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

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

  1. appliance57

    appliance57 Long timer

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    #41
  2. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 16: Moab Bound - Bald Mountain Pass.

    Time to get to Moab! It's cloudy with scattered showers and cold (low 40's) here in Evingston WY but Moab was in striking distance and forecast called for clear skies and highs in the low 80's for the next two days. Perfect.

    I packed up and headed south toward Hwy 150 and Bald Mountain Pass over the Uinta Mountains. As I got closer to Utah I could see that reports had been correct and there had been a bit of snow fall overnight at altitude.
    Day 16 - 01.jpg


    Meh, it was clearing and I was going to be on pavement, and hey, snow is pretty. Up into the mountains I went and temps were hovering at 39 degrees which meant clear sailing for me. I stopped for a "OMG I'm in the SNOW" photo op even though the roads themselves were just wet. :)
    20190911_111529.jpg



    A bit higher up I passed Mirror Lake where I had originally planned to camp last night, just as glad I didn't as I dislike packing up a wet camp.
    DSC00507.JPG

    Then things got ugly... It started to flurry, with a bit of rain & sleet mixed in. Next thing you know my temp gauge is telling me it's 32 degrees and flashing angrily at me. I've got the grip heaters running full bore and the high moisture content in the air is fogging up my visor despite my pinlock.

    I can't seem to get the fogging under control while in motion so I pull over. When I pulled over I realize it's not fog inside my visor that's the problem. It's ice build up on the outside of the visor and it's sticking to it really well. I scratch peep holes through the coat of ice build up so I can continue on. I'm in Utah for crying out loud, where's the warm never ending sunny skies?


    Yeah, it was damn chilly. :(
    DSC00509.JPG


    I made it over the pass despite the miserable weather and my less than stellar attitude, and maybe I was just a teeny tiny bit apprehensive about not being able to see though the ice caked shield and riding off the side of the mountain. Nah, that couldn't be it, I'm a bad ass adventure rider. ;)

    Down in Provo UT temps had warmed to 55 degrees and skies were mostly clear. I however was still chilled to the bone despite the temp gauge reading. Then I saw collage kids running around in nothing but shorts and tennis shoes. I'm such a wimp... In my defense though the inside of my jacket felt like the inside of a refrigerator. I peeled out of my damp clothes and let the sun warm both them and me.

    I got to Moab late and grabbed a room for the night. I would be catching up with fellow inmate @joefromsf who had posted up looking for someone to ride with tomorrow morning and I will be looking for a campsite to hang out at for the next couple of days. It will be nice to hook up with someone familiar with the area and nice to not have to make and break camp for a couple of days since I was going to be staying for a bit. Finally warm and dry. Loving it.
    #42
  3. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    That's why I have an electric liner. Nice and toasty.
    #43
  4. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Agreed. I have a heated vest and love it. In this case it got culled from the final pack list. I had to make a choice between it and the long sleeved jacket liner that also serves as a stand alone jacket for around camp which I used both on the bike and off several times. Though on this particular day having the heated vest would have been sweet for certain!

    I'm sure if I had it with me it would have been put to good use more than once though.
    #44
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  5. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Idaho and Wyoming both earned repeat visit status for the future for sure. I'm thinking a couple weeks specific to that region would be a good start. ;)

    My boss has already nixed the idea of me taking an entire month off again. We'll have to do some negotiating.
    #45
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  6. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    Agreed! Take me with you :lol3
    #46
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  7. Hertz13

    Hertz13 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Awesome ride!

    just an FYI on your adventure through bald eagle state forest in PA. At a point, Little Poe trail stops being classified as a “drivable trail” and becomes part of the Mid-State Trail. MST is not open to motorcycles (or anything else with a motor). It probably wasn’t marked well other than the orange blazes on trees. Purple blazes mark motorcycle legal trails, if you ever visit again.
    #47
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  8. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    This is epic good for you. Tell @joefromsf I said Hi!
    #48
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  9. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 17: Moab Part 1

    Moab... Never been here before and frankly I'm like a kid in a candy shop. It's so different than anything I've experienced previously. It's rugged, stark, majestic, and yet also looks a bit ominous and totally unforgiving of bad decisions. I rode out to Sand Flats Recreation area in the morning and met @joefromsf . He has the ultimate adventure travel set up for getting somewhere and staying awhile - A built 4WD conversion van and DR650.
    travel van.jpg

