2011- an f650gsa tale -Trans American Trail ,Trans Wisconsin Trail and some more --

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by f650gsa, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    2011 has been a very good riding year and there is room for few more rides I believe . This ride report is not only about one ride is about almost all of them that I have done this year and more than everything that you will see will be lots and lots of pictures .

    This is what my RR will contain
    -Trans American Trail (TAT) TN to UT
    -Trans Wisconsin Trail - two times winter/ summer plus few extra pics from a car trip
    -Chicago Region BMWMOA club ride to LaCrosse Wi
    -Cheese Off-Road Trail Wisconsin
    -Badlands Off-Road Park -Attica Indiana- proved to be disastrous
    -and some other small rides

    Let's get going !

    Well I am mostly riding the same bike - an 2002 BMW F650GSA - since 2003 along with two others a 2003 Dakar ( two up and mostly street ) and her bike a 2001 Dakar that replaced her 200DR . I know many complain about their 650's but in my case I have no problem with them . Rather than selling them I made many improvements and the bikes prove to be more than reliable . For example my 2002 got a Touratech front end that is just awesome and hopefully this winter I will get my hands on a aftermarket shock .

    First of all few pics with my TT conversion


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    #1
  2. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    Part 1 -TWAT - Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail ( Galena Il to Lake Superior -500 miles of pure joy total of 4 days )

    This trail is fairly easy but don't underestimate it , you can easily get hurt . At times there is a lot of gravel on the pavement sections and most of it is at the turns . The deep sand can be problematic but the sections aren't too long . Other than that is very scenic and could be done at a very fast pace just the way I like it .This particular trip was done in early march and as you will see there is still plenty of snow left in some areas . Also "kion" was part of it too on his 2005 GS . Be aware we both had heated gear and I will strongly recommend that !!!!!!!


    At the start up

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    by The Mississippi river

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    The first crash -sharp turn and lose gravel

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    Snow ahead and lots of ice under that mud

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    Just North of Sparta where most of the fun begins

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    Detour ahead

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    Lots and lots of sand


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    Poor dog, probably hit by a car or something

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    And another detour

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    Besides being cold we had a lot of fog that day so it was time to stop and get dry .

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    Riding trough CHEQUAMEGON National Forest

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    Only but ICE

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    We made it -Lake Superior

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    Ashland Wi -overnight was low 20's

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    #2
  3. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    Just a 3 day ride trough beautiful SW Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota on Memorial Day Weekend . Two up on my 2003 Dakar and once again "KION" was part of it along with my GF . Easy ride with no surprises and very good weather -

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    Gay Mills Wi

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    #3
  4. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    GF on her DR200

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    GF with her 2001 GS Dakar

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    Cheese Trail Wisconsin

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    Galena Il ride


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  5. ghostrider.y2k

    ghostrider.y2k ride enything but HD

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    877
    Location:
    NW Chicago burbs
    good stuff.
    #5
  6. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    Just one day ride to Attica Badlands Off-Road Park in Indiana with two other 650's riders -KION and David . Should have been an easy day but it proved to be a an disaster . Due to an operator error -ME- I had the bike all under waters . Since the bike died we had to drag it out , take it apart and clean it up as much as we could . After an 3 hour hassle the bike was up and running , rough but it got me home -140 miles away . More about it in Part 5 .

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    #6
  7. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    Preparation trip - TWAT !

    Picture time , enough talk !!!!

    Water crossing

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    Since I liked this places so much I decided to drive my Forester too on some of the National Forest roads and see more of the scenery along with my GF . Here are few extra pics of Apostle Island National Lakeshore . Enjoy !!!


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    #7
  8. kion

    kion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    Chicago,IL
    Here we go Cat, Iron Mountain State Park :freaky
    #8
  9. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,237
    Location:
    Itasca, IL
    Glad to help. Thanks for the report and pics.

    :lurk
    #9
  10. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    TAT Tennessee 2011

    Will all regret I have to say that TN has been the least favorite state and there are few reasons why I didn't like it . This apply's only to the TAT maps not to the entire state . I found it very hard to navigate and very hazardous - dogs at every corner or sleeping in the middle of the pavement , missing stop signs or poorly unmarked . The gravel roads were OK but the paved ones horrible and very narrow . Pothole after pothole and the worst of all is that in straight line they were paved then at every turn was just gravel that caused us some problems and a crash . The scenery was not that great except few spots including those water crossings . Besides all this negative feedback TN has a big PLUS - very nice/ great peoples to talk too and get help from . In an instance we had our dinner paid by a local - Thank You Brad H., then another gentlemen took our old /used tires -Thank You Wayne G. !

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    Then the first crash - sharp turn/ gravel combination

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    Recognize this guy ?

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    Few other pics of TN

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    My turn to drop the bike . Be aware of those water crossings -very slipery even at low speeds !


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    One other thing that I have to mention is that is always good to have the maps with you as a back-up . I will not put my trust very much in a GPS - his (KION) died by half of TN and mine has a issue - will not work well when is cold . Besides that my 2610 is not updated with the latest and greatest maps from Garmin and at times will take me trough shortcuts that are no longer accessible roads .
    #10
  11. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    TAT Mississippi 2011

    Has been a good 200 miles section and we had a great time doing it . Some of the gravel roads were difficult as the gravel was deep and the stones were round -CAUTION !!! I will also watch out for the deep sand at times and their gravel road maintenance . Good scenery , good speed , a small crash then a broken radiator .

