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First BDR trip alone and scared 馃お

1902 Views 71 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  jncdi
So i am prepping to do my first real trip on the KLR of any consequence. I will be driving the beginning and the ending parts of the new mexico bdr. Trailoring bike to ruidoso and doing trails north. Trailoring to albequerque and then doing grants nm to colorado. Not camping but will have emergency supplies.

So what are the must dos to the bike and what must haves as far as tools besides of course tire tools. Oil and air filter just done. Just never been so far back country alone.
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Did the NMBDR solo in 2017, my second adventure ride (first was eastern half of TAT). Fantastic time. Mix of camping and hotel.
PLB, SPOT, or InReach a good idea if solo, makes the boonies a little less intimidating. Might see if there is a social media group on NM route (BDR website?). Met solo and group riders along the way, you probably will also. Ruidoso and Cloudcroft were favored areas.
Try not to overthink mechanical prep. Before leaving; Make sure you have decent tires, chain/sprockets, run PDW tire pressures, go over every visible fastener to ensure nothing is rattling loose. Be able to replace a tube on the trail in the unlikely event you need to. At end of riding day do a grab/shake on any racks/crashbars if recently installed. I also like to do a daily quick visual inspection of bike during first post-ride beer, but that might be overthinking.
The only terrain I found even remotely challenging was a short section of downhill rain ruts prior to Cuba, so don't sweat the riding.
My only real concern for you is going in July, recommend taking at least 1.5 gal of water. REI has flexible bladders reasonably priced. Sips every 15 minutes or so from a hydration pack is better than waiting until you get thirsty.
+1 on flight plan. Avoid riding at night, and if unavoidable, keep speed way down, large 4 legged critters wander in road!
I think you'll really enjoy the trip, looking forward to your ride report!
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Lots of good suggestions here - don't let them scare you too much though - I've traveled solo all over the NW and in groups all across the states (including most of the areas you'll be in) and people are generally friendly and helpful, especially to riders, and doubly especially to solo riders.
I'll reiterate so it's doubly heard - water is surprisingly rare, and takes up a shitload of room so it's easy to try to skimp. Don't do it! Bring a ton. It's not just for drinking, it's for washing things, etc.
The other thing I don't see that will make a big difference, especially on the KLR, is to get your suspension tuned up for your weight + your stuff. I had a stock suspension in PA during a rain storm and nearly lost the front end while passing on a 2 lane cause it was too stiff - I would have been flat if it went, there was oncoming traffic. And it's also just important for long days in the saddle. Optimize for comfort, you're safer when you're paying attention to the road instead of your ass.
Can you expand on the weight issue VS front end issue. I am having an issue with my front end wobbling a bit if I move the bars back and forth from left to right and one time while stopping on a down hill. Felt like the front had a flat. I do have a stiffer suspension. I think its too stiff
Well that is true except it is monsoon season. I plan on riding 8am to 1pm then heading to nearest hotel. It rains every afternoon.
I never thought of the North American continents having 鈥渕onsoons鈥 - learn something new every day! My friend from Montana and a few buddies are planning on riding NM at right about the same time you are going to be. Not sure when or where exactly鈥ut I think you will not be alone in the 鈥渨ilderness鈥 I love the south west (did I get it right to assume NM is south west?) have a great ride amigo鈥hich I鈥檓 sure you will鈥bviously if you鈥檙e riding alone you tend to be slightly more conservative鈥 little less drifting and monos - which the KLR only does in your dreams anyway!
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So i am prepping to do my first real trip on the KLR of any consequence. I will be driving the beginning and the ending parts of the new mexico bdr. Trailoring bike to ruidoso and doing trails north. Trailoring to albequerque and then doing grants nm to colorado. Not camping but will have emergency supplies.

So what are the must dos to the bike and what must haves as far as tools besides of course tire tools. Oil and air filter just done. Just never been so far back country alone.
While entering Monument Valley on a ride in 2015 I met a man who was from Spain who had been riding off road in Mexico and had ridden up thru the U.S. in the area you are wanting to travel in. He needed tires. This was a Sunday and Monday was a day motorcycle shops were closed and he was two hours from Durango to the east and 2 hours to any other motorcycle shop to the west, north or south mininum. Take tires!
He needed tires. This was a Sunday and Monday was a day motorcycle shops were closed and he was two hours from Durango to the east and 2 hours to any other motorcycle shop to the west, north or south mininum
Quite possibly a lot farther than two hours to get fresh tires! It's too bad the fellow from Spain didn't know about the Desert Doctor up in Escalante - much closer to Monument Valley than Durango, and he usually has some tires laying around.
the Desert Doctor - legendary moto-mechanic in Escalante, UT
When I was on the TAT and needed tires, I just had Revzilla ship them to a small town a few days ahead of me. I carry stuff to patch a leak but would never bring a spare tire on the ride. Easier to just have them shipped a day or two ahead of where I am at the time.
Tools for oil change and extra tire tubes, I put everything in a tube used for tractors to keep paperwork dry and zip tie. I have 1.75 gallons extra fuel for out west and maybe a liter of extra water.
So i am prepping to do my first real trip on the KLR of any consequence. I will be driving the beginning and the ending parts of the new mexico bdr. Trailoring bike to ruidoso and doing trails north. Trailoring to albequerque and then doing grants nm to colorado. Not camping but will have emergency supplies.

