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Old 09-16-2008, 08:59 AM   #1
Joe Motocross OP
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Joined: May 2007
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10 Days of Utah Desert Madness!!

Hello people. I’ve decided to try and do a trip report about a recent cross country journey. I’m asking myself why do I want to take the time to do this? To promote myself and look cool? I suppose deep down there must be a little of this but I probably won’t look too cool next to many of these trip reports on Adv Rider. Really what I’ve come up with as an answer is I’m doing this to inspire others who don’t get the opportunity to do such a trip. To maybe make them look outside the box a bit. Maybe act as a catalyst for someone to change their life enough to be able to make a motorcycle journey that they’ve wanted to do. Oh yeah, I’m also doing this to give my friends a little laugh!

So, I suggested a 10 to 14 day dirt journey to some people I know. The route would take us from Salt Lake City into Colorado then back into the Utah desert and back up to Salt Lake. One friend committed to the trip and one tagged along for 3 days. Our plan was to go minimalist style with the route getting into a lot of demanding off road riding and we’d sleep in the dirt. Our choice of bikes is large 4 strokes built for desert off road racing. The current favorite is the KTM 520/530 series. These bikes are very agile in demanding terrain but have a nice 6th gear for big gravel roads or short stretches of pavement. We put 6.6 gallon tanks on which are a must for many portions of the route. Here are the bikes.

Well, the day before we were supposed to leave I was doing some maintenance and found that my intake valves were out of adjustment and I couldn’t get any more clearance. Unfortunately, I knew what this meant but didn’t want to accept it. Luckily, a good friend of mine gave me his old SX as a parts bike so I was able to swap heads. Not what you want to do hours before heading out on a long journey. Well, I went at it with no torque wrench, no cam chain tool, used the old head gasket, slapped it back together and seven hours later fired it up and took a quick test ride through the neighborhood.

Here’s the two heads. You can see the intake valves sunk in to the head on the right one. It’s nice to have a parts bike!! Since I’ve been slowly combining the SX and the EXC I now have a SEXC which I like to refer to as “SEXY”!!

We decided to leave the next day. So, the wrap up for the first day:
Mileage: none
Repairs: a lot
Fingers: raw

Joe Motocross screwed with this post 09-16-2008 at 10:26 AM
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