A BC Buell goes South

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by BC Brian, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. BC Brian

    BC Brian Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    612
    Location:
    Fort Fraser BC
    The dream<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    When I was 7, my Dad brought home a mini bike. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.<o:p></o:p>
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    At 10, my buddy and I were going to buy bikes when we grew up and Ride across Canada.
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    When I was 20, I was going to do Canada and the States on my xs850.
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    I was 25 when I was going to ride my Panhead to Mexico.
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    At 28, I was getting organised to ship my FLH to Australia.
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    At 35 I was looking into buying a BMW in South Africa and riding the west coast of Africa.
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    Something always came up, Money, family, work, responsibilities, and none of these dreams were realised.
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    At 38 I met my understanding yet somewhat frustrated wife.
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    4 years ago my youngest daughter achieved adulthood, I had money in the bank, things were looking good.
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    Just over 2 years ago we adopted a wonderful 5 year old girl. One of the best things we ever did, but things weren&#8217;t looking good for travel.
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    While discussing (whining) this with my wife, she said &#8220; Why not just do it, you have been talking about it since I met you. Let&#8217;s make it happen.&#8221; I told her that if she insisted, I would go.
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    The Plan<o:p></o:p>
    After quite a bit of talk about logistics, how to pay for it, where I would go,what it would mean for our family, we decided that we would do this. I would try to take a leave from work, or quit. She would move to her home town to be closer to her family. We were looking at 6 months originally, but then decided that &#8220;Up To&#8221; a year would be better.
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    When I approached my boss with The Plan and a request for a leave of up to a year, he was quite excited for me, as he had travelled quite a bit when he was younger. He took my request to upper management, but they were not willing to give a leave, as they would have to hire someone to replace me. No problem I told him. You can expect my resignation in the fall. He told me he would be sorry to see me go, and to re-apply when I was done, and that he thought motorcycle travel was a great idea. (I had actually gone with him the previous year to pick out his first bike, a Versys)
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    My wife and I set the date for Oct 15<SUP>th</SUP> . Not once in all my previous dreaming had I actually set a date!<o:p></o:p>
    In the following months, I spent a lot of time here on ADVRider and on the HUBB, reading Road Reports , regional forums etc, planning what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go. After quite a while of drawing up routes and looking on Google maps and making plans, I stopped and asked myself &#8220;Is this how I want to do this trip?&#8221; Most of my life up to this point revolved around schedules and planning ( In fact, that&#8217;s a large part of my job)
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    So I decided that I would have no itinerary. That I would just point my front tire South, and when the time was right I would turn around and point the front tire North. No destination. No schedule. Just kind of see what develops.
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    I had a lot of fun deciding on which bike I was going to ride. At the time, the stable contained a KLR, a Harley Road Glide, a Harley Chopper, a Ducati ST2 and a Honda dirt bike.<o:p></o:p>
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    I love my KLR, and IMO is probably the best back road/logging road bike out there. Lots of people take them on this exact same trip, But I have ridden mine on highway a fair bit and am less that impressed with it as a highway bike. Did I mention though that I love my KLR, and have said many times that if was ever told I could have only one bike it would probably be a KLR. But mine is pretty tired&#8230;. and uncomfortable on the highway&#8230;&#8230;
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    My Road Glide is a great bike, and I have read Road Reports of guys riding them through South America, but it cost me quite a bit of money, and I would hate to have to abandon it somewhere&#8230;&#8230; and it might be a bit of a bitch if I have to load it into a canoe somewhere along the line.
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    My Harley chopper&#8230;&#8230; Love it. Evolution engine, 4 speed out of a shovelhead, open belt primary, very low. Not exactly what most people think of as an adventure bike&#8230;&#8230; but there is a guy, right here on ADV Rider, who has ridden them right around the world&#8230;&#8230;. But, I have had it a long time and, again, I would hate to have to abandon it somewhere along the line.
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    The ST2. Great bike. Love it. Do I want to do a desmo valve adjustment or belt replacement in the middle of nowhere&#8230;.. probably not.
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    So I decided to buy a bike for the trip. Did I want to buy a 70&#8217;s UJM for the trip. Cheap, dependable, not bad to work on. Maybe a modern Triumph scrambler. Maybe a 70s triumph or Norton ( I had those as a kid) I used to ride my old Superglide all over the gravel roads back in the day. I didn&#8217;t really have the money for a newer BMW GS&#8230;.. maybe if I got a loan and paid for it when I got back&#8230;&#8230;.
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    I have always liked sportsters, and had always wanted to build a dual sport sportster. In fact I even bought an old iron head sporty about 12 years ago with the plan to build one. ( got broke and sold it before I even started building it) So after many hours of searching craigslist for the right bike( If any of my bosses are reading, I didn&#8217;t do this at work, really I didn&#8217;t), I decided I would buy a few year old 883 and build it into an adventure bike ( this was before I found out how many people where doing that this year). Last winter, I found a likely looking bike online at a local Harley shop, went in to look at it, and the salesman (a guy I have known for years) told me that it was sold, and why did I want a sportster, anyhow? I told him my plan, and he said &#8220; Do you want a Buell Ulysses?&#8221; It was cheaper than the sportster and I didn&#8217;t have to do as many mods to make it what I wanted, so I said &#8220;Sure&#8221;<o:p></o:p>
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    The reality<o:p></o:p>
    Last year I was experiencing some medical problems, so I went to see the doctor. There were a few issues that they had to try and work out. By September I had seen specialist after specialist, and the problem had progressed enough that I had to take medical leave from work. Throughout the fall, they had found what they believed to be the problem and had started treatment. I had planned on leaving to head South on Oct 15<SUP>th</SUP>, and that date had come and gone and they were still monitoring my treatment. Up until last week, I was unsure as to when, or if, I would be able to leave on this trip I had put so much into. I went to the doctor last Thursday, without a lot of hope of leaving anytime soon, and she told me that I was responding well to treatment, to take my meds with me, and since I had a reasonable safety plan in place, to have a great trip. I just kind of stared at her, stood up, shook her hand, hugged her, and bolted from her office before she could change her mind. I went to the insurance office, bought travel insurance, went to work and quit, and headed home to finish packing the bike ( the bike had been mostly packed, just in case, for a while.)
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    It is now winter where I live in central BC, and I wasn&#8217;t about to ride on icy roads and snow, so I loaded the bike in the truck and headed for Vancouver, where I will begin my trip tomorrow.<o:p></o:p>
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    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,328
    Location:
    Toronto
    By the looks of that snow, heading south is a good plan :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Jarrod Weaver

