A celebration of a metric century on the best bike ever built.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tricky., Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Beings were all waiting with baited breath for more report....................I'll post a pic of my DR from Thursday.
    It was out slumming around with this euro trash. Yes it got tired of waiting for the poseur bikes. DSCF4437.JPG
    #21
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  2. Mikey Boy

    Mikey Boy Been here awhile

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    Kalifornia
    That 2-track looks epic.
    #22
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  3. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Sweet DR! Sorry someone decided to start my 4th of July with a bang by driving their car into my yard and my neighbours house.

    Thankfully that action is over so lets get back to it!
    #23
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  4. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Ida-go.

    Waking up for our first morning of Idaho, we headed out early to get some initial slab out of the way. We followed 12 into Grangeville via the South Fork of Clearwater River. This was hardly slabbing as the views were entertaining and the morning air crisp and clear.

    Hitting the Idaho BDR after a quick stop for breakfast burritos we began climbing. The first part of the trail was a nicely graded forest road before giving way to a rather lengthy piece of paved forest road. Just as we were about to give up and do something different, the road turned into a flowy forest road. After a recent rain it was also tacky and not dusty at all and we had a blast tootling around for the morning.

    The track took us past some old cemetery (sorry forgot the history) before clearing and rising up to a crest to give a great view of the Salmon River.
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    Hard place to work, pretty place to be buried.

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    No, Drew is not a child nor midget.

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    I see a river!

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    DR porn, hey fetishes are niche these days.


    After snaking down the mountain side the temps began to creep up. Despite the river flowing at a decent rate, the small sandy beaches were sheltered and so we couldn’t resist the urge to stop and take a dunk. The water, while icy cold, was a welcome cleanse and source of refreshment (and probably helped quell our adventure smell).

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    Bath with a view!

    Back on our bikes we hugged the river a little longer, dodging rafting buses qualifying for pole position along the way. The road once again took a turn for the mountains with numerous hairpins along the way. The view from the road was sensational.

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    The hills are alive with the sound of braaaaap!
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    Feels like a DR


    After stopping for a pic with the old bus, the narrow fire road opened to a wide dirt highway and we blasted. For a DR this was full throttle. This road soon had us in the mining town of Warren. This really felt like the back of beyond and that people who chose to live here enjoyed being left alone, so we didn’t stop. After peaking at around 7000ft the road narrowed down to a single wide dirt road and hugged the cliff all the way down to the South Fork of the Salmon River. At the river there were a surprising number of houses, super remote but a killer spot. We also couldn’t figure out how they got the building materials in there via the narrow, windy treacherous road.

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    Snack break at 7k!

    Crossing the river the road began climbing again and once more we were at 7000 ft. Glimpses of snow and uncleared trees on the road started to cast the doubt that we may not get through.

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    The back of beyond

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    Nature is almost as good as a DR.


    And then, as expected, we hit our first snow drift at 7700 ft. Not that bad we thought, and clear on the otherside, so we grabbed a lot of throttle and plowed on through, via a narrow muddy line on the edge of the drift.

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    There's totally a line there somewhere

    Sadly we were far from the peak and after a few hundred feet we came upon another snow drift at around 8300 ft, just 0.2 of a mile from the peak. This snow drift was long though and had numerous downed trees blocking the road. Dang.

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    Ahh the good old, lets check the GPS when we're screwed look.


    At this point it was already getting kinda late (7pm) so we headed back down the road to camp on the edge of the Salmon. Despite its remote location, being on the edge of a popular rafting river meant the camp site was in good condition and even had tables and chairs – luxury! Despite the turn around this was probably the best camp site of the trip, it was spacious, right on the edge of the river and we had it all to ourselves. Aside from the rush of the river there wasn’t a single noise all night. This is what riding is all about!

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    A seat, water and solitude. What more could you want. I think the RV is there from someone who came in and realised they couldn't get out.
    #24
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  5. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Things head south.

