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Old 04-01-2014, 07:52 AM   #31
bmwblake
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: nashville, tn
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I just caught up on this as well. btw, I'm in Nashville.

Fred, you're welcome at my place anytime. You as well, Bob.


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Originally Posted by bpeckm View Post
One of the our "fellow" ADV'rs (hardwaregrrl Jenna, a good friend of your Atlanta buddy blake) just posted your ride report in the Airheads... man, you just made my day.....read through the entire report, and wishing (vicariously!) to be doing what you are doing. Good on ya' for setting out, far too often we plan so freeking meticulously that we lose the JOY in just... doing it. You have my respect and gratitude for what you do...

...put the cell phone down and go out and feel what life is about, amen!

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Old 04-01-2014, 10:11 AM   #32
akula802
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Awesome RR. Stuff like this is what gets me through the day.

I'll be leaving soon on a journey of my own, and I just have to ask about the stuff you were putting in your nostrils in the desert? Is the hot, dry air prone to give folks nosebleeds? I'm a brain-frozen Minnesota boy and know nothing of these "deserts."


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Old 04-01-2014, 01:54 PM   #33
boatpuller
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Wonderful writing style. Looking forward to your trip back east.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:35 AM   #34
StmbtDave
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Location: Loveland, CO summer - Green Valley, AZ winter
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Anxiously waiting to hear how you dealt with the loose cylinder stud . I had the same problem on my R100GS while at the national rally in Salem, OR last summer .

Dave
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:26 PM   #35
Marc LaDue
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Location: Hancock Township, Plymouth County, Iowa
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M & M from Sioux City say hi!

Is this the same Fred that didn't have enough bad luck with one low-side, and apparently just had to add a deer-hit somewhere out Oregon-way? Hope you're still trying to keep the shiny side up,

Marc and Marsha
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:48 AM   #36
cldiver
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Great story. It must be a blast. I keep expecting to read a "boy meets girl, boy leaves girl, girl meets boy later, type ending.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:58 PM   #37
LandLeftBehind OP
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To Hillsboro

Its good to hear from everyone. Blake you better be careful what you wish for - I might just end up at your doorstep again on a work night with some awful mess for you to deal with again.

Akula, I used a product called aquaphor. It seemed to work only marginally in the Mojave. Riding through that place was literally like pointing a blow dryer in my face for several hours, even with a full-face helmet (which was extremely nice to have in that environment). That stretch of I-10 was an exception to the other deserts I rode through though. The deserts of the Southwest are magical, I highly recommend visiting them.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was connected with a mechanic near Hillsboro who was willing to help me fix the issue. I had never met the fellow, and I had no idea what to expect.

I left the farm on a strongly optimistic note. I had been in one place for too long and it was refreshing to be on the road again. I was going to grab the horns of the mechanical issue that could ruin my trip. The oil was dripping away, but I knew the bike was going to get me to my destination.

Some accidental video footage of the Oregon Coastline:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQk_...ature=youtu.be

I was lucky enough to meet a diverse group of folks through an internship the previous summer. One of those friends was currently studying in Newport - a perfect midpoint between Coos Bay and Portland. We met and promptly headed to the beach for a surf outing. I didnt have a surf board or wet suit, but it felt great to crash head-first in the frigid Pacific for as long as I could stand it.

It was the perfect place to stop for the night, or so I thought...

The following morning was typical for the Pacific Coast, cold and foggy. I was ready to hit the road though. I knew that day was going to be the it - I would arrive to the good shepherd, who would guide me out of the shadow of doubt that had always cast itself just beyond the mountains, deserts, and cities where I rode. "What is hidden under this aluminum housing?"

I saddle up my bags and check tire pressures and oil. I hop on the bike and press the starter button.

ZIT-ZIT-ZINGGGGGG

....

"Theres no way"

press again

ZING-ZING-TZZZ

....

The starter was emanating a noise that sounded like the teeth of gears griding together. My mind was a vacuum.

ZING-ZITT-CHINNNG

Vacuum mind. I simply refuse to believe whats happening is happening, now, on this day, of all days. My obstinance eventually pays off.

VROOMMM VROOM VROOM

So now its a ride to Hillsboro with no stops. Too bad I didnt have enough gas to make it the whole way....

