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Old 07-11-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
macadamia OP
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Eh? First Ride of my new G650X Challenge

After months and months of waiting, rearranging my finances, and changing my mind back and forth, I finally took the plunge and purchased hotmamaandme's 2007 BMW G650X Challenge he had for sale. Saturday, July 2, 2011, was my 45th birthday, and that is the day I made this purchase.

Hotmamaandme and the bike at the bank


After checking out the bike, taking it for a test ride, we loaded up the truck and headed to his bank to complete the transaction. This went smoothly and we parted ways.

me and the bike at the bank


I then drove to the local cycle gear and purchased a couple of items, including a set of Dunlop 606DS tires, tubes for the bike, and some tire changing tools.
Then, after briefly visiting the local BMW motorcycle dealership in Santa Rosa, I drove up to Penny Pines campground in the Mendocino National Forest. Here I met up with 3DChief and K L Rocket. On the way up the mountain, I saw a young couple hitchhiking and decided to give them a ride. Their car had lost its transmission fluid and they had hiked down the mountain to get more fluid in town.

Some dude & Kim


I stopped off at the campsite and let 3DChief and K L Rocket that I was giving the couple a ride back to their car and I'd be back in a while. I looked over their car and was unable to see anything obvious other than it was leaking transmission fluid badly. We parted ways and they headed off up the hill to their campsite, while I headed back to the Penny Pines campground.

When I got back, I noticed ballons had been strung between 2 trees, completely crossing the camp site. This was my happy birthday decorations and I most humbly thank K L Rocket and 3DChief for being there and for what they had done. I then unloaded the bike and 3DChief and I proceded to change the tires on the bike. This did not take very long; he is very good at tire changing. After changing the tires, I asked him to see if he could straighten the shift lever, which was bent enough that I had to pigeon toe my left foot to shift. It was this way when I bought it. (the shifter had been pre-fatigued by drilling holes, to prevent damaging the shifter shaft to the transmission in the event of a crash on the left side. It was obvious this had happened at least once (and I knew about this when I purchased it)) When 3DChief started to bend the lever back straight, it cracked on one of the drill holes. So, instead of having a late afternoon ride, we were McGuyver'n the shifter to be able to ride the next day. 3DChief found an old steel spoke wrench in his kit that did the trick. We hose clamped and safety wired the spoke wrench to the cracked shift lever and this worked like a charm. By now, it was too dark to head out on a ride, so we broke out the beer and admired our handy work.

(I have to say here that my still camera battery was fully charged when I left home, but was dead by the time I arrived at the campground. My video camera batteries were just fine, so there will be video of the ride coming soon - I'm having issues with my internet access at home, so I'm working on another way to submit the videos to be seen here.)

So, Sunday morning, 3DChief and I set out from the camp site. K L Rocket decided to stay there and guard the gear. We rode over to the fire road where I had returned the hitchhikers to their car to see if they were still there. Their car was where they had left it, but they were no where to be found. We traveled down the fire road a couple of miles more and I was noticing the rear brake was not working at all. I stopped and we looked over the rear brake fluid level (it was fine), the pad alignment (they were fine), so we bled the brakes. After 2 times, a big bubble of air came out of the bleeder line and the rear brake worked again. We turned around and headed back to see if we could find the hitchhiker's camp site, deciding to take a trail that was near their car.

Video of gnarly trail (video camera was suction cup mounted to the headlight of 3DChief's bike. The shaky camera caused the rest of the videos to be more or less unwatchable)



The trail was my first ever trail and it was very challenging. Up hills, down hills, single track, rain ruts, loose gravel, loose dirt, some mud, a few tree roots, etc. This was, by the way, only the 4th official ride I had ever done off road. Had we known how technical the trail was before starting it, we would have skipped it. However, to our credit, we finished the trail with no get-offs and no carnage. I did figure out about a third of the way down the trail that I had not turned off the ABS on the bike again after stopping to bleed the rear brake, so I had to stop and turn it off. The rear wheel was hopping down the trail as I used the back brake instead of locking up like I was expecting it to.

After exiting the trail, we took the tarmac down to another fire road that led to the creek crossing that I managed to swamp both of 3DChief's bikes on the last time I was in Mendo. The fire road down to the creek was nice and dry, in some places very dusty. We kept to a slower pace due to the idiots in cars that kept showing up racing up the road. We did not want to end up as a hood ornament on someone's car.

