water crossing after I came out the other side I almost ran into a huge water filled rut running against the side of the trail that looked to be a good two feet deep. Applying power is the only thing that kept me out of it and even then I had to put a foot down to stay upright for the turn. When I got it stopped my windshield was totally steamed up and opaque.
I only got out of first gear a few times as you always need ready power. I was airborne constantly (often by choice, grin). I enjoyed the chance to practice staying on the pegs and moving my weight over the jumps. A tight grip on the seat with the knees was key to that. If you need to turn around on a big bike here you need to be looking for a good spot well in advance. Only once did I find my mind relaxing and taking in the scenery and I quickly reminded myself to pay attention to the riding!
It really is kinda a miracle I did not whack a pannier off on a tree... lol.
The GSA can do ANYTHING.
I wanna do it again!
2007 BMW R1200GS Adventure
2003 KTM 525 EXC RFS