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Old 07-30-2012, 08:50 AM   #16
Toadride OP
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Red. I had the vacuum suck on my F8 once and traced it down myself. The vent tube runs along under the seat to the back, crossing over and running down the rear left side. I found a connection right at the back whick may or may not have been a check valve, don't remember. That could be the source of the plug. Mine was actually a mud wasp that had actually decided to make a nest in the exit tube. Cleaned out and problem solved. My venting is now working great, having run it straight down from the tank. Left the check valve in until I get an answer as to if I really need it but for now it is working fine. The easy fix for you is to just pop the tank between fillings.
Bubs...as always, I owe you big time and can't thank the bunch of you enough. It must be the air cause they make good people in the Kootenays. And, no truer words on the changing direction thang.
I had opted for an early arrival at Bubba's to solve my "Big Girl" teething problems. Yes, I found a name for her. I've decided to stop calling her Whore or Big Whore for a while as I am truly falling in love once again (good to see it can still happen in the "twilight years"). Over that night and thru the morning I stripped her out of her dress and probed her innards to pull out those pesky snakes that had plagued her. Simple rerouting of the vent tubes straight down from the tank to the center stand I think has taken care of the pressure problem. I left the check valve in altho Jim was asking what and I guess I'm asking the same question. But I do like the little moan she gives every once in a while to expel gas. But, all seems well for now.
This did give me pause about my planned Alaska route tho and after checking out Guzzi technical support and availability I have decided to err on the side of caution, for now, and leave the Alaskan side of the tour for the way back.
The new mosying plan is to head up the rockies via Banff and Jasper, then down the eastern side to find the best high roads all the way down to Colorado where I will turn east to Ontario to connect with some long lost relatives and then on to connect to the original plan.
But, back to Bubbas.

Ferry ride there was accompanied by these gals on those big, noisy things.

And some Bandit riders from my neck of the woods.
People were arriving at Bubbas on all types of road bikes. Turned out to be a good crowd.


Isn't it so much better to go to an event where there is twenty or thirty people and not 50000?
Friday evening was the great refreshment, Borscht, bbq'd local sausages and Kootenany's fantastic pulled pork.

Had a great ride on Saturday around all those fantastic Kootenay roads and then headed out to Aman's Cabin on the lake.

Our gracious hosts with the damned cutest granddaughter (how the Hell did that happen, Dave?)

Set up the tents right by Arrow Lake as usual.

And enjoyed good talk, good bevvies and and a kickass bbq steak and beans dinner (Ralphy, those beans were the best but it took a day or two for anyone to even want to come close to me again. Totally worth it, dude.)



Sunday morning we all said our goodbyes, sniff, and headed out to our many different corners.
Had to stop for some local residents on the way out but Big Girl had a couple of words and they climbed back up the cliff nicely.

My day's ride took me on and past Cranbrook at 130 to 140kph on average without so much as a whisper of a complaint from BG. She seems to love this 5000rpm range best and I am happy to oblige.
Onward and upward today and most likely off the grid again.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #17
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Small Change in Plans

Heading up past Radium the plan was still pretty simple. Up the inside of the Rockies to Jasper, across and start down the other side.

North from Radium


But it seems my old nemesis Thor was waiting for me. As I got to the Trans Canada, the old bastard had gotten my scent once again and, well. You all know what it's like to be riding into a black thundering mass. Did I tell you I was too old for this shit? I've already done my time in the saddle so it is definitely time to take the easier route.
So I hopped on the TCH to Banff but I'll be damned if he didn't look like he was following me.

You wouldn't know it in this photo but believe me, he was lurking!


So a way too expensive overnighter in a two star Banff hotel got me turned in a new direction. The weather report for north for the next few days was just nasty so I made my decision to go see my American buds. Headed south past the Kananaskis Lakes and I'll be damned if it wasn't one of the most beautiful rides to date. The area is pristine with nary a burnt tree or beetle kill to be seen anywhere.

Complete with light fluffy clouds.


And soon the descent was taking me out and away from these beauties onto the open plain.


