Exotic Bike Trail Ride


New member
Gentlemen, start your VORs, Vertematis, GasGas', Bultacos and Puchs ... it's almost time for the Michigan Exotic Bike Trail Ride. I've heard some great things about the interior trails at Leota, and of course there's the Long Lake Trail in Cadillac.

Talk to your buddies and see if they won't play hooky from work sometime between now and Labor Day and come out for a fun ride. You may even learn something - I'm trying to get one of Michigan's premier off-road riders to join us for part of the day to offer riding tips.

I'm open to suggestions for venues and dates, so send them as a reply in this thread.
MI ride

Hey Steve, So what is involved for the out of state folks, that want to ride these particular trails you're talking about? Are they required to have some sort of permit, (like one from the CCC) and what about the bikes...tags, lights, etc?
All you need is a Michigan ORV sticker and a spark arrestor. You can get the former at most every bike shop in the state and some gas stations and Meijers' as well.

We've got several great trails up here, so if you're planning on coming check out http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10365_15070-38330--,00.html and then decide how long you can take off work and where you'll end up camping :D

I'm trying to schedule the EBTR so that it doesn't get too close to a D14 hare scrambles or enduro, but those are usually good fun as well.
Friday August 27th - Cadillac Long Lake Trail

Guys and ladies, the date has been set for what could be the first of many "exotic bike" trail rides. Tell your GasGas/Husky/VOR/Vertemati/Can-am riding buddies this is the ride for them :D We may even see a few of the rare KTMs in attendance.

We're targeting a 10:30 start at the trail head of the Long Lake Trail just north of Cadillac. Terrain is varied, with roots, loam, and of course, sand. The elevation changes are interesting without threatening your life. The trail http://www.midnr.com/publications/pdfs/forestslandwater/ORV/Maps-Trail/Long_Lake_Motorcycle_Trail.pdfis ~26 miles long, but you're never more than a couple miles from the truck. Standard MX tanks are fine unless you plan on a couple loops. Bark busters are nice but not required unless you're particularly clumsy.

Out of state riders will need to pick up a Michigan ORV sticker ($16.25 at last count) at the Meijer's down the road from the trail or almost any bike shop, and make sure the bikes are fitted with spark arrestors. There's camping on-site or hotels near-by.

Come on out, the riding should be great. The company is guaranteed to be fabulous :)
I am planning on attending the Shane Watts Dirt wise school on the 28/29 weekend in Michigan City, IN. How far is the proposed ride from Michigan City?

I am planning on leaving MN on that thursday. I could bomb it to the ride. That would have me riding in both TX and MI as well as MN this year.


Blitz: I won't claim to be a travel planner, but depending where you are in Minnesota you can either blast over through Wisconsin and the UP and then drop down to Cadillac, or take the Badger (ferry) over to Ludington. Cadillac is about 3:45 from Michigan City, IN.

I did the Dirt Wise school a couple years ago and learned alot - you should have a good time.
Is this still on? As of today, i am planning on meeting you guys. I'm planning on camping. Is there a campground nearby? or a crappy hotel?



You're killing me (pun intended)!

That really did surprise us. I liked that hotel. It was $100/night, nice rooms with a kitchen, and nice staff. it didn't SEEM that crappy.

We did a demo in DC in 2003, and we stayed at the "Wolftrap." it was $40 per night, there were cigarette burns on the sheets and bedspread, bottler openers screwed the the bathroom vanity, and people would get into fights in the parking lot at night. Lots of character.

I like crappy hotels 'cause you forget the nice ones. The $18 per night hotel on my honeymoon was a winner, too. Never try to get a hotel in Nebraska in Sept. during "Farm Fest."
Is this still on? As of today, i am planning on meeting you guys. I'm planning on camping. Is there a campground nearby? or a crappy hotel?



I'm not sure about the crappy motels, but there's a campground right on site. Check out the DNR site for more details. That and town's only a couple miles away if you're scared of bears :eek:
Call me at 313-332-4091 if you need directions etc
Cool. Thanks. Not too afraid of bears. We were riding in the Nemadji state forest in MN, and we were on some two track. Bryan, the guy in front, thought, "what's a dog doing out here?", and then he hit the bear. He stayed up, but sent the bear tumbling.


