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Old 07-31-2007, 11:59 AM   #1
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2 Up 2000 mile Uly Journey to Glacier National Park

Last December I crossed the 40 year mark and my wife asked me what I wanted to do to mark the momentous occasion?

Of course, being an Adventure Rider, what could be better than a 2 up Epic Journey on the Ulysses from Boise, Idaho where I reside to Glacier National Park? After a bit of convincing Mrs. Wind_Rider agreed and I started planning the trip last winter.

After many anxious days July 15th finally arrived and we launched on the mighty Buellysses.

Here is a picture of the happy couple just before leaving.



We departed from near Twin Falls, Idaho where we left our kiddos with their Grandparents. It was great to be on the road in the perfect early morning air flying through the farmland that surrounds Twin Falls. We headed down the old Hwy 25 through Eden to 93.



We rode past a recent fire just beyond Shoshone. I always enjoy going through these piles of lava rocks. The heat from the ground reached up to us. Heat would soon be our everpresent companion on this trip.



The Buellyses rolled up Timberman hill and then down into the Wood River valley. We stopped for a bit at a rest area at the intersection of Hwy 75 and 20. Mrs. Wind_Rider is not accustomed to long days in the saddle so I vowed to make lots of stops to make sure that she had an enjoyable trip.



We hopped back on the Buell and rode on to Sun Valley where we stopped for a bite of pizza at Smoky Mountain Pizza. Very nice.



Mrs. Wind_Rider is an artist and it just happened that today was the Sun Valley Art Festival so of course we went. It was great and my wife visited with some of her artist friends. Meanwhile, the weather was heating up. The thermometer on the Buell read 100 degrees F which is very hot for this area. In the background the black clouds were boiling omniously.....



We jumped back on the bike and headed up to Galena summit and the rain began to fall.... along with the temp. I thought about getting out the liners but the rain actually felt good so we rode on.

We stopped at the summit and pulled off my jacket to feel the cool weather and Mrs. Wind_Rider snapped this pic before I got my helmet off.



Ride the world indeed! What a view. I always stop here to take a look at the country that feeds the Salmon River. It was only 65 degrees and there was a drizzle of rain that was nice and refreshingly cool.



After a short rest we were on the bike again and having a great time dodging in and out of little rain showers on Hwy 75 headed North to Salmon.

We arrived at the GrayHouse B&B where we had a room booked for the night in this lovely cottage.



After a short rest we rode on another 12 miles where we had dinner at a local Microbrew that had excellent beer and good food.

Downtown Salmon, Idaho.



The Owl club, which we did not visit.



Stopped on the way back by the banks of the Salmon River.



All in all, a great first day.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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Great pics so far, watching for more
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:59 PM   #3
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Day 2, July 16 2007, the Heat Builds

I woke up early on day 2. Rested, alive and refreshed from the night's sleep. I did the pre flight check on the Buell just after sunrise and started getting ready to ride again. Today's destination was Helena, Montana.

After a great breakfast at the B&B we piled on the Buell and headed out. We packed pretty light for this trip. We each got one Pelican 1550 case for clothes for a week and I had a few tools stashed in mine as well. The tank bag was pretty open for cameras and extras and we slipped a Dueter Hydration pack over the versatile triple tail to accomodate a few extra clothes and hikes in the park.

As we headed out the riding was great. We followed Hwy 93 North into the cool morning mountain air. Well... it wasn't real cool, about 75 degrees which is unusually warm. More about that later.

We carved up some fabulous twisties just before the border crossing from Idaho to Montana. The Buell is right in it's domain at this point. Even two up and loaded the bike handles fantastic. The road is rough at points but the Showa suspension eats it up and the bike holds a line fabulously. I guess I was going a bit fast for my wife.... she didn't snap any pics because she was busy holding on.

Just past the Montana state line we found ourselves searching for Wisdom... and it was only 11 miles away.



Just past this sign we saw the Big Hole Battle Memorial where Chief Joseph and his rebel Nez Pierce band was attacked and suffered huge losses.

The tipi poles indicate where the Nez Pierce camp was. There are obvious strategical problems with this location.



Another view



The Mighty Buellysses.





We mounted up again and rode on to Wisdom. It was a great little Western town with old fashioned country music piped out on main street. We stopped for gas and a swig of Gatorade to counter the rising heat. I don't know if it lived up to it's name it was an interesting little town.





On the road again....



Growing up on a farm, I have an unusual fascination with round hay bales.







Just outside of Wisdom was this old hay derrick. Now that was a hard way to make a haystack!



We rode on up highway 43 and soon encountered a construction zone. For 11 miles we plowed on through gravel piles and grader tailings on a dirt/gravel surface. Again, the Uly proved a great mount. Although the 17 front would want to wash out in the loose stuff whenever I started to feel loose I would just gas it and lighten up the front end. Mrs. Wind_Rider didn't always appreciate this but I explained it to her later and she came to peace to with it. I fealt sorry for some other riders we encountered on big Hogs trying to slog through that loose stuff.... on the Uly it was fun! Sorry, no pics, the photographer was trying to hang on.

