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  1. 11 likes
    Some random observations on Instagram... Reposters Some chatter recently on a reposter, @bmwgsfans, not only posting photos without attribution, but deleting comments and banning people for pointing it out. This should earn them a one way ticket off Instagram, in my humble opinion. XLADV reposts a lot of photos too but about 18% of our recent content (I counted back about 150 posts) is original and we often seek to inform and will point back here to our forum as well as showcase a story and not just the photo. We've been successful at building relationships with riders around the world, helping out where we can, etc... It's about a dialogue. A lot of these reposters are just that and don't add a lot of value. I can't tell you how many times I'll see another account re-post photo after photo of things I just got done posting. Take a look at an account's ratio of followers/post. We are at 12.9. Hashtags We really appreciate it when you use our two favorite hashtags: xladv and sizematters. I've also seen xladvrider, which is awesome. Our only attempt is to call attention to how big adventure bikes differ and how they are special (more range, more capacity). It would be nice to be able to make a dime off this at some point but for just over a year and a half this has been simply our hobby (an expensive one). We are about people riding big adventure bikes and sharing those experiences. That's it! There's a sticker but no associated lifestyle apparel line While I harbor no ill will or enmity to BMW (on the contrary, I love their bikes and had a GSA for 5 years), I've been quite annoyed by some of their social marketing. Some of their well known and branded hashtags have been: unstoppable, madeforadventure, etc... Another new one that I'm perfectly fine with is spiritofGS. Great marketing. But here's what annoys me is their attempt to own "makelifearide" and "rideandshare." For one, people just aren't getting it. I find all kinds of people are using those hashtags who don't even ride a BMW. Rideandshare is a BMW thing how exactly? Cut it out! Any posts I share immediately have those two removed. Oh and now I see "joyintensified." Geez man! I also am annoyed by "rideandwander." It's a great tag but it happens to be someone's account! Maybe they're happy to have it co-opted but my advice is fine, have a generic category tag like advrider, xladv, dualsport, adventurerider, advofinstagram or whatever but for something more specific, be original. I'd use rideandwander if I were friends with them and wanted to give a shout out to what they (not I) are doing. Be judicious with your tags as well. It's annoying to see one line of text and then ten lines of tags. Some are putting tags in the first comment, but that may make it harder to find certain posts. When I search for something to repost I'm looking for #xladv. If it's in the first comment then it's not showing up in search. Simply using our hashtag is enough. Please don't tag us in the photo. It takes too long to go through all those and tells me you want me to repost your photo but we're not important enough to use our hashtag for others to see. We also don't feel special when we see 67 others tagged in the same photo. And no need to message me a photo, just use the hashtag. I swear at least 80% of these people sending me photos have private accounts that can't be shared (duh)! Have a story Please! I see so many posts that are just a photo. No story? No location? Boring. A few I've noticed are great with the stories are pikipiki_overland_blog, mytickettoride, feralcat2wheels and chickamotorunner. I can't wait to see what kind of story they have to tell each day! I'm guilty of not giving a good story too sometimes. What types of photos work Landscapes are great but unless you and your bike is in it, it's just a pretty landscape (and not moto-related). If you're in the photo, smile! Have your helmet off. Lighting is really important! The best light is in the morning and in the evening. I see tons of photos at mid-day that are just completely washed out; maybe 2% of them are any good. That means setting aside time in the morning and evening to work on your shots. And don't forget this is a motorcycle themed thing; any shot of your bike is usually a good shot. Look at huntca or rodeo.cowboy. They are the kings of the "butt shot" (back of the bike). Video Instagram upped their video lengths from :15 to 1:00. Give some thought to the "cover" image (in setup) for what you want seen because many are just a black screen (doesn't make me want to click on it). Keep in mind Instagram is policing copyrighted music now so leave that out. Chickamotorunner mentioned an app she uses but can't recall the name. Sponsored Gear No need to explicitly mention you are sponsored, just show the gear and mention their hashtag and that's usually great. Do justice to the photo so the reader can actually see it on your bike or being used. Be yourself & try showing your personality I really love to see someone make fun at their own expense, relate a troubling story of loss or loneliness, talk about a hardship overcome, or the joys of meeting new people and seeing new places. Some of these people are damn funny (GSA.007). Just be yourself and you'd be surprised how much people like seeing that. The quotes are okay sometimes but they can also seem cliche, pat advice, overdone. Some people seem to have a random quote generator and just add that to each post. Be real. Don't google it. If something inspires you then please share but there's no need to scrape for a quote. This is a community Try following someone! I absolutely detest some of these celebrity riders who have tens of thousands of followers yet follow less than 50 themselves! &%$#@! do you think you are? You are really missing the boat if you're not exploring and finding other riders doing AMAZING things. My newest rider I'm in love with (her journey; not her) is adventurism.life. Go find the person riding the Pamir highway or the Andes passes or camping on the Uyuuni flats or meeting tribes people of Botswana. They don't have to have written a book (yet) either.
