1,651 1,796 Mile Fly-and-Ride on a 2014 Honda CB500F This is going to be a ride-report in real time as I'm getting ready to head for the airport here in a few minutes. If you'd like to follow my progress near real-time, you can see my FindMeSpot page below: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0HQFIevq7XjSijy9yL2OC4qDgZCLVSegh I haven't shared it with you all yet but I did a 1300 mile ride on the Scrambler over Memorial Day weekend. On that ride, I put enough miles on my XJ600 scrambler to notice some things that really bugged me about it. Things I've known for years and always lived with but that became irritating when using the bike on long rides. The biggest one, carburetors. The carburetors are finicky and the fueling gets really bad with big elevation changes. It makes the bike's performance notably inconsistent. Aside from that, vibrations. The engine resonates at 4k rpm and sends these high-frequency vibrations down your arms and up your feet. This wouldn't be a problem except that 65mph cruising speed holds the engine right at that 4k rpm range. To get some relief, you can either slow down or downshift and rev the engine above 5k. I don't like either option. After tens of thousands of miles on these bikes, I've finally tired of this. On that trip, I lost two of the nuts which hold the exhaust manifold to the cylinder head. I was lucky and had a couple of nylock nuts that I made work, to get me home. But those nuts are special to the Seca II and they are now obsolete. I have to wait weeks for used parts to crop up on eBay before I can fix the bike the right way. Parts availability for the Seca II is getting worse and parts that are still available are expensive. After a long, hard, think, I've decided its time to retire the XJ. I've been giving some thoughts as to what I want to do for my next bike. I like small displacement, light, agile, slow bikes. That's why you see so much of my Royal Enfield CL500. One bike that kept cropping up as a replacement is Honda's CB500F. It is powered by a parallel twin engine, 441 cc, with fuel injection. The engine is rated at 49 HP and 31 ft-lbs of torque which is similar to the power output of the XJ600 that I'm used to. The CB500F has a digital gauge cluster which includes a fuel gauge, a pair of trip meters and a MPG readout. Parts are cheap and readily available. And the styling is tolerable. The CB500F hasn't really been much of a consideration as I can't find one locally for much under $4500. I will periodically do an eBay search for motorbikes within a 500-mile radius around Denver. While doing this the other night, I stumbled across a beautiful, white, 2014 Honda CB500F in Albuquerque. It was a bid-only auction and I bid $2700 as my max bid. I figured I could drag the trailer to Albuquerque and bring it home on a Saturday. My bid was good and I won the bike. Exciting. When I went to pay for the Honda, though, I noticed that it WASN'T in Albuquerque but in Appling Georgia. Seriously. Georgia. 1700 miles away. How the hell did I make that mistake? I went back and took a look. There IS an identical CB500F on eBay in New Mexico. What I think happened is this; I did the search and viewed the bike in New Mexico. A few days later, eBay showed me the one in Atlanta as a 'recommended' result and I thought it was the one I'd looked at in NM. I didn't notice that the Atlanta bike wasn't the Albuquerque bike when I bid. Now I have to find a way to get a bike home that's 1700 miles away. I put up a request on UShip, eBay's recommended shipper, to see if I could get some inexpensive shipping. This site works by posting up your request and letting shippers quote on it. It's not a guaranteed thing despite what eBay might lead you to believe. So I put out a request to ship the bike from Appling to Denver. I received several quotes though the best one was for $1300, about half the price of the bike. The reality of what I'd done hit hard. With no other option, I decided I'd have to fly out and ride it home. I don't really have much time to take off of work so I had to make the trip in four days or less. A plan formed. I would fly to Atlanta, hop a rental car to Augusta, pick up the bike and then ride home. One hurdle that I had to overcome before the ride, though, was the matter of license plates. Georgia doesn't issue temporary tags for private party sales. In that state, a bill-of-sale and a signed title are all you need while you await registration. But that doesn't do me any good for the other 8 states I'll ride through. After lots of thought, the only way I could get it to work was to pay the seller in-full, have him sign over the title and a bill-of-sale and send them to me, USPS insured, overnight. That way, I could then take them to my local DMV and get a temporary tag. I had no trouble getting a 60-day temporary tag from my local DMV. I spent some time thinking my way through a ride back to Denver from Augusta with several considerations: I would only have four days to make the trip, I couldn't reasonably ride more than 500 miles each day, I wanted to stay in hotels and I wanted to avoid freeways as much as possible. Throwing that list at Google maps, this is what I came up with. Nightly stops include Florence, Alabama, Fayetteville, Arkansas and Dodge City, Kansas. There were a couple that concern me about the first: The first is the distance; 500 miles on a 500cc bike. That's a lot of miles to cover and I'm afraid I'll have trouble with fatigue. The second is, where to carry all the stuff I think I'll need? I usually have a top bag and a pair of saddlebags on these trips and this one is longer than my others by about 300 miles. I ordered a couple of accessories to help alleviate those concerns. I bought a Puig windscreen hoping that additional wind protection will help give me the energy I'll need to make the long days. I also ordered a Givi rear rack. I figure I can strap my Nelson Rigg tailbag to the rear rack and then strap my Motocentric bag to that. I'll give me about the same amount of storage as I typically have on the other bikes. I figure I can bolt on each when I get to the hotel after picking up the bike. Logistics are going to be a nightmare. From Denver, I’ll fly out to Atlanta, I'll rent a car and drive to the hotel in Augusta. I'll drop off my stuff at the hotel and then drive to the local uHaul where I've reserved a pickup and motorcycle trailer. I'll leave the car at the uHaul and drive the truck over to get the bike. Once I have that done, I will tow the bike to the Augusta airport where I'll park it in airport parking. I'll then drive the truck back to uHaul and pick up the car. I'll finish by dropping off the car at Augusta airport where I will then ride the bike back to the hotel. Woof! So here we go. I'm all packed up, gear in a large, heavy duffel back, and a tail bag as a carry on, and I'm off to the airport.