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Chief- I'm not too familiar with cases but will be soon because I'll be getting one for my 6+.  Plan on having something beefy that can be transferred between the mountain bike and the moto.  Will make sure to let you know what I find.

In the meantime, check out Avenza, download some USGS topos (all free) and see if you like it. You could make some trail maps of your property then digitize and geo-reference those maps and upload them to your library. Kind of cool.


No need to return...but if/when it craps out you'll know there are other options.

There has been a long time debate on which is better for navigation, a dedicated GPS device such as Garmin, TomTom, Zumo and the like or the increasingly powerful smartphones prevalent everywhere these days.
Below I attempt to point out strengths and weaknesses of both for others to decide which they prefer.  Primarily this comes from a ‘off the beaten path’, 2 track/single track multi day dirt bike navigation perspective as that’s my background for drawing these conclusions and this website seemed a good platform for such a discussion.  This doesn’t necessarily apply to travel in/around populated areas with primary roads abound; not talking grocery errands but getting lost out in the sticks (on a moto).

My experience has been with Garmin, as they seem to offer the most advanced platforms for off road navigation and rugged units are available.

GPS pros

•   Ruggedness and reliability.  Most of the units can handle the abuses of off-road use in all types of weather. (See Garmin Montana or Monterra) https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/113522.  Typically the GPS accuracy is much better than those found in most cell phones.
•   Battery life.  Again, much better than the standard cell phones of today.  Most can be charged by a DC source wired from your bike or AA/AAA batteries.
•   Market proliferation.  For a long time GPS units were the only show in town for trip planning and navigation thus many people are accustomed to their operation and functions.
•   Advanced trip planning with the ability to set waypoints, routes and record tracks using Garmin specific applications.  Many phone apps don’t have such functionality, which is a great part of setting out on a journey reliant on a GPS unit to tell you where to turn.

GPS cons

•   Cost.  These units are exceedingly expensive often times much higher than a standard smartphone.
•   Singular functionality.  These units are good at just one thing, compared to all powerful smartphones of today.
•   Complexity of trip/route planning.  Although they do this well once you’re dialed in on how to do it, the confusing process seems very antiquated.  With Garmin the route planning must me done on a computer then transferred to your device.  This process involves multiple applications (Mapsource and Basecamp) and the software is proprietary meaning its clumsy use is not intuitive such as say Windows or Mac products.
•   Map availability.  Up to date maps must be purchased (often times at a 1 time for lifetime cost) from Garmin.  Alternatives are out there through private parties however if you scour the Internet. 

Smartphone pros

•   High functionality.  Smartphones can do it all it seems these days.  In addition to acting as a navigational tool, assuming you have coverage can pull you out of bind when needed.  You’ll likely be carrying a phone on your trip anyway so it’s not just an extra piece of gear added
•   Ease of use.  Most all of us know how to use a phone already it’s just getting accustomed to the software of choice (often incredibly intuitive) that requires time.  This stands in stark contrast with GPS devices from my experience.
•   Alternative software options.  As opposed to the proprietary nature of Garmin, the open source nature of applications available to the smartphone offers numerous choices (often free) for the end consumer.  These sources are constantly growing in numbers and improving along the way as the use of smartphones as GPS navigational aids becomes more prolific. 
•   Cost.  Yes smartphones aren’t cheap these days but if you simply require it for GPS navigational uses units can easily be found used.  You don’t need the latest/greatest smartphone to do the job and older models tend to retail fairly cheap even when new.  If buying used you won’t need a SIM as the GPS functionalities operate in offline or airplane mode as well.

Smartphone cons

•   Route/Trip planning/Turn-by-Turn directions.  The Garmin et al shine above smartphones in this category I feel.  Most all of the navigational software available for phones does not have the intelligence for turn by turn directions off road nor can it prepare a route once leaving these primary roads.  Often times the stock map software will simply deposit one at the terminus of a known road and instruct the user to ‘walk’. 
•   Battery life.  Although much less while in airplane mode, a modern smartphone cannot hold a candle to the battery life of a dedicated GPS unit.  Unit specific charging must be wired in from your bike for ones phone to last a multi day moto journey.
•   Delicate construction.  Most smartphones are made to stay in your pocket when not in use.  The rigors of a moto trip can tax a phone to point of failure.  More robust alternatives are out there but at a minimum a rigid case is needed firmly mounted to your bars to house them.

More relevant info and how I came to these conclusions.  I have used (and own) a Garmin Monterra.   If I were to do it again, I’d buy a Samsung Galaxy and use Backcountry Navigator  ($9.99).  I decided on the Garmin because of its ability to use maps that single track and/or trails that otherwise do not appear on map show up as tracks. Often these are user created then overlaid on a specific mapset then uploaded to your Garmin device.  It will then simply show up as lines on your map for you to reference or follow.  However, many other smartphone applications have been since created for ‘off-piste’ travel that will do this and then some.  Many moto travellers I’ve encountered on long trips have mothballed their GPS devices in favor of an Android (often a Galaxy 4 or newer) and use Backcountry navigator solely for their navigational aid.  I’m not familiar with this software other than what I’ve heard (all being good) so I can’t get into specifics.  (Currently 2 of my good friends are 3 months into a Central America to South America moto trip using just an Android and BC Navigator)

Avenza PDF Maps (http://www.avenza.com) is a free tool available on Apple an Android platforms which I started using extensively with great results.  Although is won’t give turn by turn directions it does have a constantly growing library of online maps available (not all free) that can be catered to your activities and used when not in cell coverage or in ‘airplane mode’.  Oftentimes these mapsets have to be found elsewhere on the Internet and will appear as any map that is ‘geo-referenced’.  Once geo-referenced, (you can do this yourself with other software) any map can be opened in PDF Maps and your location will appear as a dot (just as in Google Maps).  Maps specific to hiking, biking, skiing etc. are out there to better the users experience.  The US government chooses this application for release of any city, county, state or national park map it releases on their websites.  Also, any 1/25,000 USGS topo map is available for free in the Avenza library.  I’ll often download these of an area I know I’ll be travelling through when still in cell coverage then use them while offline as reference.
Other applications work similarly with the most prolific being Gaia (https://www.gaiagps.com).  I have not used this but hear good things.  I’m interested in the library of mapsets available in Gaia, sometimes it can be difficult to find these using Avenzas app. I went with Avenza because of cost (free vs. $19.99).  Both of these were mentioned in other threads within this forum.

Hopefully someone can find use from this over simplified laymans view of complex system(s) to make the right choice when in the market for navigational aids and not spend their $s unnecessarily.  Also, if someone wants to buy my rarely used, over-priced but very functional Garmin Monterra, let me know. :grin:

CIEMR / Re: Planning suggestions for Hillary win
« on: October 20, 2016, 01:37:10 PM »
Yo hablo español?

CIEMR / Re: Planning suggestions for Hillary win
« on: October 20, 2016, 01:01:53 PM »

A large part of my old community lives in South America.
Chilie seemed to be the local of choice, but Columbia, and Panama were pretty popular as well.
If you had an income of $1,000 a month and, say $40K cashola to buy your land and house, you could make a good run of it. That would buy you a house south of the capital, in a countryside resembling Germany, with a maid quarters and a garage on maybe 40 acres. The 1K a month would pay for a full time maid/cook and gardener and have you eating out quite often.
The Special Forces guys liked it there, and Costa-Rica, but that has gotten expensive, and in Columbia. Some went to El Salvador and some to Guatemala. One of my old door gunners owns the Harley dealership in G-City. SF dudes own hotels, dive shops, sports fishing operations and other things.
Security is pretty good in all those places, and health care is W AAAA Y less expensive. Eye care in Columbia is the best in the world. Food grown and raised in South America is non-GMO. The schools in those places, the private schools are really well above the US system. For example in southern Chilie, your child would graduate high school with lots of college level classes complete and speak English/Spanish/and German.

