Sunday, November 18, 2012

Five Star Cycle Incentive Run 2012

Five Star Cycle put on a great event with this year's Incentive Run. This was my first time attending this annual event. I was surprised by the big turnout, I heard 170+ riders at one point. The guys at Five Star laid out some fun trails through the woods and there was a MX track and endurocross section as well. I chickened out on the endurocross stuff...maybe next year. After the ride we had good food and drinks in the showroom, a perfect way to end a fun day.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Superstorm Ride 11/3/2012

An entertaining day of riding in the remnants of hurricane Sandy. The wet conditions made for some challenging riding as you can see in the video.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Equipment Review: Scorpion Racing Heavy Duty Skid Plate

I finally got around to fitting a skid plate to my Gas Gas. I purchased the Scorpion Racing heavy duty skid plate directly from Scorpion Racing in Canada. It is a quality piece of equipment. Mounting was easy with no adjustment or clearancing necessary and it even came with some foam strips to cut down on buzzing and a foam block to keep mud out from between the plate and the engine case.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mines and Meadows 10/21/2012

This weekend I finally got to use the two for one pass for Mines and Meadows that I'd been sitting on for months. I took out the Gas Gas and rode their single track for the first time. I have almost the entire single track loop in the video, so if you haven't been there yet the video should give you a good idea of what it's like.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rock Run Recreation Park - Long Single Track

This was my favorite trail of the park. 5+ miles of nice single track.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gear Review: AFX FX-39 DS Helmet Follow Up

I did a short review of this helmet when I first got it back in May of 2011. It's been a great helmet for me since that time. I did just have to order a replacement shield. The plastic channel that serves as the ratcheting mechanism for the shield was broken on both sides and as a result the shield would not stay locked in position. With a new shield, I'm optimistic that I'll get at least a few more years out of this helmet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rock Run Recreation Park - Short Single Track #2

Video of another unfinished section of single track that we attempted.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rock Run Recreation Park

I got to visit Rock Run Recreation Park in Patton, Pa for the first time this weekend. I met some friends there on Saturday morning. We rode most of the day and then camped on site and got up and did it again the next morning. We had some trouble finding the single track we were after but still got in some great riding. The single track we rode was nice and the rest of the trails were rocky but fun with some nice hills. I trashed a brand new S12 on the rocks, I guess I shouldn't have yanked the trials tire just yet. I did manage to shoot a good bit of video. I'll post them up as I get them edited.

Saturday night:

Sunday morning sunrise:

Hunting for single track:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

LED Helmet Light

I'm working on modding a T6 LED light I got on Ebay into an inexpensive helmet light. 

Here's what I have so far:

I'm using parts from a GoPro mount kit so that it will be easily removable and transferable to my other helmets. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trail Work

I cut some new trails behind my house today. As you will see in the video, there is still some work to be done before it's really ready to ride. It's also a bit too mucky for the trials tire, especially when it's aired up to 20+ PSI (I was riding on the street earlier and forgot to air it back down). I have to get back out there on a nice cool day and clear some weeds, more of the dead branches, and cut down one tree that fell in yesterday's storm.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Contour has a new action camera on the market called the Contour+2. The main advantages I see in this update are that it comes with a waterproof case and has an external mic jack. Read more on their site

Monday, August 27, 2012

RCR Five Star Cycle Ride 8/26/2012

A whole slew of RCR riders traveled to Saegertown, Pa this weekend to camp out at Five Star Cycle and do some riding on the track and surrounding woods. We had nice weather, many burgers and dogs, a monster fire, and awesome riding. It was a great weekend. I hadn't ridden the EC250 for over a month. It's such a fun bike, I have to get it out more before winter hits.

Thank you to Five Star for the hospitality! These guys are super cool.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Southeast Ohio

This past weekend I rode to Athens, Oh to visit some friends and family. I rode down on Saturday and back on Monday.

I mapped out a back roads route down through WV which worked great until I hit this surprise gate. Next time I will reroute around this spot and also stick to back roads to avoid WV2 (it's 4 lane here).

