Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Ural Ride

last ural ride

Yesterday was a beautifully clear day with the temps climbing into the mid-twenties. The Ural’s wind protection and my heated gear kept me warm and toasty. The days are getting longer now!

It was also my last ride on the Ural. The last ride on my Ural for 2011 that is! You thought I was selling it? Nope, not yet. Still having too much fun with it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

PS: I will be riding something else…

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Frozen St Croix Scenic Byway

Interstate Park in MN

Most of the St. Croix River was frozen, but I managed to find some open water just outside of Taylor’s Falls near Interstate Park.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CalSci XL Windshield on BMW R1150GS

Cal Sci XL Windshield on GS

Charlie6 had made a comment on a previous post that my windshield on my GS was huge. Yes, it’s bigger than stock. It is about the same size as the one on my Ural that I use for winter. It’s great for breaking the cool fall weather, but much too hot for summer use. I prefer to ride without if possible. I hate buffeting.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Video: PBC #2 and SBC #1

Another video, but this time I’m playing in the snow with the Ural. This is my second polar bear challenge video of the year and my first solar bear challenge.

This was my first test of the now stock Duro tires on the Ural in the snow. I wasn’t impressed, but then again I wasn’t expecting to be impressed. I’ll use them for another few days before putting on my Snowtex.


YouTube: PBC#2 and SBC #1

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Polar Bear Challenge (PBC) Video #1

It is that time of year again. Here is a short intro video and my first 2011-2012 Polar Bear Challenge (PBC) video. Simplified rules this year: only tracking points. 1 point for 1 mile at 32F, 1.1 point for one mile at 31F, etc.

This ride was 221km~137miles@29F = 178 points. A good season opener.

YouTube: PBC #1

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Not a Honda Shadow

A Fall Ride on the GS
I found a memory card from a fall ride earlier this year on the GS. I like this shadow. It was a nice fall day – bright and sunny.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: My 2009 Ural Patrol

Snowy Thanksgiving Day Ride 2010 with the Ural
I love getting emails from readers. One that I get often is along the following lines:
“how's your ural been, do you have breakdowns? I have been thinking about buying a new one but worried about dropping 14K on a bike that has a dodgy reputation and I don’t personally have anybody around here to ask.”
Now that I’ve owned my 2009 Ural Patrol for 24 months and put on 14,000km, here are my thoughts.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Ride 2011


Just like last year, I took some time to go for a ride before all the feasting and visiting with family was to take place, but the ride this year was quite different than 2010.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

18th Annual Swan Ride 2011

18th Annual Swan Ride 2011

A few weeks ago we rode in the 18th Annual Swan Ride. In keeping with last year (2010 Swan Ride), I took my R1150GS, but this time my wife came with. I was happy to be able to spend a nice fall day riding 200 miles of twisty back roads with her looking for migrating artic tundra swans.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MSF SMARTrainer Training


I was recently able to attend the MSF SMART Training for RiderCoaches. SMART stands for Safe Motorcyclist Awareness and Recognition Trainer. I saw the system at the motorcycle show last year, but I didn’t get to use it because of the long line.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Motorcycle First Thursday

November 2011 Motorcycle First Thursday at Dulonos in Minneapolis, MN

Two weeks ago was the November gathering for Motorcycle First Thursday at Dulono’s in Minneapolis. It was smaller than last month, but still well attended considering it was November in Minnesota – maybe 200 people and bikes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gerbing Dual Temp Controller Warranty

Gerbing Dual Temp Controller

My Gerbing dual temp heat controller failed last winter. It has two knobs: one grey and one black. The grey knob failed; it just kept spinning. It also wouldn’t provide heat. Fortunately, I wasn’t using my Gerbing heated gloves since the hot grips were more than enough, so I was able to run the coat through the other side.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cleveland CycleWerks - Tha Heist

I saw this bike, “Tha Heist”, the last time I was getting my Ural serviced at Scrambler Cycle. It is nice to see a low-cost ($3195 MSRP) American motorcycle.

Manufacturer Website:

YouTube Video: Cleveland CycleWerks – Tha Heist

PS: I didn't buy it, and unfortunately, I didn't get to ride it either. Next time!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Voting and a Vino

I voted

As I was riding a long today, I noticed that I hadn’t seem many motorcycles over the past two days. I’m thinking the low 40s temps and the weather-guessers constant threat of snow kept people in their cars instead of on their bikes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ciao Marco

My wife and I love watching MotoGP. We were really saddened to see #58 Marco Simoncelli crash during the race and then die from his injuries at the Malaysian GP two weeks ago.

