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Old 05-21-2015, 08:56 PM   #1
Larry_77084 OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Houston, TX
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Pasco to Houston on a ZX14

Ok itís taken me a year to do this but here goes.

Iím at work one day (MPH Cycles in Houston, TX) and a friend is talking to my boss about buying a motorcycle he will run at Bonneville, as I walk up I hear him say ďthe bike is in Pasco, Washington and if I can convince Larry to go get it for me Iíll buy itĒ. Me, ďIím in!Ē He proceeds to tell me that it is a ZX14 Ninja. ďOK, when do you want me to go get it, do you have a time line and do I have a mileage restriction?Ē Him, ď As soon as I can finalize the deal, I donít care how long it takes to get back nor do I can how many miles you put on itĒ This just keeps getting better.

Turns out the current owner is a friend of a friend of a friend here in Houston. So when I go up there I have a place to stay and prepare for the ride back to Texas. He tells me he will buy my airline ticket and give me $500.00 cash to get back. I call my friend in Pasco he tells me what I ever I need, he will pick me up at the airport and cart me around until I pick up the bike. I start packing, secure the vacation time and soon I am on a plane headed for Seattle, then down to Pasco.

I get in at 11pm Thad picks me up we head to his house, next morning, Sunday we go over and pickup the bike. We do some riding around in Oregan but it is pretty hot and we donít stay out too long,



just long enough for me to get familiar with the bike. Back to the house, I load up the bike with the soft luggage and tank bag I brought with me. Thad tells me to take a Camel Back with me, I have never ridden with one so at first I refused, he insisted so I agreed. Turns out he was right and I will never travel without one again.



Monday morning I head out, I leave Pasco and head down into Umatilla, Oregan



I stopped at the Oregan Visitors Center and got a map and took some pictures.



I took 730 which rides along the Snake river to 12 and kept heading east until I got to Lewiston. I ate some lunch and got a text from my friend in Houston, asking me where I was, he tells me to take the Spiral Hwy out of Lewiston



I found the Spiral Hyw



It was definitely worth the ride. What a great road.

Here I made a navigational mistake. I found a text later from the same friend telling me to turn right at the top of the Spiral highway and go to Lo Lo Pass. Not seeing the text, I turned north towards Coeur dí Alene heading for Glacier National Park. Man it was hot



I hopped on 90 because it was getting late and stopped in St Regis.Never having been in that area before I took a friends advice and called a motel near Glacier, he had stayed in, I asked the clerk how far I was from him and he told me about an hour, I decided to be safe I topped off my tank and headed towards Glacier. I was ridding a long way and saw a sigh for Kalispell 90 miles, it was already after 8 so I knew I wasnít making Glacier Sunday night. I rode to Kalispell, it had cooled off considerably



There were no rooms to be had. I backtracked to Lakeside and found a nice motel, checked in went to nearby bar and had a decent meal. Got a good night sleep and in the morning, which was nice and sunny I headed for my destination, Glacier National Park. While go through Hungry Horse I saw a sign for The Hungry Horse Dam. Not one to pass up a dam, I went down that road. It was well worth it.



I had planned on visiting GLP a few years earlier, on that trip I stopped in Billings to eat, while talking to my wife she told me a friend said if I was going to be in southeastern Colorado on a certain day he would meet me and we would travel Colorado. I abandoned my plans for Glacier (because of time) and instead went down to Red Lodge, the Bear Tooth and into Yellowstone. Although that was a great route, Glacier was a place I have since wanted to see.

I got to Glacier NP and asked at the Gate about the senior NP pass. Since Im 62 and the age at which you can get it is 62, Iím no dope, 10 bucks and good for life and all NPs. I call it my Geezer Pass.

