Eighteen Years In The Making

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

  1. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    On my ride with BIll and John, when we stopped for lunch, we were discussing how lucky we are to live near Charlotte and in such close proximity to so many good riding spots with great views. If you like to ride motorcycles, this is a wonderful area in which to settle.

    Numa
    1stgenfarmboy likes this.
  2. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Rode to Lynchburg, VA Thursday evening in hopes of riding mountain roads in the area for a couple of days with Numa Jr and my brother. I had mapped out what looked to be two very good days of riding, but it started raining within the first 5 miles of Friday's ride. The higher we got up in the mountains, the harder it rained and then we started running into fog. With Numa Jr still a fairly young rider, I was concerned about continuing on in those conditions. We talked it over and decided to head back down into Lynchburg in hopes that it would blow over.

    We hit a couple of motorcycle shops in Lynchburg and had lunch, but the weather did not improve. We woke up Saturday morning to more rain and a similar forecast. We decided to cut the ride short and try another time. During the short amount of time we did ride, the roads looked very promising. I will make a return trip.

    It rained so hard, I didn't take any photos other than these shot under the hotel entrance Friday morning.

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    Numa
  3. MountainNate

    MountainNate Long timer

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    When we continued north on Route 80, the traffic just seemed to evaporate. We rode unencumbered up Route 80 and across Route 226 into Bakersville for lunch at Helen's.

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    Would you recommend Helen's? I'm planning a ride to Roan Mountain this Saturday and was going to pass through Bakersville and have been looking for a decent place to eat. So awesome you and your son get to ride together when you can, cherish the moments.
  4. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    The food at Helen's was very good. Not a fancy place, but it was full of locals and Numa Jr and I both enjoyed our meals that day.

    Numa
  5. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    My trip to Lynchburg did give me a chance to try out my Touratech roll chart holder. I used 2.5 inch wide adding machine paper in it that I purchased from Touratech with the roll chart holder. I plan to purchase refills from the local office supply vendor.

    I hand-wrote, directly onto the paper, the simple instructions to get from Monroe up to Lynchburg. The routes I had planned for the two mountain days included many turns on back roads, so I entered those instructions -- along with miles between turns and cumulative miles -- into an Excel spreadsheet. I used one tab for each day, sized the columns to print 2.5 inches wide total, printed the sheets out and then cut them on a cutting board. I then taped the two spreadsheet tables, one after the other, onto the same roll of paper in chronological order after the hand-written instructions and loaded the whole scroll in the roll chart holder.

    It worked great and I'm now wondering why I didn't buy a roll chart holder years ago. The lexan lid includes a rubber gasket/seal and it didn't leak a single drop of water in spite of the fact that it poured down raining on us.

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    My Frogg Toggs did not perform nearly as well in the rain. The jacket did fine, but the pants let me get soaking wet; right in the crouch. I don't know if it's a problem with the Frogg Toggs, my seating position or what, but I got soaked. I need to find some kind of a high quality rain suit that'll keep me dry even when it rains hard. If any of you have a recommendation, I'd love to hear it.

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    Numa
  6. The Opa

    The Opa experienced

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    Got mine at Tractor Supply. About time to replace it, but it is 3 yr old
  7. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Thanks! Augie suggested I look at the offerings from Bass Pro Shops. I will check out the selections from both places.

    Numa
  8. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    All three of my children, my son-in-law and my grandson came to Charlotte for a visit, so I'm not riding this weekend. We did head into Uptown for a walk around the city and the Barbeque Festival made for some interesting sight-seeing. Here are some photos.

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    My grandson, Aidan, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Uptown.

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    Numa
  9. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    My grandson Aidan, his first time aboard a motorcycle. (My son-in-law's hand is there stabilizing young Aidan.)

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    My daughter Jamie with her nephew Aidan.

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    Aidan with my wife Marise.

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    Numa
  10. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    I'm usually a pretty decisive individual, but I struggled a bit with the decision about what tires to install on my KLR once the OEM tires had completed their useful life. My normal modus operandi when purchasing a new motorcycle is to try three or four different types of tires in succession and then settle on the one I like best.

    I researched a number of alternatives for the KLR, asked my riding buddies for their opinions and had decided to lean towards the off road when I ordered a set of Metzeler Enduro 3 Sahara tires. After I placed my order through Competition Accessories, someone posted up on AdvRider that he liked the Enduro 3 Sahara tires for off road, but his set only lasted 2,500 miles.

    My Enduro 3 Sahara tires arrived shortly before I departed for my trip to Lynchburg, but I hadn't planned to have them fitted until I returned from that trip. On the ride back from Lynchburg, I started rethinking my decision. I normally ride between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year. When I'm riding off tarmac, I am generally on a dirt/gravel fire road. If I try to keep it shod with off road tires that only last 2,500 - 3,500 miles, I'm going to be buying a lot of tires and spending more time than I want having tires installed and balanced.

    When I got back to Monroe, I loaded the Sahara tires in my truck and returned them to Competition Accessories. They graciously accepted them with full credit applied to my account and sold me a set of Metzeler Tourance tires. I had them installed today and here's the end result.

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    These tires should work fine on dirt/gravel fire roads, handle better when on twisty tarmac and give me a much longer service life. When I'm off road and conditions are muddy, I'll just slow down accordingly. They're a compromise, but should more closely fit my riding style than my original decision. I'll let you know my impressions once I get them scrubbed in and log some miles.

