Trans-Am 500 - the seven year itch

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JMo (& piglet), Apr 29, 2015.

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Cont.

    So after a tasty ice cream from the 'Oatman Hotel' (probably not a real hotel if I'm honest)... It was time to retrace part of the old Mother Road east towards Kingman, Peach Springs and Seligman, before picking up the I40 interstate that now replaces the original route to Williams.

    The road out of Oatman is a blast, although the tarmac not particularly well maintained these days, so it was nice to be on an adventure bike (especially one with such quality suspension ;o) rather than a sports bike for example.

    I passed a funky little fuel stop* and museum, and left another Rally-Raid sticker on their store window that is plastered with stickers from all over the world, and pressed on for Kingman where the Santa Fe railroad passes by.

    *note. This probably wasn't a proper gas station any more either, if I'm honest ;o)

    [​IMG]

    Rather than pick up the interstate that bypasses Kingman, I followed the old Route 66 markers that take you through the middle of town, and rode alongside a huge double-stack container train though a winding canyon.

    I mention this train because a little later as I approached Peach Springs, I saw there was a dirt road alternative to the main highway, that actually ran right next to the railroad... Sure enough there was that train again - so I threw caution to the wind and effectively tried to race it! It was like a scene out of a movie as I was hitting 60mph or so in an effort to stay ahead, and had a moment of panic when I saw a railroad crossing sign ahead...

    Perhaps foolhardedly, I glanced at the driver of the lead engine (there were four - this train was huge!), and in a moment of movie madness, wicked on in a effort to cross the tracks before the mile long train thwarted my progress (in reality, even if it was a mile long, at that speed it would only have been by a minute or so of course).

    I'd love to tell you that I lept the tracks like a scene out of The Dukes of Hazard - and I did, only it turned out that the main line curved away from the crossing, and this was only siding... Probably for the best ;o)

    So after this messing around, it was getting distinctly dark by the time I entered Seligman and fuelled up. I have passed through this town before in the daylight, and it is a hotchpotch of original buildings, run down motels, and tourist and quirky hippy/arty shops - sort of like the 50s on acid. I thought it might be kind of surreal to ride through there in the dark this time, and it was...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'd hoped there would be a lot more neon at night time, but it really is a sleepy place these days... On the other hand, Williams about 50 miles up the road was buzzing with all the neon and tourist chutzpah it could muster. There was a huge Harley rally in town, which meant hotels were either full or pricey... I bedded down in one that at least offered free wifi and some semblance of what otherwise might be called breakfast.

    I actually woke this morning to the sound of rain (and remembered that Williams is around 6800ft elevation) which is why I'm writing to you now, hoping it is just a shower...

    Unfortunately the weather forecast for the weekend is not exactly promising, but at least set-up day for the Expo (today) and Sunday (when I'm due to leave for Moab) looks ok...

    [​IMG]
    look at those temperatures, and even snow for goodness sake! - I predict a rush on rooms in nearby Flagstaff ;o)

    I may not have particularly good wifi access over the weekend, and will of course be very busy (I hope) on the Giant Loop stand with the CB500X Adventure. If you're planning on attending the show this weekend, please do drop by and say hello. Just bring a sweater. And a raincoat.

    Toot toot for now!

    Jenny xx
    #81
  2. RCR4V3N

    RCR4V3N n00bist

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    I was wondering if you were doing any riding at night. Do you find the stock headlamp to your liking? With the suspension lift/upgrade, do you notice much if any difference from stock?
    #82
  3. N111KX

    N111KX Adventurer

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    OK, so I'm off to pick up a White CBX tomorrow. It's your fault, Jenny... :ddog
    #83
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  4. TroopThrowback

    TroopThrowback Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the reply, I've been doing some digesting over on the product development thread now, and apologize for asking off topic stuff. Again, thanks for addressing my questions anyway

    Happy trails!

    Troop


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #84
  5. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    Good on ya Jenny!
    We used to go to Oatman out of Veags a few years back on Kawi 1000's.
    A hoot to party in Oatman. The 'back way' out is a nasty old pavement road!
    Enjoy an Cheers!
    #85
  6. Daishiknyte

    Daishiknyte I'm Me There

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    I'll have an oem tall windscreen on in Moab. If we have time, you're more than welcome to try it out.

    As for the weather...You leave that wet stuff far behind you before getting Moab, and I'll try not to drag thunderstorms tornadoes along with me. I want a relaxing vacation damnit! (and your bike).
    #86
  7. Utilimuter

    Utilimuter n00b

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    I hope things have dried out for you all at the expo. Its been relentless across the south. I think your travels will just go north if us.
    #87
  8. wolftrax

    wolftrax Been here awhile

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    Same here, picked my white "X" up today. Jenny you're a bad influence!!:becca
    #88
  9. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    Jenny so are you riding what is listed as the stage 3 kit on the RR website?

    Any special customizations to it?


    I'd be curious if you and Dave swapped bikes back and forth on the different types of terrain to hear both of your feedbacks on them. I'm guessing the Honda is more comfy on the freeway but curious is the difference is massive or small? I'd imagine the difference is pretty big the other direction off road. Is there much of a preference on slow, windy paved roads?
    #89
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Ricky!

    I'm currently about half way to Moab at the moment, having left the show earlier this afternoon - finally we had a day of sunshine - in fact so much so that I've actually got a bit of sunburn!

