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Old 11-05-2009, 07:36 PM   #1
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Freedom Tour 2009 - Vancouver Island

This was a tough decision, we were on such a high from 2008's Freedom Tour Costa Rica.

We thought about Eastern Oregon but most of us had been there over the years. Then I looked at an article in a Road runner magazine and decided that Vancouver Island made the most sense.
After checking with the other riders I discovered that upper Vancouver Island would be a new trip for all of us. Wanting to travel in a group with an even number we invited Scott from Spokane WA along this year. Since Tom was starting his trip in Spokane he and Scot could drive over together spending their first night in Winthrop WA.

July 12th 2009, Day one
myself, Pete, Michael and Sean are going to drive up together and meet Scot and Tom.
We were going to leave my house early and drive up to Port Angeles and catch the Ferry over to Victoria. Not a long trip but it would allow for some time to explore Victoria on our first night.

Day one route

We meet at the Sumner Jack in the Box

Sean's green ZRX 1200. What he didn't know is that later in the trip, we would be driving 26 miles over a mountain pass on logging roads. :)

HWY 16 near the Narrows bridge

Crossing the Tacoma Narrows.

Michael was driving my Vstrom DL1000. As it turned out he liked the bike so much this was a long test drive. He bought this bike shortly afterwards.

So to correct "Michael driving his V Strom across the Narrows bridge.

Pete on his Aprilia Caponord

Through Gig Harbour WA

found back roads that hugged the coast. ( wanted to avoid the interstate)

Park the bikes then go in to buy the tickets. My BMW K1200LT

We arrived in Port Angeles and got our Ferry tickets.

Ferry Schedule August 2009

We named this sculpture " drowning in shit" while that isn't the sculptures intention I have to ask what was his intention?

Sean seeing if "it looks like sh** and smells like sh** could it possibly taste like sh**?"

The Port Angeles ferry drops you in downtown Victoria. The hotel was about 3/4 mile behind the ferry.

custom's booths

We booked our room through Hotwire. Funny thing was Sean tried to book a room with this hotel directly ( $40 more)and they said they were sold out?

There were plenty of pubs, restuarants, and cafe's. Plenty of entertainment its a great downtown.

A great location is where we can safely park our bikes and walk to the evenings food and drinks. this hotels main attraction was its location ( just behind the Empress hotel).

Victoria Quality Inn

Tom and Scot had taken a very schenic route over the North Cascades Hwy. They started that morning in Winthrop and drove over HWY 20.

Scot's 1983 CB1100 and Tom's driving a KLR 650

Up and over

Diablo Lake

Scot on his Honda


Bikes parked out front at the Quality Inn reception desk.

Tom hits the hotel showers and looks for the cold one.

Cold Kokanee! I filled the cooler bag with a case of Kokanee. It is cheaper at Safeway in US.

We stopped at the Kokanee brewery in Creston BC on a previous Freedom Ride.

We had a young tour guide with a great attitide so after the tour we nicknamed the beer "Jaime or jaimes". Toss me a cold Jaime!

The harbour before it got dark

Pete and I, do you see a family resemblance? Parliment building in the background ( lights)

Milestones ( we had a great view and a great meal. on the edge of the harbor)

Our hostess's at Milestones

Here we are everyone in town ready for the 09 tour!

We wandered around that night, and drank a few beers, and then headed to bed.

We had a long drive tomorrow.

This is what we had waiting for us the next day

Day 2

2008 Costa Rica

2009 Vancouver Island

Aprilia Caponord, BMW K1200LT & Aprilia RSVR with Tuono bars,

coug66 screwed with this post 11-16-2009 at 12:54 PM
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:57 AM   #2
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:30 AM   #3
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Beautiful BC riding!

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Old 11-06-2009, 06:29 AM   #4
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Great pic's
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:23 AM   #5
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Day 2 Victoria to Tofino

The previous day was the assembly process for the Freedom tour. We were all together in Victoria.
We had a good opening night food and drinks and now were heading off on a riding adventure.
We had two goals. Explore the area and enjoy some spirited riding.
Monday Morning July 11th
We were leaving Victoria on a work morning. Traffic into town was slow but getting out we had light traffic.
We would get gas in Port Renfrew and Lunch in Honeymoon Bay.

The riding was scenic and windy. Once we were able to pass the odd blocking cars there was plenty of open road.

Scot dressed for rain

My cockpit
radar detector ( worked well up there no false alarms)
GPS gave me some troubles, I thought I was on one side of a bay. Washington State is on the other side of the water?

don't know why it would zoom out as it did? perhaps because there were no other roads I could have took by mistake.

