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Old 02-06-2012, 12:24 AM   #1501
dmpeach
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Still enjoying the RR. Finally caught up with it after a few months of slacking! Sent $5 your way a couple of days ago for a beer or two!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:08 PM   #1502
Kidder
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Alex,

Thanks for taking us along for the ride. I stumbled upon this RR yesterday and just finished it!
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:27 AM   #1503
10 Man
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Alll right Big Al time to report in ...it is winter out there and we worrie about ya .
I`ve got a question about the little trailor .....if you stop fast will it jackknife ? or is it made to lock straight line behind the bike ?
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:47 PM   #1504
bigalsmith101 OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
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Onward!

Hey Darmie!

That is awesome man! Damn, I wish I had thought of it earlier... Considering that, I might just have to do it, being in Washington State and all... Maybe I can find LuckyX3

Thanks for the support!

--Alex

Quote:
You have inspired me with your patience when it came to your first ride report with all the trouble that you were having with the local officials. Your can do attitude to press on and your famous saying, onward is how we all should treat our walk in life and to know a little setback offers exciting opportunities around the corner. It had inspired me from an accidient 2 years ago on a motorcycle to open heart surgery last year to riding a beautiful new v-strom today. So, I just had to see if it was available and so now it sits on the back of my tu250, Onward.


Thank you
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:47 PM   #1505
bigalsmith101 OP
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Location: Lake Stevens, WA
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I'm home!!!

Alright, it’s been 9 days since my last report/check in, and a lot has happened. Specifically, I have arrived home! I know that a lot of you guys were psyched to see me, and meet me along my ride north from San Diego, but things got in the way, and I chose what you will see to be a much different route home...

First thing first, I had to leave Las Cruces, New Mexico and our inmate amigo Lunatic (Danimal). Having just checked the night before if his spare RM250 wheel would fit on my DR650 forks (to decide if I could keep my DR650 front wheel when swapping in an RM250 front end, which I can!) I hadn’t tightened up my front axle retainer bolts...



Good thing my mind decided to instruct my eyes to lean out over the front end of the bike and look at them! 8 minutes later, and I was back on the road having solved that minor hiccup.



About 100 miles later, I stopped for food at a local KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), in front of me a couple driving from Louisiana to California ordered a 20pc family meal and then proceeded to sit down and consume the entire family meal... It would seem that I am not alone in this world. I took a picture of my kick ass motorcycle out the window.



About 100 more miles later, I pulled over for a break, and walked around for 5 minutes, then I laid down on the concrete in the sun for 10 more minutes, then I took a pee off the side of the road behind a large bush, and got back on the bike for more interstate.



I rode until it started to get dark, I made it about 15 miles east of Phoenix, or 344 miles that day. I had an offered bed in San Diego, and I figured I’d get there in 2 days. And so if came that I found a place to camp...



Under the stars! I’m a cheap ass. At least I am when I am by myself. I can be persuaded to spend money, but when I am alone, and a hotel costs $50, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky, I have a brand new “to me” extra long thermarest sleeping pad and a 0 degree down filled sleeping bag... I’ll sleep outside. I didn’t even have to use the tent that I had been carrying since San Antonio when David (HotAir) gave me one (brand new 3 man Coleman tent) that he didn’t use enough.

Only my face was cold that night, and I slept in my shorts and a t-shirt in the sleeping bag. It dropped down to about 40 degrees that night. This is either the 3rd or 4th time I have slept in this sleeping bag since I bought it on Day 5 of 250 on my way to Argentina. I’ll have more use for it now that I’m home!



Later the next morning, I got on my bike and rode 165 mile before stopping at a Yuma, Arizona Dairy Queen. That’s where I met this 89 yr old WWII veteran that was driving a newer model bright red Jeep Wrangler. We talked about motorcycles, and then my trip and he told me that “Doing that kind of stuff is what keeps you young. Traveling the world that is. I got my fill in the Army. Saw damn near half the world while fixing airplanes. No wonder I’ll hit 89 this year!”