I had to do a bit of Ohio 7 after crossing the river. It was 4 lane like WV2 so I turned off as soon as I could onto OH 260. I liked OH 260, I hadn't been on that road before. It was nice and twisty with no traffic. I wanted to do a fast pace on 555, but didn't get a chance. I got behind some slow bikes on the southern part and turned off on some other back roads instead.

My dad decided to ride with me for a while on my return route, so I was following him when we hit the part of 555 north of my parents farm. There was a bridge out on 555 south of Zanesville, so we rerouted on OH 669, which turned out to be a good windy road with nice pavement. I took a more northern route back. It wasn't quite as nice as going through WV, but I still had some good roads and scenery, and the weather was perfect on Monday.

I took some video too:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


My DRZ just rolled over 20,000 miles on the odometer. She's still going strong. Maintenance to date includes changing the oil, tires, and one valve adjustment. This DRZ has been a great bike for me. It's taken me to a lot of out of the way places and has been really easy to live with.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days

Swap-meet photos (click any of the thumbnails for a larger image):

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

West Virginia Exporation

My buddy Jimmy and I took a ride south on Sunday to check out some new to us roads in West Virginia. We found a gem!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

MRD/SSW Exhaust First Impressions

First test ride with the MRD/SSW exhaust. I have the quiet core and spark arrestor installed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

An Impromptu Dual Sport Ride

My buddy Joe called me yesterday and asked it I wanted to go ride for a couple of hours. I was free, so why not? He lead us through some of the best trails I've ridden in our area. Even though we only got in about three hours of riding, the quality definitely made up for the quantity.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Equipment Review: GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac (Part 2)

Part 2: Battery Testing

I did two tests to check the battery life on the Wi-Fi BacPac setup. For the first the GoPro was left running continuously in time-lapse mode, taking one photo every 30 seconds. Under these conditions the battery on the GoPro was depleted in just over three hours. For the second test, I examined the "standby" time of the Wi-Fi BacPac. For this test I turned on the Wi-Fi remote and the Wi-Fi BacPac but left the actual GoPro turned off. The BacPac lasted for about five hours before it's battery was depleted and the GoPro could no longer be powered on by the remote.

Test video:

Going by the results of these two tests it seems like the GoPro battery would be the limiting factor, which is not a big problem as I have the ability to charge the GoPro from a USB outlet on my DRZ. However, in actual use I was able to run down the battery in the Wi-Fi remote before the battery in the BacPac or GoPro was used up. This was a problem as the remote requires it's own special cord for charging and I did not think to bring it with me on the bike. I may not have charged the remote to 100% the day that happened, I was charging it from my iPhone charger which may not be the ideal way to charge the remote.

Click to go back to Part 1

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gear Review: First Gear Kathmandu

I've been using the First Gear Kathmandu jacket and pants as my go-to adventure riding gear for about a year now so I feel that I can give an accurate review at this point. I purchased the Kathmandu set looking for good all-purpose waterproof gear.

The good:
  • 100% waterproof. Even in the crotch. 
  • Venting works (to a point). I've found the Kathmandu to be comfortable from about 30 degrees F to about 70 degrees F. Any warmer and it gets a bit too hot for me. 
  • The armor seems adequate and stays in the right locations.
  • Built in hydration pack is a lot more useful than I thought. One of my favorite features. 
  • Lots of waterproof pockets in the jacket. This makes up for the lack of pants pockets in my opinion. 
  • Lots of adjustment straps. Getting a great fit was easy. 
  • Liners work in cold temperatures. I haven't tested how they work in sub-freezing temperatures yet. 
  • Durable. No problems yet and I've definitely put durability to the test. 
The bad:
  • One button cover fell off (no big deal, decorative item). 
  • Not enough venting for hot weather riding (go to mesh at that point). 
  • No pockets in the pants (newer versions do have pants pockets). 
  • Suspenders look dorky? Not really a concern for me. I'm not into fashion.
Overall, I have been very happy with both the Kathmandu jacket and pants. If I am ever able to wear this set out, I would purchase these again.

