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Old 08-13-2010, 12:11 PM   #226
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We had a few hours to kill so we drove back into town and hit up a Canadian Tire to do a "get home job" on my exhaust.

The break




The tools





The after






While doing this Pelvis notices my chain guard is all bent up and inside the spokes of my rear wheel. Well that explains some of the rough running behaviour my bike has been having for the last 20 minutes. I cut out the chain guard and WOW is my chain loose. I had tightened it a few times during this trip and prior to leaving and wasn't having any issues. When they start to go they go fast I could almost remove the chain from the sprocket by hand. We tried getting a longer bolt to replace the tightening bolt, contemplated placing a nut between the bolt and plate but in the end none of these solutions would work for a 2000 kilometer ride back home. Screw it let's have a coldy and some food and just get on the boat, we'll deal with it on the main land.


You can see in this photo where the chain was slapping. Rubbing through the mudguard and getting dangerously close to the rear wheel. Also started rubbing on the spring of my rear suspension.





A quick burger and beer in town then off to the ferry. I sincerly felt bad for the guys on bikes who were in the standby lane. They didn't get on this ferry, god knows how long they ended up waiting in that parking lot.


Tieing down the bikes (they provide tie downs)







A great boat, hit the bar up before heading down to crash in the cabin and watch some tube.








Adios NFLD, I WILL BE BACK












Got a last minute room in Nova SCotia as our ferry came in at something like 2am. Luckily it was less than a mile or so from the ferry. Chain was bouncing all over the place. Crashed for the rest of the night and got on the phone first thing in the morning to see what I could do aboout getting some parts. Well, I could get a new chain delivered in 3 days. My back sprocket looked like it would make the ride home but the front was in rough shape. Past point, past hooking, starting to crack from the loose chain jumping I assume. So stay in Nova Scotia and visit a friends friends who was willing to come pick us up, buy a 380 dollar chain and wreck it on the drive home on the worn sprockets OR get Uhaul and get the hell out of here?










Sure enough the minute we head out it starts pouring rain and winds of up to 90 km/h the radio was saying. I'm not a big cage fan but damn the heat and windsheild wipers were real nice Not much else to say, am 18 hour drive home without anything to write about. It was real nice to get home and start planning the next trip Two more weeks and I head out with some guys to do a section of route we've planned heading to northern Ontario. Time to order some parts and give the beast some serious tlc











And so ends another chapter in the creation of the TCAT for me. Dan? I'll let him tell his tale and he only just got home after an extra week and 5 fuel pumps later. The others? I assume they made it back as they're posting in this thread......
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:36 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by grovesd
Deadly, awesome ride report.
A few friends and myself plan on doing a similar route next summer.
I'm taking notes!
Gidday Groves, a few of us are heading your way in a couple of weeks to do another section of the route. It'd be good to go for a ride together again I'll shot you a PM once the dates are firmed up if your interested
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:53 PM   #228
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Before we left Ted told me he bought a seep skin from Ikea and he had paid a lot less than i did. I was thinking i should have bought one instead of the one i got. After seeing him tie a dead animal to his seat i was glad with my decision. This was actually the nicest i saw it the whole time.




I had to laugh watching Ted try and get in Joe's contraption, it obviously wasn't built for someone of Ted's size.








It was nice to get on the ferry and relax and have a beer. I felt more relaxed knowing we were getting off the island and that we were not going to have to share the room with Ted's new friend from the complaints counter.




I was wondering around just taking pictures not really paying attention to what i was doing. When the flash went off this girl wiped her head around and her hand went over the keypad on the ATM as fast as she could. I felt bad for her as i wasn't watching what she was doing, but i did it again when she used the change machine. But i wont post the pic of her at the ATM since she was so freaked out by the old guy taking a pic of her.





Ted headed back to the room and i decided to stay for a couple or more beers. I figured since my mission had been complete maybe id start a new one of drinking in different oceans. But it looks like were going again in a few weeks to start the westerly portion so maybe ill just have to do each province again.

When i went up to get another beer from the bar this guy sits down beside me. He looks me right in the eye and with the thickest Newfoundland accent says something to me. I looked back at him and said, "what the fuck did you just say" he said it again. To this day i dont know what he said, dont know if it was to many beers(his part or mine) or i was just tired. but at that point decided to call it a night.




