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Old 06-02-2014, 10:51 PM   #1
porkandcorn OP
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AZBDR+... Tiger 800xc & Super Teneré

Arizona Back Country Discovery Route - DAY 1

Sections 1-2, Coronado National Monument to Benson
Saturday, May 31, 2014 (Morning)

triumph tiger 800xc + yamaha super tenere 1200 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

The section from the National Monument to Sonoita, including the run along the Mexican border was utterly skippable. It was hot as hell, and the dirt/gravel roads through the rolling hills were pretty boring. There was a long section of pavement just South of Sonoita that left us wondering if we were on a Pavement Discovery Route. The only redeeming view in this section came at the very start, just past the monument.

vista, just west of coronado national monument by porkandcorn, on Flickr

vista 2, just west of coronado national monument by porkandcorn, on Flickr

The next bit of road North of Sonoita gave us an option between 3.3 miles of deep sand, which in another ride report said took 3 hours, or to get on some more pavement to go around it. I’m happy we didn’t fight with sand, as the temperature was now up to 106 degrees. Just after we left the pavement to connect back with the BDR trail, we ran into some bouldering that was extremely challenging - “baby heads” as they are known in the sport ranging in diameter from 6” to 12”, and tightly space with sharp inclined, declines, and tight curves banked on both sides with thorny bushes that threaten riders and tires alike. Sadly, we didn’t get any shots, but it was like a stream bed with no water. I nearly went down twice. Travis, a more technically skilled rider got through with a challenge. This section was brief, about 2 miles.

red cloud mine road 5, just south of hwy 10 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

I have 20 years of pavement riding experience, and a sum total of only about 5,000 miles of off-road terrain. I’ve been hesitant to get up on my pegs, until today. After the bouldering, I realized that there is a reason technical riders stand on their pegs. I need to modify the bike with wider foot pegs (my arches are killing me) and a higher bar set up that provides more height than my 1.5” Rox Risers give me (my back is killing me). PDXalamo has 3” tall flex handlebars and 2” Rox risers.

red cloud mine road 2, just south of hwy 10 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

red cloud mine road 3, just south of hwy 10 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

red cloud mine road 4, just south of hwy 10 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

—————

Sections 3-5, Benson to Globe
Saturday, May 31, 2014 (Afternoon)

The road from Benson to Mammoth was basically a dirt hwy. Sections of light sand and gravel, but easy if you keep your speed up and throttle through the occasional arroyos where the road dips. You can do 50-60 mph in most areas and blast through pretty fast. It follows the river, and isn’t at much elevation so it’s hot. But you are moving fast and evaporating your sweat off.

overheating 2, south of winkleman, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

overheating, south of winkleman, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

section break, near el capitan mountian, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

We took a one-hour break in Winkleman to clean a pint of antifreeze out of the bottom of my right pannier box. The Tiger 800XC is burning of coolant for some unknown reason, and I was storing some in there as a precaution. The bolt inside the Touratec Zega Pro boxes wore through my dry bag sometime in the last couple days - my camping gear was nearly soaked in coolant. Luckily, most of it was unscathed.

The section of unpaved road 112 South of Globe, AZ is a different story. Just South of the Tonto National Forest Boundary, the road is very challenging, almost swallowing up the big Super Tenere. We had to carefully drag the front tire out and then I had to support him while he throttled out of the shit show.

bike in washout, west of el capitan, road 112 south of globe, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

man and washout, west of el capitan, road 112 south of globe, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

After another 5 miles of challenging terrain, we came upon the high pine trees and some really striking views. We found the Southern-most campsite located near this section. It was a welcome site for two worn out ADV riders, having just finished nearly both Sections 1 and 2 in one day starting at 7am. We started setting up camp at 7pm.

view south 2, near el capitan mountian, za by porkandcorn, on Flickr

campsite, pioneer pass, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

We still have to ride out North to Globe in the morning. We used the last of our water to make our camp meals. We drank about 1.5 gallons of water each today.

