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Messages - DesignFlaw06

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Your Ride Reports / Re: Off to the Races!
« on: June 06, 2014, 07:15:08 AM »
Looks like you had a great trip. My experience with motorcycle racing is watching the Daytona 200 live about 6 years ago. Interesting to watch, but the real excitement comes in the last few laps. I suppose I've also been to a couple of motorcycle drag races. My cousin is related by marriage to Larry "Spiderman" McBridge, who holds several drag racing records. At one point, he was the fastest man on 2 wheels. Don't know if that's still true, but I do know he was the first man to get into the 5's.

I see you've noticed the SS Badger. That ferry can hold quite a bit more than the one from Madison to Muskegon. The Badger will take semis across even. We took the Badger a couple of times when we were kids. The EPA has been trying for years to shut that ferry down. The Badger is one of the few vessels that I know of that runs on coal and it dumps the ash into Lake Michigan. They keep finding ways to extend service, but I think eventually it will either have to convert to some other method of propulsion or be shut down. The former may be too expensive to justify, which would be a huge loss to both cities.

Thanks for sharing!

I've only heard some things about it. Supposed to be more eclectic than Sturgis or Daytona. I know there is good riding up that way for sure.

I've been to Daytona and we trailered our bikes there. There was so much to do, I put more miles on demo bikes than I did on my own. Could have flown there with a helmet and had just as good of a time. But then again, Florida riding probably doesn't compare to New England.

Stablemates / Re: My 2006 FJR1300
« on: June 02, 2014, 09:38:09 AM »
I'm 2 for 2 with getting people to jump ship after riding my bike. HH is right, the FZ1 is much sportier and he just added bags. But there are a lot of similarities and there even FJR guys that use FZ1 parts on their bike. The FZ1 mirrors are very common to see on FJRs. You can set the FJR up to go either way.

Being a big guy, comfort is a priority for me. I like an upright riding position and the knee bend on the FJR doesn't bother me. I don't know about the FZ1, but almost everything is adjustable on the FJR. The seat has 2 different heights, the bars have 3 different positions, and the windshield is (for Kitch) dynamically adjustable. There are also adjustable fairings that direct the heat toward you or away from you for cold weather or warm weather riding. It really helped me dial in the comfort. And then the bar risers and the Russell seat just added to it.

But with a size 15 boot, I'm more likely to hit that before I hit the peg. There's only so far you can lift your foot in the corners. Tends to be the right foot more than the left, just because of shifting.

Your Ride Reports / Re: Letting Go
« on: June 01, 2014, 08:41:21 AM »
That is a great ride report and good example of a ride report template. And I'll second that there are calendar contest entires in there.

I am also sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'm glad she didn't pass while you were on your trip.

Stablemates / Re: No stable any longer...
« on: June 01, 2014, 08:26:07 AM »
I do like those FJRs.  Be nice to get a test ride on one sometime to see if it's as great as everyone says they are.  But that's down the road a bit.  I think my NH and I are going to be paired for a little while yet.

Don't do it unless you have the money to buy one.

Your Ride Reports / Re: 2014 Maiden Ride, Gloucester, MA
« on: June 01, 2014, 08:22:21 AM »
Good tradition to have, the hot dog looks inviting. I'd drive an hour for one of those.

Stablemates / Re: My 2006 FJR1300
« on: May 30, 2014, 07:16:11 PM »
The stripes were on there.
I love the stripes down the sides of the fairing.  Did you do those yourself as well?

Those were on there when I bought them. I liked the look of the stock FJR and never would have thought of putting the stripes on myself. But they've really grown on me and I love the way they look.

Stablemates / My 2006 FJR1300
« on: May 30, 2014, 01:23:40 PM »

My Nighthawk I had was totaled in an ill-fated trailering attempt to get out to Rhode Island. A dent in the tank is all it took. My brother has it now, and the dent is fixed. So it went to a good home.

But I had been eyeing an FJR for a while before that happened. Went to Bike Week in Daytona and demoed almost exclusively sport touring bikes. I had done my homework, but I had no reason to buy a new bike according to my wife. Then the Rhode Island trip happened and it surprised me when they totaled it. Could I have bought it back and fixed the dent? Yep. But I never brought that up as an option. Next thing I knew, I was driving to buy this gem with 6800 miles on it. It was at a Honda dealer going out of business, so I took advantage of the situation. Picked it up for $6k in 2009. I could still get more than that now for it, so I think I did alright.

