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Old 06-02-2010, 01:02 PM   #1
BgDadddy OP
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The Next Big Thing

I'm always up for an adventure, especially when it involves a motorcycle trip. In Jan of 2009, I did an overnighter to Key West that was a lot of fun. I ran down there, camped on the side of the road and came back the next day. I took a few pictures and wrote about it here:

In May of 2009, I rode from Florida to Hot Springs, AR, to Manassas, VA, then to Deal's Gap, NC and finally back to Tampa. I spent a weekend camping and acting silly with a bunch of other riders in Tennessee during the trip. The trip took 10 days and I covered a little over 4,000 miles. If one is so inclined, they can read about that trip here:

So far this year, I have had a lot going on and haven't been able to get away on my bike. I went back to school full-time to pursue a degree in nursing. I also got divorced. Between everything I have had going on, I haven't been able to get away and now I am starting to get that familiar itch. Dawn and I went up to North Carolina to the Eastern Rendezvous last month, and while we had a wonderful time, trailering a bike somewhere and riding it once you get there is not even close to being the same as just taking off somewhere.

I am taking a couple of classes over the summer that will be over in the 3rd week of July. Once those classes are over, I have decided I am going to take off for a few weeks on an adventure that will make the last couple look like nothing! The purpose of this thread is to document my adventure, including the planning, the preparation and the actual trip. I hope people enjoy reading about it as much as I am going to enjoy doing it.

BgDadddy screwed with this post 11-26-2010 at 01:06 PM
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:06 PM   #2
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My plan for my trip is that I am going to leave out from Tampa as soon as I take my finals for my summer classes – Probably around July 12.

I am going to buy an inexpensive dual-sport bike and take it out to Darby, Montana to ride in the Montana 1,000, which is a 6-day, 1,000ish mile off-road ride through the mountains in Montana with a group of other dual-sport riders. In the morning, we will be given a set of GPS coordinates to a location 150-200 miles away and we will all meet up there that night to camp out. The next day, we will do it again, and so on. We will carry all of our camping supplies with us and hopefully find convenience stores along the way to stock up on gas, food and stuff (I will be carrying a few days worth with me just in case).

After the week is up, we will all end up back in Darby, where we will meet up with another hundred or so riders for the Annual WestFest ADVRider Rally, where I will drink way too much and be my usual offensive self.

On July 26, I will pack everything up and head down to South Fork, Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Adventure Rally where I can spend another weekend acting in a completely inappropriate manner. After that, I will head back to Tampa and probably arrive back home around Aug 7. This is going to be my route:

(It really does take you to the map if you click on it).



Now, there is no way in hell I’m going to ride a dual-sport bike on a 5,000+ mile round trip, as well as all of the mountain riding I will be doing out west (I'm not as tough as a lot of you guys), and there would be nothing adventurous about driving my truck out there, so I am going to put the dual-sport bike on a small trailer and tow it out there behind my Honda ST1300:



I’m going to spend the next seven weeks preparing for the trip and posting about it, then I will be posting from the road as well. I invite you to stick around. It should be a blast!

BgDadddy screwed with this post 06-23-2010 at 08:42 PM
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:09 PM   #3
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Ok, first thing’s first – I need to find a dual-sport bike. I’m kind of kicking myself in the butt because a few months ago, I got rid of my DRZ400, which would have been perfect for this trip. I hadn’t ridden it lately and I didn’t see that changing anytime soon so I just got rid of it. Grrr!




Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.

On Craig’s List, I found a 2003 DR650 that was priced a lot lower than similar bikes. Also, it was right around the corner from my girlfriend’s house, so I went over and looked at it. When I saw it, it looked really good. It didn’t have any mirrors or turn signals on it, but the seller said he had all of that and it would be included.

Then I stuck my head underneath it and saw some oil on the underside of the engine. When I asked the seller about it, he acted like he didn’t know anything about it. As soon as I started it up though, I could smell engine cleaner cooking off of the motor, so I knew he was trying to put something over on me.

When I rode the bike, I rode the hell out of it. 90MPH on the interstate, getting back into the surface streets and pulling wheelies at every stop, this thing went like a bat out of hell. I loved it. I had it out for about 20 minutes because I wanted to see whatever the leak was when I got back. I figured if he was going to try to get over on me, I would return the favor.

Once I brought the bike back, it was smelling like burnt oil and the side of the engine had oil all over it.