It is interesting to see how different cultures react to death. Some request a moment of silence, and others noise. The two minutes of noise brought a smile to our faces. It was very Simoncelli. Ciao Marco. You will be missed.

MotoGP Tribute to Marco Simoncelli #58

Images and video from

Friday, November 4, 2011

Giving Rides

keith on ural

I enjoy giving rides on the different bikes. “You mean I get to ride a motorcycle and make someone else happy at the same time?” Awesome. I’ve had my wife on the back of many different bikes for a few thousand miles, and given rides to several others with the Ural and R1150GS. I love riding: 1-up, 2-up, 3-up, and once 4-up. It’s all good!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Three-Up on a Ural

3-up on ural

Can your motorcycle do this? Nope. Didn’t think so. We were three up on the Ural this weekend. Nope, that isn’t my wife on the back either. We had some guests who drove up from the south to brave the cold Minnesota fall weather at 55F.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Motorcycle First Thursday

First Thursday - October 2011

Last week was First Thursday at Dulono’s in Minneapolis. It was the first time I’ve been there since July. The weather was perfect which drew larger than average crowds for this time of year. October didn’t disappoint as there was lots of interesting bikes to look at.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Taking the GS out to Play

GS at the Lake

My R1150GS is finally fixed and back in action after several months of messing around with delays fixing the brakes. It all started with a leaky brake line, then a stuck banjo bolt, and finally I broke a fastener on the caliper and had to replace it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Solution to the Tiny Mistake


Previously, I had posted how I broke the bleed cylinder off the right front caliper on my 2001 BMW R1150GS. I tried many things to solve the problem as I didn’t want to buy a new caliper for $400 from BMW. It’s good to have friends!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

BigTrip2011 - Day 16 - Chicago to Minneapolis

BigTrip2011 - Day 16 - Chicago to Minneapolis

I was shocked to realize I hadn’t written this post yet. The final day of my “BigTrip” from earlier this year – Chicago to Minneapolis: August 13, 2011. My original plan was to ride from Chicago to Milwaukee along Lake Michigan like I did in 2010, but I received a call from my wife and changed my plans.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Trip to the Beach

Empty Beach

I was feeling a bit cooped up, and it was beautiful outside. I put on my gear and walked into the garage. Which one to ride? Decisions, decisions.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Tires!

new winter tires

It’s getting to be that time of year again. The air is getting cooler. The leaves are changing colors. The Ural is coming out of hibernation which can only mean that snow is just around the corner.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Trip Downtown


A needed to take a trip downtown Minneapolis the other day. I used to work there, but am now in downtown St. Paul instead. Parking a motorcycle is always a pain as many of the ramps have signs banning motorcycles.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Not Another Puddle!

Leaky Super9

Not another puddle! I’ve been watching this puddle grow over the past few days. I initially saw it when I went to take the Super9 downtown. I think it must have been talking to the GS next to it about the abuse and decided to revolt.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

MMSC Annual Group Ride

getting ready to leave

Once a year the Motorcycle RiderCoaches in Minnesota get together and go for a group ride. We met early on a Saturday morning in the fog in the southwest corner of the metro area. The moist morning air was cold. We were all squirming around before the start trying to stay warm.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Tiny Mistake

Broken Brake Caliper R1150GS

What’s missing from this picture? I’ve mentioned before how the brake line failed on my R1150GS motorcycle making me take the SV650 on my trip earlier this year. I also posted about the drama getting the old lines off due to a stuck banjo bolt. Well, now it’s time for a self-induced problem.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kindness of Strangers

Metal Ural mug from my no long anonymous gifter. A HD guy in my building won them as door prizes. Very cool.

In the previous post, I told the story about some mysterious gifts that had appeared anonymously on my desk at work. The mystery has finally been solved!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What’s that on my desk?

#ural presents waiting for me on my desk from anonymous. Cool and thanks!

