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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by DR. Rock, May 23, 2008.
Always wondered how they move those buckets around.
Glad to see you're back again.
Finally got caught up with this thread, and I've gotta say that it was one of the most entertaining things I've read in a while. Doc, your photography is incredible and your storytelling is right up there too. Glad you all were able ride out the storm, too.
Great ride Doc !!
When you'r planing the trip how many miles or how much time do try to ride each day?
Back to the regularly scheduled programming
The company is out of Bozeman MT, well Belgrade actually; but that little shovel handler is pulled by a medium sized haul truck.
LOL, Are you sure these will go on a BMW? Of course my silly skepticism was incorrect, and the next day I was enjoying the increased power and speed and big grins enjoyed by the rest of the gang.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o>
They do have Magical powers!!!!!!
We don't actually plan each day's miles at all. Here's the general strategy... plot a route between two fly-home cities that's about 2000-2500 miles. Ends up being about 155-175 miles/day on average for a 2 week trip. We make sure as we get closer to the destination there are options for short-cutting the trip if we're running behind. Get up early, ride, ride, ride. Around 3pm each day, check the route, and pick a decent target for food, gas, and camping or motel. Ride some more. Wake up the next day, repeat. We've stopped planning days off and maintenance... that stuff happens when it wants. If we have a breakdown, we deal with it then. If we don't, then we get into our destination a day early, and spend time working on the bikes. Though this time our bike maintenance arrangements will be VERY different as y'all will see.
Dr. Rock, I have been greatly inspired by your exploits in the west. Even to the point of buying a Wr250r and fallowing Big Dogs recipe for outfitting it. I am well fitted out in the ultra light backpacking gear dept. so now all I have to do is get out there and use it.
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If I might ask, how did the MT-43 work out for you? I am thinking of putting one on the back of my WRR with the Tubliss system. A friend of mine has had great results with one on his KTM 400.
Thanks for the great reports.
The trials rear tires worked great. Terrain was completely dry the whole trip. The one time we encountered a wee bit o'mud, it was clear they were not well suited for that. They were fine in sand, and not bad on pavement either. Wear was decent, however I don't think we'd have gotten another 2500mi trip out of them, so while they are cheaper than our favored MT-21's, they only last 1 trip. They aren't spent by then, probably had another 1000 in them, but it's nice to do our tire changes between trips, rather than source tires in the middle of a trip. We'll be back on the MT-21's for M11, we typically get about 5000miles out of the rears. Another to consider a few dollars less is the michelin T63 -- I think Tony and Docking Pilot have run those.
As for the tubliss system. I think Dingweed has some experience and an opinion on that he might be willing to share with you. It sounds like a great idea to me, but I think I'd still carry a spare tube, at which point you're not saving any weight. On a small bike, pulling the wheel to repair a flat is no big deal. On a 950cc+ class bike, this can be a bigger deal, especially breaking the bead on some of the wide rear rims with a narrow center channel (BMW's), so being able to plug would be a real advantage.
Today's route would take us East out of Colstrip, into the Custer NF, skirting around the Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation. We were looking forward to another death-themed highlight -- "Suicide Pass", and had some refueling opportunities at Ashland, and then across the border into Wyoming at Ranchester.
The area had been hit pretty hard by drought and wild fires.
Dave W. had stayed up most of the night translating the installation instructions for the German version of the Anti-hassle tassels, but he eventually got them done:
Before heading out,
he needed to send some stuff home, so we checked out the post office,
but they weren't open, so we went to the hardware store, that had UPS service. I think I picked up a new tent stake for one that broke.
Morning chores out of the way,
we headed out on the dusty trail,
to where the buffalo roam.
along the way,
We crossed the Tongue River for the first of what would be about 100 times,
We followed Beaver Creek for a while,
Hazed and confused...
it sure was dry,
we started to see the ravages of the summer's fires,
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It was nice riding, but a little spooky.
and noted that we hadn't seen a soul since entering the NF.
a short ways later, we chatted with a guy in a truck who said we weren't supposed to be on the road we'd been riding on, that it was closed. He gave us a xerox'ed copy of a map with different roads labeled as open or closed (not to scale).
We checked this against our route, and it seemed we'd be OK, even though we didn't see any signs on the ground indicating open or closed roads.
They all seemed like perfectly good NF roads to me.
On Whitetail Rd, we got to a locked gate, private property, no trespassing. Hmm... it seemed like we were still in the NF, and still on a maintained road, but someone had gated and locked it. So we checked the maps, checked the GPS, found a go-around, cross-referenced with the road closure listings, and started to back-track.
The go-around involved opening and closing a couple of gates (nothing posted, though there was recent fire activity and the fences were new), violating road closures carried a $10K fine... it seemed tensions were high all around.
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at a certain point, the road nearly petered out, and following the line on the GPS had us skirt around the edge of a plowed field. This wasn't looking good.
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I wish, i wish I had what happened next on video. The road got better maintained, and passed through some farm structures, and out of one of them ran a screaming berserk woman, with an older, quieter woman walking behind her. She was yelling 20 questions, and wouldn't wait for an answer... "what are you doing here? where are you from? how did you get here? don't you know this is private property? are you bringing in foreign weeds? (seriously), etc. When I said Suicide Pass road, she said we should throw out our GPS's and get maps. I could tell there wasn't going to be any kind of discourse or negotiation, so when she said to turn around and go back the way we came, right in mid-sentance, I fired up my bike, and started turning around. We didn't look back.
In our defense, from the direction we came, there wasn't ANYTHING posted. On the benchmark atlas map, the road is clearly marked and named, and on all the maps, paper and digital that we had, the area was in the NF.
I'll let Big Dog explain why it's called Suicide Pass.
Ah, the requisite Mobius scolding!
I had been over in western Montana playing around on the CDT with these guys.
But on Thursday when they finished up, I buzzed over to Colstrip to meet up with the M10 crew. I was in for a treat.
With the tassels on and the shipping taken care of, we headed out on the gravel roads to the Custer National Forest. It was a beautiful morning.
The lady at the ranch was a bit over the top, it is hard to sort out private and public lands with the amount of checkerboard ownership on the edge of this forest. Also she probably has a grazing lease on the forest so she is leveraging her location for those leases. In her defense the fire did come pretty close and I imagine her some of her grazing land is burnt. Any way Doc let it roll off and we routed around and into Ashland and then south.
MTRider's Trip Report - Spine of NA and Infinity
Hi M10 crew,
these pictures make me envy! I'm driving around in Good Old Europe looking for gravel roads like this, but the chance to find one is near to zero. So carry on with the good stuff.
Thanks for taking the time to let us take part.
Welcome to the party Gero, Sounds like you'll have to ship your bike to the USA for a few months and go riding out West!