If you have any experiences to share or questions to ask, please post up in the comments!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Laurel Highlands Big Bike Ride 7/5/2012

My friend Garry put together an awesome route of dirt and gravel back roads in the hills surrounding Seven Springs. I was a little worried about the high temperatures we have been experiencing, but it ended up being very pleasant riding conditions. I wore my mesh pants and compression suit and was actually a little chilly a few times early on in the day. I didn't get hot until the ride home when I was back in a sea of asphalt and concrete. I bailed a little after lunch as I had to get back to Pittsburgh to get a car out of the shop. I want to ride this route in its entirety sometime, hopefully I can talk Garry into leading again.

Video (watch in HD full screen):

GPS stats for the day:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Liquid Image 720p Offroad Goggle Camcorder

This looks like a decent deal for anyone who would want to try out these camera goggles.

The sale goes until 7/3/12 or until stock runs out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hatfield-McCoy Buffalo Mountain

Last weekend some RCR members and myself headed down to WV to ride some of the Hatfield-McCoy trails at the Buffalo Mountain area. We trailered down small bikes for this ride. I had my Gas Gas with the freshly installed Rekluse which did excellent despite some carb issues due to a broken float.

Of course with all the rocks we had some bike carnage. I bent my subframe and broke off a chain roller during my only drop of the trip. There were also at least two dented silencers and one hole punched in a case. Nothing ride ending though.

We rented this little cabin by a noisy little stream. It was a hot and exhausting three days of dirt, and a good time. I'm already planning on returning in the fall when it cools off a bit.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Equipment Review: GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac (Part 1)

The first thing that I noticed when I started pulling the parts out of the box was that the Wi-Fi BacPac is slightly thinner than the Battery BacPac. This combined with the extra button on the Wi-Fi BacPac means that the rear covers are not interchangeable.

My Hero HD camera, the Wi-Fi BacPac, and the Wi-Fi remote all needed a software update before they could be used. The camera update was easy enough, but when I attempted to use the PC version of the GoPro software (Cineform) it would hang up on the firmware update. After several failed attempts I tried my MacBook. The OSX version of the software worked on the first try. 

Playing around with the unit in my living room the response time seems fast and the display is easy to read. Switching between modes, starting/stopping recording, and powering up and down are all easier on the remote than on the actual unit. I am going to give the Wi-Fi BacPac a real world test this weekend at Hatfield-McCoy. I'll report back later with my impressions and how the battery life holds up.

Go to Part 2: Battery Testing

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gas Gas Rekluse Core EXP Install (Part 3)

I did end up putting the stiffer springs in the EXP ring. I still have a little dragging at idle. I'm hoping that will go away as things break in.

Video of a test run in the back yard:

Click to go back to Part 1
Click to go back to Part 2

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gas Gas Rekluse Core EXP Install (Part 2)

Success! After a few phone conversations with an engineer at Rekluse, we decided that the cover they shipped me was fine to use, I just needed shorter bolts or a thicker gasket. Rekluse shipped me a thicker gasket free of charge (thank you!), but they shipped it UPS ground and it won't get here until Friday, which leaves me very little time to get everything prepped for my upcoming Hatfield-McCoy trip. I found some shorter bolts today and they did the trick. I installed the cover and rode around a bit and it's breaking in nicely. I still can't just stop in gear and have it idle away...but maybe with the stiffer springs in the EXP ring along with bumping the idle up a bit I will. Update: the bike wouldn't idle because the stator was going bad. Once that was fixed it idles forever in gear and is almost impossible to stall. I left the stiffer springs in as I was happy with the engagement of the clutch.

My initial impression is that it will do what I was hoping it would, give me a little more of a relaxed ride without constantly being worried about stalling.

I need to do some riding tomorrow I think just to make sure everything is good before I haul it to WV.

Continue to Part 3
Back to Part 1

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gas Gas Rekluse Core EXP Install (Part 1)

I am prepping my Gas Gas EC250 for a trip to ride the Hatfield-McCoy trails in WV in a week. Part of that prep work is getting a Rekluse Core EXP clutch kit installed. It's turned into such an epic struggle (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit here) that I decided I'd post up the story here.

I just laid the bike on it's side so that I wouldn't have to drain the oil.

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Stock clutch exposed:

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The Core EXP kit ready to go in. Look close...notice anything? I didn't either.

