The Mobius Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DR. Rock, May 23, 2008.

  1. RenoDeano

    RenoDeano High Desert Drifter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Where the pavement ends & the West begins.
    Make it easier to jump start (exposed plugs from each battery), keep it running, keep heading for the coast....would have been my remedy. Sheat, it is only 60 miles.

    Reno Deano
  2. RenoDeano

    RenoDeano High Desert Drifter

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Where the pavement ends & the West begins.
    Sorry, I forgot Blue Bell was running rough also. But, couldn't you have pulled her into Port Orford (nearly same mileage).

    Reno Deano
  3. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    So after checking the maps, my first idea was that since we had access to pavement, to get the bags back on with the side panel off, jump start blueberry, and ride back to Glendale which was close enough to the I-5 corridor to have cell service.

    We didn't want to carry on forward, 'cause we weren't sure how much technical riding we'd be doing. If this had happened just 40 minutes earlier on that nasty trail, we'd really have been stuck. I was applying a "damage control" strategy where the primary directive is to stop further harm to the ship, and the secondary directive is to seek safe harbor where thorough repairs can be performed. :wink:

    [​IMG]

    So that's what I did... only Blueberry would have none of it. Her condition deteriorated rapidly, first just a few backfires, then idling only and dieing if the throttle was cracked, then she wouldn't even start, and I was risking killing my battery as well. :cry

    So now she's dead in the water. It's about 4:30pm, we've been at this for about 2 hours, and the shadows are starting to get long. It's about 25 miles to Glendale, so we load the bikes back up, and I break out the tow strap.

    [​IMG]

    Mr. Happy Puppet tried his best to boost morale, but things were looking grim.

    [​IMG]

    I'd only towed once before, but knew that the opposite footpeg-footpeg technique was the safest way.

    [​IMG]

    I briefed LDF to be attentive to the slack, :deal and off we went.

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  4. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    about an hour to tow out of the mountains,

    [​IMG]

    even though the road was paved,

    [​IMG]

    it was twisty, and single lane.

    [​IMG]

    There were some nice views along the way,

    [​IMG]

    but I didn't take many photos,

    [​IMG]

    because every time the tow strap snapped taut, my bike felt like it was going to get pulled out from under me.

    [​IMG]

    It was mostly downhill, in more ways than one. (In fact, for one stretch we disconnected, and she just coasted). This was about as stressful as anything we've done together as a couple. :pain She wanted me to stay more to the right in case there was an oncoming vehicle, but I didn't want to run her off the road. Meanwhile, on the uphill climbs, my bike is starting to overheat. Add to the mix that we're disappointed and frustrated, and now getting tired, hungry, etc. We're connected with the Scala's, thank god, but it was no picnic.
  5. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    we picked up a bigger road. In the silent periods between when we were yelling at each other about the slack, I was racking my brain, going through the various components of the charging system to try to figure out what went wrong that would explain the bike's behavior and failure. :scratch

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    as you can hear, I had narrowed it down to CDI or stator.
  6. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
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    was pretty grim. We pull into the parking lot of the motel, which is boarded up. It's next to a coffee shop that is closing. We chat with the guy and gal who are locking up and ask what the nearest town is where we might find a mechanic...

    "Grants Pass".

    How far is that?

    "bout 25 miles down I-5".

    Is there a road that goes there besides the interstate?

    "I think so... if you go out of town this way, ummm, it's all forest service dirt roads. I haven't ever gone that way, but I've heard you can"

    I break out the maps while LDF goes across the street to the grocery store. I try to call Stuart in Bend (Taco250), and thankfully he answers. We go through the diagnostics and troubleshooting I've done, and he agrees, it's probably the stator. He also confirms that Grants Pass is the nearest big town that we should try to get to -- they have a few bike shops, motels, and a U-haul if it comes to that.

    I remember him saying near the end of our conversation... "yeah, it's about 25 miles on the interstate... but you don't want to tow her on the interstate." :nono

    LDF emerged from the grocery store, shoved a bag into her pannier, and I was still struggling trying to trace the little squiggly lines on the map between Glendale and Grants Pass.

