One end of the line to the other, Key West to Deadhorse on a Versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by XC Rider, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. wingshot

    wingshot n00b

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    Nice view of the Columbia River.

    Too bad I didn't get to this RR sooner or I would have given you some riding company as you passed through my area - wenatchee.
  2. BAMF

    BAMF B.A.M.F. -acronym

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    XC- small quirk that I had a question about...

    why do you park your bike that way? (tilting the wheel to the right rather then to the left)

    does it make it easier for you to get on and off?
  3. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Thanks, and welcome aboard!



    Thank you; yeah, my ride through eastern WA and OR was a blast. I'd been through both states before, but had not really spent much time in these parts of these states.

    By the way, I've been enjoying your "High Adventure" RR! :thumb




    That is an affirmative on the 97C, but a negative on the vino samples. While I enjoy a good wine every now and then, I'm much more of a beer guy. I did stop and pick up some fresh apricots and cherries! :D




    I do that when I park on unlevel ground. I've found that the bike leans overs less to the left with the front wheel turned to the right.
  4. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Richland, WA to my brother's place in Fernley, NV.

    Got up around 7am, went and enjoyed the continental breakfast, and was on the road around 8am. Weather this morning was looking partly cloudy, but this also means that it's partly sunny! :norton

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    The day started off with a bit of interstate, but I eventually ended up on Hwy 395, part of the Lewis and Clark trail apparently. And this is where things got good. I'd also crossed into Oregon by this time too.

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    Somewhere around this point, I entered the Battle Mountain Scenic Corridor.

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    When this ended, it opened up to large prairies.

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    Oregon was full of "scenic corridors" and such, and here was the next one.

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    Next up, a short jaunt through the Umatilla national forest (I would end up going in and back out of this national forest a few times).

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    Around lunch time, I rode through the little town of Long Creek, OR and saw this local diner and decided to stop here for a bite; this ended up being a good decision.

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    Yummmmmm, one GOOD burger!

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    As I was finishing up my lunch, I could see this storm rolling in from the north. I finished up my burger & fries, geared up, and hit the road as the rain started. I was hoping I could out run it.

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    That was not going to happen and a mile or two down the road I ended up pulling over to put on my rain gear. Luckily it didn't last too long, or I ended up out running it. Either way, about 15 minutes later, I was dry enough to pull off the rain gear and start taking pictures again.

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    Looking back at the storm in the Valley.

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    Continuing on.

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    The next "scenic corridor".

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    A little south of Burns, OR, on Hwy 205, I saw two bikes pulled over on the side of the road, and two guys hunched over one of the bikes. Not sure if they needed help or not, I turned around and went back to make sure they were ok. Turns out that one of the guys was running short on gas and they weren't sure if they were going to make it to Burns, so they were siphoning off gas from the other bike. I offered them my extra gallon of gas that I still had on me, but they turned it down since they were only a couple miles from Burns. Here I am with the guys (I think it was Matthew & Riley, father & son).

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    From here I continued south on Hwy 205, apparently one of Matthew favorite roads.

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    A little ways down the road, I came upon Malheur lake. It was kind of strange to see a big lake out in the middle of this desert.

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    Then back to the usual desert scene.

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    As the afternoon was coming to an end, I reached the Nevada/Oregon border and the little town of Denio. This place holds special memories for me as it is one of the places you ride through along the TAT. It also happens to be the town closest to the spot where I broke down with my KLR when I ran the TAT back in 2009. So as I rode into Denio Junction, I had to stop at the gas station/restaurant/bar/motel/campground/casino; oh yeah, it's a one stop shop! :lol3 I was kind of hoping to run into some TAT riders, and as I pulled up to the gas pumps, I noticed 3 dual sport bikes! :clap As coincidence would have it, it turned out to be they guys who TAT RR I had been folowing! So after filling up the bike and talking to one of the guys outside, I went in to meet the other guys. We had a great talk about how their ride had been so far, and I got some good insight on the conditions of the trail this year. Here I am with the guys, myself, Richard, Ken, & Kevin (I may have gotten Ken and Kevin switched around).

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    The Denio one stop shop.

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    I would have enjoyed hanging out with these guys more, but I still had a couple hundred miles to go and the sun was starting to go down.

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    I made it to Winnemucca, and here I hopped onto I-80 and made a B line for Fernley.

