My next ride (3rd) was at Chalk Bluff (Hwy 20 north of Nevada City) they’ve cut in some new trails since I was last there. I heard they were very tight which is saying something because this is what the place is known for, tight trails. It’s not uncommon to be riding a long look over and see another rider fairly close to you but in reality they could be thirty seconds or more behind or ahead of you because of the number of turns. It would be interesting to try and figure out how many turns per mile of trail they typically have there.
The new trails are indeed tight and relentless. The older I get the more I realize this place is a young riders place, but its great exercise and training.
I videoed the ride and when I played it back one thing stood out, the motor sound was very quiet, and occasionally you could hear the motor sound like it was on the pipe so to speak. Otherwise it was very quiet and very controlled. My speed through the corners was much faster and for the most part very smooth. It certainly didn’t sound like I was carrying any speed though.
And all of that was due to what the bike is all about not the rider. It turns so well it’s no effort and it is very precise even with all the rocks and roots it stayed where you put it. The motor pulls from way down in the RPM’s (I do think the 300 would be totally awesome though, but I’m not ready to convert it) At my age and skill level pulling through the corners to the next at a very predictable pace makes for less mistakes and a flow of sorts is certainly less tiring. When I did start getting tired some of the typical things of getting tired started showing up.
I rode without the steering damper and was totally comfortable with that (Those of us who have ridden KTM’s for a long time know that trying to ride an older KTM without a steering damper was not a good idea) As I have for years I put a set of Air Cells on my bikes, it helps smooth things out in the first few inches of travel and I had my Air Cells open for this ride. It helps soak up all the roots and rocks and doesn’t transfer any harshness back into my hands. I can’t believe it but the stock suspension along with the Air Cells is at this juncture almost perfect. Even the stock Dunlop AT81 tires are working well. (I typically like the AT81 rear but not the front)
Right now I can’t get enough of riding this bike and other than playing with the jetting there’s nothing I feel the need to change or add, 6 hours and counting.
Went to Foresthill again with Mark which means a race Mark never trail rides. He knows that area like the back of his hand and decided we would work our way over to trail five for some more open flowing trails. But he hasn’t been in that area since last year and the rain we received last winter took a real toll on those trails. It was ugly real ugly in some areas. That whole riding area has taken a real beating and I don’t see any trail maintenance going on either. (Must be using our OHV money for something more important I guess)
Three hours of run time on the bike and 48miles later we were done. (Gives you an idea how slow some of these trails were) Again did not feel the need for a steering damper. I did fall over in a couple of rock sections because I was being lazy. So the new bike now has a few scratches and several dents in the pipe and a total of 9.1 hours. So far I haven’t really noticed the wide ratio transmission, no real gaps except first to second. Low is low so I start in second maybe second and third could be a little closer but not a big deal so far.
The only thing I’m going to change is the pilot jet from a forty to a thirty five. I’m hoping this will make it run a little crisper off idle at altitude.
I’m sidelined for a while now had surgery to repair two hernias and pull my stomach muscles back into place after ripping them when I broke my back last year.