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On Two Wheels: Embracing the Unknown with My KTM 890 Adventure R Motorcycle

June 16, 2023


On Two Wheels: Embracing the Unknown with My KTM 890 Adventure R Motorcycle

I’ve always had a passion for anything on 2 wheels


I have a vivid memory as a 5-year-old living in Simi Valley, CA at the time. I received a BMX bike for Christmas; well, sort of a BMX bike. It had a long banana seat as was the custom in the mid-1970’s. It looked cool and had big knobby dirt bike tires on it and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I knew I was going to have many incredible adventures on that bike which I definitely did end up doing. 


A few months later, a meet up had been planned for that coming Saturday with my dad, his two brothers and my grandpa for day out riding the dirt bikes, (motorcycles that is). The night before, I was out in the garage with my dad as he was checking over his motorcycle and preparing it for the day to come.  While he was doing that, I was also diligently working on my bike as well. Wiping it down down so it was shiny clean and ready to go. I very much thought we’d be taking it along and that I'd be directly involved in the action; at least that was how I saw it in my 5-year-old brain. What a crushing disappointment it was when my dad finally realized what I was thinking and had to break it to me that we’d have to leave my bicycle behind for this adventure.


I Took to it Right Away!

Fast forward 6 years (we were now living in Clovis, CA) and my dad came home one day with two shiny brand new Yamaha 200cc dirt bikes. I'm fairly certain this was the best day of my short life so far. If only that grin plastered to my face could have been frozen! Anyway, the next day, we loaded them in the back of my dad's truck and headed up to Jose Basin (above Auberry) where my dad taught me how to ride a motorcycle. I took to it pretty much right away and have loved it ever since. I have such fond memories of riding with my dad all over that entire area and know those trails like the back of my hand.


I Surprised my Son Luke

When my son Luke turned 11, I did the same thing that my dad had done for me. One day, I also surprised him with a set of shiny brand new motorcycles. I also taught Luke how to ride a motorcycle in the same place and on the same trails where my dad had taught me. What precious moments those were spending time with Luke and also, many times with my daughter Ashley and Linda out exploring on our ATV quads.

(Luke and I out riding in 2010)

As Luke grew up and outgrew his Honda CRF125, I found that I no longer had a riding partner. Time went by and my CRF250X sat idly by, beckoning to me each time I walked out into the garage. If I’ve ever had a truly happy place, it is out riding and exploring the great outdoors on any off-road vehicle including my my ATV, Jeep, Dirt Bike and Mountain Bike. I eventually decided to sell my CRF250X in 2021 which has been a decision I have regretted very much.


In late March of 2023, Linda and I took a day trip to check out Whiskey Falls. As we headed up the road, it ended up being washed out so we couldn’t get all the way up there so we parked our Jeep and hit the road to see how far we might be able to walk up. We had a great time out exploring alongside our puppy Kobe when we ran into a couple of guys (Joe & Marty) on Adventure bikes


Check out this short video of that day at Whiskey Falls!

The 5-year-old kid inside of me was fascinated by their motorcycles and I struck up a conversation with Joe and besieged him with questions about his bike, the places they rode to, how far they’d adventure out, what mods he had done on his bike to many other things. Poor Joe, I took up a good 20 minutes of his time before he said he needed to take off and see where his riding partner Marty had ridden off to.


Anyway, this got my mind spinning and as Linda and I continued to walk up the trail, I said, “Maybe I should get an adventure bike.” To my surprise, Linda said, maybe you should.


This Was the Holy Grail

As all husbands out there know, that is the holy grail, and I was obliged to strike while the iron was hot. I reached out to Joe via email and again started asking him more questions and started my search for a new motorcycle. About a month later, Clawson Motorsports delivered a 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R straight to my garage, and that night, I was that 5-year-old boy all over again as I prepared to go out the next day for the inaugural ride.


The First Ride

For that first ride, it seemed appropriate to head up to Jose Basin and revisit an area I have not been to since before the Creek Fire a few years back. It was surreal to see it in person. An area I have known so well for most of my life seemed like a foreign landscape absent of the many landmarks that I was so used to seeing. It was a burnt-out stick forest but yet, the hillside was alive and green. Nature is making a comeback as it always does.

(Small Creek Crossing)

The last time I was there I was on a 235-pound Honda CRF250X, this time, a 470-pound adventure bike. However, after an hour or so of riding around, I felt my rusty off-road riding skills slowly coming back and tackled some rougher trails with ease. It was exhilarating as the rush of riding flooded back into my consciousness. I stopped at a burnt-out motorhome and wondered what the story was for the family that had owned it. What that night must have been like for them as the fire came raging through.

(Burnt-Out Motorhome)

By now it was late in the afternoon, and I headed back home, reacclimating myself to riding on the road and being hyper paranoid of every car.

I’m looking forward to blogging about some of my new adventures on this fantastic motorcycle. I hope you’ll come alongside me and check in from time to time.

All my best,

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