While Ted was loading his bike into the Uhaul i made a little side trip.



We were driving down the Trans Canada when i woke up Ted who was somewhat napping in the seat and told him i was about to run out of gas. He looked at me and asked if this adventure was ever going to be over.


And, back home.


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Old 08-13-2010, 01:07 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by pelvis_98

When i went up to get another beer from the bar this guy sits down beside me. He looks me right in the eye and with the thickest Newfoundland accent says something to me. I looked back at him and said, "what the fuck did you just say"
ROFL. :)

So is everyone getting the idea that we aren't perfect angels. Maybe best described as someone you might not want to introduce to your families, lol

Fair warning to everyone who has pm'd and offered a place to crash while we're travelling across this great big country ;)
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:59 PM   #230
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #231
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After some morning maintenance checking stuff out on the 1200gs, I found that the 'possum scraper' was busted. It was cracked, a bolt was sheared, and it was just wobbling around. A few minutes later it was in the trash, and I will never mount one again! The same thing had happened on my F650, but that time the broken possum scraper also ripped half the sidewall off the tire.. they're fine for the road but just a bad idea in the rough stuff.

We left Port Hope Simpson in the mud and the drizzle, but that went away after an hour or so.

We spent a day riding together, very nice roads, hardly rained much at all :) and hardly any drama.





At one point somewhere on the way down to Red Bay a police cruiser with full light show went ripping past in the opposite direction from us. We stopped to let people catch up and Pelvis and Ted were nowhere to be seen. We waited.. and waited.. and thoughts of the police cruiser rushing to something started to worry us.
A little while later Ted and Pelvis showed up- it turns out that Ted's gear had ejected itself at speed and Pelvis had stopped to gather up the bits. Police car had nothing to do with us.

At Red Bay the pavement started and we though we'd stop for a bite to eat and check out the town.. at which point I noticed that my rear brakes were at the backing plates! (fronts were unusable from my crash a few days earlier). Ah ha! I had thrown an old set of used pads in my tool roll 'just in case' so went about changing rear pads.

Meanwhile one of the local parks guys came up and had a chat- when he heard we were going for the ferry at Blanc Sablon he suggested that 1) we're in the wrong time zone and are 30 minutes off and 2) if we want to make the ferry we better get going now!

Ted headed off at a limp, I crawled around changing brake pads (way easier than I thought, BMW made it a cinch!) and then we too headed down to the ferry.

Where I noticed that Dan's bike came with some kind of pull-start.. or electric motor.. or just headphone wires getting tangled up.


The ferry ride was uneventful, I had a nice club sandwich and fries (eat while you can! who knows when dinner will be..), saw some porpoises and whales frolicking in the ocean.. and some choices were made-

Ted and Pelvis would immediately head south at a limp to Port aux Basques to try and get a ferry back to Nova Scotia. They had no reservations, Ted's bike was limping and Pelvis was down to backing plates of both sets of brakes.

Dan would join me, Martin and Renaud for an extra few days, go see the viking thing up north and then decide what to do. We got off the ferry, said our goodbyes, and it immediately started raining.

Ten minutes later, Dan's bike died, the rain picked up, and so did the wind. Yay, Newfoundland!

We found out that there was a service station up the road with a mechanic that might be able to help us out- Renaud and me headed up that way with Dan and Martin limping along behind. The KTM would run for a bit at low speeds, sputter and die, then go again.

I talked to the person at the Sandy Cove Esso (right next door to a snowmobile shop) and she said yes, there was a mechanic, he was probably at dinner.

Some time later, a few phone calls and conversations, Baxter (the mechanic/owner) showed up and so did Dan and Martin. Baxter had no experience with motorcycles but was friendly and happy to let us use his garage, lent us tools, offered advice, and more importantly BEER!



We set to work trying to figure out what was wrong with the KTM, hunting down possible problems with fuel or spark or electrical or..





The rain stopped, we munched on chocolate bars, sipped beer, fiddled with the bike, and even spotted some blue sky and a rainbow! Things were not so bad :)



Lots of locals came and went, kids asked what was going on, it was quite the community event. It got dark and we still got nowhere, but at least we had some ideas on where to look. They were happy to let Dan leave his bike there and keep poking at it in the morning. A few phone calls later and they even found us a B&B with room- a short ride later and we were tucked in to a beautiful B&B, cheap clean and dry with great hosts.

