Misadventures of a Hoosierbilly Motorcycle Tramp

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

  1. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    Bluff: trailer the Scout out to Hill City and enjoy the paved roads. You won’t regret it. The Black Hills is a great base camp destination. Lots to do and see regardless of transportation mode. It is the one place I could go every year and not get bored. All Indians are at home in SD.
    Bhuff likes this.
  2. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    Joel: Did you check out Mickelson Trail Adventures? Their website lists bike rentals and shuttle service.

    I have decided the cost of modernizing outweighs the benefits if it causes me additional time and effort beyond what I define as a reasonable user experience. For example, if I have to update firmware before I can use a product - then by definition it’s a shitty product . If I have to call a phone number - it’s a shitty product. If I have to register the serial number on the web - shitty product. Look. Just sell me something that fucking works and doesn’t break in the first five days of ownership. That’s all I’m asking. I’ll even pay more. A lot more. Just don’t make it suck.

    While I was not thrilled at the idea of spending $16k on a bike, I learned to love my 2017 Harley for one simple reason: HD didn’t cut a single effing corner on the entire bike. I don’t think I’ve purchased anything in my lifetime with so little plastic . Even my 2011 John Deere X500 that was $5,500 new is not as well built as the HD. The JD has a few mechanical plastic pieces that should be metal - including one idler pulley that broke. And it has a $200 seat with vinyl that cracks every 3 years even when stored indoors. For a garden tractor that was the price of a good used car!

    MBA’s obsession with profit margin and cost cutting has made buying things a drag. So I’m largely opting out of the marketplace. Almost everything I buy is more hassle than it’s worth. And it’s not just electronics. I bought a pole saw and pruner two weeks ago. The spring is not strong enough to retract the pruning blade and the saw has difficulty cutting warm butter.

    I don’t want to be a Luddite and That Old Guy but I’m getting there.

    I will concede that GoPro makes a fairly bulletproof action camera that is easy to use even if the batteries can be flaky at times. And my Panasonic plasma tv’s are still going great nearing the ten year mark.

    Back to bikes: the 2020 Honda Africa Twin has cruise control and a large TFT display. My co-worker who rode to Alaska just put aftermarket cruise on his 2019. CC I fully appreciate. A 6 plus inch TFT I can do without on a bike... but don’t call me a hypocrite if I end up with one on a Roadmaster or Ultra Limited - it’s not like they make big touring bikes without them now.

    Rant over.
    JB2 likes this.
  3. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    @Bhuff - Gentleman Jim was talking about doing a circle tour of Lake Superior next year since there was a good chance you might be going. All Asphalt.

    @72 Yamaha RD350 - I think Brian was more lamenting that he wished he had a dual-sport or scrambler to go to South Dakota with. Not that the paved roads aren't great, they are. However, we tend to go places others don't or won't. Even though we are technically tourists we avoid the touristy things and places.. Show us where no one else goes and you'll find us there. :thumb

    If you've ever watched the movie "Why We Ride" there's a segment by Ted Simon. Near the end of his description of his ride around the world he delves into the subject of technology and how society has become addicted to it. How most people are so drawn to it that they have forgot how to use their own mind and the tools God gave them. That's where I am with it.

    Kim's new Escape has a feature that shuts off the motor during stops. Its the most annoying thing ever. It has to be manually shut off every time you start the vehicle if you choose not to use it. It has auto-dim and auto-brights on the headlamps. There's no way to turn it off. It drives me crazy. Then, the dash and infotainment center have a day and night lighting. As you drive at dusk or in the morning it is constantly changing back and forth because it can't decide if it is day or night. I want a vehicle that "I" drive, not one that drives for me.

    RD - I've become the guy you fear you might be and I have no regrets. Technology and its usefulness has passed me by and I'm good with shedding as much of it as I can. Throttle by wire? Fuck that. ABS? Same response. And on and on and on... you'll get the same response. Now, get off my lawn! :lol3
    dammitdave likes this.
  4. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    I have listened to Ted Simon talk about the impact of technology and society's addiction to it. Elspeth Beard has said that she believes GPS spoils the spirit of adventure in RTW riding. I used to think Ted was being a bit of a Neanderthal about it but I tend to agree with Elspeth. I never felt a need to have a GPS on my Alaska trip. I have to admit, my adult kids thought I was next to crazy, first for going and then for not having a GPS. (I did take a 1998 Garmin that was in my saddlebag for 20 out of 21 days.)

