Honda 550x4 to Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by KeithTurk, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    817
    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    JT Nesbitt is an eclectic artist / industrial designer / writer and genuinely one of my friends... someone I trust to tell me what he really thinks.... and to have a clue how to do that.... simply a great personality...

    Here's his studio and our scooters in it..... JT designed the Wraith and HellCat when he worked at Confederate motorcycles and he has since done several really cool projects with cars and bikes.... here's just a smattering of some of his stuff....

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    These bikes are used for Josting and parade fun....

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    Of course I'm in a drunken stupor trying to ride this thing... whew....
    #21
  2. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    817
    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    remember that Drinking I promised???

    Well it started right here on our first night out... at Flannegan's pub... we ( read Keith ) got a nice buzz going.... ( which means they let me sniff the corks of two wine bottles and drink half a glass of Kool Aid )... Next thing you know I'm entertaining folks on the side walk... ( about that Beer )...

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    I'm sure you'll appreciate the fact that we got pictures at all... but the quality might in fact suffer as we continue our foray into the squallers at the bottom of the bottles..... ( read I got Shit Faced ).... and it gets worse....

    Can anyone guess where we are??? HELLO... we're in the freaking French quarter and I'm stone cold drunk.... I'm talking drunk like 14 mo fo's eating a Ham Sandwich Drunk..... and my "Friends" (I'll use that term loosely for a few minutes here )..... My Pal's .... well they see virtually NO reason for mercy on my brain dead ass...... so JT gets the boys together and they come up with the grand freaking scheme of taking me to a place called...... " THE RAW HIDE".... you can use your imagination cause there ain't going to be pictures.... trust me...

    So we saunter in....and I belly up to the bar and order a corona.... look around.... check out the Video and turn directly to Paul and mention that Maybe.... Just MAYBE the Video wasn't fit for human consumption.... ( read ... Oh hell no.... just know it sucked ).... then.... I find out one of our members who shall remain anonymous ( I'll just use Steve's Initials here )..... STEVE ends up hanging out on an opposite wall.... talking to this big HULKING DUDE name "big Dick Rick".... I'm not sure what they were alluding to... but Something told me that this Wasn't the place to argue semanticist's about Don't Ask Don't Tell.... and the guy who's initials are STEVE is over sitting on a long bench affectionately known as the MEAT rack..... Hmmmm ( I should mention that our hero's ... genuinely thought this whole experience served me right... and they were howling at my expense.... and in retrospect it really was hysterical for everyone involved... )( excuse me while I step out for some more BEER )

    Okay guys.... I've had way to much Beer at this point.... and it's not dulling the pain in my eyes... can we LEAVE here??? and maybe move on to the HARD liquor

    Wow finally some folks I can relate to....

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    and some Music.... little blurry.... but hey ....ain't no funny business here... [​IMG]
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    I know these are horrible pictures.... but frankly they are tons clearer then i was seeing that night...


    and Finally.... this was one of my favorites cause I can actually remember trying to talk this girl into helping Steve get his head back right.... I vaguely remember something about him being ruined for life and only a girl of her caliber could help him .... I also remember her laughing really hard and while having a really good time.... Turning Steve down virtually instantly.... Hmmm Bummer .... but there ya go...

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    #22
  3. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    I'm sorry in that last post I promised to never tell about what happened in the Raw hide... or anything else...... So lets just say I never said anything about it and you guys didn't hear his initials or anything like that.... ( can you tell i'm thinking it was Steve and JT that got me into this mess Ollie ? )
    #23
  4. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    817
    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    Next morning I virtually rebuild the family truckster... points, plugs, carb's, air cleaner, Fuel filters.... so on and so forth....

    We load up our junk and head out into the light of day at .... say 1pm... That's ever so slightly later I had in mind.... but hey....we're here and moving....

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    We're riding along a small causeway and again my POS bike starts acting up.. basically it just won't hold an RPM.. and I'm constantly having to play with the throttle to keep the motor happy and guess at what speed that's going to be.... usually between 60 and 65 but often at 55 or so.... .... it's just a constant battle...

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    Funny but I can't remember a thing about Dinner that day... hmmm must not have been that great

    The whole time I'm on the bike, I'm running my brain about it .... Vapor lock???? Vent issues maybe?...open the gas tank.... nahhh.... how bout boiling gas..... So on and so forth.... the battle continues.... as we ride deeper and deeper into Louisianna and now it's getting dark.... None of us are really crazy about riding at night so we start looking for a hotel.... and find a building that looks just like one....

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    Somewhere in this day we'd stopped and put new Fuel lines on... as well as several other attempts to fix the junk.... and coming into one intersection I caught Mark on Cafe ole' getting into some Serious Head shake.... he said it was okay but that it was a bit rough when stopping... He's getting into a virtual tank slapper every time he brings it down through 10mph....

