Two Friends, Two Husabergs, the UPAT, and 1,700 + miles. Part 2
If you already read part 1, I hope you enjoyed it.
We left the Trailside Lodge and noticed the stone ship at Kearsarge.
We enjoyed the ride through Calumet. The architecture was pretty amazing. I am glad we were able to see the town in the daylight. After breakfast, we headed back down to Houghton for fuel. Soon after, we began riding Bill Nicholl’s ATV Route. This was a great section of the trail. We continued on through TwinLakes and later came to the Firesteel Trestles and took some photos.
We continued on to MassCity for fuel and then stopped at the Caledonia Mine and had a nice talk with the owner.
We continued on and stopped at the Victoria Dam and took some photos.
We continued on to White Pine for fuel and the headed north to SilverCity. The next stop was Lake of the Clouds in the PorcupineMountains. Somewhere after White Pine, I got stung by a wasp so being allergic to bee stings I was glad I had plenty of bee sting kits with me. I was apparently a little out of it when we arrived at Lake of the Clouds and as I parked my bike on a bit of a side hill in the parking lot, I dropped my bike on the asphalt. Luckily my Bark Buster and pride were only hurt. I took some photos at Lake of the Clouds.
If we would have had more time, we would have liked to have spent at least a day exploring the PorcupineMountains area. This area is absolutely beautiful. From here we headed to Wakefield for fuel. From Wakefield we headed to Land O Lakes for fuel. It was getting late so we detoured south and stayed at Eagle RiverWI for the night. We found it interesting all of the restaurants including pizza places were closed by . Only McDonald’s was open late and that was the drive thru only.
I feel it is worth mentioning the excessive chain/sprocket noise I noticed earlier was much worse at the end of the day. It was to the point where I needed to constantly adjust my throttle/speed to keep the bike in the “sweet spot” where the chain was not chattering. I decided to evaluate the situation the next morning in the daylight.
I woke up early thinking about the chain/sprocket situation. I looked out my hotel window and noticed two guys looking at the motorcycles in the parking lot. As I went outside they walked up and asked a lot of questions about the Husabergs. Just like everyone we met on the ride they were really nice. They were old dirt bikers who told stories of riding Bultacos and BSAs. They said back when they road in the trails that had poor suspension and always wondered if the bikes would get them out of the woods. The good thing is both of them still do a lot of road bike riding.
After looking at my chain and sprocket I decided I would need to see if I could replace them in order to make sure I didn’t have a failure before the end of the ride. I always clean and lube my chain so I feel like an idiot that I didn’t replace the chain and sprockets prior to beginning the UPAT ride. Using the computer with high speed internet service in the hotel lobby, I determined the closest KTM dealer was Zambons in Marquette. This is one of the dealerships Bryan has listed as a waypoint on the UPAT. Too bad I wasn’t smart enough to realize I was having a problem when went right by there on day 4. I called Nick Zambon and he said he had chains and sprockets in stock, so my buddy and I decided we would be making a detour to Marquette for the parts.
After breakfast we rode north on 45 to Land O Lakes to top off on fuel. As we began riding I immediately noticed my Trail Tech Speedometer and trip meter were no longer working. I checked the break disc and discovered the magnet was missing. We didn’t have any other choice but to ride on. It just meant my trip meter at the end of the trip would not reflect the total miles we traveled on the ride. (Later during the ride, I wondered if perhaps the magnet had stuck to my disc lock when I removed it that morning.)
The next stop was IronRiver for lunch and fuel. We continued on the UPAT with a detour at the point where we were somewhat close to Marquette. We didn’t quite make it to Zambons before they closed, so we decided to spend the night in Marquette, pick up the parts the next morning, and resume the ride heading to RapidRiver for repairs. My parents have a place just outside of RapidRiver so we were fortunate to have a place to work on the bike.
It is worth noting when unlocking my bike that morning; I did find that the magnet did indeed stick to my disc lock so I was able to replace it in my brake disc. The speedometer and trip meter was working again.
The motorcycle shop opened up at so I picked up the parts and had a nice conversation with the shop’s owner Nick Zanbon. We packed up and were ready for another day of riding.
We got on the UPAT and began heading in the direction of RapidRiver. About halfway between Marquette and RapidRiver, we were enjoying the ride when I noticed I had a flat rear tire. We were pretty much prepared to repairing a flat tire. We wanted to change the tire with the bike standing up so my buddy found a woods jack that worked out real nice. I included photos of the woods jack.
