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Old 01-10-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
bigbadandugly OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: San Francisco
Oddometer: 396
Seattle to Ottawa on a new Moto Guzzi Stelvio

I purchased my 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio from Dave at Moto International in Seattle in early May. The last bike I had was a 1979 Suzuki GS750L that was lost in action when a clueless woman did the left-hand-turn-just-as-I-was-entering-the-intersection thing. That was 20 years ago so I'm long overdue a replacement. Dave was very accommodating and helpful in arranging the transaction. His shop is a real boon to Guzzi in America.

My choices were to get the bike shipped out to the eastern US and drive down to get it, get the bike shipped to Ottawa direct, or fly out to Seattle and drive it back. After evaluating the pluses and minuses of each option, I decided to fly out there and drive it back as MI had a "fly and ride" promotion at the time where he picked up the airfare. I also had fam in Calgary that I could drop by and visit on the way back.

Going through Calgary would add a good day to 1.5 days to my trip, but traveling through the interior of BC enroute to Calgary is a beautiful journey so the added time was worth it (and I had accumulated so much vacation time that I was given a "use it or loose it" ultimatum). I wanted to limit myself to what I could fit into two Givi panniers so I was going to travel light. Turns out I packed quite light as the panniers were roomier than I had anticipated.

My plan was to take some good photos, but given the ground I had to cover (5,000 kms in 6 days) I would have limited time to stop for photos. I took my Canon XSi which is an entry-level DSLR with its stock lens, so don't expect any truly artistic photos as they were also downsized and recompressed with GIMP for posting on the forum.

Here's a shot of the Italian Stallion outside the MI garage - the handlebar bush guards were a last-minute addition and one of my best decisions as I went thru some miserable weather:



I didn't get out of MI until 2 pm and had to make a mad dash for the border as they stopped exporting cars at 3:30 pm (the whole import export of motor vehicles is strange - you have to go to US customs to "export" the motor vehicle, then go to Canadian customs to "import" the vehicle [and pay your obligatory punitive sales taxes]). At the US border was a lineup of a half dozen or so $50-100k BMW's, Mercedes, and Porsches, but my Stelvio had the biggest crowd of border guards admiring it. Here's a shot at the Canadian Customs office:



Right around Abbostford I stopped to don my new rainsuit which I wore pretty much solid for the next two days. The town of Hope was my real first stop since the border where I stopped to fill up with gas before entering the mountains. The weather was light rain, but that created significant moisture in the air and the clouds were incredibly low. With all the dampness from the rain the temperature was cool but I was unaffected under my clothing and rain gear. I tried to capture the essence with this shot but I didn't:



Here's a little river that you cross going into Hope. the volume of water is quite large and it's moving fast, so with the shallow riverbed it gives the effect of some crazy rapids.



Hmmmm...I forgot to pack those....



There's a lot of wildlife in the BC interior, and its not the chipmunk kind. Here's a black bear. I took the photo with my Blackberry because if he came at me I wanted to be able to jump on the bike and burn rubber. I wasn't too concerned about the Blackberry as it was a work issued item and they would replace it. It's surprising how he stayed foraging at the edge of the road as cars drove past, only running away at the sound of a tractor-trailer sounding its retarder breaks.



I cut thru EC Manning Provincial Park on the BC-Washington border. There was one mountain range where it was 12 *C (54*F) at the bottom and five minutes later at the top it had dropped to 4 *C (39 *F). I was wearing summer riding gloves and could really feel the impact of the rapid change in temperature. I was fortunate that Dave had a set of Stelvio hand guards when I picked up the bike as that was a last minute addition to the bike. It sure came in handy during the trip. There were still significant amounts of snow at the side of the road which no doubt contributed to the low temperatures.

Because of my late departure from Seattle I was about 3 hours behind schedule and decided to spend my first night in Princeton, BC. It's not much of a town as mining closures have caused a lot of families to move out, but whomever lives there either works in the pulp and paper, logging, or mining industries, or in support of the people who work in those industries. I rolled into town at about 8 pm and was quite wiped after my first day of riding.

Here's a shop of the sawmill that sits just below the town:



Being a "dual sport" motorcycle and myself being an ex-dirt bike rider, I had t take it for a spin on a few of the remote logging roads in the area. Nothing too crazy as I was only in day 2 of my return to biking after a 20 year absence and this bike is certainly more unwieldy than my old dirt bike!