When we got to the creek, there were a bunch of people swimming in a dammed off area of the creek. Apparently, they spent the previous afternoon piling rocks up, effectively raising the creek level upstream of the rocks, creating a swimming hole. This also caused the water where we needed to cross the creek to be more shallow. 3DChief and I got off of the bikes and looked over the creek to see where I should make the attempt to cross. (this creek I had yet to make it across, swamping both of 3DChief's bikes on my previous 2 attempts) So, here is the video of the crossings. Once over, then back.

Video of the water crossings



Carnage insues. On the ride over, I made it but was too far to the left of the very rocky road, right at the berm to the left of the lane. As I emerged from the creek, my front wheel went up the berm and the back wheel went straight. When I stopped, I was facing back across the creek, with the bike taking its first nap with me as the rider, also facing back toward 3DChief. I was so happy that I made it across the creek that I did not even care that I had my first souvenir. The left mirror had broken off. I lifted the bike up, collected my souvenir, cought my breath, (admired the young female swimmer...), and restarted the bike. I looked over the route I was going to take back and started out. Again, much to my astonishment, I made it!

After taking a few minute break, 3DChief and I set out up the hill. I do not even remember where we were going to go at this point. After you see the video, you will know why. Approximately 3 minutes (edit: actually, more like a minute and a half... maybe less...) after leaving the creek, I dumped the bike hard, knocking the wind out of me, hurting my ribs (could be broken, I never went to the doctor...) and my left knee.

Crash video (again, a shaky camera mount...)



As for the bike, the McGuyver'd shifter completely broke off, the handlebars were badly tweeked, and the bike had new scratches. After flopping and twitching on the ground, groaning in pain, and trying to get my wind back, 3DChief mercifully turned off the video camera. We spent the next hour or so re-McGuyver'n the bike to be able to ride it back to the camp site. My weekend of riding was over. 3DChief worked on returning the handlebars to their correct position and I worked on making the shifter work again. Neither of us had the correct tool to loosen the handlebar risers from the triple clamp (an 8mm allen wrench, but it needed to be one on a ratchet handle or one of the "L" shaped ones, both of us had the folding, multi-tool style of allen wrenches.) 3DChief was able to get a combination of tools that he had to work, loosening the handlebars, straightening them, then retightening the handlebars.

The McGuyver'd shifter


After about an hour of working on the bike, we geared up and headed back to the camp site. The spoke wrench shifter was mostly working, sometimes I had to shift with my heal because my road boots were too soft in the toe to get any lift on the make-shift shifter. Anyway, we were successful in returning to the camp site, without further incident.

So, all in all, I was only able to ride the bike about 23 miles total, with the last 10 miles limping from the crash site back to the camp site. I was able to find a large mud hole on the way back that I rode through a couple of times to get the bike dirty for the trip home.

I will post the videos as soon as I can... as for now, thanks for reading my ride report and checking out the photos.
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macadamia screwed with this post 07-20-2011 at 03:10 PM Reason: Added images & videos finally
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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Couple of notes

The trail we took near where the hitchhikers camped (and Macadamia's first ever singletrack!) turned out to be a black diamond trail! Kudos to Andy for keeping it upright, not sure how he managed that!

I will blame the spill after crossing the creek on the dreaded BIKINI BLINDNESS! Pretty much a non-noteworthy spill, except it was his first on the bike and and he managed to scrub some of the newness off.

The "BIG ONE" crash was way more dramatic. One minute we were cruising up the mountain and the next thing I know he is headed for the ditch and he gets launched onto the road. I didn't know if he was hurt since it didn't look like too bad of a spill. He was making noise, but I couldn't tell if he was laughing or moaning because of the helmet. Once I figured out that I didn't have to race back to camp to summon a helicopter, we got him moved to a shady spot and the got the bike out of the ditch.

Thank doG it is lighter than K L Rocket's KLR! I was able to get it out of the ditch with minimal fuss and find a cool shady spot to work on it. If Andy hadn't been hurting so much, it would have been kind of a fun repair session. Didn't have anything we needed (or so we thought) and the repairs looked daunting. With a lot of improvising of tools and spare parts, we managed and it worked amazingly well. By the time we got back to camp, Andy was ready to go out again, but there was no way we were going to let him since we weren't sure of his injuries. We kept an eye on him for a few hours in camp while we helped him pack his gear up. Once we were sure he was okay, we bid him farewell and sent him off on his long drive.

Again, for the small amount of experience he has on dirt, Macadamia did some pretty impressive riding. We just need to make him understand you are supposed to take naps on the technical stuff, not in the creek or ditch!

