Idaho ID BDR & Glacier Loop On WR250R: Navigating fires and hot temps Aug. 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GF-kam, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Day 12 & 13 : Glacier to Riggins and then Mountain Home. 700 + miles back.

    On the day we were planning to ride down to Missoula, I had to abort the trip due to family emergency back east. So, I had to find the fastest way to a major airport. I decided the best option would be to fly out of Boise, ID. So, we slapped 700 miles in two days. I left my bike in Mountain Home and flew out of Boise next day.

    During ride back towards Mountain Home, I did have opportunity to ride the scenic Hwy. 12 from Lolo to Riggins.
    CLICK IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO
    [​IMG]PRIX0149 by Kam A, on Flickr

    Along Hwy. 12. Hundred miles of big sweeping turns.
    CLICK IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO
    [​IMG]PRIX0147 by Kam A, on Flickr

    The southern part of Idaho becomes flat and agricultural.
    CLICK IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO
    [​IMG]PRIX0154 by Kam A, on Flickr

    We approach Mountain Home from the west and follow the Snake River for a while. The scenery looks more like southern Arizona.
    CLICK IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO
    [​IMG]PRIX0156 by Kam A, on Flickr

    I am often asked if the x BDR roads are better suited for big bikes like BMW R1200 GSA or smaller displacement bikes like the Yamaha WR250R I rode. After this trip, I'm more convinced the correct answer is "that depends." It all depends on rider skill. Either bike is capable. During our ID BDR ride, we ran into two solo riders on R1200 GSA, another rider on Honda Africa Twin, and couple of KTM 690 riders. It all depends on your skill and comfort level with 100+ horsepower at your finger tips. I personally prefer a more mellow and lighter bike I can lift up myself.
    #21
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  2. misanthropic

    misanthropic Zero

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    The family and I spent a week in Whitefish this summer. Beautiful. Thanks for the report.
    #22
  3. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Whitefish looks like a beautiful place to vacation or even have a small summer place.
    #23
  4. CaddyADV

    CaddyADV Adventurer

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    Alright...better late than never...but here's a few more pics and thoughts from "The Wingman"...aka CaddyADV on our tackling of the IDBDR, MT and BC. Ok, but first here's my top 10 caveats...observations...rants:

    1) Kam always works to take any pic of me right after we've eaten in order to try and minimize my actual level of supreme svelteness...what a shit! :bash. Therefore, all potential beer gut shots are temporal photo distortion lies and should be ignored.

    2) Notice who Kam's pics always show working on the bikes, doing the nav planning, ordering beers, helping the elderly with water crossings etc...clearly, I'm a "giver"

    3) Kam has described most of the places we hit, so these pic are just some extra trip eye candy to go along with his shots.

    4) Idaho, and in particular the IDBDR, was more rugged (at least when we rode it) than our 2016 trip along the CO & WY CDR and parts of the COBDR. ID is beautiful, but rugged and made even more so on this trip by the horrible fires for which there are far less bail-out routes, especially in the Frank Church wilderness area. But heh, that's all part of smoke jumping...I mean ADV riding...right!
    5) Kokanee beer is awesome!! :clap...even better when your mate pays for it
    6) Only 1 :muutton this trip and that's when I had to choose between making it up the hill or running into the back of Kam's bike on Day 1. So that was half as many drops as last years trip.

    7) 2400 miles in 15 riding days, on these roads and trails, was plenty for someone in the highly competitive but thinning "senior riding class."

    8) No more 700+ mile day after day drives going out and back from VA to out West..that's just a killer. The WRRs are now happily parked and waiting patiently in their own private bike condo in SLC. From now on, we will be fly AND drink enroute to and from them. That also allows us to now target at least 2 x 14 day trips a year instead of one monster 4 week trip.

    9) For the second year in a row we were blessed with ridiculously good weather. Again, we continue to benefit from being lucky rather than good, which is damn good thing.

    10) Kam and I are still looking to fill out our sponsorships for future rides. As of right now we have Georgetown Orthopedics, Washington Eye Center, AARP, and Tony's Custom Senior Walkers firmly committed to our next ride. But, we still have bike sticker space for an upscale fiber provider and an age spot coverup that's undetectable in a dark bar. :sweeti

    ok...onto the pics
    [​IMG]DSC04071[/url] by J A, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [​IMG]DSC04071 by J A, on Flickr

    Anderson Reservior

    [​IMG]DSC04071 by J A, on Flickr

    Look who photo-bombed my awesome lake shot!

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    This is the eclipse we saw...Not! Major bummed. Due to a fire re-route on the big day we ended up being too far north and sat around waiting for nothing. Alas.