The roads were curved and hugged the coast. The salt air and a mix of fog with breaks of sunshine made for a great start.

Hard to keep up when you have a camera in one hand driving a big bike on roads like this.
Have to take your eyes off the view finder of the camera more.

We were riding! Pete on his Capo!

Bridge crossing just north of Port Renfrew. We were looking for fuel and we heard there was a gas station just a few miles from there at the marina.

Marina gas station

Pictures of previous catches

Waiting our turn for fuel.

The roads had been tight and winding to this point but they were to open up as we headed to Honeymoon Bay.

Nice sign, shame its only Kilometers

We wern't alone after all! A brave Harley rider taking his hands off the bars. Hope no parts fall off

Nothing like going fast up hill!

Road opens up

Behind the windshield @ 55 MPH

really nice mix of roads!

How fast is 20 KM per hour? We changed it to MPH and doubled it just to be sure.

Pete trying to get lift off. rite speed wrong wings.

Mother Hen would often have to count the headlights. Let me see one, two, three, four, damn where is ......?

168 miles to empty

We stopped for Lunch in Honeymoon Bay.

We were ready for a good lunch. We wanted to take a break, focusing on the road looking for deer keeping up with the rider in front of you will wear on a person.

had the place to our selves we were early and they were just setting up for lunch.

Great expectations ( the food is good in Canada)

Scot in deep thought?

The days special! Yes it was as good as it looked!

We were just leaving when we noticed

perhaps there are so few men in town that there is strict competition by the local girls. The ones that don't make it just throw themselves at visiting bikers? Well not really but anyway .

The ride once we joined the Hwy was uneventfull till we pulled off HWY 19 and onto Hwy 4.

Start of our first bike issue.

Pete pulled over and asked if I would look at his front disc while he drove.
He said it felt and sounded funny. I looked and couldn't see anything. He pulled over on the side of HWY 4 and we examined his front brakes.

Then with a wiggle of the wheel we discovered a huge problem. The Caponord did not come from the factory with sealed front wheel bearings. Subsequently the stress of high speed cornering on a loaded bike had resulted in destroyed bearings.
They were really loose and we were on a freedom tour. What were we going to do to solve this?

Was this a game ender? would we need to get a truck and tow it home. Was there a shop we could ferry the wheel to?

We split up and drove to a local auto repair shop. They said there was a motrocycle store just down the road.

As luck would have it there was a motorcycle shop just 500 yards down the road.

Great its Monday they are closed!

We could find a place for the night but our hotel is not going to let us cancel the day of the stay.

Well as luck would have it there was a bearing shop just behind the bike shop. We drove in the parking lot took the front wheel off and took the wheel in to see if they had replacements.

Great news they had the bearings and they had a shop in the back where we were able to wrestle the bearings out and press in the new sealed ones.

In 45 minutes we were back on the road with better bearings than the bike left the factory with.

So if the people on your motorcycle forum recommend you replace something it might be a good idea to do it before leaving on a long trip.

Back in action!

The riding West to Tofino was a great deal of fun. The pavement was good and once we were able to pass the pack of cars following the Westfalia with the surfboards on top we had schenic spirited riding.

This was some of the best riding of the trip, high speed and plenty of corners to carve.

fewer pictures as I needed both hands for the bars.

We found a place in Tofino that worked out affordably for the 6 of us. We rented the whole house with the exception of the Owner and Sachi ( spelling?)which lived in the Atic. It was a hassle since the owner tried to increase the rates for staying only one night and had a number of rules about smoking off property ( not allowed on outside Deck).
If we were to go here again we would stay elsewhere.

Bikes parked in driveway

Met a nice guy who told us his phiolosophy on life.

He believed the secret was in a cigar once and a while, and good adult beverage.

Scot and Tom fetched the beer and Pete Michael and I fetched the pizza.

The answer to the question where did the missing Pizza go?

The other pizzas were go as well

Everything was going well we had a nice place, cold beer and good food then Sachi came to visit.

At first it was OK but since she spoke very poor engrish she was either getting free lessons or babysitting. I would have preffered to have been with just the guys. The comradery is just not the same with a Sachi hanging out in the room. Well after an hour or so it got old.

Over and over she would go oooooooooohhhh, and aaaahhhhhh and no it wasn't because Sean ( only single guy at the time) was showing her a few magic tricks.

