Fernie & Back - 9 days riding around the Kootenays, BC - Canada

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MotoLara, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. B50Paul

    B50Paul Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Salt spring Island the Hawaii of Canada
    A and N great roads and scenery . Pity about the bike . Maybe a Triumph or KTM in your future ?
    #21
  2. naotweed

    naotweed Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Actually some WR250s in our future. We just picked up a pair last time we were home. :clap
    #22
  3. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    :thumb a pair of WRs are sitting in our garage :D

    Cheers Paul! :beer
    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Bear Creek West, whatever many days it'd take: it'd be worth the trip! :D

    Hey I lived in Ktown for 4 years during my school days! great town indeed!

    Cheers,
    Alberto.
    #24
  5. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Previously I had planned to do some riding in the Flathead today, but now the new plan for the day was to troubleshoot my bike and, if we had time in the afternoon go into town.

    What we decided we were able to do: clean air filter, inspect spark plugs, visual inspection of fuel filter... That was about it. First on the list was the easiest: air filter. I've never had to check the air filter mid trip before and I have definitely been on dustier rides but it was certainly the easiest option on the table.

    While I made breakfast Alberto took out the air filter. It was no dirtier than normal, but we gave it a good clean anyway. As Alberto was ringing out my air filter a couple who were cycling by commented "uh oh, Beemers.... we ride them too" to which I commented just to Alberto quietly "we wish we didn't" :ddog:lol3

    Alberto took the bike for a spin without the air filter in and there was no issues so we decided to hope that the problem was only air filter related. Strange but logical I guess :clap

    Time to get our hands dirty!
    [​IMG]

    Our Campsite in Fernie was nice tho
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    Airing the air filter :lol3

    [​IMG]


    Campsite view :wink:
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    Instead of dwelling on my crappy bike we drove into town to take in the sights. First some chores at Canadian Tire and Extra Foods to take care of. Then to take a spin of our old neighbourhood While driving through town I caught a glimpse of a small dualsport bike for sale. We pulled up to check things out and the owners were in the driveway. Turns out they were selling a pair of XT250s, and at a decent price. If we wanted to spend a little more we could get the kitted out trailer thrown in. We spent probably 45min talking to the couple who were really friendly before moving on to lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent eating yummy food and shopping, all the while Alberto trying to figure out how he was going to buy those two bikes.

    We met some friends for dinner and had a very nice evening. It was a beautiful summer day in Fernie.

    The house we used to live in. The good old days! :D
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    Having some amazing bagels for lunch
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    'Happy Cow' makes the greatest ice-cream sandwich on earth :deal
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    Fernie offers great mountain views from pretty much anywhere in town
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    Main street (2nd Ave)
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    Supper with new friends!
    [​IMG]
    #25
  6. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Assuming all systems are go (since I was riding my bike around town all day yesterday) we decided to take on the Flathead section I had previously planned for yesterday. We cruised down highway 3 to the turn off for Coal Mountain. Crap, the road is closed to tourist traffic due to washouts. The guard asked us where we were trying to go and he told us that even if he let us through we weren't going to do much riding in the valley because tons of bridges were out. Normally, he said, you could probably ride through the rivers but the water level is really high right now. Double crap.

    Road closed! ....:waysad

    [​IMG]

    So we just cruised 40min down the highway past Sparwood for no reason. This trip is quickly falling apart since the Whiteswan and Flathead areas were the two main highlights of the trip. Okay, well there is nothing we can do about that. We turned around and decided to start heading home. We stopped for some photos along the way, trying to justify the ride out to Sparwood.

    Some good things come from mining... Elkview Mine, where Naomi and I met :rogue
    [​IMG]

    :D
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    Sparwood, BC and its giant truck
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    Just as we were approaching the Fernie city limits my bike felt like it was underpowered again. After puling away from the first traffic light my bike stalled, right in the middle of the highway, and I knew that the gremlins were back. We scrabbled off the highway and took the bike for some test spins. Yep, the problem was back. We considered our options. We decided to go to Ghostrider Motorsports to see if they could take a look at the bike, we knew they weren't going to have parts if that was what was needed but maybe they could help troubleshoot so we at least could figure out what we were dealing with.

    More bike problems...:puke1
    [​IMG]

    The bike was running like a piece of crap and barely made it to Ghostrider. I spoke with Bruno at the service desk and he asked his guys what they could do. Unfortunately they didn't have any time today but could maybe look at it tomorrow. He suspected it was either bad gas or electrical. Since Alberto's bike wasn't having issues we were leaning towards electrical. Only problem there is troubleshooting the electrical was not a small job. It involved quite a few hrs. Argh. While we were hanging out thinking about our options we inquired about the bikes in the shop. By the time we left I was convinced into buying a WR250 and almost cut a deal right there to leave my GS behind.

