So a couple of weeks ago, this happened: And I thought you might like to know a little bit more about it all? Certainly anyone who has ridden the Rubicon will know it's relentless... essentially a dozen miles or more of boulders, rocks and steep slab steps - and while it's manageable on a small, lightweight dual-sport enduro bike, the terrain really favours four wheels rather than two... it certainly isn't the place for a typical twin cylinder 'Adventure' bike. Now I won't bore on about the details of the Rally Raid CB500X Adventure here - there is already a huge thread about the bike and the kit over in the vendor section of the forum - but suffice to say, the fact the CB is just that little bit smaller and lighter than the other 'full size' ADV twins out there is the main reason I thought I'd be in with half a chance of getting through to the end of this particular trail without destroying it in the process. Of course I'm certainly not suggesting this bike was the ideal mount for riding something as extreme as the Rubicon - but fundamentally, since the Rubicon Trail is still technically a county road (rather than a dedicated OHV trail), and considered to be the toughest 'street legal' trail in the USA, then it's feasible you might come across some similar sorts of hazards if you'd taken a particular unsurfaced road or trail... Therefore the reason for choosing this particular 12 miles was to illustrate that if you were faced any one or indeed a series of extreme hazards when out on the trail, that it's possible to get this particular bike and yourself over and through it, with minimal damage to both - which in my book is what Adventure trail riding is all about. Pre-planning Now I have to admit, we weren't going into this endeavour completely blind (unlike the first time I tried to ride the Rubicon back in 2008, solo, in early November, on a loaded XT660Z... that is a whole other story!) - personally I have ridden the Rubicon three times now, albeit only in it's entirety once, back in 2013 - so at least I sort of knew what we were in for... at the same time, I was also aware that a lot of the 'hazards' change from year to year with snow melt and the extensive 4-wheeled traffic that uses the trail each summer. However, Juan was certainly a Rubicon virgin - and while we'd been planning this ride since the spring this year, in an effort to ensure the video was truly authentic, there would be no pre-run on smaller bikes for example - we would turn up the night before, camp, and then 'crack-on' as they say - just as if this were part of an ongoing adventure ride... So in that respect (other than leaving our camping kit at camp), we would also have to be self-sufficent (water, food, tools, spares) for the duration, and not least endeavour to be in a position to ride our bikes back to camp. I also aimed to navigate the whole trail on the CB myself, that is without any physical assistance from Juan... the only caveat being if I found myself in a situation that would either damage the bike or myself, then I would ask him to step in and give me a hand - but even then, fundamentally I wanted to remain in control of the bike at all times... So, enough waffle, I'll endeavour to let the picture captions tell the rest of the story... photo. Leaving home to meet up with Juan Browne who was going to video the trip - I'd also be lending him my XT225 to ride, hence trailering the two bikes from the Bay Area up to Lake Tahoe. photo. affectionally known as 'The Nail' - a 1992 XT225 Serow... this is basically my Moab bike - light & low - it might have barely 17hp and crappy suspension, but actually it rides like a street-legal trials bike over the kind of terrain we'd be encountering - don't knock it, the soft power, low seat and squidgy suspension is perfect for a trail like the Rubicon! photo. Juan and I met up the evening before and camped at Loon Lake. Having ridden the Rubicon before, I knew we'd need an early start if we hoped to finish before nightfall - particularly on a big bike. photo. in an effort to keep as much weight off my person as possible, all my tools were stashed under the seat of the CB. Those of you who read the CBXpo ride report from earlier this year will notice that I no longer have the Motion Pro rim protectors with me - after all it was inevitable that the bike was going to get scratched over the next twelve miles, so the odd scuff from a tyre change would be the least of my worries now... photo. still pristine - just over 11,000 miles and so far it had never been down... of course in the next 11 miles it wouldn't be a case of if, but when, and how many times. photo. this photo made me laugh... no, the XT isn't really that much smaller, but figuratively it certainly is - being little more than half the weight of the CB500X. Juan was going to have a far easier time on the Serow than I was on the CB that's for sure! photo. we happened on this abandoned CJ5 a couple of miles into the trail... presumably they'd run out of beer! It wan't long after that the inevitable 'first drop' happened: Once that was out of the way, I wasn't going to be too precious... photo. A milestone - the Rubicon is punctuated with these, at typically all the major 'hazard' areas. photo. a good proportion of the Rubicon is rideable on a bike, but other times it's prudent to walk the bike over certain hazards - especially if you don't want to hurt yourself or damage the bike - it's a long walk out! photo. this being one example... (2m50s in the main video) the bike slipped off the narrow ridge and wedged itself under the overhanging rock. Up until this point, I'd been able to ride/walk the bike myself - but it did need Juan to give a push to finally extract the bike at this point. And yes, I can confirm the clutch is very robust on the CB ;o) photo. dragging it out from under the rock didn't help all that much, it needed a bit of brute force! photo. we made it to Buck Island Lake by about lunchtime - having slightly underestimated how much physical work would be required to get the CB over some of the larger rocks and hazards. Although we'd both packed 3 litres (100oz) in our Camelbaks that morning, I was now out of water - fortunately we were able to get some bottled water from the guys in the helicopter (you can just see it in the background above the lake) who were ferrying surveyors in the region. Juan also had a 'sippy pen' water filter with him, so filled his Camelbak with lake water and we continued to drink that through the afternoon... This is a warning - take a LOT more water than you think you might need - we certainly underestimated just how much we needed to drink that day. cont.