    I wanna be Joe, well... I'll pass on taking a dive off a cliff while riding the TAT as he did back in 2012. Yep, he's the guy that showed us all just how quickly and unexpectedly things can go south while riding in potentially dangerous terrain. I'm not sure I'd still be riding if that had happened to me. His video here: (Jump to the 5:00 minute mark if impatient but the whole vid is worth a watch)


    We discussed a plan for the day. I had seen a photo from the Moab "Top of the World" route a couple of years ago and that one photo put the route on the top of my bucket list. Joe hadn't ridden that particular route and agreed to check it out with me and we decided we'd just bail if it became too tough. He finished a bit of bike maintenance and I stripped the Mosko 80 off my bike to lighten the load. After about a 30 minute pavement run we turned off onto a dirt road and found the start of the route. The route starts out very tame, just a rocky/sandy dirt road.
    moab screenshot7.jpg

    20190912_111716.jpg

    It never gets super steep but it does get very "ledgy" in parts as it climbs slowly higher. As we worked our way up the trail the obstacles became much more frequent. No single challenge is all that tough but the cumulative affect as you work your way up the trail starts to take a toll. I'd use the term "unrelenting". The worst of it all is pretty easily worked around by picking the right lines on the fly, but make a few bad line choices and it will make for a much tougher day.
    moab screenshot 3.jpg

    Scouting out a section for a good line.
    moab screenshot6.jpg

    Joe makes a quick field repair of an errant shift lever.
    moab screenshot4.jpg


    After a long hard climb... We made it! Thanks for the photo Joe. Q4yM66tQ.jpg


    And yeah, the view made the ride totally worth it!
    Top of the world view1.jpg

    This photo taken by Kristi. A gal riding with one of the rock crawlers in a seperate group that were at the top when we got there.
    top of the world by Kristy.jpg


    After gawking around for a while and taking photos we made our way back to the trailhead. Joe went on to explore some more and I headed back to town to see if I could source a fresh rear tire that would fit the bike as mine now has 5k+ miles on it and there is a lot of riding left to do on this trip. Tomorrow we'll hit some more stuff new to me, old hat for Joe.

    Adding video:
    #49
  10. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the info! Yep, The road just sort of petered down to single track from two-track. If there was a sign I missed it, and I usually keep a pretty close eye out for that sort of thing. Glad you brought it up. I figured it just wasn't being used. I was taking video and can be heard saying in it "4WD recommended? (as the sign had stated) Sheesh, there is no 4WD going to squeeze through this trail."
    My bad...
    #50
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  11. joefromsf

    joefromsf Dark Happens Supporter

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    @windblown101 James, Top of the World was the toughest trail I've ever ridden. Was close to quitting several times but very happy I made it. The payoff at the end was definitely worth it. I think we were both surprised how easy it was to ride back down what we had struggled to get up.

    Glad we were able to connect for our two days of riding and camping via ADVrider as I would not have attempted that trail solo.
    #51
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  12. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 18: Moab Part 2 - It was great to wake up and not have to break camp today! I would be spending the night here again. This would be the first time on this trip I'd be waking up in the same place two days in a row.

    Joe and I registered last night for WRT so we could hit a bit of it. We're not going to ride the whole thing though as 1) Joe has ridden it a few times before. 2) One of the items on my list for this ride was to check out a slot canyon in person and only one that I had caught wind of was within striking distance of my general route on this trip was along the WRT. Taking time to check it out would eat into the day and neither of us were keen on the idea of getting back to camp after dark. We rode out Gemini Bridges and then dropped onto the WRT at Mineral Canyon and rode along side the green river for awhile.
    20190913_111031.jpg

    20190913_115534.jpg


    We arrived at Holeman Slot Canyon on the west side of WRT and got off the bikes to explore around a bit. Neither of us had thought to bring along shoes more appropriate to rock scrambling so that kept exploring it extensively off the list but we took a look around. It was neat to poke around in it for a bit though.
    20190913_125324.jpg

