Eighteen Years In The Making

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by BluRidgeRider, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    When I was a boy, there was a stunt/daredevil driver named Joie Chitwood who traveled around the country with his Joie Chitwood Thrill Show. When one of my buddies crashed on his motorcycle, we created a Joie Chitwood Award and presented it to him. It became a tradition that whomever had the most recent crash -- whether on a motorcycle or in a car -- was presented the Joie Chitwood Award. It's probably been 30 years since I even thought about the Joie Chitwood Award.

    Using the parts he replaced for me on my V-Strom, my brother made the following new "trophy award" which he is presenting to my son.

    [​IMG]

    Numa
    #81
    Nanuq likes this.
  2. BluerRidgeRider

    BluerRidgeRider n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2
    Getting on the KLR for the first time felt pretty foreign. The V-Strom had been my only experience on a full sized bike, and I'm very accustomed to how it feels. But after getting comfortable and oriented on the KLR, I immediately noticed a few things.

    • The thumper on it sounds great when accelerating
    • While it doesn't have the torque the V-Strom does, it has plenty of pick up
    • I felt heat from the engine a lot more than on the V-Strom. Despite the KLR's smaller faring I found myself hotter riding it.
    • Handling feels very responsive despite the limitations of knobby tires
    • The seat immediately started to get to my brass ass, but that was mostly attributable to the preceding 1000 miles.

    To get a real picture of what the KLR is like, I would need to ride it off-road. All of its advantages over the V-Strom lie there, and I'm guessing it'll be a blast to ride there. For a primary bike, I think I like smooth tires and pep too much to opt for something in the KLR's class. But with the way this bike is set up, it's a wonderful and extremely versatile option for mountain riding.

    I will post more when I get time!
    #82
  3. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    Went for a short ride today in the area around Monroe, NC looking for some urban settings to snap a few photos of the now completed KLR 650. Here's what I came up with today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Numa
    #83
  4. longrides1

    longrides1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Skagit Valley Washington USA
    Love the color contrast of the crash bars and bike. :D

    Which is faster Cobra, or KLR. :evil
    #84
  5. augie05

    augie05 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    159
    Great write-up. I have really enjoyed reading it.

    I also have a V-Strom and I am thinking about passing it to my 22 year old son as well at some point and doing the same basic trip. He needs to take the riding course first...
    #85
  6. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    In their present state, the KLR is much faster than the Apache helicopter. But I'm sure that Apache saw its share of adventures in its day.

    Numa
    #86
  7. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying the thread. As you read, I started my son off real slow and have worked him up over time to progressively more challenging riding conditions. My father always worried about my brother and me when we were riding. I never really 'got it' until my own son started riding. In the long run, only Numa Jr. can decide how safe he'll ride and whether he'll continue working to develop his skills, but I wanted to make sure he had a good start.

    Numa
    #87
  8. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    I wasn't too worried when I woke up yesterday morning to damp roads. Over the past few days leading up to Saturday the forecast for rain had ratcheted-up to predict an 80-90% chance of precipitation with severe thunderstorms. I knew my buddies Augie and Loren would still be game for a ride and the day before, in spite of the nasty weather prediction, my buddy Jon had indicated he was in as well.

    I put my rain pants on before leaving the house and departed at 7:10 AM headed to our first meet location. Augie and Jon were there and at 8:30 AM we headed west to Forest City to meet Loren. It was overcast all the way out to Forest City and continued to be so as we rode out of town. Loren led us on a really nice loop -- all in NC -- up towards the west side of Asheville and just south of Hot Springs. Some very nice twisty tarmac, a couple of short hops on the Blue Ridge Parkway and 40+ miles of gravel fire roads.

    In front.

    [​IMG]

    And behind.

    [​IMG]

    Sunshine.

    [​IMG]

    Overcast.

    [​IMG]

    Fog.

    [​IMG]

    Nice tarmac.

    [​IMG]

    Nice fire roads.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty scenery.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty bike.

    [​IMG]

    Taking a break.

    [​IMG]

    Sorting it out.

    [​IMG]

    U-turning.

    [​IMG]

    Tractor.

    [​IMG]

    Tractors.

    [​IMG]

    Gas for the bikes at Ferguson Supply in Fines Creek.

    [​IMG]

    Gas for the riders at Fines Creek.

    [​IMG]

    The bikes waiting patiently outside to be ridden.

    [​IMG]

    Bikes waiting patiently inside to be ridden.

    [​IMG]

    The only fine dining alternative to be found in Fines Creek.

    [​IMG]

    The only way to know that you've found Fines Creek.

