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  1. 11 likes
    So like I mentioned here, the BAJA RALLY™ is now on the schedule for me to race! I've wanted to do it for nearly three years now but didn't have the budget. I'd missed a recent nav class and decided to let it go another year. But I spoke with Señor Scotty last night and he wants to make it happen. So I will still pit for @NavyNuke in our XLADV effort to tame Vegas to Reno and then our pit crew will also have the opportunity to crew for my efforts at the BAJA RALLY™. I was going to go to the Baja Rally anyways to cover it for XLADV. I figure why not race it if I can? So why not do both? Well budget mostly but also there's a decent chance I'd need significant repairs after V2R and would have to do that in time. Plus, I need to train for just one. I don't have the deep well of racing experience it would take to do both essentially back to back. So I have a lot of work to do. I need to register. I need to attend a nav class in Baja in July. Bike prep, etc... This year the rally is October 9-14 and typically goes five days from Ensenada south to Cataviña and back but the course always changes and this may not be the same way as in years past. It's rally raid meaning there's navigation, roll chart, etc... and none of the racers know the course. Our t shirts we're selling will have the BAJA RALLY™ added and those will be used to raise money for both these races. The pit crew shirts won't change.
  2. 11 likes
    Picked her up today at Honda!
  3. 10 likes
    photo credit - Justin Coffey WestX1000 I cannot tell you how honored I am that Honda US chose us to review their 2017 Africa Twin with DCT. You the forum member have made this a grass roots big bike community and bike manufacturers are starting to take notice! They want us taking a good hard look at what they have to offer not simply because of who we are but who we are not. We are not the paid magazine industry who dares not bite the hand that feeds them lest they be cut from the next model launch their income is so dependent on. We have some serious “dirt cred!” Honda is a legendary motorcycle maker with a very long history of quality, dependability and most importantly race victories. The original Africa Twin has FOUR Dakar wins to its credit and this new machine is light years beyond the original. Makes one wonder what the possibilities would be if there was a new big bike class at the Dakar (as they have at the Baja Rally we’re racing Oct 9-15)? So what is the big deal with the 2017 you may ask? CycleNews had the Africa Twin besting the KTM 1190R last year but even just this past Aug they compared it to the impressive 1090R and it still won! So how is it? In a word: fantastic. I’m really just blown away at everything the bike has to offer from it’s zen-like design & balance to its power & control to even its stunning graphics. Is it not already obvious Honda has a winner on its hands? This bike will sell many units from now until years to come, no doubt. Pavement This bike is such a dream to ride, especially with the DCT (most appreciated in stop & go traffic), that it immediately had me realizing this bike is a GS-killer. Sure it’s “just” 94 hp (or is it?) but it doesn’t lack for power at all and handles so incredibly well (even with its 21/18” wheel setup) that combined with the value (~$13,700) and dirt-ability has me scratching my head why anyone (who likes to ride beyond Starbucks) would ever buy another GS. The bike was a pleasure riding the highway about 700 miles to and from our High Sierra event and passing cars was a cinch with the DCT quickly downshifting and catapulting my 235 lb frame with ease. I’ve read that riders above the 6’ mark will suffer buffeting on their heads but at 6’3” this wasn’t noticeable. Range is roughly 200 miles with its 5.0 gallon tank & mileage in the 40’s (even with a heavy throttle). The reserve light came on at 178 miles. Cornering was a bit mushy but tightening the suspension is all that was needed. photo credit - Spencer Hill @the_gear_dude Dirt Worth noting that I typically ride mostly dirt and the tougher the better so I’m not really representative of the typical adventure motorcycle rider. There are a few advantages to riding with DCT off road such as paddle shifting (my favorite!), shifting in corners and letting the bike clutch itself giving you essentially near perfect traction so you can concentrate on your line. However, there were a few things I did have to give up such as the ability to loft the front wheel, locking then spinning the rear wheel in corners, starting in deep sand in second gear and the inability to engage gearing when in a rolling start (have to stop first, then engage). While at our High Sierra event, I chose to ride in manual mode and once I stiffened the suspension I had fallen in love with this machine! We do some pretty gnarly tracks at High Sierra and in the OHV area between Mammoth and June Lake there was literally not a single thing that held me up. We did end up turning around on a long sandy incline but guess who made it the furthest? I aired down the Motoz Tractionator Adventures a bit more and found the Africa Twin just laughs at deep sand. A riding partner’s 1190R fared the worse in these conditions. While at the Sierra ADV Rally I chose to ride dirt in DCT full auto mode and learned quite a bit about its development from the one and only Johnny Campbell who was there filming a video on that very topic where he rode both to demonstrate the benefits of DCT off road. While the Africa Twin, unlike other bikes, does let you change settings very easily on the fly, what it doesn’t do is save these settings when you turn the bike off (leaving the key on); something that happens quite a lot in group rides. Each time I resumed my off road ride there were four buttons I had to push: traction control (off), gravel mode, engage gearing then switch to manual. I got really good at it though and it doesn’t take but 5 seconds once you’re used to it. I was a bit surprised I didn’t need risers either. I did not find that I was hunched over the bars or felt I was going to fall over the front of the bike. I would probably go with a 1” riser given I’m so tall but it wasn’t glaringly absent as I’ve felt on other bikes. The pegs could be larger but didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would (removed rubber inserts for off road). What makes this bike so great off road is probably its low center of gravity thanks to its parallel twin engine & patented air box. photo credit - @Spencer Hill @the_gear_dude DCT The DCT (dual clutch transmission) is seriously something to behold. I’m not an engineer and I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface of everything it does but it’s obvious to me this is a huge technological advance and will grow in the future. I see it as the future of riding both on and off road. It just takes so many things out and lets the rider concentrate on enjoying the scenery & focussing on their line. The average rider is not competing in an enduro event and will appreciate these features even more than I do. I can see the world traveler too… all loaded down and riding down a slippery muddy road in the middle of nowhere eager to get to the next town being able to simply pick a line and let the bike do most of the work for them. Manual transmissions in cars used to be much more popular too but few of us really miss all that clutching and shifting. Who knows… what with such an easy introduction to off road, I wonder how well the Africa Twin could introduce an entire new segment of rider to the dirt? That would be a good thing! I thought the more avid off roader like me would probably prefer the manual option but now I'm not so sure. DCT does add about $1000 and 22 lbs too but I found I was the first one up every difficult hill and other riders better than I were left struggling for what I attribute the AT's DCT basically auto clutching for me. Some say the DCT is always a step behind and can't see the road ahead but that's why the paddle shifters are less than an inch from your left hand; just change them yourself. This video Johnny Campbell has coming out on the benefits should be very instructive (will insert here when it's released). We chatted for about 20 minutes about what it does well and his involvement in its development. Here's Johnny! - photo credit: Miguel Santana @masfotografia I won’t liken DCT to this beer-pouring machine I found in Tokyo but there is a certain cultural fascination with engineering and automation you have to visit Japan to appreciate. But is it better than my 990? Apples. Oranges. My 990R is heavily modified with aftermarket suspension (Konflict), wheels (Woody’s), performance parts (Rottweiler), auto