HELL YES!



Later, I was about another 100 miles down the road, parked at a rest stop. I met some cool people there too, and was sitting in the sun for about 45 minutes. I busted out my cell phone to call BigJohn in San Diego, and my phone didn’t work. I’m using a friend’s extra phone, and his service lapped for about 8 hours... I couldn’t find a pay phone, so I just kept going.



Then, I was at Big Johns place! Excellent. Big John is 6’4” and half again my size. His appropriate steed of choice is a mostly stock BMW R1200GS. Its 105hp is something to be desired (if you’re me).



Inside John’s house, everything is done right. Here we can see his fantastic audio set up accompanying his big screen TV. Not only is the music equipment top of the line, his choice in music and books for that matter, the audio is wired to the entire house. The main living area (kitchen/living room), bathroom, bedrooms, and outdoor back patio are all wired for sound. AWESOME.



I arrived on Friday, and that night, John had his neighbors over for dinner. We stuffed our faces, and it was awesome. I ate my fill. The next day, John went to work. Well, he went to his volunteer post at the audio shop where he worked for the past decade and a half. While he was spending his Saturday shooting the shit with Audiophiles, I read one of his several hundred books. This one happens to be a Robert A. Heinlein classic, “The Star Beast”. I read it in one day. Mostly in the sunshine. J



When I say that, everything in John’s house is done right. I mean it. Meal time is included in that statement.



On Sunday, while everyone else was getting their pregame face on for the Super Bowl, John and I made a 140 mile ride into the mountains, northward, and back down the coast. John makes his R1200 look similar to my DR650...



First stop of the ride for some refreshments at a gas station.



Here we are riding down the coast. In front of me is a NOOB riding his BRAND NEW BMW G650GS, wearing shorts, sneakers with calf length socks, a Peruvian style sweater, an off road helmet with no visor, and sunglasses. No Boots, Pants, Jacket, or Gloves... I hope he doesn’t crash...



We stopped for another break, and I took a picture of this house. With all the color in its front yard, it helped me realize why so many people love to be in California.



This scene... IN FEBRUARY.



Now you can see what happened... John said something to me the day I arrived. Something along the lines of, “You know, I have been meaning to head north to Seattle and North Vancouver, Canada to go check out some steel hulled sail boats, and provided the weather is good up there, I was thinking about going early next week, say, Monday or Tuesday. In which case, we could throw your little motorcycle in the back of my truck.”

I might be crazy, but at this point, I’m not stupid. And with nothing to prove, and a beautiful girlfriend at home, who’s been waiting patiently for me. I knew when to say when. YES PLEASE!



And so it came to be that at 3am on Tuesday morning, we left San Diego, headed north to beat the L.A. traffic. We beat it alright.



And my happy ass didn’t have to ride through the 500 miles of rain that John’s 2002 Toyota Tundra laughed at. While my bike was catching a ride...



I worked on a book John let me borrow. Richar K. Morgan’s “Altered Carbon” AWESOME BOOK. Does it look like I care at ALL that I’m not riding 1280 miles to Seattle? I don’t think so.



Well, with initial plans to drive to Redding, California and then spend the night and depart in the morning, we passed Redding at 4pm’ish and kept on going. We made it to Eugene, Oregon; home to Voodoo Donuts where John and I bought ate a Maple Bacon Bar. We opted out of the specialty donut “Cock and Balls”.

That was the end of my joy ride with John however, and I traded inmates for Mike, creator and builder of the Moto-Mule Trailer that I pull behind my bike. Mike showed up at Voodoo donuts, and I followed him back to his place.

John was a great host! Thanks John!



15 minutes later, I was parked in Mike’s garage. I like dry parking spots. I soon thereafter was fed, and then I went to bed. John and I had driven 950 miles in one day, and he had continued north to Longview, Washington the same night. He’s an animal!



