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  1. Jim Wallis
    July 24, 2015 | 6:16 pm

    I am currently a good mountain bike rider and infatuated with a Triumph Scrambler. No motorcycle experience. and 59YO. I am in good shape and had a previous life backpacking but am no mechanic. How you rate the scrambler as being able to make this trip (without the deep sand section)? I have seen numerous vids showing the scram doing all manner of rough roads. It has a limited tank range of around 120 miles. I realize I would need to learn how to handle it safely, but doing this ride would be my goal in motorcyeling. Thanks

    • Don
      July 24, 2015 | 8:10 pm

      Jim, a Triumph Scrambler is very much the type of bike that we had go with us on the Centennial ride in May of 2014. You already identified the section of the ride over near Glamis, CA where there is some fairly deep sand sections. Sand is not your friend on those big heavy adventure bikes. The good news is the sand is pretty much all on the first section between San Diego and Yuma. The worst part is a road called Ted Kipf Road that goes off road near Niland, CA (near the Salton Sea). There is about 5 miles of it that had even some veteran riders tipping over, so I wouldn’t recommend that if you have not ridden a motorcycle very much. But if you ride from Brawley east on Highway 78 to the Glamis store, that’s where that section comes out. You can cross over the railroad tracks there and Ted Kipf Road can be seen (road sign) in about a quarter mile. That then goes pretty straight – albeit sandy in places – to Ogilby Road and you can make your way over to Interstate 8 there and on to Yuma. My main advice for a new motorcycle rider, or even someone just new to the big adventure bikes is (a) don’t out there now – it will 110-115 any day this time of year.Wait fior Fall/Winter. (b) don’t ride alone – take a group so if there are some breakdowns you can get everyone out of there (c) find some dirt roads to ride first so you have some idea how the bike behaves in loose dirt. (d) bring extra water, if you get lost or on the wrong road you’ll be glad you did. They are tricky, and its easy to go too fast, or also too slow. Another option to think about is to skip the loose sand of day 1 and ride over to Yuma. There is dirt between Yuma and Phoenix, but generally not deep, some gravel, but its a fun ride. My four tips above still apply through. The only place where gas is an issue is between Brawley and Yuma (get gas in Brawley), and then from Yuma you must get gas in Dateland to make it to Buckeye area near Phoenix. I hope that is helpful. I am working now on a book we will be publishing, but probably not printed until about the first of the new year. Ride safe. Don

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