Wisconsin to Utah: Lots of questions about gear and equipment

Discussion in 'Americas' started by JoshDR, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    Since I picked up my DR650 last summer I've been wanting to go far far away. Drove through Utah last spring, and I know its where I need to go for spring break. I'll be getting there by highway, but once there I want to go offroading.

    Since I'm fairly inexperienced I'm hoping to get some solid feedback for my plans.

    As for gear, I have none except for a Arai XD. I've been thinking about it alot, and I'm leaning towards a Koerta with a Moose Expedition over it, as those would probably be most usefull for the riding I do around here too. I'm also hoping that Olympia Air Mesh pants will be durable enough for offroading. And some Gaerne Explorers.


    I'm planning on getting there as quickly and cheaply as possible, so I'll probably be camping. I'll be picking up camping equipment soon, but I have no idea how to even plan/find places to rest and sleep.

    As for my bike, I was hoping to spruce up the suspension at least, but it looks like that wont be happening as I already need to do a base/head gasket replacement. I'm thinking the best idea would be to ride out there on a road oriented tire, and switch to knobbies once there. I also dont know what spares to pack.

    Thats what I have so far for planning.
    #1
  2. KLRoger

    KLRoger Adventurer

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    Be aware that there is a big jeep event in Moab from March 15 through the If you are going there during that time you will have a very difficult time finding a motel or place to camp. All the areas are booked months in advance. Other times in the spring you can camp for free near the river, no services though (showers etc.).

    Moab has a chamber of commerce with a web site. Just do a search engine on Moab and you will get plenty of information on camping etc..

    I always carry spare tubes as well as a patch kit, basic tool set for the bike, tire tools and pump. If you only carry 1 spare tube carry the front one, you can use it in the rear for an emergency. Also spare nuts and bolts, safety wire, duct tape, assorted zip ties, blue lock tight and a repair manual doesn’t hurt. Just the normal stuff you would have for any ride.

    The weather in can be anything from snowing to blazing hot in the spring. All this in the same day! I’ve started a trail when it was snowing in the morning. Eaten lunch in the sunshine and had blowing sideways rain right after lunch. One thing about spring in Moab, if you don’t like the weather don’t worry it is going to change. You need to dress in layers for this type of weather.

    Bring a camera! The scenery screams out to have its picture taken. You’ll have fun and won’t regret going. Bring a friend
    #2
  3. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    http://www.ut.blm.gov/Recreation/camping.html
    http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie/recreation/campgrounds/campgrounds.html

    You can also camp 'in the wild' (disperse camping) away from any facilities, a freebie. You can get excellent maps at the local BLM and USFS offices.

    I've heard Benchmark Map books are good. DeLorme map books also list many campgrounds.

    Running street tires going and returning is a smart idea. Know how to change tires and patch a tube. Start with fresh sprockets and chain. Be aware of fuel availability where you travel. Your bike should be problem-free.
    #3
  4. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    hmm if i were to camp "in the wild" would i have to pick up all of my things each morning?

    i was hoping to leave my gear to save weight and not smash up my not-yet-built panniers when i go out riding.

    i think that jeep week is the exact week i have off, which could be kind of cool, hopefully :cry

    i guess i'll have to guage the gear myself before i buy it to make sure its durable enough and the temp ranges are wide enough.

    thanks guys :bow
    #4
  5. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    oh i'll also have my smartphone loaded up with topo maps and a gps just in case :norton
    #5
  6. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    i guess i also need suggestions on where to ride. i dont plan on following a strict plan, but i want to have some ideas.
    #6
  7. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Do you have any maps?
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  8. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    not yet.
    #8
  9. Bonebag

    Bonebag ADDvrider

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    You're going to be fine if you're at a campground..just leave your stuff..you should also be ok if you just camp in the wild..but weird shit happens. I'd go out and do some northwoods wisconsin (Laona/mountain/Eagle River areas are nice..lots of backroads and camping possibilities) or UP riding (which is awesome...) and camping BEFORE you head out into Moab..I guess I'd say it's not a very good idea to break yourself in to long distance riding/camping with unused equipment and no experience out there..where it's awesome..breathtaking and inspiring..but things can go to hell very...very quickly..

    Good Luck and keep us posted
    #9
  10. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Good advice, plus he will have fun. :D
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  11. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Go get some and start marking places you're interested in - the big picture.
    That's where your plan will develop from, and becoming more detailed as time goes along.
    #11
  12. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    yup, already planning to do that just to see how i can handle a long day on the road. i didnt even think about needing to break my gear in and make sure everything works though, thanks :brow
    #12
  13. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    yeah this is a good idea. when we drove through there last spring we used a handheld gps without looking at a map...stupid idea, it was impossible to get any perspective.

    would a road atlas work, or should i find a big folding map?
    #13
  14. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Get a free state map from UT dept tourism...and any other propaganda they have.
    Get a Benchmark or DeLorme map book.
    northstarmapping has some good regional stuff, Injun country, 4 corners, etc that I like.

    What I like really like is having different 'zoom' levels to look back and forth at.
    State = big pic, broad strokes
    Regional = stuff state doesn't have but still big view, good ideas of distances
    Detailed (Benchmark, DeLorme, BLM, USFS, etc) = dirt intersections, washes, some idea of topography
    #14
  15. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    Wow now that i'm seriously getting prepared for this trip I cant believe how daunting of a task it is.

    I dont want to be a quitter but I dont know if i can be ready by mid-March.

    My problems are:
    1. Bike needs head/base gasket and its going to be too cold to do it for some time.
    2. Too cold to go on a test run to Northern Wisconsin.
    3. Wont be buying gear until mid February.
    4. Jeep Safari week or whatever.
    5. No panniers yet.

    Given my lack of experience (riding since late July) I think I definately want to do some off-road training. And rushing everything could get me seriously hurt out there.

    I have some time after the semester ends in mid May, If i reschedule for then, I think i'd be waaay more prepared, and ultimately have a better time.

    Maybe I should shoot for a quick run down south for spring break?
    #15
  16. Oldwin1

    Oldwin1 Long timer

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    This is a motorcycle adventure. We always give everyone the best safest way to do things. The reality is we all buy our gear at Walmart the first day out and just pack duct tape for contingencies. I know guys who pack a water bottle, sleeping bag and blue tarp. You plan to go off road so tools, tubes air pump. When you get to Moab pick up maps make a plan. Find a place to camp. Bring money. Water is important. :ricky Planning done. Most fun you can have with your clothes on.

    OK so most of us try to avoid Walmart.
    Ron
    #16
  17. Hodag

    Hodag native

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    pm me an address and I'll send you a tent to start you on your way.
    compliments of ADV riders at the MOA rally last year in West Bend
    #17
  18. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    seriously :eek1
    #18
  19. Oldwin1

    Oldwin1 Long timer

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  20. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    i'm probably going to fab my own setup :norton
    #20