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Old 10-20-2016, 11:32 AM   #1
HadesOmega
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Merlin's MOAB Dirtbike and Quadventure!

Alright so I just got back on from the BARF Moab dirtbiking trip. It was a lotta fun and very challenging riding. It's a bucketlist ride like Baja was for me, so I'm grateful for being able to participate in this group trip. It was also very scenic, beautiful canyon landscape everywhere you go. That's the riding I like when your rewarded with a something nice to see. I decided to start my own thread about my Moab experience so I don't make the Moab thread all cluttered up and to show stuff from my point of view. For the most part I rode together with everyone except towards the end we split up into different groups and I went to ride other stuff.

So I had actually planned to go on this trip months ago when norcalslowpoke invited me but I must've forgot to tell him I wanted to go so I didn't check in with him until prior to the trip and everyone had kind of established a way to get there. We had rented a house which was great. It was great having a base to come back to and a shower at the end of long day riding. It was fun hanging out with everyone too. Plus there was wifi so I could post pictures and stuff.


Very interesting and helpful maps posted in the garage.



So one reason I've never gone to Moab is because its freakin far! Its like 1000 miles you literally cross three whole states to get there because the bay area is on the west side of California and moab is on the east side of Utah. So it's a very long drive. So I had to get there myself so I figured if I'm going myself I want to take my quad with me too. Poor thing sits in my driveway begs to be ridden. However one reason I never rode it was because it wasn't running right. I kinda had it with the carb so I replaced it with a zoomzoom carb which I heard good review of but from no throttle to like half throttle it would fall flat. Turns out I need to raise the needle and I got it running! So I took it and modified my harborfreight trailer with a rail so I could load my quad and my dirtbike on the trailer. Total win because I would be taking weight off the rear axle and putting it onto the trailer and I would have a sleeping area. Before I would always put the dirtbike on the trailer and put the quad inside the van. But this way if I get tired I just pull over somewhere and hop in the back of the van and take a nap. Worked out great! So that's how I planned to get there.

The Battlevan a 1991 Toyota Previa 5 speed manual with the newly modified Harbor Freight trailer. The first picture you see my awesome park job at a McDonald's in Utah. Almost a double parking but triple. So driving through higher elevation I notice at 4k feet and higher the van is much lower on horsepower, I wish I had the supercharged version of this van now or a V6. On carson pass and many of the Utah freeways I would have to shift it into 4th and even 3rd and floor it. Never overheated though that's good. California doesn't have too many places that are this high up. Not bad for a 230k miles 4 cylinder minivan!



The weapons I brought for the trails of Moab was my Kawasaki KLX140L and my Yamaha Warrior. The KLX140 is my little trail weapon. Its small and easy to handle and will climb almost anything. The warrior I brought for the easier to ride trails and atv trails, worked great for that.


This is my Kawasaki KLX140L. It has some modifications. The biggest being it has upsidedown KX100 forks and uprated springs. Before the trip I installed a brand new rear Kenda Trakmaster. I also installed a new clutch with stronger springs, this helped out massively as I could get it to wheelie easier and the clutch wouldn't slip anymore. Plus the pull was still light! Also I installed a Pro Circuit T4 full exhaust system and an Uni filter. This definitely woke it up but at the elevations of Moab it still felt like it was down on power. It kind of had a bog from off throttle to getting on the throttle. I'm assuming I had to play around with the needle, it was annoying but I just rode it like that. The bike definitely wasn't liking the slow speed stuff the mixture was so rich, the engine wanted to rev more it was choking on gasoline. I'm surprised what this little guy can do. Even though it has small wheels 19F 16R I was able to clear ledges and stuff with not much problem. I think I hit the bottom frame like less than a handful of times. I should probably replace the plastic skid plate with a more heavy duty one.


I got a lot of shit for bring this but I like to ride quads as well I like to drift them and do donuts =P. This is my Yamaha Warrior 350. It's a very reliable although clunky quad. Its more comfy to ride than most sport quads nowadays. Most quads nowadays feel like it wants to tip over very easily this one feels like your sitting in it rather than on top of it. Some say the warrior is a cross between a sport quad and a utility quad because it's a bit of a tank. It's got reverse which comes in handy but its still light enough where you can pick it up if you needed to. It's name is Wall-E given by the previously rider. She told me that she called it Wall-E because it looks like Wall-E from the Disney Animation WALL-E. So I just stuck with it. It has a Banshee rear shock and raptor 660 front shocks with front lowering blocks. Has a plastic skidplate also so you can glide over those rocks. It has an open airbox and ebay spark arrestor for power mods. I rolled it at StonyBARF last year and busted the throttle so I replace it with a Honda TRX250 throttle which is suppose to be lighter. Has a newer raptor clutch cable system to lighten the clutch pull also. Also I installed a Big Bear oil cooling block and a Oil cooler core you see on the front. The warrior has no oil or water cooling when the oil gets hot it makes the warrior hard to shift this aids in cooling. WALL-E did great, riding quads over rocks and stuff is really rough on the rider but it did ok and it rips through the sand also but the tires aren't ideal for it. It got stuck a couple times going over ledges, but it's not to hard to pick up and muscle around. Getting it up ledges is tough though. It ain't no dirtbike and doesn't have a lotta power compared to most quads.