clutch (Rekluse) and is lighter than stock. I did once ride Ed Luke’s 990 (standard) with bone stock suspension and can say the Africa Twin is certainly better than that but am not sure if both were modified that I’d still say the Africa Twin is better (off road at least). I will say the Africa Twin is better on pavement and more comfortable to ride. For the average rider I’m sure that counts for quite a bit. Bottom Line I would buy an Africa Twin and feel very good about it. I admit I was skeptical that any Japanese XLADV bike would be this good both on and off road. You just can’t deny the design, functionality, performance, quality, etc… I’d go with a set of full bars and skid plate (AltRider), some wider foot pegs and soft bags (Wolfman Luggage) and maybe stiffer front fork springs and a re-valved suspension (Konflict) and more stout hand guards and that’s it. I would love to get the chance to try a 1090R similarly and tell you all about it given my orange history and preference for the dirt but for now I’ll just have to take CycleNews’s word for it. In their words: “The KTM is what you ride in the Roof of Africa extreme enduro. The Honda is what you ride to the Roof of Africa to spectate, then around Africa, up into the Middle East, to Europe, and eventually on the boat back to the U.S—an adventure we can all do.” Likes: Plenty of power! DCT is a dream on the pavement & especially in stop & go traffic Hill climbs with near perfect traction/slip Really tight turning radius helps in slow speed maneuvers & contributes to balance Bar height even sufficient for my 6’3” height! Handles remarkably well off road for its weight (534 lbs) Fuel economy in the 40s & a heavy throttle yields about a 200 mile range Dislikes: Can’t loft the front wheel Can’t lock the rear then spin it (cornering) Can’t start in 2nd gear (deep sand) Rolling start can’t get in gear without stopping first When stopped and turned off (key still on), still have four buttons to push to get back to where I was: traction control, gravel, put in gear then switch back to manual. Other bikes won’t do that as long as the key is still on. The tank does throw off some heat requiring you to back off in summer temps but I can see this as a feature in colder temps; basically a groin heater but not "surface of the sun" like the KTM Suspension is soft but when tightened up performs even better than most stock adv bikes
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    1000 mile reveiw. It takes some time to really understand a product so i dedecided to put some miles on before I sumbitted a review. I have used this helmet mostly as a commuter helmet each and every day in most weathers such as fog, rain, night and day. The lining is comfortable and the construction is solid. Because of the beak on this helmet it is not completely quiet. On windy days there will be some noise and it will move your head around. However the aerodymics is better than most. I find there is a sweet spot if you just dip your chin down the airflow becomes better. This all depends on what type of fairing or windscreen you have. In cross winds, expect the regular head shuffle will happen, it is expected. One must really enjoy helmets with a "beak". I do because it helps if you forget your sunglasses you can dip your head down to get the sun out of your eyes. I hooked my Sena up to this helmet and it fitament is easy. Plenty of room to tuck the wires in out of sight. I did also purchase a "mirror" visor and have yet to install it. I'll give an update once I use it on a proper ADV ride. Overall I like the "no frills, raw " design.
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    He is off on the last day! Let's go Eric and hopefully no tire problems today.
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    Justin Coffey got this shot
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    This guy @NavyNuke provided some amazing skills for which I'll be eternally grateful
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    Honda's decided that they'd prefer I had more experience with their Africa Twin so they're providing me a bike to test out for a while. I'm very honored by this and want to thank you the XLADV members for making this such a vibrant community for big adventure bike riders. Honda is also an amazing motorcycle manufacturer and even with their traditional conservative risk-avoidance culture went out on a limb to resurrect a bike for the adventure market that many of us have been clamoring for for years. Their sales seem to indicate the bike's been a hit and I'm sure is the reason why KTM brought their 1090R out as well as Yamaha's new T7 concept and KTM's "790" concept. No idea yet whether it will be DCT or standard transmission or even the color. My guess is that it's a fleet bike they've used for journalist demo's. They typically loan them out for about a month. I will bring this one to High Sierra. My only real preference is that it comes with knobbies! Obviously it will be fun to get a feel for this bike and be able to compare it with the two bikes I have the most experience with; the BMW GSA 1200 and the KTM 990. I will take care to be fair in comparing it with my relatively heavily modded 990 not to say anything like "well it's no 990." The DCT will be fun to explore should I get that model. I'm also going to want to experience for myself if there are any issues with the bike that we've heard about. Honda of course will say these are "isolated incidents" and things they've never had pop up in any of their demo bikes which may in fact be the case (they usually are unless you're BMW this year). I'm going to do some homework on the bike so that I can fully understand how it works and what it's designed to to really well. This is one review I thought stood out well on the AT done by Jimmy Lewis at dirtbiketest.com
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    Show us your tool-bags and explain the what and why! Here, I'll start. This is for my G450X. OK... it's not really an XL bike :/ Gee! Here's how my pack looks like. This is the Wolfman Medium Rollie Bag with two Wolf Bottle Holsters. Let's start looking inside! Here's what fits in this baby: 1. Recovery bag 2. Flat tire bag 3. Misc items bag 4. Tools bag 5. Spare tubes for both front/rear 6. Zip ties (with several rubber bands) 7. Two MSR 30oz fuel bottles The recovery bag is just what I need for a z-pull/drag system. There are several sets out there but I wanted to make mine on my own. Did I mention I have mild OCD? It contains: 1. 52ft of accessory cord (6mm) 2. 2x oval non-locking carabiners 3. 2x Petzl pulleys 4. 2x Petzl Tibloc ascenders 5. The manual from the ascenders which will explain how to make a z-pull/drag system The flat tire bag, is a standard. However, here's what it has in detail: 1. Stop & go pump 2. Slime patch repair kit 3. 2x normal SHORT tire irons 4. Valve stem removal tool 5. Gloves The spare tubes, are in a ziplocl bag because try-to-put-them-in-the-bag-omg-they-wont-move-when-they-touch-the-wolfman-dry-material... Of course, a normal grocery bag would do as well. Just blame my OCD for the waste... My misc bag contains the following (I haven't included links for the obvious items): 1. Small mesh bag for the loose items (I got it from Michael's for like $1) 2. Eagle Creek bag (I'm mentioning it here since I'm using the same for everything) 3. Electrical tape 4. Electrical wire 5. Steel wire 6. Any kind of light 7. Quicksteel 8. Sandpaper 9. Emergency blanket (I remove the box after I took the pic) 10. Lighter 11. WD40 12. Camping tape I suggest this brand. This thing will hold anything! 13. Coffee filter (to pour water in the radiator) 14. Radiator Stop Leak 15. An extra sparkplug 16. Tweezers 17. Purifying water tablets Finally my tool bag. This took me the most time to gather. What I've been doing the last months, is using tools from my garage and every time I'm using something (for example a screwdriver or a 10mm hex socket), I'm taking a note and like that I assembled a list of all the tools I ever needed for my bike. In theory, I can bring the engine down with what I have in this bag. In theory. Of course, I don't know how... So for the G450X here's a list of the tools I used (no links of course) Hex sockets: 8mm, 10mm, 11mm, 17mm, 22mm, 30mm Hex bits: 3mm, 4mm, 8mm, 12mm Wrenches: 11mm, 12mm Tools: Leatherman, flat screwdriver, philips screwdriver, ratchet, extensions, adapters And ALL of these items with fuel included, under 20lbs (12.5kgs for our Metric friends)! In addition to all of these, when I'm on my dirt-bike, I always carry: Water Snacks My poop-bag (laugh all you want, I want to see you taking a sh!t and wiping with leaves) Phone / InReach Very small 1st aid kit Let us see yours!