    Here's one of my recent posts on ADVRider: https://advrider.com/f/threads/grad...n-–-blue-ridge-parkway.1408686/#post-38481981

    I went to Toronto for the first time last year. I was headed to a company nearly 50 miles NW of the city. I asked for a GPS at the rental car place and they gave me one... that was talking and displaying in German. The Gear icon wouldn't get to a place that would let me change the language. If you have never been to Toronto, let me clue you in: exiting the airport you enter a freeway that is ten lanes wide each direction. It makes SoCal look undeveloped. Unfortunately, I'm a true American - I'm monolingual so German wasn't real helpful but I managed and by the end of the day I knew the words for "right" and "left" in German.

    I prefer ABS even though my practice sessions in the empty parking lot show me that in the dry I have far more traction than I would have ever imagined. In fact, practicing ABS stops makes me physically ill from the deceleration rate - I get nauseated and develop a headache after only a two or three stops. I regard ABS as a necessary safety feature for riding in the wet... which sadly, it is here a lot of the time.

    I don't mind Stop-Start on cars but I don't own a car with Stop-Start. Throttle by wire - I prefer the feel of a cable throttle but TBW makes cruise control so much simpler. But I don't mind stray kids on my lawn either so I'm not very far down Cynic Road .

    Garrison Keillor once told a monologue about a Minnesotan who got his four wheel drive stuck in the mud and had to walk miles to the nearest farmhouse to ask a farmer to pull him out with his tractor. The moral of the story: Four wheel drive will get you stuck in places you never would have gone in two wheel drive. I was always cautious in my '98 Jeep Wrangler but I still ended up fixing flat tires fifty miles from nowhere and miles from the nearest pavement. If that's adventure then I guess I've had my fill of it.

    The places that attract hordes of tourists, generally speaking, are deserving of it. But the time to enjoy them most is when the hordes are not there. Off-peak and out-of-season is a great time to enjoy those places. I trust you found Hill City largely deserted of motorcycles and Harley's on your trip - and that's the way I prefer it.
    JB2 likes this.
  5. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Yep, not many motorcycles when we were there based on past trips. There were several large groups staying in the area though. We ran into one group staying at the Alpine Inn on several occasions at the Hill City Cafe. The only riders who waved at us during our entire stay were guys on dirt bikes. It was a new experience that, in all my years of moto-travel, I had never witnessed. After day one we just quit waving at other riders.

    I do agree that the most tourists attend places that are some of the best gems. However, even in our off-season trip there was a lot of traffic. Having already visited nearly all the high spots previously it made it very easy to go to places where most don't. I read your post and do agree. I do have one GPS in the truck but its nearly 10 years old and hasn't been updated for almost five years. I rarely use it for navigation but do use it for checking mileage between points and marking hot-spots on backroad locations when Kim and I are rock and fossil hunting. I have never mounted a GPS to the bike and carry a flip phone. I prefer to find my way with maps and feel.

    I've been back and forth with off-road travel. I'm okay with taking on a challenge. I started on dirt, I grew up on dirt. I've certainly covered a lot more miles on asphalt at 500K life-miles but it bores me at times... a lot. I don't have as many adventures left in me as I have behind me since I have been doing this for over fifty years now but, I can't imagine a trip without riding off asphalt.
    72 Yamaha RD350 likes this.
  6. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    @72 Yamaha RD350 - Thought you might like these. Gentleman Jim and I's first trip to South Dakota in 2012. We did more miles on gravel than we did asphalt. That's my cross Country when it was still clean.

    [​IMG]

    Capa Road - Murdo, South Dakota

    [​IMG]

    South Rochford Road - Rochford, South Dakota​

    [​IMG]

    McCahan Church - Mystic Road - Mystic, South Dakota

    [​IMG]

    Badlands Service Route 2 - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

    [​IMG]

    After 4 days of riding gravel roads. We don't need no stinkin' dirt bike. :D
    bobw, jdfog2 and 72 Yamaha RD350 like this.
  7. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    Cool pics.

