Death Valley—An Adventurous Expedition Rider Magazine Blog

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Suzuki GS 750

Death Valley—An Adventurous

March 11, 2014

A day of challenges and two-track gravel roads us to one of Death Valley’s hidden Striped Butte Valley. We set up and watched the rocks get painted red by the setting sun at one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Let’s it: the recent plethora of action TV shows pander to the empty in our DNA that grew out of having to to eat and having to defend our families predators while in our caves. likely reading this you satisfy that innate by riding a motorcycle. Adventure-type scratch that itch a blend of adrenaline and excitement will leave you quivering.

  no surprise that this relief from our day-to-day has grown in popularity faster any other type of motorcycling.

If new to this adventure motorcycle you’ll be looking for a place to One such place is through a new web ; a site developed by Jim and his RawHyde Adventures off-road school. RawHyde has been folks how to ply the big adventure bikes seemingly hostile terrain for the 10 years.

He has used this to build a multi brand of adventure motorcycles outfitted the protective accessories that the heavy bikes from damage when strewn the landscape during the challenging process. The next logical was to make this information on his the bike prep, and the suppliers for extreme sport available on one site. But what about the experience?

At RawHyde headquarters, Jim (right) gave us all a pep talk, ride procedures, and a bit of a warning the excitement, difficulty and danger of us. He wasn’t kidding, but it was worth second.

The real test is to take a of these farkled motos and ‘em like we stole ‘em. We invited along on one of RawHyde’s top events: Expedition CV —a six-day to a challenging ride through the Desert and the unforgiving terrain of Valley with its surrounding Accompanying the group would be bikes from BMW, Yamaha and Triumph.

We would get to each bike on varied ranging from tough sections to ribbons of smooth

Arriving at the RawHyde ranch on a Sunday afternoon, our first of things to come was revealed by the bikes that were for the ride. The manufacturers from of Adventure provided the parts and needed to set the bikes up with strength adventure capability, lights, bags, wheels and pieces.

The manufacturers included Luggage Systems, Black Dog Works, AltRider, Clearwater Sawa Tires, Best Products, Woody’s Wheel Touratech, Giant Loop, Tires, Baja Designs, Motorcycle Luggage and Happy hard panniers. Additionally, of us were outfitted with riding suits, which, the rest of the added items, soon get a full workout and the stuff they are made of.

As an bonus, the top brass from Klim, Black Dog, Wheel Works and Wolfman on hand to explain their and design philosophy. These are all hard-core riders and torture products before taking to market; our group would prove the durability and desirability of the the protection parts!

After the we toured RawHyde’s huge that includes a variety of courses ranging from figure 8’s and sand washes to buried logs teasing to be by the students finishing up their training. Following a hearty we joined the festivities watching getting their diplomas and the camaraderie that mushroomed the teamwork of helping each extract their bikes some earthly trap or

Part of that group join on the Expedition CV. After a of the upcoming ride, we found our and mentally prepared for the challenges us.

We stopped for a ‘group-up’ at the edge of the of the Mojave desert; a few hundred behind the camera, the cactus sprouting from the desert defining Desert. There about 28 riders on this leg of the trip.

Our initial destination was Base Camp Alpha; an in the Mojave Desert at the fringes of habitation where a converted container and a military surplus tent defined the end of the first transverse of highways and gravel interrupted with Joshua and deep washes of sand.  The pits provided an idea of the ahead of us.

RawHyde staff themselves to help right the two-wheeled sirens after sand and gravity sucked piloted bikes into a position. Upon arrival at Camp Alpha, we were by RawHyde’s staff preparing gourmet dinner complete cases of wine—another of Hyde’s in conjunction with award-winning Wines.

Although the landscape and evoked images of Ewan and his Long Way Round film, we coddled into a luxury experience by the presence of great and beverage along with an and helpful RawHyde staff. tasting in the middle of the desert was an delight. The evening was topped off a campfire songfest as stringed magically appeared at the disappearance of

Along the route were a of especially challenging sections required group efforts to get Our first encounter came in the of a 100-yard sand trap. few riders made it through a dump or two.

