"Spirited ride"

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by marbee40, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. marbee40

    marbee40 Some Fear is Good Supporter

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    While at D2D, a few of us escaped for a little blast up the hill, working the Poker Run route in reverse. (This was well after the Poker Run, so quit ur bellyaching'). A few of the riders were very surprised at how nimble and powerful a boxer twin can be without panniers and 400lbs of crap on board!

    Since the semi-official motto of D2D is "Its not a rally, it's a gathering", I'd like to propose something that our insurance companies and the local authorities might not appreciate: "Its not a race, it's a spirited ride!" Anyone up for something of this vane in the near future? I have a few places in mind. PM for details and leave your panties at home. :deal
    #1
  2. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    I agree, on Sunday my dad and I ran up to the gate on the Willow side of Hatchers Pass. I ran with half a tank, no panniers, and no back seat. Once I found the right ESA setting, the bike really came alive. Less weight and the right suspension setup was good for at least 15+mph in the corners. It's incredible how predictable the bike is when you kick the back out intentionally on gravel in corners.

    In short, hell yes. I'm down for a spirited ride anytime!
    #2
  3. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Dang! If I wasn't so old and decrepit I'd sign up. Sounds like a good time. :thumb

    :ricky
    #3
  4. akrider

    akrider mild adventurer

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    hay Fly what did you find worked the best. I can't figure out what works best on my 1200. Too many choices not enough miles so far.
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  5. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    Ok, so after much deliberation(11,000 miles), I think I finally figured out what's going on with it.

    1 Helmet Sport/Norm/Comf't works awesome on the road with me alone, no panniers, no rear seat (not that the rear seat makes much of a difference)

    1 with luggage and 2 Helmets feel about the same. I use 2 helmets when I am 2 up and touring.

    The wavey mountain thing I haven't really played with.

    On dirt, 1up with no extra weight, I found that the jagged mountain in soft made the bike very supple and pliable and reminded me most of some of the long travel 2 stroke trail bikes I used to ride.

    No dealer has really given me a straight answer on what means what and what does what with it, but from a seat of the pants feel it feels like in helmet modes the travel is limited, the preload is cranked up, and the compression and rebound damping is stiffer. In the two mountain modes the travel feels longer, a lot less preload, and the damping is softened up.

    Hope that helps.
    #5
  6. akrider

    akrider mild adventurer

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    Thanks Fly....That clears it all up. I've done all the same things and I guess I'm not the only one trying to figure things out. It's just a matter of time and preference I guess.
    #6
  7. AKmud

    AKmud Muddy Gruver

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    Actually Marbee....we ran it in the right direction (not reversed). It was probably the most fun I've had on the 'ol GS in the dirt to date! :clap Definitely going to have to do that again.

    (for some reason I can't stop thinking about that Chistochina trail we were admiring......)
    #7
  8. marbee40

    marbee40 Some Fear is Good Supporter

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    My bad on the direction....I'm dislexic!:evil

    Other than the earlier thread regarding the stiff throttle, my old 1150 feels so much more solid when hammering out a good trail in 3-4th gear, at about 5500plus rpm! Didn't realize that old boxer has a powerband....and a fat meaty one at that!

    (There is a GREAT video that really shows the power-band here)
    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qAwRpgUzUt0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Apply that philosophy to a quality dirt road sans those durned motorcoaches et al and we will have a grand ol' time!

    C'Mon, Jack! Just cuz you have a few years of seniority :gerg on us whippersnappers don't mean ya can't still have a hoot! :ricky Plus I bet you know of a few "hidden" gems!

    Finally, I bet it would only take us a few hours to scramble back to Chistochina and set up a few volunteer radio operators! I certainly know a young man who rides a CRF who would take turns playing relay!

    Anyone? Chistochina trail worth riding Jack? Looks like a few miles of gravel at least. For most of us Valley/Anchortown folks, it's a long hump back to where this trail is....might have to be an overnighter for some??? I'm game!

    Fly: Didn't really get to chat with you and the bride at D2D so 'twood be great if you could come along.
    #8
  9. marbee40

    marbee40 Some Fear is Good Supporter

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    I know some of you cringe at the thought of riding your pristine baby at such an awful place but....

    Old Glenn to Jim Creek, almost out to Wolf Point. A little soft in places but VERY doable. The water crossings aren't THAT bad... :evil Took the XR (on TKC's) out there a few weeks ago and flogged the snot out of it. Mostly flat, wide open terrain with the occasional set of whoops thrown in. Might tax the suspension for a some but its still a smoking' good time! Good training ground! Just sayin!

    This requires almost NO pre-planning and for those of you with ZERO off-road skills (other than D2D gravel roads) we'll walk ya through it!
    #9
  10. AlaskanMudder

    AlaskanMudder not AKMUD

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    I have been doing the four by truck thing and know a number of trails in the area from easy to hardcore. I dont take my truck to Jim creek in the summer unless I absolutely have to. All the drunk rednecks shooting, driving thier 4 wheelers and lighting stolen cars on fire isnt enough, the silt will get into your bearings and destroy them in short order. Your seals are meant to keep grease and oil in, not stuff out.

