Misadventures of a Hoosierbilly Motorcycle Tramp

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JB2, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    @jdfog2 - Hey, thanks. I can’t add anything to what you said. Ernie and I spent the last two days kicking around old trips with me digging his heels to get back in the wind. One of the things I tried to impress on him was all the great people that have came into my life via motorcycles, especially those you meet traveling. He’s leaning towards a small caliber bike like the Janus until he can get his old shovelhead up and running.

    @Sal Pairadice - If you’re ever through Indiana you know what to do. You’re welcome to take it for a ride. She does have a nice ass and a lot of v-twin grunt down below. Fun, very much.

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    @bobw - Thanks and good to run into you again here. You were one of the ADV’ers who made it to one of the last of our Memorial rides for Dad. As an outside observer to the good folks from Franklin you kind of get an understanding of how it became our second home. We need to cross paths again. BTW, if you’re ever headed to Indiana you know what to do.

    @Prior - Thanks for the call. We’re thinking of you and your updates always ways leave me grinning. Soon we ride again.

    Ernie and I kicked off a new tradition this weekend. Both of our dad’s were Navy veterans. I planted my flagpole when I returned home from Dad’s crash. Ernie’s dad used to fly his ship’s dock flag over Memorial Day weekend. So we hoisted his dad’s flag with our American flag today. His dad’s flag had not been raised since he passed 10 years ago. The wind had them rippling with pride, steaks are on the grille. Blessed Memorial Day to all of you.

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    Never forget.​
  2. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    I started out the weekend with best friend Ernie and some long overdue repairs to his truck. It was in bad need of a water pump, radiator and front sway bar links. We finished most of the project Friday night but knocked off about 10:30 when we realized we did not have the right wrench for removing the fan from the old water pump. The next morning he ran out to the truck shop and borrowed the correct wrench so we could finish the job. The day was great considering all of the rain we've had so I showered and set sail to finish a route just outside my back door that I had mentioned previously. For only a 30 mile run, twice I got rained out trying to get these photos. ARRRGH!!!

    The first shot of the afternoon was here at one of the two Elizabethtown bridges. Originally this was a cable suspended, one-lane swinging bridge. When I was a kid it had been decommissioned from traffic but you could still walk or ride a bike across it. This bridge was a lot like the Dewey Bridge in Utah in design and the fact there were posts set at either end to block the traffic. We used to walk across or ride bicycles out onto the bridge to see if we could get it swinging. With 3 or more people you could really get it swaying. Before I graduated from High School it had been torn down but not replaced.

    The end result of the bridge first being decommissioned, then removed left a county thoroughfare blocked on both sides of the Big Lick Creek. Farmers, residents and council members finally got a new bridge pushed through based upon the fact you had to go around a country mile to the other bridge in Elizabethtown. I don't know about you but there's nothing more sterile or unattractive than a slab bridge. Right around that corner is the Elizabethtown Cemetery. We used to play in there too.

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    Here's one more image of the bridge that replaced a landmark. The only way to make a bridge like this photogenic is to hide it with a motorcycle. Notice in the foreground how much chaff is still on the roads. Recent monsoon rains has kept a lot of gravel washed out on the roads, particularly in the corners.

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    This is the Elizabethtown Cemetery established in 1839. I don't recall of any recent burials here but when we were kids it was still being used. It appears that they have filled the tract to the edges although it is still nicely maintained.

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    After you pass the cemetery you come into a clearing of sorts and the intersection of three main county roads. The mill is gone. All of the original homes are gone. In fact there's only a couple of modern homes in the area. We have many little burgs like this around here. These town popped up as a necessity. They were always along an established trail, at an intersection of roads and near a reliable water source. Entrepreneurs would set up a water powered mills and provide sawmill and grain milling services to surrounding residents. As the homes and barns were built the need for a sawmill decreased and soon there were bigger grain mills in the area. Sawmills became mobile with the introduction of steam-powered engines. Roads became better and traveling to the mill became a decision based on who was buying at the highest price and those mills were established along new rail lines. Competition and changes in local demand wiped a bunch of these towns off the map, literally. When I was young there were four major grain mills in Blackford County at Trenton, Millgrove, Hartford City and Montpellier. Now only one remains. I remember that the mills were a gathering place for locals with rocking chairs on the porch, a fair supply of anything you could need inside and usually a short order grill. Most of what remains now are these historical markers. If you look closely to the clearing in the trees beyond the sign you'll see the other slab-bridge that allowed access into town. This was originally an iron-truss bridge. It was beautiful but also reported to be haunted.