The next day, Mike took me to his shop where I got to see some of his equipment. Here is a CNC Plasma cutter. I WANT ONE!



And a CNC mill! AWESOME!



And his shop neighbors ’86 Porsche!



After that, we headed over to the headquarters of ProCycle US, where I met the guys that sell nearly every accessory known to man for the DR650 along with a few other bikes. This particular bike belongs to Jeff, the owner of ProCycle. It may look like a standard DR650, aside from the Safari tank. Along with the bike has the “ProCycle Wheel Set” with a 19” front and 17” rear. The Front is a 110/90/19, and the Rear is a 150/80/17. The Motor is bored out to 780cc, with high compression piston, hot cams, oversized valves, and an opened midpipe/exhaust. It’s a MONSTER of a bike. AWESOME.



What does this look like to you? To me it looks like an oversized gigantic motor crammed into an ’86 Corvette...



Oh right, a 6.9 liter TURBO DIESEL CORVETTE! HOLY SMOKES!



Then it was off to meet Drum, a procycle employee at a local watering hole for dinner before heading back to Mike’s house for bed. The next day, Mike was feeding me breakfast while I was checking out facebook.



Then it was off to his shop to see his machines in action. Here is his CNC plasma machine cutting out aluminum plates that will soon adorn the side of my action packer tub on my trailer. BITCHIN.



Next step, powder coat the plates.



Then, hang them in the oven.



Homemade powder coat oven. Kick ass. I want one of these too.



When they are dry, take them back into the house to be pasted with stickers. Rad. He has a sticker cutting machine too. Put that on the list of items.



Next, group shot with Mike. Now my trailer is complete! Thanks Mike!!!



Then, I hauled ass home to my parents house, 300’ish miles. Everybody was happy to see me. YAY! I’m home!

The next day, my Dad woke me up at 8am with his mini laptop in hand... What do you think of this Al Pal? Hmmm. What year is it? 1997. What is is? Mercury Grand Marquis. How many miles? 98k. One owner eh? Yep... I think that’s AWESOME.

And so it came to be that I am the new owner of a mini land yacht previously owned by an 89 year old man and his wife. This baby hasn’t seen the front side of 3k rpm’s in it’s life!



The same day, I went for a drive over the mountains to see Kristi! YAY!



Hi Kristi!!!



Dinner time! FEED ME!



And so it goes. I am home now.
I’m currently in Ellensburg, Washington doing absolutely nothing physical for the next few weeks while Kristi goes to school full time. Tom and I will go the docks on Wednesday and get his motorcycle, and get the bike running again. I will probably re-read my entire ride report and then edit it. I’ll gather my favorite photos and compile them. I’ll study how to fuel inject my DR650. I’ll decide how and where I’m going to put a turbo (GT15) on my ’95 BMW K75 (Mike gave me a free BRAND NEW turbo! HELL YES!)

And then I’ll begin planning No Job, No Responsibilities, No Better Time Than Now. ROUND 2. Can you say AFRICA?

Onward amigos!

Any Questions? Now is the time to ask, I’ll be full time answering questions now!

--Alex
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:20 AM   #1506
RandoCommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post

And then Ill begin planning No Job, No Responsibilities, No Better Time Than Now. ROUND 2. Can you say AFRICA?

Onward amigos!

Any Questions? Now is the time to ask, Ill be full time answering questions now!

--Alex
I so want to go on this ride!

Have fun and take lots of pics!!!
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:08 AM   #1507
MrBracket
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Location: Springfield, Oregon
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It's was great hosting you Alex! If any of you get the chance to host Alex in the future, go for it! He is a great guy, full of crazy stories, and he even helped me move some heavy items! Next time you are down Alex, we'll do something fun, I promise! You should come down for a short adventure this summer, we'll do some exploring of the OBDR

Here, is the only pic I got while you were here, should have taken more!



