Chiricahua CBing
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  1. #1
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Chiricahua CBing

    Last year, I took what turned out to be my last trip on my trusty TW. I documented my ride here: Chiricahua Tee-Dubbing

    I had a great trip, but it also illuminated the fact that the TW was no longer the best fit for a lot of my desired use. That set me searching for a replacement, and I eventually settled on a Honda CB500X converted with a Rally Raid Products Level 3 kit.

    I decided to revisit the route that inspired my build in the first place, so I took a couple of days off this week and headed out to the Chiricahuas once again.

    Day One: Tucson to Rucker Canyon — about 265 miles



    Once again, I headed East out of town up and over Redington Pass towards Willcox.

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    Again, looking out over the San Pedro valley.

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    I was smart enough to do this ride in October instead of June this time, so the temperatures in the Sulphur Springs valley were much more enjoyable. Low 80s, vs. triple digits last summer.

    Once again I stopped to capture the view of the playa in the distance and Dos Cabezas rising above its far side.

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    I gassed up in Willcox, and skipping historic Ft. Bowie this go-round headed straight for Chiricahua National Monument. If you're ever in the neighborhood, this place is really worth a visit.

    Massai Point

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    Organ Pipe Formation

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    Again, I took Pinery Canyon rd over the mountains to Portal, AZ. This time, I took an alternate side loop that included Paradise, AZ.

    Looking back down Pinery Canyon



    The area behind my bike in the pic below was the most fire-damaged I saw along my route. I had not noticed the extent during my last ride through here.



    I have an inkling of why they decided to call it "Paradise".



    I had a nice lunch at the cafe in Portal, then hit the road South for Douglas, AZ to refuel.

    Monument to Geronimo's surrender

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    After refueling in Douglas, looking back up towards the Chiricahuas.



    No forest fires this time!

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    Inviting hills...



    I found another great campsite in Rucker Canyon, and had a very pleasant evening.




    Continued below...
    Fred, admiral, RDW and 5 others like this.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  2. #2
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Day Two: Rucker Canyon to Tucson - About 225 Miles




    Morning in camp

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    This little fella dropped by to say hey



    After a quick breakfast I packed up camp and headed back down Rucker Canyon.

    Creek's flowing...



    See ya, Chiricahuas



    Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:






    Pearce Jail

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    This time, instead of heading South along the Ghost Town Trail to Courtland and Gleeson, I decided to continue East over Middlemarch Pass to get to Tombstone.





    Tombstone, AZ

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    On to Montezuma Pass

    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:


    Tee-Dubbing:


    CBing:






    Parker Canyon Lake





    In the past year, the wife and I have visited Parker Canyon Lake several times with our kayaks and fishing rods. It's become one of our favorite spots.

    Parker Canyon. Quite a few homes down there, seems like a nice little community if you don't mind living somewhere so remote.



    I enjoyed this ride even more the second time around. The CB proved to be excellently suited all around. Most of this dirt is pretty well maintained, there were only a few sections that a passenger car would have had problems with. One notable change was the amount of deep sand piled up on Cascabel Rd. South of Redington. There was a good couple of miles of deep sand, I found that the extra power of the CB combined with the narrower, TKC-80 clad wheels made riding in the sand much easier than I found it to be on my TW, which had a 5.10 Shinko 244 up front and the stock tire in the rear. The excellent Tractive suspension from Rally Raid also made me comfortable riding much faster on these dirt roads, which is only an advantage if you want to go faster of course. Being able to comfortably cruise at 75+ on the highway sections was also very nice, and one thing that I really wished I was able to do on the TW. Loaded with gear, the CB gets about the same mileage I would get doing this kind of riding, fully loaded, on my TW. About 50mpg.

