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Old 07-10-2013, 09:51 PM   #1
ThanatosF OP
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Fargo, ND
Oddometer: 207
Solo...Solitude...Supermoto

Hey everyone. My name is Bryan. I've posted around here and there but haven't done a proper ride report yet. All that's about to change!




I'm currently sitting in the dark, alone, on a cliffside in the northern section of Custer national Forest in South Dakota waiting for it to be just a little darker to start a star-timelapse. I rode some fun, knarly, rutted out paths and then off the beaten trail to find this area. It's beautiful. I started in Fargo this afternoon and slabbed it straight west on my 09 drz-400sm on the freeway all the say to Dickinson. I have my bike geared higher and it purrs at 80mph, but freeway still sucks. Not fun. At all. But unfortunetly theres not a lot of others ways to get across the state. I don't know why I live in Fargo. I really need to move.

So my plan is to head south through Rapid City in the morning and continue to CO at some point. I want to ride webster pass, my evans, maybe pikes peak, and as many of the passes in the Ouray area as I can muster. As long as I ditch my luggage somewhere I think I can handle them.

Here's just a couple pics to get started. Keep in mind all day today was freeway and it would pretty sad to post pics of that. Also these pics will be on my phone, so you'll have to wait for the more, ah-hem, professional quality stuff after I get home and can get on a computer.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #2
Deanman
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I'll follow along

Hey Brian,
Nice shot of the canyon behind you. Looking forward to more. Be safe & have fun!
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:21 PM   #3
Akunin
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Black Hills SD
Oddometer: 123
I know I'm looking forward to more! Nothing better than catching a RR in its infancy, aside for making a RR that is..
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:11 AM   #4
ThanatosF OP
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Location: Fargo, ND
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Good god it's hot today. And it's only 10am! Going to have to find some water somewhere I think. Anyway, here's a couple more from this morning leaving Custer national forest.







View from camp




Onwards south I say! To shade!
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
ThanatosF OP
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Location: Fargo, ND
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Well! If you've noticed I have not been updating this report as I go. I discovered that after long days of riding I don't have the patience to type on an iphone screen. So apologies for being AWOL. But I'm back home now, not ready to go back to work tomorrow. I took a lot more helmet cam video than I planned so this report will be better with that anyway.

So, I rode from the northern Custer Nat. Forest south to the Black hills area. It was super hot and I didn't stop a lot. Talked to a guy from MN that was on a prolonged trip with what looked like nearly a ton of stuff bungied on all over his cruiser.

Stopped at a lake for the view:




I continued on to Toadstool campground in Nebraska. This area is kind of like the badlands, but more open.



A storm was rolling through the area and the wind got crazy. My tent was in immediate danger of snapping its poles, so I was forced to collapse it and throw stuff on top of it. I then waited, hoping for no rain, for the wind to die down. It got stronger. Eventually I dragged my tent over next to an old mud-hut building that was a display at the campsite. That partially blocked the wind but its the best I could do! Didn't get much sleep that night!






And here's a little taste of things to come. I'll do my best getting this written in a timely matter.





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Old 08-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #6
IDRider
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Location: Back to God's Country - nurturing my soul!
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Nice Pics. Keep them coming.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
kalahari-k
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Sss

Great shots. I haven't seen a 400 SMT report. I guess that's a very versatile bike. Looking forward to the rest!
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
ThanatosF OP
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Location: Fargo, ND
Oddometer: 207
From Nebraska I rode south to Colorado and went through Rocky Mtn Nat. Park, catching some rain and some wicked wind.



Real cold up there in those conditions!



Camped at one of the park campsites, don't remember what it was named. Was soon approached by a homeless hitchhiker who was camped out there too. Interesting fellow. Walked down by the river and had a cigarette with him while he smoked some cannabis. I'm all for it, just get tested at my job so no go for me, ha. In the morning the weather cleared. I ditched my plans to do Webster pass. I wanted to get to the Ouray area asap to get in as much as I could on those mountain passes.

Outside of Granby, CO.



Somewhere along the way came across an interesting bathroom...in that it had no door and faced the road.



Chatted with a some guys from Denver, and a couple riding BMW's that were local. They were fellow ADV'ers. If you guys read this and recognize me, say hello! And thanks for the tips about Gunnison! Found the moto-store easily and did an oil change.

Soon, however, I was rudely approached by a suicidal bee...to my face at 65mph. Snuck in some kind of split second ninja sting. To my FACE.



I've had bad reactions to bee stings before, but after some benadryl this one wasn't too bad. No epi-pen for me! Lasted a few days though.

