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Discussion in 'Canada' started by outbacktaz, Oct 16, 2011.
mxcollector, the fall ride sounds interesting. Let us know how it goes and what you find.
I am new to the site and just ran across this thread when doing a search for Alberta riders. Imagine my surprise in finding people talking about riding quite literally in my back yard! My home is just north of LacLaBiche on Hwy 881. The Old Conklin Trail starts about 20 k up the highway from my house. I have ridden it three times since I got my KLR in 2011 and found it a beautiful and challenging ride each time. The road is used primarily in the winter as a log haul, gravel haul and oilfield road. It is not formally maintained in the summer for commercial traffic but is open for use on a "use at own risk basis". There are many lakes with camping and fishing along the route. The section from Steepbank lake north can be very muddy (clay) if wet. I would be interested in hearing from you if you're interested in riding in this area next year.
Best Regards....just jeff
Hi Just Jeff!! Welcome to our thread!! Ironically, I was in your sector today, doing a presentation @ Plamondon School for Remembrance Day...!! It's nice to have another addict join us. It will give us one more reason to go play in your area!! Actually, we were riding around Lac La Biche on Sept. 29th... Very nice ride, we saw some nice camping spot, nice lakes, and funny enough, a cattle that was on the road with cowboys on horses and quads!! Yep, welcome to Alberta!! LoL
Hello just jeff. 2013 sounds like a fun year!
Thanks for posting.
just jeff, good to hear from you and Welcome to the thread. Great to hear from another rider from the area. Looking forward to some more riding in your area in 2013.
Got any photos or stories about the Conklin Wagon trail you can share to hold us over till next riding season? Are the two pictures you posted on the Conklin trail?
So, I went to my garage the other day... To my surprise, this:
Turned into this:
I knew I should have done something before midnight!! And I blame you DownDog!!
The two pictures were from the last time I rode up the Conklin trail. The first picture shows the north end as it connects to the county road leading to Conklin. the second is about half way along.
The first time I rode the trail was in Sept 2011 just after I bought the bike new. It was completely stock including the crap Dunlop factory tires. In the dirt they were poor, the sand ....HORRIBLE and I don't even want to talk about mud!!
I lowered the pressure to 15PSI which helped some.The run South to North which is 180k took abour 5 hrs.
Sand holes like these made things interesting.
Scenes like this made it special.
Having no crash bars and traveling alone in a remote area made me very cautious.
More on the other trips later!!
just jeff, great photos. Whats the name of the lake you posted? What tires did you end up with when you got rid of the stock tires?
Since he called my ride the Albino Pumpkin, I thought it would be a funny prank to post this...!!
Don't worry, my Vienna is put away for Winter...!! Can't wait to pull her out, trust me!!
I'll send you a PM shortly about some questions...
LOL... that is hilarious, somebody sure did a nice job on the pumpkin.
Thanks for posting the pics Jeff. Sounds like you wont have to worry about riding alone next year
Grumpybear, have you been out for your monthly ride yet?
Downdog, I got out on Nov 5th, the warm day so far this month. I spent about 1 hour with my KLR riding in the wet snow, slipping and sliding around the field. I tried with Jaws but the rear tire was worn just a bit too much for good traction in the snow. I did take Jaws and it's sister, Red, down to the highway corner and back but after dodging black ice and puddles, I thought riding in the snow would be safer.
I agree just jim will likely have lots of riding company this summer. Looking forward to riding up in his area.
I don't know what that lake is named grumpy,there are quite a few as you travel up that road!!
Installment 2 Of the Old Conklin trail came in July of this year. I had installed SW Motec crashbars and rear racks from AViscousCycle, bar risers, MEFO Explorer tires and a Pellican Storm topbox as well as a Laminar Lip windshield and Sargent seat . The tires were a night and day difference on the dirt and sand not too bad in mud. When I went offroad I aired down to 15psi again and things went much better than the first time.
The ride was going well but storm clouds were looming. At Steepbank Lake It opened up BIG TIME with lightning and HEAVY rain.
I was hoping that the road wasn't going to get too wet as I traveled north as I knew I would be coming into the clay and rock area soon. Luckily the storm headed south and east and I had good weather as I traveled north.
This picture is at the north end again and you can see the nice sunny day!!!
The MEFO tires worked quite well in the wet and are a good 50/50 tire.
Though I wasn't camping on this trip I learned a lesson big time about not having the sleeping bag in a drybag. I was actually testing things for an upcoming road trip into BC with my Brother and Nephew. The sleeping bag makes a good "driver's backrest" which I need for long roadtrips. The Sargent seat was a real buttsaver!!
This time through was about 3 hours and much more stable at all times with the better tires.
On the way back (returned to home on the pavement all 3 trips) I hit the storm again with HAIL this time. No problem with the Laminar lip redirecting the air around me. Not fun though!! Just part of the E ticket.