    Moab with Joe 2.JPG

    Moab With Joe 3.JPG


    We rode back out of the way we came in and after a brief stop in town for a snack and energy drink I was still feeling froggy enough to do the short little slickrock loop on the backside of the campground. The amount of traction on slickrock surprised me. I may try the offical slickrock trail if I get out this way again.
    20190913_170125.jpg

    20190913_170154.jpg
    #52
  13. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Adventurer

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    Sorry if its' already been asked, but what mods did you do to the bike before the trip? Mirrors sure look "un-stock". What else? Thanks
    #53
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  14. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 19: Colorado Bound

    Said good Bye to Moab this morning and headed over the La Sals to the east and then on to Colorado. I took the easy route over the La Sals thru Geyser Pass because I hoped to get into SW Colorado by early afternoon, find a campsite, and perhaps hit Black Bear and Ophir pass before calling it a day.

    Last glance back at Moab from up on the La Sals:
    20190914_100555.jpg


    The La Sals offered a stark change in climate and landscape from the last couple of days:
    20190914_102450.jpg

    Colorado here I come!
    20190914_114151.jpg

    A view from Hwy 550:
    20190914_153929.jpg


    I got to Ouray and found a tent site available to the KOA on the north side of town. Got checked in, popped the Mosko 80 luggage off the bike and headed for Black Bear.
    20190914_160021.jpg

    The climb up Black Bear:
    DSC00621.JPG


    Black Bear was a pretty easy climb except for choosing to go right instead of left when the choice of routes came into view near the summit. Right is obviously the harder choice of the two, but I didn't know that at the time and didn't bother to get off the bike to take a look, just dive right in... LOL.
    20190914_163245.jpg
    After a failed attempt to climb the slot on the far right side next to the waterfall type steps (where forward progress ground to a halt when both footpegs were hard against rock on both sides of the bike) I backed down and took a break while pondering the challenge before me. I moved a few loose rocks and found a line I thought would work up the waterfall. I can't claim it was pretty, but pointing the bike towards the line I wanted, a quick prayer, twisting the gas, and closing my eyes all worked better than expected and shot me up and over. I love this bike. ;)


    At the top:
    DSC00641.JPG


    When I first started down the west side of Black Bear I was wondering what all the fuss was about, then I watched the vehicle in the photo below appear to disappear off camber and straight down moments after I took this photo. Oh yeah... pucker moments right ahead!
    DSC00654.JPG

    The decent on Black Bear is a full on exhilarating mind game for the uninitiated like myself. Fear wants you to grab the brakes to slow your decent in places where it's not possible and the chasm on your left whispers to you "You're gonna die!" Meanwhile a history of riding experience is telling you "Don't be dumb asshole, let the bike have it's head. Roll through this section to that next piece of off camber solid rock where you can slow your decent safely." It is a decent that demands you keep your fear and imagination in firm check so that your experience remains in charge. That little battle will occur several times in the next few hundred yards, at least it did for me.

    All that said, the trail would likely be rated a moderate route rather than a 5+ Extreme even on a big bike if it weren't for the unforgiving drop that seems way too close for comfort at times. Hence my statement - Black Bear is a mind game.

    Taking a break at the bottom of the steps before running down the switchbacks:
    20190914_172050.jpg

    CO Bridal Falls.jpg


    I dropped off the mountain and into Telluride where they were holding a Beers & Blues festival. It was a mad house and I did not even think about stopping. I found a gas station a bit further west outside of town and stopped to gas up and rest before going back to tackle Ophir. The sun was getting low in the sky, my body was tired, and the thought of Tackling Ohpir this late in the day with the miles I had already put in did not appeal to me. I took the long pavement way back to the KOA campsite and it was full dark before I got there. I was beat and not feeling all that great. The back to back days of cranking miles and trails are starting to wear on me. It's time to hit the sack.
    #54
  15. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Mods I made to the bike before taking off on the trip:
    Dirtbike handlebars off my 250 XC-F. Less sweep and a touch lower than the stock bars.
    KTM branded Cyra Center-reach handguards to protect the controls.
    CRG mirrors with Rottweiler handguard mounts.
    Bosley lower footpegs for my long inseam.
    Perun rear rack to provide a bit more real estate for luggage and removed the rear grab bars.
    Scotts Damper for it's HS damping circuit mounted on a TripleClampMoto sub-mount.
    Cruise Control for the long pavement runs.
    KTM heated grips.
    KTM bar mount GPS bracket.
    1 tooth lower front sprocket.
    KTM UNI foam air filter.
    Started the trip on a fresh set of Motoz RallZ tires.
    #55
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  16. reed valve

    reed valve Just ride.....

