Well, this past August my riding buddy and I left from my driveway on our two dual sport bikes. Mine is a Husaberg FE570S and his is a KTM 525. Our goal was to ride the Tour of Idaho (T-1) trail. We considered how to accomplish getting the bikes to the trail and then getting picked up again at the other eend of the trail, and the only logical thing we could come up with was to just ride it all. I sat for approximately a week with my map program and GPS in hand and looked for routes to get to and from the trail. The only real criteria was that asphalt in any form was to be avoided if at all possible. the priority was to ride USFS, BLM, and and trails we could find in between. After deciding on a route, I attempted to download the route to my GPS. Here was the first real obstacle, the data port on my Garmin GPS broke loose from the circuit board disabling any transfer of data. A quick call to Garmin and I discovered they had quit supporting my GPS the previous year. Uh-oh! Ebay to the rescue, I was able to locate parts from a source in Russia (seriously). I immediatly ordered the data port and then received a notice that it wouldn't arrive until after we were scheduled to leave. Crap, drat, and other things were said, then back to Ebay. I located a used model of my GPS at a reasonable price and purchased it to replace my now broken unit. I thought about upgrading, but motorcycle mount and all my software and map programs work perfectly with my old unit, so I just bought another one. Then, go figure, a couple days before our departure date the Russian parts show up and I was able to fix my original GPS. I thought this was ok because now I had a spare in case I somehow smashed the new unit. Our gear was discussed and what to carry per bike. Weight was a huge consideration as we knew the T-1 trail would have some challenges. We split up essentials as best we could and then decided on a date. We found two weeks in August that fit both of our schedules. As the date to leave approached, we discussed our maximum range with our fuel, how we were each going to pack our bikes, and what clothing to wear and bring with us. With weight being our primary concern, these discussions were quite important. Knowing that we would be in the back country for most of the trip, we decided upon certain essential items. I could share our list if anyone would like to see that, but for now lets just say we still didn't quite pare it down enough and I wish we had left more gear at home. That said, if we had, I'm sure we would have needed exactly what we left behind. The week before we leave, we are both doing last minute maintenance and mechanical checks on our bikes, and we both find issues. My buddy finds a problem with his lights, and hurriedly robs a replaceement lighting set up from his Husquvarna and attaches it to the KTM. his problem is solved easily. Me, I notice a slight clunking sound coming from the rear of my bike. I place it on the stand and find a tiny bit of free play in what feels like the rear wheel, no problem. I dismount the wheel and install a new set of bearings and seals. As I check the old bearings, I notice dirty grease in one bearing, but no play in either of them? I reassemble, and the free play is still there. Hmmm...., must be a swing arm bearing. That seems odd to me since my old KTM has over 35,000 miles on the odometer without a bearing issue and this Husaberg has less than 10,000 miles since new. I decide I must find the clunk. I remove the shock and rear swing arm. As I remove the swing arm, the drive side bearing falls out in rusty pieces. I'm not particularly bright, but I think that I have found the problem. I have less than a week and I'm hundreds of miles from the nearest parts source for a Husaberg. Crap, drat and dang are said again, then phone calls are made. The dealer has a bearing kit, and it will take three days to mail it to me. I buy it and hold my breath until it arrives. The kit arrives with a day and a half to spare, I can breath again, and I'm very happy I didn't have that problem out on the trail. With the bike fixed, I begin packing gear on to it and trying to load it for a long ride off road over rough terrain. I cover a couch with gear and realize that Packing is going to be a real challenge. I decide to just park the bike on the patio and try packing it. On my third or fourth attempt, I think I have it loaded as well as I can. The couch still has gear, but I've now deemed those item non-essential and they are headed back to the garage and the gear shelf. Loaded and with all my gear, I take a shake down cruise. I jump the bike, I wheelie it, I run some whoops and realize my light weight Hussaberg with all the power I love is now an overloaded heavy weight; well, not really a heavy weight, but much fatter and slower than she normally is. She's also suddenly got a soft suspension, and I'm very thankful I lost thirty five pounds this year. If I was still weighing her down with extra belly, she'd probably be horrible to ride, but as it is, I just have to watch hitting really harsh stuff hard because she'll bottom out, and I hate the sound of tires contacting the fenders. For tonight, I think I'll stop here. I will contribute more tomorrow night. I hope you all like the start, the ride we end up taking is twelve days long and covers just over 3300 miles. I will break it down by each day and try to share this semi epic adventure that we had this summer.