Well....out to the garage to work on the bike!
Installment 3, Trip 3 to come soon!
Hey JustJeff!! I can't get around calling you Jeff!! Sorry...
In sand, I learned the hard way that speed is your friend... But on the same token, I do understand that since you were commando on that, you were going slower than you should have been!! Standing on the pegs and going a little faster than normal is much better than going at a comfortable speed... But we'll ride together next year and we'll get you use to that... And I'm sure that you'll get use to it too!! I'm not worried... But you better show us those nice roads of yours!!
Thanks outbacktaz! I always welcome good advice and new techniques to enhance my riding!! The sand I was having issues with is deeply rutted by the heavy truck traffic and is very soft and deep. You'll see.
So after having done some "more extreme" off road I decided the Mefo Explorer tires were not up to the types of trails I wanted to ride on. I had done 5000k with these tires and they were about half worn. After much reading and a little price checking I decided to try a set of Pirelli MT21's. They are a 90% dirt, full knobbie which is DOT rated. I mounted and balanced them (after installing Motion Pro bead locks) and headed for the Conklin trail the following weekend.
The day was beautiful and the riding was wonderful! The full knobbies were much better on the deep rutted sand. I could keep my speed and throttle through the holes and ruts in a much more stable manner. Tire pressure was set at 12psi for the off pavement sections.
An other beautiful lake!
About half way up the Trail a sand hole appeared as I was traveling approx 70kph. I stood up and applied throttle. In the middle there was a pothole which I hit hard enough to break the lock/latch which holds the topbox to the rear rack! I saw it fly away to the rear left and stopped just ahead of where it stopped in the middle of the road.
I picked up the box (which only had a couple of scuffs) and put a couple of bungies on to hold it onto the rack in place of the broken lock/latch. This stop was also a good time to take a leak! While acomplishing that at the roadside, I spotted a motorcycle tiedown laying just off the road. What are the chances of that.
Several kilometers later I hit another hole and the topbox came off again. This time dragging along behind the bike and rubbing against the rear wheel. Luckily I was able to repair it this time using the newly aquired motorcycle tiedown strap.
The rest of the ride was uneventful other than the beautiful scenery on a wonderful day.
The obligatory "End of Trail" photo. I 'm not sure if you can see the knobbie tire marks on the lid of the topbox.
I am very happy with the performance of the MT21's both offroad and on pavement!!
just jeff, great photos and ride report. Certainly stimulating interest about riding your area and this road. I noticed you have a laminar lip on your stock windshield, does it help? I changed the stock windshield on my 09 KLR to a taller Zero Gravity touring shield hoping to reduce wind buffeting and noise but no luck. I enjoy riding the KLR but the wind wears me out.
After years of riding Goldwings on pavement, riding in sand is something I need to get reacquainted with. Certainly didn't bother me as a kid but looks like need to I brush up on sand riding for this coming summer's riding.
Thanks for the ride report JustJeff!!
And Grumpy, I like your plans about riding that area next Summer...
Yesterday I received my Happy Trail pannier frames for my Vstrom. Now I can use the same panniers between the KLR and Jaws. I also gained more room for Shortstuff's feet on the rear pegs and Jaws backside is now 3" narrower than it was with the Kappa 40L bags. I did lose 2L of storage in each of the HT panniers over the Kappa's but now my stuff doesn't fall out when I open the lid. Man that was a PITA!
The bonus for "red" is the Kappa's are larger than the 35L Givi's she came with. Anyone looking for a set of used Givi V35L sidecases and frame??
The backend that only an owner could love!
I was very unhappy with the factory windshield on my bike too. Bad buffeting and noisy. I read a lot responses in different forums about replacment windshields, some liked the one they bought and some didn't. I didn't find any negative replies from people who bought the Laminar Lip, so thats what I went with. I am very happy with it. It redirects the air without making it turbulent. I get very little buffeting now. Often I ride on the highway with my visor up. No problem with the Laminar lip on. Offroad I really appreciate the low profile of the Lip especially when climbing hills or ditches. A tall windshield can be a problem when climbing steep hills standing up.
I know what you mean about getting "reaquainted with sand. I too got away from riding offroad for some years. The bug bit me again when, while riding on the highway, I would see gravel or dirt roads leading off and would like to check them out but couldn't on my 1500 Nomad.
The KLR is a great dualsport which you can mod to your taste and style of riding and not break the bank too badly! The high center of gravity takes some getting used to especially when my last offroad bike was a XR 500.
I am looking forward to riding with you and outbacktaz next year too! There are other roads and lakes to check out near here which I have been reluctant to do alone.
Pirelli MT21's not so great in the snow!!
I bet that Grumpy Bear could prove you wrong!! LoL Can't wait to ride with you as well!!