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Old 02-17-2007, 11:00 PM   #1
ryanwilliamcantrell OP
Get Out and Ride!!
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Oddometer: 3,861
5 states, top to bottom, in 10 days -- on a TW200?!

I'd just purchased my new KLR650 in October. I'd put 5,000 miles on it over the winter/spring, and was ready for a big-fat summer road trip - I've always wanted to ride the Pacific Coast Highway start to finish. I've always wanted to boogie board the whole Pacific.

My brother-in-law, Andrew, was just getting to the point in which he can ride well (he'd started riding a couple years prior) - and he was eager for a trip too. He rides an XL350.

It's never been an especially hassle-free bike... but it's always been very easy to work on, and he'd put several thousand miles on it over the last year. Two weeks before we were to leave, the piston ring went out on the highway, and that was it for this thumper - parts were absurdly difficult to come across, and there was no way it would be ready before we were to leave.

What to do???

I very hesitantly say... well... there's the TW200...? I own a 2004 TW200, which I bought new. The bike is tough as nails, and as reliable as a bike can be -- but take it on a road trip?! Seriously??

We decide it's either that, or Andrew can't go... that's not an option... so the TW200 it is!!!

To give you a little background on the bike, for those of you who aren't familiar with the bike. It's got a whopping 16.5 hp rating. It's really made for trails - thus the name Trailwing 200. However, it'll do 60mph if you really want to, without stressing the engine. It does 'wind it up'... don't get me wrong... but it'll do it safely.

So, my naive brother-in-law mounts the TW200, and we sent off for a 4500 mile trip. This trip will take us from Twin Falls Idaho, to Las Vegas Nevada, across the Mojave to San Diego California up the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur California, to Florence and Cannon Beach Oregon, to Seattle, across Washington to Northern Idaho, and back into Boise, and over to Twin Falls. Phew!

As a for-warning, the camera I was using for the first 2 days of this trip 'crapped out', and I lost all of the first 2 days of pictures. Sorry.

So, we left Twin Falls at about 5pm after work, with the idea of getting into Ely, NV that evening at the KOA which was 250 miles out. Great. Everything is going well (except being really chilly in the high desert air), until we come over the hill and see the lights of Wells, NV... disappear. As we get closer into town, we realize the power is out - in the whole town. The TW200 gets 65 mpg... but only has a 2.3 gallon tank. We have a spare 1.5, but we can't make it to Ely without fuel!!! No problem... we'll just wait a while. 5 hours later, the power comes back on so we can pump gas into the bike. So... we don't roll into Ely until 7am the next morning. Poop.

We sleep a few hours at the KOA, and head out. 20 miles into the trip, we decide that the smaller rear sprocket we'd put on the TW200 (to go faster - in theory) was a terrible idea. It will barely go 55mph now because it doesn't have the hp to turn the smaller sprocket. Fortunately we'd brought the old sprocket... so we just popped off the wheel and put the old one back on... so we thought. I forgot I'd shortened the chain for the smaller sprocket. My 'quick' fix turned into a 4 hour ordeal because I had to make 4 trips into town to get the right freakin' chain for the bike! . Seriously... anything else want to go wrong?!

We didn't get out of Ely until 5pm, so we were late getting into Vegas. We were so exhausted from not sleeping the night before that we slept in at Vegas... thus giving us a late start on the next day. A tragic series of events.

However, we did have a BLAST going through the Mojave Desert out of Vegas!

And yes... those ARE boogie boards you see strapped to the back of my bike. There was NO WAY I was riding the Pacific and not boarding it.

Andrew on the TW200.

The road was red from the clay in the mixture. Cool.

The Mojave. 118 degrees riding through here.

A happy camper.

Andrew truly does get the "hard core" award for taking this bike so far...

An old mission, converted into a rail station.

As the sun began to set, we were pulling out of Barstow. We done around 250 miles, and had another 200 or so to get to San Diego. No problem. Wrong. A fierce wind kicked up, which was literally blowing Andrew and I across an entire lane on the Interstate. Andrew asked if we could 'stay off the Interstate' and still get there. I pull out my map, and respond with "Yes, but it'll take a while." That was the understatement of the trip. We ended up going through Big Bear Lake - which while gorgeous - it was miles and miles of high-altitude switchbacks. Our ride went from a 3.5 hour ride to an 8 hour ride. We literally stumbled across this on our way...

