Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in The Northern Frontier

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GrizzLee, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. TigerXC

    TigerXC Adventurer

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    Wow, so many highs and lows on your adventure. It is cool that parts of Dak live on and will see parts unknown of this world. I hope that you and Yukon J can find a replacement bike and are planning other adventures.
  2. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Thanks Tim... It's been one heck of year. That's for sure.


    We are looking for a bike. More so for a car. He is at the age where mom an dad cannot drive him around anymore. Besides, it just isn't cool to bee seen by friends with mom and dad driving him at his age :lol3

    With that said, we did manage to ride the Washington Coast around the Olympic Peninsula this weekend. He got to ride a Kawasaki Versys 650 that Lori acquired as a bonus of sorts from her boss at work. No ABS or heated grips. It left a bit to be desired on the dirt roads, but Johann loved the extra pep.

    This was Johann's first big ride since the accident. We did a couple of small trips to see how he'd adjust to being back on a bike. No problems. Lori says he is a good rider when she followed in the car. I agree. He rides like a veteran.

    BTW: We purchased new jackets. You will like this... We now have matching Triumph touring jackets. They were an incredible deal. Too good to pass up, even if they sport the Triumph logo :wink: :lol3. Johann has a new helmet, riding pants and boots he is all set. Just needs another bike. Patience will hopefully pay off as we are in no hurry.

    Enjoy a few pics from our weekend adventure. I think Johann is a fantastic young rider. He did especially well on the Washington Coast, riding the beach on the Versys.

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    Couple more from our trip this weekend. It seems that Johann picked up a passenger in Port Angeles. See our blog for more

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    I must say that the Pacific NorthWet is a beautiful place if one can escape the crowds in the off-season in between the rain.

    I have a few videos ready to go from our Alaska trip. I am still trying to download some of the video that got corrupted on my camera as well. It looks like most of it can be saved. I am having a friend at Microsoft evaluate it and do the recovery. In any event, I am posting another ride report this week. Complete with video and such from a solo trip into West Central B.C.

    More coming... I promise. It has been really hectic.
  3. TigerXC

    TigerXC Adventurer

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    You guys are looking pretty sharp in your Triumph gear. Perhaps if Johann likes the extra pep it is time for a Tiger 800XC (to match the suit!).

    Great trip along the Washington coast and Olympic Peninsula.

    Are you looking for another Dakar? or are you considering other bikes?
  4. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Would love to get a Tiger XC. Or an F800 or a F650/F700 Twin or a KTM 690 or ??? The problem is budget. Right now, we are looking for another Dakar or even a F650GS single that fits in the budget. We have all the components to convert a F650 into a Dakar with the bits from Johanns old bike. Even thought about modifying the Versys to be more off-road.. All options are on the table at this point, We are in no hurry as the wet/cold season in the PacNW is nearly here and it is time to think about putting the bikes away until spring. We will be looking at Craiglists, here on ADVRider and word of mouth. No hurry.
  5. theofam

    theofam Been here awhile

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    Grizz,

    What a tale if getting the Dakar home! Whenever I read Simon and Lisa's worldwide stories in Road Runner Magazine, I'll think of Johann!

    He must have been getting along pretty good when he came off to wear through the pannier like that. I still shake my head thinking how lucky he was to walk away from that one.

    Keep us posted on his next scoot!
  6. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Thanks Sean... We will keep you in the loop. As a father the images of Johann standing on the side of the road with his boot and pannier, et.al. is an image that no father ever wants to see. I'll never forget it. I am so very thankful he walked away with minimal injury. The pannier and handlebars saved his bacon for sure.

    One of my bike friends was out at Alyx's shop and saw the Dakar and commented as follws "I was at Alex’s shop having tires installed and saw your F650GS (minus the panniers) and I must say it looked a bit worse than the images depicted"

    Johann is pretty adamant about going back up there. He wants to ride the South Canol Road and the Nahanni Range Road in the Yukon. Those are the last roads we have yet to travel on in the Yukon. Maybe next summer if his work schedule allows for it.
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

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    An epic father and son RR! :clap

    It didn't end the way you wanted it to, but at least your son escaped unharmed and is still rearing to complete the ride some time in the future.

    My oldest is only 6 and is twisting my arm off for a bike of his own. Can't wait till he's old enough for us to be able to tour together.

    Your ride with your son is an inspiration! Thank you for sharing it with us!
  8. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Thanks Tony.

    I got my first bike when I was 5 ... A Honda QA 50.

    My second bike...

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    Gotta love those pants!!


    But I was off to the races on my Yamaha 80.

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    Johann has new bike now. and new riding gear.

    Should post here in a bit with pics.

    Thanks.
  9. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Meet Daisy: A Phoenix Arises from the Ashes

    Meet our new ride. She is affectionately called Daisy. Daisy was acquired from Oregon where she lived a sheltered life (in a garage) with very little love (low miles). She was a cheap date, so we brought her home. ABS, heated grips, brand new tires, etc... it was one heck of a deal.

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    Her suspension was lowered to accommodate a female rider. All that changed, however, when we brought here home. Using the suspension and other bits from "Dak", our beloved Dakar F650 GS, we did some surgery. The result is a bike with a bit of attitude (A Dakar in disguise). She is the newest member of the RubiKon team.

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    Yukon Johann has almost all new riding gear (pants, jacket and gloves. Still looking for some good boots. However, he and the new bike are nearly ready for the next adventure.