    [​IMG]DSC04071 by J A, on Flickr

    As I noted...this was the weather pretty much every day.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Post water crossing dryout...and yes, that would be the water crossing :p3rrywhere I lost my $600 prescription riding sunglasses but left with pride in denial. :becca

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Classic Idaho

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    I'm sure I bought these two Bud Lights...at the Bar in Yellow-Pine.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Same bar...Ok, is it just me, or is Kam (yellow shirt on the left) checking out that guy's ass up front at the cash register Not that there is anything wrong with that....

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    This area was like the Moon. Huge boulders from when they blasted the road through.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    First of several mandatory food porn shots. That was single pancake order!

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    The Ghost Town of Burgdorf. Wanna know more about this semi-famous place read the book "The Big Burn - Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Save America". Highly recommend reading this book if you plan to ride the IDBDR. You will have so much more appreciation for this country, towns like Burgdorf, Wallace etc, forest fires, these great wildernesses, the people that lived here etc.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Yes...that's him photo-bombing my mandatory Green School Bus pic

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Does that bike in the back look like it's gotta blown rear shock seal...:hmmmmm

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Up and down...alot...holy shit, we've only gone 11 miles in the last hour!!

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    These are the new tank panniers I installed for this trip. They worked great especially since we are rolling with the small tank bag which pretty much held my camera and little else.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Kam rolling over this sweet bridge in style

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    This was a daily sight and routine. If you do the IDBDR in late Summer you need to get good at finding these and then reading and heading them. In addition, getting to know the various fire and incident websites, along with calling the "right" ranger station is critical must...and changes hourly. BTW, other than in towns we spent probably 90% of this trip WITHOUT cell coverage. So don't plan on pulling that info up once you are deep into the trails.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Kudos to Kam...he was a master at talking to the ranger stations and locals who often times had more current info or the right sources to call.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    When there wasn't smoke the views were stunning!

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Saw these on multiple businesses along the way. And we in turn supported them. That's what makes this work and I highly encourage those of you riding these BDRs to go into these small (and struggling) little towns and find away to spend some dollars there too, even if you are camping.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Kam doing laundry in Elk City...whew...

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Awesome and huge Patty Melt served here...but damn it I was so hungry that I ate it before I remembered to get a food porn shot. Sorry!

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    One of my favorite pics of the whole trip. This is at the start of the MaGruder Corridor leg of the IDBDR. If you are thinking about doing this BDR then you know all about this leg. We braved it without bucket or shovel...and lived to tell about it. Well except for maybe Kam's rear shock.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    So much of this in Idaho. Can't recall if this is from the recent fire or the one about 40 years ago. Brutal and eerie landscape in these heavy burn sections.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    A face only a mother, wife, sister, son....ok, a fellow inmate, could love and stand to ride with.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Did I mention there is a LOT of burn here?

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr
    Great little lunch spot and a place to clean up for it. Nice and cool as it was getting hot.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Yeah...we're adventure riders but we've got more electronics in our kitbag than they had to go to the moon. We almost browned-out the electrical grid in some of those small places when we rolled into town. Note the Bud Light tall boy in the back. That is our roll into town mandatory purchase while gassing up at the end of the day. Easier to carry 4 of those than a six pack. All about efficient packing on these small bikes your know.

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Down day in MT, so Kam insisted on getting his riding gear dry cleaned, pressed...seriously, sooo nice to have clean riding gear etc. when you are packing 1 or 2 of everything max.

    More to follow later.
    #24
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  5. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    Did GF-Kam fix his shock?
    #25
  6. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Thanks CaddyADV. All great photos except for a few of mine trying to look like the British actor who plays Mr. Bean. Maybe that truly was my expression after coming through Mcgruder Corridor.

    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    This is GF-kam. Yes I did get my blow rear shock fixed. Only after getting the bike back to the start and removing it at the SLC condo. I brought the shock back with me and mailed it to Go-Race in VA.
    #27
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  8. Magile

    Magile Long timer Supporter

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    Interesting. Was the shock failure due to the load, age or something else? Travis did his suspension magic on my wife's WR too. And we're headed to the IDBDR later this year. We may some preventative RR if it's a problem area. thnx, M
    #28
  9. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Hi Magile,

    What a small world. So you know all about my go to shop and suspension guru. No real autopsy report from Travis after getting into shock. He said they just sometimes go for no reason.

    Originally when me and CaddyADV had our WR250R suspension upgraded, we trailered our bikes to Travi's shop. We took all the same gear and camping gear on back of the bike. So, he setup the springs specifically for our additional gear and weight. Also set the sag. So, I don't think it had to do with weight.

    We documented on trip down to Go-Race for anyone who is curious:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/125759496@N04/albums/72157668705252066


    Only thing I can think of is I did some spring riding with a bunch of water crossing and never got chance to clean any of the muck. Then maybe it some of the residual crap hardened on the shock shaft and got into the internals. All speculation on my part on my part.

    Anyhow , I hope it never happens again. Fortunately I must of had some oil / nitrogen still in shock. Otherwise I would have been pogo sticking down the road.

