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Old 05-31-2012, 07:08 PM   #31
MSrider
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Thumb right on Supah!!

Nice report. Very cool routes and pics. Cool trip bro!!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:04 AM   #32
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Great pics of Az that a lot of people don't normally see. If I had known you were in Flagstaff I might of been able to meet you and buy you a beer. Keep the pics coming.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:42 AM   #33
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Gee, what a great report. You are good with that camera. Thanks. Now I gotta' check out your buddies report to get some of the route details. I'd like some of the route you had as well during your solo route to Flag.

I'm from Boston, but I have been on many of the roads you featured and seen vista's you captured images of. I was even on a KTM twin! The difference is that I was traveling from Monterey to Boston so my route, while winding through Indian Country, was steadily east.

I recognize the struggles you had with the softer dirt roads in some sections, like the park roads around Mexican Hat. I experienced the same, plus some mud issues on the north side of the Canyon. Like you, I was packed way too heavy. I always had to unload everything in the event of a tipover, or I couldn't pick it up!

You are a pretty big fellow, but if you are going to solo through the remote places you showed, I think you need a much smaller motorcycle, and pack it a lot lighter. Also, in prep for these trips, you should practice service intervals in the comfort of your garage, including changing your tires by hand. That way, you always have the tools you need to correct the mechanical problems you face trailside.

I sense you are new to the 990. I rode my 950 for some 60k miles before I sold it a few weeks ago. I only used it for trips, so that's how I piled up the miles. KTM OEM rear brakes always squeek after riding those conditions. You can clean them by a few hard stops from speed. No squeak until they dirty up again. Meanwhile your front rotors will begin to pulsate as well. They are not warped. Just do few hard stops and the pulsating will stop. I eventually replaced my brake pads with aftermarket products when needed. You clean foam air filters with gasoline, and then re-oil them with whatever oil you have. The tapping you hear is most often intermittent when your hydraulic cam chain tensioner loses oil. It pumps back up again and the clacking goes away. My old 950 was terrible with that. I heard the 990's were much better.

You are clearly an adventurous rider! Most would have cut the trip short and headed home. I am impressed with your tenacity and you got a trip completed you will never forget.

My last trip out there was September. I shipped my bike to Salt Lake and rode the Continental Divide Route to Chama where I broke west to revisit Indian Country. I rode a Yamaha WR250R dual sport. I can pick it up anywere and I don't have to unload most times. I even pack my Kermit chair.

Once again, I love your tenacity. I'd ride with you anywhere for that reason alone. Thanks for the RR.

I left my Yam in AZ so I can visit to explore the great west. I replaced my 950 with a new 690R, which is about 140lbs lighter. Have yet to see how it travels, but if as good as the Yam, I'll be bulletproof for solo trips.

The Yam on the CDR:


Your Anazazi Ruins:


There is a 13 mile sand wash that drops 1500 feet from Carefree AZ to the Verde River. It took me three attempts, but after mounting a proper front tire I actually was able to make it with little drama. Even the wrestling of the bars subsided after I started figuring out the best combination of body positioning and throttle. I wouldn't want to do it on a 500lb motorcycle but after some practice, soft roads don't bother me anymore. Camp Creek Wash:
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:17 AM   #34
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Norpinist, BW, Joe, MSRider, defib, Pantah; thank you for reading and the nice comments! I am so glad y'all are enjoying the RR!

Pantah, you make some good points, but I've already been round and round with the whole "which bike to take" issue. I would rather learn how to pack and ride the thing in lieu of getting a smaller bike, because, as you said, I'm a pretty big boy! I love this motorcycle and plan on riding it for a long time. My preference is to not carry all that gear anyway; I don't care for camping all that much and, or I would rather base somewhere, although that wouldn't have been possible on this trip.

Now that I've said all that, please tell me how the 640 works out for you, in case I want to get one!

And defib, the next time I am out that way, I got the second beer!

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Old 06-01-2012, 06:03 AM   #35
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Awesome report!!!! I've traveled all through the West from north to south but in a motorhome and hiked at various locations. Your pictures show just how amazing the desert southwest can be. I plan a 2 wheel trip there soon and hope to have the adventure you enjoyed. Thanks!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:44 AM   #36
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Awesome report!!!! I've traveled all through the West from north to south but in a motorhome and hiked at various locations. Your pictures show just how amazing the desert southwest can be. I plan a 2 wheel trip there soon and hope to have the adventure you enjoyed. Thanks!!
Thank you for reading and commenting! I hope you have an awesome trip! Please take a zillion pictures and do a RR!
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:47 PM   #37
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great

