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Ballisticexchris

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Ballisticexchris last won the day on June 24

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About Ballisticexchris

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  1. Ballisticexchris

    Super Tenere ES suspension review

    Well guys I'm getting acquainted with my beast of a bike. I have to say the suspension is proving to be phenomenal!! So a few weeks ago I had my Tenere set at 1 rider and luggage soft +3. This has been my go-to everyday mellow setting. It was horrible and downright scary going through the local canyons. I could not hold a line, the bike wallowed, made strange direction changes in the corners, and my toes kept dragging pavement in sharp turns. I really wanted to see how this thing rides from freeway and straight line to hard cornering without changing anything. I'm here to say it SUCKS!!! Not good and downright dangerous.Fast forward to this morning. Went to the same canyon and set the suspension to 2 riders and luggage hard +3. This is the very stiffest setting available. 1st thing I noticed was the bike actually raised up a bit in the rear. I was now on my tiptoes when heading out. HOLY DAMN SHIT!!! Night and day difference from last weeks ride. This bike is nothing short of amazing in the turns. Yes the suspension is very stiff. Well worth the tradeoff in phenomenal handling. I was braking deep into the corners at first. Then found myself doing trail braking in the middle of corners. First using just the rear brake. Then with the unified system using front brake only. As an added benefit of setting the valving to hard +3, the fork dive is almost eliminated!! I did happen to drag a footpeg. Only once.After I came off the mountain I set it at 1 rider and luggage soft +3 and enjoyed a very plush and stable freeway ride home. Yes this ES suspension is really nice.I'm now over 1000 miles on this bike and really liking the stock suspension. While I know it's under-sprung, The adjustments and settings are more than adequate. I can only imagine how much better it will be after having Race Tech re-spring and valve it for me.I'm still scratching my head in bewilderment how such a under sprung bike can work so well. The tape measure does not lie. I weigh in at close to 220 lbs geared up. Figure in the panniers, tools, extra fuel, ropes/pulleys/carabiners. Even set in the stiffest position the Tenere really sags under it's own weight. Race Tech service guy told me it sags so much (initial free sag) due to the open ended OEM spring.Whatever the reason, I'll just continue to ride it until it's due for oil change and/or bushing replacement. I figure I should get a good season or two out of the OEM setup. Being under sprung like it is goes against my thinking as a long time proponent of changing springs to get proper sag. I have no idea why it works and handles as well as it does. One thing for sure is I can't see myself "outriding" the suspension on the pavement. In a few months I'll be venturing off the pavement. That will be a whole new aspect of how good the suspension will keep the knobby's planted. I have to say I'm still very nervous to take this beast in the dirt. I have already had to pick it up once in my driveway. 2 hours of work with the cutoff wheel and welder to repair the foot peg and mount ( I ended up having to chop into my IMS II peg to remove it). Mr Brian Bosch gave me full warning on how huge and heavy these bikes are. I know one thing for sure. I will not be venturing too far in the dirt unless I have a set of knobby's mounted. I fully confident that this bikes suspension will do just fine when the pavement ends. I'm not a very aggressive rider. Not to mention I realize that no matter how good the suspension is, I'm straddling a 600+ lb bike. Good news is I have 84 different adjustments to play with.
  2. Ballisticexchris

    Michelin Anakee Wild

    I have mine ready to spoon on. Just trying to burn up my stock Bridgestone's. I have full understanding that how long these tires last is 100% dependent on how aggressive I ride. Super mellow riding with a light rider and no luggage will yield a lot more miles than someone loaded down and twisting the throttle to the stops in the rocks. My Super Tenere has not seen any dirt other than the short sections of horse trail testing my antilock brakes. I'm still getting used to the bike. My type of riding will be jeep roads and small sections of sands. Stay tuned for my review in the upcoming months....
  3. Ballisticexchris

