KGT off road!! - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 8:10 am Thread Starter
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KGT off road!!

I planned a trip using Garmin's Mapsource for me and the pillon yesterday. I was using autoroute but insisting that the twistiest roads were used for our little scamper through Mississippi and Alabama. I didn't plan on venturing down any fire roads, through game preserves or forcing the '04 KGT down dirt roads. The first 100 miles of the trip had Garmin driving us down dirt, into dead ends (twice) and down roads that might have been there one day but were no longer passable. The third time we came to dirt, I figured, what the heck and we began our journey with a different perspective.

I might add that we had just finished watching the "Long Way Round" and were smitten by the notion of driving a motorbike around the world. What's a little dirt? It's not like were going to Magadan or anything. So we toured down a decent dirt road that turned to pavement after a few gentle miles and we thought we were the Shizzle!

About 50 miles later we again saw the GPS turn us from tarmac to dirt. We entered the Red Creek Wildlife Management area and the dirt seemed to be in decent shape so we continued. We passed several hunters and some trucks parked indicating hunters in the woods. I was longing for my Orange vest when the first water obstacle appeared. Perhaps had we gotten stuck we would have cut or journey short and turned around. We made it through and gained confidence that would deepen our journey into the woods.

The gps was mute now, indicating our path ahead being twisted and long. We travelled through 2 track, once pulling over so a hunter and truck could pass. A few patches got squirlly and the bike went over!! Yes, the KGT went into the mud and we bounced off. ATGATT and 5 mph make for a laugh in the mud. I wasn't pleased at all though and we quickly remounted and navigated the slippery mess to a point where the GPS said turn. The road was there, well it was there 10 years ago.

Less than a quarter mile brought us to an upassable locked gate. I struggled to turn the bike around in the thickets on either side of the two tracked trail and we were forced to go along the road we entered on, without the GPS knowing where we were going. We toppled once more in a boggish area. I got my foot down in time but it was so slippery I couldn't keep the bike up. My pillon was totally optimistic and covered in mud so we sallied forth!

We stopped at a T, grateful to find more of a road used for logging and thought our 1 hour adventure into the dirt was near complete. We got into some rather slick mud again and toppled for the 3rd time, again, slow speed, soft landing and mud and smiles abounding. I was smiling less as the ABS alarmed and the rear brake pedal was bent out a good bit. I was more concerned about an exit as my strength began to wane and the sun was lowering in the sky. We had but 1/2 mile to go to find tarmac!!

We were celebrating what looked like a road ahead and then we saw traffic! But another locked gate barred our exit. The pillon had her fill by then and indicated that the MacGyver in us would find a way around the gated area. We explored the notion of picking one of the masterlocks on the gate, lifting the gate, or sliding the bike beneath it (ha!) and settled for driving around it in the mud.

We warrily entered the tarmac, aware that the bike was caked with mud and we too, were muddy. A few miles to a closed convenience store, it was New Year's Day after all, and we hosed off the bike. I paid special attention to the calipers and brake assemblies, hoping to gain the ABS and servo back. 20 minutes later we were remounted and riding towards home with quite an adventure between us.

The brake lever bent back into position without difficulty and the abs was reset after the 2nd ignition cycle.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time in the woods but might consider the appropriate tool for the trip next time, a GS with some off road tires!

here's a pick before the 3rd tumble. I'll try to get the pillon pick uploaded around lunch.

Best,

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 11:20 am
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The GPS can get you into trouble if you put too much faith in it. They are great for exploring, however, and I've found roads that I wouldn't normally have taken if it weren't for the GPS suggesting a new way to get somewhere.

The GT is a poor GS, even if its only one letter off. I'll still ride over dirt if I have to, but try to avoid it if possible.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 12:48 pm Thread Starter
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Omg!!

For a while I thought I might be a lone KGT off road rider! Looks like the silty sort of sand you can't steer in! These bikes are fun to pick up, aren't they? had I not been to that site where the small woman teaches you how to pick up a heavy bike I might still be in the woods.

