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Old 09-09-2012, 06:18 PM   #181
leftystrat62
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First thing as soon as I arrived to SLC, I "upgraded" from this:

What can you share about your changing bikes from the WR to the KTM? I picked up a WR to do the TAT next year,and have really enjoyed it in the woods this year,but when I tried a buddies new 300cc dirt bike-it was like night and day. It's been 25 years since my last dirt bike ,and I like the fact that I can go a few thousand miles with out having to change the oil,and 23K without adjusting the valves,but I sure wouldn't mind a more "dirt bike" dual sport. Curious of your thoughts.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:57 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by leftystrat62 View Post
What can you share about your changing bikes from the WR to the KTM?...
The WR250R is a very capable bike. Yes, maintenance schedule is a breeze, one of its many advantages, fuel efficiency being another, almost 70 MPG. You will have zero problems doing the TAT.

A few impressions:

As I learned to ride dirt trails, rode with better riders and in more difficult terrain, I asked more and more of the WR. I believe I have taken it to its limit, you can see my son and I made it through every trail the KTM's went. I can only think of one time, a long, steep, sandy stretch, where the WRs could not make the climb, despite very experienced riders trying to get her to the top, and the KTM's could. Certainly upgrading her suspension with Go-Race and exhaust/header/power programmer with FMF and opening the air box/AIS modification made a huge difference, but when the trail gets really rough (especially long stretches of deep sand, very rocky terrain or steep rocky downhills) the KTM is truly a world apart. I never thought that having that extra power and torque and 50 lbs lighter would make such a big difference, but it does. I use the clutch a lot less and can keep the revs lower. The 500 simply refuses to stall and putters along effortlessly. I think all of that makes the KTM much less tiring than the WR. Stretches of pavement, on the other hand, are less tiring on the WR.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:35 AM   #183
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Bike & Hike SLC-High Uintas-SLC Day 3

Having left the world of motorcycles and cars yesterday, we got up full of energy and enthusiasm to conquer Kings Peak this AM, seen in the pic below way in the distance to the right of jakbrand between the first mountain on the left and the ridge on the right. Imposing.



After hiking for about 3 hours and passing to Dollar Lake without seeing it, I was running low on water, so I had to hike back down, wasting about an hour, to the nearest stream, then we continued our trek to Gunsight Pass and dropped most of our camping gear to lighten the load. Our plan was to crown the peak and return to the gear before nightfall, and, barring that, to begin our trek back to the gear regardless of where we were by 3 PM. We agreed, no heroes and no peak fever. Here's jakbrand approaching the pass.



From the pass we had to drop back down into Painter Basin for the final assent. Here it is a couple of hours later with Gunsight behind us….



and an hour later, around 2 PM with King's Peak ahead to the north…





and Painter Basin to the south. This area is as far from pavement, jeep roads and motorized vehicles as you can find in northern Utah.



When we looked at what we had to climb, we realized we were way behind schedule, and, the reality--we were exhausted already. We had been hiking since 7 am and were out of steam and walking very slowly.

After a short exchange of words and a couple of pics, we began the death march back to the camping gear and Dollar Lake with much moaning and stretching of IT bands to relieve pain on our knees. When we finally found Dollar Lake, no post signs and no clear trails to it, we spotted a suitable place for tent and tarp, filtered some water, I washed my feet in the cold water which made me feel like a million bucks, cooked dinner, waited for the sunset and went to sleep for 12 hours.

Sunset at Dollar Lake campsite. Hyperreal, poster style:

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Old 09-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #184
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Even though the title of this ride report is Louisiana to Alaska, I'm not certain I will ever quit riding through Utah. Does Utah deserve the title "Best Dual Sport Rides in America"? Possibly. I need to ride a few more tours across the Beehive State just to make sure.

Photos from Ogden to Henry's Fork at the edge of the High Uintas Wilderness.



















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Old 09-15-2012, 02:57 PM   #185
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Hiking

We arrived at Henrys Fork trailhead about 4 o'clock to begin the first segment of the hike to Kings Peak. ET assured me trail was only 16 miles round trip. But as I was securing my moto gear and preparing to hit the trail, I noticed several ragged hikers finishing their journey then collapse in the car. I thought to myself, these poor folks are cooked. How difficult is this trail?

ET asked one fellow, "How far is it to Kings Peak?"

He replied with exhaustion in his voice, "32 miles round trip."

Uh oh. That's three days of hiking. All of a sudden my legs felt weak. I'm too old and unfit to hike 32 miles. I needed a little motivation. If a pigmy can eat an elephant, then I can do this. Now I was hungry.























All I could think about during the entire hike across pristine wilderness was that this would be a great place to ride!
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:21 PM   #186
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bike & Hike SLC-High Uintas-SLC Day 4

After 12 hours of sleep and the slow walk to our motorcycles, I had a bit of energy to move our bikes to a different parking spot to play a joke on jakbrand who got to the TH a few minutes behind me…



Then we had to get back to work. Right off the bat we took what looked like an easy ATV trail…no more than a hundred feet into it, I :mutt in a silly way, crossing from one track of the ATV to the next, something I have only done about a few thousand times without incident...certainly my reflexes from hiking were much slower than needed. Our plan was to explore several ATV trails along Hwy 150 as we made our way southwest to Kamas/Heber City over the next couple of days…my personal goal was to get to what looked like to me as a pair of awesome single tracks before Heber City…jakbrand kept thinking they were ATV, I kept saying no, back and forth…but I get ahead of myself, lots of ATV and jeep trails before that...

