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Old 07-13-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
Airvent OP
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Airvent's 13 Days and 5600 Miles on a DR350

Yo! So here's my brief story of the past two weeks.

I had originally planned to make it to OR, but decided to head home after Utah. Here's my planning thread.

Day 1
Consisted of 675mi of pavement. From Oxford, CT to Columbus, OH. Stayed at QUICKDRAW's place for the night. He welcomed me with some delicious bratwurst, potato salad and a couple beers. I awoke to the sound of thunder. Made good use of my rain suit.

Day 2
~550mi of pavement. From Columbus to Jefferson City, MO. Stayed with ]I)Money for the night. His girl whipped up some tasty burrito things for supper. The next morning he made some venison biscuits and gravy. I was getting fed like royalty. He showed me around the back country of Missouri the next day.





Day 3
After departing ways from ]I)Money. I hopped back on I70 into Kansas. I decided to follow suggestion by everyone and take route 50 through Kansas instead of I70. I'm glad I did. Far more scenic and less semis passing me at 80MPH. Plus I found some great camping just off the road. Was a bit tough sleeping through the constant explosions in the background.


Had to lay it down here. There was nothing but soft sand! Kickstand just went right though. Good opportunity to lube the chain.




Dinner - Beans, not sneakers


Day 4
Woke up on the US of A's birthday packing up camp and heading back on 50. I met a few interesting folks, including a biker from CO headed to MO. I stayed with Dirtphoenix in Saldia, CO. I enjoyed a some beers, burgers, and good conversations. We saw some blues band playing just before the spectacular fireworks display.







Enjoyed the first of many trails to come in CO






Creepy cave. Wonder why it was boarded up?



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Old 07-13-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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Day 5

I headed north from Saldia to route 24. I rode almost every dirt road in the northern section of San Isabel and Chubb forest. Lots of fun high speed sections. I had to regularly tell myself to slow down. Too far away and too early to crash now. Made my way Into Pike forest and headed east towards my next place to stay. Pablo83 welcomed me home in woodland park. We had plans to ride all of the next day.





This nearly caused an accident.



Day 6

For me, this day was the highlight of the trip. We topped 12,600ft and covered nearly 250mi. First part of the day consisted of sandy windy high speed quad and single track. The next part of the day started with a moderate road jaunt to the next section of trail in Pike. Lots of rocky single track - felt just like home! Except today we were above treeline!





Paul with his monster DR440




Some large planes banking at what looked like barely 100ft



More interesting parts of the trail


12600ft!
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:12 PM   #3
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Day 7

I was headed west again. Started back down route 24 and took Weston pass. Enjoyed a few jeep trails. At the top of a trail I decided it was a good idea to attempt to climb to the peak. About an hour later I reluctantly gave up. It was too far to climb in motocross boots. Every peak I climbed to only revealed yet another above it.







View from the top. My bike is no longer visible at this point. Well, its the white dot at the end of the jeep trail.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
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That looks like a good way of seeing your country. That DR can be taken places that most people wouldn't want to try on a big bike.

One question though, why are you lugging a spare tyre, is it an unusual size or something that's not readily available?
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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Already had the tire in stock and money was tight. I changed it just before day 6.

The night of day 7 was spent at Sludge's place in Eagle-Vail, CO. We had some dinner and beers and he helped me plan out the route for the next day. Its amazing how easy trails look when their on a map.

Day 8

Today was a day from hell. Woke up fine, headed off around 7am and immediately heard an ugly noise coming from my rear wheel. That was soon followed by horribly unsteady handling when I confirmed my worst fears, my wheel bearing was toast. I was on I70 about 30 miles out of Glenwood springs. GPS says there's a motorcycle shop. I had no choice but to press on and hope that shop had bearings. As I rolled off I70 there was nothing left of my bearing. It was metal to metal. I pushed the bike the remainder of the way (3mi) to Hi-Point Motorsports.

Enter Bruce. First guy I talked to and instantly wanted to help. After talking with the service manager and realizing they didn't have the bearing in stock. I started to walk. There was an Autozone, 3 other little repair shops and a NAPA. None of them had the bearing in. NAPA said the store 20 miles down the road had one in. Great - time to head back to the bike and put the sneakers on.

When I got back to Hi-Point Bruce asked what the plan was and when he heard I was going to walk it, he tossed me the keys to his car. What a delight. After walking for hours in motocross boots, I couldn't be happier. Plus I never drove a Prius before! On my way to NAPA I found a KTM Dealer. By the gods, they had one in stock.

Now, time for the installation. Bruce helped tremendously. Did I buy anything from Hi-Point? Nope. He lent me a handful of tools and a motorcycle stand. So now it was time to get to work. The outer bearing race had frozen inside the hub. Great. After about 3 hours of swearing, banging and pulling with a flat blade screwdriver and a claw hammer the sucker came out. Pressed in the new bearing, buttoned it all up and went inside to talk with Bruce for a bit. I find out he's an inmate here and we exchange contacts and I expressed my thanks for the tools. Tried to toss him some money for the small screwdriver I snapped, He declined. What a guy. I don't know what I would of done without him and his shop. I had none of the tools required for the job.



You can actually see the seal pressed out from the lack of bearing.


Prius! Sure enough, it was pouring rain. I couldn't be happier.




I monkeyed up the hub pretty bad but the bearings are in!