"You motorcycle? Aaaaaaahhhhh" "you helmet? OOOOOHHHHH" , "you boots aaaah"

We were really tired from the days ride. all those winding roads take al ot of concentration. Michael said it " when you are so focused on the roads for hours at a time you get your mental escape. riding like this is botha physical but most importantly mental break. (freedom tour nirvana)

The island being so big and our desire to really enjoy high speed agressive riding we will cover a good deal of ground the next day.

Sneak peek at day three we are going to Leave Tofino and head to Port Mcneill and take a ferry to our bed and breakfast in Alert bay on Comorant island.

Day 3

2008 Costa Rica

2009 Vancouver Island

Aprilia Caponord, BMW K1200LT & Aprilia RSVR with Tuono bars,

coug66 screwed with this post 11-15-2009 at 09:05 PM
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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Another destination to add to the list.

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Old 11-10-2009, 06:12 PM   #7
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Day 3

We got up early we were going to check out Ucluelet on our way out.

Nice little town we drove to the end of the road. Not much beach front but a cool little town with hotels and a large boat with flags in the harbor.

heading out of town

Back on the great roads

Less cars today

Lunch in Port Alberni

our waitress. She told us about how she took a trip to Sturgis with a guy she knew on the back of his Harley.

Sean on his ZRX

Scot just behind Sean

When we were near Campbell River we figured out that if we were going to make the ferry we were going to have to pick it up a bit.

Pete Michael and I decided to give it our best shot and we raced ahead.

More good riding

We made it to the ferry with about 25 minutes to spare

We were a little worried about the rest of the group as if they didn't make it they would be a couple hours till the next ferry would make it back to Comorant Island.

Then Tom, Scot and Sean showed up. They made it with minutes to spare.

Bikes loaded on Ferry

Ferry ride over makes for a nice peaceful moment

We had accomidations waiting for us. looking at doing the hostel type bed and breakfast we stayed at the Alert Bay lodge

view off the back room ( Pete and I's)

Pete grabbing a cold one after we unpacked.

Cold Jamies

Walk to Dinner ( just down the street)

Our server, ( nice Gal very friendly)

Food was so good I neglected to get a picture of it. I did however get a picture of desert.

Most places in Alert Bay have a great view and this place was no exception

Pete and I

After our filling meal we wandered back to our bed and breakfast.

I had aprehensions about the next day as we would have a number of miles of logging roads and I had no idea if my GPS would guide me or if there was going to be any signage. I was also a little concerned about Scot and Sean they had dirt bike experience but their street bikes were far from dirt capable.

2008 Costa Rica

2009 Vancouver Island

Aprilia Caponord, BMW K1200LT & Aprilia RSVR with Tuono bars,

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Old 11-12-2009, 11:09 PM   #8
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Alert Bay to Comox

In the morning we were served a fantastic breakfast of fresh berry pancakes and a home made muselix mix. We also had time to look at some of the available maps of the area. The people running the lodge were from a large boat, they decided to dock the boat in the bay and take some time on dry land.

They were very hospitable and we enjoyed the brief time we spent at Alert Bay lodge.

We decided to leave early. We motored around the main street warming the motorcycles up for the trip on the ferry boat back to Port Mcneil.

It was foggy that morning and we had a little time to get

Getting packed up for the days ride

A little time off the boat.

The Main room

This will stick to the ribs

Tom is always up first with a cup of coffee, Scots wondering if I will leave any for him.

foggy harbor

Don't think I will be walking around this

The locals were freindly and stopped by to say hello,

Goodbye Alert Bay

The Ferry's Fog horn went off a regular intervals. We were on the upper deck and risked the permanent ear damage. After a while we were able to prediuct when the next blast would sound.

Nice to be on the open high speed roads.

Everything was fine but I knew what lay ahead 39 miles of dirt logging roads. The road out of Gold River was a great motorcycling road and I figured the dirt might be an adventure in its self.

I would set the example and see if Scot and Sean would follow.

Road side stop showed our route as follows.

I would have taken pictures but it was a two handed ride.

As much as we thought we were in the middle of no where there were logging trucks that didn't expect us. You had to stay on your side of the road as it was certain death a head on with that size obstacles.

It was at this point I was leading the way and the others were following once the dust settled. Sean was thouroghly upset. He could not beleive that we talked him into it. He experienced new boundries this trip. The road was OK in these pictures but they had large 2" rock on another stretch and you had to control the front wheel we all had a number of close calls.

Sean wishing he had a different room mate in college!

After we made it and it did get progressivly worse. I had a chance to see Sean and watch him decompress. He was frieked and I only hoped that he would get over the experience ASAP. I think he was so happy to be on solid roads it helped him chill out.

