ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-04-2011, 08:52 PM   #16
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Crooked Creek's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 417
Preparation: the Bike

When it comes to bike trips (and life in general) I tend not to be the type to over prepare. But during the course of my 700km ride home from Calgary on my "new" bike, I decided a couple upgrades would complete the bike as an adventure tourer. After my low fuel light came on after 160km on my first tank (admittedly of blasting down the highway at 120), I knew the fuel range would be an issue. Even just commuting and running around, it's nothing for me to do 200-300km in a day and there's no 24 hour gas in these parts. (No premium either, but the bike has survived just fine. I add a little octane boost when it's warm out or hauling a load.)

Here's the before pic:



She looks so young and innocent in this one.


I settled on the IMS 4.75 gallon tank, as it was much cheaper than the Safari and bigger too. Some guys had trouble with the fitment and install, but I had in on in 40 minutes and working like a dream. Ran it completely dry the next day and put just over 5 US gallons in.

While I was at it, I ordered some Tusk D-Flex hand guards (again, because they were cheap and worked fine on my KLR) and some new tires, as the stock Trailwings has 6300km on them and were starting to show it. This was my first attempt at swapping over a tire and went pretty well considering all I had was some Windex, a couple flat screwdrivers and a crowbar . The Mitas knobbies transformed the bike off road and did just fine on the highway.


After:



I don't think the bike will ever be that clean again.


But anyways, the new shoes, though ridiculously fun in the mud, were about half gone (especially the rear) after a couple weeks (and thousand kms.)

So the night before the trip, I was up until 4am levering on some new K270s (among other things). And yes, I said levering. You'll be happy to know (if you're familiar with my trip last year) that I invested in a $15.00 Tusk fender bag, complete with two mini tire levers and room for not one but two spare tubes. I was almost hoping to get a flat.




While I was at it, I changed the oil, cleaned the air filter and took a look at the chain and sprockets.



Yes, that's a milk crate. I guess there's a little KLR owner left in me still . But anyways, the chain was the original and with 9300km on the clock, looked A-1 to me. I had switched to a new 12 tooth front sprocket about a 1000km back, and the rear still looked like new. The previous owner lived in the city and lubed the chain after each ride. Still though, I had heard about the infamous "seal, guard" on the WR250R and had tried to order one a couple weeks before. Just in case. But there was none to be had in Canada, so I figured I would have to take my chances. Some of you may know how that turned out .


Besides the milk crate, the other essential upgrades for the trip were the custom bi-level touring seat/back rest and the farmer hot grips I purchased earlier that day. May have been the best $25 ever I've spent.

And wha-bam, the next morning here we are. Ready to go. In the rain.

__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
Crooked Creek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 09:32 PM   #17
swinada
Adventurer
 
swinada's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Sunshine Coast
Oddometer: 73
I didnt know your bike had such nice colors, i've never seen them.
I know your bike like this
swinada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #18
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Crooked Creek's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada View Post
im only the little local nerd and have no access to those kind of policy settings. :(
Use a proxy server. That's how all the kids use Facebook at school .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale B.T. View Post
... keep us smiling and informed.
Thanks for the kind words Gale (and everyone else.) This RR is going to take a while, but I'll keep chipping away when I can in the evenings.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
Crooked Creek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 10:48 PM   #19
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Crooked Creek's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 417
Prelude: Crooked Creek to Chetwynd - 321 km

I was going to elaborate on the planning of the route and the pre-trip research, but the only part that I planned was the part that I didn't end up doing. So, I think I'll just get on with the trip, and fill in the relevant bits as I go.

As you may know from Swinada's report, even though I like to ride alone, concerned parties (read: mom and wife...) had convinced me to seek a partner for the rail bed attempt. My goal was to see if I could ride the whole of the (incomplete and abandoned) Dease Lake extension from Takla Landing to Tatogga Lake. This meant cutting a lot of deadfall, slogging through a lot of mud, and floating 3 major rivers in about as remote of a location as you can get in BC.

I knew the odds of finding a like-minded individual (especially with the short noticed and limited time frame) were pretty slim. But, providentially, I had met Swinada (or Markus, as I know him) the year before and being fellow KLR owners and adventurers, we had bonded instantly. After racking my brain (and putting out feelers on ADV) I remembered that Swinada had a history with the Spatsizi rail bed and I fired him off the following hopeful email:
Quote:
Hey Markus,

Any chance you have any days off in a week or so? I'm going to attempt the whole rail bed into the Spatsizi from the south, starting at Takla Lake.
It may not be doable, but it sure looks like it would fun to try. Looking for a riding partner.


