How I froze my ass off for 8,000 miles last winter riding X-County on a Hayabusa.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by IronBusa, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. IronBusa

    IronBusa Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    NYC
    (A condensed version, originally posted from the road on BMWST.com and later on Suzukihayabusa.org)

    Part I

    I began my cross country trip, Sunday morning, December 29, 2002, at 5:30AM in New York City where I live.

    My black ’02 Hayabusa was only three weeks old at the time with 2,000 miles on the clock. The trip was to last 21 days and 8,000 miles and touch18 states. Eleven days were spent riding, ten visiting family and friends. The normal riding day was about 700 miles and lasted around eleven hours.

    Normal cruising speed was 80-100mph, faster when I had rabbits to follow. One speeding ticket in Big Springs, Texas -- 95mph in a 70mph zone. Average gas milage was 44 mpg.

    Everything was stock with the exception of a ZG double-bubble smoke shield that was later replaced with a ZG clear touring shield.

    The original stock rear tire was replaced at 5,000 miles with a Bridgestone 020. With 10,000 miles on the clock, I still have the rear 020 and the original stock front.

    My luggage system consisted of a Suzuki magnetic tank bag and a water-resistant duffle strapped to the passenger seat. Later, I added a set of Joe Rocket Saddlebags. I soon replaced these with the Ventura Rack System. For a short portion of the trip I had a Valentine 1 radar detector and Sony Satellite radio.

    My original riding gear consisted of: (top) Coolmax t-shirt, Gerbing electric top, leather jacket and Gortex rain top; (bottom) thermal underwear, blue jeans, gortex rain pants and a pair of ski pants.

    Later, I was to replace the ski pants with a pair of Gerbing electric pants that ended up being replaced with a pair of Joe Rocket Ballistic pants. On the way home, I picked up a First Gear one-piece insulated rain suit.

    The riding was hard, often very cold, but very rewarding. It’s a magnificent country and traveling coast-to-coast by motorcycle is pure magic. More than once, I found myself humming "America the Beautiful" and "This land is your land."

    The Hayabusa performed flawlessly with the exception of the battery which gave out in the New Mexico desert and was replaced under warranty by a local dealer.

    This is where my Hayabusa lives in NYC. It is housed in a wing of a parking garage that was originally office space. It occasionally mingles at the office cooler with several BMW’s parked nearby. (The bike in the foreground with the cover half off is my '94 BMW K75.)
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    Sunday morning, 5:30 AM. It's time to leave. The city is quiet and surreal.
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    It was in the twenties by the time I hit Pennsylvania. Here I was wearing every piece of clothing I packed.
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    My Nolan Flip helmet was leaking cold air like a sieve. A little duct tape did the trick.
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    As you can see, it was a winter wonderland.
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    I pulled into Atlanta at 11:39 PM. 18 hours, 9 minutes and 943 miles after I started. Lots of eat and warm-up stops.

    Part II

    New Year's morning I said goodbye to Atlanta and headed West.
    The plan was to make Dallas (782 mi) or even push for El Paso (1417 mi) -- weather and soul permitting.

    Riding in cold weather stirs up the appetite.
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    My new seat cover is an old hobo trick -- cardboard for warmth. Worked great. comfortable too!
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    Route 20 West Awaits.
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    Hello Arkansas
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    This must be Texas.
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    Nothing but Open Road
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    When I hit Dallas the night winds were 45 mph gusting over 65. I pulled in for the night.

    Approaching El Paso the sunset seemed to last for hours. Awesome!
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    It was 28 degrees when I left El Paso in the morning. This is improved version of my hobo seat. I call it the "U.S.A. Today Edition." I first started out with the "NY Times Edition" but for some reason the Busa kept pulling to the left. [smile]
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    Somewhere between Tuson and Phoenix a strange sensation came over me. At first I wasn't certain what I was experiencing. But then I realized it was the warmth of the sun.
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    As soon as the temps hit around 70, I stopped to peel off the layers of winter.
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    From left to right: EMS Bergelene thermal underwear bottoms, Sport Hill running pants, CycleSport gortex rain pants; old pair of ski pants; EMS Bergelene thermal top; Gerbing heated top; leather jacket; CycleSport gortex rain top; helmet hoodlum, Gerbing heated gloves; U.S.A. today; duct tape.

    (Part III)

    First stop in Phoenix was the local Suzuki dealer for my 5K mile service. That's me on the left without all my layers on. [smile]
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    When I left the dealer I was sporting a pair of Joe Rocket soft Saddle Bags. I'd soon replace them with the better Ventura rack system.
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    Surrounding me in Phoenix are my brother Richard and his wife Barbara and son David.

