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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TexasStevo, Aug 17, 2020.
We got into some gnarly stuff in the Sierra Madres, we went down stuff we certainly couldn’t make back up with the KLX. It was pretty epic high alpine riding. Will load some pics later from go pro, there was no smelling the roses with my iphone for too many pics.
We are holed up in Baggs at a basic hotel. Shower, cold beer, soft bed....it’s nirvana.
We were pulling out onto WY130 from a forest service road a few miles west of the Medicine Bow overlook around 11ish this am....and saw a 701 blasting west. ‘Huh, wonder if it’s that same guy doing the RR on AdvR’ I said to myself. Then saw the green machine in tow hot on your heels.
That was us, our original track east of the overlook was a no go. Good times!!
This is a good one, I’m the spec laying dust. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Had a good breakfast in Baggs and got out of there early. We were making good time.....
Then decided it would be fun to fix a flat. Got her done, back in the game. This is some crazy BLM remoteness, and we had some obscure two track, lots of sand here and there. Worked well clocking some miles on Mars while it was still cooler.
We got gas and are eating a bite at Point of Rocks Right now. Hoping to make it to Lander today, pushing hard.
Good stuff...thank you for posting. We are looking forward to the WYBDR release in January 2021, hope, hope, if not do you plan on posting your tracks?
I would suggest PMing us if you are interested. We will have to true the tracks up after our trip, some issues here and there on tracks going through and some warnings on some spots we would have to tell you depending on your steed and tolerance level of abuse you are willing to endure. We are definitely having an adventure.
We made it to Lander, big day big miles. More drama as well, too tired to tell it all, you get a few pics and that is all. More tomorrow.
The rest of the story.....
After Point of Rocks we had originally planned to hit Kilpecker sand dunes. But the day before we fell short of our distance goal. That made this ride longer if we were going to make the time back.....and coupled with the little 250cc bike, we cut out the sand dunes. But we were still pushing hard to make a roughly 300 mile day a reality.
Desert miles usually allow that easier, but a lot of the two tracks were rutted up, sandy, technical riding.
....and then about half way through this desert section, went to start the KLX, nothing, dead, no lights, nada. Battery read 5V. Another sinking feeling as we were really out there. Here was the scene:
But you just have to problem solve. KTMCarhart had quite a bit of stuff charging while riding, I was worried the stator gave up the ghost. We disconnected all the accessories. Checked connections all over the bike, nothing obvious. Decided if we did have a charging issue or a battery issue, better to not have the headlight adding to the draw, we disconnected it. Got the bike to the top of a hill and bump started it, good feeling when the ol girl fired up.
No more games, had to focus on getting out of no mans land in case we truly had a charging issue. We changed our plan a bit to cut a little out and not get caught riding after dark with no headlight.
Still got to cross the Oregon Trail and Pony Express Route.
Couldn’t help drift away thinking about people crossing this area on horseback/wagon. Can you imagine the look on the wife’s face after bouncing around out there for days, weeks? Then I thought about that wagon guy on Dances with Wolves, put that in your book.
We made our way through South Pass area, a natural low spot of the Rockies/Cont Divide where many settlers crossed doing the Oregon, California and Mormon trails traveling west during the 1800s. We have been flirting with the Divide off and on for a couple days now. I felt like a cheater on my bike, quite a different undertaking 200 years ago. You either planned well or died. For us, poor planning typically just makes a less enjoyable trip, not your last trip.
Finally made it to terra firma, engaged full throttle.
Wind gusts were a little interesting. We were skirting some rain, that smell in the desert on a bike at speed is awesome. We got out of there, hit some pavement and then some red dirt easing into Lander.
We made it!!!! Beer Garden time.
Originally we had discussions of having a semi easy day today compared to the adventure grind. Thought about some single track in the Lander area or some truck sightseeing to the west to see the Tetons. But bike work and maintenance is what we needed to do for the show to go on. So a recovery day for our bones and bikes along with some laundry it will be.
KLX250–first order of business, got a new battery in town and were going to see how things looked. In the process of swapping out, found the rear subframe is cracked in multiple places. Really strange, since it’s led a really easy life and never off-road, ha ha. We will fix her and weld it up back at home where I have the tools, I don’t want to do a half ass job here borrowing a welder etc.
KTM 690–next patient, back to triage on the space shuttle. The guys at the local power sports shop helped us the other day with stator check, compression check and spark plug test. They didn’t charge us anything, just said to donate to their Bush Light fund. That should have created pause right there on that flavor, but we were happy that guys with more knowledge and cool tools helped us. But we have a spare fuel pump assy, why not try it at this point, nothing to loose. Popped the hood on the 690 and did the open heart surgery.
Put the rib cage back together, fired right up. Man ol man, I was happy. KTMCarhart was thinking about not being happy since he endured the little booger and the hardships along with it the past 3 days....but I was ready to slap him, then he came to his senses and saw the good fortune. So, The Bush Light Boys were good Samaritan’s, but I’m guessing the 50 psi rabbit hole has something to do with auto compression release making it easier to start and get fuel in before allowing normal space shuttle pressure. And when we pulled the plug at the original break down location while doing our own homemade spark test, I saw fuel come out the spark plug hole. All misleading for dummies like us.
701–it hasn’t been its normal striped ape self. I changed my air filter sock, changed spark plugs, changed in line fuel filter, oiled chain, checked oil. Went for spin, same thing, acting like a fuel pump or internal filter? It is totally rideable, but I’m not going to chance this next leg.
Was kind of hankering to ride the 500 anyway. Spent some time today getting my stuff transferred over while KTMCarhart got the 690 sorted.
Lessons learned all the way around....and we have covered some good ground the past several days and will cover some more the rest of the week. Adventure. Winning.
