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#143682 - 12/02/18 02:37 PM L.A Barstow to Vegas
Scott Blunk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/11
Posts: 49
Loc: So. Cal
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.
_________________________
Scott Blunk
2007 XT 225, 2013 Husqvarna 310R

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#143684 - 12/02/18 03:40 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
Reggie Offline
MR SEROW!
*****

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 11645
Loc: Lancashire, England
Hey Scott,

thanks for the write up, it made for a great read.

I reckon the Serow is more like a pit pony, than an asian mountain goat, as they're a plucky little beastie!

Regards
_________________________
Reggie

Team Cabra, Brazilian XT225, Team Ukulele, Japan import XT225, a 250 to be named and loads of 2 stroke Kawasaki AR's!

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#143686 - 12/02/18 04:38 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
#brer15 Offline
Bronze Member
*****

Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 511
Loc: Atlanta,GA
That just sounds like a blast. Wish I could have been there.
_________________________
2004 XT225 purchased new in October 2004 0 miles. Current miles over 27,000.

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#143689 - 12/02/18 05:43 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
Muniac Online   content


Platinum Member
*****

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 5703
Loc: Montrose, CO
Scott - Thanks for the ride report. Glad everyone made it through OK. A long challenging trip like that usually includes a few mechanicals. Glad support was available. Be safe out there.
_________________________
Evolve & Simplify
Be There or Be Nowhere! A Few Adventures & Video

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#143759 - 12/11/18 08:09 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
InsaneDiego Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/06/17
Posts: 37
Loc: San Diego CA
Scott, that sounds like an epic journey. Thanks for sharing. I've heard about that one and it's definitely on my bucket list.

What specifically was the most difficult part about the roll chart/GPS navigation? And in hindsight would you choose another route?

Regards
_________________________
Home Base: 33 N / 117.3 W

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#143763 - 12/11/18 10:58 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
Scott Blunk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/11
Posts: 49
Loc: So. Cal
The most difficult part of using the roll chart and the gps was never using either one prior to this event. The rider instructions say to use the roll chart and not to rely on the gps. The best thing to do is to take the time before the ride and read the entire roll chart. Compare it to a map of the area and become oriented to the two, so that you are working in tandem with them. They give you a map and it is sufficient for this.
If you only want to ride one route, such as the easy route, go through the roll chart and cut out all of the route directions that are only for the desired route. This eliminates any confusion as to how to reach your destination. Simply tape all of your route sections together and place it in the roll chart holder. The roll chart will be easier to use because there is less paper rolled up. They can get very long with the route options. Follow your route and donít deviate from it.
I would follow the same route again. Hopefully my time would improve.
_________________________
Scott Blunk
2007 XT 225, 2013 Husqvarna 310R

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#143767 - 12/12/18 06:16 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
InsaneDiego Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/06/17
Posts: 37
Loc: San Diego CA
Thanks Scott. Good idea to carve out unneeded route data.

How were your Shinko SR241's? Reason I ask: I have two 2007 XT's and one is in need of a new rear tire. Rocmoc praised his Shinko Cheater 505 last week; I've heard good things about Kenda TrakmasterII 760s, Cheng Shin C755s, Dunlop 606s-I've read the thread on tire fitment. My riding is 80/20 dirt/street.

Ah, decisions, decisions. Will likely go w/the cheapest decent alternative as per my inner kilted Scot.

Regards
_________________________
Home Base: 33 N / 117.3 W

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#143778 - 12/13/18 11:27 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
Scott Blunk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/11
Posts: 49
Loc: So. Cal
The Shinko 241ís are great tires on rocky shale and loose gravel. They are stable on hard pack and good on pavement. Rutted sandy areas are not inspiring but groomed sand is ok. I ran 20/21 psi front and back. There is a difference between the 2.75 and the 3.00 front. Smaller tire is worse in sand but better on tight twisty trails. You will want to square off your corners ( like an old Husky).
These tires are useless in silt. Fell one time ; in-silt.


Edited by Scott Blunk (12/13/18 11:27 PM)
_________________________
Scott Blunk
2007 XT 225, 2013 Husqvarna 310R

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#143781 - 12/14/18 01:25 PM Re: L.A Barstow to Vegas [Re: Scott Blunk]
peejman Offline
Platinum Member
*****

Registered: 06/03/13
Posts: 3181
Loc: East TN USA
I missed this before... sounds like quite a ride.
_________________________
This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.

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