Montreal - Yukon - Baja California and back: mototherapy on a Guzzi V7

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BusterMcHooligan, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Thunder Bay
    I hadn’t realized they had changed but I see they have traded torque for hp. The pipes are quite different too. I can chug around town in fourth gear if I want. When I traded my V Strom for the Classic I gave up 50 hp and 100 lbs. and don’t miss either. The Suzuki wasn’t happy below 4000 rpm which wasn’t very V Twinish. I have tried demos on several great bikes over the last few years but none good enough to replace my V-7.
    #41
    wncstrada likes this.
  2. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    457
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    This is the stuff! Get back on it! ;)

    Missed this excellent RR earlier and am grateful it's back at the top and getting some attention. Really appreciate your insights and hope more of us here read this.
    #42
    stromsavard likes this.
  3. stromsavard

    stromsavard Serge

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    397
    Location:
    Lorrainville, Québec Canada
    Yes, please...!!
    #43
  4. Kevm

    Kevm Eternal Optimist

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    4,161
    Location:
    Medford, NJ
    I think you need to take another look at that Dyno chart.

    The V7III doesn't give up ANY torque to the earlier Heron heads.

    The 2TB and Mark I models peaked early with ~39-40 ft lbs (similar to the V7II shown).

    The V7III may peak higher, but it's already making more torque than the earlier models (40+ by ~2800).

    Between my little bro and I we currently have four smallblocks (two MkI and two MKIII) but we've also had two others including a 2TB V7C so we've ridden them back-to-back a couple of times over the years.

    The 1TB models are more torquey than the 2TB to the tune of comfortably running a few hundred rpm lower for similar loads.

    The MKIII models respond even better and can be run at a very relaxed pace.

    There's nothing wrong with the 2TB models, but I find the later 1TB models to offer everything it does and more. The Hemi head models being the biggest leap (granted we're still talking small numbers, but relative leap) in performance.
    #44
  5. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,362
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    kevin, someone then needs to do a bathtub chamber and you will really be happy with it.
    #45
  6. Kevm

    Kevm Eternal Optimist

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    4,161
    Location:
    Medford, NJ
    Wooooooooosh ------> <yokesman>

    Kev's head ------>


    #46
  7. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Thunder Bay
    I have a V-65TT that seems to have power similar to the V-7 which is surprising given the old school carbs. I had an Aprilia 450 twin unrestricted with 60 hp and it was light years beyond my Guzzi so I believe the low power numbers on the graph.
    #47
    Havingfun likes this.
  8. BusterMcHooligan

    BusterMcHooligan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    I made it back home a few days ago and am writing the next chapters of the trip report. The red valve covers come stock on the '18 Carbon Dark. I'll post the next few updates shortly. Spoiler alert: 17000km - and not a lot of them were easy KMs - and zero mechanical issues on the '18 V7 III. Gas, rear tire and scheduled service. Plus some mods at Guzzitech in California.
    More to come.
    #48
    td63, B10Dave, Kevm and 3 others like this.
  9. BusterMcHooligan

    BusterMcHooligan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    Day 13 - Monday August 12th, 2019 - Fort Nelson, AB
    Selection_022.png
    The ride from Fort Nelson to Watson Lake was almost as beautiful as yesterday's from Fort St John. Although the Alaska highway is technically, well, a highway, it's curvy and dippy and climby enough in parts that you can have lots of fun at any speed. It's a lovely drive if you've got good weather like I had, and I was lucky to see quite a few bears, mountain goats, and lots of bison crossing the highway while curious motorists patiently waited. I spent a year or so living in a national park surrounded by indifferent bison, so the magic of the scene was only slightly less impressive to me than to everyone else. My friend and her wife were planning to stop at the Liard Hot Springs for the night, so I decided to press on to Watson Lake and wait for them to catch up the next morning so we could have breakfast / lunch and make it to Whitehorse together.

    IMG_20190813_161852_resize_15.jpg
    Although I rode almost 7 hours - more than I prefer to on such a small bike - I got to Watson Lake feeling pretty great. The weather had been warm all day, the gas stops were quick and efficient - but not cheap, not up here - and the place I'd spend the night, Air Force Lodge, had tons of character. Upon arriving I was greeted in person by the very friendly German proprietor, and we spent probably about 45 minutes talking about bikes, how he ended up in the Yukon, the lodge, where he got all the cool wartime trinkets and decorations, and Canada in general. The place is very much like an old-school barracks (but more comfortable / inviting), complete with single beds, tiny-but-spotless rooms and shared (but still very private - never saw another soul) bathrooms and shower.