Hang around for awhile and I just may have a whole other place to resettle to...Stay tuned...

I like your train of thought here...

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: DR-650 Build Thread Part 1
« on: May 11, 2016, 03:46:20 PM »
I gotta say, I'm impressed.  Was this your first tire change??  Most people, including myself can struggle with this for hours...then give up and take it to a bike shop.  Maybe because you lost a tooth in the process or you're tired of loosing paint from your wheel.

Nice work.

Build Threads / Re: 16 Ram 2500 CTD
« on: April 23, 2016, 01:59:52 PM »
Anyway, back to the truck...

I like it.  I have a 2015 1500 Eco-Diesel in the same body configuration and color, except that I have the Ram-box bed.  I have almost used up the stock tires on mine and will lift it when I put on new tires.  What size are the tires and lift on yours?

Thanks!  What kind of mileage are you getting from that Eco-Diesel?  I had also removed all the DPF stuff and bought a tuner from a shop in Florida that allowed for the addition of a straight 4" from the down pipe to muffler.  It was too loud so I had a muffler shop weld in a large can to quiet it up.  With the removal of the DPF I'm getting as good as 20 mpgs if I take it easy.

The tires are stock 285/60/20 which are visually small with the lift but I don't care.  Once wore out I'll put a slightly more aggressive AT on in the 35" range.  The front springs raised the truck about 2.5-3" and the rears maybe 1".  They're soft-ride could from Thuren.  I feel these trucks sit pretty high as it is and I don't need any additional lift for the stuff I'm doing...and it makes putting bikes, camper etc in the  back unnecessarily tough.

Should have the 2.5 Kings on order Monday.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: Ride Reports!
« on: April 22, 2016, 05:13:35 PM »
...Back to ID, this time to the south central part of the state.  I'd never been here and had been looking forward to some moto exploration with my partner in crime.
The 350, albeit a totally capable machine got traded in, in favor of a plated 16 500 XCW.  It's a beast but surprisingly easy to ride with ample torque on demand right off idle

Post break-in ride:

Idaho has tons of hot springs so most of our rides/destinations were centered around checking these out, by means of single track.  This sweet one is right outside of Atlanta...ID:

...which neighbors Rocky Bar ID...yeah, I hadn't heard of it either:

Bikes hanging out while we prep for a soak:

Trails for days!:

Sawtooths in the background near Stanley ID:

One day, somewhere...:

Next trip saw me returning for a 3rd time to the Kernville CA area.  This is within the Sequoia Nat'l Forest and offers all types of riding terrain, from flowy smooth riverside trails to rough alpine rocky gnar.  It's a long drive for us but worth it if you can spend a week.

Campsite on day 1.  My buddies rig (Dakota with a Four Wheel Camper):

How'd those bikes get down there:

One of the lower trails that somewhat parallels the Kernville River.  The lowering snow line in the distance gives a clue of whats to come:

...too much ambition and a poor weather forecast in the mountains can get you here:

Shut down in Kernville once again!

Enough of that snow stuff...back in WA on the 300:

Outside of Lake Wenatchee near Leavenworth.  Haze from the late year fires:

...til next trip!

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: Ride Reports!
« on: April 22, 2016, 03:22:36 PM »
It's about to be riding season again, I'm stoked.  In an effort to get others stoked with me here are some random pics from a few trips last year.

I live in WA state and try to divide my time between the WET-side and east side.  These pics are from an area near my cabin in the Methow Valley outside of Winthrop (the dry side).  The riding area here, referred to as Foggy Dew has a bunch of alpine single track moto stuff that decently skilled riders can access some pretty sweet backcountry on. I'm on my single track slayer here, the KTM 300 2-smoker:

