Hayabusa and Concours Sport Touring Comparison

One question I received was comparing the Hayabusa with the Concours. I have 132,000 miles on the Hayabusa so I’ve done some riding 🙂 For the selection process which defines why I was looking, check this posting. This post is a during the ride comparison. Things I’m observing on the June Trip.

Big Note here. The Hayabusa is a Sport Bike. I’ve modified the bike to make it into a Sport-Touring bike. Trunk, saddlebags, modifications to the dash, suspension, etc. The Concours is intended to be a Sport-Touring bike. So it’s set up that way from the start.

Windscreen

I used the stock screen on the ‘busa for years as I’m generally hesitant to make changes (and spend money) on something that seems okay now. Rita had a Double Bubble screen on her Ninja 650 to help her. But when I rode it, my head was in the buffeting zone which made it very uncomfortable. I finally pulled the trigger and picked up a Double Bubble, partly because three other folks who ride ‘busa’s recommended it. But even after installing it, I didn’t see a benefit other than I could actually see the dash and instruments now 🙂

On the Connie, it’s adjustable and I can absolutely see a benefit. Low is almost ‘busa feeling. A few inches up and the wind turbulence is just below neck level, perfect in 109F temps. Higher and my head is buffeted like it was on Rita’s but at the top and bend down a touch and I’m out of the wind for the most part. Enough so that I can lift my modular helmet and drink my soda or water from the CamelBak without having the helmet feeling like it was getting pulled off my head and of course no spray. And it’s not so large that it’s a barn door and the couple of times in the rain, I could tuck my knees in and duck down a little behind a full screen and barely get wet.

Standing

On the ‘busa I can stand up to stretch a little but I’m still a bit bent over. It’s not a full stand so you’re still bent at the waist and fully standing requires some contortions to make sure you can still see the road 🙂

On the Connie, I can stand up straight and even do a Titanic. 🙂 Very helpful when a quick stretch is needed.

Legroom

The Wednesday prior to the trip in June, my right knee swelled a bit and I still don’t know why. It was a little sore as well and had I not had the Connie, I would have canceled the trip. There’s no way I could have kept my knee bent at that angle for the 5,000 miles of the trip.

Back when I got the ‘busa and after getting on hayabusa.org and sport-touring.net, I got directed to Pashnit’s forum. One of the suggestions for a bit more leg room for us tall guys was to replace the stock pegs with GSXR pegs. It did make the pegs a bit more uncomfortable for longer trips so I eventually tried to add some slab steel. That wasn’t optimum but cutting and using epoxy I created heel rests that have stayed in place for the past 5 years or so.

The Connie has the leg room but has the stock pegs so the problems I had on the ‘busa exists on the Connie. It’s a bar across the bottom of the feet cutting off circulation. You have to keep moving around on the pegs. I need to figure out replacement pegs so I can gin up a new set of heel rests. I have the Canyon crash bars but I was having trouble attaching them so they’re still in the garage. I didn’t want to damage the Connie right before the trip.

Heat

Note that I have ridden the ‘busa in an Aerostich suit for 10 years or so before gaining enough weight that I couldn’t wear it anymore. The past couple of trips have been in jeans and one of my two riding jackets. This leaves my legs more exposed to heat thrown off by the bike. At one point I rode the ‘busa from a park in Boise to the other end of the park in just swim trunks as my gear was in the car. That was hot! Two years back the trip to GenCon was in jeans and my Joe Rocket jacket and that was hot as well so I suspect getting my weight back down or getting a new, size appropriate Aerostich suit will make a difference in future trips.

And don’t get me wrong, the Connie is hot on the legs when I have jeans on. On the June trip I had a heat rash on the top of my left foot which hadn’t happened on the ‘busa even at 120F when I was in Yuma Arizona.

Speaking of heat and Yuma! I’m using the same deer skin gloves as when I went through Yuma, and the Connie handlebars got Really Really got hot unlike the ‘busa. It felt like I had the heated grips on high! The palms of my hands were red purple on the two 109F days during the June trip.

Seating

The ‘busa stock seat is better for canyon riding. I’m able to slide left or right to get off the bike to have control of the bike in corners. Eventually the seat wore out. I even looked for a replacement stock seat but eventually picked up a Corbin seat. Still can slide off but a nicely scooped seat for increased comfort. I’ve had Corbin seats on my two previous bikes as well. Note that I wear bicycle shorts under my jeans and in the Aerostich suit for increaed comfort.

