To The Bottom Of Ongtupqa And Back...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by emerson.biguns, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    The Old Pueblo
    Teaser:

    Three bikes ('08 WR250R, '09 WR250R, '02 XR250R).

    Two pilots (whiners) and a mason (non-whiner).

    A n00b.

    A thousand miles round trip in four and a half days.

    A head-on motorcycle crash captured on film.

    Romance and rejection.

    Vicious reptiles.

    Blood, mud, and mechanical disaster. (OK, there was no mechanical disaster...)

    And a lot of other stuff I can't think of right now.





    Ongtupqa is supposedly the Hopi word used to describe the Grand Canyon. (It's a Wikipedia fact...)

    This is where we're headed, from Tucson, Arizona to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back.

    [​IMG]





    Coming next: The Riders
    #1
  2. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

    Joined:
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    Rider #1


    My little brother George, the n00b.


    [​IMG]






    Birthplace: Washington, DC

    Sign: Taurus

    Turn Ons: Single Mothers With Kids

    Turn Offs: Effort





    He does this for a living in St. Pete, Florida:

    [​IMG]





    He's been known to do this, when the going gets tough:

    [​IMG]





    He's sixteen years younger than I am and hasn't been riding much. He owns an '08 KLR that doesn't get ridden much and he has about four hours total of desert riding experience from when he came to visit over the winter.

    [​IMG]



    He's on a borrowed '02 XR250R with FMF pipe. For some reason, he feels obligated to abuse the bike and repeatedly drop it. :dunno




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    #2
  3. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

    Joined:
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    Rider #2



    This is my next door neighbor Scott, riding buddy and instigator behind all of this...


    Here he is, last summer on our trip up the Continental Divide.

    [​IMG]



    By trade, he is a mason, and a good one at that. The economy has allowed him a lot of time to ride lately and luckily he's good enough with money to do it. (... or he's been robbing SevenElevens to pay for his habit. :dunno ) At the end of the summer he's planning to ride north until every sentence ends in "eh", ride west until the women have hairy armpits and then south until he hears hola.

    I hold Scott personally responsible for the last three years of motorcycle riding, crashing, adventures, buying, selling and general motorized stupidity on my part. If it weren't for him, I'd probably not have gotten back into riding.

    For this trip, Scott is riding a '09 WR250R. I'll save the story about how he went from an XR650L to a WR250R for later.

    Here's his trusty steed, loaded for bear. This was on a trial run. For this trip he didn't carry the large pack of camping gear on the tail underneath the Camelback since we weren't planning on camping.

    [​IMG]


    Important parts... Garmin 376c with some of BigDog's tracks and a Rotopax 2 gallon tank underneath the left Dirtbagz.


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    #3
  4. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

    Joined:
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    Rider #3


    Me.


    This is how I support my riding:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    I'll be riding this:

    [​IMG]


    That is bike number six in the last year. :shog

    It is a '08 WR250R with: FMF Q4, Powerbomb Header, Power Programmer, 13/48 gearing, ZR1 suspension tuning, Rotopax two gallon tank on a custom rack, Wolfman tank bag, Garmin Rino 530HCx, a Giantloop bag and a brand new set of tennis shoes (MT21 front and D606 rear.) This is the perfect adventure bike for the lousy rider like me.




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    #4
  5. Pax

    Pax shazam.

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    Subscribed! :thumb
    #5
  6. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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    :lurk
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  7. velosprocket

    velosprocket Been here awhile

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    :clap :ear
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  8. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    The Plan


    The big picture - Leave Tucson on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 27th and make our way to northwest Arizona and the bottom of the Grand Canyon and then back to Tucson using as much dirt as possible. We figured it would take five or six days and we had up to seven, just in case.


    George would arrive in Tucson on Tuesday evening after going to a buddies "urgent" wedding out in Oregon. Wednesday we'd get up, get him packed and be ready to hit the road by 2:30 that afternoon. Our goal for the first night was Globe, Arizona, about 125 miles away. The afternoon departure was required to arrive north of Winkleman, Arizona, at about 6PM when the road would reopen after blasting and repair work was stopped for the day.

    Day two would take us from Globe up towards Cherry Creek through the Tonto National Forest on to the Mogollon Rim through the Coconino National Forest and into Flagstaff for the night.

    On day three we would depart Flagstaff in a southwest direction and hook back to the north to see historic Route66 at Williams, Arizona and cross I-40 before working west towards the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn just east of Peach Springs.

