Eat. Sleep. Ride. - The Great Divide

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Shibby!, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    A "quick" picture post of the Continental Divide Trail with a few detours ending my trip I started last October. For me this was the end of 5 countries, 7 states, 2 provinces, 6 tires, 5 flats, 14,000 ft highest elevation, 1 broken chain, and over 22,000 KM's on my trusty XR650R. Memories that will never be forgotten and an experience that changed the way I think about life.

    My other ride reports can be found in my signature. Thanks for looking.

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    #1
  2. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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  3. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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  4. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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  5. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    2.5 weeks, camped every night except the first two, 6180 KM's, 1 set of Desert IT's, only one day of not riding (broken chain). Riding from NM to Alberta without a license plate! Good times. :clap
    #5
  6. DocAxeYarYar

    DocAxeYarYar RideDualSport.com

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    Very awesome! Beautiful pictures. I have the CDT on my list of must-do rides hopefully soon.
    Im in process of building my XRR up for DS riding. And curious on some items:
    - How did sub frame hold up (is it stock alloy one?)
    - How many miles between oil changes?
    - Any bike or gear tips for doing such a mega adventure?


    Thanks for posting up and sharing the ride!
    #6
  7. BuRPsa

    BuRPsa Finally growing up..

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    Shibby, a-we-so-me country you've seen!! Magnificent scenery, I must say.
    But what is the above, surely it has a name? Would like to read up on it...
    #7
  8. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    That's MesaVerde Park / Ruins near where the NM, CO, and UT border intersect. We skirted off the CDT to take this park in, and Moab WRT. Last fall I did a lot of other trails in Moab, but this time was a whirl wind trip and I wanted to do the WRT since we didn't get it done last time. IMO, one of the best Moab has to offer. Not very technical, but the views are like nothing else. Stunning scenery around every corner.
    #8
  9. flossandfly

    flossandfly Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing.
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  10. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    Buell,

    My subframe is a full steel replacement. Made by a ADVrider who has a company called GlobeTrotting. Just goggle Globe trotting motorcycle frames and it would probably come up.

    The second XRR on the trip, my buddies, has a stock subframe. It held up fine but he was carrying a lot less weight then me. I had the tools, first aid kit, spares, food, night caps, etc

    There's argument as to how often you have to change the oil on the XRR, but little to no people actually getting their oil tested to confirm these acquisitions. To me, the oil isn't that much cost considering it only takes 1.6 or 1.8 liters. In Mexico it was around 5-7$/liter. Once on this trip we put 15$/liter because they had no listed price on the them. Then scored some ultra cheap castrol syn for 5.85 promotion. In either event, for as long as I owned the bike I have been changing my oil at 2000km (1200 miles) and changing the filter every SECOND oil change (4000km).

    Ironically my bike was burning some oil during my latin america trip, however on this trip it was pretty much keeping the same level. I have a feeling my crankcase vent tube might have been slightly pinched causing a bit of pressure/burning. It appears to be good again.

    Tips for trips? Pack as light as you possibly can. Most people pack WAY too much stuff. Stuff they never use but have to deal with it every single day because they either have to pack it, it's in the way, or deal with the extra weight and size. The bigger the bike, the more they end up packing. Hence my confusion on why people want oversized GS's with tons of crap on them. With a bike that size it limits you from doing the trails that are really fun and adventurous. They are also so complicated you are stuck finding specifically trained BMW/KTM mechanics to do the work on them.

    So, keep it simple, and pack as light as possible. Spend time finding light and small tools, if you are buying sleeping bags review weight and packed size, same with tents and sleeping mattresses. Forget the camp cook gear. Food is everywhere in the states and latin america. If there is no food, granola bars can hold you over till you find something.
    #10
  11. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Excellent advice indeed! My KLR is such a pack-mule, that I have to work hard at the temptation to load it up! For solo riding I use a small duffel bag and dry sack, no saddlebags.
    Congratulations on the Adventure of a life-time! We wanted to do some of the Great Divide last year but changed our plans due to wild fires in New Mexico.
    Its great to see an XR650R can handle an extended high mileage journey, carrying all the comforts needed!
    The XR650R has great appeal to me compared to a KTM, mainly because of reliability, simplicity and legendary Baja racing performance. I understand the XR650R does not use titanium valves, which is also appealing from a wear point of view.
    What was the longest distance traveled between fuel stops with that large tank?
    Thanks for the awesome photos, very inspirational!
    #11
  12. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    I have done 400km (250miles), but I think in a pinch I could go much further. On this trip the WY section north of Rawlins was 385km's I think, and I still had over 2 gallons in my tank. The Acerbis tank is rated at 6.3 gal.

