I know people who've driven through deer on their BMWs and didn't even go down.
We have one-upped them. We drove through trees. Really!
Does it get any better? Heck yeah! Bring on the curves!!! (they're coming!)
Ah, past Ferndale and out towards Petrolia in the California Lost Coast. Isn't the western-most saloon on the continental US out here somewhere?
This is Mattole road.
Note to self - next time, fill up before going into the Lost Coast. There are towns, but we didn't find the gas stations...
The next pictures are from the bridge S of the hard left (if you're going S). The bridge is one lane. The wind blows a continually. And we're still wearing our jackets for a reason.
And I can't believe there's a house out here. WOW!
The sense of isolation is magnificent. I stood still for about 10 minutes and let the wind course over me as I tried to absorb the tranquility, the starkness. It was magnificent.
But not something I want to experience on a continual basis.
It's a boat... right?
Check that grass bend
About 20 minutes later, a horde of Goldwings were headed North.
Yaaay, we're in Petrolia! Wow, that church looks kinda neat in the distance
Turns out it needs a coat of paint, but still a quaint town.
The road is technical. In this case "Technical" means no guard rails, no painted lines, 1.5 lanes wide, tight turns, blind corners, bumps, potholes,
root-heaves, and cattle (though none were on the roadway when we went
through, there is nothing to prevent them from going there in many
The Husky didn't complain, but the R did a couple of times. Fortunately, no bent wheels! Whee!
The route drops you into an amazingly quiet, serene part of the redwoods.
At this point, the R was getting empty. And no gas in sight. Uhhhh...
Break time! That's code for "Time to look at a map, Double Yellow, she needs gasolina!"
A runner came by, which raised my hopes. He told us that gas was still about 25 miles out. Ouch! I was hoping he lived near there, but best we could tell, he drove out 20+ miles to go run in the redwoods on a paved road. OK, then.
Most of these pics didn't turn out, dark or blurry from BOTH cameras. There must be aliens near here.
Here's a couple of the few good ones
Standing on a downed redwood
As I said, be sure you start this loop with a full tank. The R1100S had 205.6 miles by the time we got gas (we bypassed a possible around 180 miles since it was 87 octane only), a new record for that bike. At 130 - 140, the light usually comes on indicating 1 gallon left. I have yet to pull over low 40s on it.
I figured, whatahey. When that happens, and the light's been on for over 50 miles, and the light comes one when you have 1 gallon left, you do start wondering if 87 octane will work well enough (it will, I'm just stubborn)...
We were at the point where I was gonna run out and send my brother ahead. The beauty of the see-through tank - he had about a gallon left and I was on fumes.
Throughout the trip, I used the Husky's tank to judge how much the R-S had left since R-S' don't have fuel gauges. And then one more corner and there was gas.
Good!!! I was sick of doing 45-50 and moving my hand at a glacial
pace. Bring on the Hammer!
When I filled up, I put in more than they say it takes. Whew!! (or I got ripped).
I'm SOOOOO glad I put the IMS tank on the Husky before riding it down.
From 3.4 to slightly over 5 gallons, 250+ mile range with trail gearing. Whee!
To be honest, I don't recall if there's a gas station in Ferndale. I didn't think I'd need it. Google doesn't think so. (Gasoline near ferndale, ca)
This one is taking the definition of tree a little loosely
It ends here:
And is held up with cables. The signs indicate only about 25% of the remnants are alive. Man, this tree has grit!
The cutover to 1 at Leggett is unbelievably technical at the right speeds. What a ride!
Man, that Husky is FAST! I thought I was on the sportbike!
I wish I had a better camera. Or maybe I should have slowed down?
Nah, better camera... Check the lean, though...
Someone has got to learn how to keep up...
Just a few miles before the curve in this picture, I had a *serious* moment on the R.
This was one of the more serious moments I've had in years. I was not pleased.
The road S-es away beautifully with beautiful camber, and I decided to cut across the hump as I was passing a truck. As the R rode down the camber and then crested the hump, the a$$-end bottomed out hard and then pogo'd up pretty darn high.