Next off to the great state of Idaho.  There's no better place in my mind to take a dirt bike if long stretches of mountain single track with few people is to your liking.  This particular trip was part of a loop ride that some guys put together (http://ridaho.info/the-grit-northern-loop/) that encompasses 780 miles of mostly dirt (271 miles of trail).  Most take 5 days to make the loop but we hit weather at the start of day four so packed it in. 
The cool part of trips like this is that your carrying everything you need for multiple days on your person/bike.  Thanks to my days of climbing I've learned to pack light, sharing the load with a partner helps too.  We used a Giant Loop Mojave bag (like removable soft panniers) with a duffel on the tail.  These contained food, stove, clothes, sleeping bags, a tent and a few other misc bits.  Tools, spares, water and other things were carries in our packs
Both of us were on plated KTM 350 XCF-Ws with big fuel tanks (necessary!), as seen here getting loaded up and ready to GRIT:

Cool gas stop on day 1 in Avery ID:

Cabin along the GRIT ride in the middle of somewhere (bikes in their loaded config.):

As weather is undoubtedly throws your plans a curve ball in the PNW you gotta have a plan B.  Ours in this case meant we headed back to a drier WA state (ironic) and tooled around some of the cascade trails that start to open up around July.
Shown here some of the typical skinny, craggy and consequential trails near Entiat:

No right turns!

Sometimes trails don't get cleared from the previous seasons blowdown.  Such was the case here on the Devils Backbone which meant we were turning around.  Just past this point was hundreds of downed trees across a trail that offered no go around options.

Trips end with some dirty happy boys:

More to come...

Build Threads / Re: 16 Ram 2500 CTD
« on: April 21, 2016, 12:13:50 AM »
Nate, I think he means the kind you see on wreckers all the time!?!? JK mr wolf.

Nice rigs there Turn...I lol'ed at "...just cut it off with a plasma.....". Definitely sounds like our Chief.

Oh, did it come factory with bags?

Thanks Ken.  No factory bags, I installed some AirLift bags when doing the lift.

Build Threads / Re: 16 Ram 2500 CTD
« on: April 21, 2016, 12:10:33 AM »
Thanks to all for the compliments.  Here are a few more from the same trip.

This one from Gooseberry Mesa near Zion UT.  Made for a pretty sweet solitary camping spot.

...and this spot..took about 2 1/2 hours and 60 miles of gravel road to get to.  Toroweap on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  Truck is in the center of the pic and 3000 + feet of air is behind me:

Build Threads / 16 Ram 2500 CTD
« on: April 20, 2016, 04:56:46 PM »
I recently traded in my '11 Ram 2500 CTD in for a new 16.  The changes below the surface are minimal between the two but most noticeable was the link/coil set up in the rear vs. the old standard leaf.  I noticed this to make a significant difference in ride quality over my '11 model(which had Carli components and a progressive rear leaf).

Old truck:

...and new one stock:

This new truck is a Outdoorsman package which nixes some chrome bits in favor of black (but the bumpers for some reason) and comes with some standard features I prefer.  I managed to find some stock black wheels which come on black appearance group trucks at the dealer which I traded up for.

The plan was to lift it, but not too much as to allow for easy bike loading.  This was an issue with my '11.  This meant new front/rear coils and some longer travel shocks.  I decided on Thuren Fabrication (https://www.thurenfabrication.com) which isn't too far from me and, from my research makes some quality parts.  I wasn't particuarlly impressed with my experience with Carli.  I also needed to consider the main objective of this truck was to haul around my pop-up camper on extended trips.  This meant I didn't want to go too tall, too rigid or too extreme with my build approach.

Set on the parts I drove down to Bend OR to Thuren but first made a stop in Portland to get this baby slapped on.  Its a Four Wheel Camper Hawk model.  I did a ton of research and it came down to these guys due to weight (it's aluminum), strength, add-ons, service, etc.  I'll not get into the camper here as that's another thread/forum but I can say that I'm over the moon with it thus far.  I've had it since January and have probably spent 20+ nights in it.

