Go West Old Man 2012

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by scarysharkface, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    If not for the kindness of strangers, I wouldn't be posting this from Missoula, Montana...

    150 miles into a brand spankin' new Dunlop D606. I'll never put one of these on the KLR again..

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    But what the hey.. I kept riding..

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    Pics and stuff to follow as time allows. I'm still on the road at the moment..

    John
    #1
  2. Snirt-MT

    Snirt-MT Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Zootown
    WTF is going on with that tire? I've got one on my KLR and have good luck so far with it at 1000 miles. Anyway, I'm in Missoula if you need help.
    #2
  3. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Thanks, but all has been well for a few days now. Sporting a new Kenda now. :)

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
    #3
  4. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    So I've got two weeks, Saturday to Sunday inclusive, off work and am meeting a friend Sunday night (9/2) at the KOA in Cortez, Colorado. Prior to my departure early Saturday morning from West-Central Indiana I've got a gig at a blues club in Bloomington, Indiana, with Dicky James and The Blue Flames. I could really stand to leave Friday night and maybe dodge some of the remnants of Hurricane Isaac as I head West, but that's not gonna happen. I make an executive decision to, *sigh*, haul the bike to my sister's place in Abilene, Kansas, and ride from there. It's a good plan and at my age I don't have much to prove to anybody and will happily begin the trip dry.

    It's a bit disconcerting to look in the mirror and see this.

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    I get to her place and we have a good late lunch together.

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    I go to work swapping out my front tire (I did the rear Friday instead of eating lunch) and now have a fresh set of D606 shoes. I beat feet to Wakeeny, Kansas, to meet this guy..

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    John
    #4
  5. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Sunday morning I wake up, pack the bike and notice this..

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    All of this after a whopping ~150 miles of I-70. :huh

    I figure I'll keep an eye on it and keep riding..

    Somewhere in Western Kansas..

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    Boy, do I love my Nolan helmet! (foreshadowing)

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    There's something about a train with a string of coal hoppers on the Great Plains that I find very cool..

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    John
    #5
  6. ThumperStorm

    ThumperStorm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    St. Cloud, Minnesota
    Very nice pictures. Love the colors. +1 on mid-western trains.
    #6
  7. Truck115

    Truck115 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    Pontiac Illinois
    NIce pictures John. Looking forward to a great report. Thats crazy about that tire. :huh It's good you got it switched out.
    #7
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,872
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Hi John! Had a 606 get hot on my KLR at highway speeds and do something similar in the past. Looking forward to more!
    #8
  9. siyeh

    siyeh Lawn Nazi

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,713
    Location:
    Evansville, WI
    Great start keep it up :clap
    #9
  10. Rapid_Roy

    Rapid_Roy finally understands

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    26,681
    Location:
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    :wave


    :lurk
    #10
  11. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    I make it to Pueblo and the rear looks like this:

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    The front, with the same mileage, looks new (because it is):

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    I need food and hit the quickest place I see for a filet-o-fish. I walk out of the restaurant to see a pre-teen run away from the bike as his friend across the parking lot is yelling something, most likely a warning that I'm coming outside. I ride away and the shifter feels distinctly vague and unright. Looks like junior used it for a footpeg and broke it. On a Sunday in the middle of Labor Day weekend.

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    Thus far, the trip is not the stuff of fantasy but it's okay. These are just a couple of burbles.

    I post a troll for some assistance in the Rockies regional forum and get to slapping some Water Weld (similar to JB Weld) on it..

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    John
    #11
  12. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Before not very long, wzd1a shoots me an offer of a free shifter if I'm willing and able to make it to his place up the highway a bit. I figure I'll give it a shot and hit the road. I'm *very* gentle shifting gears and spend quite a bit of time in 2nd enroute to I-25. Once on the Interstate I realize I needed to stop for fuel, so of course I tempt fate by exiting and shifting. It all goes swimmingly though, and soon enough the free shifter awaits just over the next hill (literally). I stop to check my directions and the bike goes completely dead. Completely. Nothing. WTF?

    And then I notice that weather's rolling-in. Brilliant.

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    I call my wife and tell her to come get me. She suggests I call my very-actually-nearby shifter source and relate my predicament. I tell her there's no way I'm going to inflict myself upon him like this. He's expecting a guy to ride up and leave with a shift lever, not a guy almost getting there but needing a ride and some troubleshooting and who knows what else and then a gifted shift lever. I give-in and call. Zack drives over the hill to get me. Lightning strikes just up the hill and we load the bike (with the help of a passer-by) into his truck in a driving rain. *sigh*

    Zack gets me sorted (the battery chose that time and place to "let go" so I bought a new one) and the shifter installed and off I go into the Colorado night. Passing motel after motel, the decision is made to stop at the next one. Some miles later, and by now way up into the mountains on I-70, I pull off to check the phone for options. The chin-bar of my Nolan helmet comes off in my hand. I manage to get it to close again and eventually find a place to end today's excitement, just across the street from a McDonalds..

