Friends in Low Places - Death Valley 2012

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by Humunn, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Knowing winters are cold in the PNW a few of us began talking about a warm destination ride this year. Last time we did this was a 1,000 mile trek around Baja in November 2009 so we were long over due.

    The Riders:

    Robin – Vancouver, WA
    Darrin – Vancouver, WA
    Dale – Hillsboro, OR
    Don – Yamhill, OR
    Dan – Hillsboro, OR
    Greg (me) – In a van down by the river, OR

    The Plan:

    Two pickups with three bikes each leave the PNW on Tuesday late. Arrive in DV Wednesday. Short ride Wednesday afternoon followed by 3 250 mile days. Stage out of Panamint Springs for days 1 and 2 and spend night three in Beatty, NV. Return drive home on Sunday.

    The Route:

    Thanks to Jerry Counts and a few others.

    [​IMG]

    The Bikes:

    5 KTM 450 EXCs and a poor blue bastard step child!

    The Prep:

    After studying the maps it became clear quickly that fuel would be an issue, so we bought these 6.3 gallon monster tanks. We found them surprisingly difficult to find around the country. Even Acerbis said they did not know when the next shipment was coming and nothing was “on the water” at the time. JustGasTanks.com had 4 or 5 in stock and we bought them all.

    [​IMG]

    Tearing the bike down, checking hoses, valves, changing oil, fresh air filter, chain, bearings, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Fitting the Exxon Valdez conversion kit. This thing is HUGE!

    [​IMG]

    The hose routing and flimsy “Y” makes me nervous. Bought an extra “T” as a backup.

    [​IMG]

    Spooned on a new ED78. Got 1,500 plus miles out of the last one. These tires are tough and long lasting. Because the sidewalls are so stiff you need to run them at a low pressure. At normal pressure (16 psi) these tires are sketchy and feel like you are riding on marbles. I run the Tubliss system and inflate to 8 psi (in the desert)!

    [​IMG]

    Finish packing over the weekend and fitting the Giant Loop Mojavi bag to the back of the bike.

    …and wait for Tuesday!


    More to follow…
    #1
  2. monrcar

    monrcar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    Western, Oregon
    .... so I'm guessing one bike (blue) will make the whole run! Have fun!
    #2
  3. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,956
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    You lucky . . . :clap:clap:clap
    #3
  4. BigHo

    BigHo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    Westside of Oregon
    Well, looks like we got a handle on the fuel...I think! Now you need to work on more daylight.:eek1
    #4
  5. Miguel Sanchez

    Miguel Sanchez VD #101 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,025
    Location:
    Bend(over), OR
    Been there, done that - 12 months ago almost to the day. I'm so jealous! Ride safe.. :lurk
    #5
  6. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Oh, NOT! He is way outnumbered! :wink:
    #6
  7. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    We can make an extra spot Dave. Just sayin'!!!
    #7
  8. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    You did buy that spare bulb, didn't you? :lol3
    #8
  9. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Will do, thanks!
    #9
  10. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    The rolling billboard needed some color. These will probably all find their way to the desert floor somewhere down there but look good for now!

    [​IMG]

    Fitting the Giant Loop Mojavi. Covering the plastics with packing tape first, otherwise the bag and collected dirt and dust will grind the shine right off.

    [​IMG]

    The behemoth Acerbis tank comes with a goofy simulated dry break cap (on the right). It looks like trouble and easy access for dirt to get in the tank. Replaced with the standard version on the left.

    [​IMG]

    Counting down…
    #10
  11. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,336
    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Looks like fun. :clap

    That red line looks like a long day. I am not sure but it looks like you are planning to go East bound up Titus canyon. I think that is a one way road going the other way. You might want to check that.

    A sweet source of info is "Death Valley SUV Trails" by Roger Mitchell if you can source one up. Makes for good reading on the long drive down. I ended up buying one at the NPS visitor center in Furnace Creek for $19.25 in 2010. They have free Wifi there too.
    #11
  12. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Day 2 (red line) is a long day...250+ miles. We will be heading westbound on the Titus Canyon one way route.

    Thanks for the tip on the book. This is the first time I've been to DV and any/all pointers are helpful!


    #12
  13. Racinace

    Racinace Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    462
    Location:
    La Center, Washington
    Interesting.... :freaky
    #13
  14. Miguel Sanchez

    Miguel Sanchez VD #101 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,025
    Location:
    Bend(over), OR
    The best book out there on DV is "The Explorer's Guide to Death Valley National Park" by T.Scott Bryan. Best map is a Tom Harrison map of Death Valley National Park. Between those two, there is nowhere you cannot go and whenever you get to wherever you are, there are interesting tidbits of history and trivia in the book.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Enjoy!!
    #14
  15. BigHo

    BigHo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    Westside of Oregon
    I am sure there will be lots of pondering on this ride. :hmmmmm
    #15
  16. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    14 hours until we leave. Ponder that!

    #16
  17. Sleepwhenyoudie

    Sleepwhenyoudie Running from the pillow

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    dust cloud
    I'm guessing some spooning too! Pics will be much appreciated.
    #17
  18. oldmonkeybut

    oldmonkeybut ATHLETIC Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,786
    Location:
    Western Rain county, Oregon
    I'm not sure we need to see the "spooning" pic's. :eek1 What happens on the trail in Death Valley stays in Death Valley.:deal :lol3
    #18
  19. HH

    HH Dahlonega GA

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,059
    Location:
    Dahlonega GA
    waiting patiently :lurk you guys are missing some great weather here :jkam
    #19
  20. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,494
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Back last night about 730 after 12 plus hours on the road. My ride still had another 3 hours to Vancouver. :eek1

    Three days of great riding and incredible scenery!

    Pics and RR to follow...
    #20