The Connie stock seat seems to be memory foam type as it gets hot when I’m sitting on it. It is foamy and soft but I think that’s a bad thing. One of the things I noticed is the seat would bend at the edges where my butt cheeks are, not providing full support in the way I expect. The Corbin is a very stiff seat so there’s no fall off at the edges. Plus the Connie seat keeps you in place. Moving around is difficult and when you sit, you stay where you sit unless you get up and move to a new spot. I’d constantly find myself just a little to the right on the seat (maybe my right cheek is bigger than my left 🙂 ) but it causes unnecessary friction and makes it for a somewhat uncomfortable ride, just a little. In places, especially when it was hot and everything was sweating, it was even worse, to the point in Glacier National Park that I absolutely had to get off the bike!

It might be because I had jeans on but I can move around on the ‘busa without trouble when I’m just out in the canyons so I suspect a new seat is in order before the next long distance trip.

Speaking of the seats. Jeanne likes the extra room for her. There’s room for her even when I have the Camelbak on. She can lean back and doesn’t have that “hip thrown forward” position like on the ‘busa. The ‘busa is more fun though. You feel like you’re a part of the bike. This is similar to my feeling. On the ‘busa it’s like I’m an integral part of the bike. On the Harley I used to have, I felt like I was sitting on the bike. The Connie seems to be in between the two. Not quite a part of the bike, and you can feel the instability in the corners compared to the ‘busa.

Speed and Response

Of course the ‘busa is fast. I can get to about 73MPH in first gear. It’s meant to be fast. One of the reasons I started touring with it is at highway speeds in 6th gear, it’s running about 3,500 RPMs. Just about idling. The engine isn’t over taxed and will last a long time if maintained. I will note that at about 5,000 RPMs there’s a roughness, a vibration. It’s actually kind of nice because it tells me through my hands vs looking at the speedometer. “Whoops, I’m going a bit fast.”

The Connie does have some speed but of course as it’s tuned to be a sport-touring bike, it’s toned down from the Ninja Z14 it’s based off of. I noted that as long as the tachometer is at about 3,000 RPM, it’ll respond fine. Below that there’s some roughness and hesitation. And of course 6th is ‘Overdrive’ and intended to be used at highway speeds to conserve gas. Once I get it up in RPMs, it does respond quite well.

Mirrors

The ‘busa mirrors are useless if you’re a big guy like me. My elbows block any vision without leaning over or tucking in my elbows. I was looking for a mirror extender and found a few on line at the time (2004). Mostly small increments though. On hayabusa.org, a guy was selling 1″ extenders. They worked great, other than the bolts rusted. 🙂 I replaced them with chrome ones and it’s good again.

On the Connie, you are sitting up a bit higher and the mirrors are set lower and wide. One thing is I can see both sitting up and if I’m laying on the tank bag resting. Something I can’t see out of on the ‘busa.

Vibration

When I got the ‘busa, it came with Helibars so the grips were up about 3/4″ and angled to be a bit more comfortable. Still they’re sort of narrow for a big guy like me. I’d find my hands, especially my left hand, on the end of the clipon over the bar end which could be a little uncomfortable. I’d also added Throttlemeister bar ends to give me throttle control on the highway. Set it and relax.

On the Connie, I also replaced the bar ends with Throttlemeisters but the angle of the handlebars are still a bit off for me. Enough that I had to make sure my hand was twisted a bit at the wrist, out just a little to be comfortable. I didn’t seem to migrate to the end of the bar though so the width might be just right. Note too that the Connie had a bit of vibration in the bars. It might be just because they’re tall vs the ‘busa which are clipons and less likely to vibrate.

I do still get a knot in the muscle of middle behind the right shoulder although it’s not quite as pronounced when riding on the Connie.

Instrumentation

On the ‘busa you have an A Trip, B Trip, and odometer, time, plus the standard gas, FI, oil light, and engine temp. I added an electronic accessories bar that added a voltmeter and “outside” temp gauge. That bailed after the 120F Yuma ride though 🙂 I also added an accessories plug, heated grips with a switch on the dash, and heated gear (Gerbings) plugs

This stuff is all standard on the Connie. The real problem though is with the helmet and/or sunglasses, when the sun is ahead of you at all, the central LED panel is unreadable. Just a dark shadow. The visor on the helmet obscures it a bit as lifting it does make it a little more visible but still pretty grayed out. It’s nice to have the info on the panel but only good when the sun is behind you.

It is nice that the Connie is set up for extra instruments though. Even with my GoPro battery charger plugged in, the Voltmeter only went from 14.4 to 14.3. Nice alternator 🙂

Suspension

One of the recommendations for the ‘busa was to replace the front stock suspension. When I took it to The Dragon, I had drag marks on the bottom of the bike’s plastic! After replacing them, the bike handled much better for me. Tight.

The Connie is set up a lot looser and is actually a nice ride especially for Jeanne. Bounces for the bumps but recovers quickly.

