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Old 04-14-2009, 06:21 PM   #16
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Four Wheels Move the Body, Two Wheels Move the Soul.

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Old 04-14-2009, 06:57 PM   #17
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:04 AM   #18
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In The Beginning

Have you ever been sat on your bike, riding along, and thinking to yourself: 'How the hell did I get myself into this?' Well - inordinate pack rat that I am, here's a brief presentation of the e-mail trail that became the source of all the subsequent mayhem. What began as a seemingly harmless conversation concerning bike purchases suddenly turned ugly when 'Prudoe Bay' was dropped innocently into the discussion. The rest - as they say - is history; and in retrospect, looking at the 'matter of fact' tone of some of Gary's prose, I'm really not sure how he felt about the prospect of having another inexperienced goober clinging to his coat tails. Amusingly, since I'm obviously so dazzled by the potential of making this trip, there doesn't seem to be any apparent concern on my part when Gary mentions 12K in 12 days either.

----- Original Message -----
From: Me
To: Gary
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 7:10 AM
Subject: RE: Fun Forward.

Hey Gary,

I noticed you’ve added a V-Strom to the stable. Did you get the 650 or 1000 version? One of my KLR riding friends just put down a deposit on the 1000 a couple of days ago and he takes delivery on Tuesday, so I’m sure he’d be interested to get your take on it. I don’t know if I mentioned it previously, but I bought an ’01 Speed Triple a few months ago; not very practical but a lot of fun.


From: Gary
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 8:43 PM
To: Me
Subject: Re: Fun Forward.

Hi Phil,

I got the 1000 . I bought it used w/ 1,800 miles with givi bags and crash bars.Tell your friend most 1000 V-Stroms have a hesitation problem below 4,000 rpm ( mine does). The fix is a power commander, I ordered mine last night.
I sold the Connie with 110K and in aug. I went to N.D. and Montana ( 5,600 miles in 6 days) completing all 48 states on that bike. Now I'm looking to do Prudoe Bay, Alaska with the V-Strom. My goal is 12K in 12 days but i'll give myself 14 for bad weather, next July, aug. My brother Joe is looking for a bike that will be able to make the trip but he's not sure about the 12 in 12.
You sent me a photo of your triple a while back. She looks like a lot of fun!


From: Me
To: Gary
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 7:07 AM
Subject: RE: Fun Forward.


If you want any extra company on the Alaska trip, just say the word! Can’t say I’ve done that many 1000 mile days, my best was 1100 with 300 miles of Colorado backroads, but it was on the last day of our trip, so I wouldn’t be too worried about my enthusiasm level. How hard could it be?! I assume you’d be looking to do a few interstate days of a good bit more than that, as maintaining 1000/day pace up the Dalton Highway might be difficult. The Alaska trip is the holy grail of US bike trips IMHO. I think the V-Strom would be a pretty good choice for that trip.


From: Gary
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2005 5:00 PM
To: Me
Subject: Re: Fun Forward.

Hi Phil,

This is the deal. I'm going in July or aug. another ironbutt guy is going and Joe is up in the air, but four people is a lot of people to stick together for 1000 to 1,200 miles a day for 12 days. When I did the Sturgis trip this year with the same guy going on this one, we only ate once a day besides the motel in the morning or gas station first thing in the morning, we start riding 1 hour before the sun comes up and around one to three hours after it goes down ( our gas stops are 300 miles apart and only take 10 min - besides the first one where I have a coffee, which I had to talk him into).and we covered 5,600 miles in 6 days with a lot of sight seeing.
If you had another person in mind to do this ride with you we will have to do separate groups and if we run into each other that would be great but we may not also. It's hard enough to cover these miles alone and a lot harder as a group. One other thing: we have to set up our bikes to have a range of over 300 miles to a tank. I'm putting a fuel cell on mine, My friend peter gets around 350 with his stock tank ( BMW 1200 RT ). Let me know what you think?


