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Honda C125 Michigan to California (and back)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jabroni, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. out rider

    out rider You Go First

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,607
    Location:
    IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY
    I like your method of travel which just goes to show that no matter what you ride it can be done.
    Thanks for your time in sharing this with us!
    #61
    Jabroni likes this.
  2. Old Codger

    Old Codger Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Ventura County Ca.
    Great Ride Report an pictures, love to see people traveling on small bikes :clap
    #62
    RedDogAlberta and Jabroni like this.
  3. budsboy

    budsboy I crashed the swing too. Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    The land of the wind chill factor
    Taken the Badger many times - also traveled US-2 back and forth.
    Take the Badger - enjoy the ride. Ludington to TC is a piece of cake.
    #63
    Jabroni likes this.
  4. Joe Motocross

    Joe Motocross Adjustafork.com - CEO

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,419
    I would also recommend The Badger. That would line you up to ride through the hilly terrain adjacent to the Mississippi River around Lacrosse, WI. Very cool territory. Drift a little south toward Madison as you work east across Wisconsin.
    #64
    budsboy, Razzman113 and Jabroni like this.
  5. pnw

    pnw Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,721
    The Badger has never disappointed me

    Don't forget the ticket raffle. I won this without knowing it. Wife happened to be inside when they called the numbers. I don't think I have ever won anything else ever so this is a keeper.

    20200731_170530.jpg
    #65
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  6. Jabroni

    Jabroni Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Michigan
    I finally got a new center stand and boy, what a relief. I forgot how smooth its supposed to be and didn’t realize how much I was muscling to get the bike off the old one. Goodbye center stand that only functions as a bad side stand!
    I left Fargo yesterday and after having a late start I decided to shoot for Elk River and stay with a friend again. I wish I wasn’t in such a hurry so I didn’t have to take Highway 10 as from Fargo to the Twin Cities, Highway 10 is probably as boring as it could get (in my opinion, but you can’t convince me otherwise at the moment.) So it was an uneventful day to say the least. My tire was still bleeding air very predictably at 1 psi per hour. Manageable but still a nuisance.

    I took some advice and decided to shoot south to Lacrosse. I would say at about Red Wing the ride became pleasurable and well worth it. Eventually I got on County Highway 3, then 12, then 1, which were a part of a scenic route of which I already do not recall the name. You ride on the hill tops overlooking the Mississippi and I wanted to stop and take pictures but the scenery just kept getting better until eventually it ended, so needless to say I didn’t get a picture (sorry guys).

    Lacrosse seems to be a very picturesque town, I didn’t stop but I imagine how it appears isn’t much different from how it really is, or at least I hope not.

    I’m camping at Buckhorn State Forest, so from Lacrosse I took Highway 16/21. I stopped for gas at Tomah and took my tire pressure which read 15 psi. Odd. Clearly it was bleeding faster which was a major concern. I found the air hose at the gas station but it was charging $1.50 and to hell if I’m paying for air. So I finally used my motopump.

    Spinning the tire I heard air leaking, which was new. I found a small hole that looked like someone poked it with a thumb tack. Being cheeky I took a small bit of toilet paper, lathered it with rubber cement and jammed it in there. The noise of air rushing out was no more, so I decided to drive to Necedah and check again. Arriving at Necedah I was surprised to see that wad of toilet paper still in there, but of course the tire pressure was at 15 psi. It didn’t work and no one expected it to.

    Ive never administered a tire plug and with such a small hole it made me nervous. But I reamed it and jammed one in. It seems to be doing well, but I’m still losing about 1 psi per hour it seems, which of course makes me suspect there are two compromises with the tire. I’ll check again in the morning.

    Tomorrow I have about 150 miles to Manitowoc to take the Badger. From Ludington to Traverse City is 90 miles. So 240 miles is all the tire needs to hold out and the trip is complete. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

    My next write up will be that final stretch and probably just some sort of summary of the entire trip (lessons learned maybe?).