    IMG_20190813_080846_resize_38.jpg

    There isn't all that much to see around town in Watson Lake, but there is the Signpost Forest, a quirky little area off the main strip with thousands of street, traffic and other signs that folks brought in from all over the world. It's kind of a strange feeling to walk the grounds and wonder how signs from across the world ended up here, and it's fun to imagine the stories of folks who've passed through here and left (or took) a memento. Definitely worth visiting if only for the randomness and weirdness of it all.

    IMG_20190812_192819_resize_51.jpg
    I fuelled up - at around double the price I'd paid in Alberta just a couple days ago - checked the Guzzi over to make sure everything was in running order - it was running eerily well, imho, for still basically not being fully-broken-in yet - and picked up some snacks from "Tempo Tags+Food+Gas" for the road the next day. They had quite a few rare treats, snacks and such that I didn't expect to find this far north, at reasonable prices too, so I may have indulged a little... I was waiting in line behind an older gentleman who was counting his nickels and dimes on the counter to pay for some milk and bread, and ended up like $0.80 short. I put a loonie on the counter, then turned around and saw that everyone else was also digging around in their pockets or purses to help him out too. That made the day a little bit better than it already was. I had dinner at Nugget Restaurant - a Chinese restaurant in the Yukon, against my better judgment - and the Mapo Tofu they served was surprisingly competent.

    IMG_20190812_200505_resize_33.jpg

    A few years ago, I was having dinner with a beautiful Sri Lankan girl, who was teaching English in Wichita. We had gone out for Japanese. We mused about how I was a Middle Eastern guy from Quebec, she was a Sri Lankan girl who grew up in England, and here we were eating at a Japanese restaurant in Kansas. A decade ago this would have been improbable. Half a century ago, impossible. Yet here we were, literally a clash of cultures, drinking altogether too much Sake and telling each other stories about our wildly different childhoods. I had a similar feeling over dinner today, riding my Italian-built motorcycle, staying at a German-operated lodge in northern Canada along a partially American-funded highway, eating Szechuan food. All those protectionists and conspiracy theorists fuming over globalism and having one world government controlling them have got it all wrong. Free trade is where it's at, I thought to myself, as I added more Szechuan peppers and spring onions over my rice while a black bear lazily retreated into the treeline. The Gen-Xer in me still holds dear the independence, cultural identities and vague, nebulous "freedoms" (waves hands about lazily) I grew up with, but the millennial in me'd happily be a paper-pusher in some Earth-wide bureaucracy if it means more of this.

    IMG_20190813_101144_resize_49.jpg
    Today's Playlist:
    #49
    td63, scarygary, TonyKZ1 and 10 others like this.
  10. crashkorolyk

    crashkorolyk just happy to ride

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    246
    Location:
    vancouver island
    Brilliant R.R. and pictures,thanks for sharing.Great to get a Canadian perspective on your trip through our vast landscape,really enjoying it!
    #50
  11. BusterMcHooligan

    BusterMcHooligan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    Days 14-27 - Tuesday August 13th - Thursday August 28th, 2019 - The Yukon
    Selection_023.png

    The only stretch of this trip I felt a little uneasy about riding on a small-displacement, low-production Italian bike was between Grand Prairie and Whitehorse. There are no Guzzi dealers on this stretch, and almost no cell phone reception outside of a few key areas. In spite of the abysmal track record our Canadian telcos have in serving rural areas, I expected such a well-traveled (and treacherous in winter) stretch of road, the only lifeline to the north in many cases, to have basic mobile service. As I was only a few hours from Whitehorse, and a quick inspection of the bike revealed everything to be in perfect working order. There literally was nothing to worry about, and that would - sort of surprisingly, to be honest - set the pace for the rest of the entire trip.
    IMG_20190828_135456_resize_4.jpg

    Tara and Anya were driving straight home to Whitehorse from the Hot Springs, so it was decided that I'd meet them for breakfast in Watson Lake. That gave me the opportunity to sleep in a little and catch up on some work, despite the less-than-highspeed internet connection. We met for a perfectly serviceable breakfast at Andrea's Restaurant, transferred most of my luggage into their truck because weight, gassed-up the UHaul and the Guzzi, and I followed them for a bit towards Whitehorse until I got bored of riding at 90km/h. The road to Whitehorse from here isn't nearly as interesting as the rest of the Alaska highway; it's mostly flat and straight, empty except for some forgettable outposts sparsely populated by tough-but-kind folk, which would be a bit of a microcosm of the north, I figure.

