IDBDR Ride report 2016 Stelvio NTX

As some of you know, I did the Arizona back country discover route with my then new 2016 Stelvio NTX and followed it up with a ride report.
I have just finished doing the Idaho back country discover route and thought I would do a similar write up.
So here goes....
Left the house Friday morning at 0 dark thirty for the 700 mile, 12 hour ride to Jarbidge NV.
 Other than having to pay $20.00 to go through Yosemite and dealing with the usual RIF RAF of tourists, it was an uneventful ride.  The last 50-60 miles to Jarbridge was dirt road,and well maintained.  We spent the night just outside of Jarbridge at one of the many primitive camp locations we would find along our whole route of travel. 
Day two had us heading for Glens Ferry and on up to Pine, 175 miles in the dirt.


Here is where things began to get interesting.  We knew that there were closures due to the Pioneer fire and had a "work around" that would see us to Lowman and then on to Yellow Pine on day three, but things had changed.  After exhausting what routes seemed reliable we ended up stopping and spending the night about 20 miles from Lowman on our way to Hwy 21 and a new work around to Lowman.  We did however get to the 50" bridge (it's in the video trailer) and saw that some dork had tried to "wheel" his hoop dee across the river and had to abandon it.  Would have loved that conversation!


Unfortunately there was no work around for Lowman then to Yellow Pine.  The drive into Yellow Pine was miserable.  Rain, cold, (34 deg) sloppy dirt due to logging and what not.  What should have been an easy 3 hour ride ended up taking nearly 8. 

We had dinner at the Outdoor Inn courtesy of Matt, Heather and their little girl Scotty.  They are a young couple who had just purchased the restaurant a few month before and did a bang up job!  We spent the night a few blocks down the street at the "camp ground" (meaning there were pit toilets).  Getting up the next morning the temp gauge on the Guzzi was showing a snowflake and 26 degrees!  Damn, cold at elevation!  It had rained that night so we were off for another day slipping and sliding!  Oddly enough, we traveled a few miles and everything dried out!  Didn't warm up, but the roads were dry.
Again we were faced with road closures due to fire.  What should have been Yellow Pine to Elk City. ended up being Yellow Pine to hwy 12 and into Pierce.


We did manage to make it to Burgdorf hot springs for a look around, and a bit of $7/gal gas.

Day 5 had us riding from Pierce to Wallace and probably some of the best riding so far.  Great views of the Salmon river,

Here we would have the biggest scare of the ride.  Some how, on the way to Blue Heaven Cabin we became separated.  There is no cell service, and shame on us, we didn't think to have a plan if we got separated.  I spent about two hours riding up and down a  1/2 mile two track trail with multiple turn offs, beeping my horn, stopping and listening, trying to locate my partner.  No luck.  Just as dusk was falling I spotted a piece of paper left on a bush saying he was going back to Pierce for the night and would take pavement to Wallace in the morning.  Thank GOD!!  Still, a very long and lonely night!  It is amazing how much comfort there is just having a companion in a tent a few yards away. And there are bears in these woods!
Day 6 was an uneventful ride from Wallace to Clark Fork.

From there it was a mixture of pavement and dirt to the border crossing at Porthill.


So now the summary:
I mounted an new rear tire, as the previous Shinko 805 had about 5k on it and I didn't want to be worrying about it on this trip.  The front is the original from the AZBDR.  In the end, we ended up doing about 3500 miles total, about 1100 off road.  It should have been more but fires, logging, well there you go.
The bike performed flawlessly, not one issue, none.  It amazes me how easy it is to play with.  I find myself running around with the ATC off, spinning up the rear and "throttle steering" more than I should though!  As I said before, the bike is as reliable as an anvil.  My buddies KLR was pretty good, but lost headlights, and tail lights, and managed to break a bracket for his panniers on the ride home.
It is amazing how many people come up and looked at the bike.  "your doing what?, with that?" It's also amazing how many people we came across doing the same ride.  At least a dozen, most only doing portions of the whole route, and most going north to south.  Did see a lot of BMW GSA's.  None on the dirt though....
In the end we spent 10 days doing the whole ride.  We camped everyday and "ate out" a total of three times. Got rained on one day and one night, froze our butts off more than once (love heated liners) saw some amazing scenery and the occasional wildlife.  The riding it's self is actually quite easy.  The hardest thing is the amount.  It never seemed to stop.  Always coming at you with "another" 200 miles. I have now got about 10,000 miles on her in about 5 months and about 3000 miles of that off road with zero issues. I don't abuse her, but I don't pamper her either. She is completely stock with only factory accessories. (Bambi basher and heated grips)  I still love the way it makes power, and the torque is to die for! She plays well in the dirt and has no problems running all day loaded at 80-90mph.  We had started the ride back after reaching the border around noon and spent the night north of Boise, then blasted the second day home.