    The Dakotas are one of the best kept secrets in the USA. I had low expectations for my ride across North Dakota but it had far more scenic beauty than 1,500 miles of Canada. I’d been across ND east to west previously- not so much north-to-South. I’ve been across SD several times and some parts are better, other parts worse. Pine Ridge will break your heart.

    Got the news on Saturday that my oldest daughter accepted a job with the state of ND and will be moving to Williston to be with her BF. Elvis may be making a couple trips across ND next summer. Mixed feelings on that. Karma is a bitch.
    jdfog2 and JB2 like this.
  8. Bhuff

    Bhuff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Greens Fork In
    So the indian is all clean and ready for Saturday. And I didn't have to remove any South Dakota red mud! Keep cleaning JB. Hehehe
    72 Yamaha RD350 and JB2 like this.
  9. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,153
    Location:
    Avon, IN If we never go, we will never know
    There will be an inspection---with a white glove. Heh, heh, heh!
    JB2 and Bhuff like this.
  10. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Better bring a red glove. Bike is apart in garage. It will still be dirty and scraped up from South Dakota riding. I'll wash it Sunday when its raining and get down to some polishing and more in depth repairs. I'm still removing rocks and chunks of red clay. I need to take the left switch housing apart again to see if I can get them working at 100% again. All I had in South Dakota was a toothpick to clean it out, now I have compressed air. Should be successful. I didn't buy it for a show bike. You guys will get over it. :lol3
    bobw likes this.
  11. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,153
    Location:
    Avon, IN If we never go, we will never know
    Well, okay. Guess we'll still show up. :lol3
    JB2 likes this.
  12. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Joel - I'll be ready for sure. Should have it back together this evening.
    jdfog2 likes this.
  13. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    Famous last words.
    JB2 likes this.
  14. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Hey I have an important date with Joel, Jay and Brian tomorrow. It'll happen.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement! :thumb

    What was going to be a ride in my back yard is now going to be a ride in Brian's back yard due to some crappy weather coming in late Saturday. Looking forward. BTW, If Elvis can handle the trip I'll turn the sheets back for ya in the spare bedroom and leave the back door unlocked. I'll be leaving out at 8:30am. Just sayin'.
    Prior likes this.
  15. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    West Central Indiana
    Your bike will be just fine.
    I have an old clunker and it has
    Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana bugs on it still so I'll not be out prettying ya one bit. Oh, heck, who am I kidding. I could have the Strom spotless and still not likely out pretty any bike.

    A Strom is like an ugly kid. When it's yours one of the most beautiful things on earth but most other people don't understand the hidden beauty.
    bobw and JB2 like this.
  16. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Jay, looking forward. We keep bumping into each other here and have talked about doing this. A friend of Bhuff’s and mine from Franklin, NC rides a Wee-Strom. Great bikes period.
  17. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    I’m headed toward Indy in the morning but Elvis is hanging out here in the garage. I’ve done my big trips this year and the weather up here is cold and wet. Supposed to snow next Saturday on my way home. Content with a bit over 12,000 miles ridden this season.
    JB2 likes this.
  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Another Day Trippin' ride is in the books. Only seems right to post it this late at night as the dust settles and the rain starts to fall here on our little piece of the world. Brian, Joel, Jay and myself had conspired to do a day ride for early October. The date and place had been set for a few weeks but the incoming rain for tonight and tomorrow morning meant that Joel and Jay would be riding home in the cold and wet by overnighting here. We let the date stand but moved our starting point to a location more central to all of us so everyone could sleep in their own bed and avoid the weather.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The weather today was excellent even with the cold morning temperatures. It was 41 degrees when I rolled out of the driveway at 8:30am. The plan was to get to Brian's and hook up with him then meet Joel and Jay at the Greens Fork Family Diner in downtown Greens Fork, IN. We all arrived within 15 minutes of each other and sat down for fellowship and breakfast. Jay, Brian and Joel talking bikes after breakfast. Bellies full and the sun's out. Let's ride.

