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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by bwhip62, Mar 18, 2015.
My plan last weekend was to trim giant trees at our place using a 45' boom lift - on Friday and Sunday of the holiday weekend, and on Saturday, I'd go for a day trip over in eastern Oregon. The tree job wound up being so overwhelming, that I spent all three days on it, and then spent yesterday afternoon with an awesome rental chipper grinding up all the trimmings, then hauling the mountain of chips over to the dump with a dump trailer. So, today was riding day! Plus the fact that it was going to be 100 degrees at home, so a riding trip to the mountains sounded much better than hanging out here.
I did my usual "street track day" approach, loading up the bike and driving two hours to Baker City, which would be the launch point. It was the Tuono's turn. Ride would be roughly 250 miles, with a nice combination of super tight and twisty forest roads, along with fast and flowing desert tarmac.
Bike matches the truck pretty well, no?
Did lots more riding than shooting photos. But the stretch through the forest is so pretty I had to snap a few. Lots of wildflowers in bloom!
The bike was so good, it's completely ridiculous. As I was riding through the tight forest part, I was thinking how perfect the bike was for that. Incredible sound, lots of buttery shifting, great suspension. Then I got to the high speed desert part, and it was just as brilliant there!
Toward the end of the ride, I was on a favorite back road approaching Baker City, out in the desert, in the absolute middle of nowhere. This road is FAST. I was going extremely fast, then a little voice told me to not be greedy, and to back off a bit. I've learned over the years to listen to that little voice. I reduced the speed by about 30% (still well over the limit), and leaned into a right hander. Suddenly the bike got super squirrely, and started to slide a lot, right at the same time as I noticed that the road appeared to be saturated with liquid of some sort. OIL. I had to stand the bike up a bit, and thankfully no cars were coming the other direction, because I wound up having to straighten out the corner to avoid wiping out. I was approaching the gravely shoulder fast, but was very grateful that I was able to slow the bike down pretty quickly and avoid an off-road adventure which would have turned ugly quickly.
I followed the oil trail up the hill (riding in the oncoming lane to avoid it). It led to a giant piece of farm equipment, which had been pulled over to the side of the road eventually, once they must have figured out they were coating the road with oil. Super dangerous! Nobody around, so I hoped that they were preparing to get it fixed and clean up the mess.
All in all, a fantastic ride on the most versatile, fun, badass bike I can imagine. Man I love this thing. I always think about what Michael Neeves, the reviewer for MCN magazine, said in his video review. "If I could marry a bike, it would be this one."
Hope you feel fortunate.. Glad you didn't put it down and/or get hurt. Public roads, IMO, are always more dangerous than dedicated tracks, track days or actual race events. Lots of unpredictable situations can develop at a moments notice and
can really test the skills of the rider at the controls. Your skills obviously saved your hide, the moto and/or a hospital visit.
Had a surprise one day on my sumo while ripping it up on a curvy 200 mile course I've done numerous times that usually is without any traffic what so ever. Came around a heavily wooded right hand blind corner at a good clip and found this monstrosity sitting stopped in the middle of the road. Kinda ruined the rest of my ride...
BTW,, nice photos and those road you ride are top notch.
Awesome photos and stable! Most are lucky to have just one, let alone all four of those bikes.
I am curious... during your more spirited rides, do you use Waze or any other sort of app to keep an eye up the road for guys handing out awards for high speed?
Sweet bike and rides as always. I just blew by La Grand last weds. Monroe WA to Ontario for an overnight before hitting 95 south to Winnemuca /Bridgport CA.
A week before that I rode up from Bend northward to Hood River. Amazing lonely high speed empty roads as you get closer to Hood River.
Keep riding as posting my friend!
Thank you! Yes, I am constantly surprised and grateful to realize that I actually have this collection. Certainly through the many years of working 60 hour weeks and putting kids through expensive colleges, it wasn't even a remote possibility.
By more spirited rides, do you mean - "all of your rides?"
I have a mount for my radar detector on the Multistrada, which has saved my butt many, many times. On the other bikes I take my chances a bit more, and am somewhat selective about where I push it. Thankfully, most of the places I go are so remote that there is very little risk. That seems to be more of an issue on the more well-traveled highways, and I'm more careful about it in those locations.
It was definitely implied
Not sure how I never seen this thread before. But WOW, incredible pics, roads, drone shots, bikes! Im IN!!!!!!
Thanks so much!
What a great time we had this past weekend!
Our annual NW tour event is always one of the highlights of the year for me. My buddy Zoltan from South Carolina flies out and joins me and some of my local buddies - Terry, Tim, and Tom this time. We've had our friend Mathieu (from Montreal) join us the last couple of years, and he really wanted to come back this year too. Unfortunately, with the border closure in effect, that wasn't possible this time. Still, we started with six guys this year – two cars, four bikes. Notice I said “started with” – not finished with. I was on the Multistrada, Z driving the M2, my friend Tyler drove his M3 (his GT350 is missing a bumper), Tim was on his new BMW S1000XR, Terry on a Yamaha Tracer, and Tom on the Yamaha FJ-09.