I had a surprise waiting for me when I arrived at work the other day. I found the following on my desk:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BigTrip2011 - Day 15 - The Windy City

Today’s (August 12, 2011) destination was Chicago! Since my visit last year, Sharon aka Sojourner of Sojourner’s Moto Tales have kept in touch regularly. When she heard about my trip this year, she graciously offered to let me stay at her place in downtown Chicago.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ural National Rally Day 2011

Ford Parkway Bridge Over Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN

Ural National Rally Day 2011 – September 10, 2011. I was rider #121 out of just over 300. The rules were pretty simple – get out and ride your Ural around and collect points. Points were given for each kilometer ridden in addition to the bonus points!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Little Sweatiness Was Worth It

Imagine, you’re on your motorcycle. It’s beautiful weather outside – sunny, blue skies, and the temperature has just crept up to 81F. You’ve just spent the whole day in a cubical, and now it is time to ride.

You are waiting to turn left out of a parking lot onto a one way street. The street has three lanes and each one of them is full of cars. The one-way street ends in another one-way street a half-block away. All the cars are trying to make a right turn, but they are on their cellphones and are quite sloppy. The car on the far right is trying to turn into the far lane blocking traffic. It’s a mess. He can’t go because the other street isn’t moving either.

You sit and watch while waiting for a chance to pull out. The light changes twice before you get your opportunity. While sitting on your motorcycle waiting, you notice a ant crawl past you. The light changes again, and you move five feet.

Traffic sucks. What do you do? Sit there watching the light change slowly creeping forward? If you’re in California or anywhere else outside of the US, you lane-split and this story ends. But, this story takes place in Minnesota no lane-splitting or filtering here.

You look up from the ant and notice in your mirror that the cross street behind you is open and flowing. If only this wasn’t a one-way street. hmm…  You pulled over to the side of the road and your motorcycle off. The people in the cars are looking at you now. What is he doing? Is something wrong with the bike?

They watch as you turn your bike around and pushed it up onto the sidewalk. With the engine off, and wearing all of your motorcycle gear, you pushed it down the sidewalk like it was a bicycle. They look on in envy. The street just one half block to the south is open and flowing.

You push it around the corner and back onto the street. Don’t worry, you’re only slightly sweaty now. Your leg swings over the seat, and the engine roars to life. You ride away into the sunset. A little sweatiness was worth it. A beautiful escape.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Frustrating BMW

BMW Stainless Steel Brake Lines\

I finally got the new brake lines for the BMW a week ago, but they didn’t have enough DOT4 brake fluid at the motorcycle shop. I had planned to get some on the way home, but got distracted by a fun detour. A week later, I still didn’t have the DOT4.

Did I mention the Spiegler lines above are CHEAPER than the stock BMW rubber ones? How about all the front, rear, and clutch in stainless steel for less than the front BMW lines? The stainless has a lifetime warranty too which is much nicer than the stockers which are supposed to be replaced every four years or so.

Monday, September 5, 2011

BigTrip2011 - Day 14 - Motorcycles and Gold

I had two goals today (August 11, 2011), one was to see the AMA museum, and the second was to get as close to Chicago as I could.  My plan was to spend most of the day on the slab.

That is until I received a tweet from @FuzzyGalore (thanks!). She suggested I visit the Palace of Gold (PoG). A quick check of their website showed that it was on my way. I typed in the GPS coordinates and set off. The GPS took me through some beautifully twisty (and empty) roads on the way to the PoG. The twisty West Virginia roads were a lot of fun!

I turned off the small road onto a smaller road just a few miles away from PoG. The road was in terrible shape. There were spots that could swallow whole cars if you weren’t paying attention. It was still a fun little ride. Then the trees opened up and I saw this.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

BigTrip2011 - Day 13 - Riding West


It was a slow start to day 13 (August 10, 2011). I was in no rush to leave, and Jack wasn’t chasing me with away with a stick. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast together, and then I packed the bike. This would be the first serious day of riding west back to Minnesota.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

SV650 Tune-Up at Lloyd’s Motorcycle Performance

SV650 at Lloyd's getting a tune up

I usually do most of the maintenance on my SV650, but there are a couple tasks that I do not enjoy on this particular bike. One of them in syncing the carbs and the other is the valve adjustment. The main reason is taking the entire bike apart – radiator, tank, handlebars, airbox, and seat. I also prefer adjusting valves on screw adjusters rather than the bucket/shim setup.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BigTrip2011 - Day 12 - Jack’s Obstacle Course


I started the day (August 9, 2011) refreshed after a long sleep.  The clock radio had a headphone cord on the back! (Awesome idea) I plugged it into my phone, and turned it all the way up. This was a new hotel which was still being built, so I didn’t have any neighbors. The music really helped to spice up my oatmeal I cooked for breakfast in the in-room microwave.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

FJ1200 Sidecar Ride

Recently, I was given the chance to ride in a "sports-sidecar" attached to an FJ1200 on a closed-course. I'm usually driving, so I don't get the chance to play monkey often. It was fun!

