Clunking my CX Cross Country

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jlevers, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Day 0: Packing


    Goddamn, they weren’t kidding...packing is hard work! Probably my least favorite part of any trip, but a necessary evil. I have little doubt that I’ll forget lots of things, and bring things that I don’t need, but hey, that’s how it goes. I have pretty basic luggage (strap on saddlebags, a huge drybag, a tank bag, and a backpack), but I should have more than enough room.

    My room kinda looks like a bomb went off, since I’m both packing for this trip…

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    ...AND packing up all the stuff I’m getting shipped out to Bellingham, since I’ll be living there for the next year:

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    Now that I’m actually beginning to move most of my belongings out of the room where I’ve lived for 10 years, the trip is starting to feel a little more real. I’m hyped! The bike is also pretty much good to go. Did a bunch of maintenance items -- just need to replace the cooling fan (for the fourth fucking time, I keep overtightening them and they crack) and it’ll be as ready as it’ll ever be. (Since writing that, I replaced the fan and there's still a clattering noise coming from the front of the engine...If I ignore it it'll go away, right?)


    Gotta say, one of the hardest parts of preparing for this trip so far has been saying bye to my friends. I’d be doing that even if I was going to college this year instead of doing this trip and taking a gap year, but still, I finally made some really good friends this year and it sucks to say bye. So here’s a gratuitous picture from graduation of me with my friends Sarah (left) and Chris (right) (Rose should also be here but I somehow don’t have a good picture with her in it):

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    …and as of posting this, my bike is (almost) all the way packed! Sorry for the crap picture, it’s totally dark out and my garage lighting is eh.

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    #21
  2. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Before I say this -- don't get me wrong, I love my bike. But I've never found it comfortable for long periods...I think it's because a) the stock bars were bent, so I replaced them with lower bars which handle better, but which put too much weight on my shoulders (both my shoulders are messed up from wrestling), and b) I'm short, and I find the reach from the seat to the bars to be kinda far. I'm sure I'll find ways to make it more comfortable on this ride! I recently made a ghetto throttle lock out of a coat hanger and some heat shrink, so that's a start!

    I totally meant to respond to your earlier offer, thank you so much! I'll most likely take you up on all that when I get into the area. This is random, but do you know how to weld? I need a really basic fix done to my kickstand, but I don't have access to a welder.

    Also, CX650T...:getiton:getiton:getiton...I'd love to get my hands on one of those.
    #22
  3. ponytl

    ponytl even my new bike is old

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    443
    Location:
    memphis
    yeah i have a full metal/fab shop just give me a heads up and i'll make sure i'm around... i'll give you my cell number left you a PM
    #23
  4. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,880
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    IN!

    Hi from NZ :wave
    #24
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  5. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Due to an unfortunate combination of a) my cousin unexpectedly having to work from 5pm yesterday until 8am this morning, and b) lots of rain, we're postponing till tomorrow. Urgh...
    #25
    flei likes this.
  6. KTM Mike

    KTM Mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,469
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    Flexibility is key when it comes to trips like this!

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
    #26
    jlevers likes this.
  7. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    I know, and as I think I mentioned this in my first post, I'm working on it, but still have a ways to go :D
    #27
    flei likes this.
  8. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Quick update: we got a late start, but got some really good riding in. The road over Mt. Greylock was incredible! We're currently somewhere in eastern NY, stealth camped between two houses. We had a great time today! Struggled with lighting the MSR Whisperlite, but we just got it going. I'll have a better update in a day or two, with lots of pictures! Gotta find some WiFi first....
    #28
    flei and oldtouring B like this.
  9. brownricer

    brownricer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2014
    Oddometer:
    430
    Location:
    Shenandoah, PA
    Glad to see someone going "over the horizon" on a Twisted Twin... my GL500 is a little cushier than a CX, but not much, and it has served me well on some long trips. A lot of people, even young people like you, wouldn't dream of making such a journey on a 500-especially an old one- but they just don't "get it", LOL. I haven't gone coast-to-coast on it yet; maybe next year.
    If you aren't a member of the HTTA forum, you should sign up- you'll find a wealth of knowledge and people all across the country eager to help out a CX rider in need.

    http://cx500forum.com/forum/forum.php
    #29
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  10. ponytl

    ponytl even my new bike is old

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    443
    Location:
    memphis
    Glad you got on the road and had a safe day... don't rush.... relax and the miles fly by
    #30
    jlevers likes this.
  11. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    The people at cx500forum.com have helped me out SO much--I literally trailered my bike down to Murray in NC from the forum because I had an issue I couldn't figure out, and he fixed it for free! Couldn't have done this without that forum.
    #31
  12. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Sorry about the lack of updates, I haven't had service much of the last day or so. The report for the first two days will be up later today! We're in Downsville New York right now getting gas.
    #32
    mrbreeze, KingFishman and Shaggie like this.
  13. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12,898
    Location:
    Tennessee
    in!

    Not many people your age have the cojones to attempt what you are doing! I wish you the best! If you get to Tennessee and need a place to crash for the night, or a place to work on your bike, I am about an hour south of Nashville. I also have a truck and a trailer.
    #33
  14. FlatlandKSBrett

    FlatlandKSBrett Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    Salina, ks
    Yep, this is cool. If you find yourself in the middle of Kansas and need a hand let me know.
    #34
  15. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Day 1


    We got a late start, but we were off! Couldn’t have been more psyched, although it was weird to think that I was permanently leaving home.