I told the guy that I liked the bike, but that leak looked like it was coming from the base gasket which would be about a $400 fix. With that, he agreed to knock another $250 off of the bike and the deal was done. Then he pulled out a big box with the turn signals, mirrors, bark busters, SuperTrapp exhaust, a jet kit, a spare tire and a couple of other things and gave them all to me as well.

The oil leak ended up costing me $3.00 for the gasket and an hour or so of my time to fix. See what happens when you decide to try to put one over on Big Daddy??

I got everything put back on the bike and although I still have more to do to it to get it ready for the trip, I am pretty doggone happy about the deal I got!



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Old 06-04-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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I have a delicate butt. It's not something that I'm proud of, however, I have learned to live with it over the years. I think my primary issue is my ass-to-weight ratio. My bottom is way to small and flat in comparison to my weight. Because of this, factory motorcycle seats kill me!

Anytime I get a new bike, one of the first things I do is to replace the original ass-torturing device with a more comfortable after-market seat so I can maintain the integrity of my tender buttocks. Today was that day.
For the ST1300, I replaced the front half (it's a 2-piece seat) of the seat with a Corbin seat. It's firmer, wider, higher and seems to fit my backside much better. The Corbin is on the right.



For the DR650, I replaced the seat with a Sargent seat. The new seat is on the right again.



The Sargent was much better than stock, but it still needed a little something extra, so I put a ATV seat cover over top of it to give me a bit more cushion, as well as to protect it from getting damaged when I dump the bike.



There you have it. The fastest $750 I've ever spent, but hey - My ass is worth it!

BgDadddy screwed with this post 03-22-2012 at 06:36 AM
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BgDadddy
but hey - My ass is worth it!

Wow, looks like you are going to have a fantastic month. Dream trip for me. Have a bit o' fun ok?
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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Saturday, my friend Tom and I took the Dual Sports out to the Withlacoochie State Forest up in Citrus County and spent half a day riding through the woods in the sugar sand. I hadn't ridden with Tom in over a year so I was looking forward to a fun day.

Before we hit the trails, we had to eat breakfast at Red's, which was a tradition for us. He had ham, eggs and home fries



and I had their world famous biscuits & gravy (believe it or not, that is just a half-order) with a side of home fries. Yum!



After breakfast, it was time to hit the woods!

Last time I rode the trails, I was on my DRZ, which was smaller, lighter, more nimble, easier to handle and (I thought) faster. I loved that bike. The only bad thing about it was that it seemed be attracted to mud.



I figured with the extra weight of the DR650 over the DRZ400 I used to ride, I wouldn't like it as much. Man, was I wrong! Even the DR probably weighs 50lbs or so more than my old bike, I actually think it is more fun to ride. It has gobs and gobs of low end torque - in the woods, you pretty much put it in second gear and forget about it, from 10mph to 50, it pulls great all the way through. My old bike was much more picky. You always had to have it at a higher RPM to get any performance out of it. It also felt more stable and was more comfortable to ride. The race pipe, bigger jets and open airbox helped a lot too; this bike will fly! It is very loud though, I need to make some changes to the pipe to quiet it down some. I'm also going to change the gearing a bit, put a bigger tank on it and some luggage and I should be all set for my trip.

We had a great time riding. It was hot out, but not miserably so. At one point, we went blasting down this trail, it started to get muddy and then next thing you know it turned into a sticky gray swamp. Tom was in front and barely got stopped in time before he buried his bike in it. (I have to admit, it would have been hilarious if he had of gotten stuck, as much crap as he gave me over the time I buried my DRZ). Anyway, together, we were able to yank his bike out of the goo and get him turned around without any issues.





Other than that, we just had a great time blasting along through the sand.





After riding, we went to a place called Sleepy Hollow in Floral City, FL which is kind of an outdoor Harley rider hang out. I've been there a bunch of times, but this was Tom's first time. I'm pretty sure he'll be going back. A lot!
I really like the place. The people there are always really nice, whether I show up on my V-Strom or in this case, a muddy dual-sport. They have a $5 steak dinner every Saturday and a $5 BBQ dinner on Sundays, and you know what? It's pretty doggone good! They also have a live band every weekend. I highly recommend stopping by if you get the chance. Sleepy Hollow

Once I decided we were going to stop by there, I called Dawn and asked her if she wanted to come up and hang out with us for a while. She did, but she wanted to ride the V-Strom up and then she pouted because I had the key with me. I offered to let her ride the DR home if she came up, and that did the trick.

We all hung out, ate lunch and listened to the band for a couple of hours and then headed home. Dawn looked great on the bike, but when we got home, she complained that it was too tall, too bumpy and too loud. Oh well, I still like it!



