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Old 02-15-2011, 04:54 AM   #616
Bulleteer
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Here ya go

first dirt (besides for the construction in RMNP)


this early in the trip i was saying to myself " a viola? really? my camelback hurts after a few hours!!"


what was that first day? arround 400something miles? more than half dirt i think? we were on the prove yourself to geek somewhere close to home mission

we were flat hauling ass! so much fun



everybody got at least one of this picture of the bikes on the lonsome road to nowhere.. but this is my favorite.. a picture of someone taking a picture of someone taking a picture



atlantic city wyoming


"it's a viola not a violin, it's 5 octaves lower.... repeat... its a viola, not a violin, it's 5 octaves lower" (man you have to say that alot deik)


"5 octaves lower eh? i can play that thing you hoser!"
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:09 PM   #617
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awesome thanks man
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:30 AM   #618
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"...i can play that thing you hoser!"

...play it like a banjo on my knee...
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:07 PM   #619
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...play it like a banjo on my knee...
No that would be Doug



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Old 02-16-2011, 02:42 PM   #620
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Day 6

Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to Gnarly, heís gotta haul butt back to Colorado solo, gonna have to slab it out to get there. I hope we ride together again soon buddy! Much respect from this rider.

And so it begins, the Montana 1000. First an orientation meeting. I figure there are roughly 40-60 riders at the meeting (anyone have an actual count? Probably not, since itís a non-rally, totally unofficial). Putz (Putts?) put the GPS track together and is the MC, for whatever thatís worth.




We meet a new friend, Aaron the Canadian, who bought a KTM 950 Adventure only days ago for this rally, and heís excited to learn about it and naturally gravitates to our massive group of big twin riders.

The Canadian Club checking out the elusive carbon fiber windscreen of Geeks. When are we gonna be able to buy this damn thing??? It looks awesome. Itís been a big tease in Orange Crush for like a year now... Gimme!!!





Geek and Dirty Santana both have their girlfriends here for the MT1000 with their own bikes and plans to do a couples ride, so Davestr, Mommer and I decide we should stick together since we have our ďpaceĒ figured out by now. From the variety of machines and riders here we can kinda tell weíll be in the ďfastĒ group, so we want to get out early so as not to have to make a bunch of dusty overtakes on the trail (not bragging, but you shouldíve seen the speeds we hit in Wyoming! Everyone in our group HAULS ARSE! More please... ).

Well, this ďplanĒ works for all of ten miles. Iím elected the leader for the first leg of the day since I seem to have the most reliable GPS tracks. We hit the trail (which is a gravel road) and start heating up the tires, passing more than a few riders. The daily mileages seems totally reasonable (if not easy), especially at KTM 950/990 speeds, so we agreed in advance that if we wanted to try alternate routes or do some additional exploring that would be fine.

Flying along I come to a quick ďYĒ junction and make split-second decision to go left instead of right but realize that the track is the other way. Iím carrying too much speed to correct, so I continue to the left and and up the trail a bit. Itís now obvious that this isnít right as there are tree limbs over the trail, plus itís significantly steeper, but I have some good momentum and we agreed that we had time to explore, so I figure Iíll meet them at the top and we can decide what to do from there.

Less than ten minutes and/or ten miles have passed at this point.

Flashback to that morning back in Colorado, Day 1, in the dark, meeting for the first time at the gas station:

Geek: ďWhoís never ridden in a group off-road before?Ē

Dave and I raise our hands.

ďOkay, hereís the protocol: Everyone rides their own ride. Space out however you like. I donít care how fast you are, or arenít. Really I donít. Iíve led rides where people have DIED because they rode beyond their limits. Iím going to lead, and I will continue on the main track always, only stopping for the occasional photo or to let everyone regroup. If thereís a turn off the main track or an intersection with a turn I will stop pointed in the new direction and will STAY there until I see the next rider and he ACKNOWLEDGES that he sees me with a wave. That rider will then do the same, waiting for the third rider, and on down the line. This way everyone can ride their own pace, and everyone is accounted for. If the person behind you doesnít show up, wait for a good long while and then slowly go back to see whatís wrong, which will then go UP the line and eventually everyone will go back.Ē

We all nod.


So I realize Iím off the main route, but barrel up the hill and over the logs with gusto anyway. Our tools are sharp now! The bike feels great and so do I. I only go about an eighth of a mile, up and around one hillside then stop and wait. And wait. The bike is off, Iím just sitting there for quite a long time. I just saw them, I mean JUST! Dave was on my ass and I could see Mommer over his shoulder, we were sticking together in an angry wolf pack of 100 horsepower fury, but I didnít actually see them make the turn. They mustíve seen me! Hmmm... Now Iím starting to wonder.