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    Ernie and I spun a fair amount of CD's on the changer over the last couple of days. I try to go to the church of Ray Wylie Hubbard as often as I can but admittedly haven't been there for a while. Ruffian's Misfortune ended up in the player and I realized that I had forgotten about this song. It's a little bit of a stretch to tie this to a motorcycle ride to long forgotten Elizabethtown but if you listen to the words I think they can be applied to a town as equally as a person? Ray plays both sides of the spectrum in dealing with the pull on our human condition between God and the devil. You might think he's only an outlaw when listening to some of his music but when it gets real serious you believe that he believes.

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  3. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    I hear a lot of Guy Clark in that guitar. And that's high high praise.
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  4. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Sal - Cool, the things you find out about fellow riders. Its always a great day to run into another Guy Clark fan. Ray and Guy probably hit the same genre but Guy is more of a gentleman and Ray is more of an outlaw. They are similar that they can both pick a guitar and are great story tellers. They also are similar in the fact that they have/had a right hand lead guitarist. Guy had Verlon Thompson and Ray had Gurf Morlix. Gurf gave lessons to the young man, Lucas Hubbard, playing the mandolin with Ray on that song. Lucas Hubbard is Ray's son. I have so many Guy favorites it is hard to pick the best one of the bunch. The Last Gunfighter Ballad, Randall Knife... however I like this song almost the best. I remember the first time I heard it, it gave me the chills. Still does sometimes.

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  5. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

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    “Dublin Blues” is my favorite Guy Clark song.

    I’ll have to give Ray a listen.
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  6. CapnKrusty

    CapnKrusty Adventurer

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    Thank you for this. I have not heard of Guy Clark before, and this song is beautiful.
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  7. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    @CapnKrusty - Thanks and welcome to ADV! Guy Clark was a master story teller. So many great songs but another that I never tire of is The Randall Knife, especially if you were close to your dad.

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  8. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    So we kept hearing @Bhuff was getting a new Indian Scout and it finally happened. We conspired to get together on Sunday and get a few miles in on both bikes because we're leaving for a trip south very soon. My son was down from Milwaukee this weekend so I waited until he left to go north before I could leave. As the day got later Brian left from Greensfork to meet me at the house. I had just changed into riding gear and had the bike outside when he pulled up. Great timing.

    I had an idea of what the Scout looked like but had never seen one in person. Man. Low slung. Minimalist hot-rod. It was night and day difference to what I thought the curbside would be in person. Its actually smaller that I imagined but beefier than I imagined. Kind of like a miniature Mack Bulldog on steroids. The growl had me convinced that I'll never need to drag race him to prove the Yamaha is slower. :lol3

    He offered to let me ride it but I'm still a little gun-shy from riding Joel's bike last summer. First, Joel's bike fit me too well and I was immediately brave on it. Then a few miles up the road a red Traverse decided to pull halfway out into an intersection in front of me and stopped. No crash occurred but the "almost" was too close to be on someone else's bike. However, we'll be shooting for some desolate back roads on our return adventure and I'll take Brian up on it then. Fer shur!

    The plan was to follow him back towards Greensfork. I wanted to take him around to Cumberland Bridge to photograph his bike there. Then we would head generally south and east until the chance of getting home before deer-thirty ran out. During our stop at the bridge we used my bike to hang all the gear on. I was almost out of room.

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    But let's get down to the reason we stopped here. Beautiful bike there Brian and great to have you back in the wind. I don't have to get in trouble alone any more.

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    We rode down to Losantville before parting ways. A younger guy in the gas lane was in a newer Mustang GT with his daughter strapped in the back in a car seat. He admired both bikes and asked questions about them. We talked for a few then he fired up the GT and drove off. The gleam in the little girl's eye and the smile on her face made me believe she'll always remember riding around the countryside in her dad's hot-rod. You could just tell.

