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First Outing on the DRZe

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With a day and a half to ride in Oklahoma, my buddies and I decided to ride the K Trail on Saturday and head over to Talimena State Park (OK) for some single track on Sunday. I have heard allot about the K Trail and was excited to check it out. Being addicted to tight woods riding, we were generally disappointed by the k trail. It was pretty level and but very rough and rocky. We started off of HWY 82 (I think) and rode east towards the fire tower.

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There were several mud puddles and allot of trees down across the trail. The most notable part were the rock. They were really sharp and everywhere. I can't believe some of you guys took big heavy bikes up there. The best part was when we followed a logging road down a really rough section until it dead ended then cut cross country straight up the side of the mountain. It was fun and steep. IMG_6636.jpg

Once we passed the fire tower it turned into smooth gravel and we ripped it up. We were really moving until noticed something that smelled like it was burning. I for for sure my DRZ was on fire. I noticed it right after my buddy on a KTM 250xc passed me. So I sopped to investigate. While we looked for the source, we noticed that he had lost the rear axle nut and block. We made a makeshift system with a piece of plastic and zip ties.

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It worked well enough for us to get back to the truck. We called a couple of cycle shops but no one stocked it. The guy in Clayton, OK said to try kings variety store. So we called motion cycles to get the size and miraculously kings had one. Bad news is everything closes at noon. So they left it on the coke machine and we slid 2 bucks under the door. With the block gone we had to scavenge some sort of spacer. We bent a lock washer the we found in my buddy's tool box and it looks like it will work. It turns out that the burning smell was the packing burning in the KTM due to the speed we were riding. The total trip was 54 miles but I am not sure where we turned around.

After getting the axle nut, we headed over to Talimena state park to camp and get ready to ride the INT/CNT (Choctaw Nations Trail formerly known as the Indian Nations Trail). We had a beautiful night to sleep under the stars. I could not believe there were not allot of riders there. I guess it was due to all the rumors of trail closures, but that is a different story.

Sunday was great except the yellow bike held everyone up. We met a guy from Tulsa who agree to show us the trail. We were very thankful to have had a guide out there. That place is VAST! Riding the rocks took some getting used to at first. We started out pretty quick and I wasn't quite warmed up. Before we crossed the parkway, I had a flat and went down pretty hard. The flat was caused by a thorn... a large one. Not sure where it came from but we found it in the tube.

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I bought one of those behemoth bridgestone super duty tubes off of the guy we met, however we managed to puncture it with the rim lock. If anyone is looking for a TOUGH tube, look at the Bridgestone heavy duty. It is like a tire inside of a tire. We gave up on trying to patch it on the trail so my buddy Norm and I rode back to camp flat to put it on the wheel stand and patch it while the others went on. Having full size spoons at camp made it easier than the trail versions. We ended up taking that tire on and off 4 times before we got it to hold air. By then it worked out that we met them at lunch at Horse Thief springs.

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After lunch I finally got into a grove and was riding well with the pace. That is until I got cute and tried to ride a wheelie through a large puddle that held a hidden rut, which caused an unplanned course change directly into a 20" pine tree. That encounter crushed my hand guard, which if we were in a movie there would be dark ominous music playing as the camera zooms in on the damage as to foretell what would happen in the next several scenes of the movie. After that we had a great time on the water breaks and hill climbs. The only other issue was that our guide's KTM530XCR bike kept blowing fuses, wanted to overheat all the time and decided not to want to respond to the kick start lever. We all took turns starting it for him after it thoroughly wore him out. I forgot how much I love my e-button!

Next scene in the movie is a rocky water crossing... this is where that hand guard would have been nice to have. I spun out and dropped the bike there causing catastrophic clutch perch/lever failure and made my brake rotor look like a pringle potato chip. We fooled with it for about a half an hour trying JB Kwick weld and zip ties, none of which lasted. I could kind of hold it with two fingers and pull with another if I could keep it lined up, but it was hard through the rock gardens. So I rode the last 6 or so miles out with no clutch and no front brake. It was quite an adventure nonetheless. In the rock gardens and on the rocky climbs, I had to keep telling myself: "don't dodge, point and go, keep on the gas and SQUEEZE the tank!" I don't know how, but I made it.

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I don't know how guys that ride up there all the time can afford the maintenance required to ride there! Two of us went home with badly beat up machines! The DRZ400e did very well. I think the MX Tech suspension work was worth the money. The guys on the orange bikes (except the 530xcr with stabilzer, rekluse and trials tire) complained about bouncing around too much.

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Looks like you guys had a fun yet rough time. Its a fun place to ride:ride:. It teaches you to pick smooth lines, or you will be working on your bike a lot. I've only been there twice, but had a blast both times I went. I would probably have a better time if I had a bike made for trails. I'm on a full MX setup 2008 Crf450r. It did a great job however. I had no complaints other than I had to pack gas in my camel pack:lol:. If you head back there, pm me. I know a few people that know that area well and we are always down for a trip back.

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