SM610: Down And Dirty In The Wild, Wild West

I'm sitting at home, bored out of my mind after breaking my ankle at the Big Boot Trail Ride and getting 2 plates and 13 screws, so I figured I'd post a long report of a week-long ride I did over Memorial Day. I was on my brand new Husky SM610 with a set of Pirelli MT60's, a skid plate and handguards.

It might take me awhile to get the whole thing posted, but please be patient...and enjoy!

Went to the middle of Nevada over Memorial Day week for some dirty tardin'. Wanted to get to know my new SM610 a little better, and figured what better way than to ride it in the dirt? I knew the desert and mountains were going to be epic when I woke up to this on the first morning there...

(I dig the snow-heart on my headlight)

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I took a photo of it before I rode the pavement down the mountain to our main campspot near a dry lakebed, as I knew it would never look the same after this trip...

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Got set up at camp and headed out into the hills to see what we could see.

Ya gotta love Nevada, where you can pretty much go wherever you want, trail or no trail...

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There was a lot of water everywhere, and I've never seen Nevada so green...

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We made note of the many wild horse trails leading to the water in the green meadow, and decided to come back later to explore them.

We headed back to camp and hit the hot springs before turning in for the night. We would hit the mountains across the dry lake bed in the morning.

More on the way...

WoodsChick

Continued...

The next morning we headed out across the dry lakebed to hit the mountains to the east. We'd been thwarted by snow there last April and we wanted to see if we could hook up some of the trails. The dry lakebed was was about 6 miles across. This is looking west toward camp...

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And this is to the east...

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We had a good time playing out there, it was a lot of fun...

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There wasn't really a road out there on the other side so we cross-country'd it through the sagebrush. The sagebrush gets pretty big and gnarly in Nevada...

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You can see the lakebed behind me. It seemed like that sagebrush went on forever...

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We hit the main road...

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And headed south...

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The road turned and headed up a canyon into the hills. It started getting colder...

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To be continued...

WoodsChick

Continued...

It snowed a little bit up top...

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So we headed back down the hill to the saddle, and then in search of the trails we'd found last year down in the canyon...

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I should probably say right now that the conditions could not have been better, as you can probably see. I'm not in the habit of riding a +300lb dirtbike, especially one with street-oriented dualsport tires, but I could not have been more pleased with the Husky. The motor is an absolute joy, and my Les Tinnius-tuned suspension was working quite nicely. Those two things alone made the Husky super-easy to ride. It turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be, and then some. I already knew it was way more fun than should be legal on the pavement, and now it was shining brightly on the easy dual-sporty stuff I was riding it in. My MT60's were working pretty well, too.

We saw an abandoned mine up on the hillside and searched for a road that would take us out there...

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It started snowing so we took the road back down to the botton...

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Oohh! What's down this canyon??

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Why, it looks like single track to me...

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To be continued...

WoodsChick

It was, indeed, some very tasty singletrack...

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Eric scouting the trail, as it was impossible to see where it went due to being overgrown...

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This is the stuff I live for...

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It started hailing pretty hard, and the trail was extremely overgrown and was getting almost impossible to get through. Add to that the fact that we had no idea if/when/where it came out, and the fact that we were in a very narrow canyon with water flowing through it in what looked like could be a hellacious storm. We decided to be smart and turn around...not without some effort. Good idea to leave the buddy pegs on your 610 if you plan on riding it off-road; They make great grab-handles...

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We decided we'd bring the real dirtbikes back on another day (we had my plated KTM450 and Eric's plated WR426 with us, too) when the weather was a little more cooperative and see where this intriguing trail ended up.

To be continued...

WoodsChick

Continued...

We headed down the hill to get out of the hail and snow...

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The next day we geared up for an overnight trip out to Eureka. We had a route planned completely on dirt, and we were carrying 2 extra gallons of gas in order to make it out there. We figured on about 200 miles. We left early and headed out across the dry lakebed again. But wait...it rained most of the night and now it wasn't so dry. Just getting to it was an adventure, and it's a good thing I'm able to paddle with both feet on the 610, because the front wheel was not even remotely interested in going where I pointed it. You couldn't stop because there would be no traction to get going again, and turns were wide arcing excercises in smoothness and fear. I wanted to stop to take photos but it was raining pretty hard and I had no interest in getting stuck out there. We made it through without any real drama, and it was a pretty neat-o experience. Little did we know that the conditions would keep changing radically throughout our trip.

Hey! What's missing here?

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Actually, I wasn't missing anything. I had actually picked up a little something extra...

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Dammit! A drywall nail out in the middle of f'ing nowhere??

Nothing a few titanium tire irons and some grunt work couldn't fix...

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We were on our way in no time, but we still burned up some of our precious daylight. We were on our way to the mountainbike trails south of Austin and we wanted to play around there before heading east on our trek to Eureka.

Did I mention that we've been here 3 days already and have yet to see another soul out here? Well, other than the folks that drove by us on the main road while fixing the flat. It was interesting to note that the only people to stop and ask us if we were ok were the Shoshone going to and from the Yomba Indian Reservation. The rancher and cowboy didn't even slow down.