    Numa
  11. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    The folks from JNS Engineering -- makers of the skid plate I bought for my KLR -- have added a few of my photos to their web site. They apparently found my photos on this thread and have incorporated them into their web site marketing.

    This photo appears in the image rotator on their home page.

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    This photo appears on their home page and in the page for the skid plate.

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    A third photo showing a different angle with my red crash bars also appears on the skid plate page.

    Numa
  12. Weevrider

    Weevrider Been here awhile

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    Like the look of that skid plate and how you have set up your KLR. I would like the same model colour but I think that colour scheme is not available here in Canada.
  13. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Thanks! I'm very happy with the way my KLR turned out once fully accessorized. The black with red and white color scheme is my favorite from among those offered in the United States over the years.

    I'm not sure how the color schemes in Canada vary from year-to-year versus those offered here in the States. The U.S. versions have been offered in a number of other colors that I also really like -- blue/silver and red/silver. I've never been a big fan of "Kawasaki Green", but the KLR in any color is a great bike.

    Numa
  14. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    As motorcycle tires wear down throughout their life, they tend to square off and it affects the way the bike feels. It's a gradual change so you don't tend to notice it much while it's happening. Whenever I ride for the first time after replacing the tires on one of my motorcycles, the bike always feels a little tippy for the first 20 or so miles. Kind of like you're riding on ball bearings. The new properly inflated, rounded profile tires combine to offer quite a different feel from the old, squared off tires just replaced.

    I experienced that sensation when I rode my KLR on the new tires for the first time yesterday. Just a short trip over to Oakboro for a meeting, but I also noticed now much smoother the bike rides on pavement. The OEM enduro tires had a bit of a buzz to them as they rolled along on knobs.

    I hope to complete the process of scuffing-in my new tires and then get them on some off road tomorrow.

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    Numa
  15. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    I ended up going into my office this morning and working half a day. By the time I got through, it was too late to scare up anyone to go riding. I was experimenting a little yesterday with a new camera mount I made that lets me raise the camera 30-35 feet off of the ground. I decided to drive up into the mountains in my truck and head across one of my favorite fire roads -- Maple Grove Church Road -- with my new camera mount to give it a try.

    This photo is taken at approximately 6 feet off of the ground on my new mount, but before it is extended.

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    Here's the same location with the mount extended so the camera is at 30 feet off of the ground.

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    Here are a couple of more photos taken from 30 feet off the ground. I was standing a little down hill from my pickup truck when I took these two photos, but notice how the perspective is showing down on the truck.

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    While up on Maple Grove Church Road, I came across what was literally a mule train. Five covered wagons, each being pulled by a three-mule team.

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    Here's one more photo of the beautiful scenery that can be seen on Maple Grove Church Road.

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    Numa
  16. The Opa

    The Opa experienced

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    Cool! Did you get any information who/what/why the drovers were?
  17. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    I did not. It was getting late and I was trying to complete my off-pavement loop before dark. I was stopping to take photos along the way, so the drive was taking longer than normal. In retrospect, I wish I had approached them and initiated a conversation.

    Numa
  18. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    My office is located just a few miles away from my house. So close that it doesn't make since to regularly commute on the motorcycle as it would take longer to put my riding gear on/off than the total length of time I'd be riding.

    But Fridays are casual dress days and I usually attend a standing Friday morning meeting at our Oakboro district office located about 28 miles away. There are some nice country roads between my house and Oakboro. Here are a few shots from this morning's chilly ride.

    Look closely and you'll see shadows cast by the Touratech headlight grill.

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    Morning fog hovering over a pond.

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    Numa
  19. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Today's ride was a perfect example of why adventure touring bikes are so compelling. I met two of my riding buddies early this morning in Bessemer City. We headed down I85 into South Carolina and then west on SC11 the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway. Augie, Larry and I met up with Loren in Gowensville, SC and then Loren led us west on SC11 out to the Jocassee Lake area.

    By the time we got to the beginning of the first off-road riding section, I had already covered 150 miles of tarmac. Loren led us across a couple of sections of fire/forest service roads featuring a wide variety of surfaces including: dirt, gravel, erosion ruts filled with rocks and gravel, mud, clay, snow, dry leaves, wet leaves and about everything else except for sand. Between the two off-road sections, we rode across some great twisty tarmac.

    An adventure touring bike was the perfect mount and my new Metzeler Tourance tires performed very well in all of those conditions. (The other three riders -- Loren on his BMW F650, Larry on a Gen1 KLR and Augie on a Super Tenere -- were all using Shinko 705 tires.) Here are some photos from today's 335 mile ride.

    Me getting ahead of myself again.

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    The beginning point for the first off-road section.

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    Loren.

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    Augie leading Larry.

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    Larry.

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    Jocassee Lake from Jumping Off Rock.

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    Snow fell in the mountains the day before we rode.

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    Lunch in the mountains.

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    Augie.

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    Larry.

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    Riding in the snow.

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    And mud.

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    More snow.

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    The bikes got dirty.

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    The view from where we split up for the ride home.

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    I got back home shorty after dark and as it was beginning to get cold again. Loren picked a great route for us today and the off-road sections featured some challenging terrain.

    Numa
  20. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Here are a couple more photos from yesterday's ride.

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    Numa