Across Canada on a '71 R50/5

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Lornce, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    On Vancouver Island just now.

    Camping on Long Beach was perfect.

    6,500 miles into it and the bike's running great. (edit: that bike's odometer was either wonky or it was metric with an imperial facia?) :dunno

    Canada's a jewel of a country.

    :D

    ciao fer now,
    Lornce

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  2. m0x

    m0x the VooDoo Child

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    popcorn mode
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    #2
  3. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    About time you posted something!!!

    If you are coming through my way, I'm gone September 3rd, and not back until Sept 24th.
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

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  5. olddude53

    olddude53 Been here awhile

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    Now that sounds like a fun ride... always liked the airheads...
    #5
  6. Ladyrider247

    Ladyrider247 Airhead Dilettante

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    I'll post pics when I get home.

    WHAT??:ear

    You're actually returning home?? :D

    Glad to hear you're having an AWESOME ride and enjoying yourself.
    Can't wait to see your pics.

    All My Best,
    Carol :wave
    #6
  7. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    In the beginning the Lord created Canada and R50/5's. And he saw that they were good.

    He did some other cool stuff, too...


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  8. Fin

    Fin Kahoon's my daddy!

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    Now that's a start to a thread I want to read. Come on Lornce get it going. :D :clap :lol3

    Glad you're home safe and sound and all went well.

    Cheers

    Fin
    #8
  9. Ridemuch

    Ridemuch SUP

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    :lurk:lurk Waiting for the goods....:lurk:lurk
    #9
  10. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Back in Aug I packed up the '71 R50/5 bought over the internet three days earlier and headed off for a month on the road.

    Backing up a bit, buying it over the phone after seeing a few low rez pics went something like this:
    Me: "Does it hold oil pressure and shift okay?"
    Seller: "Sure, it holds oil pressure jes fine and it'll shift through all 4 gears."
    Me: "Good. I'll take it. How does my buddy find your place?"

    So began my first Cross Canada ride since '81 when I traversed the Dominion on my old '72 Moto-Guzzi 850 Eldorado. Hmmmn?

    I nearly decided to take the S2 Buell when my insurance company informed me they wouldn't transfer the policy from my GS/PD because the R50 was too old. Arrgh, another insurance policy! Alas, I wanted to make this trip liesurely on a calm, quiet "polite" bike, not the bellicose snarling red Buell. I ponied up. It was the right choice. If I'd taken the Buell I'd probably be sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial in a lovely little B.C. town near some awesome mountain road.


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  11. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    Keep it coming. Looks great. Did you come thru the Kootenays in SouthEast BC?
    #11
  12. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    First stop was near Owen Sound to meet Moosehead at Casa Roberto and head off to a little BMW rally in Trenton Ontario. I hadn't been to a BMW rally since th MOA National was held in Trenton in '02 where we organised the Airhead Central Rally Tent.

    Did I pass throught the Kootenays? Did I pass through the Kootenays?!?

    I'm currently plotting to sell everything I own and MOVE to the Kootenays!


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    I'm of two minds about this thread. You see, I'm more of a photographer than a writer so I'm tempted to just post pics and let them do the talking. But being of two minds I'm prolly gonna add little bits here and there to inform the pics with some thoughts and ideas from the road. Some of my friends say I'm only of half a mind. They're just jealous. :norton

    Like this field of straw near Collingwood. Sometimes I think I ride motorcycles just so I can go see and smell stuff like this. I'm always struck by the visual beauty of our world and seeing it from the seat of a motorcycle is one of the best visceral thrills I've found.


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  13. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

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    Awesome...:lurk
    #13
  14. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Took a ride with Moosehead and Carol from the rally site down into Prince Edward County. Dropped in to see Errol Weaver at Bench Mark Works (Canada) in Milford to get all new cables for the little Beemer that thought it could. Clutch, front brake a throttle cables were all in stock and I left a happy guy. Errol even gave me a complimentary Bench Mark Works coffee mug featuring a cool visual of a T-Rex riding a /2 BMW. Nice. :thumb

    While at Bench Mark Works everyone had to try a WWII era side car rig that was in the shop for some repair work. Carol pilots while Bob hangs onto pillion and Errol holds down the chair.