Maintenance

For the ‘busa, chain maintenance on the road was important! Regular cleaning and oil or wax to keep it in good shape. On one trip, I limped home the last couple of hundred miles with the chain slack almost to the belly plate. And chains don’t get slack everywhere, just in spots. Makes for an uncomfortable ride.

On the Connie, I just had to make sure oil and water were topped off. I’d replaced the black oil before the trip and other than upping the air in the tires, nothing had to be done on the entire trip.

Overall

The ‘busa would be my go-to bike for solo trips or solo rides. The Connie is something I’d ride to maintain familiarity and if Jeanne (or other passenger) were coming along. But the ‘busa is more fun to ride 🙂

Amusingly the one thing I noted that I was a bit sad about. Touring on the ‘busa got attention. “Who would tour on a Sport Bike!?” But it worked just fine for 132,000 miles. With the Connie, it’s expected that I’ll have a lot of miles. Just one of a pack of folks who Sport Tour on a Sport-Touring bike. But it was one of the reasons I bought it. The infrastructure is there. For the ‘busa, if I got into trouble, I could be in further trouble because dealers where ever I was might not have what I needed to get moving again. With the Connie, I expect I’d have a better chance of a dealer having the parts I need to get back on the road. The ‘busa is bulletproof and never left me on the side of the road due to something breaking. But I have been stuck due to a flat tire and limped home a few times due to not being able to replace the chain. No fun and expensive.

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Truck Accident

Tuesday night (July 5th), Jeanne asked me to come to her place in order to have dinner with her and her family friend who’d been staying with her off and on since last August. He was buying dinner as a token of friendship and thanks for letting him room with her.

On the way, I took I-25 south from Longmont and got off at 136th Ave. This is where I normally get off when going to see Jeanne, and head east to Washington. In the picture/diagram below, I’m the green line. The red line is the woman who pulled out in front of the truck.

In looking at the next picture, I’m the green arrow and she’s the red one. The light is green for me and I’m accelerating but probably doing 30 to 35mph. The speed limit is 45mph and I’ll be turning right in a half a mile or so. It’s about 6:10 to 6:15pm, a little cloudy in the distance but clear where we were. Sun to the west and setting.

She was stopped at the red light and suddenly pulled out. I was about at the stopping line for the intersection so was unable to stop in time. As you can see from the picture, the front right fender of the truck hit her at the front of the left fender and bumper and pushed her about half way across the next lane. I ended up pointing at the stop light pole.

I had my iPad and Abi’s check (Jeanne’s daughter) she’d left at my place on the passenger seat and it flew forward onto the floor and my glasses were ejected from the front of my shirt onto the floor under my feet. I shut down the truck and did a quick self check. Nothing hurt or bleeding. Look over at her and then get out and walk around the back of the truck and ask if she’s okay. She nodded and I asked about the male passenger too. Everyone seemed okay. She apologized profusely.

“I don’t know why I pulled out. I don’t know why I thought the light was green. I’m so sorry.”

Basically that several times over the next hour or so.

I had my phone out and she asked if I’d called 911 yet. I said I was just doing so and then spoke to the 911 operator. As it was the off ramp from I-25 north, it wasn’t as easy giving the intersection but I finally got it across to her. I answered her questions and she said the police would be on the way.

Not long after, the police arrived and started getting information and then provided a report for me to fill out. It would have my information to be passed to her and vice versa, plus a written report of the accident. The report would not go to her and I wouldn’t see her report, just her information.

A bit later, her husband arrived in his jeep.

It took about 45 minutes total from the time of the accident to the tow truck arriving, picking up both her and my vehicle, sweeping up the majority of the mess, and leaving.

Once done, I walked to Jeanne’s. She’s only a bit less than 3 miles away so it wasn’t a bad walk. My left arm was feeling a bit sore though. Shock wearing off I’m guessing. I spoke to my insurance folks while walking and took down phone numbers and claim numbers, plus passed along her information.

At Jeanne’s, I sat on the couch until Jeanne got home and then we headed to Kaiser to be checked out.

Humorously the lady and her husband were in the Emergency room as well. Her pregnant daughter was in the car too and she wanted to have her checked out. She was okay and asking for some food.

I was called in to get my vitals (117/65 🙂 ) and then get checked out by the nurse. He did a quick check for seatbelt bruises (none) and asked me about the injury. We did some head looking to see if there was strain in the neck and yes, there was a bit. He checked my left arm looking for pain. As I had a headache, bit of soreness at the neck, more sore at the triceps and biceps, with some aching down to the wrist, he diagnosed it as whiplash.

He said it would hurt in the morning. Hurt more for the next couple or three days. Then I’d be in some pain by the third or fourth day. He provided a scrip for Valium and a scrip for Percocet. He suggested Valium and a cold pack for the next couple of days if I felt tightness as it would help keep the swelling down and by the third or fourth day, I might need a percocet. I was to evaluate my level of pain and see if I needed it but I was not to try to “tough” it out. Follow the advice and heal correctly.

