Wedding Vows in Action: Riding South from Seattle

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ADVegan, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    I hesitate to even start this, after so many other riders posting similar ride reports- what more can I offer?!
    IMG_3797.jpg

    I've long dreamed of riding a motorcycle from my home in Seattle to Argentina. My 20’s happened and I basically shelved the idea until during my wife's wedding vows she said “I vow to someday ride a motorcycle to South America with you”.. wait what? She said some other stuff about love and all that, but the ball was once again rolling!


    I bought a salvage KTM 1190R, with a cracked engine case (why do they still mount the sidestand there?!) spent the last year downsizing and saving. I rode the bike for 6000miles with JB weld on the case, and decided it was time to replace the case with a donor. That was supposed to to be done by October 23rd when we were leaving our temporary home in Spokane WA to visit friends and family in Seattle.


    The bike was not done before we packed up and left, so I booked a flight from Seattle to Spokane Nov 6th to give them an extra couple weeks. First week of November, the bike was still not done.. so I ate that flight.

    IMG_20181113_135538_01.jpg

    But the bike is now nearly complete the engine is running the fork seals are being replaced and new shoes going on.

    I fly to Spokane tomorrow to get it. Rachel (wife) already flew to San Francisco to hang with a friend and hopefully skip the coldest parts of the beginning of the ride.


    I'll keep updating and posting pictures, we have a wedding to attend in Bali in June '19 and another in WA next summer. That will be decision time on whether we keep riding after that, or call it a wrap.


    Thanks for reading!
    #1
  2. MarkMexico

    MarkMexico "A roving stove gratifies no mice!"

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    I'll follow; have at it and send lots of RR's.

    MM
    #2
  3. Ticksmeoff13

    Ticksmeoff13 n00b

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    Sounds like a blast! I'm in. Look forward to the adventure, hope you get a lot of pics on the way!
    #3
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  4. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Wow I FINALLY downloaded Tapatalk after the trillionth prompt. So far I like it!

    Shop in Spokane called last night to say they weren't able to finish fork seals last night so it'll be done tonight. They lost their mechanic to another shop halfway through my engine and the other guy is part time 3-6pm..

    I'm currently at the Seattle airport flying to Spokane, I'll get the bike at 6 tonight and hope find a place to sleep so I don't have to ride back in the freezing dark. Flight just got delayed 2hrs but I have nowhere to be.

    The shop quoted me 10hrs labor originally and has now had the bike for over 2 months. We haven't talked labor or cost or anything in the tens of calls we've had since. Hoping for the best there...

    I figure I'm just practicing the patience that might be required on a trip like this!


    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
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  5. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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  6. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Got the answer on the labor, things got interesting. Bike was done by 6 (aside from remounting crash bars)

    Sat down with shop owner and he says "we have 36.5 hrs into this thing" at $100/hr." I said that was a problem because when I dropped the bike I was told 10hrs and given assurances that if it exceeded that estimate, they legally had to get my permission to proceed. The rub is the mechanic that started the job left for another shop mid-way through the engine. The owner says he called that guy (John) and nobody has recollection of telling me 10hrs, and there's nothing in writing. (Nor any waiver of written estimate) He's willing to give 10% discount. With tax still $3500. By this time it's dark and really cold so I called a friend (former business customer when I worked here in town) and asked to spend the night. I told the shop owner I'd need to get some legal advice. I didn't want to ride back to Seattle 5hrs in the 37° F darkness. I prefer to wait till it's light and 38° F!

    So now I'm in Spokane drinking and researching WA state consumer protection laws which are pretty clear regarding mechanic estimates. I should have got it in writing, and now I know! Hopefully I can work out something with the owner tomorrow so we both pay a little price for learning our lesson.

    [​IMG]


    The good news is, the bike was test ridden tonight and checked out, the bad news is I'm another day behind my imaginary schedule. I know flexibility will definitely be required on the trip, I just wish my wife wasn't ready in SF waiting on me.

    Lastly, got a real shitty email from a friend of a family member in Sao Paulo this morning. Well-travelled guy who basically told us the world is a terrifying place now and we should stay home unless we wanted to be kidnapped, raped, murdered and then re-raped. Normally I can shake that stuff off as people's fears who haven't travelled much, since I've had many good experiences all aound the world, but since I saw him as an expert/authority the email didn't sit well. Nor did it with my wife...

    That really made me appreciate the ride reports- on here. I realized that's what I might be able to provide- real time " this is how it really is HERE and I know because I'm here now". Shout out to all the others who've written reports, I hope I can be of some help As a reference for future riders.

    ADVegan
    No
    #6
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  7. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    For sure, one lesson I'm learning early is: it's one thing to be optimistic, it's another to outright expect the exactly perfect outcome. For a long time I've operated under the latter and I recently realized that might not be serving me.

    Thank you very much for your offer and PM. we have friends in SF, but stay safe from the fires. The videos look apocalyptic, like you mentioned.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    #7
  8. Kiwi Canuck

    Kiwi Canuck Been here awhile

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    Hey ADVegan, wow that's a bummer.

    So the shop replaced an engine cover, did the engine need to be reinstalled as the first picture shows the bike missing it's engine.

    Perhaps you can give a description of the work done so others can chime in on the amount of labor required for the types of jobs performed.

    David.
    #8
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  9. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    So, it wasn't an engine cover, it was the actual engine case itself. Essentially a full rebuild of a KTM LC8 engine. Apparently it's a problem, KTM mounts the kickstands to the engine and in small tip overs the engine cracks. Theyve been doing it since the 950,990, and they keep doing it.. (not sure about 1290 and 1090). I bought the bike as a salvage (I consider myself a smart guy who makes dumb choices..) and found out why it was salvaged when it showed up. The previous owner dropped the bike on gravel at 20mph, I tracked him down on FB.

