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Old 07-16-2014, 04:08 PM   #1
TangoBob OP
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Phoenix > Grant, CO and almost back

GPX attached.

In preparation for a ride to Argentina this fall I've been attending some ADV/Overland meets to pick some brains. This trip was my third time riding on dirt. Last time I broke my ankle at the Overland Expo. Six weeks of resting and I was itching to make it out to Grant, CO for the Horizons Unlimited camp out.

Plan was to make it out to Telluride, CO the first day. Cross Imogene Pass and meet up with the HUBB guys on Friday afternoon 7/11. There I could ride a bit and get some questions answered about my upcoming trip.



First I had to stop by Rico, CO where a friend had told me their local Mercantile had recently discovered a skeleton under the floorboards during a remodel. They were still waiting on the arrival of a forensic anthropologist and didn't have any real knowledge about the remains.


I camped out at an undeveloped lot near the airport in Telluride. Not sure if the (far away) neighbors would have been excited about my presence, but I was gone by 8am anyways.




Not much rain that night so the road up Imogene was dry. I ended up dropping the bike twice on the way up and twice on the way down anyways. A loaded bike up Imogene Pass is a good deal of work. I'd suggest 550 out of Durango if you have luggage. Lesson 1 from this trip: squishable things go on the side if you're using soft bags.




Looking back towards Telluride


The ghost town of Tomboy, CO


Looking towards Telluride. Off in the distance is the airport where I slept the night before. I lost my chain guard to a rock just as I arrived at the top.


Highest I've ever been. This was my first time above the timberline and was excited to accomplish it on a bike.


Looking towards Ouray. Slippery with snow melt on the wait down.


CO-285 looking south across the valley towards Fairplay.


I went for a short ride the HUBB group across Weston Pass. My rear tire didn't have enough tread left to get me back to Phoenix so I bailed early and stopped by Mountain Tech Motorsports where the owner Sean was able to provide a new D606 tire. He says he usually has one in stock in either the 120/90-17 or 130/90-17 size. I can't remember which it was but it fit.


Left early Sunday morning for Albuquerque where I have some friends from dancing Argentine Tango. CO-9 towards Cañon City is beautiful. And there's an easy dirt shortcut that cuts out Walsenburg between CO-69 and US-160 (see GPX).

After spending the night in ABQ I planned to take NM-53 back into AZ. Stopped by the El Malpais ranger station to see what the national monument was all about. The ranger recommended that I take county road 43 south through the park and pick up US-60 on the southern end. It started off smooth and dry but got a bit slippery as I got further south.


Eventually the mud got the best of me.



IRC GP110's don't take mud very well.


D606 did a little better/


Now I should have stopped there and headed back north to NM-53, but most of the road had been really nice. Surely the mud couldn't continue too much further.
Well, I made it about another 300 yards before the rear end dug itself in too deep for me to dislodge. 20 miles from NM-53, and about 12mi from NM-117, I started walking south.



Pack sunscreen in your Camel-back.


About 7 miles later I found a Jeep coming north. The drivers thankfully donated their full afternoon to getting me out of the mud. I abandoned the bike about 12:30 in the afternoon, found the Jeep at about 3pm, and finally got it out by 8:30pm just after dark.


Read signs.


The guys who helped. Literally two minutes after this picture was snapped we were hit by a monsoon. I followed them very closely on the road back to Grants, NM to take advantage of the brighter headlights their Jeep could provide. Just as we passed through San Rafel on NM-53 they slowed down suddenly and I saw one of the largest elk I've ever encountered crossing the road. It was quick, but I'm guessing around a 40" spread.


After a long day I checked myself into a hotel for a soak and rest. Boots were surprisingly comfortable on that 11km hike, even with a tender ankle. I took a picture when I finally got them off so I could remember how much mud I was trekking through.


If you look at the GPX or map up top you'll see I was quite tired of surprises. I took the safe and easy way home.

Next trip is about two weeks to tour Glacier NP and back at the end of August. Date of departure for Argentina is Sept 11th.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx HUBB Grant CO.gpx (292.9 KB, 17 views)
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:08 AM   #2
mefadv
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Great pic and report...
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:22 AM   #3
TheAdmiral
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Well, despite all of your misfortunes tipping over, getting stuck in the mud and such, I did really enjoy this ride report and your photo's. In this photo, was this an old railroad bed, or just a car tunnel? Looks really cool!