To me, below was the highlight of the first half of the day (meaning I was too tired and concerned with the difficulty of the ATV trails jakbrand had prepared to take any pictures, he will post some below), a jeep road heading south from Elizabeth Pass along a ridge overlooking what looked like the the mountain range leading up to Tokewanna Peak…



nice lunch spot…







That jeep road lead into a beautiful high plateau with the ubiquitous sheep we had seen all along the mountains of northern Utah on our last trip and this, which I finally could photograph…



before descending back to the Wolverine ATV area, which we thankfully skipped (I was tired) because, we said, it was getting late…so we b-lined it to Kamas on hwy 150 for gas and food…



burnt but still beautiful



The gas station in Kamas featured the owner, we assume, in suit and tie emptying trash cans, who recommended the best restaurant in the area down the street: Gateway Grille. It was phenomenal, and not because we were hungry…this was a portobello mushroom bisque and a fancy caesar salad…



baseball steak with port and roquefort on the left, and a filet with fancy corn based sauce on the right…



ask jakbrand about the sweets…



With such high quality food we were certain there would be a hotel around…but no, they were all out of business, so we headed back north on Hwy 150 to the closest campground for the night...
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:49 PM   #187
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EPIC.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:50 AM   #188
jakbrand
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Back on the Motos

Traveling "enduro style" never allows for much security when away from the motos. My boots, helmet, tools, GPS and other valuables sat unsecured but unmolested in the parking lot for three days while we hiked. Someone could have stolen my GPS and it would have made no difference during this trip because it never worked anyway. I normally rely exclusively on GPS for navigation, but this trip we navigated old school using paper maps, landmarks and dead reckoning.




I planned the return route from Henrys Fork to Kamas and most of the critical turns still lingered in my memory banks. We cruised generally west along ATV and jeep roads on the northern fringe of High Uinta Wilderness. The stunning scenery was endless.
















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Old 09-16-2012, 07:02 AM   #189
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I nailed turn after turn through the forest for miles with great confidence until we crossed the Wyoming/Utah state line. Wait a second....we were not supposed to be in Wyoming!

Oops, sorry about that. After a little backtracking and quelled hubris we rejoined the intended route and eventually rolled into friendly Kamas for food and fuel.










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Old 09-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #190
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Bike & Hike SLC-High Uintas-SLC Day 5

After breaking up camp from an unremarkable site, we make the short trek back to Kamas for a hot breakfast. Then work started:



Idea today was to explore additional ATV and jeep roads south of HWY 150 around Lost Lake, which we never saw…and then the Shingle Creek area from which we would connect with Hwy 35...





Unfortunately we were unable to navigate through to connect to Hwy 35 via Shingle Creek, all we saw available was a mountain bike trail, though we know there is a legal way for motos. Instead, we connected via Soapstone.



Beautiful potential campsite, wood pile and all, if it was later in the afternoon...





but a good place to plan the rest of the day's ride…



...a long descent to Hwy 35 first...







…and then connecting, with what I know would be gold, a pair of phenomenal singletracks in pristine condition…













can you ever get tired of Utah singletrack?









The trail eventually lead us to a gravel road and then we connected with a paved road to Heber City in time for dinner and, finally, showers and a soft bed…we love camping, but it sure is nice to get to the hotel every once in a while...



The sun setting behind the Wasatch Front Range as we approach Heber City late afternoon…

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Old 09-17-2012, 10:11 AM   #191
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Singletrack!

Yellow Creek campground did not offer much scenery and was noisy. Cows near the campground bellowed, mooed and moaned all night. I suppose a little payback for eating steak for dinner.



If camping was forgettable, then riding today was memorable and registered 5 out of 5 stars. I doubted ET's promise of singletrack, but he delivered the goods on Trail 067.



































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Old 09-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #192
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The connector trails between singletrack sections weren't too bad either.


























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Old 09-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #193
woodly1069
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Hey ejtv, please excuse me if I missed it but I see that while making loads much lighter you have decided to use "open" covers for shelter instead of tents. My question is this, while traveling to the places people usually don't visit have you ever had issues with visitors in the night? I know that in a tent you are not necessarily safe but it seems like you could have a bear just wander up and snuggle up next to you So what gives? You southern guys just that manly? Thanks in advance for any insight and I since I just found this read please know that it has kept me entertained most all day long! Great pics too!
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:04 AM   #194
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Tarp vs tent

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodly1069 View Post
Hey ejtv, please excuse me if I missed it but I see that while making loads much lighter you have decided to use "open" covers for shelter instead of tents. My question is this, while traveling to the places people usually don't visit have you ever had issues with visitors in the night? I know that in a tent you are not necessarily safe but it seems like you could have a bear just wander up and snuggle up next to you So what gives? You southern guys just that manly? Thanks in advance for any insight and I since I just found this read please know that it has kept me entertained most all day long! Great pics too!
Only two of us have gone the tarp route. The others think we are crazy. Took me a while to get used to it. I got the idea from ultra-light hikers and their blogs and websites. No issues with visitors, critters, bears, etc. (other than nightmares with bears which I had one night.) Seriously, I am no expert, but with bears, regardless of tent or tarp, you need to get your food far away from your shelter. That will keep you safe. With other nasty critters like spiders, scorpions, snakes, etc., I am still amazed, but I have never had an issue. I use common sense by inspecting where I will place the tarp. Mosquitoes and bugs are another matter. But, again, common sense: camp away from bogs, streams, water, swamps especially if temperatures are on the mild side, bring DEET just in case, and if you are going to go to areas known for their mosquitoes, like the Everglades or Alaska, bring a tent or get a screen enclosure or net. Glad you enjoyed our ride report and the photography.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:49 PM   #195
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Laugh Awesome stuff...

I love Utah, spent some time at Lost Lake, Strwberry Res. etc camping, fishing and 4-wheelin. Great state, nice people. I also like the bike change.
Ride on, more please.
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