This weekend I was invited to join a riding event called Spring in the Canyon. The canyons in question were the Klickitat and Glenwood Canyons in South Central Washington State, just north of the Columbia River Gorge. About 15 riders total, a smattering of KTMs, various GSs, a couple of DRZs, KLRs and a VStrom. What became immediately apparent was that the rest of the group were far more advanced off-road riders than I. While I ride off-road a lot, it is mostly packed gravel or graded forest and fire roads. If I encounter something technical it is usually due to a slide or other aberration. The guys this weekend eat technical for breakfast.
This was the first extended outing for the 310 GS. There were multiple water crossings, extended periods of deep mud with no go-around, deeply rutted cattle movement trails, steep and rocky seasonally wet (Spring) trails. I was way out of my league, and on an untested bike for me, yet there we were - killin' it! The combination of the light weight and the additional reach I have on the 310 were exhilarating! Walking through deep mud, re-positioning in rutted trails... none of that was possible for me on past heavier, taller bikes like the KLR, VStrom and Tenere. Though still not my preferred riding style it was confidence-building to know that the 310 GS was up to the task, even with the OEM Tourance tires, suspension, etc., with me as the rider!
Count me impressed. And dirty. As the pics will show it was a very dirty weekend!
For some reason I can't seem to get the photos to load properly, so for now here's a link to my shared Dropbox: