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Old 05-05-2009, 12:21 PM   #151
latchkey
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Joined: May 2008
Location: San Francisco
Oddometer: 12
Thumb I'm back and crash report.

Ok, after Farkle Boy had his god complex and banned me for a week, I'm back now on the thread that does indeed talk about the trip that I was on. I didn't know my bashing a KLR would cause his panties to ride up so deeply so I apologize. However, a simple private message would have been more than enough to put me in check.

Anyway, I just wanted to update people on my crash status (the picture where my bike is completely upside down). It turns out that my wrist was indeed broken either during that crash or after riding on it for the rest of the trip. I guess it is multiple small fractures. I think I'll be ok as most of the pain is now gone and I have a decent amount of mobility, but it looks like I have some more doctors to go visit soon.

Here is my report of the crash:

My big crash was a factor of stupidity, exhaustion, dehydration and
hunger. We were accidentally put into a situation that we shouldn't
have been in. We had been riding some of the toughest deep sand out
there for about 4-5 hours and in 80-90 degree heat. We ran out of
water and food for many hours. This was my first time ever riding in
this type of environment. I was learning a lot about controlling the
bike as each mile went by. At the point of the crash, I was completely
spent physically and mentally. I was frustrated and dizzy. Beyond
hoping that I didn't have to pick Nicole's or my bike up again for the
20th time that day, I just wanted to get to a main road and get
something to drink.

I was riding semi fast (25-35) on what was actually a pretty good
surface considering what we had gone through for the entire day. I was
standing up on the foot pegs and lost my balance a bit. I swerved off
the tire track into a bit of rougher ground. I remember thinking
clearly that I could get back on track so I didn't slow down. I told
myself, just relax, let the bike move beneath you and everything will
be ok. The front wheel suddenly lost complete traction, slipped out
and I went down. It happened so quickly, I wasn't even scared and all
I could think of is getting back on the bike and getting some water.
My kidneys were starting to hurt from dehydration and I've never felt
that before in my life.

Days later after much more experience, thought and changes to my
front/rear suspension and tire pressure, I realized the accident was
completely preventable. Softening the front/rear suspension gave me a
lot more control over the bike. Instead of the front wheel bouncing
and slipping a lot, the shocks were doing their job absorbing the
bumps, staying attached to the ground and I now felt like I could
actually steer the bike in the direction I wanted to go. Especially on
the more sandy bits. Slowing down immediately when I felt
uncomfortable also prevented a few more later crashes.

If I do another trip like that again, I'm taking a rear 17" knobby and
sticking it on my front. The rear distanzia was ok, but the front just
didn't have enough cornering traction on the stuff we were riding on.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:11 PM   #152
hazard
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Good description on the crash!

When I saw you guys in Insurgents, I know you guys underestimated the ride that AM, but based on stickfigure's and yours report hear it sounds like you guys were real close to eating some big poo. Never realized it. BUt I guess the old adage what does not kill you makes you stronger....

You say "if you go a another ride....." This one kill the urge to do more?

Anyway, nice to see your back, the mods have a tough job here.

Hope the wrist is better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latchkey
Ok, after Farkle Boy had his god complex and banned me for a week, I'm back now on the thread that does indeed talk about the trip that I was on. I didn't know my bashing a KLR would cause his panties to ride up so deeply so I apologize. However, a simple private message would have been more than enough to put me in check.

Anyway, I just wanted to update people on my crash status (the picture where my bike is completely upside down). It turns out that my wrist was indeed broken either during that crash or after riding on it for the rest of the trip. I guess it is multiple small fractures. I think I'll be ok as most of the pain is now gone and I have a decent amount of mobility, but it looks like I have some more doctors to go visit soon.

Here is my report of the crash:

My big crash was a factor of stupidity, exhaustion, dehydration and
hunger. We were accidentally put into a situation that we shouldn't
have been in. We had been riding some of the toughest deep sand out
there for about 4-5 hours and in 80-90 degree heat. We ran out of
water and food for many hours. This was my first time ever riding in
this type of environment. I was learning a lot about controlling the
bike as each mile went by. At the point of the crash, I was completely
spent physically and mentally. I was frustrated and dizzy. Beyond
hoping that I didn't have to pick Nicole's or my bike up again for the
20th time that day, I just wanted to get to a main road and get
something to drink.

