Two XR600s vs. the Paiute Trail (Utah)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Owyhee, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Owyhee

    Owyhee Enlarged to show detail

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    Once a year my friend from Flagstaff and I (from Boise) meet somewhere in the middle and spend a few days riding. Last year was Ely, Nevada, and this year was Marysvale, Utah, home of the Paiute ATV Trail.

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    Driving in from Boise

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    Driving in from Flagstaff.

    The Paiute ATV Trail is billed as the best or longest ATV trail in the nation and caters to the off road community with everything from 4x4 roads to technical and rocky switchbacks. Granted, there's no single track, but trails are marked, mostly traffic free, and offer high altitude vistas around every corner. Our altitude measured 6,200 feet in Marysvale to 11,225 feet at the top of some mountain. Higher altitude trails were still snowed in when we were there in late June.

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    Marysvale, Utah. All of it.

    Trails are rated on three levels: easy, moderate, and hard. I found there to be little relation between the last two levels and the trail's difficulty. As a rule of thumb, a trail rated easy would be fine for a 2x4 truck, and moderate trail would be fine for a big bike (GS, KLR, KTM ADV on aggressive tires), and difficult is dirtbike only. I found the occasional moderate trail extremely difficult and the occasional difficult trail easy.

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    An "easy" trail, 10,750 feet.

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    Another "easy" trail.

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    More "easy" roads.

    Since this the trail system is geared toward ATVs, most of the smaller trails have a pronounced center hump and vegetation that begins at the edge of the trail making it hard to ride a motorcycle in the wheel rut without hitting trees and branches with the bars.

    The bikes:
    In the Arizona corner is the 1995 XR600R. At one point in its life it was raced by a fat guy and sports a Hotcam, a WB e-Series slip on, a TM38 (jetted for 7,000 feet), and a rear spring for someone resembling John Candy. He ran 14/48 gearing. It's also "street legal" in Arizona.

    In the Idaho corner is my 1999 XR600R. It's packing a 1996 CR125 fork, a WP Superadjuster shock, fat bars, an IMS 4.? gallon tank, a WB eSeries slip-on, and a stock engine and carb (jetted for 1,500 feet). I ran 14/48 on one wheel and 14/44 on the second one.

    Let me just say, for the record, that I love the XR600. It's about as versatile as a dirtbike can be, reliable as a baseball bat, and just an agreeable all-around machine.

    We road for three days (a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and only had one crash and one broken bike. These events are not in order since I can't remember what happened when.

    One "difficult" rated trail turned into a mild downhill with textbook-sized rolling rocks and it took out the Arizona XR600 and caused this:

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    A small bottle of Maker's Mark (that I dipped myself at the distillery in Kentucky the month before) disappeared that night as we sat and bullshitted about bikes. The next night a bottle of Irish whiskey disappeared. The third night some townies came over with some Sailor Jim's rum.

    The Arizona bike is getting on in years and has the dreaded Second Gear Whine which means that is may only have 10 years to live. Additionally, the throttle tube's cable pull decided to give up the ghost at almost exactly 10,000 feet and 35 miles from the truck. The TM38's throttle is single pull where the stock is push-pull. The area the cable's ball fits into fatigued and broke leaving the bike throttleless.

    Luckily we were able to use my 50 cent pocket knife to cut a notch in the side of the throttle pull and route the ball to the back of the housing. This made the cable too short so we omitted the pulley to make more room. I have a spare TM38 and packed it for the trip. Once we returned to the trucks 35 miles later we swapped throttles.

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    Broken throttle thingy. A poor design.

    The Paiute Trail is full of nice views.

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    And high altitudes.

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    GPS showing 11,225 feet.

    After too much Maker's Mark it seemed like a good time to lube the steering head bearings on the Arizona bike (which may not have been lubed in years).

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    "Easy Rider" XR600

    That's about it for the Pauite Trail. If you're looking for an interesting dual sport ride, it works. If you're looking for an aggressive dirtbike ride, you'll be disappointed.

    Thanks.

    "O"
    #1
  2. Owyhee

    Owyhee Enlarged to show detail

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    On the way back to Boise I took a side trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats and ripped around for half an hour or so. It was something I'd always wanted to do and was surreal. Try it, but that salt is caustic and rusts any and all exposed metal instantly.

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    The road to the salt flats is straight and unpatrolled.

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    Salt looks like cake frosting when it dries.

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    More frosting.

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    Flat. Blindingly white.

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    (Click the pic for a video) I found a block of wood in the middle of the flat and set the camera on it. See how the salt is both grippy and forgiving? At one point (not shown) it felt like the peg was going to touch the salt.

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    (Click the pic for a video) Here's a video of me banging through the gears. I had to hold the camera with my left hand and hand on with the right as we passed 80mph.

    Thanks for lookin'.

    "O"
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Spectacular pics! thanks for posting! :thumb
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  4. KYCrawler

    KYCrawler Squid

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    Nice camera work. Living about an hour from the Pauite has always made me curious but have never ventured there. Looks like a trip is in order. Did you two camp off the bikes or deadhead back to base camp every night? You must've just missed the big annual jamboree down there. My in-laws are into atv's and just got back from it last Sunday.
    #4
  5. Owyhee

    Owyhee Enlarged to show detail

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    We stayed in a hotel in Marysvale. A/C and a shower sure beats waking up stinky in a tent.

    There was a side by side jamboree in some other town the weekend we were there but didn't see them on the trail.

    "O"
    #5
  6. East Coast Rider

    East Coast Rider Just Me...

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    EXCELLENT!! :clap
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