1st Trip Report, Operation: Find that 7th gear. Lake Superior Ontario, Canada

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Nuclearboy30, May 27, 2010.

  1. Nuclearboy30

    Nuclearboy30 n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This will be our first trip report. First some info.<o:p></o:p>
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    My wife and I have been riding motorcycles since 2006. Right after we finished our course&#8230;we went out and got two 600 cc sport bikes&#8230;a MUST for the beginner rider :). I got a Yamaha R6 while my wife got herself a Honda CBR F4i. These were most enjoyable, and the R6 has seen the Dragons Tail at Deals Gap and survived rubber side up. (first of 6 videos below)

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    This year I decided that the R6 was not really conducive to long rides (which I found I was more and more drawn too)&#8230;so I sold my first bike&#8230;which made me die a bit inside, I am not ashamed to say&#8230;and purchased a new 650 cc V-Strom (Wee-Strom). My wife is keeping her F4i..as it is a bit more relaxed and upright than most sport bikes..and well&#8230;it goes fast too. I can take care of the luggage issue now :)<o:p></o:p>
    So our two bikes details are<o:p></o:p>
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    Mine: 2010 V-Strom 650 Black, center stand, Givi engine guards, hand warmers, OEM luggage and mounts (I know I know&#8230;supposed to get aftermarket&#8230;but these have been working just fine so far), 12 volt adapter, Scorpio Alarm. <o:p></o:p>
    My Wife: 2006 Honda CBR F4i 600cc, suspension lowered, Throttlemeister throttle lock, Scotts steering damper, Scorpio Alarm.<o:p></o:p>
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    So this year we decided that we would be riding to Nova Scotia from Bowmanville, Ontario in August. But since we had never done such a long motorcycle trip before, a shorter practice run was necessary to determine our limits. So on the Victoria Day weekend (May 2-4 it&#8217;s called here in Canada&#8230;usually for the 2-4 of beer consumed during the weekend) we decided to go explore the northern parts of Ontario we had never seen before. After some review, we settled on the following route<o:p></o:p>
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    Personal Gear: We both have standard motorcycle gear and leather jackets&#8230;we also brought our Frogg Toggs for potential rain. And we also use Scala Rider Q2 helmet communications&#8230;so we are able to talk to each other within ½ km range. We only just got them and they are excellent! We don&#8217;t know how we lived without them previously.<o:p></o:p>
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    Day 1: Saturday May 22<sup>nd</sup>,2010 Bowmanville to Sault Sainte Marie, ON<o:p></o:p>
    Total Distance: Approx. 690 kilometers <o:p></o:p>
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    Bikes are packed, our two beagles are in the kennel, and we are ready to go! The weather reports had threatened the standard May 2-4 rain that we have all come to expect here...but the morning was lightly cloudy...and no rain yet.<o:p></o:p>
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    Preparing to Depart:<o:p></o:p>
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    No pictures of the first leg of the trip&#8230;I had to get used to the luggage. It was the first fully loaded ride I had with the Wee-Strom&#8230;it didn&#8217;t take long to get used to it&#8230;but was of course more tippy at the stops than I was used to&#8230;<o:p></o:p>
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    I grabbed a quick shot at a Service Station on the way up to Sudbury.<o:p></o:p>
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    We stopped in Sudbury for lunch and fuel&#8230;having ridden right by it saying&#8230;&#8221;Ahhh&#8230;I am sure there is gas after Subury..but to my dismay&#8230;a GPS inquiry showed&#8230;oops&#8230;quite a long way (80km) till the next one. The Wee-Strom of course would have no issue..but the F4i has at most 300km per tank&#8230;on fumes. We like to fill up at around the 200km range. <o:p></o:p>
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    Lesson Learned from this Trip: #1 Obtain spare fuel canister for the F4i&#8230;to be mounted on Wee-Strom.<o:p></o:p>
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    We had to stop at the following for lunch..couldn&#8217;t resist.<o:p></o:p>
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    Where&#8217;s Patrick Swayze&#8230;Roadhouse!!!!<o:p></o:p>


    Lunch was excellent&#8230;.<o:p></o:p>
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    More riding&#8230;not many pictures again. Day 2 and 3 have more as we pulled over more often.<o:p></o:p>
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    So we arrive in Sault Sainte Marie&#8230;check into the reasonably priced ($50) motel and checked out the city. Some pictures of our tour:<o:p></o:p>
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    This next bit caused us to laugh. We wondered what this massive building was<o:p></o:p>
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    Then we read the plaque<o:p></o:p>
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    So almost ½ a km long&#8230;with 78 generators&#8230;and only 36 Megawatts of power output (or enough for approx. 9000 homes). Tiny!!! I guess if it was built in 1902 you would expect that&#8230;.but for comparison, Sir Adam Beck 2 at Niagara Falls has 16 generators and a maximum capacity of 1500 Megawatts (or enough for approx 427,000 homes). We definitely want to visit the inside of that place one day.<o:p></o:p>
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    What self respecting Canadian trip report wouldn&#8217;t have a moose in it?<o:p></o:p>
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    A dinner stop at a nice restaurant by the riverside.<o:p></o:p>
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    #1
  2. SauS TaR-TaR

    SauS TaR-TaR Go BaBy Go...

