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Old 08-25-2013, 09:22 AM   #1
AKMotorbiker OP
Searching for sanity
 
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Joined: Jun 2013
Location: So California (temp)
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First Ride, BMW R1200GSW

So many first in this report. First bike, first bike trip, first ride report. A lot of info that's mostly for my benefit. The best way for me to learn is the hard way. So, here it goes and critiques are welcome as I stumble through pics, vids, and narration. It won't be pretty but, I'll get better, maybe.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
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The beginning!

It's a turning point in life. Not bad but, I used to get my adventure and adrenaline from work. Seriously, I never went on vacation because work sent me on those. Now I find myself needing to create my own.

I've always wanted a motorbike but was never sold on anything in particular. Street bikes were never my style. Harley's were the other option but, I never could find one that jumped at me. After years I found the wonderful world of dual sport.

As I googled away I was led to Wikipedia with a blurb about BMWs and Ewan and Charlie. YouTube and both "long way round and down" series later I was in. As it happens, my need for a bike, plus illumination, and the right timing had me putting down a deposit on a new R1200 GSW!

A chance encounter with an inmate at a gas station led me to ADVrider and life as I knew it changed. Not many days have passed that I wasn't logged in reading through ride reports reinforcing my decision.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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This thread needs a picture!

Here is the evening of my first day making my way through Northern California. End of Bald Hills rd
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Fly and ride

I just discovered this term. Which is great otherwise I would have said "going to get my bike". Not as interesting!

Many people do their ride reports at different times before, during, and after their trips. With this in mind I'll add dates to each post as to when it actually happened. This way, when you don't see snow in a December post you'll know it happened in September.

In May 2013 I put down my deposit. The bike was scheduled for delivery in mid July. I couldn't pick it up until Aug 1st, due to work commitments. I purchased the bike from Hansen's Motorcycles in Medford, OR. This is 1000 miles from where I live and I had several reasons for this. First, they had a bike available that matched what I wanted. Second, they replied to my email first. Third, after dealing with California in the past I will never make a large purchase here again. Fourth, I don't give money to people who throw it away ie. taxes for CA. Don't worry, I'm not a resident and pay my taxes elsewhere.

So, I had a bike on the way, a date to pick it up, and loan and down payment organized. Now I need a plane ticket.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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The riding gear

In the meantime I had other purchases to make. I needed riding gear and the research began after sifting through reports and talking to friends. Knowing that I would be traveling a lot, on dirt, in the rain, in the cold, in the heat gave me parameters for what I needed. I wanted an all around set of gear for all situations. This is a very tough proposition since most things have a gimmick and are tailored to specific situations. Of course some of the top hits were Aerostich, Klim, and Rev it. After looking around I found a company called Motoport. It fit all my needs for weather, protection, and durability. June 19th I placed my order. Luckily the shop was forty miles away! Hell ya, I had read that some people had issues with sizing, this would hopefully not be a problem for me. I went down and was fitted by Wayne himself. This is a man that truly believes in his product. His enthusiasm and the warranty attest to this. He measured me and we chatted for an hour and a half after closing. The price was steep, but it was worth it. Five weeks later and the suit fit perfect, it was comfortable and it sat in my garage to wait one more week. A note about the fitting, I can see if you measure wrong how you would have issues. It was a detailed event, perhaps a video showing how to properly measure would alleviate problems for those without a tailor background ordering online.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #6
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Monday 29 July 2013

Since my credit union is in Alaska, I'm in California, and the bike is in Oregon this makes for an interesting turn of events.
My wife calls the credit union this morning to be sure everything is in order and they tell her it is! Seven hours later they call back and everything is NOT ok! Two documents have gone missing and nothing can be finalized without them. Minor panic attack and PTSD moment as Bike is ready, flight is booked and time off from work scheduled. No problem, print out forms, notary, and overnight. Sweet, all done and off to the post office. Overnight please! No problem sir, where is it going? Alaska, says I. Oh, that'll be second day. What!!! No other option as the family budget is stretched thin to pull off Daddy's dream. Off it goes, it'll be there Wednesday afternoon, then finish paperwork and Fed Ex back by Saturday at the latest. So, this takes my leisurely four day trip and reduces it to possibly two. My thoughts were to relax and ride, no rush, enjoy life. That plan is rapidly declining into a slab race down I-5.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
Rutabaga
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Buying necessities seems so easy. Buying toys sometimes seems so hard. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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31 Aug 2013

