Long Island to Vegas and back...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by chopped58, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    It all started with an invite by my friend Charlie's father-in-law, for us to fly out to Phoenix, borrow two of his bikes, and ride with him to Vegas for the Bikefest. It morphed into Charlie and I riding west, seeing some sites, staying in Mesa Az with our families for a few days, and continuing on to Vegas. The plan was for Charlie and I to ride to Pikes Peak, continue on 50 west across Colorado to Moab, visit Arches, Bryce, and Zion National Parks, and continue on to Mesa, where our wives and kids flew to, and would be waiting. We would spend a few days in Mesa, then continue to Vegas, and ride home from there.

    We planned to do a SS1000 to St. Louis on the first day, we could knock out some miles, and Charlie wanted to test himself, and hopefully get a certification. With the exception of either of us being able to sleep before the trip, the Saddle Sore went well, as we made our way to STL.

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    Charlie's bike....

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    Riding through a tunnel in Pa.

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    West By doG Virginia...


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    Charlie and his Harley...


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    Somewhere along the way we both felt a bit tired, so we pulled off and napped behind a Burger King. We both felt refreshed afterwards and rode on.
    We made it to St. Louis as it got dark, and started raining. As we found a motel off of I-70, I realized my headlight was out...I have auxiliary lights, so it wasn't a big deal, and i would look at it in the morning.

    Little did I know, my blown headlight would prove to be a bit more complicated....:eek1

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    Mileage Day 1
    #1
  2. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    As we woke after sleeping like rocks, I went out to check out the headlight issue on my bike. The weather was crappy, but I wanted to fix the light before we moved on..


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    Coincedently, I mentioned to Charlie the night before that there seemed to be a bit more vibration in my bike between certain rpm's, and that it was very difficult to find him in my mirrors. I could see lights, but could not determine if they were friend or foe. I went outside, uncovered the bike and checked the fuse, and it was blown, but why? He pulled the bulb for me and we saw that the filament was shorted together. Hmmm...Charlie looked futher and noticed my front motor mount (isolator) was bad...the rubber inside the mount was bad, and the motor was sitting on the mount. That would explain the extra vibes, and why the headlight filaments shorted.....


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    And so begins the parts hunt in Missouri...I found a Buell (Harley) dealer in Kansas City (Gail's I believe) who's parts guy (who's name escapes me) was very helpfull. I explained my problem, and told him where we were going, so he checked the availability in every dealer in our route......to no avail....he explained that if I wanted the part, he could overnight it and get it delivered to the dealer by noon tommorow, but he needed to know soon if thats the way I wanted to go. I told him that I had hoped to be further west, and that I would get back to him....I found a dealer in Hays Kansas (Doerfler's) who could also have the part overnighted, and have it there by noon the next day if I ordered now.....done deal! Paid over the phone, packed up, and figured I'd limp the bike the 500 miles from STL to Hays Kansas. I figured instead of losing a day waiting for a part, we'd move west, and make the best of the situation...We had to ride through Kansas City, and after having read a thread in JoMomma on the Country's best BBQ, I HAD to stop at a place called Arthur Bryant's....

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    um....I cannot express to you through this thread, or these pictures, how good this pulled pork was............


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    DAMN! That was good...we continued west to Hays...here's some pics..



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    Eastern Kansas was beautiful....to be honest, I didn't know what to expect while riding through Kansas, but it was awesome! We arrived in Hays about nightfall...grabbed a room, ate, had a few beers, and slept.
    The next day we woke up and stopped in to check on the dealer. The man I spoke to was named B.J., and he said the mount would be in by 10:00am. Fantastic! Gave us a chance to grab some breakfast, get a new bulb at an auto-parts place, and get back with time to spare.

    Afer running our errands, we pulled up to Doerfler's HD. The part had arrived, and B.J. had it ready for us. I asked if it was ok to work on the bike in the lot, and was told no problem.
    What we had to do was lift the motor, remove the broken mount, replace the mount, and hope it all lines up properly. This first attempt failed when the strap broke....


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    Grabbed a better strap, wrapped it around the muffler, tightened it up, and it lifted the motor right up! Replaced the broken mount and the blown headlight, and all was well again!


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    Tommorow to Colorado Springs....
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Nice ride.. nice to have so many HD dealers when you need a part :thumb

    :lurk
    #3
  4. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    After replacing the mount, and my bulb, we rode west towards Colorado Springs. We were to ride I-70 to Limon Colorado, then head south west on 24. We cruised west to 24, exited, rode for a bit, and were blown away...


