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Father and Son NMBDR, New Mexico Backcountry Discovery

Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
135
Location
Goldthwaite
Father and Son NMBDR


Here is the ride report for our New Mexico BDR trip, May 27th to June 2nd.

There is a video link after every day report before pictures if your on a PC they may not show as a thumbnail may just show a link.

My dad (Montejay) and I (KoryJ) had been planning this trip for a year. We both ride Kawasaki KLR650s. His is a 2015 started with around 6,000 miles and mine is a 2008 and had a little over 70,000 miles on it. Both bikes ran amazing and handled everything we put in front of them with not one problem. We worked all year getting the accessories, mods, and supplies we needed on them, both bikes were basically stock when we started talking about going.
We trailered our bikes to a spot outside the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, about 54 miles from Dell City which was actual start of the BDR. We unloaded there and rode to Dell City for the start.
My mother would be the support crew and drive the rig to Ruidoso for 3 nights, then Grants for 2 nights, and on to Trinidad, Co. to meet us at the end. My dad and mom would take the bikes back to Texas and I would meet my family in Trinidad for another week vacation in Colorado.
We camped 4 nights and stayed 1 night in a hotel in Ruidoso, and another in Grants, when we meet my mother along the way. She hauled our spare tires, parts, and our full set of tools. Thankfully we never needed any of it. We had a great time. After the first day we thought it might be tougher than we had planned, but it got better for us every day. We only rode a half day the first and last day. After the soreness we had the 2nd morning we were a little worried about 5 days of riding 200-250 miles (8-10hrs) per day. Luckily we somehow we felt better every day of the trip. We saw every type of terrain possible, desert, deep sand, rough rocks, many water crossings, snow, elevations 10,125' and forest.

We talked to a lot of people who had ridden sections of it, but we wanted to ride it from start to finish. We did a total of 1445 miles in 6 days, that’s counting the trip over to Trinidad after the finish, and to Dell City to start.

Below are pictures and videos, as a day by day.



Day 1

On the first day we started outside of the Guadalupe Mountains Nation Park around noon. We rode 54 miles to Dell City where we topped off our tanks and our stomachs before we started. The whole way along the ridge probably 40 miles of freshly graded larger loose rock. Also the only time my Dad went down on one of his brand new Tusk Panniers. Made him mad enough he kept from going down anymore the whole trip. Let’s just say I made up for it in the later sand section. We road all the way to Weed. A total of 210 miles. Grabbed some stuff for breakfast, the next day, at the Weed Gas station. We camped at the community center in town.

https://youtu.be/AgbwBFNFb6A

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Day 2

On the second day we packed up and headed towards Ruidoso where we would be able to sleep in a bed, or couch. One of the sections coming in to Ruidoso was pretty technical with loose rock and steep grades. All and all was a nice ride through the hills and mountains. With a total of 148 miles for the day.

https://youtu.be/QTT3qI-4S9s

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Day 3

Left Ruidoso the third day headed to the White Sands Missile Range and Truth or Consequence. Riding through the beautiful mountains was enjoyable. We rode past Bonito Lake going to Carrizozo. After Carrizozo we rode though the Valley of Fire where there are some amazing lava fields. Shortly after the lava fields we turned on a nice ranch road that took us all the way to the White Sands Missile Range. Were we followed the range boarder fence for miles and miles through 2-3” of sand. Before hitting some solid ground a little ways outside of Truth or Consequences. Just before we came in to T or C we stopped at the Elephant Butte Lake. There was a pretty nice scenic lookout spot by the dam where you can see the island the lake gets its name after. We decided to ride on with some more daylight left and made it to Winston, where we camped at the park and community center. We were happy to make it that far so the next morning we could start Chloride Canyon fresh. With a total of 251 miles for the day.