    Unfortunate historical baggage aside, that's a neat piece of gear. There was a lever on the tank that shifted a two speed axle into "Gelande" or low gear for "Overland" or off-road use. Or "Strasse" for high gear or "Street" use. How many of you knew BMW's heritage of G/S's (Gelande/Strasse) dated back to the Second World War? I didn't. :scratch


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    Heading back to Trenton the "scenic way" took us across the Bay of Quinte on a ferry from Glenora. It was to be the first of many ferry crossings on this auspicious trip. :norton

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    Back at the rally I met this fascinating fellow who'd built himself an ultralite aircraft powered by an R100 mill. The reduction drive was of his own design, too. This was a really nice piece of engineering. Had two wings he used depending on his flying opps. High and low speed. Very nicely sorted from what I saw. He offered me a ride if I looked him up in the fall. If I can get in touch with him I'm going to take him up on it! :thumb :thumb Anyone know who he is? I forgot to get his contact info!

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    Leaving Trenton I enjoyed a pleasant ride north and west on the smallest roads I could find, including a wildly rugged trail that crossed a creek bed before dumping me onto the next consession road north. Enjoying the "make it up as you go along" route I was reminded again of my preference for solitary travel or with a very few like minded fellows.

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    You ADV guys living in the area north of Trenton and Bellville have an awesome network of roads and trails to ride your dual sport bikes. I'm envious. The whole area was beautiful and quite unspoiled.

    Here's a view from the Ravenscliffe Road near Huntsville, Ontario. Talk about comedy noir. :norton

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    The wildlife can be varried and unpredictable.

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  15. kahoon

    kahoon who's yer daddy??

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    :clap:clap:clap

    :lurk
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  16. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Heading north form Burkes Falls I followed Hwy11 to New Liskeard before heading west on 65 to Elk Lake and 560 west through Gowganda, Shining Tree and Westree. 560 ends at 144 (which runs north and south between Sudbury and Timmins) where the Sulton Road, a gravel logging road, continues west to the town of, you guessed it - Sultan - where you rejoin pavement towards Chapleau.

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    The Sultan road is plenty wide, but be careful on a street bike: The gravel appears to be continually graded which keeps the surface soft and deep. Had a few tense moments in some of the deeper gravel in the curves, but made it through without incident. It'd probably be pretty exciting on a street bike in the rain! :D The views were limited to clear cuts and the occasional river but it was an interesting diversion from pavement travel for an hour or so.

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    Never pass a chance to take a cool picture of your motorcycle.

    Sultan, Ontario.

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    Was a little surprised to see this sign not far from Chapleau. I thought it might have been a little further north. Interestingly, it's only 150kms or so from Lake Superior at this point. :scratch

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    You know you're not in Kansas anymore...

    Near the now closed Hemlo gold mine just a few miles inland from Lake Superior's stunning northern shore.
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    A loaded logging truck strains to climb one of the many steep grades that head to higher ground from Superior's spectacular northern shoreline.
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    Forestry products are an important part of northern Ontario's economic survival. Lumber mills and pulp and paper mills often provide the primary livliehood in northern communities.

    This mill storage yard is in Fort Francis Ontario just accross from the Minnesota border.
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    It was 8C heading north from Sioux Narrows along the shoreline of Lake of the Woods.

    Man, I was missing the PD's hand guards and heated grips that morning.
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    Route wise, I planned to stay on minor roads, eschewing the Trans Canada wherever possible. So far I'd only followed the TCH from Wawa to Thunder Bay and again from Kenora to just across the Manitoba border. You really don't have a lot of choice between those two points.

    Once into Manitoba I headed south and west zig zagging across the lower part of the province following the most minor roads I could see on the map, many of them gravel. I ain't got no gps and I don't listen to no i-pod. :D Actually, I've owned an older gps for years and only ever found it useful as a speedometer and altimeter. I like maps. And I like to sing in my helmet. :D One of the things I do when traveling on my bike is allow signs and place names to trigger songs and tunes in my head. Stop and think about it and it's amazing how many popular tunes have place names and references in them.

    Not this one, though. This is just a gravel road, a wheat field and the big prarie sky somewhere near Morris, Manitoba.
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    I was really digging the praries with the big skies and seas of grain in every direction. :thumb :thumb
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  17. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

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    Excellent.
    #17
  18. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    I was encouraged to see the skies being harvested, too. Judging by the amount of wind I experienced on the praries, in the mountains and near lake shores all across this country I'm hopeful we'll see more and more of these clean energy producers in the future.

