Pacific Northwest with an Italian Supermodel

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. aviatorbdm

    aviatorbdm Been here awhile

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    Oregon
    You met Arun and AJ... great folks. That is a really cool shop. They had always taken good are of me. I actually miss going in there since selling my last Duc about 4 years ago.
  2. justafurnaceman

    justafurnaceman Imaginary

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    Hanging out in VA for the time being...
    Good looking bikes: Check.
    Good looking/tasting food: Check.
    Good info on places to ride: Check.
    Good writeup: Check.

    I've been really enjoying your ride report. It's helping to motivate me to reach certain goals that I've set in exploring new places. I'm definitely going to do the 8 hr ride instead of work here soon.
  3. Tommy J

    Tommy J Dockworker

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    PNW - Seattle
    Looks good so far with PTLD. and SEA. in the mix. So how has your rain gear been holding up?. I just made a five day trip through Eastern Oregon and my Klim Latitude pants leaked so there going back. Great pics on the Seattle waterfront.
  4. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Tommy J: My rain gear has been shit. Do not buy Sidi and do not buy Rev'it. My Sidi suit ($100 ish), made it through a few rainy days on my last R/R, then decided to disintegrate all over me while driving from Seattle to Portland. I spent 20 minutes picking off all the black pieces of plastic from the inside of the suit off my skin, then another 20 off the carpet of my rented flat. The following day, I went to MotoCorsa, bought a $120 Rev'it suit, and the fucker didn't just leak--it CHANNELED freezing water directly to my skin chandelier. Nothing lowers your core temp faster than running cold water over the scrotum radiator, which quite rapidly leads to George Costanza shrinkage AND what appeared to be a bladder issue. If my Airbnb hostess didn't just love the trail of tar my suit left going up the stairs, I'm sure she loved the idea of renting her place to someone who seemingly had bladder-control problems.

    [​IMG]

    While literally freezing my balls off during the ride, my mind wandered. I thought, "how might a company that produces rain gear be able to actually test their products?" If I had a stopwatch that actually could pinpoint, down to the millionths of a second, how long it took me to come up with several answers to that question, I'd share the results. I did not, though, so let's just round up to the closest duration of time: 1 second.

    It might be seasonally inconvenient to ask a company that produces rain gear to actually test their products in the rain, but after 1 second of ball-freezing-thought I discovered there are actually a surprising number of ways to adequately reproduce the effect of rain that does not involve protesting excessive fire-hydrant flow in front of Bolivian fire stations during nozzle-testing maneuvers at midnight. One could simply put on a rainsuit and take a shower(!). Or even sit in a chair and pour icy cold Coca-Cola down the front of the suit. Hell, a squirt gun given to a 7 year old who'd been given a lecture on 'stand your ground' could have exposed even the most minor design flaw. Even if no actual liquid was available for real testing, it does not take a mind-giant to realize that if you're going to have a flap on the front of the suit, make sure the opening isn't pointing directly INTO the wind.

    I am not sure about how the flaps are positioned on the Sidi....I can't even touch it without more disintegration, but I'd venture a guess that it's the same. Perhaps both companies could co-market Civil War era blanket-technology and sell suits, tents and gloves manufactured from horsehair and glue.

    I'm not even going to edit my post above because I'm aggravated, so please excuse any grammar, punctuation or spelling errors. (Ok, after I calmed down I did a quick once-over.)
  5. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    :deal
    Sushi place was Japonessa.

    And yep--still firing off pics with the RX100. It's got a speck of dust on the sensor (which it's had since the beginning of the trip, requiring cropping and/or photoshopping), but it's still performing beyond expectations.


    Aviator: Yep, spent some quality time with Arun, and AJ. AJ not only fixed my Piece of SHIT Gilles rearsets that kept locking up in gear, he also noticed I didn't have a lock ring on my rear wheel (I won't mention the tire guys who f'd that up) and also discovered my front axle was not torqued down properly (ok, I'll mention them indirectly--they are at every Zoom2 track event). Lesson 1) there's a reason you should do all your own work yourself and 2) there are good fucking mechanics out there who don't put your life at risk ('sup AJ!). Now you know who you can trust. Looking like I'll have haul my bike to every event with my truck just so I can carry stands Front and Rear, eliminating the need for me to depend on anyone else to change out my wheels.

    It's truly incredible. Gilles fucks up, Sidi fucks up, Rev'it shits the bed, a company who does nothing but changes tires can't put a wheel back on (sorry guys, I like you, but you could have killed me), and even Sony can't do enough basic Quality Control to guarantee a $600 camera doesn't have dust on the sensor.

