Windblown - Chasing the sun

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by windblown101, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. JRowland

    JRowland reaching for the sky Supporter

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    That was cool, thanks for taking the time.
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  2. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    The Mosko R80 has been and still is my favorite luggage for these types of long range trips. Easy on/off and tough as nails. It would not be my first choice for commuting, making a store runs to buy stuff or a short ride but for trips? Heck yeah. They get a huge thumbs up from me!

    I'm still on the first version of them and they have seen quite a few miles, lots of dirt, rain, & snow on three different bikes. They have also hit the ground many many times, still going strong. :)

    ktm 690.jpg


    tiger sand.jpg
  3. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    I'll post a wrap up in a few days with accumulated wear and tear on the bike, cheers and jeers on the equipment, and maybe some vids if there is any decent video on all the cards I filled up. I think if nothing else I have some decent video from the Iron Man Trail which was sort of the icing on the cake. I'm so glad I decided to give it as go. It made a great ending to a great but at times challenging ride.

    Thanks to everyone for following along! :)
  4. klogger

    klogger John Sawyer

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    Thanks for having us along, just a great report.
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  5. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Here is a map of the ride from my GPX tracks.

    Trip map2.jpg


    Summary of my thoughts on the ride:

    1) Riding around the country and seeing new places is always a treat. I never forget how fortunate I am to be able to do it.

    2) Having my work related gear and backpack allowed this ride to happen. From that aspect it was a huge plus! However it did present some challenges along the way in the form of increased load, concerns over damaging work equipment, security, and having to be someplace suitable to work from on several days along the way. It also limited "overlanding" on unknown tracks along the way and just stopping where ever I found myself when the sun started to set. I really enjoy the freedom of not knowing or caring where I end up at the end of the day when on these journeys. In the end it was a mixed bag carrying work gear. Not sure if I will attempt to mix the two again.

    3) Tweaking my back in a freak occurrence while riding outside of Kanab UT on the way west had an unfortunate and lasting impact on things. Pushing on from there was mostly just being bull headed and it contributed to some of the later damage to both me and the bike. Would I do it again faced with the same situation? Probably, LOL.

    4) I met some very cool folks along the way, both riders and other outdoor enthusiasts alike. Got treated to some beers and good conversations. After months of "lock-down" it was life affirming to be out in the world again.

    5) I have to admit these trips don't get easier as I accumulate miles on this bag of skin and bones... but it is all so very worthwhile. :)



    Bike stuff and videos still to come. It may seem a bit like long drawn out movie credit screen at this point but I'll try to inject a few "out takes" along the way, to keep it entertaining.
  6. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    Always appreciate the post section, what worked, what did not, what you would do differently, helpful to others.
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  7. MyzTied

    MyzTied We need more cow bell Supporter

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    Awesome report! felt like I was right there with you. Thanks for posting
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  8. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    The Bike - The second trip around the USA added some more character marks. Aside from just gouges and scrapes:

    Left side CRG rearview mirror glass broken.
    Left side tank shroud plastics broken.
    Left side inner plastics between radiator and shroud broken.
    Left side tank protector cracked at leading edge.
    Right side tank is showing stress fractures. Not sure when that happened. :(

    Electrical Gremlins:
    Cruise Control would occasionally not engage after being turned on and off a few times during a given run. It never failed to work once activated if I used the brake, clutch, or throttle to deactivate it and then hit the reset button. Also, an ignition cycle always cleared the fault (but not when still rolling).

    The gas gauge died 3 days before the end of the ride and flashes empty now at all times. I checked and the connector and it's fine.

    Battery is not charging properly at low RPMS once the motor/battery are hot. Below about 4k rpm battery starts to discharge once things are hot. However it does charge at low rpms when first started. Have not diagnosed the issue yet. Could be battery, stator, or rectifier. I'll dig into that before too long.

