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Old 05-05-2010, 08:06 PM   #1
gruney1 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 250
GA to NY on a Clapped-out Bandit

My first ride report:

My supervisor walks up to me at
4:50 Friday afternoon 3 weeks ago and hands me my separation notice. Just Freakin LOVELY! Just when I was getting caught up on bills, now I gotta find another job in this crappy economy. Oh well, that job was going nowhere anyway.

The company filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy a few months back, and things were not looking good. They said there was not enough work to justify my (just above poverty level) salary. Luckily for me, my wife is understanding
, and is being supportive. Plus, I think she is glad to get rid of me for a few weeks.

Four and a half years with the company, and the only raise I got was a pay cut last year. Not exactly upwardly mobile.

Sitting in the Department of Labor parking lot next to my bike, I noticed some threads starting to show on the front tire. Perfect! The rear doesn’t look too hot either. That’s when it hit me: time for new tires, and a nice long trip to break ‘em in. But to what destination? How far should I venture away from home sweet home? The furthest I’ve been on the bike is about 200 miles, and I never done an overnighter.

I got the unemployment insurance deal started, it won’t be enough to pay the bills, but I just sold my old truck, and figure if I can sell a few more things on CraigsList and Ebay, I’d be good enough to go. I’ll be taking a tent, and some Ramen Noodles and Oatmeal, I just need to pick up one of those little stoves to cook them. I do have some friends along the way, so maybe I can grab a shower and steal a beer or three when they're not looking! I will be looking for VERY inexpensive accomodations. Free is for me....

My parents still live on Long Island, maybe I should surprise them with a visit. Yeah, that’s the ticket! On the way I can finally get to see the Tail of the Dragon, then take the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way up north. My kids are in school until the end of May, so they won’t even miss me.

I got my new tires mounted up, oil change is next. I bought a mount for my GPS, and some odds and ends for camping. I don’t have much money, but that will make it more exciting.

The bike is a 98 Bandit, it has been very reliable, and with my luck, I won't have any issues along the way.

Here is the bike in an old picture, it's got more love on it now:

And here is the "planned" route:

View NY Trip 2010 in a larger map

More to follow as it happens...I am leaving tomorrow morning (5/6), and I will post more when I get some interweb service.

gruney1 screwed with this post 05-16-2010 at 05:26 PM
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
Stupid Freak
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: B'ham, WA
Oddometer: 132
Sorry about the job, wish you luck finding a new one. Have a fun time on your ride!!!
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:12 AM   #3
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Rancho Bernardo (San Diego)
Oddometer: 1,064
Good luck! Will be watching for LOTS of pix.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:03 AM   #4
gruney1 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 250
Loaded up

"High Tech Old School"

My son (Hollywood) testing out the ergonomics

Loaded up and almost ready to go, check out the yard sale saddle bags: $5 but I had to cut off the fringes.

Suzy doesn't want me to go, we've bonded since the layoff

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:09 AM   #5
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Oddometer: 6,248
Clapped out? That's a fine machine and lookin' good. You go!
I'd rather be dragging a club than clubbing in drag.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:31 AM   #6
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2008
Oddometer: 376
Originally Posted by RedDogAlberta
Clapped out? That's a fine machine and lookin' good. You go!
Yeah, I wouldn't call a bike made in the past 15 years clapped out

Digging the low budget approach, I like reading these types of reports. I'm also looking forward to your impressions of the Bandit's long distance touring capabilities, I've sort of been eyeballing 1st gen 1200S's as of late.
1977 Yamaha XS500C cross country veteran
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:48 AM   #7
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Oddometer: 2,635
Whoa, what tires did you put on that thing? Is this going to turn into an off-road ride report?

Sorry to hear about the job, enjoy your trip
JK Rubi
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:01 AM   #8
Mod Squad
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Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 57,144
Nothing like a bit of two wheeled therapy to get your mind off the job situation. Here's to hoping for better days ahead

ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Orangeville Ontario Canada
Oddometer: 573
Wicked Dual Sport Bandit?

Looking at those tires I thought I had better subscribe to this one...
Any day on the bike is a GOOD day!

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:06 AM   #10
Sherpa-ing around
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Lone Pine, ON, Canada
Oddometer: 1,206
I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 05-06-2010, 11:11 AM   #11
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Oddometer: 591
sorry about the job, but you have some family support, which is more than what most people have!

youre going to love the trip..the good and the bad...and youll never forget or regret doing this.

maybe you have a bad angle on those tires, but it doesnt look like youre going to love them on the dragon...seriously, what are those??

take your time, take side-trips, and stop to enjoy stuff. ride safe...well be checking in on you!
avatar pic: Tathum Gap, Trail of Tears, NC.

my goal is to see how many gallons of dead dinosaurs i can send through my bike.
2008 Kawasaki Concours 14
2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:56 PM   #12
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Columbia, SC
Oddometer: 1,294
I am probably a day late and a dollar short, but I have a MSR backpacking stove you can borrow if you need it.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:32 PM   #13
Badger tickler
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Oddometer: 780
That Bandit looks ready for anything....I'm in.
'12 F800GS
'00 Bandit 1200
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:38 PM   #14
Joined: Feb 2010
Oddometer: 4
I am also curious about those tires!

I am also interested in reading about your 'less-than-a-shoestring-budget' trip!
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:18 PM   #15
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Joined: Apr 2009
Oddometer: 99
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