Day 6

We left our luggage at the motel and went out to play on the playa! Woo hoo! This was a big highlight of the trip. Riding on the playa is a very unique motorcycling experience. You’d think “big, flat, scenic, kind of a novelty, boring after 15 minutes.” Oh but it’s so much more! The surface is unlike anything else I’ve ridden on. It’s kind of silty sand with a thin, hard crust on top. This makes for amazing traction and crazy lean angles. Because of the huge size, you can turn forever! There’s no setting up for the turn, no braking points, no apex, no exit, none of that. It’s all TURN. This led to doing really huge circles and esses while power sliding at 50 mph. At first that seemed like the limit, and then after a while I was sliding at 70 and felt totally confident! The back end only steps out a few inches, but when you’ve got it leaned over and on the gas it’s magic. I think we did this for about 2 hrs. It was addictive! At one point, while doing about 75, the back stepped WAY out suddenly and I almost high sided. I decided I had found the limit and it was time to slow down and continue the trip. That’s the old guy in me talking.

After the playa fun we headed home. We did some of the same roads and a few new ones and ended up back at Boca. Then a long haul home in the dark on 80 - not much fun… That was a long day.

And finally

The GPS showed a total distance of about 850 miles. I'm not sure if it's accurate (for various reasons) but it's a number.
This was our biggest adventure ride ever. I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. It worked out great. I didn’t want to come home and I’m looking forward to the next one!

Bike notes

I’m very happy with my KTM640. I like it more than I did before the trip. It’s kind of big as dirt bikes go, but for this type of riding it’s hard to imagine anything better. The suspension is super plush and amazingly stable at speed on rough roads. The mega torque is huge fun exiting turns and effortlessly conquers hills. Some four strokes go “thump.” This one goes “BOOM!” :) This model won many Dakar rallies in years past. The rally bikes have more bodywork and extra gas tanks, but it’s the same bike underneath. It’s the freight train of dirt bikes. It would take an act of God to knock it off it's line. Point it where you wanna go and hang on ‘cause it’s getting you there in a hurry! Vroom!

Yikes! The luggage!! When I first loaded all this stuff on my bike I was absolutely horrified. I thought “It’s UNRIDEABLE.” I really tried to pack light, yet this is what I ended up with. Fortunately it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it looks. With some extra preload on the rear it actually handled just fine on fast dirt roads. I had to slow down for the really rough stuff, but could still ride some pretty challenging terrain with it. I made the mount for the water jug to keep the weight low. I also made some carbon fiber tank guards, the GPS mount and the tank bag with huge map case.

Here's my dashboard. I did the navigation.

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