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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by woolfman, Aug 9, 2014.
Ahhh-----OK thanks !
Great thread. Subscribed.
Nice journey on classic CX bikes.
I also own CX, although the Custom one, but can imagine myself doing such trip, if it wasn't for the life getting in the way. So enjoy it while you can.
http://s36.photobucket.com/user/Fairydusters/media/James Bike Trip 1/DSCN0371_zps6e317016.jpg.html
That's me in the picture! This is a truly epic trip and I'm truly jealous. It was great chatting with you guys for a bit. Have a great time and be safe. Looking forward to seeing more updates.
All the best.
Goods times... I travelled those same roads back in 80/81 on a CB750F SS. No $. Sleeping on roofs, etc. Quite an adventure.
Great reading so far! Subscribed.
Don't leave us hanging dude. I have you pegged as cool ADV free spirits. Don't become Hipsters who lose interest and quit on us.
Hope you all are doing well, gives us an update when you all are able.
Hey man, we're not leaving you hanging on purpose, we're just doing these things called riding motorcycles, camping, meeting people, you know, having fun! It kinda takes precedence over getting online all the time.
Anyways, right now we're in Columbia Falls, MT, and its been about 2.5-3 weeks since the last set of pictures we posted so I'll try to get us back on track and up to speed.
We woke up in the Black Hills outside of Hill City and went into town to do some much needed laundry and hang out. When we pulled in Nick was putting his kickstand down and dropped his bike, which then by domino effect took out Ben on his bike, leaning it up on mine. As seems to be par for the course, Ben's bike took the brunt of the damage. Some melted bungee cords, broken clutch lever, and a bent shifter. It wouldn't shift at all, but a pair of vice grips and my astounding superman strength (gotta love cheap Japanese steel) had him back on the road. Once we were sufficiently caffeinated we headed out of town towards Custer. Not two miles out of town I noticed a significantly smashed up SUV coasting down my lane with smoke pouring out of it. I immediately pulled over and ran to the car. Ben came in right behind me and we were able to get the 77 year old man, Larry, out of the car and on the ground. He was lucky. Really lucky. From the way the car looked I was expecting to see a lot of blood but there wasn't a drop. He totaled both his car and the Toyota truck he nailed. Fortunately and most importantly both drivers seemed to be okay. An ambulance was there within 5 minutes and after making sure there was nothing we could do we carried on, but it definitely put a damper on the day.
So from Hill City we carried on to Lead, SD, then camped about 20 miles South of there. The next day after coffee and bike fiddling (trying to get Ben's front wheel pointing in a straighter direction) we rode through Spearfish Canyon over to Spearfish and eventually Belle Fourche, where we camped on a massive reservoir. It felt like we were on a beach. In South Dakota. Last thing I ever expected. The water was surprisingly warm enough to swim and wash up in, which we followed up with a huge fire...
The next morning we rode over to Devil's Tower and did the short hike around it before heading towards Billings. Anna had a flight out of Billings early the next morning so she and Nick took the interstate there while Ben, Megan, and I took a backroad up to Alzada, MT, then took Hwy 212 over to Billings, where Anna was trying to find a hotel. She had actually been afraid to ask me about getting a hotel because I was so emphatic on "No hotels, no interstates, no fast food" before we left on the trip, but hey, rules are meant to be broken. I told her to pick out a really seedy one because its more fun that way.
Anyways, back when we were in Lead Ben's bike wouldn't start one evening. We found a dry as a bone battery and promptly replaced it the next day. All seemed okay until after we left Devil's Tower, when it had be bumpstarted every stop and his headlight was losing lumens fast. So yeah, its been a long day, we're in the middle of nowhere Eastern Montana, its dusk with about 130 miles to go, and his stator has officially kicked the bucket. To add insult to injury, did I mention his taillight is out too and there are a ton of deer on the roads? In fact, everyone we've met in Montana has told us we'd be crazy to ride at night with all the wildlife... Anyways, not a problem, we'll just swap batteries with my bike, bumpstart mine and be on our way to Billings. Sounds simple, right? Too simple actually. See, when my CDI went out a few months ago I replaced it with an Ignitech ignition, which is a marvelous little unit, except the way its setup you can't bumpstart the bike. So Ben's bike won't run unless he has my charged battery, and my bike can't be bumpstarted to run and charge his dead one. Quite the conundrum but we weren't worried, actually we were laughing about it. At this point we were in Ashland, MT, population of about 400 folks and it was dark outside. I went to the only place that was open, a little market, and inquired about a battery charger or jumper cables, thinking I could jumpstart my bike with his battery to at least get us to Billings.
