Rustic Roads to Ruins pt5 – Loop 3

I’ve spent the past good while stressing a bit about the house selling stuff. We went through having an offer and deal on the table, to it falling out in a weeks time. We’ve also spruced up a few things around the place, which should help with moving it. All that stuff has kept me busy the past few days, and I wanted to take a day and go get a ride in.

I talked to my brother Saturday evening to see if he was interested in scooting out with me on Sunday. He was tentatively in for leaving at 7am. Unfortunately Saturday night, my dog decided to start absolutely freaking out about some fireworks going off. My wife had to be up at 4am for work, so I took the dog into the living room with me and cozied up on the couch. This was fine except for some neighbors having a big bon-fire just up the road. The dog was quite worked up for awhile….leaving me to not sleep so well. My wife woke me up at 4 when she got up, at which point I headed back to bed….promptly waking up at 730.

Not a big deal, as I saw I had a message from my brother at 12:30, who had a failed 3D print, so was dealing with that on Sunday. I was moving a bit slowly, but wanted to really get out for my ride. The dog seemed plenty chipper in the morning….darn thing.

So that said, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to go ride. Rustic Roads 90 & 27 were within a decent distance from me. Straight line, they are only 63 miles away. Basically they are a couple of the last “close” rides for me (that could be done in less than 1/2 day). Their descriptions & rough outline looked appealing enough:

RR90 Info
RR27 Info

Tentative route:

So the plan I had was to get on the road, tell the Garmin 60CX to just point me in the right direction towards the 1st waypoint on RR90. I was excited, as I had a nice new hardwired power on my KTM 350. I plug everything in…..and the unit shuts off as soon as the unit shakes. I say to hell with it, and toss my solar charger & phone in my tank bag, plug in the waypoint and off I go.

Loaded and ready to go:

Now I gotta say, I got a whole crap ton going against me on this right now. First of all…..I’m running a 350 race bike, on a front knobby that has 4 races, 600+ Moab miles, many local road miles, that is chunking like no other, with a rear tire that I got used from a friend (that I swapped in Moab as well), that is rapidly degrading to oblivion. On top of that, neither wheel is balanced, my front rotor has a tiny bend in it (pulsing brake lever), an OEM seat that is like sitting on nails, and now I added that silly stupid tank bag….all so I had room to hold something to drink. But hey….I was ready to go riding, and I really wanted to get my use out of them tires.

So kickstands up, and of course, I may as well top up with fuel right away. From here, it was my standard route of getting from home to Highway B in Wisconsin. My phone\GPS is telling me God only knows what way to take to get out to the first road. I know B heads West, so I’ll just go by feel. A couple miles into B, and I find that I’m running into some sort of triathalon going on. I end up passing bicycles for a couple miles….they all looked miserable as I easily motored by (reminded me of Moab). I end up taking a few “wrong” turns, and managed to find myself cruising on a lonely State Line Road.

Wisconsin and Illinois….well you gotta love and hate em. At least in my immediate vicinity, things are flat, straight, and full of corn. It’s OK though, as I find that when I go out riding….I’m just enjoying the riding. State Line Road, as the name suggests more or less splits Illinois & Wisconsin, just about from Lake Michigan all the way to the Mississippi in Iowa. It’s pretty cool, and while it is flat, and straight, you kind of feel as if you’re heading down a road that was used long ago for important things. There’s that sense of history as you cruise down the roads, which twist and turn as you into and out of IL\WI.

As always my days start though, I end up with myself full of coffee on an empty stomach, which prompted my first stop.

I think I can….I think I can…

This was looking South (bike facing North). You head South here for 1/4 mile, and then back West shortly ahead. If you keep heading South, the road turns to gravel. I wasn’t looking to hit that road, so continued on my way. I meandered along and ended up finding myself back where I got back into competition with motorcycles; Blackhawk Farms Raceway.

Long story short, in 2008 I was road racing an R6. My bank account was draining quicker than I could fill it. I then had this 100mph lowside……right in front of my (future) wife, mother, father, grandpa, etc:

Suffice to say, I switched to trials shortly after. Much cheaper, and the risks of crashing were exponentially reduced. I’m very grateful for this, as I learned so much riding trials, that I continue to tell friends and those I meet that I could NOT do what I can on a dirtbike now, if it weren’t for the years on a trials bike.

There was some racing going on at BHF, but I had places to be and didn’t want to pay a pit fee, so I continued on. The roads around here are older feeling, and many find you beneath well covered tree canopies. They aren’t all that much, but I find the more I ride these roads, the more I grow to appreciate what is around here. I ended up on Highway 81 in Wisconsin for a good 15 miles. This T’s into Highway 11 just South of Brodhead, WI, and a mile or two from RR90.

