The Break the KTM 790 ride - A trip around the USA.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by windblown101, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Xyphon112

    Xyphon112 Been here awhile

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    Awesome report and great photos. How are you liking the 790 on the longer stretches of highway? Any experience with a drop yet without crash bars? The tanks look awfully exposed slung way down low like that.
    #21
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  2. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    I find the bike very rideable for long stretches of pavement and love the good fuel range for both pavement stints and long off the grid exploring. It doesn't cut thru the wind as comfy at 80mph as the bigger bikes but the advantages once you leave the pavement and get in rougher terrain make it all worthwhile to me.
    #22
  3. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    Speaking of that, what are you getting for average fuel range?

    Can’t wait to see more of the trip!
    #23
  4. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Getting a touch over 50mpg overall.
    #24
  5. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 9: Bighorn NF Wyoming

    When I setup camp the night before it did not escape my attention that I was camping in a moderate sized island of trees with lush undergrowth in a sea of drying grassland and I suspected I might have some 4 legged company at some point. The next morning as I drank my first cup of coffee while waiting for temps to warm I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. Moments later three bull Moose slowly worked there way past me. It was a cool way to start the day.

    I got packed up and took off to explore a route that looked interesting that started at Medicine Wheel Mountain and dropped into open range before it worked it's way down the mountain to a lake further west on my prescribed route. Sounded like a plan to me.

    Got to Medicine wheel but no one was in the forest service kiosk and the place was deserted. A heavy wooden gate blocked the path, but then I noticed a sign that said "Please close gate" and so I opened it, rode thru, and closed it.

    Wound my way across the ridge tops and then down the mountain. This was definitely primarily an ATV track with a high center in most places. I was having a good old time when for some reason that escapes me I decided to swap from one rut to the other. The rear wheel balked about coming over and I churned along cross rutted for a few yards when the rear suddenly decided to pop over into the track the front was in. This caught me by surprise and I bobbled and went down. The left fairing hit the high center and plastics took a good wack. I picked the bike up and continued on. A bit later my dash lit up like a Christmas tree with warnings about ABS failure, M T C failure, and low voltage. I glanced at the readout and was at about 11 volts. Bike was still running and I was closer to go back the way I came to get somewhere I might get help if needed so I turned the bike around a boogied back to Medicine Wheel. When I pulled up to the gate the bike died with 7 volts showing on the voltmeter.

    The Forest service lady opened the gate for me and I pushed the bike thru and set out to find what was broke. Fuses were all good. Battery terminals were tight. Then I recalled that the rectifier was mounted on the left side of the bike behind the fairing that got smacked.

    Sure enough, the rectifier plug had popped off. Got that fixed but still had a dead battery and no one had a jumper cable. About then a couple in a Nisson SUV that I had run into the day before and helped with a problem pulled up and they had a set of jumper cables! Karma; right?

    Got the bike fired up and decided to stick to pavement until the battery fully recharged which took a long while. Dropped out of the high country and it was hot as balls, near 100 degrees. I thought no more of off pavement excursions today. I opened the throttle and made a beeline for Great Falls Montana.

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    #25
  6. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 10: Glacier National Park.

    As I got to Glacier I saw that there was a fair amount of two track off on the sides of the road. Much of this is Reservation land so not sure what the laws and rules are. I did run across one that very clearly indicated that if you werent part of the local tribe you would be fined it caught on it. I did ride a bit of one that was not posted and scared myself when I had to go back down a steep loose climb. Managed to catch a rock and take a chunk out of the front rim and tire.

    Going to the Sun road in Glacier was pretty awesome but hard to photograph. I took a bunch of video but that will have to wait.

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    Tomorrow I will hit Idaho and get back to more off pavement forest riding.
    #26
  7. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Fantastic! Good effort on breaking the 790. Thanks for posting this.
    #27
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  8. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Fantastic stuff windblown!! Definitely in!!:lurk
    #28
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  9. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    Phenomenal pics and story. Keep it coming :clap
    #29
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  10. Black Rhino

    Black Rhino Closer to Dairy Queen than Steve McQueen.

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    Good Stuff. Keep it coming.
    #30
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  11. Flyingmeatball

    Flyingmeatball Adventurer

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    along for the ride
    #31
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  12. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 11 Lolo Pass

    Woke up and broke camp and headed for Idaho via a pavement run over Lolo Pass. Stopped in at the forest Service info office at the top of the pass on the Montana / Idaho border. Lolo Pass is near the top of the Clearwater National Forest and I was curious about what routes heading south would be good. I asked the forest Service agent about it and she smiled and broke out a detailed map of the forest and recommended I give the Lolo Motorway a shot for its mix of views and challenging terrain. She warned me it would likely take two days to run it and it was already almost 3pm... Challenge accepted.

