Thursday, June 03, 2010

Resume - 14 Days on the bike and a bit over 3500 Miles in total

after traveling over 3500 Miles on the bike in 14 days, it's time to reflect and see what would need to be changed to make it even better next time. I truly enjoyed every minute on this trip and I'm amazed how much you can do and how little you need to be happy.

But changes would be:

I need a different bike, quite honest the only way that I ever attempt such a long journey again in such conditions and different climates would be with a different bike. I'm most likely going to take the R6 up to yellow stone this summer/fall. But not sure yet.

So what would I need in this case?

  • enough space to take my shorter half with me :)
  • no chain if avoidable
  • off road able
  • heavier
  • more leg space
  • less pressure on my wrists
  • more torque in the lower rpm range
  • at least a 5 gallon fuel tank
so looking at this list, I can't have it all. But it would boil down to any of these three bikes. If we only remove one point.

Off Road/touring - has all of these points

BMW 1150GS, this would be the perfect bike, but way to pricey. Even used, but incredible reliable and lasts well over 100k miles.

Off Road Touring - with chain drive and limited off road use

Suzuki 'I am ugly' V-Strom

somewhat affordable, since the price starts at 6500$ new, problem is they are in so high demand that they can't be found use in my area. Chain driven, but can be equipped with a center stand and so easier maintenance. They are known to last 100k+ miles.

Touring with no off roading capabilities

There are lots of bikes in this area, but most likely it would be a used cruiser or goldwing or fjr.

This would be most likely a used shadow, since they are very reliable and cheap to pickup

a late 90s goldwing

or the 1300 FJR

So at the end of the day it will be most likely a shadow or vstrom or FJR. Depending what I can find and get away with. I know I will love the V-Strom and FJR, I have driven both. On the shadow I don't know if my back agrees, but it's the cheapest and can be found for under 3000$. It would give me the chance to share some parts of my hobby with Ashley. I'm also not going to be able to get more than like 2-3k for the R6 anymore, since I now have to drive it till it falls apart. 

It has over 26k miles on it, which is very unusual for a sportsbike, but nothing for a cruiser or tourer.

Other things, not motorcycle related
  • warmer sleeping bag, mine is way to cold
  • spotting scope, to much wildlife around me
  • 18-200mm VR,  missed out on so many great pictures, because my 200mm lens is to big and had to stay home
  • a sturdier knife, my fixed blade promptly bend...
  • a fishing pole
  • a skillet

Day 14 - Benton to Twain Harte via Sonora Pass

on my last day of my journey I attempted to go over Sonora Pass again, which is now open again. And to say it's stunning, would be a slight understatement.

I would easily describe this as the most stunning part of the whole trip and also most challenging part. I think I never got higher than 3rd gear on the bike.

as you can see the pass is in the distance and still covered in snow
we are entering the pass by now and are still in the snow free zone, but it's pretty curvy and for some reasons people are advised to not use trailers.
at this point we are a bit higher and surround by snow and trees. The pass tops out at 9715 feet and it's one of the most beautiful rides I have ever done. I can't wait todo it again, maybe tomorrow...

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Day 13 - Death Valley to Benton Hot Springs

after spending a couple more hours in Death Valley I decided to start my journey back home and so took of from Death Valley.

At this point I had no Idea yet were to spend the night, except it's going to be a campground somewhere on the 395. After a couple of hours I reached the mamouth lakes in Mono county and was shocked to hear that the temperature drops below freezing at night time.

so I told a young ranger, lets call her Miss Ranger, about my journey and she told meshe knows the perfect spot for me. So I was informed about the Benton Hot Spring, which were only an hour away from my current location and so I decided to go there.

65 miles later, I arrived to be greated by this sight

and off I was to the registration and getting my private hot tub, camp site and other stuff sorted out. Which turned out to be a blessing and a course.

There were also a couple of old tractors

After soaking in this tub for 90 minutes, I was just to lazy to cook anything and decided to eat the canned tuna, I was transporting with me since 13 days. Bad idea...

But the hot tubs were wonderful warm and relaxing and put me right to sleep. Now I just have to go there again with my shorter half as soon as I get a bigger bike.


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