Maybe there is something to be said for simply refusing to accept a reality despite overwhelming evidence.



Pulling the starter out only left me confused. The magnets had collapsed, seizing the rotor and destroying the actuating arm. To this day, I wonder how I made it to Hillsboro without a pick-up truck.
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:49 AM   #38
globalt38
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I understand life getting in the way and all.... but this is a big cliff to leave us hanging on for so long....
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:43 PM   #39
LandLeftBehind OP
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Mechanics Camp with Wirespokes

Yikes! I really have neglected this thread. Sorry to anyone who was paying attention to it

To my credit, life has been quite crazy. Between moving to another state for graduate school (okay well I suppose Delaware and Maryland could be considered the same state), and producing an album with my band, time has been hard to find. I once again find myself with a little free time, so I think its high time to finish this story!

I last left off having just arrived to the mystery mechanic's house in the nick of time. My starter decided to blow up after 4,000 miles of cross-country traveling. I suppose it was sheer dumb luck that it happened en route to one of the most skilled airhead mechanic's in Oregon!

The magnets in the Valeo starter had collapsed, causing the actuating arm to seize and snap at the hinge. No bueno!



After ordering replacement parts for the starter, we decided to tackle the busted cylinder stud.



Carefully disassembling the cylinder to prevent damage to machined surfaces



It was easy enough getting everything apart, but we found that someone had already tried to repair the busted threads with a heli-coil which subsequently had failed. Wirespokes had the standard timesert sizes, but because of the previous heli-coil installation, we had to order a larger size.

While we waited for parts to come in, I decided to give Wirespokes, who had been nice enough to give me a place to stay, a break from my constant presence and check out Portland a little.



Not having much in the way of money, I was able to find a place to stay; some people who took in "couch-surfers" on a casual basis.



Drinking beers and sharing stories in the "hot tub"



I rode bicycles around the city with my impromptu hosts. One fellow rode what they call a "tall bike".



Who needs to buy food when it grows everywhere for free? These blackberries walls were a common site around Portland.



I returned after the weekend to find that many of our parts had arrived! Now the fun begins!



The process required reaming an appropriately sized hole, while periodically backing out to clean off metal shavings and re-greasing the reamer. We then ran a tap through the hole appropriately sized for the time-sert. (note: It is best to run the tap through aluminum only once to prevent cross-threading)



So much depends on so small an object!



It is necessary to use red loctite to secure the time-sert, taking care not to plug up the oil galley positioned directly above the stud. We did this by using a pick to apply the loctite to the threads in a way that would not come in contact with the oil galley.



We made the mistake of reaming all the way through the crankcase. When we threaded the stud in, we realized it would not seat. So we used red loctite to secure the thread in place, and used the jig to keep the stud squarely positioned as the loctite cured. Not an optimal outcome, but sometimes you have to just go with it. 8000 miles later everything seems to be working fine, but I would do it differently if I could do it again.

We put everything back together, then checked for oil flow from the studs by manually turning the engine over with the cylinder heads off. Satisfied with what we observed, we fired up the bike. Voila! The bike ceased leaking gratuitous amounts of oil from the cylinder connection and the stud nut now securely fastened the drive train components down. I could now take the journey home with the ease of mind I so needed.



By the time we had gotten the bike back together, it had been a serious few days of hard work. I was grateful for the hospitality and effort put forth by someone who just a few days ago was a complete stranger.



Its not everyday that someone just welcomes you in their home.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:39 PM   #40
Dark Helmet
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Really great RR. NICE JOB,

I had to laugh at a coincidence. In September last year I had just completed the Trans America Trail after a 5000 mile ride (for those not familiar, it's 90% off pavement from TN to Port Orford OR). After dipping my DRZ400's front wheel in the Pacific I headed to Portland to ship my bike home. I made it to Newport where your starter died and spent the night there. The next morning I packed up for my last day of the trip and my bike wouldn't start! Never had an issue before on the trip. Had to bump start it on a very big hill. Made to Portland, shipped it home, and i couldn't get it to start! Pulled the top end apart and found compression rings frozen. New piston/rings, still wouldn't start. Got it bump started, rode 5 miles, started while warm, but next day no start. Another tear down, still won't start 5 months after end of a great trip! I have it narrowed to a couple electrical issues now, BUT, in Portland I developed two major issues that have stopped a bike that ran perfectly for 30 days and 5000 miles in all kinds of crap!