    Jarrod Weaver Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Just North of Austin
    I hope you are well and that you have a great trip. :lurk
    #3
  4. Armydad

    Armydad Prov. 3:5-6

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Putnam Co. NY
    Keep go'n man, i want to follow this one !
    #4
  5. Al-X

    Al-X Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    235
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    You can still do the SA West coast trippie, Buells go for cheap here!! :D
    #5
  6. lukeman

    lukeman Cool Hand

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Washington DC
    There is no time like now! I'm looking forward to the rest of it and its nice to see a bike a little different from the norm doing the trip. Cheers! :freaky
    #6
  7. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Good Luck!
    #7
  8. Mike Ryder

    Mike Ryder Kriegerkuh

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    Peachland B.C. Canada
    Shine on ,you crazy diamond.......
    #8
  9. agplant

    agplant Ride Fast Travel Slo

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    297
    Location:
    High Level, Alberta
    Hope you don't mind if I follow along. :lurk
    #9
  10. Ramata

    Ramata Wind

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Chihuahua
    I hate finding this kind or ride reports, right at their beginning. Now I'll have to wait and read it in "real time" as it develops. :rofl.

    Congratulations on finding the strength (and support) to follow your dream.
    #10
  11. OceanMtnSea

    OceanMtnSea Pretty Dogged

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    638
    Location:
    left middle Saskatchewan & entering middle BC
    This should be interesting:ear
    #11
  12. BC Brian

    BC Brian Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    612
    Location:
    Fort Fraser BC
    In a McD's in Bellingham using the free wifi

    Thanks for all the well wishes.

    I am hoping to update my RR regulairly, but I am the first to admit that even with all the planning and reading I have done, I have absolutely no idea what I am getting me self into. I expect there will be times when I am updating daily, and times when I may have to put a weeks worth of travelling into one entry. We will see what happens :)

    Please follow along as I live my dream, or better yet, hop on your bikes and join me somewhere along the way for a while.
    #12
  13. C2Sky

    C2Sky Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Squampton
    Subscribed. Looking forward to seeing your path unfold - have fun!
    #13
  14. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Port Orchard Wa
    Hi Brian, I linked over to your RR from your trial run and realized I must of just missed you at AF Lodge when I saw the pics of the ol' codgers with the Model A's. I was on my way back from Prudhoe and helped them load the one up onto a flatbed they rented from U-Haul.
    Good luck on your trip, BTW I always carry a spare set of MC jumper cables tucked away under the tank:evil
    #14
  15. invisible monster

    invisible monster Been here awhile

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    Sep 21, 2007
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    485
    Location:
    Perry County, OH
    This is awesome. Best of luck on your adventure, I look forward to following along with you!
    #15
  16. BlueByU06

    BlueByU06 Ribbon Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    256
    Location:
    Central Coast of Cal
    Brian,
    I'm so into this RR.May the Sun be in your face and the wind at your back. Now go live the dream.
    #16
  17. Scott of the Sahara

    Scott of the Sahara Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    366
    Well, the weather looks pretty good for the next few days in Seattle. Good luck and take lots of pictures.
    #17
  18. BC Brian

    BC Brian Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Fort Fraser BC
    I was wondering how those guys' trip worked out. I stopped at the car museum in Fort Nelson, and there was a lot of Model "A"stuff there, I am sure they woud have had the parts to rebuild the engine. I met some people who were heading north, and they said if they saw 2 model "A"s they would stop and recommend they go to the museum in search of parts. I guess that didn't hapen :)

    Thats a good idea about the MC jumper cables. I don't have any with me, but I betcha I could build a set and they would sit nicely under my seat where my spare belt is. I will build a set once I reach summer :)



    Thanks . I am hoping this will be a trip my grandchildren will tell their grandchildren about.

    I am South of Seattle, and the weather is WET. Got into a cheap motel just in time. I don't really mind cold, and I don't really mind wet, but I am less than excited about cold and wet. Supposed to clear up tomorrow. :)
    #18
  19. BC Brian

    BC Brian Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    612
    Location:
    Fort Fraser BC
    Got up this morning and it wasn&#8217;t raining. The weather report for the last few days called for rain Tuesday, with maybe a bit of snow. I tracked down all my gear and loaded the bike before anyone else was up. My brother and his wife got up and woke up my nephew. I had promised him I wouldn&#8217;t leave without saying good bye. With hugs all around, I was off.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Nephew<o:p></o:p>
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    Rode in rush hour traffic to border and got in line.<o:p></o:p>
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    Got through the border with no problems.
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    Now this might not seem like a big deal to most of you, but I very rarely have &#8220;No Problem&#8221; at the border. They usually ask me a few questions, and then look at me funny and ask, &#8220;have you ever been arrested or fingerprinted?&#8221; That&#8217;s a pretty loaded question, cause if you say yes, they send you in to see the guy, and if you say no, they send you in to see the guy. Seeing as when I was a stupid 17 year old, doing stupid 17 year old stuff, I had been arrested and fingerprinted, I always answer yes, and I always get to go in and see the guy. And they check my record ( my stupid 17 year old stunt didn&#8217;t result in a record) and then they ask me a gadzillion questions about what I am doing and why am I doing it and 5 different ways of asking if I am carrying drugs and 5 different ways if I am carrying more than $10,000 ( if I had more than $10,000, I would be bragging about it) then they ask me again why I am going into the States. Then they take the opportunity to search my bike, but always let me know that all they are looking for is drugs or more than $10,000. Then they ask me why I am acting nervous, and I tell them don&#8217;t know why, when really I want to tell them they are mistaking nervous for mad.
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    This time, the officer asked me a few questions, where I was going, how long was I going to be in the states, where did I work, with an incredulous &#8220;You quit your job to be in the States for 10 to 12 days?&#8221; so I explain that this is the 1<SUP>st</SUP> country of many. She asked to many questions that really weren&#8217;t any of her business as they didn&#8217;t pertain to my stay in the US ( and not the, &#8220;cool, you are going to ride your bike all the way to South America&#8221; kind of questions). And I answered them as politely as I could, and she didn&#8217;t once ask if I had ever been arrested or fingerprinted. She then said, without meaning any of it, &#8220;have a nice trip. &#8220; I told her &#8220;thanks, I will&#8221;. I then smiled at the officer standing by the &#8220;Pull in area&#8221;. He didn&#8217;t smile back J
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    So away I went. Bought some cheap gas in Blaine,, grabbed a burger and used the wifi in Bellingham. I had hoped to ride as far as Vancouver Wa today ( really just so my 1<SUP>st</SUP> day could be Vancouver to Vancouver), but, although it didn&#8217;t rain on me, it wasn&#8217;t real warm out. As I rode past one cheap looking motel after another, I would look at my odometer and think, just a bit further. I rode as far as Castle Rock Wa, saw what looked like a cheap motel, and called it a Day

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    #19
  20. RecycledRS

    RecycledRS Along for the ride

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    I always like to follow a fellow canuck's trip south during the winter months. This year your the guy. Good luck, we'll be watching with envy.
    #20