Day Trippin' with Deano

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Deano955, May 23, 2012.

  1. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    Reddog,

    MI may still be crappy around D-town but she's pretty fine near Sleeping Bear...

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    Made a trip out w/ my boys a couple of weeks ago. Just as beautiful as I remember....
    #61
  2. Reddog*

    Reddog* "Gone" by P&1/2

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    :wink: I showed knybanjo some of the area on a little trip through there about two weeks ago. Then up and along the edge of the Big lake on his way Mn.

    Glad to hear you had a good time with your boys.
    #62
  3. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    I must be doing something right. After several years of dreaming about it, 2012 has been a stellar year of motorcycle trips for me. First to Arizona to visit my dad then second to California to visit my friend Kevin Duke and test 5 Grande Adventure Touring Bikes: The BMW R 1200 GS, KTM 990 Adventure, Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX, Triumph Tiger Explorer, and the Yamaha Super Tenere.

    This Adventure began one day with a phone call. It was short notice, I almost declined Kevin’s invitation to come out and test the bikes on a ride from southern California to Monterey. Icing on the cake was attending the Moto GP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I’d only been to a few Superbike races years ago and although I’m not a huge race fan, this type of experience was one that sounded unique. And so it was.

    Our ride to Monterey dished up every kind of moto-cuisine that California has to offer. From cool coastal breezes to scorched rolling desert, high alpine excursions to lane splitting the 405. The word “exciting” doesn’t quite do justice. It was a friggen rush! This trip will go down in the record books as one of my best ever. Thank you so much Kevin.

    My personal evaluation system for motorcycles might be a little different from most, might not. First thing that attracts me is how a bike looks. I’m a designer, an architect, an artist, this is the number one criteria for me when shopping motorcycles. I’m also a motorcycling enthusiast. I want and need bikes that look great, go fast, stop fast, handle the twisties really well and because of my dwindling amount of free time, and advanced age, must be all day comfortable. No small requirements. I expect a lot for my hard earned money. The motorcycles in this bunch are Adventure Touring bikes. To me, that implies epic rides with long seat time across multiple surfaces. Motorcycles need to be able to accommodate me, thrill me, and look great while doing so. Which one is my favorite? Read on...

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    #63
  4. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    For this trip we had the pleasure of riding 5, liter plus sized Adv. PIG's. The bike that started it all, the BMW GS (2012 1200 with extras), The big contender, KTM 990 Adventure, and relative newcomers, the Moto-Guzzi Stelvio NTX, Yamaha Super Tenere, and Triumph Tiger Explorer.

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    #64
  5. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    All details finally nearly finalized, I flew out to John Wayne airport. 50 pound bag of gear checked and paid for, I was really stoked to be picked up the night before our departure. Kevin and his lovely family put me up at their place not far away. The coastal breezes were wonderful, his girls were wonderful, I was asleep on his patio not long after...

    Kevin and I had the BMW and Moto Guzzi to choose from for the trip to Monterey. He had already set up the Beemer, I gladly took the Guzzi. It's a quirky bike at best. Loads of Character. Early the next morning we set out on our adventure. Let me tell you, lane splitting the 405 on a loaded up Moto Guzzi is perhaps the biggest Adventure of the whole trip. This Colorado boy aint quite used to that kind of adventure. But, I loved every minute of it.

    A few photos from our ride up from L.A. to Monterey:

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    #65
  6. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    All five of us made it up to Big Sur without incident. After refueling one of the guys couldn't quite reach the ground at a stop light while on the Tiger. :cry First casualty...

    3 of us picked him and the fully loaded Explorer up, assessed the damage (which was considerable) and motored on up Route 1. Toyota Priuses and Winnebago's aside, this is one of the greatest motorcycle roads I've ever been on. All of us had a great time making our way north along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Well, maybe not all of us... Troy got himself a bit of a Performance Award while on the KTM. :deal
    #66
  7. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    We eventually made it oi Monterey. And, if there is another place on Earth that I would like to live in, outside of Colorado, it would be there. Or maybe Carmel? Beautiful doesn't even come close...