    Review of my new Super Tenere

    I have to say this bike has far exceeded my expectations of how a 600lb beast handles the road. This morning was a short 147 mile get aquatinted ride. I was surprised all the San Gabriel Mountain roads were open with the exception of the last section of San Gabriel Canyon Road that connects to Angeles Crest Highway (this has been closed for over 25 years). One thing that stood out above everything is the electronically adjustable suspension. Amazing and fantastic!! Three valving adjustments can be made while riding on the fly. Soft, Standard, and Hard. When stopped, they can be preset with 7 selectable adjustments each. For a total of 21 levels of stiffness. With 4 different preloads on the shock you have a possible 84 different adjustments that can be made without ever getting off the bike!! For general traveling I kept the spring at preload 2 standard or soft valving in the middle. For the twisties preload 3 and hard or standard valving in the middle worked great. When running really stiff the bike is most responsive and best handling but uncomfortable for my old body. What not to do is set the bike up soft for windy roads. It was downright spooky. Wallowing in turns and really hard to hold a line. I have just barely scratched the surface on how adjustable the suspension really is. I can’t wait to hit some jeep roads and really put the suspension through its paces! I can see some easy 300+ mile days in the future. This is a very comfortable machine. Also notable is the power. 1198cc’s and almost 100 horsepower is more than enough power!! Those 150+ horsepower super bikes have nothing over this one!! The torque of this 270 degree parallel twin motor just pulls and pulls!! I was able to put it in 6th gear at 25mph and throttle it with very little stutter and smooth roll on power. In 1st gear it runs 7mph with clutch out. I can control the bike in a straight line at 3mph using the clutch's smooth friction zone. The hydraulic clutch pull is a bit heavy but has very smooth feedback to rider. I kept the traction control in #1. It’s the most intrusive and safest. #2 lets the wheel spin some. Shutting off traction control gives full power to the rear wheel. This will be most useful in deep sand or mud where you need full traction to rear wheel. The power modes are Touring and Sport. Each one has a very instinctive power band. I really prefer the Touring mode as it’s the smoothest and most controllable. Sport mode really wakes up the bike at the lower and midrange RPM. Lots of bark and snap in the power band. The brakes are really nice and powerful antilock style. I tested them at 40+mph panic stops and they just flat out work!! Yamaha engineers got it right with the Unified Braking System. The way it works is if you grab just the front brake it gives “balanced braking power" to both front and rear brakes. If you hit the rear brake first then it reverts to normal “human controlled” traditional braking. I tried it both ways. Even when I fully concentrated, there is no way I could out brake the Unified Braking System. This is a great safety feature for the open highway. Unfortunately, when in the gravel, the antilock brake feature can’t be shut off. And braking distances are increased in slippery conditions. This is where the human has the advantage. Yamaha even points this out in the owners manual. Down the road I might install a bypass switch to shut off the antilock system. But for my style and ability the OEM antilock brakes are just fine as is for now. Oh, did I mention cruise control? YES!! Don’t knock it till you tried it. This is probably one of the nicest comfort and safety features on the bike. When in cruise control you can better cover your front brake and be at the ready for a panic situation to brake hard. As you can see this bike has a bunch of really nice safety and comfort features built in. I’m very pleased with the bike. I’m also very aware that even with all the safety features I still have to be on my alert at all times. I’m just so thankful that Yamaha is helping the rider out with aids to make the riding experience so much more enjoyable. Just keep in mind this is a 600lb beast. I knew it was a heavy bike going in. This is not in the same class as a lightweight enduro or even a 950KTM. Here it is almost all setup for my kind of riding:
  4. Ballisticexchris

    Review of my new Super Tenere

    I have come to the realization that my body can't take the pounding in hard core terrain anymore. It's gotten to the point of no longer being fun. I'm more into really mellow trail riding. I also realize that my Beta dirt bike is tearing up my body when doing anything over 300 miles on a day ride. Last year doing a multi-day 850 mile ride to Death Valley and back was damn brutal!! So I started saving in 2013 for a new type of bike. Just picked it up last week. Got a smoking deal!! Here is my one day path to a great shopping experience: https://www.wheelsinmotionmc.com/default.asp?page=xNewInventoryDetail&id=5077882&p=1&s=Year&d=D&t=new&sq=Super Tenere &fr=xnewinventory#unit-details-gallery-heading What a bunch of BS!! It was nothing but a bait and switch!! Screw that dealership. They did not even have the bike. Bastards still don't have it !! Offered to sell me a 2018 for 14,000 plus fees. I can’t stand being lied to. I ended up calling Berts Mega Mall and speaking with the young sales manager Jordan. They had a standard 2017 Tenere new advertised for 10,999. I told him I was a cash customer and if they could let it go for my price OTD. He told me he would call back in a few minutes and give me a price. Came back with a price texted to me OTD complete ready to go. He said if I get the cashiers check and text a photo of it to him, he would have the shop do the PDI (pre delivery inspection) and have it ready for me when I get there. The story gets better. After I had the check ready to go and texted it, I get a call from the “adventure bike specialist”, telling me the bike advertised was a used model with 7000 miles on it (it was an honest clerical error and has since been changed on their website). They had a new 2017 ES (electronic suspension) model he would offer to me at the same price!! HOLY SHIT!! I asked if he was kidding me. Nope, full electronically adjustable suspension brand new for the same price!! What a smoking deal!! Carol and I got to the Mega Mall and were greeted and treated like a king and queen. Full on air conditioned lounge with padded couches and chairs and coffee bar. Simple paperwork to do. I had at least 4 different guys walking me through everything!! They even had it ready with a full tank of gas, and a pigtail for battery tender. Before taking off I had a really nice young man come out and go through all the features and make sure I was comfortable riding away. I highly recommend this shop. Check this out. Fully electronic suspension!! This is the full blown top of the line Tenere!! I did not even consider one of these because of the cost. This is the very best Tenere with every single feature you can imagine!! Heated grips, cruise control, adjustable windscreen, LED lights, three different traction controls, unified braking, two ride modes (sport and touring), the list goes on. This is A LOT OF BIKE!! Just got finished putting a bunch of cool goodies on it. This is the fanciest bike I have ever owned in my life!! After putting the Helibars "Tour Performance Kit" and IMS Adventure II footpegs it transformed the ride. No more numb hands, sore butt, hurting knees, etc. PURE COMFORT for mega mile day rides.
  5. Ballisticexchris

