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Old 11-29-2011, 12:30 AM   #1
BC Brian OP
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Fraser BC
Oddometer: 610
A BC Buell goes South

The dream
When I was 7, my Dad brought home a mini bike. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.

At 10, my buddy and I were going to buy bikes when we grew up and Ride across Canada.

When I was 20, I was going to do Canada and the States on my xs850.

I was 25 when I was going to ride my Panhead to Mexico.

At 28, I was getting organised to ship my FLH to Australia.

At 35 I was looking into buying a BMW in South Africa and riding the west coast of Africa.

Something always came up, Money, family, work, responsibilities, and none of these dreams were realised.

At 38 I met my understanding yet somewhat frustrated wife.

4 years ago my youngest daughter achieved adulthood, I had money in the bank, things were looking good.

Just over 2 years ago we adopted a wonderful 5 year old girl. One of the best things we ever did, but things weren’t looking good for travel.

While discussing (whining) this with my wife, she said “ Why not just do it, you have been talking about it since I met you. Let’s make it happen.” I told her that if she insisted, I would go.

The Plan
After quite a bit of talk about logistics, how to pay for it, where I would go,what it would mean for our family, we decided that we would do this. I would try to take a leave from work, or quit. She would move to her home town to be closer to her family. We were looking at 6 months originally, but then decided that “Up To” a year would be better.

When I approached my boss with The Plan and a request for a leave of up to a year, he was quite excited for me, as he had travelled quite a bit when he was younger. He took my request to upper management, but they were not willing to give a leave, as they would have to hire someone to replace me. No problem I told him. You can expect my resignation in the fall. He told me he would be sorry to see me go, and to re-apply when I was done, and that he thought motorcycle travel was a great idea. (I had actually gone with him the previous year to pick out his first bike, a Versys)

My wife and I set the date for Oct 15th . Not once in all my previous dreaming had I actually set a date!
In the following months, I spent a lot of time here on ADVRider and on the HUBB, reading Road Reports , regional forums etc, planning what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go. After quite a while of drawing up routes and looking on Google maps and making plans, I stopped and asked myself “Is this how I want to do this trip?” Most of my life up to this point revolved around schedules and planning ( In fact, that’s a large part of my job)

So I decided that I would have no itinerary. That I would just point my front tire South, and when the time was right I would turn around and point the front tire North. No destination. No schedule. Just kind of see what develops.

I had a lot of fun deciding on which bike I was going to ride. At the time, the stable contained a KLR, a Harley Road Glide, a Harley Chopper, a Ducati ST2 and a Honda dirt bike.

I love my KLR, and IMO is probably the best back road/logging road bike out there. Lots of people take them on this exact same trip, But I have ridden mine on highway a fair bit and am less that impressed with it as a highway bike. Did I mention though that I love my KLR, and have said many times that if was ever told I could have only one bike it would probably be a KLR. But mine is pretty tired…. and uncomfortable on the highway……

My Road Glide is a great bike, and I have read Road Reports of guys riding them through South America, but it cost me quite a bit of money, and I would hate to have to abandon it somewhere…… and it might be a bit of a bitch if I have to load it into a canoe somewhere along the line.

My Harley chopper…… Love it. Evolution engine, 4 speed out of a shovelhead, open belt primary, very low. Not exactly what most people think of as an adventure bike…… but there is a guy, right here on ADV Rider, who has ridden them right around the world……. But, I have had it a long time and, again, I would hate to have to abandon it somewhere along the line.

The ST2. Great bike. Love it. Do I want to do a desmo valve adjustment or belt replacement in the middle of nowhere….. probably not.

So I decided to buy a bike for the trip. Did I want to buy a 70’s UJM for the trip. Cheap, dependable, not bad to work on. Maybe a modern Triumph scrambler. Maybe a 70s triumph or Norton ( I had those as a kid) I used to ride my old Superglide all over the gravel roads back in the day. I didn’t really have the money for a newer BMW GS….. maybe if I got a loan and paid for it when I got back…….

