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ADV NewsWatch: Riding The Himalayan Through The Infamous Poker Flat

Watch: Riding The Himalayan Through The Infamous Poker Flat

Is the steep boulder-strewn ascent too much for the power-challenged Himalayan?

Published on 08.17.2023

The Lost Sierra is a lesser-known part of the Sierra Range, away from the crowds, with pristine wilderness landscapes, high granite peaks, crystal-clear alpine lakes, and plenty of rugged trails. On a mission to scout out the full menu of trails, we set out on an unusual mix of machines — a Husqvarna Norden 901, Beta 430 RR-S and a Royal Enfield Himalayan. Our biggest challenge of the trip would be getting through the infamous Poker Flat Jeep trail, a boulder-strewn descent into a canyon dropping 1,700 feet in about 1.5 miles followed by a super-steep climb back out the other side. Just when you think the hardest part is over, it gets way worse. 

Royal Enfield Himalayan Off-Road Adventure

We’d all heard horror stories about this section of trail — riders abandoning their bikes after reaching the point of exhaustion — so we left it for the end of the trip. Getting stuck at the bottom, not being able to get out from either side, was a major concern. This was especially true for the budget-minded Himalayan, fully-loaded with camping gear, riding on 70/30 street-biased tires, piloted by a rider relatively new to off-road riding.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Off-Road Adventure

Follow along to see how the Himalayan did on this little adventure and see many of the incredible points of interest we explored during this scouting mission to the Lost Sierra, including Volcano Lake, the Sierra Buttes, Jamison Mine Complex, Mills Peak Fire Lookout, and more. In addition to the video, you can also check out our full Lost Sierra Ride Guide, which includes route details, maps and GPS tracks, so you can recreate this turnkey adventure with your own crew.


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Photos by Rob Dabney

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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Ron Doogalo
Ron Doogalo
August 30, 2023 12:43 am

That looks like a great place to blow a shock.

Cristiano Alves
Cristiano Alves
August 31, 2023 3:44 am

The Himalayan is awesome. I have one and when friends ask me how many HP it has I always reply: Zero! Zero horse power but 24 mule power! It’s so comfortable on the road and ready for adventure. The scenery was amazing. I hope you made a nice photo of the sun rise at that like.

Cristiano Alves
Cristiano Alves
August 31, 2023 3:47 am

Lake, not “like”

Joseph
Joseph
December 25, 2023 6:15 am

I also have a himi, I have ridden since the seventies, yes zero horsepower but a heart that says I can do it. I put 13k on the first season without a single issue. I hope that you enjoy yours as much as I am.

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