Car wash in Gold River to get the inch of dust off.

We all expected a good meal, we all had a little relaxing to do so we went to the local golf course for lunch.

They had decent food and it had a relaxed atmosphere. ( they havn't updated this web site since 2002?)

So after lunch we had some spectacular riding to do. The roads were schenic with plenty of turns.

The day to be on the KLR 650 especially for the 39 miles of dirt!

When we got to the end of the road in Campbell River we ran into an additional problem.

The guys were following me and I was going to take them down to the harbor and have a beer and a small bite before dinner.

Pete came up to me at the light and said his bike wasn't charging and his lights were getting dim.

Damn!!!!! time to head to the hotel we had booked

Number one in Courtney

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites


as we drove towards the hotel we only had a chance to inform the other riders at the odd light.

Well Pete never made it to the hotel he ran out fo Juice and pulled off the main road by a small side road in front of a burger stand.

We figured it was a regulator issue or Generator issue but we didn't have the tools to fix it there.

Pete came up with the idea of swapping out the V strom and the Aprilia batteries and driving to the hotel and we could diagnose there.

It was difficult bum starting the V Strom due to the Fuel injection but we got it started and then Michael went to go with the kick stand down. I t died and we had to re push it.

Once we got the bike to the hotel we had to diagnose the problem. Pete had just replaced the regulator and the put in an LED power meter.

We screwed around with it for a while but decided we would play in the hot tub, water slide and pool at the hotel. We also went to a pub for a couple of beers and a very inexpensive meal. There is a walking trail behind the hotel just walk 100 yards south.

looking for the problem?

Then with a little fidling the bike died all together. Instead of not charging it was dead.

What to do? I went on line at the hotel to try and diagnose?

Then with a little fiddling I discovered what it was. The main wiring connector between the fuses and the regulator had come apart. ( all the jiggling on the 39 miles of dirt to Gold River.)

I think Pete had swapped the parts but not securly fastned the connector. It was loose at first and then popped out after I started digging in there.

I am really happy the bike is good!!!

I pulled the connecter back together and wow its charging at 14.3 volts!!!!!!

Big Relief for everyone. One sollution was to swap batteries all the way home

Tommorow we had new territory to cover. We were going to take 3 ferrys back to Vancouver B.C.

2008 Costa Rica

2009 Vancouver Island

Aprilia Caponord, BMW K1200LT & Aprilia RSVR with Tuono bars,

coug66 screwed with this post 11-13-2009 at 07:37 AM
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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Day 5 and three a ferry boat day

Today was going to be good but would start with troubles.

Toms KLR was having problems starting?

Michaels V Strom had only driven a short distance on his dead battery, hardly giving it much charge.

We had wrestled with Pete's bike 2 out of the past 3 days.

We needed to get the bikes running and head to the Comox Ferry.

We were all up early particulalry Tom who like the Holiday inn Express free breakfast.

parked outside our window.

We filled up with fuel which was a bummer since we would have to turn the bikes off. This would lead to having to bum start them.

We were there early enough.

I have to have fun with Michael. He missunderstood the catering truck and entered the ferry too early. He was so confident that all the other motorcyclists followed him. We had to turn around and the ferry guy was grumpy.

Michael happy they let him on on his second attempt.

Nice relaxing ferry ride across the inside passage between the island and the mainland.

Tom beggining the push starting leg of this journey. How would we get the bike off the ferry?

Fortunatly we don't look like a couple.

When the Ferry arrived Tom could not start the KLR. battery was dead.

He immediatly pushed it up the ramp and then waited up top for all the cars to leave. Sean went back and helped him bum start it.

You would not believe how hard it is to bum start a KLR 650

On the boat we found a fellow biker who recommended a restuarant on the water. A little difficult to find but eactly like we wanted. On the water served cold beer with good food.

Found the restuarant

Sean starts hitting on the waitress ( not again!) Sean pointing at his daily special

Great food. we tend to get the specials at restuarants. Awesome chowder!

With lunch behind us we started the journey to Vancouver

Nice open roads. Since the only traffic on these roads was the ferry traffic once the ferries group dissappear you have the roads to yourself.

I sure like the new K bikes!!! ( bike on left)

Tom arrived and I thought we should look at the battery and see if it needed water?

I like Canadians! a number of people offered to help. We had one gentlemen break out a large tool kit.