Spent a lot of time, money, and effort customizing it the way I want. I think I've turned it into a great sport-tourer, with the emphasis on tourer.

Here's a lit of things I've added:

Yamaha Top Box with backrest
Russel Day Long Seat
J&M CB with Intercom
Audiovox Cruise Control
Heated Grips
VStream windshield
Kinivo Bluetooth adapter with custom wired Prev/Next track buttons
Frame Sliders
Custom installed Tylt Inductive Charger in glove compartment

I don't see another bike on the horizon that I would enjoy more.

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: 92 NH 750
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:46:50 PM »
Did you do the paint yourself or have that done? It looks nice. Thought it was just the lighting at first.

Stablemates / Re: No stable any longer...
« on: May 28, 2014, 07:24:29 AM »
Originally when I bought my FJR, I thought I still wanted a Nighthawk in the stable.

However, since buying the FJR, I have ridden a 650, 700S, and a 750. I can honestly say that the Nighthawks would collect dust if they were in my garage. Loved the bikes when I had them, and I still love the 700S look. But they served their purpose and I've moved on.

Except now I'm eyeing a Gen 3 FJR.  drooler1

Your Ride Reports / Re: Just another Thursday Ride in The Rockies
« on: May 27, 2014, 08:53:03 PM »
Not a bad way to spend a Thursday.

Don't you miss that CB1000?

Your Ride Reports / Re: Lake Superior Circle Tour - 2012
« on: May 27, 2014, 01:40:49 PM »
Day 5 - Marathon, ON to St. Ignace, MI (310 miles)

Got an early start, since it was going to be a long day.

We made a stop at Old Woman Bay for some pictures:

At one of our stopping points, we met this couple. They were from Germany, riding somed Hondas that have been decked out for riding. They bought the bikes, had them shipped to the tip of South America. They worked their way up to Central America in about 6 months and stored the bikes so they could return to work. After 6 months, they were coming back to finish their trip. The goal was to make it to Alaska, at which point they would abandon the bikes and fly back home. The blog of thier journey can be found here.

When we got to the hotel in St. Ignace, we took some pictures of the bikes. But it was a pretty tame night after dinner.

The boys with toys. What do we see in the background? The Big Mac!

Day 6 - St. Ignace, MI to Muskegon, MI (320 miles)

Time to go home. But why not do it the scenic way? Step 1: Cross the Mackinac Bridge. This is quite an experience. The bridge is 5 miles long, with gusting winds. The outside lane is pavement, the inside lane is grating. But it always seems to be in the process of painting, so a majority of the riding is forced on to the grating, adding another fun element. From there, we followed the coast along Lake Michigan. We rode through the Tunnel of Trees, a highlight in that part of the state. Slowly we made our way to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. My mother-in-law works there for the summers, so we stopped for a visit.

The weather turned decent that day and it was a great day to visit the park.

After going through the park, we worked our way back down the coast. Some of the views along Highway 22 are spectacular. But as we got closer and closer to home, the more anxious we got to be done. Another long day, but somehow as you recognize sights, it gets easier. Nearly 1700 miles when it was all said and done. Another fantastic trip.

Your Ride Reports / Re: Lake Superior Circle Tour - 2012
« on: May 27, 2014, 01:39:50 PM »
Day 3 - Duluth, MN to Thunder Bay, ON (200 miles)

From here. we're on our way using the Lake Superior Circle Tour as a guide. It was a brisk morning and so we threw rain gear on to keep warm. Turns out to be useful at our first photo stop.

Here we are at Gooseberry Falls.

After the falls, the weather improved a little but not much. The guys were able to peel the rain gear off, but the girls chose to stay warm. Our next stop was something I was looking forward to. World's Best Donuts in Grand Marias, MN. I ran into the store and shouted "Congratulations! You did it!". After a sample of 1 or 2, maybe 3 or 4 (stop judging me), I can say they would certainly be in the running.

Proof I was there.

