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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JBird, May 23, 2017.
Cool trip guys, great photos, great that your home safe, all the best.
You guys are the real deal. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Ciff
I've really enjoyed this thread. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
Great ride, great ride report. Thanks for sharing
Incredible trip you guys! It was a pleasure to meet you all!
Can you tell me what camera you used for these wide photos, and were these photo sizes set in camera or were these all custom cropped? I really like the shorter but wider perspective of all your photos.
Thompson River was raging
Sounds like y'all had a great trip! I look forward to sitting down with you and some cold beverages to hear more about your trip! Congrats and welcome back!
Thanks, Tim! Most of the photos were shot with the Sony RX100V. It uses a 24-70mm lens. Most of the landscape shots I took using F/11 and did some minor cropping, if it needed it, in Lightroom. Lightroom made it easy if I wanted to apply the same cropping and other minor changes to multiple pictures as I could make the changes and apply them to multiple images. This made it much quicker in getting the photos ready to upload and post at the end of long days. In the coming days Ill post my reviews of the camera and tech equipment that I brought.
MonsterRS it was a pleasure meeting you & your hospitility was amazing, thank you. Remember, when you come to the SE I want to return the favor.
Thanks Ian! Looking forward to following your trip...62 Days on SE! Love it!
Sorry to see this come to an end. You've been my go-to ride report for the past weeks.
Welcome home and thanks for bringing us along!
Thanks Cliff, hope to be back @ Muddy Creek next year!
Review time, Ill start with tires.
Started with Mitas E07 Dakars with heavy duty tube both front and rear. I really enjoyed these tires. They stuck well on the pavement, even in twisty road conditions. Did well offroad without airing them down. I rarely ever air my tires down, on this trip I never aired them down including the Dalton to Deadhorse from Coldfoot. Had almost 7k miles on them before leaving Fairbanks to head to Deadhorse and they did fantastic. The wear was exceptional with the Dakars, much better than E07's Ive tried in the past that were not the Dakar version. Not the best shot of the rubber, but here they are mounted in a pre trip test run.
Thanks for @JBird for this pic. This is at the 5300-5400 mark.
Here it is with 8,050 miles on it after running up to Deadhorse. This is back in Fairbanks right before I changed it.
Hard to tell in the pic above, but it easily had another 1-2k left on it. We had tires available and not sure where exactly we would get another so I swapped to a Heidenau K60. In hindsight, I learned that a Honda dealer on the way to Grand Prairie had plenty of Mitas E07 in stock. The front E07 has lasted the entire trip. Not much life left, if any, on it. Wouldnt want to ride in the wet on dirt or twisty roads with it, thats for sure.
No pics of the K60 at the moment, but I wasnt sure it was going to get me home. The SE calls for a 140 rear, so thats what I run. The K60 in 140 does not have the center strip. It looks like this.
It now has 5885 miles on it and it is square and will not last another 1k miles. The other thing about the K60 is that it makes much more noise, especially when rolling up to a stop. I can really hear it roar at that point. The E07 was always much quieter.
Overall I am very pleased with the life of the Mitas E07 Dakar. I will be buying them again. I will let the other guys review their own tires. The GSA was on K60's for the entire trip. The Yamaha started on E07's and had to switch to the K60 like me.
Riding gear review.
I was wearing the Klim Badlands Pro KTM edition. I ordered them from @motocityktm here on ADV. They had some smoking deals, would have preferred without KTM badging, but the price was fantastic. Got the jacket and pants for about the price of new Badlands Pro.
Both vented pretty well and have some great features. The internal camel back in the jacket is great, except when I added a little powerade for flavor the mouth piece leaked, not Klim brand, but left some pink residue on the grey area on the chest. Not any fault of the jacket though. In the 3.5 days of rain we had I never had a drop of water make its way inside the jacket. I have been always completely dry top and bottom in the Badlands. Very comfortable day in and day out. The waist (kidney type) belt really helps reduce the weight of the jacket while wearing it. Had to pressure wash it to remove all the bugs, dirt and grime from several weeks on the road and it needs it again. This made it look new.
Zippers got a bit tough to pull so we sprayed them with Jigaloo that we picked up in Canada. All zippers were smooth as silk after a little Jigaloo.
Boots. Gaerne G All Terrain Gore-Tex. These boots were extremely comfortable day in and day out on and off the bike. Completely water proof, not one drop made it to my socks at all. On the very cold days my toes would get cold after an hour or two. On the hot days my feet would get really hot after a few hours, but nothing unbearable in both temps. Bought these a few months before the trip since my other boots were worn out. These boots have been great! Did nothing to them other than wear them straight out of the box.
Bought a new helmet before the trip. My XD3 was in need of replacement The XD was heavy and always strained my neck on longs days. Picked up the Suomy MX Tourer. It is the lightest helmet Ive ever worn.
Very comfortable with some minor gripes. The internal sun visor is very handy, but it could have been designed a bit better. Really have to adjust my helmet when using it or it does not line up well with my line of vision. No biggie. Second. The visor scratched badly. In offroad conditions the hinges on both sides collected dust and dirt. This caused scratches and I could hear it grinding away. The main clear visor also scratched badly in the rain when using the squeegee on my glove. It got to the point that I had to buy some scratch renew for plastic. This made it better, but not great. It was like looking through a permanently fogged screen. The helmet has plenty of vents that do not close. I knew this and it was never an issue in any temp. Probably will order a new clear shield for it. Minor gripes, really like the helmet, so does my neck. Not one day, even during intense winds, did my neck feel strained or ache.
This is the mic I used.