I had no idea that this was gonna be a gravel road:

The road appears straight, but if you get closer, it has a couple fun little sweepers to it. I rode the road to the end, and backtracked to the start where I snagged this panoramic:

I snagged another of the rear knobby….this was about 80 miles into the ride:

But what can I say… was a nice stop (bio break out in the open as well )

From here I found my way to the start of Rustic Road 27. A short 10 mile jaunt, and you’re at the start of a really beautiful section of road:

OK, so it appears to be one straight road, but you can’t complain. Again, this is an older portion, which winds slowly around through some old subdivision of some sort. The entire area is covered in trees, and the road has a very nice flow to it. I highly recommend this one. Even the roads all around this area are pretty solid. Had I of had more time, I would have scouted around a bit.

From RR 27, I wanted to get myself home without hitting a highway (on a KTM 350 remember….). I ended up in downtown Brodhead, WI. I stopped in at a gas station, got some fuel and gatorade. I look up and saw there was a park right across the street. I saw a silver truck parked there, so I rode over and sat down in the Veterans Memorial Park to snack on my gatorade & candy bar. I saw a guy get out of the truck and put something on a tank they have on display there. I finish my snack, and head back towards my bike. I end up chatting with the guy a bit. 91 year old WW2 vet who takes care of the park. He was quite excited about the park, and hoped that the local kids with nothing to do wouldn’t steal the flag he hung on the tank. I would have liked to have gotten more info, but as my wife can attest, I am far from a details person….and given my preference, would be quite happy in isolation. The man & I said our goodbyes, and I hopped back on my bike to get on home.

I ended up following a similar route home, following State Line Road. My bike hummed happily around 60mph the entire way, not missing a beat. At one point, I may (or may not have) made sure that the bike still understood how to ride on it’s rear wheel…..oh how good that feels. It reminded me of a fellow in the gas station who asked me about the KTM earlier in the morning. He asked if it were street legal, to which I replied….Yes, though they should be illegal. They are far too fun. He seemed a bit perplexed, but wished me safe travels.

I made it home about 4.5 hours later. My trip meter confirmed that I’d have a sore behind:

That KTM 350 never ceases to impress, though I did note that I have a leaky fork seal. The Seal Doctor will fix that right up. All in all, a very good day. It helped clear my head, and continued my bond with this bike (that I thankfully never had with the Ducati).

Until the next one….


Moab 2015 Trip Planning

I’ll be going to Moab this spring.  I’ve assembled a few GPS Routes, Tracks, Etc from a variety of sources.

GPX File here: MOAB-2015 (Right Click & Save As)

Mapset I’m using in Garmin Basecamp:

I found most of the tracks\trails @ Trail Damage here:

5 Miles of Hell info here:

That’s about all I have at this point.  I’ll be camping & on my 2013 KTM 350 EXC-F



Klim Scramble Pak Tool Pack

After years of use and abuse, my Moose Tool Pack (ok fanny pack) has finally given up the ghost.  Out on the market are a couple options.  Ogio, KTM, Fox, Klim, etc all have their Tool Pack offerings, but Klim has always seemed to be the dependable choice with moto related gear.  I had no idea what the insides really looked like, so I took a bit of a gamble, so hopefully what I show here and on my video can give you an idea as to what you’re getting into.

The Klim Scramble Pak has 3 main sections.  The large center section and the two side sections.  The two side sections are identical to each other and are not much more than an empty space.  The main compartment is split up into several compartments.  Unclip the two side clips and first you’ll see the outer pouch.  This opening is about 6″ wide with enough room to fit your latex gloves or a couple rags, or maybe a few zip ties and odds and ends.

Flipping the top open, there is a large YKK zipper to access the main compartment.  These zippers like all on the pack have a mild cover to them to help keep out the elements.  Once the compartment is opened, you see your assorted slots, zip compartments, and elastic to keep your tools and gear in place.  There is a big clear pouch which would likely be ideal for a phone, or whatever you may want a quick view at.  One strip of the retention straps has a nice rubberized grip to it to help keep tools in place.

The side pouches themselves as noted earlier are primarily empty spaces.  The outside wall of them is soft like that of a sunglass pouch.  This outer wall also has a small elastic pouch to it.  Both sides are identical and have YKK covered zippers on them.

The main buckle is a solid unit with a very strong hold to it.  At the base of the pack there is a rubberized gripper to help keep the pack from rotating around your body while you’re riding.  The padding on the inside of the pack seems to be plenty adequate and thick enough to keep tools from poking through the pack, without being too thick as to be bulky.