    Kam
    #29
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  10. CaddyADV

    CaddyADV Adventurer

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    Ok...onto part 2 of my contribution...

    [​IMG]DSC04308 by J A, on Flickr

    Best solution for horrible smoke (LoLo fire) and sore throat in Hamilton, MT...a light breakfast :jack

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    On something like day 2 or 3 I caught and tore the damn straps off of my "must have" Air Hawk while throwing my leg over the seat of the uber tall WRR. Sooooo, of course I duct taped the bad boy on and can you believe that held all the way back to SLC. Amazing!

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Eating like this and documenting it was mandatory as we are also working to get a sponsorship from the Northern Virginia Cardiac Care Center. Yes, before you ask that bad boy is sitting in the middle of a PLATTER. I estimated it at 8" by 8". Easy to order if you go there, it's in the healthy heart and gluten free section of the menu.

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    Ok..ok...yes I'll take another magazine worthy picture of you

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    No surprise...tons of mining history and leftovers in ID

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    More....

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    For me...the three pics above were from the most stunning 3-4 miles of the trip. We stopped here for lunch and ate most of it silence while we just sat and smiled. Simply spectacular!

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    I need a nap

    [​IMG]IMG_3479 by J A, on Flickr

    Never got a chance to walk across one of these, but I'll bet we saw 20+ of this exact style of bridge on the trip. I just think they look cool.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Of course I had to take a picture...it's my name!

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Tough and rugged riding up on the ridge lines...but great views.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Nice reservoir. See that little red barge out in the middle of it? This is a Army Corp of Engineers reservoir. They use that barge as a mobile gas station. When they have construction and earth moving equipment operating around the shoreline, they simply cruise over to the shore with the barge and use it to fuel up the equipment.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Ran into this old guy who had just pulled this Razor (for salvage) up a 300' bank where it had gone over the edge. Lots of those kinds of banks on the IDBDR...:doh

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr
    Glad to stop and take a break at this spot as this was tough riding day as I recall.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Ah yes...the mandatory Blue House IDBDR stop. The section leading up to the Blue House and for several miles afterwards, was plenty of work...at least for me. I think we covered about 8-10 miles in an hour. Hey, that's the speed we ride at...to make sure we get to go ride again. Remember who our sponsor are.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Inbound to Wallace...just before Kam went temporarily blind in the tunnel.:jack

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Tribute to Edward Pulaski, just outside of Wallace. Again, read that "The Big Burn" book and you will be humbled by what a true hero and kind of man Ed Pulaski was during this era.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Guess who was NOT leading on this segment. Which led to my mate's classic comment "gee, I didn't think it was that dusty today, was it dusty back behind me?"...really...really?"

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Here's a free tip for you. Don't want folks to even think about touching or stealing your trusty stead...hang your dirty base layers :katon them to dry. Disgusting combo smell, look, condition, and cootie potential are way better than any alarm, chain or disk lock.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Sweet...we're in Vegas...err, nope Wallace.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    Kam said he'd rather be put in this and rolled down the hills than re-ride the "supposed short cut" we took coming into Wallace.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    When you see these signs on the roads in ID...you'd better damn well read and head. These drivers are hard working folks trying to make a dollar in a tough place. As such, they just have no time to worry about slowing down or sharing the road...so they don't.

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    This is why we ride in these places...right? It is for me!

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    snack time...

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    It's simply awesome to just stop like this, almost anywhere, and hear NOTHING!!!

    [​IMG]IMG_3509 by J A, on Flickr

    We both have Mosko Moto Reckless soft bags and love em. But, somewhere along the way I got a slice on the inside bottom of mine. No clue how, when or where. No real structural impact, but need to figure out a solid patch plan. Anyone got any slick repair ideas?

    [​IMG]IMG_3560 by J A, on Flickr

    Love the Canadians. They only speak "truth" at the Columbia Brewery in Creston, BC.

    [​IMG]IMG_3560 by J A, on Flickr

    The water...streams...rivers...all of it, fantastic in ID and MT.

    [​IMG]IMG_3560 by J A, on Flickr

    Duh...of course we had to stop and eat here.

    [​IMG]DSC04508 by J A, on Flickr
    Best was when the woman, at the general store across, had to open up the single dilapidated gas pump and keeping hitting it with a rock (which she kept on top of the pump...look it's in the pic) to get it to work. Like any good ADV rider, we were not bothered by that in the least...as long as we can get GAS!!

    [​IMG]DSC04508 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04508 by J A, on Flickr

    There were so many inspirational and self-reflective insights in the Dirty Shame Saloon that well, I'm not to ashamed to say it...yes, I teared up.

    [​IMG]DSC04508 by J A, on Flickr

    Heading back into MT and the smoke is getting bad again...<cough>

    [​IMG]IMG_3560 by J A, on Flickr

    "I have kind of a fetish" were your words...not mine.

