Coffee and New Friends, One 250cc Explosion at a Time

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Tewster2, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    This is my first Ride Report on ADVrider. I don't do well writing this stuff but enjoy making videos of my travels. This post is just to introduce me and my bike. The links to the videos from the ride are at the end of this post......

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    After enjoying and living vicariously through great ride reports written by Skeird, Junyah, BigDog, and many others, I’ve decided to face the mob. I’m now at a time in my life where I can do what I want, go where I want, take as much time as I want, and go home when I’m want. I’m tired of the super highways and the rush to see as much as I can in the usual two weeks of vacation. I was ready to slow down. Riding slowly along the backroads of America is a great way to let my life continue. My new motto is, “I’d rather have more time than money”......I got my wish when I retired :)

    A little criminal background check:

    I’m a 62 year old guy, retired from Law Enforcement, not married, no children (I did get hammered in Singapore once so maybe), and began riding on a 250cc Suzuki Savage two stroke in 1967. Since the early 90’s I’ve been mostly riding the big BMW GS's. My current GS is a 2011 R1200 standard model with 70k trouble free miles on it. I don’t have a bunch of off road experience but a fair bit of roadracing miles (AMA and CCS lightweight Super Sport) in the late 80’s and early 90’s on a Yamaha FZR 400. I always wanted to race like Mike Hailwood, Kenny Roberts, and Mick Doohan but had to settle for being compared to Larry, Moe, or Curley.

    The ride reports written by you all that travel on small displacement bikes have fascinated me for years. I love my GS but have become a bit weary of all the gadgets, weight, the multitude of electronics (I do have a SPOT and a Garmin Montana 600 though), and the cost of buying and maintaining a large “adventure” bike. The challenge of low horsepower, having to rethink what I NEED on the road, REALLY packing small, and outfitting a small bike so as to not overwhelm it was very interesting to say the least. I was also trying really hard after 45 years of riding to get out of the “gotta get there quick” mentality.

    Last September I completed another enjoyable ride around the western states here in the U.S. on my GS. Shortly after getting back home, I started thinking about getting a small bike that I could set up for backroads touring with a bit of easy gravel thrown in. I began looking at bikes from all the major manufactures. I wanted a proven, reliable, little water cooled engine in a light frame, with proper suspension, and simple chain drive. I didn’t have a bunch of money to spend on engine and suspension upgrades so that was a factor. The bike had to be fuel injected as that technology was very reliable these days and I would not have to worry about re-jetting at altitude. I poked around the dealerships for a few weeks…...

    On December 9th, 2014, I cleaned up the GS, parked it in my shop, and bought a new 2015 WR250R. I had looked at small sportbikes, sport tourers, standards, and dual sports. I settled on the Yamaha as it met my requirements, had great reviews from you all, a comfortable riding position, and I wouldn't have too much plastic bodywork to worry about unlike the sport bikes and tourers….The few months before I left were really fun getting the bike set up. I call the bike a “Whizzer” in honor of one I had years ago. Those of you who are old farts like me will remember what a “Whizzer” is :)

    I left the motor completely stock for reliability, fuel mileage, and quietness. I settled on a 14/48 final drive combo. (some say that gearing is still too high, but I can change it later unlike a shaft drive bike) The motor turned right at 6100 rpms (Trail Tech Tach) in 6th gear at an actual GPS verified speed of 55 mph (a good backroads speed for me) with a 120/80-18 Avon Distanzia rear tire. Fuel mileage on a level road with no wind was around 65 to 72 mpg. I was happy with that. If the wind blew me side to side I would just slow down (I had plenty of time).

