Durango Saddlesore Ride
I have been riding for about 6 years now. In that time, the longest trips I had taken were either a couple days here or a few days there, but usually within a few hundred miles of home and typically with at least one other person or a group up to 25 other riders. Up until a couple of years ago, I was strictly a sport bike or ST kind of guy. Then my friends got me back into dirt bike riding which I loved as a kid and really enjoy as an adult.
It’s a completely different set of challenges and with the exception of them both having two wheels, there’s few similarities between dirt bikes and street bikes. Of course this led to the fascination of dual sport riding and needing something a little more comfortable than a 1000rr to commute to work in, I got a V-Strom DL1000. I really liked it. It was my first upright bike and it was so comfortable! Unfortunately there were a couple of issues for me. First, it felt top heavy so in the twisties… I didn’t really feel that stable. I’m sure I would have gotten use to it over time, but that wouldn’t solve the second problem. It was clear that the V-Strom didn’t have the suspension if I was to get into any rough stuff. I know I could have done a lot of mods to it, but I couldn’t help but think about moving to an #R1200GS. After making the decision and finding an 05 in perfect condition, but completely stock… I started to farkle it in preparation for a big trip… but where?
The GS when I first got it:
I started thinking that if I’m going to do a big trip, it would be great to incorporate a Saddlesore 1000 into the itinerary. I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time, but kept missing my chance to do it with the group I ride with. Then, playing around with Google Maps, I discovered that door to door from my house to my Mom’s house in #Durango was exactly 1,076 miles. I knew right then in there which direction I was going to start in. But then where do I go from there?
As I was doing some research on my trip, I found this. tp://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=362390 . I had been up to Silverton when I was younger, but didn’t know about Ophir Pass. An old Navajo trading trail between Silverton and Telluride established back in the 1800’s that peaks at 12,800 feet. I knew this had to be part of the ride and then I realized that Moab was really close I figured that would be my final destination for the day. I also decided to take the Mt. Sal Loop. Got lots of good advice from this thread…http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=377738
Next I figured I would come down through Coral Reef Park, Zion and Bryce with a stop in Las Vegas. From there I planned to proceed up through Death Valley, Yosemite and then home. I figured I would give myself 6 days total, but see how it went along the way.
Since I was going to be doing some off roading, I also wanted to make sure the bike was properly farkled. Without getting into the details, this is what the bike looks like post Farkling.
Then I started thinking to myself… self? Are you up for this? The most you’ve ever ridden in one day was about 325 miles. This is over 3x! So I decided to do a test ride. I had some friends that were on a ride rally up near Yosemite, so figured… “hey, why not go have lunch with them and then come home… it’s only about 500 miles… why not”? So I did it and felt really good… in fact, way better than expected. I knew I was ready! Here’s the link to that test ride – http://www.northbaysportriders.com/forums/…?showtopic=9989
Below is the trip report. It was a phenomenal experience with very little mishaps, but if you have the ability to do something like this, you should definitely do it.