BC was hit hard with Indian land claims as the local natives finally concluded that the white man bamboozled them by trading a few beads and some bullets for all their land. As a result there has been at least two decades of land claims actions going on and probably another two decades to go. Much of the land that was turned over to the natives is prime mining, ranching and forestry land which is leased back to companies or ranchers that can monetize the resources. This road is one of many neat little logging roads in the area where permission has been granted to Weyerhauser to use it for forestry purposes.



Here's another botched shot (there's a common theme in my photos that I should seek photography training and get better lenses). It is supposed to show how vertical the oppposing mountain is, but the hill I'm on also drops straight down into a nice fertile valley.



I'm not sure if this sign is telling drivers to not run into the sheep or warning them that when the sun rises or sets that they'll find sheep sleeping on the road!!! The sheep they're talking about aren't the type that give us our leg of lamb, but rather mountain sheep which are much bigger and quite solid and can do considerable damage to any vehicle who runs into them.



Here's some bridge shots for bridge fans. It was on a little side road just off the main highway.









After the last shot I drove under the bridge and laid down the bike for the first time. I tried to climb the river bank which consisted of coarse, pebbly sand. I learnt two lessons:

1) The Stelvio is no dirt bike; and

2) Street tires suck in off-road conditions!!!

Luckily no damage was sustained as it was more of a lay-down than a drop. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics because my camera was in the downside pannier. The Stelvio is a heavy bike to pick up in the first place, but was near impossible with full luggage laying downslope on a pebbly hill. After a few attempts I managed to get it up and made a mental note to stick to hardpack unless I have knobbies.

This next photo was taken just past the red bridge. This regions has some nice San Diego-like hills so I was tempted to take the Stelvio off-roading a bit more, but the simulated bullet holes in this sign discouraged me somewhat! Natives have been known to occasionally take the law into their own hands and I'm sure my riding gear would be no match for a 30-30 slug slamming into my backside!



Part II coming up...
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
bigbadandugly OP
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Location: San Francisco
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Part II

The rain came down quite heavy as I headed north coming out of Kelowna towards Armstrong and Sicamous. I had no GPS and hadn't even bothered looking at a map of where I'd be going before I set off on the journey, so I occasionally stopped to use the GPS on my CDMA Blackberry. It was better than nothing, but not by much as it was slow and the driving rain made it impossible to stop and wait for it to update. The problem was that I had never anticipated how the roads change direction and branch out to work themselves through the Rockies. This slowed my progress somewhat as I took the occasional wrong turn.

Here's a shot of a mountain goat (not a mountain sheep - a goat!). He was fairly high up and and enjoying a sapling or something growing out from the big boulder. I tried to gain his attention by yelling and tossing rocks, but he was not interested in posing for a picture. I guess he was off tourist duty today or working to rule! Anyways, I finally got him to look by honking the feeble Moto Guzzi horn.



Not far after I met up with the mountain goat, I came across these workers working on the side of the mountain. They appear to be stringing some sort of mesh netting to protect the road and drivers from falling rock in the event of an avalanche. The rock face is nearly perpendicular to the earth's surface and the base is only about 5 yards from the road, so even a fist-sized rock would gather a hell of a lot of momentum and cause serious damage to a vehicle! (Another crappy shot because you don't have an appreciation of how high up they are).



The wind and rain continued as I made my way through Revelstoke National Park. It was too bad I was in such a rush and the weather was so inclement because there was some nice fire roads I would have liked to take a rip on. I briefly went up one for ten minutes to break the monotony of highway driving, but time constraints had me turn back.

At one point the rain took a reprieve and allowed me to stop at the next attraction. At one point in the 1800s this was a settlement of newcomers to Canada. Running water was a blessing for the settlers as it was used as a source for power. This is a shot form the highway bridge looking up at a suspension foot bridge. You can see a small observation deck below the foot bridge. The water is moving fast and was extremely loud. More pics below.







This is a shot from the bridge straight down to the observation deck. The still picture doesn't begin to indicate how violent those eddies are. There is a lot of kinetic energy in that pool! The observation deck can be seen to the right - I doubt that deck has every seen a dry day in its life. When you stand on it you can feel the spray from the waterfall and the eddy below.



This is one of the ways the early settlers harnessed the power of the falls. They developed this pipe using wood slats kept together with a tight wire winding. This is the actually piping sitting in the ground, although the wood has long since deteriorated.