    I ran a set of Avon Distanzia tires in 90/90-21 and 120/80-18 sizes. They lasted the whole 6K miles. I will probably have the folks at Woody’s Wheel Works super lace me a 19 inch front and a 17 inch rear so I can have a better selection of more road oriented tires in the future. I love the Michelin Pilot Road 4s on my GS. I rode it over Ophir Pass in Colorado with those tires and all was well….well as best as it could be with a 600 pound bike, 100 pounds of Starbuck’s Coffee, and a 180 pound dummy on top of it :)

    The left the suspension completely stock for this trip. I was on tarmac most of the time and on the dirt on the Mokee Dugway and Valley of the Gods road, I just rode accordingly. I weigh 180 pounds and my riding gear, racks, and bags weighed about 100. Rear sag was ok (after adjusting for the load) and there was plenty of suspension travel left for any easy off road riding. Later on I will probably get a 550 pound rated rear spring from Go Race for future travels.

    For comfort I had Russell build me one of their “Sport” seats, lowered the foot pegs with larger Fastway EVO 3’s, installed a Madstad windshield, and added Oxford heated grips. All was well. No wind blast, legs stretched out a bit, my hands are warm, and my ass felt like it is sitting on a pair of Angel’s hands. A few days we rode for over 10 hours and I was never uncomfortable.

    I'm too poor to buy cheap stuff that wears out in a few months. I am willing to pay more for some kit that will last for years. So....two years ago I invested in the Klim Badlands Pro jacket and pants. They work well for me and have no signs of wear. Sidi Adventure Gortex boots have served me well for three years and are still completely waterproof. The Arai XD-4 is my helmet of choice. Fits my oblong alien shaped head very well. A pair of lightweight Klim summer gloves, a pair of Held Gotex rain gloves, and a pair of Gerbing Core 5 heated gloves protected my hands. Three pairs of Smartwool socks, three Under Armor shirts, and three pairs of LD Comfort underwear complete my riding clothes. I’ll talk about my other minimal clothing later on.

    I have a 5 year unlimited mileage Yamaha Warranty on the whizzer. I ran it hours and hours each day on the road. All well within its rpm range and probably no more that 7.5K rpm most of the time. If the thing had blown up, I would have popped into a dealer (there are many, unlike another brand), had them order a motor, and camped in the back till it came in….or rented a U-Haul truck and gone home. Easy.

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    I know my bike looks clean. I wipe it down at the end of each days riding....just my ocd :)

    In the past I have filmed my travels with one Go Pro camera for video and only my iPhone 5 for narrations and stills. This trip was no different. I don't travel with a bunch of photo or computer stuff. I like to ride instead of fooling around with electronics to keep me in touch 24 hours a day with other human beings. I shut my phone off during the day except for the photos. I also didn't post much while I was on the ride. I wanted to enjoy the ride without having to spend hours editing and uploading each night at the campground as my beer got warm and the fire went out.


    A friend and I began this ride on May 4th from my home in Western North Carolina. My buddy Anthony was riding a brand new, beautifully outfitted, 650 Wee Strom. We headed west towards Monument Valley. Along the way we found good coffee, small towns, forgotten byways, new friends, and conversation. We rode slowly traveling 250 to 450 miles a day and had no plans for the next 5 or 6 weeks. The weather dictated where we would go into Utah/Nevada/ Colorado/Wyoming. I had received emails and phone calls about my planned journey from many of you here on the forum. I finally got to meet a few of you. Thanks again!

    In the end, you all can decide if I was stupid or a genuis to ride the WR out and back…we will see. It was an adventure after all.

    Thanks for coming along. Here are the links to Episodes 1,2,and 3. I'll have more episodes later as I get them edited.

    Episode Three (Mokee Dugway, Valley of the Gods, Monument Valley)
    Episode One (Days 1,2,3 Asheville to Oklahoma)
    Episode Two
    (Oklahoma to New Mexico)
    Episode 4 (Glen Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs, Zion National Park)
    Episode 5 (Zion, Capital Reef,Lake Powell, Grand Staricase, Moab)
    Episode 6 (Moab, La Sal Mountain Loop Rd)
    Episode 7 (Canyonlands, Arches, Hwy 128, Gateway Canyons)
    Episode 8 (Durango, Silverton, Ouray...rain, ice, snow, mud)
    Episode 9 (Monarch Pass, Comanche National Grasslands)
    #1
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  2. Clampett

    Clampett Uncle Jed

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    Very good Tewster. The good thing is different detail than the videos. I've been subscribed to your uTube channel a few months now. I can hear your voice as I read the posts now....not saying that is good or bad thing :rofl
    I've been waiting on you to make comments about traveling with a companion this trip. I have a feeling it made more difference in your feelings on the trip.
    Not meaning good/bad, but just very different experience for ya.
    #2
  3. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Hey Clampett, good to hear from you. My buddy Anthony turned out to be a great riding partner. I usually travel alone because I win all the arguments! It was all good this trip.
    #3
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  4. B.B.