As we expected, we found I had received a pinch flat. I had squarely hit what looked like a cast iron culvert sticking out of the trail and I think perhaps it took its toll on my tube.
To save some work and time we planned to change out the sprockets and chain while we had the rear tire off. That’s when things went from interesting to a bit disappointing. As I went to put on the rear sprocket, I discovered the bolt pattern on the sprocket was slightly different than the one on the Husaberg hub. I have a 2006 KTM 525 EXC and those sprockets fit the Husaberg. What I did not think of was that apparently KTM changed the pattern on the newer KTMs. With that, we changed the tube and reassembled everything and continued on with the ride. We did increase the air pressure in our tires help prevent another pinch flat. We made it to my parents place near RapidRiver without any additional issues. After opening up the camp and dropping off our packs we decided to head to Jack’s in RapidRiver for a nice dinner before working on my bike.
Being a tool and die maker/machinist I was pretty sure I could come up with a solution to my problem. I decided to remove the worn out sprocket and clamp it to the new sprocket with the center hub areas aligned. I then took a hand drill and slightly opened up the holes in the old sprocket and line drilled into the new sprocket. Believe it or not it did the trick. I was able to assemble the new sprocket on the hub using thread locking compound on the screws and nuts. I have included a photo of the worn sprocket and a photo of my temporary bike shop with my buddy in the chair watching TV/sleeping/helping me.
I wrapped up the job around and got some sleep.
After getting up around , I cleaned up the camp, double checked my work, and headed to Jack’s for brunch. After arriving at Jack’s I checked the sprocket and everything looked good. We hoped to get back on the UPAT and ride to at least BrevortLake where we planned to camp at the state campground.
We really enjoyed the ride and stopped at Manistique for fuel and checked my bike. My buddy noticed I needed to retighten the axle nut as the right side had slightly moved away from the adjusting screw. We got back on the trail and rode to Engadine where we stopped for fuel and discussed where we would stop for dinner. Not knowing how many places would be open later we decided to stop in Naubinwey for dinner. Not much was open in Naubinwey so we stopped at Anchor in Naubinwey which is basically a coffee house/internet cafe with some live music. I felt like I should have been in Ann ArborMichigan instead of the UP, but the place was quite busy.
From Naubinwey we rode to Brevort Lake Campground only to find it was full except for maybe one site. We moved on just down the road to a state campground on Lake Michigan and found the same results. We decided to push on toward Saint Ignace. We arrived in Saint Ignace just in time for fireworks show. After waiting for the traffic to clear, we continued on and our ride on the UPAT was officially completed.
We crossed the MackinawBridge and fueled up in MackinawCity. We then rode to BurtLake and camped there once again.
I had mixed feelings upon waking up. It was disappointing knowing our adventure was soon going to end and yet at the same time there was a feeling of accomplishment. We had a good ride following the track I had created and stopped for fuel in Alba.
We later stopped in Kalkaska for lunch and fuel. We were now within 20 miles of the camp in FifeLake. We made it the rest of the way without any issues. The final photos for the report include my Trail Tech trip meter and the remnants of what was an all but new120/80x19 Pirelli MT21 Dual Sport Rallycrosstire when beginning the ride. With the miles lost on the ride from Eagle RiverWI to Marquette, it is easy to say we topped well over 1,700 miles on the ride.
The UPAT was pretty much the greatest adventure I have ever been on. Will I do it again? God willing, yes indeed I will. I have to really thank Bryan (Cannonshot) again for all of his dedication and work on creating the UPAT. My dad is already asking about the tracks for the UPAT for four wheel drive vehicles, so perhaps a street legal UTV is in his future.
Things I will do different next time include:
Have my suspension reworked for my weight plus some additional weight for gear.
Consider whether I need to camp or not which would allow me to take less gear.
Try to have some more people go with us on the ride.
Have a trail camera so I will be able to take photos without stopping.
Try to come up with either an 18” rear wheel or a rear tire with a thicker profile to perhaps prevent pinch flats. (Perhaps look into using the Bib Mousse system or a similar system.)
Make sure we have plenty of time to see more sights. This would include consistently leaving earlier in the morning and making our base camp in RapidRiver.
Have more respect for the length of the ride and make sure items like my chain and sprockets are mint before leaving.
I am sure I will come up with more ideas between now and the next UPAT ride. I hope you found this ride report both interesting and helpful.