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Old 06-16-2013, 01:09 AM   #16
cyberdos
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I like your style.

If I were doing this trip I'd skip San Diego and not miss riding Ojai, Angeles Crest and Rim of the World through Big Bear. Like so.

No offense to SoCal but if you're strapped for time I'd do the big boys above. If you're set on going all the way down then ride Palomar and head towards Julian for some apple pie. Route here. Route 78 past Julian is a blast.

The I-10 is going to SUCK through Arizona either way. Heading south to the 8 wont be any better. It's really hot right now here but there is really no way to avoid it. Once here I'd take this route. 191 is not to be missed, specially on a sport bike.

Good luck and if you need anything passing through the Phoenix metro area let me know. I'm 35 miles East of Phoenix.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:51 PM   #17
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Day 5+1: Lewiston to Bellingham

Thanks for reading the reports. It is my first trip and my first time writing any type of report. I apologize for being so far behind. Long days in the saddle dont leave much time.


Day 5

We headed north out of Lewiston, ID into the grassy hills of Washington. It was almost surreal. Endless rolli g hills covered in beautiful green grass with cloudless blue skies. It reminds me of the default Microsoft Windows wallpaper. Lots of farm equipment and vehicles keep the speeds low for the first 40 or so miles.

Beyond the hills, and Spokane, the scenery changes. It looks more like the New Mexico plains. Only less windy. We stopped at Grand Coulee and the Coulee Dam. What a marvel of engineering. The dam was commissioned during the term of FDR and took 17 years to compete. The visitor center had tons of cool stuff, including a virtual tour of the whole dam. There is also a map of all of the dams and power stations in the Northwest US.



The road continued to the town of Brewster. The town is completely surrounded with apple and cherry orchards. Every possible plot of land that could be used to grow produce is cultivated. There are trucks full of ladders, school buses full of workers, and crates in every parking lot. Harvest season has begun.

On the WA-153 toward Methow, there is a sign that tracks the number of deer hits and the cost ($$) of the resulting damages. It is a bit unnerving. Thankfully, we didn't see any deer on the whole road. Upon arriving in the small town of Winthrop, we had to stop and walk around. It looks like a town straight of the 1800's with boardwalks and false front stores with painted signs. Allegedly there is an ice cream parlor that is to die for. Something I will have to catch on my next trip.



Storms were looming on the distance, so we put on our rain gear for the trip up WA-20. Despite the rain and cold temps, the road was stunning and worth it. The overlook above Diablo Lake was amazing. I got a few pictures, but the battery in the camera was too close to death. A real shame that. To add insult to injury, the sputter-and-doe issue that had occasionally haunted the Strom was becoming increasingly frequent. It happened mid corner when coming down from the lake, and that had me concerned. We continued on at 80% speed, just to be on the safe sde.



The rain followed us on the rest of our journey, and when we got to the hotel, we were both cold and tired and glad to be done. Tomorrow is a planned, and much needed day off. We will find a good dealer to look at the Strom and I will get a chance to visit with my good friend "wabill."



Day 6: In Bellingham



More rain on the way to Skagit Powersports to get the Strom looked at. The service manager looked over the bike and took it out for a test ride. He believed the Marsee tank bag was creating a seal on the gas cap, preventing the tank from venting. Placing a rag underneath the tank bqg would allow it to breathe and should remedy the problem. We also picked up a bottle of fuel system cleaner, just in case. My dad also picked up a set of Frogg Togg rain gear as his rain jacket was 15 years old and had already lost a seam. It turned out to be a great choice. Tomorrow we head to Astoria, OR. Home of the Goonies!!


~Ex
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2010 Triumph Bonneville SE - RIP (7/9/11)
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2012 Ducati StreetFighter 848
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:08 PM   #18
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Did you make it back?
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:02 PM   #19
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Day 7: Bellingham to Astoria

From Bellingham we rode south on I-5 down to Burlington. It seems a truck had collapsed a bridge on the '5' so we would need to reroute our trip and avoid delays and Seattle. We stopped for fuel and turned west on WA-20 over Deception Pass. It is a wonderfully engineered bridge spanning a double ravine. Even on a cold, grey, and damp morning, the scenery was breathtaking.





We continued on past Coopville towards Kingspoint to catch a ferry to Olympia National Park. I was becoming concerned by all of the signs recommending reservations for the ferry. I obviously didn't have any because this (re)route was planned that morning. I figured at best, we'd have to wait a while, and at worst, we'd have to back-track 20 minutes back to Coopville to catch the ferry there.




