KTM 500exc RTW...on as much dirt as possible (the test rides)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rtwpaul, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    If a wire or harness is made 'just long enough' for its application, could it be that adding additional zip ties here and there to secure it might end up stretching it just enough to add tension on the end connectors resulting in intermittent contact?
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  2. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO

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    It seems like every time I need a new electrical farkle (without removing the tank), I add another dozen zip ties.

    When I take the tank off, I consolidate wires into bundles in order to reduce the number of zip ties.

    Even so, I think my 500 would fall apart into pieces if I started to remove all the zip ties!:D

    While it still befuddles my mind, Boeing and Airbus stretch electrical wires and anchor bundles along the pathway. Saves a lot of weight and enhances connectivity and amperage flow.
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  3. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    I agree, these were ones that came from the factory, a crazy amount I wish I'd take a photo, velcro computer cables I have found to be good for holding larger groups together, the ones with the little buckle.

    Zip ties have their place but used in moderation or where they can't cause damage
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  4. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    100% yes
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  5. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    So, these last series of photos were your version of “restraint”? :hmmmmm

    Well, if that is what restraint looks like, please continue with showing lots and lots of it :clap
  6. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Fun fun

    Now you have me thinking about next year again...
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  7. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Wow man stunning, just stunning. I really need to get out west... I know lots of what you've been posting is pretty technical riding, but what about us less experienced off roaders out here? How would we make out on, say, a trail system like White Rim? Or on some of this stuff you've been riding in these last few series of photos?
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  8. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    not the easiest to answer, as there is no definitive way to grade trails, so I'll do it from my perspective and not try to make it too long, and start with a quote :fpalm

    A good speech should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest. Winston Churchill

    At the KTM Rally this year, they had Green (easy), Blue (medium) and Black (hard) trails, these were graded by pro enduro riders but for the masses to ride, after a day or two the opinion was the greens were dark blue, the blues kind of purplish and the blacks, well they were occasionally double black diamonds.

    ...but based on what you see here over the last few pages I would most are green, with a tinge of blue. Most of the BDR's are solid green, and they have some blue/ black sections, but there are always go-arounds, but you won't know until you go there if you can ride them.

    I would prefer to grade the trail 1-5, as its easier to understand I think, this might be where KTM went wrong.

    Most of the BDR's are rated (IMO) as a 1 to 2, because they are big-bike friendly, the expert sections can be anything from a 1.5 to a 4, but it depends on the direction and weather as well.

    The White Rim is a 100-mile track, has sand, rocks that are small and largeish to about softball sized in a few select areas, a few climbs and a few descents. I would rate the White Rim as a 1 - 1.5 for 99.5% of it, there are two climbs heading from Shafer outbound, which I would say are 1.5 - 2.5 dependent on weather.

    TBH, as I know where you live, I would ride to the TAT, ride it all the way to Colorado or New Mexico, and time it so you can meet up with @D-Train who owns West 38 Moto, an offroad training set up. He will take you on a lot of these trails and have you riding areas that you might not have thought possible a few days earlier.

    The point of riding the TAT east to west is that it trains you as you go, gradually getting a little tougher on lots of various terrains, but once you get to NM or CO, 2 days with Dusty would save you months of trying and possibly failing to see certain areas

    hope that helps, if not...questions
  9. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    It would be nice if there were some sort of system like you described Paul. Treknow.com has a very detailed ranking from 1 to 10, and while quantitatively correct within their matrix, it ranks the White Rim Trail, Lockhart Basin, and Top of the World all as 4’s. These trails are not anywhere the same difficulty.

    treknow.com-NWMoab
    (Scroll down to see their scale)
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  10. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO

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    I have never ridden with Dusty, but, having hung out with him, he's a great guy. So not only would you receive excellent instruction, but, have a good time while training, riding and sitting around a camp fire.

    And if you fly fish, pack a rod. Dusty is a great fly fisherman from what I hear. I can't get enough of saltwater fly fishing (an addiction that will never be satisfied); kind of like riding out west; never enough. The IDBDR will take you by/near some of the best fly fishing waters in ID.

    [​IMG]

    On my way to chase Redfish in the flooded grass flats with my 9WT fly rod at sunrise a few weeks ago. Note the KTM Orange deck line!

    Sorry for the fly fishing deviation...I couldn't resist.
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  11. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    I like their points system, if everybody were to use it then it would be great and be consistent. Interesting looking at the CO ones, a lot of them change in difficulty from season to season and are not as easy in one direction as the other...but there's only one score.

    ...and in CA they rate Lippencott as a 4, maybe going down but certainly not going up, if Lippencott is a 4 going up, then White Rim is a 1 :hmmmmm

    I'd put Lockhart at a 2 point spread depending on the direction
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  12. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    Back in the springtime @dave6253 and I met up and he said something about riding the Grand Canyon in October, I asked if he wanted company and he said, "sure" even though I had no idea where I'd be.

    He has a job, I don't, his scheduled time off had been approved and he was going to ride around the Grand Canyon (again) with or without me. The good thing here is he has a set date to start, I just had to get within a day's ride to meet him.

    it was all looking good after @philthyphil and I had finished our White Rim ride. As I said I headed back to the 3 Step and planned to leave the next day, do a wild camp somewhere near Moki Dugway and take a nice easy ride to meet Dave...fail.

    That electrical gremlin showed up :baldy the one I worked on for hours and never found, but somehow it was gone.

    I dropped Phil a message to make sure he'd got home ok, and to ask him a question -

    "With your OCD how would you feel heading off to some of the remotest tracks around the Grand Canyon with an electrical fault that you'd never found or fixed?"