That was a really cool accidental find... so we followed it for a ways. When we got near the coast at about 4am, we were so damn exhausted, we literally pulled off the side of the road we were on, and fell to the ground too tired to even take off our helmet. We slept in our gear for about 2.5 hours before the sun came up and woke us up.

This is Andrew at San Juan - so absurdly tired he looks pale.

We got a ways up the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1, not 101), and pulled off in Orange County for some breakfast, and a nap on the beach. Andrew dozed off on the beach, and burnt the crap out of his eyelids.

After our nap, we kept going. We stopped again in Santa Monica for lunch. It was 4th of July weekend, so there was an absurd amount of people. At times, it took us an hour to go a mile - seriously.

After lunch we were feeling better, and back on the road.

Stopped at an avocado orchard for a nice snack.

Our bikes. The longer we rode, the less we cared what our luggage looked like... so long as it stayed on there!

Santa Barbara area...

We stayed the night in Santa Margarita at the local KOA. Slept like babies.
The next day we rode through Santa Cruz and San Francisco, amongst others.

We stayed the night in a state park near Walsh Landing... I think. We were pretty tired by the time we pulled in around 3am... so I really wasn't paying attention. We were riding between 16-20 hours a day... so needless to say, we were tired at the end of each day... but man were we having a lot of fun!

As we continued to head north, it just kept getting more and more pretty.

The owner had a good sense of humor.

This was approaching the Big Sur area, and was hands-down the most beautiful section of the trip. You can't see them when the res is this low, but there are hundreds of seal on the beach below.


Lunch with a view!

Night closed-in as we passed through Eureka, Ca.

We continued on, and stopped south of Coos Bay. We were so stinking tired that night... we didn't even bother to pitch the tent. We crawled under the picnic table, left our helmets on to use as a 'pillow', and slept in our riding gear. The rain started 2 hours later, and never stopped.
Nothing a warm shower in the morning couldn't fix.
The sight from our camping place.

After some more riding, we got up to the sand dunes of Florence.

There were some ATVers in the dunes but I couldn't get a shot of them.

Oregon Coast beauty.

We passed through Newport and Lincoln City this day. Great tourist cities. Very pretty.

We were ahead of schedule for the first time in the whole trip - this called for a celebration. An extended stay in the water, boogie boarding, at Arcadia beach south of Cannon Beach, OR. What a great way to spend an evening.

We also took a 20 mile ride on the beach to our destination for the evening. Fort Stevens campground.

Miles of open beach to ride on.

You can see the smile through the helmet!

In the background, you can see Peter Iresdale, and old shipwreck at Fort Stevens.

The next day we started out into Washington by crossing through Astoria, OR. This is the state line, where the Columbia dumps into the Pacific. A wonderful sight.

The bridge over to Washington from Astoria, OR.

Into Seattle.

We stopped in Seattle for a bit - I had to hit the Starbucks at Pikes Market.

We camped at a really cool campground that evening, in Leavenworth WA. It's a really neat town.

Onto the apple orchards of Washington...

...and the never-ending wheat fields.

Andrew - a seasoned rider by this point.

Our next nights stay was in Coeur D'Alene. That is... after I realized I'd left my phone at the gas station 150 ago and had to go back for it.

Lake Coeur D'Alene.

We stayed at a KOA there, and headed out the next morning.

Onto Moscow, and the endless hayfields. Gorgeous country.

I love northern Idaho.

Onto Lewiston...

We stayed in the night in McCall, and then made it back to Twin Falls the next day.
We got 'bored' at Smith's Ferry, and decided to take a detour and travel offroad from Smith's Ferry to Banks.

Overall, I think it's the best trip I've been on to date. My odometer clocked about 4,500 miles. But if you've ever been on Highway 1, you know those are long miles.