We continued along, following the coast as we crossed the border into Canada. We moved along to Thunder Bay. We learned before that making reservations ahead of time can be a mistake. This time, we might have learned the opposite. Apparently it was parents weekend or something going on. But it caused every hotel room to be booked in Thunder Bay. The real issue was there wasn't much past there in the way of civilization. Fortunately, we managed to find 2 rooms that we a bit over budget. But we didn't have much of an option and it was better than the alternative.

Day 4 - Thunder Bay, ON to Marathon, ON (230 miles)

We didn't get far once we hit the road. We stopped at the Terry Fox memorial outlook point. Quite an impressive story. After Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer, he lost his leg to the disease. With the help of an artificial leg, he set out to raise money for cancer research by going on a Forrest Gump type run. His goal was to start in Newfoundland with his foot in the Atlantic Ocean and dip his foot in the Pacific Ocean when was done. He ran the equivalent of a marathon a day until the cancer overcame his ability and was forced to give up his journey near this point. A memorial was dedicated to his journey.

A statue of Terry Fox:

A map is at the base, we made our mark:

From the lookout:

From there, we followed the recommendation to go through Sleeping Giant Park. What a mistake! It was 20 miles off the main road into this park. In that 20 miles, I bet we saw 30 deer. White knuckled ride the entire way, it was not fun. To top it all off, at the end of the road, it wasn't all that impressive. A rocky shoreline along a giant lake we were riding along anyway. There was a small connivence store that was closed as well. Worst of all, we had to go back out Deer Road! Luckily we got out without incident, but it was not enjoyable.

Some pictures at the end of the road in the park:

How many people can you count in this picture? (Hint: There's more than 2 and less than 3)

This little guy decided to make an appearance on the side of the road. LeAnne wasn't too thrilled about me stopping to taking a picture, fearing Mama Bear wasn't too far behind. We saw this one's baby brother as they both scampered off.

Onward to Aguasbon Falls for another photo opportunity, as suggested by the guide.

From there, we originally planned to go to Wawa. But quickly realized that it would be a stretch to get there. Marathon was a much better option for lodging, or so we thought. Turns out we stayed in a dump of a motel called the Zero-100 Motor Inn. Last place to have rooms again, forcing us into a smoking room. None of us smoke, so the stench made for a rough night of sleep.

Your Ride Reports / Lake Superior Circle Tour - 2012
« on: May 27, 2014, 01:38:38 PM »
 Another delayed report from last year. I'll try to make up for it.
This year's objective was to do the Lake Superior Circle Tour. Unfortunately, Doug & Lori, who usually ride with us, couldn't join us this year. Doug received some medical news just before we were supposed to leave. Everything turned out to be fine in the end, but they were in no mood to go on a trip at that time. So it became a family ordeal with Mom, Dad, my wife LeAnne, and myself.

Day 1 - Muskegon, MI to Manitowoc, WI (146 miles riding, 90 miles floating)

The first day was not about the scenic tour, it was more about supporting friends and visiting with old ones. There weren't many pictures this day, since we were on the move. We started the day by crossing on the Lake Express Ferry. We've done this before, so it really wasn't anything special. Some of you remember the story about the 12 motorcyclists that here run into by a cage.  Those 12 bikes were from Muskegon, and we happened to know one of them who ended up in critical condition. His fiance was a bartender at our golf club. Since Doug was still in critical condition, Christi (his fiance) was still by his side at Thena Medical Center. Doug's heart stopped 6 times while they airlifted him to the hospital. Needless to say, it was a miracle he survived. We visited mainly with Christi as Doug wasn't up to having visitors. It was very promising to hear that after nearly a month, he was going to be OK. I'm happy to repot that he is on the way to making a full recovery down in Florida and he and Christi are now married.

After about 3 PM, we left Thena Medical Center and blasted over to Manitowoc, WI. The reason for this detour was to meet up with old friends. My wife and my former youth pastor lived on the east side of Wisconsin. It happened to be that particular weekend, Curt was going to Manitowoc for a job interview with his wife and daughter. They were staying the night in a hotel, which we were also able to stay at and spend the evening with them. Curt is actually the pastor that married my wife and me. Curt was a big part of my life as a teenager growing up and it was good to see him again.

