Ride Report: George Washington National Forest: Long Run > Second Mountain > ATV Trail > Dictum Ridge

tpchuckles

contributing rider
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Afton VA
This past weekend, a few others and I hit up the Second Mountain > ATV Trail > Dictum Ridge loop within GWNF, myself on my trusty Svartpilen 401, and my buddies on another 401, a DRZ350, and a WR250R. topo map of the loop attached.

Long Run is a walk in the park; just some lightly rocky + gravel + dirty road. you could do it in a mini van.

Second Mountain is pretty tame, but there are a few mud holes to be aware of. the first one out of the gate, I yeeted my way through the center and it was quite a bit deeper than i had thought, but i made it through fine. my husky buddy behind me was not so lucky, and went for a bit of a swim; bike half submerged sideways. a check that the air intake (under the seat) was dry and it started right up (only after he put the kickstand up, despite it being in neutral? odd). blasting mud out of his exhaust 20 feet into the air was quite a sight to see though. onwards and upward. about a mile down, the trail passes under some high voltage lines, and you get a real nice view. or you can follow the lines up the hill to the ridge, and get an even better view, both directions. the route up is bowling balls, so beware. at this point, my husky buddy had about had enough, so he went back to the loop junction and myself and my WR250R and DRZ350 pals continue on. nothing too wild about the rest of Second Mountain, although the fallen leaves mean you really can't see what's going on, so you pretty much just have to take it slow and hope for the best. a few more mud holes, but pick your line around the edge and they're fine.

We get to the ATV trail that connect Second Mountain and Dictum Ridge, and well, gosh, there's a sign that says it's for "Expert ATVers only"? i guess we'll find out. bowling balls is what they mean. well, okay, ol husky 401 can handle it if i take it slow. ride the shit out of the clutch; if i go slow enough, i can waddle over just about any damn thing. then we get to a descent. engine braking ain't doing it anymore. front brakes have me sliding all over the place (especially with the leaves). still bowling balls by the way. I'd say it was like, as steep as a set of stairs. i really gotta figure out how to disable my ABS. "i hope we don't have to go back up something like this". it levels out, there's a nice stream crossing, a fork (onX Offroad tells is which way to go, but my buddies scout 'em out regardless). onwards we go, and yup, there is fuckin' is. we need to go back up the same kind of shit we go down. steep as a set of stairs, bowling balls and tree root ledges, all covered in leaves. halfway up there's some really neat rock formations; a welcome excuse to sit for a spell and take a breather. onwards and upwards, i made it to the top by some miracle (a lot of smoked clutch and a lot of burned rubber, and my buddy needed to give me a couple pushed. take the wrong line up a switchback and you're screwed; just back it up and try again. it's okay, I heard my WR250R buddy stalling out a few times. I'm pretty sure my DRZ350 buddy is just a wizard).

Dictum Ridge
is a completely tame compared to the ATV trail, but certainly rougher than Second Mountain. lots of bowling ball field, motherfucker, i'm done with this shit, :p. also, a few mud pits, and i'm getting bolt. so I yeet myself through the center of one and ope, bad call. I'm buried the tops of both tires in mud, #oops. we try to tow me out backwards; no dice. (plot twist, i forgot to put it in neutral). My buddy goes on up the trail to find our other buddy and get the truck i guess, i stand by and dick around with my ratchet straps for a spell. By the time my buddy returns, i've managed to free my rear wheel, and i'm making slow-but-sure progress with the straps. he doesn't want to try a tow again; he found some fellas in trucks to come tow me out. so we want, the truck bros arrive and pull me out no sweat. easy peasy for them. guess i learned my lesson on the mud, huh. onwards and upwards. a few more boulder fields and we make it back to the junction.

it took us maybe 4 hours or so to do this loop, and while we had plans to continue up Long Run / Vepco Road and out the other side, we bailed on this, as it was getting late.

Got home and found an oil leak the next day (made apparent by some still-moist mud amongst the rest dried), and inspecting the area, i found one of my two bolts that holds your oil filter cover in half ground down (from one of my many encounters with the rocks). so if anyone else plans on absolutely thrashing the hell out of their 401s like this, I recommend some better underbelly protection. I've got an AS3 duke 390 guard in the main, which supposedly fits, and looks like it should protect the area. I'm also sure my crash bars were put to the test (no other damage to the bike though, despite numerous spills (aside from a busted up stock skid plate; I high-centered once and needed one of my buddies to push me off, lol)).

IMG_20201017_141642.jpgIMG_20201017_140221.jpgIMG_20201017_114133.jpgPhoto Oct 17, 12 55 12 PM.jpgPhoto Oct 17, 1 03 13 PM.jpg
 
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tpchuckles

contributing rider
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Afton VA
Whoa dude! That is awesome! True off-roading with a Svart! 🚀
thanks! this is the kind of shit that i do with my bike, because i'm not about to buy two (one for commuting, one for dicking around in the woods, haha!). and hey, destroying a motorcycle (and then fixing it) is cheaper than destroying my jeep on this sort of thing. (frankly, i'm not even sure my stock jeep could make it through half this shit)

That is an incredible ride for a "street bike". Congrats on making it home!
What are bowling balls? Free rocks that are bowling ball in size?
free or not, but yeah, bowling ball sized rocks. not typically round on this trail; lots of squares or points and jagged corners and things. but about that size.
 

BISavage

pro rider
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
1,236
Location
Unspoken Origins
I'm also sure my crash bars were put to the test (no other damage to the bike though, despite numerous spills
Excellent point. Has anyone else used their crash bars?

I see that you are using the duke ones, which are the only ones I've seen which bolt to the peg mounts as well as the frame and motor.

With those it seems like confidence can be inspired, with the others which do not have the rear mounting position (basically all other crash bars I've found) I have seen a few pics of the front the block and the upper motor mount ripped apart and a scuffed crash bar.

Nice to see you're enjoying your bike.
 
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tpchuckles

contributing rider
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Afton VA
Excellent point. Has anyone else used their crash bars?

I see that you are using the duke ones, which are the only ones I've seen which bolt to the peg mounts as well as the frame and motor.

With those it seems like confidence can be inspired, with the others which do not have the rear mounting position (basically all other crash bars I've found) I have seen a few pics of the front the block and the upper motor mount ripped apart and a scuffed crash bar.

Nice to see you're enjoying your bike.
yeah, a while back I did a little experiment. I laid the bike down on either side on smooth ground to see what would touch (the "idealized skid"), and shockingly, nothing really seemed to touch aside from the clutch case and handlebars, and none of the crash bars or sliders for the bike seem like they'd really actually do much. so i went with the duke bars (which requires you to swap out the duke engine mounts too).

I also put 'em to the test a while back while screwing around in gravel with a local hooligan who is apparently a bad influence, and from that incident it was clear they did their job. scuffs on the bars themselves, and nothing else.
 

joeprez

fast rider
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
83
Location
USA
What an awesome ride! Really incredible what you did with your Svart 🤘 Really cool pictures!

Can you post more pics of your bike with the crash bars? Looks great.
 
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