Hit Red Cloud Loop, just North of Vernal. I was looking for an alleged Ghost Town that is up there someplace. I didn’t find it, but I think I know where it is now, and will hit it next weekend. I didn’t get to do a lot of pictures because I was White Knuckling the whole way, going quickly, and just taking it in and enjoying the experience. On the way out, exiting above Maeser, this is the route down. The views were spectacular. I had to stop and take a pic a couple places on the way down.
Do to the requirement of attending our monthly team meeting at the Range today, I opted to ride the KTM. The Range is not Sport Bike Friendly. Not at all. It’s not even Car Friendly. It’s 4X4 friendly for sure… So the KTM went to work with me.
I like it. Due to the use of Off Road Cogs instead of actual Tires, it did have an abundance of vibration. But that was expected. It’s very different through the curves, the way these sorts of machines lean. I like the riding position and the fact that its so much easier to stand up on the pegs. It’s odd standing up on the highway… but fun. I only went tops 67 MPH and not my usual Warp Factor 9, but it didn’t feel like I was going slow. It’s just a fun machine. I got used to the bike more… and coming home on it I was much more confident and comfortable. I liked it even more.
I also liked the fact that I was able to say to myself, “Hey, where does that little turn off go?” So I took it… went over a couple hills and across a field and back onto the highway. NICE! That is the exact thing I wanted an Enduro for. I can go anywhere on it. I love that. It’s not smooth pavement only. I am digging this Enduro thing. The Two Wheeled Jeep thing. It’s addicting. I find myself daydreaming about where I can go and explore. I’ve gone up to Paradise Lake a couple times… and it’s fun. But I want to take it further. Go explore some Ghost Towns. Go up to the tops of some of these mountains around here. And I will.
An Enduro is liberating. It really is.
Went for a ride on the KTM… this time I went and hit dirt. About five miles on sand, dirt, gravel, and rocks.
I have to be honest, this was absolutely horrifying. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. No, seriously… out of everything I’ve ever done – this was the scariest. I got to a point where I overlook Highway 40, and I had to stop to take a breather. I was drenched in sweat and my heart was racing! Oh man. At one point, it felt like my hair was on fire and my balls were on fire… and I glanced down… I was only doing 28 MPH. Oh Man!
But I survived, didn’t face plant. Kept the bike up. Coming back I was able to open it up some more… went faster. Caught a bit of air. It was scary and thrilling.
I’ve wanted an Enduro for years. And I’ve wanted a second bike to add to the Ogre Ranch Stables. Finally brought it home. It’s a KTM 525 MXC… I’ve probably mentioned it before. Well, the deal is done and the bike is mine now.
The bike is in brand new – seriously, like it’s never been ridden, brand new condition with a ton of upgrades. First thing I have got to do to it though… is lower this beast. It’s tall. I’m talking, big time, Shaq Attack altitude. To give some perspective, here it is with my Superhawk…
The bikes were parked almost completely side by side, with the Rear Tires up on the concrete pad… The KTM is a big machine. My ZX-11 isn’t much bigger than the Hawk was in physical size, and the KTM is just dwarfing it. The riding position is very much upright. It’s like a Culture Shock Whiplash riding this thing. Of course, the hard part is getting it going… and by that I mean getting up on it. I’m about 2 inches too short for it, or so it feels. The bike was set up for Desert Racing, which it never had a chance to do, so it’s in Desert Attack Mode right now. Yeah, that’s going to have to be changed a bit. I need it in more “Dual Sport” mode. She’s Street Legal as she sits now, lights and everything… good to go. But Tires and Suspension are set for Baja 1000.
The big question: Why?
Man, I don’t know. I just always wanted an Enduro. I’ve been attracted to Adventure Touring. Go freaking anywhere. Up trails that disappear over mountains. That kinda stuff. Now I have the machine… I need to go do it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
The biggest thing I got to get over is riding on Dirt. I’ll be honest… it scares the shit out of me. I’ve not had good luck on dirt and gravel and such. So this is me overcoming my fear of Earth. Once I can do that – I’ll be in a much better place psychologically when it comes to riding, regardless of what I am on.