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Topics - DesignFlaw06

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General Motorcycle Discussion / Another police motorcycle - Da Lat, Vietnam
« on: February 21, 2018, 01:56:19 PM »

Your Ride Reports / 2017 Black Hills Rally - Sturgis without Sturgis
« on: August 04, 2017, 01:07:45 PM »
Time for another long weekend ride.  A Nighthawk Rally without any Nighthawks.  Four of us trailered from Michigan, one trailered from Kentucky to ride in western South Dakota.  Basically Sturgis, without Sturgis or the million bikes.  We arrived at the hotel around midnight and we were on the road a little after 9 AM, since we had to unload the bikes and such.   I was all set to try out my new GoPro Hero 5, when I realized the night before that I was missing the remote cable. 


We modified the route to hit Best Buy first thing and see if they had the remote cable.  If they did, great, if not, I was just going to buy extra batteries and make the best of it. They had the remotes, but no cable.  Remotes are $80, which I really didn't want to spend.  When I explained my predicament to the manager,  he offered me employee pricing on the remote which was $50.  You know what?  This is what I bought the GoPro for and I'm not going to be here again any time soon.  Plus we went out of our way for me to go to Best Buy.  A $50 mistake doesn't even crack my top fifty most expensive mistakes, so I bought it.

It was still early, but we had a vast wasteland ahead of us so we ate lunch in Rapid City.  Firehouse Brewing Co. was our selection and it was decent enough.  They have tons of billboards along I-90 with old fire trucks in various configurations.

The new remote had a charge on it, so I slapped it on the bike and took off.  It takes some nice pictures.  Our Kentucky friend Jim mentioned there was a missile silo nearby.   A quick Google search showed us that it was right where we were going today.  Well almost.  The historical Monument Missile complex is just a history museum.  We wanted to see the rocket!  The park ranger said the actual silo was about 15 minutes west down I-90 and there was a park ranger there for another 45 minutes.

The air conditioned building felt nice, but we wanted to check out the silo so off we went.

This is the Delta 09 launch site.  It held a 1.2 megaton nuclear warhead.  Had we missed the park ranger, we would have only been able to see this from the road.  There are motion sensors on the property that is likely to get you arrested if caught.

Sadly there was no launch button I could press. :(

The park ranger was very knowledgeable.  Part of the START treaty signed by Bush and Gorbachev allowed a couple silos to be used as historical sites on both sides.  Russians are welcome to inspect this property at any time for any reason.  The ranger said there has only been one visit.  He has a picture of Colin Powell at the site with the Russians for that visit.

If the time came to launch, the cover that the kid is standing on would open via an explosive charge.  During the test, that entire steel / concrete structure blew off the tracks, through the fence, and over 100 yards beyond.  Not only did it take out the fence directly behind it, but it took the rest of the fence surrounding it out too.

OK, enough history lessons.  There's riding to do in the Badlands, which was the destination for this particular loop of the trip.  With the later start, the run to Best Buy, and the missile silo, the day was getting away from us.  There was a benefit to the silo stop as we watched a small rain storm fall over where we were going to be riding.  Spent enough time off the bikes to miss that shower.

Like most scenic spots, pictures don't really do this place justice.

Believe it or not, there are roads in there.

There wasn't much traffic and most of the cars pulled over if we caught them.  We decided to do a couple action shots.  This one was my favorite.

After that, it was late enough to put us in "Get Back" mode.  We had to take a 9 mile gravel road shortcut and it was paved from there on out.  There was a section towards the bottom of the route, Rt 2 I believe where we opened it up a little bit.  Not a car, building, or person in sight on a straight road slightly downhill.  We weren't at "Go To Jail" speeds, but clipped along pretty good.  As we were approaching the end of the road, we finally saw another car that lit up like a Christmas tree once he saw us.  Crap.

Fortunately, he motioned for us to slow down as he went by.  I was already slowing down anticipating getting pulled over.  That was all we saw of him, but still followed his directions and toned it down a bit for the rest of the way. 