    I knew I couldn't run it all today but figured I'd get a chunk of it knocked out and then find a dispersed camping spot on the trail for the evening and wrap it up the following day. The trail starts out as a very easy flow forest road and I hit it with a vengeance. The route climbs up to the ridgetops and the views are spectacular! I made way way as far as the Devils Chair along the route when darkness and light rain prompted me to set up camp. I found a srcluded spot right at the edge of the ridgeline which promised to provide a good view when the cloud cover lifted.

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    The next mornings views, wrapping up the trail, and the unique small town of Elk City and its inhabitants made famous a few years ago on national news for being totally isolated for 3 weeks in the middle of winter due to it's one winter road being blocked by an avalanche up next...
    #32
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  13. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 12 Clearwater National Forest

    Wolk up to a heavy morning fog but no more rain. Broke out my camp chair (my luxury item) and sat on the edge of the ridgeline sipping on coffee with the whole mountain to myself and the forest critters and waited to see if I'd get a nice view before having to load up and go. I was not disappointed.

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    Got loaded and hit the trail. The road wasnt technical in nature but had enough spots to keep me honest and the views were amazing as I worked my way along the ridgelines and eventually down to the valley below.
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    Ran into this crew of contractors for the forest service doing trail maintenance. They were given 10 days to work this trail and were camping each night on the trail wherever they finished due to the trails length and travel time. I made instant friends with them when they found out I had a spare pack of cigarettes, they were out.
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    I decided to continue pass the sign and found it was closed due to a large slide.
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    Luckily some ATVs had already beat a path over it so it was easy to get over on the bike.
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    Made it to the river and after a quick lunch jumped over to the next series of forest roads that would get me to Elk City.

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    Sadly after traveling several miles I ran into another road closed. This one with a gate. I weighed my options but didnt like the odds that the road would be passable all they way thru to Elk City as it looked like it had been closed for awhile and showed no signs of recent use.
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    Long story short, I managed to back track and find another series of dirt logging and forest roads that finally got me to Elk City. No pics of that route. Was in a hurry.

    Elk city is literally a small town in the middle of nowhere. There are a few ways into it via forest roads and one paved way into it and Elk City is the dead end of the paved road. That's just how the locals like it too. They are an independant minded lot who prefer to be left alone and not have the government butting into their day to day lives. Let's call them modern day Patriots...

    Anyway, a damn nice bunch they are and I liked the place. I camped in a guys backyard that runs a small side business called Riders Rest. He had hot showers, toilets, and a covered picnic table. Everything I needed and a bar right next door that served a decent pizza.
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    Speaking of the resturant/bar, notice the ashtray in the photo below. I cant recall the last time I saw a restaurant/bar you could smoke in. Yeah, in Elk City they do things as they see fit in their privately owned establishments. Like it or not I give them a tip of the hat for that though I must admit I'm so conditioned to smoke outside now that I stepped out to light one up. It was while I was on the front stoop having a smoke that one of the locals gave me a bit of history on the place. They like being left alone just fine. That doesn't mean they dont or dont want to pay taxes, they just dont like being told what they can or cant do, lol. I can dig it.
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    Tomorrow I explore around a bit and then hit Magruder Corridor.

    Attached Files:

    #33
  14. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 13 Magruder Corridor and Beyond.

    Left Elk City, explored an abandoned Depression era gold mining operation. Cold point Mill (mine) was opened during the depression when a resurgence of mining took place since there was little in the way of prospects to make money. It failed but is one of the few largely intact mining operations from the era.
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    I rode the 113 miles of Nezperce Trail Road AKA Magruder Corridor in cloudy conditions. Magruder Corridor is named after some poor group that was robbed and murdered on the trail in the 1800's.
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    Conditions had been deteriorating throughout the day. I finishhed the day with a long run on NF038 in steady rain and fog to get me out of the forest and into Salmon ID for the night. NF038 will be burned in my memory for the cold numbing rain and heavy fog.
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    A drunk Indian must have created this path... ;)
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    The drizzle and fog did lift a bit from time to time.
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    It was not a bad day but by the end of it if someone had said to me "But it's an Adventure" I'd have punched them right in the mouth, lol.

    Screw camping, it's a motel for me tonight.

    Attached Files:

    #34
  15. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 14 Salmon Idaho to Bridger National Forest.