I swing the bike around and pick my way back slowly, expecting crazy Dave to come barreling around the bends at 60 mph any second. One turn, and the next, and the next (there are only three or four) and then Iím back to the bottom at the ďYĒ junction. No Dave, no Mommer. My brain clicks, in the dust cloud they didnít see me, they veered right (correctly) and are way ahead by now! Iíd better move...

I light up the throttle and do a delicious powerslide onto the main route and gun it. I know how these boys roll, Iím gonna have to zoom!

After about ten minutes of riding faster than I should I start to re-evaluate the situation. They wouldíve stopped and waited when they realized I wasnít in front anymore, wouldnít they? Of course they would, theyíre my mates! Just like I waited for them. It was a nothing little detour, I came right back along the only track, the only explanation is that they are ahead of me. Perhaps they went BACK towards Darby, the last place we were all three stopped together? Unlikely. Shit. So they are either way ahead of me, or way behind, and I have no way of knowing which. Cell phones are pretty useless out here, so I donít even consider it.

The bike slows and stops on the trail in a beautiful grove of trees. My thought process is that there are dozens of other riders around, all going the same direction on the same route, most with GPS tracks. Everyone is completely self sufficient with food, water, shelter, fuel. I decide to continue on alone and tell every rider I see that Iím looking for the blue and black KTMs, this way weíre bound to catch word of each other and probably find each other at a ďcheckpointĒ along the route.

Okay, right or wrong the decision has been made. Off I go!

Thereís a large group of riders (and other cars and things too) at a beautiful waterfall, so I figure this is a good place to hang out for a bit and see if they show up.

Sweet Husaberg. My buddy Blake back in San Antonio let me take a spin on his ĎBerg and it was almost the end of me. Scary. I kinda want one!




One very cool thing about this ride is that I get to put faces (or helmets at least) with avatars that I see here on advrider. Chains45 is a follower of my thread and chimes in from time to time (and we share the same alma mater!). Heís a Montana local now and itís great to meet him. We end up kinda riding together for a good while. I dig that Uly!





Iím zooming along through the forest and see a flash of orange. Is that a KTM camp? It IS! Assuming theyíre part of the MT1000 I pull right in to say hello and ask about my lost friends. It turns out they arenít advriders at all, just a group of friends that love KTMs and are out on vacation. There are probably 8-10 shiny bikes that look like theyíre just off the showroom floor, most of them big V-Twins like mine. Spotless! I canít help but notice that they all have gray hair (not that thereís anything wrong with that! ) as they gather around my bike admiring itís filthy, gnarly adventure status. It speaks, even with the ignition turned off... EOS rulez. I proudly tell them about the Continental Divide Trail and they drool over my performance mods and hard-earned scratches and dirt, and then let me pose under their KTM tent for a pic. A tent for crying-out-loud! I ask them to keep an eye out for my buddies.




As predicted it doesnít take all that long to reach the end of the daily route at my 990 pace. The track basically stops at a little parking lot at an abandoned mining town (canít remember the name, anyone else got it? I think itís a state park). Thereís one solitary rider parked there so I loop around and meet jjmyzrider who confirms that this is indeed the ďendĒ for the day. He has a funny little white and purple KTM (625cc? I thought KTMs were all orange? ) that looks the business and I learn that heís a local; he rode here from his house today! I donít know why that seems amazing to me, maybe because Iíve been away from home for several weeks at this point.




So this is the finish line, my guys HAVE to pass through here. I get comfy, bust out the camera and wait, meeting many of the incoming riders and seeing the variety of machinery that is on this whacky ride.

This guyís shirt seems about right for my day! Or maybe it should read: ďMy buddies have no idea where I am.Ē




Heís riding an ancient Bonneville, made back when a motorcycle was a motorcycle, not a sport bike, cruiser, dual sport, MX, etc, etc.




The trails today were not difficult, Iíd call them dirt roads, and there are bikes on them ranging from the the hardcore Husabergs and KTMs to what would be considered street machines.

A Verseys with an interesting tire. I think itís actually a 17Ē rear tire put on the front.




Chains rolls in on his Buell Ulysses. That thing is a collectorís item now, buddy!




This nut is riding the whole thing wearing a beanie helmet, denim shirt and camo fatigues pants on his modern Triumph Scrambler (and no gloves as I recall, or maybe fingerless?). He gets a lot of comments about his ďgearĒ but is defiant to the end. Whenever I meet someone like this I remind myself that many of us ride bikes because we donít like to be told what to do or how to live our lives, and that is one of the beautiful aspects of our sport: personal choice and risk. You wonít catch me without a full-face and gloves!