The following is a shot of the display in the interpretation centre that shows an actual pipe section salvaged from the area:



The rain held off for a bit longer so I was afforded some more opportunities to stop and take photos, despite being behind schedule. Here is some spring run-off creating a small waterfall down another cliff adjacent the road.



Actually, "low flow" is probably a better way to describe the waterfall than "small". Here is a shot of it with my Stelvio in the picture - it's the red dot in the lower left-hand corner:



I spent the night in Golden, BC. It has been over 20 years since I was last there, so I wasn't aware of the new developments on the highway bypass and ended up staying in some shithole, long-forgotten motel in town. It was 9 pm and I found one restaurant where I ordered a Fetuccine Alfredo, knowing that after I ate it I'd probably regret my choice. Yep - called that one. Luckily the motel had wireless Internet so I could use my iTouch to check e-mail, stocks, and get up to speed with what was happening in the world. In Calgary later my brother told me about the beautiful new modern hotels and restaurants on the bypass...thanks.

The next day was a three hour drive through Banff National Park to Calgary. It was disappointing to see that the one-lane highways I was riding on through BC with the mountain walls within reaching distance had now turned to monsterous four-lane divided highways to appease the government officials concerned for the safety of all the Japanese tourists. I spent probably 20 hours in Calgary visiting fam and resting up. I had travelled about 1,300 kilometers at this point and completed a engine oil change. While in Calgary I stopped off at Blackfoot Motors - Calgary's premier motorcycle store that sells Moto Guzzi, BMW, and a host of Japanese brands, and picked up a throttle lock. The sales guy was telling me the store had sold two Stelvios last year vs. 30 R1200GSs and 60 F800GSs. I guess all-in-all that ratio of GSs/Stelvios is probably better than the overall North American ratio.

So I had travelled 1,300 kms in three days (well, about two days of actual travelling given my late Seattle departure and my short day into Calgary) and was left to travel 3,700 km in the next four days. It was time to pick up the pace, but I figured this was doable because going through Saskatchewan and North Dakota was nothing but flat, wide open highways with no reason to stop other than food and gas.

From Calgary I cut SE towards Medicine Hat. There was a brutally easterly wind that tossed me around quite a bit for about three hours, making it a real workout to ride. Fortunately at Medicine Hat my route took me East and the wind was at my back. The rain has also returned and contributed to making my life miserable. At day four of strong winds and rain I was getting pretty sick of Mother Nature. This picture was pretty typical of the day but looks no where near as ominous as it did in person. I had just stopped to fill up and was heading into rain as far as the eyes could see.



Re: Seattle to Ottawa

by coldcanuck Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:39 am
The next day was a three hour drive through Banff National Park to Calgary. It was disappointing to see that the one-lane highways I was riding on through BC with the mountain walls within reaching distance had now turned to monsterous four-lane divided highways to appease the government officials concerned for the safety of all the Japanese tourists. I spent probably 20 hours in Calgary visiting fam and resting up. I had travelled about 1,300 kilometers at this point and completed a engine oil change. While in Calgary I stopped off at Blackfoot Motors - Calgary's premier motorcycle store that sells Moto Guzzi, BMW, and a host of Japanese brands, and picked up a throttle lock. The sales guy was telling me the store had sold two Stelvios last year vs. 30 R1200GSs and 60 F800GSs. I guess all-in-all that ratio of GSs/Stelvios is probably better than the overall North American ratio.

So I had travelled 1,300 kms in three days (well, about two days of actual travelling given my late Seattle departure and my short day into Calgary) and was left to travel 3,700 km in the next four days. It was time to pick up the pace, but I figured this was doable because going through Saskatchewan and North Dakota was nothing but flat, wide open highways with no reason to stop other than food and gas.

From Calgary I cut SE towards Medicine Hat. There was a brutally easterly wind that tossed me around quite a bit for about three hours, making it a real workout to ride. Fortunately at Medicine Hat my route took me East and the wind was at my back. The rain has also returned and contributed to making my life miserable. At day four of strong winds and rain I was getting pretty sick of Mother Nature. This picture was pretty typical of the day but looks no where near as ominous as it did in person. I had just stopped to fill up and was heading into rain as far as the eyes could see.