    All stories have a twist right? Well in this case it's more of a bend, of metal. More specifically, Drew’s shock. But let’s get to that in a minute.

    Again we arose early, totally refreshed after a peaceful night by the river. At this stage Drew was very low on gas, having relied on us being able to get through the night before. We figured it was about 30 miles back to where we saw a backyard gas operation and 50 miles to McCall to get gas and route around. I still had plenty left as my DR had a 6.6 gal mega tanker (which had swollen over the years to hold a tad over 7 gallons) so we would be fine.

    Just as we entered Warren a road closed sign was erected as we headed the other way as crews were preparing to improve the road. Wow lucky. We also didn’t realize this would be a sign of things to come. The first stop for gas turned out to be a failure. ‘Going in to town, back soon’ read the sign. Out here in the boonies it seemed like that may take a while so we trekked on.

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    No gas in Warren

    Eventually we hit pavement and started descending into McCall. We’ll be there by 9 we thought. Wrong. Just as we were getting hopeful we hit another road closed sign. What? Are we trapped in the Idaho back country? Nope, just roadworks. Road is open for an hour between 12 and 1 we were informed. Great.

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    Another road closed you say, no worries.

    Being proactive type of guys, we tried to find an alternative route. We got a little way before a chained road decided to hamper our progress. We had a snoop around to see if we could get any further if we could hop the chain. Nope. A raging river, somehow not on the GPS, emphasized this point.

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    End of the road, again. Idaho wins.

    So we turned around resigned to our fate of having a relaxing nap on the road side. My bike was starting to make a weird ticking sound at this point so it would also be a good opportunity to figure out what that was.

    The ticking sound turned out to be the spark plug arcing about an inch to the shattered spark plug cap. This is a bit of a notorious issue with the large tanks. When they get empty they vibe a bit and rub on one of the spark plug caps, eventually fatiguing the plastic until they break. Easy fix if you have a spare cap, crap if you don’t. Luckily I learnt my lesson after being stuck multiple times in torrential rain in the jungles of Brazil, and carried a spare cap on this trip and was able to do a quick road side repair. Easy!

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    Roadside DR deconstruction.

    Drew deciding to take a quick nap next to his bike, saw that something was amiss. Namely, the rear shock was a lovely arc resting on the swing arm. Hmm that’s not supposed to be like that. Deciding on a roadside repair we quickly made the problem worse and the bike even more uncomfortable for Drew. Perfect.

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    That looks about right

    Luckily the bike was rideable so we pressed on to McCall. Oh yeah, gas. Drew ran out once, then twice. A 1 liter water bottle served as a good gas transfer device.

    We had no idea what to expect in McCall but it certainly wasn’t Idaho's version of Lake Tahoe. Man this was ritzy. We were not high brow enough for this! However McCall has a great supermarket, with an excellent selection of Tasty Bites, so we stocked up for a few more days on the trail. To do those of you who don’t know what a Tasty Bite is, they are pre-prepared indian meals in soft vacuum packets. Not only are they hearty, delicious and compact, you don’t even need to add water or heat, so they make for great back country meals when you are trying to pack light.

    Leaving McCall we found a great little back yard mechanic on the edge of town. 'McCall Motorcycle', run by a husband and wife team, Dave and Sheila. Turns out they specialize in Japanese bikes and Dave had some mint 2 stroke 750s under covers in his garage. They quickly let us use their tools to remove the shock and offered beer and water on the spot. Great people.

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    Let the sweat begin!

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    Victory, bro.


    Upon removal we confirmed it was bent. Nice work. Luckily Dave had a few friends in town and he went out to straighten the shaft. Returning successful, Dave helped reassemble the shock and re-install it in the bike. We were good to go!

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    Hard at work.

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    Thumbs up, lets go!

    At this stage we had burnt a fair share of the day and had no idea if we could get through the 7 or 8k ft passes of the day so we decided to hit the tarmac on to Boise, in preparation to pick up the route south the next day into Jarbidge NV. We were a bit bummed to have missed a lot of the IDBDR, but we’ll be back, with working shocks, and in August!

