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View Full Version : New years day Fannin county dirt road splorin ride


Photojojo
01-01-2006, 08:46 PM
Great ride.. To bad for those that missed it. Fannin county has some potential in a big way. It will take some more rides, I like to call it...research, to come up with a good day long loop can be had up there that will give DFW riders a good day trip. We only really stopped on the road once so I only have a couple of pictures.

http://chrisjennings.com/0101fanninride/cemetary.jpg

http://chrisjennings.com/0101fanninride/split.jpg

We had a late lunch at 1:30 and then we all went home to watch the Paris Dakar on OLN. So we need to plan another foray to Fannin county soon to complete the mission.

STCPO
01-01-2006, 08:54 PM
I'm so bummed I had to miss this ride, but from the looks of the pics, I'll have to get up there and do some exploring with the GPS files you sent.

I should have the KLR back on the road in a week or so after I track down the leak. From what I can tell so far it's just a hose clamp, but I have not looked into it real deep yet.

Pete

Sprocket
01-01-2006, 08:57 PM
Great ride.. To bad for those that missed it. Fannin county has some potential in a big way. It will take some more rides, I like to call it...research, to come up with a good day long loop can be had up there that will give DFW riders a good day trip. We only really stopped on the road once so I only have a couple of pictures.

We had a late lunch at 1:30 and then we all went home to watch the Paris Dakar on OLN. So we need to plan another foray to Fannin county soon to complete the mission.

Agreed. Great ride, thanks for working it up. Worth the boring, 90 minute trek home down 78.... :clap:

That first pic is kinda creepy though Chris.:hack: PM me a good email addy for you and I'll shoot you the route we took from Princeton to Bonham. It was pretty decent as well.

Gotta do it again and get some of these others DS slackers out and riding. You know who you are... :rolleyes:

Photojojo
01-01-2006, 09:30 PM
I'm so bummed I had to miss this ride, but from the looks of the pics, I'll have to get up there and do some exploring with the GPS files you sent.

Pete

Let us know when you go.

Sleepy Weasel
01-01-2006, 11:03 PM
2nd day on the DR and I put in 300 miles round trip. I'm going to claim 100 of those were dirt, gravel and sand, because my butt feels like at least 100 miles were some kind of uncivilized surface. Of course, that surface might just be the stock seat.

Tourmeister
01-01-2006, 11:25 PM
So other than the seat... what do you think? And where are the @!$% bike pics!?

Hotboot
01-02-2006, 08:18 AM
So other than the seat... what do you think? And where are the @!$% bike pics!?

Yea, we need your ride report. Forget the pix, it's yellow.
I want to know what 300 miles on a DS feels like.

:coffee:

Sleepy Weasel
01-02-2006, 12:56 PM
Well, for starters, I decided the suspension settles in enough that I'm going to leave the height alone. I still don't lean it over far enough at a stop light to get one foot or the other all the way flat, but it hasn't been a big deal.

On the way out of the house yesterday I noticed the streets were a little damp. I'm not relly sure where it came from, but I guess it doesn't really matter. The stock Trailwings handled it well enough, I never had a problem with cornering or braking, though I was being conservative. Apparently I was a little less conservative with the throttle as I passed through Denton, though.

Let me just take a moment to say I feel sorry for anyone who has to drive through Denton on a regular basis. I took 380 between I35 and 75, and found Denton full of the slowest drivers I'd ever seen, coupled with a series of wonderfully arbitrary traffic lights. I suspect the traffic sensors are designed to give the red light to all approaching traffic, and the green light to any direction that doesn't need it.

The frustration in Denton may be why, the few times I managed to be first at a red light, I ran into traction issues when I got the green. Between the overnight moisture, and a lack of any recent rain, the first few car lengths at every light were a little slick... not so much that I ever locked a tire under braking, or felt like my feet were solidly planted at a red light, but enough that a little bottom end grunt from the 650 would spin the back tire. There were several intersections where I managed to spin the back tire for several feet, but despite a little fishtailing, I was surprised how stable the DR felt. That was something that kept coming to mind later in the day on other loose surfaces, and allowed me to hang in there when instinct said "Hey, this can't be right, back off."

I learned early on that I was glad I'd decided to take the DR instead of the Sherpa. I'd been more worried about the extra weight and height of the DR, but ridng the Sherpa all that way, I would have been more concerned about "Am I there YET?"

