[Catchy Title Describing Two KTMs Riding the Northeast]

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GoGoGavin41, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
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    The Holy City
    @RootinRedPig (Russell) and I have been friends for ~13 years. He actually first introduced me to motorcycles back in middle school on his TTR 125. Many years, bikes, and a wife and baby later for me, we find ourselves at opposite ends of the eastern seaboard with a woeful lack of shared trips despite our extensive riding experience. Having just moved my wife and I (and now 4 month old) to Charleston SC from San Diego, we've made it a point to get together more often as Russell lives in NYC. The stars seem to have aligned and we're set to spend a few days riding around the Northeast at the beginning of September.

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    [Previous trip shown for anatomical reference - Russell is the one that looks like the Pringles Guy]

    Rewinding a few years, my wife and were hit by a negligent car that totaled our F650GS in San Diego. Having been a long time fan of the LC8 platform, we used the generous insurance money on a 2007 990 Adv. Probably the perfect bike to have out west.

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    After a few years of riding and rock climbing, we decided to fire up the old biologic replacement protocol and try to make it back east closer to family. Things lined up great and we landed in Charleston where we just had our first son.

    Fast forward to a few months ago, Russell and I were planning this trip - him on his GSXR and me on my Aprilia Futura - when he decided he should do a handspring over some teenagers hood on a shakedown ride in anticipation of the trip. Being the athletic and resilient individual he is, Russell landed on his feet and finished with a roundoff (just kidding). He was fine but short a ride so I started wooing him with tales of the big twin. Somehow I convinced him that European motorcycle ownership was a good idea and he ended up with this 2007 950 SM.

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    It already has a water pump leak :lol3. My abuse of our 990 has turned me into a fairly competent LC8 mechanic so I can at least guide his wallet to the most reasonable parts vendors.

    Anyhow, the plan is for me to leave from NC, ride up to Newport RI for a work engagement, after which Russ will join me. Items on the punch list are The Hampster, White Mountain National Forest, Acadia National Park, West Quoddy Head Maine (eastern-most point in the US), Portland Maine, and maybe some time in Canada.

    Perhaps most importantly, my vote for trip theme song is "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" by Mr. Dylan.



    Russell has yet to submit his theme song input.

    The goal of this RR will be to document our trip, share some media, and probably get some video of Russell eating something out of a toilet or something like that.

    Here's our last big trip together in NC a few years ago.
    #1
  2. RootinRedPig

    RootinRedPig Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
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    15
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    New York, NY
    I've found a song to submit for the theme...



    It's Roger McGuinn's version of It's Alright Ma (I'm only Bleeding) from Easy Rider. This one is actually Dylan written too.

    My toilet bobbing days are behind me Gavin!

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    #2
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  3. flyinturbo

    flyinturbo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    132
    In! Enjoy the ride!
    #3
  4. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,250
    Location:
    The Holy City
    Days 1-5

    I left NC and headed to Philadelphia to stay with a friend. No pictures of the ride because it was highway the whole way. The friend lives in an older part of the city and, amazingly, has his own parking spot which I put to use.

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    After some cheese steaks and sleep I left early the next morning to make my way to RI via NYC. Rode around Philadelphia a little on my way. This would be the first of several morning commutes I'd share with city dwellers and I'd say Philly was the most pleasant.

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    Onto Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel. Important note: If you're traveling north of DC via Interstate, don't be stupid like me and go ahead and get an EZ Pass.

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    Regrouping at the Ducati shop on Manhattan. Parked with all the Eurotrash.

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    Here's where my trip started getting interesting. While waiting to get lunch with @RootinRedPig I decided to buzz around the city some more. Lots of fun splitting again (I lived in CA for several years) and riding around the city. The bike was running one bar hot and I was charging my phone. Riding up 6th Ave I decided to flip the motor off for a moment to let the fans run. About ten seconds later the light turned green, thumbed the starter and only heard the clicks of death. Shit. Pushed the bike up to a side street next to a food cart. Luckily, I had come prepared!!! I had run a long set of wires and crimped it to a powerlet adapter and brought a set of alligator clips. The cart had two batteries which I clipped to and waited.