Thankfully, there wasn't even a line and we arrived about 10 minutes before the next ferry. I have never ridden a ferry before, so I knew it would be interesting. We were boarded after the pedestrians, but well before the other motorists. We were placed in our own lane, way up at the front of the boat. The water was calm, the ride was quick, and the scenery was quite good. I never even dismounted as I just knew we'd end up on a rough patch of water and the bike would fall off the side stand. We didn't and it didn't and I was glad to be back on solid ground.




I opted to ride along the lakes on US-101 south for a change of scenery and to make the day a bit shorter. The roads were mostly free of cages and the pace was brisk as we blasted through the park toward Olympia. Once we had eaten, it was back on the road toward Astoria.


The weather finally cleared and it warmed up a touch. The sunlight was a welcome change. Just north of Astoria, we passed this really odd town named Randall, OR. The sides of the road were covered with silhouette cut-outs of birds, then animals, then people, and then the people were waring clothes. All of that movement in the afternoon breeze was unnerving. I can't imagine how that would be riding through after dark!!! I don't recall even seeing a live perzon in town. Talk about the Twilight Zone.


As we neared Astoria, we could see this massively long bridge across the bay. The first 3/4 of the bridge was a few feet above sea level and as flat as a board. The remaining 1/4 elevated rapidly to 50 or 60 feet before descending into the town. An odd design to say the least. The neighborhood on the side of ghe hill looked a lot like tje Goon-docks from the Goonies movie, so we walked there for a while after a late dinner at "Pig 'n Pancake." What's not to love there.





Tomorrow it is back down the coast to Newport, OR and then inland to the I-5 and south to Medford.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:03 PM   #20
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Day 8: Astoria to Medford

We departed Astoria headed south on US-101. It was a cold morning and it never seemed to get better, so we stopped and put on our ran jackets and i got my heavy gloves. It wasn't really wet, just breezy and unexpectedly cold.


It was then that we got our first real glimpse of the ocean. We stopped and took in several of the scenic overlooks on US-101 as it snaked us inland and sea-side down the Oregon coast.







It never got much warmer or brighter until we turned inland again toward Corialis, OR. Then it was hot and traffic was insane. Back out of the rain jackets and the mesh gloves returned on the journey south down the I-5. We arrived in Medford, OR without much ado, and another day was done.


Given my physical ailments (sore wrists, back, and knees), I made the administrative decision that we would bypass Reno/Lake Tahoe and slab it straight down the I-5 to Gilroy or Salinas, CA to prepare for our visit to Hearst Castle and the Pacific Coast Highway.


~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:05 PM   #21
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Day 9: Medford to Gilroy

A long day lay ahead, slabbing down the I-5 to the 101. Northern California was beautiful and the views of Mt. Shasta were fantastic. The traffic, on the other hand, was less than desirable: Semi, RV, Semi, Semi, RV. I hate the slab, but the days were getting increasingly long and difficult as the riding position of the Daytona was taking its toll on me. 2700+ miles so far and we were making good time.



We stopped in Vacaville to find the real reason for the trip: In-N-Out Burger (not really.) You can lan laugh, but I lobe that place. Best fries ever!! It was as good as I remembered, and we would be on the PCH the next day. I was just hoping that our new route would avoid most of the bad traffic.




Actually, it wasn't too bad. We slipped between Sacrimento, San Francisco, and San Jose, avoiding most of the traffic. We arrived in Gilroy earlier than anticipated and stayed at a hotel within walking distance of another In-N-Out Burger. Dinner is served!


~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:07 PM   #22
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Day 10: Gilroy to....

We got breakfast, checked out of the hotel, loaded the bikes, and... went nowhere. The Daytona wouldn't start. The engine turns over and the electricals are all working, but she just wont start. 15 attempts to start the bike over an hour (careful not to burn out the started motor) including two bump-starts and still nothing. We are only 50 miles from the nearest Triumph dealership, but they are closed on Monday. No problem, we can fix it.


We checked back in to the hotel and stowed our gear and proceeded to disassemble the Daytona
I am my father's son and as such, I had an extensive tool kit on the bike and the knowledge to use it. Fuses: Check! Wiring connectors: Check! Fuel lines: Check! Air box: Check. Coils: Check. A little bit of searching online led us to the possibility that the battery may not have had enough juice to start the motor, so off my dad goes to Cycle Gear to pick up a battery charger. While it sat in the hotel room charging, we wandered around the outlet stores. We spotted an Applebee's and it was time for a meal break and a few beers. My treat.