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    Here’s a odometer pic for posterity:

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    First, we had to head to Ashfield to get some $1 ice cream cones...we decided 4 were in order. I totally forgot to take a picture, but trust me, they were awesome. Then, thinking I knew where we were going since we were still less than 5 miles from my house, I accidentally took us onto some dirt:

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    It actually turned out to be super pretty! We headed out towards Greylock, hitting some fun roads. Route 2 has nice curves and nice views:

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    The river monster!


    [​IMG]Florida, MA overlook


    Next stop: Mt. Greylock! Lemme tell ya, the Mt. Greylock Scenic Byway is one of the most fun roads I’ve ever ridden :ricky. We also managed to get to the top just in time to not have to pay for parking :rayof (not sure why some of these came out so dark):

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    Took a quick walk up the tower:

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    The road down was even better than the road up :ricky

    Shortly after leaving Greylock, we crossed the first state line of the trip:

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    One down, twenty to go!

    We set up our tent in between two houses in a logging area...No better stealth camping spot than one where a dog barks at you every time you try to light the stove. Which, by the way, was many times. We have a new MSR Whisperlite that neither of us had ever used...the third or fourth time I was lighting it, I had my hand too close to the flame and jerked back, knocking the very much still flaming stove onto the ground. Mild panic ensued. Whoops, live and learn...

    To close out the day, here’s a gratuitous picture of Jonah peeing:

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    -------------------------------------

    Start: Northampton, Massachusetts
    End: West Salt Lake, New York
    Mileage: 104 miles
    #35
  16. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Day 2


    We got an earlier start today. After packing up the tent and one lost set of keys, we were on the road...here’s where we woke up:

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    Fun fact: we were woken up by mooing cows. That’s a new one...Thank you, New York.

    We were really close to Albany, so we decided to go eat breakfast there, forgetting that it was Sunday and nothing was open. We found a really nice park to eat in in the government district, but we needed water, so I walked into the “closed” Legislative Building and begged a security guard to let me use his sink :raindance He was a little weirded out, but water is water!

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    After getting super lost getting out of Albany, we started noodling our way southwest. We’re easily distracted, and ended up stopping a lot...We took a detour to Thompson Lake to go swimming, and found an awesome road (scenery wise, not turns):

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    We found a whole field of sunflowers! Never seen that before.

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    I was a little stressed about not sticking to the route I’d made, but I’m doing my best to not care about that, since I think it’ll be more fun in the long run.

    Both of our bikes started acting weird at the same time -- we both lost a lot of power. Jonah’s came back to normal after like 20 minutes, but mine kept acting up for a couple hours. Not sure what’s up with that. Also, my cooling fan is clattering louder than ever...even though I replaced it right before we left. I’m hoping it doesn’t break and destroy my radiator :amazon lastly on the list of bike issues, mine is making quite the ticking noise. I have no idea why.

    Wow, there were a TON of good roads today. Going fast on unfamiliar roads led to some never before seen lean angles...WOOOHOOOOOOOO! Also, I don’t usually like going fast for long periods, but we had a really good time on Route 32 just cruising along on some looooong sweepers :ricky

    We didn’t go very far today as the crow flies, but we backtracked and took lots of little side roads. Super fun day! Just hope the bikes hold up…

    --------------------------------------------

    Start: West Sand Lake, New York
    End: Margaretville, New York
    Mileage: 194 miles
    #36
  17. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12,898
    Location:
    Tennessee
    maybe the radiator fan bearings are bad? Were those included in the replace that you did?
    #37
    jlevers likes this.
  18. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    895
    Location:
    Al Ba Jerky. NM
    I think it's great that you stopped for ice cream 5 miles out!! Got your priorities firmly in place. LOL
    #38
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  19. ponytl

    ponytl even my new bike is old

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    443
    Location:
    memphis
    Glad you are doing it right... it is all about the stories... if something happens... just embrace the suck... wrap your arms all around it and dance...
    u have my number when you get close to memphis...
    p
    #39
    jlevers likes this.
  20. brownricer

    brownricer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2014
    Oddometer:
    430
    Location:
    Shenandoah, PA
    There are a couple of things that the fan might hit, like the oil pressure sensor wire or the rubber moulding on the back of the fan shroud. If either is out of position, that might explain the noise. My GL500 ate its rubber strip soon after I got it... don't recall it making much noise doing so, but it's a possibility. Or maybe, somehow, you managed to get the fan onto the shaft out of square...
    Anyway, it's not a huge deal to drain the rad, undo the rad bolts, undo just the bottom hose, and lever the bottom of the rad forward enough that you can have a look. Better to do it now than when you see coolant spraying out from behind the rad and the bike is overheating...
    On the other hand, the noise may have nothing to do with the fan. Some people have heard the common "tock tock" of the CX clutch when idling in neutral, and assumed it was the fan, or the valves. The test for that is to hold the clutch lever in for a moment with the bike idling in neutral, then release it. If you suddenly hear your noise clearly, relax, it's just normal clutch chatter (the backing plate inside the basket, if I remember right).
    Speaking of valves, I know you've had the engine off the bike, but have you ever checked the valve tappet clearances? You might want to at least use a 17mm socket to hand-crank the engine and see if you hear anything weird, and get a better idea where it's coming from.
    Another real easy test is to disconnect the speedo and tach cables from the gauges, and run it like that for a bit. Sometimes the "clocks" make weird noises even when they appear to be functioning normally.
    #40
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