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Old 06-11-2008, 02:40 PM   #1
unrealtrip OP
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Sierras and Rubicon trail, street, dirt and rocks

I have been wanting to do an adventure touring ride since before I got my dual sport bike last October and while Iíve put quite a few miles on it since then, including my current 900 mile per week commute, Iíve sadly only had the opportunity to take her off road twice. Being a smaller bike, it gets excellent fuel economy, averaging 80-85 mpg, with a low in the 70-75mpg range if I run her into the red for long periods of time. In that regard, this makes her a great touring bike because I can go such long distances on so little fuel. The downside is that the bike only has a 2.3 gallon tank, though Iíve resolved that by making a fuel can rack. Of course to achieve that great fuel economy, this means my average speed is 55-60mph which Iíve actually come to enjoy, if youíre not in a hurry to outrun the rest of the world, it works out just fine. Over time I had slowly added on the proper outfitting for a dual sport touring ride, the requisite rear rack, hand-guards and RAM GPS holder, the later of which I will unfortunately not be using as 2 days ago I accidentally ran my Explorist through the washing machine with a load of laundry. DOH

While I have plenty of miles under my belt on the street, I do have to admit that I am somewhat green off-road, having only taken my XT225 out twice, once to Forest Hill and once to Hollister. Of course, I did want something that would offer a decent challenge and would add significant value as a portion of the overall loop so I chose the Rubicon Trail. In researching what it is like to ride this trail Iíve heard everything from ďhave a great time, itís a lot of funĒ to things like ďhave you made out a will yetĒ and my personal favorite was that Iíll be an ďinexperienced rider on a marginally adequate bike for the task.Ē In all fairness to myself, Iíve run that trail yearly in my Jeep for years so the terrain is familiar and prior to getting into motorcycles I was a semi-pro level downhill mountain biker having spent the majority of my recreational life on two wheels. Maybe Iím just trying to convince myself it will work out fine, maybe not, but in either case, the plan is in motion and Iím rearing to go with my only real concern being ascending Cadillac Hill with a bunch of weight on the back of the bike.

Being my first real, albeit short, adventure ride, I wanted a decent mix of street, dirt, camping as well as the requisite remote and somewhat strange hotel experience in addition to keeping the mileage reasonable as time and my own constitution are the limiting factors. The plan is to head out Friday, ride to and mostly through the Rubicon trail camping out partway through Friday night, then Sat finish up the trail and head into South Lake Tahoe where Iíll stay at a local motel, finally heading home late Sunday morning taking the long scenic route back.

The route headed to the trail is roughly 160mi, the trail and back to the road is around 18-20 and the return route is about 190mi for a total of around 370 miles round trip.

Five days a week my ride is about reaching a destination, this time; itís just about the ride.

Report and photos forthcoming.

PS: Advice for essential items to not forget or trail survival tips are most welcome. I'll post up with what I'm carrying when I get it all laid out tonight.

The overall route there, the (A) on the Tahoe side is the beginning of the return trip.


I think Icehouse Rd. will be a scenic ride




The Rubicon trail


The fuel rack I recently made on my ready to be loaded down bike (I have the cans facing the other way now incidentally. )

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Old 06-11-2008, 02:43 PM   #2
ryanwilliamcantrell
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I like your fuel rack.

Looking forward to pics.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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That's a lot of fuel up high

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:05 PM   #4
unrealtrip OP
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I'm pretty happy with the rack actually, while it seems high, it really isn't, esp since the bike suspension is so soft, it sags down significantly when I sit on it.


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My 1985 XT600 rebuild thread

Everyone dies, not everyone lives.
---------------------------------
'08 Buell XB12XT - "The Bomber"
'02 Yamaha XT225, '99 Suzuki RM125
'85 Yamaha XT600

"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam" - I will find a way or I will make one.

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:56 PM   #5
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:07 PM   #6
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I will very much be looking forward to your report--especially the Rubicon portion. I have thought about attempting it a couple of times on my KLR but was afraid I would get to a place where I would have to lift/drop the bike to get over an obstacle. Never been all the way throught the trail myself jeep or otherwise.

Good luck and take lots of pics.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:29 PM   #7
Stinez
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This should be good!

We stopped doing the Rubicon bacause that granite was just too tough on the equipment.

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Old 06-11-2008, 10:36 PM   #8
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I tried the Rubicon once on my KTM 300. I fell several times on the low side of granite climbs and decided to call it a day. I could tell the rocks were going to beat up the bike. The next time I go up it will be on a light, low bike that both feet can touch the ground easily. I believe we started at Loon Lake. Please keep us up updated. If am very interested in trying it again.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:23 PM   #9
Jeffy
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Hmm, there's probably still snow up there. The valley will probably be wet. Might want to check http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=29 to see what's going on up there when you'll be there.