We tried to go over the top but the snow got us again. Note the clear line all the way to the left that I took...

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We back-tracked down to the "foothills" and took one of the easy mtb trails...

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Hey, Eric, is your KTM leaking oil out of that oil line bolt?

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Yep, it sure is...dammit!

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We briefly discussed me towing the behemoth KTM back with my Husky, but I didn't feel like taxing my new motor for 50 miles over the pass back to camp.

I suggested Eric take the Husky back to scavenge for an appropriate oil bolt off my KTM. If he couldn't find one, he could bring the Pleasure Palace van back and get as close as possible, then I'd tow him to the van. I waited with the KTM. It took him a few hours to get back, but I was pretty damned happy to spot him in my binoculars tearing up the road on the Husky. That meant our day was salvaged. We'd have to make adjustments to the route, but we would continue on.

To be continued...

WoodsChick

We ended up taking the back way down into Austin (If you've ever been there you've probably seen the "castle" up on the hill. The dirt road we took goes right by it.) and filling our tanks with $4.49 premium. We climbed up to Austin summit and got cell coverage. Called the hotel in Eureka, they were sold out. Arrggh! The best laid plans of mice and men...We said "screw it" and headed to Spencer Hot Springs instead...

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See the huge raindrops on the surface of the water? It poured while we were there soaking...perfect!

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The water was super-hot and made the very long, wet and cold ride back to camp a bit more bearable. We'd try again tomorrow. We crossed the Big Smokey Valley and headed south toward Tonopah. Hung a right at Kingston and took the very beautiful and scenic Kingston Canyon over the Toiyabe Range and down into the Reese River Valley...

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***??

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There was a lot of water in Big Creek and I got soaked going through all the crossings. The wide wheels displace a lot more water than dirt wheels, and the shorty SM fender didn't help, either. Good thing all my gear was waterproof. Too bad my boots weren't.

To be continued...

WoodsChick

As we came down the western slope of the canyon, we ran into a few big snowdrifts. This is the only one that got me, though...

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Can't believe I fell over a mere few feet from the end. The Husky was surprisingly easy to pick up, though. I thought it would feel a lot heavier than my 450 but it didn't. It's shorter and seems to carry its weight lower, so maybe that was it? Regardless, it's not something I'd want to do more than one of two times per day.

The next day we took the 450 and 426 out to see if we could make it through that overgrown singletrack. Heh...we didn't get much farther than we did on the big bikes...

My view from the cockpit of my 450...

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Find the KTM...

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Taken from the seat of my KTM...

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We turned around when it became clear we would need a machete to get any further. We will probably come back in the fall or next spring to clear this trail. We did find some neat stuff when climbing out of the canyon, though...

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Horses are pretty smart animals. They go around stuff instead of over it, so their trails are very sweet. The only tracks we saw were our own...

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More to come...

WoodsChick

After putting a little over 90 miles on the dirtbikes, we hopped onto the big bikes and pulled out for Eureka about 5pm. We'd had glorious weather all day

(for the first time on this trip...) but it started pouring as soon as we got ready to go. Judging from the condition of the "dry" lakebed and our camp when we returned the next day, one can safely assume it rained non-stop the entire time we were gone. I do know that it rained/hailed/snowed the entire 115 paved miles to Eureka. We stopped at Hickison Petroglyphs about halfway there to thaw out a bit and give the bikes a rest. If you ever find yourself on HWY 50 between Austin and Eureka, stop by and take a walk here. The petroglyphs are pretty neat...

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By the way, the MT60's rocked all the way up and down Austin Summit! They feel like full-on rains when on wet pavement. Quite confidence-inspiring.

The minute we stopped it stopped raining. About 5 minutes after we got started again, it started raining again. Uncanny. It took us 2 hours to get to Eureka. We ate a killer dinner at the Owl Casino and Saloon, soaked in the hot tub at the Best Western, and pored over the maps in anticipation of our big day exploring Hot Creek Valley and Canyon in the morning. Or so we thought. The sherrif's office confirmed that gas was non-existent on our planned route, and that we'd have better luck starting our trip from Tonopah instead. Ok...200 miles back on pavement to Tonopah and we'll hit it from the south. Damn... It was raining when we left, of course, but at least we didn't have to buy any diesel...

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It rained/snowed/hailed the entire way once again, and by the time we got to Carvers down near Tonopah we said "screw it" and turned around. It was late and it would have been a loooong day. We headed north up the Big Smokey Valley and hung a left into Ophir Canyon. We didn't think we'd make it all the way, what with the rain and snow, but we figured we'd give it a go. Good decision! The 4WD-only canyon was way cool!

Heading into the dark and foreboding hills...

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We must have crossed this creek a dozen times...

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The ruins of a stamp mill in Ophir City...

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The higher we got, the more it rained and snowed...

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It became apparent at this point that we weren't going to make it over Ophir Summit...

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So we turned around and headed back down...

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More to come...

