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Old 07-11-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
cmkaduce OP
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Left Coast Ride North America - KLR Initiation

Been way too long since I have had a long ride. Figured it is time my grandfather and I team up again and instead of Alaska we will hit up Washington state this year. We plan to hit up Olympic, Ranier, Lassen, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite. We will then branch off and I’ll head out to the bay area then down to LA to see friends. From there, it is up to Moab for some of the finest offroad riding you could ask for with a friend from Salt Lake, then over to Denver to meet a buddy for a pint or two. The plan from there is all about Texas (San Antonio to Austin to Dallas). Hoping to check out the racetrack in Austin and of course enjoy some of the nightlife Austin is known for. Next up is KC to see an old pal from high school then over to Chicago to see DAZN on the boards (he is another one of those crazy sport bike guys that takes his CBR 1000 all over the country….and we used to live together). Final stop is Des Moines, IA to see a track day buddy before heading back up to MN to reprep the bike for the big trip. Hoping to leave for Central & South America in Oct of this year if all goes well!!

Unlike the Alaska trip, I will not be taking the Gixxer 1K this time. Instead, my bike of choice is the always fashionable old gen KLR…well, fashionable might not be exactly the right word. This trip is not only a great opportunity to spend time with family but also a way for me to test the water on the KLR before the next big adventure to Central & South America later this year. My grandfather is still rocking the HD Ultra Classic on this trip. The HD is so heavy, I am always in awe of how well he handles the bike and makes it look almost effortless.

7/11

Day 1 we are up early and on the bike by quarter after 7. The quiet calming rumble of the KLR takes me 30 miles down the road to St. Peter, MN where our adventure begins. I am fortunate enough to have my father and great uncle on part of the trip as well, so we have three generations riding together until we reach Hardin, MT.

I’ll have to say, with traveling so much on the sport bikes, this KLR is really taking some getting used to. The wind was crazy today with gusts that could really catch you off guard. The Gixxer feels so much more planted than the KLR, so I’m slowly getting myself acclimated to it. I like the KLR, but it is just a very different bike. I can’t wait to play in the dirt as I know higher speed on road riding is definitely not the KLR’s forte.

Outside of the wind, the weather wasn’t bad. It was a little warm in my Teiz 1 piece suit at 90 degrees but I just opened the vents and dealt with it. What else can I say about SD, well there was lots of corn, a few ethanol plants, some corn, then we saw more corn.

Our first night’s stop ended up being in Mobridge, SD at the Mo Rest Motel. After a few pints and some good food at the local supper club we decided to call it an early night. We will be up early manana to Teddy Roosevelt Park in Medora, ND.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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Me



L to R - Great Uncle, Father, Grandfather
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:47 AM   #3
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Great country....

That's some pretty impressive country that's in your plans and I hope everything will work out and that you bond nicely with your up-coming dirt riding. Stay safe and thanks.....

Gary "Oldone"

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Old 07-12-2013, 06:51 AM   #4
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Awesome! Have a great trip Cody! Looking forward to keeping up with your travels with this thread!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:12 PM   #5
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Montana, Idaho, Washington - and stuff

