New Bike, New Rider, New Adventure on the UPAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Orthodoc, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    I had an awesome experience September 3-7, 2019
    This was my first real trek over night, solo, with a newer bike, and by anyone’s account, not a ton of riding experience.

    First , Why??
    Adventure! No, its not a midlife crisis, but I will admit that its been a bit since I have been challenged. I wanted to know a little bit better what I’m made of, capable of, able to endure. I’ve dreamt of riding something like the TAT, but figure I needed to try something that could be like a shakedown cruise. Could I ride days in a row? Enough milage to make a cross country trip feasible? How would I deal without my family? Without communication? If I hated it, I guess I would know I needed to look for a new activity....

    I love the outdoors, and driving and seeing stuff. I’m mechanically pretty good. I have a farm, know how to work, fix stuff, deal with weather, deal with equipment. This seemed like something that might grow on me..

    The down side(S).
    Inexperience riding , especially varying conditions.
    I'm pretty risk averse when it comes to motorcycles. I’m an orthopaedic surgeon, and dealt with too many motorcycle accident victims to take safety for granted. I have rationalized this adventure this way:
    Most of my patients come from riding after dark, drinking, or someone pulling out in front of them. I suspect off-road type ADV riding is the type of riding that avoids most risks.. In spite of the above, I wanted to give it a try.

    The varying road conditions sounded fun, but didn't really know what I was in for..

    The bike:
    I have had an older Yamaha TT225 dirt bike around the farm. My wife showed some interest in riding. She liked the way the TW200 sat, so we got a pair to ride together. She now has her endorsement, but isn’t ready for something like this.

    I decided to use my TW for this trip
    -mechanically simple
    -fun to ride
    -probably great for most stuff, but maybe not best for highway
    -Sure , I'm big enough to handle a bigger bike, but I love riding, not speeding, and the TW makes me drive within my limited abilities.

    The Bike: TW200 (2019) and Mods:

    JNS LED headlight
    off brand hand protecters
    Wide foot pegs
    LED tail light and back fender conversion
    low profile rack
    skidplate
    raised front fender
    waterproof usb plug
    Clarke 4.1 gallon xt225 tank mod
    I wanted to keep the bike basic, with mods simply for protection and visibility. The gas tank mod looks to the future, and gives a range approaching 230 miles.

    yyrrpGydRD+VchGZYt8r0Q.jpg



    Day 0

    Four hour drive to St. Ignace. Timed so that Mackinac Bridge would be open after the annual Labor Day bridge walk. Stayed at the Pines Hotel, who agreed to let me park my truck there til I got back.

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    Day one
    The UP has a forecast for rain essentially all day, with amounts of 1-2 inches. There doesn't seem to be a window that will work, so I plan to leave at 7:30 when visibility will be ok. Its an adventure, right? So ride!
    Pack, dress. And realize my boots aren't in the truck, they are in the shop at home. The adventure begins…..I know, ATGATT. No stores open, no hope for boots. Considered driving back, but only have a week to pull this off. Mrs Orthdoc is a saint. Agrees and arranges to ship boots to Marquette.
    Merrils + two sets of socks+plastic bags will provide some water protection. I’m critically aware my forgetfulness has put me at more risk.:(
    And so it begins..
    and I realize I never ride on pavement in the rain, and need to watch it. The track leads to gravel, and I feel better…

    248098A1-5441-4032-8D39-BDAFDA7CD49D-1370-0000011D09E0D9F1.jpg 81541B75-3FC2-4474-8E7B-51032B30DCDB-1370-0000011D133BA55B.jpg
    I settle in, and follow a track well described by Cannonshot. The varied topography and conditions keep me on my feet.

    I come across the culverts in the trail that were mentioned, the first just has a big whoop behind it, The second though, has huge cutouts that could wreck your day.
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    I am so intent on the track ( and I think not so good at the gps), that I miss the old triangle shaped runways others have documented. By the time I realize, i just push on. 1135787B-F762-452D-BECE-3177FD05774C-1370-0000011D157FB98B.jpg 1907FF5A-CFEE-4E85-8AAF-7256094ECD62-1370-0000011D2136543F.jpg

    Through Paradise, and contemplate maybe lunch back there?.
    Continue on the run to Whitefish point, and I realize I am really cold. Put a fleece under the KLIMs and all was well. Tourists feeling sorry for the wet bedraggled guy, but I am still smiling. No one else I have seen is getting to do what I am today!
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    The ride back south in the sand convinces me to head to Paradise (the town) on the slab. Sand, no riding boots, and worry about an ankle twist or worse was part of it. Gas there, and on to Taquamenon falls.

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    After this and some nice black top was sandy road and forest trail, with the rain and lightening kicking in for real. I dropped the bike in a deep sandy rut out on the flat clearcuts near the Two Hearted River outlet. Began wondering if lightening liked small Japanese motorcycles more than trees. Stopped for a picture anyway.

