Three old guys to Alaska - goldwings and a 300 versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Fuzzy74, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Your Versys isn't geared too high. It just makes the lower gears more useful. Seriously. It will cheerfully cruise all day in 5th at 120kph (75mph). Very useful in Prairie headwinds.

    Honest. I live here. The winds are the norm, not an exception. 5th, and even 4th in a pinch, are now useful with your setup. That's what I have and love the flexibility.

    ...ken...
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  2. rtcoker

    rtcoker Adventurer

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    You are correct. I ride more than 20,000 miles a year. I live near the Smokies (some of the best riding in the nation), but Beartooth and Chief Joseph top the list of MUST DO Bucket List roads. Worth a diversion of a few hundred miles everytime I go out west. My profile picture is from one overlook at Chief Joseph
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  3. Rapturee2

    Rapturee2 Ride often, Pray Hard. Supporter

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    Since the Beartooth & Chief Joseph opened this year i have tried 3 times to get over there and ride them. Each time i have a three day weekend it is storming with thunder & lightning, every stinkin' time haha! I will make it over there this summer!
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  4. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    A2A- Part 17 A River Runs Through It

    We left Minneapolis Wednesday to ride the Great River Road that follows the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles. Our part of the transit was through parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. We started at the Wisconsin River Road Visitor Center gathering maps and information only to find Fuzzy had a flat tire. We couldn’t find any puncture in the tire, so we assumed there was some leak in the tube. Fuzzy poured some magic goo into his tire, filled it up with air, and off we went.

    The river road may parallel the river in these states, but views of the river were often blocked by trees or levees. It turned into more of a scenic highway of small towns, with an occasional big town to navigate through. However, the ride over the next two days was far better than cruising on the interstate roads.

    On Thursday, we pass a large motorcycle dealer and pulled in to see if we could get the tube replaced in Fuzzy’s bike. Fuzzy has the tools to do it himself, but if the dealer could accommodate us, we knew it would be easier and faster. Sure enough, they took us right in and an hour later we were off. Our planned ride had to be detoured later in the day because parts of the River Road were closed, presumably due to flooding. So we diverted onto a freeway and ended up just outside of St. Louis.

    Today will be all interstate as we head toward home.

    I haven’t figured out yet that the pictures post in reverse order. Oh well.

    End of the day Wednesday we stopped in Bellevue, Iowa. We looked at camping, but the gnats were as bad as some Alaska mosquitos.

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    We would get an occasional view of the Mississippi River.

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    Having the right repair tools is essential on a long road trip. Fuzzy carried some magic goo with him. Looked like the pancake batter I make.

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    If you look closely, you can see Fuzzy tryin to figure out how to get his motorcycle closer to the river so he could tour the locks.

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    Our planned ride ended up with a detour. Then Fuzzy found a detour to the detour. Nice roads through the farmlands.

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  5. rtcoker

    rtcoker Adventurer

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    Love it! It's not about the destination, it's about the ride, or detour, or "detour to the detour".
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  6. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    A2A - Part 18 There’s no place like home

    We left St. Louis early in the morning and had a straight run down interstate highways. We made such good progress that the final stop was home.

    Many thanks to Fuzzy for all the planning and coordinating for this trip. It was an adventure of a lifetime.

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  7. rtcoker

    rtcoker Adventurer

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    What am I going to do now? I looked forward to these RR's that I will now have a void in my daily routine! Great job guys. Glad you made it back home safely!. Thoroughly enjoyed following your trip.
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  8. rebel346

    rebel346 Been here awhile

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    Great report y’all, thanks so much for sharing it with everyone.
  9. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    Great writing and photos. Fuzzy and Nuke65 we enjoyed meeting ya’ll and having lunch in Stewart, BC. Till next time.
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  10. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    great trip.thanks for sharing
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  11. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte

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    Thanks for the RR. I've been following from the beginning. A lot of roads I've ridden, and even more that I haven't.
  12. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I know it's been said, but thank you for the effort in putting this together. Not just entertaining for us at home, but it's been a great resource in planning for my own trip. Less than 4 weeks out!
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  13. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Days 39 & 40 – Great River Road from Rogers, MN to Fairview Heights, IL

    Wednesday we slept in a little to allow rush hour traffic to diminish a bit before heading towards Minneapolis. I was a bit slow getting going with Nuke waiting. He was patient but I didn’t want to be the cause of delay, so I started out without checking tire pressures. Making a U-turn under the hotel canopy bike steering was stiff. The knobby front tire is a bit awkward in slow tight turns and the pavement was uneven bricks, so I ignored the signs of a problem. On the road the bike handled fine. We road a series of freeways at a quick pace around Minneapolis and St Paul down to Prescott, WI to pick up the Great River Road. We stopped in the Great River Road Visitors Center for some information. When ready to leave we met a young lady just arriving on her Vstrom on a roundabout trip from Washington, DC to Seattle Washington. She had just finished her service in the Air Force and was moving to the west coast. Her Husband took a 3-day trip across with two large dogs in a Mini Cooper and she was taking her time on a motorcycle. We shared some of the great spots we had been in western U.S., most of which were already in her plans.

