King of Motos Pre-Ride: Johnson Valley Pics
Think I might have sent in one of the first few entries for this years King of Motos. Really had no great idea of what I signed up for, other than there were only 6 finishers last year, and it was a pro-rider, invite-only race. Guess that should have told me enough...
Jimmy Lewis has been calling this a marathon / survival race. Didn't really know exactly what that meant until last Wednesday, when we headed down to Johnson Valley from Morgan Hill. Finished putting together my new-to-me 200xcw around 2am, threw a cooler, tent, gas can in the truck and hit the road around 4. After about 6 hours of driving, one fix-it ticket, and a BurgerKing induced blow-out, we were there.
Got our camp together around noon and went out on a ride. The population of Hammer Town was approximately 2. Later in the week a few rock crawling rigs showed up, followed by some other people on motos. Overall pretty quiet through the week.
Quickly realized the 2hundo was not running well, and wound up having to pop the cylinder back off. Did not align the power valve gears just right. Simple, dumb mistake, but wrapped it up and the bike was ready to go for the next day. I heard 2 strokes were real simple? :rofl
This place has everything. Thought it was mostly going to be first gear crawling, but these sand dunes poped outta nowhere.
Probably should have spent less time on these and more in the rocks, but you don't find this up in Chico...
Finally got out on some rocks, and as usual, it looks WAY easier in the videos. This is about when I realized what I had signed up for...
There was a ton of good info on Pirate4x4 on where the trails are, along with a few maps. The main routes we wound up riding were Jackhammer, Claw Hammer, Wrecking Ball, and Back Door. I think someone in the demolition field named all these.
All of the stuff we rode is rideable, (although I'm sure we didn't ride the toughest stuff) but it kinda seemed like there were only a few good lines up some sections. I'm predicting a few bottlenecks.
Kept seeing blown up U joints, needle bearings, tire marks and paint on rocks. This place wrecks stuff. Oh yeah, demolition... Got it.
Had my share of picking up the bike. Really think I should get a radiator fan.
I'd say one of the toughest parts we rode were the loose rocky / sandy hill climbs. Your just pushing the bike with no help from the back tire. I was going to run a trials tire, but now i'm not so sure.
On our last day, we decided to get some miles in, and get a feel for the area outside of where we camped. Wound up doing about 60 miles that day, (thats alot here) finding some epic single track, and really fun two tracks.
Tons of high speed whoops. Again, never seen desert terrain vary so much in such a small area.
If you haven't been before, I highly recommend it. The only thing I wish I had was a bigger tank, a warmer sleeping bag, and a few more days.
Wound up leaving J.V. late Friday and got back to Chico Saturday morning around 6. This gave us enough time to prep our bikes for the first race of the D36 XC series on Sunday, and get settled in for school the following week.
Was good to get my feet wet before getting tossed into KOM. Had an ok race but an awesome week of riding. Really looking forward to the race.
Here are a few other threads that tell more about KOM. If you can make it out, it really is worth the drive (or preferably ride) out there. The moto race is Sunday the 3rd. and theres truck stuff going on all through the next week.
Nice! Thanks for the report. I wasn't aware there was a lot of st in JV. I'd always thought of it as a rock crawling place only.... Good to know...
Welcome to our backyard. JV is a great place. Problem is the Marines want to take most of it. Thought I would drop this in your post and get more folk to sign the petition:
and sign here:
That's it for the hijack. I will be there the whole week....nice to be retired. :D
Nice ride report! Looks like a good place to visit when the trails are all snowed in up here.
Come out this Sunday for the National Hare and Hound, you'll get to see some singletrack :evil
Yeah, Chico would be a bit of a haul. I rode Last Dog the first year, qualified and rode the second round. Finished under the time limit with about 5 minutes to spare, but I was the only one left in my class, and I was beat so didn't ride the final round.
If you ever do decide to come down for a race, let me know, my club can guest pit you so you have someone watching your back.
Cool pics (from a GoPro chest harness?) and great story. Bleary eyed road trips make for good reading! BTW you guys make some sweet lookin aftermarket parts!
Radiator fan= Great Idea
Good luck in the race!
Just finished my race report. Awesome time!
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