With the better part of the morning and afternoon down, I decided to stick with my plan and continue onto the trails I had planned the night before. Got through McClure pass and the start of the trail. Worked my way into Grand Mesa Natl for about 30 miles. Finally got to the trail head. Immediately a water crossing. Great. I figured it was the only one. Nope, Had to cross the same river 2 more times. I thought that was bad - Then the mud came. I punished myself for about 7 miles through this. I stopped, hiked up for a mile and found no relief in sight. I swallowed my ego and turned back. Through the mud and water crossings again, I ended up on the main road at around 7pm. I was exhausted. Drove into a small town and bought a motel room for 50$ I needed it.

Cakewalk


Worse than Ice





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Old 07-14-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Airvent View Post


Best named ADV road in Missouri!

Was great to meet you and ride with you (still sorry I didn't come along!)
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:51 AM   #7
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Day 9

Woke up in my motel room slightly refreshed and morale higher than the night before. Treated my bike to a car wash then headed into Utah. Gassed up in Moab and dove into Canyonlands! Unfortunately the White Rim Trail was closed about 70 miles in just after potato bottom. Decided to make it there and head back. Had a great time on this trail. Once again, high speed sections, lots of fun. Made it to the flooded part of the trail, turned around and camped at the nearest designated camping spot.



Ran into Ride4321 and we talked for a bit. I kept up with his triumph for a couple miles.











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Old 07-14-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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Day 10

Another one of those days. Woke up and immediately started on the heading back to Moab on the White rim. Disaster struck. My rear rack snapped in half. Every bump I took my cargo would swing up and slam me in the back. I rigged it with some bungees and pressed on. I slowed down considerably which was a good thing. Along with my rack my rear shock began to bottom on EVERYTHING. I was no longer launching off of every possible item on the trail. Trail turned from fun to a chore. About 30 miles from the start of the trail I run into Ranger Matt. He was a good guy, but had to do his job. I wasn't so good . He got me a warning for camping without a permit and speeding. I'm just glad he didn't see me riding yesterday



So after all this. I gassed up and made my way back to I70 where I stopped at the entrance ramps. East or west. I was at a major crossroad. I got off the phone with Paul and he had no problem with fixing up my rack and having me over for another night. Great, back to woodland park, CO. I needed to fix my rack, but that's a lot of backtracking. 8 Hours later, I made it back to Paul's where we drank beer, ate pizza and worked on getting his bike back together.

Day 11

I woke up, Tore the rack off my bike and Paul went to work. He fabbed up some nice gussets and now its stronger than ever. I mentioned how my bike was bottoming a lot and he said my nitrogen needed recharging. Alrighty! When I put my bike back together I gave my rear wheel a wiggle. Sure enough, that bearing I replaced didn't last. I had to replace it again. I'm glad I bought an extra at that KTM dealer. Paul gave me a new seal in hopes that it would give this bearing a longer life. I think there's a problem with my hub though.

Paul bent over backwards for me. I stayed with him a total of 3 days, he guided me around Colorado and fixed up my bike. I don't think there's a nicer man out there. He invited me to go riding with his family for the next couple days. I seriously thought this over. I was exhausted and I missed my family. I decided to pack up and head home.







Day 11-13

Right from Paul's house I headed straight home at around 3pm. Took I80 this time. In one non-stop stretch I made it to a friends house in Youngstown, OH. It was something like 1500 miles stopping only for gas, bathroom, redbull and one meal at around midnight. I made it to her house at around 10pm the next day.



Day 13 was a relatively easy trip through PA and NY back home. Only took about 8 hours. I made it home in oxford at around 6pm.


That would be the end of my Journey. I did what I wanted to do. I met some amazing people. Rode some awesome roads. Conquered some gnarly trails in far away places. I want to express my thanks to everyone that helped me along the way. All of the beds, dinners, breakfasts and beers helped push me every mile. Without the tent space folks, this trip would have been nowhere near as enjoyable. I plan on doing this again next summer, however with a couple others coming along. Thanks for reading everyone!
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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Nice Report

Sorry you did not make it to WA, but it looks like you had an adventure all the same. Sweet pics and glad you made it safe.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:55 AM   #10
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Good stuff dude!! Welcome back.. Now fix that pig up and let's go ridin!!!!
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #11
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DR350 in the MUD

Man, I could feel your pain in that muddy section. I have a '95 DR350SE and I have to say it is a "hand full" in the mud.......even with full knobbies! She's just fine in the dry stuff, but becomes a major pain in mud. I talked with an old hare scrambles/enduro racer who told me he bought a new DR350 to race. He said he had to sell it because when he was in the mud, he spent more time picking it up than riding it.

I've rode big bore MX bikes for years on single track in all kinds of conditions. I have found the DR350 requires more technical riding skills than I have when in the mud.

I enjoyed reading your ride report.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:46 PM   #12
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BAD ASS! 1500miles in one day! On a DR350....must have been screaming on the freeways 7K? or higher? I feel like a total pussy. A few friends and I just did the Michigan UP 1250 miles in 4.5 days. Nice write up, well done, good read.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #13
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BAD ASS! 1500miles in one day! On a DR350....must have been screaming on the freeways 7K? or higher? I feel like a total pussy. A few friends and I just did the Michigan UP 1250 miles in 4.5 days. Nice write up, well done, good read.
Thanks man

I was doing 70 indicated which is just about 6250RPM

Here are some more pictures in chronological order.





































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Old 07-17-2011, 11:33 PM   #14
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Man, that was the most lost I think I've ever been. I wonder how far out of our way we went there? I doubt it was 100 miles, but it sure felt like it. I bet you could ride Hwy 24 in your sleep with the number of times you ran it.

It was great riding with you, Alex. Come back again.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:35 PM   #15
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I think I rode that stretch of 24 like seven times.
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