https://youtu.be/TyWF_VkOsqg

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Day 4

Starting day four dropping in to Chloride Canyon was great. It was a long stretch of road with walls on both sides and crossing back and forth through the creek, sometimes ridding right down the middle of the creek. After making it out of Chloride Canyon we rode a good ways before coming to the “Expert Only Loose Rock” section and bypass. We decide to try it and glad we did. It was plenty rough, rough enough it rattled my dad’s license plate apart and lost it. Passed Snow Lake, through Reserve, and in to Luna. Coming out of Luna we were looking for a place to camp. We found a nice place up in the forest, at about 8,000’. With a total of 191 miles for the day, and a total of 800 miles for the trip.

https://youtu.be/YbrmL9Ul7Wg

https://youtu.be/DhzKIk7uJhE

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Day 5

Coming down out of the mountains from Luna we started seeing a lot of elk. We talked to a rancher who said they were always thick there, I would bet we saw 100 or more. We passed a neat old salt lake named Zuni Salt Lake. Wish I could have got closer than the road to look around but could only look out on it from the road. We stopped at Candy Kitchen Grocery for a great lunch. Outside of Grants was a real neat two track that went by an abandoned mine shaft, and some lava mounds. With a total of 157 miles for the day.

https://youtu.be/kIZPkxixI2k

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Day 6

Leaving Grants we went through a section probably 40 miles of sand in between 2” and 6” deep. It was a neat section of ravines and small mesas despite the deep sand and loaded bikes. Coming back up in to the mountains we came across a massive rock all by its self, named Teakettle Rock. We ended up ridding through the only real rain we got in to right outside of Abiquiu. Right outside of Abiquiu we came down the back side of a dam with a small hydro electric generator on it and rode a track that ran right beside the river on to Abiquiu. There was no place to set up camp so we headed on out to the technical section outside of town and found a good camping spot with an amazing view of the lake. With a total of 203 miles for the day.

[url]https://youtu.be/AgFdxEMdnq8[/url]

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Day 7

Last day we decided not to do the technical section after the worry of running out of time. So we took the alternate route which was a great road itself. Forest and high meadow for the most part all day. It was a nice section with a little mud here and there from the rain the day before. There were some neat section that were between a two track and a forestry road. This section had been closed till a week before we started. We road over 10,000’ elevation, went around a few snow drifts at higher elevations. At the end there were three water sections where the river had over flowed its banks. The sections were around 100 yards long with corners in them. There was no way to see the end of the water without walking it out or just riding through. All of them were rock and gravel luckily there was no washouts or problem areas in them. We finished the official route at 1303 miles in Antonito. We ate some lunch and headed on to Trinidad to meet my mother with the trailer, to haul them back home the next day. With a total of 285 miles for the day. The total trip from start to end was 1445 miles of mostly dirt.

[url]https://youtu.be/97fVfnpgUQM[/url]

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It was amazing to be able to take such a trip with my dad. The track had some sections that were brutal and some easy but it pushed both of us to be better riders. Without having cell service our Garmin Inreach was a must. We didn’t use it for navigation really, but was able to text and receive text from our wives anywhere we were. Also friends and family were able to watch and follow along on a web page that showed exactly where we were at all times. It also has SOS capabilities, with text communication with dispatch if SOS is used. We also have Sena headsets in our helmets, which was a must. Was able to warn him, and him me, about hazards and just to joke around. Even though I know some people aren’t big fans of the KLR 650, I can’t think of a bike I would have rather been on. It had the fuel range we needed for such a trip, some sections were well over 100 to almost 200 miles in between services. Handled the weight of all our gear and us without being overloaded. Overall was a trip of a life time.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Great report and pics. A bunch of us recently did the CDR north from Silver City so I got the feel of your story.
 
Joined
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Great report and pics. A bunch of us recently did the CDR north from Silver City so I got the feel of your story.


Thank you. COBDR will be my next. The last 2 days pictures and videos are up.


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bwdmax

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Thanks for sharing. My son just turned 16 and I hope we get my rides together.
 