Stay out of Portland you guys!
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:12 PM   #41
LandLeftBehind OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
Really great RR. NICE JOB,

I had to laugh at a coincidence. In September last year I had just completed the Trans America Trail after a 5000 mile ride (for those not familiar, it's 90% off pavement from TN to Port Orford OR). After dipping my DRZ400's front wheel in the Pacific I headed to Portland to ship my bike home. I made it to Newport where your starter died and spent the night there. The next morning I packed up for my last day of the trip and my bike wouldn't start! Never had an issue before on the trip. Had to bump start it on a very big hill. Made to Portland, shipped it home, and i couldn't get it to start! Pulled the top end apart and found compression rings frozen. New piston/rings, still wouldn't start. Got it bump started, rode 5 miles, started while warm, but next day no start. Another tear down, still won't start 5 months after end of a great trip! I have it narrowed to a couple electrical issues now, BUT, in Portland I developed two major issues that have stopped a bike that ran perfectly for 30 days and 5000 miles in all kinds of crap!

Stay out of Portland you guys!
Yikes! Dont jinx me man! I managed to get home but I'm currently working through some new mechanical issues. Has the Newport curse stuck around?

That is funny how we both broke down in the same area.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:00 PM   #42
LandLeftBehind OP
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'splorin the Northwest

After fixing up my motorcycle, my new found friend and I decided it would be fun to hit the road for a short tour through Eastern Oregon.

We set out a cool morning and passed through Portland on our way to the mountains. As we ascended in altitude, I began the shaky breathing that seemed to be my body's natural response to cool temperatures. The sudden temperature changes brought about by the Northwest landscape seemed to always catch me by surprise. Mt. Hood was obscured by a thick veil of clouds, but the extensive pine forests all around was a treat for the eyes.

We were moving at a rather quick pace, and Wirespokes almost crashed into a flock of turkeys on the other side of a blind corner. Good thing evolution afforded those animals the quickness needed to avoid becoming lunch, or roadkill for that matter. Later, we have to break hard on the highway as a group of equestrians pop up on the highway. Madness in the mountains.

As we descended from the Cascades, the lush pine forest opened up into the endless prairie. Being an east-coaster, I had never before experienced a similar transition. The land was golden and seemingly beckoned me to ride off into the horizon with the fluffy clouds and blue sky.



We rode through Maupin, over the Deschutes, then to Antelope, Fossil, and Spray, where we had our second close encounter with nature when some deer leapt out in front of us in the middle of town.



Our destination: Ritter Hot Springs





Earlier in the trip, I discovered the amazing, almost sacred healing properties of hot springs in New Mexico, and I looked forward to shedding the anxiety that had shadowed the last few weeks of mechanical woes. The motorcycle rode, and rode well thanks to the help of a then-stranger now-friend. As I sunk into the steamy, quiet waters, I closed that chapter of my trip, for the time-being at least.

Closed off brick rooms gives the soaker some privacy



Ritter Hot Springs was located in a hilly area of eastern oregon, I took the opportunity to hike around the area and enjoy the vast, breezy country.



The silence is huge in this place.





Wirespokes and I part ways at the hot springs for the time being. I wanted to visit a friend in Seattle and he had matters to attend back home. We planned to rendezvous later to prepare the bike for the journey home across the states.



I took the route northwest through endless fields of golden wheat.



The little town of Ukiah boasted a two pump gas station. As I filled a little old man rode up on a bicycle adorned with an american flag and informed the station clerk that packs of wolves were roaming the country side and they were to be shot on sight. I probably should have told him I'd keep my eye out.



A sign marking the 45th parallel



After passing Kennewick the country side is mostly flat and made up of farms, but a large mountain (Mt. Adams?) lays ahead and marks my destination.

The road towards Mt. Rainier National Park is not too exciting and clogged by traffic at certain points, I manage to scoop out this awesome spot before nightfall.



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