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Old 06-02-2014, 10:53 PM   #2
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Arizona Back Country Discovery Route - DAY 2

Arizona Back Country Discovery Route - DAY 2

Section 3, Globe to Mogollin Rim
Sunday, June 1, 2014

The ride down from the Campsite at Pioneer Pass was easy on the maintained forest road. We were starving and thirsty, and Jack in the Box saved the day. I took a nearly complete sink bath in the restroom, and abused their iced tea refill policy to fill my 3 liter bag up for the day. I’m now officially drinking iced tea all the time.

A paved Highway 188 North of Globe, AZ led to an unpaved dirt road 288. It was about 20 miles of relatively smooth dirt, fun to roll the throttle back and drift a bit through the curves.

easy road 203, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

SuperT section 3 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

shade, south of young, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

This gave way to about 3 hours of physically demanding, rocky double track forest service road that climbed steadily from about 3500 feet to about 7500 feet at the end of the day. Already worn thin from packing two sections into one day the previous day, we were feeling it by the end of the day. I had only slept about 3 hours, suffering from regular and excruciating legs cramps all night long. Both of us are suffering from neck, shoulder, and back fatigue and pain. Even though we are both in our late 30’s and in great shape, I guess we are still old farts.

mountian road, south of young, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

The steep mountain road was full of boulders, sand, and periodic stream crossings in the shade of Arizona high pines. We spent most of the 3 hours up on our pegs. We both went down during the course of the day with nothing more than bruised shins and egos. We took the option to bypass a 17 mile section of even worse bouldering, because we are not into self-torture. I’m feeling a lot more confident up on the pegs, opting more and more for speed as a method to charge through difficult sections where I previously would have sat and slowed down. It’s the only way to go. There is no substitute for the balance you have when you center of gravity is lowered. And one must always look where he or she wants to go, not at what he or she is afraid of crashing into.

We stopped in Young, AZ to fill the bikes and our bellies. I spotted a hard-to-see pit BBQ restaurant called Kook Out BBQ and we were treated to a 1/2 rack of pork ribs each. Mark, the owner, was happy to finally find out why all these motorcyclists are blazing through their little wide spot in the road. We told him to put up a big sign that says “Welcome AZBDR Riders.” Stop there. It’s good.

kook out bbq, young, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

mark, kook out bbg, young, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

After young, we were rewarded for our days laboring by a 45 minute section of perfectly smooth and wide forest road, leading us up to our campsite for the day at Mogollin Rim. The rim is at 7500 feet and impressively overlooks the mountains to the South that we’ve already traversed.

mogollin rim, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

moto hero, mogollin rim, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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Old 06-02-2014, 10:54 PM   #3
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Arizona Back Country Discovery Route - DAY 3

Arizona Back Country Discovery Route - DAY 3

Section 4, Mogollin Rim to Flagstaff
Monday, June 2, 2014

After 2 nights of camping in a row, sleep was moderate and body pain is starting to become a real thing. Little did we know that today would offer some of the most exhausting riding of our lives. The terrain was higher, more rugged and less hot. We rode along the rim for a bit longer after leaving camp. Beautiful stuff.

woods canyon campground, mogollin rim, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

campground laundry, mogollin rim, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

mogollin rim, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

mogollin rim, az 3 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

mogollin rim, az 4 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

The stretch of Arizona NF-82 between Lost Eden and NF-125 was one of the most bombed out ‘roads’ either of us has ever seen anywhere. They list sections of the BDR that are supposedly dangerous to person and/or machine. How this didn’t make the list we have no idea. It was a seemingly endless slog of giant pointy rocks closely space, and heavily rutted mud roads that had dried into dips, channels, and miles of bone and metal busting hell. We ran into a game warden toward the end and he seemed baffled about how two motorcycles could ever have made it through that section. This photo doesn't capture the essence of the gnarlier sections.

bombed out road, az nf-82 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

It was exhausting mentally. You are constantly thinking - “If I go down, my bones are going to break on these rocks and they are going to have to airlift my ass out of here.” The AZBDR map lists a section just North of here that is supposedly a dangerous alternate that you can take and states “damage possible.” The only way you could have a road worse than the one we were on, would be to set large, sharpened metal spears at even intervals along the way.