I hadn't really recognized at how bad the prairie winds were that day because the winds were at my back and my earplugs left me in a world of silence. Going past Moose Jaw I missed my turn towards Weyburn and Estevan, so I had to turn around and back track due west. WOW!!! At that point the tailwind became a headwind. WOW!!! It was brutal. All of a sudden my smooth, quiet ride became a loud, noisy ride with the bike bucking almost uncontrollably into the wind. Luckily it was only a mile or so until I was able to get back on track and head south east. At this point all the roads are two lanes, one in each direction with no median. By now it was pushing 7 pm and I was quite wiped out having fought the rain and wind all day. I targeted Weyburn or Estevan (where I lived between ages two and three) for a 9 pm stop and spend the evening, continuing on to cross the border into North Dakota in the morning. However, again without a GPS or even bothering to look at a map of this region I've never been in before, I ended up taking a wrong turn on a road. I then passed a sign that said "US Border" with an arrow pointing due south, and spontaneously decided to make a break for it. WTF was I thinking? Turns out I had no idea where I was in relation to the US - I was still above Montana and nowhere even close to Minot. I headed due south, hitting speeds up to 180 km/h (115 mph) on the flat roads. Clearly the apprehension I had in Seattle on the bike was long gone!!! Unfortunately the brief but enjoyable good weather conditions were about to come to an abrupt end and I would begin riding in the most treacherous conditions of my life!!!

Soon the wind returned, and returned with a vengeance. Because I was going due south and the wind due east, I was getting hit directly perpendicular. The wind was pretty constant, but every time it gusted, it would blow me from the right-hand side of my lane way into the opposing lane - there was nothing I could do about it. I was literally shocked at this given the Stelvio is a heavy bike and my luggage, gear, and abundant of fat added another 330 lbs to it. If it wasn't pushing 8 pm and these roads literally deserted as the farmers were all chowing down on dinner, it would have simply been a death wish to continue. There was simply no way to avoid getting blown across the road. I was already leaning significantly into the wind to stay upright, and the gusts would come out of the blue with no warning. In fact, on top of my bike lean, I further had to turn my head into the wind and downwards to avoid leaving the chin guard from my full- faced helmet hang out in the wind because it would grab it and reaf my neck around.

I maid a precautionary stop at a gas station which I thought was close to the border and added $5 worth of gas. Given the small Stelvio tank I was often riding well into the reserve and at one point had gone 60 kms on the reserve (in ideal conditions) which pretty much drained the tank. I didn't want to fill up because all they had was regular, and gas across the border was considerably cheaper. But I thought $5 was a good precaution. Note to self: Always fill the Stelvio's small tank up when you get a chance!

I continued due south, fighting the wind. The highway by now had quickly deteriorated as all the tractor-trailer activity to the border had worn deep wheel ruts into the highway. And on top of the wind, more nasty storm clouds were forming to the west. However it was clear to the south and I figure if I booted it fast enough I could probably make it across the border before the storm hit. Wrong. I really had no idea how far I was from the border, nor did I realize that the border crossing I was heading to was not the major crossing I had anticipated, but rather just a tiny garden shed leading into Montana!!!

By now the rain was coming down in sheets and the wind continued blowing me into the next lane. Normally bikers don't like to pass semis because of the nasty air foil spilling off their front ends. Ironically, I actually took great respite in passing the few semis I met on the highway because once I pulled up alongside them, it provided a break from crosswind!!! It was so relaxing. The rain was driving down at a horrendous rate and the wheel ruts in the road were like swimming pools. Although I realize motorcycle instructors advise against riding down the centre of the highway, there was no doubt that this was the safest place to ride for me because of the deepness of the wheel ruts and the fact that they were filled with water. Besides, the torrential rainfall would have washed away any oil slick on the centre of the road. It was still treacherous because the wind would continue to blow me across the ruts and into the next lane, and on top of things the sun was starting to go down. Buy now I was so physically beat and still struggling to keep the bike upright in the rain and wind that I was not even focusing on my speed. I looked down and noticed I was ripping along at 140 km/h!!!!

At this point I realized I had taken the wrong road to the US and was rushing to get the border crossing by 9 pm, fearful that smaller crossings might have limited hours. I had been driving on reserve for a good 25 miles and felt I was getting dangerously close to hitting empty. It had always bothered me that I would be crossing back in to the US with a bike recently exported using a temporary Washington state permit. Sure enough, when I got to the border, the border guards were quite suspicious about why this biker is crossing into Montana with a bike using temporary WA permits at 8:45 pm at night in a torrential rain storm. After a thorough grilling I was able to produce the stamped title to the bike and off they sent me. Before I left I asked how far it was until I got to the nearest gas station. There answer was 15 miles! Yikes!!! It might not even be open if I get there after 9!!! I again hopped on my bike and headed out at 70 mph, hoping to catch the gas station before it closed. If I ran out, I could always walk to the closest farm house as my boots, rain gear and helmet protected me from the elements extremely well (hands were cold and wet after being soaked through for a good 8 hours at this point)!