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    I reached my brother's place some time around 10pm 'ish and tucked the bike into his garage.

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    STATS for the day.

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  5. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    I'm torn between awesome and spectacular. This RR has been one of the best of the year! Thank you Denis. I've got lots of questions, but it looks like you've still got more riding to do. Enjoyed the shots of the nephew also; will share the "crash where you are" pictures with the wife tonight. :clap

    :lurk
  6. Kawikazi

    Kawikazi Been here awhile

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    I still can't believe the custom saddle solution, but it must work. :clap
  7. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

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    Do you have a spot picked out in your house to hang that board? I see you are planning a TAT run later this month. Are you starting at the beginning or somewhere mid trail? We are starting from Clayton, NM on 9/5.
  8. Jeffn

    Jeffn Been here awhile

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    And it was a 'green' solution, to boot.
  9. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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  10. Comrade Art

    Comrade Art Working stiff

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    Spent the last few hours reading up on your trip. Great story and pictures.
  11. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Planning on running the TAT from begining to end; doubt we'll be running fast enough to catch up to you if you're starting in NM on 9/5. Send me a PM if you run into any hairy situations that me and my dad should be aware of! :deal:D
  12. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Alright, a few pics from my time here at my brother's place, giving the Versys some TLC.

    One of the many times I've taken the front wheel off to clean out the fork seals. Using some 35mm film negative works pretty well (I've gotten a LOT of dirt out), but the left fork is still leaking some. Will try cleaning it out a few more times; if that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to eventually break down and replace the seals.

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    The bike, partially dismantled, in the midst of a thorough cleaning. You wouldn't believe all the spots that had mud and dirt caked up in there! :huh

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    And the last big thing, replacing the sprockets.

    The rear one, not great, but not too bad.

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    The front though was another story! :eek1

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  13. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

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    I sure will, you guys have a great trip!
  14. LoriKTM

    LoriKTM Wrecking Ball

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    Hi Denis, I'm really enjoying the ride report, and especially the pictures.

    Maybe it was already covered earlier, but what camera are you using? And do you have a mount for it on your handlebars? The on-road shots are really sharp!
  15. Jeffn

    Jeffn Been here awhile

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    That front sprocket looks like's it been to the dentist and been ground down for caps!
  16. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    For "action shots" taken while riding, I use my old point-n-shoot Cannon SX100IS; I don't use a mount with it. I simply keep the camera in the map window of my tank bag and grab it with my left hand when I want to take a picture. I also have a Cannon T1I, SLR, for taking other pictures when stopped.


    Yeah, it was bad. It was interesting to me though that the rear was not nearly as worn as the front. Is this typical?
  17. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    All good things must come to an end, and I've made the decision that this particular trip ends here in Nevada. I was originally planning on riding the Versys back to Virginia from here because I wanted to check out the Bonneville salt flats out in Utah and Pikes Peak in Colorado, but I ended up finding a cheap plane ticket that I couldn't pass up. This will allow me to get back to VA in good time to prep up the DRZ for the upcoming TAT trip and save me a little $$$ in the process.

    In the coming week, I'm going to try and put together my thoughts on the trip in general, my thoughts on the bike, my thoughts on the gear, etc.... I welcome any questions, and will do my best to answer them.

    First and foremost though I want to thank all the great people I've met along the way who've helped me out, sheltered me, shared the road with, shared a campsite/motel room with, and just plain made this trip one that I will forever cherish. Its my interactions with people such as yourselves that make these trips so memorable, so THANK YOU! :thumb
  18. FL_biker

    FL_biker 2016 BMW R1200GS Adv

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    Hey Denis,
    Congrats on the trip!
    It was good to meet you in Key West when I started my trip, hopefully some day I'll finish up my RR - got tons of photos go go through but that thing called work and life keeps getting in the way!!

    Dave

  19. Daytonacharlie

    Daytonacharlie 2 Wheeled Backpacker

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    Thanks for taking us along Dennis, thoroughly enjoyed it. Saw a lot of Alaska I never knew existed. Your photos and reports gave me a better sense of the scale and distance between places. Glad you made it safely and in one piece. Hopefully one day you'll be reading my report of the same trip!

    happy trails,
    dc
  20. cleanair

    cleanair Been here awhile

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    Have enjoyed following along reading your post and the pic's have been fantastic. Will still be reading the post on your thoughts about the trip and bike.