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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I left Telluride on the AT, after reading online that Imogene pass is not technical and very doable. Hello? Made it up past the Tomboy old mine, and one short stretch where it was very very steep with large rock mixed with loose shale, I could not keep speed up, due to large rocks messing with my steering and ended up stopped 1/2 way up this couple hundred yard section. Tried to move forward...... Either back tire would spin, or I would kill engine if did not gas it enuf to spin wheel. (Yes, traction control off.)(It was so steep, I could barely walk up or down it without sliding.) I did manage to get rolling up, but lost traction, stopped, and over she went again, just before the left turning switchback. (4 wheel drive vehicles were having to work at it to make this rocky turn.) This time ruined a Givi Outback side pannier. A nice dude in a Jeep, along with some nice young bucks on dirt bikes stopped and helped twist bike around to point downhill. I gave up on the pass and returned to Telluride, with tail hanging low. I watched the young bucks on the dirt bikes as they continued on up, and they made it look easy. I don't know what the bikes were, but I am guessing 250 pound or less, maybe 250cc bikes? My opinion is that Imogene pass is simply not an appropriate ride for the AT. I would be amazed if anyone has made it over the top on an AT. But, I am 67 years, so maybe that plays into this. I have read online that some with BMW GS 1200 have gone over pass. Some other riders told me it is even more rocky and steeper on the Ouray side. My tires are Mitas E07. So, any thoughts or ideas from anyone who maybe is a motocross or more experienced rider? Should I have been able to overcome this steep steep section? I sure gave it a try! Appreciate any and all comments!!!
 

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Tagging this for opinions. My bucket list includes the Alpine loop and I plan on riding it on my DCT AT. Got any pics?
 

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Well, I'm surely interested in this topic, since I'll be there at the end of the month. What other passes have you tried?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have done the Alpine Loop. Couple times in rented Jeeps, once on a Yamaha Tenere about 2 years ago. That bike weighs about 100 pounds more than the AT, so I think the Alpine loop should be doable on an AT. I almost dropped the Tenere on a couple of the steep rocky switchbacks, due to not disabling the traction control. However, I would say the AT is not the best tool for these sort of passes. For sure not a good tool for the Imogene pass. In my opinion, Imogene is more difficult than Cinnamon or Engineer passes.
I am contemplating whether to buy a KTM light dirt bike and another year try Imogene again. On the other hand, at 67 years, maybe I would be smarter to forget the dream of conquering Imogene!!
The Alpine loop was on my bucket list also, before I accomplished that with the Tenere!
It got on my bucket list after watching all the bikes go zipping by us in the Jeep. I guess what I failed to notice at that time, all those bikes zipping around the Alpine Loop were light bikes designed for difficult terrain. They make it look easy.
I don't think I would attempt the Alpine Loop with my AT, not that I could not make it, but it is just too heavy and easy to drop.
Happy to offer any other info that might be of interest.....
If you do the Alpine Loop, let us know how it went!!
 

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In my opinion, Imogene is more difficult than Cinnamon or Engineer passes.
Your right about that. Trail Damage rates Cinnamon Pass a 2 at the easiest points, 3 at the hardest. Engineer Pass is similarly rated 2/3.

By contrast Imogene Pass is rated 4 at the easiest, 5 at the hardest. The breakdown as follows..

Rock Crawling: 3/5
Sand & Mud: 2/5
Water Crossings: 4/5
Cliffs & Ledges: 4/5
Steep Hills: 5/5
Scenery: 5/5
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LOL. That first video at about 6:52 or so, he takes a spill. Then there is a gap in the video. I think he had a lot of fun getting up that steep and forgot to video it! I think that might be the point where I turned around, but will look more at home. Am up here in Colorado still, using hotspot on phone and it is eating up a lot of data......
Thanks for posting the videos!
 

