KLR-ing along the Greys River road

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DaveWave, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    141
    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    I’ve been wanting to ride this road for a couple of years now and decided to take a day off work this week to make it happen before the snow fell and closed it off.
    It’s only about 60 miles from my place in Idaho Falls to Alpine, WY where the road starts.
    Picked up this KLR a few weeks ago and decided that this ride would be a great way to see if I'd addressed all the quirks that needed fixed from the previous owner. This is about my 5th or 6th KLR...and have had about the same number of DR650s as well as numerous other bikes (KTM950/990, Super T, DRZs, etc.). Sold my last DR650 during the summer and was looking for another to fix up when this KLR became available locally for a price I couldn't ignore. Hard to beat the KLR and DR for what they cost and can do compared to all the others.
    4B407F1D-5055-4722-8D65-71D65FA7829C.jpeg Just east of Idaho Falls in the foothills on my over to Alpine.
    Ran into some fog along the Snake river through Swan Valley.
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    #1
  2. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The highway to Alpine follows the Snake River and then to the Palisades dam. Great road to drive in the Fall with all the color from the Aspen trees along the way.
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    #2
  3. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Saw this nice truck along the way right before the dam. And the dam store...my kids love to say, "Lets go to the dam store"...with a smirk on their face.
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    Made it to Alpine and stopped in at the visitors center in town to use the facilities and check out their full wall-size map. Its a great facility and I highly recommend stopping in for route conditions and maps.
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    #3
  4. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    The Greys River road starts about 1/2 mile from the visitors center right from the center of town and turns to dirt after a couple hundred yards. The dirt is compacted and smooth and you can really get going as fast as you want with no problem...until you come to a corner with loose gravel or narrow bridges.
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    The road follows the river pretty closely for pretty much the whole route to the top of the pass which is about 50 miles.
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    Great fly fishing along here...should've brought a pole. Water is so clear.
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    #4
  5. Slambo

    Slambo B-52 RN

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
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    257
    Location:
    East TN
    Really nice pics! Thanks!
    #5
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  6. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Came to about 6-7 big trucks with livestock trailers coming the opposite direction...assuming they're hauling cows down from the summer pasture in preparation for the coming snow. IMG_5418.jpg
    Beautiful weather for a ride! Glad I took the day off. Am always hesitant to do it but then when I'm out doing what I love I think, "Why don't I do this more often?"
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    The smoke is from a crew of BLM fire folks burning slash piles.
    There was a land slide a year or two ago that completely blocked the road and the river for a while. You can really see where a massive amount of dirt came off the hill here.
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    Hard to see in the pic. below but there is an airstrip out here in the middle of nowhere. I think it belongs to a high-dollar hunting/guide outfit that has a a base here.
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    The snow on the hills in the background is a bit concerning as that is where I'm headed...I think. Not sure if I'll make it over the pass...
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    Attached Files:

    #6
  7. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    The road has quite a few small pot holes but nothing that would concern a dual sport bike. As I mentioned before, you can go about as fast as you want through here but have to keep in mind there are a lot of hunters on the road this time of year...and it's easy to get distracted by the scenery. I would stop and take a picture and then have to stop another hundred yards down the road because the scenery just wouldn't stop!
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    I got a chance to try out my new Wolfman E-12 saddle bags. I debated for months which bags to buy...I ultimately decided on these as I wanted something I could adjust and use on different bikes and something that was more than the 10-12 liters of the competition but less than a full size bag. They are really great little bags and very durable. A bit fiddly to put on the first time but they were solid and never moved an inch the entire 280+ miles.
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    Thought I'd see some wildlife during the ride but the only thing I saw were cows...lots of cows. This little guy didn't want to move from the middle of the road until I was right up to him and could have bumped him out of the way.
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    Didn't know there is a winter elk feeding area up here.
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    #7
  8. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Snow on the mountains is getting closer.
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    Evidence of forest fire from recent years.
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    Came to this little Forest Service Guard Station...Love to see these old buildings scattered across the West. They were some hardy folks that settled the West.
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    #8
  9. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    More of the same...keep coming across hunting camps along both sides of the road...but didn't want to stop and take pictures...what with everyone packing weapons.
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    River is getting smaller and narrower.
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    Beaver dam...one of many on the river.
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    And the top of the pass...surprised there is no snow.
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    La Barge guard station.
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    #9
  10. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Headed up to the real top of the pass then down toward Star Valley, Wyoming.