I did mention that I only had motorcycles now and he said I was to not wear a helmet or otherwise drive (especially if I took the Valium or Percocet as both would make me drowsy) as the additional stress might exacerbate the injury. Take it easy and it’ll get better on time.

The hospital registration person next arrived and advised me on what was going to happen regarding bills and payment. She provided pamphlets and paperwork to provide all the details and some information on what to expect from the insurance company.

I retrieved my license and insurance cards and we headed over to the pharmacy to fill the prescriptions.

I’d sent emails to the team at work and to management to let them know what happened and to request to work from home. As a computer geek, that’s not a real problem and other issues can be dealt with by others on the team.

In the morning I called the boss at his request and we discussed keeping things cool and taking breaks when I needed to, even shutting down if necessary.

Later I received a call from her insurance company. She confirmed it was me, stated they were accepting 100% liability for the accident, and then asked if I’d record a statement answering questions. I didn’t see a reason why not so I agreed.

The questions were mainly confirming my vehicle information, the details of the accident scene such as time of day, direction of travel, and other similar details. She did ask if the woman said anything and I did recount what she had said to me. Once done, she thanked me and said they would be sending someone down to check out the truck; repair or cash payment, they didn’t pay medical as they occurred but would provide reimbursement once all treatment ended (and would call about every 30 days to check until completed), would pay “pain and suffering”, and asked if I wanted a rental. As I only have bikes now and I needed to take Slash to the vet, I said Yes. I said I didn’t need a truck and that any car would be fine with me. She contacted Enterprise, which was in town, and arranged for me to pick up a car. She thanked me for my time and hung up.

Enterprise called me to let me know when I could come pick up my vehicle (4:30). Jeanne gave me a ride down and as the insurance company is paying $26 a day, and Enterprise didn’t have any mid-sized cars, I got some humongous GMC SUV.

I was afraid to drive it it was so large. Being used to a small truck and mostly motorcycles where I have plenty of room to maneuver, having something this big was far out of my experience level. It was interesting to drive home. I left plenty of space and went slower than some folks would do I guess.

Anyway. That’s the saga to this point. I don’t know how long it’ll take for the truck evaluation and don’t know if it’ll be repaired or simply junked and I’ll have to chase down a replacement.

Maybe a Subaru Forester or Outback next time 😀

Oh, and a fun little note. I had my fitbit on at the time and snagged a snapshot of my BPM at the time of the accident. 152 BPM. Whew 🙂

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June Trip Final Details

Here are the final details of the trip with the map plus the actual costs and such.

Miles: 5,022. Remember we bailed on Canada due to rain expectations.

Rooms: $1,140.96

Gas: $375.06

Food (meals): $768.52

This didn’t include snacks when we stopped for gas including water and sodas. ($316.06)

Total: $2,600.82

Misc stuff. Jeanne spent $184.87. I spent $344.75. This would be wine, park passes, aquarium fee, parking fees, etc.

Jeanne paid all room fees as she had a hotels.com deal, 9 stays and the 10th is free. She also snagged a few others (like gas and snacks) before I realized how much she would be paying for rooms so I’ll be giving her $287.70 to cover that.

I think the costs would be just a little higher, mainly gas and snacks, had we headed to Canada but it wouldn’t have changed it a great deal.

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Wyoming: Burgess Junction to Colorado: Longmont

I must say, the bed at the hotel was probably the worst night’s sleep I’ve had in some years. I was tossing and turning and getting up and laying down. I was tempted to grab the top cover and wrap up in the chair or on the floor.

Okay, food at this place is pretty mild in general. We had the breakfast buffet. They supply some condiments so you can add spices but marinating the steak last night might have been good. It was like they simply cut a slab off the cow and cooked it. The chef was nice enough though.

We had a discussion this morning over breakfast about the Resort as well. $700k would be about double our current house payment (either of us; although we don’t know how such business type loans would go of course). We estimated about 10 folks working there, a 100 room motel, several cabins, four wheelers, paddle boats, BBQs, and even dual gas pumps.

We’d be curious as to what the expenses vs income plus clientele, how many per month, how’s it work in the winter months, what assets and debts come with the purchase, what maintenance needs to be done, and the big question;

Why are you selling?

I did want to bail and be home before it was too late. It’s a straight run down the mountain to 90 and then south on 25 home but it’s a fairly long and uninteresting ride through Wyoming.

As we checked out, I commented that it looked as if no one has cleaned under the front of the toilet seats. It was a quarter inch wide layer of dark yellow grime. I was trying to describe it and Jeanne told me to stop as the woman hadn’t had breakfast yet 🙂

Heading down the mountain was interesting. Nice and fast in general however there were fallen rocks and gravel in several turns keeping me on my toes again.