    Edit: Oh yes, I also discovered the R30 Kriega isn't fully waterproof. One memory card, my sketchbook, some brain meds, and some other shit I'd packed into the pockets of the backpack were soaked. Though Kriega, as a company, is awesome and has some bitchin' products (and their people are top notch), the technical writer for their website needs to be struck in the knuckles with a crowbar for writing shit like, "Kriega R30 is widely acclaimed as the best 100% waterproof motorcycle backpack in the world" and, "The best waterproof motorcycle backpack available."

    As you can see from the single picture (below) taken after a 3 hour ride in the rain (I have to give credit to Sony, even with dust on the sensor the puddle in the pocket is still visible!), a hefty bag held onto my back using bungee cords would have been less comfortable, but more waterproof. This was a free bag from Kriega, given to me without me even asking, because they liked my R/R and wanted to give back, which makes me feel like a total, ungrateful asshole, but photos on a memory card and a sketchbook I had hours and hours of work into were proper fucked. I also lost 1/2 of the meds I take several times a day to keep my brain inside my skull. The truth: the main compartment of the bag is about 95% waterproof, but the pockets are only good for about 30 minutes of sprinkles. If you know this, the bag fucking rocks. If you don't, you're not going to be happy when it rains.

    (This was the excess water that wasn't absorbed by my gear in the top pocket. Puddle in the bottom pocket was the same.) I'm no marketing genius, but the whole "backpack with two built-in cereal bowls" could be a real selling point.

    [​IMG]

    The good news: I waterproofed the exterior with leather wax after this incident. Even in a 1 hour downpour (today), the pockets stayed dry and the rest of the backpack material repelled (instead of absorbed) water. I'm still amazed at how wearing the bag, even when loaded up with gear (and H20), feels far lighter than it really is. The support system is truly amazing, but care should be taken to prepare the bag for a typhoon.
    Fred Oliff likes this.
  6. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    You hooked me last time so I'm in.
  7. Duflul

    Duflul Adventurer

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    Amsterdam
    My old riding instructor always referred to rain gear as rain delay gear. Cause in his 25 years of riding he had never worn anything that was a 100% waterproof.
    But it shouldn't be so hard to stick someone in a wind tunnel and turn the hose on him.
    I agree with you on how hard it is to find a competent mechanic. My tire guy is great and cheap, but doesn't do anything more than basic maintenance, so I've learned to do it all myself. But you can't do that on a trip like yours, unless you get someone to drive a support vehicle.

    btw kriega (at least on their uk site) say that the main compartment is water proof and the external pockets are water resistant.
  8. JoshS

    JoshS Adventurer

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    Oct 29, 2012
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    Lansing MI
    I did a ~9k mile trip this summer and used the Tour Master Elite Series 2 1-piece rain suit. It looks dorky and is better suited for short fat guys, but I rode in several days of rain including a downpour in outside of Memphis that made me think of your rain experience in Colorado from your last RR, and it didn't leak a bit. I'm 5'10 175lbs and wore a large, which I found to be a little too short. I remedied this by getting some of those little booty things, but a pair of taller goretex boots (not sure what you have) would have been fine.
  9. fritzcoinc

    fritzcoinc Enjoying my last V8

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    Sadly, Harley makes the best rain suit I have ever worn.
    The hood, wrist, and ankles synch up tight like scuba gear.
    Pockets zip and have Velcro flap.
    It's fairly inexpensive at $150.
    Check it out.
    The sad part is that there is the biggest EVER Harley logo in reflective material on the back.
  10. aviatorbdm

    aviatorbdm Been here awhile

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    Aerostich. Yes, they are ugly (eye of the beholder I guess) and it is like wearing a large stiff polyester bag but they work. They certainly don't worry about style points.
  11. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    My $19 suit, purchased from K-Mart (I think), during a storm near Auburn, CA, lasted 10 years and doubled as a snowboarding suit. Sometimes you get what you pay for and sometimes you get reamed. I'm taking the Rev'it one back and am just going to cut a hole in a shower curtain, put my head through it and ride dry from now on! :clap
  12. hwunger

    hwunger Been here awhile

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    Aug 15, 2013
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    Left Coast
    I've always said, Oregon is a funky place ....

    .... but you portray Portland in a whole new Light .... HA!