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Looks like you two had a heck of a adventure. Sorry I was not able to go with you. Really enjoyed the scenery and videos. Hope to be able to do one with one of my sons some day.

Looks like you two just camped about everywhere. Did you eat mostly at camp since you were not near any towns? If so what did you have? Freeze dried stuff or spam or ? First trip I took several packages of Mountain house but never made any of them since we only really ate two meals a day. Lost 10 pounds on the trip but thankfully gained them all back.:rofl:
 
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Great stuff.

And I must bow down to you, it appears you have been riding the wheels off that KLR. I'm ashamed that it has more miles than my FJR does!
 
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Great stuff.

And I must bow down to you, it appears you have been riding the wheels off that KLR. I'm ashamed that it has more miles than my FJR does!


Got to be honest it had most of them on it when I bought it. But runs like new.


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Joined
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Messages
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Goldthwaite
Looks like you two had a heck of a adventure. Sorry I was not able to go with you. Really enjoyed the scenery and videos. Hope to be able to do one with one of my sons some day.

Looks like you two just camped about everywhere. Did you eat mostly at camp since you were not near any towns? If so what did you have? Freeze dried stuff or spam or ? First trip I took several packages of Mountain house but never made any of them since we only really ate two meals a day. Lost 10 pounds on the trip but thankfully gained them all back.:rofl:


We got a case of A-Pac MRE's that we eat. Was good food and worked really well. Would eat the meal for dinner and the extras for breakfast, and snack for lunch. A couple of times we would hit a town close to meal time and would grab something.
 
Last edited:

Montejay

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Drew, I hope you get the chance to do a trip like this with your son. We had a perfect time. Kory's a good kid and we do a lot together.
 
Last edited:
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Nice report, pics and videos, Nice to see father and son rides and nice to see those klr's getting a proper workout!


My bike looked just like yours till the first deer I hit. Now it's bed liner. The KLRs took everything we put in front of them and wanted more. Love these bikes.


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Joined
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Nice ride report, photos, & videos. Appreciate y'all sharing with the community. Glad you didn't get up close & personal with any of those elk on the road!


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Nice ride report, photos, & videos. Appreciate y'all sharing with the community. Glad you didn't get up close & personal with any of those elk on the road!


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Me too. We had a couple run across pretty close but lucky nothing to close.


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Drew, I hope you get the chance to do a trip like this with your son. We had a perfect time. Kory's a good kid and we do a lot together.
You know Colorado should be next on your list.:deal: I can show you a cool relaxing creek to break your foot in.:lol2:
 
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Not sure if it shows the same for everyone. But there is a video link after every day report before pictures if your on a PC they may not show as a thumbnail may just show a link.


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I'm heading up to knock the COBDR off the bucket list first week in Sept
Cottonwood pass rd is seriously closed for a while. This is a bigger problem than first appears. This is in the leg between buena vists and lake city. I went over tin cup pass as an alternative yesterday. I do not recommend doing that...even on a 500. Find a good way around.
 

Montejay

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Thanks for the info RG. We probably will not be doing the COBDR until
next summer.
Is the middle of July a good time to do this one?
Is the problem with the cottonwood pass road snow, or just damage?
 

Tourmeister

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I just finished doing an eight day ride with a mix of camping, hotels, and cabins, with Rsquared and his son (28 yrs old). We rode in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. It was a blast and seeing those two experience it together REALLY makes me want to do a similar trip when my son is old enough.

Getting loaded down KLRs through deep sand can be a real challenge! Well done!
 

Liteitup

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Thanks for the info RG. We probably will not be doing the COBDR until
next summer.
Is the middle of July a good time to do this one?
Is the problem with the cottonwood pass road snow, or just damage?
It's closed to pave the western side.
 
