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Old 08-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
porkandcorn OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Oddometer: 296
monday, august 26, 2013 - utah bdr section 4

monday, august 26, 2013 - utah bdr section 4, "the road to playdoh mountain"

yesterday was the most challenging off-road riding i've done in my life. for full disclosure, i'm not an experienced off-road rider, and i had the wrong tires on my bike. that said, nothing i encountered in 8 countries in south america was as difficult - it took everything i had. one word: clay. two words: clay sucks. this stuff is no joke. it is exactly like modelers clay when these roads get wet. the stuff clumps and dries quickly into very heavy cement-like chunks.


in the shit 2 , utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


clean wr250r, price, utah by porkandcorn, on Flickr

my riding partner at 200+ lbs. lighter, had a relatively easy time with it all. his wr250r just skipped over the deep pools of clay mud, only rarely getting bogged down. the porky tiger did not fair so well. on stages 5 & 6, there was nothing he could do that i couldn't. and if SE utah hadn't just got hammered with the torrential fallout from tropical storm ivo that is moving through here, i would have been fine too.


strawberry to price by porkandcorn, on Flickr


bad weather by porkandcorn, on Flickr

but the unfortunate combination of my tire selection (the treads are too close on the heidenau k60 scouts to quickly eject mud), and the show-stopping (meaning impractical) design of the triumph tiger 800xc's tire-hugging front fender, quickly stopped me in my tracks. it sheered off 2 of the attachments to the fender and broke off one of the shock guards, so i took a break and i put franken-fender back together by drilling 6 holes in the fender with my leatherman, stitching it together with zip ties, then locking it all together with rapid fix. worked great. i used plumbers metal tape and zip ties to re-connect the lower attachment points to the lower fork ends. we got through the worst of section 1 in about 3 hours of stopping, pushing, swearing, sweating, and impressive macgyver-like field repairs.


clogged fender, utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


useless triumph fender, , utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


rapid fix fender , utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


plumbers tape fix, , utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


completed fender repair, , utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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in the rush to beat the impending rains, i superglued the bottle of glue activator to my right index finger. it proved useful for making the repairs! we had to cut away the bottle from the pad of my finger before we left, leaving a very nice plastic fingerprint guard behind!


don't try this at home 2, utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


very convenient, utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

at the top of this particular mountain, we had a brief stretch of dry, rocky dirt.


out of the worst of it, , utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


travis, adventurer, , utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


vista, utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


vista 3, utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

but we soon ran into section 2 of the worst that playdoh mountain decided to throw at us, and i saw a catastrophic brake-line snapping episode in my near future, so i removed the lines from their attachment to the fender. critically, triumph decided to attach the brake lines and ABS sensor line to the fender itself, as opposed to running them up higher in the frame and out of the way of the wheel. even with a touratech 20mm fender riser kit, the 1 1/2" inch of clearance between the front tire and the underside of the fender gets clogged up with this playdoh in about 2 wheel rotations. if you watch the videos, you'll see that the front wheel was not even moving at the bike struggled forward.


dirty boots, utah 149 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


in the shit, utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the fender broke completely off shortly thereafter, because of this forward motion of the clay getting clogged in the gap. i decided to use the top of my touratech zega pro aluminum pannier as a mud guard for the radiator. using a couple of zipties and a ROKstrap (ROKstraps are worth their weight in gold), i fashion a descent guard. i still had the issue of the low-set brake lines - they sit in an inverse U-shape right over the tire. so i decided to pull both front brake calipers completely off the wheel and zip tie them to the tiger's engine guard.


broken triumph fender , utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


custom touratech radiator guard , utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


no front brakes , utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


space man , utah 081 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

with the fender off, the bike struggled, but i still got up to the top of mud mountain. amazing how much easier a motorcycle moves when it's front wheel can spin freely. and who needs front brakes - does anyone really use those anyway?

we made it down the road to the highway, skipping the southern-most final off-road portion of utbdr section 4. the goal was to get me to a town where i could buy and rig up a proper off-road fender, install some new brake lines that are not positioned over the wheel. finding the ATV store in price, utah is closed on mondays, the plan is for my riding partner to attempt section 3 of the utbdr alone (his decision) and me to ride the highway to moab, where i'll hopefully find the parts to get me back on the trail.

chatting with some ATV/dual-sport store owners this morning, there were mixed reviews about anyone trying to attempt these back country mountain roads on ANY machine. so we're going to see what happens mr. WR250R today, and i'll hopefully see him tonight in moab.


mud debris, price, utah by porkandcorn, on Flickr
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