2 Tigers, 5 days, 4 corners

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by LoriKTM, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. LoriKTM

    LoriKTM Wrecking Ball

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
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    1,526
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    I'm wearing the Fieldsheer Adventure jacket, and the Fieldsheer Mercury pants. I bought these a few years ago, and I think the pants are called the "Booster" pants now. But the gear has held up well. I use it for my commute as well as weekend trips. Good from about 32 degrees to 90 degrees. The venting in the pants isn't that great when it gets hot, but they have a nice full length zipper on the legs so they are easy to put on and take off even with boots on.
    #21
  2. wescnmbkr1

    wescnmbkr1 Adventurer

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    You really sparked my interest in visiting the "4 Corners" area. I've had an interest in making a trip thru that area on my D-S. Many years ago I was thru there in my car & always wanted to return. I'm very interested in your comments about the 800XC's handling, fuel mileage, comfort, performance, how many break-in miles, and oil consumption. Your input would be appreciated.
    Thank You for a great write up & photos.
    Ron:beer
    #22
  3. LoriKTM

    LoriKTM Wrecking Ball

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    Well, Ron, don't just take my word for it. There's quite a few comments on the new Tiger. Look here, starting at around page 300! http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=599070

    And here's some more reading: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=683023

    For my part, I'm very pleased with the Tiger 800XC. It grows on me more and more as I ride it. I've put many miles on single-cylinder dirt bikes, and miles on big twin sporty bikes. The triple felt a bit odd when I first rode it, but as I continued to push the bike on and off pavement, it really impressed me. Stock tires are a limiting factor off pavement, but the Tiger has great manners and superb shifting and fueling. It will get me to work the long way, the short way, and the dirt road way, all at about 50mpg. I always thought that if I could only have one bike in the garage it would be my Suzuki DR650. I think that the 800 XC is pretty heavy competition for that title.

    I have over 2500 miles on my bike now, and it hasn't used any oil or had any hiccups.
    #23
  4. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Stony Brook. NY
    glad to hear you are getting 50 mpg...maybe we females have a way of getting better gas mileage then the other sex? The guys on the Tiger thread are reporting still high 30's low 40's. I hope we get what you are getting...might save a little $$...
    #24
  5. wescnmbkr1

    wescnmbkr1 Adventurer

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    Good follow up report. Your comment about your DR650 is interesting. I too have built a DR650SE which I truely enjoy. My journey in '08 took me up to Yellowknife, NWT, Yukon Territory, BC, and Alaska.
    Thanks for sharring your great photos and commentary!
    Ron:clapQUOTE=LoriKTM;16102076]Well, Ron, don't just take my word for it. There's quite a few comments on the new Tiger. Look here, starting at around page 300! http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=599070

    And here's some more reading: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=683023

    For my part, I'm very pleased with the Tiger 800XC. It grows on me more and more as I ride it. I've put many miles on single-cylinder dirt bikes, and miles on big twin sporty bikes. The triple felt a bit odd when I first rode it, but as I continued to push the bike on and off pavement, it really impressed me. Stock tires are a limiting factor off pavement, but the Tiger has great manners and superb shifting and fueling. It will get me to work the long way, the short way, and the dirt road way, all at about 50mpg. I always thought that if I could only have one bike in the garage it would be my Suzuki DR650. I think that the 800 XC is pretty heavy competition for that title.

    I have over 2500 miles on my bike now, and it hasn't used any oil or had any hiccups.[/QUOTE]
    #25
  6. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Great pics and nice play by play.
    Thanks. :thumb
    #26
  7. BOFH

    BOFH Secret Rider

    Joined:
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    Day 5:

    The day started, as expected, cold and overcast. Fortunately it didn't get as cold as they were predicting but the morning temps were in the mid 40's and it didn't look like it was going to warm up anytime soon. We did the free breakfast at the hotel and then packed up the bikes for the final day.

    I leaned out the hotel door to shoot the narrow gage train going by:
    [​IMG]

    You can see the overcast in the photo.

    We headed east out of Durango and then south through Ignacio, a town mainly noteworthy for it's grotesquely over sized casino/resort. Continuing south on Colorado 172 we crossed into New Mexico and a nice swooping road brought us to the south western end of the Navajo Reservoir.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    From there we rode south on NM 539 which makes a precarious trip across the top of the dam before proceeding south to connect with US 64. 64 would take us west through Dulce to Chama. At Chama we got some fuel and a hot lunch which was welcome since the temperatures had just reached 50 degrees and we were fairly well chilled.

    From Chama we headed south and since we were doing well on time and were getting bored with the pavement we diverted through a part of Carson National Forest. Starting in outside Canjilon and following FR 559 through to El Rito. This is a really nice road that we had been on before but not in the past couple of years. It was nicer this time without the snow that there was on our first trip. :evil

    Carson National Forest:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We wished we could have kept riding. :clap
    #27
  8. infoatnmmoto

    infoatnmmoto with the band

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    Beautiful pics! Thanks.
    #28
  9. BOFH

    BOFH Secret Rider

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    So a little sidebar on our equipment:

    The panniers and racks are Jesse Luggage systems. We have the mid-sized 10" Odyssey panniers they worked without flaw on the trip and had plenty of storage. Most of the gear that we carried was in the panniers with only a minor amount of stuff in our tail bags. The Jesse racks permit the luggage to be slid forwards and backwards a good distance. Having them as far forward as you can really helps with the handling. We settled on a just forward of center location as being a good mix of clearance for body movement and negligible impact on handling. If we were to ride with a pillon passenger we probably would have to slide them back a bit.

