Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Traxxion Mod

I decided to do the full Monty Traxxion Mod to my 'Wing. I called around and JBK Cycles in Santa Ana, CA seemed to be the best place to have it done.

I was pretty skeptical going in that it would make a big difference but I figured it couldn't hurt and worse case I would end up with a $3000 head bearing change, which the bike needed anyway. As a good friend likes to point out I'm not overly fond of my money anyway so what the heck....sounded like a good deal to me.

The ride home from L.A. after the Mod was installed was all on the Slab and a little anticlimactic, the bike rode a little "plusher", tracked a little better, but all in all not a $3000 improvement, oh well, I've thrown more money than that away before.

Last Sunday I had time to run US 191 from Morenci to Alpine (did the Tucson-Alpine-Show Low-Tucson loop...a little over 500 miles of mostly good motorcycle road). I didn't time the Morenci to Alpine portion but the whole ride took just under 10 hours. All I can say is the Traxxion mod was worth every penny. For the first time running US 191 I did not drag any of the hard parts, not on the 1st gear hairpins or the medium and/or high speed sweepers and I was riding as fast as is prudent on a public road, well maybe just a little faster than prudent. Once the chassis was stable the bike was rock solid and road imperfections had little effect, I was able to roll on power earlier because I could trust the bike to hold what ever line I set. There were no bar shakes or wobbles, the bike felt wonderful, it is still a 900 lb. bike but damn it will eat the road. I don't think the Harley guy at work believed me when he asked how the ride was and I told him I did the loop in under 10 hours.

I had one interesting situation, coming around one of the blind high speed sweepers, just as I was rolling power in for the exit, I found a car in my lane backing up. I haven't a clue why, he just did it. I grabbed a hand full of brake and put the ABS to test, BTW ABS is worth every penny as well.

The IBA rally is going on as I type. It is held every two years, I plan on doing the next one, 11,000 miles in 11 days, it should be a hoot.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Road Trip

I love to hear those words. Long story short.....a buddy of mine (lives in Granbury, TX) called last Thursday and said "I can get away for a few days, would you like to meet up some place and ride around"? I scrambled around at work changing schedules and was able to put 5 days off together, Friday, the weekend and Monday-Tuesday. Next was deciding where to meet and where to ride. Well I had heard stories that Sturgis, SD was going to have a big T-shirt sale over the time I had off....sounded like a good place to go, so done deal. We picked Ruton, NM as a good meet-up point, from there it was a easy stroll up I-25 and then east to Sturgis.

We pulled into Sturgis late afternoon Saturday. We bought a couple of T-shirts, BTW while the selection was good they lied about 'em being on sale , and had a good hamburger in the "Knuckle" before calling it a day.

Sunday, we did the tourist thing and rode around the Black Hills with a few thousand of our best riding buddies and then late afternoon headed south to Lusk, WY for a RON. Today we will ride to Las Vegas, NM for another RON, my Texas buddies will split off from there and I will ride to Tucson Tuesday.

My buddy and I traded bikes a couple of times, his is one of HD's with batwing fairings, all I can say is my hat is off to him, 2600 miles on that shaking POS and I wouldn't be able to walk.

BTW, someone once said 'there are no bad roads out of Sturgis", I believe him.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

We made it to Paso Robles for the night, the next day Blythe, CA for a RON and then home to Tucson.

I'm not sure how many miles we did but I did the 4000 mile oil change just before leaving home and the odometer had 11,200 miles showing when we pulled into the driveway.

One last photo....just because:

The next day we rode down US101to Leggett, CA where we joined CA1 to Gualala, CA. What a great motorcycle road from Leggett to where CA1 joins the coast, it's pretty good once on the coast as well . The hotel in Gualala was the nicest we stayed in. I can't remember its name but it is on the south end of town and next to the Road House Cafe.

The next morning we continued south pass San Fransisco and Monterrey, once we were south of Monterrey the horse to the barn syndrome kicked in and we headed east for home.

Our first day's ride south took us as far as the Oregon/California border. We RONed at the Harris Beach State Park outside of Brookings, OR. Harris Beach became a favorite of Ms.OK, beautiful setting and a very nice camping area.

"Short Beach

We had to visit "Short Beach" once more, by this time I was ready to throw a leg over the bike and ride .

More Vacation 09

We had made it to the Oregon Coast and spent a week camping and visiting old haunts, it was time to start moving toward home but first we needed a night in a hotel to do laundry and recharge all the batteries. We stayed in the SurfRider just outside of Depoe Bay, OR. Nice place but the dryer quit working before the laundry was dry.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

What can you say about the Oregon Coast other than it is magical, what a special place. When we lived in McMinnville, OR I believe Ms.OK walked almost every inch of the coast. I missed most of it because I was always gone on a trip to BFE, The Sudan or some other place half way around the world.

Low Tides

The tides were the lowest of the year and people were out in droves to walk the beaches and to harvest shellfish.

Made it to the Oregon Coast

From Hood River we rode through Portland, OR then OR6 to the Coast. We set up base camp in Cape Lookout State Park. From there we took day trips up and down the coast and each evening returned to camp for dinner, a campfire, wine, beer, and martinis. I took one day off to have the OEM Dunlops replaced with Metzeler Marathon 880's. The Dunlops still had a lot of miles left but the Metzelers made all the difference in the world when riding in the rain. I wish I had done it earlier.

