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Old 03-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
ShardPhoenix OP
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Location: Grants Pass, Oregon
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Thumpin' around in So. Orygun (Now with Northern Idaho...sort of)

First time posting anything "ride report"/photo related here. Was going through my picture files and realized I have quite a few photos from just riding around where I live.

I'll try to add some narrative fluff to what I've got just for the sake of fun. Nothing here is philosophical, ground breaking or even particularly special. Most of these pictures are old, as most of my riding since the end of fall has been strictly commute related. Boring stuff along the same route back and forth between Grants Pass and White City. No point in taking snapshots that would put a corpse to sleep. Not that these photos won't put a corpse to sleep...

A little about me: I'm 31 years old and have been a motorcyclist for a whopping 1.5 years at this point. I ride a 2005 Suzuki S40 which I find to be an acceptable little motorcycle, even if it's no longer what I would like to be riding. However, it's what I have, I can't afford anything else and "a motorcycle" is better than "no motorcycle".

Here's my little thumper on a fine summer morning last year, just before I headed up to Crater Lake for a weekend of camping.

Notice my use of top of the line motorcycle luggage accessories! Also notice the god awful mess my neighbor's front yard is. Oh, and I hadn't mowed my own lawn recently, so I suppose I shouldn't be talking. At least I have a lawn and I've even yelled at the little hellions across the way to GET OFF OF IT a few times. Felt pretty good. Anyway, next time I pack to go on an overnight ride anywhere things won't be such a mess. I put a genuine American made by the MoCo sissy bar on my Japanese bike. See evidence below:

Anyway, I made an important discovery about my bike that weekend. The seat is a hateful device if I spend more than about 45 minutes straight on it. With that knowledge in hand... I still haven't replaced it.

I didn't take many pictures on my way up to Crater Lake. Enjoyed the ride too much to think about the camera which was packed away in my tail bag. The tail bag which was underneath my sleeping bag and hiking backpack. Basically I was too god damn lazy to be bothered to get my crappy little camera out until I got to the camp ground where I spent the weekend. Speaking of which, it was the first time I'd camped in a couple of years and I didn't even bother to bring a tent. I like sleeping under the stars even if it means I get woken up in the morning by chimpmunks using me as a trampoline. Also didn't take any pictures of the camp. I'm lame like that.

Here's a pile of pictures I took. I'll keep pictures of the lake itself to a minimum since I know they're a dime a dozen. Besides, pictures of cool geological stuff is mo bettah yes?

Where to start? Perhaps a tree that gave up its life when a volcano went kablowie over 7,000 years ago? Works for me!

Old, collapsed lava tubes are fun.

Everyone likes waterfalls. You do like waterfalls, don't you?

I though the "Natural Bridge" was pretty neat. Really enjoyed the small walk along the Rogue River to get to it. Too bad there were a bunch of other god damn tourists invading my space. Who did they think they were! Didn't they know I was out trying to have a nice weekend? /end entitledAmericantantrum

The Natty-Bridge itself. Really cool how over a short geological time, nearly perfectly circular holes have been bored in the volcanic rock by eddy currents when the river is high.

It really is amazing how much ash piled up all those years ago. This picture was taken 20 miles away from the "epicenter" of the Mt. Mazama explosion. Nature at its finest. Renewed beauty atop catastrophic destruction.

Closer to the rim.

Aaaaaaannnnnddd just because I can, a hazy picture of the lake. A wildfire was burning near Lakeview, OR that weekend so I had to deal with silly smoke messing with my silly pictures.

Thus ends the amazing amount of pictures I took on that trip. Got way too caught up in enjoying the hiking around, riding and constantly forgetting I had a camera with me. I'll try to do better in the future... Actually, there's more but they're mostly of the lake.

Closer to home, I have to admit the scenery isn't too bad. Every once in awhile when I'm out and about I remember that some people have to take a "vacation" to soak in the views that I see on a daily basis. Sure, the constant grey and rain in the wintertime can sometimes make me question my decision to move to Oregon but overall I cannot complain.

Some random shots taken while out on little local day trips. Since this is a motorcycling forum, I trust nobody will make too much fun of me for that darn motorcycle that kept jumping into the pictures.

Wonder where this road goes? Oh! Onion Mountain!

The road to Happy Camp.

A grey day along the Rogue River. Don't mind the handicap parking, it's a mental thing.

Some nice roads in my local area. Nothing epic, but I've always had fun tooling around on them.

The mighty Rogue River.

