GOT OUR BIKES! My WRR plans are currently on hold but...
HERE'S ONE WAY TO SPEND 63 HOURS AND $307 IN FUEL GOING 1500 MILES AND ENDING UP RIGHT BACK WHERE YOU STARTED:
Thursday, January 24, 2013 @ 1:45 pm: picked up my truck from having its water pump, radiator, and fan clutch replaced. $550 parts&labor. :) I have no time to wrench on anything between work and school and my limited days off means this had to be done ASAP in order to get both bikes this weekend. All seems fine with the cooling system but the check engine light is on and the idle is very erratic. Shift to neutral when stopped or press the pedal ever so gently and it straightens right out. Vacuum leak is my guess but I've got no time to investigate.
Thursday, January 24 @ 11:48 pm: Leave Little Rock on I-30 West to Hot Springs, AR, about 70 miles from my driveway to my parents' house. Tried on my Alpinestar boots that arrived a week earlier but shipped to the wrong address. Very VERY pleased with my $123.50 purchase. Look like NEW! Very comfy. Dad is less pleased with his Fox boots I'd found on CL in...North Carolina I think. He normally wears 12's and these seem too tight to him. I try them on and decide I'll try stretching them out some and let him try again in a week or so. My 13's are perfectly snug (I don't like slop in my boots) but I do normally wear 14's in sneakers and such. My a-star's are pefectly snug without rubbing or pinching anything so I'm tickled. Spend the night, get in bed about 3 AM.
Friday, January 25 @ 9 am: Leave my parents' house, trailer in tow, to stop by the credit union and get some cash and then hit the road by 10:30. I pick up my buddy Ethan, in Alexander, AR at about 11:45 am to give me some company on the trip. We fuel up in Conway, AR and go to the bank to cash
the credit union gave me earlier in lieu of cash
because they were low (at 9am on a Friday a credit union was low on $?!). Anyway, lost about 90 minutes in Conway and we're rolling again, west on I-40. Poured a bottle of SeaFoam in my tank at WalMart because my truck's been surging a little and the mechanic suspects sticky injectors and I don't argue because it does sit quite a bit between trips. I walk to work most days. My Scan-Gauge-2 is telling me my fuel mileage is WAY down (from 20 to 15) and I'm thinking it must be the Check Engine Light and those darn dirty injectors. Turn north on the Turnpike in Oklahoma and start handing over $1.50 every few miles thanks to my 3 axles. Toll roads SUCK. As we get into Tulsa and slow down in traffic the Scan-Gauge-2 shows my mpg back up to ~20. Hallelujah! Get to the big city of Perry around 7:30 pm and meet reddirtjoe. Great guy. Nickle tour of his bike collection (NICE), test ride of the DR350SEX and we strike a deal. Load her up, tie her down, and we're rolling again @ 9 pm. Enjoy a fancy dinner at Subway in Perry and head home through OKC to avoid the toll roads. MPG still down quite a bit and I feel real dumb for not realizing sooner that the aluminum bike trailer I'm towing has a real nice tall stone-shield on the front which is killing my mileage like towing a parachute. Ethan and I watch 'Bloodworth' and 'Best of the Best' movies on my phone on the drive home (VERY irresponsible driving I know) and I let him out at around 3 and I make it home and into bed at about 4:30 am. The bike is a good buy for the $ and just needs some maintenance but included plenty of spare parts and even some I'll put into use on the 250.
Saturday January 26 @ 7 AM: Head out for Jackson, MS. Alone this time and pretty tired from over 30 straight hours and sleeping less than 3 but ready to get down the highway. Interstates are out of the question for the first leg of this trip because there just ain't one close by. Two-lane blacktops suit me just fine but when you're on a narrow one in the middle of nowhere and an RV and a Semi get together in a head-on fashion it tends to shut things down and you're either turning around or...I always turn around. I back-track about 50 miles and get rolling in the right direction again but it's disrupted my schedule rather severely since I need to be in Jackson before 2 pm. Now I'm hustling as fast as I dare and watch the MPG's take a dive. I let eatalotofpeaches know about the delay and he comes through with some quick arrangements to get the bike moved across town from the shop that closes at 2 pm to his house so I can take a look at it. Sonic's Super-Sonic Breakfast Burrito suffices for breakfast and I turn North on 55. I get to eatalotofpeaches' place at 3 pm and we jump-start the bike with his Miata and I go for a ride. Also bump-started a dirt bike for the first time this day, on the second try no less. Eatalotofpeaches also shows me his DRZ and we talk bikes and life for a while before I repeat the 'load her up, strap her down, hit the road' routine. I'm gone by 4:30 pm. I'd made plans to meet up with an old friend who lives in Olive Branch, MS on the way home to grab a bite and catch-up but he's not feeling up to it so I cut west on HWY 16 and stop somewhere along the way to buy a phone charger to replace the one I shut in the truck door. The cable was clearly too long and I can't possibly be blamed for that, right? Right. While in Dollar General getting a charger, because WalMarts are kinda scarce on Hwy 16 in Middle-of-nowhere Mississippi, I grab a Monster energy drink and a pack of crackers to tide me over till lunch/dinner. I get into the zone apparently and end up making it home with 1 more fuel stop and nothing else to eat. How could I possibly not have been hungry? I dunno but whatever. Woke up starving today tho so I must be alive. The 250 starts and runs fine except for the dead battery (that was wired backwards) and the missing side covers just so happened to come with the 350 as spares so I'm satisfied.
The idea behind these two bikes is that they're so similar that spare parts should be fit either one with very few exceptions and axle wrenches and other specialty tools needn't be duplicated. If I perform maintenance or repair on one, I'll know how to do it on the other so that should make the trip itself and preparation for the trip that much easier. I'm very pleased with owning two ALMOST (need turn-signals, side covers, batteries, etc) street-legal bikes for less than $2,000. The fuel to get them both was over $300 but there are no free lunches. (unless you're on welfare...don't get me started).