I was riding semi fast (25-35) on what was actually a pretty good
surface considering what we had gone through for the entire day. I was
standing up on the foot pegs and lost my balance a bit. I swerved off
the tire track into a bit of rougher ground. I remember thinking
clearly that I could get back on track so I didn't slow down. I told
myself, just relax, let the bike move beneath you and everything will
be ok. The front wheel suddenly lost complete traction, slipped out
and I went down. It happened so quickly, I wasn't even scared and all
I could think of is getting back on the bike and getting some water.
My kidneys were starting to hurt from dehydration and I've never felt
that before in my life.

Days later after much more experience, thought and changes to my
front/rear suspension and tire pressure, I realized the accident was
completely preventable. Softening the front/rear suspension gave me a
lot more control over the bike. Instead of the front wheel bouncing
and slipping a lot, the shocks were doing their job absorbing the
bumps, staying attached to the ground and I now felt like I could
actually steer the bike in the direction I wanted to go. Especially on
the more sandy bits. Slowing down immediately when I felt
uncomfortable also prevented a few more later crashes.

If I do another trip like that again, I'm taking a rear 17" knobby and
sticking it on my front. The rear distanzia was ok, but the front just
didn't have enough cornering traction on the stuff we were riding on.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:32 PM   #153
nigelcorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latchkey
Ok, after Farkle Boy had his god complex and banned me for a week, I'm back now on the thread that does indeed talk about the trip that I was on. I didn't know my bashing a KLR would cause his panties to ride up so deeply so I apologize. .
Glad to see it looks like the lesson was learned.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:45 PM   #154
Foot dragger
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Lots of people dont ride in deep sand with 17" ft wheels and smooth street tires,great effort though and fun report to read. You guys and gals toughed it out nicely to get through that sand,I guess it was either tough it out or become buzzard bait.(21" wheel and knobby= way more fun in soft stuff)
'
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #155
NSFW
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good to hear latchkey is doing ok.... and funnier.....
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:58 PM   #156
stickfigure OP
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Day 7: Well Trodden Ground

Thursday, April 9th

Jon's wrist and Nicole's ankle were still recovering, so we stuck to fairly mild roads on the way to Bahía de Los Angeles.



Deserts are beautiful when you aren't about to expire from thirst.





Reveling in my newfound riding skills, I spent every possible opportunity riding in the sand ruts that parallel the main road. With far less rocks and washboard, they make for much more comfortable (and occasionally much more exciting) riding!









We came upon that famous Baja landmark, Coco's corner, and said hi to The Man.





Sadly, we skipped the Calamajué wash. It's high on my list of future adventures, though.

Once more, we refill the tires. This process will be repeated many, many more times on this trip. My new rule is a minimum of one pump for every two bikes. The CyclePump is far too slow.



The road into Bahía de Los Angeles is paved.



We stopped at a combination restaurant and hotel on the beach. We weren't sure if we were going to eat and ride south, or eat and stay. The availability of cold beer made the decision for us

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:04 PM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nata Harli
Good to see another RR from you. Hope you can make it to SALARR. Consider this your personal invitation.
Thanks, I'm following the thread. I hope to be there! I'm headed for Alaska in June, which means I will have been doing a lot of riding and not so much working, so we'll see

If I can make it, I'll do my best to drag sp4ce and nina... but that will probably require divine intervention!
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:06 PM   #158
latchkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazard
You say "if you go a another ride....." This one kill the urge to do more?
Most definitely not. I'm signed up for american supercamp in July and depending on what the doctors say next monday (I go to a specialist), I will try to keep that commitment. If anyone else is going to that camp, we should hang out. =)

I had originally planned on learning how to ride on dirt a bit before this trip instead of the "crash" course (ha!) that I ended up taking, but it didn't work out because of weather. So, now I get to go back and figure things out a bit more.

Thanks everyone for the get well notes. =)
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:49 PM   #159
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Day 8: Little San Francisco

Thursday, April 9th

Breakfast in Bahía de Los Angeles was like most of our meals on this trip - good, but not exciting by Mexico standards. The problem with spending all your time on dirt roads in out-of-the-way parts of Baja is that you're lucky to find food at all, let alone really amazing restaurants. I suspect the difficulty of obtaining fresh produce in a state that's mostly desert doesn't help.



On the other hand, the views in Baja are fantastic:



...and the whole beach is your driving range. I love the lack of tort liability in Mexico. This is a free country!