    Amazing....
    #24
  5. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

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    I got up really early that next morning and decided it would be nice to work on someone's bike for once..... I took Cafe Ole' (#1 ) inside by the ice machine where there was light.... and started dis-assembling the steering head or triple tree.... I get down to the neck bearings and realized I could have tightened this junk with everything on.... ( once again paying zero attention to the tree's while focusing on the forest....)

    Yep they were loose... and a bit tighter and the bike feels Way better to ride.... and Mark was quite pleased it wasn't trying to pitch him off every time he came to a stop.

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    You'll notice though that most of the weight here is on the back of the scooter.... Mark is fairly light weight compared to the rest of us....and it's possible that contributed to the issue as much as the loading... You'll also notice Mark is the only one in a proper riding suit... Rain or shine he was ready for it all..the rest of us had to dawn our rain gear if that was going to be an issue....

    I shouldn't mention Rain... should I.... Hmmm
    #25
  6. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    2,844
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    :lurk

    Good stuff
    Jim
    #26
  7. dino2000

    dino2000 No Bad Daze

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
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    1,358
    Location:
    Sacramento,Ca.
    along for the ride..............
    #27
  8. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
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    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    The other quick note here is that all of the other bikes haven't missed a single beat.... they are just running like tops....

    Pauls "Big Easy" really got and earned it's name about this time.... I did a quick test ride on it, took Paul aside and told him NOT to let the other guys ride it .... they'd be Pissed they didn't pick it.... man that thing was EASY.... one of the throttle return spings wasn't on it... so the throttle was very light... and returned faithfully... but didn't require much effort to hold it at road speed.... Easy on the wrist it was.....

    On the right here...


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    K
    #28
  9. DavidQ

    DavidQ We Don't Rent Pigs

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
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    Brandon, MS / Lamar, AR
    Great report so far! :clap I'm looking forward to the next installment.
    #29
  10. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
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    817
    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    Y'all are thinking someone is Gonna end up "riding bitch" here aren't ya.... come on fess up... you just know it's coming, eh.... and I'm staking my mechanical reputation that it's "not" going to happen... ( I should know better .. knowing the outcome and all... but that's not the Point... ).... we have to let things unfold as they unfold....

    But we should talk about the plan for failure about now.... these bike are OLD and somewhat suspect mechanically... so what happens if we "toss a leg out of bed" as the Aussies would say... ( pitch a Rod out of side of the block...Window the Motor... ) .... We've all kind of bonded with our bikes... even if our bikes haven't really bonded with us.... Mine especially.... it's just being Pissy... kind of like a may pop... .... but ultimately it makes sense that Mark and I would create the least amount of weight on a single scooter or we could take my Valuable Fairing and tour pack and put it on one of the other scooters fairly easily... ( come on use your imagination here.... )( keep in mind the spares are on MY scooter )....

    Hmmmm Just thoughts to run through your brain while I'm fighting this POS motorcycle and kind of forcing it down the road... mile by Mile, day by day.... I just keep thinking about what we are going to do when it finally poops the bed...... that and I keep thinking about that stupid Ant and the rubber tree plant.... or that stupid Choo Choo.... and I think I can I think I can......

    I'm not riding bitch.... I know where the titles are.... Wait there aren't any titles on a couple of these... and the two that have titles are ... well wait... mine is one of them..... Shit... Shit Shit.... hmmm THIS POS is going to make it... that's all there is to it..... Reality be damned...

    So what the hell is wrong with it..... I've swapped out everything that it holds sacred.... Points Plugs, Jets Needles, fuel filters.... ( clean as a whistle but Hey.. something is causing it to loose that cylinder.... Hmmm)

    Keep thinking positive thoughts and quit calling it a POS.... it's your POS and Ride at this point.... so while being a PIECE OF Crap... oh never mind....

    Damn it man... this thing is Frustrating....

    K
    #30
    ragtoplvr likes this.
  11. MaineRunner

    MaineRunner Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Downeast, USA
    Nice bikes....I bought one just like them in 1980. It was my first bike. A buddy of mine in high school had a kz650 and I caught the riding bug. I rode it for 3 years untill I moved up to a GPz1100.

    Thanks for sharing the story,
    MaineRunner
    #31
  12. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

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    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    Okay so we wake up in the morning and we're somewhere just short of Texas.. I think, We have to climb a billy bad ass bridge to get over the Sabine river right at it's mouth in Lake Charles... I doubt there are any pictures of this as we're all holding on for dear life climbing this bridge and riding over this screwy ass Metal grating.... That goes on and ON.... and ON.... and the bikes are tracking in the grating and it's sucking a lot.... and some more and finally we're on the down side of it... And on to Texas....