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    I tried the bike on and off for about an hour with no luck. Asked around for real jumper cables, but this is NYC so apparently no one has them. Finally had to call a tow service to get a real jump. Got it started, made lunch, and left the city a little late to go to RI. Riding through CT sucked; lots of rain, traffic, bad drivers, rude people, etc. Least favorite part of the trip. Finally got to RI and had my three days of work.

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    [No actual pictures of work]. Friday rolled around and it was time to meet up with Russell...
    #4
  5. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

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    Day 6

    Work was done for me and it was time to meet up with Russ. We decided to meet in my favorite state (CT) due to convenience. I made my way back down the coast and had lunch at Mystic Pizza. Never seen the movie, but it was on the way so what the heck. Still had to kill a few hours so I rode to New Haven and rode around Yale a little. Not necessarily a fan of Ivy League schools but it was certainly interesting to see all the old buildings and young people in the pursuit of knowledge. Left New Haven and arrived at the wonderful service station on I-95 that I would meet Russ at. More rain and unpleasantness. I did end up changing a tire for a young couple with a baby. This would be the first flat of several that I'd deal with over the course of the trip :fpalm

    Russ eventually arrived around 11 p.m. and we set out north for NH. I had found a Cabelas in MA that allowed free RV camping in their parking lot. We got in around 2 a.m. and decided we liked the back of the building better behind a fence.

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    It was at this point I realized my sleeping pad had failed sometime in the two months since I had last used it. You can see the ground isn't especially even behind that fence, so it wasn't exactly a "comfortable" night. I have a 5 month old though, so I'm fairly used to getting less sleep by now.

    Lots of interesting sounds that night, possibly someone doing some angle grinding at 4 a.m.?

    We got up early to head up to NH to get on the Hampster.
    #5
  6. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

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    Day 7

    This is about where @RootinRedPig might start having a few pictures and stories to share. I'll go ahead and tell my version so you can know the truth of things...

    Saturday morning we made our way to Hollis NH to start the Hampster which is advertised as a dirt route the length of NH. Our plan as to make it to the Littleton area and camp in the White Mountains. Progress was reasonable although I have to say I wasn't especially impressed with the southern portions of the leg we did. I have some video I might insert later but it was mostly asphalt before the GoPro died.

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    Probably ~100 miles into the leg the scenery became more mountainous and inspiring. Unfortunately, we were starting to run out of daylight and only completed ~140 miles of the planned 180 to Littleton. It was out to the asphalt for us and into Littleton for essentials - wood, beer, hot dogs, and a handful of ears of corn that would accompany us for almost the entire trip.

    Free camping in White Mountain National Forest
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    Note possible lack of air in the Adv's rear tire...
    #6
  7. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

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    Day 8

    We woke to a lot of wind and the beginnings of rain. By the time we were packed up it was raining HARD. As we tore out (without really knowing where we were going) I noticed my rear felt a little sluggish but attributed it to the muddy gravel and additional weight of the corn. We found refuge under an overpass where we got our gear sorted and bearings set.

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    All ready to go, I pulled the bike off the centerstand and nearly dropped it for hitting the sidestand. The rear was totally flat. That's ok, I came prepared!!!

    My logic going into the trip was that I should bring a 21" tube and patch kit. Minor puncture front or rear - patch. Major failure - the 21" will get us out of the sh*t in either the front or rear tire, and I should have no problem finding an 18" tube, thinking I would have trouble finding a 21". We'll come back to this later.

    So, tube out, patch on, set the bead very nicely with a 20 oz. CO2 canister and we're on our way south to Lincoln NH.