So I have all the equipment assembled I just need to get there. This is the route I took from San Jose. It is the most direct route but you have to go over so many hills and your high elevation the van has trouble climbing most of this. I took 50 the loneliest highway. Indeed it was lonely. I lost all the pictures but they're just straight desert road for miles and miles.


This picture I took in the town of Austin. Not many places to get gas along the way. Fillup when you can.


The loneliest highway


Me driving for what seems like eternity.


Crossing in to Utah on 50, not much out here a gas station and a cafe.


So before actually going out there and riding you need to figure out where your going first right? Moab has tons of places to ride all with varying levels of difficulty. I arrived around midnight one of the last ones to show up next to LunchBox who arrived the next day his FJ09. The first thing I tried to do was get maps in town but everything was closed when I showed up. Luckily norcalsclowpoke had bought this book and while I intended to just follow everything I wanted to plan my own rides later on for riding the quad because I knew I'd want to do the easy stuff on the quad. This book helped me greatly in that. There are two versions a larger one and this smaller one. I'd say grab them both because the smaller one has more detailed maps. You can even use it to find the staging areas. He lists a GPS coordinate in the route chart (kinda like a rollchart) and you just plug the first one in on your GPS like a Garmin Nuvi or google maps on your phone and it'll tell you how to get there. Very handy book. Also what I do so I don't have to take the book with me is to take a picture of the trail your riding the map and the route chart with your camera or phone. Now the book is tailored to riding ATVs so the difficulties are kind of skewed. He rates them as green, blue, and red. I find on a dirtbike take one down a skill level for the most part. But some of them are kind of puzzling because I found that La Sal pass should have been a Red when it was a blue where Kane Creek should have been a blue but it was a red. It's all relative I guess.


Here is a sample of the map and route chart. Very handy. He even adds little notes on what to look for and places to watch out for.



There are other maps that help a lot also. I bought these when I left Moab but they come in handy. They sell all these in town. There is also a visitor center in town I highly suggest you go there first if it's open. They close at 7pm everyday and they have maps and books you can purchase. The people there know the area very well too. Many of the shops in downtown have them also. The rental places are very helpful also, I walked into this one place that rents motos, atvs, razrs, hummer tours, etc... and he gave me a free map of Kane Creek they had. Everyone in town is so nice and helpful.

Last edited by HadesOmega; 10-20-2016 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:24 PM   #2
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:37 PM   #3
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DAY 1 - SLICK ROCK AND FINS AND THINGS

So let me tell you this I've never ridden anything like this. I did note that the first section of the Loon Lake trailhead of the Rubicon was like this though. So I guess it is like that but there's nowhere else I can think of that's like this and your doing it with mountain bikers too. The trail is marked by a series of white lines. Its best to follow the lines as best you can, make it a little game. The lines are there for a reason because if you go off them you might go off a cliff or something. Slickrock is slickrock. It's a smooth rock that your ride on up and down. It is nearly all slickrock with some sandy sections thrown in. There are steep climbs and downhills. So if your not profficient at that this is probably not for you. I'm so glad I had been practicing some slow riding techniques like counterweighting to get around those tight corners. All those trials techniques pays off here. Most of this was 1st and 2nd gear stuff. Try to wear as less gear as you can because you will be crawling through sections and you'll heat up real fast. I found that I didn't need my goggles for this also since there wasn't much dust.

Here is the tracks for slickrock my batteries ran out at the end so I didn't get some of it. However we do go back later in the week.


Starting in the parking lot


The google earth pictures don't do this trail it's justice.




Some interesting RideWithGPS stats:



Max Elevation: 4752ft @8.9%
Top Speed: 34mph
Top Grade: 12%

Last edited by HadesOmega; 10-22-2016 at 02:10 PM..
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:56 PM   #4
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This is one of the most difficult sections for me and most everybody going down and up. It's steep and it has a 180 degree turns. Both time I went down this I had trouble. However when going up I was able to get up with good body position and counterweighting. Others decided on the tight turn to just ride straight up like 10 feet straight up! I just followed the line.


Sasquatch does the safe thing to do and walks the bike


Took a bad line and overshoot the turn.



Next hairpin!


Some tough sand section like this you drop down into the sand and your front wants to dig in.





This is another difficult section you go around this corner and it greets your with a tall ledge to clear and then a steep uphill climb. This section Sasquatch took a big fall that bent his handle bar and footpeg and sent him tumbling down. Fortunately he was fine and we were able to bend the footpeg back and I rode it up. First time I've ridden a KTM!





Riding a KTM for the first time! Man it sure had a lotta power!





youtu.be/H7YnqZGmcvY

Another tough section here is a series of steep ledges to climb up, definitely worried me a bit.


Also in the beginning section I was following Daniel and we wound up riding on the 4x4 trail here for a bit. They kinda parallel each other though. The Slick Rock Trail is follow it on the bottom.