Douf screwed with this post 04-16-2009 at 08:28 AM
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:50 AM   #19
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BlueBuell
Who cares about Alaska! I want to know what drove you to complete 12,000 miles in 2 weeks. Dude.
HI ,, It was 11,000 miles in 14 days. Were you riding while I was sleeping....
Gary P
04 V-Strom 1000 42K, ,01 KLR650 24K,04 H-D Road King 8K
Sold but not forgotten 98 concours 110K
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:01 PM   #21
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:19 PM   #22
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:51 AM   #23
Douf OP
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Originally Posted by gary138
HI , It was 11,000 miles in 14 days. Were you riding while I was sleeping....
Technically speaking, yes I was! On the last day of the trip, while you girls were back home tucked up safely in bed after already finishing the trip earlier in the day (come to think of it, the previous day strictly speaking - damn! forget the mileage, I didn't even get the number of days right ), I was still out riding at 2:30 in the morning, attempting to negotiate some of North Western Georgia's more rural backroads after our wonderful law enforcement officials had completely closed down I-75 southbound. On the plus side though, even getting lost when you'd rather be asleep, in retrospect is good for the mileage bottom line.
To be honest though, when starting this write-up I just pulled that 12K figure out of my ass from your initial pre-trip estimate without giving much further pause for thought. But you are correct; although - looking at the mapquest and doing the math - I estimate my cross country solo sojourn towards the end of the trip was maybe good for a couple of hundred extra miles over the final total you guys came up with (taking into account the shorter leg I did to get to the initial meeting point as well), that still only puts me around 11500 GPS miles (you guys actually did 11200 and change according to my figures). Additionally My wildy optimistic KTM odometer had me at a little more respectable figure than did the GPS, which of course in my non Ironbutt calibrated mind was the correct one to use So, if all the planets were indeed aligned, and using a bit of poetic license, maybe I'm not that far away from my optimistic reality (probably not good enough for any kind of official long distance certificate though, eh?).
FWIW my own written distance statistics dissapeared from the tankbag map window somewhere in the deserts of Utah - so if anyone happens to come across a tattered little pad with a bunch of mileage figures in it.

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Old 04-17-2009, 11:11 AM   #24
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:05 PM   #25
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Pre Trip - Bike Choice

Of Course I Need One Honey

After the initial e-mails exchanged between Gary and I established my participation in the trip, our thoughts turned to bike choice. Gary's V-Strom was more than up to the job, but my traveling companion of choice - the KLR - in Gary's opinion (and he's right) really wasn't suitable for the kind of endurance riding/speeds under consideration. Assuming I needed merely to buy another bike and add the necessary touring accessories to it, I started looking around for suitable candidates. However by the apparent tone of the following message, our noble leader's conscience made a rare appearance and I was given the option of taking the KLR. That being said, Gary's brother Joe (who also owned a KLR) traded his Harley for a GS (as evidenced in the second message below), so even given the potential to take the Kawasaki, visions of being marooned on the side of some desolate road peppered my imagination and consequently a new bike was still the only perceived option of any merit.

Subject: Re: Bike Choice
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 13:43:00 -0400
From: Gary
To: Me

Hi Phil,

I've been thinking and with the all the trouble hooking up a fuel cell to a fuel injected bike for one trip is crazy and I think it's not fair
for me to ask anybody to do so( I still plan on doing it because I think I'll get a lot of use out of it in the future, I'm at 95% on doing so). But I will ask that the fuel stops be as brief as possible.

On another note if you can keep the KLR at 75 mph (GPS 75= about 78,79 on the bikes tack and around 5,500 rpm's) for thousands of miles everyday for two weeks god bless you and you are more than welcome to use it on this trip. Keep in mind that's a lot to ask of that bike. The choice is yours.

I'm sending this to Joe too and I don't think he would be OK with doing those rpm's for two weeks but keep in mind we have to at least go a constant 75 not 70 or 72 at least 75 (78,79 on bikes odo.). I don't want to start this trip and 1 to 2 or even 5 days later a KLR is staying back and slowing the other down YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND, (that goes for blood and water) so choose a bike you don't mind going these speeds. On my KLR I get 225 to a tank when going 65, when going 75 all I get is 175 to a tank. So a aux. tank is not a bad idea seeing all you have to do is tee off the gas line on that bike.
BOY I feel better now!!!!


From: Gary
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 8:38 PM
To: Me

Subject: New Bike

Hi Phil,

Joe and I went to a great BMW dealer in N.H. saturday to test
ride a few models. Well Joe traded his Harley for a new 05 1200 GS w/ abs, side and top cases,crash bars,etc.He's in for Prudhoe bay.


