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Bass Lake Ride Report - Long and Pics


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It's all legal as of now but much is sceduled to be closed. I'm glad I got to ride it and will be back soon!

Special thanks to Larry and the Crew with the Stewards of the Sierra Forest!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Great people - Great Event!

Now on to the report. My main bike (Husky TE-510) is down for an engine rebuild so I decided to take my New to Me (Girlfriends Bike) TW200 on this ride. Plan was to do all the Hard Way sections - Which I did!

Here ya go!! (RR was taken from my post on the TW200 Forum so you it contains some about the bike itself)

Ride Overview: 2 Days of dual sport riding around Bass Lake, CA. This is just south of Yosemite (in fact the route just clipped the corner of the park on Sunday. Saturday was a fairly long and semi-tough ride. Nothing killer but you had to keep working most of the time. A fair amount of Single Track trail, lots of Bush Whacking, some short but fairly steep uphills, and generally great trails.

About 50% was dirt road / 2 track, some pavement to get between sections, and the rest was single track - Very nice and 118 miles in total. I was on the trail for 9 hours and 21 Minutes with a total of 2 hours and 8 minutes of break time (some planned, some un-planned - more on that later). Total moving time was 7 hours 13 minutes with an average speed of 12.7 mph.

Sunday was generally an easier ride with a bit more pavement (still very nice) and more forest roads / 2-track. There was still some very nice single track and a number of longer hill climbs than on Saturday. Total mileage was 84.7 miles, total ride time was 5 hours 39 minutes, 44 minutes of stoppage, and an average speed of 16.9 mph.

So for the 2 days I was on the trail for a total of 15 hours and actually riding the bike for a bit over 12 hours. I feel I have enough experience now to give a pretty accurate assessment of this bike.

Impressions of the TW200: This Bike really does ROCK! Here it is all dressed up and ready for the ride. I thought the streamers on the bars were a nice touch and added the right amount of BLING to this 18 year old bike!! I'm sure everyone that saw me will remember me!

AlongRoad.jpg

This was my first real ride on the TW200 having only had the bike for about a month and have not been doing much more than teaching the Girlfriend how to ride. I have to say that this bike is really quite nice. This ride (as is typical of most of the dual sporting rides I do) was full of KTMs (at least 70%), with a mix of CRF-Xs, WRs, XRs, DRZz and a few others thrown in for good measure (BMW, Husky, out of state registered 2-strokes, etc). I can say that I was the ONLY person riding a TW and I am sure that most people thought I was NUTS!! (Which I might be)

Pros:

* The bike handled pretty much everything the ride threw at it. It was able to negotiate tight single track, pull me up some fairly steep hill climbs, easily plowed through a few muddy sections (several others were stuck), made it across all the streams (only 1 was a little deep), and generally was a blast to ride.

* The handling characteristics on the pavement were great. Much better than any other dual sport I'de riden. Of course the handling characteristics on dirt roads leaves a bit to be desired (more later)

* I had done some regular maintenance since picking up the bike - nothing more than you'd expect to do when you buy a bike from someone and don't really know exactly how well everything works. On the trail everything worked great - Brakes were solid, clutch was good, engine seemed rock solid. Was nice to have the thing start right up everytime I hit the button!! Also nice to know that as simple as this bike is you can probably fix just about any problem you run into (with the exception of blowing an engine) right on the trailside.

Cons:

* The stock front tire holds up to the "Death Wing" moniker: I went down twice during the ride, both times on a fairly smooth dirt road with a little loose stuff on topand ust cruising along at around 22 mph. The front tire just washed out without any warning. I'll give you the details a little later on. Luckily the bike didn't sustain any real damage, but I am sore today. I do have a Maxxis 6006 on it's way so hopefully this situation will become much less of a factor.