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure I'll add more over the coming spring and summer. Have a road trip to Amador County, CA in mind for the summer. Hopefully it will work out. Still debating what route I want to take. Waffling between taking 101 down to Hwy 20 beyond Clear Lake into Sacramento and on into AC, or going down the eastern part of the state. Choices, choices.

I'll leave you with some winter time commute road grime.

I ride 805ccs of slug.

ShardPhoenix screwed with this post 07-01-2013 at 09:22 PM
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:50 AM   #2
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Great pics and a cool little bike thanks for sharing, more please.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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Neat pix, thanks for posting.
Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.

Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #4
I tried it at home..
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You guys have so many great roads in Oregon, especially there between Crater Lake and Crater Lake/Grant's Pass/Ashland/Klamath Falls quadrant. Did the Lake of the Woods-Dead Indian Memorial Road (I guess call a road what it is! ) loop last year and it was one of the best on the whole trip. Oregon NF-service roads are incredible adventures and the best kept secret of riding the PNW.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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Y'know.. I'm a bad resident. In the five years I've lived here, I've only been up over Mt. Mcloughlin once. Was winter time and I was driving a commercial vehicle. Been wanting to head up Dead Indian road to see what there is to see but haven't made the time. I think I'll do that once the weather warms up a bit more. Heading over the mountain to Klamath Falls for lunch sounds like a good day ride.

Also want to spend some time exploring places along Hwy 97. Been up and down that road a few times when I was truck driving, saw a lot of things I wanted to stop and check out but couldn't due to the vehicle. Usually my only stop was at Gordy's Truck Stop in La Pine. Always liked stopping there. Could sit and stare off into the beautiful distance.

I ride 805ccs of slug.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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X the DY.

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ShardPhoenix View Post

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure I'll add more over the coming spring and summer. Have a road trip to Amador County, CA in mind for the summer. Hopefully it will work out. Still debating what route I want to take. Waffling between taking 101 down to Hwy 20 beyond Clear Lake into Sacramento and on into AC, or going down the eastern part of the state. Choices, choices.

Bumping my own thread and quoting myself because I'm that lame.

Not taking this particular short trip as I thought I might. While discussing some future plans with the spouse another trip was planned and took its place.

Looked something like this:

That had to get S-canned thanks to some unforseen financial bovine scatology that ate up almost all of the funds I was going to need. In fact, I'd be on the road right now and probably almost to Knoxville. Oh well, such is life.

Not all was lost. Come the 24th I'll be hitting the road at Zero-Dark-Thirty for this much shorter, but also worthwhile trip.

Going up to Post Falls, ID to give my grandmother a surprise visit. She's going to be 90 soon and I thought a un announced visit from a grandson she hasn't seen in a few years would be a nice birthday gift.

Doing it on a budget of $250 which will be no sweat. Fuel for the round trip is only going to be about $70-80 and I'll be staying at my aunt's house since she lives in the area as well (grandma lives in a swank retirement community). Going to allocate as much of the funds to do some day rides in the area or maybe find a cheap place to camp for a night.

I will, of course, take pictures. Going to take a few of my favorite roads and take a little time on the way up to stop and see some things I couldn't when I was on these roads in a commercial vehicle. Still plan on doing the full distance in a day just to see if I can, with a back up plan to stop and get a room if I get too fatigued. The seat on my bike is not the most long distance friendly thing in the world. Glad that my fuel tank size (2.8 gallons) will require me to stop every two hours or so to fuel up and stretch.
I ride 805ccs of slug.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:55 PM   #8
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Packed and ready to go. Departing a day early, tomorrow at 5am sharp.

Got all I need. A couple changes of clothes, my sunglasses, and extra gas just in case I've miscalculated a fuel stop. Haven't forgotten the road snacks for my tank bag which was a little camera shy.

Couldn't find my Camelbak, which is just as well. Think I forgot to clean it out the last time I used it last summer. So, I improvised.

I ride 805ccs of slug.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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Talking to myself some more.

Made my run up to Post Falls, Idaho yesterday. Only "trip" photos I have at this point are this one, which is the bike packed and ready to go from the day before.

...and another one which is still on my camera and can't be transferred to a computer until I get home. Forgot to bring the usb cable with me. Oops. It's just as well, though, because I think it's a crappy photo taken when there still wasn't enough light for my stone aged digi-cam. I'll upload it when I get home along with anything else I take this week.

Perhaps I should do a bit of a report on the ride itself despite not being able to provide any real photo illustration.

