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Old 11-09-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
edstoll OP
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Iowa
Oddometer: 274
My 50th Birthday Present Fly and Ride

After a ton of research I decided I needed a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom. I was window shopping for one and my wife found out. I would be turning 50 soon and she began encouraging me to buy one for myself. I found some for sale on Craigslist, ADV Rider and Stromtroopers. I would find a good buy, agonize over buying them and always flaked out and passed on them. Leshia was getting a little irritated and my birthday was getting near.

Then one day I found one in Charlotte North Carolina on Craigslist. It was setup like I wanted and the price was decent. I communicated with the owner initially via e-mail and then by telephone. The pictures made it look real good in spite of the miles it had and the owner seemed genuine so I decided to see if it would work out.

I calculated the cost of driving my pickup there to get it and that was too much. I looked up one way plane tickets and that was more in line with what I needed. I could see a weather window and thought a fly and ride would be cool.

I spoke with the owner about my plans and he said he would pick me up at the airport. We struck a deal and I began trip preparations.

I thought I would do a ride report here to tell my friends and family all about my 50th birthday present. Anyone else that gets enjoyment out of the report is just a bonus.

I got up at 1 A.M. and drove my truck to the Kansas City airport. It is a 2 ½ hour drive and I had a 5 am plane ride to Atlanta .

It was just me and the trucks on the interstate at that hour.

The bike included an extra seat and windshield so needing a way to haul them. I had one bag with me to check in at the airport. I had my helmet and coat in it but it was mainly for the items to carry back. I went to the bag check and was charged $20 for it. The bag was not too big it is just what they charge to check luggage. I thought that was a little crappy but you have no choice at that point but to pay it.

Sitting in the airport early in the morning I took a picture of the plane I would be getting on and a picture of my carry on. I bet I was the only one in the airport with a Wolfman tank bag for carry on luggage

After takeoff I got an aerial picture of predawn Kansas City . I was pretty exited at this point about my journey.

I am sorry about how crappy this picture is but I thought it was kind of neat. 567 miles per hour at 35000 feet. It sure isn’t going to take as long to get there as it will to get back home.

Atlanta from the sky.

I switched planes in Atlanta and jumped over to Charlotte . I was met by Kevin and he took me through his pretty subdivision to his house with a nice clean garage. It housed the cleanest nicest 2004 model bike I’ve seen. It is obvious Kevin has taken very good care of this bike during the time he owned it. He also was very generous to take time off work to pick me up and accommodate my second childhood shenanigans.
Thank you again Kevin you are a great guy.

Here he is still smiling just before I ride off on his bike.

Here is the bike with my bag scabbed on the back and the tank bag mounted. Kevin is still holding on to it but when he lets his guard down I will jump on and ride it off.

Kevin and his dog Ed stayed home while I left to get lost wondering around his neighborhood. I couldn’t find my way out of suburbia so I stopped and ask a couple of guys who were out in their driveway how to get to a main highway. They told me to go through the zig-zag and take the next right. Then go to the second right and take a left. That should get you out to highway 160.

O.K. got it away I go. Miraculously I got out o.k. and hit the freeway. This bike did not come with any sort of throttle lock and I could see my old wrists were going to have a problem with that. I spotted a dealership and stopped here.

To get this

I don’t like traffic, interstates or cities. I finally made my way out of the highly populated areas to country I am more comfortable in.

Then it was on to the Blue Ridge Parkway .

For those of you who don’t know about the BRP. It is a serene passage that weaves through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is specifically designed for leisurely driving, so you can cruise along at your own pace and relish the astounding views of the Mountains year-round.

It was pretty cold in the mountains. Kevin had put a thermometer on the bike. Yes it says 45.6 degrees. I seen it get as low as 39 on the BRP.

But the scenery was nice.

It started to get dark and like I say 39 degrees so I jumped off the BRP and took shelter at Waynesville North Carolina.

I didn't get the stats for the day.

I will post day two later. My wife says I need to vacuum dead flies right now.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
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Congrats! Fly and ride.. great way to get acquainted with your new ride!

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Old 11-09-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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Nice ride.

Looks kinda like mine. I think I need to check the garage....

For me, the Strom is about the perfect ride. Enjoy!
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:04 PM   #4
edstoll OP
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I got up the next morning to even colder temperatures.

With it being a wonderful 27 degrees outside I needed to wear some winter riding gear. No fear I came prepared. I put a Walmart sack over each foot and then my socks. I pulled on my long underwear and then a contractors style plastic garbage bag over each foot and leg. My jeans went on over that. I had several layers of tops and put them all on. With all that and the heated grips I was comfortable until it warmed up later in the day. I was also glad to have the tall Cee-Baileys windscreen on. As you can see from the pictures I had changed to the Corbin seat and put my luggage on better giving me more room to move around. All in all it was a comfortable trip.

More BRP.

Icicles from the water running out of the mountainside.

