701 Shakedown in the George Washington National Forest North River District

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by dstutz, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. dstutz

    dstutz Long timer

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    I recently swapped out a GS and DRZ for a Husqvarna 701 on the premise that I could do the same "off roading" as the DRZ but actually ride the bike places like the GS. This was a somewhat spur of the moment trip doing a loop I had done before on the DRZ (so I knew what I was getting myself into) and to test out a longer trip on the 701 to see how that would be. I was testing out a new GPS using OSM maps for the first time and the Reckless R80 luggage though wasn't carrying much.

    Day 1: Left home around 9:55 with the intent getting to my destination no later than 6pm. I've gone back and forth to/from that area many times and have a nice backroads way so I don't take any interstate. Encountered a sign saying bridge out 6 miles ahead as soon as I made a right onto Simmons Gap Rd from Dyke Rd (810?) in Nortonsville, VA...tried a away around, even hit a nice little gravel road, came back out on my route, looked left..."Bridge out 1/2 mi ahead". Damn it! Backtracked all that and took a much wider loop around. I got down to Sherando, VA and stopped to take a look at my rear tire. I had ~1200 miles before I left and figured I'd kill the tire on this trip and install a pair of GT723s when I got home. While the rear wasn't bald it seemed to lose quite a bit on the ride down and I wasn't super comfortable doing 250 miles of gravel. It was 4:40pm. I thought it would be quite a long shot but pulled out my phone, searched for motorcycle dealer, found Wayne Cycles was open until 6pm and was less than 10 miles away. Gave them a call and not only did they have a new TKC 80 in my size in stock but after I sheepishly asked what the chances of them putting on they actually agreed. I pulled in at 4:55, I was leaving at 6:09. I found out while I was waiting the mechanic had already clocked out and clocked back in to do my tire. I felt bad and said so but they were very nice about it. The phrase "A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine" came to mind...

    Day 2, Main event:
    [​IMG]

    The cyan is the track I actually did, the magenta line was about 50 miles extra I added on to the loop and was optionally going to do or not do depending on time/how I felt when I got to Goshen/Rt 39 at the bottom.

    What can I say...250 miles of great gravel/dirt forest roads. The 701 loves this stuff. I was enjoying the ride until I came to the corner of 1117 and German River Road where I encountered this:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The culvert *was* here: https://goo.gl/maps/xzwQg7jEwCy. It wasn't easy but I got around it on the upstream side. I added a bunch of new scratches to the bike and both of us took a small bath in the stream in the process.

    Thankfully, I had just installed case savers though it seems the brake pedal wasn't too happy and decided to take a bite out of the clutch side:
    [​IMG]

    The poor Wings!:
    [​IMG]
    (astute observers might notice the new GT723s in the background...)

    A little later on heading up Dunkle Hollow I passed a Tundra and a Jeep, then a group of 3 Jeeps. When I was almost to the top there was Toyota (LandCruiser I think) coming down from the ridge. I pulled over to let him pass and put my arm out to signal. I wanted to tell him he had 5 vehicles coming up the trail and there was not really room to pass but he had his windows up and didn't stop. Oh well, someone's gonna have a bad day. Decided to skip Reddish Knob this time as I've been there a couple times before. All told 247 miles, 7:55 driving time with a 31.2 mph moving avg. Didn't see another soul on a bike back on those roads (and realized after the fact I was on some small sections of the MABDR).

    Day 3: which is basically day 1 in reverse. I *had* to be back by a certain time. About 3.5 miles after leaving my cousin's house I see the "Malfunction Indicator Lamp" is lit on the dash. I pull over and check some things but the manual says it's emissions/safety related. I had oil and coolant and there are separate idiot lights for those problems so I soldiered on home. I have to take the bike back to dealer to replace a leaky countershaft seal (for the second time) anyway so we'll see what they say. Just north of Crozet, VA I was saw a bike on the side of the road with gear and tools spread out and someone hunched over a tire on the ground. I was like "that sucks" and then a short struggle started in my head. I really needed to be home by a certain time and I had the check engine light on, but ultimately if that were me I wouldn't mind someone at least stopping to check so I turned around and pulled in. Turns out I ran into @OldnoGPS (who *had* a GPS on his bike!!!). He had a punctured rear from a screw and had already had the tube out a couple times. I wasn't able to really do much to help other than offer some moral support and help him put the tire back on before he called his wife for a ride home. With that, I wished him luck and hit the road again down 30 mins. I was following the tracks from my way down so my detour around the bridge issue was planned and I hopped on about 20 miles of 340/70 around Frederick to shave some time and got home less than 10 minutes late.

