The Big Empty Bites - ER, Abandoned Bikes, Search & Rescue Chopper

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by liv2day, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    We wondered the same thing, but nothing yet. This wasn’t an air ambulance, but search and rescue. And I don’t think it’s the same as getting rescued off a mountain either, think it’s akin to law enforcement S&R.
    #61
  2. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    #62
  3. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Great report. Glad everything worked out. Thanks for sharing, there are definitely some lessons to be learned here. Very few states have laws that require charging for S&R, Nevada isn't one of them. Another great thing about the Garmin inReach is that you can get $100,000 of S&R insurance for like $18 a year. I love mine and wouldn't travel without it.

    I'd love to hear a report from 790 guy about the bike's performance (or lack thereof) since I (and many others) are planing on buying one for this type of riding.
    #63
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  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Thanks for the comments @Addapost!

    Regarding my buddy on the 790, he's not on here - not really his thing. I can offer my impressions if that would help? My buddy's a very capable, talented rider and didn't have any issues riding it through sections that I wouldn't have wanted to take it through. As soon as we entered the High Rock Canyon, we left the big bike friendly tracks. He didn't have any issues until we encountered that rock climb and that's where it became apparent the weight and "bulk" of the bike were an issue. I'm fairly certain he wouldn't have been able to make the climb out of Knott Creek Res later on either, even if it had been dry - the rock steps at the top of that would have been seriously tough on a big bike like that - even with a low center of gravity.

    I think KTM did a good job with the 790 and if you're planning to hit lots of 2-track and gravel roads, it should do the job wonderfully. But if you're heading into the back country with elevation and the potential for climbs like we encountered, then the 790 isn't the right tool for the job. A-level enduro riders could make it work and would likely be reading this with disdain, but I don't think your average rider would enjoy it. Rides like this are perfect for single thumpers. If one of the manufacturers (finally) figures out a lightweight twin for this type of travel, it'd be nice - but I don't think it's there yet.
    #64
  5. OG1

    OG1 Been here awhile

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    What ended up being wrong with the 790? Cooked clutch or worse?
    #65
  6. ZIEN BARON VON SUPERDUKEN

    ZIEN BARON VON SUPERDUKEN Been here awhile

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    The 790 had been in the same gumbo mud as Brad and I. That stuff is not good when your chain, swingarm, tires, wheels etc are mired in it trying to move through that stuck on clay. It's abusive to the bike for sure and I've been thinking about replacing the clutch on my 500 because of what I put it through that day. Not sure what exactly happened to the 790. After he got it down from the hill he was trouble shooting the shifting. He'd let the clutch out in first with no forward movement. He eventually got it into a gear, got it up to 50mph but the clutch would slip past that. It's likely that he fried the plates, bent the shift fork etc. When you put a bike (especially a larger bike) through clay with the consistency of partially dried liquid concrete the likelihood of having problems with any bike is there. No bike is designed to work in that stuff.

    As far as some of the other comments are concerned, the 790 rider knew from the initial discussion of the trip that it was a thumper ride. All of the other riders were on DS bikes, but he's very proud of his riding abilities. There was bound to be a situation such as the hill climb that day where we were separated. If he had chosen to stay on what was gravel ranch roads (that any semi with cattle, hay etc could navigate) with road signs to Denio he would have been fine. He made the choice not to adhere to the plan that was agreed upon, went up the two track trail after us, and got stuck in the mud not more than 3 miles from the ranch road he turned off of. Was a search and rescue helicopter required in this situation? it doesn't take 24 hours to walk down a trail and wave to a ranch truck.
    #66
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  7. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

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    Years ago riding in Baja we had a rider split off from the route based on his own decision. He did not communicate that to any of us. We had no idea where he was. Back tracked north out of San Felipe late in the afternoon to try to find him. No S&R there. Will never forget the color of the hills east of Laguna Diablo as the sun set on them. Riding back toward Mex 3 all I could think about was how I was going to tell his wife and kids that he died in the Baja desert. Been by there several times since then and it still makes me sick to my stomach. Fortunately we found him out safe walking near Mex 3 in the dark. Lesson learned. Unless you are purposefully riding solo, never split off from the group unless you have a buddy....regardless of modern electronic communication devices.
    #67
  8. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    Several of the last rides Mark had used Spotwalla so all locators are visible to one rider at home who keeps a close look at the group. If we do lose someone, we can text the guardian for his location or refer SAR to him for instruction. It takes the In Reach a step further for the group.
    #68
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  9. Sumbike

    Sumbike Been here awhile

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    #69
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  10. msteward

    msteward Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    You meet the nicest people in HONDA'S, so I've seen somewhere. But thankfully everyone was willing to help, I'm sure your not the 1st people they have helped by sounds of it.

    But I'm am seriously considering that Inreach now. I had a hike of 9 miles out of mountains, 5 1/2 hours, in pouring rain after running out of gas and being split off from my pack. I had cell service but battery died, at least I carry a spare battery pack now.