Coming out on the straight, we headed on to Dayton, then out to 90 and headed south.

Generally a basic freeway ride. I did miss the cutoff for 25 so had to loop around at the next exit. Then we basically rode for 2 hours to Casper before filling up.

Casper to Wheatland for gas. Then Cheyenne again for gas. As we got to Colorado, we stopped for a photo shot at the sign then continued on.

Somewhere near Ft Collins, it started sprinkling and then raining. I raised the windshield and tucked my knees in and basically kept dry. Jeanne tucked in behind me. Since it was only a few miles of rain (including some pretty heavy bits), we simply pushed on through to the other side. The bike does pretty well in keeping most of the rain off.

We were watching the gigantic rainstorm that seemed centered over Longmont. At the turnoff for Longmont (66), I could see it was just a touch south and that we might get the tail end of it. We did get a few drops but generally missed the bulk of the rain.

Pulled into the driveway, got a couple of final shots of the bike, pulled in, unpacked, started the laundry, took a shower, and grabbed dinner.

I’m importing the pics from my iPhone and have 90 gigs of Video (103 files) from the GoPro. I’m trying to get Jeanne’s pics as well but the Android doesn’t appear to work well with Windows 10. I had to run the troubleshooter in order to recognize the GoPro and I’ve run it again for Jeanne’s Android. I’ll be rebooting here in a sec to try and get her pics.

Later!

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Montana: Billings to Wyoming: Burgess Junction

Bailed Billings at 7:15 as a roughly long day was expected. We are headed for Bear Tooth Pass and The Medicine Wheel.

General riding is good. Comfortable temps and light traffic. At one point a guy on a Harley came up behind me. I gestured to him to pass and he moved up a little then kept at the same pace I was going. Eventually we got behind a long run of cars and an RV. He passed when he could but he didn’t have the speed in a couple of places. Eventually at a long straight where he’d hung back, I pulled out to pass, passing him and two cars, an RV, a guy pulling a boat, and three more cars. 🙂 We stopped in Red Lodge for gas before heading up and he waved as he went by 🙂

The ride up Bear Tooth was cool, down to 48, with construction in places. I almost undercut a curve and forced the bike into the right direction. The bike just doesn’t quite handle like the busa. It’s a bit tall and the front seems to be a little unstable at times. Probably partly due to the amount of stuff we have loaded as well. I need to take the bike up into the hills without much of a load.

Anyway, got to the top and wandered around for pictures of the scenery and of course, the local fauna (chipmunks 🙂 ). We chatted with a few riders about distance and direction.

Nice panoramic shot with Jeanne

“Got any nuts?”

On the way again and we were behind an RV but they pulled over at the first curve.

Up and over the top. Snow in many places. We saw mountain goats. Really nice scenery. At one point I saw a nice lake and stopped the bike for a look.

Sure enough, nice view and a guy was out there fishing.

Down the other side and to the bridge over the gorge. Chatted with another group of riders before heading off again.

Bird in a tree.

This was the ride up before heading down into Cody, and could have been a bit more fun. Got behind a couple of Harleys, woman on the back bike. She seemed a bit tentative in the corners and barely, from my vantage point, kept from dragging her floorboards. They pulled off at the pass for a few pics as we did.

The ride down to the intersection to Cody was less fun. Lots of tar snakes. One of the first curves and the bike danced all around. So I kept it slow until the end. Just before Cody, we stopped for gas and the same group we met at the bridge pulled in as we were resting and we chatted a bit more. One of the guys pulled up on a Goldwing so there was a mixture of bikes.

After, we headed east on Alternative 14 for Medicine Wheel. On the way I spotted a dead deer. There have been a lot over the trip but this was followed up about 20′ later by a white minivan on the side of the road with the front caved in! Need to watch out for the wildlife.

At the top of the Big Horns, we pulled in to the Medicine Wheel park, locked up the gear, and started walking. This is a 3 mile round trip to the wheel. It’s uphill, downhill, and uphill again to the Medicine Wheel.

I’ve been here several times to visit. It’s been here for an estimated 10,000 years and is a sacred site. I’ve seen vehicles from Florida.

“Are we done here?” Jeanne is a bit tired of riding I think. It’s been a long trip so far and she’s dealing with it pretty well but occasionally I can see she’s tired 🙂

The Medicine Wheel.

Still pretty cool. As we started back, it started raining a little, then hail!

We just walked back to the bike but gear was wet so it was a cold ride. We made it to the lodge, signed in, got our room.

Lunch snack and dinner (dinner’s not until 5). I must say the food was very lightly seasoned.