At the Four Wheel dealer day of install:

Coming home from Bend somewhere in south central WA (it was about 6 degrees here):

The lift went on fairly well.  By fairly well I mean it was only somewhat of a crap show.  It rained the entire week, my garage doesn't accept trucks this big so I was wet and cold for most of the job.  Rear was surprisingly more difficult than the front in part due to the airbags and cradle modifications I had to do.  A few calls to Chief (you guys know him as Flyin6) netted advice like; 'just plasma torch off that panhard and weld in some adjustable links and you'll be good'.  My toolbox doesn't contain such devices so it ended up being elbow grease and swearing (with a little help from the wife) that got it done.

Post suspension work and pretty much how it sits now:

Love how the truck handles now, tons better than the rear leaf trucks from previous years. 

Future plans include 2.5 Kings and some steel tube or plate bumpers.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: Ride Reports!
« on: June 18, 2015, 02:46:51 PM »
There was a really cool see-saw that someone had built.  Of course we had to try it.  My brother went so fast that he basically used it as a ramp and jumped clear over it.  I tried to go slow enough to roll down the other side - definitely a bit more challenging that I expected.  The photographer was pretty fast to be able to get 4 shots in series in one take.

Those see-saws are freaky.  I hit one earlier this year intended for mountain bikes and almost lost it coming down the other side...guess it 'saw'd' a little slower than expected.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: Ride Reports!
« on: June 12, 2015, 04:17:06 PM »
Had a good laugh about the stick, pretty creative!  But man you seem to get a lot of flat tires.  Is it all sharp rocks that you are riding on?  I can't remember the last time I had a flat tire, but the majority of Illinois is loamy, soft black dirt when it's dry or quicksand when it gets wet.

Nice pics moto.

This particular flat was a pinch flat. Yes, there are a lot of rocks where I ride but I don't know what contributes to the flats more, the sharpness or the fact that they're solid and don't give when hit at speed.  Either way I don't leave without carrying at least a front tube (which is lighter, takes up less space and can work in both the front and rear) and means to fill it.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: Ride Reports!
« on: June 11, 2015, 03:48:21 PM »
Want to bring this thread back to the forefront as the riding season is upon us.

I like remote mountain single track riding, the northwest usually doesn't allow that until mid July at best but this year is different.  A mild winter and seemingly early start to summer has granted me a few trips up to the Cascades, here are a few pics from a ride outside of Leavenworth WA.

My buddy is learning to paraglide and his school sits up this canyon off the Wenatchee River.  In the morning the winds allowed him to fly (I watched), the afternoons we rode.  Looking down the valley from which we came up:

Ridge lines had a nice single track on its crest:

Partner in crime on his 350 XCF-W:

Not too fast here:

Last day and flat number 2 except this time I only had 1 cO2 cartridge left.  Usually it takes about 3 cO2's to bead/fill a rear but no worries...my buddy has a bike pump...which decided to fail which meant I rode 10+ miles back to the truck with a flat.  Here's the action shot, note the stick/kickstand combo for impromptu flat repairs:

More pics to come when more rides done...

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: DR-650 Build Thread Part 1
« on: December 20, 2014, 01:47:20 AM »
What?? No heat in that garage?

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: DR-650 Build Thread Part 1
« on: December 18, 2014, 05:15:49 PM »
Reading about SquareD and the trans build now.

Tough to get excited about bikes when it's 40's and raining all the time but I'm sure the DR will be breathing fire once you get your stoke back for it...and a working knee.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: DR-650 Build Thread Part 1
« on: December 18, 2014, 04:47:17 PM »

How's the big DR sitting on projects?  Big bore? Knobbies?  Cammo painting?  Trade for KTM 690?

We must know...

Chrome is puke, agreed, but painting a muffler will look good until your first serious ride at which point it'll look like muffler painted black with chrome highlights.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: Ride Reports!
« on: October 11, 2014, 01:03:43 PM »
^^^C'mon up!  Give a hollar when you do.

Those kinds of 'hollars' Chief?

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: Ride Reports!
« on: October 10, 2014, 03:17:30 PM »
Okay, me first.

Living in the PNW I get a short but great opportunity to ride some awesome areas.  One such area that I've yet to check out until this last weekend in the Gifford Pinchot Nat'l Forest.  This area occupies a great swath of land in between the mighty Mt Rainier and Mt Adams, 2 Cascade volcanoes reaching 14,410' and 12K'-ish.

