I had a great summer of local riding. Exploring the Sierra mountains, a quick trip to Death Valley, lots of single track. But I had been getting that urge for a longer trip. Last year, I rode the WABDR and had a great time, so for a bit I had been planning to check out the UTBDR. I had never ridden in Utah and the thought of it had really put the hooks in me. I imagined all that slick rock in between desert towers, and at the same time worried about all the sand. I'll be the first to admit I'm no master at sand. I don't get a chance to ride it locally and I never got real comfortable in it. Nonetheless, I was stoked for Utah in a major way. I ride a lot solo and really enjoy that, but for this deal I needed a partner in crime.
It took very little to convince Ken.
So now to the nuts and bolts. Last year on the WABDR I rode my F800 GS. That bike is big and comfortable and can haul anything I want to take. Unfortunately it is also a 450 plus pound pig when the going gets tough and is a lot of bike to pick up. Its also a bit of a bear to handle in sand. In Utah, really wanted the feel of a smaller dirt bike with the ability to dive right into harder terrain. So for this ride I decided to go with my WR. I ride the WR a lot on my local rides but I had never tried to tour with it. The first thing in order was a larger range. I settled on the Safari 3.7 tank.
Then to give myself even a bit more range / backup fuel, I carried an extra gallon of gas on the Wolfman rack in a Rotopax. This setup also let me carry a gallon of water on the other side.
Now to pare down my gear and get it to a manageable load.
From the top left going clockwise: Warm jacket (Klim Inversion), gallon of gas, gallon of water, flight vest (carries all the stuff in the center: rain jacket, SAM splint, first aid kit, kerlex, coban, grab bag, EPIRB, headlamp; as well as wallet, phone, i-pod, snacks), extra oil, techron, camp / walking shoes, tire stuff (spare tubes, patches, bead breaker, hand pump, tire irons), spare clutch cable, chain breaker tool and spare links, box of spare bolts, pin kit, tool kit, hat, clothes, electronics (camera, go pro, batteries, charging cables, memory cards, GPS), maps, rack straps, tent stakes / sand stakes, sleeping pad, sleeping bag / liner / inflatable pillow, tent (Nemo Moto 1 P). I carry tools and Ken carries a stove and extra food.
This whole mess was relatively light (30 lbs) and was loaded into a pair of Wolfman medium Rollie saddlebags, a Wolfman small duffle, and my tank bag (small Wolfman rollie), my front plate bag and my fender bag (both Kreiga 5s).
Loaded and ready to rock:
Ken took his trusty KLR. After some debate and looking at our time frame of four to five days of riding time, we decided that what we really wanted to concentrate on was the southern part of the UTBDR, especially the areas around Moab. So we trailered the bikes to Price, Utah and then planned to ride first south then turn around and head back north covering anything we missed on the way down.
Loaded and ready to ride on the first morning in Utah:
I try to make my reports heavy on pics and I have videos of each day of riding. I think its all good (
) but day 3 is probably the best.
Next up: Day 1 (with video).