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About dhally

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  1. dhally

    Juniper Dunes/Pasco Snow?

    I live in Kennewick and we have had a bit of snow a couple times now. Right now there is still a skiff on the ground in our yard but the streets are wet. If we don't have another snowstorm the riding should be great at Juniper. Daytime highs are 33-35F with overcast and some fog.
  2. dhally

    Wires up and over the peaks?

    I worked for the Forest Service in Central Oregon in 1973-4 and they were still using the old single-wire telephone system for the remote stations like Cabin Lake Guard Station (out towards Fort Rock). I used to have quite a collection of the insulators but got rid of them years ago. Holy shit! that was 40 years ago!
  3. dhally

    Race Test Sherco 300 SEF-R

    I can second johnmac's comments, from a trail riding standpoint. I'm not a racer - I'm 59 years old, 6'2", 240lb with 45 years of dirt experience. I just got a new 2013 Sherco 300 SEF-R and have now ridden it on tight mountain single track and then on desert sand last weekend. In the past I have ridden an XR400, a Gasgas EC300 and most recently a WR250R. The amazing thing about the Sherco (besides it's advertised weight of only 230lb) is it has laser-focus steering on the single track and good stability in the sand. I haven't changed the springs to my weight yet, but even so the suspension is at least as good as the Gasgas was. I haven't had the front end wash out or the back end kick yet. The Gasgas wanted to be ridden hard and slammed into things to make the suspension work. The Sherco has a bit of that feeling, but not quite as much. I just can't stress enough how well this bike steers. Power-wise, it has a good balance between lugging and revving ability. It doesn't have the low end grunt that the old XR400 did, but it doesn't flame out or give up either. It does have a 2 position power switch - soft and hard. The hard position delivers a bigger hit and I used it in the sand. For trail riding I can't imagine anybody needing more power. For the sand, obviously a 500 would throw a bigger rooster tail... There are only two things I would prefer a bit different. The footpegs seem a bit high and maybe a bit forward. Once I get the seat and bars adjusted for my height, I will see if I need lower pegs. The other thing is the 6 speed gearbox is quite close ratio. The motor has such a good power spread it seems like a wider ratio gearbox would be fine, and it would allow more relaxed cruising in 6th.
  4. I know you're not asking for financial advice, but the statement "it has to be new so I can get financing" is a bit of a red flag. If you're not sure what kind of bike you want or really where/when you would ride, it's possible the bike wouldn't get used a lot. Many people buy bikes and then find out they don't have time, etc. Just imagine next winter walking past the bike every day, sitting in the garage, haven't ridden for 3 months, but still making the payments. And it can't be sold for anything close to the loan balance. Consider instead getting a used Japanese dual sport, like a DRZ400, DR350, XT250, XR250L (if you could find one), or even an XT225 at your size. Better yet would be a DRZ250 or TTR250 if they can be licensed in your state. Good ones can be bought for $2500 or less. And they can be sold with a small loss if you upgrade or decide not to ride. As far as the 3 bikes mentioned, the Yamaha and KTM are both too tall for a 5'9" beginner to learn dirt.
  5. dhally

    Washington Plate/Registration question

    I just bought a GasGas EC300 and had it shipped in from Ohio. Washginton gave me a license plate for it no questions asked based on the paperwork. They didn't even want to look at it. Maybe the GasGas's don't have a tell tale VIN number.
  6. dhally

    BMW or KTM

    I've ridden a KTM 640 Adv and Honda XR400 dual sporting, my buddy has an XR650R dual sport. They all have their plusses and minuses. IMHO you are best off keeping your XR650L and just RIDE IT. The biggest variable will be the type of tires you put on and this will be true for any bike.
  7. I just got a Firstgear Kilimanjaro AIR jacket and rode form Phoenix, AZ to Kennewick, WA. It is a mesh jacket with a waterproof breathable zip in inner jacket. In Phoenix at 80 degrees the outer jacket was cool enough on the street. It may be too hot for 90 degree slow trail riding. In northern Nevada with the inner liner plus all my ski clothing underneath it was warm enough, but its not really made for cold weather. Luckily I didn't get to test it in a long downpour. It has armor and lots of pockets. The integral belt was too high to keep out drafts at speed, I had to put a tie down around my waist.
  8. I just rode my newly purchased 2001 640 Adv from Phoenix, AZ home to Kennewick, WA with about 50 lb. of camping gear. I changed the 16t countershaft sprocket to a 17t, and used an AirRider butt pad, plus padded bicycle shorts. The first 150 miles day my hands got a little numb, but after that I released my death grip and everthing was OK. I averaged 400 mi/day, and it took 2 days for my body to stop vibrating, especially my brain. The footpegs vibration depended on how I put my foot on the peg. The tank vibrated if I put my knees on it. Only one screw fell out, an outer hand guard one. I ran 70-80 mph and only ran out of power at high elevation with head winds. Overall the bike doesn't seem real powerfull on the road at those speeds. The wind screen worked OK, I didn't get tired from holding on. Bottom line, I made it but I'm not planning any more 400 mile days on the road. I'm mainly planning to use it for dualsporting in the Cascades and Blue Mountains and maybe around town. It does seem to draw attention at gas stations and cafe's. I've only had it on the dirt a little (without the luggage). It has PLENTY of power for the dirt, it seems light and easy to turn for it's size, and the seat and vibrations aren't noticable on the dirt.