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    Here's kind of a summary of my experience at the Baja Rally... Day 1 Prologue A short stage designed to tune riders to the terrain and navigation as well as to determine the starting order for the next day. It's a short stage. They started me on the wrong stage though on the Rally Comp computer so the first waypoint at the start never registered nor reset my odometer so I was like "where am I supposed to go?" I had to return to the start twice but they figured it out. Once on the course I found the navigation extremely tricky and confusing. I took a wrong turn almost immediately but somehow got back on what I thought was the right track; confirmed by the presence of the photographers. Shortly after that I come to a three way intersection but no turn is indicated. In those cases you're supposed to continue on the main road you're on so I went right. That was wrong. Next choice was straight ahead but that was also wrong. So the only choice remaining was to go left and that turned out to be correct. I was like how the f was I supposed to figure that one out? Then later I found myself completely at a loss for where I was and another rider took pity on my and said "dude just go north on the highway a bit more and you'll see the next waypoint with a sharp right turn." Really glad to get that help because I got to ride some great tracks on the other side of the highway. I actually rode very well but when I got to MD Vinos at a waypoint on the hill I once again was at a loss as to where to go from there. It helped that the course last year went by there so at least it was familiar. A photographer pointed me to a fenceline trail and I was back on track but then again found myself kind of lost until I came upon @Joshua Jones with his bike troubles (video to come). After that it was relatively easy to find my way to the finish. Day 2 Special Stage 1 The day began with a chilly liaison down to Erendira about 45k or so. I had to go back to the bivouac about a mile down the road because I'd left my water! Got to Erendira (been there many times) and we started on the beach and then took a left up the sand wash. I was feeling really good because I passed some Mexican riders like Mauricio Olmedo in the sand wash. I was like "watch how the LC8 handles this" and was like braaaap! But I came up this steep hill with the sun in my eyes and couldn't see the track I was in. The better line was left but I was right and I fell over. No big deal, I just picked it up but when I was rolling back down the hill it got away from me (should have tried to get right foot on rear brake) and fell again but this time my right boot was pinned under the bike. Luckily another rider came along and it was @Joshua Jones and he understands a big bike tipover better than anyone so he helped me (video later). But gas was pissing out the top of my right tank and that would bite me later. Got under way but then took a wrong turn (I stayed on the damn main road too!) so I opened the waypoint and headed back but took another right rather than a left so I decide to ride "off piste" through the field and ended up in that ditch. I had a similar situation in training so I knew not to blast across the field so I just plopped down in what was concealed by sage brush thankfully. Joshua passed me like three times and I'm waiving my hands (other riders too) but no one saw me. It took me a damn hour to get out! I had to ride down the ditch to an egress point. Got under way again and was riding very well but ran out of gas 17k short of the gas stop. There's no way I got 20 mpg so it's obvious I pissed out too much gas in the earlier tipovers. But nonetheless I had to dnf because when I got to the gas stop they said it was too late to do the remaining part of the stage. Day 3 Special Stage 2: We left Rancho El Coyote early again but the start was delayed for weather because the plane/helo could not take off down under the marine layer. So I got off at 8:50 and came down the mountain navigating perfectly all the way back to the highway and then left and then right at the sand wash. There's where I was like "um where are all the damn waypoints?" I never had a speed zone beep or the stop or any waypoints! That's when I realized no one ever started my Rally Comp! I had to start the stage myself and then open an skip each previous waypoint so I could continue. I was pretty pissed off but it turns out it was my fault. I did argue the point but Victor was supposed to start my Rally Comp on the stage at the tent at the bivouac before I left. The thing is though I WAS AT THE TENT QUEUED UP TO GET STARTED but like 8 riders in front of me just took off at the same time and my assumption (wrong) was that we were told "just go to the start up the road" so I took off. So the sand wash tripped me up a bit on nav and the medic/sweeps lost me (they thought I was ahead) and I continued south on the course but not for long as my rear mousse basically came apart and the rear tire came off the bead. I replaced it with a tube but without a rim lock and with residual lube inside the tire it lasted about 20 minutes until my first real twist of the throttle getting up the dunes at the beach. I took a left on the beach and was headed south and I was like "why is my bike crabbing again like a half hour ago?" It was flat. So I limped to the highway and texted Ken to come pick me up in the van. Another dnf Day 4 Special Stage 3: We had another delayed start (weather) out of Cataviña but the tracks were really cool sandy tracks weaving in and out of the cactus. But then it got really rocky and took quite a bit of energy to get through but I was steadily passing riders, especially when we got to the graded dirt road. I was like "let me show you how the LC8 eats these roads up!" and braaaped by three or four of them like they were standing still. Not sure what my top speed was (edit: only 73 mph) because my REVER stopped at about 39k that day for some reason. We got to a point where Scotty halted the stage due to a missing road book note (his bad) so to keep everyone from getting lost, he gathered us all up and did a re-start about 15k north off the highway (they handled it extremely well). Off again and stupidly I was in race mode and again passed the same guys as before but realized I'd better just chill and be safe (very smart). I came upon Joshua who'd had a fall and was in some pain but he was with the medics (who were fixing their own flat). Joshua was later airlifted to Ensenada with some busted ribs and maybe an injured shoulder. The tracks were super silty and rutted so I just putted along safely. My bars came down though and I couldn't push them back up and another