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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BikerBobber, May 2, 2013.
Here I am. At the Syracuse Airport.
Its been a long run to get here and I'm only just beginning....
Let me back up a little...
" My name is Bob and I have an addiction...to motorbikes.."
This addiction has caused me to miss my daughters last two birthdays, cost me thousands of dollars, and, in no small way, is the root of the demise of my marriage.
Wow, I sound like an ass when I read that. Especially the part about my daughters birthday. Sorry Haley
Despite how bad I sound, most people seem to like me
I discovered my addiction at the late age of 41. 3 months after getting my learners permit and two weeks after getting my M2 (2nd level learners permit required to drive at night or major highways), I embarked on my first cycling adventure. My cousin and I completed the Trans Labrador Highway,a trip that covered 10 provinces & states and 5500km (1500km of gravel) in nine days.http://bobandmike10x10.blogspot.com/2010/09/sept-19.html?m=1
This was completed on my trusted 05 KLR650 "Shrek" after learning to ride on my first bike, a Yamaha XT 225. That KLR also served me well on the first two renditions of the Roaming Rally.
Man I love that bike. So why, last fall did I sell it...?
The obvious answer is .." Because it was time."
I wanted more...and less. More power, less weight. Besides, I sold it to the right guy. Someone with a more adventurous spirit than me.
Ride her like ya stole her Kahung!
Without a bike after mistakenly buying a 640 sm KTM , and promptly selling it ( Martin , who bought it, turned it into a show bike..beautiful) I thought about importing a 640 Adventure. After looking through the import rules however, I quickly realized the year model I would have to buy would be too expensive.
But I did find a BMW X challenge I could sorta afford.....so, after reading Walter Colbatchs thread, I bought it!
We're watching, Bob. Good Luck getting the new bike!
Mike mentioned you were buying a bike from down south and riding it home.
have a great trip!
Well after finally arriving in Atlanta,
via Charlotte NC, at 7:30 pm, and taking the MARTA train to Doraville station,
I finally meet Ev and her husband Manfred. An incredibly likable pair of displaced Germans.
It had been the months since I'd agreed to buy the bike from Ev. She had been great!
I'd only paid her half the value but she agreed to let me ship parts to her place and had even couriered the original title so that I could get US customs to start the export process. I'd even shipped my luggage ahead of time!
Now that I was finally there all they were worried about was getting me fed. They even paid...
After dinner it was off to their house to finally see the bike in person. While driving there I asked them how many bikes they had. They had to stop and think:what:
Then asked I'd I wanted the total to include just running bikes...
22 was the number they came up with. Thought they were pulling my leg till I got to there place and they opened the garage
And then their basement
They also collect base guitars
After all that it was time for bed.
Hi Jonny! Long time no see.: Was talking about your moto mule with the girl I bought the bike from.
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.Slept poorly in a strange bed but don't want to be rude and get up too early so I wait till 6:30, when I hear others stirring.
Enjoy a coffee with my hosts then its of to the garage to install the Hepco Becker racks and Ram mounts for my GPS and phone.
This takes much longer than I thought it would.
Finally take the bike for a short test ride at noon. Some issues with the gears. can't find neutral and it creeps in gear with the clutch pulled all the way.. But does it ever fly! Love it. Checked the play at the lever. Seems ok
Quick ride then back to Ev's for breakfast. then pack, quick pic and on the way.
One of Ev
My goal is Deals Gap. Home of The Tail of The Dragon. 318 corners in. 11 miles. Biker Nirvana!
The weather is not great. High gusting winds, with light rain.
I also manage to drive 15 miles on the wrong road...
I decide that riding The Dragon after dark, on an unfamiliar bike might not be smart thing..So I call it quits at the Best Western in Murphy Tennessee.
I had only managed 122 miles, or just shy of 200km. Glad I took Tuesday off as well!
Nice bike bobber, Btw looks like something crawled up and died on your seat.
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The bike might be suffering from this.
Didn't your mother ever tell you what to say when you have nothing good to say?
I'll save worrying until a fresh oil change and maybe a visit to Mr. Drift, if he's up to it...
When you're back to Ontario, check here to see how to change the speedo from mph to km/h
and other tips here:
Thanks! Already saw that thread (excellent BTW) and was going to look it up. At the border tomorrow . Hope there are no issues.....
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I love fly and rides.. Bought a 1100GS from a guy in LA a few years ago. Took three days to ride it back to St Louis.. I think the trip alone was worth the price of the bike!
I also love my XC, I haven't heard about many clutch issues..
Time for a update..
See day 2
After Skyping with my son & daughter in the evening I slept well, in contrast to the previous night. Up at 6:30, ready to go.
Can't say enough about the Best Western. Room was the cleanest I'd ever seen and breakfast was quite good.
After filling the body it was time to load up the bike...Its May 4, my birthday, and I'm heading for The Dragon!
Its dry as I pull out of the hotel parking lot but the weather looks ominous. Rain on the way and the wind is still there too.
I start the short ride north on hwy19 to hwy129 and the start of The Dragon.
For those who don't know, The Dragon is a section of HWY 129, running through the Smokey Mountains between North Carolina and Tennessee. It is 318 turns in 11 miles and is often touted as being one of the most dangerous roads in the world. In my opinion its not the road that is dangerous, but the drivers.
I was told it was highly over rated. After having done it , I don't agree. If you are going to do it I would suggest being there early in the morning as I think the traffic would be a bitch.
On the way there I saw my first real opossum...dead on the road...
I arrived there early and, as I was going by the Deals Gap store,I pulled over to let a car by. Still having issues with my clutch, I gave the throttle a little blip and popped the clutch out, into what I thought was second. Well holy Shit! It was first gear and I'm doing a wheely! Right in front of all the Harley dudes parked at the store. Tried to make it look like I ment to do that...note to self..change underwear!
There are several companies that are set up on corners to take your pics.
Its a cool concept to get a picture of yourself riding the turns while solo riding :
Traffic was no too bad heading west (my direction) but there was about 20 mini Coopers in a row, heading east. I took it really easy and let one car by me.
After the Dragon I missed my turn for the Foothills Parkway, by 17 mi:what: probably added 40 mi to my day as I had driven further west and took a less direct, though probably faster, route to Gatlinburg. A classic tourist trap.
It was at this point I was stuck with the realization of how similar all the larger towns and cities looked. All had the same MC Donalds, Home Depot, Walmart etc. Corporate America has wrecked much of the differences that would have existed 50 yrs ago. How sad.
Since I work for Costco I'll stop there...
It was here that I hoped on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I am convinced this would have been the highlight of the trip IF mother nature had not caught up with me ghead:. The rain and high winds were back a well as fog (cloud) at higher elevations. Not a confidence inspiring mix on a new to me dual sport bike with 1000ft drops of the side of the road....
The weather finally drove me off the parkway shortly after Cherokee.
I headed for I81 & super slabbed it to Bristol.
First motel I saw was The Budget Inn. $40/night. What a deal, or so I thought. Should I be scared to take my boots off in a hotel room?
Headboard fell off and showed how dirty the walls were. Heater burns on the sheets, pillows and tub. Hole in bathroom wall etc. I'm out here! After a small confrontation I got my money back and headed to the Motel 6.
Finished with a 356mi day. Still behind on a schedule that I thought would be easy to obtain...
Gonna have to make up some miles tomorrow..
We have pics from that same spot a few years ago.
Its a beauty isn't it!
Btw, like you're avatar...:
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