    BLM Officer Shoots Woman Off-Roading in Berdoo Canyon

    I have a feeling there is a lot more to this story. My opinion is there are drugs involved.
  6. Ballisticexchris

    Spring '18 Rally

    That's what I'm saying!! Go big or go home!! LOL My head was tingling when one of those 1290's blew past me!! They sound like a jet motor. If I was only 20 years younger. The older I get the faster I was.......
  7. Ballisticexchris

    XLADV Mohave National Preserve 2018

    Hi there Ross, this is Chris, Right on!! You guys made it to the Lava Tubes. After chatting with you at the Shell station I was wondering what route you guys took? I'm saving hard for my Super Tenere. Maybe I can ride with you next season. Just from our short conversation, you sound like guys who ride smart and try not to get in over your head. My kind of riders!! Make no mistake, if you made it to the lava tubes via dirt, your skills are more than adequate and developing really well. Both of your bikes are really well setup adventure machines. It was a pleasure meeting you and hope to see you again. BTW, I need to get some new riding gear!! Armoring up in a hot non vented pressure suit takes forever. Those jackets are sweet!! Vented slip on slip off protection!!
  8. Ballisticexchris

    XLADV Mohave National Preserve 2018

    Another fantastic ride at the tail end of desert riding season!! Mojave National Preserve is freeking huge and vast. At 1,600,000 acres (2500 square miles), it is one of the largest units of the National Park System in the contiguous United States. What can I say, Nice people, great riding area, and the food was fantastic! Tracy and Debra deserve a lot of credit. They worked their butts off feeding everyone! I'm just sorry I could only stay for the one day Saturday. I’m used to events where I don’t know anyone. For this one I had a hard time finding someone to ride with that wanted to ride at a mellow pace yet advanced tracks. I ended up going at it solo. I'm hoping in the next few season's I'll have my beast, actually ride it to the event, and ride with like minded riders! To give you an idea of what kind of bikes are running, here is typical of what to expect. This is a KTM 1290. It’s the trophy truck of adventure bikes.160 horsepower and the only time you see it is when it’s parked. The guys who own these are very fast and skilled young bucks and they average over 60mph across rough desert. In some spots they do in excess of 100mph!! It can be a unforgiving bike when ridden slow. It’s meant to be ridden fast and hard. Come to think of it, it’s also unforgiving when ridden fast. When something goes wrong on a 500 + pound bike in the dirt…….. It’s not hard to figure out! One thing to remember is your wallet cannot purchase the experience and skills needed to ride one of these slow or fast!! Some of us had just run of the mill dual sports. I trucked mine in but a few guys actually bagged up the XR's, KLR650's, etc and rode here!! I'm still very Impressed how well a KLR can be setup for travel. It has the added bonus of being reliable as an anvil!! I'm sorry I forgot your name but I really liked your very well sorted KLR!! For most of the guys this is the ride of choice. BMW GS. There were more of these at the rally than any other bike. Great for the road and pretty fair in the dirt. 125HP and close to 600lbs stripped. Hope he removed the panniers before venturing in the dirt!! And here is the bike I’m saving for. Yamaha Super Tenere!! Just about 100HP and 600lbs. Mine will be setup different but I’m very impressed what this bike can do!! There was only one of these at the rally. The guy who owned it was just an average rider like myself. He was able to go anywhere the KTM’s, BMW's or myself could go. I met up with the him at lunch and he was enjoying himself and loving the ride!! BTW all that luggage was stripped off for the ride. And it looks more loaded than it is. His helmet and jacket are set on top to dry. This is a very well sorted Tenere. And the IMS footpegs!!! WOW!! The ride was interesting to say the least!! It was a mixture of deep sand, a few short sections of whoops, cactus, rocks and rolling unimproved 2 track roads. The views are breathtaking!! But you have to be stopped or riding really slow to enjoy them. When you're on the throttle you have to give 100% of your focus on the trail ahead. Looking as far ahead as possible for obstacles and focusing on a line around them. When riding deep sand it’s all about steady throttle, very light grip on the bars, standing on the pegs, staying centered on the bike, and letting it move underneath you. As I age (I’m pushing 60) loss of motor skills and slower reflexes are the reality of life. So I have to ride a bit slower and adjust for reaction time accordingly. Rocks are part of any good advanced ride in the desert. And this was the easy section. It was the only rock section I could stop and take pictures!! It's right at the entry to the lava tubes. This was the first time I’ve ever ridden through lava rocks. You DO NOT want to fall. They are razor sharp. I actually ran a gear high and lugged through them. Did not want to chance dropping my bike or cutting my tire and getting a flat. I rode at least 2 miles through a pretty tough section (easy on my Beta but would be hard on a 500lb beast) of them. There was one brutal rocky hillclimb/downhill I was actually able to navigate a easy way through. I want to mention that Eric laid out a really good course that was well marked on the GPS. Unfortunately my Basecamp did not communicate so well with my outdated 76CSX. I ran out of tracks at the lava tubes. I saw a group of jeepers and they were zero help. The dummies gave me bogus directions that likely would have caused me to run out of fuel. It was almost 90 degrees with the sun beating down on me with just over a half tank of fuel and a small 2 liter emergency fuel bottle. The problem navigating off road with just a map is it does not tell you the condition of the road or trail. Wind, rockslides, and flash floods can make any road or canyon impassable at any time in the park. There are so many roads in the park that the short staffed BLM, US forestry service, or rangers just can’t keep up with the closure notifications. I decided to trust the map and take the longer route to the Shell station but shortest route to the pavement. I ended up backtracking through the lava rocks and followed an old mining road out to paved Cima road. The mining road was pretty smooth but had a few miles of very soft sand that was "deep grooved" from other riders on the big bikes. It made for a twisty unnerving ride!! Come to find out I unknowingly followed one of the intermediate routes out of the park!! I made it to the Shell station with under a half tank. Total miles about 88 miles of dirt and 10 miles of pavement to Shell station. Due to the time and what I already went through, I called off the hard sections going back and took the direct easy way (paved/fire roads) into camp about 40 miles away. After getting back to camp I figured I had a damn good ride and decided to pack it up and head home.
  9. Ballisticexchris