Turns out the battery was dry as a bone K1200GT owner previous picture offered to assist ( leather pouch)

I think we all realized that we probably shouldn't just jump on a bike for the next Freedom Ride. It should be gone through before you leave on a week long trip.

With the battery filled with drinking water we tried to Bum start it. Boy is this thing tough. You have to bum start it in about 3rd and even then the compression wants to lock the wheel.

When we finaly got it started there was cheering in the crowd. We had brought the KLR to life and it seemed to be a communal success. Now we hoped that with some idling before the ferry arrives we can resurect the battery?

Sean liked the ZZR 1200 seen here, so much he bought one a few weeks after he returned.

We get the Front row!

Chance for a cigar in the small smoking area. I took the opportunity to smoke a cigar I picked up on last years Freedom Tour.

Very difficult to find the smoking areas on Ferry's

Scenery on all sides!

About to depart our second ferry

Since all the bikes were parked on the front, this meant that all the bikes were grouped together and at first it became quite the biker group.

More riding in store!

Unfortunalty the KLR's battery was beyond repair. but it ran well when it did start!

Took a break

Noticed a fruit stand on one side and a Pier on the other.

We bought some cherries and decided to watch the kids jump into the cold water on a hot summers day.

They seemed fearless of the height or the cold.

View from the Pier

Back on the bike our last ferry ride was waiting for us. This might also be our last stretch of good Canadian roads.

Petes shots

Last ferry


Horse Show bay here we come!

Traffic sucked, stop start all the way into town. By the time we crossed Lions Gate bridge our hands were sore from operating the clutches.

We were looking forward to getting to our hotel and cleaning up.

We had booked a room on Hotwire at the Holiday Inn.

They charged us $15 a peice for parking which was a rip off. We could park 4 in one stall.

After we paid $15 each we all had our own stalls.

Bikes in front of the check in area.

That night we got cleaned up and since most of us had purchased a bottle of liquor at the duty free going up we decided tonight might be the night to finish what was left and buy more on the crossing home.

needless to say this wasn't the best idea. We decided to wander around and find a nice dinner for our last night.

We found a great restuarant and then wandered round town looking for a good pub.


The last day, I am sorry to say Pete and I got ditched.

Everyone took off and went their own way.

Major loss of Freedom Tour points!

Perhaps Futurama was on ????

So this map is for Pete and I's last day riding.
2008 Costa Rica

2009 Vancouver Island

Aprilia Caponord, BMW K1200LT & Aprilia RSVR with Tuono bars,

coug66 screwed with this post 11-18-2009 at 10:58 PM
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:59 AM   #10
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Last day, Pete and I

The next day the weather was perfect, it was a Friday and we a nice little route planned starting in Sumas and then hugging HWY 9 till we got to Arlington.

The other guys were racing back on I-5. Tom had to stop at a Walmart for a new battery.

View from back of hotel


took a relaxed drive out of Vancouver

Stopped at Costco for some Smarties, Kids love the english chocolates. While I waited with the bikes for my brother to shop, I heard a number of shots? there were berry fields across the street and perhaps they were from some deterant system for the birds?

With the gun laws up there being so restricted it was strange listening to what sounded like .22 gun shots.

Border Crossing into Sumas WA

I find the US border crossing agents friendly and accomidating. For some reason they only suspect me of smuggling food or candy across. I usually declare the candy.

What if I had a lipo suction on the belly and then filled the cavity with ???

Anyway it must be my sweet face?


getting closer.

Once we cleared the border we drove by the IKO Sumas facility.

I run the US sales from this plant and wanted to show it to my brother.

IKO Sumas < click on for more information
Iko Pacific Inc

850 W Front St
Sumas, WA 98295-9634
(360) 988-9103

Pete and I had a great time on HWY 9 curvy road going through farm land by rivers and through the woods. We encountered a number of bikes out enjoying a nice Friday.

We stopped into a little road house restuarant / bar and had a great meal.

Pete's burger

and mine

The view out the back of the restuarant was impressive but compared to this sandwich ????

We wern't the only bikers to discover this place.

Normally at the end of each post I put a map of the following days ride. Since this is a the last day you will have to wait till Freedom Tour 2010 for a map of day one.

I will recap on a future reply

2008 Costa Rica

2009 Vancouver Island

Aprilia Caponord, BMW K1200LT & Aprilia RSVR with Tuono bars,

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Old 11-16-2009, 04:47 PM   #11
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Nice RR The west side of the island has some fantastic riding and can seem like it's your own private road at certain times.
Yes, this is my camera. No I won't shoot your freakin' wedding.
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