And you can get her cleaned up after a good ride!

Really respect what you guys have out west in the great expanses of backcountry. My environment in the Northeast is stringing together routes to avoid developed areas and keep to rural/ farming areas.Have some great park/forest areas in NY/ VT /NH / Quebec , but nothing like out west. Thanks for report!

Really respect what you guys have out west in the great expanses of backcountry. My environment in the Northeast is stringing together routes to avoid developed areas and keep to rural/ farming areas.Have some great park/forest areas in NY/ VT /NH / Quebec , but nothing like out west. Thanks for report!

I have actually thought about riding Labrador/New Foundland in place of riding to Alaska. I haven't done any riding back east and have a desire to see the eastern sea board. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Have never been to those provinces but read about the Trans Lab. Route. My folks have been to Nova Scotia several times and cannot say enough about that province. My home base is in northern NY on the edge of the Adirondack State Park ( 6.5 million acres) which encompasses the Adirondack Mtns. My Adventuring is here and into VT's Green Mtns, NH's White Mtns , NY's Catskill Mtns, central PA( beautiful state!) western edges of ME since they are all within 2-3 days of riding. My job as a master carpenter/ foreman ties me down since things come to a standstill if I'm not around. I have my kids and grand kids down around Wash. DC and ride down to see them frequently and try to Adventurize that trip. You could certainly have many great routes in my area but nothing like the grandeur of Alaska!

I agree that Alaska has magnificent attraction. I really want to do it at some point but figure if I'm going to do that many miles in the saddle, I would want to go somewhere less traveled.  At least from a west coast perspective.  I have never ridden or for that matter, been to the east coast other than on business.  I would really enjoy the opportunity to ride northern New England, Nova Scotia, ETC. Oddly enough, mileage would be about the same...

Man, how I love seeing Stelvios being used the way they're meant to be used!


Really an underrated bike, IMHO. It's a damn shame they've discontinued them.


I always try to ride my father's NTX, whenever I get the chance.

Well done, Mooney!

Man , if I lived in my own version of utopia I'd have a whole warehouse of motorcycles to choose from ! A selection of Moto -Guzzis for sure! Stelvio , Norge , Le Mans , Centauro , v11 sport etc. :)

Yeah , the v10 Centauro. An acquaintance put his up for sale back in the early 90's that I waffled on until it was too late. A yellow one. Beautiful! If I only wasn't such a Beemer freak back then I could've owned a Guzzi :(

Man, how I love seeing Stelvios being used the way they're meant to be used!


Really an underrated bike, IMHO. It's a damn shame they've discontinued them.


I always try to ride my father's NTX, whenever I get the chance.

Well done, Mooney!

It really is a fantastic bike. In 5 months I have put nearly 10,000 miles, 3,000 off road, and not a single issue, none.  Unfortunately the Stelvio NTX and Moto Guzzi as a brand do not get much love here in the states. No worries though! It's gratifying when people come up and say " I didn't know Moto Guzzi still made motorcycles" Or better yet, "I've never heard of Moto Guzzi"  And besides, owning a bike where you can't by Tee Shirts at Wall-Mart, has a very small dealer network, and only 3-4 factory accessories, capitalizes the A in Adventure, Right?

Where in Italy are you?  I lived in Rome for about 18 months in the mid 70's.  I saw a lot of Italy, as well as Europe as a whole on a Suzuki GT750 (Water Buffalo).

I'm from Parma, home of the world famous Parma ham, Parma cheese, and a ton of other delicacies.

Also, I'm literally one hour away from the Ducati HQ in Borgo Panigale, the Ferrari HQ in Maranello, and the Lamborghini HQ in Sant'Agata. I really love where I live!

Excellent!  My then girlfriend's, Aunt's husband was the Asst chief of police in Rome.  He always had a "must see" ride, and Maranello was one.  Funny thing though I remember him hating on Lamborghini!  He really thought Lamborghini was the anti Christ! Damnedest thing.

I truly enjoyed my time there.  Great people, fantastic country.  I lived in a little flat a couple blocks from the Colosseum and would ride to work on the 207 through Aprilia and on to Anzio. I spent a lot of afternoons (Siesta) at the "International campground" around the corner from the shop I worked at.

Lamborghini is a the BEST!  Enzo Ferrari said "what can a maker of tractors possibly come up with?" (or something to that effect) and Lamborghini sure showed them.  If I had the cash and needed an Italian super car it would be a Lambo before a Ferrari.

Guys, a little trivia.

Remember the Lamborghini Countach?

Beautiful car, eh?

Well, do you know what the name means?

It means "count on it" in Ferruccio Lamborghini's town dialect.

Something like "yeah, right", and that was also the answer he once gave to Enzo Ferrari when he said Lamborghini could never produce something as fast/cool as a Ferrari.

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