I was right about the direction as cloudless skies and the heat of the summer finally showed itself. But Thor might have gotten his final revenge by throwing bees at me. There's a question. How far can Thor throw bees? Can he throw bees? Maybe he just paid the bee thrower to do it.
But I digress. Stopp at one gas fillup I felt a tickle in my sleeve. Popped the velcro and a bee flew out. Thats bee, for not stinging me. Go make some more honey. Next fuel up I was just about to get back on the bike when I was stabbed in the back. Right between the shoulder blades on the spine. I whipped off the coat and was lucky to obtain close by help (guy at the next pump) to get it out for me. It was a big Bumbly, my last I hope, and he got me good. Unfortunatly he didn't make it himself and I actually fely a little sad for the guy. Always liked Bumblebees. The only way he could have gotten in was thru a small neck opening as I guess I had the zip down an inch or two. Hope that's done with. Hey, I'm tryin like Hell to keep my Karma good so, COMEON!

The border was a surprising breese and I motored on thru some great twisties heading down to the flatlands with BG just lovin it.
Ahead was what I thought was fog till it dawned on me it was smoke coming out of the mountains.

It took a good hundred miles but I did motor out of it. It was somewhere around here my bar mounted remote for the Drift camera stopped working so this is the last pick till next report. Forgot to adjust the wide to normal before I set off so a bunch ended up in wide angle.

Then came a long long day of "super highways" This is partially my fault because I have a new Nuvi 550 GPS that I haven't quite got the hang of yet. I opted for the cheaper unit having previously owned a Zumo and am paying for it a bit now. Not so user friendly as the old unit. A route I thought I had loaded wasn't there and I ended up heading in a general south east direction. Interstates are fast and Big Girl was shoutin 'Ya Baby' back at me but the Scorpion Trails were quickly disappearing, gettin nice and flat on the bottom. I'm thinking 6000 kms may well need new tires. We'll see.
As for BG, she has stopped moaning to me and I am detecting pressures in the tank but maybe it's just the heat. The reroute vent hose and check were position up and down and I got to thinkin the valve should be horizontal so I re-positioned it thusly.
I am determined to run thru a full tank without opening it today. So it's off to Jellystone. (Is Yogi still alive?)
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:58 AM   #18
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Hey Toad, looks like a good report to follow....


I remember chatting with you on the Orca run about the soon to be Guzzi {nice looking machine by the way}

Now with a little saddle time in on it how does it compare to the 800?
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:12 AM   #19
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Hey GB,
ya I remember our talks. Big Girl (aptly named) is obviously heavier than the F8 but with her weight comes stability. Haven't seen a lot of dirt but even crossing loose gravel on some roads has not shown any sign of wanting to slide around. As a matter of fact, BG is performing so well that I have decided to upgrade her status from whore to mistress.
Now I am sitting in a cheap gangster motel (seems to be a lot of gangster types out there) in Riverton Wyoming at 4:30 in the morning getting ready to beat the heat with an early ride south. Should be in Colorado today.
Rode up thru Yellowstone and down the south side last couple of days.


Gotta say that I never saw any animals. None. Zilch. No Bison, on deer, no bear, no elk. Oh, unless you count two red squirrels at my campsight.
Saw this:

But hasn't everyone?
Even tried my hand at some fly fishing on the Madison. No luck there either. Unless you count the one that got away. Damn 12 foot Alligator came up and took him right off my line. I swear! People just gotta stop releasing their pets into the streams, dammit!
Campsights were all full thru the park so I took the first one available past.

This one cost me a whopping $38! A new record. And one that holds for a long time I hope.
Then it was south past the Grand Tetons


And a stop for some refreshments


And ribs


BG worked her way thru 9500 ft elevation in this section and altho I think she did protesteth a bit, she came out no worse for wear.

After a few more hours of long hot straight roads we found ourselves in Riverton where Big Girl was immediately treated to a good wash to remove the many bugs in her teeth.
She sits all clean and ready to find some more mountains for me as I pack up and head out into the chilly 50 degree air.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:49 AM   #20
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To Colorado

Decided to make an early start out of Riverton. 4:30 and on the road with a temp of around 50 degrees. had all my riding gear on and started out comfortable to a spectacular sunrise.


Shortly after this point I watched the temp on the bike drop to freezing and BG come up with a new Icon. A snowflake followed by WTF, TOAD? Well, the snowflake was there.


Thank God I installed those heated grips. Ran em up thru all three settings.
Temp slowly rose and ran on for miles and mikes of God's country. This idyllic little ranch caught my eye.



And then it was on into Colorado.


Climbing towards Rocky Mt. National Park.