Thanks for sharing
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:22 AM   #4
07jkx
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nice report... definitely looks like you got your adventures worth from that trip!

Quick question... how did the dr650 do at altitude on imogene pass? Are you stock as far as CV carb and jets?

Reason I ask is I am doing the TAT next year followed by a National Park tour on the route home. I am squared away with pretty much everything else, but have not gotten any solid, bike specific info as far as if my stock CV carb and jetting will give me any trouble at higher elevations.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:03 AM   #5
AZ TOM
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TangoBob my kind guy for sure!! This is what ADV riding is folks. BRAVO
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:26 AM   #6
TangoBob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
In this photo, was this an old railroad bed, or just a car tunnel?
This tunnel was below the town of Tomboy (the route to the pass is called Tomboy Road, take Oak St north out of Telluride and head right when it ends), so it might have held a narrow gauge rail at some point but I could find no mention of it in a quick historical search.
Here's someone else's video of the Tomboy Road out of Telluride:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQG67nDI6ew

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07jkx View Post
Quick question... how did the dr650 do at altitude on imogene pass? Are you stock as far as CV carb and jets?
My carb isn't stock. I've opened up the top of the airbox and have a DynoJet size 152 main jet, I think. The previous owner had set it up differently from stock already with the airbox door off and I think a DJ-160 main jet. Fuel economy was miserable like that.

I wanted more fuel economy and wasn't concerned about power so I leaned it out a bit. A DJ-152, airbox door replaced, and the top cut out gives me about 50mpg at 70 indicated loaded up. No surging and the exhaust has the lean pop on deceleration: right where I want to be. Oh! I'm running a 16t counter sprocket too.

Even with the 16t CS I didn't feel any lack of power climbing to 13k ft. The whole bike with luggage is probably about 450lbs and I'm 150lbs in gear on top of that. I've heard smaller displacement bikes lag a little from Youtube commentary but the DR650 didn't balk at all.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
07jkx
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good to hear. I wanted to keep it a close to stock as possible. I will likely be on a 14t front sprocket by the trail and plan to add the idle adjuster screw. I had the airbox mod done on my DR350 and loved the power results, but the MPG loss did it in for me as it was my daily rider at the time.

Thanks for the info man! and again... awesome ride report! I love to get away from it all.. people and cities
cheers!
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:24 PM   #8
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Looks like quite an adventure! Nice photos.

Is that a medium or large Wolfman bag on the back of your DR?
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:44 PM   #9
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In that YouTube video, I don't know if it's the fisheye lense or what, but that is one scary looking road!
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:53 AM   #10
TangoBob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07jkx View Post
I will likely be on a 14t front sprocket by the trail and plan to add the idle adjuster screw.
I used the 14t on the highway for a while and it was fine. Only changed it when switching to a 520 chain because it was a convenient time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
Is that a medium or large Wolfman bag on the back of your DR?
I believe it's the large bag, somewhere in the neighborhood of 55L. It rarely holds more than my tent and mattress pad though. This week I'm working on a new tool tube that can hold my tent poles so the tent can go in a side bag.

I wanted my DR to be able to tour two-up so it's able to hold a lot more luggage than I actually need.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoBob View Post
GPX attached.

If you look at the GPX or map up top you'll see I was quite tired of surprises. I took the safe and easy way home.
Even the safe and easy routes have their share of surprises

Thanks for the report, and have fun on your Glacier trip.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:26 PM   #12
NDTransplant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoBob View Post

I believe it's the large bag, somewhere in the neighborhood of 55L. It rarely holds more than my tent and mattress pad though. This week I'm working on a new tool tube that can hold my tent poles so the tent can go in a side bag.

I wanted my DR to be able to tour two-up so it's able to hold a lot more luggage than I actually need.
Thank you sir. You've got some quality pieces on your DR- set up very nice.

Excellent report. 'Adventure' for sure!
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Old Yesterday, 07:56 PM   #13
refokus
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Great Report

Nice RR.....great adventure and great attitude. The mud really would have pissed me off....

Good luck on your future adventures. The DR is a great bike....
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Old Yesterday, 07:57 PM   #14
refokus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
Looks like quite an adventure! Nice photos.

Is that a medium or large Wolfman bag on the back of your DR?
Hey ND....how the hell are ya?
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