    We got to Boise at 7, still feeling good and in no desire to party in town, so we headed on to Mountain Home to get us closer to the dirt for the next day.

    The slab east of boise is seriously flat and seriously boring. Even harder on a DR when the speed limit is 80! The only entertainment along the way was a guy towing another car with a chain. We got a big thumbs up, so I guess they were good. Neon flashing truckstop signs were also entertaining, ‘Support….our….truckers’ it flashed. Wait what?

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    Bright lights of SE Idaho

    With limited options we gave in and got a hotel room. It was pretty nice, the shower even nicer. We decided to double down on glorious western comfort and gorged on Jack in the Box for dinner. Hey this is our holiday!

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    Western opulence.
    #25
  6. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Nicely done on the shock! It just straightened, screwed back together,got pressurized and some oil and good to go? Amazing way out there.
    I went through 1 stock shock,wore the chrome off the shaft at 25 some thousand miles,got another shock,wasted time re-valving race tech stuff,never worked great.
    Then the Cogent went on at 40,000 miles and man what an improvement,well worth the money.
    A race tech tech re-valved 3 times until I figured out race tech parts and stock shock body just arent the thing.
    #26
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  7. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    We were amazed too. It was at maximum stiffness though, so I dont think it was necessarily enjoyable riding.

    Spoiler alert, we made the trip, however by the time we got back to the truck it had bent back again so it was done.

    Yup, Drew's was a race tech and as you say it just doesn't work. We both love cogent. I have had my Cogent shock that I bought used on adv rider serviced twice by them, both times changing the set up for different riding needs and they are such nice people. Drew ran their super slick Mojave on his old DR and is now sending a stock shock to them for work.
    #27
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  8. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    After dealing with the stock shock too much,Im of the opinion they should be chucked in a river right off the show room floor. But a Cogent is not cheap. Cogent is just like an America made Ohlin's really.
    #28
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  9. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Just be careful chucking it. They are so soft, it will probably bounce back and take out an eye.
    #29
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  10. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Its a funny deal,I see guys selling DR's with 1000's in mods,every goo gaw in the book,except the suspension will be stock.
    Cant see modded suspension so it never gets done.
    #30
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  11. wolfmanluggage

    wolfmanluggage Long timer Super Supporter

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    We are super loving following along on your adventure! But holy cow--that shock!!!

    Ride safely, have fun, keep posting!

    Wolfman Luggage
    wolfmanluggage.com

    Supporting adventures 28 years and counting
    Woof!e
    #31
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  12. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Calgary
    Man this is sweet reading! Had planned on riding south from Canuckistan to do the IDBDR and UTBDR this summer. Ain’t happening with closed borders and such. Guess I’ll just keep riding in the Alberta and BC wilderness...not such a bad consolation prize I guess.
    Keep up the great RR!
    #32
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  13. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Yes, the final Nevada stretch is coming. Dealing with some very active foster pups at the moment and showing some other ADVers our fantastic roads here in Norcal so I got a bit distracted!

    @wolfmanluggage love your stuff! Only piece of feedback is that you changed the material type for the saddle bags! I was ready to buy new but prefer the older style material as it compresses better when not full, so had to buy off an inmate. But otherwise great stuff - the tank bag is now at least 100k miles old and the only thing which failed is one of the tie down clips which I have just zip tied together.
    #33
  14. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Don’t worry, braap happy.

    What better way to put the woes of yesterday behind us than with some good old brapping’ in a new state. While we started off in Mountain Home, Idaho, most of the day would be spent in Nevada.

    But first off, we needed to continue to wallow in the glorious spoils of western opulence - a free breakfast. After a pretty consistent trail breakfast of oatmeal, we were eager to chow down on something a bit more robust, and the free three-egg breakfast at the hotel really hit the spot.