This river had more fishermen than fish, I'm sure.

Decided to camp. Pesky critters were trying to eat these poor folks tent.



The next day took me to the summit of the pass.

Big Girl was not happy, not happy at all. This could have been the reason.

But in all fairness I might have to say an old problem has come back to haunt me. As the descent took me down to Estes park and then on towards Fort Collins, BG became, once again, stricken with the bad running syndrome. I had run down a full tank of gas to a quarter full and when I stopped and popped the filler cap I heard no hiss or woosh. The vent tube was obviously working correctly. By Ft. Collins the heat was also breaching 90 degrees so I decided to stop and treat myself to a Holiday Inn.
After settling in, I ran over to the nearest station and filled up with (20% Ethanol, oh oh) and put some gas line antifreeze into it. This immediately corrected the situation. Either the big Italian Gal is very prone and susceptible to water or I'm getting fillups with water in them. Or both. You would think it would evaporate in this heat but, I guess, sitting in the bottom of the tank, it just can't get out?

So 5:30 this morning and the 70 degree temp is already rising. Riding thru all of these suburban streets and highways has got me totally wanting to avoid big cities. Specially in the heat.And now looking at my time frame to get to the east coast while the weather is still somewhat warm (if that is even a possibility this year) I have decided to head north and east and point BG at Lake Superior South Side. I have always wanted to ride and camp on that side of the most magnificent of the Great Lakes.
But first, let's see how far I can get in this heat.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:40 AM   #21
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Hey Toad
Heat has finally hit BC: record temps here during the long weekend. I really enjoyed Colorado riding and hope your do too. Glad to hear that you do not have any serious issues with Big Girl. Rode the Nickleplate last week: this time from the Penticton side. Do you think Big Girl can handle some gravel with new boots? What sort of fuel range are you getting? I am still waffling between Rotopax and other options for SA. I am going to try some motocross pants and shin/knee guards for the upcoming LooseScrew, and get away from those Summer? mesh pants which are cookers. I think you are smart geting early starts to your rides. Great pics. Stay safe, and may all the helmet conversations be productive...
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:26 PM   #22
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Hey Red.
I think BG can handle a lot of gravel with the shoes she's wearin right now. Thru one of the parks they were doing a good few miles of roadwork . There was both graded and compacted gravel. She never flinched an inch. It's her buxom body, ya see.
As for fuel; 32 ltr. tank is putting out about 450 kms.
As for today. Set off at 7:30. 70 degrees. Saw a lot of this.

And more of this.

And as the temp climbed, a whole lot more of this.

By 1:30 my gauges were showing this.

Don't know what that is in Fahrenheit but after soaking myself with water a few times I pulled into a fleabag hotel with good AC to wait out the day. I'll try again at 3 AM and see if I can outrun it. Big Girl took it like a trooper, bein the hot blooded Italian girl she is. Garmin is programmed to get me to the Wolf's Nose (Duluth on Superior.)
Can't wait to try fly fishing for Small Mouth Bass or Pike. Never done that
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:53 AM   #23
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Scott's Bluff to Sioux Falls was again, a long, straight high speed scorcher.
With a lot more of this:


Coulda had a picnic on this road. Complete with fried eggs. Just crack em on the asphalt.
A tire check at this point had me wonderin, 'Where did the round part go?'
The only thing, really to report here is the old Dylan song Mr. Jones, running thru my head. You know; 'Oh, my God, am I here all alone?' And, 'You know something is happening but you don't know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?'
Took me a while to figure out what was happening, but I do know now. Ever since I came into the good ol US of A at Montana I have been seeing about 95% Harleys. Not being a big fan of that culture I pretty well didn't connect to the whole Sturgis thing. Didn't even really know where it was. But the closer I got to Sioux Falls, the more apparent it became. Forced to ride I 90 for a good 120 miles the whole Oh my God tune started rolling thru my head. But, for a little comic relief I was rewarded shortly after that with hthe sight of a traveller going by in the opposite direction with a little scooter lid on (small wise choice) golf shirt, kakie pants(don't even know how to spell it and neither does spell check) on a Burgman. Now, that gave me a chuckle. The mood was quickly dashed, however, when a Harley overtook me at about 95 mph with the typical sunglasses, doorag and no shirt. (how do they survive the bee stings?) So, in answer to my being queried Are you going to Sturgess? I now understand and add that I'm not much of a crowd type of guy.
Sioux Falls and the Quality inn at 1:30 brought me life reviving AC and, because I'd never seen this packaging idea before, one of these.