The family drives Dad (me) up to the airport and at least half the family want to fly with me. A few tears and see you in a few days later I'm by myself with my gear and off I go. I take off for a two hour flight to Portland, eight hour lay over, and one hour down to Medford, OR.
Once in Portland I was going to crash out to pass the time. However, a friend happens to live nearby and comes to the airport to pass the time (1-4 am) lucky me! I haven't seen him since 2010. It was great catching up. So, I catch my connection and land in Medford after a half hour delay. "Man it's cloudy!" The plan lands and out the window I see the ground crew wearing masks. Is there a passenger with a communicable disease onboard? One step off the plane and I know that refreshing smell of Mother Nature cleansing the environment. Forest fire! I do love that smell from working the fire line but, it wasn't in my plans. Turns out that the town is surrounded by several fires burning in all directions.

Off to the dealership! I'm so excited but nothing is real until it's happening. I walk into Hansen's Motorcycles and there is my bike waiting. I meet Craig who is the middle of a three generation operation and his son Mason. The building isn't a glossy glass covered BMW dealership. I'm fine with that, I prefer the family owned business. These guys were fabulous to the point I would consider driving there for service every time it was needed.

Be patient! The ride is coming, I promise. After this report I'll never have to droll on again.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Buying necessities seems so easy. Buying toys sometimes seems so hard. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
Congratulations Rutabaga! You have the honor of being my first "quote" response. I see so many reports where people post up to drop the author a line. Thanks for being my first responder. Double prizes!! Honestly my wife enjoys seeing me out of my element. That is interacting with people. Apparently I'm a reserved fellow. More to come.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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1 Aug 2013

I still needed the final paperwork. As it happens the paperwork got to the credit union faster than I thought and would be going out same day. I would have it by Friday afternoon. It's better than Saturday, I'll take it. My plan was to take off that day riding and camping my way back home. Now I have no reservation and no bike. Mason offers me to test drive another bike for the day. Awesome! I load up the bike grab some dinner and drinks and head out to find immigrant lake campground. I wanted to go check out crater lake but, visibility was nil with the smoke so I just relaxed. I didn't even need a fire, it was in the air! I met a couple from Vancouver, B.C. Canada on holiday and chatted with them for several hours. He offered wine which was welcomed and without knowing it I was already living the adventure life and I hadn't even gotten my bike yet!
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:15 PM   #11
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2 Aug 2013

The next morning it was back to the dealership to wait. The Fed Ex truck usually shows up around eleven, fingers crossed. While I wait Mason goes over the bike with me. I downloaded the manual a month ago and read over it, I know ridiculous. A lot of information and this was a hands on refresher. I get the bike loaded up while I continue to wait. 35lbs of gear in a bag strapped to the bike and I'm ready. My idea is if I can't carry it on my back I don't need to bring it on a bike, semi-minimalist. This does include a one man pop up tent, sleeping bag with bivy, and a jet boil.

Fed Ex truck arrives and as quick as that I'm done. Off I go. Now just before taking off my Dad gives me call. He has investigated traffic collisions for over twenty years and he feels obliged to tell me that 60% of accidents happen within 6 months of a rider owning a bike that's new to them. Thanks Dad, I have twenty hours of experience and a new bike! Not to worry. He also says he remembers all the calls to an accident in front of dealerships with said new owners. I took the back street out, problem solved.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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The loaner bike

Loaner
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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Off I go!!

Overnight the smoke had cleared a bit and I headed off west to the coast down the 199 redwood hwy, it was noon. It didn't take long to realize this was the best thing I had ever done! I was so happy and relieved to be on my way with the loss of only one day. I'll have to wait and see how the ride will play out with respect to time available. I knew that some of the options I had planned were off the table already. After a few hours I had reached the coast and was having the time of my life as I turned south down the 101.

image

image
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Sequoia National Park
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:01 PM   #14
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Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy

I reached the first bit I was anxious to see, the Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy which is a loop off the 101 just north of Orick, CA. It was awesome! After the loop I got back on the 101 and hooked a left onto Bald Hills rd.

image

image

image



image
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:00 PM   #15
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welcome

Good job on buying a bike. Ride safe
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