    IMG_20190828_145637_resize_56.jpg

    I arrived in Whitehorse an hour earlier than my friends, so decided I'd drop into "downtown" and explore the city a little. That took all of 7 minutes, so I grabbed a drink at Dirty Northern where I chatted with some locals and overheard a surprising amount of French. I'd later learn that there's a whole tight-knit - and relatively well-to-do - French community in Whitehorse, comprised of European French, Quebecois, and Franco-Canadians of various stripes. For such a small town - roughly 25k of the entire Yukon's 40k residents live here - the food and brewery scene is quite good. Winterlong Brewing Co. makes some world-class beer. I thought I'd have the most unique bike in the Yukon, until I saw a Royal Enfield Himalayan all the way up in Dawson City. So much for being special.

    IMG_20190825_114922_resize_22.jpg

    I spent the next two weeks in the North, with occasional escapades into Alaska. The first thing I learned from the locals was to temper your service expectations. Life operates at a slower pace here, and the lack of competition means that - unlike in a major metropolis - consumer experience isn't as much of a competitive edge here as it is elsewhere. There's a love-it-or-leave-it approach to the service industry, so you need to be patient and prepared even when you're spending you money to support a local business.

    IMG_20190821_101823_resize_39.jpg

    The second thing I learned is that locals - and there are very few true "locals" here - are suspicious of outsiders. Not because of mistrust, but because they're wary of cultivating relationships with folks who might only stay here for a year or two before moving on. The transient nature of employment in the North means that folks kind of paradrop into folks' lives, become friends with them, and then quickly move on somewhere else. I can see why locals choose to wait until you've been established a few months before opening up to you.

    IMG_20190825_135608_resize_17.jpg

    Highlights of the trip included catching up on my work from Yukonstruct, a maker-space sort of co-working place, boardgaming and/or drinking with my friends and their dog, hanging out in Haines Junction, watching a live "swamp-rock" band, Swamp Sex Robots, visiting parts of eastern Alaska, hiking in Kluane National Park, visiting a Champagne and Aishihik First Nations settlement, and visiting Dawson City I used to works for Parks Canada, and Dawson City is pretty much entirely managed by the agency, so I felt right at home.. These two weeks blew by faster than I'd hoped, and on my final day I bid farewell to the amazing friends who'd spawned the idea of this trip in the first place, and rode down a sunny Thursday morning to catch my 3-day ferry from Skagway, AL to Prince Rupert, BC.

    IMG_20190828_143802_resize_52.jpg

    Today's Playlist:

    Attached Files:

    #51
    AngusMcL, td63, TonyKZ1 and 9 others like this.
  12. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Epic trip. I assume you're back home by now?
    #52
  13. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Prince Edward Island. Canada
    Enjoyed the read. So, you did go Baja way???
    #53
  14. stromsavard

    stromsavard Serge

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    397
    Location:
    Lorrainville, Québec Canada
    I really miss this RR, don't know what is going on...please let us know!! Thank you so much!
    #54
  15. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    457
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    A lil nudge to continue this awesome RR as we're all under lockdown....
    #55
  16. Vikingtazz

    Vikingtazz Will ride for food.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,517
    Location:
    Prescott Ontario, Canada
    I liked the photos, but the commentary was a bit much for me.

    Homicide Capital of Canada? Had to look that one up, and sure enough Thunder Bay had 8 homicides in 2018.
    Certainly 8 too many, but that kind of offhanded diatribe is only worthy of sensationalist news reporting and does a disservice to the people of that town.

    Every motorcyclist in Thunder Bay is flying colours and riding worn out Harleys? Really, that was your experience? I gotta call bullshit.
    Not trying to single out Thunder Bay, the tone was similar just about everywhere this guy visited. There's probably a saying about what you see in others is a reflection of yourself, or somesuch nonsense - whatever, I can't help but think it might be applicable in this case.

    Maybe the take-away should be different, but I couldn't help feeling that the author was viewing places with severely skewed optics.
    Lovely motorbike though, enjoyed the photos.
    #56
  17. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,328
    Location:
    Satellite of Love
    Or maybe just "optics" that are merely different from yours, not necessarily "severely skewed" or "bullshit"...
    #57
    Brooosss and wncstrada like this.
  18. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Prince Edward Island. Canada
    Very well said, good for you. Take Care. Petepilot
    #58
  19. Vikingtazz

    Vikingtazz Will ride for food.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,517
    Location:
    Prescott Ontario, Canada
    Dunno, could be yeah.
    I usually move on without comment if I don't agree with something or somebody.
    #59