XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

Monday, 30 June 2014

Yamaha WR 250 X - Matt's Machine...

Because we are now a group of five, there are three extra bikes to the trip so I thought I'd write up something about each one & any additions or changes that the owners have made to them... so to start lets take Matt's WR as he's leaving us tomorrow to head off back to home on a mere 500 mile road blast...
Matt's WR250

OK so here's the basic details to start... It's a 2008 WR250X, Bought with 10k miles for $3800 & 16181 miles at start of my trip 23821 miles currently.

To explain, Matt set off from home in Oregon heading to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to have a break, then on to Houston, Austin, Texas, back to Houston, then off to Louisiana, New Orleans for a touristy moment, then off to Arkansaw. His bike needed a fork seal so a someone from ADVRider forum offered some help in Oklahoma... Once back on the road he did a little bit of the TAT in Oklahoma before heading to Colorado & met us en route, so tagged along, the rest is history as they say...

So some upgrades by previous owner were:
FMF full exhaust
Fuel Injection Module - (Maybe a Power Commander, I've forgotten)
Fender eliminator
ProTaper Handle bars
Hand guards with integrated turn signals
Zeta Shorty Levers

Upgrades by Matt:
A new saddle from Seat Concepts
Screen - MRA
IMS footpegs
Flatlands bash plate.
Pro Moto Rear rack
Powered Pelican 1450 case w/ quick disconnects to rear rack.
Giant Loop Coyote bag (yellow)
14/48 gearing (13/42 is stock)
IMS 4.9gal fuel tank - (250 mile range with this tank).
Shenko 244 Tyres, with the rear changed to a Dunlop D606 when the Shenko ran bald

IMS 4.9 Gallon Tank

This little bike has done a lot of miles since Matt set off, it's proved itself both on the road & off road. Its very nimble, the lightest bike of the bunch yet still keeps up on all the twisty roads like the Million Dollar Highway etc.

The only downside according to Matt is he wishes he had a little more top end power for the bigger roads & some uphills, other than that it's been a great tool & pretty damn good for the TAT. The other thing that he's found out is that the alloy rear sprocket wears quickly too...

All of this is helped by the fact that Matt is a bloody good rider too, he's quick as on the road & no slouch off road even though he says he hasn't done much of that kind of riding!!

Utah - Arches NP & back on the TAT to Green River

Another early start, 06.30am... a few more moans & groans but it was worth it as the views in Arches National Park were fab!!

Bacon & Egg biscuits over a trash can!! Nice...

This is me in Window Arch...

After our touristy moment, we headed back out on the TAT & into the desert via Bull Canyon & Gemini Bridges, this was another spectacular bit of riding & for myself I spent more time looking at the climbing potential than the trail & the first big deep sand pit nearly had me off, as it was all this time on the stuff seems to be paying off as it was a quick stop to change back to 1st gear & then waz out of the stuff & back onto solid ground... phew...

After this we picked a really great section that wound through the bushes, with a few rock steps to ride up & over, a really deep soft sand section & plenty of short spiky bushes to avoid... fab stuff, a bit of proper off road riding. Although Geoff had 2 off's here & Kevin had 3!! Not me for once!!!

The final bit of the day left the Moab hills behind & headed out into the open desert, the colours changed to a sort of beige & grey, with plenty of low scrub growing out of the sand & the backdrop of shale type hills in the distance. Green River, our stop for the night is very aptly named, it springs up out of the desert in a swathe of greenery stretching alongside the river itself... it's a very lush place, although the town itself has clearly seen better days, it still has loads of motels & even serves beer in the restaurants. We stayed at the Motel 6 here, which was OK & even had a working WIFI setup, so maybe we can get some films uploaded to YouTube, I'll put some links below if I can...

So another early finish, which is not a bad thing, we have a tough day for tomorrow according to the maps from Sam, so a bit of a rest, some dinner & maybe even a beer!!

Have fun all

Utah - White Rim Trail - Moab

Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

A day of blue skies, red rocks & a great trail...we set off at 6am this morning to avoid the heat, Geoff & Matt were not the brightest stars of the morning... but got up anyway with a grumble or two!!

