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Old 02-15-2013, 09:21 AM   #226
Jeremy J
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Originally Posted by Evomx971 View Post
Mr_Gone wins the prize! It was called "Dogpatch USA". Interesting. I saw the sign for "The Hub" motorcycle resort as I went through there as well and made a note to check it out. Sounds like it was a part of the original Dogpatch extravaganza.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogpatch_USA

http://hubinfo.com/index.html
I didn't know they shut that down. My parents took me there back in the 80s and I still remember every bit of that trip. It was my first amusement park.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:21 AM   #227
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WNWT Day 37 - the Finale

Tuesday morning in Centerville, IA and it was 21 degrees. Yeah... I've somehow wandered my way back into winter haven't I? Bummer.

Supposed to warm up into the high 30's or low 40's so hung around and chatted with Dad. We solved most of the world's problems but as usual, I didn't take good notes, and now neither of us can remember the answers.

Hung around until Mom came home for lunch, had a fried egg sandwich with them, then packed up to run the last 90 miles home up highway 5. Was about 40 degrees, relatively sunny and not nearly as windy as the day before so was a comfortable ride home.

Passed by what is arguably Iowa's greatest and most well know landmark... the Knoxville Raceway, Sprint Car Capitol of the World. Only about 40 minutes from Home. Made a mental note to make to a few more shows this year. Grand National Flat Track series raced here the last two years with some good shows. Bummed they aren't coming back in 2013.




The Girlfriend took off work a little early to greet me coming home and caught the last 1/4 mile of my trip as I came up the lane to the house... short 96 mile day and I was Home







Quick check of the odometer...


Drumroll, brain heating up using the 3rd grade math and... 7,541 miles for the trip.

Home... now what? Well, first:


And second:


How mundane is that after 7,541 miles all over the south? Had to take the garbage out to the highway... and the kicker was the battery in the van was completely dead so had to go into town to get a new one before I could do it. The last cold snap in Iowa must have done it in. Nothing seemed to be left on so no way to blame The Girlfriend. Batteries are one of the more mysterious objects in our universe.

And finally, time to relax in my own house...


I found these sunglasses on the ground in a turnout headed down the grade into Borrego Springs and thought they'd look good on The Girlfriend (and they do). Actually some pretty nice Elle shades... around $80 new. For some reason I think my finding them by chance on the ground in California decreases the overall impact of my gift to The Girlfriend. Hard to understand females...


Over the course of 7500 miles you accumulate a lot of paper apparently... most of this came out of my tank bag map case.


Remember that I was buying Powerball tickets in every station that I went into on the way home? Well this is what 18 non-winning Powerball tickets from 6 states looks like. So much for the fairytale ending...


GREAT trip with several revelations... still planning to post a quick review of the Triumph and a look back of sorts... so the report isn't quite over...
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"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
'11 Triumph 800XC ABS / '94 Honda XR650L / '06 Yamaha YZ125
Thanks to my 2014 Sponsor: Motorex
What Next Wander Tour http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853663
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:28 AM   #228
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WNWT - The Bike

My constant traveling companion for 7,541 miles on the ride was my 2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC ABS.



I tend to hang onto my primary street bikes for quite awhile so really haven't rotated through that many, but I have owned a lot of different motorcycles and have had the chance to ride a lot of stuff and without hesitation am still confident this is one of the best all around motorcycles on the market today.

If you haven't had a chance to ride a Tiger 800, find one to throw a leg over.

The Good:
* The Motor - really the crown jewel of the bike, not too big, not too small, torquey, very willing with what I've always called a "lusty" demeanor and a great sound when you're putting the whip to it (hey, all just like The Girlfriend )

* Works good everywhere - great highway bike and does ok off road. Great neutral handling in the twisties. Decent, balanced suspension from the factory. Not something I want for single track off road of course (although I know guys take them into some pretty rough stuff) but really works good as long as you remember what you're riding. I did the entire Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail on it two summers ago and do light-duty dual sporting around here. I have an XR650L for anything too adventurous and a Woods Weapon YZ125 for getting racy so don't have to make the Triumph get "too" dirty in general.

* Lots of options for farkling and customizing into what you want.

* Personally, I like the lack of bodywork. I've finally got myself to be "ok" with just letting it be dirty and riding. It is a big dirt bike anyway.

* Big alternator, good fueling, ABS works well, great headlight, comfortable for passengers, lots of adjustment for rider size, runs fine on 87 octane, 2 year warranty and it's been very dependable.