I like the idea of retro bikes: modern machinery with performance and reliability coupled with old-school classic good looks. Iíll probably not own one for a long time if ever, but I think theyíre cool. The Scrambler:




THAT looks familiar! The soul of the KTM: V-Twin baby... A gnarly 950 Super Enduro is a great sight up here. Without the big side tanks itís like you can see right through it!




A Husky:




Iím developing a nice layer thing here, to protect the paint!




Iíve ridden with a few people that have those cool quick-access goggle straps (Mommer on this ride in particular), allowing the goggles to sit on the back of the helmet when not in use, and you can whip them around and put them on with one hand, even while riding. I picked up a kit when I bought new tubes back in Darby, and I must say Iím impressed so far. Iíve been using goggles most of the time on this trip, thereís just so much dust...




Iíve been here for hours, and no sign or word about Dave and Mommer. Many of the riders mount up and head down the hill to look for camping spots as sun is getting low. Feeling helpless I eventually follow suit and join a group of riders on a hill side overlooking a wide tree-covered valley. Chains45 is there, and probably six or seven others. We set up camp, chat, take photos, and eventually I get the viola out and play for a while. Chains is way into it (one of my fans here!), not sure about the others.

I going through the spiel: ďThe viola is five steps lower than and violin, has a larger body and darker tone...Ē and play some pretty good Bach when, at last, I hear the twin LC8s and they appear right in the campsite! Dave and Mommer! Iím glad to see them, but when helmets come off I see only anger on their faces...

ďYou are a f***ing a**hole! We thought you crashed, weíve been looking for you in the f***ing mountains all day! We climbed that f***ing hill on foot for hours!Ē

Uh-oh.

ďYou need to call your family.Ē And with that they storm off to find a campsite of their own, and I let them go. Itís probably better for everyone to cool down.

Iím upset, theyíre upset, my family is upset, how did this happen? I came out here to get away from all the ďreal lifeĒ drama, but itís followed me, even out here in the Montana wilderness. Miraculously I have a couple bars of cell phone signal on my phone here on the side of the mountain, and Chains lets me use his bikes power port for my charger (thanks buddy! How is it I havenít rigged that up on my bike yet? I must remedy that), and I find that I have twenty or more messages from Mommer pleading me to call him, Mom, Sis, Bro, Paula, my surrogate family in San Antonio, and others whoíve been notified that Iím missing in the backcountry. I didnít even know I was lost! The Darby Sheriffís Department has to be notified to call off Search and Rescue, and I have to make forty-five minutes of teary phone calls letting everyone Iím O.K., that it was a simple miscalculation.

Iíd like to break down what happened as Iíve done before in this thread so hopefully others can avoid a situation like this. Itís not fun.

Firstly, I messed up. They messed up too. Two small missteps made for a miserable day for many people I care about. I made a wrong turn (no biggie), waited, and then went back to the last place I saw my buddies, exactly like I was supposed to. BUT the big mistake I made was not WAITING at that spot, I made a snap judgment to ride ahead to catch them. That one little slip caused a lot of heartache. It turns out they DID follow me to the left, and up the hill even, but then they turned off of that main track after mistakenly reading an old tire track (even though I wasnít present indicating to make the turn). When I came back down the hill they were off on the little secondary off-shoot trail, so we passed each other without seeing OR hearing each other, surely by only seconds. I assumed they were following procedure (stay on the main track), and they assumed I wasnít (not indicating a turn), and then ultimately I DIDNíT follow protocol when I left the intersection to chase them (wait at the last place you saw anybody).

Dave has a military experience, and Mommer was a rafting guide, so they are two people with experience in life threatening situations, two people that are GREAT to have looking for you in the event of an emergency. They went into crisis mode and began searching for me, fearing the worst: that I had fallen off the trail and crashed, hidden and injured or dead in the forest below the trail. They searched, called my cell, called my brother (my emergency contact. We all shared emergency contact numbers before we met for the trip. A great idea fellas!), called again, again, and walked up and down that little mountain looking for me for most of the day. The thought of turning on my cell honestly never even crossed my mind as a course of action, even when I crossed a highway or fueled up in a small town. I guess Iíve gotten used to having off while Iím adventuring, plus weíve been way out of cell range for much of this trip, but this wouldíve been a good time to TRY to check it! It also never crossed my mind that someone, ANYONE would think I was in danger, especially those two. I was fine, having a great ride! I should know better, especially after Tarren/Bugman98 breaking his leg last summer. I was so far ahead that none of the other riders they ran into had seen me, and none I met had seen them. Mommer apparently swore up and down that I had a SPOT tracker on my handlebars and even contacted SPOT customer service to try to get info on me, but he was confusing my bike with Geekís who has one mounted there on the bars. This only added to confusion. My brother activated the family phone tree (which I wish he had waited a bit longer to do) and so all hell broke loose, emotionally anyway. Finally with Search and Rescue on the case Dave and Mommer decided that they had done all they could do, and then pounded out the miles late in the day only to find me viddling away (thatís viola + fiddle = viddle! ) at a campsite like nothing happened. Iíd probably be mad too...