Quick bite to eat and got to bed.  Another big day coming up.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Motorcycles are made from cows!
« on: January 24, 2017, 08:45:06 AM »

In the WTF category, somehow a trade battle over beef is affecting motorcycle sales. I can't even fathom this level of stupidity.

If this somehow goes through, I'm betting you're going to start seeing more bikes at the 501cc mark.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Honda's Riding Assist
« on: January 06, 2017, 06:40:32 AM »

Debuted at CES:

This stuff isn't for everyone, but I could see this type of tech being very beneficial to some.  I've seen quite a few people tip over at a standstill because they were too short or not strong enough.  I rode with a guy once who had no business being on a Goldwing.  He tipped over at every gas station.  Anytime he tried to put the kickstand down actually.  He kept it even by falling over on the opposite side from the time before.


The Shire Rally ride report.

Normally there are 4 of us that trailer together, but I had a work trip to London, ON that had to be coupled in.  Luckily, it was on the way to New Hampshire.  The customer I had to visit also rode a FJR which is also why I wanted to take the bike.  We hoped to have time to go riding together, but it didn't work out.  Once I was done, I'd just ride until I got to the hotel or the other guys caught up.  But ugh, was it hot. 

I crossed into Canada in Port Huron / Sarnia.  This was Tuesday, probably around noon.  Traffic is backed up on the bridge.  The only redeeming thing is the breeze from the water helping cool it down a little.  Still roasting in the sun, I didn't want the engine heat from the bike so I hit the kill switch.  I was on the down slope and was just able to coast down as traffic allowed.  When I got to the bottom, I realized I hadn't put the bike to just accessory (for music), but I had left it on.  Headlights, taillights, etc.  Press the start button, *click*.  Nothing.  Had to do the waddle of shame to border patrol.  I asked the girl if they let idiots into Canada.  She responded "Don't worry, most of them already live here!"

Felt stupid, got a jump but didn't get a picture.   It was more me looking like border patrol decided to search my vehicle.  Ugh.  But I got on my way...

I got done with my business in London earlier than I expected to.   The guys that were coming behind me in the trailer got a later start than they expected to.  I had roughly a 7 hour advantage on them so I decided I would just keep riding.  From London, I could either go through Montreal or Niagara Falls.  Time-wise it was about the same.  One way was about 80% chance of rain, the other was 40%.

40% is better than 80%

Niagara Falls crossing seemed like the better bet.  I stopped and took some pictures of the falls.  I had my drone with me and thought about flying, but it was way too windy.  After that, it was a nightmare getting through Buffalo due to traffic.  It was smooth sailing once I was through.  The mission was miles and I was going to get as many dry miles as I could in.  My goal was Syracuse, but once I got there, it hadn't rained a drop.  It was still supposed to rain the next day, so I thought riding at night was better than riding in the rain.  I pushed it to Albany and got there around 11 PM.

I woke up the next morning and pleasantly surprised that the forecast had changed.  It was supposed to be nice most of the day with rain in the evening.  It was only 4 hours from my hotel to Conway, NH where we were staying.  Took some roads less traveled and tried finding some new sites to see.  My first stop was in Keene, NH.  This is where the movie Jumanji was filmed with the late great Robin Williams.  As you can see, the Parrish Shoes sign from the movie is still painted on the side of the building.

It was a busy little town with one confusing traffic circle.  I still have no idea how the crosswalks worked.  But I pulled into a parking spot and the meter still had time.  Actually, it had over an hour on it.  Wow, must be my lucky day!  I got my picture of the sign and then wandered into a local shop for some lunch.  I ended up talking to the girl behind the counter for a good 30-40 minutes, maybe longer.  She talked about some memories from when the movie was being filmed.  The Parrish Shoes sign was about all that remained.  Once Robin Williams passed away, there was a makeshift memorial at the sign for a while.  A similar thing happened to the Mrs. Doubtfire house apparently.