They lent us their car to go get some dinner, let Dan use the computer to surf the web for solutions, and cooked up a great breakfast the next morning with fresh home-made jams, poached eggs and strong coffee! The sun was out, things were pretty good.

Renaud, Martin and I headed out to check out the Viking stuff at L'Anse aux Meadows (a couple of hours away) and promised to come back and check on Dan later in the day.

Clear, dry, a bit of a brisk wind but still quite a nice ride. The Viking stuff is pretty small but interesting anyways. Ted had asked us to get a picture of a viking on our motorcycles so I waylaid one on his way to the parking lot and got him to mount up!




We even saw a moose bashing around in the swampy bits and had to take a photo- he's the small brown smudge middle-right.


Back we went and stopped off to see if Dan had made any progress- he was smiling!




They had the bike working again using a snowmobile pump and some creative fiddling but there were some leaks and they still had some fiddling to do. But they knew what the problem was and it was only a matter of time.. Dan planned on staying on the Rock for a few more days anyways so we bid him farewell and headed down towards Gros Morne, our planned stop for the evening.

Weather was pleasant, we stopped off at Arches Provincial Park for a break.



In Gros Morne park we found the first campsite we tried full up but backtracking a bit to Green Point we found a great campground with lots of room.
Renaud missed the off-pavement riding and had to improvise.




We had a great spot, looking out at the ocean, warm but with a great breeze, no bugs, no rain, soft grass to put the tents on, a great campfire and meal and a really nice night.

The next morning, we packed up and got ready to go. It immediately started raining :)

We had 200km to go and a whole day to do it, so we meandered around, stopped for a nice lunch, tried to do some exploring but the rain got harder the wind picked up, and we decided to head for the ferry terminal early.

Martin's plugged tire was starting to lose air (needed pumping up every hour or two) and we played it safe by heading south.



We decided to go to the ferry terminal early just to check on the schedule- it turned out that our reservations on the night ferry had a bit of a snag.. the ferry would be running 10+ hours late! Instead of leaving just after midnight it wouldn't be going until maybe mid-day the next day..

Wait a sec though- would we like to get on the ferry leaving in an hour instead? You bet! We lost our reserved cabin but would get going almost right away.. excellent!

A quick stop for souvenirs in Port aux Basques


Then onto the ferry, strapped down the bikes



Calm seas, good time, a meal and conversation with some other bikers, uncomfortable sleep on bad chairs, and then landing in North Sydney at 1am. GPS to the rescue (find nearest campsite!), a short ride later and we stopped at a campsite. Office was closed but we set up tents and instantly fell asleep. It should be noted that because I had the only GPS I was leading. With no front brakes. And messed up headlights. Imaginary deer were leaping out at me every few km and I was starting to freak out.

Next day up at dawn (office still closed..), packed up and headed out. No rain, light winds, no traffic.. nice!

Martin's tire kept getting soft, so when we reached Moncton we headed to the only BMW dealer in eastern Canada.. No, they don't patch tires, but yes- they sell them and had lots of ones in stock for Martin's GS. They were very busy but if took the wheel off and brought it in they'd install a new tire right away. The price was excellent, the TKC80 was almost worn out anyways (5000km) so it was an easy decision.




I had checked with them by phone a few days ago and they had no parts to fix my brake master cylinder and it would take a week to get them.. so I was resigned to riding home the rest of the way with no front brakes. I'd just done 3000km without them, only another 1000km to go!

The roads were excellent (divided highway almost all the way), traffic was light, we hummed along at 120-130km/h for hours at a time and ate up the miles. Overnight near Riviere du Loup at a noisy family campground (ear plugs work a treat!) and we split up just before Montreal.
Martin and Renaud headed west on the 20 towards Toronto, I headed up to the 40 towards Ottawa. Apart from 45 minutes of stop-and-go traffic through Montreal (there had been a few accidents) it was uneventful and I made it home by mid-day.. much to the surprise of my wife
She'd been called by the Ferry guys saying my ferry was delayed by 10 hours and was not expecting me to be home for another day or two.

Unpacked the bike, took off my boots, and found out that the weather in Ottawa had been hot, sunny and beautiful the entire time I was gone.

Sigh.



'How was it??' asked my wife.. 'miserable' was all I could remember.

