Wednesday, July 26, 2017

TAT 2017 Post 18 07/26/17

Second day in Moab turned out to be fantastic after dealing with a problem with Terry’s KTM 690. High temperature was around 95 degrees with no rain.

As stated in my last post Terry’s ReKluse auto-clutch was not working correctly so we started troubleshooting it early in the morning. He actually got hold of ReKluse engineers and they help determine the problem. We did all we could to re-adjust the clutch, bleed the system and nothing improved its performance. Evidently the KTM has two types of clutch throw-out bearing push rods; one of hardened steel and one that is not hardened. At least that’s what ReKluse said. Terry’s push rod was slightly mushroomed on the end, which wouldn’t let the clutch disengage. ReKluse said they had seen this before and the only solution was to replace the push rod with a hardened steel version.

We spent the next few hours trying to find a push rod at every KTM dealer within 3 hours driving from Moab. No luck. We finally got the local KTM dealer to order one from KTM with overnight delivery for tomorrow. ReKluse said Terry could still use the bike with no damage but the clutch would act as a normal clutch.

By this time it was around 1 pm and we decided to try and get a ride in before we leave on the TAT tomorrow. In addition, it rained most of last night so we were concerned the trails would be washed out because there was running water on Moab Main Street and mud everywhere.

The Canyon Lands web site said that the Shafer Switch Backs on the east side were closed for road construction. In addition, the west side of White Rim Road was washed out by the recent rains. Our new friend Imu recommended we try to get to Canyon Lands White Rim Road via Potash Road and Shafer Trail. The web site was very confusing and even stated that the White Rim trails were closed. We decided to go as far as we could until stopped by the park cops.

We all left the motel at 1:30 pm, even Terry. The first 20 miles was on Potash Road, which is paved and ran beside the Colorado River in between huge canyon walls on both sides of the river. We eventually ran out of paved road at a big Potash manufacturing facility. You’ll have to research what Potash is if interested. The picture of the blue ponds shows how they get the Potash.

This road then became Shafer Road and ran into Canyon Lands National Park. We passed a closed road that led to the Switchbacks but the White Rim Road was open. We kept riding for almost 25 miles. Although it wasn’t 110 degrees it was still pretty hot and there is NO SHADE!! Take a hat!

The map shows how far we rode before several of the bikes where at half fuel and we were all getting pretty tired. This ride is beautiful and the section we rode not very technical. Matty our youngest rider had no problem with it. We stopped to take a lot of pictures and I’m only posting the best ones below. We finally got back to the motel around 6:30 after 89 miles on the road.

If you want to ride some fantastic trails then spend some time in Moab. I would come in the spring or fall because July is HOT! We lucked out and got here during a very unusual rain event from what the locals tell us.

We are all pretty tired. Everyone is heading to their rooms to do some packing for a 5:30 am meeting in the morning to continue on the TAT. I’m following as soon as I get this posted.

Plan for tomorrow:
1               We hope to be on the TAT by 6 to 6:30 am because we have around 200 miles to ride and it looks like a lot of desert on this stretch.
2               Michael and the support truck will stay in Moab until the overnight delivery of the push rod arrives.
3               He will then meet us at one of our intersections, probably one of the 2 times we cross I-70.
4               We all have enough fuel to ride the longest stretch of 140 miles even if we don’t hook up with the support truck.
5               Our destination for tomorrow night is a little town named Castle Dale, UT. One motel and who knows what food will be available since we will be getting there close to sundown.

More tomorrow night.

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