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    From here we went our separate ways. I jogged on 36 East over to IN-1 and headed north. Just south of the intersection on IN-1 and IN-28 is this double-trussed, steel bridge that crosses the Mississinewa River. I love theses old bridges although this one is well maintained and looks newish. They're just not being replaced with the same kind of bridge after they've reached their lifespan in years. It sucks but one of these days this will be a concrete slab bridge. Oh goodie! :fpalm

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    There is almost no song better for today's ride than Feathered Indians by Tyler Childers. Can't get enough of this guy. Reminds me of growing up and meeting my wife in my wild and younger days.


    And if you're wondering why an LDR like myself hasn't logged very many miles this summer I blame the girl I married 42 years ago, our busy schedules and taking some vacation time to spend together. I snapped these next few pics on the banks of Lake Superior this spring when.

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    A local fishing off the pier at Copper Harbor.

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    The better-half playing flute to the lost souls of Lake Superior whose names are carried on the wind and memorialized all across the southern shore.

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    Here's another song that fits my life to now. We celebrated 44 years since the day we met in Cooper Harbor, MI this year. We tell everyone we grew up together. We did. This song nails this crazy life we have lived together. He talks about being born in the summer of 1975 when he met his life partner. It wasn't written for us but it could have been on June 28th 1975. She is why I am.


    Ride Safe, JB2
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  9. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Fun report.

    I need to find my favorite picture of a Scout. Took it during Motorcyles on Meridian shortly after they were released. Young woman riding had attracted the attention of some guys on the sidewalk. She seemed okay with it, but her mother on the bike behind---the face she made is priceless!

    I'll be interested in your opinions (yours and Brian's) once the honeymoon period is over. Just a great looking bike, but I'm wondering about long-distance stuff. Not a lot of room to move around.

    Great pics and great songs.
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  10. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Thanks Joel. Can't speak for Brian but I think my days of 800 & 900 miles are behind me. I've, actually Brian and I, have done that many times and have nothing left to prove. I'm still going to ride long distance it'll just take me longer to get there. I think both bikes are representative of that. We're both getting about the same gas mileage and are having to stop for gas at the 125 mile mark. That's shorter between stops than he and I used to run. Plus we're taking two days to cover the distance instead of one. I don't think long distance travel will affect him much. I noticed when I was following him he did have some room to move around.

    We'll find out in a couple of weeks. He'll either be cussing the bike or packing for our next adventure. :beer
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  11. Bhuff

    Bhuff Adventurer

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    32 more miles and will be ready for 500 mile service.

    There is a few times when sitting position has become un comfortable. I can manage to stretch out my legs by hanging them over the pegs and then it's no problem.

    But to be able to be back in the wind I find that uncomfortable dosent matter. Nothing compares to the anticipation of an adventure on 2 wheels!
  12. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    @Bhuff - Sounds like getting used to a new bike. Eventually your body goes numb then all is good after that. :photogThat’s why they make beer.

    Got my oil change done, tested out my new but farkled Hepco-Becker luggage rack, packed my bag and mounted it. Everything is good to go. I’ll post some pics tomorrow.

    Good to see ya today and hope the loaner bag works for you. Is it time to leave yet?
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  13. Bhuff

    Bhuff Adventurer

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    I believe bag will work great!! Thank you again.
    Been working on tank bag. I think I can pack a kitchen sink in this motofizz.

    Beer?? Hehehe. You know me.
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  14. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    You need a tank bag? Or are you working on one you have?

    Could borrow mine--at least one of us (the bag or me) should be having an adventure.

    Wish I were able to go, but the employer will insist that I show up for classes.
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  15. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Joel - Brian has the biggest MotoFizz tank bag they make. You know how making the equipment you used on the last bike fits to the new bike. Most of the time there are challenges.

    Wish you were going too. I would gift you a milk crate if that helps get you past the whole job thingy. Metal or plastic?
  16. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Ahh! Makes sense.

    The big issue with the crate would be which would look better on the plywood attached to the rack I would need to attach it. :)
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  17. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Joel - We're on the same page... I had in mind a plywood platform and a plywood lid with mechanic's wire hinges and a bicycle lock.