We somehow took a wrong turn and came out at Twin Arrows, AZ. We took a short ride into Winona, AZ to get fuel, but there was no hot food there. So we posted up in a parking lot beside the gas station and fired up the camp stove to make some lunch.

mappin, winona, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

mappin 2, winona, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

Somewhat rested, we thought we’d paid our dues for the day. North of Winona, AZ, it looked more like Mars than Earth - beautiful, desolate expanses of volcanic fields dotted with cinder cones and lava fields.

north of winona, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

Reading the BDR map description, we were expecting a leisurely ride on hard packed cinder sand roads. What we actually got was 2.5 hours of forearm and wrist tweaking, back killing, leg cramping, oh shit! deep black cinder sand that was more like riding on water than earth. The bikes would sink into the sand when you stopped. We both went down, and we both made about a thousand exhausting saves.

deep cinder sand, NF-244, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

deep cinder sand 2, NF-244, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

deep cinder sand 3, NF-244, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

tenere in deep cinder sand, NF-244, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">

Finally, we hit the paved NF-545 section that took us into Sunset Crater National Monument and then into Flagstaff for a real bed, showers, and laundering of 2 days of funky, sweaty, nasty clothes.

triumph tiger 800xc + yamaha super tenere 1200 2 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

sunset crater national monument, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

flagstaff sunset, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

We’re not sure if the AZBDR map is outdated, or if it’s a bad joke that is being played on unsuspecting motorcyclists. The map descriptions are nothing like what we've encountered. But we are both much better riders from getting through these sections, and there was a tremendous sense of accomplishment that came with the bitching and moaning.

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Old 06-03-2014, 03:42 AM   #4
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Well, I guess I am not the only one who thought the AZBDR is a little too much for a big bike. I found it a challenge on a 300 lb single, but then I was solo. Had I viewed the CD before setting out I would have seen that a group ride is really the only way to go because you get some help picking up your motorcycle every now and then. I think they warned about that on the CD. On the other hand, the two previous RR's on the route said it was pretty easy for them and they rode big bikes . So I guess it is all about how much seat time the rider has traversing rocks and sand.

While the first section was pretty much groomed dirt and gravel roads, I enjoyed it very much. I didn't realize Arizona had such nice grasslands. Looking forward to the rest of your report. I have yet to do the route from Globe to UT. Hopefully October.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
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It's a challenge

I think it's a challenge anyway you cut it, I'm on the Super Tenere and it's tricky no matter what you ride. I've done the COBDR, WABDR, 1/2 of Utah and this is by far the hardest one I've seen. Granted I was on a WR250r on the other routes but I don't recall the " that's not a f'in road" thought on the other ones. With that said if it was a wide open gravel highway I would be bored. I'm enjoying the sense of accomplishment every day riding this stuff. I didn't think the first part near Coranado was as bad as Pork and Corn did. We did end up in Benson by 11 so the ride goes quick. Today we leave Flagstafhttp and head to the Grand Canyon, should be fun. We are both hoping for no more black beach sand today.

I was singing Mr. sandman over the com set adding to his aggravation but that's what friends are for right ?
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:48 AM   #6
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Hey PDXA,
you got a new bike!


Wow, porkandcorn - are you doing this live? I could never do a report on the road. That's a lot of work, nice job!



Quote:
Originally Posted by PDX Alamo View Post
I've done the COBDR, WABDR, 1/2 of Utah and this is by far the hardest one I've seen.
That's great to hear! You make it sound good, we might have to check it out.
Which half of the UTBDR did you do? The bottom half is pretty sandy, but maybe you didn't notice on a 250...
(sand feels a little different on a big bike, huh?)
Hope you're enjoying some learning juice along the way.

Thanks, guys -
Looking forward to reading more!


.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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Eek Hello??????

