Sunday, June 28, 2009

CGDSR & the Gamin Quest motorcycle GPS...loves to stop working when you need it the most

Course work was coming along as expected until my GPS -Garmin Quest- decided to quit on me at the beginning of Saturday's ride.

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

This would be the third warranty replacement.
This particular unit replaced one that could not pick up any satellites under any conditions and this particular unit now suffers the same fate.

The first one warrantied failed to power-up after 4 months of use.

I still rode the route by map and memory but little productivity was had as I very much needed the new tracks for route development.
We are two weeks out from the CGDSR RSVP deadline and I now have no GPS.

There is a plan "B" that would remove the navigation/ treasure hunt element out of it and transform the event into just a Dual Sport ride.

Ah well, here's a photo dump:

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

From CGDSR_June26-27 Cousrse work

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CGDSR Course Rerouting Coming Along

Rerouting is coming together better than expected.

The Game will consist of two courses, one per day. I don't have the mileage ironed out yet, but it's looking to be around 60-70 miles per day, which is a quite a bit shorter.

Saturday will end in a great moto enthusiast BBQ pot luck out in the Cinder Hills area!
Sunday will have some good chunky options and will end at a local pub.

Tomorrow holds some more exploring for potential reroutes and connectors.

In other news, I went to the MVD today to purchase a replacement license plate for the one that rattled off some days ago. To my relief it was only $5.00 and on the spot. I have some plans to make a camo ghillie suit for the KLR hiding in the woods when I'm away from camp. I have most of the materials already and have made them before. Very fun but very tedious. Pictures to come.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CGDSR- Course Prep Report 1

Dave Z. and I rode about 90 miles of the first portion of the route today. We did not do it in its entirety nor did we take it on aggressively. Today's objective was to test out the flow of the course for evaluation.

...the day's conclusion is: it needs to be shortened.

The idea is to break up the ride into two 100mile (or so) days. It isn't only riding that has to be done here. The player will have to navigate with a mounted GPS, consult a map and GC book, and operate a roll chart holder. And then there is the whole business of the treasure hunting-the whole excuse to gallivant on our motos in the first place.

This is a GeoCache hunt after all.

All of this for anyone -experienced or not- adds up to a bit of time.
I'm fairly confident after our blast of a time today that we will put together a game that will work and will be oodles of fun!

From lic plate gone

Speaking of fun, Dave had some impressive hero naps (no camera!!) and I was fortunate enough to have bounced off of some very large boulders on one of the more techy climbs. Though I've busted my little tool tube fairing thing, it's kinda neat when these sort of things happen. It's like product testing. One day when I have the ability to do legit fabrication projects, I'll know what designs work and don't...and that's a beautiful thing.

From lic plate gone

At the end of the ride, once back to camp I immediately collapsed in a chair.
I was beat down!
I stayed well hydrated, maintained a reasonable flow of calories and the weather was breezy and cool! But still slumped into that cozy chair was I. My feet found their way up onto the rear bumper of the FJ62. Dave and I rode for 7 hours at a simulated average pace. 7 hours can be a long time on a bike after partying and drinking the entire night before with close (and crazy) friends. At least I was not hung over. Thank goodness not.

From lic plate gone

After a brief siesta, I gathered a few things, stuffed them in the tank panniers and bag, and leisurely headed into town to meet with my best mate. After picking up my laptop from the babysitters, I headed east for my intended rendezvous and somewhere along the way my license plate fell off!


Those are expensive. Dang. If I'm lucky, perhaps I'll find it tomorrow on the road or some good samaritan will turn it into the MVD.

From lic plate gone

This evening and the rest of this week is all about map production and the rerouting process. Dave and I get to scheme on Tuesday over some beer and Wednesday attend the Coconino Trail Riders meeting (personally, this will be my first one).

My knees are achy and I can feel my pelvis injury...I think I'll stay off the bike tomorrow, you know, take a break.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back in Flagstaff AZ and Ready to Ride! ALSO: First update on Suspension Upgrade

I From Hobo Camping

I am officially back in Flagstaff AZ and done with major bouncing around and traveling for a few months. Time to get caught up with Blogging and get a DS Rally put together!