    I might mention that I had some pretty good routes selected for the ride in our backyard but when the weather changed things and we moved it to Brian's backyard it was too late to regroup. I threw the ball to Brian hoping he had a good idea of what we could accomplish in a half dozen hours or less. I'm thankful that he took the ball and put together a great set of roads and places. It allowed me to do something I haven't been able to do for a long time... just sit back watch the ride from the back. Usually I'm looking at everyone in the rearview mirror but today I got to follow them.

    It wasn't a picture heavy day. The great weather and local festivals had brought thousands of people out to enjoy one last fling in the outdoors before the weather turns. I have personal goals each time I throw a leg over the bike and head off into adventure; reconnect with old friends, make new friends, ride for the sheer fun of riding, go new places and come home safely with a story. All of those things were accomplished today.

    [​IMG]

    From Greens Fork Brian led us down some backroad tracks to IN101. The scenery was grand and the roads, although needing repair, were twisty and shaded like a tree tunnel. The best part of this segment was the lack of traffic. Once on IN101 heading south towards Brookville the recreational traffic picked up significantly. Everybody and their brother was out enjoying the day. We passed quickly through Brookville and turned west on US52. It winds along the White Water Canal with opportunities for numerous photo-ops. However the traffic backed up quickly as we neared Metamora to a complete stop a few miles outside town. After 15-20 minutes of this we came upon one of the roadside parks near the old town and pulled off to grab some shade and escape that jamb. Our first stop of the day that wasn't at a gas station.

    [​IMG]

    We shed some layers as the sun pushed the temps into the low 70's and waited for the rolling roadblock to thin out. While waiting out the herd of cagers I caught Joel snapping some pictures of Brian's new Indian Scout Bobber. He's got a good eye with the camera. I like the perspective he sees for an image. Maybe he'll post a few from the day.

    Once back on the road we caught up quickly with the same rolling parking lot and passed through Metamora painfully slow. We missed the opportunity to stop at the locks along the canal. There's a park there but the traffic was so heavy either direction turning left into the pulloff seemed a daunting task. Once we finally got to the canal town it was obvious the Whitewater Canal Days were in full swing. I have never seen this many people here. They were parking a mile away and walking or taking shuttles to town. The cause of the rolling roadblock quickly became apparent as we idled and stopped and idled and stopped down the hill through town. They had a crossing guard that was stopping traffic to allow pedestrians to cross the busy highway by the hundreds each time they would give them the right of way. Having been here many times I have no idea how they got so many people into such a small area. It must have been shoulder to shoulder. No thanks.

    Past Metamora we picked up IN229 and rode south to Oldenburg. The road was lightly traveled but full of tar-snakes. It is a really nice stretch of road. However, again, once in Oldenburg there was a huge wedding taking place and there was absolutely no parking... well, except for a gas station. Our plan was to retrace our steps north and pick up IN121 and ride together to Connersville. But, with the traffic jamb and the extended breakfast we had burnt the clock for Joel and Jay. We parted here but Brian and I would take the selected route and rode together until we hit Hagerstown.

    It had been a few years since taking a ride on IN121. I had forgotten how nice it is. There's lots of twisty sections dotted with small towns. We stopped to fill up in Hagerstown and said our goodbyes. We didn't take a lot of pictures. We didn't make a lot of picture worthy stops, we mostly just rode. When we were stopped we caught up on each others' lives and got to know Jay. In retrospect you couldn't ask for a change in plans to work out any better. Once home I sent out a few texts to let everyone know I had made it back. Later in the evening, through PM's here on ADV, I found out Jay and Joel made it home safely too.

    I sat down to a fine supper that Kim had intended to feed our band of riders but with different guests. Meg and Mark came down from South Whitley to spend the evening and we had both of our Granddaughters staying the night. I ate Joel's piece of Chicken Parmesan. Afterwards I caught Mark up on our days ride. He and Meg have been to several of our house concerts and have met Joel-n-Deb and Brian-n-Val. When we finished off the last of a great meal he and I retired to the TV and watched music videos. I was able to introduce him to Sean Rowe, Colter Wall and Tom Russell. Pretty soon the kids were nodding off and our guests had an hour drive home. When Meg and Mark departed I realized that I was wound up from the coffee and decided to put the day to words... but there are none that adequately describe it.