That being said, I already know things I'd do differently next trip.. proper panniers.. waterproof over mitts, maybe some Frogg Toggs for when it gets really wet.. and the 1200GS is just such a fantastic long distance machine I can't just stay at home next summer..

stupid motorcycle trips

Thanks Ted for spearheading this trip! It was a total clusterf*ck in so many ways, but I lived to tell the tale and met some great people along the way
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:06 PM   #232
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Nice viking photo ! :)
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:28 AM   #233
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I've been watching this thread with interest. I applaud your efforts and encourage you to continue. A Canadian version of the TAT is welcomed.


I'm not a rider, but rather a back-roads traveler, strongly influenced by the adventures that some of the Land Rover and similar vehicle owners pursue. Events like the Transsyberia Rally and competitive events like Dakar and the Silk Route always catch my attention. So if I could make one request, it is that as you route find that perhaps keep in mind those of us in 4 wheel mode that enjoy goat trails also, but ones that we can access. I probably own the only Cayenne in Canada that has General AT2 tires and is covered with dirt and mud and will soon have better skid plates, radios and other RAID like equipment.


Some thoughts on names. A couple of years ago I read a book called The All Red Route about two guys that drove a REO (R.E. Olds car from before GM bought Oldsmobile) across Canada before the first world war. It is overlayed with the story of a another restored REO crossing Canada in the mid 90's and the changes in the country and attitudes since then. Some info about the book is here: http://www.amazon.com/All-Red-Route-.../dp/155278097X


Not to be so bold as to suggest that name (The All Red Route), but I my mind it would be appropriate to echo the sentiment of the trip a century ago. ARR All Red Route


Anyway, keep up the great work !



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Old 08-15-2010, 10:05 AM   #234
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Hi Trevor. An interesting point of view. Certainly the route is being made by and for motorcycles. That being said; when it's all completed I'd be happy to show you which parts you'd have to skip due to access rights, width of trail, etc and could offer up some work arounds for those area's. The bulk of the route would be doable in your truck I'm sure.....and I'D LOVE to see some pic's of a Cayenne ripping it up, heck maybe I'd even join you as a navagator or follow along on my bike, you could carry my gear ;)

Thanks for the link :)
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:51 AM   #235
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So how is the route coming along?

Almost on schedule

I didn't get to ride the T'Rail across the newfoundland which I assume will be a large part of the route across that province. Skibum69 will be working on that portion of the route and I look forward to heading out there next year and riding it with him. It will be interesting to see what he and his buddies come up with.

The southern portion of Ontario had been routed and mostly ridden. There is a portion of it we haven't had a chance to ride in it's entirety but most of it has been ridden in chunks. In a couple of weeks, a group of us are going to ride the rest of the route that we didn't finish earlier this year when Juames bike broke down. I am hoping to get this portion finished on that trip as far north as Kapuskasing in Central Northern Ontario.

Quebec has largely been mapped out and needs to be ridden. Fabrice has stepped up to the plate and has been working on the section of the route between the Trans Labrador Highway and a town called Chicoutimi in Quebec. He has ridden a large chunk of it already and from the maps he has sent and the emails we have sent back and forth it looks like what he is planning will fit right into the rest of the route. A HUGE thanks to Fabrice for becoming a part of this project From where Fabrice's section leaves off there is a nice long gravel road (Chemin Du Parent) that is approximately 400 km's long. This road will serve as the backbone across the Laurentian Mountains. I have ridden some fun terrain over the years back in those hills and look forward to having some fun detours off this road Some great hydro lines, atv trails and double track in that area. These trails will lead to a town called Mt Laurier where Flanny will take over the route and bring it into the city of Ottawa.

At first the route was going to skirt all major cities. After much thought we have decided to bring the route right through one city at least. Why? Well, we began to realize just how loong this route is going to be once it's completed. Ottawa is a fairly large city for Canada (approx 1 million people) and has bike shops and other amenities that may be needed by most folks after getting this far into the route. Ottawa isnt so large that it will require days to cross, a one hour drive and you can get from one end to the other. KTM, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, etc all have dealers there. Tire changes, broken parts and other stuff a city has to offer may be a welcome relief to may folks who have followed the route this far.....thoughts?