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    We make it down there and find the patch is slowly leaking. It's then that I discover that finding an 18" tube on a Sunday in the middle of NH is not going to happen. We had ambitions for making it to Acadia National Park that night but that's looking impossible now even with a functional tire. We decide to cut our losses and just try to make it to my wife's Aunt's place in Portland. Maine, not Oregon, of course.

    We picked our way past pirates down the very pleasant Kancamagus Highway into Conway NH - Video to follow.

    We had talked to Whitehorse Gear earlier and found that they did not have any 18" tubes on hand. We decided to stop through and see if anyone visiting the store might have a spare tube. No luck, and my battery happen to die again while we were there! Big thanks to the guys at the shop for helping me with another jump and getting us back underway.

    We finally roll into Portland and get settled at my Aunt's

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    Just for background, my Aunt and Russell are both architects of the modern variety. Lots of fine architecture related conversation followed over a proper Maine lobster dinner. I believe my contributions to the conversation amounted to something like "mmhmm" and "oh yeah" and "what is a measured drawing?".

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    At some point during this day we also ordered a new tube (or two) via a local shop and got a new battery for my bike at Batteries+. I think I also changed my oil that night too.

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    Here's a tired Russ.
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    #7
  8. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

    Joined:
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    Day 9

    The next morning saw a flurry of activity. We put the new battery in my bike and also took a shot at re-patching the tube. Russ did a great job of it and we decided to make a run for Acadia for the night.

    Russ checking out some more architecture with his bi-nocu-lars.
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    Ref:


    At some point along the way Russ suggested through the headset that we should get some lobster and grill them up at the campsite. I was doubtful that this would work, but sure enough we found a place and they said grilling is an option.

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    With two live lobster strapped to the back of my bike I wheelied out of the parking lot in what we assume is the first ever "Wheelie on KTM LC8 with Live Lobster on Board".

    We arrived at the campsite and fired up the grill. Grilling lobster requires that you cut them in half down the middle while still alive. Russ went for a killing blow by stabbing it in the head-area before bisecting it. Despite his lack of crustacean anatomical knowledge it seemed to work. I just cut the thing in half and got cut by it's tail in the process. Russ has a good shot of the grill with remainder of our corn. Turned out to be the best lobster I've ever had.

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    #8
  9. 51%

    51% ReadyToRide

    Joined:
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    Somewhere in North America. Probably.
    "Two Katooms in the land of the Loons"?
    #9
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  10. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
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    sanity?
    Can of fix a flat works well for getting you to a shop for a tube change. It does make a mess but it's easy
    #10
  11. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

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    Yeah, we put one in there while we were at Whitehorse. Didn't seem to make much difference - I think our first patch job just wasn't good enough.
    #11
  12. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

    Joined:
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    Day 10

    Setting out from Acadia we had plans to make it to Exeter Academy in NH to check out some architecture. The island was nice but we didn't have much time to hang around.

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    Russ had a close call on one of the gravel roads through the park.



    We were both glad he stayed upright. After grab-assing around in the park it was time to head back to Portland to pick up my new tubes and get one in there that would reliably get me back to NC. I'd had plenty of practice with the tube at that point and we were in and out in about 30 minutes.

    Next stop was the Phillips Exeter Academy Library

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    This is a modern library designed by Louis Kahn back in the 60s. I'll let Russ elaborate on it's design but it was very cool.

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    We spent ~1 hour walking around and getting stared at by the highschool kids. I made a very smart call and switched from my squeaky Sidis to my street shoes.

    After a late dinner we were in need of a place to spend the night, preferably south of NH. The Ch√Ęteau de Cabelas answered the call once more. This time we got to watch a pair of middle aged women dumpster dive at ~1 a.m.
    #12
  13. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    The Holy City
    Day 11

    Another beautiful morning waking up to the sound of semis docking trailers to the back of a shopping center had us wondering where the day would take us. We ultimately wanted to end up back in Manhattan @RootinRedPig 's place via one of the ferries from CT to Long Island (where Russell's GF lives).