(Later as weíre trying to reconstruct the chain of events Mommer tells me that at the bottom of the hill at the intersection he saw a huge hooked trench mark in the dirt, one that could only be the work of 950, which was the product of the big powerslide I did when initiating the chase, but he maintained the worse-case-scenario battle plan.)

Probably the biggest lesson Iíve learned from this is to NEVER leave your buddy behind if there is any question about his/her safety. I should already know this, but thank you for teaching me again, Dave and Jasen.

The bright side is that I think thereís a good chance Iíll get a SPOT tracker for Christmas this year! A SPOT tracking link wouldíve allowed them to at least call someone with an internet connection and confirm if I was moving or not, and if not they could find out where exactly I was.

Tomorrow will be better.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:01 PM   #621
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It was great meeting you and riding a bit with you Diek. Hearing you play was a serious treat, the camp on the mountainside made it a wonderful venue. Tried to get a recording but no dice.

And yes, the Uly is now a collector's item but still a lot of fun to ride. After watching the fun you and your friends had, I think a KTM may be in my future when finances permit.

Thanks for the ride report, enjoying it immensely.

Dennis
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #622
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Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to Gnarly, heís gotta haul butt back to Colorado solo, gonna have to slab it out to get there. I hope we ride together again soon buddy! Much respect from this rider.


Thanks Dooode. Great riding with you guys as well. You know how to get hold of me, I'm always up for a ride.




One last shot from the ride home, an old garage in ID or MT.








-dk
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:04 PM   #623
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Wow, thanks for the info on the gas rig, interesting. I should probably know better, I've been out to oil rigs a number of times with my Uncle who is in the oil business, but I'm just a violist! What is your job?
Solids control is what I do, cleaning drilling fluids.

When you're in the area again, let me know & maybe we can ride. Besides, I'd love to hear what that NASA viola sounds like.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:54 PM   #624
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There is a method to the madness eh?

Sorry you guys had such a mixup. I'd wondered what had happened... we came around the corner (at that fork) and at that point Jasen and Dave were sitting there looking frustrated because they'd lost you. They were waiting for you to reappear.

Unfortunately for us, we got to the end of the day and realized Cheryl had lost her wallet. We had to bee-line on the highway back to Darby where we were truly blessed by a local that had found it sitting on the road in Darby and had gone out of his way to get it back to us (including all the cash in it) and wouldn't take a reward. We ended up spending the night back in Darby where we'd started

p.s. I think the Versys was Pilot here on ADV... or was it Rider. Now I can't remember.. but one of the long-timers.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:04 PM   #625
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There is a method to the madness eh?

Sorry you guys had such a mixup. I'd wondered what had happened... we came around the corner (at that fork) and at that point Jasen and Dave were sitting there looking frustrated because they'd lost you. They were waiting for you to reappear.

Unfortunately for us, we got to the end of the day and realized Cheryl had lost her wallet. We had to bee-line on the highway back to Darby where we were truly blessed by a local that had found it sitting on the road in Darby and had gone out of his way to get it back to us (including all the cash in it) and wouldn't take a reward. We ended up spending the night back in Darby where we'd started

p.s. I think the Versys was Pilot here on ADV... or was it Rider. Now I can't remember.. but one of the long-timers.
I'm pretty sure that would have been Pilot on the Versys. I don't think Rider was there.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #626
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sorry for all the trouble diek. we met aaron out there on the road and he helped look for you too. we kept talking about just haulin ass for camp to see if you were there.. but... it was me.. "man, if he did wreck off the side? who would look for him but me, dave, and now aaron?" us traveling adventure types for the most part don't have anyone that would look for us till we were just dry bonez. theese bikes are big and we are small and soft.. can't live with leaving my new viola playing friend out in the woods....
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:25 PM   #627
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Eek Vacation?