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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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    I went rafting with my daughter in Green River so I thought I'd ride out there and do that with her and her classmates and then ride some dirt back. I got some great tracks from Brent Smith (who is not on XLADV?) and spent two days on mostly dirt. Day 1 was Green River to Escalante. It started out really easy then got to about intermediate level with some ruts and deep sand but not too bad. My REVER version 3.0 kept crapping out on me (know issue; they're working on it) so I went to my GPS backup and was fine after that. I had a pretty technical section before Hanksville that really got my attention for this one very rocky down and uphill section that I doubt I would have been able to clean without the Rekluse. Made me really glad I didn't fall or get stuck on that. After that there was a really cool section of long pink dirt before the Burr switchbacks and then onto Escalante. I was hoping to get a tent spot at Escalante Outfitter but in hindsight I'm glad I didn't because I ended up in a wild camping spot in the Dixie National Forest and it was really nice to be alone and have some quiet. I don't think it would have been quiet in Escalante. I had my Mountain House and Starbucks Via so I was set! Nice spot amongst the sage brush and pine trees. I was going to build a fire but it was windy and decided against it. Didn't want to be "that guy." Day 2 I went down into Cannonville and filled my hydration bladder, got some wi-fi and headed south into Kodachrome Canyon (or something like that). I wished I'd almost camped there the night before as it looked really great. But onward I rode and the temps started to get warmer. Saw these fantastic pictographs and petroglyphs Just surreal landscapes. You have to see it in person to do it justice. Made it to Kanab and gassed up, got a burger, more wi-fi and then down off the Arizona Strip onto north rim of the Grand Canyon. Some great two track trails if not a lot of gates but that's okay. Went through these amazing wide valleys that made it seem you'd see herds of wild wooly mammoths roaming or a pterodactyl swoop down off the top of a cliff. But soon enough I was back in St. George and decided to go pay a visit to Cole Townsend, owner of Fasst Company (Fasstco), makers of the Flexx bars, hand guards, Impact pegs, etc... He's going to help us out on the Vegas to Reno race. Here's Cole measuring me up for a set of bars. This guy really knows his stuff and was able to explain short vs tall bars and the tradeoffs that go with each. These Impact pegs have a layer of elastomer that dampens a lot of the vibes and not only keeps your feet planted but reduces the fatigue. I'll post more on them in the Gear & Farkles forum. So I go back to the same campground as I'd stayed at Sunday night on the way out, Red Cliffs campground. I'd managed to find some beer after a long hunt at three different stores and find out it's 3.2%?!!! Utah! Well at least it came in a plastic bag. Can't get those in CA anymore. Some squirrel tried to steal my dinner! But I felt bad after throwing a rock at him because I noticed his right eye had a cataract in it. So I let him lick up his mess. I dozed off for a nap and here's the view from inside my tent And then I awake to find some sheriff deputy standing in front of my tent and he seems to know me! Turns out it's Aaron Thompson and we'd ridden Mohave together with @GeoMoto and eveRide back in November. He saw I was in town from my Facebook posts and had just started his shift and thought he'd come by. He'll be at High Sierra this Labor Day as well. Here he and I are in front of his SUV cruiser And then his partner shows up. I'm sure all the other campers thought I was some dirty hobo they'd come to roust!
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    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.
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    Hello all you fellow ADV'ers, myself and my wife have been avid dirt riders for years, we moved to Brentwood ca "east of SF" from North Phoenix and sure miss riding out of our garage however we have found this area of the US to offer some excellent riding, Sierras, and the deserts south Mohave and death valley is where we spread our wings! We have done the NooB's ride with ADV out of Panimint springs the last couple of years and seen the sierra ride that is put together here and have signed up to join some of you in Aug. My name is Taylor and my wifes name is Billie, our last name is Rawak We have a couple of CRF450 r's for dirt bashing and I recently sold my GS11200 and bought KTM1190R. My wife has been illegal "dirt bike on the road" so we pick up her first street legal bike sunday down at Berts mega mall in Covina A spanking ne crf250L Rally, she is stoked but need to get her legs on the road, she will challenge some of the most seasoned off road riders but is new duel sport! With the kids out of the house "son in the Navy and daughter in LA going to school" we get a lot more us time so were hitting the open road! I spent several years racing Baja with a score trophy truck team and a couple co-driving a class 10 car while living in AZ. Ran 3 Baja 1000's and a couple of the San Filepe 250's, pre-running on bikes. Ive buit 3 pre-runner v8 long travel buggies and had a ball doing it but came back to our passion 2 wheeled machines! Anyway hello all, look forward to meeting some of you on the trail and at the High Sierra rally!
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    Thanks, @MtnRider XLADV is an easy class to be big since it's mostly just eye candy. Touratech is pretty much limited to things they sell given their objective. I'm much more mass market and have a broader category or bigger pond in which to swim. Also, if I were selling stuff like Touratech, I'd be much more limited in my posting like once/day. On XLADV Instagram I post upwards of 3-5 times/day. I've only had people complain about the frequency twice but we were growing so rapidly and not losing anyone so my gut said we were doing the right thing. But as I mentioned about two months ago, our strategy has shifted to mostly reposting those who are truly part of this community. We've met our awareness goals so now it's time to reinforce those who are already here as well as give others an incentive to become part of the community. True, I do have quite a few Instagram-only friends but real community is here in a forum rather than in the instant world or "like factory" that is Instagram. I'm also tired of people begging me to repost them when they've never bothered to join our forum. Sorry but the free lunch is over. This ain't a 501C3 charitable organization