Humorously, the place is for sale, $700,000. Jeanne and I discussed selling our houses, unnecessary gear, and buying this place. 🙂 It would satisfy my need for a mountain place and Jeanne’s need for water as there’s a small lake next to the place.

Hmmmmm

Tomorrow, home.

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Montana: Polson to Billings

Today was a long long loooonnnng boring ride on 90. From Polson to Missoula on 93, then 5 hours on 90 to Billings.

Just riding.

On the slab.

Squaring off the tire.

80 mph though.

Still

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

On the plus side, until Big Timber, the temps were mid 70’s then the last hour or so temps increased to 84 before we stopped in Billings.

We did make a stop about 2:30 to take a break. One of a few actually.

In Billings it again took a bit of wandering until we found the hotel. Once unpacked, we wandered and headed over to the first fast food place on the trip.

We checked out the new and used cars in the lot next door, mainly looking at convertibles. We’d been talking about renting a car in Florida for our trip next year and I was thinking about the 300Z I had years back and that I did like the 300Z Convertible. So maybe a 370Z Convertible for Florida next year. 🙂

Carl

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Montana: Polson and Glacier National Park

We’re planning on staying here for the day and leaving tomorrow so we got up when we wanted, had breakfast, and got the bike ready. I took a few minutes to decorate the bike of course. First stickers 🙂

We hopped on and headed to Glacier at about 10:30am. About 90 minutes with a little traffic. I suspect local folks aren’t much interested in tourists. One guy wasn’t happy apparently with being passed. Sadly, going slower than the speed limit and rubbernecking the mountains just keeps the folks behind you watching what you’re doing in case you do something foolish. But hey, no reason to get upset when passed. Just keep looking at the mountains. And yea, you’re not going to keep me from passing if that’s what I want to do.

At the park entrance, we flashed the general pass I bought at Yosemite but right inside the entrance was a black bear and a cub. The cub was cute and momma was curious and watching folks. Being on a bike, I pulled up just a bit vs being right next to her and watched as she scurried across the road to her second cub.

Later we saw cops, rangers, and a bunch of other vehicles just outside of West Glacier. Then an article where two people were attacked and one killed by a grizzly bear sow identified with two cubs. The ones we saw maybe??

Grizzly Bear Kills Mountain Biker Near West Glacier

Later they changed it to a Black Bear so I suspect it was the one we saw.

I do like to get scenic pics and Glacier is certainly a scenic place so yea, the occasional stop will occur. Expect lots of pictures 🙂

And Jeanne snapping a few 🙂

The one I was taking

We stopped at the Lodge to take in the lake. And someone caught a ride.

No worries, he’d bailed by the time we returned. 🙂

Jeanne is finally taking pics as we move 🙂

We did stop to get a few pictures though 🙂

At the top (Logan Pass), we stopped to take a break, grabbed a plush bear for Jeanne’s daughter and a Glacier set of stickers for the bike.

A herd of mountain goats stopped traffic on the way out of the parking lot.

And back down

I basically coasted back down alternating between front and rear brake. At Apgar Village, we stopped for ice cream. The ride was torture on my butt so stopping was required. Mandatory in fact. As we wandered around, I spotted the boat rentals.

For 18 bucks, we rented a canoe and spent an hour on the lake just rowing about and sitting quietly. We went quite far out. We got the hang of paddling pretty quickly and pretty much enjoyed a nice serene paddle out onto the lake.

After the lake, we headed back to the hotel for a nice sunset on the patio.

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Washington: Walla Walla to Montana: Polson

Left Walla Walla at 7:30. Got to Polson at 7:30. Man, what a long, hot day.

The morning ride through Washington was quite pretty. Lots and lots of wheat. Just miles and miles of it. Must take weeks to harvest. Got stopped for construction (pilot car) twice and chatted with the flagman and flagwoman (who had her dog with her). I’d known I was getting low on Plexus, I had a smaller can and it wasn’t full when we left. I didn’t think it would be a problem however we did eventually run out. Plus the thumb of my glove had a hole in it from somewhere. I stopped at a parts place and they didn’t have anything that was of much help and no gloves.

Crossed over into Idaho and Lewiston at around noon. We headed east and south on 12 and stopped in Orofino briefly to see if we could find Plexus and gloves. Plus I’d run out of soap and deodorant. At an Ace, I was able to find gloves but the large size was too small. And no Plexus but they did have Windex Wipes. I put them back at one point but figured if we couldn’t find Plexus, it’d do in a pinch. I also found more soap and deodorant so we were mostly okay.

Still, the Clearwater River was a nice ride and the Dam up the Northfork was freaking cool even though we only got a glimpse. But the river was cool as well.

