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Old 10-05-2010, 08:05 AM   #1
mrt10x OP
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RI & Eastern CT Big Bike Drop-o-rama

I am starting this post based on Akarob's suggestion we move it off the Tag-o-rama thread.

A few folks have expressed an interest in a big bike, aka 1200 GS/KTM 9?? trail ride. I moved here to RI only a month or so ago so I am unqualified to take the lead on this, but I can start a thread I have ridden some of the trails in Arcadia and Pachaug (what the hell is a Pachaug anyway) and this is my only off road experience. I follow the 20mph speed limit pretty closely, not out of respect for the law,, but fear of bodilly injury.

Anyway, hopefully someone who knows these roads will jump in and take the lead on this for sometime in October?
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrt10x
I am starting this post based on Akarob's suggestion we move it off the Tag-o-rama thread.

A few folks have expressed an interest in a big bike, aka 1200 GS/KTM 9?? trail ride. I moved here to RI only a month or so ago so I am unqualified to take the lead on this, but I can start a thread I have ridden some of the trails in Arcadia and Pachaug (what the hell is a Pachaug anyway) and this is my only off road experience. I follow the 20mph speed limit pretty closely, not out of respect for the law,, but fear of bodilly injury.

Anyway, hopefully someone who knows these roads will jump in and take the lead on this for sometime in Ocotober?
if you guys end up going a bit further west I have the gps info for the Trans-MA trail which is ideal for big trailies.
let me know and I can shoot it along.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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I'd be up for a nice ride through Arcadia and into CT on the sumo (which is my "big" bike). I'll be in Western MA/VT this weekend, but if you guys come up with something in mid/late October, I'd love to join in if you don't mind a girl hanging around. You can still burp and fart and swear and go on about boobies; I grew up with brothers.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:58 AM   #4
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Ditto.. I would be in for this ride as well.. Bring it on
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:01 AM   #5
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I'm in. Noobs of Southern New England Dirt ride! Who's bringing the first aid kit
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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Who's the lead on this?

I could even go so far as to lead through Pachaug / Mt Misery roads and let others lead through Arcadia, Nachaug, or any other park. I know Mt Misery has a few miles of easy "roads" that are only bike accessible, and are not hiking trails.

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Old 10-05-2010, 04:57 PM   #7
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I'll set up a semi-big bike friendly Dual Sport ride in my area in a couple of weekends.. Perhaps the 16th or the 23rd of October, 2010.. Those are both Saturdays.. Are Saturdays or Sundays better for most people.. What's a good distance/ride time? 2-3 hour ride? 50-100 miles? maybe a lunch break in the middle or a Pub break at the end?



I'm still not sure just HOW big bike friendly the entire ride should be.. Most of the areas I would like to ride I wouldn't be scared to drive through with my subaru impreza.. However a few sections I definitely wouldn't. The car would not make it; and not because the road was too narrow... Perhaps that would be a good cut off.. If we don't think we could get an all wheel drive car through then it's not big bike friendly?

I guess I'll put together two or three routes and see what sort of bikes (and experience) shows up.. If it's riders newer to dirt than me and they're riding bigger bikes than mine we go the easy route. If it's experienced riders with big bikes that already have some scratches on them we go the moderate route.. If it's 650cc or smaller dual sports we go the slightly more difficult route.


this is a section of the third option, the "more difficult route".. I'm riding a DRZ400s but that's a bmw 650Dakar in front of me.. And I have ridden my bmw f650gs (not the dakar version) through here as well..

ruth hill.. drz and a dakar from al barkley on Vimeo.

the ugly rock section at 1:10 has a go around..






here's a section of the "moderate route" that is mostly all smooth woods road but there were a few big puddles.. It was rather wet when this was filmed.. It's a section that has no real rocks or anything, just some potential puddles and minor ruts.. If you get nervous just go slow and you can get any bike through..

Helon Cone + Foxtown Cemetary Road from al barkley on Vimeo.




Those are both obviously Unmaintained roads.. I don't have any good video of the normal dirt road sections but they are exactly what you would expect.. Graded, maintained dirt roads that you will see cars on..
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
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I know my way around the 18.9 mile Arcadia loop pretty well. Mostly just dirt roads with a 20 mph limit (if anyone is watching) and sometimes horses to contend with. I have done the whole loop on the V-strom 1000 so it is certainly big bike/street tire friendly. The Bliven trail section has a few washed out areas of moderate difficulty.

I'll join the rides if I'm around. Upcoming dates I am off: now - 13th (but gone camping Columbus day weekend), 18-19, 24, 28-29, unknown beyond that so far.

-Terry
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:38 PM   #9
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Yea, I think making it big bike friendly is important. If they want to climb rocks and such, people can come out to our Camp-n-Ride next weekend.

I'm planning on taking my Katana on this ride, sans plastic fairings. WAP may take his GS500 as well.

Can we plan this for the 23rd, rain date 24th?