I ended up hitting a gas station set up for truckers and ended up putting in 4.5 gallons. The tank doesn't get much emptier than that. I found another dingy, small-town hotel began the daily routine of laying out my gear and buttpad to dry as I catch up on e-mail, stock quotes and news on my iTouch. I was so beat that evening that I skipped dinner and went to sleep.

Going through Montana, North Dakota, and western Minnesota was quite uneventful and boring as I was basically relegated to sticking to the the Interstates and cruising75-80 mph to make time. I did pass a small town in North Dakota that had a tank and Apache helicopter on display, so I had to stop and grab some pics. Those Apache's are just plain nasty lookin!!!



Here's a shot of the Stelvio sitting on the side of the highway as I take my war machine pictures:



I spent the night in Bemidji and met up with a guy from Kelowna riding a BMW F800GS. He had the knobbies and full nine yards of outback gear on the bike and was obviously using it as an enduro. He said he liked the bike but it was not without its faults, mainly due to a lack of strength in the components. He's bent both rims and has a two friends whom have have damaged frames - one has a bent frame and the other a broken frame. I told him that the bikes are built for the 80th percentile and that him and his friends are probably beyond that given their central BC dirt biking backgrounds.

Interestingly, Minnesota doesn't have a helmet law so many of the bikers (mainly Harley riders that I saw) whipped around without any skull cap. Before setting in for the night I took a little rip without a helmet and found it neat but noisy and unsecure. It was at this time I noticed that the vibration in my right handlebar and literally vibrated my right hand mirror to pieces as it vibrated incessantly. It wasn't noticeable with my ear plugs in before hand, but it was afterwards once I knew what to listen for.

I continued ripping through Minnesota and Wisconsin as fast as possible, stopping only for gas and food. The bike held up well under such arduous conditions. In Duluth I pulled into BP station (on reserve, as usual) to fillup. As I finished up pumping the gas this 50-something guy with a face full of stumble came out at me from the garage with an ear-to-ear grin on his face - "What do we have here?" he asks. I started with my spiel - "It's a Moto Guzzi..." when he started pointing to his chest. I think noticed that he was wearing a Moto Guzzi T-shirt! We chatted for a bit and it turns out he has been riding Guzzis for decades and has three at home. I was the first Guzzi he has seen pass through town. Turns out he is quite active on the WildGuzzi forum and goes by the handle "StEVe" (I guess the capital EV is because he owns an Evolution?). Anyways, we exchanged pleasantries and went on about our merry way.

One thing I noticed about northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan is how economically challenged the regions are. It seems like along hwy 41/28 there is literally nothing there to generate commerce other than fishing and hunting. There are a number of signs that it was a once-bustling area 30 years ago with lots of motel and cabins, but most are closed not and sit in ruins. I suspect these are from a bygone era where the family vacation consisted of packing the car and trailer and going on a camping vacation whereas now it is a matter of driving to a cottage rental in Cape Cod or parking the BMW SUV at the airport and flying somewhere. Pretty sad, but then again it appears people in this area are happy as long as they have their pickup and fishing boat. This is clearly a case where governmental aid is needed to inject new indsutry into the area.

I was making pretty good time up to now, but the driving through northern Michigan was going to be slow as the place is crawling with cops looking to nab out-of-state speeders to prop up the local economy. I was hoping to make it to Sault Ste. Marie that evening but ended up shacking up an hour short at Newberry. Outside the hotel was an Escalade pulling this trailer of six ATVs and coolers. I think it belonged to some surveyors or loggers. I'd hate to encounter this load on a tight mountain highway! I can just see the trailer hitting a speed bump in the road and the ATV on the end getting launched in the air!



By day 7 I was ready to arrive at home. The day started off with a thick pea soup fog which spoiled my morning plans. I finally got an early start and was hoping to rip 150-160 km/h to the Soo on the assumption that the cops won't have their traps out that early, but the fog put a damper into those due to the risks of wildlife crossing the road. And once I hit Canada, the speed limit dropped down to a crazy 90 km/h and I had to watch myself because the cops are plenty and the speeding tickets actually count! It was a fairly uneventful trip through northern Ontario and when I got home I was quite happy and slept well!