* Low Pegs / Ground Clearance: I'm used to not having to worry much about rocks / small logs / etc when riding. There were several occasions where a rock would catch my pegs and stop the bike cold in it's tracks. After 2 rocks and 1 log, the left peg was bent back at about a 45 degree angle. At least with all the steel construction I can bend it back and straighten it out. I also did a pretty good number on my new shift lever (a 6" diameter log hit it pretty much hit it head on then jammed itself into the left footpeg) so I'll be getting another one ordered.

* Suspension: I guess you really can't get too upset on the suspension, I mean you know what you are getting . . . Right? I can tell you that by the end of Sunday, every litle rock, branch, rut in the trail seemed to jolt my entire body. But then again having me weighing in around 260lbs with gear certainly is at the high end of the bike's suspension capabilities. And also - while we'll never expect the suspension to be anything close to my other bike (Husly TE-510), I put over $500 in that suspension to get it to work the way I want - That buys me almost half of my next TW!!

* Seat: Just go sit on your bike for 12 hours then tell me what you think! It felt really good for about the first 4 hours - then the shortcomings became painfully clear. The bigger problem for me was that as tall as I am (6'4") standing up was a bit of a struggle so I spent much more time with my hind end on the seat than I normally would. Paying the price for it today with a nice case of "Monley Butt".

* Fuel Mileage / Tank Size : I've read on about people regularily getting 60mpg on their TW. So I went into this ride not worried since the longest leg between gas as about 90 miles. Saturday I went to reserve at 55 miles, managed to nurse it to the gas stop at 80 miles but then it took a full 2 gallons. Sunday was about the same, on reserve at 65 miles (I brought along an extra quart of gas that I dumped in) and ran out of gas about 1/2 mile from the end of the ride (luckily it was down hill and I coasted into camp). So I was only getting around 40mpg. I know I've got some work to do on the jetting (has a miss at 1/3 - 1/2 throttle) so will be interesting to see what the results are when it's fully dialed in. Until then, I'll just strap a 2 gallon tank to the rack when I do these long rides.

Bike Summary:

As everyone has said - as long as you understand the limitations and generally use the bike for it's intended purpose, it is simply awesome. There were several times, just cruising down a forest road at 15 mph, enjoying the scenery that I was thinking to myself "I need another one of these!! So much easier to ride in that environment than a big 4-stroke like my Husky. And really easy to set-up to carry pretty much whatever you want. Even with it's few shortcomings, this bike is a 100% Winner in my book!!

On to the actual Ride!!

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Friday Evening - Final Prep: I was staying at the starting point for the ride since the organizer had opened up his property for camping. I got there mid afternoon on Friday so had time to give a final once-over on the bike, organize my gear, get through check-in, download the GPS tracks, then head into town (on the TW with girlfriend on the back) for some dinner.

Had a nice time sitting and chatting with some of the other riders and got to bed (in the back of hte Suburban) around 11:00. I wanted to get an early start to the ride since I knew I'd be riding slower than most and unable to make up much time on any fater sections. Set the alarm for 5:45 and off to dreamland I went.

Here's the bike at camp - everyone got a good chuckle out of the tassels, but the last laugh would be mine when I completed all the hard ways on the ride!

A1BeforeRide.jpg

Saturday Morning - I Hate waiting: I had one of my buddies that was also doing the ride. We've riding a fair amount together but he was really concerned on my bike choice. He tried to convince me to borrow a "Real" bike or go buy a new one. I was set in my decision on riding the TW but did tell him I wanted to get an ealry start. I told him I wanted to leave by 7:00 and he said he'd be up at 6:00 and on his way to the start (he was staying at a campground about 15 miles away).

I was up before the alarm went off, got a bite to eat, geared up and started to wait. It was about 6:30 and I figured he be here soon. 6:45, 7:00, 7:15 and no show yet. I knew he still had to check in and get teh GPS tracks so I figured it would take him at least 15-20 minutes to do that. It was way past my desired starting point and he was no where to be found so at 7:24, after telling the Girlfriend to let him know I was on the trail ahead of him, I headed off.