    [​IMG]IMG_3560 by J A, on Flickr

    Awesome...we've arrive in Glacier National Park

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3560 by J A, on Flickr

    But the smoke was terrible!

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    Even with the smoke...Glacier is simply magnificent. Spiritual.

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr
    Yes...that brown smudge in the middle of the picture is a bear. Look at the idiot :stupidin the blue shirt running and trying to catch it to get a picture. Stupid is as stupid does...till the gene pool take a hit from a bear that turns around. Speaking of bears ,we saw a couple on this trip including a grizzly and her cub and plus a big ole black one standing up on two legs in the middle of the road. :ksteve

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    We took the red bus tour up and back on the "Going to the Sun" road at Glacier. Do not go there and NOT do this. And, I recco taking the red bus tour versus riding. Trust me, you'll see way more.

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    Plus the drivers know all the history and the great stops.

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    Speaking of drivers, here's a shot of our Red Bus driver, who's now in his sixties, when he visited the Park as a 9 year old and yearned to one day come back and drive one of these cool Ford masterpieces. And he did and does!

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    Can't imagine it on a clear smoke fee day. I have to come back.

    [​IMG]DSC04585 by J A, on Flickr

    Again, you can either ride or look while someone else drives...but not both.

    [​IMG]IMG_3560 by J A, on Flickr

    As I noted earlier, no more long out and back cross country drives. Both bikes are happily tucked away in their SLC home and waiting to get out on the back roads again.

    Utah in May 2018...here we come!
    #30
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  11. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Love the shots CaddyADV. Especially the coal miner look :)
    #31
  12. JackBurns40

    JackBurns40 LDRider, dirt newbie

    Joined:
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    Loved reading your ride report! Hoping to ride the IDBR this coming summer with a friend.

    What sort of plans did you make for housing on the trip? Did you make reservations in advance or just as you arrived? Did you ever have trouble finding a place to stay?

    Thanks again!
    #32
  13. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Hey JackBurns40 ( Jack ),

    If you've been reading our last two big Ride Reports ( CDR and IDBDR ), you'll know we both hit some ruff patch with health issues last few years. The docs keep putting us back together with titanium, kevlar, glue, radiation, and bondo. So, as you now we've been lodging it. We also want to help some of the mom and pop enterprises along the way. So we lodge it.

    Yes we booked most of our lodging ahead of time. Especially for 2017 trip. The year of the big total eclipse. Our ride was smack in the middle. So, many of the places that would normally be available on short notice were already booked. You also need to book any type of lodging at West Glacier way ahead of time. I think the only place we ran into a little glitch was Yellow Pine ( General Store room in back ). Many of these smaller places don't use computerized booking system. So, someone forgot about us. But, we managed to get a hold of owner who was out of town and he set us up at even nicer place. It all worked out. Oh, you also need to find out about fire situation. You may find some small towns like Eureka, MT sold out because they house the fire fighters. Little situational things.

    I posted a snap shot of all the places we lodged at and addresses. I would contact them ahead of time to get a better sense of availability for period you plan to travel through. Some places like Lowman ( Sourdough Lodge ) pricing was 2X normal because of the total eclipse.

    Another very adventure biker friendly place in Riggins, ID is the Big Iron Motel http://www.bigironmotel.com/index.html

    Hope that helps. If you read closely through ride report, you can probably match some of the photos with where we lodged. All good eating.

    Keep me posted.

    GF-kam IDBDR Lodging Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 9.13.11 AM.png
    #33
  14. JackBurns40

    JackBurns40 LDRider, dirt newbie

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    Thanks so much! Just what I was looking for. I'd tracked down a number of these places, but not all of them. We won't be getting near Glacier, so that shouldn't be a problem. I sure understand about the eclipse. Kearney, NE, where I live, was in the path of totality, and all the rooms in town were booked a year in advance.
    #34
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  15. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Nice report, Halo and I rode a lot of those roads in 2016. We didn't go to Glacier, we ran a big loop from Lima Mt. up to Lolo and back down to the Nez trail and Magruder Corridor. I enjoyed looking at your Pics and reliving our trip. Thanks
    #35
  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Excellent!
    #36
  17. DittyBag

    DittyBag A bag of dirty stuff

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    Great information gents. I shall drink this next beer, with thoughts and hopes that the bondo cures strongly.
    #37
  18. kojack06

    kojack06 Long timer

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    Great photos and report! Many thanks!
    #38
  19. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Glad you found the post and enjoying photos. Also a reminder to myself to look at the photos once in a while.
    #39
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  20. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Worthy of being bumped. Great read, excellent photos, and some fine riding done. A 2018 ride was mentioned as planned. What is the title so I might find it here? Take care Amigos.
    #40
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