My dad was notably frustrated because we can't seem to get the bike going, but has hope that the battery charger will work and get us back on the road down the PCH and then home. The battery was still charging 4 hours later so I thought maybe the battery had given up the ghost. Back to Cycle Gear to have the battery load tested and/or buy a replacement if necessary. The battery tested fine and with renewed hope we stuck the battery back in. Still no go. Renting a U-Haul was looking like a real possibility, and a spendy one at $815 + gas.


At this point I turned to the Triumph 675 forums for help. One forum member (shouldnthave) sent out a call to his friends in the area and said a local friend (blondeguy) would be able to bring his truck and a laptop the next morning to run an error code test (thank God for TuneECU) and, if necessary, transport us to the nearest Triumph dealership (Cal Moto). Nothing could be done tonight so we veged-out at the hotel, ready for the next day.


~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:09 PM   #23
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Day 11: Gilroy to San Jose

After calling the head tech at my home dealership and discussing possible issues, he suggested pulling the plugs and check to see if they had fouled or if perhaps the engine had flooded. We decided to disassemble the bike one more time and follow up with the tech's recommendations. The bike was apart in the parking lot again, and in record time. It appears I am getting quite good at this. The plugs looked great but no spark. Now we're getting somewhere!


My tech said he also believed that it was the Crank Position Sensor. With my bike out of warranty by a month, he believes Triumph will Good Will the work and get me back on the road. With my fingers crossed, the new plan is to take it to the dealership and get it fixed if they can.


We snagged breakfast and checked out of the hotel. I parked the bike in the shade next door to the hotel. 30 minutes later blondguy showed up with his truck and ramps and were loaded and off to blondeguy's home to check for error codes.




TuneECu finds a Map Sensor error, which was expected: we found the hose was disconnected when we first removed the tank. He reset the code and we cycled the bike's power. No more codes. The bike still wouldn't start. The dealership said they could fit us in because of our situation, so off we went to Cal Moto.


The service guy said he would fill out the warranty request and would get back to me ASAP. He anticipated that there would be no problem and that I could be back on the road as early as Thursday. After dropping off the bike, my dad headed back home to New Mexico. God Speed. Mr. & Mrs. blondguy opened up their home to me while I wait for my bike. What amazing people. I am eternally grateful.


~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #24
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Day 12: San Jose... Again.

As it turns out, San Jose, CA isn't a bad place to be stranded. I decided to venture out and see what was near by. My generous hosts left me with a map of the area and gave me a few suggestions for things to do, so I wasn't flying blind. The first stop was the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden.



Now that is impressive. A beautifully maintained rose garden that takes up the better part of a city block. I wandered around there for the better part of an hour photographing various flowers before heading to a nearby Egyptian museum. The grounds and structures all had an impressive ancient Egyptian theme. Unfortunately, the museum was closed, but the grounds were worth the trip.




I wandered down to a nearby BMW Motorad dealership to browse the latest in 2-wheeled, German Engineering. What an awful place. I was in the dealership for maybe 25 minutes and was simply ignored by the 4 employees working there; including the parts/accessories department where I spent a good bit of time checking out the Schuberth helmets. Very nice lids, big $$$. Back to the house before someone misses me.


On my walk back, CalMoto called and told me that Triumph agreed to the Good Will warranty repairs and that they would have the part friday morning and that I'd be back on the road early Friday. Great news! That night I learned that the (in)famous Winchester Mansion was just a few miles away, so I knew that I would be trekking my way that direction the next day.


~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:12 PM   #25
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Day 13: San Jose... AGAIN!?!

I got an early start in an attempt to beat the heat. The walk to the Winchester "Mystery House" was only a few miles, and I made good time. Since I was in no hurry, I opted for the full tour. What a cool place. The don't allow any photography inside the house, so I was only able to take exterior photographs of the home. The House tour takes you through 110 of the 160 or so room of the mansion. Mrs. Winchester had a bizarre vision of her home. I cant recommend it enough if you are in the area. I love "haunted" houses and other strange attractions, so it was right up my alley. I spent 4.5 hours at the house between the two tours, the Winchester gun museum, and wandering the grounds. The only downside was the walk back in the heat of the afternoon.






Tomorrow I would be on my way. If I get on the road early enough, I would still have time to ride the Pacific Coast Highway.


~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:15 PM   #26
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Day 14: San Jose to ANYWHERE

Blondguy was kind enough to drop me off at CalMoto on his way to work. Once they had confirmed that the parts had arrived, he headed off. I am forever grateful for the generosity of Mr. & Mrs. blondguy.


I sat around the dealership until nearly 3:00PM, thus killing any chance of making it out to the PCH. I also learned that Good Will warranty only covers parts and installation. I was left with a $300 bill for the diagnosis. Oh well. It is better than paying the estimated $650 for the whole deal.




