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Old 03-10-2013, 06:27 PM   #268
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On Any Sunday
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia County
Oddometer: 771
Practice Day on the KTM

Today Don and I decided to go for a ride and let me try out Don's KTM 300 MXC to get an idea if it was good fit for me to ride in the upcoming races, instead of my TTR 250.

The day before Jan and I had taken a nice long ride on the road bike and really enjoyed the warmth of the sun, but today there was no sun, just cold and drizzly rain & about 39.9 degrees out. bleh...

Ready to go;

Don refuses to grow up;

Trying to remember how to light up a two stroke;

And off we went. Headed up the mountain, our first destination was the old iron ore pits where we used to ride in the 70's. Much to our surprise, the timber company had logged it all off and it was at least recognizable again. We rode all over the mountain top and then further west and finally on a trail and down a wet clay hillclimb that looked fairly benign, until we tried to climb back out again. Head slap!

I made the first attempt and got about 3/4 of the way up the wet and rutted skidder road when I hit a nice wide strip of grayish looking clay, soaking wet and super slippery. Stuck! Backed down the hill and then Don took a run. Same result. We both tried a few more runs, with no luck. We finally decided we would double team each bike to the top, Don would run the bike and I would push. I used a walking stick to poke into the ground and anchor my down hill foot and held it with my right and pushed the back of each bike with my left. Although effective, it resulted in me getting heavily roosted with wet mud and clay. It was a lot of work and we had to take several rest breaks but finally made it to the top. Whew!

We'd been gone a few hours at that point and decided to head back home.

Here's what we looked like when we got there;

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but my left side, including helmet, were caked with mud. Don seemed to find this amusing;

Old, tired, wet and dirty (well at least the guy on the right is dirty!);

We pressure washed the bikes and then another friend, master brewer Ken Fisher stopped by with a case of his finest. A couple of Ken's beers and all aches and pains were forgotten and we were planning our next ride, good times!

As for my test ride;
The little KTM is very torquey, but I was surprised how quickly you reached top gear on the fireroads, my left foot was always hunting for another upshift! One of the best characteristics of this bike, is whenever we came to a mudhole or somewhere the front end needed a little loft, no problem. Very unlike the TTR that struggles to get the front end up. Next weekend is the Eddieville XC and I'm planning to ride this bike, and if it works well enough, I may be riding it at the D100 as well.
What would John Penton do?
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