His initial reply was hesitant, but my sales pitch prevailed and within a couple days time off was booked and we were figuring out just how much fuel you can carry on our bikes and still ride them across a river .


Swinada: a man's man, adventurer at large, bike picker-upper extraordinaire and (more importantly) a superb cook and the only one who brought food on our trip.



Reading his RR now, you can see how fortunate I was that he came.
Quote:
My first reaction to the e-mail was, yes interested for sure; however it is the worst year ever to attempt something like this since we had the wettest year since ever here in Northern BC. Flooding and rain all spring and summer long (I don’t think you can call it summer what we have). And trying to do this trip in just one weekend is pretty crazy and hopeless.
But he did come. And even though we both knew the timing was bad and the weather was worse, when Thursday morning came, I loaded the bike, kissed the wife and kids and headed out. In the rain.





Did I mention that it rained?
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
Crooked Creek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 09:32 AM   #20
Oh2RideMore
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: St Louis MO
Oddometer: 1,274
Thumb suscribed

Love the cassiar and would like to see all these side trips on a reliable lightweight bike. Oh, did I mention I have one too?
__________________
2008 WR250R(Anywhere)
2009 Versys
Oh2RideMore is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:51 AM   #21
7cells
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Rochelle, VA
Oddometer: 26
mini-saddle-bags?

Hi! Ben, what are those "kind-of" mini-saddle bags (or tank panniers?) right on the front of the regular saddle bags?
Aren't those in the way (i.e. with your legs) when you are sitting or standing?
What do you have them for? they seem to be convenient for putting stuff that you want to pull out quickly (rain gear or whatever drink/snack..).
7cells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 12:40 PM   #22
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Crooked Creek's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7cells View Post
Hi! Ben, what are those "kind-of" mini-saddle bags (or tank panniers?) right on the front of the regular saddle bags?
Aren't those in the way (i.e. with your legs) when you are sitting or standing?
What do you have them for? they seem to be convenient for putting stuff that you want to pull out quickly (rain gear or whatever drink/snack..).
Good question. They are $9.99 generic atv tank panniers. I tried them on the tank, but there was no convenient way to tie them down and ge them to sit right on the IMS tank, so I tossed them on the seat at the last minute. The only time I noticed they were there was when I tried to stand on the passenger footpegs (which I've been known to do.) But for road usage, they worked just fine there. Later on the trip, I did try them up on the milk crate, and it was nice to have another foot position, but put even more weight up too high. You're right about the usage. I put my paper thin (and useless) plastic rain gear in there, as well as my water, bug spray, baby wipes, tools, fishing tackle and WD40 among other things.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
Crooked Creek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 06:40 PM   #23
aquadog
Dude Buddha
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Yukon
Oddometer: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crooked Creek View Post
As a matter of fact, I have . Snorkels are a pretty common ATV accessory in these parts. With the old trikes, we used to just float them across.
Snorkels only help when the machine hasn't been capsized, then swept downstream, by an extremely strong current...when I said only the headlight was showing, I meant sideways, with one handlebar end vertical.

Light bikes are a better idea. Was just looking at a Super-T this afternoon and it will not be enticing me off my old KLR. Or for shorter rides, the KLX400. I need a bike I can still pick up, because I'm not a wonder rider.

Keep the report going! I am planning to follow in some of your tracks next year. It's going to be drier, right?
aquadog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 07:12 PM   #24
Mercenary
Mindless Savage
 
Mercenary's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Ft St John, BC Canada
Oddometer: 967
The RR is going to take a while? They'd better not be done putting the tracks in on that old ABANDONED rail bed before you're done
__________________
2008 DR 650
We can handle it....We're Canadian
Mercenary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #25
squonker
Eat my shorts
 
squonker's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Bee Cee
Oddometer: 3,991
Awesome! Love your RRs, Ben, and I'm looking forward to reading this one.

I can't find the popcorn smilie so here's a cup of tea instead!
__________________


Ride Report: Canada North to South 2008 here
Drive Report: Ice Road Trucking 2005-2014 here

squonker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #26
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Crooked Creek's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 417
Crooked Creek to Chetwynd - 321 km

With the whole rain situation, I didn't get any pics until the weather let up just shy of the Alberta/BC border.


Saying goodbye to God's country...




and hello to BC (which is pretty decent as well .)




