3 Calgary riders hit the Divide

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lav1200, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

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    Thanks to the inspiring stories of the Great Divide ride from BigDog, Hackney and gpsKevin, 3 of us from Calgary Canada did the route North to South this month. I was on my DR650, the other two were on KLRs... great bikes for this type of ride. No major mechanical issues, but did have to deal with 4 flat tires on the way South (my "Tire Wizard" bead breaker came in very handy)

    Left Calgary on Aug 1st, crossed at Roosevile Aug 2nd, and made it to Antelope Wells on Aug 14th. Return route was backroads North of Douglas to 4 Corners, then Beef Basin and Lockhart Basin to Moab. From there we cut cut West to do Skyline Dr, and hooked back up with some of the GDR route in Lima.

    My favourite part of the route was everything in Montana (especially the scenic byway between Grant and Lima) and the Moab area on the return trip. We got in way over our heads on Lockhart Basin... what I thought would be a 3 hr cake-walk turned into a 9 hr ordeal - the rain, lightening, darkness and "tricky" spots on the trail had us very glad to see the lights of Moab at 10 pm that day! It was a true adventure, but next time I ride in Moab I will not have 80 lbs of extra crap strapped to my DR.

    The low point of the trip was Cuba, New Mexico. The town had a boil water advisory for its residents. The Motel we stayed at neglected to inform us of this - all three of us got seriously sick and had to spend an extra day there recuperating.

    Here's a few pics of the trip - best 3 weeks I have spent in a long time:

    Waiting for a cattle drive to clear off our route between Lincoln and Helena
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    Navigating through the Lava Mtn trail... a bit of a handful but worth the effort
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    Checking out Fleecer Ridge from the top (we opted to bypass this bit)
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    The section between Grant & Lima... stunning area to ride
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    Flat #2 - just before Union Pass
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    In the Great Divide Basin... very far from everywhere
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    My favourite pic of the trip - Al on his KLR on the way into Steamboat Springs
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    A little road-side KLR fix (fan problems) just South of Del Norte
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    Right at Indiana Pass we spied a trail leading up to the peak of Grayback Mtn... rode it to the top where my 60cx read 12,647 ft
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    When we got to Pie Town, the Pie-O-Neer was closed. The owner saw the sad & hungry look on our faces and decided to open up just for us... had a nice feast of homemade soup and pie
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    Just outside of Silver City dealing with flat #4
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    End of the first half of our journey - what a great ride!
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    Crossing the San Pedro "river" in Arizona... driest river crossing I've ever had
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    A little backroads exploring East of Phoenix led us to this gem of a jeep trail[​IMG]

    On the Beef Basin route just West of Blanding UT[​IMG]

    Tossing the DR while trying to take a shortcut up a switchback on the Lockhart Basin trail[​IMG]

    Checking out one of several questionable spots on Lockhart Basin[​IMG]

    A great shot of Chris motoring along Lockhart with his '07 KLR[​IMG]

    Still a long way to go on Lockhart Basin, sun getting low on the horizon and the rain clouds building. Chris wondering at this point what we have gotten ourselves into...[​IMG]

    Skyline Drive in Utah... spent about 3 hrs riding all above 10,000 ft[​IMG]

    This was the best trip I've had in my 25 yrs of riding. For those of you who love a real mix of riding, the GDR route has it all... sportbike-heaven twisties (Wise River to Polaris) to gnarly jeep trails (Lava Mtn) and everything in between. If I were to do it again, the only change I'd make would be to leave my camping gear at home in order to reduce the load a bit. No problem finding cheap motels all along the route. It would have made a big difference to shave 15-20 lbs from my bike's load when we were dealing with the more difficult parts of the route.

    Cheers,
    Andy
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Awesome KLR adventuring!! I hope one day someone comes up with run flat tires for bikes.. Great pics and ride, thanks for posting!! :thumb
    #2
  3. Jon_PDX

    Jon_PDX Long timer

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    Thanks for posting the report Andy. It was this site, and ride reports like yours, that got me back into D/S riding.

