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Old 02-08-2015, 03:48 PM   #21
hizzo3
 
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

I used to live out in death valley. I'd take a winter trip on the bike, but not in summer. And yes it is worth it.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:00 PM   #22
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

I lived in San Jose for many many years and would ride to DV every Feb. and every October. We always camped in Panamint Springs (highest ele), Stovepipe Wells (kind of rocky tent sites, flat and barren) or furnace Creek (nicest, and near the store).

In all those trips we'd never ride off road, but many trails exist. there are some awesome street routes you can do from there (Westgard Pass is my favorite). Also some really cool places like the Bristlecone pine forest off of Westgard , just outside of Big Pine off 395 which is part of the loop.

Whether it is worth it as a destination from TX is questionable to me as it is so far away from here. Nice routes can be found along the way though. We always went because it was a really nice ride getting there, some fast riding for the big bore sport tourers, and WARM in the winter. You must watch weather though as a windstorm can leave a lifetime impression and they happen often in March and April. If one is coming, get out fast. Get back to 395 to Lonepine and a hotel! I've lost two tents there over the years. Seen every tent in a campground go away, except for mine which was beat to death, ripped open and filled with sand, while nicely staked down.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:18 PM   #23
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

DV is best seen by dual sport or adv bike. There are so many jeep trails/canyon roads throughout, lots of hidden gems like 80 year old shacks, rusted up machinery and mining equipment and other geological features you won't ever see from the main roads. Can see where Charlie Manson and his wimminz hid out.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:25 PM   #24
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by M38A1 View Post
So would an oilhead R1150GS have an issue with the heat making the crossing?
Easy peasy in summer. I spent a few days out there on a air cooled Buell. Bikes that radiate heat do better than liquid cooled out there...as long as you're not incessantly winding it up anyway. Had my HD out there too with no issues too. And I'd seen plenty of KLR and Honda XRs doing just fine.

The fact that it's so dry makes it easy to tolerate. Humidity makes for less power and more heat, so engines prefer DV's dryness even if it is 120 degrees.

As a human, keeping the core cool is your big issue. Take lots of frequent breaks in the shade in the back country. At night, camping out, the temps aren't too bad. Kind of pleasant actually.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:57 PM   #25
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

I'll almost bite my tongue on the heat issue. If a guy can ride around sightseeing in TX in the summer, he'll do fine in DV. To me its still just too hot for fun, but I'm new to TX and still getting used to summers. A GS 1150 will do fine I am sure. Run full synthetic Mobil 1 15-50 in it though.

The comment on core temps is spot on. Get one of those cooling vests you soak in water. they work really well.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:17 PM   #26
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

I rode through on a 2-stroke 250cc twin in August, 1970 and it did fine. I would stop and soak my T-shirt in water and zip my jacket. AC
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:24 AM   #27
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

It is well worth it. But not in summer. Well, I won't ever go back between the months of April to November. Too hot. If you get a room at furnace creek you can survive, I was in a tent and it was miserable sleeping since at midnight it was still over 100.
My GSA got hot, and the heat off it on my body was incredible. I think I used up half my tire life in the park.
But again, very desolate, harsh, and so beautiful at the same time.
No place like it, Texas doesn't come close. DV is like the Twilight Zone........you can't ever leave.........
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:51 PM   #28
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

Thanks to everyone, you have compelled me to go ahead and visit the area. Due to scheduling, it will probably during the second half of the summer before I attempt this. I will probably leave Pahrump, Nevada around four in the morning and ride around the park until noon via 190. After that I will turn in for the day and then leave the next day very early in the morning to avoid the afternoon inferno via Scotty's Castle Road to Nevada.

Large CamelBak filled with ice and electrolytes in the water - check
Windscreen all the way up - check
Cooling vest - check
Proper wicking base layer - check


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Old 02-15-2015, 11:47 PM   #29
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Re: Death Valley - is it worth it?

I'd bring extra water. Ice will take up a lot of room. You can sweat up to 2 liters of water an hour. Make sure you hydrate plenty at night before bed. And extra water bladder doesn't take much room and is great insurance.
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