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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bwanajames, Apr 18, 2017.
Great ride report, glad it's continuing!
Happy birthday, dad.
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great report! You now have a reader from Austria Don't hesitate to show us more pics!
I wonder why you didn't just buy a set of tires in the nearest town? Are they that hard to get? But maybe your dads birthday was the real reason behind the detour.
I am also amazed at how spotless you bike looks on the pics. Do you clean it while en route?
Two month ago I made a trip to Bosnia and Croatia with some dirt sections strewn in. One night the B&B also saw a Slovenian couple on a Harley. After a few scattered raindrops out came the rags, the chrome was polished back to mirroring perfection and a canvas cover protected against further mishap.
Next to the Harley my GS left small piles of dirt as the mud dried and crumbled off...
Hallo, herzlich willkommen an unserem Lagerfeuer! (Thank you Google Translate...). Finding a TKC-80 in one of the small towns along the CDT, would be equivalent to finding true love – possible, but not likely.
However, it was really a matter of principal. I’d already invested in new tires. And being a pleasantly unemployed gypsy motorcycle bum and confirmed miser, I didn’t want to shell out for a fresh set – then grapple with the logistics/expense of getting the new Washington tires back to Colorado. Given the best-laid plans of mice and men, my alternate solution worked out remarkably well! (I’d like to claim the synchronicity behind the birthday rendezvous was ulterior motive by a devoted son, but I’d be lying).
Let’s see… I gave the GS a bath when passing back through Colorado (the first since departure), then again at brother Ken’s (Washington), followed by a brief rinse in Seeley Lake, Montana to impress a girl. So 6,385 miles and 3 scrubbings – shameful by Harley standards!
But fear not! Coming through Alberta I acquired plenty of “GS patina”.
Hauling dry bags up the stairs of Ken’s place, in the entryway, I was greeted by a sight for sore CDT eyes: two pristine Continentals, wearing Revzilla banding, waiting patiently by the door; the scent of newly minted rubber hanging in the air. For a motorcycle junkie, fresh tires are heroin.
The next morning, I hoped to dazzle dad & Ken with my tire changing prowess. For such moments, I’ve hauled a BestRest Bead Breaker all over creation, but this was the first opportunity to use it. (For those familiar with it, feel free to yawn…).
The kit is something of an erector set, utilizing 3 tire irons for the basic framework and a series of pins for adjustment. Once assembled, I was astounded how easily the clever arrangement broke the 150/70 R17 bead!
For the weight conscious, the package feels like a boat anchor. But subtracting the tire irons, which I would carry anyway, it’s not so bad. While it costs as much as premium rear tire, when it comes to changing that tire in the boondocks, the kit is worth its weight in gold.
Even dad, a former jet mechanic in Korea, was impressed.
In case you were wondering, I’m not on the BestRest payroll, but they do make another handy product for tire changes on the road. It’s called a Donor Hose. With the new tire in place, how to seat the bead without a high-capacity compressor? No problem.
Having removed the GS valve stem, with Donor Hose in hand, I marched down to Ken’s F-150 sitting in the driveway. Utilizing the truck tire as an air reservoir, I attached one end to the bike stem, the other to the truck stem… And within seconds, escaping soap bubbles were followed by the gratifying “Pop!....Pop!...” of seating beads.
(Note: the photo is from an earlier tire change, but illustrates the Donor Hose principle).
The Camo King
Allow me to introduce brother Ken. (a.k.a. The Camo King). Need to overthrow a Third-World country? Assault a beachhead? Ken can get you properly outfitted.
While he hasn’t torn up any gnarly single-tracks lately, Ken’s motorcycling started early. Here he is piloting the mighty Honda 55 into Kern Flats in the southern Sierra Mountains of California. (I don’t think my boxer engine could slip through here. I’m the spotter on the rock, and rode in on the back of dad’s Honda 305 Super Hawk. Circa 1968).
Ken applying some leg-assist to the grade. Even with the pizza-sized rear sprocket, the anemic Honda 55 “Couldn’t pull a sick whore off a piss pot...” as dad was fond of saying.
Those are priceless pics from your past, thanks for sharing.
That was a sweet parallel twin with 305 ccm and it would be cool if Honda remembers to this era.
The Honda Super Hawk's ultimate endorsement of coolness: Elvis! He rode one in the 1964 movie Roustabout.
The Honda CB77, or Super Hawk, was a 305 cc (18.6 cu in) straight-twin motorcycle produced from 1961 until 1967. It is remembered today as Honda's first sport bike. It is a landmark model in Honda's advances in Western motorcycle markets of the 1960s, noted for its speed and power as well as its reliability, and is regarded as one of the bikes that set the standard for modern motorcycles.
The CB77 had, at only 305cc, a relatively big engine in comparison to most other Japanese bikes of the period, although it had performance to rival much larger motorcycles from other countries. It quickly built a reputation for reliability, and was equipped with luxuries such as an electric starter.