Love the explanation on the bag "Contains one pickle."

The next morning's early start was hampered a rolling thunderstorm and downpour that passed in an hour.
Heading straight north after that I geared up for the worst because the local news's radar was showing a massive cell right in my direction. It seems ol Thor had caught up to me once again and was ready to have his way with me.
I stopped to take this pic of this incredible cell looming over me and really started to weigh my options.


It hadn't hit by my turnoff and I noticed a truck stop there. Decided to err on the side of caution and pulled in.
Two other travelers from Georgia were there and we sat, chatted, had coffee and waited out the deluge.
After an hour the first wave had passed but looking to all points north showed us more of the same. I got the skinny from a local who was filling up who said he had just checked the radar 15 minutes ago and told us to drive around it.
Taking this option led us a good 50 miles straight west and then north another good 50 miles.
Heres another shot from the backside.

Even on the edge there were times of riding thru some pretty wet stuff and altho the rest of the day was dry, it was aparrent that Big Girl does not like rain. The rough running returned and again fuel additive seemed to fix it. Guess I'll just have to stock up.
It's off to the big lake today.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:59 AM   #24
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The landscape changed and soon I was approaching Duluth. One rider I talked to had come up the bottom side of Lake Superior on his way to, where else? Sturgess and said it was cold. As I passed Duluth I found out he was right. But even more so were the winds

Even tho I had said I had said that the cold would be a welcome change, I have to admit. It was nippy. Not uncomfortable. I just had to climb into more gear.


As it was getting late I bagged a room at a cool little inn in Cornucopia. Yep, you heard me, Cornucopia. Sort of like a little Hippy community with boats. The bar even had it line up of aging regulars. Perfect!
Next day I carried on along past the chin and throat of the Wolf. By this time the Scorpion Trail rear was really starting to show its age.

I found one of the few Guzzi dealers in Manitowoc and made an arrangement for a tire swap. They haven't sold or even had a new NTX in stock yet so I was informed they could not do a service because they couldn't get a filter. So, that will wait.
It also meant that this will wait.

The ol disappearing signal lens. Prolly means a whole mirror replacement but who's got one of those? I am opting for the Mph Cycle replacement kit which supplies you with mirrors that don't shake and puts the signals back to where they are supposed to be. I'll be saving the bill for Guzzi becaause this really should be a warrenty issue.
Manitowoc works for me because I get to do a cool ferry ride across the lake at that point.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:28 PM   #25
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Hey Doug ... Where are you now?


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Old 08-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Toadride View Post
But in all fairness I might have to say an old problem has come back to haunt me. As the descent took me down to Estes park and then on towards Fort Collins, BG became, once again, stricken with the bad running syndrome.

After settling in, I ran over to the nearest station and filled up with (20% Ethanol, oh oh) and put some gas line antifreeze into it. This immediately corrected the situation. Either the big Italian Gal is very prone and susceptible to water or I'm getting fillups with water in them. Or both. You would think it would evaporate in this heat but, I guess, sitting in the bottom of the tank, it just can't get out?
Something about this just doesn't seem right. I'm pretty sure one of the hoses attached to the fuel tank is there to carry away any water that collects around the cap, and exits under the bike so the water runs on the ground. If that hose is pinched, blocked, or mis-routed (it only works on gravity so any upward bend is gonna get ya), it could be a problem. Are you certain that drain hose isn't the source of your troubles? You indicated you had the tank off to get to the connectors for the heated grips (which you don't have to do by the way....they are behind the left side cover) and have also rerouted the tank hoses at least once. What's the chance something still isn't right? I ask because others have had their Stelvios in gully washers and not reported any problem at all with poor running afterwards......

-SM
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:22 PM   #27
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Something about this just doesn't seem right. I'm pretty sure one of the hoses attached to the fuel tank is there to carry away any water that collects around the cap, and exits under the bike so the water runs on the ground. If that hose is pinched, blocked, or mis-routed (it only works on gravity so any upward bend is gonna get ya), it could be a problem. Are you certain that drain hose isn't the source of your troubles? You indicated you had the tank off to get to the connectors for the heated grips (which you don't have to do by the way....they are behind the left side cover) and have also rerouted the tank hoses at least once. What's the chance something still isn't right? I ask because others have had their Stelvios in gully washers and not reported any problem at all with poor running afterwards......