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    March Madness With a rough plan for the next two weeks, and a bit of optimism, I set out to race the Sandblast Rally in South Carolina and then continue down to Florida to catch bike week if all went well. The plan was to work out of my company’s Florida office and to rough it in a tent for as long as I could cut it; hopefully long enough to combine my return trip with a detour to Tennessee to catch March Moto Madness. Despite some ups and downs the stars aligned and it turned out to be quite the journey. Sand Blast Rally On the morning of Thursday, March 2nd I packed up my bike and departed from my home on the eastern shore of Maryland. The ride down to Cheraw, SC was uneventful but I was burning through my knobbies faster than I anticipated causing my somewhat worn rear tire to turn into an extremely worn rear tire. I arrived at the campground in time to catch a stunning sunset before unpacking my things and making a run into town for signup. At signup I ran into my friends Steve and Amelia who offered me to pit with their crew, an offer which I took them up on. After signing up and getting supplies I returned back to a cold campsite and prepared for bed. It was a cold night, dropping to freezing temperatures, but I was plenty warm and plenty grateful that I had opted to pick up a 30⁰F sleeping bag before I departed on my trip. The problem though, came when I had to leave my sleeping bag and put on all of my now frozen clothes. There is nothing like scavenging together pine cones to burn for warmth at 6 am. I eventually warmed up enough to go into town and run through tech inspection before attending the novice competitor orientation. Following orientation I went back to the tent and prepared my roll chart for the race by cutting out the special stages then trimming and taping it all together. Shakedown runs in the afternoon were followed up with parc exposé (fancy words for race car show) in the adjacent town of Chesterfield where the rally start would be held. After talking with other riders and getting some tacos for dinner I called it a night. The morning of the race I woke up extra early to give myself time to warm up by the fire. Once warm, I made my way towards Chesterfield for the start only to arrive shivering; it was still near freezing at 6:45am. I warmed up with some coffee and a hot breakfast sandwich, set my watch to key time, and queued up taking my spot as the last motorcycle to start. Starting 30 seconds behind Steve I followed him to the first special stage while getting better acquainted with using my roll chart. Doing some mental math I ensured that I checked in on the correct 30 second interval to avoid penalty and moved up to prepare for launch. With my nerves buzzing with anticipation I watched the timer countdown to my exact second to launch. The timer hit zero and I took off blazing. Unthinking and overly anxious I did not heed the old adage of “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”. Only several turns in and I was already getting the dreaded arm-pump. Barley able to hold it together, sliding through a chicane I ignored logic and accelerated into the next turn pitching rear slide sideways. Photo by Mathew Styrker I had bitten off more than I could chew and I put myself into a drawn out lowside giving the viewers quite the spectacle. I picked up the bike and finished with a more sustainable pace, the arm pump now so bad that I could barely pull in the clutch at the finish. Heeding my lesson in exceeding my limits, I relaxed and elected a more suitable pace for special stage 2. With my arm-pump subsided I was able to find my rhythm and increase speed throughout the day, though not without a few more mild crashes. Photo by Rally Girl Racing All in all I ended up finishing 8th of 13 for medium class, and 16th of 28 for all bikes. Steve’s video of the rally sums up the whole experience nicely, plus it has some sweet crash footage. Video by Steve Kamrad The end of the rally was in downtown Cheraw where NASA threw an excellent party with “free” food and beer for the competitors and volunteers. Trading war stories and tall tales of the day’s events seemed the perfect way to cap an exciting day of racing. Comradery runs high among the rally folks and many new friends were made. Florida Living In the morning I packed up camp and set off down to Florida. Upon arrival I crashed at my friend and coworker Joe’s apartment for a few days while I decided where to camp. Joe owns a Ninja 300 so naturally the hijinks started right away. Joe had expressed an interest in riding dirt with me so we went adventure riding after my first day of work. I do not think he expected to ride 20 miles of powerline cuts, rail road tracks, and trails but he managed them much better than I ever thought possible. After a few days of staying with Joe I found a place to set up camp in the woods near my office. I guess word got around the office because I soon had an offer to set up camp at my coworker Tommy’s property. Tommy has around 40 acres of property and gave me free reign over it. I found myself a little lean-to structure in the woods and set up shop under it. This would become my new home for March. Adapting to living in a tent turned out to be easy and I quickly got into a routine of going to work early to shower, making meals at work, stopping by the laundromat twice a week to wash the small amount clothes I brought with me, and doing “Florida things” such as visiting the swamps and paddle boarding. I caught wind of a free CADS/GS Giants event called the Trans-Florida Adventure Ride so I eagerly prepared the Versys with an oil change and new rear tire. Early Saturday morning I packed up my bike with my camera, sleeping bag, tool roll, and air compressor and headed out to traverse Florida. Trans-Florida Ride The Trans-Florida Adventure Ride starts out of Crescent Beach along the Atlantic on the first Saturday of bike week and takes a primarily dirt route out to Cedar Key on the Gulf, followed by a mostly dirt route back to the start on Sunday totaling around 360 miles. Navigation is done solely by roll chart with optional “enduro” sections and picture challenges. Deciding I wanted a challenge I took the first optional section, to ride down the beach and get a picture for proof. It turned out I was the only one who did the 4 mile long challenge which now placed me behind literally everyone. Questioning my abilities to follow a roll chart I hastily made off to the next dirt section hoping to catch up with the pack. I rocketed through the next dirt section and despite a few navigational difficulties I got back on track. Passing a group of riders taking a break as I neared the first split between enduro and adventure routes I decided to take the enduro route with the hope that there would likely be someone behind me in the event something went wrong. Naturally things immediately went wrong. Things started to get bumpy blasting down an overgrown trail that somehow passed for a “road” according to my roll chart. At first it was fun getting small amounts of air as I set my pace to 60mph, but my concern grew as the dried mud holes that launched me started to increase in size. I tried to back off but was too late; I flew out of a dip over the bottom of another hole and landed onto the uphill face exiting it. Bottoming incredibly hard, I felt my left foot come free from the peg. Headed towards a mud hole that was filled with water I tried frantically to get my