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 here:http://wildguzzi.com/forum/index.php?topic=83511.0
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 Jarbridge 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 thing though. Did see a lot of BMW GSA's. None on the dirt, and certainly none of them dirty!!
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 80-85 mph. In fact I set my personal single days distance coming home, 843 miles!
And you can get her cleaned up after a good ride!