rider, Kent Choma, was super kind and stopped to help me with his tools. I had an open end wrench but those clamp bolts really need a box end wrench or socket. I later told Victor of Kent's help and I believe he was credited that time (karma). I found that fatigue was setting in and fell once or twice (video later) and kept making dumb nav errors but I did finish the stage thankfully. Scotty was up on a hill and got that interview with me: Felt really good to get a stage finish finally. Honestly, the bike handled so well and I felt I rode it very well. My fitness was fine and my nav wasn't bad for a first timer. It's just that I was plagued mostly by a rear rim that was too wide to properly fit a mousse. I'll go 2.5" next time. Others suggested a UHD tube, rimlock and Slime inside. Day 5 Special Stage 4 Started out of the Santa Maria hotel on the beach at San Quintin and in line I found my rear tire was off the bead already! Damn! I thought I was done right there but luckily I was able to re-seat it with a CO2 cartridge but my confidence in that holding was low. That second mousse was only 120 width so it was going to last even shorter than the other one (140) had. But I did get out on the beach and navigated extremely well after that. I found myself riding with Beto Verber who is a super cool guy. I enjoyed showing him how the 990 can be ridden We did some gnarly sand tracks and then out on the beach which you've seen part of in that first video. But at the last point on the beach in the cobblestones the bead once again came off because the mousse was cooked. Beto stopped and gave me three zip ties but those snapped immediately; probably because they were too tight and the tire flexed them when I took off. They lasted about 3 feet! My 32 mm axle wrench must have fallen out from under my seat or something because it wasn't there. I texted Ken and he met me at the highway again with a wrench and we put another tube in it. Because I'd gotten his assistance meant I was out again. Besides, that tube wouldn't have lasted any longer than two days earlier without the rim lock and the lubed tire and I didn't want to become someone else's problem trying to extract my bike again so I just took the highway to the hotel. Lessons: Fitness is KEY! I felt I did well there Hydration/nutrition is KEY! The pedialyte mixture helped and you really must try to eat along the stage to keep your energy Mousse works best when fitted properly! I really should have had a narrower rear rim but wasn't aware of this since it's my first time using mousse Pit assistance is KEY! Make sure you have an experienced pit crew like I did Navigation: Practice and experience are KEY! Ability: You really have to be able to handle a big bike in technical situations with a certain level of expertise. This is NOT for beginners or even intermediate riders. Bike: I shudder to think how a bike bigger than 1000 cc would do (except maybe the HP2). You might be able to manage but the issue is why would you want to? Consider the big bikes that have done the ADV class so far: 990R (2), 950 SE (2), Africa Twin, HP2, KTM 640 (I say it's ADV but they had it in the small bike class) PS... My objective in doing this was primarily to advance the idea of big bike racing. It's not easy but that's part of the appeal. One thing I picked up on was kind of a disbelief of either my own or my bike's capabilities. I had many people come up and express a lot of concern for me asking things like "are you okay?" "how are you feeling?" "Are you going to be alright?" I'm sure they were just concerned but it made me feel a little bit like I was one of those "little yellow bus" riders. Despite the tire problems and dnf's, I do believe that many people who actually saw me ride (Beto, medics, etc...) realized that these bikes are plenty capable and that we actually know how to handle them properly.
  11. 7 likes
    Some photos from Justin Coffey...
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    The best part of Baja Rally
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    That's my tire above off the bead Below is the zip tie "fix" that lasted five feet Mousse debris
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    Spy shot of Eric getting to the pool early? "Where's the cabana boy? I want a margarita!"
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    We are off. A big KTM fits in an E350.
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    I've got to say though, I mototravel as an escape from my career and riding/traveling re-instills my faith in humanity on every single trip. This summer I was on the sponsored side of the coin and thought "this is what I've wanted".... right?! Nope. It ended up seriously cheapening my experience on the ride. I hated be obligated to post for others rather than just for myself and my family/friends. I also hated when I cracked my oil pan on a very soft hit and was still obligated to try to sell that product to people when they asked me about what was on my bike. I felt dirty and my integrity was being sold off. I've since paid that sponsor for all of the product he gave me and politely turned down the sponsorship explaining that I'd rather just pay for things and be free of any obligations. I'm not destitute and need to ask sponsors for hand outs. Almost instantly, I felt better about my travels and was back to riding to experience the world again. Different strokes for different folks. Some want to get paid to ride. I just want to ride free and I got a good reminder of that this summer.
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    Had a nice chat with the ultimate gentleman of racing, Lawrence Hacking. He won the adv class at Baja Rally last year on a bone stock Africa Twin. He's raced Dakar, ISDE races and many others. I asked him how his single set of mousse performed. He said the front got a bit mushy towards the end. I may go this route and bring two sets. I asked him about nutrition/hydration. He said I can refill my hydration pack at the gas stop (didn't know that) and some kind of electrolyte (team Redbull told me water with 1/4 pedialyte works well). He suggested I bring my own food because I really need to start eating immediately after I get off the bike (pasta) and not wait until dinner is served. He said it wasn't enough food and too late. Eating off the bike was essentially energy bars. As to riding he said just take it easy and pace myself for the long haul. Ride conservatively and pay maximum attention to navigation. For obstacles/hazards like hills, etc... he said take your time. Stop. Survey the best line. Better to wait and study it than try and fail 2, 3 times to get up a hill. Really appreciate that advice!
