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Old 10-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
SFMCjohn OP
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Laugh Let's Ride! Death Valley Dirt on Chief & Tiger



Hi all,

The AMCA was having its Max Bubeck Memorial Death Valley Rallly, so
we decided to load up the 1948 Indian Chief and 1973 Triumph Tiger 750
and ride from San Francisco to Death Valley to check it out ... here's a
rough map of our approximately 1100 mile round trip route ... we
probably did another 400 miles of riding over the four days were there:



We got to meet Max Bubeck in 2010, just before he passed away ... he's been inducted to the AMA's Hall of
Fame ... here is a link
to their webpage about his exploits racing a 500+ pound Indian Four in early enduros ... and winning!

Our bikes ... it was rainy in San Francisco when we left ...


Kalle's '48 Chief ...


And my '73 Tiger, complete with charging issues ... I thought of calling this
the "Total Loss Tour" because I was not sure my battery was getting
charged ... the bike has aftermarket electronic ignition and needs a
strong battery for that, and won't run with a dead battery ...

I stole a couple of sealed batteries from the KLRs in the garage and loaded them into the saddlebags as back-ups ...
we'd see if I stayed off the Trouble Truck ... ha.

2012-10-23_09-08-23_251
Here we are, outside of our coffee shop, The Mercury Cafe, in Lower Haight, San Francisco ... in our raingear!

The raingear worked to keep the rain away, and by the time we got to Patterson, we could climb out of it and continue to make our way down
towards Bakersfield through the Central Valley ... all the other passes were
closed due to snow, except for Tehachapi ...

2012-10-23_13-03-04_745
Another gas stop ... the flat-head Chief gets about 30 mpg, and has a r
ange of about 100 miles, so looking for gas was a theme ...

2012-10-23_18-28-21_312

2012-10-24_08-37-44_878

Re-installing the batteries after charging them up on the trickle charger
at the Kernville Motel ... we wound up going over Rt 155 which goes up
to about 5000' in elevation ... it was very cold at the end of the day ...

I think we did about 300 miles ...

Next: Ash Meadows gravel roads in Amergosa Valley ...
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
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You got more nerve than I have.

I'd have given up and taken a more modern bike rather than chance a ride like that with a bad charging system from the get-go.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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Great stuff, keep it coming!
Cheers
Baza
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caponerd View Post
You got more nerve than I have.

I'd have given up and taken a more modern bike rather than chance a ride like that with a bad charging system from the get-go.
Hi caponerd,
Yes, I was worried about the charging system ... I ride this bike quite a bit on vintage rallies, though, where you pay a fee ($50 for this ride) and they go, ready or not ... bringing a modern bike is frowned upon ... the upside is you have a bunch of folks to give you a hand, and there is a trouble truck if things go south ... I'd just done a three-day, 750 mile, ride in the Sierras, so with a couple of spare batteries I was pretty sure I could make it to a hotel every day ...
Thanks for reading and posting!
-- SFMCjohn
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter_greyghost View Post
Great stuff, keep it coming!
Cheers
Baza
Hi hunter_greyghost,
Thanks for following along and posting!
see you around the campfire,
-- SFMCjohn
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:32 AM   #6
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From Kernville, we had about 200 miles to ride to the rally headquarters, at the Longstreet Casino just over the boarder in Nevada, about seven miles north of Death Valley Junction ...

We rode through Ridgecrest, where I tried to find a cheap voltmeter to hook up to the battery so I could get some more info about the charging system, but no luck ...

The battery tested 12.4 in Kernville after running all day without the headlight, so the charging system must be working a bit, otherwise the battery would have been drained ...

Anyway, we made it to Death Valley ...



2012-10-24_13-34-11_859
Wild Rose Canyon ...

We rolled on into Stovepipe Wells, got our Death Valley Entry Permit for $10, taped then to our headlight nacelles, rolled through Furnace Creek and ended the day at the Longstreet Casino ...

DSCN9690

We met up with Dennis, Barney and Vic and agreed to go explore the dirt roads in the desert oases in the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge the next morning, before meeting up with the rest of the rally riders in the afternoon ...





Some of the dirt roads in Ash Meadows ...

Established in 1984, the wildlife refuge is 23,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert uplands and is home to 24 plants and animals found nowhere else in the world, the greatest concentration of endemic life in the United States ... pretty neat. And the riding was great, too!




A few of the springs and spring fed streams .. the water flows at 87 degrees year-round, and at 28,000 gallons per minute in some springs ...

DSCN9681

Barney's 1973 Triumph T-100, set up for TT racing with a unique front disc brake ...



Vic's 1966 Triumph Bonneville ..

DSCN9678
DSCN9679
And Dennis Magri on his immaculate Vin-dian, a Vincent engine-d Chief ...


Gas in Lathrop Wells, Nevada ..





We hit the dirt again at the end of the day in 20 Mule Team Canyon ...

DSCN9664
DSCN9643

The bikes were running pretty good on the gravel roads, handling the loose dirt and rocks with confidence ... we were still nervous about hitting deep gravel or sand in Titus Canyon, but the shake down tests in Ash Meadows and 20 Mule Team Canyon went well ...

We decided to try a run down the 38 mile long Greenwater Valley/Furnace Creek Wash the next day, and then go and look at Titus Canyon on Saturday and try to make a decision about whether to risk a run there ...

My battery tested at 12.3 volts at the end of the day ...

Next: Shoshone and Dante's View ...
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SFMCjohn screwed with this post 11-06-2012 at 01:05 PM
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFMCjohn View Post

Another gas stop ... the flat-head Chief gets about 30 mpg, and has a r
ange of about 100 miles, so looking for gas was a theme ...
My first Triumph was a '73 Tiger just like yours and if I ever went much more than 100 miles between fill-ups it wasn't by much!