Never thought I would like a comm system, but it was fantastic! It was great to chat along the way, especially on the long highway days. Very helpful in taking a break, a photo or talking about lunch/fuel stops and how everyone was feeling to see how far we would get for the day. This was also very helpful when the roads got really bad for pointing out dangers in the road, wildlife or in heavy traffic. Some minor annoyances that were easily taken care of along the way cropped up, but thats technology.
Overall my gear worked exceptionally well. Next up, Ill post reviews on my base/mid-layers.
thanks for the gear review! Always enjoy getting real world perspective on different pieces of kit.
I like to pack light so anything that has more than one role is really helpful. This is why one of my layers was the Klim Inferno Pants. They worked great as a base or mid-layer on the bike and doubled as off the bike pants when it was cool out. Added bonus is they packed pretty small too. They are extremely comfortable and worked well in a wide range of temps.
Here is @JBird and I in Klim Pants off the bike.
My base layers were the Bilt Feeze-Out Gear from Cycle Gear. These worked surpsingly well! I only used the shirt and pants, here is their entire line. I bought the shirt and pants on sale for under $50 for all of it. Worked great!
Used the Aerostich Electric Liner. Worked well, not as great as the new micro wire stuff or as well as my full liner that quit before the trip. Thanks to @JBird for loaning me this one.
I had one more jacket in the mix. This was my off the bike jacket, but also wore it over the liner to trap in heat when it was really cold. The North Face Thermoball packs into its own pocket, as well as taking up very little space in the saddle bags. Here is photo from online showing it packed into its own pocket. It is the black jacket that I am wearing in the pic above. Really came in handy and for such a small package, it worked great.
Bought these Rukka Gore Tex gloves off an inmate. They worked pretty well, but were a royal pain when your hands got damp then had to put them back on. They never leaked, it is only after doing something without them, then trying to put dry gloves on damp hands. Or when taking them off after having sweaty hands. The liner would make it very difficult. The Xtrafit works...ok on touch screens. Could be that the gloves were a hair to big and my fingers did not firmly against the end of the fingers. They were great in keeping me dry and worked well when cool out. I also used Hippo-Hands on the bike. This helped when really cool out, but they are really annoying offroad. On road they are fantastic. Standing offroad and they become a nuisance.
Also ran some summer gloves. Used these most of the time, unless it was raining. Even in the cold. The Hippo-Hands do a great job with heated grips to keep you warm, even in cold temps with summer gloves. In this pic you can see we all are running Hippo-Hands.
I carried my 11" MacBook Air with 8GB of Ram. Amazing little laptop, powerful, fast, reliable and takes up about the same space as an iPad. Another pic from the web, the 11" Air is the one on the far right. This is a good size comparison. 15" Pro on the left, 13" Air in the middle, 11" Air far right. I also brought an HDMI adapter. Couple times we hooked up the laptop to a tv in our room and watched MotoGP while on the road. This was really nice!
Ive talked about the camera before, but the Sony is a fantastic little camera and fits in my pocket. Another borrowed pic. The caption online with this pic said, "See how it fits in my medium sized hands." Didnt use the feature on the trip, but it also will shoot in 4K video. It takes way better pictures than my aging DSLR, its faster, and more portable. I find that I am taking more pictures now since I can fit in my pocket. Much less intrusive to those around than a DSLR. If the price puts you off, about $1k, then look in the used section of B&H. They earlier generations of this camera, still just as good, for as low as $249. I used a 64GB SD card, it was never anywhere near full. I have the Sony setup to take a Raw + JPG pic at the same time. I never really used Raw much with my DSLR, but with Lightroom I have much more control with Raw files.
Other than this, I had some chargers. My camera charger doubled as my Sena charger. My iPhone and some USB SD Card readers. Here is my process for each night. I would take the days photos from everyone's cameras. Mostly through the USB SD Card Reader, Dad would Airdrop to my laptop from his iPhone. Each day had a dated folder on the desktop. Import all daily photos to that folder. Open Adobe Lightroom. Pick a handful that would make it to the thread and lightly edit those. Mostly correcting lighting or cropping. Once all the edits were completed, I would make another folder that said "Edited 6.14.17" or whatever the date of that day. All folders would then be copied over to my 1TB external drive. If the internet was decent, or if it wasn't I would hotspot from my phone, and upload only the edited photos to my Smugmug page. Being organized helped considerably since I only had to upload the edited photos. By the end of the trip we had about 50GB of photos/videos. Now that I am back home, I uploaded those unedited photos that are in dated folders to a dated folder in Smugmug. Now we can go back and see all the photos, not just the edited ones.
Thats all I brought for tech equipment. There were times it would have been nice to have a telephoto or a wider angle lens, but the portability far outweighs any negatives with the little Sony.
Picked up some of this at a Moto Shop in Dawson Creek.
I will be stocking my shop with this spray. It comes with its own rag too, its in the lid. This is a foaming spray that cleans and polishes at the same time. It cleaned the bugs off my visor much better than Honda Spray or Plexus. Plus, it was about half the price of those other sprays. I wiped my tank off with it with one day and it really made it shine. Great stuff! Off to the web to order some.
Already mentioned the Jigaloo. It worked wonders on our dirty zippers. Ill be getting some of that too. If I can get it here in the USA.
Getting caught up with all the ride reports while I'm on the sidelines - great report and I specially like the perspective you used in some of your shots.
Thanks for the offer to bring me a tube BTW...
re: Cycle Gear Freeze Out - I've use the top and pants as well - it was cheap to buy and I thought I would give it a try. You are correct it works surprisingly well, especially for the price. going to look at a couple of the other clothing items you mention - thanks.