Some observations:

The fairing on the Stelvio offers some protection, but it isn't designed to provide the same protection as a full touring bike. However I made it 5,000 kms in seven days running bone stock so it is very usable. I've now acquired a Touratech windscreen extender on the cheap and would look at the CalSci replacement windscreen for another big trip.

The small tank is a PITA, but not a show stopper. You may have to avoid passing up gas stations like you would on other bikes, but it holds enough fuel to last a riding session before you should get off the bike to stretch the legs. As I saw it does become a hazard in areas with remote filling opportunities, but better fuel management comes into play (when driving in remote areas, fill up whenever you get a chance!!!).

The Stelvio provides significant power and handling and is suitable for large and long tours, even two up. My equipment and I added an extra 330 lbs to the bike and it could still haul ass to pass on single-lane highways. Much better than my last street bike which was a '79 GS750L.

The bike worked pretty good. During the first three days I had a significant number of dashboard problems where dash display would crap out, but it has not happened since. I thought maybe it was related to the rain/humidity, but I went through hellish rain after that and it never crapped out.

The Givi E360 panniers are amazing. Spacious and not a drop of rain entered the bags despite all the crap I went through. I'm giving the bags an unqualified five star rating.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
BTL
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Location: St Albert. Alberta Canada. IBA Member 50093
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Good ride report..I am about to import my second US bike and was always curious about crossing the border in and out more than once..enjoy the Moto G
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #4
bigbadandugly OP
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: San Francisco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTL View Post
Good ride report..I am about to import my second US bike and was always curious about crossing the border in and out more than once.
Well...let me tell you that was an adventure. I was crossing from Saskatchewan to Montana with a temporary Washington plate in the dark of night in a torrential downpour. Talk about raising suspicion. Made it through though. And when I went to cross the border to go back into Canada, all the guard was cncerned about was that I had proof of payment of the GST. Thanks for keeping us safe!

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:27 AM   #5
andymach23
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Joined: May 2012
Location: Belfast
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First Blood

Really enjoyed your trip. Fantastic photos.

I looked at your third shot of the gas station and for some reason it reminded me of the Rambo film First Blood.

I googled and found that First Blood was actually filmed in Hope, British Columbia. Mad!
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:55 AM   #6
nick949eldo
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Inverary, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 856
Nice trip report! Give yourself a break about your photographic skills - those are nice pictures. Its good to hear that everything went well with your purchase from MI. Any dealings I've had with them (parts) have been excellent.

Still got the Stelvio?

Nick
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #7
Scott of the Sahara
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Like you I moved from a Suzuki to a big block Moto Guzzi
A couple of years ago I bought a '82 Suzuki GS750 from a friend. I rode it for a year and moved up to the Moto Guzzi.
Here is the Suzuki:


I now ride the Norge 1200. It is a much nicer ride.
Thanks for your ride report
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:42 PM   #8
bigbadandugly OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick949eldo View Post
Nice trip report! Give yourself a break about your photographic skills - those are nice pictures. Its good to hear that everything went well with your purchase from MI. Any dealings I've had with them (parts) have been excellent.

Still got the Stelvio?
Yep - no question about it that Moto International epitomizes what a dealership should be like. Excellent customer services and they don't expect you to pay a fortune for it. They know the idiosyncracies if the brands which help in debugging issues.

I no longer have the Stelvio. The bike had a vibrations that my hads were very sensitive to. So I sold it to a French KTM-riding dude who wanted a big bike to ride on a Trans-Lab trip he took this summer. He sold it shortly thereafter. Support for MG in the US sucks aside from MI, MPH Cycles in Houston, and a few other dealers. In Canada it is non-existent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott of the Sahara View Post
Like you I moved from a Suzuki to a big block Moto Guzzi
A couple of years ago I bought a '82 Suzuki GS750 from a friend. I rode it for a year and moved up to the Moto Guzzi.
Here is the Suzuki:

I now ride the Norge 1200. It is a much nicer ride.
Thanks for your ride report
Yep - that's just like the bike I had. Between my brother and I we had a '79 with a full fairing and hard side bags and an '81 with just a plexiglass fairing and removable soft saddle bags. They were both reliable bikes that I unfortunately wrecked both. When I decided to get back into bikes 20 yrs later in 2010, I looked for the same model. To my shock they were selling for the same price I paid for the '79 back in 1987!!!

The Norge is a sweet looking bike. So is the Griso. Moto Guzzi makes the best looking bikes.
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