Video compilation of what I thought were some tough section

youtu.be/XcpFl6ukzH8
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:02 PM   #5
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Pictures I took on the Slickrock Trail

Hanging out on top of the world known as Slickrock


Panoramic of the world


Slickrocks everywhere


Panormic Still hanging out on the top


Team Kawasaki



Colorado river canyon



Siesta time on top of the world



Jackson riding that slick rock


You can see the arches from the distance with optical zoomies!


Awesome canyon shots



Slickrock as far as the eye can see


Slickrock Panoramics


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Old 10-20-2016, 03:04 PM   #6
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BARF Expedition




Energy Conservation


OaklandF4i flat repair time


Another picture of the Colorado Canyon photo


And a pano


Lots of wierd shaped rocks


Rollin


Don't get many opportunities to ride up and down stuff like this!




Climing those hills looks like ants walking up a hill



Green and red take on Slickrock





This little guy hanging out in the staging area parking lot


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Old 10-20-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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In! Love me a Merlin ride report ...

... never been to Moab ... looks epic!
... is there easy KLR stuff there for me?
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cabrito View Post
Dude.... You need a haircut. How do you pass inspection?

Oh, and nice pics and stuff!
Haha yeah I'm not in the Army anymore so I decided to just not cut it. Haven't had this much hair for like forever.
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:17 PM   #9
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In! Love me a Merlin ride report ...

... never been to Moab ... looks epic!
... is there easy KLR stuff there for me?
Yes there is I found an excellent dual sport trail that leads you the white rim trail in Canyonlands National Park. I'll get to it at the end of my report. Pretty much all the green trails from that book are great dual sport rides.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:23 AM   #10
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Day 1B - Fins and Things

Alright so Fins and Things in my opinion was tougher than Slickrock because it was like Slickrock but it had a lot of desert riding and sand thrown in to it. It was a good mix of everything is what I'd say and it was very challenging. So if you look at my Google Earth pix, I found out the reason they call this Fins and Things. You are riding on Fins and if you look at the pictures of the terrain they resemble fins. Later I took a scenic flight and the pilot also called these sliced bread because that's what they look like from the air. It was challenging and a great time! They good thing for this one we were moving pretty good so you can get that airflow, unlike slickrock where your just crawling all the time. Also a good thing about Fins and Things is that's it one way only. It's like counterclockwise, so you can rail on it if you want to so long as you can get around traffic.



First section from the trailhead


Second section is supposedly where ATVs are recommended to start.


And more


This was a great picture spot with the canyon there.




Fins or Sliced Bread


Slickrocks and canyons


Slickrock section, look at all the tire marks


Interesting RideWithGPS Stats:



Max Elevation: 5049ft @ 2.8%
Top Speed: 41.3 mph (On the gravel road back to the staging area probably )
Top Grade: 8.3%

Last edited by HadesOmega; 10-25-2016 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:43 PM   #11
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Pictures from Fins n Things trail. This one is no joke. It was a combination of of the slickrocks and ledges that we rode at the Slickrock trail with random rocks and SAND!



Chillin in this canyon




The chillin happened after going down this


Anytwowilldo having a good time


Getting ready to roll out


Interesting mound shaped rock


Was riding along and everyone just passed this view up I had to stop snap a picture of this and get passed by a bunch of side by sides. There is a cliff and just this awesome view.



BARF expedition negotiating Fins n things


Yep gonna ride all over this


EricB riding down this blackened slickrock


OaklandF4i recipient of the the purple unicorn for the 1st day of riding


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Old 10-22-2016, 10:28 AM   #12
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HadesOmega Ride's the Moab Slickrock Trail Part 1
It's a pretty long vid. Pretty much just the trail riding stuff with the breaks cut out. In my opinion the Slickrock trail was the MOST unique trail you can ride in Moab. It doesn't take that long to complete so I figured I would post the whole thing. It took us about 3 hours to complete this trail where it really only take about an hour to, but that's with 2 flats, some spills, and first time out.
https://youtu.be/b6j2RzLH3Mc
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:12 PM   #13
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HadesOmega Ride's the Moab Slickrock Trail Part 2
The continuation to the previous video. I got about 95% of the trail before the camera ran out of juice.

https://youtu.be/JlXBQ0dqzNA
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:28 PM   #14
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Looks really fun. I really need to get out there!
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:03 PM   #15
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Day 3 - Sovereign Single Track
The Sovereign Single Track and ATV trail are north of Moab a little past the Arches National Park. We staged at a little camping area and hit this trail. At first took the ATV trail but had to turn back because EricB had disappeared. He was having problem with his KDX220, but after he installed a new plug it ran ok and we set out again to the singletrack. The Sovereign Singletrack is a challenging singletrack with many ledges and stepups we needed to clear. Sasquatch sit this one out because he was fixing his bike but would later join us for the ATV trail. Tough trail but rewarding in the end!


So you see here we followed the ATV course here but went back to get EricB. Then we headed out to the singletrack.



Some tough sections here






When we get here some of use are burnt out and the whole group decides to take the ATV trail back.


It's fairly straight and some really sandy sections


Then back at the staging area!
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