    XLADV Mohave National Preserve 2018

    Hi there Trinie, sorry I did not have the pleasure meeting you. That was a cool setup you had. I had a big smile watching you ride with the "pillion bear" off road.
  10. Ballisticexchris

    Spring '18 Rally

    I think it holds more than 500 points. It's just an old and beat up 76CSX. And yes I did end up behind you guys. I ended up finding some scull bones with cross you marked on the tracks and followed that sandy mine road to Cima. The ride was absolutely breathtaking!! I had to keep stopping so I could enjoy the Joshua tree forest. And Eric it's quite obvious you are a very fit and acomplished rider. If you can swing it I would highly recommend a 1290 for your next bike. It's about 50 lbs more than your 990 but what a bike!! I was running my Beta hard through some rollers and was passed on a 1290 like I was standing still!! I cannot believe how well the 1290 tracks at speed through the rollers!! While those BMW's are really nice, I don't think they would suite your style of riding. 20 years ago I would not hesitate to get a 1290. OTOH, if you like the well sorted 990 keep it! How did those Motoz tires work out? I bet the front got crazy traction compared to you well worn old one!! LOL I plan on going to more of these rally's as time allows. I wish I could have stayed longer but had to go back to reality called work.
  11. Ballisticexchris

    Spring '18 Rally

    I too had a great time and would highly recommend this ride!! It's time for me to get a new GPS soon. The ADV2 tracks ended at the lava tubes. For some reason my Garmin Basecamp did not communicate properly with my old GPS. It was no biggie though. I had a map as backup and ended up on a sandy mining road that got me to the shell station in Cima. After seeing all the different flavors of bikes guys were riding I'm still saving for the Super Tenere. The gentlemen riding his went everywhere the rest of the big bikes did and his smile was just as big!! If I was 20 years younger I would be getting the KTM 1290!! That is the trophy truck of adventure bikes!! My god they sound like a jet motor when passing me!! Thank you Eric for putting this together.
  12. Ballisticexchris

    Spring '18 Rally

    I’m rolling through Barstow right now. Set up camp and hopefully have enough energy for a night ride.....
  13. Ballisticexchris

    Spring '18 Rally

    Man oh man That's a really nice setup!! I hope you guys who are riding out "self contained" don't mind me taking pictures of your bikes and what you pack. I am very new at this and want to get some ideas for when I get my beast.
  14. Ballisticexchris

    Spring '18 Rally

    Well I see I'm not the only one that thrashes pipes!! LOL I just replaced my header pipe a few weeks back. I'm sure you already know that the old gasket in the head is a pain to remove.
  15. Ballisticexchris

    Spring '18 Rally

    Actually should not be too bad. As long as it stays under 100 degrees I’m good!
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