    We arrived in Monterey Friday evening. The guys at Motorcycle.com had a lot to do Saturday; covering the Moto-G.P. and all. As the Outsider, I had the pleasure of taking a day trip on one of the bikes while the other 4 guys worked. Which bike did I select?

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    #67
  8. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    The Guzzi is the “character” bike of the group. From the styling to the engine, it has the most character out of this bunch and that’s a good thing because it’s not exceptional at anything. But it is pretty good at everything. All of that Italian charm and character makes up for its shortcomings.


    I chose the Guzzi out of the bunch because of its cruiser/ sport-touring/ tractor character. I cruised down Route 1 to Carmel to see the Walker Residence by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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    The more popular view:
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    I spent an hour walking around the house and could've spent the day. I'm a first class F.L.L.W. geek. I admit it. He's the reason I'm in the profession I'm in...

    The Master.

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    Barely satisfied with my Wright fix, I headed south along Route 1. Kevin suggested I stop and check out one of his favorite places, Nepenthe. It was worth the time to be sure. Incredible coastal views, great food and drink, very eclectic mixture of people. Nice.

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    While talking with a woman from Germany, we were amused by the birds that casually swept down to our counter and deftly swiped our french fries.

    Belly full, I toured the coast south to Naciemento Rd.

    After scraping the center stand on the Guzzi numerous times while winding up Naciemento Rd. I tractored over some of the forest roads.

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    While on my way up Naciemento I came across a large man walking with a rear wheel. I stopped to ask if he would like a ride. He told me how he had ridden his KLR from San Simeon (Hearst Castle) to Naciemento and got a flat tire near the paved/ unpaved intersection. Someone kindly drove him to Monterey to fix his flat. He also got a ride back to Naciemento. "I'm 300 pounds man. You don't want me on the back of your bike with this wheel. Thanks but I'll wait for someone with a truck or something" he replied. He also told me about his trip from Hearst, where he came out, etc. Sounded like a perfect place to test the Guzzi's prowess...

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    I quickly found the one-wheeled KLR...


    Through sand, over ruts and rocks along the forest road the Guzzi was surprisingly stable. The high torque and easy clutch operation made riding this big heavy bike off pavement much easier than I expected. And yes, that's my Wolfman Explorer Light on the Guzzi. Would'nt go on a trip without it...

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    At the end of the day, I was very happy with my selection. The Guzzi was very comfortable and its cruiser character encouraged me to stop often and enjoy the scenery around me. I never felt like I needed to push the bike to its limits of performance like on the Triumph or KTM. Instead, I felt free to take it easy and enjoy my time alone. In the words of a good friend, who introduced me to Kevin Duke, “I don’t need no two bit floozie, all I need is a Moto Guzzi”!
    #68
  9. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    Like I said, I'm not a huge race fan. That said, what a great time!

    After some serious work, Kevin got me a pass to the event. :clap

    We arrived early, under the coastal mist.

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    #69
  10. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    Second lap of the Moto-GP:

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    Electric Bikes are showing some promise. You don't hear them, you see them...

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    Eye Candy

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    #70
  11. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    After a great race day, a great riding day. Up into the Sierras for some fun and serious testing of the bikes.

    Professional Moto-Journalists:

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    The test bikes once again:

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    My favorite is the Orange one. I'll post a link to the motorcycle.com story when it finally comes out.

    Cheers!
    #71
  12. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    #72
  13. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    Good job, Dean!

    While you were doing this in August/Sept, Jeanne and I took the Stelvio on a 5,200 mile road trip. I forgot all about this thread until I ran across it last night.

    You were in my old neck of the woods (born in Carmel, lived in Monterey/Pacific Grove growing up)....and I have been riding back there every year since the early 90's for AMA and WSBK dates, then MotoGP for a few years.

    Loved the bit going up Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd...that's a great road, perfectly suited for the big adventure bikes.

    Let's hook up for a ride soon :nod
    #73
  14. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    Thanks Blake! Yes, lets go before the snow flies.

    I really love your old neck of the woods. Beautiful. We stayed in Monterey Friday and Saturday nights, would love to go back.
    #74
  15. Hair

    Hair Outside the boxer

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    Great writeup Dean. The photos were awesome.
    #75
  16. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    Thanks Tim. Hoping to get one or two more adventures in before the snow flies...
    #76