Walked back to the bike to find a nice little envelope wedged in my seat.  I looked at the meter and I still had 5 minutes left?  What the hell?  I should have taken a picture of the meter.  Basically, I was off by one so the meter I thought was mine turned out to be the car next to me.  Doh!  That ticket was written about 5 minutes before I got there too.  Oh well.  Turns out the place to pay it was right across the street.   The girl behind the desk had no sympathy and rightfully so.

The next stop was Warren, NH.  The town is famous for two things.  1) Being the smallest town of the 6 named Warren in all of New England and 2) this Redstone Rocket.  Some retired Army sergeant came across a bunch of these Redstone Rocket shells.  For some reason, he thought he'd bring it up to his hometown of Warren.  I think they were in Alabama or someplace south.  He got a ton of tickets for not having permit to transport something that size.  Something different, but I would have never stopped there in the first place.

After seeing the rocket, I checked the weather.  Time to get a move on.  It was a fun ride to the hotel.  Kancamagus Highway was a blast to ride. I made it to the hotel, unloaded, and got the cover on the bike.  It wasn't long after, I took this picture. Met up with Dan and Kitch.  The trailering crew was still on their way.  When they arrived, the picture above was the least amount of rain they saw.  Once it was clear that we wouldn't be meeting up along the way, they chose Montreal and it never stopped raining.  Guess I made the right call.

One of the incentives for this particular destination was to visit Searles Castle.   My last name is Searles and I thought it was cool that there was a namesake castle.  The rest of the group was happy to indulge me.  The castle is pretty much used as an event venue now.  A nunnery owns it and leases it to an event company.  I was in contact with them ahead of time to make sure it was OK.

The event staff was busy settings things up, but they let us wander wherever we wanted and take as many pictures as we liked. The spiral road up was really cool.  I took the drone out and shot some video as well.  Here's what I put together from it. 

A look of the inside.  The events were held in a large tent outside, near where the bikes were parked.  The inside of the castle wasn't used for any events.  Mostly just sitting rooms or someplace a bride & bridesmaids might get ready, or something.

There was a tower just outside the main gate.  The bottom was used as storage for lawn equipment.  You couldn't see any of it when the door was closed.  The top of the tower was home to pigeons and pigeon crap.  The 2nd story of the tower is where this photo was taken.  The white triangle on the left is the event tent.  You can see more of the tower in the video.

I put together a video of our visit. 

I should have stolen this sign.  Put it on my driveway or something.

The ride down to the castle wasn't all that exhilarating, but I was coordinating a time with the event staff.  The way back was a little more relaxed.   We spent more time than I had planned on at the castle so we altered the route back.  Just the old fashioned way by looking at a map and heading in that general direction.  Turned out to be a great ride back to the hotel.

Cookies & Cream Belgian Waffle.  It's better than it sounds even.  And yes, that is chocolate milk I am having.

This was Saturday morning's breakfast.  We were headed up to Mount Washington after this and then had a couple hundred mile ride afterwards.

It costs $17 for a motorcycle to climb Mount Washington.  A bit steep (HA! steep) but since we were there, we paid for it.

About 1 mile of the 7.5 miles is unpaved gravel.  There was a Toyota FJ that was barely idling up the hill.  Arguably the most capable vehicle of going up the road was making us almost stall out.  Had there not been 7 cars behind him and then us, I would have gone around. 

This was taken at the pull off right after the gravel portion.

There is still plenty of sun here.

A couple minutes later, not as much.

Time to go! We jumped back on the bikes.  You could still see the road.  Nick decided to try and take pictures of us going up the road with a telephoto lens.  Within minutes, the fog rolled in and he was never able to see us.

He jumped back on his bike to catch up.  We had CB communication, but he wasn't near us.  The fog rolled in so thick, the only way I could see the road was the center line down by my tire.  The rest of the group just followed the brake light in front of them.