foot back on the peg and regain control but to no avail. I blasted straight through the water hole before finally coming to a stop, now completely drenched. Checking the damage I realize that I could not perch my foot back on the peg because the peg had broken free of the rearset mount taking the shifter and linkage with it. The riders I passed by earlier stopped to check on me as I zip tied the dangling peg and attached shifter to the frame. Seeing that the bike was still rideable I sent them on their way. Attempts at rigging up a way where I could still shift failed as the zip ties snapped immediately or didn’t allow for enough movement. Thinking about my vice grips laying back in my tent, I contemplated what to do now that I was stuck in 3rd gear only 40 miles into the day 1 ride. “How hard could it be to ride one footed,” I pondered. I would soon find out that hard was the answer. Photo by Steven Breckenridge Realizing I had nothing better to do this weekend I decided to forge onward. Placing my left foot on the rear passenger peg afforded my quickly tiring leg some rest as well as added bike control as I made my way through the deep Florida sand. For the next hour I played cat and mouse with the group of riders I encountered earlier; I would pass them as they would wait for the group to reassemble, then subsequently get passed back as I missed turns. Soon I found myself lost, all alone, deep in Ocala National Forest single track. Ready to give up, I turned my bike off (since I couldn’t shift into neutral) to check my phone’s GPS, and to my surprise I distantly heard a bike struggling through the sand down the trail to my right. With renewed hope I rapidly took off in the search of the machine’s pilot hoping that they could show me the way. The first rider I found, Courtney – a R1200GS pilot, had lost place on the roll chart as well but directed me to catch up with the leader of the group, Nick who helped organize the event, would surely know. I reached the group at the end of the trail only to find out that they were actually taking a slightly different, “locals only” route they knew and that I indeed had been lost. I followed them through the last few miles of the section before regaining my bearings and finding my spot on the roll chart. After talking with one of the riders, Mark, at a gas stop I decided I would take their offer to ride with the group for the remainder of the day. After many more miles of sand we reached Cedar Key. Mark was kind enough share his hotel room with me after discovering that I had no accommodations. The next day we ride the 180 miles back, this time with slightly less dirt. About three-quarters of the way through the ride the skies opened up quickly soaking us. Cold and wet we finish the ride back to Crescent Beach to earn our Trans-Florida Ride Finisher stickers. While we celebrated with dinner and some beers I messaged my “roommate” Tommy to see if he knows anyone who can weld aluminum and fix my footpeg. As luck would have it Tommy was drinking beer with his friend who happened to be a welder at that very moment. I limped back at 60mph down I-95 and paid a visit to his friend. Bike Week With my bike fixed I went back into my normal routine: wake up early, go to work, adventure ride, eat tacos and drink beer, and sleep. That Saturday I headed down to Daytona International Speedway to get a taste of bike week. I started off by immediately demoing an Indian Scout, followed by an FJR1300, and finishing on a Hayabusa. After thrashing them as much as I could get away with (they all do wheelies, yes, even the scout) I went and met up with Joe and we checked out the manufacture’s offerings that we couldnot ride, then watched the Daytona 200 from the infield before finishing the night off by bar hopping on Main Street. Photo by Joe Sendzia During the time since the Trans-Florida Ride I noticed that my gas mileage was starting to drop, and soon a noticeable power loss too. Checking my air filter I discovered the problem; it was completely clogged. The dirt and sand was caked onto the filter in unbelievable amounts, to the point that rinsing it was futile. Having failed at cleaning the filter I had a new one overnight shipped. With the new filter in place power was immediately restored and wheelies abounded. In the period from when I first took Joe to the trails to now he had been riding his ninja off-road nearly daily, unbeknownst to me. After catching me planning an afternoon dirt ride he wanted to join along, which I agreed to of course. We started off with local sandy ATV trails and single track that led to a large play area of deep sand. Photo by Joe Sendzia Joe was surprising me with how much more comfortable he had become off-road and was able to go at a respectable pace. After playing on the single track for a while longer we decided to see how far we could make it on the powerline access trail before dark. After knocking out around two miles we reached a swampy low area where I suggested we turn around. Joe wasnot having it and volunteered me to go through first to see how bad it was before attempting the feat with the ninja. Like a good friend I obliged. I started by trying to ride the center between the 4x4 ruts but it turned out to be slick and I soon found myself pulled into the rut of slimy mud. Duck walking I managed to make it through at a crawling pace as the rear refused to get traction despite my best efforts. As I turned around to tell Joe not to attempt it he came barreling down towards the ruts without heed. Despite nearly tucking the front he saved it and his momentum carried him half the length of the rut before the trouble started. Appearing to be stuck Joe turned down my offers of assistance and instead man-handled the 300 to conform to his will. I laughed and photographed him as he slipped and slid every which way, slowly making progress in the intended direction. With the sun about to set we jumped onto the next road the powerlines crossed and met up with Adam for some food truck and brewery action. Brec, one of the riders I befriended at the Trans-Florida Ride, asked if I would be interested in riding a mostly dirt route from Florida up to Tellico Plains for March Moto Madness. Already having plans to attend March Moto Madness, I quickly asked my boss for additional time off to take the long way up. With permission granted I packed up my tent home and spent my last few days in Florida at Adam’s apartment, getting in a few fully loaded test runs over the weekend. Onward to Tennessee Tuesday morning I loaded up the bike for good and headed north to meet Brec in Jacksonville. With his KTM 690 smartly packed and my Versys loaded to the brim we took off, picking up the trail west of the city. Following our route we winded up through the sand roads of Florida and into Georgia, eventually setting up camp for the night near Twin City, Georgia. Rising with the sun we got an early start on our day, crushing many miles of sand that slowly gave way to the red dirt that Georgia is known for. As the day wound on we found ourselves on the twisty, gravel, mountain roads of Chattahoochee National Forest nearing sunset. With only 