Kristian Myers wastes no time putting his BDR ready KTM 790 Adventure R to work
September 30, 2020
September 30, 2020
After leaving the BDR headquarters, the only thing I had to pick up was isobutane canister before hitting the road. There was a little Seattle traffic to deal with for the first hour or so. After escaping the hustle and bustle, I followed the Touratech route around Mt. Ranier, down to the small town of Packwood, WA, where only one gas station had working pumps. From there, I jumped on section 1 of the WABDR. It was already dusk, so I rode only a short distance before finding a great camp spot on the rocky bank of a river. There are plenty of washboards on this section, particularly in the uphill corners. After some thought, I started to wonder why the rear wheel seemed to be bouncing and skipping around so much. The next morning, I decided to check the tire pressure before heading out and instantly realized the cause of my bouncy back end. I aired down from a whopping 45psi to around the mid twenties. This made a substantial difference in keeping my read wheel more planted and maintaining traction off road.
As I was settling into day 2 on the trail, I was having a blast, but I was finding that navigating on the fly was proving itself to be tricky. One issue I came across early on was the 12v power socket was not working. So, to conserve phone and GPS battery power, I was switching on only at intersections to take a quick peek, then switching off again. As you could imagine, I missed a few turns!
Throughout the course of the day, I started to play around with all the technology packed into the 790 R and figured out how switch between ride modes and toggle the ABS. What an amazing feature, especially for someone who has been riding a 2008 KTM 690 Enduro R. It’s truly hard to describe how impressive the suspension is. I would go as far as to stay that I have never felt suspension this good, even after having custom work done on some of my other bikes in the past!
I crossed the Columbia River at the Bridge of the Gods, which led me to a long stretch of pavement toward Bend OR. Labor Day traffic got worse the I got to Bend, so I skipped the town completely and headed for Crescent Lake, the start of section 3 of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route. It was already getting dark, so I popped into a campground for a relaxing evening. The camp host was gracious enough to let me use his truck power to charge up my phone, GPS and backup battery, so I was all set for the next two days. While unpacking my panniers to set up camp, I discovered that one my cans of Oregon Pinot Noir had ruptured sometime during the day. Needless to say, I had a few damp items to dry out. Unfortunately, all of the bike’s paperwork got some purple tie-dye action! The owner’s manual got the worst of it and is no longer legible. Oh well, I’ll chalk that up as another lesson learned through adventure riding!
Day 3 started with the continuation of section 3 of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route. I would say this is definitely a worthwhile ride. This brought me across the Oregon-California border in the middle of nowhere, which is by far the best way. The smoke from nearby wildfires was getting heavy at this point. After a stretch of slab, I was at Mt. Shasta and decided to set up camp off one of the access trails on the north side, at 6500ft.
I opted for an early start on day 4. It was another long stretch of asphalt to Eureka, CA. This is a beautiful road ride. South of Eureka, I jumped on the Lost Coast dual sport track, which runs almost all the way down to Ft Bragg. I hadn’t ridden this area in about 10 years, so it was great to be back to see it again. Unfortunately, the only beach front camping area was packed due to the holidays, so I didn’t bother staying.
After fueling up in Ft. Bragg, I started the last couple hundred miles home. It was a long day, but the 790 R certainly didn’t mind!
I finally got some time to start cleaning and servicing the bike this past weekend. I found a countershaft seal leak that I need to address and there’s still the smell of cow patties around the front of the skid plate! Needs a bit more scrubbing, I suppose.
Thanks again to the BDR organization. What an incredible prize, and I’m very satisfied that I was able to put the bike right into action!
Ride Respectfully. Ride Right. Ride BDR.