Joined
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I just finished doing an eight day ride with a mix of camping, hotels, and cabins, with Rsquared and his son (28 yrs old). We rode in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. It was a blast and seeing those two experience it together REALLY makes me want to do a similar trip when my son is old enough.

Getting loaded down KLRs through deep sand can be a real challenge! Well done!



We had a blast. The KLRs did amazing. Don't know that I would have wanted to do it on anything bigger would have been very difficult in a lot of places.


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Tourmeister

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It's closed to pave the western side.
:tab NOOOOOOO!!! That blows! That was such a cool pass!

Looking West from the top


We had a blast. The KLRs did amazing. Don't know that I would have wanted to do it on anything bigger would have been very difficult in a lot of places.
:tab Were you both running on stock suspension? The stock springs are not real stiff. I replaced the rear and fork springs on my 02 KLR with stiffer springs and it made a HUGE difference in how well the bike handled, loaded and unloaded. I still used the stock shock. I just put a 420 series spring on it. I originally used the Rosler progressive springs in the forks but later swapped for the Race Tech straight rate springs and they were MUCH better. I stayed with stock damping stuff and I think I used a slightly heavier oil in the forks. Overall, I think I spent about $250-300 on it. Money well spent!!

:tab The other inexpensive thing that made a huge difference was repacking and re-torquing the steering head bearings. They often come minimally greased and slightly loose from the factory. Mine were really loose and had very little grease. Fixing it made the bike track MUCH better, especially in stuff like deep gravel and sand.
 

Montejay

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Sounds like a blast Scott. I'm building my bucket list, of rides like that, for when I retire in a couple of years.
 
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:tab NOOOOOOO!!! That blows! That was such a cool pass!



Looking West from the top









:tab Were you both running on stock suspension? The stock springs are not real stiff. I replaced the rear and fork springs on my 02 KLR with stiffer springs and it made a HUGE difference in how well the bike handled, loaded and unloaded. I still used the stock shock. I just put a 420 series spring on it. I originally used the Rosler progressive springs in the forks but later swapped for the Race Tech straight rate springs and they were MUCH better. I stayed with stock damping stuff and I think I used a slightly heavier oil in the forks. Overall, I think I spent about $250-300 on it. Money well spent!!



:tab The other inexpensive thing that made a huge difference was repacking and re-torquing the steering head bearings. They often come minimally greased and slightly loose from the factory. Mine were really loose and had very little grease. Fixing it made the bike track MUCH better, especially in stuff like deep gravel and sand.



Progressive fork springs in the 15 and straight fork springs in the 08. Not much else changed on the suspension.


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Montejay

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Monte
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:tab NOOOOOOO!!! That blows! That was such a cool pass!

Looking West from the top




:tab Were you both running on stock suspension? The stock springs are not real stiff. I replaced the rear and fork springs on my 02 KLR with stiffer springs and it made a HUGE difference in how well the bike handled, loaded and unloaded. I still used the stock shock. I just put a 420 series spring on it. I originally used the Rosler progressive springs in the forks but later swapped for the Race Tech straight rate springs and they were MUCH better. I stayed with stock damping stuff and I think I used a slightly heavier oil in the forks. Overall, I think I spent about $250-300 on it. Money well spent!!

:tab The other inexpensive thing that made a huge difference was repacking and re-torquing the steering head bearings. They often come minimally greased and slightly loose from the factory. Mine were really loose and had very little grease. Fixing it made the bike track MUCH better, especially in stuff like deep gravel and sand.
Thanks Scott for the information. I did install progressive springs and adjust oil level, as Kory said. But I feel like I may need to try re-lubing and check the torque on the steering head bearings, it still does not feel quite right. I want to add a fork brace also.
 
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Thanks for the info RG. We probably will not be doing the COBDR until
next summer.
Is the middle of July a good time to do this one?
Is the problem with the cottonwood pass road snow, or just damage?

Folks, to avoid messing up KoryJ's report, I've made another thread for BDR stuff HERE.
 
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