WoodsChick

All I can say is WOW :thumbsup::bonk::thumbsup: :thumbsup: That trip looked like a fun time, thanks for posting those, I'm already looking forward to more :thumbsup:

The trip out of the canyon was just as good as the trip in...

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My camera got wet and made the photos fuzzy, but I kinda like this shot...

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I can think of a lot worse places to spend eternity...

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We hopped back on the paved road and headed back to camp. We knew we were in trouble when the high gravel road that skirts the now-wet lakebed was covered in water. No way we would get out of our saturated camp on our own. Getting the bikes to the trailer was hilarious. How we stayed upright is beyond me. It was hard enough trying to walk on the super-slick stuff, much less ride a bike across it...

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This was the scene the next morning, even though we had flattened soda cans under the sidestands...

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Last page mercifully coming up. You're a trooper if you're still slogging through this ride report...

WoodsChick

Got a tow truck from Fallon to come winch us out of the super-slick mud. Took `em 1.5 hours to get there. We rode the bikes up the road to a dry spot so we wouldn't have the extra weight in the trailer. As it was, they should have brought a heavier-duty rig. We told `em we weighed 9000lbs without the trailer. They got it to work, though, even though the front end of their truck was lifting up off the ground. The first bike up the road was the LC4, then the Husky...

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Then the WR and finally my 450. Wait, though...do you remember the pilfered oil bolt? Yeah, well, we didn't. It fired right up, then started making noise. Shut it off immediately, but not before it puked up some of my precious oil all over the ground. We put it on the trailer and waited for the tow guys.

The husband-and-wife team got us out of the muck, but it took a total of about 2 hours. Add that to their 3-hour round-trip from Fallon and it was a very expensive 5-hour operation. Yikes...They had to stay on semi-solid ground in order to winch us out, and we ended up using the cable and 3 tow straps. Their truck was straining mighty hard, and it was kinda coming off the ground in the front. They had these huge rocks that they used for chocks, and they were digging into the mud.

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I felt pretty bad about the damage to the soil, but I was also pretty relieved to be out of there.

We loaded up the 3 remaining bikes...

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And got outta dodge before it started raining...again.

I was quite pleased with the SM610's ability to work well for me in the dirt. I bought it to use as a long-distance dual-sporter as I needed a bigger motor for the distances we'd been doing. There were no more new `07 TE's to be found, and I didn't want an `08 with FI and no compression adjusters, so I went with the `07 SM model and I couldn't be happier with my choice. I've been an everyday streetrider for over 20 years and it was hard to look away once I laid eyes on that sexy front brake, so I guess I was doomed to get the SM from the start. It's been a super-fun commuter and is way more fun than should be legal when hooliganizing around on the street just for fun.

The infamous Husky unreliablility did rear its ugly head once on the trip, though; After 1200 miles, I suffered a catastrophic failure...

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I never did find the nut that fell off the blinker:p

Seriously, though, the bike performed flawlessly and was super-fun to ride, regardless of the terrain I was riding it through. It felt small and light, and was willing to go wherever I pointed it, with the only limitation being my tires.

I've got a couple 17" knobbies to experiment with when I'm all healed up, though, so that should make a difference in where I can go. I never experienced any glitches with the dash, as others have, even though it was almost constantly wet. I'm certain there will be a TE610 in Eric's future.

If you're still here with me at this point, thanks for taking the time to read my report. And I hope y'all enjoyed the photos.

WoodsChick

Great ride report.:thumbsup:

Thanks for the report, Woodschick! You did a good job with the descriptions & the pics.. it was an interesting read. I like when people add a paragraph or so with each pic.. makes it much more interesting.

btw, when you're putting in images from photobucket, you just click on the 'img' link, it automatically copies it & inserts the needed '[/img]' formatting. You don't have to use the TT 'insert image' tool.

Hope you get healed up.. i take it you didn't get hurt on this ride..

scotty:cool:

I'm glad you like your 610, I've been toying with what my next bike will be, I use it mostly to commute and the TE610 is on my short list for sure, and the SM looks like even more fun :thumbsup:

Man what an adventure, thanks for the great pics!!

Woodschick:

If that were the only ride you ever got to make it would have been worth the price of the bike. Thank you for such an outstanding and detailed report? The pics were awesome and that Husky of you'res is one really sweet machine.:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

The infamous Husky unreliablility did rear its ugly head once on the trip, though; After 1200 miles, I suffered a catastrophic failure...

I never did find the nut that fell off the blinker:p

I've got a couple 17" knobbies to experiment with when I'm all healed up,

If you're still here with me at this point, thanks for taking the time to read my report. And I hope y'all enjoyed the photos.

WoodsChick

Hey nothing else to do since my 610sm has been in the shop now forever

However it’s nice to see what can be done with it if it’ll ever get out of the shop

Very nice ride report looks kindda cold :thumbsup:

Thanks for shearing, please continue to do so especially when you put the knobby 17’s

:thumbsup:

:thumbsup::thumbsup: :thumbsup:

WOW>Thanks a lot for the GREAT pictures. Very nice:thumbsup:

What a ride!

What a report!

More More More!

:thumbsup:

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