What did we think about the Trans Labrador Highway as being a part of the route? Before leaving on the trip we did a few weeks ago I had some major reservations about adding this road to the route. The amount of pavement before during and after, all left me feeling kind of bummed out. ALOT of work is going into this project to avoid ashpalt roads. After riding the TLH I feel comfortable in saying that I believe it will fit right into the route with no issues. The pavement sections (along the coast of Labrador and along the west coast of Newfoundland) have a VERY remote feeling to them, not alot of traffic and both offer some amazing scenery. Ashpalt yes, but if ashpalt has to be included these are some absolutely amazing roads to have to "compromise" with The ashpalt section at the end of the road (between Manic5 Dam and Baieu Comeaux) was in my opinion a real fun twisty road for a dual sport bike. This section looks like it will also be cut short by Fabrice's section as he intends to branch off the TLH on a gravel road heading east I talked to a few "in the know" road crew guys about the plans to pave this road. Lot's of conflicting opinions on when this road will be paved and at what rate. Here's what I got out of it by one fellow who seemed to have straight forward answer's. They are currently surveying the section between Goose Bay and Labrador City. He says it will take them 2-3 more years to complete then paving in earnest will begin. He predicts 8-10 years before it's completed. The new section of road between Goose Bay and the west coast of Labrador will be done next. The section from Manic5 to Labrador city hasn't even been talked about. So................it's hard to get a straight answer but this seemed as reliable as any. The end result is that yes the TLH will get paved. Each year the gravel section will get shorter. In my opnion it looks like about 5-8 years before the pavement overtakes the gravel and makes this road not viable for our route. Sad But this works for us in a weird way. By the time we completely finish this route across Canada to the Pacific it will give us something else to do........make the route go from Newfoundland through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Maybe leaving the TLH as an optional "big bike" route and having the two meet up on the north shore of the St Lawrence river.

Here's a quick look at what we have mapped so far


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The sections in red have been ridden. The blue sections have been mapped/researched and will for the most part get ridden before this season is finished
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:00 AM   #236
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A zoomed out look to give a perspective of the route. Canada is BIG and this route is really starting to take shape and come together. Everyone involved is starting to fell the same as I am........wow it's really going to go from a pipe dream to a reality. I really want to thank everyone who is helping out, without them this would take many many years to complete. With their help we look like we will be on target to have the eastern half of the route ready for distribution next fall. The only real obstacles at this point are the wives and the honey do lists This should allow folks to spend the winter of 11/12 planning and be ready to ride the spring of 2012 There has been some talk about us doing the eastern half of the route in it's entirety that spring and inviting anyone who wants to come along........a final "test run" kind of ride. Not sure if it will happen or not as we're getting real keen on heading into western Canada and seeing the prairies, mountains and the Pacific coast. I'll just leave that one "out there" and see what becomes of it. Out of curiosity would people be interested in joining us for a 3-4 week trip to ride the eastern half? I can see why some folks would want to and why they would just rather do it on their own, plus's and minus's to both scenarios.


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Old 08-16-2010, 07:23 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Deadly99
At first the route was going to skirt all major cities. After much thought we have decided to bring the route right through one city at least. Why? Well, we began to realize just how loong this route is going to be once it's completed. Ottawa is a fairly large city for Canada (approx 1 million people) and has bike shops and other amenities that may be needed by most folks after getting this far into the route. Ottawa isnt so large that it will require days to cross, a one hour drive and you can get from one end to the other. KTM, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, etc all have dealers there. Tire changes, broken parts and other stuff a city has to offer may be a welcome relief to may folks who have followed the route this far.....thoughts?
Great idea. A trans Canada route going through the capital of Canada
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:37 AM   #238
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Great idea. A trans Canada route going through the capital of Canada
Thanks, after the thousand of km's of wilderness it'll be funny to see folks pictures of bikes heading through downtown Ottawa. Dust and mud covered bikes, stinking boots and all that fun stuff


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Old 08-16-2010, 08:07 AM   #239
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Thanks, after the thousand of km's of wilderness it'll be funny to see folks pictures of bikes heading through downtown Ottawa. Dust and mud covered bikes, stinking boots and all that fun stuff


Obviously these riders have been on the TCAT yet


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Old 08-16-2010, 08:12 AM   #240
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Obviously these riders have been on the TCAT yet


Nope, that was leaving on a trip last year. The contrast to the photo's that we will see over the coming years should be interesting to say the least
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