    "What are we looking at?"

    "Options: stay near here... camp in the woods outside of town..."

    She cut me off. "Not an option."

    I don't know what she saw or heard in the grocery store, but it wasn't inducing her to stay anywhere near to here. "It looks to be like 90 miles of back-country riding, on dirt roads. We'll be riding in the dark"

    "or?"

    "...or we call for a tow truck at 6:30pm on a friday, and then have to wait here until they arrive"

    "or?"

    "...or we tow on the interstate."

    "well lets get moving if we want to get there before dark." :eek1
  7. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    the options again while we were gearing up, and came to the same conclusion. We didn't want to stay.

    [​IMG]

    We had about 5 miles to get to the interchange up at Glendale Junction where we had filled up with gas earlier. Our goal was to see if we could sustain 45mph which I felt was the safest minimum speed for the interstate. If we could do that, we agreed to go one exit at a time.

    We got out her headlamp, and set it to flash red, and put it on her helmet facing backwards, and headed out of Glendale.

    [​IMG]

    Here's our land speed attempt. The fact that you can't really understand what I'm saying means we were moving pretty fast. :wink:

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    You can see how long the shadows are, and right around 50 sec there's a bit where you can see both our shadows riding together. :brow
  8. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    is definitely in my top five "scary / stressful / stupid things I've done" list.

    And I never want to do it again.:huh

    Merging from the on-ramp, LDF's focus momentarily shifted from the slack in the strap, to looking over her shoulder to check if any trucks were coming. Next thing I knew, I see her starting to pass me on the right.
    :yikes

    "The SLACK!" I yell through the Scala.

    Of course, she hits her brakes, and in an instant I feel my back wheel skip sideways 4 inches and the whole bike lists out from under me at about a 25 degree angle.

    We save it, slow down a little, and then get up to speed.

    "I'm SORRY! I wasn't paying attention!"

    :bluduh

    Once we calmed down a bit, I tried to grab a video clip, but quickly turned off the camera because I thought it would be poor form to videotape one's own demise. :dunno

    So this is all I've got:

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    At the bottom of the exit in the vid, a trooper had someone pulled over, and was standing at the car's driver's-side window, with his back to traffic, and his hands on his hips. He looked like he was 12 years old.

    LDF says "let's get off here, this guy's going to pull us over"

    I reply, "let him, at worst we get a ticket, and at best we get an escort to Grant's Pass, or at least some directions of where it would be safe to stay, or an alternate route that doesn't involve the interstate and still gets us there before nightfall"

    Actually, I didn't say all that, I was too stressed and focused to actually articulate words. I think what I said was, "mmmrrrrrrrffff gggrrrraaaakkkk, keep going" :twitch But I THOUGHT all that other rational stuff. :brow

    So we pass him going 40-45mph, two bikes riding REALLY close together, one of which had no lights, and... I don't think he saw us. :doh

    About 10 minutes later, he flys by us in the fast lane. We never see him again. :dunno
  9. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    we tucked behind a slow-moving truck. That was nice while it lasted. :wink:

    By the time we got to Grants Pass, we were fried. We pulled off the highway, and into the first motel parking lot we could.

    Coming to a stop, LDF's boot slipped on the blacktop, and she dropped her bike. As I was helping lift it back up, a guy from the balcony of the motel said "are you the guys that were towing on the interstate?"

    "Yeah."

    "Thank god you made it. We passed you and was goin' to pull over to help, but we figured what could we do?"

    "Well, thanks for the thoughts"

    "Yeah, I'm glad you're OK... our hearts were beating like this..." and he pats his chest with his hand really quickly, "you guys are ballsy."

    We get our room, and shoot this clip.