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    Hi everyone! I've been reading these pages for a while (and enjoying the myriad of Instagram pictures) and thought it's high time I actually said hello and got involved. I live in Portland, Oregon, and ride a Ducati Multistrada Enduro. I'm fairly new to the dedicated adventure riding side of things - mostly on road for the last 22 years - and now that I've got the most ADV capable offering from Ducati, in my garage, I've been getting out and thoroughly enjoying this other side of two wheeled paradise. Attached, is a picture of my steed at High Rock at the Mt. Hood National Forest, about 5000' elevation. Cheers! Shahin
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    Sure you might have a big adventure bike and you may have even bought yourself a Beyond Starbucks sticker to establish your dirt cred. But are you "Beyond Starbucks Gold Certified?" You might be saying to yourself "Whatever do you mean, Eric? Where I can I become Beyond Starbucks Gold Certified?" Easy there, Turbo. Imma bout to tell you... So for a long time I've been all about encouraging people to get out on their big adventure bikes and explore; to live their lives to the fullest; to use their bikes as they were intended. And I've talked before about some exciting events that might one day encourage that. So let's say you're a relatively new rider. You've bought your big adv bike and maybe you've even taken a training class (very good idea). You'd like to do a BDR one day but you may not have the time to devote to that or maybe you just want a good training run for that. Beyond Starbucks Gold is a big bike friendly desert loop of about 150-180 miles that a beginner rider (~6 months) could accomplish in a day. You start and finish at Starbucks in Adelanto, CA. The course is designed to be noob-friendly but conditions are known to change in the desert and it can be easier (wet from recent rain) or harder (dry and fluffy) depending on the season. There's enough of a challenge that more advanced riders will still find it enjoyable. You post your completed track displaying your overall time, average speed and/or average moving speed. You can do a screenshot from the REVER app if you like or even something from your own GPS. It's not a contest of speed. Safety is the #1 concern. The purpose of displaying average speed is to simply see what others' are doing it in to give you an idea of how long it might take you or a benchmark for your riding ability to later show progress when you do it again. Track is 171 miles and about 16 of that is paved. Here's a look: GPX file (tracks, waypoints): Beyond Starbucks GoldV1.GPX Full tracks from REVER 500 point tracks from REVER It's also quite scenic and I look forward to riders displaying their photos here and in social media with the hashtag #beyondstarbucksgold. Title sponsorship is also open and available.
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    This is one version of a video I just put together with music. I was seeing this girl who told me "your bike is your girlfriend." She was right! I'll have another video or series of them covering each stage and the challenges I faced & how I got past them. (give the video a few minutes as it may still be compiling at the Vimeo site)
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    Nice racing weather! All ready!
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    I started that "ADV Index" and got a ton of haters for it. I don't really care what others think though
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    This looks hot! Triumph has a bit more info on it here. No word on the weight savings, only that it's lighter and has longer suspension travel with a revised linkage.
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    If you follow me on Instagram and would like some free stickers just DM your info and I'll send some out. I just got another batch of them and their ready to go! IG: @Was.Once.There
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    Had a new bit of silliness recently on the ol 'Gram. I got a personal message from a crazy lady that I quit following a couple days prior. She was upset at me that I quit following her since I'd followed her for quite a while. She went on a soapbox of a rant in her message. I replied simply with "I'm tired of seeing your spotless bike in your garage getting more stickers added but never being ridden." No response. Just crickets. lol!!
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    Shame on me. You know that old saying "fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me?" Playing on Instagram has been a lot of fun for me. I really do enjoy finding these riders from across the globe with maybe a few hundred followers but stunning photos, stories and personality and then watching them explode in popularity. But it hasn't really been all sunshine and lollipops. I noticed recently that one of these riders whom I've helped out in quite a lot more ways than just reposting has ceased tagging us. Whether someone tags us or not (#xladv) really doesn't concern me (although our tag count is upwards of 60k right now) one way or the other except that I see this particular one as an intentional slight on their part, based on something they said to me which was "why should I tag you if you're not actively reposting my photos?" Are you kidding me?!!! So who's the one person most responsible for your rise in popularity? Who's the one who's gotten you the most sponsorships? Trips? Help fixing your bike? Finding you employment, etc...? I told them that I was still reposting them but when I see they get more likes on their post than I do, it's apparent they no longer need the boost I provide them. They've made it. They've arrived. You're welcome! Besides, a few people had messaged me saying they were getting tired of seeing that person's photos get reposted so much. So had this person joined the forum and made a contribution to the community here? Had this person written product reviews for the gear they'd received and leveraged our social media as a way of thanking their sponsors and repaying the value of what they received? Nope. So this is just reason #1237 why I've made the shift in how/what I post on our Instagram feed. Feeding narcissism doesn't build community. If you want the world to bow at your feet and worship you then you're simply not wanted here.
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    I had a 100 oz (3 liter) hydro pack and got some Pedialyte powder to mix in it and it made a HUGE difference. On stages with gas stops we could refill our water and then I'd add more powder to like a 3:1 water/pedialyte ratio. As for the stabilizer no, but I wish I'd had one (fatigue, safety). If you recall, I got that new triple clamp/damper kit from Emig Racing then it somehow disappeared. I think my kids might have taken it out with the recycle stuff. Alcohol is not a good idea at all but I did have a beer after a few of the stages but just the weak Mexican stuff in a 12 oz can. Had plenty last night
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    The Motoz tires I used worked extremely well. I would not use anything else. Desert H/T rear and Enduro ST up front. Alex from Konflict set up my suspension and it was perfect. The rear was a bit hoppy but one click down and it settled. Being planted is key for safety. It tracked well over rough terrain. Fly Racing Carbon helmet was very nice too with their goggles. Very lightweight and good air flow. Their hydro pack worked well too. No fatigue on the shoulders at all. Leatt neck brace worked well. I have the older single rear blade one that might have integrated better with the armor in the back but I need spacers for it. The one I used has the two rear blades and putting on the hydro pack would push it up sometimes. It does slide in the armor up front though. Very pleased with the new Sena Prism Tube. It turned on and off easily and I'm anxious to see the results because I had it on for some great parts. Bummed I didn't in the dunes though. Klim Dakar jacket and pants (new generation) were fantastic. I really liked how the jacket fit over the armor and that the sleeves are removable. Very lightweight too. It still protective. Their gloves worked very well too. No blisters at all unlike most other riders. The Moose Racing fender bag is a fail. Had it on sturdy but it ripped apart from the bouncing. Alpinestars Tech 10 boots were perfect as expected. My old Fox Titan knee/shin guards held up too. Moto-Skiveez socks are perfect too. No odor and the compression factor eliminates itch. Wolfman Luggage Blackhawk tank bag was nice to have. Held up well. Many said ditch it but it was very useful. Flex bars worked very well and I can't say how great it was to have less fatigue there as a result. Five days is a long time. Their Impact pegs performed similarly. Less fatigue and ability to keep boots on them are critical. Foam grips helped as well. The bike handled it all extremely well. Truly "Ready to Race."