I have always liked sportsters, and had always wanted to build a dual sport sportster. In fact I even bought an old iron head sporty about 12 years ago with the plan to build one. ( got broke and sold it before I even started building it) So after many hours of searching craigslist for the right bike( If any of my bosses are reading, I didn’t do this at work, really I didn’t), I decided I would buy a few year old 883 and build it into an adventure bike ( this was before I found out how many people where doing that this year). Last winter, I found a likely looking bike online at a local Harley shop, went in to look at it, and the salesman (a guy I have known for years) told me that it was sold, and why did I want a sportster, anyhow? I told him my plan, and he said “ Do you want a Buell Ulysses?” It was cheaper than the sportster and I didn’t have to do as many mods to make it what I wanted, so I said “Sure”

The reality
Last year I was experiencing some medical problems, so I went to see the doctor. There were a few issues that they had to try and work out. By September I had seen specialist after specialist, and the problem had progressed enough that I had to take medical leave from work. Throughout the fall, they had found what they believed to be the problem and had started treatment. I had planned on leaving to head South on Oct 15th, and that date had come and gone and they were still monitoring my treatment. Up until last week, I was unsure as to when, or if, I would be able to leave on this trip I had put so much into. I went to the doctor last Thursday, without a lot of hope of leaving anytime soon, and she told me that I was responding well to treatment, to take my meds with me, and since I had a reasonable safety plan in place, to have a great trip. I just kind of stared at her, stood up, shook her hand, hugged her, and bolted from her office before she could change her mind. I went to the insurance office, bought travel insurance, went to work and quit, and headed home to finish packing the bike ( the bike had been mostly packed, just in case, for a while.)

It is now winter where I live in central BC, and I wasn’t about to ride on icy roads and snow, so I loaded the bike in the truck and headed for Vancouver, where I will begin my trip tomorrow.

BC Brian screwed with this post 12-08-2011 at 07:46 AM
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:41 AM   #2
Mod Squad
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By the looks of that snow, heading south is a good plan

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Old 11-29-2011, 04:36 AM   #3
Jarrod Weaver
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I hope you are well and that you have a great trip.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:37 AM   #4
Prov. 3:5-6
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Putnam Co. NY
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Thumb Good choice

Keep go'n man, i want to follow this one !
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:16 AM   #5
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Oddometer: 235
You can still do the SA West coast trippie, Buells go for cheap here!!
98 Honda XR600R, 06 Suzuki DL1000VS ADV, 11 Honda XR125L, 01 Honda CR250R
90 Yamaha DT180, Yamaha PW80, for the laaitie.

PREV: 95 DR250S, 04 KLR650, 96 R1100GS, 06 WeeStrom, 05 DRZ400, 00 XR650R, 07 KTM525XC
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:20 AM   #6
Cool Hand
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Location: Washington DC
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There is no time like now! I'm looking forward to the rest of it and its nice to see a bike a little different from the norm doing the trip. Cheers!
2010 - DC to Gaspé, QC
2008 - DC to Panamá
Currently: 04 Tiger 955i | 85 BMW K100RT stripped
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:11 AM   #7
Joined: Dec 2009
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Good Luck!
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:49 AM   #8
Mike Ryder
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Location: Peachland B.C. Canada
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Shine on ,you crazy diamond.......
Yes I am quite serious.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:13 AM   #9
Ride Fast Travel Slo
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: High Level, Alberta
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Hope you don't mind if I follow along.
13 Triumph Exp, 12Vstrom 650
You don't travel to see different things, You travel to see things differently.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:14 AM   #10
Joined: May 2006
Location: Chihuahua
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I hate finding this kind or ride reports, right at their beginning. Now I'll have to wait and read it in "real time" as it develops. .

Congratulations on finding the strength (and support) to follow your dream.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:44 AM   #11
Pretty Dogged
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: left middle Saskatchewan & entering middle BC
Oddometer: 628
This should be interesting
2007 BMW Dakar & 2009 Ducati Multistrada leaving the middle of the in-land sea called Saskatchewan for the Mountain Valleys of BC, Canada
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:49 AM   #12
BC Brian OP
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Fraser BC
Oddometer: 610

In a McD's in Bellingham using the free wifi

Thanks for all the well wishes.

I am hoping to update my RR regulairly, but I am the first to admit that even with all the planning and reading I have done, I have absolutely no idea what I am getting me self into. I expect there will be times when I am updating daily, and times when I may have to put a weeks worth of travelling into one entry. We will see what happens :)

Please follow along as I live my dream, or better yet, hop on your bikes and join me somewhere along the way for a while.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:57 AM   #13
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Squampton
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Subscribed. Looking forward to seeing your path unfold - have fun!
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:10 PM   #14
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Port Orchard Wa
Oddometer: 258
Air Force lodge

Hi Brian, I linked over to your RR from your trial run and realized I must of just missed you at AF Lodge when I saw the pics of the ol' codgers with the Model A's. I was on my way back from Prudhoe and helped them load the one up onto a flatbed they rented from U-Haul.
Good luck on your trip, BTW I always carry a spare set of MC jumper cables tucked away under the tank
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
invisible monster
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Location: Perry County, OH
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This is awesome. Best of luck on your adventure, I look forward to following along with you!
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