The mercury continued to rise and we dashed through a light sprinkle and then onto I-15N toward Helena in 100 degree heat. Where did this heat come from? I thought that we were headed to the North country and cooler weather but the mercury continued it's climb.



We blasted down I-15 and arrived in Helena in 103 degree heat, an all time record for July 16th according to the local news.

We dropped onto the bed of the hotel and savored A/C for a moment of refreshment before heading out into the furnace heat again and riding across town to the Archie Bray Foundation, an Internationally renowned place for Potters to learn and share. OK, a bit off topic but some great art at the Bray:









On the grounds, wierdness abounds:



I met a few of the locals....







Guard dog:



And guardian Angel



Art is everywhere



It was still above 100 degrees as we strolled the grounds and the heat was beginning to take a toll. We rode back across town, grabbed a bite for dinner and retreated to the cooler climes of the air conditioned hotel for the night.

Alhtough I love the mighty Buellysses, it does have a bad habit that was becoming painful. It's air cooled engine has a fan that pulls heat away from the rear cylinder and blows it out on the rider's legs. This heat, coupled the 100 degree temps was beginning to wear on us.

Despite the heat, the Buell was running great. I was amazed at the fuel efficiency that this bike achieved on the trip. More on that later.

Next... North to more heat?? and into the Park!
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:41 PM   #4
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You got a pic of the "Sleeping Giant." Nice hike up to its nose, with a great view of the Missouri below.



Enjoying your report, look forward to more.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind_Rider
We carved up some fabulous twisties just before the border crossing from Idaho to Montana. The Buell is right in it's domain at this point. Even two up and loaded the bike handles fantastic. The road is rough at points but the Showa suspension eats it up and the bike holds a line fabulously.
You are NOT helping to curb my lust for this machine!

keep those pics coming!
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:21 PM   #6
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IDScarecrow, I was going to see if anyone caught that! Excellent work. You win the prize, except, well, there isn't one.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:27 PM   #7
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Uod

KNYBanjo,

You should not curb your lust for a Ulysses, instead you should embrace it!

I have heard it described as UOD: Ulysses Obsessive Disorder. Just go get a ride a ride on one and then it gets really bad. The next thing that you know you will have one in your garage and all will be well in your universe.

It really is one of the best motorcycles that I have ever had the joy of piloting and it was near perfect for the ride in this thread.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:50 PM   #8
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Uly Engine

Work has been in my way for the past couple of days and I not had any time to post more pics and tell more of this tale and it was just starting to get interesting with the entrance to the Park ahead, epic heat, forest fires and a gremlin about to pop out of the Buellyses.

I also wanted to post some information about the Ulysses for riders who are interested in the bike so today's post is about the Uly's power plant.

A lot of riders don't give the old Uly mill it's due since it has a low valve count, hydraulic lifters, and is air cooled. I think that it is better to judge things by performance rather than the spec sheet and I really like the Uly engine excepting one trait: it tends to dump it's excess heat on the riders leg. That I could do without.

On this trip the engine ran perfectly for 2000 miles, delivered great power that is instantly on tap, and it delivered an amazing 56 MPG average fuel economy with two frame fulls exceeding 60 MPG! This was all two up riding with the bags on. I did not baby it either. On a couple of frames we ran pretty consistently 70 - 85 MPH and the top speed for the trip was 102 MPH. The fuel economy achieved by the Buell powerplant is the best of any large bike that I have ever owned.

The other great thing about the Buell engine is that it is so simple to maintain and work on. There are no valve adjustments, ever, and all of the other routine items are very easy to do. It is a very easy engine to live with.

The torque of the Thunderstorm engine is a lot of fun. Just whack open the throttle and the front end lifts effortlessly. Once the engine spins past 4K RPM the exhaust valve opens, the rear wheel digs for tration and the exhaust rumbles out an angry growl. On a twisty 2 lane you need hardly shift. Just drop the tranny in 3rd or 4th and smoothly roll on and off the throttle. It is not as fast as other sport bikes in the canyons but the fun factor of this engine coupled with the suspension and absolutley rigid frame is off the chart. This engine and bike encourages a quick, smooth, and fun riding style.

IMHO, it is nearly a perfect engine for a motorcycle.



Tomorrow hopefully work will release me from it's claws and I will continue with more pics and tales from Montana.
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Old 08-03-2007, 03:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind_Rider
A lot of riders don't give the old Uly mill it's due since it has a low valve count, hydraulic lifters, and is air cooled. I think that it is better to judge things by performance rather than the spec sheet and I really like the Uly engine excepting one trait: it tends to dump it's excess heat on the riders leg. That I could do without.
Wind_Rider,

You might try the latest Uly accessory from Buell:

http://www.buell.com/en_us/gear/acce...ProductID=4139

The deflectors do a decent job of keeping the hot air off of your legs.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:05 AM   #10
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Nice 2 up ride!! Looking forward to pics of the glacier!!