35 miles of riding left before hitting our intended stop, Mountain City, Georgia, my trunk broke free and tossed itself down the gravel road. The bouncing had sheared the horizontal pins from the ¼ turn fasteners that connect the adapter plate to my tail rack. With a quick zip-tie repair we were back underway only to have it break off again a mile down the road. With sunlight fading fast I was prepared to leave my trunk, its only contents being a sleeping bag and pillow which I could lash to the rack and some MREs I would have to leave behind. Brec insisted that we give it one more go but this time he lashed the adapter plate to the rack with a cam buckle strap. To my delight this worked, but the happiness would be short lived. While stopped at a junction a mere mile down the road my oil pressure light illuminated red. Neither Brec nor I had oil with us and we were still 30 miles into the mountains. Reviewing the roads on the GPS we see that we are already on the shortest path back to civilization and we decide to push on. Maintaining revs to elevate oil pressure enough to stave off the light became my new riding style as we made our way through the forest in the dark. Pulling into town a little after 9pm we decided to get a hotel for the night. In the morning I got oil from gas station next-door which conveniently carries Rotella T-6. The versys eagerly gobbled down a quart, followed by most of the second bottle. This was not good; an oil change requires 1.9 quarts per the manual, only 1.7 if you don’t change the filter. The moment of truth: I pushed the starter and it reluctantly came alive only to stall when idling. Sometimes the bike does not like to idle on cold mornings I reminded myself and I fired it alive a second time. Mildly concerned, I crossed the street to the gas station only for it stall as soon as I pulled in the clutch. My concern quickly grew; I thumbed the starter button but there would be no third time. Not wanting to accept its fate, Brec and I swapped batteries since it was cranking a bit slow. No dice. With it starting to rain a man from the town Welcome Center offered me the use of his pavilion to work on the bike. After pushing it over I pulled the tank off and checked the air filter for oil only to find that the entire airbox was covered in dirt. I called my friend Chad, who lives in Georgia and would be attending March Moto Madness, to see about getting a lift. Chad offered to pick me up on his way north that night, even though it was two hours out of the way. Seeing as I had all day to wait he recommended that I try pulling the plugs and putting some thick oil down the cylinders in an effort to raise compression enough to get it started. Now armed with a plan, and back-up plan, I said farewell to Brec as he continued his journey solo. (Brec has a much more detailed report of our ride, with plenty of pictures, located at http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/waybills-ride-to-tn-from-n-e-florida.1229589/ ) I walked down to the auto parts store and picked up oil and fresh plugs and got to work. I poured oil into both cylinders and gave it time to settle while I found lunch. After turning over the motor a few times to blow out excess oil I installed the new plugs but not before checking for spark the old fashioned way. With the plugs installed and my fingers tingling I tried starting it again but the motor gave not even a hint of wanting to start. Due to the abundance of time and stubbornness I tried oiling the cylinders and cleaning the plugs three more times before accepting the hard truth that the versys was dead. I put the bike back together and waited for Chad to come save me. March Moto Madness Chad took me up to March Moto Madness where we meant up with Steve, Amelia, Rob, and Don. After some pleading, Steve and Amelia were kind enough to offer the versys and myself a lift back home. With a ride secured I turned to the problem at hand: how do I find a bike so I can ride with my friends? After asking around I discovered that GSM still had one rental KLR available for the weekend, and with some exchanging of information I had a hot new ride to thrash. How is March Moto Madness? Well Steve answers that with his video better than I could explain: Video by Steve Kamrad Steve playing in the water Chad and Rob laugh at Steve’s inferior, non KTM bike Tough limbo competition this year Don doing his version of limbo Top of the world Amelia ripping on the ‘burg The crew pondering where to go next After a great weekend of hanging with friends I loaded the versys up behind the TRD Pro and spent a cozy twelve hours with the Karmrads. Arriving back home in Maryland it was now April 2nd and time to return back to the normal grind. March was a hell of a month; now I have to figure out how to top it.
  9. 5 likes
    Leatt is down to help out too
  10. 5 likes
  11. 4 likes
    Hi all! I really need your help, but first I want to introduce you to my lifetime dream, it finally came true. After saving years and years I found a used but almost new R100GS modified by HPN (Frame Number #819). I own the bike a few days now, drove already 1.000km / 600mi and I just can't stop smiling. Some specifics: R100GS build in 1990 in Spandau, Berlin (just like all BMW Motorcycles) in 2012 the bike was rebuild by HPN in Seibersdorf, Bavaria the engine is from a R100R, its not spectacular (for me it still is), the engine is not tuned, its completely original. I will think about it, but I dont need more than 60hp offroad, and I want a engine as much durable as possible, thats my main goal here same goes for the front double discs, they are from the same R100R the R100R parts now ran 13.000km / 8.000mi, the R100GS parts got about 28.000km on the clock strengthen frame by HPN and modified to hold a centered rear shock front fork is a White Power USD 48mm with 250mm travel HPN Triple clamp to hold the fork rear shock Öhlins with 220mm travel (seat height 880mm, 1580mm from wheel to wheel) the cardan shaft is one of a R1150GS (no rear disc, i still have drums there) 43 litres HPN Poly, painted HPN mask and HPN cockpit long 5th gear (5% longer), normal first gear (its under consideration to shorten it 5%) muffler and the stainless steel rear end from Gletter (i just like the optics better than the HPN parts) The complete invoice is four pages long, I'm only listing the important things. The HPN weights about 185-195kg (420 pounds), so lost already some of her weight. On my To-Do list: skidplate (maybe 8mm from SWT Sports i need to talk to the guy) hand guard protection (maybe I can find the original HPN ones which where produced by Acerbis to my knowledge) maybe other footpegs to have a better standing, paired with some handlebar raisers a roadbook and a training to learn how to handle it out in the world crash bars if they do more good than harm the bike So, why do I need ur help? Does not every bike has a nickname? Any ideas for mine? I will create a Top10 list from all suggestions and at the end I'll let you decide what name he or she will get. All the best, Rob
  12. 4 likes