    Great epic story.
    #70
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  11. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

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    I knew this was going to be a good report from the intro! When you ride shit happens, be it a wreck, mechanical, gas or other issues! If you learn from it and try to minimize the chances the next ride, then you have done your job. This report has helped me make up my mind to buy an inreach, it looks like it did it's job. It's always easy to be a Monday morning quarter back, so take it for what it is.
    I'm a jeep, SXS, moto,hiking and outdoors guy that will help anyone that needs it, and all of my friends will as well! You just met some good old fashion Americans! Thanks for taking the time to do a RR....
    #71
  12. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    So far, our trips in that area have not met with quite as much mishap all at once, but I know from experience that it doesn't take much for things to go south quickly. A lot of that is just luck. We've had lost riders, broken bikes and trip ending injuries occur multiple times. And had to run for cover several times in order to dodge dangerous storms -- just lucky we have never been caught in that stuff.

    I think the first rule is...don't make things worse. Stopping and camping in the middle of a muddy road and hiking is far superior to trying to plow on with risk of injury.

    As Tundradirtbiker said, we now use Spotwalla combined with a stay-at-home friend (we call him our "benevolent overlord") to monitor. We setup a Spotwalla page with our default route overlaid and then have each rider add their Spot or Inreach to the page. From that, the "overload" can watch our progress and relay between us when we encounter issues.

    For example, two years ago we lost a rider due to him missing a corner. We had no idea where he had gone and because he was still riding, he wasn't looking at his Inreach. I Inreach texted the overlord, who looked on Spotwalla and then texted back the lost riders location. We then had two riders go chase him down and bring him back.

    Last year, we had a major injury (broken hip) that required more traditional use of the Inreach to bring in emergency services. But after the rider was transported, we then had to coordinate logistics of the extra bike, a new route to get us back to the trucks, and notifying the injured rider's wife. All were coordinated between the Inreach devices, the master Spotwalla page and the Overload (who contacted the wife and the hospital).

    Hope this doesn't sound preachy, because we have had our fair share of "bad decisions", but have learned some techniques that help and wanted to share!

    Mark.
    #72
  13. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Very well stated @KarmaSect, appreciate you adding your experience and insight. Have enjoyed the ride reports you've posted and if it wasn't for your GPX files, I wouldn't have gone to that area nor realized how much I enjoy riding and exploring there.

    :ricky :thumb
    #73
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  14. ZIEN BARON VON SUPERDUKEN

    ZIEN BARON VON SUPERDUKEN Been here awhile

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    I can only hope, from out of all of this that Brad learns from his mistakes...:lol3
    #74
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  15. Pongo

    Pongo Been here awhile

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    A very honest and informative report. You can save other peoples lives with such a good report.
    #75
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    ROFL

    Biggest lesson learned, stop riding with you morons. I keed, I keed.

    Honestly, can't wait to do it again. Just sans broken bones, mud from hell, hiking in mud from hell, helicopters, and running out of whisky early. The last being really the most important factor :D
    #76
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  17. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Thanks @Pongo, appreciate the comments :-)
    #77
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Finally remembered to pull tracks off my GPS.

    The image below covers the three (out of eight) days we rode.

    [​IMG]

    I like to check each day's track and the elevation of that track. Our first day was supposed to cover 177 miles, but we lopped a chunk of it off after hitting some slick stuff, deciding to not expend all our energy on the 1st day :lol3. Covered 136 miles on the first day.

    I like the elevation profile, cool to see how much we gained and lost.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Day 2 - broken toe day - was 138 miles and the best weather day we had all trip. Pretty neat elevation profile too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Day 3 - stuck in the @#$% mud day. Got stuck 130 miles into the day, think we were roughly 30 miles shy of Denio from the track, probably 25 miles if we'd been able to make the bail point.

    I'm going to check the elevation difference of the rock climb, interested to see how steep it was. Pretty sure it's the spike you see around mile 75.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #78
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  19. Jackalay23

    Jackalay23 Adventurer

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    Apologies if I missed it earlier in this thread but what did you guys attribute the toe injury to? I know you said it was a large rock but was the boot at fault? I know my lame ADV boots cannot take a toe shot like my old motocross boots. That toe injury has me seriously considering a boot upgrade for my upcoming Big Bend adventure.
    #79
  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    I believe it was a combination of the rider's foot position on the peg, the speed of the impact, and the lack of steel in the toe. It's a good reminder to always ride on the balls of your feet, I think he was bit forward and his foot got folded down. Not that the same thing wouldn't happen on the balls of your feet, but the chances of having your foot folded back under the peg with worse things going on in your ankle, etc, are lessened.

    Having a set of MX boots might have helped, but I think he still would have had one hell of an impact of his foot sliding forward into the end of the boot when hitting that rock. I had something similar happen to me wearing MX boots - broke my pinky toe from the impact inside the boot (after hitting a rock hidden on the side of hte trail).

    I have a set of the Forma boots, and I'd have to check, but I think the toe is reinforced with steel. I don't remember what Sidis he's using, but I don't think it has a reinforced toe.

    Tough choice as MX boots aren't as comfortable for walking around, but the protection offered by most ADV boots isn't as "strong" as MX.

    Hope that helps :-)
    #80