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Old 10-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #31
manfromthestix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alleycatdad View Post
Hoo boy! This:

"
Oh, and if a particular route isn't working out, it isn't likely to START working out later on.

"

reminds me of more than one dumb thing I've done....

S
Yup, this struck me as The Lesson. I have lots of personal experience with the truth in that statement. Glad you made it out OK! I ride 99% solo and have scared myself a few times pretty badly, but always had at least survival gear with me.

I've ridden for almost 50 years now and the best advice I could ever give is use the right tool for the job. I LOVE my GS, but it's not a dirt bike. In its proper element, it's the best bike I've ever owned. Out of it's element, it's a big pig. I've owned 90's, 100's, 125's, 250's, 650's etc. and they all had their place and function. My next bike is going to be either a WR250R (or maybe the WR450), then we'll get into the real dirt!

Doug
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:10 PM   #32
TonyT1200
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Dude, I did that after being in Alamogordo. I decided I'd check out the trails up there and ended up taking a trail to tough for me, at least alone. The only stuff I had was a camel back, a cell phone, and a plan that I left with a buddy in case I was not back after 4 hours. Anyway, I got stuck and luckily a group of other motorcycles came through and helped me out. I followed them out and we did fine after that. Even offered me a beer and I was very accepting (usually I would not touch alcohol while riding but I really wanted one after that). Anyway if you ever come this way again, let me know and we shall ride!

Tony
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:13 AM   #33
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Quote:
However, I spend 98% of my time on highway. No offense to DRs, DRZs, KLRs, XTs, and WRs, but you're slow and that's okay.
In that case, with 98% road usage, why don't you get a road bike? More comfortable, better gearing, more aerodynamic etc. Then, get a small 125cc or 250cc for tough trails like the one that you nearly lost your life on. You could load it in your truck or buy a small trailer for it. You can buy these for very low prices 2nd hand and they're a hoot to ride in tough terrain.

I always marvel at how inadequate GS/A's are for dirt. Unless the dirt is flat ('ish), well graded, dry, smooth etc, these bikes keep falling over on easy obstacles. I did several rides in central Australia and often feel sorry for GS/A riders who've pulled muscles, sprained ankles etc just from picking up their bikes!

Of course if you can ride like the late Gaston Rahier then the GS/A's are great. Just a thought.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:44 AM   #34
Snarky OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagabond_Explorer View Post
In that case, with 98% road usage, why don't you get a road bike? More comfortable, better gearing, more aerodynamic etc. Then, get a small 125cc or 250cc for tough trails like the one that you nearly lost your life on. You could load it in your truck or buy a small trailer for it. You can buy these for very low prices 2nd hand and they're a hoot to ride in tough terrain.

I always marvel at how inadequate GS/A's are for dirt. Unless the dirt is flat ('ish), well graded, dry, smooth etc, these bikes keep falling over on easy obstacles. I did several rides in central Australia and often feel sorry for GS/A riders who've pulled muscles, sprained ankles etc just from picking up their bikes!

Of course if you can ride like the late Gaston Rahier then the GS/A's are great. Just a thought.
I don't have time to respond to every new point yet, but I wanted to respond to this one this morning.

I guess I should state that, despite the GSA being a fat, bloated pig, that stranded me in the woods, I do love it. It's a weird, awkward kind of love. I love it's archaic engine, I love that it hold 1 more gallon of gasoline than a Concours 14, I love it's relative simplicity to a lot of inline 4's and 6 cylinder bikes.

I don't want a streamlined 17" inch wheel laden super tourer, I want something worse.

I guess 'will be' should be has been, and 'highway' should be decent road, bad choice of words.

And just because 98% of my time has been slab so far, that doesn't mean I want it to want it to 'always' be like that, that's just how it's worked out. I guess I should have said 98% of my time will be on 'roads', but even with Highways, I know there are roads marked as highways in Texas I wouldn't bring a Sport-Tourer on. I also know gravel highways exist. If I cut the term back to just roads, there are plenty of 'roads' I wouldn't drive a road bike on either. The beach aspect of Bluewater Highway in Surfside comes to mind.