As we continued south, I figured we’d stop at Kooskia to get gas and even passed Kamiah’s gas station however Kooskia was apparently just a couple of closed buildings. Figuring we’d get gas on the way, I continued on up Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. Of course, as fate would have it, the gas station at Syringa, which had “Last Chance gas for 64 miles” was closed and for sale. Well, the bike will do about 250 miles on a tank and we’re at 54 miles right now. We should be able to make it to Lolo on the other side. So off we go.

Northwest Passage Scenic Byway is an excellent ride. Nice sweeping curves and little traffic. I was of course conscious of gas consumption but enjoying the curves and scenery.

At about 150 miles, we found gas plus snagged a late lunch at Lochsa Lodge. Kind of a cool little spot almost at the Summit. Campground I guess along with gas and a little store. I snagged a couple of hippy moose stickers for the bike 🙂 and then we went back for lunch.

After lunch we continued up the pass.

Lolo in Montana was hot and a little busy with traffic. We made the left and headed towards Missoula. The intention was to get on to 90 and west to 93 north but in following 12, we didn’t see any signs for 90. Kept seeing signs for 12 so I kept following it. Followed it through neighborhoods and such and finally decided we’d missed a turn somewhere and made a left onto a one way street. I pulled out the map but it was of Montana so Missoula was just a blob really. So I pulled out the phone. Ah, should have kept going instead of making the left. Pulled out, made a couple of lefts and continued on 12. Sure enough, a few minutes later signs for 90. Stupid 12 🙂

We hopped onto the freeway and headed west to 93 north. Nice little ride through small towns. An hour or so up to Polson and a hotel. On the way though, I think I killed a fairy. All of a sudden

Man, what the heck was that? I didn’t want to try and wipe it off as I wouldn’t be able to see. I haven’t had such an insect blocking encounter since Virginia and the big June Bug encounter!

I have no idea what it was, but it certainly left its mark.

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

Oregon: Coos Bay to Washington: Walla Walla

Jeanne and I had a discussion on the adjustable windscreen on the Concours. When up all the way, it pulls me forward to the screen so I was suspecting Jeanne was getting more of a breeze and maybe more disturbance than was necessary. But in checking, she claims it’s actually a little warmer for her. Since temps were in the low 50’s and it was drizzly, it was an important check.

We got breakfast from the hotel, donned our rain gear (and it was a bit constricting around the right knee), and headed on our way. We continued up the coast however with the temps and drizzle, we decided we’d have a nicer ride further inland. In Reedsport, we made the right turn on 38 and headed east to I-5. It was quite a nice road next to the Umpqua River, nice sweepers at good speeds. At Scottsburg, we stopped for a nice pic of the bridge.

And Jeanne

We stopped in Anlauf on I5 and removed our rain gear as it was a touch on the warm side 🙂

After that it was basically just riding north to Portland, following 205 around to 84 east. We followed the Columbia River east, enjoying the scenery and generally enjoying the ride. I’d been up this way before back when I visited my daughter who was living in Portland at the time. It gradually got hotter of course as we got closer to where 84 turns south, going from around 70F up to the mid 90’s. Of course I missed the quick sign to Walla Walla and had to jump off at 930 to go north to 730. We stopped in Irrigon (where gas was $3.99 a gallon!) and followed 730 to Umatilla.

As temps were up there and we were away from moister air, I was able to feel cooler when I opened up my sleeves. The sweat cooled me down quite well 🙂 At certain positions, the jacket would balloon up quite fully and be cool.

I was in the right lane approaching a light when a semi-truck pulled out when I was quite close. After the light changed, I followed the cars in the left lane and then scooted around the idiot. I learned later that folks who drive the larger vehicles will pull out even when there may not be enough space knowing people in cars (and on bikes) may be upset, but will stop and they’ll be able to get into traffic quicker. It increases the chance of an accident of course, especially nowadays when too many people are texting or otherwise distracted.

Not long after, we arrived in Walla Walla and after a bit of turning around, we found the hotel. Dropped off the gear and headed out for a walk. We arrived earlier than normal so we could go strolling and Jeanne spotted a book, crafts, and GAME store. Many of the places were closed as we walked by and stopped in at Olive for dinner. Sadly the food wasn’t all that (at $50 and the Tuscan Beef sandwich was mostly bread) and since there were no servers, I didn’t get any refills so I was sad 🙁

After we continue walking and passed the Starbucks (they’re everywhere!) to the Book store. We went in expecting books and suddenly games. Lots of Games. Lots and lots of games. Woah, this is pretty cool. It’s a college town so I guess there’s some expectation of good reading and games but the size of the collection was a lot larger than I expected. 🙂 While I was looking at books, Jeanne spoke with the owner (or at least the person responsible for the games 🙂 ) and was getting me to show off my collection of games. We had a great discussion of games, which ones were appropriate for what sized groups, which ones I liked, which are fun, which are resource gathering, just general gamers discussing games 🙂

I snagged an interesting Miskatonic horror type book and a pack of Pinochle cards. 🙂

Next we headed over to Wingman as Jeanne was jonesing for dessert.