When we got closer to the top, we still couldn't see a thing.  I saw a sign that said parking right, so I turned.  The next couple of minutes were spent trying to get Nick to where we were.  The fog had shifted and he no longer saw the sign we did.  He saw an entirely different parking lot.  He eventually made it up to where we were.

We were still having trouble finding Nick and Dan.  But the rest of got a picture at the summit.

We wouldn't let Kitch put his sticker on until after we got to the top.  You get a "This bike climbed Mt. Washington" sticker as part of your $17 entry fee.

Mt. Washington weather station held the record for the highest wind speed ever recorded.  That may have been surpassed as it was 1934.  But it was 231 MPH.  The view pretty much sucked at the top so I concur with their claim.

 There is a train that can take you up, a shuttle that can drive you up, or you can insanely hike up.  The hikers were upwards of about 5 hours to climb it according to some.

It turned out as we left, we had been parking in the handicap lot.  I didn't try to, but you really just couldn't see that far.  We got admonished by one of the staff, apologized and went on our way.

This is that same pull out and we decided to stop before the gravel.

The bike on the right was a couple going up.  We chatted with them for a few minutes.   Someone that came behind them decided to pull off.  The poor guy was on a brand new Victory cruiser, easily 1000lb bike.  The gravel portion was too much for him, so he pulled off the first chance he got and waved the rest of the group up.  It's hard to tell, but there is a bit of a slope to this pull off.  When he got off, the bike went the rest of the way over.

We went over and helped him pick it up.  He was obviously embarrassed but there was no reason to give him a hard time.  We've all done something like that.  He asked me to move it a better spot, so I did.  But he also said it was his first motorcycle.  Brand new bike, all new Victory gear on.  Just no experience and even more so on a bike that size.

Kitch's Aeon Flux

Dan's wishing he had a FJR.

Nick's bike

That's what we had to look forward to even after the the gravel portion.  It's really not that bad.  An engine brake in 1st gear was easy enough, except for the car that was burning his brakes on the way down.  His brake light never went off and hogged the entire road. 

We had offered to ride down with the Victory guy.  He was still to rattled and declined.  We couldn't wait forever and still had a lot of riding to do.

After Mt. Washington, there weren't many picturesque spots.  There was a ton of great roads though.  This was once scenic thing I read about and it's called Frankenstein's Cliff.  Not sure why.  There isn't really a pullout, just a campground entrance.  Quick snap of the picture and finished out the day.  We did hit Bear Notch Road after this.  Wow, that was fun.  We had the road to ourselves and let loose on it. 

Sunday morning, we woke up to a lot of rain.  It looked like we were going to be wet all day, so the decision was made to end on a high note.  I have a knack for bringing bad weather and this trip was no different.  It would have been nice to get another good ride in, but it just wasn't worth it.  We had a lot of driving to do to get back home.  Everyone made it back without incident and we had another great trip!

General Motorcycle Discussion / New Self-Canceling Turn Signal Device
« on: February 01, 2016, 01:21:15 PM »

Here's a  new company that's developing a self canceling turn signal device.  This is based on the actual movement of the bike after turning the signal on.  Quite impressive if it acts the way it should.  I'll be interested in seeing the install and how it works.   

Smart Turn System

Could the FJR be extinct?  yikes1

Most years, the new model shows up with nothing more than a color change. There were concerns before, since new model changes usually appear in late September / early October. Nothing has shown up. Yamaha's big press release was yesterday and there was no mention of the FJR. The 2016 FJ-09 was announced earlier this fall, with just a face lift.

The 2012 ST1300 remains on Honda's website. Do they still manufacture it and only call it a 2012 because nothing has changed? I think they still make the ST overseas........

Ugh....might have to start paying attention to BMW's.

General Motorcycle Discussion / I tried an experiment last night
« on: October 16, 2015, 09:22:16 AM »
My 2006 FJR Model

I thought it turned out pretty well.  The overall goal is to print one and eventually paint it. 