    All told a successful run of 816 miles. The R80 luggage, what little of it I used (Really only used one drybag, I put tools in another bag I had on the other side in the holster and didn't take the stinger tailbag) was great and seems like it will be more than adequate in the future. It never got in the way while moving all over the bike. Cruising at 75mph is pretty easy on the 701. The wind is more annoying than the engine at that speed and I think the engine is actually smoother at 75 than 65. I got 54mpg on the way down not cruising faster than 65, 49mpg on the way home running a bit harder and 43-44 on Saturday running on 80% gravel/dirt.

    I have videos of 3 sections I can upload to youtube if people are interested. I'm a little annoyed, I wanted Dunkle Hollow but the battery died on the section I was recording before that. It's like 10 years old so I guess an hour or so is all it has left.
    #1
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  2. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    :photog Now unfortunately, he's going to have to kill you for letting his secret out...









    Ted's a great guy! Glad you went back to help. Good karma points.
    Nice RR! That's a nice route. Did you make it yourself?
    #2
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  3. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    I've ridden with Adam, who purchased Wayne's cycle. Nice guy and great rider.

    I always thought the 701 looked like a great bike. Would'a joined ya Saturday but had previous hard obligations.

    Where did you stay Friday and Saturday nights?
    #3
  4. dstutz

    dstutz Long timer

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    @WayneJ and a couple other Cat Herders helped me out with the route last year (linky). I did the loop I just did, another loop to the south around the BRP and he gave me a few more tips on a third loop out into WV and back that I have yet to do.

    There's always next time! I have cousins in Mint Spring near Riverheads High School, stayed there both nights. You can just about make out the little blue waypoint flag in the basecamp map shot where the green line runs in from the SE corner.

    My wife and I love it down there. We would love to live in the Shen. Valley and there's a good chance we'll retire down there if nothing else.

    I want to get down for one of the camp-outs you guys have. I couldn't make the last Columbus one and was all ready to head down for Camp Crimoron when it was unfortunately cancelled. Then I made other plans before the alternate was proposed so missed out.
    #4
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  5. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

    Joined:
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    That's how I became an adv member. I was searching for something about one of my bikes, which a result for was within this site. I read a bit then decided to explore the site a bit, found the quick links, hit our region, and on the list of threads is 'campout in the valley' - all welcomed. I was like, oh, that's tomorrow. It was clear how to get there so I decided to ride out and say hi. Planned to come right back home but after some banter and beer they insisted I stay and hooked me up. Really nice folks. Some were encouraging me to join the site; I felt like I wouldn't have time for that...
    #5
  6. dstutz

    dstutz Long timer

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    Uploaded videos...no editing, they're long and boring :) Still mad the battery died before Dunkle. I bought a new chinese action cam with a remote so hopefully I'll be able to make smaller more interesting videos in the future. Anyone else with an ancient Hero HD have the plastic on camera degrading and getting sticky?



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  7. krgr_910

    krgr_910 Adventurer

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    Apr 22, 2018
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    So what caused the engine light to stay lit?
    #7
  8. dstutz

    dstutz Long timer

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    Actually just got the bike back from the dealer a couple days ago. 3 weeks waiting on a $26 part:
    [​IMG]

    It's on the back of the right side of the radiator. Not sure if this is turns the fan on/off and/or is temp sensor? They said it was low on coolant when I dropped it off. I probably spilled some out getting through the stream. Wonder if the sensor took a knock falling over or what. Am just confused on why the light wouldn't come for the rest of that day, was probably only 1/3 through the route, and wait until the next morning.
    #8
  9. krgr_910

    krgr_910 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the reply! That is the thermoswitch that turns the radiator fan on and off. Weird that the light was off the rest of the day. I am asking because my check engine light came on this morning and I have no idea why. Want to check a few things/connections myself before calling the dealer. Dealer is 2 hours away and the bike is my only form of transport.
    #9