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Old 02-26-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
KTM640Dakar OP
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Death Valley invasion 2013

Febuary 2013, a great time to be in Death Valley California. Especially if you live in Michigan and your covered in snow. My name is Todd and eight of my friends decided to go have an adventure in the desert. Our journey begins in the suburbs of Detroit.

Since it is snowy and too cold to ride, I mount my KTM to the hitch hauler and make my way to Andy's garage.
We are assembling our bikes in our friend Andy's garage. Andy and my other good friend Btome have raced the Baja and their racing efforts have resulted in Andy aquiring what we like to call the booby trailer. This is the rig that will deliver our five bikes in Detroit and 3 more in the Chicago area to Death Valley. We will be going to Tecopa Springs where Traveltoad will meet us to begin the adventure.

Here we load the bikes into the booby trailer.

Andy rides a KTM 660 that was ridden by Charlie Russo in Dakar. His bike sounds like pure evil when he cracks the throttle. My KTM 640 is beside his.


Here is Btome's KTM 950 and Joe's Dog's Suzuki DR.


Here is the chase truck that tows the booby trailer.



We are all very fortunate that Andy lets us use his rig to tow eight bikes across the country. We will be flying to Las Vegas to meet our bikes the following week.


Once the bikes are loaded the truck heads west to pick up Bigtraillie's Honda XR650 in Jackson Michigan, and Radak, Mark, and Peter's bikes in Chicago. Radak rides Jonah Street's old Yamaha 450 rallye bike the Jonah rode in the Dakar. Mark rides a KTM 640, and Peter rides a KTM LC4.

It takes two and a half days for Mark to pull the rig across the country. We fly to Vegas and meet Trailtoad and Mark in Tacopa Springs.


Here is some of our crew.


We are excited to get the bikes out of the trailer after arriving late the night before.









Tacopa Springs like most Death Valley towns is only around because they have water.




Bigtraillie aka Matt with his XR. Do you wonder why it is called the booby trailer?


He is the only guy with a kick start only bike. We bust his chops constantly that he needs a KTM.


We all have big gas tanks except Joe and Matt.









Silly Honda. Kick,kick,kick.....


Bruno looks excited to start the trip.


Did I mention Matt and Joe's small gas tanks? They used these little bottles to store more gas.


We leave the truck and trailer to eat breakfast at the Crowbar.





We love to eat.


There is a museum next to the Crowbar.




Lots of desert stuff.




Once finished with breakfast we go back to the truck and wait for Traveltoad who is riding his KTM 950 from LA. Here is the spring at Tacopa.


Not much but water is water.

Here is Mark's 640 next to mine.





Aaron arrives on his 950.



Bruno fixes a leaky fuel line.




I can't stop taking pictures of my bike. I love it. This is the first time that I will be riding in the desert where this bike was ment to be.

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KTM640Dakar screwed with this post 03-01-2013 at 06:58 PM
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
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We head out to ride.




The desert is huge and we follow Bruno and Aaron to the dirt road.



Mark on his 640.


I traveled with a Cannon camera around my neck. It was the best way to make sure I would take pictures. It is easy to do when riding on pavement but not on dirt.






We finally hit dirt.


Here is Peter. He is an Eastern European drinking champion.


Mark is Czechosliovakian runner up in the drinking olympics.



We are finally going to eat dust. Lots and lots of dust.



Back on pavement.



We are going to the steps once we turn off this road.




We stop to fill up first.



This town was 110 feet below sea level. It was really warm at the lower elevations. Probably 60 degrees F out at this time during our ride.


Gas is not cheap in the desert. Californians pay too much for it. $2 more a gallon than in Michigan.


I think this is Echo Canyon we are about to ride through.







We reach the steps. Not so bad since a rain strorm covered them up with rocks and gravel, but a challenge all the same.




Andy goes first. Then Mark and Bruno.



Bruno gives it a try. Not so easy on a 500 pound KTM 950.





Three bikes up and safe.



Here is Aaron making fun of Bruno's small bike.



Andy's 660 got a scratch.



Matt on his Honda.

A three hundred pound guy on a 299 pound bike.




Some Jeep guys join the show to watch the carnage.




Joe makes it up.




I think the Jeep guys thought we were crazy.



It is much easier to go adventuring with help from your friends.


Peter with the LC4.

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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It is not the destination, it's the journey.

KTM640Dakar screwed with this post 03-01-2013 at 07:16 PM
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
NSFW
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great start....

i like your style...more pics less words....

nice rally bikes. traveltoad hates shiny bikes and he takes them to echo.

subscribed!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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Very nice, a dream coming to reality! Subscribed!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:46 AM   #5
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and a welcome relief from winter's cabin fever

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:23 AM   #6
traveltoad
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I posted my pics in the Detroit thread, but I will add them here:







This one might be worthy of a caption contest...