Tim
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:32 PM   #3
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After the carnage

After Macadamia took off for home, K L Rocket and I took off to check out Hull Mountain Road. We got turned around on this road by snow during the May Mendo Rally. About halfway up the trail, I noticed that K L Rocket's headlight wasn't working and it was only about an hour until sunset. We turned around and headed back towards camp. Saw some elk on the flats near Lake Pillsbury. Of course we had to stop at Soda Spring store for some impromptu dinner fixings (pasta/sauce/ice/beer). We got about halfway up Packsaddle Trail when darkness caught up with us. I slowed down a little and K L Rocket tucked up tight and used my headlight for navigation. It was a fairly slow trip the last 10 miles to camp, but we made it back without incident. Well, other than K L Rocket putting the KLR in its napping position in the campsite! Now I remember why I don't ride a KLR650, took both of us a lot of grunting and lifting and cursing to get it back upright! Put in about 60 miles of dirt on that ride. After all that, pasta and a campfire hit the spot and we enjoyed the other half of the adventure: camping!

Monday, we took off toward Covelo just to check out the scenery. It was really hot the farther North we went, so we stopped by a stream to relax and cool off. Rode back to Soda Spring store again, this time for chocolate ice cream! Put in a little over 100 miles of dirt. We rode back to Penny Pines, loaded up the bikes, and headed for home. Finally dropped K L Rocket off at home at 11:30 pm.

All in all, a great weekend with great friends! If any of you get the opportunity to ride with Macadamia, he puts the ADVENTURE in adventure riding! Looking forward to doing it again soon! And next time hopefully Write2ride will be riding with us and showing us how it's done!

Tim
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 3DChief View Post
(snip)If any of you get the opportunity to ride with Macadamia, he puts the ADVENTURE in adventure riding! Looking forward to doing it again soon! And next time hopefully Write2ride will be riding with us and showing us how it's done!

Tim
I'm looking forward to it too. Come down my way and we'll check out Cleveland Nat'l Forest and some of the other areas around here. Btw, I need to practice up before next year's noob rally.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:48 PM   #5
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I also turned K L Rocket loose on my KLR250 for about half of the miles. Apparently there is some merit to a small light bike being easier to ride. K L Rocket seriously picked up the pace and worked on the more technical aspects of riding that are not easy to do on a 400+ lb bike! It's a lot easier to build confidence on a bike that weighs 100+ lbs less. Next up will be my DR650 and we'll see how that one works out.

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Old 07-11-2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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Cool2

So sorry I couldn't make it. The need to ride is getting strong. Don't know how much longer I'll be able to wait. I might start doing wheelies through housing just to get back into it. Can't wait to get some real riding in.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for a fun weekend.

This time the adventure started before tires touched dirt. My ignition switch literally 'flew off at the handle' permanently while unloading the bikes from the truck. No worries, The Chief loaned me a pair of needle nose pliers to substitute and it was all good. We did a quick ride down to Bear Creek, which was already noticably lower than when I crossed it during the Sheetiron in late May. Some other folks had driven there to play in the water and were happily wading, splashing and jumping in from the high banks.

We returned and prepped camp with necessities (balloons , ribbon, etc.) while waiting for Mac-n-Cheez to arrive with his birthday bike. Spa-style tire changes ensued with complimentary bubble bath, powder and massage - for the tires only . We made do with some birthday cheese, crackers and salami.

Shooting stars flew across the clear night sky and a faint swath of the Milky Way was visable through an opening in the trees. The outhouse resident field mouse made stops there seem more like visits. Campground stuntaz stunted and fell hard, no gear.

McDamnNut and r23D hit the dirt in the morning. I stayed back in camp to wander among the pinecones, swing in the hammock and stay out of trouble for a change. Fellas returned: McNut was a bit busted up; he rested, then headed back to SoCal for work the next day. MacRib!

Chief and I headed up Hull Mtn Rd; we reached the whoops when he noticed I had no headlight. I was already using pliers to start the bike, but wasn't prepared to go 'full milk crate' and zip tie a flashlight to it. Time was always an unknown on this trip , but it was clear there wouldn't be enough daylight to summit Hull Mtn and return, so we turned back and headed toward camp. Packsaddle Rd in the dark without a headlight isn't bad when you're sharing someone else's.

Slow speed cow-tip of a dirt nap back at camp. Thank you, Sidi RSRs! Thank you, Timbo, for getting me out from under and for inventing the Dirt Devil Disco method of righting fallen dualsport bikes. , is that what the 3D in your screen name is all about?