    I'd like this thread to be a place where we can put videos of big bikes being ridden well. Videos you look at and you're like "wow, I wish I could ride like that!" Something like this... or
  13. 4 likes
    So I'm considering doing this. Lots to think about. I need some sponsors ($3200 goal), pit crew, training, etc... PayPal to fudgypup at yahoo dot com if interested. Lots of weight could still come off the bike too: center stand, crash bars, pannier rack, panniers, rear rack, Rottweiler Endurocell aux gas tank (won't need it), ABS pump, some internal plastics. Fitness-wise, I could lose about 20lbs and have actually been back to the gym for 6 weeks after a year long absence (busted my wrist last year). I was a spinning instructor for about 6 years so I know how to train to get my anaerobic threshold up to the level that this kind of endurance requires. It's really a matter of hydration and calories after that. Minimum 1 liter per hour (more probably) which is drinking through a 3 liter bladder at least 6 times. I'd have to use an electrolyte supplement as well. Looking for new parts as well: tires, suspension re-fresh/adjustment, mousse (?), real hand guards (HDB?), new levers (Midwest Mountain Engineering), Emig Racing triple clamps w/damper & riser, engine stuff from CJ Designs (fuel filter fix, water pump, thermostat, second fan) Sponsors (adding more each day)
  14. 4 likes
    I try to be nice. But I still have to be true to who I am. I’m a market researcher by trade and we’re paid for our objectivity, accountability and transparency. I’m paid to tell the truth whether or not that’s convenient to someone’s marketing objectives. That may be in a way how I’ve shaped XLADV. I want this community to be real. I really do want it to be positive though as well. I embrace the vendor community (some say too much?) but I also have to stay true to the objectivity and will call BS when I see it. Precious few have been “thrown under the bus” and I think I’ve been pretty even-handed but community members are going to say whatever is on their minds. There are plenty of industry hacks, obsequious and sycophantic yes-men there to fill that space the vendor/manufacturer community thinks they want. More savvy marketers have embraced the community and opted for reality, credibility and a take-it-as-it comes approach but it seems there are still a few old school holdouts who are desperately clinging to their trained seal media. They’re afraid. They’ve even told me so. They say they’d love to leverage this community but the upper levels see it as a potential liability given other “mutinies” over at GS Giants (“shhhh! you’ll scare away our sponsor money!”) and AOLrider (where few companies fear to tread). And boy is being a trained seal profitable! Maybe I’m just jealous that I cannot yet afford a shiny new new Sprinter or Tundra or a stable of bikes to evaluate long term. Remember the list we compiled of the companies ADV riders should avoid for their contribution to groups shutting down responsible vehicular access to our public lands? Well a lot of those companies are still trying to have it both ways and marketing themselves to the off road riding motorcycle/ATV markets. Examples: YETI, Marmot, MSR, Big Agnes, etc… What are these media outlets going to say when our riding areas are closed like they are on the East Coast and Europe and one of us points out how they carried that company’s water who funded the entire campaign? Yes I know, they’ll delete the comment! lol Just the other day I saw one of our media friends (we are actually friends, btw) post a review of one of these offending companies’ products. I said something like “great product but it’s too bad they contribute to groups shutting down responsible vehicular access to our public lands.” So not a slam on their journalism. Not even a slam of the product’s quality…. just a bit of accountability directed at the manufacturer (I tagged them). And…. the comment was deleted. But I’m not surprised as I did it to see if it would be deleted. I was proved right. By deleting it they weren’t saying “you can’t insult my writing like that!” or “you can’t insult this product like that!” but more like “you can’t make my client look bad like that!” So keep that in your mind next time you’re sensing a bit of a divergence between what you read elsewhere and what you read here at XLADV.com. I do want to keep it positive but at the same time real. They can have their business model. I’ll stick to mine, thanks.
  15. 4 likes
    More pictures of this R100GS / HPN and a ask for help you'll find in this thread.
  16. 4 likes
    KTM 640 Adventure MY2005, loved her, spent some quality time with her; Then a bit of biking hiatus for various reasons; KTM 1190 Adventure R MY2014; amazing bike that does a ton of stuff; enjoyed it immensely on street and light unpaved roads; also (as a follow-up to the 640 Adv) made it very clear that for me, adventure bike means thumper and that I'm certainly not into the "big bike taken offroad" thing. So after 3 years of travel, including offroad with luggage and passenger, it's gone and replaced with KTM 690 Enduro R MY2016; which I'm enjoying a lot currently.
  17. 4 likes
    Hey @NavyNuke... Look what we got for you. Goggles, gloves, jersey, pants from Fly Racing From their site...
  18. 4 likes
    I recently received an invitation to take an online ADV survey. (I usually shove these right into the spam bin) As I was going through the survey, I was pleasantly surprised to see my favorite ADV forum listed:
  19. 4 likes
    So we have a thread about Instagram so why not one about Facebook? I've written before about how I feel about Facebook. This piece I saw today continues on this track. Quotes: "All of us, when we are uploading something, when we are tagging people, when we are commenting, we are basically working for Facebook." "The data will remain in the hands of one company. Even if its current leaders are responsible and trustworthy, what about those in charge in 20 years?" "Facebook, argues Dr Powles, "plays to our base psychological impulses" by valuing popularity above all else." "What is most striking is the sense of resignation, the impotence of regulation, the lack of options, the public apathy," says Dr Powles. "What an extraordinary situation for an entity that has power over information - there is no greater power really." But by all means feel free to post up your Facebook page here if you have one. We have about 4500 followers at this point and about 270k reach/month. As much as it annoys me, it's still a good way for us to communicate with the broader big bike world and get others to come check us out and learn about our events, reviews, etc...
  20. 4 likes
    A little link to the article and video I made of AltRider's Taste of Dakar. A seriously good time.
  21. 4 likes
    The wifes new ride!
  22. 4 likes
    Let's just say the over 500 lb club is well represented. Almost exclusively big bike. Although this one blurs that line better than most...
  23. 4 likes
    I used to race my dualsports, lol.
  24. 4 likes
    Riding ontop of the world in Lesotho the small country inside the borders of South Africa. It is some of the best dual sport riding in the world.