    [​IMG]

    (to be continued)

    Numa
    #88
  9. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    Jon's R100GS.

    [​IMG]

    Jon.

    [​IMG]

    Tarmac in front.

    [​IMG]

    Fire road behind.

    [​IMG]

    French Broad River swollen with rain.

    [​IMG]

    Scenes from Barnard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Good thing none of us experienced any mechanical problems in Barnard.

    [​IMG]

    Our ride leader, Loren.

    [​IMG]

    Who shouldn't follow.

    [​IMG]

    Along Curtis Creek.

    [​IMG]

    And one final scenic.

    [​IMG]

    Along the way we experienced -- overcast skies, sunny skies with puffy clouds, heavy fog and dark overcast skies, but we didn't have any rain until we were already headed home. We stopped south of Marion and put on full rain gear just in time before running dead into a heavy storm. To say that it poured on us is an understatement. Lightning all around us as we slowed our pace and made our way back towards Charlotte in the darkness and with limited visibility. We made one brief stop to clean face shields and glasses and then continued our slow pace. We eventually rode out of it and it stayed dry until I got back to Monroe at 10:00 PM.

    Thank you guys for showing up for the ride and thank you Loren for leading us on a great route! By the time I had hung up my wet riding clothes and put away my gear I was exhausted, but I can't wait to do it again.

    Numa
    #89
  10. The Opa

    The Opa experienced

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,923
    Location:
    Spartanburg, SC
    Me too.

    Didn't take me that long to be exhausted :lol3. I got gas at 108 & 9, saw a black cloud, had no cell service, should have suited up, didn't............oh yeah, I got wet.
    #90
  11. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    It was good riding with you Loren! Let's go again soon.

    Numa
    #91
  12. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    Charlotte has a very active AdvRider community. One night a month -- the third Thursday of every month -- we get together for dinner and to swap bench racing stories at Hawthorne's Pizza in Uptown Charlotte. Riders come in from all around the city. Tonight we had 19 riders on a variety of different bikes.

    The bikes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The riders.

    [​IMG]

    The riders checking out the bikes.

    [​IMG]

    Numa
    #92
  13. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    I took Friday off and made it a three-day weekend for a trip to Maryland to visit family. My wife was planning to stay in Maryland a few days longer than me and then she was going to head to Chesapeake, VA for a few days to see our grandson before she returned to Monroe. That plan necessitated two vehicles and I decided to ride the KLR 650 so that I could work in a ride with Numa Jr and my brother while in Southern Maryland. The Interstate drone on the KLR worked much better than I expected. I'm running stock gearing and the bike cruised 75-80 MPH with no problem.

    Crossing the Potomac River on Route 301 at the Harry W. Nice Bridge.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My brother went over to the dark side a few years ago when he traded in his BMW K1200LT for a Harley Electra Glide. He's been thinking about adding another bike to his stable and wanted to take a ride on my KLR. We went out for a short loop Saturday morning -- before our 11:30 AM scheduled ride with other family members -- so he could get a feel for how the KLR worked. I rode his E-Glide for the first time. His Harley is a beautiful bike and it sounds great (he has the stock exhaust on his bike), but it's easier to turn a Troy Built rototiller than it is to get that thing to go around a corner. In all fairness to my brother, he rides his Harley faster on a twisty road than anyone I've ever seen and much fast than the laws of physics indicate anything that ill-handling should rightly go. By the way, he liked the KLR and thinks he might buy one.

    [​IMG]

    Later that day, Numa Jr had his first pillion as my daughter Jamie joined him on the V-Strom.

    [​IMG]

    I had my wife Marise on board my KLR with me and my brother rode solo on his Glide. Here are some typical Southern Maryland roads.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We stopped by the wharf in Bushwood for a break and a chance to enjoy the fresh air by the water.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Notice the front of a car in this photo.

    [​IMG]

    I guess the presence of a Harley in the group meant there might be some trouble. Either that or he was enjoying a donut break.

    [​IMG]

    We headed from Bushwood into Leonardtown for lunch and stopped by the Leonardtown wharf for a look see before beginning to loop back to my parent's house.

    [​IMG]

    There is a large Amish community in Southern Maryland and it's not uncommon to see horse-drawn wagons on the roads.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I left Southern Maryland at 11:30 AM this morning to head back to Monroe. Made brief stop at Fort AP Hill to snap this photo of a pair of tanks.

    [​IMG]

    The clock tower in Richmond, VA.