Meeting up with Sprocket in Princeton, I topped off and we proceeded to take every conceivable dirt road he could find between there and Bonham. 99% of the time everything was great, I was goosing the throttle to slide it around turns and it all just kind of felt right. That other 1% came from a few patches of deep gravel that got the front end oscillating back and forth. There were several occasions where I thought "There's no way I'm NOT going down" but a little mor throttle and the DR always pulled out of it. Later in the day, I followed oldbmw's example of standing on the pegs and found that the problem just didn't seem to materialize anymore. Maybe some of the more experienced dirt riders can fill me in on the physics of what was happening. I'd heard Sprocket mention getting my weight to the rear and letting the front lighten up to scoot over those kinds of soft areas, but then again, standing up seemed to let the front dig in and track straight. either way it sounds like I'm not supposed to just sit in the middle and wait it out. :pray:

After picking up oldbmw in Bonham, we went back to taking dirt roads where we found them. I don't know if the rest of the dirt roads were less difficult, or if I just got better at them, but the rest of the ride didn't seem like so much work. On the other hand, maybe it was that following oldbmw's KLR gave me more warning about the squirrely spots. Sprocket's XR just never seems to flinch at anything, so watching his back tire doesn't tell me much about what he's hitting in the road. I could also tell that a big part of it was an experience advantage, but having both of these guys to follow did a lot for my own confidence level. It was a lot like my first time riding a street bike in the rain, 90 some miles worth of wet pavement on a poker run. I got plenty of chances to wonder how the heck the tires were going to stick, but seeing the bike ahead of me do it was a big help.

Not long before lunch, we wound up on a dirt road like I'd never seen. Easily 4 lanes wide, smooth (mostly) and well graded (not big pockets of 4 inch deep gravel), it was fun despite looking boring. It was a little weird doing 60+ on dirt, but I kept wondering if I should go a little faster and pass the KLR ahead of me, despite the scorn it would earn me at lunch.

This is the closest combination I could find to demonstrate who was sitting on my shoulders...
:angel: :ponder: :twisted:

Anyway, I decided not to give in the a lust for speed. The only thing worse than crashing, is crashing while you're trying to show off.

A little further down the dirt superhighway we saw why it was so wide. Some kind of a facility off to our left had a few of those giant 3 story tall dumptrucks that take up two lanes. I doubt one of those could fit down most of our earlier dirt roads, much less let two pass in opposite directions.

I don't remember whether that was before or after our pics at the cemetery. Either way, those shots were taken where we found our first patch of sand. Well, we may have hit some earlier, but not deep enough for us to be aware of it. I was too far back to see the XR hit it, but I saw the KLR get a little squirrely and knew something was up. Again, a little advance warning let me prepare for what might have been a problem if I'd hit the sand first. After a litle rest stop to try and figure out just which three way intersection on the map depicted the one we'd found, we picked a direction and took off. At least we didn't have to go far to get out of the sand. Everybody got a little goofy for a few feet, but I managed to wash out the front end badly enough that I had to put down an outrigger for the first time all day. I was really glad 20 feet later when it went back to packed dirt.

Beyond that, nothing really noteworthy, except finally a long pavement section leading up to lunch. I guess the other two guys weren't actualy aware that I'd just picked up the DR the previous day. I have no idea how fast they were going, but I started losing ground early, not wanting to push the throttle too far. By the time we stopped along Hwy 82 for lunch, I was still close enough to see them turn off for gas station burgers, so I guess somebody checked a mirror eventually and took pity on me. :haha:

Lunch was a welcome break from that skinny little plank of a seat. On the dirt sections I guess I was always to preoccupied to think about the seat, but on the pavement, it became painfully obvious. The only thing I LIKE about the DR seat would be the grippy cover. On the Sherpa, I slide around a little under hard braking or a hard launch in 1st gear, but on the DR, you don't move unless it's by choice. I'm kind of considering maybe having a place in Carrollton just refoam the factory seat, rather than buy aftermarket. Too many aftermarket seats are going overboard on widening out a shelf to sit on, resulting in something that I'm sure is more comfortable on long stretches of highway, but they just look like they will compromise my ability to sit where I want when I'm on the dirt. Whichever way I go about it, I can see a new seat will take priority over a larger gas tank.

After lunch, I think we'd all had enough for one day. I know I had. We slabbed it back west on 82, I managed to buy myself a few extra miles when I missed the turn off for 121 and was too stubborn to turn back. I held off on gassing up as I passed through Sherman and found I hit my reserve at just about 101 miles. A bigger tank is definitely on the list, it's just not first.

Photojojo
01-02-2006, 01:12 PM
I'm convinced the place with the big dumptrucks is where they grow dirt. You should have passed me, it would have made me go faster. Then we both could have crashed.