Dave Z. and I rode the second section of the course this past weekend. We only hit a few of the caches as the main objective was to evaluate that section of the course. The Cinder Pit pictured here is classic of northern AZ terrain. It rides like deep sand but thrashes tires like sharp rock!

From Hobo Camping

We will ride the first section of the course this weekend. If Dave cannot ride on Saturday, I may be volunteering at the AZ State Championship mountain bike race happening on Mt Elden, one of our local mountains, as a mobile course marshal/WFR since I gotz the moto.

Either way, I have some great riding ahead of me in the next few days.

From Arrival_Suspension

And now a quick shot to the very recent past...

I received the Cogent Dynamics Moab shock and fully rebuilt front forks. Rick at was absolutely fantastic and a treat to deal with. The suspension is more than noticeably different! I actually got to test it out on a long ride into the mountains of San Jacinto in Southern California. The new suspension -along with the knee braces I wore for the first time- saved me from what should have been a low side on a slow speed turn when my front tire flatted! More on that exciting story on a soon to come deserves its own!

The craftsmanship is simply impeccable, it is very light weight in hand even without comparing it to stock, and is pretty freakin' sexy (if you're a bike-sexual).

Their prices are among the top best currently available.

From Arrival_Suspension

I asked Rick at Cogent Dynamics to tune the suspension for hard off road riding ranging from fast loose fire-roads to slow technical rock gardens. Also ordered two coils. One is set for my 135lb body weight plus 35lbs of cargo gear and the second for riding with 200lbs of cargo gear -for upcoming moto adventures of course.

From Arrival_Suspension

When the units arrived via FedEx I inspected the boxes immediately. Much to my alarm I discovered the stock presta valves of one of the fork legs had punched through what I presume to be the bottom end as it stacked in the truck. The valve was damaged and a fairly small amount of oil soak could be seen. It seemed to me the box containing my fork legs had been placed vertical, upside-down.

I called Rick and described the scenario. Ultimately we decided that the "damaged" fork leg may not have been compromised judging by the small amount of oil soak I described. The only way to know for certain if too much oil had leaked out was to literally open it up or by riding the bike and experiencing any negative perceived performance. I opted for choice number two and did not notice anything obscene. Actually, I only noticed impressive suspension oscillation on road and off.

What a relief.

The damaged presta valve is not a concern since they do not have an imperative function anymore with the new internals (other than holding oil in). The rebuild included progressively wound springs, RaceTech cartridge emulators, new seals, bushings and oil.

The cartridge emulators control the low and high speed damping oscillation of the front suspension. My only reference to any of this comes from my long time quest to use mountain bike suspension during my pursuit of racing. Grant it, bicycle suspension internals are different from that of motos, but they do get much of their technology from the motorcycle industry and suspension dynamics is still suspension dynamics no matter what machine it is used on.

Here is a great link describing the differences between emulators and other kinds of motorcycle front suspension : FJ Mod site -Yamaha YZFJ1200, a reproduced explanation of Suspension by Jeff Hoffman

The installation of the forks and fork brace as well as the Cogent Dynamic Moab Shock was very simple on the KLR and should be no problem for the home mechanic with the right tools in hand. Originally I had intended on doing an How-to installation post but realized it has already been done very well elsewhere and was way too straight forward anyway.

Take this link [Cogent Dynamics Moab Shock and Spring Review]to a very well done and thorough product and performance review of the Cogent Dynamics Moab Shock and fork springs, on . The author, Hondo, did the fork spring installation himself and without the RaceTech cartridge emulators, whereas my forks were sent to Cogent Dynamics for a full rebuild and upgrade.

Now back in Flagstaff, I am able to put them on a full test run to develop an opinion on their intended performance prowess through a wide array of terrain. Today and the rest of the weekend I will do a full run of the CGDSR course and will report back with my thoughts.


Contact Information for
Cogent Dynamics, Inc

Rick Tannenbaum
33 Meadow Brook
DriveFletcher, NC, USA
Phone: 828-628-9025