I think you'll probably have problems with "Launch Pad", "Big Sluice" and probably "Cadillac Hill". Launch pad is one of the first big granite steps. Big sluice is one of the many drop offs. Cadillac Hill is on the way out and has a bunch of steps.

There will be water crossings around Buck Island. Might be really wet since there's probably still snow runoff. Then the many rock gardens. They're usually bowling ball size.

Oh and I'd bring mosquito spray. They get vicious up there.

I bunch of friends are up there now. BTW: phone service is nonexistent up there. There is a Ham Repeater though. I forget the exact frequency of it though.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:03 AM   #10
unrealtrip OP
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Thx for the trail tips so far I checked out the pirates forum and trail conditions are good with almost no snow and little standing water, although as usual there is some flow down Cadillac Hill. I was going to forgo the tent and just hammock camp, but I think I may bring a tent after all

Quote:
The next time I go up it will be on a light, low bike that both feet can touch the ground easily
I'm hoping that means my XT225 will work out well as it is light and I can flatfoot it with great ease, as shown here with the second time I had it offroad.




As far as my gear, I'm trying to keep it real simple, here's pictures of what will be mounted to the bike and what I'll actually be wearing.

- Sleeping pad
- 5 degree bag
- Softside cooler
- Rucksack
- 4hr firelog (not pictured)

Inside the cooler is my food and cooking gear, coffee and some light first aid supplies, including a whistle should things go badly (I think I'll move that to my camelback). The cooler has rope on top that is for both the hammock and for winching the bike should the need arise. Rucksack has the hammock, change of clothes, toiletries, book, etc.



In addition to the load the bike is carrying, I'll be wearing a camel back and a military style "gun belt" that holds a canteen full of water. Boots, knee/shin guards and my jacket round out the rest.

Inside the camelback is of course water, a few small tools, lighter, pump and of course a BFK.



As far as obstacles on the trail go, my main concern is still with climbing Cadillac and though the launch pad Jeffy mentioned as you're cresting the slabs will be interesting, I'm hoping it will feel less steep on a bike than in a Jeep. In any event, I will find a way or I will make one.




Big Sluice




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My 1985 XT600 rebuild thread

Everyone dies, not everyone lives.
---------------------------------
'08 Buell XB12XT - "The Bomber"
'02 Yamaha XT225, '99 Suzuki RM125
'85 Yamaha XT600

"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam" - I will find a way or I will make one.

XT600riders.com

unrealtrip screwed with this post 06-12-2008 at 04:19 AM
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:27 AM   #11
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sounds like a cool ride. a nice light bike that you can easily flatfoot should make the ride much less work.

i've never been to the rubicon but i can't wait to do it someday.

how long do you expect it to take?

looking forward to a ride report w/ pics....

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Old 06-12-2008, 10:25 AM   #12
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Have fun! Looks like you know what you will be getting into. Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.

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Old 06-12-2008, 11:18 AM   #13
Jeffy
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Looks like who know many of the same people. I see Tony and his Brother. I think the blue YJ is Lance? Although he used to have a medallion the size of your head on the side of the Jeep. What year is that?

The trail down to Spider Lake might also be a little hairy. That's the bypass from the Lil Sluice that takes you over the hill. If you hang out with Tony then you'll know 'his hill' which is on the way out from Spider.

I'm not sure how deep the water crossing will be. I'd imagine probably a foot or so.

The main concern I see is allocating enough time to go through the 'con. You're at a big disadvantage and you'll be lifting, pulling and walking the bike when things get difficult. You might get help from Jeepers but then you can't really count on that either.

I'm a bit envious though. I got the ich to go up there but ended up going someplace local instead.

*edit Oh geez, I just checked your profile and blog! If you know Gil 'Flying Dutchman' he just got back from the Rubicon.



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Old 06-12-2008, 01:45 PM   #14
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Big Sluice should not be a major problem since it will be downhill. Just sayin'

Cadillac Hill as you point out might be a challenge, but I'm sure it's doable on your bike (even if you have to drag it a little )
Ride on

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Old 06-12-2008, 01:53 PM   #15
qwiksilver
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I am still wanting to do that run in my Jeep. We have a trail here called John Bull that is considered a good training trail for the Rubi. (I like to do that one at night because you can't see a thing until you are on it.) I can't wait to hear what it's like on a bike.

What I want to hear is how your bike handles the long distance run to the trail. I am still researching and questioning and getting all my stuff together to get a bike that will fit me. (The Yammy XT250 is leading the pack right now for me.) Your opinion on getting from point A to point B on highways and freeways during your trip would be appreciated.

Safe ride!
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