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Old 08-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #1
Pantah OP
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Wonderings from Boston...

I enjoy reading the ongoing day trips posted in this section, so I thought I'd start my own.

I recently acquired a new KTM 690R to replace my old 950 Adventure. I'm sort of a timid rider so I decided I need a motorcycle that was a lot more capable than I am. My thinking is that I'd be less likely to get myself into a jam that way.

I use my 690 basically for trips. I like putting around Boston too, but it's mainly for going to destinations and exploring some. I am still breaking the motor in as I only have about 2500 miles so far. It is getting smoother all the time. I suspect by about 4k miles I'll have what I'm going to have.

I had to do a few things for the kind of riding I do. I added a screen, electrical outlets, sheepskin pad, lowering link, tank bag, tail bag and Wolfman Saddlebag system. I had to cut the side stand some too. So far it's been great.

I started going on big bike dual sport rides to learm more about what I was capable of tackling on this new bike. I can say that because it is over 125lbs lighter than my 950, it is much easier to ride in sketchier terrain. Best of all, I can pick it up by myself!

Last weekend I joined a group for a big bike ride. It featured camping in the White Mountains, so I got to try out my luggage system. The only thing was, when I got there it seemed everybody was riding a V Strom! No biggie. If they can do the route, I should have no trouble so that was a good thing.

When she was new at the dealer



Farkled


Packed for camping complete with my Kermit chair. I even had more room left:




There were some 30 of us. We met for supper Friday night and the next morning had a rider's meeting. There would be a fast group and a touring group. Each group had a leader and a sweep rider. I didn't have the GPS route so I was compelled to follow (and keep up) because I had no clue where we were going. This turned out not smart, because I went with the fast group and never got to take pictures for fear They'd leave me!

More later.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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Dinner with part of the group Friday night






Attention in the paddock...Riders meeting in 5 minutes...Riders meeting


We had two Urals. One rider suggested each be a leader and pick teams. Meh...

This white one followed me over a dirt mountain pass. He was right up tight as I was following another. We were going a decent pace and it was fun watching the Ural in my mirrors. Sort of a cross between sprint cars and dirt track. Very cool.


This fellow made the route. It was about 250 miles or so, with some really great dirt roads that seemed to go on forever. He rode his big Strom very quickly on them, but I noticed he was very careful not to push the front end on downhill turns or turns after a rise. Smart fellow. That caught one fellow out and rewarded him with a face plant, but he got going again soon enough.


He was really good on the tar too. Good clip but safe. All I had to do was watch his brake light.

This fellow ran the show and rode sweep for the fast group. I was surprised he didn't slow the leader down. I was sure we were going to jail. I think next year we will have smaller groups and gps maps. That way everybody can go their own pace and make the route.


The route only had one glitch that obviously hadn't been scouted. It was more of an ATV or snowmobile trail that quickly deteriorated. We had about 8 Suzuki twins down in a muddy gulch, plus one Guzzi sportbike.

I followed them down into it and the path was soon bottle necked at a mud hole. They were pulling and tugging on one Strom to get it to the other side.

Then the leader asked me to ride ahead to scout the road before they moved another foot. I went 3/10 mile before being stopped at a granite slab up about 10 feet pretty sharp. Game over for those Stroms. Me too, actually. But they wouldn't have even reached the slab. They had one rocky creek crossing and a steep rock garden out the other side for maybe 100 yards. They didn't have the ground clearance to try, let alone the Guzzi.

It was fun for me, though, because the KTM rolled that stuff without much protest. I could have used lower gears, though. My MT 21's worked well in the mud and rock garden too. I will say, the back stepped out on me twice on the tar. These were slow turns, but I was slow too so when it stepped out I was surprised. Nothing dramatic mind you, but a warning to be careful on the side of the tire. Once was on the brakes at tip-in and the other was on the apex just as I picked up the gas. Me not used to that on tar...

We lunched in Conway. After that most everybody went to Mount Washington. I wanted to finish the route, though, so me and the Urals followed the route maker home. Two fabulous dirt mountain pass roads and some nice crude tar as well. Rolled into camp about 6 I think. Maybe later.

