The bikes ranged from an even smaller, 233 cc, Honda Rebel, through my 250, a 450cc Honda Rebel, a Harley wide glide, up to the Kawasaki Vulcan. The Rebels are air cooled.Impressive looking landscapes, and looks like some good roads to ride. Interesting company for your little quarter litre dual sport. It must have been a buzz to take on roads that the cruisers dared not venture!
The way you have stuff loaded looks a bit like how my CB250RS used to look when I headed off from England to Ireland or Europe. Were you camping?
It looks fairly dry there, with the main vegetation being trees which probably get roots deep quite quickly to grab some moisture. How often does it rain? And how much precipitation per year?
We only saw the dam, presumably producing hydro-electric power. What other economic activity is there in area? Why the need for what looks to be quite a good road?
A heap of questions, I know (I could ask more!) but it is good to see motorcycles being used to do things and go places, not just tarted up.
The best parts of the ride were on roads in national forest lands. Many of the roads were initially built in the 1930's as part of the public works program to offset the depression.
We were not camping. The pack that is often on top of my tailbag is a 3-liter camelbak. I'm still recovering from a broken collarbone and I limited the actual wearing to the hot afternoon hours (it was also a bit lighter then). Suggestions for a one-week or longer Montana ride with some camping to save $ in September have been rejected. I may have to do that one on my own one of these years. I might even stay late enough to see my old hunting buddies and still get out before there's much snow.
Rain varies upon aspect, etc., but we are in roughly the 12-14 inches range with nearly half of that during the July&August monsoon season. (yes, the monsoons here aren't nearly as wet ;-) So yes, deep tap roots are needed.
Economic activity? Some ranching, a bit of logging, tourism; tourism is probably the major money maker. There are a number of "reservations" in the state where the native peoples maintain a bit of control over their lifestyle and land use, so some federal money comes in for that also. However, the biggest money makers for the tribes are the casinos, which (in Arizona) are only permitted on tribal lands.