The lady inside called up her dad, who came down about 5 minutes later with a battery charger. We chatted while it charged the battery up a bit, learned a lot about Eastern Montana's coal mining and economic situation, then after about 20 minutes I used the jump feature to jumpstart the bike, and we were back on our way. We weren't sure how long the battery would hold out in Ben's bike and it was late so we just decided to ride the rest of the way nonstop.
We made it without a problem, had some pizza in the hotel room and crashed out. It was right off of the interstate and called "The Vegas". The security guard insisted we take anything of value off of the bikes and move them so he could watch them all night. Perfect. The next morning Anna overslept her flight (actually she got there just in time to see it take off without her) but was able to get it rescheduled for a few hours later. I should mention here that she always planned on only coming along for two weeks, and actually stayed an extra 4 or 5 days, so its not like we drove her crazy or made too much fun of her or anything. We tried though.
I have more written up but Flickr is being a pain in the ass and my eyeballs are burning from staring at a screen so I'll cut this one off early. We're still having way too much of a good time and the bikes are doing great, except Ben's which seems to develop a new issue about every other day. Such is life with a $650 bike. So far at least it seems to break in semi-convenient locations. And its still chugging along....so life is good. We were in Glacier National Park yesterday and woke up to pouring rain today so are making moves towards Northern Idaho!
keep on rolling!
U R Livin' the dream!
thanks for sharing!
Like it more, and more with every update. :
I realize you didn't have a vice to straighten it off the bike. If you pried against the shifter shaft, be sure to watch that seal for weeping. It's not hard to tweak the shaft.
If it is weeping, I have a shaft I could send ahead, to replace when you reach the coast. Let me know if you need it.
OK all you lurkers out there lets see if we can help these dudes out ! Ben needs to get that bike charging again. I`m down by Portland, OR and thats a long ways away. Anybody closer ?
So what are you gonna do about the stator that Kicked the Bucket ?
I looked on Fleabay for ya and found a good selection but none are close to where you guys are. Closest I found was Seattle for 200 bucks----ouch !
Another option if you can`t find one in Billings is to stop in a shop the rewinds alternators for cars. They might be able to rewind it for a reasonable price and a short time.
In the mean time I will look around online for ya.
Keep us posted.
So where were we.... Billings. Not a very pretty town but interesting to drive through the oil refineries. So while Nick was dropping Anna off, I ran all the standard resistance and voltage checks on Ben's bike to confirm what we already knew - bad stator. At this point, Ben's bike has a bad stator, no cooling fan, broken tach and speedo cables, no gauge lights, no taillight or brakelight, a tweaked right fork tube, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. We decided to keep him in the middle and head straight to Bozeman instead of going to Red Lodge because we though it might have better access for parts. We had a great ride until about 30 miles out, when the gusts came out of nowhere and about blew us off the road. We holed up underneath an overpass and waited for the wind and rain to literally blow over. We ended up making it to the only independent bike shop we could find in Bozeman right as they were closing. It was here that we learned what a new stator and other associated parts would cost and elected to pass for now because it would kill too much of Ben's budget. Bumpstarting and battery swapping are inconvenient but effective for now. The guys at "The Bike Shack" are absolutely awesome though. We hung out for a while and talked bikes, found out about a nearby campsite, and just generally had a good time.
We had fun walking through Bozeman and grabbing some tacos before heading out of town to setup a quick camp off of Bear Canyon Road. Right afterwards we met a dirtbiker who had lost his friend up in the woods and had no headlight and hooked him up with a bright flashlight so he could go track him down. They did eventually find each other, right in front of our tents actually, and you could just tell the one guy wanted to tear the lost rider a new one for running off but was restraining because we were there. Kind of a "you're sleeping on the couch tonight honey" sort of vibe...
The next day, Thursday, we hung out in town for a while before heading South to McAllister. A friend of my mom's has a place out there and they were kind enough to invite us to drop in for a night. I knew they were really great people but had no idea what to expect. Man we were in for a surprise, a beautiful place with delicious food! They've built all of the buildings on their land by hand themselves over the past 24 years and are just awesome people. We had a fantastic time hanging out with them! The food was out of this world. So much food. Kathleen and Tom cooked up tri-tip, quesadillas, beans, cole slaw, pie and ice cream, and a few other things too. I can't emphasize how much food there was, just what we needed too.... We stayed the night there and most of the next day, drying things out, hanging around, and eating another huge meal for breakfast, it was great. Thanks again you all!
