HBN Boondocking the Nation: 16 Days, 8300mi, 1 Motel

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by HBN, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. NeilW

    NeilW 2-up Adventure Touring

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    Thank you for the engrossing ride report. As a rider of a 650 V-Strom and a small dual-sport, and reading more and more ride reports, I'm beginning to sense a pattern of the kinds of trips that appeal to me. Yours was one of those kinds, as road trips go. Your ride seemed ambitious and unstructured at the same time, an odd mix that left me with a tingly feeling. You pictures conveyed a good sense of being there.

    Well done sir, carry on.
    #61
  2. MarkNC

    MarkNC Now Unchained

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    Finally got a chance to finish reading your rr. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us it was amazing! Its exactly the kind of trip I can only dream of making some day.
    #62
  3. HAULINDAVE

    HAULINDAVE Adventure Rider

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    Great ride and report , Mike . I'm still reading it , but had a question? . I see you have a 2001 R1150GS too . I was wondering why you road the Wee Strom over the Beemer and how you would compare them ?

    Dave
    #63
  4. Holden

    Holden Long timer

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    Awesome ride report!!!

    4 stars!:thumb :thumb :thumb :thumb
    #64
  5. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    Thank you for all the kind comments.

    I just recently purchased the GS (last weekend) to finally take the BMW plunge again (sold my RS)

    I absoloutely love my Strom and have such a close bond with it. There were times on this trip that I would have much rather had the Strom in tricky spots with crazy wind than the GS. My only complaint with the vstrom is the chain drive. I would lube it often and adjust as necessary but when riding 1000mi days in the rain and dirt, it really becomes just one more thing for me to bother with. I was never at a loss for power (except above 10k) but the GS has always been my dream bike.

    Enter now to buy my Strom from this trip. Shameless plug in FM below :augie
    #65
  6. HBr

    HBr Flirting w/Martini's law

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    Great report, and very nice pictures. Funny thing is, I did nearly the same path through Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Utah during the same couple of weeks also on a Strom. It was like reading a narrative of my own trip! Difference is that you actually took the time to write it up, thanks! Too bad we didn't cross paths, I would have enjoyed sharing a beer with you.
    #66
  7. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    Your narrative below could have been something I wrote (except I've been riding the GS for about a year now). The difference is, I've been unable to part with my Strom. It does everything I ask of it very well. I'm certain you'll find as I have, that in many if not all respects with the exception of the often chain maintenance, it's actually a more friendly bike to ride than the Beemer. There will come a time Mike when you'll be off road with the GS and find yourself wishing you were on the 100+lbs lighter Strom instead I hate to say.:wink:
    Paul

    #67
  8. TheYeti

    TheYeti Hard to be Humble

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    Nice write up Itook a trip similar to yours. Through Co,Utah,I did a loop through AZ and Utah came home on US50. Your trip brought back lots of fond memories. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.:freaky
    #68
  9. dhillr

    dhillr Long timer

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    Great pics & writting...as always. :clap

    I'm so ready for a longer trip.... Need to just take the next two weeks off and go! :thumb Wonder how long it would take for them to notice I'm gone. :ricky
    #69
  10. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Don't know how I missed this ride report till today, but, read the whole thing this morning. Great pictures of some great country. Thanks for all the work of sharing your journey and pictures with us.
    Tip, next time you're in some long, boring country. Stay off the Slab and do the back roads and little towns. So much more to see and occupy your time with. I also try my best to hit the tourist traps at opening time in the early morning and avoid much of the crowds and having lots to myself till they wake up and get there.
    Have not had a Wee Storm , but did a quick Calif round trip on a DL1000 I had for 14 months and 18000 miles. Had an engine stumble that sucked at times in low speed situations that I never had on my 3 BMW's before and have not had on my present 1250S Bandit.
    Again , Thanks for the ride report.
    #70
  11. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

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    I must disagree, (although my strom was a DL1000) it had more power than my GS but never felt right off pavement. My GS feels like a big dual sport, lots of suspension and the boxer keeps the weight down low. I have long legs, and I could see how a GS would seem awkward without them.

    Mine had the same problem, sold it a 30,000 miles. My GS has 40,000 miles without a single hiccup. And I've never oiled the chain once!
    #71
  12. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    My GS w/over 47k now, no issues either and I maintain religiously.

    We're hijacking Mike's thread but then there's the matter of drive shaft splines and final drive bearings, things that upon failure, an expense, inconvenience and headache of monumental proportions if you are not close to home. One only need peruse through the GSpot for frequent testimonies to see.:huh Such travails one never reads of w/chain & sprocket set-ups. I'm inclined towards the Weestrom for my cross country this spring for that reason.