Remember, I'm a dirt-biker, it's OK if the a$$ comes up a little off a bump.
Let's just say, that just about ruined my whole freakin' day. For the rest of the day, I rode like a newborn, which sux because those roads are amazing in that section.
Now I've ridden this road more than several times on Zoot and had never had this type of issue, with more crap than I had on Double Yellow. Turns out the Ohlins were set way soft on compression and rebound (preload was maxed). AND, I later learned, Ohlins springs are set up for your weight and have a very narrow weight band.
The spring the R-S came with is a 170, I weigh 260 with gear, and probably had another 90# of crap (very pessimistic, it's all clothes). Grossly overweight for that spring.
For the 170, this means that if I weighed 170 with gear, with preload maxed, SMWBO better not weigh more than 130ish with gear to even be close to retaining good manners. Luggage? Yeah, that's not going to happen, now is it?
So, what I learned about Ohlins on the R1100S (other bikes vary) is I can EITHER pack SWMBO OR gear, but not both with the Ohlins spring for me. My choice is to get a heavier Ohlins spring rate, suck it up, go back to stock, or see if another shock mfgr supports my needs (unlikely on the R-S, it's not really intended for 2-up like, say, the R-RT).
I still haven't decided, but I've only been commuting, so I'm not unhappy with the preload maxed (the front is a bit soft, but more adjustable).
Now. But it took a few months to get over it and to be able to trust the bike again.
I learned a lot about owning and buying aftermarket motorcycle suspensions, and I'm not sure that Ohlins are right for my needs. Don't get me wrong, they're fantastic, but the weight range I need is much greater than they offer, and several of their techs concur (I didn't believe the first two).
Before buying aftermarket suspension, sure to ask the right questions. I had to make them do the math on the spring compression/inch vs leverage from the rear swingarm to come up with how we'd be undersprung even as a couple.
And if you're buying off eBay? Plan on buying a pair of springs!
For instance, I take my M3 to the track and I kick Vette a$$. But during the week, I pack my kids in it and we drive in heavy traffic to school, or I go to Costco and get $400 worth of stuff for our family of five.
I had that level of versatility with Zoot (a K1200RS), but I do not with Double Yellow (R1100S).
Here started my disillusion with a bike and good looks. I love form, but function is my top priority (Just watch the Paris Hilton video to figure out which you are. She's hot to look at, but a cold fish).
The honeymoon was over.
But the trip still had more fantastic things to present.
Getting closet to Fort Bragg
Can you see the house?
We stayed the night in Fort Bragg. Maybe we stayed in the wrong place, but we left the next day, both of happy to put the town behind us. It was weird. Maybe it's the aliens again.
Out of nowhere, a copse to drive through
And what should loom from the gloom? It's big and orange! But not a KTM!
My foot only looks like it's touching the ground.
At the next stoplight, after the toll booths, I asked my brother if he was comfortable splitting at lights when the cars were stopped. He was willing to try it.
I almost found out the hard way how much wider the R-S is than Zoot was, even with bags. Those must be the extra-spacious lids.
He did great, and was amazed at how easy it was, how safe he felt, and how much time we saved. He's a convert!
Cell phone use is causing riders to crash. They hold it with their left hand, need to brake hard with their right, as their weight shifts forward, their right hand pushes the bars left (can't drop the cell phone!) and KaBoom!, down they go, usually to their deaths. IMBWR is having a discussion about this issue right now.
Here's an alternative way to use your cell phone. Notice that he's still holding onto the wall even though he's not going anywhere. Safety first!
The Husky finally succumbs to the known issue of the exhaust, esp aftermarket ones, causing the lens to warp and fall off. A piece of copper wire nearby and my Leatherman, and we're good for the next 500 miles (or more, I'm notoriously slow in fixing hacks that aren't mission critical!)
Third accident this trip
Yaaaaay! We made it. Kicking back in the kitchen.
I pulled an all-nighter, but it was well worth it!!!
Hope you enjoyed it!