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About rider_marc

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    Riding! With great scenery, even better!
  1. Here is the video. It is 8-9 minutes. I would have liked to uploaded the hi-res version, but my internet wouldn't accommodate.
  2. April 1st, we arrive at Death Valley. A quick picture, and soon we would be descending into the valley. First stop is Furnace Creek. From this point, I'll let the video cover the rest. While I rode solo, I rode with a good safety margin as I would be the one to help myself get out. Twice I was asked if I was by myself as if it was not the ideal situation. Confident in my riding, the time of year, I was not too concerned. Besides, no one would be shooting at me! I just had to control what I got into. For instance way up into Echo Canyon, I would encounter some terrain I would not attempt--primarily due to the seat height. There are places I didn't get to, but made a bookmark for me to return.
  3. There would be no riding until late January while I awaited the MSO for titling and registration. Not sure why it all took so long, but it was fine due to weather. Seems like I was able to ride the bike four times before I left. The last ride would be at Land Between the Lakes to get a feel for the 690 on trails. Surprisingly, the weight did not feel much different from the WR400F I had for 15 years. This is good. Suspension is another discussion. Still, it is what it is and I will go west with that. This ride is also an opportunity pre-run the trailering with the 690. Not an event as my two boys and I used to ride LBL when they were growing, and there would be three dirt bikes on the trailer. to.mp4
  4. What did I do to prep this bike? Not much, but some items were essential. Skidplate. Handguards with small mirrors. Rear rack with Rotopax jug. Saddlebags. Tank bag. 48t rear sprocket with longer chain. Bring a spare rear MT-21 tire. The saddlebags would carry tubes, tire patch kit, CO2 cartridges, hand pump, mat for repair flats on the trail, trail stand, rim bands, tools, emergency flasher, flashlight, space blanket, Hot-Hands, protein bars, tow strap, soft ties on the handlebars, GPS mount for the Garmin, and some first aid pieces. Not liking the fork action, I would borrow an idea and flip the valve in the left fork tube. Results were better compliance with compression all the way backed out. Not ideal, but I go with it.
  5. Fast forward to 2016, and I'm jonesin' to get to Death Valley. Oh, and I'd like to go early and hopefully catch the desert bloom. Wait! I still don't have the bike I need. While the new Africa Twin is being fielded, I was hopeful to maybe use one of these. As the months passed and still no AT in the US, I suspected I might want something smaller for Death Valley. I like a 690 Enduro too. Now, I'm waiting to see if the new engine is put into the '17 model 690 when a dealer calls and tells me he just received two. Screw it I said to myself. Just go buy one and get on with the planning and preparations. That was December of 2016. I took delivery on December 27.
  6. So, after riding for a day and a half with the Concours 14 back in June 2014, I realized I needed to return with a different bike. Was able to see quite a lot via roads, but since back-tracking is not a something I do very often, the Concours would be taken through a two-track path across a wash just outside of Wildrose.
  7. Looks like the Rever app now has turn-by-turn guidance.
  8. Looks like a 50 ton mess! 😁
  9. My previous Concours 14 was an adventuring sport-tourer. Defining a sport-tourer can be convoluting as defining an adventure bike. Both are clearly different from each other, but uses merge. So, it almost would be easier to describe what an adventure bike is not. I think... Riding up the Moki Dugway in Utah in 2016.
  10. Spare cash is key to the US motorcycle industry as well as a well stocked and financially supported dealer. Recall the mom&pop single brand dealerships? Now, dealers have to be a multibrand to survive. But, that's not all either. How do you feel about the cash register ambush you receive at your local dealer? That is, you walk up to the counter and tell the parts person you want/need this and that for your high-zoot scoot. Then, cha-ching they tell you how much that want/need will cost you. Ambush! I hate it! So, surviving multi-brand dealers are going to have to go online with OEM parts and open pricing. Bike Bandit, Cheap Cycle Parts, Ron Ayers. They get it. More to the Harley Davidson point. Do you folks recall the 50% tariff applied to all imported motorcycles over 750cc? Well, that $3,000 street bike quickly became $4,500. This was to help divert sales to the Harleys. But, you know what happened, right? Buyers still didn't want the Harley. We paid the new prices. Oh, and 750cc bikes became 700cc to slip under the tariff--very similar performance. Some bikes over 750cc were built in the US where possible. That tariff tapered off to an end after four years of implementation as planned. So, when I hear H-D reporting a sales slump... Really though, I've read/heard about the slump of new motorcycle sales, but I'm not sure it is measurable at all dealerships. There is always a nearby dealer willing to sell a particular model for a bit less to move it. One only has to consider their own new bike purchase to validate that comment. It would seem to me that recent times have been good for new/used bike sales.
  11. Hey @Bryan Bosch! Are you a Buccaneers fan now? Despite the loss, they played pretty good the other night against the Pats. Some field goals may have helped...
  12. That's a bummer @Ballisticexchris. Sure hope things work out for next year. Six days after leaving @556baller's place, I was in the GC area. My plan was to camp/ride the North Rim area, but found out it is still closed for the winter. I'll have to make it happen next year too.
  13. Having had a WR400F for 15 years, I'd love to see this bike.
  14. For me it was evident that the $400 entry fee would produce a profit for Bonnier. My suspicion is that profitability from these events is common knowledge to anyone considering to participate. What I noticed about two days into the Gunnison event is the margin may be fairly wide. But hey, it's a rally and who cares about that detail, right? I sure enjoyed meeting new people and conversations--as I do adventuring any other time. It nearly a year away, but I'll have to see if I can make the Sierra ADVrally.
  15. Ha, yeah. Following a couple of extended camping trips with the Army on the other side of the world, I figured I would soften-up and do things different--like pull out the credit card at hotels instead of pitching a tent. Well, I've still done quite a bit of camping since those days. Oh, and I don't tolerate cold very well which is why I didn't last two years in the property in Colorado for '14 and '15 before returning back to mid-TN. Temp wise, I can tolerate a colder morning out west better than in this area. Suspect that's humidity, but also whether or not the rising sun is on the campsite. I did the hotel thing a couple of nights in NC for last week's trip to south of Raleigh and early-morning mountain temps were in the 50's. For me that's a perfect temp for sleeping. Start moving around, coffee, and ride prep, then it's time to get going. Hot-Hands work great in the sleeping bag. Get the larger version. Then if needed, take it on the ride. A small catalytic heater that uses the disposable propane bottles are perfect for tents.