On the Road to Mexico and the American West

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by BMW Kurt, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    Yeah, I've been to Sonoma before, just not on a bike. I'm getting ready to leave Portland in hopes of finding some warmer weather along the way. It's COLD for this southern boy!!!! :vardy
  2. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    I left Portland in the cold and the rain and headed for Tillamook to pick up US 101 and ride down the coast. It was cold, grey and wet. From what the locals told me this is nothing unusual for this time of year.

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    I made it as far as Reedsport where I got a cheap motel with no Wi-Fi. It didn't matter, there was a Big Bang Theory marathon on TV and I have come to love that show. I had never seen it until I was introduced to it by my brother-in-law back on my visit to Texas six weeks ago. Finally a sitcom with some intelligence! :lol3

    I got up early the next morning and headed for California. It was still cold, but dry. I rode through the Redwood forest and while they were impressive, I still think the Sequoias were more grandiose.

    I'm going to hang out in this one horse town for another day and then start riding towards Salinas to visit the National Steinbeck Center. Maybe I should download Travels With Charley on my Kindle.
  3. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    Well, it looks like I picked a good day to rest and write. In downtown Garberville it is rainy and cold. The heat is on in the motel room and the bike is getting its first real shower in six weeks.

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    This town must be on some kind of trail or something. Something like Hot Springs, NC and the Appalachian Trail hikers. There are a lot of backpackers walking around in the town. Some of them look like they have been hiking for months.

    The Weather Channel says the next few days will be dry and warmer. :clap

    I know the bike is looking forward to its visit to San Diego after the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ. She is going to get fresh oil/filter, new gear/neutral indicator sending unit, rear tire, valves and throttle body sync checked, and I'm going to ask if having a rubber ring floating around in the gas tank hurts it or not. It seems that these monster pump handles in California pushed the rubber grommet on the gas filler opening into my tank. At least, I think that is what happened. It was there when I filled up in Oregon and after my first fill up in California it's gone. :scratch
  4. Land

    Land Wanderer

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    Kurt, great trip and great report!:clap

    I'll miss seeing you in Cruso next week, but, wow, what a time you're havin'.:clap

    :lurk

    Chris
  5. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    I left Garberville and rode to Salinas where I will spend the next four days. I had my GPS set to avoid toll roads so it took me through Oakland instead of over the Golden Gate Bridge. I was not able to take any good pictures but I did take these crappy ones from across the bay of downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

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    Please don't tell any of my fellow photographers that I took these! :nono

    I made it to Salinas just in time for my favorite lunch while in the western states.

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    I'm really traveling slow now because I have to be in Flagstaff on May 17 and then ride to San Diego after the Overland Expo. I am trying to save my rear tire and oil until then. The bike is going to get a well deserved servicing in San Diego.
  6. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    For some reason I booked my motel room in Salinas for four nights. I am in a bad section of town (hookers and transients) but I have already paid for three more nights so I am sort of stuck here. It is interesting observing the seedier side of life from my motel window.

    Today I went to Laguna Seca to see the race track. I have always been fascinated with famous tracks.

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    Being that is Cinco de Mayo I thought I should celebrate in an appropriate way.

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    Well, I have three more nights in Salinas and just need to make the best of it. Not that Salinas is a bad place to be, but there is just not a lot to do here for a tourist.
  7. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    What many of my motorcycle buds don't know about me is that I have a degree in American Literature. Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Wolfe just don't come up that much around campfires with a bunch of guys that have been riding through slop all day. While in Salinas I had to visit the National John Steinbeck Center. It was well worth the visit. The exhibit was set up depicting scenes from Steinbeck's major works.

    East of Eden​

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    Tortilla Flat​

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    The Grapes of Wrath​

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    Steinbeck's truck and camper from Travels With Charley

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    Salinas has a very nice Old Town. I strolled around a little taking advantage of the great weather.

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    That afternoon I visited two old army buddies that I had not seen in thirty-five years. It was good to sit in someone's home instead of a motel room for an afternoon. We had his daughter take the obligatory photo of the three of us. They were married while stationed in Germany shortly after my wife and I were married. We still look just like we did then! :lol3

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    By the way, this is the infamous motel in Salinas where I have stayed the last few days.

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    It really doesn't look that bad during daylight hours. At night it is a different story. Yesterday morning I was awoke by screaming in the parking lot outside my room. I still have no idea what was going on or even what language was being screamed. Hookers, drug dealers and cops are constantly cruising up and down the street in front of the motel during the night. One more night here and I am headed further south tomorrow.
  8. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    I had my final drive rebuilt before leaving Asheville and I just went out and the rear wheel is wobbly. The dealer in Santa Cruz is closed so my closest dealer is San Jose, about 50 miles away. I will head there tomorrow and hope I make it.
  9. WRC51

    WRC51 Been here awhile

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    Kurt another option if San Jose BMW cant help you is Ted Porter. An independent BMW repair shop that I have heard great things about. His shop is in Felton or Santa Cruz I belive. Good luck.*EDIT* The shop is in Scotts Valley very near SJ. Phone # 831-438 1100. 5100 Scotts Valley DR. Scotts Valley Ca. 95066
  10. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    Thanks, someone has already told me about the shop in GSpot. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was actually reading this ride report!!
  11. WRC51

    WRC51 Been here awhile

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    Ha Ha Iam sure a bunch of us lurkers are following each day. I know many of the roads in the area you are now in, as I lived just North of there(Morgan Hill) for many years.:D
  12. jbeem

    jbeem Been here awhile

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    I'm following it, I'm just speechless. Good luck on the final drive.
    Your ears will be burning this weekend as a result of the Old's Cool Rally.
  13. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    :lol3

    I made it to San Jose BMW and have been treated like royalty. They are booked for the next two weeks but bumped me up to the top of their list. The final drive is going to be repaired under warranty even thought the bike has 53K on it. They are storing all my shit and drove me to a nice motel in San Jose. San Jose is like night and day from Salinas. Sidewalk cafes, Starbucks, people that speak English. If you are going break down do it in San Jose.

    Oh yeah, tell everybody at the Old School Rally :ken

    Just kidding, you guys have a great time!!! :freaky
  14. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    Yep, rode through Morgan Hill on the 101 getting here.
  15. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    :kboom

    Just heard from San Jose BMW and it seems my final drive failure is not due to the bearings I had replaced before leaving on my trip. It's gonna cost me a little over $2000 to get out of San Jose! Not their fault but is sure puts a damper on the trip. Wait till my wife hears about this! New final drive being overnighted and I should be on the road tomorrow afternoon.
  16. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

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    damn it boy, :huh


    that sucks, but it's gonna get better
  17. David13

    David13 Been here awhile

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    $2,000 for a new final drive. Oh.
    Yes, Kurt, there are a few following along here. The counter shows over 13,000 have looked at it, tho' some more than once, no doubt.
    I don't think you should say anything too bad about Salinas. There may be those here, from Salinas, who like to pretend that it is not that bad of a place.
    I should say, tho', that I thought the best part of your trip was the Mexico part.
    dc
  18. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    Salinas was not that bad, I was just staying in a bad section of town. I really enjoyed the Steinbeck Center and the Old Town. It was my fault for choosing a cheesy motel on the "wrong side of the tracks". I didn't mean to run down Salinas. This was my second time there and I plan on returning.
  19. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    I'm back on the road! This is my old final drive. The part in front is the part that failed.

    This part wobbling also caused damage to the brake rotor.

    Parts, labor, and CA taxes... $3100 :baldy
  20. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

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    :eek1 i feel your pain,



    somebody tell us again how dependable bmw 's are??