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Old 02-27-2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSFW View Post
traveltoad hates shiny bikes and he takes them to echo.
What are you trying to say?
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:09 PM   #8
toomanykaws
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Nice ride! I am from Mi. Live here now. Stop for fuel in Tocopah on my 1100 when doing a death valley loop. Need to get out there on my KTM 990 soon.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:56 PM   #9
KTM640Dakar OP
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We continue through the canyon. *Sorry I don't remember the name of this trail but it was super.









Rocks.





We make it through the canyon and get to dunes. *It is Thursday afternoon and we have the place to our selves.






I have owned this bike for 10 odd years and have waited so long to take my 640 on real desert sand dunes. *It was like riding a snow mobile. *We have tons of sand in Michigan but it is usually bordered by trees so you have to ride carefully. *They dunes make sand riding easy. *Sit back on the bike hit third gear and keep,your speed. *So fun.






A bunch of kids in a sand box.





Aaron insisted we stop at this place for a beer and a chat with a lady friend of his.
Hmmmmmmmmmm?



We headed to Beatty and on to Panamint Springs where we would stay for two nights and do loops into the desert.

Here is the resturant after a hard days ride. *Do you like $20 cheeze burgers? *This place ran it's power via generator. *No phones, no TV, no Cell coverage. *Just hippies, photographers and dirt bikers. *And $7/gallon gas.


But the beer was cold, the food was good, and the Czech's were getting drunk and crazy! *We had a blast.





Panamint Springs.



Ready to gas up and ride to Scotty's Castle.






We head out and stop on this high plain. *It is 3000 ish feet above sea level and is cold.










We are waiting for Andy to finish a conference call that he had on his Sat phone. *Business never stops.





Joshua Trees


Our gang.




The desert is huge.



We are trying to get to Saline Warm Springs. *Here is an old Cat track that someone uses to grade the road.


While riding through this section Mark hits this rock with his front tire. *He crashes and dent the crap out of his front rim. *Here is the evil rock. *Like an iceberg sticking out of the sea. *It was not moving for anyone.






Mark had a Pelican box on the back of his KTM. *It flew off the bike and we could not find it. *If your in the area try to find it. *It has a treasure trove of KTM tools, tubes and bike stuff in it and was black.



Somewhere in those reeds is a box of KTM goodies. *Where did it go?


Can we fix it?





The rim is gaping and we are afraid that rocks will get into the tube and flatten it. *So we wrap it with the bad tube and zip tye it in an effort to fix it.*



more ziptyes?



Almost fixed.



Will it last the 130 miles back to Pamamint Springs?






On our way to the warm springs we see this werid art sign thing.


Dust in the distance.

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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It is not the destination, it's the journey.

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Old 02-27-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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Here is Bruno with his 950. Bruno is one helluva rider.


Joe on the DR. Probably the smartest of all of us for bringing a nice light bike.


Who dat in the distance?


Matt. My old friend and one of the best you can get. We use him to dispose of extra beer.


Desert art is facinating.


Who would go to so much trouble to assemble this?


You could see this oasis from miles away. It was a little dot of green life.


As we rode closer to the warm springs you could see naked people walking around and swimmimg in the springs. Too bad most people willing to do this are not very pretty. It was like looking in the mirror.


What's wrong with guns?


We park at the springs. I dont take pictures of the naked hippies. You are glad I didn't.



What are the chances that the guy in the blue shirt speaks Czech? He talks to Peter, Mark, and Radak in some Slavic language. They probably are discussing beer.




As we dismount to explore the spring and eat cold pizza we brought we are straffed by a low flying F16 that had been flying all over that day. It came over so fast and low that Bruno pooped his pants.


Here is what a natural hot spring looks like. This one was up the valley a bit further and was surrounded by fencing to keep the buros from eating all the lush greenery.



inside of the fencing Matt checks the spring out.





From this spring we head up the most gnarly two track of rocks and bolders we have had to ride though. Think of it like a riverbed with out the water. It takes some of us out and I had several near miss falls. There is bearly a line to follow and as we park you can see better the trail.


While we rest Andy has another conference call on his Satilight phone.



Aaron is looking at the jets that keep flying above us. We wait for another sneak attack.




Matt dumped it and catches up with us. It was a hard trail.





Our tax dollars at work. Money well spent.

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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It is not the destination, it's the journey.

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Old 02-27-2013, 03:31 PM   #11
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Awesome!! Keep em coming
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:43 AM   #12
KTM640Dakar OP
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Almost a year since our epic Death Valley Ride. Wish we were there right now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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