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    I didn't realize that one of my dry bags had slipped off, and while turning slowly on the next road, it got caught in the wheel, and I dropped the bike as I stopped. It broke the tool tube off the bracket, and I spent 10 minutes in the downpour to repack. Amazing that what was in two bags could fit in one…

    The rain kept up and the track turned to single track. I am no sand rider, and took some tough lessons before the airfield near the Two Hearted.

    IMG_1228.JPG

    Gloomy and raining at the Two Hearted outlet. A nicer day and I would have kicked around, but today, just press on...
    I follow the track and realize the county road is not sand but mud and mud is slippery.
    I’m a little uneasy with the feel of the bike, and stick to roads that I can technically manage.
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    Grand Marias is a welcome sight, a pretty spot even though over cast, and the rain is easing. Ask at the sporting goods store for a new dry bag, but they have none. Wonder about lunch, but rock on!
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    And then the track to Munising.

    Munising was my nights stop, checking the dollar store looking for a bag, and finding a side alley with some pretty nice art.

    FwHrC1ObT6+C9HcP0sEMpQ.jpg nZrFfHeNSw6GM1+w%b%4XQ.jpg

    Hotel
    Dinner
    Wireless
    Recharge
    Talk to Mrs Orthodoc
    Crash
    #1
  2. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,238
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I say this a lot, but those conditions are a perfect excuse to upgrade that front tire. Having the right pressure for the job helps a lot too. I believe I read that somebody got water in their JNS light. Have you had any of that? I've been debating if I wanna do that or just replace the bulb with an LED.

    Oh and of course, looks like some good riding was had.
    #2
  3. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    No problems with the light at all, and as you will see later in the report plenty of opportunity to have that happen!

    As far as tires, rode the whole thing at 10-12 psi on and off road
    I have a Shrinko 241 ordered for the front...
    #3
  4. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Ontario
    Oh that rain was a bear...
    Looks like you were a day behind me to start and you took some sections I skipped. I admire you tackled them in the rain no less!
    #4
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  5. Ride Now

    Ride Now Graybeard

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    408
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    Excellent adventure. Subscribed and patiently awaiting the next installment. :-) On a side note, your handguards are on opposite sides as intended. :deal
    #5
  6. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ha!
    Thanks. you have sharp eyes!
    I actually think (realize?) that there are two "lefts" on the bike, as I had two sets, and must have got mixed up.:arg
    I suspect that that is not the only mistake I made...
    #6
  7. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,533
    Location:
    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    :thumb
    #7
  8. Marco Moto

    Marco Moto Voyager

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,552
    Location:
    Tuscany and Michigan
    Great report!
    Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the next installment... :lurk
    #8
  9. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    Day 2

    Most everything is dried out and that is nice.

    Today is a day of corrections. I try to learn from my mistakes..:

    -The outer pockets of your expensive KLIM jacket are not waterproof. Neither is the back pocket of your camelback. Put your iPhone and iPad somewhere else!
    -GPS tracks are small. Pay attention!
    -Since you are using your iPhone as a backup map, keep it charged..
    -Its been 10 years since Cannonshot made the tracks, Some are overgrown...
    And so it goes...

    Pack, Gas and roll!

    Followed route to Marquette , hoping for 0930 boot delivery at the UPS store.
    Menards has a cheap compression sack
    Boots not at UPS store yet, but when I ask where there is good breakfast the other customer that is in the store says the Third Street Bagel shop on north 3rd - I own it!

    IMG_1262.jpg

    I checked it out and she was right. A guy working on the shop asks ? Is that a 400?
    I smile and head out.

    Mrs Orthodoc rocks!
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    Nothing like a nice day, the right gear, and a great breakfast to help get a great start on a great day!

    Found the track and had a sweet ride to Big Bay and Lake Independance
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    Followed tracks but somehow went in a circle , so took a new route out of L'Anse the second time.

    6422813B-48CA-4C8E-AE4F-1BA4FE27F273-2363-0000021CF0F8C92E.jpg 2864BD66-C103-4195-A780-073C30A626F3-2363-0000021CF2069CCE.jpg 843197C8-7E4A-4688-AF04-4AD346D2DF29-2363-0000021CF32604F2.jpg

    I had a buddy who went to Michigan Tech, so Houghton was not a stop I wanted to make.

    Followed the track out of Hancock and moved slow as school was letting out. Noticed my chain seemed loose and made a mental note to check it that night.
    Out of Lake Linden, The route transitions to an old railroad bed, and then climbs some fun rocky trail for a bit.
    Had a bit of a sudden stop as I topped the crest...
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    Tw200 stock chains are known to stretch, and apparently mine is no different. Lube and adjust became a daily project after this.

    Follow track to Copper Harbor. Quick fun 2 lane blacktop with great views.
    Went on reserve tank at Mohawk.
    Got gas at closing time in Copper Harbor. 3.5 gal in 4.1 gal tank. Still hadn’t tipped the bike to get the gas out of the right wing of the tank...
    Averaging 56 MPG

    Stayed at King Copper

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    Walleye and an ipa or two at The Mariner North closed out an awesome day!