The Blue Ridge Parkway has many turnouts and scenic overlooks.

It also has a lot of Tunnels

And lots of curves

This guy was not the least concerned about me or anyone else that came along

I am off the BRP now and headed for Deals Gap and Tail of the Dragon. I thought this was a good photo op.

Whenever I am going through a town and see a police department I usually stop to get a pic. If you know me you know why.

They had a cool courthouse across the street.

Back to riding through scenic North Carolina.

Next up will be Deals Gap.

edstoll screwed with this post 11-09-2009 at 07:16 PM
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:18 PM   #5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Coeur d Alene, Idaho
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Congratulaions on the birthday present. I bought a Ural Patrol for my 50th about this time last year. Enjoying the report
2000 Ural Patrol "Yogi"
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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nice bike & ride! Used to have a wee myself & had some good times
"everybody knows this is nowhere"
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:37 PM   #7
edstoll OP
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I made it to Deals Gap. Read about it a bunch and was looking forward to the 312 curves in 11 miles.
More info at

It was tons of fun. I wasn’t pushing hard but still managed to touch the pavement with my toe. The peg couldn’t be much behind but I am a long way from home and getting old (remember 50th birthday) so I just rode relaxed. Although the tire looks like I didn’t have much “chicken strip” left. I guess I couldn’t have leaned over much further.

Along that famous 11 miles there are several spots where photographers setup with a big sign listing their website and they take your picture as you drive by. You can go to their website later, find the pictures of yourself and buy them. I didn’t do any showing off but did go to some of the sites and found me. Pretty cool.

After the Dragon it was scenic Tennessee.

Stopped for gas and a quick lunch.

I found this neat cutout along a rural roadside.

I stopped for the night in Clarksville Tennesse. This area has grown a lot since I was last through here several years ago.

Final stats for the day are not impressive but I did go through some of the most twisty roads in America and the days are very short right now. I don’t like riding after dark at highway speed. Seen to much of what can happen.

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Old 11-09-2009, 08:01 PM   #8
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Woke up to much warmer temperatures so I left the plastic gear in the bag.
Clarksville is pretty. I wish we had a river like this going through Osceola. I would love to trade it for our train tracks.

Another Cop Shop

When I was planning my return trip I seen this place called Land between the Lakes on the map. It showed a road going through it called The Trace. I had never been there. Had to check it out.

This is a National Recreation area and was cool to explore. I just did a quick run through and found a lot of interesting things. It warrants a return trip someday as a destination. I took the V-Strom off onto rock roads and found most of them lead to the rivers on each side of The Trace. By the way the V-Strom feels very good on loose rock. I am going to like this bike.

I found a gravesite that contained many “unknown” monuments.

Took another side road several miles back to Ginger Bay.

The Great Western Furnace is along The Trace.

Found a field full of Bison

I then stumbled across an OHV area. I ride dirtbikes with my friends and we take annual trips to ride . This may have to be one of our destinations.

After the Trace I was traveling through scenic Kentucky.

Believe it or not this is a Kentucky rest area and welcome center. Very cool old home.It is called White Haven if you want to research it. It’s on the National Historic Registry.

I met this guy at a gas stop in Missouri. I am sorry I didn't get his name. He was local and on a Wee Strom. He suggested a route for me and when I looked at the GPS it is the same route I had pre programmed into it.

His strom

Elephant Rocks looks cool and Missouri Hwy 32 is a fun ride.

I was needing a rest area and spotted this old house. Free access. Oldest house in Crawford County. 1834

It even had the facilities I was needing.

It was getting dark and I had a ways to go. I made a bee-line for the Kansas City Airport. I got into the parking lot, loaded my bike and headed home getting there about 11:30p.m. The GPS only shows as far as the airport. I put the gps away for the trip in the pickup to home.

It was another great trip and a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday. Thank You Honey

I hope you all enjoyed the trip report.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for the report. Congrats on the new ride and glad you made it back safe.

Happy 50th also.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
Guy Jinbaiquerre
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Happy Birthday! I hope I'm still riding when I turn 50.
IBA # 42657
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:12 PM   #11
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Great Ride Repert. I am 47 and now you have given me some Ideas.

Be safe and RIDE RIDE RIDE
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:53 AM   #12
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I've logged most of t he 30+ thousand miles with Kevin that are on that bike. You really got a great bike there. It still seems wrong to see it ridden by someone else. Enjoy it!
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:29 AM   #13
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Great RR....................
HAPPY BIRTHDAY............
I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 11-10-2009, 07:47 AM   #14
edstoll OP
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Originally Posted by JohnBryer
I've logged most of t he 30+ thousand miles with Kevin that are on that bike. You really got a great bike there. It still seems wrong to see it ridden by someone else. Enjoy it!
I really appreciate how well Kevin took care of it. Did he ever get it dirty?
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:01 AM   #15
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nice ride report.. looked like tons of fun...
I want to get me a wee-strom....
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