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    John
    #12
  13. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    What a difference a day makes.

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    Breakfast and a couple of passes later..

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    A great day for riding..

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    Last night I was scheduled to meet my friend Neil in Cortez. I didn't make it, so today we're hoping to rendezvous in Grand Junction. I'm a bit ahead of schedule, so I try to grab a quick power-nap just East of town.

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    The nap doesn't happen (too much caffeine, and I'm excited about the trip) so on into town it is. We meet, strategerize a bit and head for the Colorado National Monument just outside of Fruita to setup camp...

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    John
    #13
  14. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    I had a gig Friday night in Bloomington (Hoosier territory) with Dicky James and The Blue Flames, and consequently everything up to now had felt a bit rushed. My last minute prep-time was squandered playing music. I suppose there are worse ways to spend a Friday evening..

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    Anyway, it felt good to be out West, on the KLR and with only a short-list ahead of me. I needed to replace that rear tire and pickup a helmet in the morning, and surely Grand Junction is as good a place as any to find what I need in-stock somewhere after a long holiday weekend..

    John
    #14
  15. ThumperStorm

    ThumperStorm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    St. Cloud, Minnesota
    What kind of instrument are you playing? I only count 5 strings but it looks like a guitar? Is it some kind of banjo?
    #15
  16. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    :lol3

    Lakland 5-string fretless bass guitar. I find the extra string and lack of frets give me more opportunities to screw up. :deal

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    John
    #16
  17. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Once camp is setup in the Colorado National Monument, Neil and I go for a ride down the Rim Rock Drive. Almost immediately Neil has a close call with a bighorn sheep as it lunges across the road less that 10 feet in front of him. So there is a little trepidation, added-to by my still riding on a back tire that's disintegrating, so it's a fairly gentle ride. The scenery is incredible. It's a nice ride and plenty twisty.

    Link to the official National Park Service map:

    http://www.nps.gov/colm/planyourvisit/upload/COLM_Map.pdf

    After twenty or so miles we reverse course and explore around camp..

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    It's a restful night, but the moon is killer-bright and so I end up sleeping with my jacket over my face.

    John
    #17
  18. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
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    Did I mention that the campground has flush toilets and running water?

    We packed camp, brushed teeths and headed into town for some doin's. Neil's GS make making what seemed to him to be an odd sound when he accelerated and I needed to get a new helmet and rear tire if possible, so while he headed for the nice BMW/KTM/Harley shop near the Interstate I made the circuit of Japanese bike dealerships along the river..

    All-Terrain Motor Sports had the helmet I was after (Fly Trekker) and Motorcycle Accessories was running a special on tires if they mounted them. So I ended up with one of these..

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    A quick Subway for lunch and we headed toward John Brown Road (If memory serves) to ride some gravel to Moab..

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    Don't see too many of these anymore..

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    The road we just came up is down there somewhere..

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    This picture is level. Getting the KLR back upright was a chore and I think I bent the kickstand mount. Neil had some big fun as well..

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    Eventually canyon gave way to this..

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    The riding was very good..

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    John
    #18
  19. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Over the hump and dropping down the West side into the Moab area, Neil demonstrates the lengths he will go in motocross boots to frame a shot..

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    I stayed down on the road. I'm old. And lazy.

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    Speaking of lazy, I took far more pictures with my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy S3) on this trip than with the DSLR. Neil had a Lumix camera on a lanyard around his neck, and probably that's the real answer for most of it..

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    So if it seems that the picture quality is inconsistent, that's why..

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    Once into town, we booked a room and took the shanks-pony to Paradox Pizza just South of downtown..

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    I *highly* recommend the place.

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    John
    #19
  20. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,424
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Morning comes and while Neil issues warnings that he's a slow starter I note that the right side of my bike is covered with fork oil. He can delay all he likes but I dare him to match my ability to derail progress. Luckily Arrowhead Motorsports is just down the way a bit and Fred Hink gets me fixed right up..

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    The right side fork tube is practically dry. The left side tube is fine and full, but the bushings are shot so those get replaced as well on both sides.

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    A couple of New Zealanders are performing maintenance on a lovely pair of KTM 990's, and we have a nice chat. They're riding the TAT on bikes they just bought in California..

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    Being in a country where one uses the wrong side of the road calls for visual reminders wherever you can put them..

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    John
    #20