Bringing my Honda XR650L to its Natural Environment

I learned just how dear a friend is my pal, gyroscopic forces. That was instilled in me a couple of days ago when traversing some rough terrain on my motorcycle.

Led by Bill Bry – who grew-up in the area – I got a pretty killer workout riding down former logging roads eroded by tree-hauling skidders, steep hills covered in loose granite thanks to Hurricane Irene, and through deep mud.

IMG 0761 e1338345460841 Bringing my Honda XR650L to its Natural Environment

Bill took me to places not too far from Keene that few other vehicles could traverse. My current bike is a Honda XR650L – my first duel sport. My previous bikes were a Honda Rebel and a BMW K1200RS.

Last August, after doing much research and taking Bill’s XR650L out for a jaunt I decided to allocate a chunk of my scarce resources to obtain my XR650L.

After a Craigslist-facilitated consensual interaction, I drained the oil and filled it with Mobile 1 Synthetic and a few days later left the ‘shire, stopping in Ohio and Virginia, before heading back. So, despite bike’s obvious off-road capabilities, almost all the miles it’s seen under my control have been highway. On Saturday that changed.

I got a taste of what of what it felt like to have 11″ of suspension travel on a 320lb bike powered by 650ccs. I say a taste as, try as I did to keep-up with Bill, I often rounded a bend to find him leaning over his parked bike, waiting. He had a smile on his face though – fully-conscience of our off-road experience disparity. He told me the motorcross guys are even speedier than him. Crazy. Makes we want to watch Dust to Glory again.

I had to walk my bike down one massive hill and Bill took it up a steep slab of granite. My strategy: form first, then speed. Just like in the gym it’s form first than weight.

2012 05 27 15.08.46 768x1024 Bringing my Honda XR650L to its Natural Environment

We weren’t able to snap many pictures as we went through the other environments mentioned since riding demanded all focus – something that was made clear to me after I looked at my odometer and realized how little ground we had covered in a couple hours.

Screen shot 2012 05 29 at 10.58.05 PM Bringing my Honda XR650L to its Natural Environment

Other gyroscopic-endearing surfaces not-depicted included forging through a couple feet of water for a hundred feet or so, getting a little air on some sand dunes, and some picturesque river roads.

I told Bill afterwards that I couldn’t remember being so scared and thrilled at the same. You gotta face your fears though. Besides, it was damn fun:)


For More:

Posts from this site tagged “motorcycle”

A couple of videos with Bill Bry, both showcasing his welding skills:

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30 Responses to Bringing my Honda XR650L to its Natural Environment

  1. Bill Bry 2012/05/30 at 8:06 AM #

    It would be great to have a ride with more friends of liberty this summer or fall. Anyone interested? I do know more mild trails if it would be more attractive to people.

  2. Paul Bonneau 2012/05/30 at 12:53 PM #

    It’s a “dual” sport, not “duel”, although one could duel with them. :-)

    Nice looking bike. I have an older, more worn XR250L. It is plenty fast for me. These dual sports are the ultimate survival bikes in my opinion. All they need is a can of flat brown spray paint and they are ready for anything!

    As John Ross noted in “Unintended Consequences”, motorcycles are great for anonymous travel too (because the helmet covers your face). Good escape vehicles as well. I tend to remove identifying badges from mine, heh.

  3. Ed Wood 2012/05/30 at 1:25 PM #

    Nice Pete. Dirt biking is the most fun I’ve ever had. Keep it up.

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