    The tail rack is a prototype, Al says there will be some changes. The plate bolts down on top of the stock plastic rack and allows you to run a fairly sizable tail bag without interfering with the removal of the seats (this is important if you are storing tools in there). The pannier racks on our bikes are prototype/early production but the production racks are available now.

    The Tigers handled the additional weight of the panniers, racks and gear with no problem. I put a couple of turns on the preload adjuster on both bikes after we were loaded to get the sag back into the stock range and within a couple of miles we forgot the luggage was back there. The additional weight was only noticeable when horsing the bike around in tight quarters/parking situations. This is a huge improvement over our DR 650s which try to imitate the motorcycle team from Cannonball Run when loaded with luggage (they wheelied all the way across the country).

    In the photos you'll spot my yellow Wolfman expedition tank bag. This is a nice sized bag for the Tiger, big enough to be useful and small enough to stay mostly out of the way. It does complicate fuel stops though only by a bit. The two rear clips have to be released so the bag can be slid out of the way of the fuel cap.

    The Tigers performed brilliantly. They handled everything we threw at them and every time we take them off road we get more confident with them. As mentioned the only real limitation was the tires. The stock Battlewings are great road tires but the front will float quickly is soft soils like sand and silt. Simply replacing the front tire with something more aggressive like the Mefo Explorer would probably be a huge improvement. We still haven't made up our minds on what the replacements for the Battlewings will be. A number of the candidates are known for relatively pathetic lifespans.

    Both of us averaged better than 50 mpg for the trip. The fuel economy seems to improve as the bikes break in. Though the trip fuel economy as calculated by the on-board computer seems a little optimistic. Mine was saying 60 mpg but running the mileage at the stop and the fuel put in into a gazinda box came up closer to 54. We had no running or starting issues the whole trip. The power is wonderful, predictable when needed, smooth and peppy enough to maintain or better the speed limit even in the face of ferocious winds.

    Our only "mechanical" incident of the trip actually occurred at home. On the Tuesday after Lori realized that the air pressure on her Tiger was low. A quick test proved that yes indeed she had a leak somewhere.

    The tire change was interesting. We put the bike up on a hydraulic bike lift since Lori's doesn't have a centerstand yet (it's on order). Tying the Tiger down on this type of lift is critical, with the stock bash plate the bike doesn't want to sit level and can very easily be knocked right off the lift damaging the bike and possibly the mechanic. The wheel is easy to dismount, but breaking the bead was another story entirely.

    We ended up using the sidestand trick since we don't have a dedicated bead breaker. Even with the weight of a 400+ pound bike on it we had to work to get the bead broken. Also, the carcass on the Battlewing is very stiff. You have to break the bead on both sides otherwise you can't get enough flex to get the tube in and out. Lori's tube and tire turned out to have a simple, small hole, puncture of the type caused by wire or a nail. Always check the inside of your tire after a puncture! We found that the end of the metal debris was still in the tire and that it was quite sharp. The debris would have easily punctured the replacement tube had we not found and removed it. Re-seating the bead on the Battlewings takes a lot of air and the tire tends to pop back onto the bead quite violently and loudly. Re-installation of the wheel is a cinch.

    I strongly recommend getting the center stand for the Tiger though. Without it a trail side tube repair/replacement would become a major hassle. I just put one of the Triumph center stands on my Tiger and it's a pretty well integrated kit though a couple of steps in the install process are a little fiddly, requiring patience and a little creative thinking. Once installed it lifts the bike relatively easily and right near the balance point so the bike can easily be weighted for work on either end.
    #29
  10. AlanI

    AlanI Adventurer

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    What make of bum bag is that you are wearing around your waist Lori and is it waterproof etc? Looking for just such a thing for our upcoming trip and what you're wearing appears to be of a good size.

    Great RR by the way - very much enjoyed reading it as I'm sure too is soph9 what with their BIG adventure coming up shortly. :D
    #30
  11. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    #31
  12. AlanI

    AlanI Adventurer

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    Yep, certainly looks like it. Thanks for the link Leslie. :D
    #32
  13. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

    Joined:
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    seal beach, ca.
    ...was sittin on a new 800xc yesterday at the dealership. Now I stumble on your beautiful report. What's a guy to do????

    Nice report, thanks for sharing.
    #33
  14. BOFH

    BOFH Secret Rider

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    Uhhh, whip out your checkbook? :evil
    #34
  15. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
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    Shenandoah Valley VA
    Super RR! Love the Tigers and the route you guys did. Now I really need to figure out how to explore this part of the country.

    Just curious, how did the passenger pegs hold up? I've ready a lot about them. :lol3
    #35
  16. BOFH

    BOFH Secret Rider

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    Neither Lori or I have run a pillon passenger on our bikes. With the Jesse Luggage on the luggage will touch ground way before the passenger pegs do. Fortunately we haven't done the extreme impact test:evil with our bikes. So riding around with the rubber side down they seem to do just fine.
    #36
  17. Vanman 6

    Vanman 6 Adventurer

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    Dec 19, 2008
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    Kent England
    What a fantastic trip, it makes "little ol' england" feel so bloody small - even riding down to Italy via French Alps seems a little cramped for space,just so much traffic and general stuff over here.............
    Fancy a bike swap some time ??? :D
    #37