Cleveland forest ride.

We were hoping to get in another camping ride this weekend but fellow riders have reported that the flies are biting at Corral Canyon, our destination. We’ll probably encounter flies and mosquitoes on our trip and perhaps this would make for a good test, but suffering only builds character where biting flies are not involved. You know what biting flies build? Welts and anger.

So we opted for a day trip with our loaded bikes to continue the vetting process. Although we stiffened up my suspension settings, the bike is still a little too light in front. Under 65 it’s ok, but anything over that the front end starts to oscillate. An easy possible fix would be to swap out the lowering link for the stock one — with all that weight on the back my feet are on the ground so I could probably give up an inch and still maneuver the bike on the balls of my feet.

When we got off the freeway we headed for a smooth dirt road that wound through the Cleveland National forest. I was fully expecting the DRZ to have a bad front-end push on the ball-bearing surface, but it was actually handling surprisingly well. I handed Simon off to Wayne so I could work the DRZ a little harder without worrying about a passenger.

One good test we got in was a deep water crossing — it reminded us that even if we don’t expect rain, whatever’s in the sidebags should be protected in case water comes from below and not above.

The recent carb needle replacement solved the hot start problem (we had also checked valve clearances to make sure that wasn’t a contributing factor). My seat rework also felt good, at least where a single’s day ride was concerned.

HMS Juan-Marco has been a total champ. I think I have Wayne drinking the delicious DRZ Kool-Aid.

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