    With full stomachs we set course for Jardbige, NV. I had previously ridden through this great little town on a ride a few years back that Drew was supposed to attend, but managed to break his hand the week before. Dumbass. Jarbidge and the surrounding countryside was definitely a highlight of that trip for me and I was eager to ride around there some more. I never would have guessed such beautiful mountain terrain could emerge from the deserts of Nevada.

    Fortunately the IDBDR has a pretty good connector into Jardbidge as that’s where the NVBDR ends. It’s all easy wide forest roads, with about a 50 mile slab to start from Mountain Home. Along the way the gravel road gives way to a few short sections of flowy, hero dirt which is always a fun way to get things going. We approached the morning’s ride somewhat apprehensively, thinking that Drew’s shock may simply spontaneously explode at the sight of a small bump. It didn’t, and held up without issue all the way into Jardbidge. To celebrate, we rewarded ourselves with cherry pie and Coors Lights at the Jarbidge saloon, because 'murica. I could hear the bald eagles rejoicing. Ah, yes, today will be a good day.

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    Ah yes. This looks like us.
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    A solid breakfast of dirt.


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    Drew clearly hates Jardbidge.

    Even though we had to head west, I knew the mountain side just south of Jardbidge was simply stunning, so we continued up the road a bit further, following the main south pass road. Up and up we climbed until we were on the majestic ridgeline. What a view! Last time I did this ride, I eyed some even higher peaks, accessible by tasty looking trails. Unfortunately my riding buddies at the time were not keen, so we didn’t explore. But not today, onwards!

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    Mmmmm, where does this go?

    As you all know DRs are tractors and when there is no corn to harvest, they simply plow on up hills. So that’s what we did. The view and the track just got better and better.

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    Gettin there....

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    Oh yeah! That was worth it.


    The GPS indicated that the track continued and would intersect with our planned route further up. Interesting, unexpected two track? Hell yeah! So we brapped on, frolicking among the wildflowers like Julie Andrews on PCP. Sensational riding.

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    Flower power! Well, flowers and an air cooled DR.

    Eventually we got to one muddy descent, you know, one of those ‘If I ride this down I might not be able to come up’, kinda hills. But nothing could stop us today, so we brapped on down, emboldened. We continued lapping up the trails all the way to the fence line of an adjacent private property. Easy peasy right? It’s not like we hadn’t opened and closed what felt like one billion hokey gates on this trip already. But this one was different. What? Private Property? Locked Gate? What kind of tyrannical world is this?

    A little unsettled, we turned around not looking forward to a potential muddy, difficult climb if we had to retrace our steps. Fortunately we found a parallel track. Fingers crossed. We continued on until we hit another gate with a big sign…..drat. But upon closer inspection it read ‘Please close behind you’. Yes! Victory was ours! Freedom had reigned supreme!

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    Freedom!

    From here we rejoined our westerly planned route, which was a series of fun two tracks through the desert and ‘forest’ (not sure what you call a small bunch of trees in the desert) towards Owyhee. Somewhere along the way Drew’s clutch lever sheared off. Nooo! But in a stroke of luck I was carrying a spare lever. 2 repaired from 2. Well if you exclude the shock but I ain;t carrying one of those as a spare. I was feeling pretty smug as ‘Mr. Prepared’ given my usual status of ‘Mr. She’ll be right’.

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    More good views

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    Jerky break!

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    The DR looks at home as an overgrown relic.


    We arrived in Owyhee and snacked. A dear, old, deaf, sickly lady wanted to hear our story and kept inching closer, and closer, and closer as we ate a very late lunch. ‘Ahhh! We cried. ‘Vector! Forever Unclean!', and threw our holy water and crosses at her and brapped off into the sunet. I’m joking of course. Sick Grandma was real, but we simply curtailed our story and got out of there - pandemics make us edgy.