So, it sounds like i have options.

Thanks. Hopefully, this works out.
I hope to leave Minneapolis at 6:00 AM, so I'll see you guys friday. Of course, the bike needed wheel bearings, so that thru a small wrench into my day. But, we should be good to go.
Great day out. Fun to meet some new riding buddies including Craig...who came all the way from MN.

Thanks for organizing, Steve!
How much fun was that? If Barry looked happy before the ride, you should have seen his smile afterwards!

Good times.


  • barry ebtr.JPG
    barry ebtr.JPG
    104.6 KB · Views: 12
Thanks to Steve for putting this together.

I'll be brief as my right hand is in a cast. apparently, my sprain diagnosed in june was actually a fractured scaphoid in my right wrist it was really sore after 3 days of riding, so i went to the Dr. a new set of x-rays showed the fractured scaphoid. The 661 wrist braces are really good 'cause the dr. was amazed by how well the alignment held.

watts was great. i had a hard time with stand up wheelies as that really irritated my wrist. the other stuff was my basic lack of skill.

It was nice to meet everyone. i really had fun.

Thanks again.

Ouch! At least the injury happened before you took to the trails - I've ridden at Cadillac before with a guy who tipped over on the first big root-filled uphill and he snapped his wrist like dry kindling:eek:

So here's a quick run down on the day. Mike Roussey, my camera guy from the Taste Test and I rolled into the trailhead about 10:20, only to have the eager beavers bag on us for being late. Jeremy (the man mountain) was already geared up and ready to rip on his KTM200, and he'd brought Xavier along to sample the woods on a KDX215.

They were joined by Barry on his 06 EC300 with all the candy and Craig on an 02 EC300 that I mistook initially for a woods-i-fied YZ. About the time the trail maps were distributed, Aaron Wegner showed up on his D14 hare scrambles championship-leading scooter. Mike and I added a Sparky to his YZ250 while Aaron suited up, and then we set out after the four amigos.

The trail was PERFECT! Enough moisture to keep the dust down, perfect traction, not too hot - it was just one of those days :D

About four miles in I swapped my 2010 XC250 for Wegner's YZ, after which he proceeded to disappear into the woods - gone!

The cool thing about Cadillac is that its a 26 mile loop, and although we tired the moto-kid out, everybody made it back to the trucks for some benchracing and an ad hoc potluck lunch.

After lunch we headed back onto the trail, running 8 miles clockwise before turning back around, and swapping bikes along the way. It was cool to compare the 02, 06, and 2010 Gasser's back to back - you could definitely tell they were from the same family, but there has been significant refinement and improvement along the way. The Zokes on Barry's 300 were plush, but the Sachs forks on the new bike allowed for more precise placement on the trail, and no one complained about harshness over the roots.

Jeremy's KTM200 had a great motor teamed with a twitchy chassis, and the bars felt like ape-hangers. He in turn loved the XC but said it felt like a mini-bike ... no kidding! Wegner's YZ was interesting in that it was incredibly plush on the front end, but I had no idea where the front tire was ... except when I bounced off the trail into a stump :mad: Surprisingly, my leg didn't come out of the boot in three pieces, and a week later the limp is almost gone. The YZ also rode front high/rear low and had a seat like a worn out sofa ... sometimes guys are fast in spite of their bikes ...

All in all a great day. Planning is underway for a similar ride next spring, and hopefully with some advanced notice we'll see some guys on old Montesas, Fantics, and Pentons:cool: Craig made the trip from the Twin Cities, so we're looking for some riders who will beat that mark. Kentucky and Tennessee guys, that means you, and stop to get some buddies in Ohio or Indiana on the way.

barrys 300.JPG

craigs 300.JPG

jeremy ebtr.JPG

aaron and xavier.JPG

perfect day for gassers in the woods.JPG