-SM
SM: The cap drain hose is in it's proper place and clear. I have had poor running after rainstorms on more than one occasion. But, yesterday, after 11000 kms. I did my tappets. Discovered they had entirely closed right up. Proper adjustment has made BG run a whole lot better. I am a little perturbed at myself for running all those kms. like that. Read somewhere that they really need an adjustment in the first 10k but settle down after that. Hope that's true. Will definitely be keeping a better eye on them after this. And, as for the heated grip wires, you are wrong. Those are wires for a TomTom GPS. My connectors were tucked way in there under the tank.
As for where I've been lately and what I've done, I'll try to catch up shortly.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:11 AM   #28
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Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuckity Fuck!

I can't believe I just spent two hours on updating my ride report and just hit the wrong button to have it all disappear!
I know I'm a slow learner but what's the answer? Do it on Word first and cut and paste? Best answer: somebody tell me it here somewhere. Pleeeeeeeeze!!!
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:18 AM   #29
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And, as for the heated grip wires, you are wrong. Those are wires for a TomTom GPS. My connectors were tucked way in there under the tank.
Then Luigi wired your bike different from the rest of us 'cause I've wired my GPS up using the TomTom wires (cut their plug and direct wired to my Garmin) and right next to that bundle are the 2 connectors for the heated grips. I know this because I accidentally cut one of those connectors off thinking it was for the GPS only to discover my mistake when I tested the voltage and figured out what I had done. Not a big deal though as I would have to cut the stock heated grip connectors off anyway when I install some Oxford Heaterz this fall.

Anyway, glad to hear you found the source of your poor running. YES! These bikes really need their first service done at 1k miles and don't skip the valve adjust 6500 miles after that (7500 miles total). My bike's TB's were quite a bit out of sync when I just had my first service done, and now it's running better than ever.

Ride safe!

-SM
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:30 PM   #30
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Catching Up.

Have now been basking in the great hospitality of my Brother Mike company in Paris Ontario for the past week. Having a garage to tend to the MGs needs has been a Godsend. And the woes and misgivings I have had are truly at an end. As I was made aware of when I bought the bike, and accepted by the way, service for these babies, at least in the northland and central plains of the US can vary between little to none.
Consulting the Google God when the rear tire was well on its way out brought me to a dealer in Manitowoc, a Harley dealer, only to be told they were no longer an MG dealer. They did the tire for me however and, as I headed for Ontario I zeroed in on the only Southern Ontario dealer, Two Wheels of Guelph. Being a mile or two out of town and with nothing around to keep me entertained for the day I came up with a strategy that would work for both of us. I would purchase the fluids and filters and to the valves and fluids myself and drop the bike back in for an hour for a sync and TPS adjustment. Unfortunately even they did not have enough of the indicated 60 weight oil so I took 1 ltrs. Of 60 and 2 of 40. I am sure Ill be fine in this cooler climate till my next service.
Doing the valves had me kicking myself as I found them gapless (for how many miles now?) and the probable cause of most of the bikes problems. With that and the sync the bike was born again! Hallelujah, Brother. I am somewhat lucky I opted for the mirror/signal replacement kit to be delivered to Bros as I lost the right lens back in the States and the whole left mirror fell apart on my way to the throttle sync.

Never could see out of those mirrors anyways and the replacements are rock solid.

All in all, Big Girl is a much happier gal now and so am I.
And before I move on mid week I have three things to complete. One is get the Garmin replacement from GPS City. Casing on mine cracked so they are sending me a new one. Two, run up to Kitchener and pick up my updated passport and, three go see my parents resting place and pay my respects. And that reminds me of a bit of sadness involved with this trip. Having not seen any of my childhood friends in at least twenty years I decided to Google some names and see who I could find. One of my best friends whom I had lost touch with, Robb popped right up as an obituary. I was shocked and saddened to learn that he had passed almost a year ago from cancer. It seems a lot of my friends were raised on cigarettes and more than a few never kicked it. Damn it, Robb. You could have lived a good twenty years longer. He was a good friend and I will miss him.
So, around Wednesday I will head back up to my Bros cottage, sit out the Labour Day weekend and then carry on to the North East.
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