    B.B. Adventurer Supporter

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    Hello Tim, I'm in for this ride report. Feel like I know you as we have watched your trips on the GS for the last 2 years on youtube ( I've done Ophir pass on a WR250R, couldn't imagine doing it on a GS, alone) !! In fact, we just watched all 3 episodes of Coffee and Friends this morning prior to even knowing this ADV ride report existed. We take the same or similar ride each year at least once a year, sometimes twice. Just returned home on June 14 from a 4,867 mile run and left the bike in Casper WY. 855 miles on the Amtrak auto train plus 150 miles on a high-speed ferry across Lakel Michigan. Will return in about 3 weeks to ride it home via Sturgis, back to Florida. We eat at many of your recommended restaurants along the way, while avoiding the ones you indicate are less than par !! Most recent great experience was the Serious Texas BBQ in Durango, just last week!! Maybe see you on the road some day ! Ride safe.

    Looking forward to more of your adventure !!
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    My Whizzer in Moab last year !! And yes, I had one as a kid also ....

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    #4
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  5. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Hey B.B., thanks for following my trips over the years. My videos are what I will look at to remember rides I did when I'm sitting on the porch of the nursing home letting my teeth fall into my lap when I can't ride anymore. You went to my favorite places in the west. Isn't America beautiful!
    I'm in FL right now helping my mom with some doctor stuff. If you are near the Volusia County area we could get together for some grub next week before I head back to Heaven I call the mountains of North Carolina. Let me know, thanks for watching my stuff, take care.

    And I agree, the BBQ in Durango is really good! Plus, give me a buzz sometime when you want to come to the mountains. I've always got the rocking chairs on the porch and beer in the fridge :)
    #5
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  6. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    A few thoughts from the ride:

    22 days on the road. Was gonna be more but the weather did us in.
    Tires are about 3/4 gone after almost 6k miles.
    Averaged around 62 to 70 mpg.
    93 or 87 octane gas did not seem to matter.
    Spent on average around $73 per day for everything.
    Most days were spent riding in or around miserable weather.
    My butt never got sore (thanks Russell).
    Not a single problem with the bike none nada nothing.
    Mom and pop motels are the best.
    Taos has the best porta-potties.
    Marcia in Moab is a sweet lady.
    Her dog is too.
    The wind in Oklahoma is like trying to fly a paper airplane in a tornado.
    I never had so much fun riding a motosickle in my life.
    It's nice to have someone ride along with you sometimes.
    The WR doesn't have a lot of horsepower but it has all I need.
    Girls at gas stations like the little bike, so do their moms :)
    The bike is so small there is not a lot to clean each night.
    Most asked question...."You rode that from where?"
    Then followed by me saying "I only ride it because girls like it".
    #6
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  7. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Can anyone tell me how to change my font color to make things easier to read? I must be stoopid.

    Got it, thanks dvwalker!
    #7
  8. IceCreamAssassin

    IceCreamAssassin Been here awhile

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    Well, add me to the list of your YouTube Channel fans! :clap
    Great to see you out on another adventure. You have such a great attitude and awesome sense of humor. Your videos inspire me to head out on my own little adventures (and maybe one day, big adventures...)

    -Louise
    #8
  9. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    Try going to Quick Links-->Edit Options, scroll down to Message Editor Interface and change to Enhanced Editor if not already selected, click save. This should allow you to change all the gory details when you're editing.