The program is Skanect and I used a Kinect for the XBox 360.  The scanner gets goofed up with the clear windshield, which is why it is covered in foil.  Only issue is that the free version of the program won't let you export a printable model in that level of detail.  It only lets you export 5000 polygons and the scan is 2 million.  Exporting to 5000 was good enough for a selfie, which I also did.  But I'm not that complex of a person.  whoohoo1 I'm not going to pay the $150 for the Pro version.  There's another program called ReconstructMe that is free, but I wasn't able to get that one to work.  Going to figure that one out and try the scan again I think.

Your Ride Reports / Searles Bucket List Tour 2015 - Montana/Idaho
« on: October 12, 2015, 08:10:34 PM »
For our family, 2015 has been a rough year.  It put a lot of things in perspective and made a lot of us realize how little time we actually have.  This is a trip we’ve talked about for years and we were done waiting.  If not now, when?  So the planning began around Christmas time and it evolved into an epic motorcycle journey that will never be forgotten.  This is a long report, but there is so much to tell!

We were able to leave Friday morning on Sept 11th.  My brother’s work schedule was the dictated when we could leave.  Fortunately for us, he quit his job.  So at 5 AM, we were off.  This allowed us 2 days to get out there instead of a marathon drive all night long. 

Our halfway point was Murdo, SD where we had been once before back in 2011 (The Plan B trip).  We made a friend back then on that bike trip and thought it would be nice to see her again on our way.  It was a short visit, but well worth it.  We didn’t hit it near as hard as we had the last time we saw each other.  Had to get up early and drive the next morning.

But we did leave our mark, right next to the one 4 years ago.

Our next stop was Missoula, MT where we met up with Keith and Tyler literally minutes after we arrived.  They rode over from Seattle.  Don’t think we could have planned it better.  We stayed at the Stone Creek lodge, one of the best rooms for the money I’ve stayed at.  The journey began Sunday morning. 

My 2006 FJR1300

Nick’s (college roommate) 2008 Triumph Sprint ST

Brad’s (brother) 2002 Honda Nighthawk 750

Tyler’s (cousin) new to him 2003 Honda VTX 1800

Keith’s (uncle) 19?? Honda Goldwing

Barry’s (dad) 1999 Honda Goldwing SE


Last weekend, we had the Michigan Coast To Coast Rally, only with no Nighthawks.  But hey, there was at least a Honda.  Participation was low, consisting of only 2 forum members traveling from out of state.  It was to be expected though.  Michigan isn't known for challenging motorcycle twisties.  But the state does offer some spectacular scenery.  And during the planning phases, I was without a job so I wanted to selfishly plan something close to home.  Job situation has been fixed and this weekend was a blast.  The count was 2 Yamaha FJR1300, a Honda ST1100, a Kawasaki Ninja 650, and a Triumph Sprint ST 1050.

We started the journey in Muskegon on Thursday night where the "planning" began.  Dan, Gary, and Nick arrived at my house around 5 PM.  The plan took the shape of a few bottles of beer and a half gallon of Captain Morgan.   Actually the only plan was to keep the water on the left.  Ride until we get tired and find a place to sleep.  Sounds easy right?

I printed off some kickstand pads for the guys as little souvenirs and a reason to play with my 3D printer.

Jim called and said he wasn’t going to make it until the morning.  He showed up just a little after 8 AM and we had breakfast.  Service was surprisingly a little slow and we didn’t really hit it until 9:30.  I started with a cruise around my old stomping grounds and a photo stop in front of one of World War II’s most decorated submarines, the USS Silversides. 

This is where I started playing with photoshopping the pictures some.  Here is in front of Pere Marquette Beach.  This is the channel that connects Lake Michigan with Muskegon Lake.   

We cruised along scenic drive, through North Muskegon, Whitehall, Mears, Pentwater, and Ludington.   Here’s a shot in Stearns Park, downtown Ludington.

