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Old 02-25-2012, 07:33 AM   #721
Tijuana_Taxi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viola-tor View Post
...and THEN my bike gets creamed in the gym parking lot by a woman on her phone.


See that right there is why I don't work out cuz my bike may get creamed in the parking lot Glad it got taken care of with no hassles from the insurance company.

Love your ride report, keep up the good work! Congrats on the front page!
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #722
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It's been almost a month since the crazy chick at the fitness joint backed over your bike just for a chance to meet you. What's happening with the repairs, insurance, crazy fitness chick fiasco? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:10 PM   #723
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backoutonthehighway View Post
It's been almost a month since the crazy chick at the fitness joint backed over your bike just for a chance to meet you. What's happening with the repairs, insurance, crazy fitness chick fiasco? Inquiring minds want to know.

Hey, thanks for the note! I've been busy with several new-and-exciting projects; it's been hard to find time to write. Much work on the bike, heading out again for a new adventure in a few hours (if I can get packed a grab and few hours of sleep!).

I'll be back soon with more material.

Diek
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #724
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Wow, I spent the last day and a half reading this whole thread. What an adventure! Even you "non-adventure" days are an adventure!

Great job on the RR and especially the photos! Great Job!
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:46 PM   #725
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Just found this terrific RR...can't wait to finish the rest of the story...thanks for taking the time to share...
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #726
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I really don’t have to do much in the way of repairs after the SUV incident, but there is something I’ve been wanting for my bike: Tubeless wheels! Somehow I’ve become known as the flat tire guy over in the Orange Crush section, which I can accept, but if that’s going to be my reality I want to make flat fixes quick and easy, and plugging a tubeless tire is way easier than dealing with innertubes (or so it seems).

I choose “the Cyborg method” which is to seal each individual spoke nipple with the aptly named “Goop.” Seems easy enough, good reviews...

First I build a wheel stand:



Using the bikes axles, which can double as a balancing stand.



Seal-All applied with syringes for the first layer, then two layers of Goop, and 90-degree valve stems just because they are cool.



I’m planning to seal up both the street rims and the rear 18” dirt wheel (not a good idea to try the 21” front rim as it doesn’t have a safety bead, plus nobody makes a tubeless 21” tire anyway).

Clean it up, then scuff it a bit with fine sandpaper, clean again, then start sealing.



This is time consuming! I can only manage three or four spokes at a time rotated to the top. Any more than that and the glue will run down the wheel. SLOOOOOOW.



The Seal-All first layer has micro bubbles, but apparently that’s normal.



The Goop makes a nice cap over each spoke nipple.



While I wait for glue to dry I work on my new tubeless tire repair kit. To save space I grind off the plastic handles on the reamer and plug tools. I’ll grab them with the needle-nose vice grips which I carry anyway. This should make a nice compact kit!



I have a punctured street tire to practice on.



And since I have plenty of time to kill (dry stupid glue!) I’ll practice some tube patches too. I’ve yet to have one hold successfully... I’m still going to be carrying tubes with me, at least for the time being. In an emergency I can break the bead, remove the valve stem and insert the tube just like the good ‘ole days.



Finally the wheels are ready and installed, the only hitch being seating the beads. Even a huge compressor at a local auto shop won’t stretch the rubber for my Dunlop 908 RR on the rear dirt wheel. Hmmmm. I take it over to DirtJack’s place and get motivated with a ratchet strap and finally we get a seal. I hope I don’t ever have to do that trailside, it would be impossible with a little pump... Check for leaks in a tub of water, and I’m finally good to go!


One more oil leak to chase down and then I’m ready to roll! (Neutral position sensor O-ring)



I have a big tubeless wheel test in mind. Several thousand miles of Christmas touring should be adequate... Where’s the warmest place in the country?
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viola-tor View Post
To save space I grind off the plastic handles on the reamer and plug tools. I’ll grab them with the needle-nose vice grips which I carry anyway. This should make a nice compact kit!



Diek...if the reamer and plugger handles were just straight, then you haven't lost much...however, if they were T-handles, then you should have left them be...I've plugged enough tires in my day to know that it is MUCH easier with the leverage you get from the T-handle tools. Trust me on this...its worth the extra space they take up, especially on the plug insertion tool.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:16 PM   #728
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bows and such?

Viola-tor,

way cool tale,

I expect you know the guy in Rosalia WA ( near Spokane) that makes the high end custom bows..??

