View Single Post
Old 12-03-2012, 11:06 PM   #539
Two-wheelin' Fool
tbarstow's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Viva Lost Wages!
Oddometer: 3,471
Originally Posted by moto-treks View Post
Now I just need to get my moto put back together

This is an extreme example of how to keep the weight of your bike down.

On a semi-serious note, some of the perennial problems that Noobs have on this ride:

1. The bike is too heavy, as the Noob packs the bike with everything that Touratech sells.

2. The bike is too heavy, as the Noob thinks the huge desert tank needs to be completely full of gas for the 100 mile ride.

3. The bike is so heavy when fueled and loaded with luggage that the Noob needs an army to pick up the bike when dropped.

4. The bike spontaneously lightens itself by shaking the things lashed to it with a bungee cord/bungee net/piece of twine/(insert-other-half-assed-method-of-attaching-things-to-a-bike-here) as you ride the bumpy, rocky, and washboarded trails of Death Valley.

5. The bike continues to spontaneously lighten itself by randomly ejecting fasteners.

6. The Noob's tank bag is big enough to fit the contents from the trunk of a mob-driven 1973 Cadillac will not allow the Noob to stand up in the correct position for riding off-road.

7. The bike is in fine shape and can handle the trail conditions and long hours, but the Noob behind the handlebars is physically spent and mentally spent before lunchtime.

8. Those of us leading and sweeping rides understand that Noobs are excited to go see cool stuff and get off of the pavement, but we aren't a concierge service on the trail.

A few solutions:
1. Bring what you need to keep you and your bike going. Tools should be limited to tire tools and tools for general fasteners that can be used in a quick roadside repair, not every tool that you would need to completely disassemble your bike and demagnetize the rain gutters. I recommend that Noobs leave the hard bags back at the campground.

2. Fuel range and capacity is normally what limits riders in Death Valley. The GPS tracks will give you a pretty good idea of how long each ride is. If your bike gets 50mpg, you're inexperienced and only going 100 miles at just over an idle, don't bring 300 miles worth of full-throttle gas with you, it will just wear you out faster.

3. Fuel up, load up, then tip your bike over in a nice flat location. Try to pick it up by yourself. Watch a Youtube video on how to pick up a bike properly. Try again. Start unloading the bike until you can pick it up. Note this, and don't pack any more than this.

4. Load your bike up like you're headed out on the ride you've signed up for. Then walk around and shake the living shit out of every part of your load. Do not be nice about it. If it moves at all, figure out how to lash it down to your bike better. Invest in some cam lock webbing straps and good quality luggage.

5. Check all of the fasteners that you can reach on your bike. Loctite is your friend. Apply it liberally to every fastener that you can reach and retighten to the correct torque.

6. With your bike loaded, go get on it and check your riding positions from sitting to standing. If you can't stand up because things are in the way, move them so you can or remove it from your bike. You may think you're going to miss what's in the tank bag, but you're better off not crashing and injuring yourself because you had bad body position.

7. Start the most important exercise, the Dinner Table Press. Start doing some physical activity, as dual sport riding is a physical activity. It also requires you to be dialed in mentally for long periods of time. We purposely have lots of stops on the Noob rides at the best picture locations and cool stuff, so when its time to ride, please concentrate on your riding.

8. Learn about your bike and make sure it is in good working order. Know how to fix a flat tire. Have a good set of tires on your bike when you show up. Learn how to pick up your bike by yourself. Get off the couch and go do some riding before you get to Death Valley.

If any of you need help with some of the things on this list, please ask for help now! It will ensure you have a great weekend riding in Death Valley!
tbarstow is offline   Reply With Quote