    Did BMW design their latest excellent creations with shaft drives? There's a message here.:deal

    PS. the 'lil wee (650) never stumbles, never complains, just constantly over-achieves.
    #72
  13. badguy

    badguy Susan

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    Just finished reading this...better late than never, right? :lol3

    Great stuff Mike :super
    #73
  14. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    Great Report!!!! :clap I read some at the start of it but lost it until tonight. Read the whole thing again.....

    I was in many of the same areas myself this year, very interesting to see it from another perspective. Also, I notice that you took a hammock & tent. I am thinking of adding a hammock to my camping kit for next summer for use in places where I can hang it...I did notice that you didn't use it a lot...wouldn't have liked that to be the only shelter I had.

    Thanks again for the RR. Very well written & tons of great pictures. Another failing of mine, I take the camera but not too many pictures.
    #74
  15. Ol_Prof

    Ol_Prof Retired and doing it out there

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    I'm a noob on this forum - and several others, since I've only owned a '10 DL650A since September. My adventures are just beginning! :drums

    It's been a real pleasure reading your RR
    HBN!I was immensely impressed with your photographic and literary talent. Thoroughly enjoyable. :bow

    May I ask what type of camera you used in capturing such amazingly crisp and chromatically rich pictures - often while moving at 60 mph +. I have had little luck myself in capturing blur-free shots on the move. And, I am curious about your camera mounting system - a movable snaky thingy attached above your dash. Is that how you were able to take shots to the rear also? Or, did you have a separate setup behind you? All of which begs the question "how did you command/execute the shots with both hands, presumably, on the handlebars"? :scratch

    Curious in Canada. :lurk

    #75
  16. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    Thanks for the kind words. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the nation, albeit in such a short amount of time.

    My main camera was a Kodak M893 no-frills Point/Shoot which has taken so much abuse, it is a wonder it still works. I keep it on a lanyard around my neck zipped into the front chest pocket of my Aerostich Roadcrafter. All of my moving shots were taken with the Kodak by using my left hand to pull it out, turn it on - point and shoot (including over the shoulder shots). It takes a while to get used to it but I can get it out and shooting in mere seconds now.

    For many of my stopped shots, I used by HTC Droid Incredible smart phone which allows for some built in contrast/image improvement and on-the-go photo updates for friends back home.

    Best of luck in your future travels and get some one-handed photo practice if you feel daring. It makes for excellent computer backgrounds :1drink
    #76
  17. Ol_Prof

    Ol_Prof Retired and doing it out there

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    Well, I wouldn't have thought that a Point-and-Shoot camera could have done all that, let alone your smart phone! :huh
    I too have a Kodak P&S camera (v1253) but it's slow to boot-up and focus. But, I take it with me on rides for when I'm stopped or pulled over. I also have a Canon Xti DSLR which is very much up to taking great shots in rapid succession, but it's bulky. I haven't taken it on rides for fear that it might be subject to too much jostling and vibration (even in my tank bag). I certainly wouldn't want to try using it "on the fly". :waysad
    Once I get more comfortable with the bike I'll give it a try with my P&S camera. Or, I can try to rig up some kind of swivel mount for it (or a Go Pro) so it won't be too much of a chore (to get those good shots on the move). Then there is always the "helmet cam" approach which I will probably try in the future.
    Thanks HBN for your quick and candid reply. I wish you happy trails on your GS! :jive
    #77
  18. Strave19

    Strave19 n00b savant

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    Great Report! Really enjoyed reading it.

    I've seen a lot of the places you went through, From CA through Idaho and MT to the midwest. I grew up in Red Lodge, at the bottom of the Beartooth Pass but have not been back there in a while now. Makes me miss it! Also went to wall drug, rushmore, and the Corn Palace as a kid!

    I really want to take a big ride throughout the west (I'm in WA now), I just have to make sure my old (Only) bike ('78 kz650) is up for it. A great bike, but still recovering from a couple decades of neglect from the PO's before I got it...

    Anyway, Thanks for the great read!
    #78
  19. doublen

    doublen Been here awhile

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    Idaho
    Great ride report, and fantastic photography. One of the best RR's I've read through. :freaky
    #79
  20. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    Thank you very much for your kind words. I aim to ride some more this upcoming spring and summer with a female photographer to help liven up the story :freaky

    I realized there is a section (where I rode up Mt. Evans) missing from the report. I'll have to see if I saved it elsewhere.
    #80