Anyway I got into the park and stopped at the big lodge where the red busses come out of





So up ď The Road ToThe SunĒ I go. It was well worth the wait what a beautiful place
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:47 AM   #2
Kawi-Mike
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Just curious to see how you like the road trip on a ZX14? What kind of gas mileage did it get?
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:59 PM   #3
Larry_77084 OP
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I never calculate mileage on any motorcycle when the light comes on I put in gas. The bike was set up with lowered pegs and handlebar risers but it still was not very comfortable. I typically ride a GS as well as a Moto Guzzi California and both are twice as enjoyable to ride. Having said that about comfort, I have never ridden a motorcycle with a more linear power band. The motor was smooth, the transmission was like butter. It ran a bit hot, 2 bars under over heating all the time except going over Rocky Mountain NP where it was 40 degrees and raining even then it ran about normal temps.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:32 PM   #4
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I went up and over Logan pass, traffic wasnít too bad, it was a Tuesday so not too many people on the road. I started down the east side and hit a traffic light by a one way section. The light turns green and off we go, me and about 6 cars. We went down the road a ways and hit another light. This time we waited around 10 minutes. I looked at my map and realized we were almost out of the east side. So I turned around and went back over in the opposite direction the place looks different from that direction. Glad I did that. After leaving the park I went down the east side of Flathead Lake and worked my way down through Big Fork ending up Missoula, where I spent the night.



When I got up the next morning I went down to Lo Lo and headed up the east side of Lo Lo pass to the visitor center. This is a place I need to go to again and do the entire road from Lo Lo to Lewiston the east side was fantastic but I've heard the west side is better.



I went back into Lo Lo and headed south, along 93 to Chief Joseph Pass. I stopped and was talking to 2 riders, one on a GS, one on a Concours 1400 and the woman that worked at the visitor center. There was a giant clap of thunder from the east. She said, ďWhich way are you 3 headed that looks bad over thereĒ. One points South, one points north and I point east. She said ďgood luckĒ. I took off but didnít get far before I had to pull off and put on the rain gear. Let me stop here for a second and point out that I was wearing Olympia gear, all mesh. This gear comes with a rainproof liner but you have to remove the pants and jacket to put in the liners. So there I am on the side of 43 with no pants or jacket on, itís stating to rain, and people are passing me. I must have been quite a sight.

Well the sky opens and it pours all the way to Dillon. Cooled things off so it was a welcomed rain. I turned north and decided to go through Virginia City, since my goal for the day was West Yellowstone it was kind of on the way. Because it was getting late I didnít stop in Virginia City but what a cool little town. From there I went Ennis and the down 287,as I r=was riding along I noticed a lake that did look right. I stopped at a plaque and saw that I was a Earthquake Lake. What a tragic story about that place.





From there down to West Yellowstone where I spent the night.

Next morning get up and it is a gorgeous day, I head into Yellowstone, flash my Geezer pass $0.00 entrance fee and start wandering around Yellowstone. Iíve been there before on a bike but I was glad to be back. I worked my way down to Old Faithful and watched the eruption. I then called my son who works night and asked him to check out the Geyser Cam. He did and caught me on film.









I left there and started down through Grand Tetons, this is another place that never gets old. I stopped there killed some time at the visitor center the headed south, into what was to be the worst night Iíve had on a motorcycle.

Iíve been riding for almost 50 years, Iíve ridden in the worse possible rain for hours on end, snow, sleet, cold, unbearable heat, hail, tornado,you name it Iíve seen it, the one thing I donít like is lightning, especially when I am the tallest feature around and any of you that have ridden from Grand Tetons down to Rawlings know that there is nothing tall for a long stretch from Jeffery City to Rawlings.





As I was ridding I was watching the horizon and lightning and rain. I got to Jeffery City, and there ainít shit there, and stopped to weigh my options. The only thing in that town is a bar and a closed down gas station. I watched the storms for a bit and noticed the lightning seemed to be moving off to the Northeast, since I was going Southeast I figured I was good to go. I already had my rain gear on so I took off. I ran right in to heavy rain and soon the lightning started, just behind me and on both sides, I was scared. I kept seeing my shadow from the flashes, I was moving at a quick pace and it was raining very hard getting difficult to see. I pulled up behind a white Kia Soul with temporary plates. I know this because lightning hit so close to me the inside of the car lit up light a flash bulb and I could count the number of people inside. I tailed the Kia and finally ran out of the lightning and rain about 2/3s of the way between Bairoil and Rawlings. I pulled into the first motel I saw and just as I got in the rain and lightning caught up and pounded Rawlings.
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Question and/or comments email me at: larryisahater@sbcglobal.net

"Suppose you were an idiot...And suppose you were a member of Congress...But I repeat myself".

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Old 05-28-2015, 05:10 AM   #5
GB
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Cliffhanger!

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