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Old 02-21-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
mikegc OP
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A Good Day On A '14 GSA

I got 'er uncovered in the parking lot of the Marathon Motel:



It was a bit chilly, around 40˚, so I took my time leaving. I grabbed a little breakfast at the Marathon Coffee Shop and enjoyed the locals poking fun at each other. I took off after that and got to the park around 11:00.



Yeah, I know, everybody stops there. A little ways into the park, I came to Terlingua Ranch Road and took it.





Didn't see a soul out there. I got back to the pavement a little later and enjoyed the park as the day was playing out.





I exited the park and headed for a room at the Holiday Motel in Terlingua only to find they took my reservation but didn't hold it. Oh, well, I grabbed a room back in Study Butte and enjoyed the remains of the day.


Not a bad way to spend the day.

Mike
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:02 PM   #2
Pickup man
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Beautiful pics. I would love to ride Big Bend one day. Maybe next winter. I have a 14 GSA coming to me as soon as all this snow melts. Whats your thoughts about the bike so far?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:09 PM   #3
StrokedNBored
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Nice pics!
That area has some great riding.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:30 PM   #4
RoyF
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Amazing pics and scenery, thought they were BMW promotional shots to start with. Would love to get over there one day, thanks for sharing. Whereabouts is it exactly?
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
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Bid Bend is the best of Texas. It truly is like a whole other country. Glad you enjoyed our awesome place we call home.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:20 AM   #6
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Well, I got a late start yesterday. I hung around the hotel and waited for temps to improve a bit. Leaving around 10:00, I went back into the park just a little ways to grab a few more photos. I like this one:



Knowing I had to make some miles, I made a few more stops in Terlingua and along the River Road, FM 170. When in Terlingua, you should always pay your respects at the graveyard.



Then, it's on to Presidio on the River Road. This piece of asphalt is really something and my photos do not do it justice. It has many blind corners and hills and one must pay attention at all times.





When on the River Road, everybody stops here for a Kodak moment:



Rumor has it that George Washington slept there.

After that, I was relegated to traveling US 67 to Marfa where US 90 was waiting and, after that, friggin' I-10. I made it to El Paso in short order as running 85 mph helps a lot. I'd heard that Barnett, of Harley-Davidson fame, had opened a BMW dealership to I stopped by to check it out. It's brand new and a very nice dealership. When I pulled into the parking lot, a fellow asked, "Where have you been?" I told him about the last couple of days and he said he'd always wanted to go to Big Bend but just never had. Anyway, after all of that slab, I was missing the sights I'd just seen over the last couple of days. As I mounted to head to Las Cruses, I looked at my rear wheel. Looks like I've still got a little of Big Bend with me.



Sunday, it's on to Scottsdale.

Mike
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:24 AM   #7
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This is going to be good! Gorgeous photos and a seriously gorgeous bike that got you there Mike! Man, wish I was your wing-man for this one. Have a great time!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:41 AM   #8
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A Good Day On A '14 GSA

Well, I've allowed business commitments to get in the way of a good motorcycle trip. After all, that's what's paying for a month on the road! Before getting to the rest of trip, I dug around and pulled a couple of more photos from the Big Bend area:

The mighty Rio Grande River:


The Mule Ears from Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive:


I exited the Big Bend area last week and started making my way over to Scottsdale. I had to do a little of the Eisenhower System but exited as fast as I could, catching US 70 over at Lordsburg, NM. After that, I enjoyed the fast miles out in the BFE:



I made it on over to Scottsdale with no issues and, on my way out of town, I stopped by Al Jesse's new facility. I had called ahead as I've a very minor issue with my top box. When I got there, Al himself dropped everything and took the time to show me around. As a manufacturer myself, Al has all the enthusiasm one generally sees in a brand new business. He's a "hands-on" guy and heavily involved in developing new products. He showed me several things he's working on and they're very innovative. I'll darn sure get my checkbook out! While Al was showing me around, Neil fixed the issue I was having at no charge whatsoever. It's great to see a guy who is very dedicated to building the best product he can produce. As a long-time rider, Al Jesse knows his business and what he's doing.

I left Las Vegas and had to do the slog on the interstate highways in order to get to San Diego for more business. There's not much out there to see but I decided to stop and photograph this oft posted sign:



I've been by it a number of times but just never stopped. Now, I have the 'I was there' proof in my photo library.

I had a bit of a glitch in my appointment schedule and needed to go up to Orange for a brief appointment. I knew there were storms on the way so, after business, I jumped on the big roads and headed up to the Angeles Crest with the thoughts of grabbing a little lunch at Newcomb's Ranch. I virtually had CA 2 to myself and, with some authority, I can state I had the only bike with a North Carolina plate in the parking lot. In fact, it was the only bike in the parking lot. I tried to score a CA 2 sticker for my pannier collection but they were out of them. I'll have to go back. Here are a few shot along the Angeles Crest:







After that, I had to beat feet back to San Diego where I spent the rest of the week. Yesterday, I made it up to Pasadena and enjoyed a good 'hosing' by Mother Nature. I washed off all the Big Bend dust quite well!

A few notes about the motorcycle. I've been riding it most every day for the last two weeks and am really getting to know this machine. It has, for the most part, been flawless. I have encountered a couple of very minor (I can't emphasize that enough) glitches. On the day I left Big Bend and got out on I-10, I set the cruise control and, after braking, I touch the re-set and it wouldn't accelerate back to the original speed. That happened several times that day but not since. The other thing was that I've received, through the Nav V, a couple of oil level warnings. Both times, I'd pull over, use the center stand, wait a few minutes only to see the oil level well within spec via the sight glass. The second time it happened, I stopped and used the computer to check the oil level and it said 'OK' but I still did the center stand thing. I'm not concerned about this at all as it's probably just a sensor glitch. By the way, I've over 3000 miles and this engine hasn't used any oil. My '09 was loved a half a quart every 1000-1500 until the 25,000 mark. So far, I'm quite impressed with the new GSA.