    Love my 2009 wr250r. Just passed 13k trouble free miles, all multi-week trips but limited to once a year. Can't wait for retirement and more time like yourself. I have a couple orange bikes in the garage as well, but always grab the WR for the multi-day rides because of the reliability, mpg and go anywhere spirit

    looking forward to hearing more about your adventures and WR admiring soccer moms.
    #9
  10. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks! I'll be back in Utah in a few months and hope the weather is better in my favorite state :)

    Hahaha....yep the little bike with the dork riding it sure gathers a bunch of comments and questions on the road....lots of fun. Thanks for the tip about the fonts. I like the orange color that others have used. Makes picking out my stuff easier for my tired eyes.
    #10
  11. KemoSabe1943

    KemoSabe1943 Adventurer

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    Hey Tim!
    Another grand westward adventure, and I loved it again! It is great that you con5inue to enjoy retirement AND great health. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to Utah, as we discussed, due to some health issues! Hopefully this fall. Maybe I'll see you up at the Pisgah Inn again soon. My buddy is back in Brevard for the summer, but he'll return to St. George, Ut. Later for the winter. Maybe you can meet him. In any regards, I love your videos and travels, so keep Whizzing!
    Kemo Save Larry from Travelers Rest
    #11
  12. ADV Fool

    ADV Fool Been here awhile

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    Mr. TWESTER2

    Too bad our paths didn't cross on our respective adventures. You traveling with Anthony and me with my trusty riding partner, GoinPostal. Hopefully we will run across each other at somepoint. From one retired law enforcement Brother to another, keep the rubber side down!

    ADV FOOL
    #12
  13. zoid

    zoid Dirty Old Hippie

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    :lol3 Ok! That line has me subscribed. I have enjoyed your posts in the Minimalist Touring Thread and also have a WR250R. It seems to see more miles than my Tiger 955I as less IS truly more! Only ready your first post and am ready for more! :clap
    #13
  14. Sleddog

    Sleddog Ridin, again:)

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    Subscribed:lurk

    With my own adventure for the summer cut short. I'll need to get my fix from reading others RR's....Yours has some of my favorite things.....WR 250.....Utah......no Interstates! :clap
    #14
  15. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Really entertaining stuff! :*sip*
    #15
  16. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Being out of the "business" is really great these days. It's nice to spend each day with friends instead of criminals....not to say some of my friends are not ciminals :lol3

    Thanks, I'm working on episode 4 today.

    Yup Utah is great....and if a person has the time and is not in a rush....a little 250 is a great way to see the country :1drink
    #16
  17. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Agree 100% with that - it's fun to share ride reports and videos but at the end of the trail, when they're buried to others in the mountain of storytelling, we'll come back to our own to remember and reminisce
    #17
  18. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Hey Larry, the Pisgah In sounds great. I'll give you a call when I get back in the area next week. Looking forward to meeting your buddy.
    #18
  19. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Yep, I only make my corny vids so maybe after I'm long gone my nephews and nieces might stumble across them and think their uncle actually did have a few little adventures :lol3
    #19
  20. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    A little bit about the Madstadt windshield. I called the company and found out they are located a few miles from my other place in Florida. They told me to come on down so they could install the screen for me. Nice! It took me about an hour to get there and they got me right in. Their tech installed the unit and told me to take a ride to see if I liked the thing. I told the tech I needed to pay for the windshield and he told me to try it out for a few hours and then come on back for any adjustments. Then if it was ok I could pay. Awesome....it is hard to find that kind of service anymore.

    The screen I got is the 20 inch tall "Adventure" model. At first it looked a bit big in regards to the bike. But after the first mile or so with NO buffeting I was sold. They do make smaller shields if that is your thing. I was going to put a bunch of miles on the ride and keeping the buffeting off my face was important for my comfort so I got used to the look of the bigger screen. The mounting bracket gives me almost an unlimited degree of adjustments. Anyone will be able to get it set for their liking. Plus it is easy to take off if you don't want it on for some rides. For those of you that do the technical off road stuff it is way too big but for touring it works good for me.

    About $200 to $250.


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    #20
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