All that remained was the relatively simple task of convincing the wife-a-saurus that anther two wheeled purchase was really necessary for this endeavor - doh! Yeah, right! How do you convince a woman who knows very little about two wheeled machinery that I don't already have something that's eminently suitable for the task? - and in her eyes I do seem to be quite well equipped without the need for further financial embarrassment.

'How about the KLR? you've already been half way across the U.S. on that one. It's got a complete set of luggage all ready to go and you've spent a lot of time getting it just how you wanted it. I'm sure it'd be great'
'Ummmmm. Gary says it's too slow, honey'

'Well what about any of these others - surely one of them would do the job'
'Honey, Gary says they all suck - I need a new bike'

After a few weeks of enforced celibacy, we were still at a total impasse. Exactly what would rectify this situation was beyond my comprehension, until - idly looking through the paper one day - I noticed that BMW had it's new 3 series on the market. A little car shopping, the rough end of $35K later and the bike purchase was on.

'Honey - look at my lovely new bike'
'Yeah whatever - I'm going for a drive in the Bimmer'

So, in what was an extremely expensive final week of the year, I became the proud owner of a new 950 Adventure and my wife got a 325i for her troubles.
Buying the KTM, I had unquestionably fallen hook, line and sinker for the Austrian marketing hype. I'd been looking at a GS and was ready to pull the trigger, until the sales flunky - with all his talk of 'electronic this and canbus that' - managed to convince me that this needlessly complicated contraption would be an absolute liability were any unforeseen backwoods mishap to occur. No; I needed something simple, something basic, a more powerful KLR actually. This KTM - carburated, normally aspirated brakes, no unecessary electronic excessiveness and proven in the great deserts of North Africa would be just the thing I'd need. It surely must be eminently reliable - given the abuse hurled at it in race guise; and simple to maintain too, since many a piste-side repair must have undoubtedly been hastily performed. Well, in retrospect, the only thought that comes to mind is: 'YOU DUMB STUPID BASTARD'

Anyway - oblivious to what niggling relationship issues lay ahead for the KTM and I - after a few weeks spent diagnosing a mysterious oil leak (turned out to be an incorrectly torqued oil pressure switch), I enthusiastically set about plundering the aftermarket for enough (obviously indispensable) accessories to turn my baby into a Rolling French Cathouse (copyright John Burns) of adventuredom.

Spot the difference stock/mod. Gratuitously excessive waste of money starts with Touratech's finest HID and fog lamps, Adv Workshop's headlight guard, Hard Parts' radiator grill, and carbon fork protectors - can't remember the manufacturer.

Oh, we're not done yet, not by a loooooong shot. More unidentified carbon fiber protection, Touratech bashplate and brake reservoir protector, Hard Parts tank guards (loaded with de-rigueur highway pegs) and Powerlet outlet (mounted in side panel - top left)

Still got some money left? How about a Renazco seat? (yes, please) and FMF pipes. Luggage racks (except top case rack pictured) and hard cases come standard this particular year.

Since we're wasting all this cash, might as well know where we're going I guess - Garmin GPS (hardwired - which I'd later regret) and Touratech mount. Having thrown so many worthless accessories at the thing, wife-a-saurus concluded I'd have been probably been happier with a Harley. :ymca Ultimately though, even though I'd added almost
every redundant piece of junk possible, I ended up with something about as reliable as congressional sincerity. She's a looker though.

Douf screwed with this post 04-17-2009 at 08:50 PM
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:01 PM   #26
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More Gas = Sore A$$

The Fuel Cell

After plundering the aftermarket to within an inch of bankcruptcy, all I had left to show for my efforts was an assemblage of bike + parts that any goober with plenty of money and limited imagination could have put together. In my eyes, the one redeeming feature of the add-on exercise though was the fuel cell. With this puppy on board in place of the topcase and rack, fully gassed at around eleven gallons, the temperamental Orange projectile was capable of inducing well over 400 miles of haemeroid blistering hell between fill ups.