Oh, since I mentioned the Nav V, the integrated features this unit offers is great. I pre-loaded all of my routes prior to leaving NC and it has been great. I did encounter a few issues on the Angeles Crest and had to re-set it a few times. I asked for some advice that night on the forum and got it. I had missed a pretty big Garmin update and got that done. It worked fine on the way here yesterday.

Mike
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:23 AM   #9
TommyBwell
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Thanks for all the shots!! Those of us living vicariously through those of you who already have yours appreciate it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:28 AM   #10
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Very Very nice!
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:35 AM   #11
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Great scenery photos. The new GSA looks good in white. Bravo!
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegc View Post
A few notes about the motorcycle. I've been riding it most every day for the last two weeks and am really getting to know this machine. It has, for the most part, been flawless. I have encountered a couple of very minor (I can't emphasize that enough) glitches...
The other thing was that I've received, through the Nav V, a couple of oil level warnings. Both times, I'd pull over, use the center stand, wait a few minutes only to see the oil level well within spec via the sight glass. The second time it happened, I stopped and used the computer to check the oil level and it said 'OK' but I still did the center stand thing. I'm not concerned about this at all as it's probably just a sensor glitch. By the way, I've over 3000 miles and this engine hasn't used any oil. My '09 was loved a half a quart every 1000-1500 until the 25,000 mark. So far, I'm quite impressed with the new GSA.
Mike
FYI: The GSw will throw a low oil warning if you let it idle for more than 30 to 60 seconds or so while parked pointing downhill. Its a bit annoying until you learn to avoid the circumstance. In general, though, the watercooled motors do not consume oil during or after breakin.

Tim
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #13
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Great shots!
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:20 PM   #14
mikegc OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atwoodtja View Post
FYI: The GSw will throw a low oil warning if you let it idle for more than 30 to 60 seconds or so while parked pointing downhill. Its a bit annoying until you learn to avoid the circumstance. In general, though, the watercooled motors do not consume oil during or after breakin.

Tim
Thanks, Tim, I'll keep an eye out for that.

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Old 03-15-2014, 06:30 AM   #15
mikegc OP
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A Good Day On A '14 GSA

Death Valley, 5:55 AM Sunday morning: "You guys be careful & text me about your progress," David said as we bid one another 'farewell.' Man, I can't believe the Death Valley ride is over so soon. Hey, time flies when your hair's gray!

For me, this trip started on February 15th when I left home in order to fulfill business commitments in several western states. As Rob mentioned, I trailered our machines to San Antonio where I unloaded my bike and headed to California via a somewhat circuitous route that included Big Bend NP some of the Golden State's finest roads: The Ortega, Angeles Crest, a little bit of CA 33 and the PCH.

After an Eisenhower System blast down from Fresno, I pulled into the hotel parking lot in Torrance and found my bike wasn't the only one with North Carolina plates: Rob made it in from San Antonio. The next evening, Craig and his wife were foolish enough to invite us to dinner and that was sure a great way to begin our Death Valley trip. On Thursday, Rob and I returned to Craig's home and he deftly lead us out of the L.A. basin, up to Newcomb's Ranch, then to Upper Tujunga Road and on to our Palmdale rendezvous with David, another miscreant I'd met back in '07 on the side of the road near Cripple Creek, CO.

Waiting for David, Craig tries not to notice Rob checking out a possible real estate investment:


After negotiating a nasty looking squall near Bakersfield, we took a break as we neared the Caliente-Bodfish Road:

Those clouds look a bit ominous but we never saw a drop of rain. We made it to Kernville around 5:30 and had a great time renew old friendships and making new ones.

The next day, as Craig mentioned, we took the usual route over to Olancha where some had lunch and others got serious about getting to Death Valley. This wasn't one of those serious moments:


A few miles later, Rob enters the national park in style with his 'Italian mistress:'


On Saturday morning, everyone suited up for the ride down to Badwater and we enjoyed a picture-perfect day:


Saturday's ride continued down to Shoshone for a fuel and lunch stop. As the group made it's way along Badwater, Rob and I spotted these friendly fellows:





Recalling our meeting with the coyotes, our waitress at the Crowbar said, "That's Ike and Mike. They hang out there."

Leaving Shoshone, many of us continued up to the Amargosa Opera House where we'd seen Craig's aforementioned "Angels of the Night" a couple of years ago. Thankfully, we've matured since those days:


Before heading back to Furnace Creek, we made a stop at Dante's View to enjoy a view of where we'd been that morning from the advantage of being over 5,700' higher:






After that, we went separate ways, some enjoying Furnace Creek's pool while others selected their favorite roads for photo opportunities. I took a couple photos along Twenty Mule-Team Road . . . . . . .




. . . . . and a few more along Artist's Palate Drive:












After that, I rode back to the Badwater area where I'd spotted the West Road earlier in the day. I descended on this washboard road a few miles before turning around. I never saw another vehicle the whole time:


Rob and I shook hands with David and began our trip back to North Carolina. We had two high-mileage days, 573 miles from DV to Safford and 497 from Safford to Fort Davis, Texas. Tuesday, the trip to San Antonio, was easy at only 387 miles. After that, with the bikes tucked away in the trailer, we made our way back to the Old North State. It was a great trip.

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