Supahflid, Awesome report and fantastic pictures. Was great to ride with you and David at the March camp out at Jacks Resort. You guys ride very well and ramp up the campfire stories a few notches to boot. Hope you had a good time, snuck in a buttercup and avoided drunk hippie chicks. ride safe, <>< Craig
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #38
MSrider
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Originally Posted by njoytheride View Post
Supahflid, Awesome report and fantastic pictures. Was great to ride with you and David at the March camp out at Jacks Resort. You guys ride very well and ramp up the campfire stories a few notches to boot. Hope you had a good time, snuck in a buttercup and avoided drunk hippie chicks. ride safe, <>< Craig
Hey, anytime you get some 'Sippi boys around a campfire, you're in for some good stories
Yeah, flydaddy, I like your RR. Hope to get to do that one some day. Doing some pretty big home repairs and remodeling now, keeping me pretty tied up for any long rides.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:47 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by njoytheride View Post
Supahflid, Awesome report and fantastic pictures. Was great to ride with you and David at the March camp out at Jacks Resort. You guys ride very well and ramp up the campfire stories a few notches to boot. Hope you had a good time, snuck in a buttercup and avoided drunk hippie chicks. ride safe, <>< Craig
That was a great weekend! I can't wait to hang and ride with you fellas again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSrider
Hey, anytime you get some 'Sippi boys around a campfire, you're in for some good stories
Yeah, flydaddy, I like your RR. Hope to get to do that one some day. Doing some pretty big home repairs and remodeling now, keeping me pretty tied up for any long rides. Yesterday 10:47 PM
I know, there's always something to do isn't there? I hope your projects are going successfully! My house needs to be painted.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:09 AM   #40
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Awesome Pics! Thanks for sharing and the Supa prose. One day....
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:27 AM   #41
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Awesome Pics! Thanks for sharing and the Supa prose. One day....
Hey mang! Saw a couple snaps of you from Rick's Rendezvous! Thanks for reading and commenting! Ima try to get the next day posted, today. Hope to see you soon!
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:38 AM   #42
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Like your style! What kinda camera did you use?
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:55 AM   #43
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Great report, Love the pictures. You've managed the art of taking pics from the saddle.

I've gone to a 4.00/19 tire and wheel to help me in the sand.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #44
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Like your style! What kinda camera did you use?
It's this one: Pentax WG-2 GPS

It's a pretty good camera; in fact, of course, other than framing the pictures, the camera does all the work! I have tried to use the GPS feature, but quickly figured out that it is mostly useless since it drains the battery quickly. I also like it because I don't worry too much about beating it up. It gets taken on and off my neck and hung on the bike and battered around when I fall, etc. and is still working just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman

Great report, Love the pictures. You've managed the art of taking pics from the saddle.

I've gone to a 4.00/19 tire and wheel to help me in the sand.
Thank you for the nice comments! Got a pic of your front wheel setup? I'd like to see it!

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Old 06-03-2012, 11:00 AM   #45
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Day 8: Skywalk

Day 8: More Grand Canyon, Highway 66, Skywalk

The next morning, as I am loading up, I notice this:



I have got to pay better attention to my straps hanging everywhere! At least it cauterized it nicely:

There are several points just inside the park that one can ride to, so I stopped by a few:












I was interested in riding at least some of Route 66 and since I was planning on heading west, I jumped on to it!:

This is a short stretch of 66 near Williams:

I stopped by the museum, but it wasn’t open:

I had to ride some slab to get to the next part of old Route 66 and jumped of at the “Crookton Road” exit:

Train!:






These signs are interesting and effective; how could you not look?:







This is Seligman:

I didn’t stop because I thought there would be plenty of opportunity for me to do so at similar places. Alas, as it turns out, this was the only town on the part of the route I took that was entirely Route 66-ish.
More Burma-Shave signs:







This scenery is so pretty to me; I love distant mountains that get closer and closer:




Train!





Terrain and a train!:






Got to Kingman and had to make a choice: go on up toward the west end or hang around in Kingman. It was a little early in the day to anchor down for the night and after talking to a local about things to do in Kingman, I decided I would push on. Nothing against Kingman or its’ citizenry, I am sure it is a nice town!

I had seen a NatGeo or Discovery piece about the Skywalk on this end of the Grand Canyon and decided that it was something worth seeing. So, next stop: Skywalk on the Hualapai Reservation!
I believe I headed up Highway 93 and turned on to Buck and Doe Road. Some of this is gravel and a little thick in places, but mostly fun, twisty gravel. On the way shots:









You must park your ride and shuttle to each point. The first, Eagle Point, is where the Skywalk is:




See the Eagle?:



Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take any loose items out on to the Skywalk, including cameras or phones (nevermind my camera was tied around my neck; they didn’t buy that argument). There really wasn’t very much information on site about how the Skywalk was built, but as I recall from the documentary, the steel structure rides on a sub assembly for seismic purposes. The walking surface is made of glass and the handrail all around the perimeter of the Skywalk is also glass. I found myself wishing that it hung deeper in to the canyon, but was suitably impressed with the structure. It wasn’t scary at all to me since I’ve been climbing all over the sides of buildings for a majority of my life, but some may find it a little disconcerting. There was an ongoing construction project around the visitor center at the Skywalk and I suspect it will have a lot more information about the structure when completed.


As we were travelling to the next point on the shuttle bus, a coyote ran in front of the bus. I couldn’t get my camera up and on fast enough to get good pictures, but I believe I see him in this one, sort of just right of center in this picture:



This picture does not adequately describe how big the crows were out there! The crows at home are probably half this size:



Next was Guano Point, named for the guano caves down in the canyon:














I had thought I would try and get to Boulder City that evening, but as late as it was, I really didn’t want to ride the highway at night. Since there really weren’t any towns on the way, it turns out, I really didn’t have much choice. Besides, getting to Boulder City would allow me to be right on top the sight I wanted to see the next day!


On the way out toward Highway 93:













Right after I made it back to the asphalt and just as I was coming out of a curve, I encountered a Yukon type truck heading the opposite way. Before I knew it, he lit up like a Christmas tree and then quickly turned off his lights. I gave the Sheriff's deputy a nice, friendly wave and that seemed to appease as he continued on his way without further incident. Whew! Up to this point, one of the few LEO's I had encountered during the trip.



Up next-Day 9: I wonder if this is where Hoffa is buried?
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