The CB77 was built on the experience Honda gained from Grand Prix racing, and differed greatly from previous models. It had a steel-tube frame instead of the pressed frames of earlier Hondas, and a telescopic front fork. The parallel twin engine, the biggest then available from Honda, was an integral element of the bike's structure, providing stiffness in a frame that had no downtube, and was capable of 9,000 rpm. It could propel the bike at over 100 mph; as fast as British parallel twins with higher displacements, and with great reliability. Cycle World tested its average two-way top speed at 168.3 km/h (104.6 mph), and its 1⁄4 mi (0.40 km) time at 16.8 seconds reaching 83 mph (134 km/h).
Author Aaron Frank called it, "the first modern Japanese motorcycle... that established the motorcycle that we still operate under now, more than forty years later.
Dad and Ken getting ready to saddle up. While the 305 Super Hawk was hardly a dual-sport - that didn't stop dad!
Well, walking down Honda nostalgic lane. My first bike was a 1968 CL 350 Scrambler. Here's a pic
Nice OLD bikes, thanks for a stroll down memory lane.
That Donor Hose is awesome! I can't believe it will set a bead! I've had to use the Carb Cleaner and a lighter with a prayer method before, a little scary but entertaining in a redneck sort of way.
Thanks bwanajames, I appreciate your answer very much.
Undertaking some adventurous experiments in those days without any gadget for navigation or communication was certainly a whole different story. I guess there was a mother waiting and praying
Been reading off and on for two days, and am all caught up. Great RR! Really enjoy your writings.
I just got back from a six day ride where I went from St Louis, out to Rawlins. Then picked up the CDR, and made it as far as Butte. Then blasted back home to work. I'm going to have to do this ride in small bites. Your adventures in NM have me changing plans, and heading there next. I'm pretty sure I read your Alaska RR, but I'll double check, because ive enjoyed reading this RR so much.
Thanks for taking the time and effort to post it. By the way, I'll retire in less than two years, and be able to take some nice enjoyable slower paced rides. I did my Deadhorse run in the same frantic pace.. I guess it beats not going.
Edit, I checked your Alaska RR. I remember it well. FYI, I'm a hunter also, but mostly flying critters. 90% quail, not quite as filling. I do have a compound bow, but I haven't even drawn it on a deer. I'm paranoid I'll just cripple it. I've shot a few with my 270. None lost..
“The two best times to go fishing are when it’s raining, and when it's not.” – Patrick F McManus
Tire change complete, it was time for some fun. “Let’s go drown some worms!” Ken suggests. After a short country drive, we were on the grassy banks of a tranquil Idaho lake teeming with trout. Even the osprey were having good luck; swooping down to snatch a meal, then powering off with a quivering rainbow in its clutches.
While most of my sporting adventures involve lengthy marches into the backcountry, this relaxing lawn chair fishing was just what the doctor ordered. With red-wing blackbirds twittering from the cattails and honking geese rafting nearby, we soon had all the ingredients for a neighborhood fish fry.
Dad, showing us how it is done.
After catching our limits, we strolled into a local bar & grill for a bite. While waiting for our food, the crack of billiard balls rang out. Here, dad and I strategize. 85 years old and he still whipped my ass.
Before leaving ancient history behind, captured above is my first motorcycle ride – streaking along on the mighty Honda 55. If dad had any idea of the monster he was creating, he would have never let me twist that throttle.
My first real bike at 18. The photo is in Montana, heading back to California. Working the loading docks of a Bakersfield produce warehouse by night, while making a half-assed attempt at the local junior college by day, a co-worker, Tim Stanton, had a Gold Wing and inspired me to purchase the 750. He then proposed a grand adventure to Montana. I happily signed on.
But as launch day grew near, Tim began to vacillate. He had a friend wanting to accompany us, but who had no bike. In a radical change of plan, Tim caved, deciding to do the trip by car. Screw that. I strapped a backpack to the 750 seat and struck out on my own.
It was a life-changing event. As a kid with a developing conscience, I grew up a lot on that trip. Just short of Alturas, California, I spotted an unattended bike parked outside of a small general store along the highway. Placed over the mirror was a beautiful Shoei helmet. I grabbed it and ran. With the strap in my teeth, I streaked out of the small town, racing north through sage-covered countryside as fast as the 750 would go.
My father, a reserve policeman for many years, always said, “You can’t outrun a radio…”
On a straight stretch of highway, doing twice the speed limit, distant flashing lights appeared ahead through shimmering heat waves. Pulling over, I tossed the helmet into the sage – but it was too late.
By sheer coincidence, Tim had a childhood friend in Alturas, whose father came to visit me in jail. This man apparently had some influence around town and came to assess my worth. He was a good man. Warm and wise. In a calm, caring fatherly tone, he uttered words that have never left me: “Stealing is the most expensive way to get something…”
It’s been 40 years and I haven’t stolen a pencil…
“Stealing is the most expensive way to get something…”
What a GREAT line!!
Sometimes life lessons take, glad to see it did in your case! For others, not so much...
I'm really glad to see that you've made good progress on the RR over the past few days. Thanks for including me (the Camo King) in the report as well. I really enjoyed the "flashback" photos of our younger days. By god you make me want to hit the trail again myself!