YouTube Video: FJ1200 Sidecar Ride

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SV650 in 3D

Get your 3D glasses out! Using my new GoPro 3D Housing, I can use my two GoProHDs to make 3D video. I don’t have a fancy 3D display – just old fashion red-cyan glasses that you can get for free or cheap. I’ve found the videos work best at full screen, 1080p, in a slightly darker room. YouTube has options to pick which type of 3D best suits your equipment (if any) by clicking the “3D” button. You can also turn it off and watch in normal 2D. My one complaint about using red-cyan is that it makes my SV look brown instead of red.

YouTube Video: SV650 in 3D

Monday, August 22, 2011

BigTrip2011–Day 11–A Trip to the Beach is the Cure

August 8, 2011. “Beep, beep” sounds filled the air, and I remembered it was my alarm. I didn’t want to get up. I was very comfortable in my sleeping bag. I pretended I didn’t hear it, but it just got louder. I left it across the room out of arms reach. I had to get up to turn it off, and then I was awake. George had mentioned he needed to be at work by 8am, so I planned to be out the door by 7:45. I didn’t want to delay him. We had a great time the night before.

BigTrip2011 - Day11 - NJ,DE,MD

Friday, August 19, 2011

BigTrip2011–Day 10– Gold at the End of the Slab

August 7, 2011 – I woke up to the sound of thunder. The plan was to leave early from John’s house and meet George at Bear Mountain in New York. Because of the rain storms, George had emailed me the night before and said his group had cancelled the ride. I was disappointed. I had heard it was a beautiful area to ride in. Looking back on it now, I should have just went by myself, but I wasn’t eager to get into my rain gear again.

I devised a new plan over breakfast. To head east to Rhode Island before heading to New Jersey for my overnight stop. The previous night’s storms were still going strong. John and I chatted the morning away while watching the weather radar closely.

At first the forecast said the rain would quit by 10am, then 11am, then noon, then 1pm, etc. By noon I became anxious and wanted to get going. I had 240 miles of grueling I-95 interstate waiting for me. I geared up and set off.

wet morning ride

It was raining pretty good about two minutes from John’s house. As I rode east on I-95, I caught glimpses of the west bound traffic. I would soon be joining them, so I was curious of the situation. A sense of dread came over me as I rode mile after mile, passing what looked like a stopped westbound I-95. RI was only 30 miles away, and I hoped the traffic would clear up by the time I turned around to head east.

rain into rhode island

The rain took a break just before I got to Rhode Island. Look at the wall of water from the oncoming lane. This part of I-95 was moving. I pulled off at the next exit to get gas, and then started to ride east. I made it about five miles before I was stuck in the backup I had observed from the eastbound side. It was very slow going. It rained pretty heavy for some time, but my rainsuit kept me dry.

Eventually I made it back to where I started and the traffic loosened up. Mercifully the speed increased, but so did the temperature. The rain had stopped, but the clouds looked dark. I thought for sure it was going to rain again. I rode another 30 miles before I couldn’t take it anymore. My rainsuit was breathing about as well as a squirrel under water. I pulled over, and  removed half of my rainsuit – tying the arms around my waist. The breeze felt great passing through my mesh coat while my legs cooked. Another 30 miles or so, and I stopped again to remove the whole suit. It was getting too humid. I asked my GPS again to route me around this mess by avoiding highways, but it kept me on I-95.

I crossed into New York state for the second time on the trip. The surface of I-95 got worse the closer I got to New York City.

crappy road in NY

Eventually I made it to NYC and got to experience their Sunday afternoon traffic as the interstate wound through the Bronx.

traffic sucks

The ride through New York City was spirited and probably my favorite part of the riding day. Nothing like a bunch of cars and trucks trying to run you down while you dodge surface hazards to wake you up.