    To answer your question/s - yes, I am riding a LEVEL3 kitted bike, and the only extras are the Adventure engine guard, the Solo luggage brackets and tail-rack, our adjustable shorty levers, and the latest design bar-riser top clamp that has AMPS mounting holes in the centre so I can mount the Garmin Montana power cradle directly the bar clamps without having the need for a RAM ball etc. (although a RAM base and arm can always be fitted as an alternative, if you want to adjust the angle of the GPS for example - personally I like the angle it is at directly in the top clamp).

    I have also fitted a prototype 'power bridge' bracket that bolts to the top of the bar clamps, and has a 12v and twin USB sockets fitted for charging and running accessories, and which John sent over this weekend for evaluation. (Photo to follow shortly).

    Other than that, there are no special modifications or extra parts fitted - indeed I'm even running the stock exhaust silencer, although ultimately I really like the look the Yoshimura R77 can, if I can convince Harold to send me one en route ;o)

    The tyres are Continental TKC80s, with heavy duty tubes - and I'll also be fitting some Barkbuster Storm hand guards again, once they arrive at Giant Loop HQ and can be forwarded on... (We had hoped that they arrived in time for the show this weekend).



    With regard to a comparison between Dave's 690 and the CB500X, no we didn't swap as that wasn't really the point of the testing session, and I don't think either of us would have been comfortable riding each other's bikes off-road if I'm honest - it's Daves personal machine, while he wouldn't want to be the one who damages the CB for example ;o)

    But to answer you with regard to the on-road comparison, yes the CB would certainly seem to have had the edge with regard to seat comfort and ergonomics at highway speeds (Dave's 690 has no screen, and had RRP luggage racks and three bags plus a rotopax fitted, so it was pretty well loaded).

    One thing that was perhaps telling is that on the blast up West Side Road ( a curvy gravel grade-road), Dave felt the 690 was only happy at around 50mph (do bear in mind his luggage load) before it started to weave and feel a little twitchy - whereas the CB was very stable at a constant 60mph and even more...

    This could well be due to the respective luggage loads on the bike, and the way Dave had his suspension set-up of course... But the point being, the Tractive components on the CB500X Adventure kit really do transform the high speed rough-road handling of the bike. I can really see why those Thai Honda guys wanted to build a rally bike out of one ;o)

    The 690 certainly wins over on rocky going, as the longer travel suspension has even more compliance to soak up 'baby head' style rocks... However, conversely, the higher seat (and again Dave's extra luggage compared to what I was carrying) meant the bike could be a handful unless you remained committed.

    In comparison, the lower seat, smooth low rev power delivery and shorter wheelbase really helped the CB pick it's way through more rocky and technical terrain - you could essentially leave it in first gear and ride it like an automatic.

    In the interests of impartiality, I do hope that Dave takes the opportunity to post his observations of how the CB handled the run through Death Valley - personally I feel it made pretty light work of it, and certainly has given me the confidence to attempt even greater challenges during this coming week in Moab...

    Keep an eye on that SPOT page ;o)

    Jx
    #90
  11. visualizerent

    visualizerent Raconteur

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    MOAB BOUND!
    [​IMG]

    Excellent reporting as usual Jen. Looks like the SPOT TRACKER is closing in on MOAB!

    Any chance you'll get to do the White Rim trail loop? Would be a great ride and another great endorsement of the design...

    Just the fact you are riding from CA. to Moab instead of trailering is a hell of an endorsement!

    STBY...looks like... you're on the Lockhart arrival into Moab YEA! shit hot trail!..enjoy!

    Juan :lurk
    Nevada City

    [​IMG]
    THE PASS ON THE LOCKHART TRAIL
    #91
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  12. Daishiknyte

    Daishiknyte I'm Me There

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    Good to see you made it to Moab. Did you catch any of the storms blowing through?
    #92
  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    :thumb
    #93
  14. DaleE

    DaleE TransAlp Adv

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    Boulder, CO
    Looks like you got to spend the night at the Mayors House. Nice place. We stayed there years ago on a mountain bike trip.

    I'm closely watching how the conversion package works out since I've been waiting a long time for a replacement for my Transalp. If the new AT doesn't fit my wants or pocketbook once they finally announce the specs, then the RRP CB500X will be my next bike.
    #94
  15. dodgierogie

    dodgierogie Been here awhile

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    I too love my panasonic camera I now use the FZ1000 as it can take a microphone, and Use a LED light at night for video works awesome

    Keep up the good work jen



    #95
  16. dodgierogie

    dodgierogie Been here awhile

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    Hi jen just on a screen I have tried a few and the best one I found was a Madstad screen

    Loving your ride report cheers from roger



    B][/B]
    #96
  17. caznayad

    caznayad Adventurer

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    x2. I am 170cm and have tried the stock (terrible) wind deflector (not much improvement), CALSCI (pretty good) and MADSTAD (fantastic).
    #97
  18. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi everyone, just a quick check-in from Moab...

    I'll be writing a full report regarding how the bike has been fairing in the next couple of days... I can certainly recommend the billet shorty levers, heavy-duty foot pegs and Adventure engine guard, put it that way ;o)

    Jx
    #98
  19. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    Great, looking forward to it. And don't forget Jenny... pictures are always welcome to enhance your story! :D (I was going to say "this thread is useless without pictures", but decided to be a bit more diplomatic) :lol3
    #99
  20. ToriMish

    ToriMish Long timer

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    And please . . . some video? All the best with your trip Jenny.