Haven't posted in one of your threads before this one but I always enjoy your ride reports. It's great to see these old bikes actually being ridden like this.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:53 PM   #8
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I forgot this was a vintage rally.

I'd have done the same thing you did. And disconnected the headlamp. Those old britbikes can run a long time on a good battery if you're not wasting current lighting the way.
Old Joe Lucas was a crafty old bastard!

I remember a guy with the last name of Magri who was a Royal Enfield owner back when I lived in SF. I don't think the first name was Dennis though.
He had an Interceptor. Didn't know him so much as knew OF him via the REOC, but I'm pretty sure I ran into him on his Inter a couple of times over the years.

If I can learn about your rallys with enough time to plan time-off from work and family, I'd like to try to make it to one of your events.
My R69S doesn't need a good charging system to keep running, I just need to carry a spare magneto coil!
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caponerd View Post
I remember a guy with the last name of Magri who was a Royal Enfield owner back when I lived in SF. I don't think the first name was Dennis though.
He had an Interceptor. Didn't know him so much as knew OF him via the REOC, but I'm pretty sure I ran into him on his Inter a couple of times over the years.

If I can learn about your rallys with enough time to plan time-off from work and family, I'd like to try to make it to one of your events.
My R69S doesn't need a good charging system to keep running, I just need to carry a spare magneto coil!
Dennis Magri ran one of the best brit bike shops in San Francisco for years, Magri Motors. Now closed, but I love the fact that he's got a 5 star review on Yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/british-magr...-san-francisco
He also rode a 1940's finished project over to our 'Unfinished Projects' show last February. Accidentally showed up a good number of people in doing so! It's great to see the Vindian on the road!

He's set up the SF Vintage Cycle guys with a place to call their own, a coupla young bloods doing good work on some delicious brit-iron:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/sf-vintage-cycle-san-francisco

I remember being about 19, having just gotten my first real motorcycle after riding vespas for years. I stepped foot into Magri Motors and it blew my mind. Tons of accessories and insanely amazing british bikes lined the floor. It was a very different experience than going to get your head bit off by Mean Marshall!

Capo, don't forget to check in on us on BAVR. SFMC John is on there too, and we certainly miss you keeping us abreast of your vintage iron over there....
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zataomm View Post
My first Triumph was a '73 Tiger just like yours and if I ever went much more than 100 miles between fill-ups it wasn't by much!

Haven't posted in one of your threads before this one but I always enjoy your ride reports. It's great to see these old bikes actually being ridden like this.
Hi zataomm,

Funny about the difference in ranges ... my Tiger gets 150 miles to reserve, and that's three gallons ... I think it's a four gallon tank ...

Thanks for the kind words about the ride reports ... a big part of the enjoyment I get from motorcycling comes from forums like ADV Rider, chatting with folks from Alabama and Australia and learning about places to ride ...

The oil-in-frame Tiger is a sweet handling bike, and we're lucky here in California to have a bunch of annual organized vintage rides that make it easy to hit the road ...

see you around the campfire,
-- SFMCjohn
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caponerd View Post

If I can learn about your rallys with enough time to plan time-off from work and family, I'd like to try to make it to one of your events.
My R69S doesn't need a good charging system to keep running, I just need to carry a spare magneto coil!
Hi caponerd and killfile,

Will have to ask Dennis if he ever rode a Royal Enfield ... the Magri that killfile and I know is quite the rider ... generous with his knowledge and time ...

I'll try to post up about these rides with enough lead time for planning ... we'd love to see your R69S, soon!

see you on the road,
-- SFMCjohn
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:06 AM   #12
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We started off Friday with a morning Rider's Meeting:


DSCN9689
Tim, our fearless leader and ride organizer ... Tim brought this 1973 Kawasaki Z1 and 1975 Norton to ride:

DSCN9686

DSCN9682

DSCN9654
Lon Bubeck, Max Bubeck's son, and Dennis Magri ... that's Lon's Indian 101 Scout ...

DSCN9649


John's 1937 Indian Scout he build recently using all new-old-stock parts he'd collected over the years ...

DSCN9650


Jerry's short-frame Chief ... he thinks the frame was modified for racing and made shorter than stock in order to try to get off the line faster ... notice there is no room for a battery ...



Jerry also brought along this Ariel to ride ... he was the oldest rider at the rally at 84 years young ...

DSCN9681

Barney's 1973 Triumph T100, with a nifty and rare period front disk brake.


Jim Coe and Garry Stark getting ready to ride a pair of Jim's immaculate Chiefs ...



Tony's Moto Melee veteran Moto Guzzi ...






And some of the nice Triumphs in attendance ...

After the Rider's Meeting about twenty bikes roared down the road to Beatty, where we gassed up and headed to Death Valley ...

Kalle and I made the right onto Furnace Creek Wash ... the road was graded gravel and was in good shape for our old bikes. It leads north about 38 miles and comes out at the road up to Dante's View ...

DSCN9655

DSCN9661





We headed up to Dante's View after an uneventful but fun traverse of Furnace Creek Wash ...



We had a coasting race most of the way back down from Dante's View, in memory of Max ...

Next: Titus Canyon ...
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:45 AM   #13
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Thankyou John. Death Valley dirt is now on my LIST.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:15 AM   #14
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Thank you for sharing.

Cool pic's , I really dig that Tiger of yours.

For reference my '74 US spec' Bonnie got 120 before reserve.




Have fun.



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Old 11-01-2012, 10:46 AM   #15
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Lon sure looks like the old man...only twice as big. That bike has passed me like I was sitting still on the right hand shoulder more than once with the old man piloting.

Max was a character. Lots of good times and cheap boxed wine with MB.

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