    Please keep in mind this is with the TM-40 carb, which got me from 36-38MPG to over 50MPG. My buddy who is using my other tank (4.3 gal) was getting lower on fuel by the time we filled up, and already put in an additional 2.5 gallons which you can see were strapped to our bikes for this one time long fuel stretch. So in comparison his stock carbed bike used nearly 7 gallons, and I used around 4.

    It is true the XRR uses steel valves, however I still think the valves are the weak point. Not sure how weak compared to other thumpers, but from people who rebuild them often mention the valves are razor sharp and were due for replacement. I'm not sure if the LC4 shares this issue, but surely the MX bikes would.
    #12
  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Nice ride. Great pix! :thumb
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  14. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    Thanks Cannonshot.

    That means a lot.
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  15. XSoCal

    XSoCal Been here awhile

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    Great ride report, and thanks for posting the shots. And now I'm really glad I wound up getting the XRR! If you get a chance, a few questions.

    - which windscreens are you and your buddy using; trying to decide on one/build one now.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    - which chain broke? Looks like it was an O ring, and not a master link failure...<o:p></o:p>
    - what gearing do you use? I just put on 15/43...great on the highway, and haven't really had a problem slow, although picking up the front is a bit hard. With mixed riding I get 400km from the Acerbis tank and the stock PE carb.

    Thanks!<o:p></o:p>
    #15
  16. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    WIndscreen is a universal cycle. Not exceptional looking but works well. I think it would be less suited for somebody not running the race light.

    My buddy is running a chopped 990/950 screen. I think you can get a new one for around 60$ It's mounted with spacers/standoffs from the X2 headlight using the factory X2 mounting straps. He said he had no complaints.

    I have 15/48 and although pretty good for technical riding, it lacks top end. I try to keep it at or below 95km/hr highway to prevent unnecessarily high RPM on highway. I can swap a 14/58 in for more technical like Moab, etc. My new sprocket is a 46 hoping to gain that 5km/hr or so highway. On this trip I found even my gravel and dirt road riding was slowed by RPM speed, but locally I generally ride much more technical trails and top speed isn't a concern as much as 1st gear clutching.

    I have mixed thoughts on the chain. I too was concerned it was a non-masterlink failure, or a failure all together for that matter. The problem is I did notice my chain to be quite worn with plenty of "strech" one day, and didn't immediately tighten it. In either event, I don't think a worn chain should ever snap, even if it skips a tooth. Sprockets and chain at that point both had 20,000km. Chain is the top of the line RK X-ring designed for large displacement thumpers. XRW comes to mind as the model. In the past I've rode everything from cheap Primary Drive to overly expensive DID well past worn limits and have never had an issue. That also being said, I've never put 20,000 on an off-road chain as local conditions wear these out well before then. I'm just thankful it didn't pile up and damage my crank case. When it happened I first thought clutch for some reason (stock), but immediately couldn't think of why, that's when I looked down and saw my primary free wheeling and no chain. Thankfully this was only 10 km from Pinedale, WY. I was towed into town by my buddy where I fell once doing a hill climb. The local Polaris shop had a EK O-ring chain for a very reasonable price so instead of repairing my used one, I bought their chain. Better service from that town's shop then all of Calgary's combined.
    #16
  17. woodsxr

    woodsxr Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. You took some great pictures.
    Would like to do that trip some day
    #17
  18. XSoCal

    XSoCal Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info, much appreciated. I just picked up a DID VX2, it's an X-ring (but a clipped master) in the 100$ rather than 200$ range. Performs really well, we'll see how it lasts. Your gearing has me re-thinking the 43...problem with it is the axel is all the way back with 110 links, so I'd have to cut more for handling and when it stretches, but then I might have trouble switching to the 48 when needed at 108 links. Maybe 15/45 is a better travelling size for me (although with 15/43 you can cruise at 115 km/h and the engine puts you to sleep...).


    Good work with the G10 btw. I'm carrying a G9 for now, good high impact tank bag camera. I'm putting together a Pelican based case for carrying some professional Nikon gear...I wonder if there is enough XRR riders around here to meet for a ride and exchange mod info.
    #18
  19. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,669
    Location:
    Currently - Canada

    There are a few. Many of which I don't think read this forum

    G10's pretty good. I've put that camera through hell and back and it still works. There is just as good or better in small packages now, but until it dies I will keep using it. It has missing screws, scratches, cracked screen, etc. Still functions perfect though. The damage makes it less appealing to possible thieves.

    Instead of changing the rear, change the primary. Quicker, and easier. I'm hoping the 15/46 and 14/46 satisfy my requirements, but I know it would be nice to cruise at 110. I just hate racing the engine, especially for long periods of time. With 15/48 I have a 110 link chain too. I'm assuming it won't change for the smaller rear. 108 will limit your rear size.
    #19
  20. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,974
    Location:
    West Texas
    +1. Very nice Shibby!
    #20