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Old 03-19-2015, 07:03 PM   #1
XC Rider OP
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Location: Right where I need to be
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Spring Break Off-road in Utah for 7 Days

This all started last Thanksgiving when I was invited over to some good motorcycling friends' house for dinner. While there the subject eventually turned to motorcycles and trips we'd taken in the past and hoped to take in the future. As fate would have it, my buddy Clarence and I both had the same idea in wanting to head out to Utah and ride the portion of the TAT (Trans America Trail) that passes through Eagle Canyon and takes you up under I-70 for that pivotal picture. The more we talked about it, the more serious we became. With that in mind we also started to talk about some of the modifications and improvements that we both wanted to do to our respective Suzuki DRZ-400S motorcycles. On the list were some of the usual including: heated grips, auxiliary lights, and a kick starter kit. So parts were ordered and we set a day to start the work. When I showed up for day 1 of wrenching, Clarence had started a cardboard mock up of a custom fairing for the bike that would include a dash. This wrenching project just got way bigger but there was no way we were'n't going to give it our best shot. Long story short all the wrenching and custom fairing with dash worked out great; now all that was left was to put together our trip out to Utah to do some testing! Unfortunately due to work, Clarence had to back out and I ended up going by myself. What follows is the account of my seven days touring around Utah off-road, following parts of the Utah BDR, TAT, and various other tracks that I uploaded to my GPS before leaving.

Here's a shot of the custom fairing and dash that we made:

And in order to wet you appetite, here are the various panoramic shots that I took with my Iphone while riding around Utah this past week.

A view of the Colorado river from the White Rim Perimeter trail in Moab.

South of Emery, UT, approaching the Capitol Reef National Park.

In the Capitol Reef National Park.

Just south of the Capitol Reef National Park.

Somewhere between Capitol Reef National Park and Glen Canyon recreation area.

A view of Glen Canyon and the small town of Hite.

The west side of "The Comb".

The view from Muley Point.

Well that all my panoramas. Stay tuned for the day to day report with full pictures!
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:07 PM   #2
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Another awesome XC Rider report. Subscribed!
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:46 PM   #3
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Motorcycle Buying Law #1: The distance of a bike from you is inversely proportional to how well it matches your needs and wants. MotorcycleWriter
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:23 PM   #4
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:40 AM   #5
R.I.P. sweet Angus
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Originally Posted by VACommuter View Post
I'd be cranky too if I had to blow 500 horses!
You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty...
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:43 AM   #6
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:53 AM   #7
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:59 AM   #8
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Love those panoramas! I'm in for sure!
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:56 AM   #9
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So the plan was made to leave Virginia on Saturday, March 7th and drive out to Cortez, CO. I had a friend out there who was happy to let me park my car and trailer at his place while I did a week long loop in Utah.

All packed up and ready to roll; check out that lovely snow!

The drive out was super uneventful. Having gotten a late start I made it to Mt Vernon, Illinois where I got a motel room. Back up again at the break of dawn and continuing on down the road. That night I made it to within approximately 200+ miles of Cortez before getting another motel room for the night. I woke up the next morning super excited to be so near to my destination and anxious to get on the bike. Everything was going well and I was enjoying the view.

Approaching the Rockies.

I was making good time and was about 100 miles from Cortez when all of a sudden the trailer started to make a funny noise and seemed to bounce down the road. Hmm, strange I thought; I better stop to take a look and see what's going on....

Well this is not good!

Yep, the damn tire had delaminated itself! Lucky for me though, I had just passed thru Pagosa Spring a few; so I turned around and drove the 5 miles back into town at 20 MPH. On the way I looked up via Google for a trailer repair place and found one in Pagosa Springs; I also called up the only tire place in town to see if they had a tire for my trailer but they did not have anything in stock. So the trailer repair place was my only hope. Once there, I explained my predicament. Unfortunately they didn't have any spare tires in stock, but they had tires premounted on rims available for sale. We found one that would work, although it was shorter than the other tire on the trailer. I decided to take a chance and installed the new wheel & tire. I then got back on the road and continued towards Cortez at a slightly slower rate of speed.

Within a few miles, I had another scare....

Damn on-board computers and sensors. Apparently it was noticing something it didn't like with the emissions. I checked the owner's manual and by all accounts as long as the light was not flashing, it was not something that I needed to worry about right away so I continued on down the road. I finally made it to my buddy JJ's house shortly after 12 noon. We got the bike unloaded and then headed into town to get some new tires setup for my trailer for the ride back home in a week (I would feel better about driving 2000 miles with matching tires), and to get some lunch (I had the fish tacos)

Then we went a few miles out of town for a little offroad practice!

It was great to get out on the bike and do a little riding. We played around for an hour or so before finally heading back to the house. There I looked the bike all over and started to pack it up so that I'd be ready to roll in the morning. That evening I joined JJ and his family for dinner and then called it an early night; I wanted to get a good night's sleep before heading out in the morning.

Next up, UTAH!
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:02 PM   #10
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my 1st thought when I saw your HF trailer was those little 8 inch tires falling apart on such a long drive....I always take a spare rim/tire, plus bearings. You may find out those bearings are an unusual size..not off the shelf items at your local auto store. I found that out the hard way....had to use shims out of a coke can to get some head set bearings from a Cabella motorcycle fork to fit.........the joy of cheap chinese crap.
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:15 PM   #11
Jax Off again.
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Looking fwd to it
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:30 PM   #12
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:52 PM   #13
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Nice pics

Nice bike

I am in!
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Old 03-20-2015, 09:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JaxObsessed View Post

Looking fwd to it
Nice gif

Great report OP, subscribed!
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Old 03-20-2015, 09:26 PM   #15
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Check engine light

Could be the evap system. Loose gas cap will throw codes, I've been told. I'm in !
- please check out our blog: "Around USA on BMWS"
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