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  10. SlowRide13

    SlowRide13 Veteran n00b

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    Towing on the interstate..... That one woulda made Travis Pastrana weak at the knees!:eek1
  11. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    What are the odds? That's crazy! :eek1

    [​IMG]
  12. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    is what happened next. :D

    We're starving, so we walk up the street to the nearest bar and grill. We arrive right before the kitchen closes and order burgers and beer. Our food order hadn't even yet arrived, and my cell phone rings.

    "Hi, Dave, it's Steve. I have a stator for you. I'm boxing it up right now, and I'll see if I can get Sunday delivery through USPS or FedEx. :eek1

    :bow

    "What th'...??? How did you even know?"

    It turned out that Stuart had posted an update in this thread after we spoke, and Steve (VFR870) had read it, and remembered that he had Roy's (RTHuey) fragged drz motor in his shed, just sitting there, so he went out and pulled off the stator.

    Now, mind you, it's 1:30am, now Saturday, on the East Coast!

    I got off the phone with him and updated Francine, and we were just sitting there shaking our heads. 5 minutes ago, we thought our trip was over, that we'd be renting a u-haul and skipping up to Seattle, and now... well now, everything was possible again.

    I pulled up the schematics from the drz service manual on my PDA, and reviewed the full and proper diagnostic procedures, and then started making a list of all the other maintenance and repairs that had accumulated -- oil changes, rewiring Blueberry's tail lights...

    This was a trip of ups and downs, highs and lows...

    We can't thank the entire ADV community enough, and especially Stuart, Steve, and Roy for getting us back on track.
    :beer

    Our stats for the day,

    [​IMG]

    and the elevation profile -- for the record, everything past mile 101 was towed:

    [​IMG]
  13. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    The day where we did everything, and went nowhere.

    Room 149,

    [​IMG]

    at the Motel 6 in Grants Pass would be our command post

    [​IMG]

    for the next 2 1/2 days. LDF set about masterminding the logistics of laundry:

    [​IMG]

    And I prepared to dive into Blueberry's innards.

    [​IMG]

    I had expert advice via SMS text messaging and cell phone with all sorts of ADV'ers, and I did my best to update the thread here so nobody worried. :thumb

    We were right next door to an AutoZone, which was convenient for supplies and any tools I might need.

    And I gotta say up front, the folks at Motel 6 were more than accommodating to two stinky dirty bikers tearing apart gear and machines in their motel, and were actually rooting for us at the end.

    If you ever have to hole up in Grants Pass to wait for parts and do repairs, we recommend the Motel 6 without any hesitation! :thumb
  14. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Two or three thoughts come to mind:

    First :Greatest RR ever:clap

    Second: I never realized I should have upgraded the headlamp to the one with blinking red:D

    Third: if you want to get Police attention in OR get a CA license plate:huh

    Thanks for all the work on the RR.
  15. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    Location:
    Harrys place
    and for the record, and Stagehand can vouch for this, I rode the KLR all the way from my house to his, and back, this past June.
  16. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    with the multimeter

    [​IMG]

    confirmed suspicions -- it was the stator.

    [​IMG]

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  17. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Wewt! You sound more brilliant all the time, Doc! Gotta love Lil' Blue!

    I followed your advice and skipped all the live trouble shooting in the thread; so I'm reading it for the first here in your report mode! Got me hangin'! You guys are inspiring.
    :clap
  18. Black06LJ

    Black06LJ ZRX1200R Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
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    300
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Wow! Just wow!
    I have driven that interstate quite a bit, and am sure glad you guys made it through safely! That is some scarey stuff, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do when things turn ugly.

    :lurk Waiting with baited breath for more of this fantabulous RR!:lurk
  19. groop

    groop So much to ponder

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
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    3,823
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    oc, ca
    "Honest officer. It's not drug paraphanalia. These surgical clamps are part of every motorcycle toolbox for emergency stator repair." :clap


    Best RR ever Doc. Keep it up.
  20. katoomryder

    katoomryder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Cambridge, NY
    this edition of Mobius has had more twist & turns than the other 3 combined!! Glad things worked out so well. Now on with the show!!:ricky :lol3