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    Oh yes, lest I forget, we got new panniers (not exactly new). There are the BMW Vario cases. The aluminum cladding was a little dinged up. A trip to Line X to have them coated with bed liner material brought them back to life. The color matches the bike. Both bike and rider are looking pretty handsome now. We now looking at putting his stickers on the bike that Johann acquired from his trip to Alaska/Yukon. He earned these badges of honor the hard way. A few other things need to be added, including a steering damper and he'll be good to go.

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    LED flashing brake lights and reflective striping... just to be safe.


    We now begin the tedious process of parting out the old bike parts

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    It is kind of sad to see an old friend in pieces


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    Now I need to make some time and finish up those videos from our trip.

    Until next time...
  10. TigerXC

    TigerXC Adventurer

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    The new bike look great and Yukon J is looking pretty snazzy in that new gear. You guys have definitely made lemonade out of the lemons this past year (no reference to Daisy's colour).
  11. Bark

    Bark Panic Dancer

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    Good work!
    I figured Johann would have made boots his first priority but he probably needs to choose carefully because of the way he treats them.
  12. Yukon Johann

    Yukon Johann Adventurer

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    The new bike has been great so far...especially after we got it raised! the bike feels like it's even more peppy, and shifts smoother.

    on the ride back from picking up the bike from the dealership, I jokefully said the bike should be named Daisy, and it stuck!
  13. Yukon Johann

    Yukon Johann Adventurer

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    Lately I've been using my Military grade "Commando Boots" that are left over from the Academy:evil

    Still waiting for some steel toed riding boots to come out... :lol3
  14. windowto

    windowto Long timer

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    Yes, there is a steering damper made for the Dakar, it is made by RalleMoto in Australia. However, the bad news is that it will not prevent the wobble. I have a 2012 Sertao, which is basically identical to the Dakar, and it wobbles in high speed. It is, however, solid, if I am riding two up. So adding weight on the back makes it stable in my particular case. I have installed the steering damper and it does nothing to the wobble. The bars are not moving perceptibly, if at all, during the wobble. We are trying to figure out on the Sertao thread what might be causing this. Some people reported that the wobble was gone after they have installed aftermarket handle bars. For some it got solid after removing or changing the end weights (vibration absorbers). I personally suspect that it is the weights. I will experiment one day, when I get motivated.

    Good luck either way! Sounds like you guys make the best of your lives:).
  15. G-Mac

    G-Mac Been here awhile

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    Could the Dakar plastics not be fitted onto the new ride. In the pictures they still look in good shape?
    My boy is 11 and he and I have been riding for a few years now. He has big plans of us riding out west when he gets older, as do I. I try not to let on that I'm not worried as all parents do about riding. But it has been such a wonderful part of my life how could you not share that experience. He is always trying new ways to strap bags on his CRF 100.
    He says the Dakar is his choice for a bike when he gets older. However I have herd him say he is going to buy my F800gs off of me when he is old enough.

    Either way I think you guys had one heck of a great experience. The good and the not so good.
    ATGATT. Is the only way to travel.
    Cheers
  16. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Yes, and the steering damper is a pretty pricey accessory. I'm still doing some research. I've began to take notice of some others and reviews mentioning the wobble above 60 mph on the Dakrs/Sertao... I've got my son to commit to some off road training this spring if all goes well. That will help him as well.

    We only get one life. I try and pass that kind of thinking on to my boy. As a a parent, you want it to be a long and fulfilling one. A life w/o some sort of risks is pretty boring IMHO.

    Yes, the Dakar plastic can be fitted on the new bike. One side is pretty scuffed up. The front fender and the left side are in really good shape. We both agree that we really like the yellow color scheme better. We have plans for some custom "RubiKon Adventures" Decals for the tank. Black on yellow just looks great IMHO.

    It is good that you have introduced your son to riding at a young age. I wish I had done the same. I was too busy doing other adventures when my boy was younger. Mom and I took him on his first back pack trip along the coast when he was 18 mos old. It was all downhill from there. Now that the knees are starting to show some signs of wear and tear, I am taking more and more to the bikes and the kayaks. I suspect that soon he will be moving on with girls, college and such. I've had a good childhood with him. I have no regrets... just one close call.

    An ATGATT EVANGELIST LIVES HERE!!!!

    Tell your son that that F800 GS is a great choice. :deal I've been eyeing the new F800 GS Adventure myself. Not sure why we can never be satisfied with one bike. Human nature I suspect. But the 800 is not such a big ox like my R1200. For more weekend rides, I think I may enjoy that bike better.



    Have a happy holiday everyone. I will be planning my adventures for next year. May the wind be to your back, the weather be favorable and the rides memorable.:freaky

    -Grizz
  17. windowto

    windowto Long timer

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    GrizzLee,

    Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to talk you out of the steering damper. In fact, the damping action at the bars feels kinda nice. I am sure it would give your son more confidence in off-road conditions. I am just trying to prevent disappointment, if you get your hopes too high (like I did) as far as the high speed wobble is concerned. The damper is not going to help with it because the bars are not really moving much (if at all) when it happens. I am also NOT saying that there is no solution. The fact that the bike (my bike) is rock solid with the weight of a passenger in the back is encouraging. I am not sure if it's the weight distribution that helps or the lower tail end geometry. I also mentioned the end weights on the bars as another suspect. Many Dakars are reported to be wobble free. So I think it has to do with individual handle bar/ bar weights combinations etc. Don't give up on this model, it's a great bike. I am sure the winning configuration combination can be found. And, if your son going to ride off road, the damper investment might be a nice addition.

    Good luck and Happy Holidays!
  18. Noone

    Noone Long timer

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    For your consideration: Boots with fiberglass toe caps or some other composit, instead of steel. I find my toes don't get as cold in the winter as they normally did with steel toed boots.