Chieftain, as chief cook and bottle washer, made us a fabulous pasta dinner. We had a couple of glasses of wine and then decided to play with matches and have a campfire. Tim had already adjusted my rear brake pedal and clutch lever and we discussed ideas for many other changes as well. :wrenchmonkey

The last ride of the trip was the next day. We went as far as Lady Bug Creek, and enjoyed the valley vistas and cool shade beside the creek. Then one more stop for refreshments at the Soda Creek Store and we returned to camp, loaded up the truck and headed home to views of fireworks along the way. We picked up write2ride and had a late dinner together. Thanks for coming out despite the hour and not feeling well, w2r!

I'm ready for next time. Headlight, et al are too. Thank you write2ride, 3DChief and Macadamia!
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
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Note to anyone who breaks off their kill switch: use a pair of needle nose pliers to short between two of the contacts inside the housing, you'll have to figure out which two! Just the red plastic part broke off, the housing was intact but the bike wouldn't start unless the two contacts were shorted. Kind of tricky to hold in the clutch, line up the pliers on the contacts, and push the magic button all at the same time!

This turned out to be the mechanic special ride! I forgot about making the adjustments on K L Rocket's ride. We traded bikes and the first time I tried the brakes, my toe went down as far as my riding boots would let me and still no brakes. After seriously overcooking a corner and almost getting an up close look at the forest, I figured out that the only way I could get the brake to work was to push down with my heel on the pedal and I had to push it about 4 inches! Back to camp for repairs, 5 minutes of adjusting and it worked fine and with normal range of motion. Also noticed the clutch was a little wonky, so adjusted that as well.

And then Macadamia showed up.......

Tire change, adjust shifter, OOPS, repair shifter by bending a spoke wrench to match the bend of the shifter and tie the two together with hose clamps and safety wire.

I also forgot about the morons tearing around the campground. Wheelies through the campground on their 2Ts while mom shot video. Nothing like a solid adult role model to show the way! Then a kid who has never ridden a bike wants to play. I know, lets give him a YZ 250, that's a great beginner bike! Kept stalling it, so they explain the proper technique of 8K rpms, then dump the clutch! Somehow he got it going without dumping it and rode through the campground. When he tried to turn around, he target fixated on a big log in one of the campsites, locked the front brake, and luckily dumped it before ramming the log! No injuries, but not because of the t-shirt, shorts, tennis shoes, and unbuckled helmet! He was done, but they made him get back on and try again!
Same technique, only this time the rear tire grabbed and proceeded to launch the motorcycle across the campground riderless! Finally decided to put the bikes away for a while. The entire time, we are hoping to see a park ranger, but of course, none showed! Ten minutes later, one shows up and stops to talk to us because she couldn't see the camping slip obviously displayed on the post!

Now if we could just get Macadamia to post the videos, I will feel complete! Come on Andy!

Tim
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
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(snip)Now if we could just get Macadamia to post the videos, I will feel complete! Come on Andy!

Tim
Videos posted, see the edited first post in this thread, or click here
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:03 PM   #10
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Misinterpretation

Andy, you do realize that does not mean !
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:25 PM   #11
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Andy, you do realize that does not mean !
well, it has been awhile...
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:01 AM   #12
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Thats one heck of a way to break onto the dual sport scene! Enjoy it
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:41 PM   #13
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Thats one heck of a way to break onto the dual sport scene! Enjoy it
well, I was never one to do anything the easy way...
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #14
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painfull

very painfull to watch.maybe should check out the bikes shock/forks for your weight.somethings wrong with this picture.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:48 PM   #15
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very painfull to watch.maybe should check out the bikes shock/forks for your weight.somethings wrong with this picture.
I appreciate your concern... thank you!

I think when I dumped it after the first water crossing as seen in the video, I tweeked the handlebars a bit, causing the bike to pull to the right. I did not notice how bad it was until I was riding up the hill right before I crashed. As you can see in the video, I kept going right and even put my left leg out to try to change my balance in order to turn the bike. It simply did not want to turn as much as I needed it to in the time I needed to prevent the crash.

The rear shock being the air shock is good for my weight... the fronts are adjusted correctly for what spring is in them, but I need to get them tuned to my weight very soon. I'm sure I'll be purchasing some beefier springs for the forks at the very least.

The bike's forks have been aligned and the handlebars were completely removed and put back on to ensure they were straight and aligned properly. I'm confident that type of incident where I felt like I could not turn the bike will not occur in the current setup of the bike. I've been commuting to work and back for the past few weeks and have not had any issues with pulling to the right at all.
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