Andrew took that 200cc motorcycle the whole trip. Neither bike had so much as a hick-up for the entire trip. We were dead-tired by the end of the trip, but had memories to last a life-time.

ryanwilliamcantrell screwed with this post 07-19-2007 at 08:16 AM
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:19 PM   #2
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Joined: Mar 2005
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What a cool ride report! Looks like you guys had a great adventure!
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:02 AM   #3
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Boise Idaho
Oddometer: 987

Really cool trip. I can't believe a 200 made it. And with knobbie tires!! Could not have been smooth. What a trooper!! Very cool report and photo's.

Thanks I enjoyed it very much.
"Ride More....Bitch When Necessary...But....NO SINGLE TRACK RYAN"
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:05 AM   #4
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Awesome Ryan! That looked like a great ride. Thanks for the good ride yesterday! Can't wait to see the pics from it!

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Old 02-18-2007, 07:24 AM   #5
Keep On The Gas!!
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Boise Idaho
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Team V-Strom

Hey Joe, We need to form Team V-Strom!!!
"Ride More....Bitch When Necessary...But....NO SINGLE TRACK RYAN"
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:27 AM   #6
Keep On The Gas!!
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Boise Idaho
Oddometer: 987
Ryan's The man

Hey folks If you have never been on a ride with Ryan and the formerly red KLR you are missing a teat. He's a great rider, a great rider leader, a great ride planner, give great tips for gear and is a great guy!!!!

Thanks for the tip on the bags. Zane and I went out directly and bought em!!!

Thanks Man!!!
"Ride More....Bitch When Necessary...But....NO SINGLE TRACK RYAN"
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:01 AM   #7
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Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
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Great ride report, my helmet is off to you!! Looks like you had one heck of an adventure. Who says you have to have a huge cc bike to get some great touring in?
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:27 PM   #8
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Port Orchard, WA
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Who says you have to have a huge cc bike to tour indeed. That really was a great trip, hats off to ryan fro planning out the whole thing and letting me use his bike after mine crapped out, because as he said, memories to last a lifetime and that they will. some of the best 11 days of my life. i can't wait to get back from school this summer so we can ride together again!
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Old 02-18-2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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Location: Spoklahoma, Wa.
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Great report and pics. Wish I had known you were coming through my area. When you went by the Coeur d' Alene casino, you were only 8 miles from my house.........
Loud pipes don't save lives, but they do let you know I'm in the area.
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Old 02-18-2007, 04:55 PM   #10
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Back in the Saddle
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My hats off to the both of you, but in particular a special accolade to Andrew for enduring what I call a really true adventure ride! The trip being ~4500 miles is note worthy, but, to ride a trip of this magnitude on a TW200, sir I bow to his tenuousness even though coupled to his impromptu youthfulness.

I too own a TW of which I purchased new in 1994, so I know of it's tortuous ergonomics. It is a great machine provided you dismount regularly in which to return circulation to ones lower exterminates.

Again great trip report, and tribute to man's youthful endurance. I would have never thought on a TW Sort of like riding a Moped across Europe.
My Ride South of the Border
Riding Nevada's Pony Express Trail May 2013

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
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Old 02-18-2007, 05:33 PM   #11
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You guys rock
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Old 02-18-2007, 05:47 PM   #12
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Republic of Davis
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Originally Posted by ryanwilliamcantrell
An old mission, converted into a rail station.
It is actually just an old railroad station built to look like a mission. Kelso station was built 1922 to replace the original 1905 station, which burned down. Union Pacific started building everything in the southwest in the mission style during the 1920s.

What a cool trip! There are a lot of different ways to travel, and they each give you a different experience. I did a few overnight tours on little bikes when I was young (Honda Super 90 and Honda CB125), but nothing like that long.

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Old 02-18-2007, 06:27 PM   #13
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Moscow, ID
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Awesome report. Thanks!
01 KLR650

I think a lot of the BMWs engineering, but I can disassemble, clean, and reinstall the entire fuel system of a KLR on a picnic table, drunk, with my eyes closed. It counts for something. - ldeikis
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:27 PM   #14
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Great report and pics. That's one ride he will remember for the rest of his life.
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:49 PM   #15
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