After spending most of my younger years (Pre-38) traveling all around the world I decided it was time to see some of the US on a motorcycle. I always figured I would save the US for when I was too old to go through the rigors of travelling internationally but I figured how long could I wait to do it on a motorcycle with my wife?
I have been riding/racing dirtbikes for awhile now so I have some experience on two wheels. Some district racing in San Diego and one Baja 250 race just to see if I should have a "mancard" or not
After some serious coercing of my wife I managed to talk her into doing a long road trip around the Western US, hitting up all the sites, with a final destination (for her) in Sturgis SD for the Rally. It would be 3,700 miles for her and 6,000 for me for approx 30 days.
So like I was saying before I've done mostly dirt with limited time on a street bike. Basically I had done one fast trip in Spain from Sevilla to Cadiz to Jerez de la Frontera to Gibraltor and back. That was her first time on the back of a bike and she did good until we started getting up there in the miles. We were on a BMW1200 for that ride.
I have put a bunch of miles on the street on my XR650R though so I wasn't exactly a newbie to street riding but I didn't have 10's of thousands of miles under my belt so this was going to be an adventure to say the least for both of us
In order to keep the Mrs. happy I figured I should get as comfortable a ride as possible so we ended up with a 2007 Harley Ultra Classic Electra Glide with 12k miles on it. Normally I wouldn't go Harley (first one I've ever owned) but I tried to sit in a Goldwing and I couldn't fit. The front fairing took up too much leg room so I had to look for other comfortable options. I'm 6'7 and my wife is 4'11 so we make quite the odd couple.
And just so you know ADV.... Selling it now and just waiting for the KTM1190R Adventure to be released in the US!
(Insert drool icon here) Throw some knobbies on this bad boy and the world is my oyster! 150 HP and tons of clearance and a 21/18 tire set up!!
I saw soooo many trails on this trip and it was killing me that I was on a harley and couldn't hit them up. Not that a 1100 lb (fully loaded without the Mrs) harley stopped me from climbing a dirt trail up a 12,800 foot peak in rocky mountain national park!(o.k. it was just a graded, rutted, off camber road that cars could make it up very slowly but hey! I still did it on that beast!)
Got the UCEG and immediately started tweaking it to fit me. Took off the lower fairings (too cramped) and threw on longer shifters and pushed the floorboards out, adjustable highway pegs raked all the way out, pushed the tour pack back, backrest installed, and 18 inch apes so the back of my neck wasn't killing me. I tried to ride with the stock bars but after 50-60 miles it felt like a spike was being driven down the top of my spine. 18 inchers put the bars right below shoulder height so my position was basically like sitting in a lazy boy.
Ready to do 6,000 miles!
It was an adventure all along the way and we hit up all the National Parks/ State Parks we could and pretty much any other attraction we found including the Beartooth Highway and Million Dollar Highway with side stops at Mt Evans and various other places.
I just got back last night so I'll start downloading the picture and start writing a blog about the adventures, routes, things to do/see and various other hilarious mishaps we got into including detailed pictures of the different stops and things we did...
Plus..... a Sturgis recap with pics of things that you might not ever be able to erase from your memory! Some good.... MANY bad!
I'm not going to promise a short story of this trip or a fast updating. I pounded 1,000+ miles in 15.5 hours yesterday to get home and I'm a bit foggy/hurting today. Plus I'm going to be sending this blog to my family/friends so I'm going to be detailed in the writing of it so they can experience the adventure.
Thanks for following and more to come in the next few days!