Riding my yourself can be a bit of a risk, but there were somewhere over 75 riders participating so there would be other on the same route if I had any problems. Here are a couple pics along the first part of the journey:

Sunrise at Main Camp

SunriseSaturday.jpg

First Dirt Road Sections:

DirtRoad2.jpg

DirtRoad3.jpg

DirtRoad1.jpg

A Really Nice Morning View:

AlongRoad2.jpg

Amazing Trail - Just like in my Dreams!

ForestTrail1.jpg

My buddy caught up with my about an hour into the ride. Might have been a little tweaked that I left without him, but I've learned that I need to keep to my own timeschedule on these type of things or it just totally frustrates me and I don't enjoy myself the way I should. Not more than 5 minutes after this I run into my first problem.

Bike Won't Run! We're heading down some great single track through trees and green grass, I miss a turn and stop to go back. All of a sudden the bike dies. I start it back up but as soon as I gice it any gas it dies again. I try a few more times but nothing changes. I push it forward to a little clearing off the side of the trail and do a quick assessment. BTW - At this point my buddy is out of site / out of hearing range and heading down the trail. I am exactly 1 hour and 14.6 miles into the ride.

So I do a quick check-list. Bike starts just fine, idles great, but as soon as I open the throttle it dies. Figure it's in the carb - either something came loose of jet is clogged - so I take off my helmet, pack, chest protector, leat. Spread out my tools and gp about pulling the carb off. I didn't think enough to get any pictures but I wish I had.

The seat and tank were off the bike and strewn alongside the trail. Several riders stopped to make sure I was ok - which I was. Told them to tell my buddy (If they saw him) that I was along the trail doing repairs. I got the carb pulled off and the float bowl off. I immediately saw the problem - Something that looked like a little piece of fine steel wool was clogging the main jet. Pulled the jet, cleaned it out, and when I went to put it back on I dropped it in the pine needles / leaves. DAMN! I slowly uncrossed my legs trying to not disturb anything and began gently prodding through the leaves looking for the jet.

Now even though I have a selection of jets back at camp I didn't being any extras with me so finding this one was pretty darn critical. Within about 30 seconds I found the jet and was creful this time not to drop it when I screwed it back in. Got the bowl back on and wedged the carb back on the bike. Tank next and started it up to see if the problem was fixed. Everything was back to normal - had power. Seat back on, gear back on, quick drink of water, deep breath, and off I go. Total time to fix the carb was 34 minutes and BTW - My buddy is no where to be found. Figured he thought "Screw Him, he left without me eralier - he's on his own", which would actually be just fine with me since I was having a great time riding at my own pace.

Back on the Trail: So off I head, bike running strong again and pleased with my Trailside Repair skills. Here are a few more shots of the next sections:

Trail Crossing - Dust from another ride in the background

DirtTrail2.jpg

Awesome 2-Track Trail

TwoTrack1.jpg

Another fantastic Meadow

Meadow1.jpg

Under the Fallen Trees

TreeCrossing1.jpg

More Great Trail

AlongTrail1.jpg

On Top of a Nice Granite Section

GraniteSlab1.jpg

And the View from the Granite Slab

GraniteSlabView.jpg

Along the Tail Overlooking Mammoth Pools

MammothPoolOverlook.jpg

Another View at the Same Overlook

View3.jpg

Somewhere around the granite slab (55 miles into the ride) I go onto reserve. Makes me a bit concerned since gas is supposed to be at 90 miles and I figure I'm going to be begging alongside the trail for a cup or two.

OUCH - Damn Front Tire!!! I am feeling very relaxed and just crusing along a dirt road when I have my first incident. A slight left hander and all of a sudden the front end is sliding. I manage the save the slide, but now I am heading off the side of the road and towards a large tree that is sitting about 4 feet off the roadway and about 3 feet lower.

