My first singletrack ride
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  1. #1
    Member tfactor's Avatar
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    Well, I took our TW200 for my first singletrack ride yesterday. It was a section of the Rainbow Trail in Colorado, from Bear Creek to Kerr Gulch. I've ridden the next trail section on my bike many dozens of times, thought I had a pretty good idea of what the trail would be like :) But the trail turned out to be a lot tougher than I thought! Riding this with the 15-tooth sprocket on the front (a recent upgrade) made it all a bit harder.



    I suppose everyone likes carnage photos, but I don't have any, sorry... A list of the day's damage:



    - burnt right calf

    - huge lump on left lower back



    - broken left turn signal

    - broken and lost left mirror

    - broken speedometer cover

    - broken jimbo shield - $55

    - bent left pedal bracket

    - snapped lower right buckle on thor 50/50 boots



    - possibly my gps receiver, so no ride track available quite yet



    I had some memorable falls, quite a few that I couldn't keep track of. It was a long day -- I met my buddy W. at 7am, and we didn't get back until 12:30pm. We rode some 52 miles that day, 12 of which were this singletrack, rest on bumpy/rocky dirt roads that wind up on the other side of the river.



    Crossing the creek, 3/4 knee deep water, I had two exit lines to chose from, over two rocks. I chose the taller one, hopped front wheel, then spun the back. While falling back, I must have revved the tire (1st gear) and ended up wheely shooting up 2-3 feet. Fortunately the bike fell upside down but away from me. I landed with my back on a rock, thus the bruise. Took W. and me to lift the bike up, out of the creek backwards, roll it down the trail to a safe spot. It still ran after that! This would have been a tough one to get out of by myself, but I would have been a bit more careful riding too.



    Left toe hooked on a little aspen, pulling me backwards on the bike. I stopped immediately, but ended up dropping the bike on my whole left leg (with foot still hooked). Doing a semi-split on the still-running bike. Turned the bike off, fuel cock off. Burned right inside calf on the engine, couldn't really move much. Planned on ninja breathing to relax and get an extra few inches of room to try to slide the back foot forward, but W. got there first and bent the tree for me. I think another few minutes of yoga breathing into my hamstrings and I would have made a few inches of space to get the back foot out.



    Riding over a fallen tree, some 2 feet off the ground. There was a stack of rocks, a semi-ramp, I walked the bike and throttled it over. It shot forward, hung up on the skid plate, and died. From there on we just pushed it over.



    At least 3-4 bike drops on single track descents through rocky, shaley, twisty paths.



    Going up a rocky singletrack, now careful to have my toes pointed in. Smacked a rock, which ripped the lower buckle off my right boot. After that it felt like a flip-flop with an ankle strap.



    Some general thoughts on this adventure:



    Just a few weeks ago we swapped out the front sprocket to a 15-tooth one. It has a LOT LESS power in the first gear, as expected. We wanted some more top-speed on the road, while getting to places we wanted to ride. I rode most of the trail in first... In lots of places I got stuck, and ended up straddling the bike while walking it up the hill in first, restarting it every few feet. Slippery loose rocks and soft dirt everywhere.



    Wearing high boots would have been a good idea. I don't own any moto protective clothing, just the Thor 50/50 boots and a helmet. I wore downhill mountainbike knee/shin guards, elbow guards, and a ski vest with D3O spine protection. Although that seems like enough for jeep roads, it's not enough if a bike lands on the rider. I had already ordered a jacket with CE-approved armor in it, it just hadn't arrived for this weekend.








  2. #2
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    One hell of a ride. Good thing you had a partner. Stay safe. Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

  3. #3
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    I keep stopping and pondering to myself at the entrances to the single track trails, wanting to go. Should I go? In the end I pass and continue down the "safer" logging roads. After reading your post, I think I know why I pass. But I long for what you just did. Great write up. And I love it when someone mentions the "not so good" things that happened. i.e. broken suff. Keeps it real.



    Thanks for sharing.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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  5. #4
    Senior Member joedirt1970's Avatar
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    I can relate to your ride. I went out with some of the members here in AZ. My right footpeg broke off within the first hour when I hit a rock bounced up to the right and let the bike fall instead of trying to catch the 290 monster and ruin my back. The peg gave my inner lower leg a deep bruise (I still have swelling today 4 weeks later). Then 15 min later a rock flew up and broke off my shifting side peg (they were aluminum pegs). I had the 50/50 boots for my ride too. It was a blessing that I had those boots on the ride because I was still able to hold onto the nubs of the pegs. But, I now have regular boots and the over-sized steels pegs are on the way.



    Broken Parts...Both Pegs, one of the bazooka tubes, bent brake lever, bent foot brake lever, front fender from bottoming out pretty good all day.



    Bottom line...a great ride and my first ride since 1985, surprised how well I did considering. Thank goodness I had people with me. I have always ridden with others and always will. This TW is a great bike and was a real trooper the whole ride.



    Thanks for your great story.
    Hidden Content [/IMG]It's not why, but why not. Do it for the right reason now, versus the wrong reason later.
    Born on a Honda Z50, '78 YZ 80, '79 Husky WR 250

    2008 TDub--Jimbo Shield, Lizard Oil Cooler, Blaster Shock, YZ Hybrid Forks, Supermoto front fender, ATV Bars, Acerbis Brake Cover, 1460 Pelican Case, Cycle Rack, Power Core, Gold Chain.

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  6. #5
    Member tfactor's Avatar
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    Yes, the aluminum pegs seem a bit flaky. I went with the steel pegs, primarily because I needed to rely on them to mount the bike onto the Ultimate MX hitch hauler. Glad I did... also glad that I avoided getting my toes stuck between them and a rock.



    BTW, I wrote Thor today asking to buy a spare buckle, and they just sent me one free of charge. Great customer service, that was really nice of them!



    Trail-worthiness: I'm a beginner rider so I really appreciated the lightness of the bike, and the seat height was very good for my 30" inseam. It was important for me to be able to put my feet down, esp. when straddling the bike trying to get it up steep rocky hills. I ended up pushing it over rocks when the rear wheel didn't have enough traction, yet the engine didn't have enough power to ride up with me sitting down. On the other hand, a higher bike would keep my feet higher about the trail, which would have been safer.



    On the overall -- super happy with the bike, though I won't be taking the TW on singletrack like this again anytime soon. Easier ones would be fun though! Cheers everyone,



    tom.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Bodi's Avatar
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    The Best modification I did to my 2007 TW200 for single track Mtn riding was a HD Chain that is wrapped around a 70 tooth rear sprocket. I use it mainly for Elk Hunting and I love the gearing. I even thought about dropping the stock front 1 tooth.
    2007 TW

  8. #7
    Senior Member demarko69's Avatar
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    ""I suppose everyone likes carnage photos, but I don't have any, sorry... A list of the day's damage:



    - burnt right calf

    - huge lump on left lower back



    - broken left turn signal

    - broken and lost left mirror

    - broken speedometer cover

    - broken jimbo shield - $55

    - bent left pedal bracket

    - snapped lower right buckle on thor 50/50 boots



    - possibly my gps receiver, so no ride track available quite yet""




    Sounds like you would fit is with us AZ boys..............





    Great ride, thanks for sharing

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