    Thanks for all of you who followed my whimsical journey and I hope maybe some of you will feel more inclined to abuse your beautiful Super Cubs.
    #66
  7. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,385
    Location:
    Kingsmill Corner Ont.
    Been great following along. Looking forward to the wrap up.
    #67
  8. R1blade75

    R1blade75 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    West Palm Beach, FL
    This is an inspiring adventure / report. It's refreshing to follow your journey on a small bike!
    #68
  9. siyeh

    siyeh unproductive Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,863
    Location:
    Evansville, WI
    What happened to your old centerstand?
    #69
  10. You are very wise, good choice of moto. I had one in 1976/1977 and travelled across northern China on it. It was great. Light, simple, reliable and can be fixed most times. If not, can be lifted onto vehicle. I saw the newer ones on Honda Japan web site. Very nice. Have safe travels.
    #70
    Jabroni likes this.
  11. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Wonderful trip! Good to see what that bike can do.
    #71
    Jabroni likes this.
  12. Jabroni

    Jabroni Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Michigan
    When riding it out on some mountain trails, I think I just slowly got more and more bent out of shape. Afterwards it hung lower for unknown reasons (it wasn't due to a weak spring or an obstruction) and started scraping on every bump and hard left turn, which eventually made it get to the point where the left side of the stand sat probably a half inch lower than the right, so it had a nasty/unstable lean. I would have to put my gloves underneath it just for some peace of mind whenever I would be more than an arms reach away. Also with the stand down, it would sit far forward. So to get the bike off the stand I would have to put my foot in front of it and lift up/push forward. It was inconvenient.
    #72
    siyeh likes this.
  13. Jabroni

    Jabroni Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Michigan
    Sorry for the delay.

    While camping put in Buckhorn State Forest I didn't have a daily pass (which they make very clear is required, but simultaneously do not sell) so I decided I would get up earlier than usual and get moving. I woke up at 6 and was out of the park by 630. My tire psi was about 20, which of course means it needed some air, but due to the little motopump being so loud and being courteous to fellow campers, I decided I would check the gas station at the entrance of the park, which was two miles away. They did not have an air compressor so I had to unload my center rack and use it anyway, which really isn't much of a complaint.

    It was 150 miles to Manitowoc, so I felt I had all the time in the world. I stopped at a roadside gas station and decided to grab a sandwich and some coffee for an extended morning break. An older gentleman came by and, seeing my North Dakota plates, asked in surprise if I drove that thing all the way from ND. I have been asked that question several times over the past two months at various places and my answer has always been "well, it's a little more complicated than that."

    It was around 9am that I actually got going. The ferry was set to depart Manitowoc at 2pm, but I needed to be there thirty minutes early to check in, load, and tie down my bike. I was taking Highways 21, 22, 23 to Fond du Lac and cutting up diagonal from there. After turning off at Richford (cutting across county roads to Highway 22) the ride became enjoyable. No traffic and it stayed that way until I was a few miles west of Fond du Lac. In Ripon things slowed down, it probably took about 30-45 minutes to get through the road construction. There also was road construction on Highway 23 which slowed things down, but not much to be of consideration.

    Getting to Fond du Lac I realized I did not have all the time in the world. From then on it was race mode as I calculated that at best I would in arrive in Manitowoc at 1pm, but I still needed to put air in my tire and buy some tie down straps (you have to provide your own for the Badger).

    I arrived in Manitowoc shortly after 1pm, put air in my tire and bought tie down straps. It was about 120pm. In the paring lot of Lowe's, I was cutting off the zip ties of my new ratchet straps quite carelessly and full force stabbed my self in the thumb with my small pocket knife. I really didnt have any time to do anything about it so I just put on my gloves and drove to the pier. I arrived, checked in and had maybe five minutes until it was my time to load. After that everything went smoothly, other than my thumb bleeding over the next few hours (I just found some paper towels and kept pressure on it, it's fine). I ate, grabbed a beer and slept on the top deck on and off for the next few hours.

    Disembarking was smooth as well, but it was past 730pm by that time. I wish I would have taken a moment to get a picture with the bike and the SS Badger, but I felt rushed. I fueled up and started my way from Ludington to Traverse City. In northern Michigan the traffic isn't bad, but the roads are terrible for passing. Constant curves and hills, so for my sake and other drivers, I mostly took back roads all the way. I was hoping to get a picture in Traverse City on the bay or something once I got back, but it was already night and I was shivering cold, so that did not happen. That unceremoniously concluded my trip.
    #73
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  14. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,296
    Always a great thing to do things on bikes that were not designed to do what you are doing. Adds to the adventure aspect of it all. Well done!
    #74
    Jabroni likes this.
  15. Jabroni

    Jabroni Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Michigan
    So in conclusion:
    Michigan-Wisconsic-Minnesota-North Dakota-Montana-Idaho-Washington-Oregon-California-Arizona-Colorado-South Dakota-North Dakota-Minnesota-Wisconsin-Michigan. (And very briefly New Mexico and Wyoming, but I don't count those.)