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Old 08-03-2007, 07:20 PM   #11
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Hughlysses,

Thanks for the tip on the heat deflectors. I am going to give those a try.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:52 PM   #12
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Looking good so far.
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:33 PM   #13
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Helena to Glacier National Park Ride, July 17

We left a little late in the AM. It was already 78 degrees and warming at 9 AM as we rolled out onto I-15 North. I don't normally like to ride freeways but this was fun. The scenery was nice, there was hardly any traffic, and it was just great to be flying along 2 up on the gently rumbling Ulysses.



We stopped for a quick break and hydrated for the long hot day ahead.



A bit of construction on I 15.



Just before we Great Falls we dove off of the freeway and pointed West on old Hwy 89. I really enjoyed the ride through rural Montana.



Great Scott! Here were some camels ?



Marshland and wide open highway.



Made the mistake of thinking that I could get gas in Pendroy or Dupuyer. No gas in either berg! I found a mechanic in Pendroy who was kind enough to sell us a gallon to reach Browning. I think that we would have made it but it would have been very close. It is not a good place to run out of fuel.



More Epic hayfields.





Next we rode through a bit of a motorcycle hazard course. Blind corner with a pile of gravel about 4" deep dumped right in the apex, mowed grass on the road, tight corners with loose stuff everywhere and huge potholes, then on to Browning.



We topped up the frame with fuel in Browning and then rode on. It was 100 degrees now in the early afternoon and the engine heat added to our discomfort.

The road opened up now and shot to the park.



Then it went to motorcycle test course with trees right to the edge of the roadway and animals domestic and wild making sudden appearances.





And then we arrived at last at the Many Glacier entrance to the park.



The road was all torn up with sedan sized potholes and sections of dirt and compacted gravel. The Buell was eating it up and then all of a sudden the rear end of the bike started to pogo up and down after every bump. I could feel the suspension moving way too freely. I reached down and grabbed the preload adjustment knob but could not turn it???

It was only a few more miles to the Many Glacier Hotel so we rode on with the Buell bobbing up and down like a pogo bike.

We arrived at the historic Many Glacier Inn. What a setting!



We checked in and hauled our bags to the room. There is no elevator and we were on the 4th floor. A little leg stretcher after a long ride. We opened the door to the room and wow, it was hot in there! It was over 100 degrees now and inside the room it was even hotter. No AC at Many Glacier Hotel you see. Who would have thought it would be needed?

It was really smoky from all the fires and some clouds were boiling off to the South. We decided to take a walk around the lake. It is a great place for hiking.







Joy boat







Don't feed the bears





And then a great thing happened. Cool refreshing rain started to fall and knocked some of the smoke out of the sky. It felt great.



Local flora:





Walking along a bit later we were startled by a large brown animal that jumped up right at our feet. I about needed some fresh underwear after reading all the bear caution info. Lucky for us it was this friendly creature who was not at all concerned by our close proximity :



Many Glacier Inn from the hiking trail



Fantastic views



The historic Glacier National Park tour coaches





At the end of our hike we saw these grizzly bears





Very powerful and impressive animals. This is as close as I wanted to be to them.

We returned to the Hotel and I took the preload knob off of the shock. The preload was frozen. There was no leaking oil to be seen. Not knowing what else to try I put a bigger wrench on it an rocked it back and forth. It broke free! I adjusted it and all seemed well after a short test ride around the parking lot.

The Buell engine cooling fan blows engine heat right onto the top of the shock. Perhaps something gave way after the brutal torture test of today riding an extended period of time at high temps fully loaded over rough roads? It was odd but I was happy that it seemed to be working.

We went to the Hotel's great restaurant and had an excellent dinner while the rain gently fell onto the lake outside the window. After dinner we went out to the deck and watched the sun fall over the horizon. All was well in the universe.

Until we went up to our room. It was stifling hot up there and there was no air movement at all. We called the front desk and asked for a fan but there were none available. It was a long, hot night of little sleep for 2 weary travellers.

Tomorrow we would go into the main entrance of the park and travel the world famous going to the sun highway.
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Old 08-04-2007, 09:41 AM   #14
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Glacier is a very special place. My sister lives there, working for the Park Service.


When we drove out to see her there a few years ago, I found that 89 in Montana was one of the few roads on the planet where I felt compelled to drive slower than the speed limit (in a cage). Narrow, with a drop bank where a breakdown lane would be, gusty crosswinds, and logging trucks oncoming at 70mph.


Made me wish for a bike! (especially as we approached the East side of the park).




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Old 08-04-2007, 07:27 PM   #15
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Hwy 89

PackMule,

Yes, Hwy 89 is a motorcycle crash test. At times I felt like we were in a video game the way that hazards flew at us in rapid succession.

Despite the hazards, it was great fun. Definitely not a place to let your guard down though.

Tomorrow I will post pics from the first day in the Park.
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