    Jay, it was great to meet you. I'm hoping you and Joel can meet Gentleman Jim one day. He's an avid motorcycle traveler, retired Air Force like you and is as nice a person as you will ever meet. Joel, it was great to catch up with you and put another ride in the books. Brian, thanks for taking the lead and letting me just ride. We've got a few rides under our belt this year and have traveled six states together already on our new bikes. Its nice to be back in the wind ya brother. Thanks!

    This song doesn't fit the day in many ways yet the feeling of "it is time to ride" does. One of my favorites by Tom Russell... if you're into cowboy music.


    This song might fit better, but then again it speaks more to the mutual addiction all of us inmates on ADV. Sometimes its only one line in the song that you keep repeating in your head when you're on the pipe and spinning through the countryside. That's all it takes for me.

    bobw likes this.
  19. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    Glad you guys had a safe ride.

    After leaving home at 6:30am in a cold, heavy downpour, the rain ended a bit before Madison four hours later. I considered stopping at the HD and Indian dealers just for a break but soldiered on to the first Steak’n’Shake for lunch. I did stop at the HD dealer in Bloomington IL and gazed upon a two-tone blue 17 Ultra for a minute before hitting it again. I arrived in Brownsburg at 6:30pm.

    With Joel in his Triumph shirt and Brian’s Indian jacket, I’m not sure I could ride with you guys as I am the only HD rider in the world without HD schwag - not a single piece. Maybe I’d fit in with Jay because, having owned a V-Strom, I know there is no such thing as V-Strom schwag!

    Tracing your route I was surprised to find you crossed US52 - the very same US52 which takes a circuitous but continuous route, not just to Minneapolis, but to Minot ND! I have ridden it this direction all way into IL where it gets a bit funky, connecting bits and pieces of road headed in different directions. Maybe that’s my next ride here.

    The Scout Bobber is such a cool looking bike. My nearest Indian dealer had a fire last week and, supposedly, all the bikes are a total loss including more than half dozen Scouts.
    JB2 likes this.
  20. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    West Central Indiana
    Your writing is never disappointing to read JB.

    At least three great things that are related:

    1. Great trip report (and trip),
    2. Great time,
    3. Great meeting new friends (and reconnecting with Joel.)

    I was thinking while riding back to where Joel and I parted company (Mooresville) that I perhaps jumped the gun on wanting to head back without following you and Brian back up to Connersville first then cutting across to Franklin.

    I did end up at home before dark but my "deer thirty" concerns were at least somewhat validated.

    I had three of the fuzzy brown forest denizens ( I have another word for them that is "Not Safe For Work") dart out of corn and sort of leisurely trot/lope RIGHT in front of me across highway 42 about a mile west of Monrovia. The last one of the group even cast a disparaging glance at me like "yo, what are YOU lookin at fool?" To be fair I never felt too threatened as I for some reason expected that "if I see deer, this would be a great ... oh! look there they are!" So I was only going about 45 and if the VStrom is good at anything it is good as engine braking, so it was easy to gather it all up and miss them. Still exciting though.

    Just about when I was over that fun two more ran full speed across U.S. 40 just west of Stilesville (which is where I joined US 40.)

    Not too big of a deal again. They were "flying" across an already harvested cornfield, I saw them several hundred yards away, and they were at least 200 yards ahead when they flew over the highway. Not sure what had the Monrovia threesome moving a good two or so hours before dusk but I think the the second pair could have been spooked by a bow hunter going to his stand - or having just taken a shot ? I saw a pick up truck parked at the far end of in the field they were coming across.

    At any rate, I admit that I was kind of happy to not ride in darkness twice on the same day through "Deer Central" at "Deer Thirty"

    Nice to meet you guys and hope to get together again often! I will attach the best of the pics I took so you all can see / copy them.

    Again, nice to meet you and Brian and thanks again.
    Looking forward to future adventures!
    Jay
    72 Yamaha RD350 and JB2 like this.