Hotboot
01-02-2006, 01:27 PM
Sounds like fun. I've seen some guys use an thingy (showing my DS knowledge) filled w/ air. That would not help your seat height though.

DENTON: Thought I showed you this short-cut, maybe not.
State School Xit, hang a ralph and meander past the landfill to the first light, hang a louie and then a ralph at the 7-11. That is loop 288 and shoots you up to 380 bypassing the mall area.

Do you dirty guys wear dust masks and goggles ? Do you need special boots ?
Do you guys fall down a lot ?

Sleepy Weasel
01-02-2006, 01:42 PM
I'm convinced the place with the big dumptrucks is where they grow dirt. You should have passed me, it would have made me go faster. Then we both could have crashed.


That's ridiculous. Everybody knows dirt is manufactured, not grown.
:rolleyes:

Sleepy Weasel
01-02-2006, 01:46 PM
Do you dirty guys wear dust masks and goggles ? Do you need special boots ? Do you guys fall down a lot ?


Sprocket went the MX helmet & goggles route. The rest of us went with more conventional street helmets. I rode with a pair of Bates tac boots, but I added a pair of knee/shin guards under the Draggin Jeans just in case.
http://www.newenoughmx.com/fox_shin_guard_a_page.htm

Nobody went down on this trip, so I guess we could have ridden in shorts, flip-flops and do-rags. :pirate:

Tourmeister
01-03-2006, 03:33 PM
:tab The regular street helmet is okay unless it gets real dusty. Then the goggles are nicer because your eyes don't get as crusty... Also, if you ride in the dirt you wil eventually hit the ground. A dirt helmet is usually quite a bit cheaper than street helmets to replace.

:tab Weasel, does Sarget make a seat for the DR?

Sleepy Weasel
01-03-2006, 05:10 PM
:tab The regular street helmet is okay unless it gets real dusty. Then the goggles are nicer because your eyes don't get as crusty... Also, if you ride in the dirt you wil eventually hit the ground. A dirt helmet is usually quite a bit cheaper than street helmets to replace.

:tab Weasel, does Sarget make a seat for the DR?

I'm 90% sure that Sargent does a seat for the DR, I've just been a little lazy about the research. With everything I've heard about Corbin & Sargent seats for other bikes though, it sounds like they go back and forth as to who makes the best seat for any given bike. I also need to get off my butt (pun intended) and call this upholstery place here in Carrollton to see about redoing the padding on my factory seat.

Sleepy Weasel
01-03-2006, 05:14 PM
I know something has been nagging at me about this picture for a couple of days, and I finally figured it out. Thanks to Chris going for the blue KLR rather than one in Army Green, we had all three primary colors on this ride.


http://chrisjennings.com/0101fanninride/cemetary.jpg

Bandit33
01-03-2006, 06:27 PM
Corbin makes a nice seat for the DR and also a company out in CA, called Renazco, custom makes them for most bikes, at a fairly reasonable price. I am considering getting one made for the DRZ. The Suzuki optional gel seat on mine is okay, but after about 150 miles, it also starts to get tiring. I find myself standing up a lot,.... even on the pavement.

Also, check with Clarke and IMS for the aftermarket tanks.... I really like the Clarke on mine.

P.S. I need to go on the next DS ride with you guys.

Don

Sleepy Weasel
01-03-2006, 06:45 PM
P.S. I need to go the next DS ride with you guys.

Don

Yes, you do.
:rider:

Hop
01-06-2006, 02:20 PM
Man I completly missed these threads or I would have joined you guys. I live on some of those dirt roads on the south east side of Bonham back behind the state park. I know quite a few of those roads and you guys could have come out to my place and tried to squeeze between the trees on my mountain bike trails. Let me know when you want to come back out this way and I will put the tag back on the XR for a day.

Sleepy Weasel
01-06-2006, 06:33 PM
Man I completly missed these threads or I would have joined you guys. I live on some of those dirt roads on the south east side of Bonham back behind the state park. I know quite a few of those roads and you guys could have come out to my place and tried to squeeze between the trees on my mountain bike trails. Let me know when you want to come back out this way and I will put the tag back on the XR for a day.

So you probably know where we hit a dead end near the lake (Lake Fannin, I think?) where the Forestry Service has a big gate and signs about a historical site?

Hop
01-06-2006, 08:16 PM
I know exactly where that was. The recreation area at the lake was built by the Youth Conservation Corp and I have worked on a new Mtnbike trail out there. The work has been delayed due to issues with the forest service but it looks like it will be back on track this year. There is a lodge house and cabins that are being restored. The lodge is done to the point that you can rent it for events. very nice old building and beautiful old growth trees everywhere.