    Just shy of 25k miles total now on the bike. Two trips around the USA with some pretty hard use upon occasion. Other than the tank fracture I am very happy with how the bike has held up, and hey, the tank isn't leaking yet and the bike got me home. I call that a win.
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  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you were fortunate schedule wise from AL to VA, i think it's been raining along that entire route since you went through.
    Aces 6 likes this.
  10. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Got lucky with the weather in general. Other than that oddball could front that pushed me south the weather was awesome the entire trip! I fully expected to have a cold wet ride north. I got the opposite.
    Aces 6 likes this.
  11. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Getting thru the video footage. Decided to work my way backwards and put together a video of my last "Challenge" for this ride. Iron Mountain Trail in Damacus VA. It was a slow roll and language got a bit colorful towards the middle of the video, but I "Got'R"Done. LOL.

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  12. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Bike accessories and gear:

    dragon2.jpg

    Over time I have used a lot of different gear and MC accessories on MC trips. Much of the gear I use now I consider old friends as they have withstood the test of time. Side note: I don't get free gear or any type of sponsorship from manufacturers. This list is obviously not everything I had and in general the things I take on trips are proven. But a few always seem to earn some honorable mention.

    Old friends:
    Klim gear - I have panned Klim in the past for certain things and will likely do so again and I stand by those statements. However despite having other high end gear in the closet (including Stadler) I always seem to gravitate to Klim gear for these long rides that mix street and technical riding together. I used Klim padded compression shorts, Latitude pants, and a Carlisle jacket. They did the job well.

    Wolfman Luggage: I brought along my old trusty Day Tripper saddlebags and Enduro tank bag. They are trusted, functional, and proved themselves over time. I even "discovered" a use for the small D rings on top of the enduro bag this trip. They make awesome sunglass holders and keep the glasses from getting misplaced or damaged in a pocket or bag and kept the glasses firmly attached to the bike though all sorts of off-road and hi-speed pavement. In several of the photos in this report you'll see a set of shades attached to the top of the tankbag. They lived there whenever I was not wearing them.

    Mosko Moto: I cannot seem to kill the R80 bags and have not found a better set of travel luggage for long trips that involve dirt and street. If I did somehow kill my version1 of these things the new version would be at the top of my shopping list to consider again.

    Ka-Bar BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife: This is my camp knife, trail clearing tool, sometimes cooking utensil, a shovel in time of desperate need, and self defense. It never fails to get at least one comment from someone when on one of these rides, LOL. Tough blade, takes and holds and edge extremely well. I never leave home without it. It lives attached to the saddlebag as seen in the photo.

    New additions:
    Cyclops Aurora light kit: A new addition for me. Really nice compact addition to the stock lighting that provides excellent close to midrange lighting at night and they brushed off several tumbles into rocks and sand. They are perfect for my east coast night riding in the mountains. If I lived in wide open flat spaces I might opt for one of their kits that provided a bit more long range power, but that would be at the cost of the compact nature of the Auroras so more likely to incur damage. Seen in the photo above, they have really tough mounts and tuck in really nice and tight which kept them safe from harm.

    Amok Air Mattress: I had bought an Amok Hammock earlier this year but because not every area I was going to be would likely have trees I opted to take my trusty tent. However I have never had an air mattress that survived completely functional for an entire long trip and the air mattress I got with the AMOK seemed quite stout compared to some very expensive backpacking air mattresses I have tried. It was a little bulkier but man... it was worth ever extra ounce of weight to have along. It offers a degree of insulation which made for more comfortable nights and it remained firm and not "bouncy". It was nice to not wake up in the middle of the night and need to add air, to get off the ground, LOL.

    Windscreen mod (visible in photo above) - A new addition that I had the chance to use courtesy of fellow inmate @Toddv who is developing it. (yes, he did let me use it for free in exchange for feedback). Before I took off on this trip Toddv reached out to me to say he had been working on a mod that would reduce the stock windscreen turbulence on the 790 ADVR and wanted to know if I'd like to give it a test. I jumped at the chance because while the screen didn't bother me too much in the low position except at very high speeds I found the stock screen incredibly annoying in the high position, so if there was a chance to fix that while retaining the stock screen I was all for it.