    I slept in a bit as the bed was warm and it was still wet and cold outside. I'm just a bit over 4k miles into the trip so far. That's about half the anticipated total mileage and I've burned thru about half my available days. I'll need to crank some miles to give myself some cushion for when I hit Moab and SW Colorado.

    This hotel in Salmon I stayed at is pretty swanky. They had a full wash and dry down area for motorcycles in front of the hotel. Complete with hose and drying towels. There were 4 ADV bikes under the awning along with the cruisers all looking clean and shiney. My poor KTM was sitting in the rain getting its bath. I think it likes it that way though. It wears its 11 states and one
    Canadian provinces dirt collected so far with pride. :)

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    Just an old abandoned house along the way.
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    I stopped at Klim Head quarters in Rigby Idaho. Ah well, I zigzag around a lot.
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    The reason I stopped by was to see what they could do about the crotch zipper on my aging Klim Latitudes that had blown out a couple of days earlier. Riding all day in cold rain had moved that issue to the top of fix it list.

    What they could do it turns out is tell me how to file a warranty claim online and sell me a new pair of pants, at full retail... if you know... I needed something now.

    *Sigh* Not what I hoped for but about what I expected.

    With new pair of pants purchased and the old pair shipped home after a post office stop I kept to pavement until I got to Upper Palisades Lake where I simply could not resist running out onto the sandy mud flats created by the lake being drawn down. After posing for the photo op I hit a wetter and softer section trying to get back off the flats. I felt the bike starting to bog as it slowly sank deeper and I said "oh hell no!" And roosted my ass out of there.

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    I arrived at Bridger National forest a few minutes later and headed down Greys River road for several miles and made camp. I was going to do the dispersed camping thing but this is free range and cattle were everywhere. I didnt want one of them to use my bike as a scratching post as I slept and knock it over so the NF campground surrounded by fence and cattle guard at gate was the ticket.
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    Dragging out all my crap.
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    The fences don't stop nosey mule deer though... lol.
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    The campground was super peaceful and quite. As night fell the air had a brisk but clean feel to it. Soon after the moon popped out from behind the ridgeline.
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    Shortly after I took that photo one of the members of the other campsite swung by. Turns out they are part of a trail crew for the forest service and he wanted to give me a heads up that their headquarters had radioed them and said to expect some snow overnight. Awesome! Lol.

    Tomorrow might be interesting.
    #35
  16. Odysseus

    Odysseus Stoic Philosopher

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    Loving the ride report! Thanks for sharing.
    #36
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  17. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    ^^^^^^YES!!
    #37
  18. vfrmike

    vfrmike Adventurer

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    I think Klim has gotten a little too big for their britches. Love your report.
    #38
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  19. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

    Joined:
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    Just got caught up on your RR. Great pics. Making me itchy to get out there next spring. Left my DR650SE in Washington for the winter and your report is helping me formulate a route back to Virginia. The TAT was a great adventure and fun, even with the mishap in Lockhart Basin near Moab. My right foot is still healing.
    Putzing here in Virginia on my NC700X for now and looking for your next edition.
    #39
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  20. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 15. Bridger National Forest 2nd half.
    Bundled up good in the tent last night. Had some light freezing rain and sleet overnight. No accumulating snow at my altitude of around 7000 ft. Its going to be a chilly and hopefully not wet day. Time for a second cup of coffee.

    By 9:30am temps were up to 41. Glad I'm running a forest road this morning as it gives me an excuse to keep my speeds lower and be warmer. Nice views, a long easy route, solitude, and open range cattle kept my mind off the chill.

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    Prime winter range for the Elk that will be coming down to lower altitudes now.
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    Ran past the Tri Basin Divide.
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    Ran into a sheep herder and his flock and waited for them to finish crossing so as to not split the herd. The dogs were curious about the bike. Have some video of the herd. Must have been a thousand of them. All being herded by three dogs and one sheep herder that I dont think spoke any English. Tried not to successfully have a chat.
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    Had to reroute south more than anticipated due to a private locked road which ended up taking me across the hill country on a wild ride including two track, no track, and deep buss swallowing washouts. Finally came out on pavement on Rt 30 at a sign telling I was not supposed to have been back there... no duh! Lol. Sorry not many photos
    Mostly video.
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    That little re-route cost me a bunch of time to get sorted out.
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    High winds and talk of snow has me looking for a motel rather my original plan to drop into Utah tonight and camp up at Mirror Lake which is at 10,000 ft.

    Tomorrow morning will be chilly getting over the pass into Utah. But then it's all down hill to Moab and warm temps where I have a particular bucket list item to check off the list.

    Attached Files:

    #40