The Bad:
* Fuel Mileage - my number one gripe would be gas mileage. Around Iowa I get a pretty steady 40mpg (before and after I put the pipe on it, with the windshield and the panniers). On this trip, 40 was still my average. It dipped down to around 36 on some days of a lot of high speed riding into the wind and I saw 50+ a few times with slower riding at upper elevations. The bike has a 5 gallon tank. I never got close to running out but there's some long stretches between stations where I was riding at times so I was extra cautious and filled up regularly.

* Engine Heat - not a problem on this trip at all, but in the hot and muggy summers in the midwest it'll put off some signifiant heat, more bothersome if I'm just wearing jeans. Truthfully though, I think the heat actually helps quite a bit in the spring, fall, and winter for riding so might complain if it wasn't there as well...

* Gearbox Ratios - it's a nice, slick shifting 6 speed tranny, but it's a close ratio box. To me, first should be lower for super technical situations (how am I going to get out of this hole?) and I think it could easily pull a taller 6th which might help with mpg. The way it is, you have 2-3 gears for nearly every situation and find yourself shifting a lot just to get from 1st to 6th and back. More work than it needs to be for the utility it provides.

* Tube-type tires - I've been lucky and never had to change a tube on the road. I've changed hundreds of dirt bike tires so it's not a skill thing. Plugging a tire is just so much easier on the road. The rear rim on the Tiger has a crazy-wide bead area that makes it a nightmare to breakdown. Based on swapping tires at home, I'm simply not sure if I'd get it broke down without this tool: http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/...ro™_tire_tool/
At least now I'm confident I could get it changed along the road. I do carry a tent stake hammer with me to use with the bead tool. Would be hard to really get the tool down in the bead w/o a hammer. Sure which Triumph would have went with the GS-style spoked tubeless type wheels.


The Farkles:
Really happy with my current set-up. Took some trial-and-error to get here, especially since I bought it in May of 2011 when the aftermarket was just getting up-to-speed on the bike. Here's what I've throw at it and had stick... more or less in what I'd call 'priority order' if I was doing it over again.

Jesse Panniers
MadStad windshield
Givi monokey mounting plate for top box (on a home brew rear rack/platform). Can't remember what top box that is.
Triumph center stand
HyperPro heavier shock spring
Twisted Throttle 20mm bar risers
Barkbusters hand guards with Storm shields
Triumph heated grips (would try Oxford's if I was doing it again)
Arrow slip on exhaust (with matching factory fuel map)
SW Motech skid plate
Triumph engine case guards
Bags Connection Daypack(?) with tank ring and map case (great set up, doesn't touch the paint, super easy on-off for gas stops)
Home brew intake pre-filter
Fenda Extenda - front fender extension
Airbox mud flap - home brew using a universal Acerbis part
Shinko 705 tires
Kaoko throttle lock

Dang, that's a lot of crap...


The Oil
Motorex USA has been a sponsor for my riding and racing endeavors for several years. Their products are outstanding. When I first switched over to Motorex in my XR and my at-the-time Suzuki Bandit 1200... I had to adjust their idle speeds down slightly... I think it lets a motor spin that much easier. Never had any issues with clutches. I run Motorex oils in everything I own with two wheels. I'm also a big fan of their chain lubes. I use their Off-Road lube on the Triumph chain and after 21,000 miles, it's still on the original chain and sprockets with only one very minor adjustment over the 7,500 mile trip. It's not the cheapest products, but they're one of the best IMHO.
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"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
'11 Triumph 800XC ABS / '94 Honda XR650L / '06 Yamaha YZ125
Thanks to my 2014 Sponsor: Motorex
What Next Wander Tour http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853663
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:15 PM   #229
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Well done, sir! Well done!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:51 AM   #230
Jeremy J
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It's been a fun ride. Glad you let us ride along with you. Glad you made it home safely.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:53 AM   #231
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What Next Wander Tour - Look Back & Wrap Up

Well, I've been home for 4 days now. Sucked back into all of the day-to-day stuff of Life. I'm a planner and a make-a-list-and-check-things-off kind of guy and there's a lot I want to get done while I'm not working so I'm probably causing myself a certain level of undue stress just because I'm trying to get too much done each day. Personal problem.

Anyway, I thought I'd wrap up this ride report with a bit of a look back. This was my first truly long trip solely by motorcycle.