However, I did already state I'm a one bike man at this point. I can't have small dual sport and a large adventure bike at this point. I do have a trailer, my truck, my fiance's crossover, and my GSA that's 4 'vehicles' at an apartment. That's 3 vehicles that need inspection, oil changes, tires, ect, and 4 that need registration, parking, blah blah blah. Yeah a thumper could share a spot with the big pig, but I don't really want one. I don't want to ride a thumper in El Paso, or to the mountains, and ferrying it around would be cool, but meh, maybe in a couple of years when I have a house that isn't in El Paso.

Thanks guys!
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Snarky screwed with this post 10-11-2012 at 06:00 AM
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:01 AM   #35
NJ-Brett
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I think you are making assumptions that are wrong.
I was being careful and going only about 30 mph on a lighter bike then yours and fell in soft sand and broke 8 bones and had internal injuries.

Its REAL easy to get busted up on big bikes in the dirt, its just pot luck how you fall or land, or what you hit.
I went to a smaller lighter lower bike, but if I did keep a bigger one, I would make sure I could contact someone for when I got hurt.

30 mph fall and I almost did not make it.
I tried lifting the bike and could not quite do it. That shocked me as I ALWAYS rode out before, even with serious injuries.

I might have been able to walk out, but I doubt it, after the shock wore off, I had a very hard time standing.
I had minimal cell coverage, but saying I crashed in the woods someplace around Green Bank would make it hard to find me.

All that needs to happen is for your leg to get twisted or levered on the luggage and you are done walking for a month.

So many people riding bigger bikes in the dirt have had it happen that there should be a warning sticker on the big bikes!
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:10 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagabond_Explorer View Post
In that case, with 98% road usage, why don't you get a road bike? More comfortable, better gearing, more aerodynamic etc. Then, get a small 125cc or 250cc for tough trails like the one that you nearly lost your life on. You could load it in your truck or buy a small trailer for it. You can buy these for very low prices 2nd hand and they're a hoot to ride in tough terrain.

I always marvel at how inadequate GS/A's are for dirt. Unless the dirt is flat ('ish), well graded, dry, smooth etc, these bikes keep falling over on easy obstacles. I did several rides in central Australia and often feel sorry for GS/A riders who've pulled muscles, sprained ankles etc just from picking up their bikes!

Of course if you can ride like the late Gaston Rahier then the GS/A's are great. Just a thought.
The GSA is a road bike dolled up to resemble an enduro. Really, how many enduros have telelever front suspension, weigh 600 lbs loaded and come with Tourances? The answer: none.

The GSA and GS are superb road bikes and slightly more adept at dirt roads than a pure road bike such as a Concours, but as a real off road bike, it's not. Sure, Jimmy Lewis can ride one better than most folks can ride a 125 two smoke but that's because he's Jimmy Lewis - not because the GS is an enduro. Lewis could also ride a Concours the same say.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:10 AM   #37
cliffy109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagabond_Explorer View Post
In that case, with 98% road usage, why don't you get a road bike? More comfortable, better gearing, more aerodynamic etc. Then, get a small 125cc or 250cc for tough trails like the one that you nearly lost your life on. You could load it in your truck or buy a small trailer for it. You can buy these for very low prices 2nd hand and they're a hoot to ride in tough terrain.

I always marvel at how inadequate GS/A's are for dirt. Unless the dirt is flat ('ish), well graded, dry, smooth etc, these bikes keep falling over on easy obstacles. I did several rides in central Australia and often feel sorry for GS/A riders who've pulled muscles, sprained ankles etc just from picking up their bikes!

Of course if you can ride like the late Gaston Rahier then the GS/A's are great. Just a thought.
You've missed the point of the bike and the point the OP was making. The GSA is a fantastic street bike. When riding 100+ miles to get to the trails, it is one of the best machines around. The fact is, it also can handle more dirt tracks than people give it credit for. No, it is not a MX bike, but it can handle gravel, rocks and sand within the limits of the rider.