    Jon...
    #3
  4. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    :clap :clap :clap
    #4
  5. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

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    Now that looks like some fun adventuring!:clap
    #5
  6. Twotaildog

    Twotaildog Old Poop

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    Very nice! :clap
    #6
  7. BriKielyGSman

    BriKielyGSman BigBadBri

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    I wish I had friends that would do these types of rides with me...:cry. Will you be my friend??:lol3
    #7
  8. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

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    KLRs don't like to run on diesel... Chris taking a break in Seeley Lake to drain diesel from his tank
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    Luxury accommodations at a campground just East of Grant
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    The famous "Aspen Alley" on the way into Steamboat Springs
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    Al breaking through our only real water crossing of the entire trip
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    Deep rut on the way South of Cuba claims a KLR
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    Met up with a group of 5 KLR riders from Oklahoma City doing the Divide from South to North. It was a Doohickey love-in, with me being the odd guy out on my DR
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    Yeah... it's flat all right. Bummer...
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    Cool road we found that parallels the border wall heading West from Douglas
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    Quick break at the Spider Rock Overlook at the Canyon de Chelly (far NE corner of Arizona)
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    #8
  9. Teeds

    Teeds Don Quixote

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    Great trip!

    I want to take that ride in the next few years.

    :evil
    #9
  10. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

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    Great report! I'm jonesing to do that route as well. Think I'll buy a KLR, XR or DR instaed of taking the GS :D
    #10
  11. doc riverz

    doc riverz anatra di seduta

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    Lav1200, very excellent report! :thumb Thanks for that.

    OK, now out with it: Which bikes had more problems the KLRs or the DR650?
    IMWTK!
    #11
  12. Sevoman

    Sevoman Ever Vigilant

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    Great photos. Nice report. Glad it was great fun.

    Sevoman
    #12
  13. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Here's another angle:huh :D That's me further up the hill next to my KLR. It's steeper than it looks.

    Attached Files:

    #13
  14. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    I'm trying to figure out what our group did right - we had NO flats, 4 bikes and 5300 miles. Lucky? Running higher pressures?

    What caused your flats?
    #14
  15. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

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    I'd say it was a toss-up. My DR had issues with a faulty IMS fuel petcock... starvation issues on the few times I had to switch to reserve. One KLR had its fan wiring come loose and overheated, the other blew a fan fuse right near the end of the trip.

    Next time I do a trip like this, I will shave 20-30 lbs of weight on my load, and ideally do it on a more dirt-oriented bike (TE610?). Will make the stuff near Moab much more fun.
    #15
  16. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

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    Yeah... that's kind of what I thought would happen to us too. One of the KLR riders in our threesome did do it (we got separated earlier in the day and he did it alone) and the same thing happened to him. I hate loose shale downhills... especially with 80 lbs of dead weight strapped to the DR.
    #16
  17. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

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    The first flat appeared to have been caused by a fold in the tube when it was originally installed, the next 3 were all nails picked up in the rear tires. My DR had no flats, and I believe I was the only one running a HD tube in my rear.

    We did get pretty fast at roadside tube changes on this trip. I had a great bead-breaking tool and some bead lubricant that made short work of it all.

    We kept the pressures up there for the trip - don't think any of us ever went below 18 lbs.
    #17
  18. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    The other KLR rider in my group changed tires when he got home and found a fold in one of his tubes that started leaking air as soon as he messed with it.
    So I guess we got lucky. Nothing you could have done about nails!

    The only safe way down (up?:eek1 ) Fleecer is to get off the trail and that damn shale.
    When we tried to stand my bike up at first it started to slide down the hill even with both wheels locked.

    Seems like a universal theme in all the Divide ride reports this year - too much gear:D We were loaded too heavy plus we had too much crap on our seats to be able to move around in the rough stuff.
    #18
  19. meteorpilot

    meteorpilot YEE, ahem. YEEEHAW!

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  20. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

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    My IMS tank is rated 4.9 gal. On my DR, that's good for a total range of approx 225 miles. The longest section we had to go between fuel was Boulder to Rawlins WY... about 200 miles. I've heard the XR is a bit thirstier than the DR, so I wouldn't go with anything smaller than 5 gal unless you don't mind carrying a gas jerry can for some sections.

    Andy
    #20