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    Believe me, the pictures do not do the view any justice...it was amazing to both of us. We continued to Colorado Springs, found a motel, and parked for the night.
    #4
  5. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    well...it was a Buell part....not so many dealers anymore...:cry
    #5
  6. BushwickKLR

    BushwickKLR Long timer

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    :lurk
    #6
  7. E-man

    E-man 4-4-09, 12-6-09, 1-13-10

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    Sometimes the slab is fab...
    Oh shit, did I just say fab?
    Great pics so far :thumb
    #7
  8. ParaMud

    ParaMud Been here awhile

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    Ok ok keep going!

    All I know is you better not post "what happens in vegas stays in vegas"/
    #8
  9. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    We arrived at Colorado Springs, found a motel, unpacked, and grabbed some food. We found a good wing place within walking distance up the road. The views were amazing, even right outside the motel door....


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    The plan the next day was to ride up Pikes, check out of the motel, head towards 50 to the Royal Gorge Bridge, and continue west. We were up early, and it was chilly, in the high 30's, and rode the short distance to Pikes. As we got to the booth, the Ranger explained that they were not going to let any bikes up past the 10 mile marker (this is where the dirt road begins) as there was ice up there. He went on to explain that they sprayed magnesium chloride on the road before they had bad weather, and that (as if the ice wasn't bad enough) when it thawed, it would be treacherous for bikes. I told him we wouldn't be at the summit long, and could we give it a shot? He let us through, and we gave it a try...


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    Um...we didn't make it up. The road was already thawing, and was slippery as hell! This was only the fourth day of a 16 day trip, and just not worth the risk of getting hurt. We had much more to do and see, and decided to head back down. We were both really disapointed, but knew it was the smart decision. We rode back down, and stopped back at the Ranger booth. He said that after we left, another Ranger expressed his concern for our safety, and was relieved to see us back. Oh well...since we were done earlier than expected, we decided to check out Garden of the Gods. On the way out, we took a pic of this place...


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    Garden of the Gods was a nice surprise, beautiful in the morning light. I wish my camera skills were better, but Im working on them..


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    Rode back to the motel, and packed up to head south towards 50. While we were packing, our next door neighbors came out to say hi. We met them the night before, and had a nice conversation with them. They were from Ontario Canada, and were on their way to a family reunion. They were a couple of characters, and had us both laughing....

    Jess, and Alta....hope you guys had a great time at the reunion, it was great meeting you both!


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    We finished packing, checked out, and headed south. Took 115 south, past Cheyene Mountain, to 50.
    #9
  10. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    We made it to Canon City where the Royal Gorge Bridge was, pulled into the lot, and found they wanted 24 dollars to walk across it...a bit steep, so we checked it out from the side, and headed out.


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    we continued on towards Monarch Pass..


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    The ride up was incredible, it was one amazing view after another..at one point, the Arkansas river ran alongside the road for miles, it was just an awesome experience riding this twisty, scenic, meandering road for hundreds of miles. On the way down we rode past the Blue Mesa Reservoir, it was pretty big, as it went on for miles...


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    And over the bridge to the other side.....



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    At one point, we realised how there was a steep drop off just to the side of the road. We stopped and took some pics, but again, they do not any justice as to how high the drop was...I remember thinking if you went off the road, you and the bike would just disappear under the canopy of trees down below, swallowed up, and never be seen again...



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    We continued west towards Utah and Moab. We came down off a mountain to a road that was just stretched for miles ahead... (I believe it was 90)


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    As the sun started going down we made it to Utah, Moab wasn't very far, and we were anxious to get a room, and some sleep from a long day.


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    Finally Moab. We had a little problem getting a room as Moab is a busy place. All kinds of events were going on, and rooms were scarce. We found a room with 3 beds, but had to pay more than we had the last few days. Oh well gotta do what you gotta do...as we get there, the manager tells us the place is full and it is his last room. The parking lot is empty except for our two bikes, and one car. He said there were tour buses coming in...sure enough, later that night, the buses showed, and the place was full.
    #10
  11. RonkoRider

    RonkoRider Wrong Island, NY

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    Good Point! I bet your glad this wasn't a BMW!:rofl
    #11
  12. RonkoRider

    RonkoRider Wrong Island, NY

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    No wonder why the LI TOR thread was so quite!

    Keep up the good report,:lurk
    #12
  13. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    :lol3 Yea, been a bit busy...but will be back in the game soon!

