We are less than a week away from departing on a much-anticipated moto trip to Africa. Most of the items on my pre-launch checklist are mundane items like bills to pay, things to take care of before leaving to make sure I don’t worry about untended affairs at home, cleaning the fish tank, calling the plumber to fix a leaking pipe, plus making sure I have all the little items packed, such as filling a Cipro prescription, packing sunscreen, etc. One thing that was obviously on Darth’s checklist: do some riding on the KTM enduro bike and get the throttle wrist acclimated for the upcoming 6 days of touring that our intrepid group will be facing. See below.

Getting the KTM dirty in Utah's Mud Season

Getting the KTM dirty in Utah's Mud Season. Photo by Darth Nater.

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It’s been an interesting Spring here in Utah. After a record snowfall that dropped over 700 inches on our friends over at Snowbird, the big problem right now is high elevation and mid elevation snowpack that is 200-300% above normal. It hasn’t really warmed consistently yet, and all that energy is coiled up like a spring in the mountains, ready to unleash its fury in the form of flooding. I have yet to do any sort of weekend trips on the BMW F800 GS yet this year. Most of my riding has been limited to some commutes and short half-day trips. One of these recent Sunday morning sorties led Darth and myself up Chalk Creek Canyon out of Coalville, Utah. The Chalk Creek is one of the trouble spots here in Utah that is likely to cause some flooding issues, as snowpack from the Uinta Mountains melts off and releases its energy. We did a quick ride up the canyon to where the pavement ends and turns to dirt, and made our way to the Wyoming border, or thereabouts. All through the canyon, the creek was definitely raging. You could see evidence that the rising water levels had already reclaimed some pasture land, but no washed out roads, or floating trailers as of yet. We rode our bikes by a Mormon church in the canyon that had a big stockpile of sandbags in the parking lot, just in case. After snapping a few Hipstamatic iPhone photos, we returned the way we came. When the roads are clear of snow, the normal route for this ride would continue on into Wyoming just outside of Evanston, and return up and over the back side of the Mirror Lake Highway, into Kamas, Utah. With how much snow is up there right now, I’m thinking that road won’t be clear until mid June at the earliest.

Chalk Creek Rages as snow melts from the Uintas.

Chalk Creek Rages as snow melts from the Uintas.

 

Darth inspects the new fork seals on my F800 GS.

Darth inspects the new fork seals on my F800 GS.

 

Looking back from the Wyoming border.

Looking back from the Wyoming border.

 

I’ve seen a few custom racks out there that motorcycle riders have fashioned so they can take their bicycles along for the adventure. I spotted this one parked outside the Park City Home Depot. The idea of packing up the mountain bike and heading down to Moab has always sounded good to me. This one is cool because it uses a standard and reliable Yakima full length tray, holding the bike off to one side (on the other side, this rider had a fork mount for the front wheel). Obviously a very custom job, by someone who was fairly handy with welding torches, as the support for the back of the wheel tray was integrated with the rear luggage rack. I’ve seen this guy a few times in the Park City area, but this was the first time I got a good look at the work. Ride on!

Custom Bicycle Rack on BMW GS 1150

A Very Custom Job to mount a Yakima Bike Rack on a BMW GS.