Do you have one of his?
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:58 PM   #729
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“The desert is a natural place to ride in the winter, eh?”

“Ha! Well, that’s true!” she admits.

“So let’s start in Arizona and work our way over to Death Valley, the lowest, warmest place in the country after all... One bike or two?”

“Hmmm... I guess the KTM deserves a chance.” [wink]

“Well then! The Ducati won’t feel neglected?” I joke back. “Off-road wheels or sport-touring rubber for the KTM?”

“You know the answer to that!”

“Ya, I think the street wheels will be better for this trip anyway with all the highway miles.”

With that settled Lady Firebird and I prepare to launch. First up is a new rear tire. The front is holding up well, but the back end doesn’t seem to last as long for SOME reason...

Blimey! I get goosebumps just looking at that wheel and tire... Fun to be had!




Two-up camping on the evil orange monster in winter presents some packing challenges I’ve yet to tackle. I opt for drybags atop the saddle bags holding some of our bedding and layers for what will surely be some chilly riding conditions.




Double heated vests, winter gloves, under layers, over layers, rain gear for two, and all my photo gear, plus personal items for each of us, all the normal tools, tubes, etc. are all included... Rollin’ heavy (but actually pretty light, considering!).

No sense in starting an adventure on an empty stomach!




We don’t really have a daily plan, we’ll pretty much let the weather dictate the route and how far and fast we go each day. Our families know we won’t be showing up for the holidays this year, and we have roughly two weeks. Damn I love to travel this way!

The desert of the Southwest is supposed to be dry, right? Not so much this year, the only direction with sunlight is east, so eastward HO! Chiricahua National Monument will be our first base camp. Zoom! Of course we ride over Gate’s Pass on the way out of Tucson so I can warm up the tires. I kinda forget the gross-vehicle-weight is probably 1,000 lbs as is and THROW the bike into the turns and pin the throttle for the exits. Lady Firebird signals her approval. These wheels were a good investment. After the adrenaline wears off I imagine what we must look like from the rear in the turns: A flying pile of camping gear inches from the ground with two helmets sticking out at a 45 degree angle...




Paula has a brand new custom kevlar Motoport jacket, and I cringe a little as she goes to help out this local as I gas up in Tombstone Arizona, not because she’s helping out a fellow human (good for her!), but because she might end up with axle grease on her flawless red jacket (the guy had plenty all over his clothes)!




Disaster averted, jacket preserved, and away we go. Even though we have sunny skies we are appreciative of our heated vests. We are likely to experience way colder conditions over the course of this excursion...

We are in for a rare treat tonight: A FULL lunar eclipse! I have a plan. After setting up camp we grab her sleeping bag and hop on the bike, ascending the scenic drive to Massai Point after dark, which is the highest/bestest view in the park. The Canon and tripod are coming along too, this is gonna be fun!

We’re in no hurry as the eclipse won’t be in full swing until around midnight. I pull over a few miles up and warm up my budding night photography skills.




This is full moonlight only, with a long-ish exposure. I’m a total n00b at this, so we’ll see what I get.




Massai point is deserted, we are apparently the only people around willing to hang out up here in the cold to wait for the eclipse. Seems like a really fun thing to me... The full moon in it’s pre-eclipse form is blinding, so we find we don’t need flashlights, headlamps, LEDs or anything to hike around. We explore the trails and boulders that are scattered around the point looking for cool photo opportunities (and also to stay warm).




I did a little light painting for this one:






Even with all this we eventually run out of things to do, and the eclipse is still a ways off. Paula is extremely sensitive to the cold, which is why we brought a sleeping bag up here for her, but even with that I know that we can’t let her GET cold in the first place. It’s just better for everyone that way.

“Time to PUSH!” I shout.

I grab the handlebars, click the shifter into neutral, and she pushes the top-box from the rear. The parking lot at Massai Point is NOT flat, so I make up some challenging lines as we shove the big KTM up to jogging speed. We huff and puff, do a couple of laps (I make sure to let her do her part, and even finger the brakes for extra resistance ) and then find ourselves pleasantly warm from the core outward, albeit panting for air. Every twenty minutes or so I sound the call again, and more laps! In the interim she dons her down sleeping bag on the picnic table. The eclipse is near...