    A few better runs would prob be some dirt roads out knik goose bay road, petersville road, a few offshoots from hatchers pass, wishbone, buffalo mine road, King river, there are a number of trails up behind Sutton leading all over and are interconnected, they lead to eska falls if you take the right one, just dont go when its wet, it gets really slimy quickly.

    if you want details, I can show or tell you some really cool places. Im going to be driving my GF's BMW GS up from portland starting tomorrow so get with me in a week and Ill hook you up.
    #10
  11. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    Did I hear that she popped her wrist on the return leg of D2D? What's the deal? She ok?
    #11
  12. AKTroy

    AKTroy BE AWARE OF TRAINS

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    :eek1 Yeah Eric thats all we heard. Hope its a quick heal.
    #12
  13. ColininKodiak

    ColininKodiak (not in Kodiak)

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    Don't let him fool you, he's just being nice and trying not to humiliate anyone. There's no way you will get away from him no matter what you're riding. I had a 300CC advantage on the Denali highway last summer and no matter what I did I couldn't shake the supermoto KLR behind me.

    (BTW Jack I still owe you Dinner and Pie, you better let me settle up before I leave this fall :deal)
    #13
  14. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    You're talking about the trail right next to the river, on the west side, right? Hate to admit it, but I've never been more than half a mile down that one, and that was over 20 years ago. Let me ask around. Quite a few of the locals go back there for their fall moose hunting.

    Even farther away is a trail up the Slana River above Mentasta Village, but I'll have to check the land status. It might belong to Ahtna now. If y'all are looking for something a little closer, don't forget the Klutina Lake trail. With a little rain it can become quite challenging, thanks to some really sticky clay near the beginning.

    There are loads of trails behind Eureka, some that could be done on two wheels; others that would do nothing but provide good photo opportunities for the survivors. :lol3

    In Tahneta Pass, both on the south side of the highway, back past Knob Lake and off the road to the relay tower, there are trails taking off both east and west. On the north side of the highway, there is a long trail that takes off up the west shoulder of Gunsight Mt. A person could spend an entire weekend just exploring the trails in that area, not to mention Belanger Pass, just a few miles beyond there.

    Forgot to mention - if you're looking for a place to do some really "spirited" riding, the Nabesna Rd is in good shape, but it does have some traffic.

    A place I like to visit when I'm in the area is the Gerstle River. Wide gravel flood plain for a long way back toward the Alaska Range.
    #14
  15. marbee40

    marbee40 Some Fear is Good Supporter

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    Okay, just for the record, my idea of a "spirited ride" in this particular case is NOT large rocks, trees, etc, on a course designed for 4-LO, 1st gear! I don't wanna have to winch whats left of my beautiful boxer out of the trail.

    I was thinking more of a (ahem) higher speeds kinda thing. Ah what the heck, I'll just get right to the point: A mini version of BAJA (without the 3' whoops). Paris-Dakar, Monte Carlo, etc.

    I know, I know, move to Baja, right. COME ON! AK is big enuf to share...spit it out boys! Nothing illegal, just a bit of good fun! :evil

    Yes, Hatcher/Willow can be good, but by the time it opens we'll have to be careful of hikers, bikers, etc. I've ridden up mile 58 road and around the bluff to Sutton...lotsa nasty dinosaur eggs littering the trail and slowing things down. Petersville? Hmmmm.

    Maybe I'm delusional and this won't happen. A fella can dream, right?

    Keep the input coming!
    #15
  16. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    I'm with you. Gnarly singletrack and and dunes are best left to dirtbikes. I'd like some long high speed gravel work and some fire trail or powerline trails.
    #16
  17. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    Gentlemen
    Hatcher Pass is always open !!!! Go in and out from the Willow side

    :norton
    #17
  18. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    Went up from the willow side two days ago. Gate near the top was closed and locked, and thus year they put big rocks on both sides of it. Last year I was able to get the v-strom around it, not so much this year on the GSA. It was a good ride up until the closed gate, but having to turn around and go back the same way you came is a buzz-kill for sure.
    #18
  19. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    The only gate I'm aware of is on the Palmer side which is State Park Land and they are supposed to open it July 1

    You should have been able to get all the way up to summit lake without any trouble or gates

    But if you go around the gate on Palmer side the Ranger will give you a big ticket :deal

    A friend of mine has a Gold mine up there and he keeps a locked gate and has the equipment to move rocks
    #19
  20. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    Well, I'll reiterate, there is a gate on the Willow side before you get to Summit Lake that is non-circumnavigateable. Word on the street is that it'll be open sometime this weekend, so I'd imagine July 1st as well.
    #20