  25. 4 likes
    In light of this recent kerfuffel over @Rescue690 I wanted to try and turn it into a positive learning experience for everyone. FYI, he did reach out and it sounds like he's making a solid effort now to represent his project, talk to sponsors, get some events lined up, etc... which is great to hear. In hindsight, I should have been following up to make sure those things were all happening as they should instead of assuming. It made me realize that this type of thing is typically new to most riders who get into this type of commercial arrangement. And honestly, it can be new to sponsors. Lots of these sponsors are just small mom and pops and they don't have this whole social media influencer thing figured out either. For every rider out there not "pulling their weight" I hear plenty of stories of sponsors who aren't either. They're not sharing the rider's photos, not commenting, not providing feedback, etc... So it's worth reading this piece in the initial post of this thread again to see what you should be doing. Some thoughts: Sponsors really just want to leverage the relationship you've built with your followers So that means try and build a following! Start a thread here (or elsewhere). Have a story to tell. @Chicka Motorunner does a really good job of that on her Instagram Engage your followers by asking them questions and answering their questions. Build a relationship. Have a dedicated Facebook page, not your personal account Get yourself a website if you're really serious about a long term trip involving lots of story telling, articles, blog posts, photos Try and talk to your sponsors regularly about what's working/what's not working. I just had a conference call this morning with SPOT that was very cool. They're going to continue that. Any other brilliant ideas?
  26. 4 likes
    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.
  27. 4 likes
    A few pictures from the trip this summer of some of the Western States
  28. 3 likes
    got the black dog pegs on the 1150 too. H-U-G-E improvement from the original. see comparison photo ^^
  29. 3 likes
    It has issues, like any other bike. That's not the problem. The problem is a whole bunch of people that insist on defining this bike as some kind of special unicorn, when in fact it's the most common and uninteresting thing in motorcycling in a long time. (isn't it funny how magazines, unable to say anything great about it, were praising the fact that it's a "balanced" bike?).
  30. 3 likes
    Make Adventure Taste Better! @Simon Thomas & his lovely wife Lisa put (okay just Lisa) together this great cookbook I had the opportunity to review not too long ago. The thing is though, I wish I'd seen it before I did a cooking off the bike demo at Horizons Unlimited Yosemite last fall with Nicole Stavros Espinosa!
  31. 3 likes
    the bag I showed is rated 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Not bad!
  32. 3 likes
    Okay... just found out these guys ride. We're blowing them up! Gotta support riders!
  33. 3 likes
    I have shared a number of her posts. She's very intriguing and has great photo and video skills. She reached out asking why I hadn't shared her stuff in a while and I said something like "how about you join the forum?" No response. She's free to do whatever she likes and I fully support that. She's having a great trip. But what I'm doing is different from that; I want to create a community. It doesn't build a community to have a one way relationship. And I'd caution others on using tools like Zen-Pro. It's violates Instagram's terms of service and can get your account deleted.
  34. 3 likes
    Having worked in several industries were getting product to media is the name of the game, I found the XLADV.com community to be genuine. I think your on to something, and as your communities grows, hopefully so does the no BS culture that myself and others enjoy here. As they use to say, Stand by your guns...
  35. 3 likes
    Just joined the forum just wanted to share some big bike riding , training for the Gs trophy in Colombia.
  36. 3 likes
    Nice ride today here in central Greece with good weather for motorcycle.Every weather is good for riding but when you check the weather forecasts and inform about heavy rain,storms etc is the best motivation because most of the times nothing like that happens.What can happen is stay inside and go mad because you heard them and you did not go.
  37. 3 likes
    Lost 39 lbs on the bike. Took off the panniers, pannier rack, passenger pegs, rear rack. Handles REALLY nice! @NavyNuke and I are doing some great desert riding today
  38. 3 likes
    I ride a 410cc Adventure tourer Royal enfield himalayan. I go places where people fear to go on their own.
  39. 3 likes
    T-shirt draft concept here from @ADV Addicts. He's done pit crew shirts for real Dakar teams and he's ADV Addicts so he kind of knows how to do this. I'll boost sales of the shirts on our IG story board as well as push some ads ($$) via Facebook and Instagram. This would be the fan shirt we'd use to raise funds. The pit crew shirt draft concept (not final; still missing a few things) is this: Now the pit crew shirts are NOT cheap. We're likely only going to make 5-6 of them. First I need to ID exactly who our pit crew is. Sounds like it's @556baller and @AdvRob right now (unless I missed someone?). I'm sure we get a few sales of the pit crew shirt elsewhere like from @beemer bunny but need to gauge interest now or else they're not worth printing. Don't want to lose money on what's supposed to raise money.
  40. 3 likes
    990 update... I'm working with a sponsor on getting some tshirts made that we can sell to raise funds. This would be funds for you as well, NavyNuke. Tshirts would be $50. We also have some really cool pit crew shirts but those are substantially more, could be like $200 but obviously funds go to the team effort. Here's a sample of a pit crew shirt: Sponsor logos would be allocated based on the contribution level with emphasis on Fasstco, Seat Concepts, Rottweiler, Konflict, Mojave ADV, etc... Also an update on equipment. I should get the clamps/damper from Emig next week and then bars/pegs/guards from Fasstco shortly after. I'll send out my suspension in like two weeks.
  41. 3 likes
    We are 2 RTW riders who have been on the road for a year and a half having ridden through 27 countries and over 74,000 km. Our final destination includes riding across the world’s largest country. We have been looking forward to Russia for almost two years and would like you to join us. Why? Maybe you’ve always wanted to ride across Russia but don’t know anyone who can take the time to do it. Or maybe you think of safety in numbers, as we do. So why not join us? We are interested in riding the BAM road and the Road of Bones. You can ride along for both or either. If you’d like to learn more about us and what we can ride, please see our website at ridingfullcircle.com In return, we would like to know more about your experience levels and goals. Please contact us at [email protected] if you are interested in joining us or would like more information.