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    Came to this Safety/Warming hut on the way down. Is maintained by the Star Valley Search and Rescue...a great resource to have for the community to use. A couple of pack horses were staying close to a camp nearby as well.
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    Yours truly...
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    #10
  11. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Took me longer to get down to the valley floor than I thought it would. Elevation wasn't dropping very fast on the gps.
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    I can see Star Valley from here...way off in the distance.
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    And finally pull into Afton, WY. I really like Afton...a small town in a beautiful location that hasn't been over-run with tourist attractions or city-folk who want to change it...probably because of the long and cold winters.
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    Leaving town to head west toward Soda Springs, ID.
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    #11
  12. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Couldn't help taking a pic. of this old garage west of Freedom, WY.
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    Headed east toward Soda Springs. Lots of sheep in the area.
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    I was looking for Tin Cup road to take me north toward Idaho Falls and mistakingly started up this mountain trail with the same name...it was really rough and grown over so I turned around and went a few miles west until I found the road with the same name.
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    Some really nice ranches in this area.
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    #12
  13. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    141
    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Kept headed north toward Bone, Idaho which is just east of Idaho Falls in the foothills. People don't realize how much country is out there just a few miles from the city. I saw one old cowboy all the way from Tincup road to Bone.
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    Glenmore, Idaho...a one-building town near Bone, ID.
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    And a final pic. at the top of the foothills above Idaho Falls before dropping down into town and home.
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    About 280 miles from door to door. I had put a Seat Concepts seat on the KLR a week ago and was glad I did. I had a sore rear end but no where near as what it would have been with a stock seat. I also put on a taller screen and wasn't very happy with it during the ride...created a lot of turbulence right at eye level and made my helmet vibrate like crazy so I was always trying to sit up taller or lower to eliminate the buzz from the turbulent air.
    The bike ran flawlessly even at altitude. It's not the fastest or prettiest but I use it as a tool to get me to the mountains and places I want to explore. I don't ride like I'm in a race anymore so the KLR suits my style fine. I wish it was a bit smoother and had some more oomph for passing but I'm cheap so have a hard time spending $10k when this gets the job done for much less. Maybe in about 10 years I can bring myself to spend the money for a used T7 or 790R...we'll see.
    Happy Trails
    #13
  14. lemonster1

    lemonster1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
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    31
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    Awesome scenery! Great pics. What kind of windscreen you put on? Parabellum? Was looking at maybe getting taller screen but don't want that kind of turbulence!
    #14
  15. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
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    Location:
    Huntsville Ala. foothills of the Smokey's
    You have some great riding out there.................................
    #15
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  16. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    141
    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Yes, it’s the parabellum rally windscreen. I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ll either have to cut it shorter or get a low seat to drop me another inch lower down but I still think it would cause buffering even if I drop the seat height another inch.
    #16
  17. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    oh, man! you do have some fun stuff to look at.
    thoroughly enjoyed the report.
    thanks for sharing!
    pops
    #17
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  18. CCitis

    CCitis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    596
    Location:
    Beautiful BC
    Love this. I need to take more "mental health days". I have been thinking about getting a cheap KLR. Currently only have a road machine, which is great. Would like something ADV worthy. KLR seems like a cheap way in (I am all about cost effective!). How are they on the twistys?
    #18
  19. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    141
    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    You're right...we all need to take more mental health days! I for one get into a rut where I feel guilty about taking days off but it seems like more companies are starting to realize that mentally healthy employee is the way to go these days. I'm lucky to have a boss who is also a dual sport rider and likes to get out as much as I do.
    "Cheap" is my middle name...and should be in the KLR's product description. A used KLR is probably the most cost effective way to get into Adventure riding. I like the DR650 motor more than the KLRs but unless you buy a used DR that has been modified by the previous owner than you'll want to spend money on a bigger tank and a rear rack and a windshield of sorts. I like to fix up bikes and put some TLC into them and ride them for a while then sell them and move onto the next one but I don't want to put a bunch of money into aftermarket accessories that I'll never recover my money from. That's the one negative I have against the DR. I like that I can take a stock KLR and really don't need to add anything to it in order to take it adventure/exploring long distances. It's not really a machine that you buy to do twisty roads so keep that in mind when/if you buy one...it's old school technology in an old school frame that flexes when pushed...speedy road rides is not what I'd buy a KLR for. Once at 70mph there's not a whole lot of motor left for fast passes. If you keep that in mind and accept it then you'll be fine. Like I mentioned earlier, it's a tool that I use to get me out in the backcountry at a price that can't be beat...as in cheap. :-)
    #19
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  20. byways

    byways byways

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,619
    Location:
    Idaho
    Hey DaveWave, I'm in Idaho Falls as well. Let's connect sometime!

    Tony
    '08 KLR
    #20