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I'm jealous. When I went riding with Diek I asked why he didn't have Black Death with him. He stated, "I'm on vacation". I was a little bummed at first, but realized I wouldn't want to do my job while on vacation either. Who knew violists needed vacation?

It looks like you guys had one helluva great ride!
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:42 PM   #628
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A new day! Jonz points out a moth in the morning sun.



Ahh, back together at last! I pack up and track down my crew first thing. Letís put yesterday behind us and RIDE RIDE!!!

Right away we realize our group has grown beyond the original three of us, weíve added Jonz, AB boy, jjmyzrider, Baja Ho, and one can (am I forgetting anyone?). Weíre all hunting for the more challenging ďalternate routesĒ of the MT1000, so we might as well ride together. After the fiasco of riding alone yesterday, the more the merrier as far as Iím concerned! Itís a beautiful sunny day in the mountains, letís get this party started.
Now we have 3-5 GPS units among us, but theyíre all SLIGHTLY different, so we promptly all get lost, but it sure is fun!





Nobody has been up here this season, and we find itís a dead-end unless you are a skilled trials rider (wash-out).



Who cares? The view sure is nice...





This is what we dream about as dual-sporters fellas: riding across seemingly open terrain, descending from the Montana heights, only the occasional cow fence gate to deal with. Perfect temps, beautiful sunshine, exotic motorcycles... Liviní.



Even the pavement isnít bad. Jonz and I have the same idea when a twisty canyon presents itself: Fire up those V-Twins!!! Chasing him is good fun, speed limit be damned.



Mommer likes to play too!



Sven (one can) on his brand svankiní new KTM 690. Sveet.



Beer is the international repayment for ďmy bad,Ē so I try to do my part for Dave and Mommer. Iíve started carrying this double-sided industrial velcro (rolled onto my handlebars) for impromtu packing, and it comes in handy for this case.



Our fearless leader, local jjmyzrider, guides us up a GREAT trail towards the approximate camping area for the night, but I run into a WEE BIT of mud...



It looks good dirty! Proper.



I only lost two beers due to stress fractures from the rocky trail and two bike naps (in the bag on the ground, I didn't want my seat soaking up 24 oz. of Pilsner). I think that's pretty good from a whole case!



So how does an amazing day in the Montana backcountry get better? An oasis, a place of rest and sustenance, provided by another local inmate, Rudy52 who drove his truck up loaded with drinks, snacks, candy, granola bars, homemade cookies... Incredible. Imagine coming around a turn and seeing this in the middle of nowhere!



The man, the myth, Rudy.



Itís not quite time to set up tents yet, so Mommer and I go scout some campsites and play in a puddle.



I should be a responsible motorcycle owner and wash this thing. Itís filthy.



We pick a SWEEET campsite next to a wall that mustíve been some sort of plant or mill for mining. There are even some cool hill climbs up the side for the adventurous. A certain violist may or may not have fallen over on one...



After a week of following people in the dust I decide itís high time to check my air filter. Yikes!



I have a prefilter and an oiled filter skin over that, so Iím not too worried, but damn! There are clods of dirt raining down as I peel back the filter skin. I take it over to the campfire to show the boys before putting on a fresh one I have stashed in a baggie (The prefilter underneath looks pretty good. Those skins work, and way easy to manage on a trip). Their eyes go wide as Dave and Mommer are running the stock snorkel and have been riding the exact same conditions as me...

It happens to be a special day, Svenís birthday! As the sun is setting and the campfire gets going I play a special carbon fiber version of the famous tune which reverberates off the rock walls, a perfect amphitheater! (somebody has some pics, my hands were busy! ) The sound carries across the river to other ADV camps, and soon a crowd has assembled. I launch into my old standards and have a great time. The night air is cold, but performing next to the fire keeps my fingers warm and flexible and I give perhaps my best camp-concert to date, and with my biggest camp-audience! Iím guessing twenty or more guys and gals, who also ask great questions about the instrument, the music business, interpretation, technique. Thank you all! You got the real deal, but I need some more repertoire for these occasions. My audition material isnít all that entertaining...


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Old 03-28-2011, 06:13 AM   #629
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Great pictures and story as usual. Where'd you get the filter skin? I've spent 20 minutes looking for it and after seeing that have decided it's time to ditch the snorkel and put the pre filter on that's in my toolbox.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:49 PM   #630
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Oddometer: 30,011
Where'd you get the skinz from Diek?

My pre-filter was a mess too but I had to remove the entire assembly and wash it in a roadside sprinkler at the fairgrounds. A skin would have made life much easier
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