Didn't sleep a whole lot the night before, maybe three hours. Was going to get an early start because I had a long day planned. I'd decided to do the whole journey from Grants Pass to Post Falls in one shot. My route was 685 miles because I wanted to a minimal amount of travel on the freeway (to that end, I was successful). So I was awake by 3am and was on the road by 4:45am. The weather report wasn't exactly what I wanted for my trip. Rain was on the schedule for the day for Southern Oregon so I tried to get out of there before the rain began. Didn't quite succeed so I was glad that I wore my rain pants. The first hour or so of my trip was dry.

I started to get rained on when I was near Crater Lake. By the time I got to my first gas stop in Chemult on US97 I'd been getting rained on steadily for an hour. Was a little chilly due to being early in the morning still, but I was layered properly so no big deal. Stopped at Gordy's Truck Stop in La Pine, OR to get a cup of coffee and some breakfast. I walked in looking like a drowned rat on the outside. Got all kinds of funny looks from people because they saw I had a helmet in my hand. It was as if all these folks were thinking "What is that idiot doing, riding a motorcycle in this rain!" I actually kind of enjoy it. After I ate my rather substantial breakfast of kielbasa, eggs and hash browns I was back on the road. Rain didn't let up until I was just north of Redmond.

Rode up US97 until I got to I-84 at Biggs Junction. Stretched my legs, made a couple phone calls to let people that cared know where I was at and when I'd be arriving at my final destination. This was the last time I stopped for more than gasoline. This is where I'll interject some commentary that I'm sure some people here are familiar with.

The 685 miles I rode on Sunday didn't have to be done all at once. It wasn't like I was trying to get half way across the country as quick as possible. I have a week for this trip so I could have been one lollygagging son-of-a-bitch. But, for some strange reason I wanted to bust out the miles in one go just to do it. Until yesterday I had never gone that far by motorcycle. I'm no stranger to doing long days on the road due to being a former long haul trucker. However, there is a difference between a cozy Class 8 truck and a small cruiser motorcycle. Speaking of that small motorcycle, the seat on that damn thing is HORRIBLE. I mean FUCKING HORRIBLE. If anybody wanted to torture me for information, forget water boarding. Just put me on stock Suzuki S40 saddle and keep me there for two hours. I'll tell you anything you want to know, just make it end. An aftermarket saddle like a Corbin has just made it to the top of the list of things to buy. In fact, if I could afford it right now and could have one delivered to Post Falls NOW I would do so before my return trip. But, since I can't I'll make due. Think I'm going to scour some stores here and find a temporary solution before I head back down south.

Anyway, back to the point about the long day..... Going into "terminator driver" mode sapped some of the fun out of the trip. Was so focused on just getting where I was going that I didn't stop to smell the roses. Passed some things that would have been cool to look at and snap some photos of. Missed opportunities to chat with people because I was too focused on ensuring my wheels kept turning. Meh. I won't be repeating that mistake on the way back. I think a part of my brain somehow made me think I was trying to get a load of consumer goods to its destination rather than just being on a motorcycle ride.

Other aspects of the ride were good though. Saw some beautiful scenery and had plenty of time to think about stuff. Enjoyed the short time I got to watch a crop duster do his thing over some rolling hills. My little thumper performed flawlessly, though I did almost have a spill on a detour I had to take around a crash scene. Was off road and there was some sand I had to ride through. Front tire almost washed out once but I kept it shiny side up. As the saying goes, when in doubt...throttle out. Something I wouldn't have known were it not for reading a lot here at ADV.

The rest of my route from Biggs Junction was about 50 miles of I-84 where I picked up highway 730 through Umatilla, OR and then highway 12 to Lewiston, ID and then 95N to Post Falls. Speaking of Lewiston, I've been there before and I'd forgotten how much that town stinks due to the nearby paper mill. Always smells like rotten cabbage.

I had also forgotten that Idaho is a helmet optional state, so when I saw some lidless riders it caused me to do a double take. One fellow rider did keep me from getting nabbed by one of Idaho's finest revenue collectors. Was coming into a small town on 95 and hadn't quite slowed down to the requested 45mph. A chrome domed lidless rider patted his head as he went by me in the opposite direction. At first I thought "yeah, no shit I have a helmet on, don't care if it's ok to not have one here". Then I realized what he REALLY meant and looked ahead and saw the ISP patrol car parked on the side of the road. Got my ass down to 45 in a subtle fashion and played innocent. Someone about 1/4 mile behind me didn't do the same and got reeled in instead.

It's raining today and I'm in "recover" mode after my marathon ride yesterday. Have plans within the next day or so to head over to Montana for a day to see some things. Playing the rest of my week by ear until it's time to head home on Sunday. Also spending quality time with some family I haven't seen for a while, including my grandmother who turns 90 this year.

Oh, also got a good phone call this morning that I'd been hoping for. Got a job I interviewed for the other week. Happy day.
I ride 805ccs of slug.