That's it for now. Next up: My time at Taylor Park Reservoir:


ThanatosF screwed with this post 08-04-2013 at 04:53 AM
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:57 PM   #9
ThanatosF OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalahari-k View Post
Great shots. I haven't seen a 400 SMT report. I guess that's a very versatile bike. Looking forward to the rest!
I grew up riding dirt bikes so it feels natural, but I agree. Even with 80/20 tires, the SM handles everything I've thrown at it. You'll see soon I even got away with some mucky mud riding. Kind of like riding on ice, but do-able!
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #10
ThanatosF OP
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So I got to Taylor Park reservoir after riding through some more rain on Cottonwood pass.



Got there and grabbed a camp site.





View outside of camp:



That evening I went to explore the route to American Flag mtn. I was tempted to push on and ride it but the weather looked threatening and I retreated back to camp.



That night it rained and in the morning there were a few sprinkles, but I really wanted to get up American Flag.

Starting out:



Taking a break:



Up and up!



I hit my first water crossings on the SM here. Also my first real mud encounter. Grip? nah.



I eventually conquered that muddy shit and kept going up. The rocks were outrageous! Miles of boulder fields it seemed like. A lot of fun in hindsight sitting at my computer...

I got to the climb up to the summit and gave it all I had. My bike has a 16 tooth counter sprocket. It's just too tall for technical riding! I think it was that and a combination of sea level jetting, because when goosing it up that hill it started to cut out and sputter under load...not good! Ended with a little crash. Broke my mirror off, but my fault for not removing it beforehand.

As high up as I got. See my bike?



The road is rather rocky and steep...



Another view:



I said fuck it and hiked up a ways but coming from ND I wasn't quite acclimatized yet. Every two steps I needed a breather. But I made it up to a nice viewpoint.



Watched a few dirt bikes breeze up the hill and was furiously jealous of their knobbies. I really wanted to see the view from the point up there. Next time! I continued on to Crested Butte, then circled around back to my campsite and packed up. Headed out in more rain south towards Ouray and MOUNTAIN PASSES! Stay tuned.

Here's a montage video of as far up as I got:

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Old 08-09-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
ThanatosF OP
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I continued on to Ouray, CO and lucked out with a camp spot at the Amphitheater campground.



Tried to do some local hiking but an intense storm moved through the area. Torrential downpour, hail, lots of lightning. I got caught on the trail so was forced to take shelter in the bushes...got soaked to the bone. Headed back to my tent and relaxed the rest of the evening.



In the morning I got up early and headed out for Black Bear pass. It was really foggy on the ride there, but once on the pass I quickly rose above it. And it provided an awesome view.



Black Bear is incredible! It was pretty wet still from the previous day's rain. I met a couple Jeeps on the way and chatted with the drivers.



They were nice enough to snap a picture of me. Still have some swelling from the bee encounter.




Rode on towards the descent.



Now, I watched videos of black bear before I left and I know they don't do the steepness justice, but I was surprised at what I was about to ride down. Got a few little butterflies in the stomach. The steepness combined with the ball-bearing effects of all that loose gravel on bare rock, along with being solo, made me take it pretty slow. Tried to hug the right wall as much as possible too. You know, so I didn't die.





But alas, I survived. Stopped and watched a couple drivers come down. I don't think I could do that section in a Jeep.



Picturesque generator (?) building.



Black Bear pass was fun because it made me push my skill level. Its steep and intense, but it was an awesome feeling conquering it!

Video montage of Black Bear pass:


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Old 08-09-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
madeouttaglass
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Location: Smithereens- or what's left of it in NY
Oddometer: 3,228
Front page nomination!

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Old 08-09-2013, 02:22 PM   #13
B3EAR
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Great ride! I'm headed to CO next summer for some backcountry adventures. Really enjoyed what you've posted so far. I just completed a 2000 miler from southern OR up into Idaho and back on my DR400. Ran perfect! How'd your Suzuki do? Looks like those SM tires did the job just fine. Look forward to more!!
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:51 AM   #14
ThanatosF OP
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Location: Fargo, ND
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Originally Posted by madeouttaglass View Post
Front page nomination!
Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #15
ThanatosF OP
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Location: Fargo, ND
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B3EAR View Post
Great ride! I'm headed to CO next summer for some backcountry adventures. Really enjoyed what you've posted so far. I just completed a 2000 miler from southern OR up into Idaho and back on my DR400. Ran perfect! How'd your Suzuki do? Looks like those SM tires did the job just fine. Look forward to more!!
My bike did great. Absolutely no problems other than the little bit of sputtering up American flag Mtn. My chain is stretched and shot now, but that's just normal wear. This trip was just over 5,000 miles. I was on a different trip last year of 4,800 miles and had zero issues too. I would have preferred knobbies in some places, but when blasting through twistys the front distanzia and rear anakee work so well and provide so much fun I change my mind! The bike, with these tires, is overall a great combo for really doing it all.
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