    The mod he designed changes how air flows between the stock screen and the wings around the headlight and allows for more height options than stock. It took less than 5 minutes to install and does not require any mods to the bike itself or the stock screen. Adjusting the screen height is a single knob, no tools required. I only had time to test it briefly before my trip but quickly found a position that seemed to work much better than the OEM solution. I left for the trip with the mod in place with plans to remove it and swap back to the standard low position if it didn't work well at speed or gave me any trouble.

    Well... one month and 9k miles later it is still on the bike and in the exact position I settled on before I left (which provides far better wind protection than the OEM low position). I could have removed it at anytime. The fact that I left it installed is my hearty endorsement. I don't keep things that don't work for me. I don't know what Todd's plans are for this mod or if he will decide to market it but if he does I give it my two thumbs up. It wont give you a magical cone of silence but it does eliminate the headache inducing constant buffeting that occurs when the stock screen is in the higher position yet it offers better protection and smoother flow. As a bonus to a large extent retains the stock look which I like better than the aftermarket screens I have seen.

    Rottweiler Prefilter: I wanted to wait until I took time to pull the OEM filter today to comment. The Rottie prefilter worked great. I swapped prefilters mid trip which was quick any easy. Lots of sand silt mud etc on this ride and the OEM main filter looks almost new. Prefilters did their job well.

    Rekluse Torque Drive clutch pack: It held up for the trip and seem to be doing ok. I did note that my oil seemed to have picked up a fair bit of clutch residue during an oil change out west and that concerned me some. However upon examination the clutch seemed to be doing ok. It's certainly tougher to find neutral with compared to the stock clutch pack and I am noticing a slight judder when cold during initial clutch engagement. I have a new OEM clutch pack on the shelf and may install it. My rating on the Rekluse? Functions as advertised - not sure that it's worth the more than double the cost of the OEM clutch pack. It earns a non-committal *shrug* at this point.
  13. breeno

    breeno Been here awhile Supporter

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    "this is sucking me in ... too easy ... I'll pay for this at some point..."

    OMG this is classic shit!

    this is an *awesome* video dude
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  14. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    True though, right?

    Nothing quite like the first time when riding a trail. The 2nd time may be more fun, maybe faster, maybe avoid some bad lines, but it will never have that same fresh scent of discovery. :)
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  15. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    Great IMT video, interesting start there with the track loader. I agree how you said this is a can you do it not how fast you do it ride. I remember when I came out into Damascus all exhilarated I wanted to tell somebody what I just did but there was no one to tell who would relate to 20mi of awesome single track.
    windblown101 likes this.
  16. Toddv

    Toddv Long timer

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    Looks like a fun trail. I wish there was a way to capture the steepness of hills on video, there's just no way to tell. Looking back down sometimes gives better pespective, maybe because you can see the tops of trees that way? Those leaves really hid the bumps well, looks pretty smooth until you're riding on it. Ha

    I wonder if the voltage regulator took some damage. Maybe run the bike till it's hot and cool it back down with some water and see if it's starts charging again? Unfortunately it sounds more like a weak stator though... An Ohm meter will normally expose that, do it hot of course.
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  17. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    Damn ... Iron Mtn single track on a loaded pig,,,,SOLO? That's a gutsy move WB! Thanks for the trip report, a pleasure as usual.
  18. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks. I just took my time and it was a fun trail, though in hindsight maybe not the best choice to run solo for a first attempt.

    I take pride in getting myself out of jams of my own making when solo but sometimes it takes an extended bit of time scratching my head to work it out. I consider that part of the whole "adventure" thing. :)

    Like picking up a bike on a steep side hill and the tires want to slide off the edge of the trail as you lift... I pondered that one for a good 15-20 minutes, Lol.
  19. joefromsf

    joefromsf Dark Happens Supporter

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    James,

    Just found this RR this morning, and kinda picked it up from your stop in Death Valley. Would have loved to show you around DV, but glad you hooked up with some good SoCal peeps. Now I have to go back and find out what happened in Kanab.
  20. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Hi Joe! Hope things are good for you and yours. I should have given you a shout while i was out there. :(

    Kanab was a bit of a turning point as it turned out but I'm almost back to 100%. Both I and the bike will be ride ready when the winter weather breaks!
    joefromsf likes this.