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Old 07-01-2013, 10:26 PM   #10
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Hello me, it's me again.... *queue Sweating Bullets by Megadeth*

Just returned from Northern Idaho. Before I get to it I need to apologize for being completely horrific at doing anything resembling a ride report. I know I'm not abnormal in being this way, but when I'm out riding... The ride is primary and taking a metric shit ton of pictures with a crappy, dated digital camera is beyond secondary. I think about the only way I could ever go out and come back with a ton of pictures to share is if I had a Go-Pro mounted on the bike set to take pictures every 10 minutes or something.

In my last update I mentioned the only picture I took on the journey up to Post Falls, ID. Here it is, in all its shitty glory! I had thought there was enough light but apparently not. Do I need to mention my camera sucks, again? I didn't thinks so.

Location was somewhere on Hwy 62 north of Prospect, OR. The rain that I enjoyed for the next two hours began around this point. I believe it was about 6am.

I wasn't completely full of failure on my trip. I did snap a few pictures of some of my riding around in the C-D'Alene area. In fact, it was CD'A Lake!

Had a great ride along the lake. There was some beauty.... well as some truly ghastly sights:

That's all the pics from that days ride. The next day I went over to Thompson Falls, Montana via Thompson Pass. Didn't get any pictures because I forgot to bring my camera. I also have a confession to make... I was in a car that time because I was out clowning around with my Uncle. Stuff like that happens when you are visiting family and you're squatting at their house. You also have to put up with awful things like your Aunt making excellent meals to eat. Even worse is having to relax on their back porch with a craft beer in your hand. I don't know how I could stomach it considering this is what I had to stare at:

and this...

This silly dog kept wanting me to throw sticks for her. What exactly did she think she is? A Labrador Retriever or something?

When I finally said "OK SARAH, NO MORE STICKS!!!" What does she do? Runs off and brings me a pine cone.

So I threw that for her too. She's good at catching things out of mid air.

Meanwhile, the other doggie just stood there and watched. He's old and can't be bothered with such trivial things anymore.

Moving on...

When I was talking to myself in a previous post, I mentioned that my trip up was a 13 hour marathon ride where I didn't stop to smell the roses much. Well, on the ride back home I decided to split the trip into two days so I could take my time and maybe stop more often. On Day 1, Sunday the 30th of June, I stopped at one rest area to take a leak. I think I was not far from Moscow, ID at the time. All my other stops were to get gas.... The former truck driver in me has some kind of disposition for just...going...

I did have one amusing moment that day, however. Idaho is a "helmet optional" state. Not that I gave a shit about that, because I wear my helmet always. I don't like bugs in my teeth. Anyway, Washington is a "helmet, you better be fuckin' wearing it" state. I think a rider on a Harley forgot that he'd crossed a state line. It was easy to notice his lidless head because he thought it would be AWESOME to ride 10 feet behind me. Hey, fuckwit-- I don't recall asking to ride in formation with you. See, we were going through a small, sleepy town. Out of all the places I NEVER speed, it's in small, sleepy towns. I've learned that LEO's seem to love to hang out in places like that. Good places for speed traps. I guess Mr. Harley didn't like the fact that I was respecting the 25mph speed limit. No matter though, because we rolled by a Colombia County Sheriff. You can guess what happened to my lidless parasite. Mr. Sheriff was kind enough to pluck that tick off of my ass for me.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. I did remember, though, how much I hate riding on the Interstate. My route included about an hour's worth of time on I-84. How fuckin' boring. Just droning along listening to the buzz of my single cylinder engine. Probably the only part of my ride where at one point, inside my helmet, I yelled out something that sounded like "GRRRAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH!" Nothing to break up the monotony. *barf*

Oh, that reminds me. Speaking of listening to the buzz of an engine. I have a confession to make. My bike has a "drag pipe" on it. Now, before you crucify me, it does have a baffle in it so it's not ludicrously loud. Even so, I got to thinking about something while I was going insane on the slab. How in the name of all that is right in this world do the folks who have REALLY STUPID LOUD exhausts stomach traveling for any period of time? I ask this because when I pulled into a rest stop during the second leg of my journey, a group of (you guessed it) Harley riders were there. When they fired up their machines my ears were greeted by a cacophony of idiotically loud exhausts. As they RRROOOOAAAAARRRED away, I couldn't help but wonder how they could handle hearing that shit for more than about 15 minutes at a time. Before anyone thinks I'm biased I also thought about obnoxiously loud exhausts on Sport Bikes, too.