First, some stats:
* 7,541 miles
* 37 days
* 8 states
* 2 countries (yeah, I'm counting my walk into Mexico )
* Even with all the "comfort food" as Eric called it, I lost 1 pound on the ride

I had never ridden in Oklahoma, Texas, or New Mexico before this trip.

My route...



I kept semi-accurate notes on what I spent. Not counting my expenses for the week in San Diego with The Girlfriend, the trip cost $3,032. That also does not include the oil change and tire in San Diego or the Powerball tickets I bought on the way home. Removing the week in San Diego, I had 30 "riding days" and that comes out to be $101 a day.

The trip cost then breaks down to:
* Gas - $602
* Food - $734
* Lodging - $1601
* Entertainment/Misc - $95

My big surprise was gas still averaging around $20 a day, even traveling by motorcycle. Lodging was obviously the wildcard. I had many places that cost $50-$60 but then I had some places where admittedly I splurged on where I stayed.

Other thoughts...

Time of Year - I really didn't have a lot of choice since I was done working at the end of December and am not sure what I'm doing next. On the positive side, it was a great time of year to be out of Iowa and largely, the weather was very good. I avoided any heavy rain and the majority of my riding days were in the 60's for highs. In general, January is the "off season" pretty much everywhere. I pretty much never had to worry about a motel being full or waiting in line for something I wanted to see. No crowds. Lowest motel rates I could probably get. I was lucky in finding good weather "gap" to leave Iowa and get back. On the flip side, in January, even in the south, you are pretty much pushed into deep Texas and down around I-10 across NM and AZ to stay warm. Venture much north of there and it gets cold fast, especially with the elevation. It's nice not having crowds, but then, it's a little weird being places with essentially no one else. Restaurants and bars are nearly empty, especially during the week. In the more remote places, businesses are simply closed or have really reduced hours. Some attractions are closed. This time of year essentially made camping not an option. At least for a "fair weather" camper like myself. The nighttime temps were just too chilly. My bag of camping equipment fell off the bike into a box at a UPS store in New Braunfels, TX.


Riding Alone - as a rule, I'm pretty comfortable being on my own and don't get particularly "lonely". However, I do think I'd have more fun overall if The Girlfriend or some of my Buddies were along for the ride. It wears on you a little and splitting motel rooms would save a considerable amount of expense. I've had several people ask me why I didn't keep riding... well, some of it was the ongoing cost ($100 a day) and the other was I missed The Girlfriend, my house, my bed, my other toys, my buddies, mountain biking, and all the other stuff back in Iowa. Now, if I had a riding partner... yeah, I do think I could be gone a lot longer... "let's go to Key West and swing through Daytona Bike Week on the way back."

Dirt - I didn't ride nearly as much dirt and gravel as I thought I would. A couple things held me back... one, I didn't like getting out in the sticks on the dirt without someone else there in case of an 'incident' and two, if I'm on rough terrain, I don't like having the top case on the bike. I think it's the most likely to break it's mount. Probably never would, but it shakes quite a bit and I can feel it back there more than the panniers. It was essentially empty on the trip but very handy for throwing my helmet or pants in if I got off for something. In retrospect, I could have lived without it or just had a small waterproof duffel strapped on back there and it would have been better for off-pavement.

Planning - or lack thereof - I purposefully did not really plan much of my route and mostly just let it happen as I went, planning the next day the night before. For the most part, it worked well, but most of my best riding came when I got input from you guys. If I was doing it again, I'd spend a little more time cruising the regional forums and getting input. Then I'd spend more time in one place and doing "loops". I did this in the Texas Hill Country, Big Bend, and one day with buls4ever in New Mexico. Should have done a little more of that, really allows for a more relaxed day and with the bike unloaded, I was more comfortable exploring off-road.

Adventure Bikes - Obviously I'm a fan of my Triumph, but this trip proved to me, even if you never leave the pavement the "adventure" style bikes are a great choice. In general, I think roads aren't as smooth as they used to be. More and more black top and chip-seal, which is usually a smooth surface but might have a lot of rolls and dips. I was on roads that would have beat me senseless on a regular sport-tourer, sport-bike or a cruiser. Pretty fun using all the suspension on a paved road.

Ride Reporting - it's quite a bit of work to do a ride report, but it really is a great way to remember the trip. I'm terrible at taking time to take pictures and knowing I was doing the report helped me do it. I was on the fence on whether to do one or not... I mean, really, in comparison to all the other ride reports of folks going all over the world, this trip seemed pretty tame. But as EXORG said in so many words, I think this sort of trip has more relatability to many than those around-the-world adventures. A lot more people might take a trip like this and a lot more people have been to the areas I rode through. I'm glad I did it.