    "Fuck that I wouldn't go anywhere, I could never ride the bike again, I'd have to sell the bike"

    It made me smile, strangely boosted my confidence, and that of my bike and honestly never thought about it again, I guess different minds work in different ways.

    ******

    I'd dropped Dave a message a few days earlier to get the meetup point, 12 noon at the permit office in Cameron AZ, it would have originally been a 150-mile ride mostly dirt, now it was a 250-mile ride, all paved.

    The big question was what was the actual time in Cameron? I couldn't remember if it was in that small area where it was an hour off from everywhere else, or the same! No wifi at 3-step, no phone signal either, so that means no google and no text to Dave who was most likely camping in a remote point with no signal. All it meant was I needed to leave 3-step at 6 am to be sure...did I say I'm not a morning person!

    I have the shittiest phone, and phone service, Cricket, cause I don't need or want a phone really, this is the first time I've had one in almost 3 years. Along the way, I got a connection and verified the time in Cameron, and I was at the permit office at 12.05 pm...he wasn't there.

    I'd missed his bike as he was filling up at the gas station across the street. All good...now let's go see this ditch!

    Tatahatso Point had been closed to the public so he had an alternate just in case and we rode off, within 10 minutes we were on the dirt and the 1700 mile loop was on, and we were all alone...

    [​IMG]

    As we're both photographers, but this was Dave's ride I'd crashed I told I'd just follow, for him to stop as often as he wanted and I'd get the odd snap taken when I could so we wouldn't get to separated.

    almost instantly we were in a groove and catching our own version of this ride. You can look at Daves version here to see how we were in the same place but the output is mostly different

    Re-riding a Dream - Grand Canyon Backcountry


    Its vast out here, there is literally not a soul around on this route he devised

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Grand Canyon is a very busy National Park, but we're going to take you to some points that hardly anyone ever visits, and wild camp at most of them

    Firstly this...I call it 'this' because it's NOT the Grand Canyon! Its where the BDR takes you and I'm guessing a lot think they are looking at the GC, nope, sorry, fail...this is Little Colorado River Gorge

    [​IMG]

    A few miles later we'd reach the Grand Canyon proper, and Dave caught me taking a shot


    ****@dave6253 photo
    [​IMG]

    of this

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    look at the bottom of the shot, see the two colors of the river? That's where the Little Colorado meets the Colorado River, THIS is the start of the Grand Canyon, and this would be our first camp spot, time to unpack, set up camp and watch the colors change and the night come in

    [​IMG]
  13. SDR82

    SDR82 Adventurer

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    You're an inspiration Paul, thanks for taking the time to write this and accompany it with most excellent photography.
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  14. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO

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    While I tend to avoid camping in the NPs, Point Sublime on the North Rim is worth the planning/obtaining a permit to camp overnight at one of three designated camp sites. I think it is my favorite spot to capture images of the big ditch at both sunrise and sunset.

    I like your B&W imagery Paul! And your color imagery is fantastic!

    It took me 3 decades of shooting B&W film with filters and honing my skills of dodging and burning in the dark room. Sadly I haven't devoted the time and effort to learn/develop the necessary skills using Photoshop or Lightroom since reluctantly going to the digital realm for capturing light. The auto feature doesn't really get me to where I'd like the image, but, I guess it's a start.

    I will be trying Luminar 4 with its new file system when released in a few weeks.
  15. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    As the sunset over the GC, it gives you time to eat, have camp set up perfectly and then wait for the sky to darken

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hadn't planned on taking any night shots the first night, or really any at all because I hadn't brought my astro lens with me, for reference that's Rokinon 12mm f2.0 manual lens, I was just carrying an 18-200 f 3.5, not perfect but when the sky turned I tried a few shots, and did a quick process of them to see how they turned out

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What I learned with this lens is I will need to be extremely exact with focus as you can see they are a fractionally out of focus but these results will now have me trying harder each night, needless to say, the night sky here is amazing

    The following morning it does make you wonder though if you were looking at the same sky looking in the same direction

    @dave6253 photo

    [​IMG]
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  16. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    I can hear Dave walking around, gravel crunching, the sun is rising the tent is getting warm so I guess its time to open up

    [​IMG]

    The tracks out here are a little vague at times, and there sometimes is a point to checking the GPS to make sure you took the right one, or is that the left one!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We were specifically looking for the pavement so we could cross the Colorado River at the Navajo Bridge

    [​IMG]

    Once over we had a long stretch to Buck Farm Point where the views again are amazing but there are faces in the rock watching

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The dark wall in front of us is the Kaibab Plateau,

    [​IMG]

    Dave told me this is easily the hardest climb of the whole route, a 3000-foot accent and over something like 5 miles or more, and it was loose rock and baby heads, and of course, the photo doesn't even come close to representing the steepness of the climb and the rocks looks kinda cute too


    @dave6253 photo

    [​IMG]

    The reward is no more desert heat, Aspens just turning

    [​IMG]

    and a view from Saddle Mountain over the valley

    [​IMG]

    The temperature was dropping and the wind was howling.

    Out here at the viewpoint, there was no protection from either, there was no choice but to retreat back into the trees and set up camp

    [​IMG]
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    That photo of the 2 track through the yellow trees makes me think I can still smell the decaying aspen leaves!
  18. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO

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    Paul, I know you've written you are not a morning person, even so, the shadows in the first picture indicate breakfast hour most be long over!:D Must be darn near 8AM!

    How's the BA MTB handlebar tent holding up?
  19. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    How are you liking the Mosko riding gear?
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  20. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Mmmm,....baby heads
    [​IMG]