Stay in touch Amigo! Oh, and I expect pics of your turbo install, hell you should ride it down when you get it done
Mike
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:23 AM   #1508
RandoCommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBracket View Post
It's was great hosting you Alex! If any of you get the chance to host Alex in the future, go for it! He is a great guy, full of crazy stories, and he even helped me move some heavy items! Next time you are down Alex, we'll do something fun, I promise! You should come down for a short adventure this summer, we'll do some exploring of the OBDR

Here, is the only pic I got while you were here, should have taken more!



Stay in touch Amigo! Oh, and I expect pics of your turbo install, hell you should ride it down when you get it done
Mike
I so love that trailer.
It's a nice piece of machinery Mike.
Sure wish I could afford it.
Maybe in the future when I actually do a cross country ride or something. LOL
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:05 PM   #1509
babyhuey
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How's the trailer holding up so far? Would you say you've found any downside to using it?
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:59 PM   #1510
bigalsmith101 OP
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Location: Lake Stevens, WA
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Trailer

The trailer is awesome. The downsides? You can EASILY bring too much shit with you!

Seriously though, after riding over 3k miles with the trailer in tow, fully loaded, I haven't found a single issue with it whatsoever. The initial response out of my mouth when I pulled it out of the box was, "This is too easy..." And indeed it was.

I had the trailer up and running behind my bike in less than an hour.

I ran at normal highway speeds of 60-80+ mph and even had it up to 90mph at one time. It didn't matter.

The rear tire held up with no visible signs of wear, and I'll keep using the non DOT tire until a time comes when I need to replace it.

This trailer kicks ass.

--Alex

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Originally Posted by babyhuey View Post
How's the trailer holding up so far? Would you say you've found any downside to using it?
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:05 PM   #1511
epix1718
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Location: Michigan/Indiana border
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Glad ya made it home safe Alex! The EBC oversized rotor/mount and a CS Clip are in transit to you right now, hope ya enjoy them on your farkled beast.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #1512
TDC_ERock
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Awesome RR. Why do I feel like I've accomplished something just by reading this far? I just sat here reading...

Alex, if you are thinking of going to the Desert 100, let me know. Drinks are on us. Thanks for sharing the photos and spending all that time writing. I was riding in Alaska in August and stopped writing after about three days.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:07 PM   #1513
Foot dragger
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Looks like a good time you've been having,Ive got more then a few RMX/ RM250 ft ends here,forks,wheels,axles,brakes,etc.
41mm forks,46mm forks, one set of just the forks no triples,49mm.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:17 AM   #1514
IceCreamSoldier
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so round one of the scars and screws cruise is complete. 'very Happy you're in one piece and "Not Wanted" in any of our fellow American court systems. What a story you've shared. I suggest that when you read back through your report you keep a separate journal of thoughts/feelings you had at the time as well as now that that incident is behind you. What did you learn, what did you change, what was the best outcome that you hoped for. You've got the bones of a pretty good book in place already. Looking forward to our paths crossing someday.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:47 AM   #1515
stereo john
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back in Longview and heading South

I keep looking in the rear-view and wondering why that yellow-tanked moto is not on my ass anymore. Brutal one day trip, eh? Made it to Longview, Seattle and Blaine to visit and look at holes in the water. Currently in love with one (I hate it when that happens!) and heading home to see if I can sell a kidney or something to buy it. Glad you made it home safe and sound. My RainX is still slick, but even with that the wipers haven't stopped much since I left your skinny ass with Mike at VooDoo. Still trying to get over that bacon maple bar. I find myself wanting to chase zombies and look for bigfoot. I'm sure it's that damn pastry..... Your new red ride looks dry! Too much iced tea with dinner is causing a brief sleepless spell here, but I'm going back to my borrowed bed soon to prepare for the 1100 miles of 4 wheeling it on the slab back to the casa. Have a blast preparing for Africa, and check on us folks in san dog once in a while. Enjoyed your visit and the drive up.
Stay cool dude. Big John
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