    So tempted.... soooo tempted! :lol3
    [​IMG]

    We limped the broken GS into town (where we had wifi) to make some plans. Basically we didn't want to waste a bunch of time troubleshooting the bike in Fernie, especially since it seemed like an electrical problem. We were looking at options to either rent a truck or have me fly home to drive our truck back to grab the bike. Of course though, Alberto hates being defeated so he was determined to ride the bike home, one way or another.

    We messed around for hours, calling rental companies and looking up plane tickets. We removed the air filter again (as a last hope) and tried to ride to Cranbrook where we would either keep going or I would get on a plane. On the way my bike continued to have issues so we pulled off the road just before Elko. Hot, angry, tired, I just wasn't in the mood to deal with this bike anymore. I was ready to quit on this bike. Alberto wanted to check the fuel filter, one last try. So there we were on the side of the road, stripping the bike and getting into the fuel filter. Unsurprisingly this was not our first time removing the fuel filter so we had a good idea of what we were doing. What we had not planned for was that my tank was a wee bit too full and as soon as we tried to get in we poured gas all over the place. Okay well, I guess we purged the fuel lines. Tons of bikes passed by us, but not one person stopped to see if we needed any help. We thought that was a bit strange.

    We hit the road again, back to Fernie so that we could stash the bike at a friends house. Surprise, surprise the bike was running fine and I was starting to lose my mind. We turned around at Fernie and started to head West. Home or bust. When we reached Cranbrook we stopped for a snack and to discuss our situation. We traded bikes again, as now it seemed like my bike was working. We suspect the connections we moved when opening the fuel pump were the initial problem and that they got disrupted when we did the shock change out in a hurry. Either way I am still furious with my piece of crap bike for not only waiting until a couple thousand kilometres later to shows signs of the issue but also to not have a warning light that clearly shows that it is an electrical problem. Surely that is an easy warning light to sort out.

    We were able to ride just west of Castlegar, where we found a nice little rec site off the highway. What a mess of a day :brow

    Mud Lake Rec Site
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    Nighty-Night!
    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,201
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT
    :thumb
    #27
  8. Garry_88

    Garry_88 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Sad to hear about your bike issues, can't wait to hear what it was since I too own a GS 800 with 66000km on the Odo.
    On a different note do you know a Phil Rigden, if yes we work together and have talked about your trip south many times.

    Garry
    #28
  9. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    No messing around, we just wanted to get home now. My bike is still considered a liability so the priority is to get home and lock it in a garage :lol3

    When I got out of the tent to hit the outhouse I noticed that there was frost all over the bikes. Yikes! When gearing up to go I started my bike to give it a bit of a chance to warm-up. It started, idled for a bit, then spontaneously stalled :jjen Piece of something….:mulie It struggled to start again, so I sat on it keeping the revs up. Not impressed at all.


    Just a bit nippy
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    Frosty tent in the middle of summer :huh
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    We cruised home along highway 3, not really stopping for anything other than gas. It is what it is, those bikes are quite handy at the long kilometre pavement days. Traffic increased as we got closer to Vancouver. The gas station at Wacom was INSANE! We tried as fast as we could to get to the ferry, arriving at 3:50 for the 4pm ferry. It was loading, but the ferry worker directing traffic didn't want to let us bikes on. He said there were over their passenger count and continued to fill up the ferry with cars :dizave We both call BS, as not matter how full you get a ferry with cars, there is always room to squeeze motorcycles. After everything we had been dealing with over the last few days we didn't want to deal with ferries. Missing the 4pm and suspecting that the 5pm would be late was pushing the limits for making the connection at Swartz Bay. Trying to explain this to the ferry worker was pretty much pointless, despite Alberto's powers of persuasion :jomomma

    The 5pm ferry did leave late, but only by 5min or so, so we were still optimistic. We were able to make the connection to Salt Spring by booting it around. There was a sneaky cop sped trap set up, thank goodness we saw it getting off the Superferry. We would have been busted, and not only that it's daily easy to be exceeding 40kph over the speed limit when it changes down to 20 kph. Again though as we were waiting in the line-up for the SSI ferry there was nobody directing traffic, which was starting to worry us. Eventually somebody appeared and we were able to ask if they were going to load us on the 7pm ferry. We got squeezed into the back of the ferry, but it was a very concerning day regarding BC Ferries employees.

    We made it home safe and sound and not without drama :clap:clap

    FIN
    #29
  10. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,614
    Location:
    Calgary
    :clap:clap:clap

    Moving from bigger bikes ourselves I can safely say those things are the most suitable choice. No need to choose not to take a track somewhere.

    Go light with gear as well though.

    Cool RR.
    #30
  11. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Hey Ben! long time no see you! .... wait a minute! we've only known each other through ADRvider. So we've never 'seen' each other :lol3 Hey when are we going to go for a ride? are you up north now?
    Cheers
    Hey Garry,

    Glad to hear you got a sample of German Engineering :clap:lol3 The issue was electrical and a faulty connection to the fuel pump. It's all good now... well ... not 'all good' with our lemon bikes something always comes up :lol3

    I haven't personally met Phil but I went to school with his wife. They moved out of BC before we could meet and go for rides. I know they used to live on V.Island so we were practically neighbours!