Here, a is being pushed to get restarted by Thomas, one of the top instructors at RawHyde and of BMW’s U.S. leg of their ad for the new water-boxer.

As the morning desert sun the nighttime chill, the Expedition CV bid adieu to about half of the course graduates, who only on for this first phase of the The remainder of the group could to ride around the area various bikes or relax some of the manufacturers reps attended the first part of the to help launch The World of website. The day passed quickly, and another couple of meals and a we prepared ourselves for what to be one of the most challenging motorcycle you can take on a big adventure bike.

another hearty breakfast, full disclosure—RawHyde had a fully chase Jeep and trailer with a cook) we set off on a day that be 80 grueling miles of dirt, gravel, rocks and boulders. It take coordinated teamwork to get the through the infamous Mengel

If you think this is exaggeration, Google images of “Mengel Although not on the agenda, the process of of us exchanging help by pushing, and pointing out paths between the was the stuff of programs like Bound and other similar that create unity and This trail was the catalyst for friendship bonds that when adventure riders a challenge.

Suzuki GS 750

Those of us in the U.S. are coddled believing that roads are all paved. The reality is that in excess of 90 percent of the roads in the are not paved; the ad folks therefore you to explore the unpaved majority of the As delivered, most adventure the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and the new KTM 1190 R—are mainly set up for street and roads.

The more adventurous like our boulder-strewn route, better protection.  The bikes proved their on the varied terrain. Bike from The World of Adventure such as crash bars, plates and panniers were put to the A survey of the bikes after the hardest sections showed and scrapes on the protective armor insulated vulnerable cast engine cases.

Adventure understand that the usual factory issue protection on bikes is not sufficient for the kind of duty we required. And like any segment of the motorcycle universe, the of accessories available allows owner to farkle out their with their choice of plates, armor, panniers and to suit both function and

Standing on the rocks at the entry to the Pass waiting for the carnage, four Rawhyde Staffers. A left turn led to a quarry of sized loose rocks up a 45 degree climb. It proved impossible for all but a few of the very top tier to master this challenge on a big bike without some

Our route continued along a endless Goler Wash the alluvial deposits of sand and snaked down from the of Death Valley to a remote only reachable by unpaved Butte Valley. We arrived at to watch in awe as the setting sun painted the rock formations into of fiery red as we set up camp. Our Jeep wagon arrived and quickly our thirst for beverages and grub.

The did not last, as we were all delightfully

Our fifth day of the ride was less “only” 60 or so miles of rocky washes with the remainder of the 130 miles being paved Our route took us through the of Death Valley and included a at Badwater, the lowest spot in the hemisphere at 282 feet below sea From here, we rode on to a near Scotty’s Castle.

Our day was a return ride to the RawHyde mostly on secondary roads. gave us an additional chance to the assortment of adventure bikes in an where they are realistically 90 percent of the time. The Expedition CV about 750 miles.

The adventure we were using included a KTM BMW R 1200 GS water boxer BMW R 1200 GS oil cooled (2012), Tiger 800, Triumph and Yamaha Super Ténéré.

We off riding each of the bikes, all had been kitted with protective accessories, panniers and from The World of Adventure A detailed comparison is the subject of story, but all of the bikes proved traversing a route that fully challenge any machine or As expected, the larger, more bikes had their advantages on the but no one ever waited for the others.

RawHyde now offers a demo where you can sign up to ride a of these bikes yourself, on and off-road, if you want to do your own before purchasing; some will even credit you the cost.

The reward at the top of a hillclimb was a encompassing hundred of miles. We reformed our group at rest to grab some water and stories, while the RawHyde would give us pointers for the section. “Keep the right the shrub a quarter of a mile because there is a big boulder behind it and your pannier hit it and send you flying.” We all kept to the

The trip was a very well adventure. We were immersed an environment where, with a bit of and a well equipped bike, a can conquer seemingly impossible conditions and find a whole new of places to ride and experience. those narrow gravel in South America now seem a lot

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Suzuki GS 750
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