7/12-7/16
We made it to Teddy Roosevelt Park and were lucky enough to snap a few photos of bison & the endless mounds created by prairie dogs. We took in some of the local culture at Medora by taking in the “steak fondue”, which is steak cooked on a pitchfork over an open fire. The steak was juicy and the sides were plentiful, so we were stuffed after the meal. We then made our way over to the Medora Musical that was actually much better than I had expected it to be. You can tell they really made a lot of effort to modernize the musical to appeal to both the younger crowd as well as the older crowd. They featured break dancers during part of the show with one of the dancers being a solid 220 pounds. How that man moved the way he did is beyond me…almost defies physics.
The next day my dad and I hit the road early so he could get his bike serviced in Billings, MT. I rode with him until Hardin where I jumped off and headed over to Custer’s Last Stand. It was quite an experience to see the tombstones of the soldiers and certainly makes you appreciate the men and women that fight for our country making it possible for me to take this little motorcycle tour. My grandfather and uncle left later and didn’t end up meeting back up with us until late that night. Why?? Well, one of them (I won’t say who) ran out of fuel, so the guys had to two up it +25 miles to the nearest gas station, buy a gas can, two up it back to fill up. I wish I could have had the opportunity to snap that photo of them two up carrying the gas can. That night there were many beers consumed, stories told, and lots of laughs, so good times in Hardin, MT.
Feeling a little under the weather (due to the beverages from the night before) we were all still up early but moving in slow motion. We grabbed breakfast and then my dad and uncle parted ways back to MN as my grandfather and I continued west. We took MT highway 1 with its gorgeous views of the big sky landscape and eventually stopped in Missoula for the night. Not sure if anyone else experiences the same issue, but the KLR eats some oil if you are running at interstate speeds. It doesn’t leak, smoke, or smell, but it certainly uses some. We brought down the speeds to around 65 from 75 so we’ll see if that takes care of the oil consumption issue. Even with taller gearing, 75 mph may be a bit too much for the bike to sustain on longer rides.
July 15 was a great day. We spent an hour in the morning at Cara’s Park in Missoula known for Brennan’s Wave and the Lewis & Clark interpretive signs. We then took off for Coeur D’Alene taking I-90. I was surprised at how fun the stretch of I-90 is between Missoula and Coeur D’Alene with long sweeping corners and beautiful scenery. When we arrived, we tried stopping at the visitor’s center. Well, it wasn’t marked very well so we ended up parking in a private lot that we thought was the visitor’s center lot. My grandfather had already gone inside while I was tying up stuff on the bike only to be confronted by a security guard letting me know that the bikes had to be moved or they would be towed. I asked the guard to give me 15 minutes to rally up my grandfather and fortunately we avoided a tow. From there we had an excellent meal overlooking the lake. We took a boat ride on the lake and had a couple beers as we looked at all the magnificent homes scattered across the shoreline. We then took a stroll down Sherman Avenue before heading out to Cedars Floating Restaurant for supper. The restaurant is built right on the water, the food was awesome, and the draught beer was even better as I ordered my next IPA brewed in Northern California.
Had a killer time on the bike on 7/16. Left Oregon and entered Washington to catch a few backroads through all the yellow grain fields. We caught a few twisties on US 12 in Washington heading to Packwood. As we stopped along the way to view a waterfall, I was off taking photos as a tour bus pulled up. I didn’t think anything of it but when I got back from snapping photos I realized that all these elderly folks from the bus had surrounded my grandfather and his bike almost like a geriatric gang of sorts. Turns out they were all impressed and wanted to know what his story was. I think they became a bit envious of our motorcycle journey as they learned more about our trip and began reboarding the trip when the call came from the driver that “time’s up”. I don’t think bus tours will be on my agenda anytime soon. After a bit of routine bike maintenance, we called it a night at the local bar having a few beers and playing billiards as I stuffed the jukebox with Hank Williams tunes to keep my traveling partner happy. Off to Mt Ranier tomorrow.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are having a good time

Hi Cody! Sounds like you and your grandpa are having a goodtime
Can't open the pictures that you sent, is there a trick to that...we are a bit computer challenged sometimes
Ride safe...talk to you soon
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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Glad you're having a great trip Cody!

How's the KLR working out for you so far? Is the setup with all of your gear and packed items comfortable and manageable?
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by coolmom View Post
Hi Cody! Sounds like you and your grandpa are having a goodtime
Can't open the pictures that you sent, is there a trick to that...we are a bit computer challenged sometimes
Ride safe...talk to you soon
Pictures working fine here. Great report OP, good luck!
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:31 AM   #9
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Klr