I think that due to the nature of the ride, and that parks are spread out across the state, we should plan on making a full day of it , 6-8 hours, and most likely end up doing somewhere around 200 miles.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:52 PM   #10
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I'm certainly in. I am available almost any Sunday but will be away 10/16-17 (In Pa. , on the bike) I can lead a nice road route from Pachaug/Arcadia up to Natchaug, then lunch!
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:15 PM   #11
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Both those videos would probably be beyond my ability on the GSA, the thing weighs like 600lbs with gas and panniers. Could probably do the second video w/o the mud. Remember anytime you put a foot down on your 650, a GS/GSA is probably going down,, once they start to lean you dont stop them.. at least I dont. I am good to go on any weekend other than the 16th or 17th.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyDoc
I'm certainly in. I am available almost any Sunday but will be away 10/16-17 (In Pa. , on the bike) I can lead a nice road route from Pachaug/Arcadia up to Natchaug, then lunch!
+1, Sundays are great for me as well, Since I have only returned to riding since July and only been out on dirt roads a few times this summer I would prefer the easier stuff (arcadia / pachaug roads and such) Scorpions + Mud = BAD! don't know if I could ride 6-8 hours but I could duck out if It gets too much.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:21 PM   #13
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that's the sort of feedback I was hoping for...

There are some great old roads in my current Connecticut River Valley area (Essex CT to Middletown CT) that I am aware of.. Mostly paved but a lot of unpaved as well.. The unmaintained "off road" type roads are a little harder to find, but certainly worth the effort if that is your intention ....

I'll put together a mostly nice leisurely rural ride, about 60% paved, 40% maintained dirt/gravel. There may be a few moderate "unmaintained dirt road" sections but they will be fairly short, 1-2 miles at most, whilst also being wide open dual tracks (any 4wd vehicle could pass) and well worth the effort.. If needed *go arounds* will be made available but I am new to dirt riding and rode an f650gs the past two years.. I am not exactly pushing any boundaries..

I'm thinking Oct 23rd or Oct24th for the date..

Is a saturday or a sunday better for interested parties? Is anyone actually interested?
This would probably include a cross CT ferry ride and lunch at a local pub, 60-100 miles of riding on the route, river views, crossing a swing bridge built in 1916, and enough old school new england charm to make you vomit scones.

ie: "the name of Haddam, which was given to the town about 1668 was presumably taken from the name Great Haddam in England. There were no settlements on the east side of the river until around 1670. There was but one ecclesiastical society before 1700, when the inhabitants formed the second. But it was not until 1754 that the community was formally and agreeably divided into two towns, the colony on the west bank keeping the name of Haddam and the one on the east taking the name of East Haddam."

--------------------------------------------------

I'd also like to propose a Trans-Mass-Trail / Puppy Dog ride the following weekend or the weekend following that. if anyone is interested of course.. last year we had around 10-12 riders turn out.. The following weekend is the weekend BEFORE Halloween and the last free weekend of the riding year for most of you family type suckers.. . Ideally we could make it a two day ride with a camp in Vermont somewhere Saturday night..

for a teaser here is a snippet of last years group ride on the Trans Mass tail although we had time to spare and ventured into VT to keep riding,.... this is in Vermont just over the MA/VT border..

trans mass trail from al barkley on Vimeo.


the entire Trans Mass / Puppy Dog route is not only big bike friendly, it's biggish bike mandatory.,. there are several sections of minor highway where you jump up to 55mph or more for an extended period of time.. A drz400 could keep up but it wouldn't be comfortable... The 650CC+ bike would certainly be the weapon of choice on the Trans Mass / Puppy Dog (Trans VT) trails..
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alcontrast screwed with this post 10-05-2010 at 11:26 PM
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:51 PM   #14
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Ps:

MRT.. I am the same way with my f650.. but probably to a slightly lesser degree. My 650gs is right around 500 pounds as I ride it, sans panniers (the racks stay on) and once it leans to a certain angle I can only bail or hit the throttle to try to get it back towards vertical.. I haven't had a lot of luck with goosing the throttle just yet,.. I weigh in at around 170 pds..

I will say it's rather amazing what your bike can do if you don't mind potentially damaging plastics, etc in a minor drop. The BMW's can handle a WIDE RANGE of terrain but they can also end up costing you $500 to repair a 2mph speed drop on a rock pile. It's all about what you are willing to risk with the BMWs.. Far more so with the bigger and heavier 1100+ series GS's as opposed to my f650gs..
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:41 AM   #15
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The other piece is just my total lack of off road riding experience. Before the 1200 my other motorcycles have been Harleys or Japanes cruisers. I have lots of sadle time,, just no dirt time. I am pretty willing to try anything, just dont want to hold up a group. Hell I dropped the bike a couple of weekends ago in Arcadia when I rode around a barrier to try and get to the fishing water I knew. Apparently the road washed away in the big winter storms last year and they have no intention of repairing it anytime soon. I have been looking at craigslist for a 250 enduro of some sort, unfortunately a R75/5 caught my eye first and now that is on the way, and my motorcycle fund is a bit depleted :) I have been kicking around the idea of putting knobbies on the 1200 for the winter.
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