    Joined:
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    :1drink
    And Welcome Mr.Nuclearboy 30.. :clap
    #2
  3. Superzoom

    Superzoom Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Toronto
    Hello Nuclearboy and Wife,

    I always love to see reports from other Canadians. I've done a trip around Superior's north shore, but continuing on to BC. Sometimes it seems the crappiest, most boring, most traffickey riding is all around Toronto. I guess I've passed by your city many times, on the way to Port Hope and Cobourg, by motorcycle.

    My girlfriend and I are also planning a trip to Nova Scotia for August. This will be my third motorcycle trip out there, her first. We're going two-up on a Yamaha FZ6R, which is a little out of the ordinary. Luckily she'll have a Givi topcase as a backrest. Maybe we will bump into you at some point on the Cabot Trail.

    P.S.: Your wife is awfully cute. Nothing hotter than a girl on a sport bike. You definitely need pics of her on the bike.
    #3
  4. kojack

    kojack Stay adventurous my friends!

    Joined:
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    awsome ride report....LOVE THE RICKARDS photo...and holy crap is your wife like 3'ft? look how tall the kitchen table is comapred to her! LOL!
    #4
  5. Nuclearboy30

    Nuclearboy30 n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Day 2: Sunday May 23rd, 2010 Sault Sainte Marie, ON to Sudbury, ON, via Wawa and Timmins.
    Total Distance: Approx. 810 kilometers


    Up at 7:30 AM&#8230;.and the fog is thick. CRAP!! This next part on Lake Superior was supposed to be the most scenic. We load up and start riding&#8230;.and after about 10 minutes the fog starts to lift&#8230;.and then the views come out. We&#8217;re on Trans Canada 17 heading up the Superior coast&#8230;and an excellent road it is. Twisty, and darting in and out between coast views, and into the hillsides.

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    A nice couple from Holland took this last picture for us. They were on a 3 month driving trip to see all of Canada. They had seen Quebec and Ontario so far&#8230;were heading west to Vancouver.

    Arrived in Wawa for lunch and fuel. Had to take the required pictures of the unnecessarily large goose&#8230;and read the descriptions of why the goose needed to be that big.

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    Tried lunch at this place&#8230;I liked the name. Food was good too.
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    We continued on Route 101 to Timmins, and then Route 144 south to Sudbury. This is where the road got a very remote look to it&#8230;and we had to be aware of the fuel stops. They are few and far between here. We also saw 2 black bears on this road&#8230;.but they ran away as soon as we approached them on the bikes.

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    My attempt to be artsy&#8230;
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    At this point we were also starting to notice our fatigue/pain. Almost 700 km the first day&#8230;followed by 800 km. Hmmm&#8230;were we not made of sterner stuff? How could this be? Where&#8217;s a Goldwing when you need one?

    Lesson Learned from this Trip: #2 700km per day continuously is not enjoyable. Drop the continuous daily maximum to 500 km.

    We enter Sudbury&#8230;and en-route to the motel&#8230;get caught by a freight train in downtown.

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    Wait a minute&#8230;downtown?!? A freight railway goes right through the center on Sudbury? Really? Whose brilliant civil engineering brainchild was that?

    Arrive at motel,
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    and take a stroll down the street to dinner&#8230;.
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    Beeeeeeer. Tasted sooooo good. Food was tasty too.
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    Went back to motel and crashed&#8230;in every sense of that phrase.
    #5
  6. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamonos!

    Joined:
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    Thanks for sharing! I enjoy that Timmins/Chapleau/Wawa area. Rode from Timmins to Wawa in Nov. on my sidecar outfit, way late at night. For the 300 plus km, I met only two vehicles, both at Chapleau. Remote is the word! Hy 129 is kool with plenty of curves, and I still want to ride the Sultan Mine Road. After that, exploring might deem a more rugged, less street oriented machine as appropriate.
    #6
  7. Nuclearboy30

    Nuclearboy30 n00b

    Joined:
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    Day 3: Monday May 24th 2010 Sudbury, ON to Bowmanville, ON.
    Total Distance: Approx. 460 kilometers


    Woke up at 8AM…ready to head home.

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    On the way back we had the “incident”.