    Lessons:

    A 4.1 gallon tank is on reserve at about 1.1 gallons left.

    You really should check your chain. If you think you could wait to tighten it til you stop for the night you are wrong.

    Michigan is full of awesome stuff!

    No rain makes ton of difference!

    It’s great to have an awesome wife who can ship you the boots you forgot!

    Have a hard copy map or you might go in a circle

    Don’t be a hard ass, load the big bike route, even if you don’t think you will use it (because you may want to)

    Seats Get hard after 250 miles

    You really should have mailed your shoes and the sandals you will never wear home when you were at the UPS store.

    Shower, WI FI, Call Mrs Orthodoc, crash




    Attached Files:

    #9
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  10. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    Day 3

    Sunrise at the tip of the Keewenaw

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    The final track had quite a few puddles. This was a harbinger for the next few days.
    NOFJKCQvTxqQXR%LlwJYTQ.jpg
    Then quick track back to Copper Harbor for a scone and coffee. Decided to bypass the Lac Labelle area and head down the peninsula. IMG_1305.JPG +JD49HqnQ5Cj8EjArj8Hlg.jpg


    Firesteel River trestles
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    4H fairgrounds for Ontonagon county.
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    Victoria dam
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    The track transitioned to 2 track, and I found myself paralleling a power line. The tracks were real muddy, and the inevitable finally happened:
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    Ended high siding. Bike ended up pointing back up the trail. Bumps and bruises, but ok. Healthy distrust of the capabilities of this front tire from here on out , and a damper on the throttle too.

    Potato farm road was a reprieve from the mud.
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    Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountain State Park
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    Then a return to the track
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    Gas Presque Isle Wisconsin, south of the track. I was unsure about where to stop for the night, so just kept on the track. Nice two tracks transitioning to winding blacktop and cottages as I road into Land O Lakes Wisconsin.

    Brews pub for a great reuben and ipa.
    Bel-Air hotel
    A couple extra Aleve
    Call Mrs Orthodoc.
    Sleep a bit gingerly.
    #10
  11. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,533
    Location:
    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    Definitely swap out the front on the TW.

    I put a Kenda rear on the front of my wife's TW years ago. Makes a huge difference!
    #11
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  12. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    West Central Indiana
    Subscribed, sorry about that "get off" - I am a believer in Aleve. And Motrin. And Tylenol. Never all at the same time and all in moderation. So now you know I am a bit older :)

    Hope you aren't too sore after that - or weren't since I think this is a report of a completed trip.
    I live in Indiana and am SUPER interested in your report.
    I was thinking of riding up that way this Summer but since it was my first long solo ride in about 30 years I guess I needed some kind of "security blanket" so I made my way to Oklahoma to visit relatives via a very nice ride through Missouri, all off the Interstate except about 2 miles in Illinois where US 40 mergers into I 70 and then has a quick exit.

    Illinois was kind of "yawn" but it was still pretty and a nice ride. And I think Illinois could have been more interesting if I checked out the small towns along the way.

    Planning to hit Michigan hard next Summer...but...some of my new found friends on here already seem to be making ride plans so ... Michigan may involve a few long weekend rides. I may in fact get up there once yet this year.

    GREAT pic taking and writing!

    JDFog2
    #12
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  13. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    West Central Indiana
    p.s. - what's the story with your Hereford photo in your avatar? Very nice!
    #13
  14. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hereford breeder
    Picture of a bull we own
    #14
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  15. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,290
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    The stock TW chain is a standard chain and I once had to adjust it 3 times on one local ride.
    After that I ordered an X ring chain and have not adjusted it in over 2000 dirt miles.

    If you go mellow and run in 5th gear at about 40 to 45 mph you can get well over 80 mpg.

    Looks like a GREAT trip so far!
    #15
  16. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks
    My x ring chain is in the mail already!
    WRT mileage, maybe I was pushing a bit in spots:-)
    #16
  17. Ride Now

    Ride Now Graybeard

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    408
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    From what I can see you have a right and left on there; they're just on the wrong side. The "curve" of the guard should at the end of the handlebars should go down, not up. :D
    #17
  18. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Ontario
    It seems like you rode the peninsula loop different from me... I went to Copper Harbor AFTER I hit High Rock Bay, sounded like you went through Copper Harbor first.
    Nice to see some of what I missed, that western section was what I skipped.
    #18
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  19. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    The left (clutch) side is correct. The right (brake) side is incorrect, I agree. Crazy I didn't notice, but this trip was a like drinking from a firehose for me.
    BC6CF6B8-1951-45A4-9126-D58F239D1CEE-2363-0000021CE0C51033.jpg
    I'm pretty sure, as I have the advantage of having two right sided protectors sitting in my shop...
    IMG_1480.jpg
    I'm the noob who messed it up - thanks for the sharp eye. I appreciate the forum and its help!
    #19
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  20. Orthodoc

    Orthodoc Cowboy Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Michigan
    I did. I was 275 miles + for the day, needed fuel, food, and wanted to hit the point at dawn, so switched it up a bit.:-)
    #20
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