    :ricky
    #13
  14. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    So we woke up and went downstairs to sample the complimentary breakfast the Days Inn offered. I was standing in line for the waffle maker, and just as it was my turn, some dude cuts in front of me and uses the machine. I look at Charlie, and someone cut in front of him to use the toaster! What the hell! One of the tour busses was full of foreign tourists.... they were neither friendly, nor polite. We quietly left, gassed up, and grabbed a days old burger at the gas station. It was delicious. Today we were to see Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks. Here's some pics..


    First stop Arches...

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    It was an awesome ride. Next we shot up 191 to I-70, and west to 89. Took 89 south towards Bryce and Zion.



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    We made it to Bryce, boy was that a nice surprise! Breathtaking....



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    Next stop Zion...


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    I didn't get many pics of Zion for some reason, the road was real twisty, and there were a ton of cars and people. It was a great 11 mile ride through the park that ended in a small, kinda "hippie" looking town. We turned back around, rode back through Zion, and continued south. The plan was to grab a room somewhere near Zion, but since it was still kind of early, we decided to push further south, to "lessen' the ride to Mesa AZ the next day. Little did we know, the night would prove to be a bit longer than expected...
    #14
  15. ksmdigital

    ksmdigital Adventurer

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    :lurk
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  16. 13

    13 __________

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    Don't take this the wrong way but that had to be one dumb foreigner to cut in front of you in a food line.
    #16
  17. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    :poser
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  18. IRONIVAR

    IRONIVAR Been here awhile

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    great report i'm waiting for more pics
    ironivar
    #18
  19. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    We continued south on 89 past Kanab, into Arizona towards Jacob Lake. When you enter Kaibab National Forest, the road turns twisty, and wooded, and as it was approaching dusk, we were on full critter alert. We rode through the forest, and came down around a sharp corner to see an immense expanse of land that seemed endless. To the north was the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, to the south you could look across House Rock Valley and see Kaibab Plateau. You could see for miles, and there wasn't a soul around. The sun had gone down behind the plateau, you could still see, but the light was dwindling, I didn't take any pics. I should've tried, that was one of the most memorable sights of the trip. We rode towards Marble Canyon and the Navajo Bridge. We found a gas station west of the Navajo Bridge and stopped. There was that, a little motel, and nothing else as far as you could see. We thought it would be better to find a room where there were more options for food, and figured there should be something more convenient further south. We were both tired, and hungry, and were ready to call it a night. Little did we know that this was the last motel between Marble Canyon, and basically the Grand Canyon. My auxiliary lights had failed at this point, so Charlie took the lead as we rode south towards civilization. It was full dark by now, and animals were a concern. I don't recall if there was anything in Cameron, but we turned right, figuring there must be more motels near the Grand Canyon. It turned out there wasn't, and we had to ride through the park, in the dark, to find one. We stayed close to an SUV to hopefully be a buffer between us, and the Elk that were supposed to be around. After some miles of twisty, winding road, the SUV slows down quick...there goes an Elk, slowly crossing the road...a bit later, we saw another. Um, there pretty big...hitting one would be bad. We finally made it through, to a town called Tusayan, and found a room. It was hard to imagine that earlier in the day, we were in Moab, and riding through Arches...we probably rode 150 miles just looking for a room...long day.

    We woke up the next morning, and rode back to see the Grand Canyon, this time during the day, and then were to continue south to Mesa, and see our families.


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    We left The Grand Canyon, and headed south towards Mesa, and our waiting families. We took I-40 west, and at Flagstaff,jumped on I-17 south. I-17 was a bit crazy, lots of trucks, cars, cops, and construction. We've seen more Highway Patrol cars in Arizona already, than the whole trip combined. As we descended down from the upper elevation, the temperature started rising. It was 106 degrees when we made it to Phoenix, and headed west towards Mesa. I found it to be cooler with my faceshield down, than open, and wondered if it would get hotter.

    Charlie's father in law Mike, and his wife Denise, allowed our wives and kids to stay at their home while Charlie and I rode to meet them. They had a beautiful home in Mesa, and were very gracious in allowing us all to stay there. If you guys are reading this, we can't thank you enough for your hospitality, it was very nice of you to open your doors to us. We stayed in Mesa for a few days before heading out to Vegas. It was nice to spend some time in the middle of the trip with our families...


    my son Michael
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    Charlie's daughter Genevieve
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    Charlie's son Darren

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    A few days of rest, and it was onward to Vegas....

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    #19
  20. 13

    13 __________

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    :clap :rofl
    #20