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Old 10-28-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
Mr. Vintage OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: The Palouse
Oddometer: 865
Idaho Backroads, Autumn, a Guzzi, a Ural, a Tempter, a Newbie, and a Cabin

This last weekend three friends and I rode 200 miles from Moscow to Lake Coeur d’Alene and back, simply to shut the water off at the family lake place. To make an otherwise straightforward ride as complicated as possible, we combined a bizarre array of bikes and rider skill levels, and an untested route through the woods.

To start with, Traverse has ridden about 200 yards in his entire motorcycling career, so why not break him in on a 2 day ride? Learner’s permit in hand for a week now, I have loaned him my SL350 for the trip. We did a quick familiarization ride Friday evening, really for both of us. I have had my Quota for less than two months, so I am still getting used to muscling around a 600lb bike off road.

On Saturday morning we meet at my place, waiting until midmorning in hopes of some warmer temperatures. In addition to Traverse, James (ADV lurker with no screen name) and his Ural sidehack arrive, followed shortly by Isetta Bob and his always clean Suzuki Tempter (possibly the coolest bike name ever).

We get going, heading for the gravel first thing:

In short order we run encounter the first issue of the day, namely my not putting any gas in the SL. Oops.

With that remedied we stop for more gas in Potlatch and head up Crane Creek. I stopped to wait for everyone to catch up, and wait, and wait, uh-oh. Doubling back I find the second issue for the day. He’s got the salute down…

Note the big berm of loose gravel – Traverse went wide and got sucked in. But also notice that the headlight points straight ahead, but the wheel does not. At first we only noticed the carb leaking everywhere from a stuck float. But after traveling just a few feet the wheel issue made itself apparent. We feared the worst (this picture just had to have a caption):

It turned out that the forks had rotated in the triple clamps and twisted everything up, but nothing was bent – I’m suspect I didn’t have it very tight to start with. It was an easy fix.
We stopped for lunch where the route became an ATV trail – I tried to consult the maps and gps to make sure the trail actually went somewhere .

After a mile or so we encountered these huge berms. The mighty SL had the ground clearance to deal with them without problems, but there was no way the other three were going anywhere without some serious manhandling.

I took the SL on a brief joyride to see where the trail went...

...only to return without one of the pivot bolts on my modular helmet. I was forced to steal parts from the Guzzi, and apparently pontificate about the structural aspects of three fuel pump mounting flange bolts versus two. What a dork:

We turned around (why is that so hard to do?) and took the long way through an endless clear cut with periodic drain channels across it. When we finally hit a real road we decided the highway was in order – we were behind schedule, and hadn’t even got to the part where I wasn’t sure of the trail.

After a stint on 95, we stopped at Sanders for a break.

After Sanders we went through Tensed, Benewah Creek, Alder Creek, and eventually the St Maries River. Great roads, interesting hillbilly architecture, awesome fall scenery.

After a stop at the grocery store in St. Maries, we made quick time to the cabin at Conkling Park. Traverse made it in one piece!

We find the previous visitor to the cabin that didn’t make it out alive :

The BBQ was fired up and the essentials prepared:

Fittingly, this part of the evening was a bit blurry:

But the stars were incredible:

The next morning we wandered down to the marina – we were considering a boat ride but it was very cold. I looked but Live2Ride was nowhere to be found – probably out riding that new chopper.

The bikes were cold too:

After my frantic and disorganized cabin winterization chores, we hit the casino at Worley for breakfast. Food was plentiful and good, but inside this place is not my idea of how to spend your life…

Of course we couldn’t take the direct route home, so I guided the crew to one of my favorite finds, the Sorrento rail tunnel. Part of the old Milwaukee Road, it’s a half mile of very loose water-logged ballast rock.

Unfortunately the Ural was just too much for the very little traction, and James was forced to go around and practice relaxation techniques while he waited. Which was awhile, because I drove off with my top box open and spread my gear all over the woods.

By this point the Tempter was far dirtier than I have ever seen it, especially with an increasingly worse base gasket leak:

We had a relatively uneventful ride from there – retrieving ejected GPS units , dodging giant farm equipment, and taking in what could be the last good fall weather for these parts:

We were all a bit sore on Monday, but it was well worth it. I need to start planning a ride to open up the cabin next spring…

- Jeff (Mr. Vintage) -
Quota, SL350, MW250, MT250, CT90

Mr. Vintage screwed with this post 10-28-2008 at 05:38 PM
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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Gotta love Idaho's scenic backroads! Looks like a good time and a good ride, thanks for posting
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
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I almost bought one of those Tempters back in the early 80's - a red one just like this one. Since I had never owned a 4 banger, I decided to give the 650G a try instead. It's good to see one of those old bikes again. I have always been a parallel twin guy at heart...
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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Thumb Good quick little trip

I had a SL175 back in the day... I loved that bike.

Thanks for sharing.
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #5
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Thumb An awesome adventure. Cool report

Mr. Vintage, I love your report. I can't imagine you not riding your honda. You did such a great job restoring it. Glad to see your out riding and enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery in our country.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:31 PM   #6
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Love those ride reports with a Quota in them!
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:34 PM   #7
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just fyi, one of the leading spreaders of rabies is bats...
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
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Hey there Mr. Vintage looks like a fun ride, I will have to get up there next year to do some riding with you.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:38 PM   #9
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:56 PM   #10
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Back in 83 or 84 I bought my first new motorcycle................. a Suzuki Tempter, red with mag wheels for $1400. Ahhh the memories
Looks like you guys had a blast!!
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:15 AM   #11
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Great ride report!

I stopped to see Live2Ride a few weeks back too and he wasn't there that time either. He's only telling us he's working and really he's out playing with his chopper.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ROYAL COACHMAN
Back in 83 or 84 I bought my first new motorcycle................. a Suzuki Tempter, red with mag wheels for $1400. Ahhh the memories
Looks like you guys had a blast!!
Man the Tempters getting some love! James (the big guy on the Ural) had a Tempter a while ago too, blue with the mag wheels. When he found out I had one he started regretting that he had sold his. They're great bikes. I was pleasantly pleased with how well it did on this trip. Although I did feel a little bad putting it through its paces this weekend. I need to keep working on the wife for a KTM 950-990 adventure...a long shot for sure.
Check out my Isetta restoration at:
"The longer something is taken apart, the farther apart its pieces get"
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:58 AM   #13
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Looked like a fun ride.

By the way, where do you hide the key for the cabin?
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:03 PM   #14
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what a beautiful fall ride. great excuse to make an otherwise hohum run into a adventure. I keep telling myself I need to get up that way to explore.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:52 AM   #15
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LB, we are there 7 days a week, but not 24 hours a day. Please show up during regular business hours
Great ride and report MV. Just so you know, we pulled your boat out and put it storage, bill to follow soon
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048
Great ride report!

I stopped to see Live2Ride a few weeks back too and he wasn't there that time either. He's only telling us he's working and really he's out playing with his chopper.
Loud pipes don't save lives, but they do let you know I'm in the area.
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