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    So here's my day... started out with my tire off the bead! I think the mousse was cooked from the day before and the cool ocean air cause the tire to contract overnight. The main issue though that I misapplied the mousse to a rim that is too wide (3.5"). Then my second mouse was only a 120 and not the 140 I started with (budget). So I managed to quickly inflate with CO2 and the bead seated! So I got to start but wondered how far I'd get. At 85 k the bead came off. Didn't have my 32mm axle wrench for some reason. It was there the other day. It either fell out (?) or left it at the bivouac. So basically I tapped out. I got Ken to meet me with a wrench and I put a tube in but without a rimlock and having a lubed tire it would pop the first twist of the throttle. So back at the hotel poolside sipping a margarita. Epic video to follow...
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    Eric staging on day 3. Finally caught Eric on the Baja Rally live view.
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    Pits and my sweet sleeping spot
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    I gave them a thorough tech inspection!
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    @rtwPaul I saw that, the guy was just a douchebag man. And he quote you in a post to Lisa 2wheelnomad who has some of the highest numbers of sponsors from all the riders I know. It is due to your exposure that he knew about you for a start and I wonder if he told Lisa she is a mooch.. Sometimes the brain hurts from what people come up with. Agree with your comment. But wait there's more. First thing is there is nothing wrong with sponsorship or getting stuff for free from a company or parcel sponsorship or a generous discount for photos, content, exposure or a review in return. It is part of every companies marketing mix since capitalism started. Every sportsman including the Dakar boys as example does it. You do not have to apologise for that whether they contacted you or you them, full stop. What is different is that our adventure rider social club is not a big market so we have many small players, yeah there's TT and KLIM and so on but as a whole it is not a big thing as in other activities like 4x4 and RV's and stuff. So how do these relatively small players get their stuff noticed without blowing the budget on mega $ magazines? Social media and the internet have leveled the playing field for them and allowed them to also get their name out there through using people like you to be sponsored. I think where the hate thing comes in is that as I mentioned many of the riders are not marketers and many of the small businesses does not know their way around marketing and advertising and social media use and etiquette. So they spammed the place up and it got people's back hairs up. Two, three years ago there was a massive amount of people being sponsored and it was utter agony to look at FB each day. There are still some that just does not get it and spam the place up. It died down a bit the last two years. And also you had the those same people doing reviews and punting stuff without being honest. They would never say Sena is shit or TT never replaced their shocks as example. I know of so many incidences where people never spoke out about the shit they had with products. Not once of stuff, real bad inherent problems that is worth mentioning about a product. That made people distrust the entire sponsorship thing and why they call them sellouts and stuff. Even now, you would get better service being sponsored than not. And I know that through experience. I know of a sponsored couple that got new saddlebags and not two months later wrote a stunning positive review on them. But those same bags I know from long term users fell apart and not just with one incident a few I that I spoke off. That is the issue here, some people are just not good to have as sponsored riders. As I have said in my initial article I wrote last year, there is a lot of benefits for both parties but the sponsorship thing needs to mature with this industry and hopefully it is on the right track. Brands are more cautious and attentive of who and how they sponsor and how they and the person must work together. @Eric Hall and I spoke about it that there are people like him out there that can help small businesses to learn and manage this properly. And hopefully as Egle's article was well written people can see it is also not just about getting free stuff there are pitfalls with it, she presented all the sides of the issue. If you understand and work with good brands and know why you want sponsorship then it can be a fun thing to do. In aaaaaany case I have a RTW trip to plan
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    @Eric Hall @michnus @Polar nomad as I was in this article I'll chime in - The Sponsorship article was written by my GF for ADVpulse and shared in numerous places, and this is what they wanted, interaction. It was about GETTING sponsorship and what companies are looking for and expect...but what it turned into on some pages/ forums was hate/ anger/ jealousy/ name calling and a pissing match or dick measuring contest of who was worthy and who wasn't. I am sponsored by a few companies and test product as I'm on the road and have been for years they want good and honest feedback from people who genuinely ride A LOT, I will always speak with them first and be brutally honest. But one thing that almost every single person who read the article and commented missed was I had bought the product before from the 'said' companies before sponsorship, and the only companies I will be involved with are ones whose products I KNOW I can trust. (TBH if they didn't sponsor me I would still use their product) Most products I use are relatively new and simply need to be seen, this is why I was approached. APPROACHED, most of the companies came to me, I get 300,000 to 600,000 hits a month on photos all over so it kind of makes sense for them. My end is a couple of #'s and some pretty shots. If the 'product' fails I let them know and go buy someone else's - I don't claim its amazing, I make it disappear completely. I won't be like 2scam the world and tell everyone EVERYTHING is amazing and make every one of my posts spam and repost the same in 50 places, and honestly why would anyone be interested in what they have to say, they haven't really ridden anywhere in the last SEVEN YEARS so how is the product they promote getting tested, besides between speaking engagements - rides on freeways? On one page a guy called me out and said I was a "mooch" (ask for or obtain/ use (something) without paying for it.) so I interacted strongly because unlike him I did a little research. He was sitting at his computer obviously to make the comment but instead of looking up my name, he ranted that I hadn't been anywhere so was unworthy, I made a suggestion that he go back and read ALL THE ARTICLE and then do a little research (click some links maybe) in the meantime I researched him and found him to be a "mooch" having shared multiple posts of mine on his personal page, a few minutes later he apologised profusely and then deleted his comments So, if I were to make a point to whomever may read this; it would be - if there is an article you are interested in - read and UNDERSTAND the whole article (it seems its a lost art), research before commenting, be prepared to be called out if you are wrong and as @polar_nomad said DO NOT let it spoil your experience or ride...don't sell out. It is honestly not worth the effort
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    Something a bit different here. After several days in Death Valley earlier this year, I start my way south to see art sculptures in the desert. They are located in this state park south of this northern entrance area in the town of Borrego Springs.
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    Nah, it is! I have enjoyed your commentary on FB of this current round. I've never seen anyone as determined as you have been to participate and win this thing. You've taken many training classes and practiced on your own. You've entered other events (LAB2V), etc... for experience. And now this year you scored third or something? That's very admirable. Haven't seen anyone else as dedicated to something like this.
