Last weekend, I embarked on a lifelong goal of riding the L.A, Barstow to Vegas dual sport. I managed to gather a group of 7 riders. Three of them were on Suzuki DR 650's, one of them on a KLX 250, 1 WR 250 and two XT 225's.
Both of the 225's were stock with the exception of Shinko SR 241 tires on my bike.
Day 1 was a bit of a challenge because none of us had any experience in using a roll chart or following a GPS. The trail followed a mix of hard and easy routes. Day 1 left Palmdale and headed north toward Randsburgh, then east to Barstow.
We ended up on the hard route, which used up most of our daylight time but the XT 225's performed flawlessly. We rode 100 miles on dirt and then rode 65 miles on the highway toward Barstow.
When we arrived in Barstow, we were all tired and in need of rest but I felt compelled to study the route toward Barstow and learn exactly how to use a route chart. The solution was to eliminate all but one route from the roll chart so as to not become confused and lost by the excess of directions.
Day 2: We promptly left the start line at 6:15 A.M and headed into the sunrise toward Baker Ca. That destination was 90 miles away and our first gas stop.
Seven of us were on our way and enjoying good trails and good times. The desert was quite beautiful at this time of year but also very cold and windy. It had rained two days earlier so traction was decent but dust was an issue because of the wind and over 500 motorcycles blazing toward Vegas.
Approximately 30 miles outside of Barstow, the team decided to split into two groups. Three riders, including the other XT 225 wanted to take a more challenging route into Baker. We wished them well and headed for Baker. They never arrived. We waited, gassed up, ate food, drank water and waited. Phone calls were made and we waited. Finally we made contact with one of the riders chase crew and let them know that four of us were on our way to the next check in Sandy Valley Nevada.
When the four of us arrived in Sandy Valley, we got word that Gary, riding the other XT 225 broke his rear hub. It actually broke apart from the outer hub. Not sure how this happened. Gary did run very low Psi on stock tires and he was an aggressive rider, so that may have contributed. We were able to get a crew in a 4 wheel drive o make the 17 mile trek down a rough sandy trail and retrieve him. He did spend all day sitting by himself in the desert. Yes, the other two riders left him there.
The final 41 miles heading into Vegas were the roughest part of the trip. The trail consisted of small thick gravel that acted like ball bearing when we rode over it. It was an incredible workout and I am sure the 650 riders were exhausted after that trek. But we got through it and wound our way out of the mountains and in to Vegas.
When I arrived through the final checkpoint, the official looked at my bike and asked me what I was riding. When I told her, she said " You made it all the way on that little bike?!" "yes ma'am".
Everyone got into Vegas that evening. We met up with the other team and talked about our experience. The XT performed flawlessly and honestly, I never doubted that the little XT could make it. Our total trip was 360 miles.
2007 XT 225, 2013 Husqvarna 310R