BgDadddy screwed with this post 06-23-2010 at 09:05 PM
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dentedvw

Wow, looks like you are going to have a fantastic month. Dream trip for me. Have a bit o' fun ok?
I am soooo looking forward to it. I did a decent trip last year, but nothing like this. I guess being unemployed has a couple of advantages anyway....
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:43 PM   #8
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Great job acquiring that beautiful DR! Looking forward to more of your reporting!
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:31 PM   #9
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
BgDadddy OP
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I spent the last couple of days working on stuff for the trip. I ordered a trailer hitch for the ST1300 from an outfit up in Canada and it came in last week. I also picked up a trailer kit from Northern Tool. Finally yesterday, I got a chance to start messing around with the stuff.

The hitch is pretty darn slick. The owner of the company emailed me pictures and step-by-step instructions, which were much better than the ones that came with it. The thing fit perfectly!





Next, I started working on the little trailer. It's made up of cheap chinese parts, but it still seems like a decent little trailer. I got it halfway done yesterday and then finished it up this evening. The only thing I have left to do is get all of the wiring done, which shouldn't take long.

I hooked it up to the bike and took it out for a little bit. The trailer itself weighs about 125lbs and honestly, I couldn't even feel it. I was able to lean into curves and everything. I'm sure it will feel different once I put 400lbs worth of stuff on it, but so far I am pleased.






It will be another week or so before the motorcycle rail I ordered will be here so I have to wait till then to put the bike on it and take it out.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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I just built the same trailer. I pulled it for about 400 miles and only felt it back there one time on some grooved pavement, it wasn't bad but did try to track some. I am running around 10psi in the tires.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:26 AM   #12
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:18 PM   #13
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I've been pretty busy for the past couple of weeks so I haven't had time to do much. Also, I had to order a few things that took some time to come in. Finally, today I had time to work on some stuff.

First thing I did was to replace the gas tank. The stock tank holds about 3.2 gallons, which is enough for 100 miles or so of dirt riding. While this is a decent range, I want more so I replaced it with a 4.9 gal IMS tank. This should give me close to 150 miles before I need to fill up.





The next thing I did was to replace the factory skid plate, which would provide all the impact protection of a sheet of aluminum foil, with a heavy-duty bash plate I bought from the ThumperTalk.com store. Now I don't need to worry about splitting my case open on a rock.



Now to work on the trailer some more. I ordered a motorcycle rail from Northern Tool, which just came in a couple of days ago. I mounted it on the trailer, loaded the bike and got ready to take it for a test ride.

As I was pushing the big Honda into position to hook it up to the trailer, I noticed I could barely push it. I took a closer look and saw my rear tire was flat and had a big nail stuck in it. Grrr, this was an almost brand new tire. Dammit! I put a plug in the tire and aired it back up and it is holding, but I'm not really happy about it. Leaving on a 5,000 mile round trip, towing a trailer with a plug in my tire doesn't give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. I will be taking plugs and a compressor, but I still don't know....




Once I finished with the tire, I went ahead and hooked the trailer up and took it for a spin - and it SUCKED! Anything over about 30 mph and the bike and trailer wobbled almost uncontrollably. If I hit a bump, it was even worse. I started thinking about trying to return all of the stuff I bought and ride the Wee out west instead.

An ADV Buddy of mine, KYNBanjo, has towed bikes a few times and he told me that once you get moving, towing isn't bad at all, so I figured I just needed to play around with the weight distribution some. I went home, took the bike off, took the rail off and moved it forward a few inches to put some weight on the tongue (there was no weight on it at all before). After putting everything back together and riding it again, it felt better but still not good, so I repeated the process a few more times until I got it where I was comfortable with it. I got the rig up to 65 mph and it felt fine, so all is well. Then I rode it to the gas station and hit a couple of bumpy roads to test it out and it feels pretty good. I think I will slide it up one more inch and then bolt the rail down really good.





Some of the looks I got while riding around were pretty funny.

BgDadddy screwed with this post 06-23-2010 at 05:30 PM
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:52 PM   #14
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Dude!!

You're really gonna go for it eh!?!!

Just be careful and double check everything everytime you stop for gas etc.....and try not to forget that it's back there!!

I'm looking forward to WestFest See ya there!!
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:27 PM   #15
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weight distribution

Cool setup.

I've always heard that approx 15% of the weight should be on the tongue. Anytime I've pulled loads without enough weight on the front, the trailer 'porpoised'.

The last pic you posted looks like it should have pretty good weight distribution.

Good luck with your ride.
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