How bad is Black Bear on a 12GS?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by tcourdin, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    We are riding out to CO the first week of September. At the moment we are planning on doing some riding around Breckenridge a few days then heading to Ouray for a few days. I've seen a couple reports on GS's on the pass. It looks easy except for "the steps". Are they that bad? Am I gonna be hating life on the GS?
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  2. RTWADVGuy

    RTWADVGuy Banned

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    How "loaded-up" will you be? I'd say that you are gunna have a huge handful with that heavy and big of a bike. But, you never know until you try. I have been talked out of riding a few trail by people say it cannot be done only late to ride the trail and find out it wasnt that bad....but I have also found out just how bad it really was!:lol3 Good luck with your ride!!

    PS, if it gets too gnarly, you can alway turn around. They say Black Bear is one way, but I am sure you wouldnt spend too much time in prison if you turned around and bailed out.
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  3. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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    Paging Geek. Geek to the phone...
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  4. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    We will be unloaded. I dont think I'd want to attempt it loaded for sure. I have some buddies that did it last week on 800GS's and they siad it was a handful. I hate to not ride it just because of a small section of nasty, but then again I dont really wanna drag my bike through it either....
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  5. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    Eeesh, that looks a little nasty for a big bike.

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  6. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Just go slow.. the nasty bit is only 100 yards long. If you are worried about it.. an easy way to do it is turn your bike off.. keep both feet on the ground then use the clutch as a backward brake as you go down each step.
    Have a hoot! :freaky

    [​IMG]
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  7. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    ^That is an awesome pic! Thanks for the tip.
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  8. Boulder Ed

    Boulder Ed Bin Ridin

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    Anyone who would try this on a GS is simply not too smart, or has not thought through the consequences. Don't even try it, but if you do, I got first dibs on some of the left over parts. My pet peeve is the marketing and all the hype that makes people think these big bikes are hard core dirt worthy. They wear, they break and eventually they break catastrophically often when totally unexpected. Check out Hacky's shaft fail for an example...

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=803766
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  9. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    I never said I was smart. :D

    I know my GS isn't a hardcore dirtbike, but what makes "Catastrophic failure" any higher on it than any other bike? I've had chains break and lock up the rear tire on dirt bikes, I've had engines seize in mid-flight on an mx track, I dont think cruising along some rough roads on a GS is going to increase my chances of some type of failure thats going to put me in danger?
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  10. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Different abilities and comfort really come into play. In my opinion, the technical part of Black Bear is not really hard and wouldn't have a name and reputation on most other trails. It is the exposure/ the seemingly endless drop that gets to most people...
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  11. grub

    grub Requires Supervision

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    Exactly, way more a headgame than difficult in my opinion. That said, this isn't the road you want to experience target fixation :D There are other ways to get to Telluride, no shame in passing this one up until you are on a bike better suited to it.
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  12. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    Our goal is no dabs, trials style :D

    I wouldn't take my GS on it (if I owned one) yeah it's doable but unless you're trying to prove something it's not going to be any fun, the long scree covered downhill prior to the steps is going to challenge you as much as the steps. IMO, wrong tool for the job.
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  13. mtncrawler

    mtncrawler Long timer

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    This^^

    Especially if you're unloaded - and with proper tires...(like TKC's)

    Now then, speaking from my direct experience. 1200GSA, loaded, solo, and on Anakee's (turned down a bit in pressure)...:huh

    I only dumped the bike once (while riding) on the section just before the "steps" (loose/steep) Once I saw the steps, I decided to wait for a jeeper (not far behind), and he was gracious enough to take the panniers and my top bag down the steps and leave them at the top of the first switchback. I even hiked down to help unload. I then hiked back up and walked the bike down the steps (I still put the finishing touches on taking out my Best Rest skid plate...which gave me great material for TIG practice). Once to the apex of the turn I could then again ride it down to the top of the first switchback and gather my panniers. The first couple switchbacks below were still tight, loaded, but OK.

    So, yes, I'm not too smart. :lol3

    If you try and ride the steps and fail (lose control, speed, steering...etc), the penalty can be pretty bad.

    Alternatives? Ride out to the end of the two way and back (from 550)...still a great ride, and challenging in spots? Once you commit past the one way/two way point...you're more or less committed to the end.

    If I was unloaded, with TKC's, and with another rider, I might (maybe) do it again, but like others have said - it's not the right tool for the job.
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  14. dirtrulz

    dirtrulz Been here awhile

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    Personally wouldnt do it on that big and expensive a bike unless I had to. It would just break my heart to see my 18000 dollar bike topple over. I put little thought into what other people say is hard. There are people on here who swear redcone is a tough trail ride. If you have a good skid plate a tough tires you should be fine. You are going down afterall, now if you try going back up that may be a little different.
    #14
  15. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    Oh ..........don't worry. If something goes a bit wrong, you won't be dragging your bike anywhere!:lol3
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  16. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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  17. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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    But I seem to remember something about 'pooping your pants'. Was that above the steps?:lol3
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  18. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    :nod

    The question is why? If you have never been to the area, ride Ophir and Imogene on that side if the street and then go for Engineer/Cinnamon. You will see and experience soooo much more!
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  19. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

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    There is so much good riding in that area..there is no reason to feel any need to do Black Bear....try Imogene, Corkscrew, Engineer , etc before you try Black Bear and you will know if you should try Black Bear....
    #19
  20. toddler

    toddler Unpronouncible

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    IF you are comfortable on the GS then take it on Black Bear. Nothing on Black Bear is that bad. Just a short section of head game built up on sites like this.:freaky

    Have fun. It is a stunning view of Telluride and will be the highlight of your trip.

    Here are some other pictures:

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