Think of the GSA as a compromise solution for those of us who want to enjoy the ride to the trails just as much (if not more) than the ride on the trails. We know what it is and what it is not. We just place more value on the streetability than you do and we know the cost is the ability to go balls-out on the single track.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #38
wiseblood
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What a story! I feel your pain.

I really don't want to pile on (you seem to have a good handle on what you should do differently next time). However, I have to ask:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky View Post

Two side cases, and a top case? What DID you bring with you?

Seriously, you had a lot of storage there. Was it all empty?
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #39
FlyFishJeff
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Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Glad you made it out OK. Next time take the stupid bags off the bike. For that type of riding I leave my bags at home anyway. It just boggles my mind seeing all these 'Adventure Riders' cruising around town with all their crap on the bike just to go get a coffee.
I disagree. If you have the bags, use them. You do not have to be on a 3000 mile adventure to appreciate the bags. I mostly commute to work on my DL650, but I never take the bags off. They make the bike a lot more useful in everyday life.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:41 AM   #40
Domiken
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Great story, very well written and documented, glad you made it out of there alive and learned a good lesson in preparation.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:56 AM   #41
Montague
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Live and learn and that is the important point, that you come away alive.

Sure there are going to be lots of snipers with "helpful" criticisms but I admire your honesty and will publicly admit to some pretty dumb moves myself over the years, usually announced by the statement "hold my beer and watch this".

I don't offroad too much on the big road bikes but I take my Rokon and Argo down some nasty trails out on the harsh Canadian Shield forests around my hunt camp so I can identify with your experience. No cell service where I go and it may be days before another person shows up on those trails.

Glad your okay and that you shared.

PS. Get a SPOT Messenger, it will give you and your GF a great deal of comfort when you (as you should) take another, but better prepared stab at these roads. You will hear that they are crap...from people who I suspect did not read the manual. I have owned one for several years and although never used in an emergency, can state from experience it does work (tracking, I am okay messages, etc).

I also own a satellite phone, one of the Globalstar models. They sell a cheap plan because the have spotty service due to incomplete satellite constellation but it does work if you wait for the birds to arrive and there is an upside to 2 way communication.

Either way, sat com of one sort or another is great.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #42
GusinCA
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I think the big BMW is perfect for the kind of riding you do. Hey, it got these fools around the world so it can't be all bad:

2ridetheworld.com



I have the Delorme PN-60w with spot. Every time I'm back from a ride I go on the web site to make sure the tracking function worked, and sure enough, I can pull up a neat little map that shows all my locations at ten minute intervals with little numbers on them. Any rescuer or spouse or whoever can look at this and see where you were going and where you stopped. The being able to send text messages one way is nice too.

I also carry this EPIRB for a backup:
http://www.rei.com/product/815753/ac...locator-beacon
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:49 AM   #43
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Gus,

Does the GPS come with spot built in or are you talking about the GPS and a separate SPOT device?
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:26 PM   #44
Deuce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishJeff View Post
I disagree. If you have the bags, use them. You do not have to be on a 3000 mile adventure to appreciate the bags. I mostly commute to work on my DL650, but I never take the bags off. They make the bike a lot more useful in everyday life.
I use a top box for everyday riding. Quite popular in Europe but not in N.A. I guess it's not 'manly' enough for the weekend warriors. It also makes it easier to ride around traffic jams etc. without having to worry about scratching some persons car.

One thing I have learned about riding these big 'adventure' bikes is that they will get you into trouble a lot easier than they will get you out of it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:54 PM   #45
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My contribution to making your next adventure a little safer would be to add some chemlites to your packing list. They're cheap, won't expire by the time you get around to using them, come in various colors/sizes/durations, and don't eat batteries like flashlights, cellphones, etc.
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