In the morn (Monday) I'm going to go ride to the top of Hayden Pass on my KLR250 (330cc now) from the Coaldale side. If I get all skinned up it will be your fault HF for saying what a nice ride that is. LOL!
I'll be 73 in a couple of months so I better get busy riding some more high mountain passes before I get too darned old. :-) I still heal up pretty good so if I get all skinned up it''ll be worth it. Actually I fall very little off road but I mostly avoid the rough stuff now days.
Speaking of the steep ups and downs with loose rocks on the Rainbow, that is what gave Ratman, Old Man Bud (a very accomplished 91 year old) and me so much trouble. I could just think front brake (using just one finger) on the DR650 and the front wheel would lock going downhill. That brake is great on the highway but much too touchy on loose stuff. Without using the front brake it was steep enough the back brake was not much help at all. It too wanted to lock easily I had best luck killing the motor on the steepest descents and using the clutch as brake with the trans in 1st gear. Old Man Bud later commented 'That was the most difficult riding I ever did!'
Eagerly awaiting the rest of your report.