Well Pork and Corn's bike fried his shifting mechanism ( not the clutch or plates) and was stuck in 6th on the trail. We were trying to get back to the road and he got launched off the bike. He's okish with a very bad limp and a giant knot on his leg. He's down , the bikes down, and triumph says he is having to wait 5-7 days on a part. Looks like it's U-Haul time for him. We are back in flagstaff and I'm
Now solo after I play nurse and help him get stuff in order , Anyone else riding the route I can jump in with PM me please.

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Old 06-03-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post


Hey PDXA,
you got a new bike!




.
Great Ride Report. Sorry to hear about the Trumpet going down. I hope you can finish the ride.

BTW, How tall are you??? I'm 6'5" (255 lbs), and am considering either one of these bikes in this RR.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:41 PM   #9
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Oh geez, just when you were getting to my favorite part of the world. Tell Pork that I love his pictures and he did a really great job of photographing the road conditions. A lot of riders on big bikes will come to appreciate those images. Great pics of the views and camps too. Be safe. I think there is one more tougher section coming up.

Thanks again for the report.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PDX Alamo View Post
Well Pork and Corn's bike fried his shifting mechanism ( not the clutch or plates) and was stuck in 6th on the trail. We were trying to get back to the road and he got launched off the bike. He's okish with a very bad limp and a giant knot on his leg. He's down , the bikes down, and triumph says he is having to wait 5-7 days on a part. Looks like it's U-Haul time for him. We are back in flagstaff and I'm
Now solo after I play nurse and help him get stuff in order , Anyone else riding the route I can jump in with PM me please.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWJustin View Post
Great Ride Report. Sorry to hear about the Trumpet going down. I hope you can finish the ride.

BTW, How tall are you??? I'm 6'5" (255 lbs), and am considering either one of these bikes in this RR.
I'm 6'2 and my buddy on the Tiger is 6'5. I'm very very happy with my Tenere and my buddy loves his Tiger as well so guess you can't go wrong.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:22 PM   #11
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Sounds like your solo - per my email it actually gets easier from now on - Good luck!

It is funny how no one mentions the super rutted and rocky route from Long Lake to Winnona - very tiring.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PDX Alamo View Post
I've done the COBDR, WABDR, 1/2 of Utah and this is by far the hardest one I've seen.

COOL!!...sounds fun, ....i'm going next year.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:15 PM   #13
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Man Down on the AZBDR...

well, that wasn't what i was expecting for the day...

we rode hwy 89 out of flagstaff and then east on NF-417 to continue on the route in section 5, area 10. we were happy to see that there was no more deep black volcanic sand. however, within about a couple of miles down the rutted dirt road, i knew something was up with the tiger 800xc.

limped to a gas station in 5th, flagstaff, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

final vista for porkandcorn, nw of flagstaff, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the previous couple of days, i was having trouble down-shifting. i was assuming that it was just a clutch cable slack issue or something, so i'd been fiddling with the adjuster to try to find a sweet spot. kind of hard to do aggressive trail riding if you can't change gears. all of the sudden, i was in 5th gear, just past some heavy ruts, and stomping down on the shifter did nothing - no click, no shift, no-thing. i fiddled with the clutch cable adjuster some more, but no dice. she was stuck in 5th.

"great," i'm thinking, "last year i have to bail on pdxalamo and his wr250r because the tiger was too porky to handle the clay/mud from the freak monsoon that hit southern utah. now, my bike won't shift gears and i'm going to have to bail again." we had no cell service to call my service tech in portland to troubleshoot, and i knew at that point we'd at least be back in flagstaff for a night. so back down the 2 miles of dirt trail for me (and him - these are not roads to take alone under any circumstances.)

