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My wife and I are looking to take a vacation to Colorado this summer--early June. I've found a HF trailer, already had a swivel toungue on it, and I have a line on used cargo haulter to put on it. The hitch is on order, the wiring isolater and converter ready to go on.

My biggest question is concerning my carb. I run around here in the Midwest all the time, altitude about 1,000 feet. Once I get into Colorado will I begin to have probelms? We are currently looking at going to the Salida area--just wanting to be in the mountains. One cabin we are looking at renting is about 9,000 feet. Thanks for the help.

Chuck
 

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My wife and I have been in Colorado twice in years past. Had a Gl1100. We were up close to 12 thousand feet many times prowling the mountains above Denver. I never noticed a problem...
 

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been over the wolf creek pass (10k) a couple of times, once with a sidecar.... it just runs slower at altitude
 

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Went well over the timberline [11,400 ft] last summer & the wing seemed to run just a little better at the higher altitudes. Only used 87 octane w/o ethanol in my 97 1500 SE, 2 up + heavy load.

Watch gas in CO stations...they sell lower octanes than 87 & they are easy to confuse at the pump.

Have a great trip.
 

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Same as what everyone else has said. I was out there this past June and my '97 Aspy. ran like a champ. I was as high as 12,126 feet. Icamped at Salida for a night in my journey. Your going to love it. Do you have any other areas on your list?? You won't be far from the "Black Canyons",,,,, they are just on the East side of Montrose. You can look down on the Eagles flying,,,,,,,,,,,,, cool.
 

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Thanks guys, looks like I'll be OK riding in the altitude. I am not very familiar with Colorado, just trying to stay towards the eastern end of the mountains to make it a shorter trip from Kansas City--my wife is a bit leary of a long trip, so I was looking into the Salida area. If any of you have any other suggestions concerning places to see, I am all ears.

Chuck
 

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The worst problem is at really high altitude the motorcycle will lose a lot of power as mentioned. At 5800 ft here we used to figure an entire second slower in the quarter mile so you can imagine what 12000 ft does on a carbureted engine setup for sea level. You may find idling erratic at high altitude. The worst thing is be ready for winter conditions in June here, or be ready for summer. Be ready for anything as it can still snow in June in the mountains and if not snow even rain will bring temperatures quickly down into the 40s any time of year. So have fun. Going up to Mount Evans is a nice ride to see the highest road in the country I believe, or over Trail Ridge road is breathtaking too. Both tolls now of course, but it's only money.:)
 

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I think once you get close to those Rocky Mountains, both of you will forget how long the trip is. It will take your breath away,,, it did for me. Three words would uncontrolingly blurt out of my mouth with every curve I rounded and every hill/mountain I crested,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, "Oh My God"

Yep,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it's that good. Hope yours is too, and we expect a full report with pics.
 

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This year I have had my bike (with stock carb settings) at both
196 ft. Below sea level (Death Valley)
and
14,130 ft. Above sea level (Mt. Evans)

a slight loss in power up high, but ran like a rocketship down low.

P.S. My bike has 6 Carbs on it.
 

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Again, continued thanks for the input. Fortunately I have plenty of time to get ready. The biggest issue will be getting the trailer put together and ready, but that will be enjoyable. The bike is running good, but I do want to sync the carbs--got a manometer now. I've added two 35 watt front running lights, ordered some 26 light leds for brake replacement bulbs and trailer replacement bulbs. I flushed the radiator last summer, tested the thermostat (good) and fan switch (good), but at idle I'm still going up to about 3/4 on the gauge, and in summer riding going to about 1/2 on hot days while running. Anything else I should look into with the radiator?

Chuck
 

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I ran antifreeze at 60/40 & guage was near 1/2 with 2up, with extra trunk in hitch [heavy] and all was fine.

We took I-70 across KS to shorten the saddle time, put the cruise on 75 in KS and had a great ride despite 98* temps. Next day was all CO ,high plains, [cooler temps]& then Rockies in a few hours. Gotta love the x-way for getting there fast & safe.

June is a very rainy month around here....we just saw a break in the clouds & bolted...got lucky. Northern Rockies had 4 inches of snow on June 11, 2008....so June is early for high altitude. We were in northern CO, though.

Wife made a snowman & we saw a couple moose.
 

