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Hi all,



I just returned from a two week trip to Death Valley, where I put 350 miles on my brand new TW200. Temps were delightful for the first week with highs in the low 80's and low's in the 50's, perfect for RV camping. I got to explore lots of territory that I had only dreamed of visiting before. Temps cooled off into the 60's and 70's for the second week and it was cloudy a lot, which curtailed riding much above 3000 feet, but the flowers were great in the south end of the park and it was still tolerable camping.....I must be getting old, I used to think nothing of tent camping in below freezing temps, now I wuss out at 50 in a trailer!!



The T-dub performed flawlessy, there was no issue at all with the stock jet at sea level other than a slight hunting just off idle when going downhill, thanks to Querty's suggestion to open up the pilot needle a turn and shim the main needle with a single washer. The bike ran better above about 3000 feet, but even at sea level it was pretty much a non-issue. I learned a lot about the handling in deep sand and gravel which DV is notorious for, and I did not even dump it once! I only lost my bag once on all those rough roads. Luckily I found it about a mile back, 'cause it had my truck keys in it.
I now tie anything on that rack with at least 6 bungees!!



I found that I got about 90 miles before going to reserve...all in second or third on a majorly rough road....so I figure 125 to dry tank is about right.



I did a 110 mile loop up to the Racetrack and Hidden Valley with lots of side exploring, got up to Chloride Cliff and the Big Bell Mine, Butte Valley up to Mengel Pass, Saratoga Springs, and more. I did not get up any other canyons off Westside Road as I had hoped, because the cooler weather also came with a lot of wind, and riding into the teeth of a 30 mph sand storm on a brutally washboarded road is not my idea of fun. God! Is there ANY dirt road in DV that isn't brutally washboarded??? Actually, I did find one, Echo Canyon Road up to the Inyo mine....that is a really pretty and pleasant 10 mile one way.



I definitely found that my poor old butt is not up to 5 hours on that saddle...I will have to look at the Stearns pad!




My thanks to the members here who answered my stupid noobie questions, their responses really helped make this trip a pleasant success instead of a learning-the-hard-way experience!



Rocky



EDIT trying some pics:



Camp at south end of DV



Geologist's Cabin in Butte Valley





Whoopee! it worked!
 

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Rocky, The stearns seat pad will not cure 5 hrs of riding, but because it has humps and grooves, it allows you to shift 2 cm one way or the other to shift pressure points and promote ventilation. Its definitely not soft, its just a variagated surface on which to sit while you are bumping around on the bike. Sounds like you had fun in DV and already can justify the investment. If those washboards get to rough, you might try dropping the air pressure in the front tire. Even a drop of 3 - 5 pounds can smooth those rascals out a great deal. Especially if you are above the 18 psi recommended, but try lower pressures like 15 or 13 psi and you'll notice the diff. Enjoy. Tom
 

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Rocky, The stearns seat pad will not cure 5 hrs of riding, but because it has humps and grooves, it allows you to shift 2 cm one way or the other to shift pressure points and promote ventilation. Its definitely not soft, its just a variagated surface on which to sit while you are bumping around on the bike. Sounds like you had fun in DV and already can justify the investment. If those washboards get to rough, you might try dropping the air pressure in the front tire. Even a drop of 3 - 5 pounds can smooth those rascals out a great deal. Especially if you are above the 18 psi recommended, but try lower pressures like 15 or 13 psi and you'll notice the diff. Enjoy. Tom


Yeah, I did finally drop the pressure 3/4 of the way through that 5 hour washboard ride, but I hadn't brought the gauge, so I just counted to ten.
Turned out I had both front and rear down to 11, but the ride really smoothed out!!



However, in DV, which is infamous for eating tires with its nasty and very sharp rocks, I wasn't willing to leave them there for long, so I compromised on 15 front and 16 back, which was still better than the 18 I started with, but not as soft as I'd like. In Idaho, most places have more rounded rocks and 13 front and 14 rear when not heavily loaded will probably work well. At 11 psi the ride on the pavement got a little wonky above 45 mph...




Ordered a Stearns pad today!!



thanks,



Rocky
 
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