    I had a replacement engine case already, and got another shop estimate for 18hrs so when this shop told me 10 I thought - well that's better, I'll go check the shop out. The mechanic I spoke to had worked for KTM and inspired a lot of confidence, unfortunately he left the shop to get benefits for his kids at another shop in town. Hard to fault him for that.

    I'm not really in doubt it took more than 10hrs, honestly. I just don't like the idea that they think I dropped the bike off with a blank check. I wouldn't have done that while simultaneously saving for a long trip and leaving my job with my wife fresh out of grad school... I would have bought a tub of JB Weld and sent it!

    The JB weld I had on it held for 6k miles, minimal dripping. I just didn't want to drip inside all the hotels - I've seen all the pics of bikes indoors down South!

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
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  10. Kiwi Canuck

    Kiwi Canuck Been here awhile

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    OK got it, hopefully you also mentioned you are out a flight as well, which they should cover.

    Hopefully you are good at negotiating and the owner is not an "a hole" and you can come out of it with your travels funds still in good shape.

    It still amazes me that the shop didn't keep you in the loop regarding an estimate considering they lost their mechanic who obviously had the conversation with you, can you find the guy at his new shop and have a talk with him in the AM before going to get your bike?

    Good luck.

    David.
    #10
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  11. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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    These 2 mechanics did a rebuild in 3:56 minutes. lol

    No clock on the wall so hard to tell exactly how long they worked.

    I would randomly call a couple other KTM Dealers and ask for budget estimates.
    Maybe call one in your vicinity and one in California ?

    Good Luck

    Sending another PM
    #11
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  12. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    I walked into the shop today with a mission. I had mentally prepared myself to deliver a friendly ultimatum: take $2k cash that I'd just pulled from the bank, or run my credit card for the amount they thought I owed, and know that I was going to do everything I could to get it back. Nothing personal,just business.

    I walked in and Bill the owner said "Josh, sit down, I tried to get ahold of you last night, after you left I called the former employee and he walked me through the whole job on service manager pro. I had itemized labor that was included in other labor, the total was 14hr, plus doing fork seals and front tire, plus fluid and tax, your total is $1955."

    I smiled and told him I thought that was fair and what I was hoping for. Our conversation shifted quickly and we talked about the adventure and long rides and I'm so happy we left on the note we did. I never got the feeling he was intentionally trying to screw me at all, and it was a learning ext for all.

    I rode back to Seattle with decent weather, only got a little cold toward the end. Packed things onto the bike and listened to my father in law Hoping to do about 450 miles tomorrow down to Medford area. Bike seems in good shape.

    Side note, I got to try my new Schuberth C3 Pro helmet today for the first time- and I was very impressed. So much quieter than my previous HJCs. Upgraded the wife to a Shoeii Neotec II, hopefully her experience is as good as mine.

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  13. Folly1

    Folly1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Good story. Thanks. Also good luck with the vegan thing. I have felt like I as the only fish-terian who owned a motorcycle, or a shotgun.

    Thanks again. Looking forward to the trip. Great wife, btw.

    b.
    #13
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  14. Kiwi Canuck

    Kiwi Canuck Been here awhile

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    Excellent news.

    David
    #14
  15. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Day 0

    Wow the last three days were long rides, (280mi, 490mi, 380mi) but that was always the plan- ride fast through cold/wet weather to where Rachel was waiting in San Francisco. Luckily, the weather cooperated and it was clear skies and dry all three days. Heated vest and gloves definitely came in handy.

    Rachel's guitar on the back made me feel a lot cooler than I deserve on the way to CA! [​IMG]

    Saturday night I stopped in Jacksonville, OR. For my first ever Couchsurfing experience. My host was working at a bar in town so I planned to meet her there and get instructions. After setting that up I realized I had a friend Anna in Ashland, and we agreed to meet for a beer at the same bar. She showed up with several of her friends from nursing school and we had burritos and played Cards Against Humanity and Yahtzee simultaneously.
    [​IMG]
    Turns out my CS host Mary knew several of the people in Anna's group- small world! My stay at Mary's was great and she was a terrific host. [​IMG]

    I left Jacksonville, it was 30° F and warmed up nicely as I made my way to SF. I was tired but made it to where Rachel had been staying with friends the past week. [​IMG]

    We woke up today and packed and are on the way to Monterey- a much shorter ride!


    Oh, by the way: I was planning to stop at SOS Diagnostics outside of Portland to copy my black KTM chip key. I don't have the orange programing key, just one black key and that makes me nervous!! The way timing worked, they were closed Sat so now I only have one key for the bike . Does anyone know anywhere in SoCal that can clone the key? Can a regular locksmith with programing capability do it or do they need a KTM blank? SOS kept popping up as the answer..

    Thanks!


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  16. xr-nut

    xr-nut Out Ridin' Around

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    In on the first page! Ride safe....ride far!
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  17. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage Supporter

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    Looking forward to this one, great start!!
    Subscribed!
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  18. outdoorsman

    outdoorsman Lets Ride! Supporter

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    Subscribed and good luck to both of you!!
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  19. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Thanks, it's funny the things we group together that have little to do with each other! Motorcycles and meat..? I try really hard not to proselytize, the user name is about as far as I go. I think it'll add a little challenge to the trip, but after doing for a few years the ethical side of things kicked in (which I didn't expect) so it would be hard for me to go back at this point.
    #19
  20. BC Biker

    BC Biker Adventurer

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    I'm in...Safe travels!
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