By then I was wiped and needed a shower something awful. I did and got into my Jack Black and was snoring by 9!

Sorry no pictures, but I couldn't take any when I was following except when we were in the gulch. Then I forgot...

I was up at 5:30am and quietly broke camp. I was riding out by 7. I took the road along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River. So beautiful New England is this time of year. Interesting sights on these little traveled roads and fantastic farms too.

Of course we have so many of these little covered bridges. I had to show Katy her first:



And her second was across the Connecticut River. A big one!




Such a beautiful morning with the temps still cool. The farms were so picturesque, but then it dawned on me the valley was packed with corn! I thought it was the plains or something. Must have to do with methanol or??? Nobody around here is going to eat all that corn.




Soon I came to Charlestown, home of the great Carlton Fisk:


They had a reproduction of Fort Number 4 also. It played a roll in the French and Indian War. They were not open yet so i took a distant snap and beat feet past Mount Monadnock home to Boston.


The ride was great. One of the best in recent years. Not sure about my next day trippin' ride as my next one is a big one. Flying to Phoenix August 28 to get my Yam 250 and have some great dirt tracks heading to Dinosaur Park in CO. Then we have tracks to the south of salt lake on mostly dirt to pick up the Pony Express trail. We'll try to make it all the way to Reno if it's not gated.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post

We had two Urals. One rider suggested each be a leader and pick teams. Meh...

That was my idea! Didn't get to meet you at the ride because BostonRider and I didn't camp (and we rode in the slow..er, "senic" group).

For you next ride try the first one listed here:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=789959

I've done it on my Vstrom with stock tires, so it's nothing your KTM will give you any fits about, but it's a very nice ride that, if you leave Boston around 8, puts you in Keene, NH at lunch time to have lunch at Elm City Brewery. http://www.elmcitybrewing.com/. Highly recommend the honey mustard wings (much more honey than mustard) and the home-brewed rootbeer. Then follow the route back the other way. To get to the start point take Route 2 west to the rotary in Concord, than follow 119 from there. Alternatively pick up 225 in Bedford, MA and follow that out to 119 (225 is a little better riding than that section of 119).

That track comes from HenryMartin, who's organizing a ride this Saturday in New Hampshire.. might be a good day trip for you too? If so, I'm sure you'll end up on a lot of the same roads... More details here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=810738
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Hey Zeeed - Thanks for those tracks! I'll make it my next day trip. This Saturday I am going to the AMA MX National, though.

I'm sure our paths will cross again. Great group last weekend. Even the Canucks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeede View Post
That was my idea! Didn't get to meet you at the ride because BostonRider and I didn't camp (and we rode in the slow..er, "senic" group).

For you next ride try the first one listed here:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=789959
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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Two weeks ago I went to the AMA Motocross National at Southwick, MA. The last time I saw MX live was 1981 and I was in it!

I was blown away by Southwick. The crowd was massive and outstripped the availability of toilets and food both. Not by a small amount either. Hopefully they gear up next year.

Beez met me in Wayland to have breakfast. It was a good reunion, not seeing him since the Loudon Classic Trail Ride in 2005. He still had his same GS, though. It was new back then. Meanwhile, my 950 was sold only this spring.

Beez had a route so I just followed him. I've lived here for twenty two years, yet the only town I knew was Woodstock CT. And the only reason I know Woodstock is because my box trailer and son's R6 race bike is there at the EMA-USA shops.



Deep sand track


Undulating track...


Did I mention the crowds?


They go low...


and climb up... all over


And they're always looking for a berm to bust off of...


The #1 plate woman. She was awesome and checked out:


Ryan Dungey did the deed, but not without drama. The top privateer, Mike Alessi, pressured early in Moto 1; and in Moto 2, Dungey crashed out of the lead, knocking off his fuel cap. He was so fast, he soon regained the lead by passing Alessi, but was losing fuel. He made a late pit stop to get more. Meanwhile, South African Tyla Rattray, barged past Alessi to take the lead with 5 laps to go. Dungey caught him too after his fuel stop, but couldn't make the pass and settled for 2nd.

Whew! I must admit, I had forgotten how hard motocross really is.