It sounds like a great ride with your Grandfather Uncle and Father . You are a lucky guy. As far as the KLR using oil, above 4500 RPM they do use it . I switched my front gearing up one tooth to 16 and that helps and does not seem to tall for most riding. We never rode to much interstate if we did not have to. It will work with the stock chain also.
I put 40k miles on and 08 KLR and it was a great bike. I have rode it from the Pacific to the Atlantic, Labrador Tral and many more places
I now ride a 07 GSA that I love but If I was going way off the beaten path I would take a KLR . The GSA is just to complicated to fix off road most of the time.
Good Luck ride safe.
Paul
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
cmkaduce OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolmom View Post
Hi Cody! Sounds like you and your grandpa are having a goodtime
Can't open the pictures that you sent, is there a trick to that...we are a bit computer challenged sometimes
Ride safe...talk to you soon
Hmm...try to right-click on the photo icon and select "open image in new tab". See if that works.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paul J Statham View Post
It sounds like a great ride with your Grandfather Uncle and Father . You are a lucky guy. As far as the KLR using oil, above 4500 RPM they do use it . I switched my front gearing up one tooth to 16 and that helps and does not seem to tall for most riding. We never rode to much interstate if we did not have to. It will work with the stock chain also.
I put 40k miles on and 08 KLR and it was a great bike. I have rode it from the Pacific to the Atlantic, Labrador Tral and many more places
I now ride a 07 GSA that I love but If I was going way off the beaten path I would take a KLR . The GSA is just to complicated to fix off road most of the time.
Good Luck ride safe.
Paul
Thanks for the reply. I wasn't sure if this was an issue with rings or if it was normal at sustained interstate speeds.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:28 PM   #12
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Glad you're having a great trip Cody!

How's the KLR working out for you so far? Is the setup with all of your gear and packed items comfortable and manageable?
Had an issue with the locking mechanism on the top case and not sure the dry bag is going to hold up as its already showing some wear with using it as my backrest. Otherwise, I'm about 2900 miles in and it seems to be OK. Just minor stuff. My main concern is the oil consumption on the KLR.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:31 PM   #13
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Microbrews in Portland and Serenity Now on the OR Coast

7/17
We took in some incredible views of Mt Ranier. The day was overcast but Ranier was still plenty visible from the highway. We took our time and eventually made our way to Shelton, WA where we parked the bikes for the day. We walked around the town and happened across a micro-brewery so we decided to have a few pints there. Turns out they were releasing an imperial IPA that day so we got to join in on the celebration with the folks at the brewery.
7/18
The plan for the day was to ride from Shelton, WA to Aberdeen, WA going all the way around the peninsula. The morning started off with drizzle but turned out to be a gorgeous day. We stopped in at the John Wayne Marina and checked out the memorabilia. We decided to grab lunch at Port Angeles at a local café and had a lot of fun with the witty older waitress who seemed to have a smart remark for everything. We got off highway 101 for about 30 miles to take a few backroads and enjoy some twisties before hopping back on 101 to Aberdeen for the night. Before calling it a night, we couldn’t help but stop in to the local pub right next to the motel to have one beer and talk about the great day of riding we had just embarked on around the peninsula.
7/19-7/21
We rode in to Portland on 7/19 and quickly realized all the hotels & motels were sold out around the city. The motocross national at Washougal was going on, plus an event at the convention center, and an international beer festival so all was booked. We found a motel 6 in the burbs right next to the transit system so it worked out OK. We bounced around to several microbreweries on Saturday and had more than our fill of beer. It is pretty cool that you can use the transit system to bounce all over the city to any number of the several dozen microbrews in the area…this place is beer mecca! Sunday came and we checked out the Kennedy School run by Mcmennemans brewery. This is a historic elementary school that has been renovated as a place for good beer (including a brewery on site), spirits, cigars, films, art, and live music. Walking through the halls you see black/white photos from more than a centery ago of children in their school uniforms while a bit further down you find modern paintings and Jerry Garcia quotes scattered across the wall. This was by far one of the coolest places we experienced in Portland and I would recommend it to anyone. After catching a film there, we made our way to Portland City Grille that overlooks the city. Not only does it overlook the city, but you can also see Mt St Helens and Mt Hood in the landscape.
7/22
This day is all about 101. We jumped on 101 after leaving Portland and made our way to Brookings, OR just north of the CA border. The Oregon coast is really something special. There are few times in my life where I have simply stood in awe at the wonder and natural beauty in front of me and this was one of those times. There are large rock formations scattered across the shallow waters along the shoreline almost as if they were placed there by an artist. The slight fog adds to the mystical serenity that can be found in this place. The Pacific looks and feels so much different than the Atlantic and begs to be further explored. We grabbed our supper at a local restaurant next to the motel and ended up striking up a conversation with a local fisherman who makes a living fishing for crabs. It was interesting as he spoke about the temperature layers in the water and how satellite technology provides him the tools to be successful consistently relying on knowledge and a little luck rather than vice-versa. Also cool that they do not use any netting techniques so that entire schools of fish are not wiped out...keeping fishing sustainable.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #14
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Redwoods & Lassen