    Odometer at the start was 1,710 and at the end 10,564. So 8,854 miles (I round up to 9,000 when talking about it though.)

    Maintenance that was done:
    -I changed oil every 1,000-1,400 miles, so about six or seven oil changes total on the road.

    -My stock rear tire was replaced at exactly 5,000 miles on the odometer in Missoula MT. The new rear tire needs to be replaced now, so I figure 5,000 miles is a good expectation out of them. The front tire still has a healthy amount of tread and will probably last another 2,000-3,000 miles.

    -I put on a new chain in Vista CA at about 6,700 miles. That was probably more due to user error than the chain. At the start I was over-tightening it which likely caused it to stretch out in certain places. I was just about out of room to adjust it and also it made enough noise that I could hear it clanking over any other noise.

    -I put on new shocks in Scottsdale, not that it was necessary but if anyone else plans on taking a similar trip I suggest changing the stock ones.

    -Out of the tools I brought, the only thing I didn't use was my battery jump starter, though I had to use it on my car as soon as I was home. The one thing I should have brought was wire, though I didn't really need it except one occasion when I was home in ND the second time. A fastener fell out of my chain cover so I needed to wire it up. (I forgot if I mention that in Montana, after adjusting my chain, I forgot to tighten my chain case and it fell off going down a dirt road. I found it quickly, but lost the fasteners, so I had to buy some new ones in a hardware store which do not like to stay in place.)

    Things that need to be done:
    -Valve adjustment
    -New air filter (should have replaced it a while ago)
    -Oil/Clutch screen cleaning
    -New rear tire
    -Inside the speedometer casing, the center chrome ring around the odometer/fuel gauge vibrated off in Arizona and is now free floating in there, so I need to take some plastic off to reattach that.
    -A really good wash

    Lessons learned:
    Anything over 250 miles in a day is rushing, and I didn't have many driving days where I did less than that. If I was to redo it now I would either have limited my trip to a smaller area or spend less time in certain places. My two weeks total I spent in ND should have been cut down to less than a week and that alone would have gave me much more time to enjoy my ride on the tail end of things.

    After Colorado things got monotonous. Not because I was tired of anything, I could have kept going for two more months at least, but rather I was flying through already familiar territory. I wish I would have skipped my not-so-close friend's bachelor party in Deadwood and did my own thing. Even though that area of South Dakota is great, I've seen it multiple times and I think I would have preferred riding across Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and up through Michigan. Basically, if there was something I would change about this trip it would be that, instead of spending a week with friends and family back in ND, just avoid that entire leg and see something different.

    I wish I would have planned my food situation better. I don't necessarily regret eating out all the time, but I know it would have been more satisfactory to add a more minimalist approach to food, and it would have been better on my bank account.

    Despite not having a pillow or sleeping mat I managed just fine, so I guess my lesson learned in this sense is one I already knew: I can do without. But, my sleeping bag was rated for 50F and higher temperature, and while I obviously survived the nights where it dropped down to the 40s, I definitely felt it. So I would consider getting something a bit warmer as long as it didn't take up significantly more space.

    A front basket would have been a nice addition. It would have carried my fuel can and allowed me to strap my backpack to the center rack rather than wear it the entire trip.


    I don't foresee myself having this much free time in the next few years, so I likely won't be making another trip like this soon. I am looking at other motorcycles, but I won't be selling the Cub anytime soon. I'm thinking it would be neat to do the TransAmerica Trail on a CT125, but I'm not committing to that yet. Other appealing ideas are the Cub cross country on dirt/gravel roads only (where possible), or Trans Canada on something.

    Anyway, that concludes this ride report, so if anyone has any question please let me know.
    #75
  16. siyeh

    siyeh unproductive Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,863
    Location:
    Evansville, WI
    Bravo. I ride my Super Cub in my woods and have snagged a few tree roots. I need to keep an eye on my center stand. Thanks.
    #76
  17. Kayakgk

    Kayakgk Long timer

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,485
    This trip report is inspiring and thought provoking. It is making me reconsider some future options I hope to have.
    #77
  18. Sidewaysxr

    Sidewaysxr Ass, gas, or grass nobody rides free.

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Apologize if I missed it - what shocks did you go with? What center rack did you use? Thanks
    #78
  19. Jabroni

    Jabroni Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Michigan
    The shocks are SP Takegawa I ordered from JapanWebike. The center rack I ordered from eBay, I believe the manufacturer was popwinsonshop.
    #79
    Sidewaysxr likes this.