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LOL. That first video at about 6:52 or so, he takes a spill. Then there is a gap in the video. I think he had a lot of fun getting up that steep and forgot to video it! I think that might be the point where I turned around, but will look more at home. Am up here in Colorado still, using hotspot on phone and it is eating up a lot of data......
Thanks for posting the videos!
That was the KTM 640 that spilled there. Looked to me like he maybe too busy fidgeting with camera and rode right into the rocks hahaha.

The guy on the orange BMW F800 spilled his on the way down Black Bear, but still... they both got way further than I would dream of doing on those bikes :)
 

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If you do the Alpine Loop, let us know how it went!!
I get there on the Friday before Labor Day and leave the Friday or Saturday after. I'm going to ride gulches the first day to get used to rocks with this bike, then ease my way up to harder stuff.

It's not like I will be lacking places to explore!

Planning... by Dave 77459, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I ruined my left Givi Outback Trekker pannier, on the 2nd map, to the right of Tomboy mine, between the first red arrow and either the first "v", or maybe the second "v". Did pretty good up to that steep loose section.
I have figgered out something on my AT that seems to make it difficult getting moving on steep places. My engine likes to die as I am revving and slipping clutch out. Right as bike starts to move, the engine dies. I discovered that trying to load the bike in pickup today. Took about 4 tries to get up ramp without engine dying. Only way I made it was revving the engine way too high and slipping the clutch too much. Felt like abuse, but that is what it took to get up ramp. (I tried it with traction control off, same result.)
Could be user error, but I think this played into difficulty getting moving up that steep loose slope. Either the back wheel would spin, causing back to slide left or right, or the engine would die.....
 

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I ruined my left Givi Outback Trekker pannier, on the 2nd map, to the right of Tomboy mine, between the first red arrow and either the first "v", or maybe the second "v". Did pretty good up to that steep loose section.
I have figgered out something on my AT that seems to make it difficult getting moving on steep places. My engine likes to die as I am revving and slipping clutch out. Right as bike starts to move, the engine dies. I discovered that trying to load the bike in pickup today. Took about 4 tries to get up ramp without engine dying. Only way I made it was revving the engine way too high and slipping the clutch too much. Felt like abuse, but that is what it took to get up ramp. (I tried it with traction control off, same result.)
Could be user error, but I think this played into difficulty getting moving up that steep loose slope. Either the back wheel would spin, causing back to slide left or right, or the engine would die.....
I really appreciate your response. It sounds like you might have a fueling problem. I would maybe suspect elevation, since Tomboy is at 12000', but I doubt your pickup was at that elevation.
 

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Imogene Pass sounds like fun! I also have Mitas E-07 on rear. Lots of rocks where I ride, have not had any problems. Don't think it's the tires.
 

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The AT is only as capable as the rider. Not sayin' I'm that rider, lol
But as far as Imogine Pass on an AT- challenging but doable.
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Imogene_done.jpg
 
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I did it on a DR650 pig with no jetting for the high altitude. I came up the Telluride side over and into Quray. I could do it on an AT that direction. Coming up from the Quray side was steeper and more technical than I'd like to attempt on a 500+ lb bike and being on the small size like I am.
 

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I ruined my left Givi Outback Trekker pannier, on the 2nd map, to the right of Tomboy mine, between the first red arrow and either the first "v", or maybe the second "v". Did pretty good up to that steep loose section.
I have figgered out something on my AT that seems to make it difficult getting moving on steep places. My engine likes to die as I am revving and slipping clutch out. Right as bike starts to move, the engine dies. I discovered that trying to load the bike in pickup today. Took about 4 tries to get up ramp without engine dying. Only way I made it was revving the engine way too high and slipping the clutch too much. Felt like abuse, but that is what it took to get up ramp. (I tried it with traction control off, same result.)
Could be user error, but I think this played into difficulty getting moving up that steep loose slope. Either the back wheel would spin, causing back to slide left or right, or the engine would die.....
Make sure you are using the right type of oil in the bike. Some additives that extend engine life can make the wet clutch overly slippery (or slippy as our Brit cousins say). Honda tells us to use oil without these additives. I'll update this post with the details when I track them down.
 
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