Saturday, November 25, 2006

XT break in is complete

Another amazing November day, low 60’s, a bit hazy, no wind. I got out there early today, so psyched that today I would reach 600 miles on the odometer and I’d be done breaking in the XT.

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On Buzzell Road somewhere between Sycamore and Burlington, I came upon a Llama farm. Buzzell road started really nice, but went to crap, with big chunks of gravel. I realized something today, big chunks of gravel or deep gravel suck even on a dual sport.

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Buzzell Road nice section

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Buzzell Road nasty section

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That’s some big gravel

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Darnell Road had two pretty good curves, the gravel got really deep in the second turn, Mt. Hunger road also had a turn or two. I also rode many badly paved roads. Its impossible to figure out which roads are dirt and which are paved using maps, the state maps don’t have these little roads and my Illinois Atlas shows them all as paved. The only way to know for sure is to ride them all.

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This above was Roosevelt Rd, and it was pretty cool even had a turn, it went on for like a mile or two and then all the sudden I was in someone’s driveway. That always kind of sucks. Some of these dirt roads lead to people’s farms and houses, they have street signs on them, they look like regular roads.

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The sun again hangs low on the horizon, time to head home. I did 180 miles today and got home with 598 miles on the odometer. I carried some stuff today just to see how much stuff I can strap on to the bike, my old Chase Harper tail bag is a bit too small and my Nelson-Rigg tail bag is to big. I used my Chase Harper bag today but not much stuff fit in there. Funny, when I started touring, all I'd have is that tail bag and a tank bag. Now it seems I bring a lot of stuff with me and require larger bags.

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Today I tried wearing my Dragon goggles, it’s so cool that I can wear goggles with the Arai XD helmet.

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Shield open and closed with goggles

4 comments:

Blaine said...

Hi there. Glad you are having fun with your new Dual Sport. I have a couple of dual sports. I own 7 motorcycles total, but, seem to enjoy the Dual sports the most. One of mine, is the Yamaha TW200. It is close to the XT225 in performance, but it is a totally different animal. It has the big tires on it. It's probably the best sand and mud bike made. I live in Illinois, south of Chicago, along the Ill. Indiana border. I own 54 acres of wooded land, full of trails. Like you said, you have to drive a few hours away from Chicago, to find much off road riding. Once you get south of Chicago, there is a lot of off road riding. I also own 3 ATV's. That way I can ride all year round. If you have any questions about dual sporting in south eastern Illinois, e-mail me. newellbc@yahoo.com. Blaine

Rick said...

Anna,

The only maps to own are Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer. I have them for most of the midwest states. They run about $24.95 per state and have detailed down to two-tracks and old logging roads. They have information on bicycle routes, canoe trips, hiking, scenic drives, unique natural features,waterfalls and much more information. You can get all the states for for around $500.00. Check it out the next time your in Barnes and Noble.

Rick

VIVID1 said...

Rick, that's exactly the map that I have, I have those for a few of the states. The IL shows all roads are paved, but they are not. I've started to highlight the dirt roads in the atlas book for future reference.

VIVID1 said...

Blaine,

54 acres of wooded land, wow, sounds like a fun place to ride.

It's almost winter now, but come Spring I'll like to explore a bit further south on the XT.