Ok. Enough brain droppings and back to the less-lame stuff. My stop for the evening was Biggs Junction. Got a room at one of the motels there and it had an OK view from the window.

Got settled into the room, flopped down with a turkey sandwich, a Mikes Hard Lemonade and a bottle of Vanilla Coke. Gave the wife a call and chatted for a bit, took a shower then went to sleep. Got up at around 9:30 in the morning and was out the door by 9:45. While I was putting my tail-bag back on my bike, I said to myself "Self, don't leave anything in the room". Well, I left my cell phone charger in the room. Oh well, good thing I have a spare.

Rode for awhile and decided it was time to hydrate and eat a can of kippers. Took a picture of a big rock. Why? Because it's volcanic rock and I like volcanic rocks.

Northern Oregon is definitely different than the SW part where I live. Has its own type of beauty though.

Didn't stop to grab any pictures until I got out of the high desert. Stopped at a little overlook where you could sneak a peek of Mt. Mazama in the distance. Didn't stay long there because mosquitos the size of helicopters were trying to carry me away. Here's what I snagged:

Hey, I know that bike.

Hopped back on my faithful little thumper and took off to get away from the swarming blood suckers. Enjoyed riding through the pine trees and catching glimpses of the pumice soil that my route took me through. Took one more break at Lost Creek Lake before starting my last hurrah to the house.

As you can see, the place where I parked was busy. There's something to be said for traveling on a Monday.

That's it for the pictures I took. I told you I was bad at this.

All in all I had a great trip. It was nice to visit some family I hadn't seen in awhile, especially the evening I spent with my grandmother, who turns 90 in August. Like all good things my week away was over all too quickly. My little thumpy-mobile performed admirably, despite the fact that the seat murdered my butt. Tried to improve it with a memory foam seat cushion I bought at Wal-Mart, but as far as fixes go... It was pretty half-assed.
I ride 805ccs of slug.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:23 AM   #11
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Good job, That's a good report,
& Avatar... Part of my riding gear when I pedal to work.

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If Stone hadn't trademarked that, it'd be my Sig line.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:10 PM   #12
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Your reports are awesome! Living in your neck of the woods makes me very envious of your mobility. I am definitely getting a street legal, off road capable bike, soon!

Thanks for the inspiration.

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Old 07-12-2013, 05:40 PM   #13
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Looks like some decent riding!

I was just looking at one of those bikes on craigslist, i'm considering upgrading from my tw200 to something that will cruise down the highway a little better and found that the s40 is pretty cheap.
1999 Suzuki DR350SE - 2013 Specialized Crux Elite - 2012 Specialized Hardrock Sport

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Old 07-12-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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Nice report. Did get up that way myself last year...was a fun ride and it's a beautiful area. I may go back there this year and explore the area around Bend and Madras some more.

Incidentally, my first re-entry bike 5 years ago was an S40. I'm sorry I sold it. It was a great little machine...
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #15
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Should be subscribed to my own thread so I know if anyone responds to it..

I enjoy my S40 for what it is. It's my first motorcycle and it's done everything a first motorcycle should do. Like all bikes, it's capable of doing anything (within design parameters) that I want it to do. How well it does those things is sometimes something to debate. The worst part of the trip to Idaho was the 60 miles of I-84 I had to do in each direction. Both times I wanted that stretch to be over now. The bike will do 70mph no problem, but I don't enjoy the bike at 70mph. At that point the vibration has made the mirrors completely useless, and the buzz in the handle bars and foot pegs gets irritating. I find that the sweet spot for speed is 60mph, which is what I did while on the state highways and secondary roads. Mirrors are still useful and the vibes really aren't noticeable. Plus the slab is b-o-r-i-n-g. I got enough of interstate travel when I was an OTR truck driver. With that in mind I probably would have been annoyed with being on the slab even if I was on any other motorcycle.

The real downside to the S40 is that my wife likes to ride along with me. The little thumper is OK for doing 2 up for short distances, but forget going any kind of long distance. I asked her what she thought of the swing-arm mounted passenger pegs. She said she didn't really mind feeling every bump in the road being transmitted directly to her feet over short hauls but it would get old after more than an hour.

I'll probably have the little thump-mobile for another year. By next summer I should be in a position to get a new motorcycle and I've got my eye on a V-Strom 650. Want something that's better at speeds over 60mph, has more luggage options and my wife really likes them. Oh, and being a wee bit better for exploring fire roads and the like a bit better as well.

Also kind of sad that I haven't done much riding since I got back from Idaho other than commuting. Tight budget, and a busy summer class schedule. Starting a new job on Thursday so I'll have a little more "splat money" to spend on things like day trips and maybe some camping next month.
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