We headed back up to Bozeman and picked up some filters and oil for a much needed oil change. O'Reilly's wasn't thrilled with the idea of us changing our oil in their parking lot, but luck was with us, as there was a super sketchy looking parking garage right across the street. It had a ton of really neat graffiti, but talk about a cesspool. I'll put it this way, Megan stopped counting used condoms on the ground when she got to 50 of them. Nevermind why in the world she counted that high in the first place, but it gives you a good indication of the sort of place we were at. Aren't you proud Mom and Dad?!
After the oil changes we were hoping to see some music since it was Friday. Instead we saw a lot of rain. It poured, and it poured, and just when we thought it couldn't get any wetter it poured some more. We decided to camp in Bear Canyon again, only about 10 mile ride. Doesn't sound like much, but if you've never ridden behind a bug splattered Vetter fairing at night in the rain, well just take it from me that you'd have better luck riding around with a big brown paper bag over your head. We eventually made it there, set up the tents in what would eventually turn into a small pond overnight, and made the best of it.
We woke up soaked and shivering. I was in a pretty good mood all things considered but Ben and Nick were over it. They were just downright grumpy little bastards, so we made our way back to town to warm up over some coffee and see what the weather looked like elsewhere. They pulled up the doppler radar on their phones to find out that while it wasn't raining anywhere else in the entire US, the entire state of Montana was one gigantic thunderstorm cloud. Just our luck!
We fueled up on coffee and headed to a laundromat to dry out the sleeping bags and some of our clothes. Afterwards everyone seemed to be in a better mood, and we met some really awesome travelers there too. Just as an aside, we didn't really dig Bozeman that much. Perhaps our expectations were too high, or maybe it was just the foul weather. It reminded me a lot of Boulder, CO. We just didn't seem cool enough, and in fact the nicest people we met in town over the course of a few days were all people that didn't live in Bozeman and were just passing through like us. Usually college towns are a sure bet for good times, but Bozeman didn't really do it for us. Neat downtown though.
We decided to head as far South as possible in hopes of getting out of the rain and maybe into some warmer weather. Back down through McAllister we went, through Ennis and down into Island Park, Idaho.
Check out the custom Touratech waterproof socks (they only look like grocery bags, trust me they're some high end stuff).
We pulled into Ashton, ID (the land of seed potatoes) around 9 at night. It was dark, misty, and 50 degrees, but I pulled my tent out anyway as it was the dryest place we'd been in 24 hours. It wasn't doing much but it was a good college try at least. As I was doing that Nick said screw it, he was going to violate the rules again, he wanted a hotel. And he promptly took off. For about an hour we didn't hear from him and sat at the gas station. I was ready to just pass out in a field behind the station when he finally called us up and said to run a few miles down the road. He had found a little Mormon campground a few minutes before they closed an they must have felt bad for his soggy ass because they rented him this little cottage for dirt cheap. So cheap Nick insisted it was his treat and wouldn't let us chip in on it. Thanks dude! It was nice to have a dry warm place for the night, and we stayed up late having a grand time.
Duly noted on the shifter shaft! It was a spur of the moment roadside repair and I didn't even think of that. The seal doesn't appear to be weeping, I know Ben also replaced it before we left on the trip. We'll keep an eye on it for sure.
As far as the stator goes, Ben has been in touch with a guy off of the CX500 forum (actually he just posted on here: LandofRath) who has generously offered up a free stator and rear gasket as well as a garage to do the work in. I was kind of looking forward to a side of the road parking lot fix but a shop with tools will be way better! He's outside of Olympia, WA on the coast so I think the plan is to end up there within a week or two and take care of everything. Really great guy!
So far we've been bumpstarting it for almost 2000 miles so another 1000-1500 should be cake. Thanks for all the kind comments!
Thats great you found a stator on the coast of Washington.
What part of the coast ?
I currently have:
Rear Case Gasket
A shift shaft (just in case)
and maybe a turn signal for his bike..
Oh and Ribs and Beer:)
Might try and find him a Master cylinder if I get lucky..
A speedometer cable
And don't know the condition of his other fork tube.
If you have parts....
You better stock up on the ribs and beer cuz I`m sure they will slam down a 12 pack and a side for each of them. Maybe get them out on the sand for some clams if they are in season thats always fun.
I don`t have any parts they could use. I`m just following the carnage and good times they are having. I will help if they need it though.
We shall see.. I have a chunk of meat and about 30 bottles of beer in my
fridge atm.. (Normal).. Luckily I just finished building a CX and a buddy and myself just purchased 4 motors worth of parts so I was pretty ready when this came along. The fork tube was donated and mailed by a guy in Arizona.