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    Some more pictures of the metal art sculptures in the desert.
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    It's funny how much butt hurt riding this bike and simply talking about it has generated. Of course I love the click bait but I'm not the one saying the Africa Twin is better than any other bike, it's other people saying it, particularly the KTM 1090. All I did was cite a few articles and people lose their minds: Cycle News (Africa Twin) Rider Magazine (no winner) Motorcycle.com (KTM 1090R) 1000ps (no winner) I've been accused of taking money from Honda, lol! Hey, if they want to compensate me for my time or the impressions I'm generating for them then I'm not going to turn it down but this is simply a loaner press bike that all the press has access to for these purposes. Plus, I'm unable to pick a winner because I really haven't ridden the 1090R except for a 15 "test ride" at Overland Expo; just enough to get a feel for the ergonomics really. I do hear pretty consistently that the 1090R wins off road due mostly to suspension and the frame but it is interesting that the Africa Twin has more power at 3200 rpm and lower as well as more power than the 1090R in dirt mode which is where you typically need it. The biggest downside of the Africa Twin may be it's suspension but it performed really well for me once I cranked up the rebound in both the front and rear. Plus, I don't know many OEM bikes with suspension worthy of my 235 lb frame and riding style anyways. But you'll all find out shortly anyways in about a week when I publish my review.
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    Getting excited for the Rally! Here's an update... Suspension sent off to @KONFLICT MOTORSPORTS but Alex is too busy this week attending a certain rally we were invited then un-invited to attend (it's okay; Honda loves us!) but I should have them back in a week or two. He's going to basically refresh them which I'm not really sure what that means but he's the expert. Bike is being held up by the center stand and a five gallon bucket which I'm sure is really bothering my neighbor, Mrs. Kravitz. Tires are all set to go from Motoz but still on the fence whether I go with mousse or this new TubeSaddle solution. @brian.havoc1, Casey Hilliard and Poncho all say "mousse" so I'm waiting to see if I can get some of those from Motoz (they make them too). Nav equipment is all set and worked well in July's training. Need to get insurance and paperwork ready. We'll be camping in each bivouac so I'll have that gear as well. Bike got some last minute oil leaks fixed and a new chain at ILM a few weeks ago. Matt and Tim are too busy to check out this thread though
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    I'm sure those that are on IG for business and to get money may have different feelings but I'm there because I the variety of pictures and the lack of drama I found on FB (that I dumped years ago). I had no idea you could tell who stopped following, who you follow that doesn't follow you, and such all from here. My plan is to follow pages with photos I like and stop those that don't do it for me. If I get unfollowed my count drops and I'll be forced to drink.....wait my count dropped? I had no idea. Sorry that was a bit of a rant....these dang fingers get to typing and the brain doesn't register at times
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    It was an honor to be able to take part in the Training Academy put on by BAJA RALLY™ this past weekend. Scotty "Breauxman" Bloom and his staff (Jimmy Esquivel & Juan) do a fantastic job. This was class number four and we are now among 19 people who've gone through this program. I'm going to tell you all about it but it's very important that I convey something that's hit me very strongly this time, as it has in each of the past two Baja Rallies I've attended/helped out with and that is this is very much a Mexican and Baja-specific showcase of geography, ecology, culture and people. I'm convinced that the average Mexican citizen has more decency, honesty, character and kindness in his little finger than unfortunately many people elsewhere in this world. You see it in the respect given to each other, the genuine interest and affection one experiences face to face, the well behaved and well adjusted children who play outside the restaurant while their mother waits on tables and the ranchero with his big hat and four wheel drive vehicle who treats you like you're the most important person on the planet only to discover later that he's one of the the most respected and admired person in his community. Scotty Bloom is just part of a much larger organization but he also reflects those same traits as they've been instilled in him in his tenure with the BAJA RALLY™. The training academy borrows from many different schools and cites them, appropriately, such as: Jimmy Lewis, Quinn Cody, Andy Grider and more. They don't pretend to have invented rally raid and while Scotty does share some of his own personal anecdotes, they don't claim a "Baja Rally" way. Still, I found there was a great deal of depth to the material both in the prep phase as well as what we were exposed to and asked to demonstrate in the field. We showed up Thursday evening in Ensenada and got to stay at the always nice San Nicolas Hotel & Casino as guests of the godfather of Baja racing, Nico Saad. Nico joined us at the pool bar as well as later in the classroom phase. My classmates: Josh Jones (Las Vegas, NV), Will Lin (Vancouver, BC), Manuel Delgado (MD Vinos) & Jonathan (Ensenada, BCN, Mexico) Josh busted his housing with his helmet (oops) Friday morning we began our classroom instruction, took a test and then proceeded to go through the basics of road book navigation. At around 3:00 we headed south about 45 miles to basecamp Erendira and set up tents right on the water and even got to take a crack at stage 1, a short 12km or so route around Erendira. I was stoked to have "won" the stage but we'll never really know since no scoring was done and they discourage any fast riding in the learning phase. Saturday morning we headed out to stage 2 that took us through San Vicente for lunch and then a local rancho where we cooled off just long enough to do stages 3 and 4 which were loops out and back from the ranch. This, as I state in the video, was the single greatest day of riding I'd ever had! Not just the tracks but the entire navigation experience. Lots of ridges, steep ups and downs, off piste travel, very deep sand and twisty single track. No stage "wins" for me this day but I did learn a lot. Local rush hour traffic Sunday morning we did stage 5 back through San Vicente (lunch) and then back to Erendira. We experienced some problems with the route but it turned out to put our lessons to the test in that we had to return to the road book and simply trust that. It's what Scott calls "using the force" to guide you. I had a notification saying I'd "missed" waypoint 25 but I hadn't even gotten to it yet! I continued navigating via the road book but when I was unsure of my path I realized that I'd better clear that waypoint I missed so that I could open up the next waypoint to guide my way. Most of us figured it out and made lunch in time. The last section of stage 5 I guess I also "won" given I was the first so I can feel good about that. This is XLADV so I have to hit on the aspect of doing the BAJA RALLY™ on a big bike. Last year was the first year they allowed big bikes to race and I think it went fairly well. I think there was a huge safety concern given all the effort that goes into to medics, sweep crew, helicopter support, etc... and BAJA RALLY™ prides itself on being the safest rally out there. I'm hoping my riding convinced them I'd be a worthy competitor and riders with an upper intermediate level skill or better should definitely consider doing it. I do have to