A side note about my top heavy motor vehicle: Remind me at the end of the RR, and I'll do a gear review, but I wanted to mention that on the road sections, I packed the bike for aerodynamics as opposed to low speed handling. The 250, while it pulls well, is not exactly a torque-master, and I find that reshaping it's svelte profile into a box doesn't help. So yes, I'd rather have larger saddlebags (that were waterproof) and carry the weight lower, but this worked just ducky at speeds over 20km/h.


Anyways, this is (basically) the route I ended up taking to meet Swinada in Chetwynd. I always throw as much gravel in as I can, because it's much more fun, less traffic, and--with the R2 anyways--you can go the same speed.


View Larger Map



By way, did I mention that it was raining the whole way? (Well, except for 1.3 minutes during which I took those two pictures.) Up until this point in my motorcycling career, I've always been young, stupid, and cheap enough not to bother with proper rain gear. That is slowly changing, and this portion of the trip was a significant contributing factor towards that end. By the time I hit Beaverlodge, I was hypothermic to the point that I had to stop for an hour, pour the water out of my boots, wring out my socks, pants and shirt and eat an A&W sirloin burger. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I was that day.



I didn't take this pic (Google did), because--I think I mentioned it--but if I didn't, it was raining.


I had planned to take this route, through beautiful Tumbler Ridge, but I didn't. Because it was raining.


View Larger Map

Actually, my route was a lot longer and more complicated than that (involving forest service roads, a 9 km long rail tunnel and some other questionable ideas) but I don't want to ruin the surprise in case it is possible after all and I do it at a later date.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
Crooked Creek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:10 PM   #27
Mercenary
Mindless Savage
 
Mercenary's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Ft St John, BC Canada
Oddometer: 967
If the 'Rail Tunnel' is the one I am thinking about....you know they're still using it don'tcha?
__________________
2008 DR 650
We can handle it....We're Canadian
Mercenary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:35 PM   #28
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Crooked Creek's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by aquadog View Post
Snorkels only help when the machine hasn't been capsized, then swept downstream, by an extremely strong current...when I said only the headlight was showing, I meant sideways, with one handlebar end vertical.
Haha...excellent. I haven't managed to do that yet. But my experience is that swift currents and slippery rocks tend to be more of an issue with water crossings than depth alone. I've had my truck skittering sideways down the river once or twice .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary View Post
The RR is going to take a while?
Well, I'm about 12 pictures in out of 427, soooooooooooo...maybe? I'm guessing you don't have 3 kids under 4 .

Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker View Post
I can't find the popcorn smilie so here's a cup of tea instead!
Thanks. Tea is just superb. I actually got back into drinking tea on this trip (in Telegraph Creek.) Back when I was 12, I went trapping out in the Chinchaga wilderness up north and the trapper I was with (who had just killed a wolverine with a .22 pistol as it jumped on him out of a tree, and later that day killed a trapped wolf with a chunk of green poplar) introduced me to tea. That's all he drank and it was 50 below, so since then I've considered tea to be the manly bush drink of choice.

p.s. Sorry to hijack my own thread, but--just to clarify--I'm not even making that wolverine story up. There is a picture of me with it somewhere. It was robbing the line, killing trapped Lynx and it finally got caught in a one of the Lynx sets. Problem was that instead of dragging the anchor (a poplar log, tied in the middle) into the nearest bush, getting tangled and waiting (as most animals will do) he headed off down the skidoo trail. We tracked him for 40 miles (and 8 hours) before we caught up to him and he beelined into the deep spruce. Anyways, to make a long story short, I got left at the skidoo for another 7 hours with 3 cardboard matches (one of which I broke and another which my frozen fingers dropped in the snow), the wolverine broke free of the trap, and the trapper got attacked by a wounded wolverine . But it turned out alright in the end. It was New Year's Eve and was -51 Celcius at the cabin when we finally got back.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
Crooked Creek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:52 PM   #29
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Crooked Creek's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary View Post
If the 'Rail Tunnel' is the one I am thinking about....you know they're still using it don'tcha?
Yep. But only once or twice a week. It's all in the timing .
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
Crooked Creek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 06:37 PM   #30
Mercenary
Mindless Savage
 
Mercenary's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Ft St John, BC Canada
Oddometer: 967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crooked Creek View Post
Yep. But only once or twice a week. It's all in the timing .
Ah...gotcha.

I've always thought that would make for a great trip 'thru' the Pine Pass. I haven't made it all the way to the west portal but the terrain back there is pretty spectacular IMO. Lots of great biking roads.....
__________________
2008 DR 650
We can handle it....We're Canadian
Mercenary is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014