So what are the must dos to the bike and what must haves as far as tools besides of course tire tools. Oil and air filter just done. Just never been so far back country alone.
So i am prepping to do my first real trip on the KLR of any consequence. I will be driving the beginning and the ending parts of the new mexico bdr. Trailoring bike to ruidoso and doing trails north. Trailoring to albequerque and then doing grants nm to colorado. Not camping but will have emergency supplies.

So what are the must dos to the bike and what must haves as far as tools besides of course tire tools. Oil and air filter just done. Just never been so far back country alone.
Invest in a SPOT device. Always have mine when I ride.
This thread is getting too long to read all the responses, so let me repeat this: The Hudson Bay Company plan. On the first day out on an expedition, they only went a half day and a few miles. The reason was so that if anything broke, or they discovered that they needed something else, one or two of the party could go back to the starting base and get it and come back in a couple days.

Likewise with your trip. Do an overnight trip somewhere near your house with the kit you plan to bring (if you haven't already). Learn what you need or don't need. Then load up the bike and drive to NM.
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If you have an InReach device (I am sure the same is true of other devices) you can add the SAR 100 plan for $39.95 for the year. That will give you a certificate of insurance and cover you up to $100,000 in Search and Rescue Benefits. It is definitely cheaper than $1300 for an ambulance ride and a helicopter cost more than that per hour.

Search and Rescue Insurance | Garmin
GREAT ADVICE! Broke my left shoulder blade and collar bone on the Idaho BDR last summer. Heated discussion with my riding partner about whether to hit the button on his spot tracker or not. Why? Because I know what those wilderness helicopter extractions cost and I did not check into what my insurance did or didn't cover before we left.
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This thread is getting too long to read all the responses, so let me repeat this: The Hudson Bay Company plan. On the first day out on an expedition, they only went a half day and a few miles. The reason was so that if anything broke, or they discovered that they needed something else, one or two of the party could go back to the starting base and get it and come back in a couple days.

Likewise with your trip. Do an overnight trip somewhere near your house with the kit you plan to bring (if you haven't already). Learn what you need or don't need. Then load up the bike and drive to NM.
Practice = preparedness or as my riding partner has told his teenage kids over and over again, luck favors the prepared. I cant tell you how many people I've encountered who might have all the right stuff with (like tire tools) and no clue how to actually use them. Same can be said for sleeping bags and tents that still have the price tags on them. We call what the Hudson Bay folks used to do "shake down" trips. Expectations seldom match the realities. The cool thing is that if you get it right the experience can be way better than you ever thought possible. That's the take away that keeps me strapping on the gear and heading off into the great unknowns on my KLR.
My BDR buddy and I did this route last spring (mid May) from North to South. We froze at our first campsite and then broiled in the Southern sections.

There is sand everywhere once out of the highest elevations. I was running new Shinko 804/805's on the KLR and had real problems. My buddy had Dunlop 606's on his DRZ and had minor problems. Highly recommend D606's or similar. Both bikes were loaded down with camping gear.

The issue arises on both sandy wind blown tracks and freshly "maintained" or graded sections. The worst part was the descent into Chloride Canyon from the North. It was mid-afternoon and road had been recently graded making it quite loose. Dropped the bike several times and became increasingly tired and dehydrated. Somehow, we made it into the canyon with all the creek crossings. This part was easy because on the mild winter and almost zero water in the creek bed. The bottom of Chloride Canyon was one of the highlights of the trip. The descent into the canyon was by a wide margin the worst. We ran out of water that day, we carried about 3 gallons between the two of us. If we had 2 gallons per person it would have given us more options like camping in the canyon overnight.

This year the conditions are completely different with high water flow because of the record snowfall. There are reports of banks being washed out. It will not get better in the monsoon season. Since you are approaching from the south, the easier part of Chloride Canyon will come first. It is possible that you will have good run but it is also possible that it gets progressively worse. Be a realist considering your bike and ability versus the conditions you find. There is no harm in turning around.

We also had the good fortune of meeting other riders going in the opposite direction. We would trade tips on the trail conditions. Very helpful.

If the NMBDR is approached with the correct mindset and a good degree of preparedness you will have a story to tell. Enjoy your ride.

JNCDI

TLDR:
1.) Get good knobby tires like the D606
2.) Carry extra water.
3.) NMBDR is challenging and beautiful but potentially dangerous.
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