Not wanting to hit the tree, since nothing good will ever come of that I swerve to the right and head right into the tree well between the tree and the road. The bike comes to an abrupt stop and I get body slamed into the side of the road. My helmet takes a pretty good smack on the right side and I'm seeing stars for about 15 seconds. Luckily I missed the tree and I am able to regain my wits, push the bike back on the roadway, assess that there is no real damage at all, take a drink of water, a few deep breaths, and continue on my way - albeit with a great deal more caution!!

I continue on, being cognizant of the gas sitauation and my slight headache and make it to the store for Gas and Lunch.

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So I glide into the old General store for much needed Gas, Food, Break, etc. The store where we stopped has what I think is the Last Gravity Fed gas pump in California. Not sure how they've skirted the EPA but it was very cool! For those of you that only know Mobile - here is the gas pump in action:

LunchOldGasPump.jpg

Lunch was great - There was a 30 minute wait for the Cheeseburger but that was not a problem at all. Also ordered up a piece of their home-made Apple / Peach pic with Ice Cream. Washed it all down with a Beer and a Soda. Mmmmmm, great meal.

Here is the TW up front and center with all the "Big Kid Bikes"

LunchBreak.jpg

And the view from the Patio at the Store:

LunchView.jpg

A nice place to relax. So after about an hour it was time to get back on the road. Oh Yeah - I caught back up with my buddy who has just pulled in when I got there - something about getting lost because he didn't have all the GPS tracks because I didn't wait for him and I was supposed to download the tracks for him because . . . .

Since I had all the track and a fully functioning GPS I took the lead and off we went. I didn't get too many pictures from this poing on since I was now riding with a group and had to push a bit. In fact the pushing caught up with me not more that 30 minutes after we left Lunch.

MAN DOWN - TAKE 2!!! So I'm leading a group of 5 riders, the mightly TW blazing trail!! Ok, not blazing trail bit at least keeping us on the right ones. Just crusing a dirt road at 22mph (Sound Familiar?) My butt was getting a bit sore so I'm standing on the pegs taking a slight right hand turn when . . . . YEP - You guessed it - The front end washes out on me.

It seemd like slow motion and I remember having time to curse and think to myself -NOT AGAIN. But nothing I could do and down I went into a nice slide. The Guys behind me seemed to enjoy the fall. Nothing broken on the bike, nothing broken on me, arm a litle scraped where I think it got caught under the right side of the bars. Once I stopped I shook the dirt out of my helmet, picked up the TW and took a little break to regain my senses. Had a good laugh with the guys and we were back on our way within about 5 minutes. I told them I was not going to be riding as fast and one of the said "That was Fast?", well fast for me on the TW for sure.

I get back into a rythm, let the others get out ahead a bit and am just crusing. Towards the end of the ride (about 15 miles from the end) we head into the last "Hard Way". It's all single track type stuff, downhill with ruts, rocks, twists, turns, rocks, etc. The TW is handling it all just great - I like technical riding so this wasn't too much of a challenge, especailly since we were going down. Up would have been interesting for sure. I'm trying to keep breathing and ride a slowenough pace that I don't get into trouble. Having a blast for sure and I think the other riders I hooked up with a at least a little impressed.

BIKE DIES - Take 2!! So I'm about 11 miles from the end of the ride, heading down steep single track and the bikes dies. Go to resart it, idles fine but dies as soon as I give it any throttle (Sound Familiar?). There is one rider behind be and I tell him the bike is not running but I'll continue on as far as I can since we're going down I don;t really need any power. I make it down about a mile of the single track and we come to a road crossing where I figure it's a good place to fix the problem. I pull the carb (Again) and finds the Main Jet Cloged (Again). I clear it out, button everythign back up, make sure it's running good and we're back on our way. Only 22 mins to clean the carb this time!