I loaded up my bike, to the amazement of the service staff, and headed out into Friday afternoon, California traffic. In all fairness, I have never been in major city traffic on a motorcycle before. Traffic in Albuquerque (NM) simply doesn't compare. I also found myself reluctant to lane-split/filter traffic... At least at first.


After maybe 10 minutes of baking in the sun, moving at a snail's pace, a motorcycle shot past me between the slow moving lanes of traffic. When in Rome... I checked my mirror and reluctantly pulled into the splitting lane. It was as if I was Moses and the sea of cars parted before me. Amazing.


I breezed through traffic until my exit at Gilroy for gas and to pick up the cellphone charger that I had left behind at the hotel a few days prior. Thankfully the housekeepers and management are honest folks, and they bagged and tagged my abandoned property. Gassed up and ready to go, I headed east along CA-152 and then south on I-5 to Bakersfield.




Traffic was light and I was making good time until I realized I had missed my exit for CA-58 to Barstow. My detour took me through Arvin, CA. There were more suicidal bugs on that short stretch of road than I had encountered the whole trip. With the sun setting, and my visor a mess, I had to pull off twice to keep my visibility at a comfortable level.


Back on CA-58, I shot down to Barstow, where I had planned to stay for the night. After stopping for a quick bite to eat and another fill up for the Daytona, I decided that Barstow isn't the friendliest looking town and would take my chances on the road hoping to make Kingman instead. I arrived in Needles, CA at 2:30AM and decided that it was probably in my best interest to call it quits for the day. Gas and hotels in Needles are stupid expensive. I should have pulled off and slept in the desert. Hindsight...


~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:17 PM   #27
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Day 15: Needles to Albuquerque

Getting a late start, I left Needles at 9:30AM. It was already too warm for comfort. I gassed up and headed west on I-40. Western Arizona is unique, but it isn't much to look at until you hit the mountains outside of Flagstaff.





I tucked in behind a BMW F800ST moving at warp 9. It was nice to ride with company for a while. I backed off outside of Flagstaff because the speed traps around that town are numerous and well hidden. I didn't figure I needed a performance award on top of my unanticipated repair bill, so I played it safe... mostly.


Stopped for lunch and fuel in Flagstaff and headed back out. After exiting the mountains, the scenery was pretty bad until the New Mexico border. Finally, something to look at other than flat and brown. I pulled off in Gallup, NM for my last fuel stop of the trip. I called home to let my folks know that I would be arriving in Albuquerque in a few short hours.





My dad wanted to meet up with me so we could “finish” the ride together, so we met in the Route 66 Casino parking lot and headed back to their house. What a good end to the trip.





~Ex
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:19 PM   #28
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Day 16: Albuquerque to Alamosa (HOME)

In the morning, I unpacked any of the unnecessary items (tent, sleeping bag, etc.) and loaded up the bike. Only 200 more miles and I would be home. The morning was cool, and traffic was pretty light the whole way. I arrived home around 3pm and had just enough time to unpack and do laundry. Unfortunately, I had to work the next day.







Total Miles: 4524
States Covered: 9

Duration: 16 days


~Ex
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:30 AM   #29
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Excellent trip! Living in New England all my life, I always find the scenery out West to be remarkable. Reading this report and seeing all of the photos has inspired me to get out there someday!
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:09 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimmer View Post
Did you make it back?
I did. Sorry about the late report and follow up. Work has been a real PITA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubs S3 View Post
Excellent trip! Living in New England all my life, I always find the scenery out West to be remarkable. Reading this report and seeing all of the photos has inspired me to get out there someday!
You really should. Even if you just chose a state or two to ride for a few weeks, I doubt you'd be disappointed.

As a follow up, my Pilot Road 3 tyres have 9000+ miles on them now and still have PLENTY of tread left. The have just started to square off; probably a result of the last 1500 miles being slab. Great all-weather tyres with lots of grip and feedback. I am eager to see how the Pirelli Angel GTs compare.

My gear worked exceptionally well. I stayed warm/cool and dry in my Olympia gear. The Kreiga bags were exactly the right kind of luggage for my Daytona. Once you work out a system for quick install/removal at least. If you run a similar set-up, I'd recommend checking the straps and tightening them up when you stop for gas. I had one strap come loose and the bags started to shift when stopping.

If I had to do it again.... I would have taken a different bike. Maybe the Ducait. Needing a bit more room to stretch out during long days in the saddle would have been a boon. With that said, the Daytona performed exceedingly well and got an avg of 50mpg (US) during the trip.

Next stop, Maine? Key West? Both?

~Ex
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