Saturday, May 21, 2011

3 Days 8 Hours....

As I am wrapping up my final "to do" lists, There is always one more thing that has to be added.  The big things are done so far.  I got my aux tank powder coated and mounted (4 gallons), the side cases are done, the bike has had most of the maintenance done except an oil change, which will happen tomorrow.  Sunday I ran over a nail on my new rear tire.  I don't want to start an 11,000 mile trip with a patched tire, so I will mount another new tire tomorrow and use this one when I get back.

Tonight I will start putting my list together in one place and figure out how to pack it all in.

This is what it looks like around here with flat tires, and seat adjustments.  It all somehow comes back together quite easily though.

I got my throttle body's synced this evening, heading to BMW tomorrow to get some oil and a spare filter for the trip.  I plan on taking 4 quarts with me (somewhere) and change out the oil after the dirt roads.  I don't know how much oil is up there, but its not cheap down here!  Maybe I can tap into the oil line I will be riding next to???

 My aux tank holds 4 gallons and locks into place where the rear seat fits.

 Today I had to modify my seat a little.  I kept sliding forward, so I added a small foam piece to flatten it out.  it worked great on my ride into work...

My REI home for the next month.  2 man, extra long tent.

As the time approaches I still cant believe that its really happening!  I want to thank my great wife for all the help she has given me throughout my 2 year planning process.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Almost there

One day away and I'm just about ready! I got my fuel tank plumbed into my main tank by installing a couple AN fittings to the access panel of my main tank, and one to the bottom of the aux tank. It was a one shot step...if it didn't work, then I would have a hole in my tank. It worked! The transfer is very slow, but I believe it's because the shut off valve I used is very small, and won't let the volume of gas thorough. I will try another kind of valve tomorrow and see if it works. If the aux tank was higher, gravity would aid a little better also.

If you look at the picture above, you will see a white round piece to the right of center. Above that piece is a smaller white dot. That is the hole I drilled in the access panel for the Bulkhead fitting. Below you will see the fitting attached. Both sides have not leaked for the past few hours....good!

It looks messy when the fuel tank is off, but didn't take long to put back together.

My new tire came in today and I will amount that tomorrow and finish up a couple of last minute items, then start packing up. There is a big pile of "stuff" that is supposed to go, we'll see what actually makes it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One the road!

I left an hour ago and things are going well. It took a while to pack this morning but I finally was on the road around 2. I will fill in more details when I find a place to camp tonight

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Journey Begins

As may countdown clock on my website reached the final seconds, I was still fast asleep recovering from two days in the sim for may biannual airplane recurrency. I arrived home just before midnight and decided that 6am was not gonna happen. Instead I got a good nights rest and finished up a few last minute adjustments and started packing. It's amazing thinking that just two years ago I started planning for this trip, put the count down clock on the website and had a hard time imagining that it would ever reach zero. Now I would leave for 33 days and head up into the great unknown.

At 2:00 I was finally all packed and ready to hits the road. I said a
Hard good bye to my supportive family, and gingerly twisted the throttle toward asheville. The bike was very heavy, and thoughts started running through my mind of things that could break, fall off or fail from all the weight. But as I got a few miles under me, I became increasingly more comfortable with the way it handled. I knew that with my late start I would only get a few hundred miles today, and decided that at 7:00 I would stop and set up camp.
Rolling down the road with a bike topped off with bags an extra fuel tank and 2 tires really turns some heads. I already got a very nice email from a passer by that saw my website on my side cases. Emails like that really keep me inspired! Thanks Joyce!

I met a couple really nice guys at the gas station. One of them was an adventure rider also. It is always fun swapping stories and talking "bikes". Unfortunately gas stops take a lot of time for that reason, But it's all part Of the journey.

Fine dinning with 2 boxes of ramen!

I found a campsite right off the highway on the other side of Knoxville and as I type this I hear the rush of trucks and cars flying by, hurrying to get somewhere. The hustle and bustle of everyday life is everywhere and i wonder how many people even know what peace is really like? I cant wait until I leave all these noises behind and am able to gaze up at the majestic mountains as I ride to the "end of the road".

Yes I am sad to leave the family behind, my awesome wife who is very supportive and understanding never hesitated to encourage me to plan this trip. I thank you Maria for all the love you showed me through all my countless hours of research and ride reports that I stayed up into the night reading. Maybe you wanted me to do this to just be done with it already!

Night has finally arrived. Although the traffic continues to rush by, i can still hear the peaceful sounds of nature all around me are. Its time to get a good nights sleep and be ready for what the day will bring tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Charlotte to the Arctic

809 miles today, and I made it to st Joseph MO. It rained on and off all morning

But then it ended as fast as it came

Pretty countryside leaving Knoxville, and then it flattened out to the typical flat as far as you can see fields.

Finally with the rain behind me, I sat back and listened to some Christian music on my iPhone. As I tooled along I got normal "what the heck" looks from passing cars, along with waves and thumbs up. It seems like the kids are more interested than the adults....I guess that's why I like it!

Soon I came up on St Louis and traffic started picking up. I turned off the music so I could concentrate..they were having some airshow near the arches and a Harrier was showing off some cool air work. Unfortunately I could only give it a couple second looks and I continued on through

I crossed the Ohio River and the Missouri River twice. It was pretty windy in the middle and I was pushed from side to side of my lane, while buffeting along.

The time went fairly quickly. I stopped a few times for gas and a quick bite to eat then hurried back on the highway trying to get here before dark.

I found that there are 27 different positions I can sit on a motorcycle. If you rotate between all of them, it really doesn't matter, your butt still hurts.
I did use my highway pegs as leg rests which worked well.

I arrived to a very nice secluded campground, and set up camp. Another biker came and chatted while I made dinner.....yep ramen again!
Tomorrow I will have granola, as I already picked up a bottle of milk.

Tomorrow I will head to the Badlands. The flooding up here is still bad and the interstates are closed in sections, so I will go cross country on back roads to bypass it all. It will take a little longer, but it will be a nice break from all the fast moving traffic.

Tomorrow should bring a change in scenery as I head farther west. Talk to you then!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Keith - getting close

John I'm glad to see you had a good trip yesterday. I bet yur bum was glad to be done!

I've been trying out different ways to pack my bike - but I guess I'm going to have to leave the kitchen sink home and a few other things! It will be tight but I'll make it.

Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day here. I partially loaded up my bike to see how it handled and went for a great ride up the Columbia Gorge. I started out too warm but ended up getting a little chilly as evening set on - but I didn't stop to put on another layer.

I "only" did 200 miles and my behind was complaining some - but the highway pegs definitely help a lot! One of the last things I HAVE to do is get a cruise control that works. I've tried 2 and so far no luck.

Only two more days till I leave to meet up with John.