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One thing to be aware of in addition to the bike - which should not be a problem - is you and your travel companion. I've lived at or near seal level most of my adult life. When I first rode cross country I made a point to go to the Grand Canyon average 7000 foot elevation. I had been staying with friends in Phoenix which is closer to sea level. I overnighted in Flagstaff a few nights and then the South Rim lodges. I got pretty ill - altitude sickness. I was told to get below 7000 feet and it would go away - I did and it did. I take some day rides out here in Cali occasionally over 10,000 feet and I just have to know that if I stay long - I may get some ill effects (some can be pretty bad). There are no predictors for it and even if you never had it (I didn't and used to play in the mountains all the time) it can suddenly effect you. This is important to know because once you get below "your" affecting elevation the symptoms go almost immediately away - so you may not be "really" sick if you feel realy sick - you may just need to come down from elevation for awhile. From Wikipedia...


Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, or soroche, is a pathological condition that is caused by acute exposure to low air pressure (usually outdoors at high altitudes). It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (approximately 8,000 feet).[1][/suP] Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).[2][/suP]

Altitude sickness is caused by reduced partial pressure of oxygen. The percentage of oxygen in air remains essentially constant with altitude at 21 percent, but the air pressure (and therefore the number of oxygen molecules) drops with altitude.[3][/suP] Altitude sickness usually does not affect persons traveling in aircraft because modern aircraft passenger compartments are pressurized.

A related condition, occurring only after prolonged exposure to high altitude, is chronic mountain sickness, also known as Monge's disease.

An unrelated condition, although often confused with altitude sickness, is dehydration, due to the higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs at higher altitudes.

Introduction
High altitude or mountain sickness is defined when someone feels sick at high altitudes, such as in the mountains or any other altitude-related sicknesses. It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude-sickness as there are no specific factors that compare with this susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can climb up to 2500 meters (8000 feet) normally.

Generally, different people have different susceptibilities to altitude sickness. For some otherwise healthy people, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can begin to appear at around 2000 meters (6,500 feet) above sea level, such as at many mountain ski resorts, equivalent to a pressure of 80 kPa. AMS is the most frequent type of altitude sickness encountered. Symptoms often manifest themselves 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1 to 2 days, but they occasionally develop into the more serious conditions. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, and sleep disturbance. Exertion aggravates the symptoms.
 

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The rule of altitude is that every 1,000ft. increase in elevation reduces oxygen content 2%. At 10,000ft. above sea level, that's about 20% reduced power output for naturally aspirated combustion engines.

It's very similar to the tire air pressure rule. Every 10F degree drop in ambient temperature loses about 2psi.

Obviously, there will be variables but these marks are usually close.

You won't need to rejet but you will notice it might not need any choke when cold starting.
 

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Take it from someone that lives in Colorado, your bike will probably run a little sluggish around 9 to 10,000 feet. Knowing that you want to go to Salida you'll have a beautiful ride.
 

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A normally aspirated engine loses about 75% of it's rated horse power at 7500 feet compared to its sea level output at the same temperature. Hi altitude effects the engine in two ways, less oxygen and over rich running. The carbs don'tcompletely compensate for the thinner air so there's two strikes against you.

I haven't had any problems with passes in the 12,000' elevation range, the bike does lose some power but it's not a serious loss.
 

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Lose 75% of rated HP? How about - develops only 75% of rated HP at 7500ft? Of course, BP, Humidity, Temp play a major roll in all of these estimates.

Bottom line is the bike won't quit on you but that altitude sickness stuff would be something to look out for! Luckily, I've never experienced any such thing but have heard of people who do...
 

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Prior to being reassigned to Ohio, I lived in Denver.
Took both the Sabre and the Wing to over 14,000 ft and never noticed any significant reduction in performance.
Just go out there, have a good time, and make sure to Ride the Rockies for all they're worth. Although the last couple miles up Pikes Peak is dirt, it's a hard packed dirt, and still MC driveable.
Go up to Estes Park, and the Nat'l forest, Longs Peak (14,000 ft) and many others.
I really enjoyed it, and plan on retiring there in 3 more years.
Have a safe trip.
Dave
 

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altitude sickness is more likely with a sudden ascent than a more prolonged ascent..... taking aspirin can help.... don't pull out on the freeway without a lot of acceleration room.... a lot worse with my 1000 than my 1200
 

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AirCutoff wrote:
Lose 75% of rated HP? How about - develops only 75% of rated HP at 7500ft? Of course, BP, Humidity, Temp play a major roll in all of these estimates.
Yep, that's what I meant.:blushing:I'd have been pushing my old VW over the Rockies if it was the other way 'round.
 

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Once again, thanks for all the input . . . great to hear from you guys who have been up there and done that.

I think we're going to look into renting a small cabin near the Cripple Creek area. I thought it would be too much to ask of my wife to make a long MC trip and camp!

Chuck
 
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