Continue on our way through the rest of the Single track and hit the pavement for the 4 mile trip home. The other guys on their big bikes come zooming past me. I wait till the time is right and on a straight, downhill section twist the throttle, get behind the Jimbo Shield (as much as a 6'4" guy can) and fly past the group. GPS showed a top speed of 58mph but I know I still had more in the TW. I just didn't want to push it!!

Next up - Evening activities and Prep!!

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Evening Fun

Once I got back and sat for a bit it was time to start the evening festivities. I had some Gentleman Jack on ice waiting for me and it went down oh so smooth!! Shared it with a few of the guys I'd been hanging with and they all seemed to enjoy it as well. The organizers had dinner catered in for everyone. Pulled Pork, Chicken, Ribs, Salad, Beans, Bread - It was all wonderful!!

After Dinner I decided that I needed to do a little jetting work on the bike. The bike seemed to struggle at top end and had a slight miss between 1/3 - 1/2 throttle. I had purchased a range of jets form 116-122 so figured I could maybe do some fine tuning. When I bought the bike it had the Keyster carb kit in it but I pulled everything out except for the Needle so the jetting was stock. I moved the needle clip down 1 notch (now on the 2nd from the bottom) and put in the 120 main jet. Buttoned it back up and gave it a quick start to make sure it ran. It was time for the raffle and I'd had enough Jack and Beer that I didn't want to take the bike for a test spin in the dark so just went to see if I could win anything!!

Raffle Away!!

The event organizers did a great job putting on this ride. The raffle went well and I ended up winning some Chain Lube, Brake Fluid, some shock covers for a quad (I've got one) and a couple freebies (Key Chains, etc). Everyone had a great time and the raffle moved along well. After the raffle the opened up the GPS downloading for Sunday so I got the Tracks and was all set for the morning.

Several of the guys discussed plans for the morning. My buddy wasn't sure exactly what his plans were. Riding / not riding. Early / not early. So not wanting to be stuck again waiting I let him know I was heading out early so he could do whatever he wanted. In hindsight it was a great decision. ๐Ÿคฃ Things were very quiet around the Camp / Staging area since everyone was pretty beat from the Saturday Ride. I hit the bed around 10:30 and was once again looking forward to another great day of riding! :banana:

Sunday Ride -Another Great Day!

With no-one to worry about, wait for, download GPS tracks, etc. I was able to get an early start on my ride. Several folks headed out very early (before 6:30) and I was on the trail at 7:06am. The ride was much more relaxing than Saturday. Mostly easy roads / trails. There were a couple difficult hill climbs. Fewer tough sections than Saturday but the climbs were longer so I had to mainting my focus to make sure I made it to the top - Which I and the TW did every time!!

De Je Vu - Carb fix #3! The day started out just a little rough as the main jet I put in the carb obviously wasn't working well at all. It was missing quite badly across the trottle range. I rode it aout 4 miles and decided to bite the bullet. Given my problems with the carb the day before I was smart enough to bring along extra jets, including the one I pulled out the night before. So through the drill I went and within 26 minutes was back on the trail with the Main Jet from the day before and the bike running well again.

This was about the only excitement for the entire ride. No crashes, no additional carb problems. Just a great day of riding a fantastic area. Here are some pics of day 2 and this will wrap up this report.

On top of another Granite Slab

TWonSlab.jpg

Logging being done right along the road

RoadSideLoggin1.jpg

And they say Motorycles chew up the land!

RoadSideLoggin2.jpg

More Great Forest Trail!!

DirtTrail4.jpg

And More!

DirtTrail1.jpg

A little Down Hill Section - Smaller rocks and less steep than the tough sections.

RockyDownhill.jpg

You can't really tell from the pic but the trail here is about 8' wide with at least a 1500 foot drop down to the river below

Cliff1.jpg

Another view from the same spot - No room for error if you go off the trail

Cliff2.jpg

A nice little waterfall

GregatWaterfall.jpg

A fairly shallow stream crossing

StreamShallow.jpg

And the TW taking a rest at the same stream

StreamandTW.jpg

And finally the final stream crossing. No picture of me or the bike here but I did catch 2 guys behind be jamming through it!