    Day four we'd hit Peach Springs for our permits to ride to the bottom of the Canyon. We'd have to do some planning to be able to get the permits. Some riders have been denied permits on the basis they where on "dirt bikes", so that became a small dilemma. We didn't want to ride three days only to be told that we couldn't do what we came to do. So, we had to figure out how to get into the Hualapai Lodge after arriving on motorcycles and all the associated clothing and gear and get the permits without being too obvious. After our assault on the Canyon we'd head back towards Prescott and spend the night.

    Day five was where the plans got a little sketchy. We still had plenty of time before we needed to be back in Tucson for George to catch a flight on Wednesday afternoon, but as we would be heading out of Prescott, temperatures would be rapidly climbing. So, we only had a vague plan to head towards the Bloody Basin, Sheep Bridge and Horseshoe Dam before hitting Scottsdale in northeast Phoenix.

    After that, we had no clue.




    EDIT:


    Sorry, a post without a picture is like a day without sunshine.

    The Saguaros were in full bloom as we made our way into the higher elevations north of Globe.


    [​IMG]




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    #8
  9. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    MORE MORE MORE :clap
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  10. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    Shaggy dog story?



    Did I mention that my seventeenth wedding anniversary was going to fall about halfway through the trip. How does one apply for a kitchen pass on such an important day? (... it wasn't cheap.)



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    #10
  11. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    good intro.... subscribed!:lurk

    keep it comin'


    (nice saguaro pic - hadn't seen one in bloom)
    #11
  12. Chadx

    Chadx my toot toot

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    Subscribed. Looking forward to hearing how some of gear worked, too (giant loop, your gas bracket, etc.).
    #12
  13. pookiebear

    pookiebear Long timer

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    subscribed
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  14. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    Another interested WR rider.
    #14
  15. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Not cheap but probably worth every penny. I thought pilots were cheap?:D Damn is that a FLIR pod on the bottom of that helo? Cool.
    #15
  16. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    :nod

    Daytime TV, low-light, FLIR and LASER designator.


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    #16
  17. Wander

    Wander Adventurer

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    I want to see the Video!
    #17
  18. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

    Joined:
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    My Bike


    I'm going to try to detail everything about my WR250R because there is a lot of interest in a few of the mods. Many of the generic changes are covered in depth over here Thumpers WR250R Thread, but I'll describe my approach to storage and fuel more in depth.

    Here's how I ended up with this shnazzy new toy...

    A couple, three years ago, Scott(my next neighbor, remember him?) bought a brand new XR650L to start riding and having fun on all the dirt around here in southern Arizona. That was partly instigated by a guy named Roger (owner of C&R Cycles here in Tucson.) Roger primarily does trike conversions on Goldwings and Scott came to know Roger after having a Goldwing conversion done by Roger. Roger had a DR350 that he'd rode in the Barstow-Vegas races and was selling it to get a DRZ. So, within a week Scott has a brand new XR650L and he buys Roger's DR as a loner to drag people along on rides.

    Here's Roger doing his thing:

    [​IMG]

    We were smart enough to make sure that Roger came along on the Continental Divide Ride last summer. Having professional mechanic in the group is one of the smartest things you can do. However, his rates go way up for roadside repairs... sometimes into the multiple six-pack amounts. We tried to get him along on this Canyon trip, but his kitchen pass application was denied. :bluduh Thank doG we didn't have any mechanical issues.

    OK, so we're still talking about three or so years ago when Scott comes home with two motorcycles. Eventually Scott pokes his head over the block wall in between our back yards, kind of the way Wilson does in Tool Time.

    [​IMG]

    "You wanna go riding some time?"

    It wasn't but a few weeks and rides later a DR350SE shows up for sale here in town and I'm all over it like a Marine on a fat girl. Over the course of the next year or so we do some riding. Actually, Scott does a bunch and I tag along on some of the rides. I have a few low-speed crashes... shoulder surgery, etc., but in general lots of fun. Eventually, Scott ropes me into the Continental Divide trip last summer and we have a ball and see some of THE most amazing country.


    But, for some reason, I never really liked the DR350. It always felt heavy, sluggish, like a big pig. I couldn't figure out why, but at the end of the trip I knew I needed something else.














    [​IMG]

    :dunno
    #18
  19. Jeremy1981

    Jeremy1981 shopping for a ride

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    Subscribed! :lurk
    #19
  20. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
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    Jeezuz man! I've only seen stuff like that in Asia. :yikes Looks like it would be easy to wheelie, not sure about the recovery though.:rofl Better be careful posting pics like that, youre going to give the KLR guys too many ideas. :lol3
    #20