People - I met a lot of fantastic people on the trip. I actually can't remember a single or even anyone I'd truly consider unfriendly. Thanks to everyone that posted and gave me advice along the way. Super Thanks to Jeff in New Mexico, Doug in South Padre, Jeff in Dallas, and my cousin Shawn in Missouri for letting me stay with you, do laundry, get some eats, drink some beers, and showing me the sights.

What Next? - so, I set out to figure out what I want to do next. Did I? I wouldn't say I have it set in stone. I think I know how the next couple of years will probably play out but can't share the details yet. I'm going to enjoy some time at home, do some remodeling, fix The Girlfriend dinner at night, see what that's like. This summer I'll probably try to do some work that might not make me rich, but I want to see if I'll enjoy it, then next winter I might do some contract work. I am convinced that I shouldn't need to work 12 months out of the year anymore and that avoiding winter could become an annual goal. Spend a month with all the Snowbirds in the south and it's addictive.

I have to admit... I've only been back 4 days and I'm already itching to go again. No place in particular, just somewhere on the Triumph. I might have picked up a bad case of Wander. I doubt there's a cure...

See you out there and if you're ever in Iowa, look me up! ~ Kelly
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"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
'11 Triumph 800XC ABS / '94 Honda XR650L / '06 Yamaha YZ125
Thanks to my 2014 Sponsor: Motorex
What Next Wander Tour http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853663

Evomx971 screwed with this post 02-16-2013 at 01:41 PM
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:02 PM   #232
kingofZroad
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Kelly,
Thanks for the ride!! Sad it's over, but you DID help me get through part of winter...
I bought a leftover Tiger 800XC in November... Great deal, but now I am going crazy waiting for the snow to melt here in Colorado!! Sounds like it will make me a damn fine "go anywhere" machine.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:34 PM   #233
Evomx971 OP
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Kelly,
Thanks for the ride!! Sad it's over, but you DID help me get through part of winter...
I bought a leftover Tiger 800XC in November... Great deal, but now I am going crazy waiting for the snow to melt here in Colorado!! Sounds like it will make me a damn fine "go anywhere" machine.
Congrats on the new ride!!!
__________________
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
'11 Triumph 800XC ABS / '94 Honda XR650L / '06 Yamaha YZ125
Thanks to my 2014 Sponsor: Motorex
What Next Wander Tour http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853663
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:18 PM   #234
edstoll
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Kelly,
Thanks for the diversion. You did a great job and you will enjoy looking over this report in the future.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #235
steve_k
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This ride report cost me $200 to read....... Picked up a Sena Headset today!

Great pics, great report, and like the break downs you did on your equipment, bike, and trips stats.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:25 AM   #236
Evomx971 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_k View Post
This ride report cost me $200 to read....... Picked up a Sena Headset today!

Great pics, great report, and like the break downs you did on your equipment, bike, and trips stats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edstoll View Post
Kelly,
Thanks for the diversion. You did a great job and you will enjoy looking over this report in the future.
Thanks guys!

I think it'll be $200 well spent steve_k.

Ed, let me know next time you're striking out for a ride!
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"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
'11 Triumph 800XC ABS / '94 Honda XR650L / '06 Yamaha YZ125
Thanks to my 2014 Sponsor: Motorex
What Next Wander Tour http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853663
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:48 AM   #237
Mr_Gone
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You definitely helped me get through the winter. Reading others' ride reports fuel my imagination, and provides me with great locations that I want to see.

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Old 02-19-2013, 06:53 AM   #238
buls4evr
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A great ride report 971. And a trophy girl kiss from GF and DosXXs to cap off an epic ride....what could be better. Maybe a SW party in frozen Iowa.....with a slide show background,travelogue? BTW, it was 68 here yesterday.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:32 AM   #239
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BTW, it was 68 here yesterday.
.....Go ahead, rub it in.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #240
Evomx971 OP
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Originally Posted by exoff-roadgoat View Post
.....Go ahead, rub it in.

No doubt... 10" of snow forecast here for Thursday...
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"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
'11 Triumph 800XC ABS / '94 Honda XR650L / '06 Yamaha YZ125
Thanks to my 2014 Sponsor: Motorex
What Next Wander Tour http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853663
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