My nephew KTMCarhart and I are a couple weeks away from leaving for a modified New Mexico BDR on a 701 and a 690. Thought I would start the ride report and update as things progress. I always enjoy it when folks give the details surrounding the trips. The planning……We are trucking from Austin TX area to Albuquerque NM, then riding bikes out of town through Cibola NF eventually catching the Shadow of the Rockies into Capitan, then into Nogal Canyon north of Ruidoso to catch the BDR. This is skipping the first day of the normal BDR route as we have been there done that in Cloudcroft and did not want to endure the slab to Dell City. The other route modification is at the end after Antonito CO, routing back through the forest heading south eventually hitting 31 Mile Rd and Gillman tunnel trying to catch more dirt as we skirt back into east Albuquerque through the Sandia Wilderness Area/Cibola NF. If anybody knows some cool stuff in the area to route through, please let me know, I was just winging it based on a little bit of research. We wanted to capture the essence of the NMBDR but also try to minimize the slab riding at the beginning and end. We are camping all but one night, looking at 250 to 300 mile days, total is right at 1400 miles on the bikes for just that part. If all goes well, we might throw in some Enchanted Circle Dirt. That part of the planning out of the way, we are deep into the prepping of the bikes and gear. Started off planning this for the small bikes, otherwise known as the only bikes we had--KTMCarhart’s XCF 450 known as the Hell Bitch and my XCW 500, I don’t name my rides. We are typically forced to be somewhat minimalist when these bikes transform from our trail rigs into little adv bikes. In the background I had been day dreaming about 990, 1090, AT, 790, baby tenere etc. and then my nephew stumbled into a good deal on a 690. I continued to plan the trip for the 500 and 690 but still kept up my circular research for a big bike unicorn that suited my needs. Yes my 500 can do it and has done it, but I really wanted a big bike dedicated to ADV and keep my 500 dedicated to the skinny trail bike…and quit changing my oil every 15 minutes. In between our mini-trips on the little bikes to good riding, Texas ADV riding involves a lot of pavement and miles to get to anything cool…bigger is better? Loosely was keeping my eye on the leftover 1090s that were popping up for a little over 10K as well as dreaming about one of the new small twins hitting the market. Then I stumbled onto a couple year old babied 701 on original tires, never offroad, racks, bags, fairing, extra tank….coming out at less than half price of a new twin built out, that did it—bought it—saved some money and a hundred pounds, or two. It has two spark plugs, getting closer? Also made the nephew happy, he wasn’t going to have to spend big bucks on a 1090 or something along those lines. So here we are, Uncle and Nephew Riding the Cousins, some might even say hot cousins. Years past I just wanted to ride the gnarly stuff and just could not understand the old gray hair guys riding KLRs. Now I have more gray than brown and realize my KLR happens to be a 701. It was our long term plan all along to have similar bikes for these types of trips to make spares and know-how easier along with riding styles the same. We will see how our little adv bike/big dirt bike setup works out long term. I still wonder about a twin…..but dismiss it when I hit the dirt. The racked out 701 loaded down already feels like a Goldwing compared to our roots. I think the twin is a future phase in my life. The Cousins—we have them built out pretty similar: both have pannier racks, Wolfman expedition bags, Wolfman tail bags, 1.5 aux gas tanks under the seat. The 690, also known as the Kraken, has a 1 gallon rotopax and I have two MSR bottles for the 701. So with the approximate 5 gallons in tanks and spare gas, our range is pretty good. I moved over Warp 9 big pegs and FaastWay Flex bars from my 500, I have really enjoyed those mods for adv stuff. Tires—I have played around with the 500 over the years trying to deviate from the tried and true MT21/606 setup to find the holy grail but normally come back to the realization it is hard to beat it for a DOT in all-around performance in multi terrain types in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico etc. But….Tusk just came out with their own D Sport Adventure tires and they seem worth a try. So we’ll see how it goes, 690 has fresh MT21/606 and my 701 has the new Tusk tires, will be a good test on a BDR. Spares, we have the normal stuff, front/rear tubes, patches, air pump, tools, master link, fuel pump, fuel filters, air filters, jb weld, zip ties, wire, spark plugs, camping crap and an Adjust-a-Fork….thanks Joe Motocross. Clothes, I am going light and will do the bath tub stomp halfway on the trip, I think that is what Big Dog calls it! Pics of the Bikes as we prep them, 2010 690 getting some mods and maintenance, 2017 701 mostly maintenance and double checking.