riding shitty, rutted trails, you need to be in a lower gear so you can throttle out of trouble spots when the bike is getting 'swimmy' or you hit some soft stuff. you also need to keep your speed. i had one gear - 5th. i was riding the center berm and got knocked down into a particularly soft section of about 12" deep rut by a big rock and the bike started to wobble big-time. i knew without more speed to power through, i was going down. too bad i was in 5th at 30 mph - i had no torque and no hope. i instinctively hit the throttle and feathered the clutch hoping to get enough speed to carry me past the deep rut. no good. i think the bike actually stalled at that point (it all happened very fast), locked the rear wheel, went right across the road toward the other rut and the bike flipped me off my standing position down hard to the dirt in front of the bike.

man down, nw of flagstaff, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

man bummed, nw of flagstaff, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

luckily, it wasn't a rocky section, or i'd be typing this from the hospital with compound fractures, instead of a hotel with an ice pack on a massive lump. i hit my left hip very hard, leaving a massive welt. i can't bend my leg at the hip due to the swelling, my shoulder and arm are starting to hurt, and i've got some nice road rash from my pants sliding down in the wipeout. i hit my head hard, and took a divot out of the helmet, but it did it's job.

i'm not sure there was anything i could have done differently not to go down. one of the first things that seems counterintuitive to non-motorcyclists is that increased speed or quick acceleration can actually save your ass sometimes. well, without torque, you've got no acceleration. without acceleration, your ass get tossed to the dirt and you wind up covered in dust on a random dirt road in the middle of arizona.

pdxalamo lucked out this time - he remembered another rider that he used to know from portland who now lives near phoenix. gave him a call, and this guy dropped what he was doing and just showed up right now to be my replacement for the rest of the route into southern utah, colorado on his KTM 950R Super Enduro. i feel a lot better know that i'm not screwing up anyone else's ride and vacation. i'm really bummed out that i can't continue - i was really looking forward to lockhart basin in southern utah, and the sections north of telluride in colorado. instead, i'll be hoping on a plane to portland tomorrow morning. (sad face)

substitue rider, flagstaff, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

my clutch is engaging and disengaging fine. according to my tech in portland, my gear shifting mechanism must be shot. i called the closest triumph dealer in phoenix, and they said there's a 99% chance those parts are non-stock items - about 5-7 days out. so i made the decision to hire AA Motorcycle Transport to pick my bike up in flagstaff and ship it back to the my triumph dealer in portland. i luckily had a friend who's father lives about 1/2 mile from the hotel where my clutch finally gave out, to store the bike for a couple of days until it's picked up. we towed the tiger there with the yamaha - that was a first for both of us.

bad day for triumph, flagstaff, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i beat this bike up really good on my South America expedition in 2013. i had a problem with the stepper motor for 2 months of that trip that caused me to over-use the clutch, stomp the shifter. i think this stuff is the end result of that original problem - it's too early for the gearbox to be taking a dump on a 2012 bike. i still love my tiger, and i would buy the same bike again in a heartbeat if i had to do it all over again. she'll live to ride another day.

ridin' bitch, man down, flagstaff, az by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn screwed with this post 06-03-2014 at 08:16 PM
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:28 PM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your bike issues. There is a little pin on a small plate within the shifting mechanism, you probably broke that off. It happened to me but I could still shift by resetting the gear level manually after each shift. Luckily my dealer swapped about my entire gear change mechanism from a new bike in order to keep me on the road as a new part was weeks out. Enjoyed the pics.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:14 AM   #15
PDX Alamo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post

Hey PDXA,
you got a new bike! job!


That's great to hear! You make it sound good, we might have to check it out.
Which half of the UTBDR did you do? The bottom half is pretty sandy, but maybe you didn't notice on a 250...
(sand feels a little different on a big bike, huh?)
Hope you're enjoying some learning juice along the way.

Thanks, guys -
Looking forward to reading more!


.

I only did the northern half of Utah due to rain but looks like I'll finally get to do Lockhart basin in the next few days. Now don't get to excited our version of "hard" riding is nowhere near what the legend of the wan is. You guys need to do it 2up on a Honda grom for a real challenge. Yes the new bike is mighty fine indeed but picking up the 600 lbs is not easy. Plenty of learning juice in giant cans is all I know.
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