Trail map here:

I headed down with some shredders from the shop I blow all my $'s at, I-90 Motorsports in Issaquah.  These dudes know the area well, go there often and kept me from getting lost.  The above map (a pic on my phone taken at the dander station) was all I had for navigation and despite 2 solid days of riding we covered about 30% of the trails I'd guess.

Day one there were 4 of us. Me on my trusty KTM 350 XCF-W, one guy on a smoker 250, another on a 450 XCW and the outsider on a Yamaha YZ450R (think fast).  I'm use to camping in tents...which is fine with me.  I do not however object whenever a buddy invites me in his toy hauler that sleeps 8.  Here's us set up at the Blue Lake campground:

We headed out in the morning with the Yamaha guy as trail boss.  He prefers gnarly stuff and gnarly we rode.  Most trails were a combination of loose to solid rock, good dirt, roots that develop rises that only a 21" wheel with someone skilled behind it could overcome.  All this is done at speed because momentum (to a point) is your friend on such trails.  The ability of a modern day, purpose built dirt bike is truly amazing...things can climb trees.  During one such gnarly section my buddy's bike skipped sideways and his foot caught a root and pinned it back under his foot peg.  This appeared to break 3 of his toes...which was unfortunate for all of us because we had to listen to him belly-ache for the rest of the ride (which he completed).  The other folks along suggested he call a 'whaaaa-ambulance'.  I'll spare you from the graphic purple foot shot I've seen as his feet are pretty messed up pre-accident.

No camera on the first day...second day a few other shredders showed, one on another moto KX450R (very fast) and yet another 2-smoker 250 KTM.  Here's the crew minus me.  Despite their portly outward appearances these dudes rip.

Shortly after the above photo was taken we were missing Tom (250 2 stroke).  Now Tom is a solid A rider and can compete in AA if he wanted....he's not usually too far behind. So we sent a guy looking for lost Tom. We found him cruising up the trail looking quite disheveled, his bike picking up some Terra firma in his absence. He arrived with the group having ZERO recollection of the crash...and the last 10 minutes for that matter.  he repeated to us no less than 25 times within the hour that he must've crashed and his right shoulder was hurt.  Obviously he had some loss of consciousness but according to his buddies 'this happens all the time with him'.  Guess after multiple concussions the next one comes easier.  He still has no idea what happened.  Just says he was riding along, wondering where everybody was and then saw Brent (guy we sent back for lost Tom) and thought it was weird somebody was coming down the trail he thought just seconds before was going up.

Mountain single track riding at speed is what can best be described as a series of linked recoveries...because you're almost always in some type of crash...you just stay loose and rely on the bike to sort it out.  The rest of the day was riding much like this.  Our bikes at rest:

My goal was to hit Jumbo Mountain for I have seen it in several pics before and it seemed to offer the type of riding I like; high mountain single track.  My front tire conspired against this plan and got a flat 7 or so miles prior so we had to take a maintenance break.  I run Tubliss on this bike, a high pressure small tube with a protective bladder that seals the spoke holes making the wheel air tight.  This allows you to run no tubes which equal no pinch-flats.  My tire actually compressed into the beadlock on the Tubliss and cut a hole in it.  This meant I had to plug it...and I didn't bring plugs...which meant I had to patch it...and I didn't have patches..which meant I was screwed.  Until someone dug a patch out (just 1) that was my only shot at getting back on trail.  This patch held for a little while...long enough for me to get to Jumbo:

My bike on Jumbo:

Mt Adams to the south:

...and the awesome trail that led us there:

Many of precarious sections led us back to the road...where my air in the front finally gave up the ghost.  No harm though, with Tubliss you can run most tires flat and not risk breaking the bead.

A big, fat and greasy sausage completed our day.  I got in the truck with gimp-boy (broken toes and pulled off another 60 miler day) and we made it home with another awesome weekender in the bag.

