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Old 07-25-2008, 08:51 AM   #16
samato
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I'd love to know what kind of gas mileage those bikes get, if you have that information. I really like those older bikes, especially Hondas, but I hear they're not too good on gas.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayakgk
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352534

really relish a challenge at a young age. You and your brother sound like your parents were Russian emigres, are you guys physics majors ? Good report ! looking forward to more

Good call . My dad is a physicist at the particle accelerator, my mom is a geneticist, both have their Ph.Ds in their respective fields. I'm working on a Biological engineering degree, my brother is going to grad school at Penn State for electrical materials (he has a degree in Applied Engineering Physics). The other guys in the group are also engineers.

Both my brother and I were born in Russia, but left at an early age. We still visit our relatives in Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Biiysk. I can speak, read, and write pretty well in Russian. We try to keep the Russian heritage alive. We even built a Russian "banya" sauna in our backyard
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samato
I'd love to know what kind of gas mileage those bikes get, if you have that information. I really like those older bikes, especially Hondas, but I hear they're not too good on gas.
Actually, the Honda, along with my XS500 were the mileage champs on the trip. Both averaged lower-mid 50s. My personal best was 65mpg, the Honda got 61 as its best. With strong winds and E10 gas, mileage plummeted into the 40s . All the bikes ran fine on low grade gas, 87, 85, whatever. Also, mileage depended a lot on where you rode in the formation. The two bikes in front broke the wind and thus got worse fuel economy. The very last bike got the best mileage. As an example, when I rode in front through most of Arizona, my mileage rarely went above 50, mostly high 40s. However, after switching to the rear (riding on Route 66) I got right around 60 mpg. The more powerful the bike, the less affected it was by the wind and vice versa.

The gearing on the CX500 is pretty low: 70mph is 7000rpm. The XS500 is a little more relaxed: 70mph is 6000rpm.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:17 AM   #19
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'My dad is a physicist at the particle accelerator, my mom is a geneticist, both have their Ph.Ds in their respective fields. I'm working on a Biological engineering degree, my brother is going to grad school at Penn State for electrical materials (he has a degree in Applied Engineering Physics)'. WOW!

No pressure but guys like you are the future of energy independance for this country and the world. I have wondered if there would be a way to use a analog of the Krebs cycle and Mitochondria for generating electricity or for charging fuel cells using Sugar as a fuel and ATP as the energry carrier. Or if a analog of cholorphyll could be used for something akin to a solar cell.

Have a safe trip out there, I have a feeling that the trials and tribulations you face will on this trip will in part prepare you for solving the engineering problems you will be dealing with in the future. Congrats on working your ass off to get into Cornell, it could not have been easy with the competition for entrance into elite universities.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:22 AM   #20
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Really cool! That is a great way to tour. You find those bikes for a dime-a-dozen. Do you have a total cost for the trip yet?
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboter
Really cool! That is a great way to tour. You find those bikes for a dime-a-dozen. Do you have a total cost for the trip yet?
Yeah, Brandon made a really cool excel file and even made a spreadsheet Total cost was about $1600 with gas, lodging, food, etc. We tried to camp out as much as possible, but at the end of a long day when it was getting dark we'd get a cheap hotel room (We tried to keep it under $60). At first we hardly ate out at all and were spending less than $10 per day per person on food. Eventually we broke down and went to some decent restaurants . If I were to do this again I'd try to eat at cheaper places for dinner. It's just that some people were more picky than others (to give you an idea about my own preferences, dinner at McDs is fine by me )


As an aside: I think a couple of you guys are confused, we're already back from the trip! I appreciate the encouragement and wishing us well, but we're already back in Ithaca, in one piece! I hope that didn't ruin any suspense about us making it out alive
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:57 AM   #22
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Keep it coming guys. I love to see the old bikes brought back to life. Great thread.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:24 AM   #23
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Great beginning! Looking foreward to the rest....
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:14 PM   #24
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Day 3

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal (pretty much all we ate for breakfast for the duration of the trip), we set off.

Here we are, getting ready to leave.


The ride was great, we did 74 miles nonstop along some of the most relaxing roads of the trip. Little traffic, wide lanes, fairly relaxed pace. We eventually got back on the BRP, this time there was only a 45mph speed limit, so we went 55 mph. We stopped at an overlook for lunch, and no sooner had we pulled over then a undercover cop in a Charger blew by us at what looked to be at least 80mph. This made us somewhat more cautious when we got back on the road.

We climbed down a short path to a dam and relaxed for a bit


After that, we got back on the road


At some point it began to drizzle, and it got kind of chilly. We stopped a short of the originally planned destination yet again, the BRP was really slowing us down. Then again, where were we hurrying to?

We set up camp (with a tarp over the table) and made dinner: 2 different chicken dishes, one by me, one my Brandon. I made a sort of Italian themed tomato/mushroom suace, while Brandon made a mango nut curry dish. Both were delicious.



We planned to make it to a friend's house in Asheville the next day.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:22 PM   #25
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:29 PM   #26
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Awesome.
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:50 PM   #27
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THANKS for starting this report! But gimme more. More.
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:52 PM   #28
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Day 4, 5 & 6

We got up on schedule and were on the road by 8am. We rode the BRP some more and eventually crossed the border.



Nearing Asheville, we finally descended from the high elevation where it was about 70-75 down to where it was sweltering. It was 94 at a gas station where we stopped. My jacket doesn't really breathe, at all. Traffic lights were hell, I was sweating like a pig. The upturn is that once you're moving again, even hot air is refreshing as your skin cools by evaporative cooling. We made it to our friend's house and were treated to some fantastic North Carolina style BBQ: ribs, pulled pork, and all the fixins (collard greens, sweet potatoes, corn bread). And to wash it all down we had a delicious local microbrew. I can't for the life of me remember the name, but it was Irish. We spent the night and in the morning adjusted chains and lubed chains and added oil (The TX500 is an especially heavy drinker).

We rode to a place called "Sliding Rock," which is a big inclined smooth rock with a creek running down it. It's like a natural water slide. After lunch at an overpriced trendy coffee shop we headed back up to the BRP by way of Route 215. This was one of my favorite roads on the trip, it's almost as twisty as the Dragon but with barely any traffic. We really pushed the bikes hard, and it was obvious that some handled better than others: My 48hp twin had no trouble keeping up with my brother's heavier 80hp Seca. He didn't have as much ground clearance. The other guys didn't get as acrobatic on the bikes, but still had a good time.

Back on the BRP


We set up camp in an OK campground, nothing special at all, we didn't even get a picture. We had Velveeta Mac n' Cheese for dinner, some of our pickier companions weren't very pleased, but I thought it tasted great.

The next morning we got up and got ready for the Dragon. I've read much online and have seen many videos on youtube of this place, and I was amped. Some of the other guys could care less.



There were some seriously fast guys there with barely legal bikes (track bike with a headlight tacked on the side).


We also tried to traverse the 318 turns with some vigor. Again, the XS500 had no problem reeling in the Seca in the corners, which is all there is really, very small or no straights. At one point, Brandon lost traction on the rear wheel and lowsided. Luckily, neither bike nor rider were seriously injured. Brandon suffered some road rash on his knee, and the bike just had a few scratches.

We continued on to the Tennessee border and on. We made it to a campground in the Henry Horton State Park. We had BBQ at a place called Sambo's.



We got back to the campground and went to bed.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:17 PM   #29
bluebye
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Most impressive!
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:32 PM   #30
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I did the exact same thing at the exact same age and so far it looks like my freinds and I took the same route. Same budget- everything. Man it was great. That was 1987 though; guess I'm old
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