    I have not had the time to ride very much since I converted my CB500X, but this trip really made me feel like I made the right move in choosing it over other middleweight DS/ADV options. It feels lighter than it really is, and the low center of gravity makes it better at everything (on and off pavement) than my old KLR 650 was. It's just a fun to ride, tremendously versatile machine that I'm looking forward to doing a lot more riding on.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  3. #3
    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    Nice report.....sad face........ But you gotta do what you gotta do. At least you're still hanging around here with the rest of us nut cases. lol
    Tom in Wichita

    78 Moto Guzzi SP1000
    87 Yamaha TW200
    99 Yamaha TW200
    03 Honda Shadow Spirit (girlfriend's ride)
    74 Moto Guzzi Eldorado Police model (in many pieces)

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Interesting contrasts between the two bikes. Nice camp gear too.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

  6. #5
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    Interesting contrasts between the two bikes. Nice camp gear too.
    Thanks Fred, I've just recently made a few changes for the smaller/lighter in my kit thanks in large part to having read the SMALL bike camping thread over on ADVrider. I posted up my full kit in detail there. I've still got some room for improvement but I have downsized from the size Large Wolfman duffel that I used on my TW to a size Small Wolfman duffel on this trip.
    TopPredator and littletommy like this.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  7. #6
    Senior Member BkCntryCrwlr's Avatar
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    DonBenito - how do you like your 2013 Tiger? I'm thinking the perfect combination is my TW for crawling into the back country and a Triumph Tiger for sight seeing along the back roads.

    Is your Tiger an 800 or 1200? Do you ride it just with you or do a tandem rider? Thanks!
    littletommy likes this.
    You can't see it if you're not out there living it!

    '94 Rainbow Warrior - not so rainbow any more - Clarke XT350 tank, Lizrdbrth's seat mod, Beer Trap Pegs, Ricochet skid plate and more.

    Going through withdrawals, sold my other two TW's, down to one....Uhggghhh! Hidden Content

  8. #7
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BkCntryCrwlr View Post
    DonBenito - how do you like your 2013 Tiger? I'm thinking the perfect combination is my TW for crawling into the back country and a Triumph Tiger for sight seeing along the back roads.

    Is your Tiger an 800 or 1200? Do you ride it just with you or do a tandem rider? Thanks!
    I have the Tiger Explorer XC, it's the 1200 with spoke wheels and factory protection package. I absolutely love it. It's a phenomenal touring bike, I've put about 35,000 miles on it these last two years. About 15,000 of that has been 2-up with my wife. We did a 4000 mile ride up to the Olympic Peninsula and back down the PCH to San Francisco then back home through Yosemite a couple of months ago. We were both quite comfortable the whole time and the bike never skipped a beat. Does pretty decent off pavement for a 600 Lb bike, even 2-up loaded with camping gear. We did the Chain of Craters Backcountry Byway in New Mexico on it last year, and I even mustered a 20-yard river crossing solo on it up in Colorado this summer.

    It's definitely a road-focused bike though. I'm glad to have a second bike in the stable that's a lot less work to ride in the dirt.
    Last edited by DonBenito; 10-29-2016 at 08:33 PM.
    Dryden-Tdub, Mel and littletommy like this.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  9. #8
    Senior Member BkCntryCrwlr's Avatar
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    Sweet! Thanks for the info, the Tiger's seem to be a great bike for what you're using it for. I'd like to have one in my garage for the wife and I to go camping on and exploring the by-ways!
    littletommy likes this.
    You can't see it if you're not out there living it!

    '94 Rainbow Warrior - not so rainbow any more - Clarke XT350 tank, Lizrdbrth's seat mod, Beer Trap Pegs, Ricochet skid plate and more.

    Going through withdrawals, sold my other two TW's, down to one....Uhggghhh! Hidden Content

  10. #9
    Senior Member Peterb's Avatar
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    Don thanks for the report and comparison. I rode a CB500X and can't let it go. Pretty sure it will be my next bike.
    littletommy likes this.

  11. #10
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Nice report! Sounds like you're cruising on that CB (literally and figuratively!) I imagine it must be really nice on the highway. If it came from the factory like yours, I might be pretty tempted...
    littletommy likes this.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

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