Thursday, March 26, 2009


Here are some late day pics from the track at Richmond. This is Scott riding the EXC for the first time.

This is a fast straight going from sand to woods

Woods singletrack

Sand half-pipe

More woods singletrack

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Call of the wild...

I got home after a looong Saturday at work, it was still nice out so I started to walk part of the singletrack moto trail on my neighbor's property, looking for some alternative entry/exit points. I didn't get far before I heard a pair of owls calling simultaneously, a Northern Saw Whet and a Great Horned. Haven't heard either one around my house in several years, and the Saw Whet was close, so I turned around and grabbed my binocs and camera just in case...
No luck on visuals for either, but it was a nice walk in the woods just the same.

This is what's left of an owl pellet I found. I poked at it, trying to figure out what the main course was, bird or beast. I think it was a wee mouse. I remembered that I had my camera after I'd molested the sample, so I took this pic and went in search of another pellet...

Found this nice Turkey feather. I didn't bother taking pictures of deer and coyote scat, or the remnants of a Blue Jay...

Here's another pellet, undisturbed. Smaller than the first one I found. Couldn't tell you if it was from the Saw Whet or maybe a Barred Owl. Methinks not a Great Horned, too small, they eat skunks and such around here. The more I look at it, the more I'm convinced it's from the Saw Whet, based on the size. I'm guessing these were not more than a couple days old.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Change is here!

Well, it's actually been here for a couple weeks, but now it's ready for the "internet rollout". Behold my new 2005 KTM 300EXC.

Since it has a headlight and taillight, I may make it street legal. It would take a little work, installing dual filament bulbs and switches for high beam and brake light, as well as installing a horn and DOT tires.

As you can see, it is registered, so that's half the battle. The bike came with all the right stuff, E-line carbon fiber pipe guard, Enduro Engineering brush guards and skid plate, a Scott's steering damper, FMF Q-Series silencer and gnarly pipe.
The damper was seeping, so I called Scott's Performance to see what I should do, they said send it in, they'll rebuild it and guarantee it for a year..for $50, so I sent it to 'em.

I rode it today at the track in Richmond, VT. The Richmond track is a combination of single and double track trails and a Motocross section. The terrain is mostly sand, even in the woods. The great thing about that is that it's rideable when most other tracks in the area are too wet. It's also somewhat challenging to ride, particularly the "Moto" section, it requires a little more commitment and technique to keep a decent pace.

My first impression, it's fast. I'm going to have to get used to the power. It's got a lot more punch down low in the RPMs than my '97 had. An inattentive or unintentional twist of the throttle could have bad consequences. I'm looking forward to getting the suspension set up to my riding weight, and I may fiddle with the powervalve springs to tone the engine down a bit.

But I'm happy with it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Yeah, the bike is in the garage. I've even ridden it down the driveway and on the road, but it wasn't ready for a full exposure digital image session. For one thing, it came with a tall seat that was not very flattering, so I wanted to put the stock seat back on. That's done. Now it's freezing cold out again and I just don't have time, but I'm working on it...
Anyway, this is the KTM Manual that comes with the bike, factory repair manual, engine and frame replacement parts manuals and groovy carrying case. The previous owner was meticulous with the bike and saved the manuals for all of the accessories as well. Nice package.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Adios Bandito

It was a great relationship. This bike never let me down. I bought it in Feb of '03 in preparation for Scott's High School graduation trip the following year. We made the journey from Portland Head, Maine to San Fransisco with stops at Niagara Falls, Chicago, the Badlands of South Dakota, Yellowstone, Park City and Reno, as well as a few other towns along the way.

PCH...Somewhere along the Pacific Coast Highway, Scott behind the Bandit.

Group shot as we get ready to depart Park City, Scott, Uncle Richard, Me.

Last year I used the Bandit to commute to work, I never really had time to take it for any trips, or even day rides. Why? Because I'd discovered the wonders of singletrack woods riding on my KTM, and I found that more enjoyable than road time on the Bandit.
After some long soul searching, I decided it was time for some changes. Sell the '97 KTM and the '97 Bandit and get a newer KTM. I'll commute on the '76 Bonneville, which hasn't seen the light of day since 2004.

Change is a'comin...