Thanks for looking.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Ride Reports!
« on: October 10, 2014, 02:36:19 PM »
How about we start a thread for those of us who get out and get dirty on these things too (heal up Chief and we can put the DR to the test).

Let's see/hear them...past or upcoming...adventure or maybe just some OHV journeys.

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: DR-650 Build Thread Part 1
« on: October 03, 2014, 03:35:44 PM »
^^^Ha!  I remember that ride.  I thought you were just being humble, taking it easy on me.

Anyone can go out and by a 60+ hp 690, tougher to wring 50-ish out of a DR.  Knowing my father there'll be some belt-driven supercharger hangin off that thing in no time.

Regarding your bikes durability, I found that flats are very common and happen often and inopportune moments.  Couple of solutions are:

  • Michelin Bib Mousse - This is a foam donut that takes the place of a tube and never goes flat.  Downside is that after extended road miles heat can build from friction between the mousse and tire and break the foam down.  And a little heavier than a standard tube https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/864/3342/Michelin-Bib-Mousse-Foam-Tube
  • Heavy duty or Ultra heavy duty tubes - Better protection against pinch flats but never will stand up to a nail.  Also a little heavier
  • Tubliss system - A bicycle style inner tube with a robust outer tube that cover your spoke holes.  Allows you to run low air pressure and no traditional tube.  If your tire gets a puncture just plug it.  http://tubliss.com/

Bikes & Motorcycles / BC by Bike
« on: October 02, 2014, 04:18:29 PM »
So living in the Pacific Northwest gives me the ability to see some wonderful areas...about 3 months out of the year because the other 9 it's gray and raining.

One area I haven't spent much time exploring is British Columbia, just about 2 hours north of me.  My buddy Brent spends quite a bit of time here (living in Bellingham just this side of the border), had been egging me on for some BC adventure time so off we went.
BC has wonderful map books, (5) I think in total detailing all of their backcountry.  Things such as hikes, kayak routes, bike trails, horseback loops, even portages.  This was our tool to get into some trouble.  We simply wanted to get up into backwoods...into the mountains where the living is good.  We had no particular destination in mind, just a loose timeframe thanks to my work and 2 cool bikes to do the job.

I have a 2014 KTM 690 R and Brent, a turd DR650 (no offense Chief).  Here we are about to cross the border in a town called Sumas at their creamery...Brent likes the ice cream.

Our route took us east of Vancouver into Abottsford.  Wanting to leave the cities quickly behind we turned north to Harrison Lake and up the west side towards our first nights stop; a cool indian ran hot springs with about 4 soaker pools right on a river. 

Here are the bikes 1/2 way up Harrison Lake

The next morning we were up and on the road by 5am...ok...maybe 10 and blitz our way into Lillooet then Pemberton 2 small towns with gas north of Whistler.  We slept along the river outside of Pemberton with 3 million mosquitoes and maybe a few bears.  Here's Brent scaring off the bears...and me

Pemberton presented the last known opportunity for gas.  My bike has a 3.2 gallon tank and is thirsty (70hp singles drink gas), Brent has an obese tank which made my bike the weak link.  I can get about 120-150 miles per tank and also carry 2 32oz. MSR fuel cans which provide about another 25 miles.  With where we were headed in consideration this meant we had to rifle through the trash at the Pemberton Subway for juice bottles (aka redneck fuel tanks) as not to get hung out high and dry.  We also (and I know this will get all the survivalist/planner types all twisted up) got some Canadian cash so we could buy fuel from folks should we encounter any.  This later proved necessary.

BC has an excellent network of gravel roads going in every direction and unlike WA state don't dead end.  They are kept open and maintained either because of old mining/logging operations and/or link indian villages.  With map books in hand we pointed to a point north and took off.  Few examples of the gravel roads:

Our map book pointed to an offshoot from the Yalakoom River we had been following that appeared to dead end at a lake, we decided to check it out.  The lake had a primitive campground but we weren't ready to turn in.  More importantly it had a single track heading off into the mountains, we went to explore.  After about 5 miles we ended up at this old hunters camp along a lake.  Weird because the only way in we saw was this pack trail.  Good views and fishing consumed the rest of our afternoon.