Day 2 - Manitowoc, WI to Duluth, MN (376 miles)

In the morning, we met Curt and family for breakfast. Before we parted ways, we took pictures of each other's family.

Curt did end up getting the job and moved to Manitowoc shortly thereafter.

Had another long stretch today as we needed to make some time. We could spend another few days following the coast of Wisconsin, but that wasn't the goal was it? We needed to reach Duluth, Mn that night. Blast up the Highway 2, back in Michigan's U.P. This is quite possibly the most boring road in the country. A necessary evil though, the real journey begins the next day.

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: LiterHawk
« on: May 27, 2014, 07:25:42 AM »
You sound like you've been tlaking to SOQS!  llaugh1

Yours says that too!?

Your Ride Reports / Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:57:15 PM »
The next morning, before we hit the road, we took a tour through Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is a rock formation that is created by water working its way through a cavern. The sun shines through there, creating all kinds of colors through the rocks. I wish I had a better camera when I was there and knew how to use it.

The motley crew after exiting the canyon.

After the canyon, we worked our way up toward Colorado. But we had to stop at the 4 corners.

Crashed for the night in Durango, CO. There was some sort of festival going on in the town. Made it a nice place to hangout, listening to some music and enjoy the festivities.

The next morning begins our last day of riding, heading up the Million Dollar Highway back to Grand Junction.

Brad, showing some Nighthawk love.

Quite a view down the highway. A great road if you ever get a chance.

Made it back to Grand Junction later that evening. We left the truck and trailer at the HD dealer that Keith and Tyler rented their bikes. Worked out well as they also had the means to get Brad's Nighthawk in and out of the truck bed.

Evidently, Brad wasn't ready to be done riding.

Spent one last night with Keith and Tyler. It was nice to see them and it doesn't happen that often. Actually as soon as they got back home, they flew out to Paris with the rest of the family the next day. They went to visit their daughter that lives there. The Michigan 5 headed back Saturday morning, but we ended up breaking the trip up a little. Rested for the night somewhere in Nebraska or Iowa. Can't recall where. Rolled in on Sunday evening. Everybody made it home, safe and sound. I can't wait to do another trip like this!

Your Ride Reports / Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:56:52 PM »
On to Wednesday. The Grand Canyon is our destination for the morning.

Quite a view, I had never been here before.

Brad already finds his way out on to the edge.

Hard to take a bad picture out here.

Can't let my brother show us up, so Dad and I wandered out to the edge.

Leaving there, we made our way to Page, AZ. We crossed over the Navajo Bridge near Marble Canyon. There are actually 2 bridges here. The original bridge has been turned into a pedestrian walkway after the bridge was deemed to be unfit for traffic load. The new one was constructed in the 1990's and the site has turned into a small touristy stop.

Page, AZ was a town created to house workers constructing the Glen Canyon Dam. This is where we stayed the night. Quite a short day as far as riding was concerned so we toured the Glen Canyon Dam. Very similar to the Hoover Dam and is actually larger is some respects. Not quite as high, but it is wider than the Hoover.

Couple of spots to get some good shots of the Colorado River and the dam. More climbing out on places we probably shouldn't have been.

Like a postcard, right?

Your Ride Reports / Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:56:12 PM »
We made our way to our destination, Escalante, UT. The closer we got, the more it looked like rain. We managed to pull under the eve of the Prospector Inn when the skies let loose. Just in time.

Next morning, we continued through Capitol Reef on the way to Bryce Canyon. This was my favorite stopping point during the trip. A fantastic viewpoint. Its a dead end road all the way up. You make the trip to the top so that all the pull off spots are on the right during the trip down.

This was the viewpoint from our first stop. If you look at the top of the rocks, there are 5 dots. Only Steve and Keith elected to not climb up there.

Got Nick out of his comfort zone a bit. Even got a smile out of him. Maybe it was just gas.

Papa Bear and his two cubs.

Standing on top of the world, 9,105 feet in the air.

Looking down at the chickens who opted not to come.

All 6 Searles in a row.

Hard not to be in awe.

A lot of climbing out to places we probably weren't supposed to be.

These rock formations at the bottom are called hoodoos.