Photo of Oceanside, just north of Cape Lookout.

Lolo Pass

We left Butte on I-90 for Lolo and US12 to cross over Northern Idaho. Lolo pass was a highlight of the trip. The only negative, the OEM Dunlops do not handle rain well and a couple of times the bike got a little squirrelly going through Lolo pass. We made it to Hood River, OR where we shut it down for the night.

Lake Jackson

After Grand Junction we cut across Western Colorado on CO139 to Vernal, UT to spend the night. I've ridden or drove most of the roads in the western US but this was my first time on CO139. It was a pleasant surprise, I wouldn't say it was a great motorcycle road but it was much better than expected. The next morning the plan was to ride to Jackson, WY to spend the night and the next day do Yellowstone NP. We had a couple of ways to get to Jackson and I picked the eastern route over the western one because of WX. It turned out to have been a good chose. We watched rain to the west almost all the way into Jackson and only had to put our rain gear on about 50 miles south of Jackson.

Yellowstone was pretty much a bust, too damn many people, RV's, cars and road construction to enjoy the park. I almost lost the bike and trailer going over several of the road work areas. The mud was really slick. We exited out West Yellowstone and rode to Butte, MT for the night. The ride up US287 to connect with I-90 was one of the prettiest of the trip. After the crowds of Yellowstone it was most enjoyable. BTW, this part of the the trip, from Jackson, WY to Lewiston, ID was mostly in the rain. All I can say is thank you Frogg Toggs and Shoei, they kept us dry and comfortable.

On the Road to Silverton

After Red River we rode to Durango, CO to position ourselves to do the Durango-Silverton-Ouray (US550) ride the next morning.

One of the advantages of traveling on a bike is people will stop and talk to you, other bikers as well folks in cars, trucks, and RV's. We met a woman just out side of Durango who had been riding solo for 6 weeks. She was from the Seattle area and had lost her job. She decided what better time to see the USA on her Harley Soft Tail. We rode together for a good part of US550. She is on the left and Ms.OKGuy is on the right.

Last for now

I have not a clue what they were doing

Four bikers

Rambling on ROT

ROT as usual was a blast. There is not much to be said other than it is totally tasteless and tacky....but what the hell, tasteless and tacky is usually fun. I didn't spend a lot of time on the parade route this year so I really can't say if there were more overt sexual activity this time or not. For the record I only saw one guy getting a blowjob and one gal the first night being eaten out on stage. Anyway I will attach a few of this year's photos without much commentary.

More Vacation 09

After ROT we spent another day in Austin visiting with our girl child and her SO and short visit to Hippie Hollow. We left Austin early Tuesday AM and rode to Amarillo, TX before we shut it down for the night. The next morning we did the short ride on to Red River, NM and camped by the river.

Red River is still beautiful and not too overrun with people. It had been over 30 years since my last time there and there were a few changes but even with the new development it was one of the best places we stayed on the trip.

09 Vacation

I left Tucson June 11th for Austin, TX so as to meet friends at ROT. Ms.Bubba was in Scotland visiting family and would meet me in Austin for the final day of ROT, after that we planned to ride to Oregon, with many stops on the way, to spend a week camping on the Oregon coast. we needed to be back in Tucson no latter than July 4th.

That's the back story, as always, when I get on or in a traveling machine I tend to do lots of miles with few stops for pictures or much of anything else. Ms.Bubba is more of a smell the roses kind of person so most of the photos are hers .

The first image is of ROT, let me tell you it was great tacky and tasteless fun

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Good Weekend

Ms. OK and I loaded up the trailer with camping gear (new tent, never put up....big mistake) and headed for the White Mountains for a Saturday camp out. We had a great ride up US 191 and found an empty camp site a little over a mile off the main highway. Long story of the main tent pole attachments was defective and after several attempts at a "work around" we gave up, packed the camping gear back into the trailer and rode to Show Low for a good meal and a night in a hotel. Oh darn . The next morning we were up early and headed home through the Salt River Canyon where we stopped for a river side picnic.

Monday Ms. OK had to work so I left the house about the same time she did for a ride. As I went out the door I thought about a comment that US 191 South from Alpine to Clifton is different experience compared to running the road north. Doesn't take much to get me to ride US 191. Normally I ride it north bound but this time I turned off US 191 at AZ 75 so as to join US 180 near Pleasanton NM and then north to Alpine so I could ride 191 south to Clifton. It started raining just before reaching Alpine and by the time I was a couple of miles south of Alpine it was a heavy downpour with pea hail. Thank you Frogg Toggs and Shoei Multitec. After running the fastest part of US 191 in the rain I passed a passel of HD riders in their usual riding outfits headed north into the rain, must say that image brought a smile.

I made it from Alpine to Clifton in a little under 2 hours, including a stop to take off the rain gear. Not too bad considering the fast part was in a heavy rain. Door to door, about an 11 hour day. What a great weekend, I got to run US 191 twice, once two up pulling a trailer and the second time solo. Each had its charm.