37 miles from Moab you enter the Canyonlands NP, pay your $5 entrance fee, ride til the sun goes down or you run out of fuel... (There is a $1000+ breakdown call-out fee here apparently!!). We rode the trail clockwise & had a blast, Geoff & I fell off in the deep sand but as there was no luggage it was a doddle to pick the bikes back up, jump on & spin away whilst hanging on for grim death & praying the front wheel goes where you want it too!! It's a black art riding in sand, one neither of us have mastered as yet...

There is no shade, it gets hotter as you go round & the scenery is phenomenal, there are not enough words to convey the majesty of this place. After lots of ups, rounds, downs etc, you come to the Colorado River, people were floating down this in the sun, swimming every now & then, it looked bliss... That was when Kevin had a puncture, he had some kind of complicated inner tube system to protect against punctures but it didn't work, coupled with that & the Slime he had put in his tyre, it turned into a messy job, but still with a team effort it was still done in about 20 minutes or so, which was great as there was no shade what so ever, so everybody was melting!

The day finished with a blast back into Moab, a quick shower & off to the Moab Brewery for well earned beers & food, great day all round, a mere 150 miles but it packed in a hell of a lot, I would happily go ride that again...

YouTube Vid Links
Sand Sessions

Oh & the Chicken came with us, he met Eco, Kevin's mascot & had a ball riding round the Rim with us... we also saw a company called Rim Tours... needless to say the various bad taste jokes came out to play!! :-)

Tomorrow is a jolly into Arches NP, then upto Green River for the evening to see where the TAT takes us next...

Happy days...

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Utah - Red, Red Rocks of Moab!!

Wow, this is a beautiful piece of country... I could live here happily & play forever more!!

We set off from Monticello late this morning knowing we had just 100 miles of riding to do, a long lazy breakfast of bagels with cream cheese in a very nice little cafe, sat in the sun... mmm happy days.

The boys waiting for me!!
Utah in the sun

Wanna a sweetie young man??
The trail left the tarmac onto gravel county roads pretty swiftly & then headed through LaSal & up towards Geyser Pass which then would drop us into Moab. The trail up was great, generally easy with one little tricky section before dropping into some lovely meadow.

This then slowly changed in terrain as we lost height & the red sandstone formations started to appear & become more dramatic as we wound our way down. I've taken a few pics here, but a lot of GoPro footage, so I'll post the links when we get good internet again, it's only OK at this motel I'm afraid.

Anyway we kept stopping to take more pictures as the views just got better & better, so there is a random few below... enjoy!!

Oh & I bought a new cap to replace the one I lost in Nepal!! Now its time fro beer & a burger in Stiffy's bar...

So Sunday is the White Rim Trail... loads of pics & film from that I bet... have fun all

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Colorado - Utah & then there were 5!!

So we made it to Utah today, to a town called Monticello which is the gateway to the Canyonlands & about 100 miles south of Moab. We've been over another pass this morning, the Ophir, which was wet but atmospheric all the same...then we headed into San Juan National Forest where we found a great section marked up on our maps with detours around the mud/rocks. Despite the rain this morning it had been dry for days so we decided to try it & see how it was... It was a great little section through the trees, the mud was dry for the most part, except for the deep hole that I found, it stopped me dead in knee deep water & the bike went over so I had to jump off, I then had to get back into the water to get the bike upright, but as it had laid itself onto a mound in the middle it was pretty easy... by this time Geoff & Matt had arrived & yes there are piccies & film too, so you'll get to see me in all my glory again!! (When we've got better internet I'll upload the GoPro to YouTube as normal).

This was after I'd got stood up again!!
This section was lovely & made more fun by sharing it with another two guys, Brian & Kevin, we'd met them at a fuel stop in Silverton in the morning then we all kept overtaking each other & ended up just riding as one group & having a good gossip all day long. The downhill section of this bit of the trail was sooo good, I'd have happily gone back up to do it again!!

Brian is a South African who is a resident in the US these days & rides a KTM 500, Kevin is from North Carolina & rides a Suzuki DR400. Kevin even has a cool little mascot on his bike!!

We finished the day riding all together & got into Monticello around 3 ish, which gave us time to find a place to stay, give the bikes a bit of a look over & even a wash... the lucky buggers!!

So another day done, some more great riding & a new bunch of people in the fold... Tomorrow is one of the highlight places of the trip for me & I'm really looking forward to getting to Moab, seeing Arches National Park & riding the White Rim... Bring it on...