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Old 11-22-2010, 06:36 AM   #1
John Smallberries OP
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Pretending a 1200GS is a dirt bike in Northern Michigan

This my first ride report and it will be short. I hope it will show others the fantastic trail system we have in Michigan for motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and Jeeps. Michigan is a great place to live and ride.

This weekend, my son and I made our first trip to the Missaukee ATV trail just outside Cadillac, Michigan. It was cold (~35F), but sunny and dry enough to make it fully enjoyable.

He has a "proper" trail bike: a 2009 Honda CRF230. I'm exploring the "G" part of my "GS" to see how feasible it is to truly ride it off-road. I got it stuck good once on the single-track system, but thought we would do better on a wider, ATV-specific, trail. This area fit the bill with wide, well maintained trails.

I converted to "naked" mode on the GS with no windshield or bags. Electric heat kept me alive on the 10-mile ride from the house to the trail head. My son was toasty warm in the truck.

My son and the Honda on the truck rack, GS in the background:


Here are the bikes in front of the sign:


Bikes on the trail. The trails are great and we had the place to ourselves on this cold day:



My son had a blast, but had to stop frequently to wait for the old man to catch up.

GS down on a sandy turn.


I couldn't lift it from this position by myself. I just couldn't get my body in the right position on the low-side for the backward walk-up.

We had a great time enjoying the trails for the last time before the snow flies. I'm throwing in the towel on riding the GS on these narrow, sandy trail systems. Knobbies would help, but it is still VERY heavy if it goes down. Great bike - wrong usage!

Time to buy another trail bike for Dad!!!
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John Smallberries screwed with this post 11-22-2010 at 06:53 AM
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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John: Thanks for the report - it hit me close to home.

I too have a GSA, but for the Nat'l Forest near me I bought a used CRF230L and it's perfect for the job. I even have the same bike carrier on my Yukon!

I may graduate later to something a bit larger (I'm still learning dirt), but I'm reluctant as the 230 is a hoot to ride and I don't want anything too heavy.

Enjoy the time with your son!
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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Sounds like a good time! Thanks for the report and pics
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:55 AM   #4
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Did it ever occur to you that the reason no one else was out there was because no one was supposed to be ? During deer season(firearm) it is illegal to ride those trails, actually a misdemeanor. Can't you let these hunters have the woods for their 2 weeks per year? You were very lucky not to encounter a DNR officer.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:08 AM   #5
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Question Oops

Quote:
Originally Posted by buls4evr
Did it ever occur to you that the reason no one else was out there was because no one was supposed to be ? During deer season(firearm) it is illegal to ride those trails, actually a misdemeanor. Can't you let these hunters have the woods for their 2 weeks per year? You were very lucky not to encounter a DNR officer.
Ouch - I wasn't aware of that! I checked the Michigan ORV guide and we were legal based on the time we were riding - but only by dumb luck. Thanks for the advice.

"ORV operation is prohibited in public hunting areas during the November firearm deer season, from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for these cases:..."

AND - I called the DNR and confirmed that these marked ATV/ORV trail areas are designated for public hunting.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
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well done!
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:32 AM   #7
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Try the Tomahawk trails in Wolverine next time.
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Old 12-12-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
John Smallberries OP
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'nother dirt bike comin' up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrejs2112 View Post
Try the Tomahawk trails in Wolverine next time.
We'll be heading to Peacock Motorsports in the metropolis of Peacock, MI over the holiday's to buy another CRF230. I may go for a street legal version this time. No more 500 lb. motorcycles doing the job of a 250 pounder!

With two bikes, we will hit as many trails as possible and I'll definitely try your suggestions.

Thanks!!!
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:49 AM   #9
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Just bought a 1200GS - what is the backward walk up?
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:07 AM   #10
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What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiggers View Post
Just bought a 1200GS - what is the backward walk up?
Congrats on buying the best motorcycle on earth ( my unbiased opinion).

Here is a video of the "backward walkup" method to lift a heavy bike. It is a bit easier with a 1200 as the cylinders hold the bike up off the ground a bit more than the F650 in the video. BUT - it only works if you have access to the down side - which I did not after dropping it next to a low ridge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPjYw...eature=related

Here is another technique using only the handlebars:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3R6N01nhTM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSgJ8O_atIs&NR=1

These guys makes it look quite easy.
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