DeepStream2.jpg

DeepStream1.jpg

Bottom line is "Doesn't matter WHAT you ride as long as you RIDE IT with GUSTO!!" ๐Ÿ™‚

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Nice write up! 6S11A (the logging pics) was sweet overgrown singletrack last year believe it or not. Stewards did one of there first trail maintenance jobs on this route this year, cleared over two dozen fallen trees and it was ~doublewide track. Had we of known the FS was going to permit these guys to log it, we wouldn't of bothered! & we would of rerouted around on the main road.

Good hangin' out with you & crew, hope you come out again ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt

Edited by MCassle
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Nice write up! 6S11A (the logging pics) was sweet overgrown singletrack last year believe it or not. Stewards did one of there first trail maintenance jobs on this route this year, cleared over two dozen fallen trees and it was ~doublewide track. Had we of known the FS was going to permit these guys to log it, we wouldn't of bothered! & we would of rerouted around on the main road.

Good hangin' out with you & crew, hope you come out again ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt

I'll come up and ride this great stuff anytime!!! Thanks again - It was really a great weekend!

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Nice write up Valk ๐Ÿ™‚ We enjoyed riding with you and watching that TW low side in the soft stuff๐Ÿคฃ

You forgot to mention the Suburban needing a little love Sunday after the ride๐Ÿคฃ

Hope you didn't need another jump start on the road home.

:banana:

www.dirtbikeaddicts.com

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Nice write up Valk ๐Ÿ™‚ We enjoyed riding with you and watching that TW low side in the soft stuff๐Ÿคฃ

You forgot to mention the Suburban needing a little love Sunday after the ride๐Ÿคฃ

Hope you didn't need another jump start on the road home.

:banana:

www.dirtbikeaddicts.com

Ah, Yes - Thanks for the Jump!! Everything was fine on the ride home, it was just leaving the doors open for those 2 days that drained the battery.

Glad I could provide some "Viewing Enjoyment" ๐Ÿคฃ

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Sweet report brother. The TW200 is an underestimated wepon for sure. Look how long it has been in production. I did my MSF on one and have been looking (not real hard) for an older model to put in the stable. Like Chad, let us know when you hit it up again, with or without the DS 250 group.

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Sweet report brother. The TW200 is an underestimated wepon for sure. Look how long it has been in production. I did my MSF on one and have been looking (not real hard) for an older model to put in the stable. Like Chad, let us know when you hit it up again, with or without the DS 250 group.

Palmer we did a similar ride to this back in May with the GEEK! You need to make your way up here.

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Palmer we did a similar ride to this back in May with the GEEK! You need to make your way up here.

YOU! didn't invite me if I remember correctly. You wanted Irish and Geek all to yourself. ๐Ÿ˜ I think it was on DBA that I had asked and you acted like, oh no, my house will be infected with the So. Cal. Wrath of the Dark Star. :ride:๐Ÿคฃ It's Ok rack, I am just ribbing you. :cheers: Yah, I do need a get away soon but the wife has me doing home repairs before I can get out. When is a good time for you? Please, keep me posted for a weekend retreat. Any way I can bring my Green Sticker boys? One is 17, other is 14, and good enough riders to grind through the mill. ๐Ÿ˜

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๐Ÿ˜

Nice ride report. Those TW200 are a blast to ride. I had a buddy with one back in late 80's and i would take it out from time to time....

So Rack where are your picture contributions..

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๐Ÿ˜

Nice ride report. Those TW200 are a blast to ride. I had a buddy with one back in late 80's and i would take it out from time to time....

So Rack where are your picture contributions..

Delayed. Sorry..............๐Ÿ˜

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