    You really notice the wind when you ride an R50/5. :D I was into day 5 of stiff headwinds since leaving Trenton and my "performance" was really suffering. :lol3

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    Can you tell how hard the wind is blowing in this gratuitous view of my motorcycle against the big blue prairie sky?

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    Some more views of those wonderful wind turbines.

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    Good on you, Manitoba. One of the answers IS blowing in the wind.

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    Can't remember the name of this sleepy little burb, but I thought it representative of the type in southern Manitoba with it's storefront lined main street and breezey open feel.
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    And a few words of warning: The biggest combines you've ever seen roll right through the middle of town in August.


    Combines like this beauty, here.
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    This is a cool story....

    I'm minding my own business standing on the side of the road taking pictures of this impressive machine when the guy stops, climbs down out of the behemoth and strolls over...
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    "Ever had a ride in a combine before?" he asked. "No. I've never ridden in a combine before." I said. "Come on, I'll show you what's it's like."
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    I gotta start writing stuff down, I forget the gentlemen's name but his family's been farming this land since his father settled here in 1946 when he was 2. Now he's a few years from retirement and his two sons are working the same land.

    Says these new machines are pretty slick and take most of the hard work out of farming. That's a joy stick in his right hand to control things like height and speed of the impliment, engine speed, wheel speed and etc.

    There wasn't any grain or straw dust in the cab either, unlike the air outside which was choking with a cloud of it.
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    Pretty slick rig.


    This thing chews through rows of wheat at an amazing rate. I think our speed was 3.5mph. That's pretty quick when you realise it's conveying all that wheat and straw (for you city slickers, the stem of the wheat is the straw and has no nutritional value and must be seperated from the kernels) into a drum where it's threshed and seperated with the kernels being moved to the storage hopper and all the straw blown out the back onto the field and into the air to create huge dust clouds that can be seen for miles.
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    The grain is then transfered to a semi trailer in the field. This can be done while the combine is still moving through the rows of mown wheat so as not to interupt production. 55 bushels/acre is what they expect to see off thier fields this summer.
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    I really gotta start writing stuff down, but I think this was around Belmount or St. Alphonse in southern Manitoba. If anyone sees this and knows the area or can identify the farmer, I'd sure appreciate it if you could let him know he made a Hamilton guy's day with his hospitality and good will.
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    I was singing an old Murray Maglauchlan tune for a while after that encounter.
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    Just north of that orange blob on the map is where I met the gent in the combine. Anyone know him? :dunno
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    Crops are pretty diversified across the praries. In fact I read some numbers in Saskatchewan that suggested wheat only accounted for $1.9B out of a total $20B of all farm produce direct income in the province.

    I found that number pretty surprising. I thought wheat was king. :scratch
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    Agricultural activity makes for an amazing aray of beautiful sights as you cross the country.

    While in Southern Ontario we bury some of the land's finest top soil under more and more housing subdivisions.
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    Somewhere in southern Saskatchewan I caught my first sight of an oil well.
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    After camping in provincial parks most of the way, in Lake Alma Saskatchewan I had my first night of hobo camping beside the town's public ice rink. I stopped beside the quanset building in an effort to get out of the incesant wind. After I'd pulled out my sleeping bag I met a farmer's wife and a curious local fellow who operated the cafe in the rink facility. After I promised I'd be gone in the morning before thier breakfast customers arrived they weren't too worried and said I was welcome to sleep in the grass beside the building. Very friendly people.

    It was a great night with the skies mostly clear so I didn't even bother with the tent. At one point I was awakened by a curious skunk that was sniffing around my exposed head. When he saw me stir we looked at each other for a moment before he waddled off into the night along the building's edge. It was pretty neat to see a skunk close up like that. :thumb :thumb

    It clouded up over night and the wind shifted direction. A couple of views in the first pink light of dawn.
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  19. RumRunner

    RumRunner Sit there, turn that

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    DW
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  20. Chubber

    Chubber I am the Brewmaster.

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    Let me put on my fuzzy socks, grab another coffee and wait for the next installment. Tops!
    #20