    Over the Scala Rider intercom, in Huntsville, I hear from the wife….

    Her: “Owwww….I think a huge bug just hit my left boot…”
    Me: “They do breed ‘em big here”

    30 km later

    Her: “Oh crap crap crap…..”
    Me: “What!!?!...What’s wrong?”
    Her: My left bar weight is gone…that’s what hit my boot! Sh#&t!!!”

    Turns out, the bar weight for the Throttlemeister throttle lock had loosened and fallen off :baldy
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    It’s generally supposed to look like this
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    I was impressed that the loss of this weight didn’t seem to noticeably affect her steering…I would have thought it would have. No chance to go back and find it…too far back…and too small. So we soldiered on. We will get a replacement for it…

    We decide a Dairy Queen stop just before home is necessary

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    Ah…banana banana banana.

    And home we arrive…covered in bugs.

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    A great trip it was…not a drop of rain. And a good experience to help plan the Nova Scotia Trip….
    #7
  8. Nuclearboy30

    Nuclearboy30 n00b

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    Superzoom...thanks for the kind words.

    Having been to Nova Scotia a couple times...where would you recommend for good roads for riding? The cabot trail is a given..and along the coast is our plan...any other area's we should look into?

    Nuclearboy30

    #8
  9. Superzoom

    Superzoom Been here awhile

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    I'm still not an expert at Nova Scotia, but you can't go wrong with the Cabot Trail and along the coast. We're going to take our time doing the Cabot Trail, spending three full days there, going both directions, and also hiking a bunch of the trails in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

    Halifax is going to be our home base, as my girlfriend's family is from there. We'll be riding the East Shore to get to Cape Breton, and then scooting around Bras D'Or on the way back.

    We're also going to Cape D'Or, starting from Halifax, and then riding around the bay to Digby Neck. I don't know that area, but there appear to be a lot of backroads on the way to Digby.

    Finally, all the tourists love the South Shore (Lunenberg, Mahone Bay, Peggy's Cove) for good reason. It's a beautiful drive if you hug the coast. We won't be going there this trip, but I highly recommend it.

    If you make it to Lunenburg, try staying at Fleur de Sel. It's a restaurant, but it's got two secret guest rooms on the second floor. We stayed there and loved the room, but the food there is OUTRAGEOUSLY good. One of the best meals of my life, and I've had a few good ones. Definitely a highlight. The food's not cheap, but it's a top ranked restaurant in Canada. Big highlight and very romantic.

    Have you got your Doers and Dreamers Guide yet?

    https://www.novascotia.com/en/home/planyourtrip/travel_guides/default.aspx

    Request one online, and also ask for the map and motorcycle guide. The D & D guide is almost all you'll need to plan your trip. I was excited about the motorcycle specific guidebook, but the info is a bit scattered. If you're patient, you might get some good info from it. All the info we requested arrived promptly, but in three separate mailings.

    The map has scenic routes highlighted in yellow. Makes choosing routes easy.

    When are you going? We'll be in Nova Scotia from Aug. 7th to the 21st.

    Glad to see you've got the Scala Riders. Fantastic for motorcycle travel.

    Make sure you have really good raingear! That's one of the things I remember from my previous trips. Epic amounts of rain.
    #9
  10. funhouse

    funhouse Overdue

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    Very nice balance of photography, subjects and writing........nice collections of bugs too.....Bruce
    #10
  11. duhgee

    duhgee Been here awhile

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    Nice food and beer photos - that's enough to make me want to head out. And you picked a great route - it's nice when Ontario folks experience what all is available in this fine province (and the finer it is the further you get from TO).:clap
    #11
  12. Nuclearboy30

    Nuclearboy30 n00b

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    We'll be going From July 30 - Aug 17th tentatively...so we will definitely be there around the same time.

    I'll check which travel book we got...I know we got a big one from them...but cant remember it it was the Doers' & Dreamers' guide. Will get it if it wasn't.
    #12
  13. Corbeau

    Corbeau Been here awhile

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    Nice TR, Nuclearboy...

    A series of 500 km days on back roads allows for a good combination of distance travelled/time to stop and smell the pictures/not feeling too tired while on holidays.

    Mind you, as your experience in longer distance travelling increases, so will your endurance. Successive days of 800 are not in the realm of the impossible.

    Mind you, you have to make sure that the increase in endurance is similar for both road partners, otherwise, hilarity will not ensue.
    #13
  14. DBCooper

    DBCooper Chute!

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Nice report guys. You should have titled it the "Lipitor Ride for the Heart", LOL. Damn you like your food rich, but those fries do look good. Any info you can share about hotels/motels and their prices/service/quality?You sure picked the right way 'round Lake Simcoe. The 400 is for squibs.
    #14