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Old 01-27-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
HendrixMFG OP
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Santa Barbara/Vallejo
Oddometer: 5
Intoduction Ride

I've been riding since I was little, but didn't own a dualsport until last year. My dad is a long time motorcycle enthusiast, so I grew up around bikes and stories of his riding trips. Last winter, after being "asked" to take a year off school, I pulled the old Dr350 out of the garage. It took me several weeks to get it running, rebuild the top end, rebuild the head with new valves and regrind the seats, and get it registered after 10 years in storage. The DMV can be a real hassle when you have no proof of ownership. I rode the piss out of it for the next few months; culminating with me hunting 36/40 days of deer season with the trusty DR as my only mode of transportation. During the end of September I was coming off the mountain at night, stalled at the apex of an off-camber-downhill-left-handed-gravel-corner, high sided, and ended up having the bike slam me into a hill. The random stalling had been an issue for quite some time, and after many carb rebuilds I just learned to deal with it. This night was the last straw, so the DR was once again wheeled into the garage.

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Fast forward to early December...I moved back to the Bay Area for school, bought myself a plated ktm 525, and rode it around town for six weeks...

Last weekend my buddy and I decided to head home to Santa Barbara, the weather looked nice, and I was itching to get on some dirt. I had fresh rubber on the KTM in the form of IRC TR8s and it had just rained for a couple days. I loaded up the bike and headed south. My intended track was a 120 mile loop that started at my house, took me over the mountain, up the valley, through an OHV area, and back down the mountain to my house. I took off solo on Sunday morning and planned on being home after lunch. The ride ended up being some of the most fun I've had on a motorcycle to-date. I did just under 70 miles of dirt, with the rest being mountain twisties. I rode at a pretty brisk pace for being all alone and still got 48 MPG...I love the KTM!

I'm not much for taking pictures, but I managed to snap a few. Here's the KTM about to leave the slab for the "first" time since I've owned her.

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Once I got on the backside, I started to encounter some serious frost.

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Still nice and sunny on the front though.

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And some ice, not the last time I'd see it either.

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Back on the slab, connecting to the next dirt section.

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There are some short sections of singletrack that parallel the road, I jumped on one that ended up being super fun and close to two miles long.

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At this point I hit a really mellow dirt road down the mountain, followed by a bit of paved into town for gas, some highway, and then the road down to my next dirt. It was fairly uninteresting, except for this Zedonk.

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Hit the dirt in one of my favorite offroad spots and was having so much fun I did stop for pictures until I made my next turn down the canyon.

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Jump forward some fast dirt miles on smooth, perfectly tacky, and totally empty double track down into the canyon and along the creek. As you get well into the bottom, you drop into the creek proper, where I encountered some completely frozen crossings.

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Dried out a little.

Made my way up the canyon and onto the more trafficked roads. The clay in this area was super tacky and really let me put the power down. The roads here are nearly two lanes wide and the only other vehicle I saw was a USFS truck.

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After riding up out of the canyon, I did a short out n' back at a local OHV area. It was fun to get into some more challenging terrain before getting on the road for home. This is at the top of a gnarly, sandstone ridden, rutted out, loose, seemingly impossible hillclimb up to one of the taller peaks. The trail follows the ridges around a big bowl and eventually connects back to the main double track. If you've ridden this area, you know how relentless the rocks can be. In fact, I think this photo is one of the only rock-free zones.

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Top of the peak.

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And finally leaving the dirt. The road home is fairly freshly paved, twisty as hell, and frequented enough to make riding fast almost a bad idea. I've had my fair share of close calls on this road, but nothing resulting in injury.

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HendrixMFG screwed with this post 01-28-2013 at 02:05 PM
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