Notice in the picture above that the skies are looking a little dark. These mountain storms can sneak up in no time. Once we realized it was coming, we headed out. The problem is so did everyone else. With one way out, we coasted down in a large traffic jam.

In our haste, nobody put rain gear on. We all thought we'd make it. We were wrong.

Kanab was our resting point for the night. A neat little town, known as Little Hollywood. A popular filming locations for westerns.

This is the old barn, where horses were stored during filming. Silver stayed here on numerous occasions. Now it is a make-shift movie theater where they play a movie filmed in Kanab every night. We watched a John Wayne flick, In Old Oklahoma.

Your Ride Reports / Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:53:34 PM »
 The goal for the day was to make it to Monticello, UT. But seeing how we got an early start and the heat was already getting to us, Steve decided to treat us with a rafting trip down the Colorado River. Was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Once that was done, we figured we still had time to hit Canyonlands National Park before we turned in for the night.

It was a fun road into the park, but the park wasn't that interesting. Nice scenery though.

The route back to Monticello was a bit more interesting. Our calculation for time was a little off. By the time we reached the park, it was dusk. Since the road in was a dead end, we had to go back the way we came. We opted to take a shortcut on a no-name road. Thought it would save us time. The first little bit was nice, but then the attack began. On the CB, I hear "CRITTERS IN THE ROAD! CRITTERS IN THE ROAD!". Now when most people say critter, you think of squirrels, rabbits, maybea  skunk or possum. Nick and I were riding in the back and come around the corner to see a cow in the road. Some critter. But this was no ordinary cow, it was a Utah Darting Cow! It proceeded to charge at us with the rest of the heard not far behind. AT that point it was dark and we are all white knuckled on the bars. Then we came across either a moose or an elk (too dark to tell), more cows, and a bear all in the span of a couple miles.

The light at the end of the tunnel, finally we see street lights for Monticello. Breathe, relax. Then another alarm on the CB. "I JUST HIT A DEER! I JUST HIT A DEER!" What Dad meant to say is a deer just hit him. Ran right into the side of the Goldwing, which managed to stay upright. The deer buckled and slip between Steve and Brad. Tyler and Keith managed to swerve around him and Nick and I watched it limp off into the woods. Hopefully it died.

After 7 new pairs of underwear and a couple cocktails, we turned in for the night.

Your Ride Reports / Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:40:19 PM »

Well this ride report is long overdue, considering that it was at the end of July back in 2012. This gets quite lengthy, my apologies. Wish I could do justice to this trip.

A family adventure: The Searles Southwest Tour 2012!

The attendance list:

Barry - My dad, rides a 1999 Goldwing SE
Tim - Me, riding the 2006 FJR1300
Brad - My brother, riding my old 2002 Nighthawk 720
Steve - My uncle from Marshall, MI, riding a 1995? Goldwing SS (his own custom creation)
Nick - College roommate coming from Commerce Township, MI and had the trailer we needed. He's riding a 2008 Triumph Sprint ST
Keith - My other uncle, flying in from Seattle, WA riding a rented 2012 HD Heritage Softail
Tyler - My cousin, Keith's son, also riding a rented 2012 HD Heritage Softail
The plan was to trailer to Grand Junction, CO to meet Keith and Tyler. Then we ride from there on out.

Here's the rig that took us there. Drove straight through, just alternating drivers

A look inside the trailer.

The stats of the trip to Grand Junction.

In the cab:
5 guys x Avg Weight of 275 lbs each.

In the bed:
1 Nighthawk 750 at 500 lbs

In the Trailer:
2 Goldwings at 900 lbs each
1 FJR at 650 lbs
1 Sprint ST at 530 lbs

Total Weight in passengers and bikes: 4,885 Lbs

24 Hours inside a 2009 GMC Sierra 1500

320 gallons of fuel, averaging 7.88 MPG at an average price of $3.58/gallon

Trip of a lifetime: Priceless!

One small miscalculation about remaining distance once the low fuel light comes on (and exits are hard to come by going out west):

We got an early start, which was the plan for the entire trip. Didn't want to push the limits for heat or distance. Our first stop was Arches National Park.

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: '85 700s
« on: May 26, 2014, 07:41:43 PM »
The bike that made me want to start riding. Could never find one, and sure not for that price.

Great ride!

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