    That actually might be a better setup than than one I chose for the Scrambler. I popped for a Hepko-Becker luggage rack. I've been anxious to get it on and mount the new Mosko-Moto Backcountry bag. As soon as I pulled the rack out of the box I knew the platform dimensions were too small to adequately hold the new bag in place. Then, when I tried to mount the rack I ran into a problem with the Corbin seat and the rack. It gets worse.

    Oh, by the way, the oil change was a breeze. A standard size oil drain pan catches the drain plug and the filter in one location allowing you to remove both at the same time. Thanks Yamaha!

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    So... the first problem was the rear bracket that goes between the seat and the frame. It looked like a tight fit so I stuck a piece of tape on the seat edge were the bracket would come out each side. Good thinking for a change. The seat pinches the bracket so tightly that it can't be slid all the way back into the mounting hole. When I removed the seat after the first attempt the tape was cut through and almost into the leather. Close call. Well, the rear bracket ain't gonna work but there's an extra boss right behind the shock mount. Remember this is a Bolt frame with Scrambler add-ons. It's a real Scrambler but I digress. Anyways, that extra boss is for the strut on Bolt version and the perfect place to relocate the rear bracket. First problem solved... at least I thought. :nod

    Next I attached the front bracket and something looks amiss... WTF? :scratch The hump on the rear of the Corbin seat squarely pokes up through the gap between the 2 crossbars. Not only does it poke through but the crossbars, at the standard position, would actually push down into the upholstery. The other consideration is that any overhang on the bag was going to set directly on the rear lamp and turn signals. That ain't gonna work either. So I pivot the rack forward enough to clear the seat. It worked out to about an inch and a half higher in the rear than intended. So will fixing one problem lead to another and another? In this case yes. Now my concern is will it tilt the rack far enough forward that it cause a problem with the riding position.

    Fingers crossed. Wave that magic wand! :pope

    I raised the rack only enough to clear the seat and lamps and measured down to the strut boss. Cut, drilled, test fit and painted. Then it was time to put it all together. Well, it does look a little tilted but it works. Next was to test ride the bike with the rack alone to see if the human had enough clearance. I took a 11 mile rip out through the country down Wilman Road which has hills and curves and more curves. Being a short guy works out sometimes. The modification passed testing with no interference to the human. I stopped short of taking any photos because it was time to put the packed bag on the back.

    I got back and threw everything together and sat on the bike it feels like the bag will pass testing too. I run back inside and viola, its raining. So here it is. It ain't the prettiest modification I've ever done but it works and it is solid. I added the Sherpa tubes to the front brackets because it barely touches the side of the seat.


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    Disclaimer: Hepko-Becker makes a fine luggage rack. I guess someone had to be the first to find out it will not work on a Corbin seat. They made it to fit the stock seat long before Yamaha decided to only produce the bike one year. This would be a great rack for a stock seat and a small luggage bag or box. My intent was to make it work without modifying the rack so I could use it later. Mission accomplished and hats off to Heiko-Becker for making a nice part. :thumb

    I can't get Lake Superior out of my head for some reason. After numerous trips up there I'm starting to think of living there but Kim says no. :deal If it ain't the memories and the pictures that keep me going back its running into old favorites of mine like this. Its a little gravely but perfect for a Scrambler.

  18. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Actually sort of mimics the seat angle at the back. Looks pretty good.

    Metal fab skills are nice to have--so I've heard. Haven't any personally.

    Lake Superior country has lots of snowfall picture opportunities about nine months out of the year. Then you'd have to get a snowmobile...and that is a different forum.:D
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  19. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Thinking about this and it seems to me that the tilt might actually help keep the weight forward of the rear axle. Might be an advantage.

    Of course, the other consideration is whether the luggage itself might intrude into the rider position. You could end up with a back rest. :1drink
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  20. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    JB2,

    I missed several posts in this thread (no idea how that happened.) Just spent some time going back and reflecting on your stories and listening to the music that fills your garage as you work.

    Great stuff. Lots of heart in both the stories and the songs.

    Look forward to the next report and the next ride.
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