I got myself a carafe of soda (diet) and to the surprise of the server, finished it off 🙂

After we headed back to the room and relaxed a bit. I’ve been keeping track of receipts in part because of the prep I’d done for the trip so I was writing it in the book and storing away the receipts. I’m pretty sure we missed a few so far but we were keeping pretty good track.

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment

California: Eureka to Oregon: Coos Bay

I let Jeanne sleep in a little while I threw on my gear and zipped back down to Piercy.

Nice hour ride down to the Patriot gas station. When I got there the lady didn’t know what I was talking about so she started hunting around the counter, drawers, etc looking for the card and wasn’t able to find it. She called the guy who was on yesterday and she still couldn’t find it. He came over from his place and hunted around as well until finding it over under the cigarettes. The guy was a bit grumpy though, I guess he didn’t want to wake up and come back to work 🙂 I did thank the guy profusely though. Turns out per the lady cards are supposed to be dropped into the safe. The guy held it until the end of the shift but some of the counter folks will drop it into the safe immediately. The problem is the safe can’t be opened until Monday. That would have been a problem. But problem averted, I filled up, made sure the card was in my wallet (and was super careful every time after that 🙂 ), snagged a soda and some donuts and headed back to Eureka.

I’d told Jeanne several times that I do like to ride and that if she wanted me to stop to just tap me and we’ll stop. We did that a couple of times but not as many as I expected. Anyway we snagged breakfast at a Denny’s and scooted on out heading to Coos Bay Oregon.

Upon reaching the coast again, we pulled over to check out a beach.

There were some conservationists at the entrance to the beach.

It’s been somewhat chilly and foggy but not crazy cold. We were planning on stopping at the Redwood National Park. There are several Redwood State Parks like the one yesterday including the ‘Avenue of Giants’ which was the original road up to Eureka (and bloody slow going in part due to the sun in my eyes at every turn). In this case it’s the National one 🙂 At one point Jeanne did tap me as we passed a meadow where there were a bunch of cars parked (the road ran back to the trees so there were parked in the dirt next to the road). I took the next turn into an ancient parking lot. As I went over one of the speed humps, the bike scraped bottom! We zipped back to the meadow and while Jeanne snapped a few pics, I checked the underside of the bike.

Whew, nothing broken or even badly scraped.

Man, I gotta pee. We cruised by the Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox parking area. I stopped at the next place I could turn around, turned around, and went back to use the bathroom. Jeanne was also in dire straights as well 🙂

The hand moved and some guy was watching and talking through a loud speaker to kids climbing on his shoes and mucking with the axe. It was a bit cheesy but still cool. We hung around for a few minutes taking a break as well and checking out all the flowers.

I remember these poppers. I used to squeeze one that wasn’t open yet and pop a little water out of it.

Still pretty flowers

Okay, enough with the pictures, let’s go look at trees! 🙂 We headed out and north to the Redwoods. And of course missed the sign. We crossed the Klamath River and I realized we’d missed it. Check the map and turn around. We took the side road (Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway) up to the park ranger’s place, then turned around and parked, locked up the gear and went for a hike. We were heading for the big tree but made a right instead of a left. Still pretty cool and we did get to the big tree.

Mushrooms

Tall trees!

Now that’s Big Wood!!!

We walked back when we reached the dirt road and found the ‘Circle Path’ which took us to the big trees.

We continued to cruise up the coast of Oregon with at least one stop at the beach. It was pretty cool temp wise going up the coast running between 50 and no higher than 63 plus the coast was pretty fogged in. It took about 9 hours to get to Coos Bay. We had a meal at Kozy Kitchen, a comfort food type diner. Food was pretty good in general but certainly comfort food 🙂 We discussed the weather in Canada around Jasper and Banff. Per the weather forecast, there was a greater than 50% chance of rain. Since purpose of the trip to Jasper and Banff was to see the mountains, it might be cool but it might also be chilly and unable to even see the mountains or glaciers and it may be raining or even snowing. So we discussed it and decided to head east in Portland. We were already 2 days behind on the schedule, which isn’t a big deal on a trip really. Schedules are flexible and I generally put lots of loops and cut-through paths just in case of issues like the broken leg back home.

So we’re cutting Canada out (even after getting my Passport) and heading to Walla Walla Washington tomorrow morning. We’ll even be checking out Lolo Pass just in case.

And humorously, Jeanne is keeping me honest. No fast food so far this trip 🙂 (I don’t really count IHOP or Denny’s as ‘Fast Food’.)

Posted in 2016 - June Ride, Motorcycle Trips | Leave a comment