All in all, initial impression of the pack are very solid.  I’ll be loading the pack up for some upcoming events and will do a year end review with it at the end of the season.

For full Hi-Res pics check below:

Acerbis 4.1 Gallon Gas Tank – For KTM 250/350/450/500

I wanted an oversized tank for my KTM 350EXC-F for some dual-sport rides.  I did not want to be the Exxon Valdez super tanker.  Enter the Acerbis 4.1 Gallon Gas Tank.  This tank replaces the OEM radiator guards without adding too much width over the OEM Tank.  This Acerbis unit is identical to the KTM Hard Parts 13L tank, but with the Acerbis screw on gas cap.  I opted for the Acerbis unit purely because it saved me about 80-100$ depending on where you purchase from.

Installing the unit is straight forward.  Remove your OEM Tank, Remove the fuel pump from your OEM Tank (not needed if you have a second fuel pump setup), slide fuel pump into Acerbis tank, and finally reinstall the tank onto the bike.  The Acerbis unit included all the required hardware for installing the tank.  The tanks wall thickness is thinner than the OEM tank, so this requires some alternate hardware.  The supplied hardware did the job and is on par or above OEM quality.  No faults to be had here.

Between your knees, you end up with about 1/2″ of fuel tank extra on either side.  In the center, you end up with the standard Acerbis look of a slightly too tall fuel filler.  This is due to Acerbis needing to be able to fit their dry break fuel filler system.  Not the end of the world, but if you’re used to sliding up on your tank all the way up to the bars, you’re going to have a nut buster of a problem.

When on the bike you don’t really notice the tank all too much.  Yes it’s there, and yes there is a bit more fuel sloshing around, but there is no avoiding that with adding fuel.  So far I’m happy with it.  My only gripe at this point being that the gas cap breather hose nipple broke off before I even touched the tank.  Mildly frustrating, though luckily the tank is still usable without that.


I contacted Acerbis regarding the broken cap.  They’re sending me a replacement cap.  Excellent Service & Response.

Acerbis Part #:2367750147

Rustic Roads to Ruins

A month or so ago I sold my Nighthawk and picked up a fancy Italian bike. I’ve never had a Ducati before, I’ve honestly never ridden a Multistrada before. The closest I had to trying a 1st gen Multistrada was sitting on a friends several years ago and thinking “Sweet Zombie Jesus this clutch is stiff……you sure that’s a hydraulic clutch?”  But what can I say. I had ridden my Nighthawk to test ride a new Ducati 848 Streetfighter as well as a 2014 Hyperstrada, and was bitten by the bug. I made some things happen, and wound up with a fancy 2004 Ducati Multistrada 1000DS. Rough around the edges yes……Raw Italian Beast through and through.The real purpose of this thread is to document my trips collecting Rustic Road Signs in Wisconsin. All 115 of them spread out around the state of Wisconsin. If you don’t know what they are, they’re basically a series of roads in Wisconsin that are…..Rustic. I’m documenting these rides in a spreadsheet on my computer, but will use this as more of posting pictures & thoughts of what is going on in my head during the rides. More than likely….nothing 

Wisconsin’s definition here:

What’s that got to do with motorcycling…..well, Wisconsin is nice enough to send you a patch if you snap a picture of yourself in front of 10 signs. Their rules are here:

Now I’m not the first, nor am I the last to take on this little challenge. I think there are even a few reports on this site of other Wisconsin locals taking on this challenge. I however can say that I’m doing these…..all based out of Illinois. Now in reality, that’s not really fair. I am in Illinois, however I’m only about 10 miles South of the IL\WI border. On top of that, I’ve got the minimum 10 Rustic Roads within a 30-45 minutes ride from my house. 

Rustic Roads in relation to my house (bottom right):

Rustic Road GPS Tracks HERE: GPS FILES

I devised a simple plan of attack for how I’m going to snag all 115 of these Rustic Roads. Wisconsin split these up into 4 main segments:

I’m close enough to most of the stuff in the Southeast area to attack them in rides after work. My wife works nights as a nurse, so if she’s working, I’m flying solo. If not, I’ll be getting her to tag along. Pictures with her will be far more appealing than of just me & my mug or just the Ducati.  I’ve got a cabin I can base out of for the Southwest portion of roads, so when I’m out there, I’ll snag those. Next spring when I do the TWAT, I’ll aim to snag those that are based around that route. In October or early November, my wife & I weather pending will be doing Cannonshot’s loop around Door County. I’ll snag any Rustic Roads there while in the area.

That’s my plan. I may (or may not) stick to it 

So the cast of characters:

My wife & I (I gotta burn that BMW Jacket):

The Silver Duck (truck is backup if I break down ):

All that said, allow me to begin. Stay tuned……