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Old 12-31-2014, 10:58 AM   #1
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Concord, NC
Oddometer: 111
Holiday Dirt Bike - Brown Mountain NC

A group of us decided to get in one more trail ride before the end of the year. We all live near Charlotte, NC so we made a day trip to the Brown Mountain trail system. These are some of the same guys I went to WV with a few months ago – trip report:

Ended up being 5 guys. Here’s what we were riding:
John – KTM 200 XCW
JD – KTM 250 XCW
Matt – Honda CRF230
Merlin – Husky 510
And me on my DRZ400S

So once again, I am taking my 300+ lb bike places it wasn’t made for.
The day started poorly for me. We were only 3 miles into the first trail when I had a fall. Nothing much, just fell over at low speed. Unfortunately, it broke my clutch lever! I have Acerbis hand guards on the bike, but this is the second time I’ve broken a lever. I guess it hit a rock just right.

So now I had a problem as the trail is one way and to keep going the correct direction meant 10 miles to get back to the truck. Considering the difficulty of the terrain, we opted to go back the wrong direction. We put a guy out front to warn on coming bikes and I rode it back to the truck in first gear. We did have to push it up one steep rock climb where I could not get a run, but other than that it went ok.

I got really lucky and another guy there had a spare lever. Tried to pay him, but he wouldn’t take any money for it. So whoever you were, thank you very much! My first GoPro battery wasn’t fully charged, so I didn’t get any of that debacle on camera.

With the clutch repaired, we set out again. This was my first time at Brown Mountain so wasn’t sure what the trails would be like. There are lots of dirt sections, but there are plenty of rocky bits too. Sometimes that means loose rocks, but often there are large granite rock formations in the trails. The formations make for some really interesting technical riding. One funny thing in the first video: at 6:35 I am going down a steep rocky decent with a tight right turn at the bottom. Check out the tree that looks like someone took an ax to it from all the bikes hitting it!

Like in WV, all the rocks here make this a good place to run a trials tire on the rear. Myself and JD were running one while the other guys were on knobbies. The trials tire is so much better on rocky climbs!

In this next video, I actually get lost. My crew had gotten ahead of me and was out of sight, but we always wait for each other at any turn offs. I came up on what I thought was John and JD waiting on me, so I just followed them. In my defense, John said we were going to hit some single track, so this seemed logical at the time. The two guys I was following disappeared into the distance and I thought it was odd that they left me so far behind. I finally saw them taking a break. I pulled up next to them only to realize I had no idea who they were! I took another trail which cut back to the original one and found my crew. At the time, I had no idea what happened. It wasn’t until I got home and watched the videos that I realized I had followed the wrong two KTMs! This mess starts at 4:55.

This next video has a good demonstration of how good a trials tire is. At 1:15 we come to a very steep rock we had to climb. Merlin on the Husky had a knobby and couldn’t get enough traction to get up it, but watch JD with his trials tire and Rekluse clutch crawl right up it.

Next video starts out with a fairly long technical climb. This is where a light weight bike with a recluse and trials tire can really shine. At 3:25 you can see one of the areas that is solid rock. Really odd riding across these. At 3:50, I managed to dump it for the second time. Going down a hill with loose rocks, the front wheel caught one and washed out on me. Strangely, I never hit the ground and sort of stepped off the bike. Nothing major and I was quickly back on my way. Some more technical rock climbs in this video as well. At 8:38 we started a single track. I’m not particularly quick on these as my bike just doesn’t like to change direction that quick. There was a really interesting section at 10:00

In the next video, I saw something very unusual. There were sections of interlocking pavers. I guess they are there for erosion control? Oh well, follow the yellow brick road…

In the last two videos, we were headed back down the mountain towards the parking lot, so a lot of steep downhill stuff. Around 1:15 there was a section of large whoops. Most of the trails have smaller whoops, which are fun, but these were 4 or 5 feet tall. I wasn’t going to launch the DRZ that high in the air!

It was another good day of riding. Temp was in the 50’s which isn’t bad for Christmas in the mountains. Needless to say, the technical trails kept us plenty warm!
03 Suzuki SV650S
14 KTM 350 EXC-F
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:16 PM   #2
Loftin' the wheel
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Charlotte area
Oddometer: 907
Great videos, thanks for posting.

Good to see the different options around here, some of that looked beyond my pay grade for now....
2013 Triumph Tiger 800 XC
2013 Husky TE 449
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