At one of the toll stops in New Jersey I parked in the shade to relax and have a snack. I disturbed a large number of birds in doing so. While eating, I noticed what they were so excited about. There was a half hunk of chicken on the ground. The birds entertained me with their antics as they grew braver and braver trying to get the chicken just two feet from my front tire. When one would start to get close, two or more would start squawking causing the brave bird to fly away. This repeated for about 15 minutes before I was ready to go again. 


seagulls fighting over chicken

Just before I was close to George’s house I decided to get gas. I had forgotten that New Jersey doesn’t let you pump your own gas (there is an exception for motorcycles). The attendant was cross with me as I pushed my card into the machine and started filling up the SV.

I arrived at George’s place just in time for dinner. He came out to greet me and offered me some space in his nice cool basement. I dragged my bags down the stairs and changed into my swimsuit. He had been bragging about his pool on twitter, so I was eager to try it out.


George is @goldie05rides on twitter because he has a Gold ‘05 Kawasaki Concours. When I arrived, he had just finished changing the oil. The bike was in great shape.

BigTrip2011 - Day11 - NJ,DE,MD

His wife made a tasty dinner and we had some great conversation. George gave me many tips for the next day’s ride which I appreciated because I didn’t have much of a plan other than ride south along the coast. We went to sleep quite late.

Thanks again for your hospitality George!


About 250 miles

View Larger Map



Related Posts:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Giving the SV650 Some Love… and a DR370

On my walk at lunch today, I had to stop and admire this cool looking old Suzuki. The badge reads DR370. I love the old scrambler styling. It looks like a fun bike, and I bet it sounds neat too. The owner was no where to be found. When I returned from lunch, it was gone.

Suzuki DR370 parked on the street. Looks fun.

The SV650 stepped in and did a great job (as usual) when the GS let me down before the trip. It continues to remind me why it’s my favorite bike in the garage – it’s reliable and a ton of fun.

The poor SV was in desperate need of maintenance, so I gave it some much needed attention.  I also hate having more than one bike broken at a time (silly GS!) The speedometer quit working on the way back from Chicago, the spark plugs, air filter, oil filter, and oil were all past due on being changed as well. I don’t really care about the speedo, as I can pretty accurately judge the speed from the tach, but not having the odometer is a pain.

The speedo had acted weird a couple times before the trip, so I ordered the part that most commonly causes the problem. It turned out to be a wise purchase. I’m tempted to order another one at $15 since they seem to randomly fail. The original one made it 35,000 miles, so I might just wait.

The new part on the left and the failed part in the sensor housing on the right.

speedometer sensor on SV650

The tabs have been chewed off, and you can see the black, dusty remains of the broken part here along the wheel bearings.

speedometer sensor on SV650

It was an easy repair. I didn’t even have to take the wheel all the way off. I’ll detail it in a future post.

The SV650 Oil Change was easy. A new crush washer was indeed needed!

New on the left, old on the right.

sv650 crush washer

Next, I replaced the air filter with a K&N I got for less than the stock filter. The K&N can be cleaned and re-used forever. Nice! My 1150GS and my wife’s GS500 both have a K&N as well.

K&N on left, stock on right

K&N air filter

Spark plugs were next:

new vs old. they needed to be changed! They had over 21,000 miles on them. The bike starts much nicer now.

changing spark plug on SV650

The plug locations on the SV650 are under the gastank and behind the radiator. Kind of a pain to do the one behind the radiator.

I used a socket on the stock tool to tighten the one under the seat/gas tank.

changing spark plug on SV650

then I used the stock tool with a ratcheting wrench, so I didn’t have to remove the radiator. I had about 1/4” of clearance to work. A very tight fit.

changing spark plug on SV650

I’ll write up a more detailed post on the plugs later.

Last was to clean and lube the chain up properly. It developed a nice black patina from the road trip. Some chain cleaner and now it is back to a nice shiny gold color.

Of course, I had to take the bike for a short test ride after all the maintenance! In my mind, it seems to run a bit smoother.


PS:  More trip posts coming soon.

PPS: Insurance check came for the house, so now we can finally start repairs!

PPPS: Parts for the R1150GS should arrive early next week.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

vlog–Driftless in Minnesota

A short vlog to catch the youtubers up on my trip, and to explain my new camera setup.

YouTube Video: vlog - Driftless in Minnesota

Monday, August 15, 2011

BigTrip2011–Day9–Tanks and Meetups Galore!