    The next day I met up with a bunch of BMW RS hoons I knew through another Discussion Group.
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    These guys ride fast and a couple blasted by me while I was doing 110mph in the sweepers. I bid my time until we hit a long, straight and then showed them who really owned the road. [smile]

    California’s I-5 is known for its fog.
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    Then it got worse.
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    Chasing windmills near Palm Springs, California.
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    Dark sky’s ahead
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    (Part IV)

    Somewhere over the rainbow.
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    Cockpit to tower: Do I have permission to take off?
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    Wouldn’t it be great if the whole world was as nice and friendly as truck stops.
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    Helping on the ride back was my personal meteorologist – my brother Richard in Phoenix. I called him several times a day to check on the weather.
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    This is what the weather map looked like most of the time. Yellow is no good. Red is worse.
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    Leaving Phoenix, the Busa had a new look. The Ventura bag system. It rocks!
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    The sunrise approaching New Mexico was awesome.
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    It was at 9AM in Akela Flats, New Mexico, when the battery finally said "enough" after I plugged in too many electrics. [​IMG]

    (Part V)

    A bunch of folks stopped to help. Later I got picked up by a local Suzuki dealer and the battery was replaced under warranty. [​IMG]

    The three major food groups on the road: Fat, sugar and salt.
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    Following my shadow.
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    Like a Bat out of Hell
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    The ride home was as cold as the ride out. North of Atlanta I hit snow and gusty winds. Pulled in for the night.
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    85 North was looking a lot like 85 North Pole.
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    In spite of the weather I picked up an Iron Butt Association, Saddle Sore 1000 (1000 miles in 24 hours) and Bun Burner 1500 (1500 miles in 36 hours). I was ahead of schedule for the Bun Burner Gold (1500 miles in 24 hours) but the snow North of Atlanta delayed that attempt for another day.

    Route 95 is a sorry excuse for an Interstate. Bad paving, trucks, no consistent traffic flow. If they had road this ugly out West they would just shoot it..

    The night lights of Baltimore.
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    At the Bellmawr, New Jersey Howard Johnson’s, they really know how to treat a Busa well. Wish my room was that big. [smile]
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    Part VI

    Mother nature took one last swipe at me on the last day. That’s snow flurries ahead on the NJ Pike.
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    Getting Close
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    CloserÉMr. Lincoln’s Tunnel.
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    It had been a while, and the lanes had to be split. I do love New York.
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    At just over 10,000 miles on the clock, my seven week old Busa was overdue for service, so first stop was the local Suzuki dealer.
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    The smiling guys are Pedro the service manager and Carlos the mechanic behind him. For some reason, they kept checking and re-checking the odometer.[smile]

    Later, I was met by my SO at the door. "Leave me again like this" she says, and you’ll find out if your butt is really made of Iron."
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    After peeling off my clothes for the first time since I left Louisiana, I noticed a peculiar odor in the room. Immediate action was required. [smile]
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    END

    Read about my 2-up Iron Butt 100 CCC (Coast-to-Coast-and-Back) on a Hayabusa: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25522
    #1
  2. Augie

    Augie The new voice of reason

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Oddometer:
    28,234
    Location:
    Western Mass
    Has anyone ever called you sick, twisted or diseased

    You were wastin time on the other board you belong in the ASYLUM.

    :thumbup
    #2
  3. Loadedagain

    Loadedagain making chips

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    26,763
    Location:
    West Vancouver, BC
    some of these fuckers are mis guided, but they always find their way home. you are a crazy sumbitch. you'll fit right in :thumb
    #3
  4. IronBusa

    IronBusa Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    NYC
    Yeah...all my ex-girfriends call met that, but thanks for the compliment. :):
    #4
  5. txhardcore

    txhardcore KLR A-11

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,755
    Location:
    Texas
    Okay, you win. Most bad ass cross-country trip. Although, I'm thinking about attempting to take your trophy. I'm going to do it on my kid's Honda 250 Rebel. Oh, and how fast did you make the Busa go? No particular straight piece of road that made you stretch it out as they say in horse country?
    #5
  6. bwilder10h

    bwilder10h Du Whut?

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Oh
    #6
  7. IronBusa

    IronBusa Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    NYC
    Yeah...there was a little piece of runway in the Arizona desert...:rofl
    #7
  8. ARRRGGGHHNUT

    ARRRGGGHHNUT ARRGH! Rider

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,875
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I remember reading this report months ago somewhere I can't remember. Good you got some better gear at least on the way back huh...:rofl a world of difference
    When I used to live in brooklyn(circa '94) I used to commute to the upper west side on my magna w/ the electric gloves&vest on at all times in the winter.
    Cold is a bitch...
    #8
  9. BARB

    BARB Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,970
    Location:
    ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
    DUDE, YOU NEED A SHEEPSKIN BUTTPAD. BARB
    #9
  10. FJRPierre

    FJRPierre Catching up on lost time

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Great picture and an inspiration for the rest of us! I especially like the newpaper and helmet duct tape tricks. I'll be sure to use them! I notice that you did not carry a light bellaclava; it's invaluable for head protection. And what about rubber bootie covers ala raintotes?

    Good trip writeup.
    #10
  11. passwordlooser

    passwordlooser n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3
    Great trip!

    That's a nice garage you are in where is it and more importantly - how much do these bandits take??

    Thanks
    #11
  12. IronBusa

    IronBusa Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    NYC
    I carried both a light and medium weight ballaclava plus something called the "Helmet Hoodlum" which is like a ballaclava on steroids. This combo kept my head comfortable into the 20's. Below 20 degrees nothing helped given the limited wind protection. Once the head starts getting really cold, you have to get off the road. Regarding "bootie cover" -- I did buy some rubber over boots but in the end never packed or needed them. Wore a thin liner sock under a heavier hiking sock. Boots were Ecco Gortex. Warm and waterproof.

    NYC. $130 a month. Not bad by local standards.

    #12