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Roaming Wyoming 701ing

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My nephew KTMCarhart and I decided to lay some tracks down in Wyoming. We like the nomadic BDR roaming stuff but based on our past experiences, we are trying to include more technical tracks here and there, yet still cover good ground and experience different geology. He built this route plan, over a 1000 miles of dirt on our 1300 mile adventure. We are trucking from central Texas and leaving the truck in central Wyoming and doing a jacked up figure 8 through the state chasing mountains and deserts.

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Now to the bike. I bought the 701 used last summer with some goodies. The pannier racks and saddle bags that came with it worked well for the typical BDR riding. But when trails deteriorate and I get in technical stuff, I get annoyed, the pack was just too wide/weight too far to the rear for my liking. As it turns out, I guess I am still wanting a big dirt bike more than an adventure bike on these types of rides. I think if you live in Texas, you need 3 bikes. But I am still married to my first wife, so I’ll have to regroup. Here is a pic of the rack and bags that came with the bike, as it was loaded for the New Mexico BDR loop ride that we did last Oct, trip report in this forum somewhere. That was my first longer week-plus trip living off a bike. You learn and make adjustments.

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Since that trip, I have been on a mission to get the 701 leaner yet still carry some camping gear. I pulled the saddle bags/racks off. I looked into other rack options but don’t really see anything exactly like I want out there. I spent some brain cells working on my own rack design and was about to build it myself. But then in the spirit of going light, decided to drill directly into the plastics and did a homemade tail tidy to clean it up a bit. I used some Wolfman medium rollies I already had in my stash. Swapped my Wolfman rear duffle for a REI Osprey bag that had dimensions I liked and easier to access stuff. I went to a handle bar bag instead of a tank bag for my phone/charging duties, just couldn’t get use to the tank bag that came with the bike being in my way in the heat of battle. The bike also came with a Lynx light/tower, I did some tweaks to make it work better for me, part rally/part storage unit. Then just some solid maintenance and fresh meat before a big trip…..and geared it lower. Feeling good.

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Looks like a great lighter weight setup. Do those side dry bags contact the back of your thighs? Any cooking gear or food able to be packed?

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Obdewla_X

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Pretty sweet looking setup... sounds like a fun trip you guys have planned too. 👍
 
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Looks like a great lighter weight setup. Do those side dry bags contact the back of your thighs? Any cooking gear or food able to be packed?

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Hey there Silver Bullet. Dry bags....no they don't touch my thighs. They do work like steg pegs when I stand up. Cooking gear.....I have an adjustafork as my primary means of cooking, cuts down a lot of gear. We will have a fire at most camp sites. When we don't, I have RX bars, jerky and stuff like that.
 
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It's not dirt, but if you haven't ridden it before, that Wind River Canyon between Shoshoni and Thermopolis is one bit of tarmac I wouldn't miss on your purple route. I have a minute or so of footage in my recent video from my FJR trip up that way. The link below should take you directly to the part where the canyon starts.

 
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Thanks for sharing. My nephew use to live in Worland, I have driven that route and it is definitely cool. I think we have our hearts set on dirt as much as possible and the BLM madness that is out that way is too tempting. But you never know, adventures have a way of changing your plans and scenic pavement is sometimes welcomed.
Thanks, Steve
 
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No problem, if you've done it before then possibly no need. I figured, it doesn't take long to ride it and if you hadn't ridden it before, it's a gem in an otherwise flat area out there. After several hours coming up from north central Colorado it was quite a treat to hit that area.

I always have to double check to see what someone is referring to these days when they refer to "BLM." :D
 
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JMZ, you're right as usual, I just have to make sure my second wife will be ok with it. I'm determined to make two bikes work for me. I already have 3 other dirt bikes for my 3 kids and a quad for wife #1. And a rockcrawler. Maybe I can buy a 1290 for my wife, kind of like Homer bought that bowling ball for Marge for her birthday.

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JMZ, you're right as usual, I just have to make sure my second wife will be ok with it. I'm determined to make two bikes work for me...

Just keep the 3rd bike at your second wife's house. Your first wife will never know about it and your second wife will never know about your 2 other bikes. Doable!



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A little more prep stuff. I’m happy with the bike but all this tight and light philosophy on the trail comes at a price. I will only have very minimal snacks/water, carry no spare fuel (I have about 5g between two tanks), ditched some camp comfort items, slimmed down some other “what if” stuff and only have very minimal clothes packed. We will drop down or pass through little towns every couple hundred miles or so and restock gas/snacks/water. I decided to upgrade my Zacspeed backpack from the Recon I have been abusing for several years to the Dakar. This gives me more temporary expandable space when we hit civilization to snag food/beverages for the evening, hopefully towards the end of the day in most cases. My attempt to keep the bike light/ride experience at a maximum for 80-90% of the day.