Our plan was to reach a little point on the Sea of Cortez called Punta San Francisquito.



Nicole and Jon were feeling a little better, so they joined me for some fun in the sand. At this point we all have sand riding pretty much dialed in. Whenever we hit dirt, we drop the tires down to about 16 psi and it makes all the difference. Smooth, whoopy sand is far more fun than hard rocky washboard.







...and then my front tire went flat. I was riding sweep, but fortunately Jon and Nicole were within radio range. They couldn't talk, but they could hear me yell "FLAT TIRE!".



We were carrying enough tubes to replace any tire twice. All I needed to do is remove the wheel and pry the tire off.





A confession: I'm really bad at this. After ten minutes of brutalizing my wheel and tire, I decided to seek professional help. We were only 45 minutes out of Bahía de Los Angeles, so I loaded the wheel onto Jon's DRZ and speed back to town. It took me 25 minutes.



These guys have REAL tools:



The actual failure was not obvious, a small pinch flat on the tire that the Ride-On sealant couldn't fix.



My high-speed antics with low tire pressures probably aren't helping the matter.



They fixed the tire in about a half hour. After another 25 minutes racing back to my poor disabled bike, I have a whole new appreciation for KTM suspensions. The DRZ weighs next to nothing and makes powerslides joyous ("it's like a toy motorcycle!"), but the suspension can't keep up with rough terrain at high speed. Part of this may be the poor state of factory adjustment - the front was way too stiff and the rear was way too soft. I complained to Jon and he promised to do some fiddling.

The graded road continued:



...and continued:



...and continued:



...and continued!





Jon finally caught me in a drop again... but wasn't fast enough with the camera. It's amazing how fast I can pick up the Katoom when Jon is just about to come around the corner behind me! FWIW, he dropped his bike in the exact same place immediately after I did



San Francisquito is a nice place to go if you don't like people. The beach is pretty. There is one restaurant that also rents palapas, which were quite welcome because the wind was howling like crazy.







The full moon rose over the sea right in front of us:

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Old 05-06-2009, 03:11 PM   #160
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Mmmmmm tacos.

Isn't this mandatory for KTM owners...?
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:17 PM   #161
latchkey
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Punta San Francisquito.

The most entertaining pic at Coco's...



I love signage and empty beaches. It really was beautiful there. Jeff also left out that there is an airport and only a couple large houses in the whole area. I wonder who uses the airport, lives in the houses and how we get an invite to stay. For some reason though, using a plane to get there seems like cheating.





Our beds...



Some of the damage to my Turbo City Tom rack from my crash. I just have to give a quick shout out to TCT. Once I got back, I emailed and explained to him that I crashed, showed all the pictures and suggested some design improvements to the rack that would have helped prevent some failures that happened as a result of the crash. He *offered* to replace the rack for free and I received a new rack just a few days ago. Wow, talk about amazing customer service. If you can use any of his products, definitely buy them.



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Old 05-06-2009, 03:17 PM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorPeligro
Isn't this mandatory for KTM owners...?
I'm pretty sure that KTM wheels are consumables like sprockets or air filters.

Jeff
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:22 PM   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
I'm pretty sure that KTM wheels are consumables like sprockets or air filters.

Jeff
And water pumps...



(I have much lust for a 990 Adv)
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:30 PM   #164
sp4ce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latchkey
The most entertaining pic at Coco's...

That is a photo of a member of the Purple Helmets motorcycle stunt team.


I own both their DVDs - we should have a screening, casa stickfigure, but NOT UNTIL YOU FINISH YOUR RIDE REPORT!
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #165
MJS
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Quote:
Sadly, we skipped the Calamajué wash. It's high on my list of future adventures, though.
I went through there 2 weeks ago with 2 950SEs and 2 HP2s. I think you made a wise choice to aviod it on this trip. It was fun on those bikes, not sure I'd want to ride my GS through it. I wouldn't want to ride through there on anything without knobbies. And low preassure is not a good option due to all the rocks.

Glad to see you enjoyed R&L's motel. Was Concha cooking?

The road south of Puertocetios is scheduled to be completed in 2011. They're making about 2 miles a month. And it will turn south and bypass Coco's.

Baja's changing (call it progress). May be good for the locals but it's not the remote getaway it was 10 or 20 years ago.

Great report BTW.

Cheeers,
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