  42. 3 likes
    Hmm.. What the hell is that? Loooong term, I still have half my career to finish working before I can retire. I have a good paying job and will have a great retirement where I won't need to work when I retire (I'll only be 43 years old). However, I'm hoping to be able to get a mototravel type gig after retiring to cover my travel expenses or even make a little extra on top of it. RTW trip as a retirement gift to myself as well. I'd like to get something as a guide or trainer. The way the world seems to be going, you either need followers/influencers and/or you need to have friends to hook you up with the job. It's crazy. I hope to keep building the network that has already started to be able to shift over to the moto job.
  43. 3 likes
    Wow! Talk about bringing back memories from my blurry past being a teenager through the '70's ! When not yet a preteen my family moved to a still under construction major housing subdivision in rural northern NY USA. As this was a huge development there were dirt roads being roughed in for miles! Didn't take long for my brother and I convinced Dad we needed a mini bike instead of messing around with soap box derby carts we had been building. That's how it started. Before long we had a whole group of young punk ruffians riding mini bikes around the new under construction area driving the job managers nuts. Dad also through his work new a local motorcycle shop owner. What more could a bunch of kids with only three channels of t.v. ask for? And it was also sweet that several miles away out through farmland was a huge county owned forest area riddled with a network of dirt roads and trails with several fire towers. It wasn't long before we all went through a progression of various mini bikes to mini trails to 125's , 175's 200's which is where my dirt bike history stopped at for displacement. Big brother got a 250 where he wound up. Into highschool, the "crew" started focusing on sports and girls so the scourge of the local dirt trails faded out. Aaahhh , the 1970's ! As a kid: homemade carts, choppered schwinns, butchered 10 speeds, mini bikes , mini trails , Honda xl's , Kawi kx's , Yamaha xt's. The art of the deal had us all swapping between our rides much to the confusion of the parents ,lol. After highschool/college: '75 cb400 , '81 gs550es , '75 r90s , '85 k100rs , '76 r90s '81 gl 1100 interstate After children are grown: '08 KLR 650 , '12 990R Adv. This has been my journey with many more dreams still being chased!
  44. 3 likes
    This sounds great
  45. 3 likes
    Hey ! Welcome ! From numerous videos I've come across showing riding adventure style in your country , it looks fantastic ! Please submit more pics of your riding/exploring !
  46. 3 likes
    I think both the ADV and the Dual Sport community has a lot of things to gain in this endeavor which is what prompted my idea and I believe Eric's as well. I have thought about doing this race for several years but I have recently formed No Limit Dual Sport and part of my reason for creating the brand is to break the dual sport stigma that dual sport riders only ride the "easy stuff, roads, etc." but as the readers of this forum know this is not the case. We ride EVERYTHING! thats the difference so showing we can compete in an event like this I suspect will be an eye opener. I will be blogging my efforts both over on my site and I will post here is Eric will allow. Competing with multiple bikes/teams will only help in my opinion.... To those who wish to ride and would like some help let me know I have some resources to help with prep, logistics, etc
  47. 3 likes
    Iron man together/share pit help etc
  48. 3 likes
    What?! So you're saying I could have just bought thousands virtual meaningless friendships instead of finding like minded individuals with the same 2 wheel sickness? Hmmm, can someone spot me 200 bucks? glad to know there is a way see actual interests vs bots on some of these social network mediums.
  49. 3 likes
    @Eric Hall I have to agree with you on your approach. Your initial idea even when you started XLADV was to create a community and it is great that you keep that spirit alive. There are quite a few pages that's only being created fro their own gain and not in the spirit of the general adventure riding community. Keep up the good work!
  50. 3 likes
    I was talking to Chris White last weekend at Long Beach BMW at the moto camping thing Klim put on and he asked me something about how many of our followers we bought on Instagram. I said "they're all organic!" Proud to say that too! I mean, where exactly would I get the money anyways? But it got me thinking what is it exactly that I'm doing with the Instagram feed? It started honestly as simply a way to create some awareness of XLADV not even with riders but with the industry. I did the same thing on Twitter but that medium is dead for ADV. Lately though I wonder if it's not just some kind of cotton candy spewing "like" factory. Cotton candy as in it's very sweet and satisfying but quickly disappears. So we have 65k followers? Big deal. What really matters to me is creating a community. What I mean by that is a real dialogue between riders about real moto issues. I've met a LOT of people through this. Face to face. I know many of you by your real first names, not your screen name. I know people from around the world who have offered to host me should I come through their area. That's community! And I want to do it in a way that benefits us, not Instagram or Facebook. Those are just tools. Speaking of "tools," I've also had more than a few instances of people asking me for favors WHO HAVE NEVER EVEN SIGNED UP HERE. Some guy wanted a hook up with a vendor and I didn't say anything to him but what I was thinking was "are you kidding me? You haven't bothered to try to become a part of this community but you want my help getting you free stuff?" And then recently a guy I know wanted me to like his new moto page on Facebook but he's another one who I've known for quite a while who hasn't bothered to invest any of his time here. So what I was thinking is to start narrowing the photos I re-post to just those who are actually members here. Maybe I'll start with a "member Monday" where I only post members' photos on Mondays. I will also hit this message more at Instagram that if you want your photos reposted then come be a part of the community. This is something I think we'll all be better off for. If you know me or have listened to anything I've said about the topic, I really believe a forum like this is the BEST medium for a big bike community and not Facebook. I'll post stuff there but only to get people back here. I'm not going to invest time and effort to post a ride report with photos and video on Facebook only to have it essentially disappear after a day or two like it does on Facebook. Things are easier to find here which is why we take the time to document this type of institutional knowledge. XLADV has a great look and feel, user experience and I'm proud to say we haven't banned nor even sanctioned a single member in our two year history! That's because we all get it and want the same thing (I think). What do you think?