Time to suit up and head home some 120 miles away:
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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JUst watched that race. Really cool that you were there to see it on your only marginally different dirtbike. Sweet ride there Sir.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Thanks Jax. Last weekend:

The Indy Freakin' MILE!


I have pics from MotoGP too, but they are so fast it's hard to catch them with my little camera.

Anyways, coolest back to back weekends I've ever had!
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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This probably should be a regular ride report, but the trip was constrained by mechanicals. Still, we knocked out much of it.

I wanted to ride my Yam 250 from Phoenix to Dinosaur Monument in CO. Then do the 'swinging bridge' over the Green River to Flaming Gorge. Then across the outback to Salt Lake to meet up with the Pony Trail. I missed it up to the Pony trail.

Landed in Phoenix late the 28th for a 10 day adventue. Supershuttle got me to my WRR in Cave Creek, AZ. FYI, I keep it at my 'ex' resort. She's great about that and spends her time in Truckee this time of year... That means I get to visit my motorcycle to explore various things guilt free. It's a good trade.

Land in PHX and enjoy the great life for a few hours. Soft air...
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #11
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Hey, the 'Ex's scoot was pretty cool too:
Nice environment for that stuff...
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #12
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But then I had to deal with the fuel pump. It was sweat-in-my-eyes freakin' hot. Sheesh. I
take off the tank and remove the fuel pump. Maybe fiddle with stuff...
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:45 PM   #13
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The WR has an internet reputation of failing fuel pumps. I refitted the electrical connector and it worked. Fired right up, so I packed and geared up to go. In 105 temps, no joy. So I ordered a new pump. The dealer said three days wait...I waited.

Meanwhile, I pulled the old pump from the tank with my toolkit. I plugged it in loose and it worked. Hmmm... I left it connected for the three days checking it every few hours. It seemed OK.

On D day, dealer said another week. Shit... Nothing to do but try using the old pump. So I bought elec contact cleaner and did the job on everything electrical on the pump. Then I squirted electrical grease in the fittings. I remounted the tank, filled her with gas and took off to Page AZ for the big test: Smokey Mountain Road through the Grand Escalante Staircase wilderness north of Lake Powell. I hoped the little old track would be passable after all the recent weather...

The Dam!






The scoot:


The pilgrim from Boston; a stranger to a strange world:
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:05 PM   #14
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Just north of the dam some 20 miles is the town of Big Water. There is a faint track beginning there that heads northeast through the wilderness to the town of Escalante, UT, some 100 miles away. I made tracks of the route on my Garmin Basecamp and loaded it onto my 60Csx. I even emailed an inmate who said it was rideable on a DR 650 if the weather was good and the road clear of washouts. All I had to do was check with the Ranger Station at Big Water.

I arrived at the station on September 1 at 7am. Nobody home.

Welp...I had 210 miles fuel range, so no matter what I should be able to backtrack to Big Water if the road was blocked. Seemed simple so I decided to give her a go. The only big worry was my fuel pump...
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:11 PM   #15
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My Mac-made tracks seemed to lose the actual trail in Big Water. Probably because the maps in CityNavigator weren't accurate. But after wondering a few fields I found a road that merged into my tracks.

Maybe a mile through it, I found a largish water crossing. It was a wash running with water. I looked at it and thought it should be shallow enough as there was a pickup on the other side. It was and firm too. No problem.

The road ran along the north shore of Lake Powell. It was generally graded, with some water damage from recent storms. Eventually it turned north towards Smokey Mountain, which looked fairly rugged on top according to my maps. I found a little campsite at a junction with Smokey Hollow Rd with a sign. The sign displayed Smokey Hollow as a lower route, but still connected with Smoky Mountain maybe 20 miles ahead.

I opted for Smokey Mountain Rd but quickly ran into a bigger water crossing than I was willing to try solo. I back tracked a half mile to the sign/map. Smokey Hollow looked better travelled...

Several hours later this pilgrim learned what a hollow is around those parts. It is a freakin' sand wash!...





The sign: Note 'you are here' and the junction with Smokey Mountain above. It's a good thing I studied that sign, because an hour later I was lost in the wilderness without a tire track to assure me I was on the road.
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