We started with dinner at my place – homemade pizza and some Chocolate Cream Espresso Bars - you know, the same kind of meal MotoGP racers have the night before a big race.
Friday morning we headed north up Highway 55.
It was due to get really hot, so we got an early start. By the time we got to Riggins (about three hours north), we were starting to get pretty warm!
We raced up White Bird Hill, and stopped at the top for a break and a few photos. When I bought the drone earlier this year, I was really thinking about this trip, and was excited to bring it along to capture some of the fun - both with photos and video.
We stopped in Grangeville for a lunch and some air conditioning, because we knew we were about to experience not only a really amazing road (out to Elk City on Hwy 14), but also some oppressive heat.
As always, the road to Elk City was completely brilliant. A bit bumpy, but super fun and scenic. I stopped along the way for a bit of video with the drone, and appreciated the guys’ patience as I set things up, which sometimes meant having to wait around a bit.
By the time we got back toward Kooskia, we were seeing temperatures in the low 100’s, even up to 110. It was rough on the motorcyclists in all their protective gear, and on Tyler too – since the air conditioning in his M3 was broken! We stopped along the river to cool off a bit, which really helped. Beautiful, too!
Not only was Tyler’s A/C not working, he was starting to hear strange noises and clunking from the front end of his car, indicating an issue with the steering/suspension. Not a good thing when driving/riding the way we were. As we got closer to our first evening’s destination of Orofino, he pulled over to investigate as it seemed to be getting worse. He made the decision to cautiously continue to Orofino, and when we got there he took it to a tire shop and they diagnosed the problem as a control arm bushing that had fallen out. They weren’t able to repair it, but said he should be able to gently drive it home. So, unfortunately, he decided to head home to Boise Saturday morning – especially since driving gently was not likely where we were going.
The view from the hotel in Orofino sure is nice. This is looking west from our balcony:
Early Saturday morning the (now) five of us left Orofino, and had a nice little wake-up ride up the very steep and twisty Old Highway 7 toward Cavendish. What a gem of a road! We stopped along the way where the view is particularly nice for some pics and video. It was a beautiful Idaho morning, and we were sure glad to be enjoying it the way we were.
We continued north toward St. Maries, through some beautiful forest areas, seemingly no one on the road but us. Just the way we like it! There was some cloud cover too, which made things a little humid, but the temperatures were much cooler than they had been the day before.
The St Joe River Road outside of St Maries is completely awesome. It runs along the river for 70 miles or so, and we did a whole bunch of that, out and back, stopping for a few shots and some video (drone and GoPro) along the way.
We were really relieved to have much more moderate temperatures on Saturday. There was a good bit of cloud cover, and temps most of the day were 80 or less.
We headed south to Lewiston for the night. Most everyone was pretty worn out and glad to get there relatively early in the afternoon to relax and clean bikes and so on. I decided it was prime time to take the M2 up to the ultra-twisty Old Spiral Highway climbing the hill north of Lewiston. I ran the GoPro attached to the roof, looking out over the hood, and it was completely awesome! (see video below) My facial expression at the top of the hill indicates that I really felt that car was designed especially for that road!
We had a nice dinner that evening, celebrating the fun we were having, and checking out some of the video we captured Saturday.
Sunday morning it was time to head back to Boise. We'd spent the whole route so far in Idaho. Now it was time to venture through some really brilliant roads in eastern Washington and Oregon, then loop back into Idaho in the home stretch. We'd go through the incredible Rattlesnake Pass, have brunch in Joseph, then cross the Snake River back into Idaho, where it was due to be quite hot once again.
What can I say about Rattlesnake? It just doesn't get much better than this, for mind-blowing views and twisty tarmac. It was pretty early in the morning, and no clouds in sight, so not ideal for photos with all the contrast between bright light and deep shadows, but still incredibly fun to ride. And we got some absolutely sick video footage with the drone, which was a dream come true for me.
We had a nice brunch in Joseph, OR, then headed through a really tight and twisty route through the deep, dense forest, over Wallowa Mountain and descended down into the Snake River Canyon.
Of course, videographer guy really wanted to stop along the way a bunch of times for more drone footage, but it was getting quite warm and I didn't want the gang of sweating riders to toss me off a cliff, so I decided that would have to wait for another time.
We made it home mid-afternoon, and of course the first priority was getting all the dust and bugs off the rides!
Later that evening when it cooled off (a little), Terry came back, and he and Z went for a little demo ride on some Italian exotica:
They came back with big smiles and excitement/fear in their eyes, so mission accomplished I reckon.
I'm glad we all kept it safe and sane-ish, and I'm so glad everyone had such a good time. I sure can't wait for the next one!
I edited a bunch of the video and photos together. It was magical being able to capture some of the drone footage I've been dreaming of - and some GoPro stuff too along the way.
Well, almost everyone had a great weekend. Tyler did manage to get his M3 home safely on Saturday, though he did have an unexpected (and unwelcome) stop along the way. D'oh!