    The gravel claims KION , nothing serious

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    Good roads

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    Then we run into this road repair -NICE

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    Also very dusty

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    Then a folded road

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    Then not the best part of the trip - Just getting some gas

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    Just a quick stop at a cotton field

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    Towards the end of the day I noticed that KION's radiator was all wet and we decided to find a motel near by and fix it if possible . It turned out that the security screw for his ZUMO that was lost two years ago got jammed in between the frame and radiator eating it out . The same ZUMO that stopped in TN caused us another problem - a leaking radiator . We took it apart and with some Liquid Metal Epoxy we fixed it . That shit is good !


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    #11
  12. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,112
    Location:
    Right where I need to be
    Hey, I resemble that guy! :lol3

    Great RR so far Cat! I can't wait for more! :clap
    #12
  13. WU7X

    WU7X The Old Fart

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,122
    Location:
    Spoke Can, WA
    Wish that I had my Dakar and even knew about riding DS's back when I went to school at UW-River Falls! Of course, that was back in the stone age of the early '70's. Can't wait to see more pics of your summer fun.

    :lurk
    #13
  14. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    TAT Arkansas 2011

    I just loved it ! Scenery was great along with all the National Forest roads trough The Ozarks and the food very delicious . Some small incidents along the way including the well known Warloop Rd but besides that I will advise you to keep your side of the road . We both had to run into the ditch to avoid a head on collision with a dump truck trough The Ozarks . That guy drove like a maniac and had no intentions to stop ,he kept on going just like nothing happened ! Hopefully he shit his pants as I cursed the hell out of him !

    This was funny as I laughed for minutes . New pavement with high curve and the bike bounced back then dropped it . Kion lost it too !

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    The Ozarks

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    Some of this turns can be very tricky as gravel tends to stay in one spot only -CAUTION .


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    Nope this is not a road just one of the many creeks dried out !

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    This particular road was closed but we decided to take it . End up with a mud slide but still passable for a bike . Next one that we found closed we avoided just because I hate to back track .

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    This is a must stop for gas or food . You get to sign you name in the Guest Book and see many riders that passed before you plus you will provide some business for it . And by the way that cheeseburger was delicious .

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    The Warloop Rd.

    The worse section of it is only 1/3 mile long . It's bad, bumpy and the round boulders make it interesting . Is not that difficult but will be much easier and you will feel much better if you had another guy with you . I went trough it with no issues , Kion dropped it few times as the GS is HEAVY and once is too inclined you better let it go . Going back up the road will be tough if you get in the worse part of it so keep on going down . First gear only and use the brakes wisely just enough so you don't lock them up . Always look ahead where you going and make your path . Good Luck !

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    #14
  15. glittleman

    glittleman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Bolivia
    I'm sure you got the oil thing figured out, but you can put diesel in the crankcase, run the engine for about thirty seconds and then drain, repeat about 10 times.... should get most of the crap out of your engine... I did that with my dirtbike when I took it swimming one day. :)
    #15
  16. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    I haven't tried that yet and I don't think will be effective as I rode the bike for 6k since I had it flooded . My only hope is to replace the head or rebuild the old one . I have all the parts for it and I believe this upcoming week will be fixed since I got all the parts . Will see what happens if not I will just swap a newer engine in it -have that too . Thanks for your advice .



    #16
  17. kion

    kion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    Chicago,IL
    Ha ha ha ha!!! The Warloop Rd is probably the highlight of the eastern TAT. Short section but for sure the most difficult I've been trough with my GS. I almost bottomed out the front suspension few times, even with Yamaha front end. Dropped it couple time but there was no way back :evil
    #17
  18. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    TAT Oklahoma 2011


    From what I was told and seen I expected Oklahoma to be a very boring state . I was wrong and I enjoyed very much . I can't say the same thing about the last 200 miles of it that is nothing but farm land
    with a distinctive smell of livestock . So I skipped sections of it just because it's boring . The roads were good except when wet and that mud tends to be very sticky and once it dries acts just like a shield overheating the engine . But the biggest and scariest encounter was with a forming TORNADO near Medford where in fact we took cover at the public school until the storm calmed down . There were bunch of locals there that were also taking cover as they don't have basements in their home . SCARY !!!


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    heeding towards the tornado

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    At this point things were getting to serious and cars were flying by including several emergency vehicles . We pulled over for a minute next to some locals and we were told to head back to Medford and take cover at the Public School . Looking at the sky we clearly saw how the twister get's it's shape . Clouds were moving in a circle pattern at a very fast speed and everything was very dark colored . Unfortunately wasn't too much time for pics , not willing to take chances !

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    after the storm

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    Next day after the storm/tornado delay


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    By this time KION , my riding buddy, developed a eye irritation from all the dust/dry air so we took a side trip to Liberal KS to eat , gas up and find a pharmacy . Apparently he had this eyes problems before and without rest and being indoor will not heal so he made up his mind and decided that his trip will be over and will ride home . Besides that he had some unsolved business at home . It's nothing that I can do so I have to ride alone for another week . I just have to be more careful as the trip becomes progressively tougher and make sure I don't get hurt . I've been trough this situations before and all went well so I am confident that I will be OK .
    Once we left on separate ways I realized that Oklahoma is getting more and more boring so rather that waste any time I skipped some of the roads and by the end of the day I made it to LaVeta Colorado .


    one last pic of Oklahoma - New Mexico here I come

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  19. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    TAT New Mexico 2011

    It's almost like you enter a different world and it's where you realize that what you done so far on TAT was almost useless . I just think that this part of TAT should be remapped and made bigger .


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    can't remember the road name but for sure it was bumpy

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    #19
  20. hoflix

    hoflix quiet rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Those are some cool-ass pictures! And a very good ride report, as always. Now what? Don't keep us waiting....
    #20