    Interesting for me is the View from the back side of this bridge is a place I've been before.... years ago in my well spent Youth I hung out in this area of the world quite a bit.... and this exact location is a place where I experienced a weather phenomenon that I've only seen that one time.... it wasn't nasty or bad in any way... but it was actually just strange..... there is a wind condition defined as Beaufort 1, it's where the sea is Dead calm and the wind is less then 1.5 mph .... in other words The air is Perfectly still.......... I was flying a helicopter we affectionately called a fart cart... ( OH-58 Kiowa ) ( similar to a Bell jet ranger ) and coming into this area to pick up a Chaplin Who was out with some infantry pukes....

    Anyway.... basically I knew it was Beaufort 1 because the grunts had a fire for me to sight in by.... and the smoke went Straight in the air in a Perfect trail until it hits about 4000' and then it bent over 90 degrees and floated perfectly sideways in the winds at Altitude..... Very bitchen
    #32
  13. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
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    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    As we entered Texas we found a Honda Dealer and picked up a few things .... we'll call them expendable supplies.... ( read Spark Plugs ).... Mark also really wanted a throttle flapper hooker do thing.... basically it aids you in holding the throttle down.... in we go....

    The Honda guys were mildly amused with us.... they don't service anything over 10yrs old... so they had Nothing other then spark plugs.... and they Guaranteed I'd never buy a new Honda because if I really like it they won't service later on.... Fair enough.... they get to pick their policy.... I get to pick it apart....

    Freaking idiots....
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    You might also notice Steve's pose here...... basically when the weather got wet.... it took forever to suit up... He just liked being warm and dry and would sit there while we did whatever it was we were doing....
    #33
  14. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    Did I mention Rain...... oh hell yeah....

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    Funny thing starts happening here... my junk runs a bit better....not great but a bit better.... Hmmmm Must be the Condenser..... ( hell no there isn't any logic here... it's just my current theory..... Oh screw it... here's the condensor picture ) ( did I mention it's frustrating? )

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    #34
  15. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

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    It did rain on our heads and the bikes really did know it.... seems they like it just a tick colder...

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    #35
  16. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
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    Location:
    South east corner of lower Alabama
    We stopped a lot in the rain....seems our heads liked that.... mostly cause it is just miserable to ride a scooter without a windscreen in a driving rain storm..... ( or so I hear... cause my Junk.... well while it might not be the best runner.... it was disco bitchen in the Rain ) You might also notice that I had.. "Just" enough spare space for a Cooler in my trunk.... so I could keep a 12 pack of Diet Coke on Ice.... ( thus providing me cans as Ammo to pitch at the bitching members of our riding party )...... They would say something about my inablity to control the cans and how I littered all of East Texas.... Yeah Sure..... ahhh Huhhh

    http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc176/xpilot12/Mexico%20550%20trip/th_IMG_0135-1.jpg?t=1293067729

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    Actually if you pay strict attention you can see .... Yet Another set of spark plugs going in my junk.... Hmmm Hmmmm
    #36
  17. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Okay .... wait a Minute... Mark is from New York City.... and he's never seen a "WHATABURGER".... what else could we do???? Huh Huh.... yeppers... we stopped in and filled him up on good old fashioned GREASE.....

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    Here we have Paul, Steve and Mark...

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    I'm putting this at the bottom of this so most won't notice it... but you can see my seat on the ground... that's where I was checking the battery and engine grounds again...
    #37
  18. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

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    Seems like we'd stayed somewhere around Corpus Cristi that night.... but this day was going to be our actual arrival in MEXICO.... We're all Very eagar to see the Donkey's and Tequila.... and to meet a few sisters.... but since Paul and I are actually happily married.... ( as long as I stay away from E-bay ).... we decided to settle for a Beer and a bit of shopping.... Okay not really shopping... but Mexican Blanket purchasing....

    We'd been eyeballing Brownsville as our entry point... but several folks along the way said Progresso Mexico was a much easier crossing and very touristy this time of year.... ( read slightly smaller chance of getting shot )... We decided to stop in and check with the Tourist bureau... I know I know... Novel concept... but hey I'm from Alabama... you should expect such shit....

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    #38
  19. KeithTurk

    KeithTurk Been here awhile

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    MEXICO.... WE ALL MADE IT.... and Paul's not pointing here... he's practicing his best Disco Moves in anticipation of a Hot hour or so in Mexico...

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    #39
  20. rizzlesticks

    rizzlesticks disenfranchised

    Joined:
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    DC
    Glad I'm not late to this story! Great read so far...
    :lurk
    #40