Thanks for sharing that pic,

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 2:11 pm
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Okay. Now those are disturbing pictures!

I ventured on one of those dirt roads on a Harley ONCE. I thought the other wagon-wheel rut looked better than the one I was in and I steered over to it. The Harley didn't like it and stopped -- like right now! Front wheel sank and that was it.

As I was flying through the air, I thought this is gonna be bad. The landing surprisingly didn't bother me as much as seeing the Harley falling on its side to present me with a new set of busted headlamps and shield courtesy of a rock Mother Nature left there.

To this day I dislike dirt roads, dirt/gravel shoulders, moss-covered concrete bridges, and sand on asphalt which Cal-Trans has been applying all over the place due to ice on the roads. Seems the sand works until the wetness is gone and then its more slipping and sliding. I avoid one road like the plague during winter, Hwy. 155 west of Alta Sierra summit, as I've spun two cars out on it (sand) and helped one guy pick his bike up on it (both of us had a hard time standing on the damn sand-covered asphalt).

Yeah, them Garmins can steer one very wrong at times. Makes for an adventure though.

Knobbies for the GT anyone?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 2:57 pm
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mmm...did you have the gps set to pedestrian....might want to take a look....mine has an option .....that sucks for the bike...but i bet you had a blast!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 3:42 pm Thread Starter
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Yes...

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Originally Posted by BAK04GT
mmm...did you have the gps set to pedestrian....might want to take a look....mine has an option .....that sucks for the bike...but i bet you had a blast!
My Pillon is an eternal optimist. She even grabbed the bike a couple of times when I was stuck in the mud, couldn't pick up my posted foot and the bike was certainly going into the drink! LIFT! I would should and she would man up and push the thing vertical.

This wasn't auto-routing on the GPS, this was me seeing gray, winding roads and thinking "that looks like fun." There doesn't seem to be an indication of what roads are gravel or not. I know what highways look like on mapsource but I try to keep off the slabs and take the road less travelled.

It was a blast!

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 4:25 pm
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Large caliber's open locked gates.

We traversed, what the GPS showed to be a State Hwy, in New Mexico on the LT. It looked good and twisty, so we took it. Started out as two lane black top, dropped to one and then to gravel after crossing a cattle guard. Went to about 8 thou with lots of twisties and switch backs. Large rocks, wash outs and four wheel drive territory. It was slow, bumpy and about 50 miles long. It took hours. I told the wife if we got to a locked gate at the other end that I wasn't turning around.

-=grif=-
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 5:30 pm
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If you open a locked gate, make sure you close it and let someone know the lock was cut. There was a family in California that recently lost their father when they got stranded on a closed road. A vandal cut the lock and opened the gate, but didn't close it. The family, not knowing the road was supposed to be closed, went up the road and got caught in a snowstorm. They got stranded for a week, during which time the father attempted to get help, but died of exposure. Always leave gates the way you found them.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:35 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Large caliber's open locked gates.

We traversed, what the GPS showed to be a State Hwy, in New Mexico on the LT. It looked good and twisty, so we took it. Started out as two lane black top, dropped to one and then to gravel after crossing a cattle guard. Went to about 8 thou with lots of twisties and switch backs. Large rocks, wash outs and four wheel drive territory. It was slow, bumpy and about 50 miles long. It took hours. I told the wife if we got to a locked gate at the other end that I wasn't turning around.
Another reason to pack the pistola in the tank bag!! I'm not sure the 9mm would have taken the locks off, they were extra beefy master locks. Heck, would have been fun to try though!

Thanks,

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2007, 3:20 pm
 
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Right Tool Those Roads Are Fun

No way would I take a KGT down some of the roads you describe. It is my pavement bike but with the right tools those roads are a blast. We have some great gravel/dirt routes here in West Texas and with knobbie tires and either a GS or KTM950, 100mph is a blast.

Again, the right tool makes all the difference.
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