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-   -   A BC Buell goes South (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=745317)

BC Brian 11-29-2011 01:30 AM

A BC Buell goes South
 
The dream<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
When I was 7, my Dad brought home a mini bike. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.<o:p></o:p>
http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/a.../Arcticcat.jpg

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At 10, my buddy and I were going to buy bikes when we grew up and Ride across Canada.
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When I was 20, I was going to do Canada and the States on my xs850.
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I was 25 when I was going to ride my Panhead to Mexico.
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At 28, I was getting organised to ship my FLH to Australia.
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At 35 I was looking into buying a BMW in South Africa and riding the west coast of Africa.
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Something always came up, Money, family, work, responsibilities, and none of these dreams were realised.
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At 38 I met my understanding yet somewhat frustrated wife.
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4 years ago my youngest daughter achieved adulthood, I had money in the bank, things were looking good.
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Just over 2 years ago we adopted a wonderful 5 year old girl. One of the best things we ever did, but things weren’t looking good for travel.
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While discussing (whining) this with my wife, she said “ Why not just do it, you have been talking about it since I met you. Let’s make it happen.” I told her that if she insisted, I would go.
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The Plan<o:p></o:p>
After quite a bit of talk about logistics, how to pay for it, where I would go,what it would mean for our family, we decided that we would do this. I would try to take a leave from work, or quit. She would move to her home town to be closer to her family. We were looking at 6 months originally, but then decided that “Up To” a year would be better.
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When I approached my boss with The Plan and a request for a leave of up to a year, he was quite excited for me, as he had travelled quite a bit when he was younger. He took my request to upper management, but they were not willing to give a leave, as they would have to hire someone to replace me. No problem I told him. You can expect my resignation in the fall. He told me he would be sorry to see me go, and to re-apply when I was done, and that he thought motorcycle travel was a great idea. (I had actually gone with him the previous year to pick out his first bike, a Versys)
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My wife and I set the date for Oct 15<SUP>th</SUP> . Not once in all my previous dreaming had I actually set a date!<o:p></o:p>
In the following months, I spent a lot of time here on ADVRider and on the HUBB, reading Road Reports , regional forums etc, planning what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go. After quite a while of drawing up routes and looking on Google maps and making plans, I stopped and asked myself “Is this how I want to do this trip?” Most of my life up to this point revolved around schedules and planning ( In fact, that’s a large part of my job)
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So I decided that I would have no itinerary. That I would just point my front tire South, and when the time was right I would turn around and point the front tire North. No destination. No schedule. Just kind of see what develops.
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I had a lot of fun deciding on which bike I was going to ride. At the time, the stable contained a KLR, a Harley Road Glide, a Harley Chopper, a Ducati ST2 and a Honda dirt bike.<o:p></o:p>
http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/100_4541.jpg