    [​IMG]

    I find the overpasses at this interchange on I-95 just north of Petersburg to be very interesting. It's amazing how high they elevated those bridges. I can't figure out why they needed to elevate them that high -- which I'm sure also greatly elevated the cost of the project -- but I'm guessing the contractor had a "highly placed" friend in Congress.

    [​IMG]

    Numa
    #93
  14. Ripper1600

    Ripper1600 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    14
    Great thread look forward to reading about your journey some more. Maybe one day I will have a child to ride with,
    #94
  15. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying it. I hope that you do have a child that grows up to ride with you. With each passing year, my children just seem to keep getting cooler and I have even more fun hanging out with them as they get older.

    I have another ride planned with my son for the second weekend of October. Numa Jr and my brother will be riding together from Maryland and meeting me in Lynchburg, Virginia for a couple of days of riding in the mountains. Lynchburg is about equidistant from Monroe, NC and southern Maryland. I will post up some pictures of the ride.

    Numa
    #95
  16. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    I recently purchased a Touratech compact roll chart holder to use for displaying my routes on complex rides. It was a little expensive, but is very well made and rugged. I purchased a RAM diamond plate adaptor for it and used that as my mounting method versus the clamps that came with the kit. The mounting plate on the back of the holder has holes already drilled to fit the RAM plate, but I had to run to the hardware store to purchase bolts, locking nuts and washers. Here's the end result.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Numa
    #96
  17. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    Here's a photo I missed posting from my Saturday ride with my buddies a couple of weeks ago. Shot this in one while riding up on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Tunnel vision.

    [​IMG]

    Numa
    #97
  18. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    As I mentioned a few posts back, my brother liked my KLR and thinks he might purchase one. He asked me to send him a list of the accessories and modifications I've made to my KLR. Here's that list:

    SW-Motech 1" Bar risers (Twisted Throttle)
    SW-Motech Handlebar Mounting bracket for cigarette socket (Twisted Throttle)
    SW-Motech power outlet cigarette-style (Twisted Throttle)
    RaceTech Front fork heavier springs with heavier oil (www.race-tech.com – RaceTech has a calculator that you use to determine the correct weight spring for your bike and you)
    RaceTech rear shock heavier spring (www.race-tech.com)
    KoubaLink 1.25" lower link (KoubaLink.com)
    Twisted Throttle 1" shorter side stand (Twisted Throttle)
    Front fork tubes slid up 1" in triple-trees
    Sargent World Sport low version saddle (www.sargentcycle.com)
    SW-Motech rear top rack steel insert with Givi mounts (Twisted Throttle)
    Caribou Pelican Storm 35L Pannier System with lid locks, lanyards and Hepco-Becker luggage racks (www.cariboucases.com)
    Caribou Hard Bolt Kit (www.cariboucases.com)
    SW-Motech Engine guards new style (Twisted Throttle) powder coated red (Drake Coatings)
    JNS Engineering skid plate (for new style SW-Motech engine guards)
    SW-Motech dirt/street wider foot pegs with removable rubber inserts (Twisted Throttle)
    Doohickey kit with torsion spring (www.happy-trail.com)
    Givi B33 top case with backrest pad
    Wolfman Expedition small tank bag
    Wolfman Expedition dry bag medium (I use either the Givi top case or the dry bag depending on whether I have a passenger or not)
    RAM U-mount (2) on handlebar crossbar (Twisted Throttle)
    Touratech Roll Chart holder compact with RAM mount (www.touratechusa.com)
    Touratech headlight guard
    Kaoko bar end throttle lock (Twisted Throttle)
    RRR Tool Solutions adventure touring tool roll (www.rrrtoolsolutions.com)
    RRR Tools 3R Moto Side Stand

    Numa
    #98
  19. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,177
    Location:
    The Monroe Republic, NC
    Went for a ride today with a couple of my buddies. Bill rides a KLR just like mine and his son John has a Suzuki DR650. We rode on some nice tarmac and some dirt/gravel fire roads with great views. The weather was perfect for riding. Here are some photos.

    Nice views.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wiseman's View.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bill and John.

    [​IMG]

    Nice roads.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My friend Bill.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Interesting cargo in a pickup truck we passed in Morganton.

    [​IMG]

    More Wiseman's View.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My KLR.

    [​IMG]

    Numa
    #99
  20. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,664
    Location:
    southern tip of ILL
    My wife and I just spent 8 days on the Blue Ridge and surrounding small towns between Ashville and Grandfather Mountain, witch we climbed to the 5th ladder and that is where she said enough is enough, we had already done Mitchell and Crag from the Black Mountain camp ground.
    we put about 200 miles on the little Sherpa on FS roads and the parkway...

    that is truly some beautiful country.