The event itself is a little underwhelming. The brilliant full moon waxes, wanes, and is eventually completely covered by the shadow of our own planet positioned exactly between it and the sun, with North America (us) facing the night sky facilitating observation of this rare astrological occurrence. We can still see the moon, which I wasn’t expecting; its perfect circular outline is clearly visible, but the entire face is turned into a muddy brown penny against the black sky instead of radiant sphere of light we had only minutes ago. The ambient light on the ground is much darker for a few minutes, and then the process reverses on the other side of our only natural satellite as the full moon gradually reappears. I take a few pics, but you need a seriously long lens to photograph the moon effectively, so none of mine were keepers (and/or I don’t know what I’m doing).

I’m glad I got to see it I suppose, but maybe I/we are a little spoiled with modern entertainment and activities to truly appreciate it’s significance. It’s hard to imagine our ancestors totally freaking out about this kinda silly harmless event that really has little cosmic significance (don’t shoot me scientists! I realize that there are double gravitational forces acting on our oceans, etc.), but I guess for early agrarian societies the moon was a big, big deal. Let’s sacrifice some virgins!!! Seriously though, it was a neat activity, and what a great way to experience it alone at Massai Point on a motorcycle camping trip!

I feel a little guilty roaring the V-twin back into the organized camp at 1:00 a.m. past our neighbors, but what can ya do? Luckily there aren’t many crazy folks like us here...
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:50 AM   #730
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Awesome pics! Did you do any showing partial eclipse?
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:08 PM   #731
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I do love the Chiricahua Mountains. I haven't been back since the big fire.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:08 PM   #732
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Awesome read! Have been at it off and on for the last few weeks. I've shared your tales and viola matic video with my high school music students who think it is a hoot! It is great that you are following your passions - something I tell my students every day they need to do. Keep up the great work and I hope to hear you play live someday. By the way, your recent Verdi Requiem posting is spot on. I conducted a performance of the dramatic work last year and the Dies Irae and Lacrymosa are two of the best parts of the work. My high school students who participated in the performance are still talking about it and will probably be at, or involved in any performance of the Requiem that comes up in their lives. Viola-tor - thanks for sharing your art (in its' many forms) with us. Bravo!
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:29 PM   #733
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There’s a ninja loose in the campsite!



Time to hike. It’s gonna be a beautiful sunny “winter” day in Arizona.

Crazy hoo-doos out here in the Chiricahuas. Love it!



This one is pretty famous, the size of a cement truck and twice as heavy:



We explore the rocks for most of the day. Good fun!





We end up covering probably ten miles of hiking trails and are feeling it by the end of the day.



We decide a nice meal out is in order, the only snag being that we are a long way from anywhere...

“There’s a place I’ve been wanting to try in Bisbee, nice place with good reviews," says the official foodie. "It could be our little treat!”

“Okay,” I say, “how far is Bisbee from here?”

“Oh, it’s like sixty miles or so... Will you be okay driving back in the dark?”

“Sure! I think I can handle that.”

Well. It turns out to be more like ninety miles. One-way. We have to ride a good portion of the way there in the dark too, only to discover that the intended restaurant target is closed on this particular night of the week. DOH! After cruising through the streets and consulting iPhones we settle for a $12 entree place downtown, The Bisbee Grille, which is about the only sit-down thing open in this little Wild West community. I’m not picky at this point, just tired and hungry, and they serve up filling hot food (and we probably ought to save or money for something special we have planned a few days from now anyway). One concession we are consciously making for this potentially chilly motorcycle trip in general is to stop for warm food and drink often.



The mushroom dish is especially tasty!



And ninety miles back to night #2 in camp... Turn on those heated vests, and stay awake buddy! Watch out for animals too. 180 miles for a dinner date?? Why not! Whewwww...
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #734
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180 miles for a dinner date?? Why not! Whewwww...
Any excuse for a ride!
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:00 PM   #735
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180 miles for a dinner date?? Why not! Whewwww...
Wuss.

I was riding motorcycles up in Shady Valley one day when my phone rings. It's my girlfriend calling from her cruise ship.

"Hey, you want to come down and meet me and my family in Florida?"

"What time do you get off the ship?"

"8 am tomorrow."

Look at watch. It's 415.

"Ok. See you there."

Got home, unloaded the bike, packed in 20 minutes, drove from Johnson City, TN to Port Canaveral, FL through the night. Wound up staying awake for something like 36 hours.

Wound up marrying her...















180 miles...pshhh
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