say there are some really challenges though. I learned that 20 psi is not nearly low enough for the sand particularly this uphill off piste field we went through. Without momentum you just don't have a prayer on a bigger bike unless you air down really low, like 10 psi. The uphill sections you'd better be on the pegs with plenty of momentum or it's going to be a tough go. The sand is as deep as you'll find and the turns aren't easy wrestling ~500lbs of Austrian steel and rubber. I still do not think this is advisable on a 1000+ cc bike though. I ran the Motoz Tractionator Adventure tires front and rear that worked great but I'll be using their Desert H/T rear and Enduro I/T up front for the rally. You really have to run a 70/30 (dirt/street) tire or better. I may run a mousse up front for the rally but the bike's too heavy for a rear mousse I think. So yes it is a challenge but on the flip side I got much more comfortable with the prospect of doing Baja Rally when I realized that rally raid is really 90% brains and 10% balls unlike most off road riding which is the opposite. You're not blasting down trails at 100% of your capacity if you don't know the course and have to look at your road book. It's basically a brisk trail ride, at least for me and felt quite safe and manageable. I did not get "race fever" which is what I was worried about. Example of the certificate and patches we were proud to receive (white hat not shown) A video overview of our training school. Sorry for no helmet cam footage of riding but my helmet cam kind of crapped out apparently Steve Kamrad put together this video from class 3 which is much better than mine:
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    I've managed to make it back from the Arizona Back Country Discovery Route (AZBDR) and thought I'd share my experiences riding a new 2016 Stelvio. First off, the beginning of the AZBDR is about 840 miles from where I live, and I wanted a more aggressive tire setup, so tire choice was important. I went with the Shinko 804/805 combo and couldn't be happier. Day one I ended up in Gila Bend AZ about 610 miles from the house. Nothing but freeway and 70-80 mph the whole way. Day two saw me to the start of the AZBDR at the Coronado National Monument around noon. Figuring the first couple sections were going to be fairly easy I headed off. With the exception of one sand area it really was. I ended up in Benson AZ for the night after getting a lot of information on where to run the tire pressures and developing a feel for the bike loaded in the dirt. Day three is where it began to get a bit more interesting. Benson to Globe, then Globe to Young. The day started with graded dirt roads then slowly began to narrow with less and less maintenance. A number of water crossings, though nothing to write home about. After you get past Globe and head to Young you begin to climb up in to the forests heading for the Mogollon rim which marks the edge of the Colorado Plateau. The last 15 or so miles into Young is where it began to get entertaining. The road narrows, begins to ascend to the top of the plateau and is complete rocks. Starting with small manageable rocks to those the size of grapefruit and larger. This section alone took me nearly two hours. Plenty of remote camping opportunities around Young, so I called it a day after nearly 10 hours in the saddle. Day four, Young to Winona. The day started off well until I had to divert due to a controlled burn conducted by ADF. This shortened the off road portion of the ride but also in theory would shorten my day in the saddle. NOT!! After picking up the route by Clint's Well, I was in store for another round of "rock adventures". However after a few hours things started to develop into a pretty nice ride through the forests and into Winona. Day five would have me riding through the Navajo reservation and in and around the Vermilion cliffs before crossing the boarder into Utah for the end of the ride. You must have a permit to ride in the Navajo Reservation back county. You can obtain one at the Visitor Center in Cameron for $12, cash. I really enjoyed the ride through the "Nation". beautiful scenery and what people I met were friendly and helpful. The last portion of the ride was uneventful with lots of photo opportunities and spectacular scenery. I ended finishing the AZBDR the afternoon of the fifth day, or really four days of riding the route. So now the summary: When I left the house the bike had 1498 miles on it. It now has 3856. I figure that I spent about 710 miles off road to complete the AZBDR. I spent a fair amount of time going over fasteners and the like in preparation for the ride. Nothing more than I would do on any other bike I have taken. I carried between 60-65 lbs of gear (depending on how much water I had on-board) Remote camped 3 nights and camped in campgrounds 2. I did stay in a Motel on the ride home, I know, LOSER! I ran the Shinko 804/805 tires and at the conclusion of the ride I still have not hit the 50% wear bar. The tires I would highly recommend if this is the type of riding you are interested in. Good pavement life and off road performance is quite good. Of course I only seemed to ride in rocks... For the bike? I could not be happier. Not one single issue, none, reliable as an anvil. Yes she's a heavy girl, but she's light on her feet and does anything you ask. The bike was everything I hoped it would be after coming off a KTM 990 and 50,000 miles. Much better on the freeway, 80 mph all day long no worries. Noticeably lower center of gravity, which equates into easier manageability when herding around 600+ lbs out in the boonies. No cylinders sticking out to hook your ankles...well you get the idea. So there you have it. With almost 4,000 mile on the clock I figure I could write intelligently about the bike. They were right. Ride one 20 miles, you will never own one, ride one 200 miles and you will never sell it. Don't be afraid to take her out in the dirt. No, it's not a "dirt bike", it's Moto Guzzi's entry in to the "adventure bike" market. Ride it as an adventure bike, compare it to other adventure bikes and you'll see, it's a damn good mount that has no bad habits, a reasonable price point and the reliability of well, and anvil. I spent days looking for known issues with the NTX, worst I could find that was repeatable was the driving lights. I can't say as much for most of the other entries in the "adventure" market. Long post, hope you enjoy. Last thing. IDBDR in September, anybody want to go?
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    So's I don't waste a bunch of space elsewhere here's Tiger up by Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Rain Forest. No action shots as I'm solo and parking my GoPro on a stump in the hopes of catching myself doing anything interesting would be weak sauce indeed.
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    updated results but they got my time wrong; they have my stage 4 finish time the same as Wes's which is obviously not possible
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    Been here in middle TN for quite a while, and having spent '14-'15 living in Colorado, I've returned. Always thinking about my next adventure out west and will return next Spring. Having recently traded the Concours 14 and 690 Enduro R for the Africa Twin, I hope to settle into some good middle ground for riding and adventuring. There's a link in my bio for those interested in the most recent adventures with the two prior bikes, and also the current AT. I've met a couple of XLADV'ers earlier this year, and look forward to meeting more. On edit: Added a picture of the AT as we rode through the Big South Fork National River and Recreation area towards the southern part of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Oh, and the picture the dealer took at delivery time of the AT. This is where I left them the Concours 14 and 690 Enduro R.