    We decided to head to Boston to check things out for a while before we needed to head south. We once again found ourselves commuting into one of the east coast's biggest cities during rush hour and decided to take an alternative route that sent us past Walden Pond and this cool modern house from the 30s - the Gropius House. Russell of course had to see it.

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    Would never have guessed this thing was built almost 80 years ago.

    Getting into the city turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. Both bikes were overheating sitting in traffic, we got separated and lost at least twice. Drove by a few historic sites and starting getting tight on time so we cut out for CT. Leaving the city on the interstate we discovered that Russell's low fuel light doesn't work :doh. Thankfully, he was able to coast through traffic to the shoulder where I siphoned some gas between our tanks.

    We eventually made it to the New London Ferry and had a second to rest.

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    Once in NY we were confronted with a violent thunderstorm that slowed us down further. The original plan was to leave the 950 in Long Island (where Russ is able to safely keep his bike) and ride two-up into the biggest city in the US. We ultimately decided that doing that was stupid and spent the night in Long Island.
    #13
  14. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

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    Location:
    The Holy City
    Day 12-13

    I was on my own once again and left Long Island early to try to avoid some traffic in NYC :lol3 Lol good one Gavin.

    Getting closer to the city I was keeping a close eye on when bikes started splitting. Once I felt it was "safe" I started as well. I was making pretty good time despite the massive width of the 990's bags. The lanes were starting to get pretty tight through Queens and I ended up bonking into the tires of a trailer towing a tractor of all things. I managed to stay up, saw there was no damage to either of us (except for some black marks on my bag) and pulled ahead to signal to the guy. He didn't seem to notice anything had even happened so on we both went, me staying happily in a full lane.

    Made it through all the urban sprawl down to Baltimore where I met up with some people from home. I stayed with a friend who is now a SWAT officer. He put my shooting skills to shame.

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    Also went and visited my sister and nephew. My nephew likes wheelies so I had to oblige. His laugh at the end is great.


    Sorry for the terrible cell phone quality

    The next morning saw another pre-dawn departure. Much to my disappointment, I found that one of the speakers to my Sena headset had broken after only a week of use. Revzilla already has a replacement on the way.

    Met up with a guy delivering a buddy's BMW from NJ to MS and rode with him for probably 2 hours on 81 and 77. Finally made it back to NC and got to see my wife and son.

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    #14
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  15. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

    Joined:
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    2,250
    Location:
    The Holy City
    Lessons learned:

    I feel like I learned a couple things during this trip and figured I'd write them down or I'd forget them.

    Bluetooth Headsets - they are the difference between doing a trip WITH someone, and going on a several day long ride with another person on a bike following you who you occasionally talk to at gas stops.

    EZ Pass - if you're traveling via interstate north of DC, get one.

    Tubes - carrying a minimal kit to get you out of a helpless situation is fine, but carrying only that kit might irreparably alter your plans. From now on I'm carrying both tubes when outside of "Wife please bring the truck" range.

    Air - similar to tubes. The CO2 canisters I had worked pretty well, but we went bingo quickly after having to set the bead several times. I probably need to invest in a small 12v pump.

    Helmet head - I have permanent helmet hair after wearing the Shoei all day every day for almost two weeks. Solution is... shave your head?

    Family - I thought I wouldn't have too much homesickness being away from a crying baby, but I was painfully wrong about that.
    #15
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  16. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,482
    Location:
    sanity?
    My arai gives me serious helmet head hair regardless of how short my hair is. Though I have yet to go full shave.

    I keep a 21 inch tube in the left front plastic fairing piece on my 950. With the canisterectomy done there is a lot of storage room in those pieces. On longer trips I take a front and rear tube. There are some good very compact electric air pumps you should get and wire into a quick connect plug.
    #16
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