    The next part of the route was more fun two track through the big nothing of Nevada. This was a custom track our friend prepared and as soon as we got onto it I remembered how last time it was wrong and we had issues finding the actual trail. Failing to prepare in advance, we again struggled to find the track. How does the saying go? ‘Fool me twice…?’ You win Garmin Montana.

    Back on track, the road turned into more challenging terrain, with lots of rocks, ruts, and a slimy water crossing across the Little Owhyee River. We got through without issue. However we did stumble a couple of birders, waaay out on the trail in their stock Ford Expedition. We wondered how many hours it took them on this rough trail to get there, and how the hell they managed to navigate all of the obstacles. But they were clearly having a great time, so we exchanged pleasantries and continued on.

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    Green slime on rounded rocks. Grips like velcro. Not. Better test it first.

    At this stage it had now been a long day so we began the search for a good place to camp. The road descended into a dry canyon where there were the remains of an old ranch released back to BLM. It was a nice quiet spot with no one around for miles. (here is where it is on the map https://www.google.com/maps/place/42°02'26.3"N+116°56'21.9"W/@42.040608,-116.9395009,126m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x54b31642eeebb98b:0xc3f32672366f9145!7e2!8m2!3d42.0406305!4d-116.939421) Completely knackered once again, we polished off dinner and both fell asleep before it was even dark. Yet another awesome day!

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    Solitude is bliss!
    #34
    Foot dragger, ilten, twowings and 3 others like this.
  15. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Thanks. We only had a taste of the IDBDR but I am eager to go back - but definitely later in the year. I also think next time I'd look at the route first on satellite or something - it carves through a lot of forest roads you could take a goldwing on. A couple of sections had me thinking there must be some cooler parallel trails. Did the UTBDR a few years back and had a blast- connected a few extra national parks not on the route (Bryce and canyonlands), the white rim trail, antelope island in SLC, in addition to the AZBDR north of flagstaff to get the grand canyon. Amazing scenery. Always blown away by the diversity of scenery each state in the West offers. One day i'll achieve the van/bike combo with endless free time to roam the west like many of the lucky bums on here.
    #35
  16. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Sure looks like fun out there! Im due for a tip to tip run on the IDBDR.

    Im always surprised that not everybody rides DR650's on trips of all sorts,SO Obviously the best bike ever built.
    #36
  17. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Durban, South Africa
    Love this! Up the DR's!
    #37
    tricky. likes this.
  18. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Gardnerville NV
    #38
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  19. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    It's heartening to see all the DR love. Bold new graphics are made for bold new frontiers!

    Its funny, when I am at home with craigslist at my fingertips and youtube warriors like Chris Birch seared in my retinas, I yearn for the flashy and powerful big bore adventure bikes like the KTMs, ATs and GSs. But once I get off my butt and on the road, there's no other bike I'd rather have than a simple DR.

    I think the trick to happiness on a DR is just riding a sh*t ton.

    Ok back to the RR.
    #39
  20. tricky.

    tricky. Been here awhile

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    Time to bring it home

    All these days of riding from sun up to sunset in a small posse had meant we had covered ground faster than we had planned. Now the prospect of finishing the whole adventure was real. Sad. I hate it when good things come to an end. No point moping though, when there were still adventurous brapps to be had. It’s like that last sip of beer – drink it now before it gets warm and crap.

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    Rise and shine!

    The isolated camp had provided an amazing night's sleep and after a cup of joe we were eager to hit the trail. Popping up and out of the canyon we were back in the nothingness that was flat-land Nevada. The morning’s trail consisted of straight rock/sand roads and a few groomed farm roads.

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    Yup, its the sage that keeps me coming back

    Around 25 miles from McDermitt, the road got a bit more interesting as it hugged a canyon, through dense sage, before winding up and over a few small peaks. This trail had some good flow – both in turns and small rises. Little front wheel lofts and sideways slides (well at least in my head) made for a fun morning.

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    Great fun!

