Port Renfrew – Nitnaht Loop…

Posted: August 5, 2011 in ADV Ride

Riding to Lake Nitnaht the fun way...

One of the reasons I got a KLR650 was so I could hit Vancouver Island’s logging roads. I go up to Lake Nitnaht to kiteboard quite a lot and figured if I am going by myself I might as well ride my KLR. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden a motorcycle on poorly maintained dirt/gravel roads so I headed out on the KLR to check out a new route to Lake Nitnaht. I headed west through Sooke BC to Port Renfrew [B on the map above] for a nice curvy 108km ride that got more and more remote the further I went along the bottom of the island. After Sooke there was nearly no traffic and spooky fog bank rolled in and out along the route. There are some sweet curves along this section of Highway 14 and the pavement gets worse which means fun times for a dualsport.

Peeking through the trees at the Strait of Juan de Fuca…

After Port Renfrew the road got even more remote and had sections of really poor pavement as it headed north 75kms to YouBou BC [C on the map above]. Lots of great curves and the KLR didn’t mind some rough bits.

On the way to Youbou BC…

I gassed up at the Youbou gas station and hit the 55km logging road to the campground I use on the shores of Lake Nitnaht. The stock KLR tires are not ideal for loose gravel with a serious lack of bite, but after I lowered their pressure a bit they worked okay. I took it easy since this ride was all about getting my off pavement skills back. The road varied from nice hard packed dirt to hard packed gravel to loose deep gravel. A grader was at work tearing up a 10km section so I had to deal with really loose conditions and traversing small berms that crossed the road. I was no superstar, but I survived without dumping the bike.

She’s not new anymore!

My mission was just to setup our tent the day before the busy long weekend so I could come back with my GF in our truck and have a nice spot to camp. So I did just that and hoped back on the KLR for the dusty ride home.

Those ain’t no knobbies…

The ride back was more fun since I knew what to expect and I had 55kms of dirt under my belt that day already.

Back at home…

I was happy to see pavement when I reach Youbou so I could hit the throttle and get back home to hang out with my GF. The 100kms of twisty island highway went by fast and I was happy to get home with 800kms on the Odo which means I can rev her up to 5K RPM now.

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