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    Fantastic RR
    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more
    #56
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  17. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks. It's been a great experiance. Hope to get some time time to get an update in this evening.
    #57
  18. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    I’m assuming after the ride report is done, we’re gonna get a full report of your thoughts and opinions on the 790?

    Pleaseeeeee :D
    #58
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  19. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Of course! I'll go over any glitches, accumulated trail damage, things I found to be great and not so great. I haz a list... :)
    #59
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  20. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Day 20: Colorado San Juans continued.

    A price to be paid... Turns out a steady diet of what I have until now affectionately referred to as vitamin "I" (Ibuprofen) when on long trips to help control inflammation from DDD, a touch of arthritis, and various other minor maladies (AKA getting old) has a price tag. That price is ones stomach lining being eaten away and mine was in full revolt. After a miserable night I made my first stop a store to replace the Ibuprofen in my tank bag with anti-acids. I'ts going to make for some long days without the stuff but my stomach is making it quite clear the days and nights will be longer with it than without. Oh well, I tell myself to suck it up buttercup and get on with enjoying the day.

    After a few anti-acids and a meal I head off to Last Dollar Road and use it as a warm up and as a route back to Telluride. I realized just now as I put this together that I didn't take a single photo along Last Dollar Road. Likely because I was still feeling a bit off and it really was just an off-pavement way to get to the real goal - Imogene.

    I spy a WR250 sitting in the lot at the gas station west of Telluride and the rider and I strike up a conversation. Turns out he is headed toward Ophir and I let him know the reports I had read and heard from people overnight and earlier today that climbing Ophir this year from the west was no joke because of all the fresh Scree that slid onto the roadbed last winter and that I was going to hit Imogene instead. He wasn't sure how to get to the start of Imogene and I had the route on the GPS and invited him to join if he'd like at least to the start of the route and then if he wanted to take off at that point that was cool with me. (He did have a bike much better suited for a fast run up the mountain than I after all and I knew I wasn't going to be pushing hard).

    So we set off... For Tomboy and Imogene.
    20190915_130220.jpg

    20190915_130316.jpg

    20190915_131053.jpg

    The rear tire was getting pretty lively and having a hard time finding traction up the slope. I dumped the bike at one point just before getting to the spot in the photo above due to a combination of poor line choice, aging tires that had been on the bike since I started the trip, and street pressures still in the tires... After picking the bike up I decided I'd rather avoid having to pick it up again unnecessarily and lowered my tire pressure while stopped here.


    On the next section I passed by this rider on the KLR who was burying his rear tire in the loose stuff trying to get moving. I wanted to help but not until I got my bike up to a better place to stop so as to not join in his plight. By the time I got situated the fellow I was with was already on scene, so I took photos instead. :)
    20190915_183753.jpg

    That's quite a load he's got on that KLR. Road it down from Ottawa Canada as I recall.
    20190915_183842.jpg


    About that time the fellow on the 250 with the nice sticky trials tire decided it was time to bug out. I don't blame him. LOL. I finished up the ride solo.
    20190915_184008.jpg

    20190915_184101.jpg

    Some clouds and snow flurries somewhere near the top. But it wasn't very cold so they didn't bother me.
    20190915_184418.jpg

    Not sure when I passed the summit sign for Imogene without noticing. No photo dang it. Eeek! A GPS shot will have to do.
    20190915_140737.jpg


    Just a short comment about Black Bear versus Imogene:
    Black Bear is a head game but Imogene is technically harder IMHO. I had run Black Bear with street pressures and had not had to air down, I definitely had an easier time of it after airing down on Imogene. The little guide sheet I had picked up over in Ouray differs but I stand by my opinion on the subject.
    20190915_185359.jpg

    20190915_185523.jpg

    My stomach says it's time for another anti-acid and a meal. Time to call it a day. Back to camp I go.

    Attached Files:

    #60