    It was all going swimmingly until the very last turn. Typical. Just before the road turned into pavement, I was cruising at a pretty good clip and totally failed to see the sharpness of a turn. I’m gonna say it was hidden by the previous turn rather than fess up to my complete lack of aptitude. Grabbing everything I could, I had the DR sliding in an ungainly fashion, trying everything I could to make the turn. Nope, I didn’t have it. The bike was not slowing down and the edge of the road was closing in fast. Resigned to my fate, I let off the brake and went straight off the edge of the road, handing over my fortune to the moto gods that be. I bumped down a 10ft embankment, missed a big rock, then a stump, smushed and bounced over a few sage bushes all before popping up and over a berm to land squarely on the pavement. A perfect 10 point landing! I wish I had a go pro to see my facial expression. It was probably just like that of my countryman Steven Bradbury. For those not in the know he was a steller winter Olympic gold medal athlete. Sort of. His antics coined the term ‘doing a Bradbury’ back home. Check out the youtube video to see why.



    After fishing the various branches and twigs from my bike we plodded on in to the tiny town of McDermitt for a coffee and a mid morning snack.

    Refuelled once again we continued our trek west. It wasn’t long before the wide gravel BLM road gave way to overgrown farm two track through brilliant Nevada country side. For me, flowy two track is what the DR excels at (is this the 3rd or 4th time I said that) and we had a blast!

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    Good views from boring roads

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    Now we're talkin'


    Last time I had done this route we had gotten a bit lost and ended up in silty sarlac pits which had slowed progress. The silt was so fine it felt like water rushing over your boots from the wake of the front wheel. A highlight reel of that trip is here:



    But not this time. We stuck to the original route, avoided the sarlac pits and soaked up the great weather and view.

    Climbing out of the valley, the trail quickly became overrun with bovine beasts. And my word, were they dumb. The next few miles were spent trying to calmly get cows out of the way and find a line through other, less flexible cows. Highlights included herds of young calves that seem to follow the road at all costs, even when there is clear pasture to the side, and big ass bulls that do not budge, and make you crap your pants a little in the hope they do not charge.

    The last part of the climb was pretty hard going with lots of large loose rocks and cow ruts, but we managed to do it unscathed - good old DR tractor power.

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    Good views. I feel like a burger.

    The road eventually opened up again and before we knew it were we were in Denio Junction. Ahh what a place. We arrived to find it overrun with kids, goats and who knows what else but they had fuel and cold drinks and that’s all we needed.

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    Official endorsement that this was a GOAT ride.

    At this point we thought the trip was over, only needing to slab a hundred miles back via the highway to Lakeview. Our original plan was to stop or even camp at Virgin Valley Hot Springs along the way. But not today. The road closed gods had one more ace up their sleeve. Having just left Denio, we were met by a electronic ‘road closed’ sign due to a wash. Just as we thought about riding around it, some other adventure riders, well adventure bikes on truck hitches, informed us that there was a nasty sherriff just up the road who would not appreciate any more visits by over-zealous moto riders. So instead we took a slightly longer route back going up and over Hart mountain. While it was dirt, it wasn’t fun dirt. Just throttle to the stop, straight wide road dirt. But we made good time and coming off the Westernside of Hart mountain were greeted by stunning views.

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    The last stretch was pretty uneventful and before we knew it were were back at Lakeview. At this point, the trip caught up with us and knackered-ness soon prevailed. We quickly settled into napping on the lush grass of the RV park, sipping beer, and gorging large plates of Mexican food at the taqueria in town.

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    We made it!

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    Victory beverages!


    And I guess, sadly, that’s it. You don’t want to read about the dreary 5 hour drive home in a loaded truck any more than I want to write about it, but we made it.

    So in summary, approximately 1950 miles later, lots of fun was had, lots of great trails were ridden, and one final conclusion is apparent. The DR truly is the best bike ever made*.

    *Rear shocks not included.

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    A sign that good times were had
    #40
    sledrydr, Dumphead, rjnutt and 2 others like this.