I love my KLR, and IMO is probably the best back road/logging road bike out there. Lots of people take them on this exact same trip, But I have ridden mine on highway a fair bit and am less that impressed with it as a highway bike. Did I mention though that I love my KLR, and have said many times that if was ever told I could have only one bike it would probably be a KLR. But mine is pretty tired…. and uncomfortable on the highway……
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My Road Glide is a great bike, and I have read Road Reports of guys riding them through South America, but it cost me quite a bit of money, and I would hate to have to abandon it somewhere…… and it might be a bit of a bitch if I have to load it into a canoe somewhere along the line.
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My Harley chopper…… Love it. Evolution engine, 4 speed out of a shovelhead, open belt primary, very low. Not exactly what most people think of as an adventure bike…… but there is a guy, right here on ADV Rider, who has ridden them right around the world……. But, I have had it a long time and, again, I would hate to have to abandon it somewhere along the line.
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The ST2. Great bike. Love it. Do I want to do a desmo valve adjustment or belt replacement in the middle of nowhere….. probably not.
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So I decided to buy a bike for the trip. Did I want to buy a 70’s UJM for the trip. Cheap, dependable, not bad to work on. Maybe a modern Triumph scrambler. Maybe a 70s triumph or Norton ( I had those as a kid) I used to ride my old Superglide all over the gravel roads back in the day. I didn’t really have the money for a newer BMW GS….. maybe if I got a loan and paid for it when I got back…….
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I have always liked sportsters, and had always wanted to build a dual sport sportster. In fact I even bought an old iron head sporty about 12 years ago with the plan to build one. ( got broke and sold it before I even started building it) So after many hours of searching craigslist for the right bike( If any of my bosses are reading, I didn’t do this at work, really I didn’t), I decided I would buy a few year old 883 and build it into an adventure bike ( this was before I found out how many people where doing that this year). Last winter, I found a likely looking bike online at a local Harley shop, went in to look at it, and the salesman (a guy I have known for years) told me that it was sold, and why did I want a sportster, anyhow? I told him my plan, and he said “ Do you want a Buell Ulysses?” It was cheaper than the sportster and I didn’t have to do as many mods to make it what I wanted, so I said “Sure”<o:p></o:p>
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The reality<o:p></o:p>
Last year I was experiencing some medical problems, so I went to see the doctor. There were a few issues that they had to try and work out. By September I had seen specialist after specialist, and the problem had progressed enough that I had to take medical leave from work. Throughout the fall, they had found what they believed to be the problem and had started treatment. I had planned on leaving to head South on Oct 15<SUP>th</SUP>, and that date had come and gone and they were still monitoring my treatment. Up until last week, I was unsure as to when, or if, I would be able to leave on this trip I had put so much into. I went to the doctor last Thursday, without a lot of hope of leaving anytime soon, and she told me that I was responding well to treatment, to take my meds with me, and since I had a reasonable safety plan in place, to have a great trip. I just kind of stared at her, stood up, shook her hand, hugged her, and bolted from her office before she could change her mind. I went to the insurance office, bought travel insurance, went to work and quit, and headed home to finish packing the bike ( the bike had been mostly packed, just in case, for a while.)
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It is now winter where I live in central BC, and I wasn’t about to ride on icy roads and snow, so I loaded the bike in the truck and headed for Vancouver, where I will begin my trip tomorrow.<o:p></o:p>
http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/a...v/DSCF2135.jpg
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http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/a...v/DSCF2138.jpg
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GB 11-29-2011 04:41 AM

By the looks of that snow, heading south is a good plan :thumb

:lurk

Jarrod Weaver 11-29-2011 05:36 AM

I hope you are well and that you have a great trip. :lurk

Armydad 11-29-2011 05:37 AM

Good choice
 
Keep go'n man, i want to follow this one !

Al-X 11-29-2011 06:16 AM

You can still do the SA West coast trippie, Buells go for cheap here!! :D

lukeman 11-29-2011 06:20 AM

There is no time like now! I'm looking forward to the rest of it and its nice to see a bike a little different from the norm doing the trip. Cheers! :freaky

daizawaguy 11-29-2011 07:11 AM

Good Luck!

Mike Ryder 11-29-2011 07:49 AM

Shine on ,you crazy diamond.......

agplant 11-29-2011 08:13 AM

Hope you don't mind if I follow along. :lurk

Ramata 11-29-2011 08:14 AM

I hate finding this kind or ride reports, right at their beginning. Now I'll have to wait and read it in "real time" as it develops. :rofl.

Congratulations on finding the strength (and support) to follow your dream.

OceanMtnSea 11-29-2011 12:44 PM

This should be interesting:ear

BC Brian 11-29-2011 12:49 PM

Bellingham
 
In a McD's in Bellingham using the free wifi

Thanks for all the well wishes.

I am hoping to update my RR regulairly, but I am the first to admit that even with all the planning and reading I have done, I have absolutely no idea what I am getting me self into. I expect there will be times when I am updating daily, and times when I may have to put a weeks worth of travelling into one entry. We will see what happens :)

Please follow along as I live my dream, or better yet, hop on your bikes and join me somewhere along the way for a while.

C2Sky 11-29-2011 12:57 PM

Subscribed. Looking forward to seeing your path unfold - have fun!

CaptUglyDan 11-29-2011 03:10 PM

Air Force lodge
 
Hi Brian, I linked over to your RR from your trial run and realized I must of just missed you at AF Lodge when I saw the pics of the ol' codgers with the Model A's. I was on my way back from Prudhoe and helped them load the one up onto a flatbed they rented from U-Haul.
Good luck on your trip, BTW I always carry a spare set of MC jumper cables tucked away under the tank:evil

invisible monster 11-29-2011 03:21 PM

This is awesome. Best of luck on your adventure, I look forward to following along with you!


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