Fuel Cell and Mount

Mounting Brackets and Modified Rack

Underside of Modified Rack

5 extra gallons inside this rugged plastic enclosure (normally used for circle track racers) - held on by nylon webbing straps which worked great and held the tank very securely

A whole rats nest of AN pipe fittings (that turned out to be a royal pain to source in any concurrent collection of parts), Shut off valve (activated when main tanks are empty - gas is gravity fed - works great. Knob is easy to use even when reaching behind you too), and grounding strap (partly visible) which I diligently routed down to the subframe and tied off; but in retrospect, since it was hooked up to a stud on the plastic filler cap and therefore possessed no form of electrical continuity to the gas, I doubt it was very effective.

Quick disconnect (to allow retention of plumbing on bike) and fuel filter. However, with fueling issues evident on return from the trip (which turned out to be completely unrelated to any of this stuff) I removed the whole installation before commencing further diagnosis.

Modified 'Katoom' luggage rack mated to machined aluminum 6061 brackets and breather tube (routed down the side of the license plate when assembled).

However, as the beast and I really haven't been anywhere of significant note together since the end of this trip, and also as I feel so utterly pretentious ridding down to the local Starbucks with a fuel cell mounted :ymca - this contraption has recently spent its' retirement collecting dust in a darkened corner of my workshop.


Douf screwed with this post 04-24-2009 at 03:54 PM Reason: Added jpegs of initial design
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:22 PM   #27
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Laugh Let's Get This Party Started

Day 1: All Hands To Illinois

After all the planning, second guessing and potential pitfalls avoided, zero hour finally arrived and it was time to hit the road. A lodging location at Rochelle, Illinois was the predetermined destination for this evening's rest stop and of the three of us, I was getting the easy day - if that's what you can call the 785 miles of mainly interstate riding that existed between my home just north of Atlanta and the hotel. The other two guys were having a little harder time of it: Gary was jumping onto his V-Strom, leaving from his home in Massachusetts at 4am, then stopping by his brother Joe's house in Rhode Island, where Joe would be waiting on his GS. The pair of them were then traveling together for the mere 1080 miles that would put them into my zip code at Rochelle.

Gary's V-Strom Ready for the road.

Guess who's done this before?

My departure hour was a relatively sane 6am and, after a false start which saw me return to grab the Camelback that sat temporarily forgotten in my kitchen, the day commenced. As I navigated over the first fairly familiar miles, I felt like I normally do starting a trip of this magnitude: a mixture of excitement and apprehension - knowing I'm about to step into a temporary parallel universe for a couple of weeks and anticipating what potential adventures might lie ahead. One thing that struck me about today's assignment was how much further it was than I had imagined from Massachusetts to the greater Chicago area. Looking at the map without paying too much attention, it appeared that my two traveling companions only had to make a short westerly relocation to get to the hotel, whereas Atlanta seemed to require a journey stretching from almost the bottom of the country all the way to the top.

Joe's GS ready and waiting

It was the first time I had traveled any distance with the fuel cell and even though I wasn't riding tank to tank at this stage, it already had proved to be a useful addition, since with a range of well over 400 miles fully gassed, running out of fuel was definitely something to cross off the list of concerns (in the mainland U.S. at least). It was also my first time using a GPS on a bike, and although it seems so much like second nature these days, at the time it was a total revelation; I immediately wondered how I'd ever managed without it - being able to ride along all day, then zeroing in on the evening's destination without a second thought was such a wonderful capability to have, and it would obviously become even more indispensable as the trip and the distances became more arduous.

Anyway all three of us arrived at the hotel without any major drama - the other two guys had their first taste of rain for a brief 75 mile stretch, but that was about it. We chatted for a while, grabbed a quick snack and then hit the sack early in anticipation of tomorrow's 1100+ miles and a 5am departure. The trip was about to really begin.


Douf screwed with this post 04-23-2009 at 07:13 PM
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:24 PM   #28
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Interesting account so far...looking forward to reading the rest! Oh, and post some pics of your studly companions! Hi Joe.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:53 PM   #29
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:57 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Douf
the extent of a person's manhood is measured by the length of his.................trip.

And.....sore ass? I think I'd have felt better going fifteen rounds in solitary confinement with a rampantly homosexual Mike Tyson.
I can sense you're already jonsin' to do something similar.


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