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Old 07-05-2013, 12:13 PM   #181
cliffb
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Thanks for the ride report. Great pics too! Keep 'em coming.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #182
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great report, I did the TAT last year, It was very dry for us.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:33 PM   #183
esp41
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Day 15- Rico- ~80 miles

Welcome to the Rockies



We tried to make it to Dove Creek today. We lost. The Rockies won. After four or five mountain passes we were toast. Breathing and picking up 400 pound bikes at 12,000 plus feet is tiring.

Our first pass was Cinnamon Pass




Did I mention the crowds? The Fourth of July is no time to try these passes. There are jeeps, quads, dirt bikes, and UTV’s everywhere.



We can move faster than anything other than dirt bikes. It’s obvious a lot of the people we passed never “four wheeled”. They always waved you by in the worst places. Kirk stopped with no place to put a foot down during a pass and got a helping hand picking up the bike from the one of the biggest 4x4’s we saw.



Yup, that is an old Chevy Suburban. Imagine taking that around switchbacks. That guy is the man of the mountain!

After summiting Cinnamon, we go down. Down is much worse than up. We spent most of the day in 1st gear. We used it for brakes. We also used our regular brakes. We still slid in many areas

Next we summit and go down California Pass at 12,960 ft



Along the way we see this. I have no idea what mining equipment this is, but it is perched on top of the mountain all by itself now.



Two more pics of the road up






BTW: Here is what July 5th snow looks like



Next up Hurricane Pass at 12,730 ft



And back down



Somewhere along the way we go over Corkscrew Pass. We take a break at the top and Kirkster tightens up some loose bolts on the KTM. I wisely keep my distance and talk to some locals.

As Karma will have it, on the way down from the Corkscrew I bit it on a steep, baby powder dirt covered rocky, switchback. At first I could not pick up the bike because it was facing downhill and the front brake was in the dirt. Kirkster could not help because there was no place to hold his bike. When you are tired and winded, things you know don’t come easily to mind. Finally I remembered the trick. Drag the rear wheel down the slope so the front wheel faces the hill. Pick up the bike and the hill stops it. Easy once you remember.

Onward to Ophir Pass at 11,789 ft



More of the Rockies to admire on the way





We then went down. Finally Tarmac. We slabbed it over Lizard something Pass. We were tired. But not to tired to stop and get a picture of a nice town down the mountain.



We were way short of our destination and we had no reservations if we even made it there. So Kirkster zoomed out on the GPS. Found a good sized town about 6 miles off the TAT. We went there and grabbed some rooms for the night.







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Old 07-05-2013, 05:01 PM   #184
Jsherman
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Been following you all since the first post. Thank you...my start is August 3rd. Only doing first three states, but you have provided great insight to the journey!
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #185
thorinoakenshield
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sweet pics of the mtn passes!
i hope your tire luck changes!
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:21 PM   #186
Kirkster OP
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Originally Posted by thorinoakenshield View Post
sweet pics of the mtn passes!
i hope your tire luck changes!
Well the tires were good today.

The back sides of those passes were just kicking our butts, esp41 was just being nice. At one point I had my rear locked up, the front locked up and was still sliding down. Between the baby powder dirt and the baby head rocks it was a real thrashing. It's hard to believe just how hard it would be to ride a big GS down the back sides of some of those passes. More than once I was wishing for my WR...

Not that the holiday traffic helped us any.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:28 PM   #187
One Less Harley
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and just think...now the real fun begins..Utah and NV..... then there's the "navigating" Oregon....
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:52 PM   #188
thorinoakenshield
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkster View Post
Well the tires were good today.

The back sides of those passes were just kicking our butts, esp41 was just being nice. At one point I had my rear locked up, the front locked up and was still sliding down. Between the baby powder dirt and the baby head rocks it was a real thrashing. It's hard to believe just how hard it would be to ride a big GS down the back sides of some of those passes. More than once I was wishing for my WR...

Not that the holiday traffic helped us any.
You go where eagles dare!

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Old 07-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #189
blake716
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Subscribed!

I've been wanting to do this trip for a while.

Just wondering if I should sell the 525 and get a 690 instead.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:32 PM   #190
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Subscribed!

I've been wanting to do this trip for a while.

Just wondering if I should sell the 525 and get a 690 instead.
I wanted a husky 630 but was not able to find one. The oil change interval is the key with the 690 vs. the 525, there are threads about oil coolers but then you have one more thing to break on you. Just like the big fuel tanks on my 690 which had a bolt come out today...

There is no such thing as the perfect bike. I HAD to have FI. My bike still had plenty of power where Esp41 was struggling a bit because of the carb and not rejetting it. Or it could be the dust killing his air filter again.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:37 PM   #191
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and just think...now the real fun begins..Utah and NV..... then there's the "navigating" Oregon....
Not sure a Harley with a side car would have a chance in hell with the passes we saw today.

We should be in Utah tomorrow . We can do rocky as we do ride Hatfield and McCoy fairly regularly... I think it was the 12,000 feet that whipped our butts, seeing as how we live at 400 feet ASL.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:02 PM   #192
rtwdoug
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yeah, its gonna be tough. I'll have to take some spare jets along.
I took my sportster over a 15k + foot pass in tajikistan, we were both wheezing a bit at the top.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:02 PM   #193
stickman1432
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Great report.............keep it coming and remember to drink water. Part of your tiredness is lack of water which you need even more at altitude, especially since you guys are flat-landers at just about sea level.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:12 PM   #194
Lightpath
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Wow guys, just wow. Post a vid of the nasty part to convince me the GS would be a bad idea on those passes, for when I move back to Denver!
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:37 AM   #195
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Wow guys, just wow. Post a vid of the nasty part to convince me the GS would be a bad idea on those passes, for when I move back to Denver!
I have video of at least one pass and maybe two. Will go through it and condense it for posting tonight if I am lucky and not dead tired when we get to our next stop. I think we should have time though, next stop Utah...
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