Night 3 we camped next to some friendly Canooks who shared some food, gas (we reimbursed them) and some secret areas with us.  They had been coming up here for 20+ years and stoked our flames about an nearby area that had awesome single track, mountainous terrain and good fishing lakes.  They also told us about being stalked by cougars here.  Our spot:

Fully gassed and a few Canadian dollars lighter we tromped up 30+ miles of gravel past old hunters cabins, mines and plenty of streams I wished I had time to drop a fly into.  Our first stop was this peak one could jeep up to (can't remember the name and we actually saw 3 rock-crawler type jeeps heading down).  I do remember that most of Canada's loose rocks were on this mountain.  Elevation somewhere around 7K' here:

Down the jumbles and towards the area we were recommended we went.  This involved a water crossing better suited for a Typhoon class sub...which I did my best not to mimic, and some pretty cool 4WD roads.  We met up with some ATV folks that helped us ford this 'puddle':

We then all met at a lake a mile up the road where I got a chance to fish for a spell.  Of course the kids in the group wanted to eat fish for lunch...so dad got the fire started and the pressure was on me once my fly hit the water.

I managed to catch about 6 rainbows, all adding up to about 1 lb. Gladly the dad brought hotdogs which took the heat off me.

I prefer single track riding primarily.  The idea of hooking up cool single tracks in the middle of nowhere with scenic gravel roads are what this bike was made for.  This day was perfect.  Let the pics do the splainin:

At this point I had to at least head south towards cell coverage, work concerns, so off we went leaving 2000+ miles of country north of us for another time.  Our route took us through Gold Bridge, Seton Portage and D'Arcy.  All points on the map not really resembling towns in person.  Gas could be had in Seton Portage by appointment only.  To break up the monotony of long segments on dirt roads we found some more interesting off-shoots to explore.  This one took us up to the alpine via logging roads and ATV tracks.  We found a hunters cabin completely stocked (everything is shared) with salmon jerky, soup, freeze driers, etc.

Up into the alpine we went:

End of the trail put us at the base of some lakes.  Still snow in August:

Stream between the two lakes.  This is about 7K':

..and our first bath for the week...yes, cold:

South towards home with one more stop for food and sleep.  This one in Squamish (best rock climbing NA if you ask me).  Thanks buddy for the adventure:

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: DR-650 Build Thread
« on: September 24, 2014, 03:36:50 PM »
In response to pops:

1.  The ugliest one

2.  True, will last forever, made form steel and strong stuff.  But not the most fun on a RTW trip.

3.  Ride a few figure 8's in the driveway as the bike sits, then lower the bikes triples 15mm and do the same...should be a noticeable       difference...modify this difference with speed.

TR upcoming.

Looking forward to this DR build...

Bikes & Motorcycles / Re: DR-650 Build Thread
« on: September 24, 2014, 02:57:19 PM »

Couple of thoughts now I've read through your 650 build:

-moto123 has some sound advice, I like his thinking.

-You raised your triple clamps to flush to the fork caps. Is this the stock location?  I'd find out but of course if those forks have different springs and valving stock location won't mean a lot.  Point is, the bike will turn radically slower now with that much decreased rake. Lower front end = faster turn in but to a point can be unstable.  Higher front end = slower turning but more stable.

-I know a lot of your stuff is built to be burly, most people on this site will champion this approach.  As we've discussed there's a benefit to being light and fast...since you've already screwed yourself by buying a DR650 I guess my point is moot.

-Check out this as a cool option to carry stuff.  https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/1409/16178/Ogio-MX-Flight-Vest  A lot of guys I ride with talk highly of it; there's a spot for everything...and I'm guessing you may know a thing or two about a 'flight vest.

You guys need some non-Suzuki shots in here from the PNW:

Well sorta, the puke yellow bike in the back is a DR650:

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