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Old 04-28-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
Motomochila OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: N 34 22.573' W 118 34.328'
Oddometer: 1,085
Laugh 1st Ride on the New GSA

New GSA showed up a few weeks ago and after a few farkles, I needed to take her out for a spin just to see how the suspension upgrade worked. that was the excuse I told my wife when she asked why I was leaving work early on a Thursday. So me and a couple of buddies head off to the Sierras to do a bit of on/off road excursions. The plan was to head up to Kernville, CA via some back roads and then head off through a mountain pass over to Death Valley. Leaving home from No LA County, it was a balmy 92 degrees. Death Valley was going to be 106 this coming weekend as well, so the Sierra route was already looking mighty fine for us. I brand new scoot and cool mountain breezes.

The ride to Kernville was stellar. Up to the Rock Inn for a quick afternoon snack and off on our trip. If anyone reading has not made the trip from Tehachapi through Caliente, Bodfish, and over to Kernville, you're missing one of the best rides in California.

The Rock Inn, Lake Elizabeth, CA.

Well, the ride did not turn out quite like we had envisioned. After a great afternoon to Kernville, a nice bottle of Booker and some Cuban cigars at the Kernville Inn. We had planned to get an early start and ride through Sequoia and Kings Canyon over to Truckee and down through 395 out through Death Valley. Right out of Kernville, the Pass north was closed and the gate locked. WTF? now where do we go?

Only shot at Kernville was an old one I took a few years back doing a dual sport ride, but here's the place to stay, Whiskey and cigars then too. Bad Habits only get better.

So here is the modified ride route and some pics along the way.

Quite a different route than planned but very fun

Road from Bodfish looking down to Lake Isabella.

The Obligatory Beauty shot.

Practicing falling off.....just in case. Notice non approves helmet wear application.

Mr. King..keeping to his namesake next to his '08 GS with GSA farkles.

Damon getting a "woody" over the town "Woody". As if his bike wasn't enough.

After making tracks over to the Pacific ocean via Hwy 56 through Santa Margarita, and a night in Morro Bay, we decided to head up Hwy 1 to keep in the cool stuff. It was 100 degrees on 56, another great road in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Up the coast we enjoyed great view, a little fog but no dirt roads for me to try out the new Race-Tech suspension upgrade and the Karoos. I seriously thought I would burn off the knobs before I had a chance to get this pig in some real dirt.

My helmet fall off a rock and almost rolled down the cliff. So, whats the rule on dropping your helmet before you have to replace it? is it 2 or 3 times? I hate scratched helmets. It's so ..dirt.

The fog rolled in and out the whole day. Perfect riding.

Just past Big Sur, we find a 15 mile dirt road I can finally try out the knobbies.

Spectacular views and now above the rapidly approaching fog.

The road gets dark as we pass through giant redwood forests.

The dirt quickly ended and we made our way up to Salinas for the night. Monterey was too crowded due to the largest bicycle race in the US this weekend. No need for pics here. Nothing great about that town except for the brewery downtown It's the bomb.

Next day we decide to find ride over to an old mining town in central California, New Idria, that the AAA maps all print. "Not Advisable for Travel". Apparently Asbestos was mined there along with Mercury as far back as the Spaniards for use in extracting gold. We had to stop at the tavern in Panoche for a beer, even thought it was only 10:00 AM. Never pass up a bar that looks like this.

...and off the the mines!

Apparently somebody does not like the "Right". Must be a liberal

Now is the time to confess that a buddy was riding his ST1300 even on the dirt portions of our trip. I gotta get farther off road. Yea, I'm embarrassed too. Adventure friends don't let friends ride ST's.

They must have eaten a lot of salad in New Idria. The town was abandoned in 1997 after some of the building burned down. It had become a hideout for thieves who traveled down the dirt roads to truck stops to rob tractor trailers of their cargo. This old store was the hiding spot. So, how much is a load of salad dressing worth on the black market?

The dirt trail ride back to the highway was too much for the ST, so we had to backtrack all the way to Panoche and over to I-5 and south for 240 miles home. 100 degrees all the way.
All in all, the GSA with Karoos was OK on the hwy and the Race-Tech suspension performed superb on the roads and what little dirt roads we traveled. Soon I will try the Arizona Strip in a few weeks to put the bib pig through its paces. I'm beginning to really like this Adventure riding stuff. I just wonder if there is anybody else that does too...
KTM-2014 500 EXC, 2014 690R, BMW- 2015 F800 GSA, 2012 K1600 GTL, Ducati-2015 Hypermotard SP, and 16 other motorcycles in various stages of restoration.

Motomochila screwed with this post 04-28-2012 at 11:08 AM
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