    :clap
  13. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I was told and read the Joe Rocket Ballistic lined jacket/pant set was waterproof. Ah, no it's not and I had a ruined passport and dripping wallet to prove it emerging from a 6 hour downpour of biblical proportions. I liked the idea of one less thing to pack taking up space in the form of a rain suit. No such luck.
  14. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

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    Regardless of 'waterproof claims'...it's always a good idea to use ziploc bags as backup to protect important stuff. FWIW, a decent riding suit like the two-piece Road crafter will keep you dry and also provide considerable crash protection.
  15. JamesM

    JamesM Been here awhile

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    Bay Area, CA
    Duly noted!

    Dennis, Rev'it just wanted to cool off that leg from thermal nuclear exhaust heat and remind your nuts that you're still alive. -Look at is as a feature. :wink::evil
  16. Bogfarth

    Bogfarth Fridge Magnet Safety Tester

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    Kathmandu pants are, I hear from locals, actually waterproof and warm. Looking at a pair myself. That said, fisherman's PVC rain bibs from any outdoor store will do in a pinch.

    I can attest to my Aerostich Courier Bag being absolutely waterproof. The down-side is your stuff can take a hammering in that bag. Not a term goes by I don't burn the corners off books, scratch the hell out of hardcovers, pop paperback covers, split foam padding laminations. Pack and pad delicate stuff accordingly. However, two years-plus of this abuse and it hasn't popped a thread or let water in. A few panels of white closed-cell foam prevent major damage to my laptop.

    Zip-Loc Freezer bags are what you need; they're tough enough to survive prolonged use even in my hands. Knock-off bags tend to split under the zip or outright fail. Major pain in the hind-parts: DAMHIK.
  17. 3B43

    3B43 Adventurer

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    Waterproof gear: remember, if it has seams, it will probably leak... At the most inoppurtune time. Ive spent some time 'in the elements' and rain gear comes in two catagorys----EXPENSIVE or plastic. Take your pick. IF you come back through Eureka, drop me a note. I can offer a king size bed, in our NEW house, BBQ filet & martini's!
  18. NoSoup4U

    NoSoup4U Adventurer

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    Hey Dennis, these plastic rain suits are cumbersome, often you don't even have time to out them on before you get wet. I sprung for an aerostich waterproof leather suit. It is expensive but I use it on all my longer tours and it offers great protection! Together with waterproof touring boots and Held two in one gloves, I don't worry about downpours, just keep riding. Yes it can be warm in the summer but better sweating than bleeding :) Btw keep those thoughtful posts coming. You have an incredible mind, keep sharing it!
    Clemens
  19. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    As per a couple others here, yes I've become a Zip Loc bag user. In fairness, the Ballistic products are armored and are fine in a light sprinkle or quick run through a shower. In my situation described above I may as well have been bobbing in the ocean. It was sick.
  20. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

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    An inmate sent me a message just a couple days ago asking me about what I’d sacrificed to be on the road for so long. His inquiry came at the same time I was trying to figure out the answer to that very question. It’s easy to look at the practical sacrifices, but what’s not as clear is just six months changed me. The impact to my life was poignant, the effects catholic. What I don’t understand is the mechanism. There’s been a long-lasting, perhaps permanent side-effect of this sojourn had on my ability to function ‘normally’. I experienced tremendous things I never expected, things I wouldn’t trade for anything. Just not sure how it disrupted my sense of balance ever since. It’s an odd effect—and I can’t say it even bothers me, but it’s strange. By the end of such a long trip, after forging friendships and learning about 16,000 miles of North America and myself, I expected to have a sense of certainty, of clarity. But just the opposite happened. It was as if someone very close to me had died when I made it back to the Pacific Ocean. I mourned for a couple days, then hit the road again. The dead rose, severe withdrawal was over. I’d end up in places like Marfa, driving by suspicious border patrol agents as I searched a 20 mile stretch of road for a particular location.


    When you figure it out I'd like to know!

    I am not sure what changes inside a person and I know I dont want to be on the road forever but not being on the road/riding a has been a constant struggle since I returned to work in April. 25K miles last year and it just can not happen this year because of paying back time I took away to play.

    For me it is a battle of chasing enrichment and forfilment but always with a looming doubt. Doubt that I may be missing something by not giving into a "more normal life" by others standards. I really don't believe I am missing anything but it is still a constant thought! Maybe I am just selfish or a dick since I would rather go riding or even read an RR over going to another B day party for a 2 year old kid of one my friends.

    Keep the RR coming hopefully this time next year I will be writing from the road again.