We traveled up US 31 a bit until Manistee, stopping at House Of Flavors for lunch.  Sorry, no food porn pictures from me.  Always turn west at the Burger King in Manistee.  I believe it is 110, a hidden gem that will take you to M22.  As you go up M22, you will come to a scenic overlook just outside of Arcadia called Inspiration Point.  We stopped for some pictures there.

Dan, with sexy face.

Jim, who is amused by something.

Gary,  with serious face.

Nick, with a rare smile.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Explain "I'm a little teapot" to me
« on: July 01, 2015, 09:36:22 AM »
That's what my wife calls it.

I don't get having the left hand off the handlebar.  I've tried it.  It isn't more comfortable, it isn't safer, and you look stupid doing it.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Interesting Concept
« on: June 24, 2015, 06:06:40 AM »
Samsung is playing with semi-trucks.

I never see this actually making it into production.  Truck drivers are concerned with 2 things.  How much does it cost and how does it improve  fuel economy.  But a neat idea to think about.


This topic is for deals members have run across on craigslist or similar sites. Something you stumble upon may help another member and this is the place to share it.

This is NOT an excuse or place to circumvent the minimum 25 posts for the classifieds.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Is your motorcycle your identifier?
« on: April 01, 2015, 11:05:45 AM »
So I recently started a new job. Been there about a month now. And the snow has melted, spring temperatures are slowly creeping up so I've riddenthe bike a handful of times. There are plenty of people I haven't met yet, and I only interact with a few people on a daily basis. But complete strangers I pass in the hallway, even those who park in a different lot, seem to say "Did you ride your motorcycle in today?". Generally happens on the days where it is a sarcastic question, when it is raining or 19 degrees and snowing. And I'm used to those questions that I'm sure all riders get. I guess what surprises me are the number of people that pick that up before they know who I am.

General Motorcycle Discussion / First ride of 2015!
« on: March 12, 2015, 09:02:55 AM »
Woke up yesterday morning disappointed that it was below freezing and the driveway had a nice sheet of ice. But as I sat at work (cause I do that now), I saw the sun pop out. By lunch time, it was well over 40 degrees. The heck with this, I went home for lunch, made a burger, and saddled up. Commute is now a whopping 3.5 miles. Don't see me racking up as many miles as I was with my 35 mile commute. But after work, I took a nice ride out by Lake Michigan. Nothing real long, but enough to get a smile on my face and enjoy the weather.

My dad has been in Arizona for the winter, sending me pictures of him golfing all the time. He's still down there, so I sent him this picture. It may be 85 degrees there, but he can't do this since his bike is still parked back home. Dan should know right where this spot is.

 It is now quite famous because of the ice caves that formed. It is causing quite the buzz on social media. They look really cool, but even on a 50 degree day those idiots were still out there. Won't be too long until the headline reads "Dumbass Drowns Exploring Ice Caves". But like I said, they look cool.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Back in the day
« on: December 20, 2014, 01:16:17 PM »

Maybe the first rider/passenger intercom?

General Motorcycle Discussion / Yamaha's new FJ-09
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:20:37 AM »

Gotta be honest, I kind of like it. It definitely looks better with the side bags.

Wish it had cruise control, shaft drive, and maybe a few extra fairings in the front, so it didn't look much like an adventure bike. I'd also add a bigger windscreen, and aftermarket will take care of that soon enough. But other than that, decent specs for a mid-range sport tourer.

Stablemates / My son got his first motorcycle! - 2014 FJR1.3
« on: June 23, 2014, 01:49:22 PM »

A friend of my mother-in-law is into woodcarving. Over the last couple of years, she has developed rocking horses and rocking motorcycles. She prides herself on making them custom to reflect a horse or a bike to make it personal. This one took a little over a year to make (not full time) with a bulk of the work going in the last 6 months. I thought she did an excellent job. Brady loves it!

Brady's first ride

Incase we forget which one either of us belong on

Come on Dad! Let's race!

Worth the wait. Those are 2 good looking bikes!

I've got some build in progress pictures if anyone is interested.

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 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 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.

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