KLXs have very little aux power. Just running my gps on mine will drop voltage from 14.1 to 13.5 and if I try to charge my phone at the same time? Under 12v!
You also found the limits of that lightweight, thin wall chromoly tubing. They don't like any weight beyond the rider up on the subframe.
Glad to see the 690 back in the mix and the 500 being pulled from the quiver!
Great ride report so far!
We needed to get out of Lander again, heading north this time. We got into BLM obscurity pretty quickly.
Decent riding, loving being on the 5hundy, he eats the desert up.
Had some decent gully crossings to hunt down a spot we could sneak across.
Some fun climbs.
I think a little rain came across much of this area as well, dust was down and traction was great.
We got out of the obscurity two track and onto open gravel, time to boogie.
Just gased up in Shoshoni and restocked water. Pretty drama free today so far, making a lot better time on the big bores. More fun to be had today.
KTMCarhart was just getting lonesome for his Xc450, so he decided he no longer wanted a kickstand in his honor.
We made it up Buffalo way yesterday, just didn’t have any coverage to post. Here is the second half of yesterday.....
After we left Shoshoni, had about 50 miles of basic gravel travel. Then the terrain got more interesting as we eased through the area of the Orchard Ranch. First we emerged from desolate desert, got into cedar and sage, smelled like victory.
Still a little hot, did the old trick of taking off your body armor and dunking in a water source, gives you air conditioning for a while. We do this at gas station stops as well, buy water by the gallon, usually enough to dowse yourself.
Then red dirt and green irrigated tracts.
Then a pretty cool canyon. The geological diversity was crazy today.
We got into the Big Horn range area tracking down Hazleton Rd for a while.
Eventually meandered through Crazy Woman Canyon, really nice. Between the history of the area and being an admirer of the Jeremiah Johnson movie/book, I really enjoyed that ride.
After leaving the canyon, rolling plains with good views.
We got gas and supplies in Buffalo and made our way back into the mountains on pavement. We snagged a forest service cabin ahead of time. So cool these are still in operation, a throw back from the good old days.
Made a fire, burned some meat, drank tasty beverages. May not have been in that order, had the playlist on shuffle. Hard for me to get use to cooking with pine and tasting 2x4s. But when in Rome, sometimes you have to stab people. So we ate grown particular for supper and wondered what day it was down below.
We did a brutal track over the mountains today. More drama. But we are still rolling. Getting some lunch now at Bear Lodge.
The below pic was after some gnarly stuff, no need to dunk my body armor in a creek, my body was self cooling.
Speaking of creek......oh boy. More on that later, we have about 100 miles yet to do.
I'm really enjoying the RR, especially the Baggs to South Pass section as that is my district that I patrol for work. Cool to see some people out exploring it. It can be pretty tough getting around on a bike, it's even worse in a stock GMC 2500. Too bad you guys had to skip the Killpecker Dunes, that is a great area to ride. Here is shot from a trip out there this spring, it's about a 30 minute drive from home for me. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
We left the forest cabin at a decent time, snagged some breakfast in Buffalo. Meandered our way north/west to get back into the mountains around Story.
“Son, make your life. Go here. Here’s where the peoples is. Them mountains is for animals and savages. I says Mother Gue, the Rocky Mountains is the marrow of the world. And by God I was right.” We savagely went for the marrow today, but I think it is our bones that were tapped.
We got on a 50” trail that climbed quickly, just technical enough twisting through the pines and aspens to make it fun.
We got a little confused at one point, whipped out the paper map. Crossed that creek clean 3 times, just knew I was going to get wet the last time. Not that it mattered much later.
We were actually on target, stay the course boys. Our indecisiveness made us climb a tough hill twice that had rocks, switchbacks and in between the dirt was like talcum powder, pretty deep stuff. Try to stay on the pegs till you have to flinstone it.
Some of this 50” stuff looked more like single track, KTMCarhart kept whacking his saddle bags. The 5hundy squeaked through.
Somewhere in here things got more sinister, bikes were working hard, we were working hard, some bike drops taking a toll, steep switchbacks going down....
Then as we pushed through it, try and do this with a fading clutch, 690 strikes again. I would guess the fluid is crap, and with the really hot bike the fluid was not hydraulicing well. You play the games you have to in this situation, using hills to take breaks etc.
Then we came to a deep looking little creek and a wider crossing than the norm. We already knew some quads had made it that we passed on the trail, but that is a different animal. I was the guinea pig since my clutch was 100%. Picked my line, went for it. I made it, it was pretty deep, rocks were crazy slimy, some dabbing was happening, cold dabbing.
And then.....let’s just say the 690 didn’t make it. Pic from the driver seat as he used his head to test water depth. Apparently it is eye ball deep, I couldn’t get back there fast enough to record, I mean help.
But he got lucky, picked it up quick, pushed it out of the deeper stuff and then we both got it up the bank. The good part was the direction it went down and that it was dead when it went down, the filter wasn’t even really wet, it fired up with some persuasion. I was shocked we got that lucky considering:
Might not want to take a GS1200 past this gate, just saying.
After that, we called it on the hard stuff, time to back off since the clutch was being flaky and neither one of us wanted more drama....and we were a little whooped. We took Red Grade Rd over to Bear Lodge and hit reset with a late 2pm lunch.
After lunch we took pavement out of the area via Shell Canyon, got rained on a bit. We stopped to look at the falls.
We decided to make Worland home for the night, making for an easier day tomorrow. Chilled out having dinner with some family and we are settled in for the last night “on the trail” at the Days Inn. It is magical what a good hot shower can do to a weary traveler.
Even though it doesn't look all that tough from my couch, I'm sure it was and coupled with being tired.. well chit happens. Glad you're still on the trail. Keep it going guys!!!