    Cheers amigo,
    Alberto.
    #31
  12. OceanMtnSea

    OceanMtnSea Pretty Dogged

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    764
    Location:
    left middle Saskatchewan & entering middle BC
    I guess just don't read enough ........or I am reading stuff at the wrong times............I missed this thread totally.....until now. I just saw it in your signature line Alberto.

    I was on the Hedley/NickelPlate road and the Trout Lake loop a couple of days after you went through....aimlessly wander around..............but ya I was riding and not reading :D.

    Great pics and writeup as usual!

    Cheers,
    J
    #32
  13. G-Mac

    G-Mac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Peterborough Ontario Canada
    Well that's not encouraging. I bought a 2013 F800GS. I love it so far. Once my son can reach the ground on my XR250, I'll be picking up a WR as well.
    One thing I observed (other than your awesome pics and narrative of your rides) is that you guys seem to be very top heavy in your loading of the bikes. Get that centre of gravity lower and minimize is what I would suggest. Again just a suggestion and to each there own. Everyone's "must haves" are different. Other than that I'm going to need you to keep traveling and documenting so I can live vicariously through you.
    Hopefully next year I'll be out there and maybe get a taste of what you guys are selling!!!!
    Excellent work.
    #33
  14. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Thanks G-Mac! :D
    Hope you don't have to deal with any of the issues we've had with our bikes (street riding-only recommended :lol3:lol3)

    Re center of gravity: first time ever I've read that the GiantLoops are 'very top heavy' :huh ... and my dufflebag (SealLine) contents couldn't be lighter: x01 feather pillow, x02 inflatable pillows, x01 small memory foam TempurPedic pillow, a 10'' netbook and toiletries. (yes, I need a bunch of pillows to sleep comfortable @ night with a couple of herniated discs on my back :cry)

    But anyways, thanks for the advice.
    Cheers,
    Alberto.
    #34
  15. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

    Did you get a new set of Mitas E09 Dakar shoes? or waiting for next riding season (get them @ www.mx1canada.com with free shipping!)
    Cheers John :beer
    #35
  16. G-Mac

    G-Mac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Peterborough Ontario Canada
    Ya you can't put a price on comfort. And it definitely sounds light. I guess looks can be deceiving.
    Now get out there and travel so you guys can write us up some more cool ride reports:evil. Especially with those new rides.
    The WR is my next "dirt bike" when the boy claims my XR250 for himself.
    Wish I never left out west especially when I see your ride reports.
    Cheers
    G-Mac
    (Greg)
    #36
  17. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,614
    Location:
    Calgary
    not encouraging? :huh BM's keep their value well. :deal

    The 2 trips we did that are on the web was our 'noob cherry' moment. The first was 2005 before I had discovered forums and relied on books, and the second was thinking and proving to myself that panniers could be done. In the process we learnt how to ride trails, so it was a futile effort.

    I tried everything to turn our perceived perfect bikes into something they will never be. Even with the reduced weight it feels too heavy. Reason is everything to do with inertia. A narrow bike will always feel lighter. Same with luggage, so I'm developing a rack-less bag that's both low and narrow... and "secure" or "theft resistant". Giant loop is close but no sigar.

    We were actually planning our next trip through the back country of Africa (as much as possible) on our WRR's this coming February. But this stopped us in our tracks.

    [​IMG]
    Over ten months and an operation later I'm not finding it funny anymore.

    So now we're postponing it and are moving to Calgary instead. :freaky
    #37
  18. OceanMtnSea

    OceanMtnSea Pretty Dogged

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    764
    Location:
    left middle Saskatchewan & entering middle BC
    :D:D:D

    Yup (E10 front & E09Dakar rear) & they are really great! I went with the E10 front as the E09Dakar look just a little to aggressive up front and I did not want to deal with front squirrel-i-ness on pavement. Maybe next time I will try the E09 Dak front...

    [​IMG]


    "(yes, I need a bunch of pillows to sleep comfortable @ night with a couple of herniated discs on my back :cry)"

    [​IMG]

    You do pretty good ninja jumps from that bike for a cripple!:rilla

    Cheers,
    J
    #38
  19. Jäger 1

    Jäger 1 Osons

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    NW MT/SE BC
    The washouts here after the June flood were nothing to mess with; back country travel has been severely limited this year because of it.

    For anyone coming into the area in the future, this link will list local closures and bridge washouts on the FSRs:

    http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/drm/services/road-works.htm

    WRRs were pretty much designed for riding around here; mine has logged about 50,000 km on those roads since 2008.

    Not many this year, unfortunately...
    #39
  20. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Gracias Greg :D
    Our next 'big' adventure involves two Chinese motorcycles + 6 weeks + Peru + 2014

    It should be FUN!
    #40