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This trip we will loop back to our truck after being in the bush for several days, regroup, then head out for more days of abuse. That helped my brain not having as much MacGyver stuff with me on the bike. In addition, we are pulling a little trailer so we are going to bring backup bikes, why not. I would hate to be over a thousand miles from home, have a catastrophic bike failure that is a show stopper/adventure ending, all while my 500 is sitting in my garage pissed that I left him behind, poor little fella. So he quickly shed his single track skin and put on his adv digs in case he is called to duty.

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We will see how this trip goes with these changes to my 701/packing. I know the way I have my stable outfitted that the 500 and 701 have a pretty good overlap. But the 701 is friendlier on longer adventure rides and I like keeping my 500 stock/skinny for normal trail riding with my kids. The 701 is me trying to find that balance of dirt oriented adventure bike that can handle some gnarl, as well as decent sections of slab, without spending bigger dollars building out a new “middle weight.” This trip should make up my mind if my stable stock is permanent. For now, bike is ready, last minute prep/loading going down. Sleep patterns being affected, really ready to get on with it.

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I'll definitely be following this. As I loaded my FJR with all my camping stuff including huge dry bag, I looked over at my DRZ that I plan to use for purposes you are doing here and wondered how I'll ever thin out my load to get it on the DRZ. The DRZ is supposed to be temporary as I try to find the lightweight dirt adventure bike I want. No big ADV bike as your plan is my plan, trailer out, then ride around. The toss up between the 500EXC and the 701/690 is the dilemma, so this sounds like a ride report I'll be all over in the end. I look forward to reading about the adventures and lessons learned.
 
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I'll definitely be following this. As I loaded my FJR with all my camping stuff including huge dry bag, I looked over at my DRZ that I plan to use for purposes you are doing here and wondered how I'll ever thin out my load to get it on the DRZ. The DRZ is supposed to be temporary as I try to find the lightweight dirt adventure bike I want. No big ADV bike as your plan is my plan, trailer out, then ride around. The toss up between the 500EXC and the 701/690 is the dilemma, so this sounds like a ride report I'll be all over in the end. I look forward to reading about the adventures and lessons learned.
Hey Gixxerjasen....I will say this. When I have been riding my 701 a lot and then go to hit some trails with my 500, you really notice how light and nimble the 500 is. When I have been riding my 500 a lot and I go to ride the 701 on pavement/gravel, you really notice how much more refined and smooth the 701 is. For pure gravel travel/BDR stuff I would pick the 701. If you are more of the type that likes to get beat up on nasty trails, the 500 every time. Both bikes can do both disciplines, just decide where you are spending 80% of your time.
 
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Both bikes can do both disciplines, just decide where you are spending 80% of your time.
Yup, this was the point of buying a cheap DRZ, to figure this out. I'd really not like to look at something and think "Nah, this bike can't do it" but I also have to think about my skills considering my background and primary riding is street stuff, with a little bit of dirt, though I'd like to swing that more towards dirt. Either way, looking forward to reading about this trip.
 
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Yup, this was the point of buying a cheap DRZ, to figure this out. I'd really not like to look at something and think "Nah, this bike can't do it" but I also have to think about my skills considering my background and primary riding is street stuff, with a little bit of dirt, though I'd like to swing that more towards dirt. Either way, looking forward to reading about this trip.
I definitely have a character flaw that I don't like to turn around. I dragged our crew through a nasty trail in Cloudcroft a couple years ago, trail T103. People weren't happy with me. But it was one of those trails that kept deteriorating and once you were in it, you kind of had to tough it out. I was enjoying it but would not have been able to make it back out of the canyon on my 701 under my own power, the 500 pulled it off but I definitely did not look like Graham Jarvis. Point of my story, Suzuki DRs. I am a fan, one of my favorite bikes I have owned was a 94 DR 350, back in 1995. One of our crew in Cloudcroft had a DRZ 400. Multiple times I rappelled back down the trail and went to ride his bike up. I was reminded how nice my 500 is. I beat that DR relentlessly to make any power and get forward movement. The last of the trail required up hill assist, meaning two more guys pushing. The DR is what it is, just can't expect camaro SS performance when you have a caprice. But I have had a lot of fun in a caprice, especially the back seat.
 
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We are heading out of Texas for Wyoming, putting down some big miles in the truck. Didn’t somebody famous say I’ll sleep when I’m dead? Had to look it up, that is a Warren Zevon song. Benjamin Franklin had the original iteration, “There will be sleeping enough in the grave.” That reminds me of money, guns and lawyers. I must go now.

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bwdmax

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Nothing like heading west chasing the sun all day. It is your face but man you can lay down the miles in the daylight.
 
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KsTeveM: "I think if you live in Texas, you need 3 bikes."

TEHO - for some of us who live in Texas it's it's just one bike, no truck, no trailer, no SAG wagon...:rider:.

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