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I soaked the EXP disc in oil while I was getting everything else removed and reinstalled.

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Rekluse steels and the EXP disc installed.

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New pressure plate and springs going on:

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Notice my first issue yet?

Look closer.

57a50e53, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

For some reason my kit didn't ship with the set screws for the adjuster pre-installed like they were supposed to be. I called Rekluse and their customer service was very helpful. They mailed out the missing parts right away.

Now lets flash forward two or three days. I now have the set screws. I wish they had come installed as they were a real pain to get threaded in. They are just too small for my big fingers. Eventually I got them started and everything set back to where it should be. Last thing to do was bolt on the clutch cover and go break it in.

Now we come to my second issue of the install. The clutch cover bolts are bottoming out. I thought maybe I should be using a thicker gasket or something, so I call Rekluse tech support. The guys I talked to on the phone were very helpful but I had them stumped. I did some rough measuring and it looks like the Rekluse cover is thinner than the stock cover, which Rekluse says should NOT be the case. I should be able to reuse the stock gasket and bolts. So here is where part 1 ends. I need to go round up a mic so that I can get the exact measurements back to an engineer at Rekluse so we can figure this thing out. I have a sneaking suspicion that the fault lies with Gas Gas and not Rekluse on this one. We shall see...

Continue to Part 2

Sunday, June 3, 2012

920 Miles of West Virginia

A couple of buddies and myself decided to do a dual sport ride for the Memorial Day weekend. Our original plan was to ride out to Ocean City, but when that fell through I suggested we do my Trans West Virginia Trail loop again. I wanted to run it in the opposite direction than how I did it last year so I could hit some sections that I had missed. We ended up modifying the route a good bit so it was an interesting ride with some new scenery as well as some of my favorite sections from last year.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Laurel Highlands 5/5/2012

I joined a group of ADV and RCR members for another great Laurel Highlands ride led by JeffB. We met for breakfast at Randall's and then hit the road.

The first stop was at the falls in Ohiopyle.

We then hit more great dirt roads. I have to go back through the GPS track file and see which ones we were on, I'd like to ride them again.

Update: Here is a link to the gps file

I didn't get a lot of video, once we got close to Meyersdale we got hit by a small but nasty thunderstorm. My GoPro got soaked, so I left it off for the rest of the ride.

We stopped at Morguen Toole for lunch and hung out for a bit to see if the storm would pass. By the time it let up we decided to call it a day and split up. Some of the guys stayed in Meyersdale to continue thier ride today, and the rest of us headed home. The weather cleared up after leaving town and JT and I had a good ride back to Pittsburgh.

Even though our day was cut short by weather, it was a full day on the DRZ.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Pace Podcast

I've recently started listening to The Pace Podcast. I've listened to about five episodes so far and found it to be both informative and entertaining. It is definitely worth a listen.

Know of any other good motorcycle podcasts? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cheap helmet cam system on Woot! today

It looks like a GoPro clone.

Anyone know anything about these? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RCR Laurel Fork Campout

A small group of guys from RCR headed down to Monongahela National Forest for some camping and WV back-roads riding. I was originally planning on going down for the ADVrider rally this coming weekend, but decided it would be interesting to go with a small group this time.

I drove my truck down with my bike and our supplies while the others rode down. We rendezvoused at the Laurel Fork campground in the afternoon.

We had some good eats, drinks, and stories by the campfire thanks to Pete.


The next morning Pete whipped us up a proper breakfast before we geared up and hit the road.

We had great weather for the trip down, and for the first half of the day on Saturday.

Seneca rocks:

Dolly Sods:

It's starting to look a bit damp out. We knew we would get rained on eventually.

Blackwater Falls:


I can't wait to go back...maybe this fall with the big ADV group.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thinking of doing some riding in West Virginia? is a great resource for planning your trip. This site has info on destinations, lodgings, events, and also features photos and ride reports.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

RCR Big Bike Ride 3/17/2012

My buddy JT led me and four other RCR members on a great ride down around Ohiopyle and Mt. Davis. It was an amazing day for March!

A foggy start to the day:

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Fire Tower Rd:

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Mount Davis:

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Rufus at Fort Necessity:

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Can't get enough QS&L:

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