    Getting on my bike and starting to back out of parking lot steering was very hard. I looked down and saw a flat front tire. Checking it my gage red zero psi. Nuke and I both took a hard look at the tire and found no sign of penetration. With rain clouds approaching I took out a bottle of Ride On and put it in of front tire tube. After pumping up the front tire we were on our way. I checked pressure regularly. When we stopped 300 miles later it had lost 1 psi. Next morning it was down another 5 psi so I pumped it up and we moved on. 60 miles down the road we saw a dealer that looked open and stopped in. Service manager not there yet so we had to wait 15 minutes to see if they could fit me in. Checking my pressure it was up 2 psi from the tire warming. When the service manager arrived, they immediately put my bike in shop to replace the tube. The tube had a quarter inch slit in it. No sign of anything inside tire to cause it. I suspect it was pinched by tire iron but not quite fully penetrated. Couple thousand miles of flexing rubber later the partial cut broke through. Anyway, that is my theory. The Ride On mostly sealed the slit allowing us to continue for 350 miles until we found a dealer and kept me from installing another tube in the rain in a parking lot. $18 for a heavy duty IRC tube, $30 labor and 45 minutes later we were on our way. Shop was great and anyone visiting Davenport, IA area and looking for a bike or service to a bike would do well checking out Brennys Motorcyle Clinic in Bettendorf. Great staff, large shop, and can take on most any job including engine rebuilds. Good selection of new and used bikes as well. I picked up a new face shield for my SyMax ll helmet in addition to tire repair.
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    The Great River Road is a nice ride. Getting a map at visitor’s center we saw that it is really 2 roads, one each side of river. Wisconsin portion of road meandered mostly close to river through lots of old, small, river towns. It is not a road to take if in a hurry, but it was a relaxing ride after 2 long days of interstate getting across prairies. Most of the time only glimpses of the river were seen through trees. On both sides of the river the railroad is between road and river for most of the length. Frequently road also separated from river by farm land. River level was high so trees on banks and islands were mostly in the water and a few parks were closed for flooding.

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    While Nuke was taking pictures from me on bridge I was on bridge watching tug put barges in a river lock.
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    We road south covering most of the Wisconsin portion of road and crossed river to Iowa from Prairie Du Chien, WI. The Great River Road is a totally different Iowa than I was familiar with. Yes, much of the land was corn fields, but the terrain was rolling hills and winding road for a nice relaxing ride. We had planned to camp near Bellvue, IA. The campground on the river was closed due to being partially under water. The alternate campground was up a steep gravel road, the type that makes Goldwings with street tires tremble. It was late and we were getting tired, so the swarms of gnats made it an easy decision to stop in a nearby motel. Great view behind hotel.
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    Other than the stop for tire repair the next day heading south was more of the same pleasant ride. One thing we noticed is the fast food chains have not penetrated the towns on the river road. No problem as every town had a selection of grills or cafes to choose from for a bite to eat and given the choice, we would chose one of them over fast food anyway.

    At Keokuk, IA we crossed the river into Illinois. Google Maps showed much of the road closed both sides of Mississippi, both north and south of St Louis due to flooding. We cancelled our third day of Great River Road and took freeways around east side of St Louis to a hotel in Fairview Heights. It was a good day but 400 miles, much of it a slow speed along river, and we were worn out. We were both sound asleep by 8:30.
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  14. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee
    Day 41 – Home

    We were up and on road early with 90+ temps predicted. We hit the freeways and headed home riding fast with a couple quick stops for fuel. Made good time until Nashville slowed us down a bit. Stopped for lunch after Nashville with 300+ miles in our rearview mirrors. We hit a few miles of heavy rain another 50 miles down the road. 20 miles later I waved goodbye to Nuke and took an early exit to ride a better road up Monteagle Mountain. US. 41 was the main road from Nashville to Chattanooga before I-24 was built. It is still a much more fun on a motorcycle and as Nuke suggested I never met a curvy road I didn’t like to ride a motorcycle on and this one gets me less than 5 miles from home.

    Home ahead with Cumberland Plateau in view:
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    Start of climb
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    Link to video of the final climb yesterday.


    Arriving home a storm was coming up the Mountain from the south and hit just after I parked bike in garage.
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    Stay gone for 6 weeks in the summer and the grass will need mowing. Fortunately I have the tool for the job.
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    Be advised that a 6 week motorcycle trip can change you.

    Before:
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    After:
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    It was a great epic trip, but good to be home. A vastly better trip experienced with 2 good friends than alone.

    Over the next few days I will gather up thoughts on costs, bike, and gear to share here. Nuke is also planning to do the same.
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  15. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    I really enjoyed following along with you guys. Thank you so much for your dedication to this thread. I imagine it gets tough sometimes trying to keep up with it, but for readers like myself, it's a great thing to get a chance to hitch a ride through a screen.
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  16. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    Great adventure, great report
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  17. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Updated my states visited by motorcycle map. 14 states added. Now to decide if next trip is west or northeast. :happay

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  18. LeMaitre

    LeMaitre Been here awhile Supporter

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    Head to Michigan and visit Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

    -Mark
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  19. fasteddiecopeman

    fasteddiecopeman Been here awhile

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    Suggest you might like "trying Arizona on for size".
  20. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee
    Thinking a couple three week trips next year or two.

    One north to Upper Peninsula and into Canada across to PEI and New Brunswick then down through New England across upstate New York then west Pennsylvania to West Virginia and home

    Rough idea for first trip but definitely not accurate.
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    Two west through Arkansas and Oklahoma to four corners area then into California north of San Francisco and coast road up to Oregon then southeast through Nevada and parks in Utah up Pikes Peak then towards home.

    The two trips would fill in all the map I can ride to until they finish bridge to Hawaii. Won’t be another long one this year though. Lots of homework on details to be done.