7/23
Just when I thought the scenery couldn’t be any more picturesque on the Oregon coast, we arrive in Northern California. The beaches on the northern coast appear almost untouched with fine, silty, black sand and not another person in sight. Looking out at the Pacific you see large rock formations haphazardly scattered across the shallow waters with the tide continuously crashing against them in almost rhythmic form. The California coast is something special and I am really looking forward to seeing more of it. We rode through a scenic byway within the redwood forest and took a short hike snapping a few photos of the behemoth trees that surrounded us. We made it to Redding for the night where we had a few pints and a good meal at Lulus. Lulus has the total look and feel of a burlesque house as you walk down the steps to the bar/restaurant. Red is the color of choice on the walls and the furniture. The vintage booths and bar stools are clean and in excellent condition making you feel as though you have traveled back in time as you walk through the place. This place was definitely a find and am glad we found ourselves in a motel that was within walking distance.
7/24
After leaving Redding, we rode highway 36 to Lassen Volcanic National Park. We rode on the park highway stopping along the way to snap photos of Lassen’s peak and several of the lakes that are scattered throughout the park. We also stopped at one of the boiling mudpots with the smell of sulfur reminding me much of the geothermal activity we saw at Yellowstone a couple years back. I took a small hike up a portion of Lassen’s peak, but I’m a motorcyclist not a hiker, so I didn’t go too far up before turning back to my KLR chariot that awaited me. We saw a group of Hayabusas that kind of made me wish I had the Gixxer, but the law enforcement has been pretty heavy on the trip up to this point so I’m sort of glad I have the KLR keeping me in check. The weather was sunny with a few clouds with temps that were for the most part bearable in my suit. We finished the day talking with a couple log truckers that were sharing their stories with us along with some pretty crazy footage of them driving on narrow forestry roads with drops of several hundred feet off the road. After talking with these guys, one thing is for sure; the environmentalists don’t like ‘em and they sure don’t like the environmentalists.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:17 PM   #15
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Lake Tahoe & Mono Lake

7/25
We took a scenic ride down the Westside of Lake Tahoe and stopped at The Beacon restaurant in Richardson right along the water for lunch. We met a couple folks that were in town participating in the wooden boat competition so we chatted with them for a bit. Shortly after storms rolled in so we boogied on the bikes to our motel. By happenstance our motel was right next to the one brewpub in Tahoe so we had a couple microbrews with dinner. I then met up with one of our friendly local friends we had just met earlier that day for a few more drinks at the local Irish pub where the Bar Manager distills his own brand of tasty vanilla vodka.
7/26
We took in the scenic vistas along highway 89 as we made our way from Tahoe to Lee Vining, CA. I can’t get over the incredible natural beauty that California has. The place is truly amazing to me. We took our bikes down to Mono Lake and learned a bit about the history of the lake and some of the ecological problems caused by water diversion from the lake to Los Angeles and the efforts to restore and protect it. Strong storms were looming so we decided to hightail it back to the motel and grab a pint at one of the local pubs before calling it an early night. Ready for Yosemite in the morning.
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