For the first and only time on the entire trip, I used an alarm to get up. Today (August 6, 2011) started much too early. The plan was to get a quick breakfast and then ride south to Natick, MA for the WWII Military Expo which was about an hour away. Chris wanted to get there by 10am. It turned out to be an ambitious plan.

I slowly packed up my tent and put everything back on the bike. Chris’s two sons were ready to go before I was. I was moving slowly.

chris and kids on the dnper 

We had a nice breakfast at a local diner and then hit the interstate. We rode south in Massachusetts to meet another rider on a Ural.

chris and dnper on the interstate entering mass

We stopped three different time at three different spots before we finally met up with him at 11-something. It was a frustrating morning of waiting.


Fortunately, the last place had some shade as it was becoming a hot and humid day. He finally arrived, but was complaining of shift issues. Chris told him to take his tool kit out, and got down on the ground to fix it right there. As any Ural owner knows, it attracts quite a crowd when it stops, but when combined with the Dnepr it was something else. In less than 15 minutes, three separate guys walked over to offer tools and to ask the usual questions (what is it, how old is it, it’s a what?, who makes that?, etc). I love it when they ask original questions, but that is pretty rare.


Repair completed, and we were back on the road. I was following Chris, and the other Ural was behind me. Two of us had a GPS, but Chris who was leading did not. We got turned around a few times, and then he asked me to lead. Even with the GPS, I had a hard time finding the place! Many u-turns later, we eventually saw a small sign and followed it. We saw this truck and I got excited that we were probably in the right place.

WWI Military Expo

When we parked, someone in uniform came to ask us if we wanted to go down to be part of the show (referring to the Dnepr and Ural). Chris and the other rider both declined; a 2009 and a 1980s aren’t quite WWII. After we parked, then we saw these signs. Getting warmer (unfortunately literally). Way too hot!

WWI Military Expo

We walked into the vendor area. We got a snack and something cold to drink. Did I mention it was hot and humid?

WWI Military Expo 

Some great looking old machines were around. Of course, my favorites were the bikes.

WWI Military Expo WWI Military Expo 

Some of the vehicles were for sale.

WWI Military Expo

I’d love to figure out how to get this recoilless rifle on the Ural. It’d be the perfect cure for traffic.

WWI Military Expo 

The bulk of the event was in a forest near a lake. An excellent place as the trees provided ample shade. All the vehicle are owned by private individuals and were driven or trailered to the event for the weekend.

The driver doesn’t look to be in the right costume.

WWI Military Expo 

I loved the wide variety of tanks and other similar vehicles.

WWI Military Expo WWI Military Expo

Most were in fantastic condition considering their age.

WWI Military Expo WWI Military Expo

It was impressive how much effort the hosts put into the event. Many were dressed in period uniforms.

WWI Military Expo WWI Military Expo

They were happy to talk and answer questions. This was the Russian tent.

WWI Military Expo

Did I mention I loved all the old motorcycles? Many of them were original, but some had replaced older parts with replicas like this BMW with a CJ engine.

WWI Military Expo

This Zundapp was my favorite vehicle of the show. A beautiful machine.

WWI Military Expo WWI Military Expo

There were various shows going on throughout the day including these three women singing. They had great voices, so I stopped and listened for a few songs.

WWI Military Expo 

On the way out there was even a modern Humvee present. Cool!

WWI Military Expo

I said my goodbyes to Chris and his kids. Thanks again for the fun times!

A short time later, I met up with Manny who I know through my work. We’ve worked together for almost a year; this was my first chance to meet him. He rides a ZZR with a nicely tuned sport exhaust. His bike was entirely too clean; he needs to ride more and polish less! :)

IMG_1695 IMG_1694

We retreated to a nearby restaurant to catch up over a cold beverage (iced tea) before I needed to hit the road again. I pointed the SV south and rocketed down the interstate towards the border. I crossed into Connecticut. Norwich was my destination. I thought I would get wet as the clouds kept getting darker and darker the further south I rode. Graciously, the temperature also dropped. I didn’t get wet.

connecticut state line

I arrived later than I wanted due to my mistake in the distance from Natick to Norwich. Norwich, CT is a small city. To me, it was dripping in the stereotypical new england look. (sorry for the bug on the lens of the GoPro). It was founded in 1659. I love this part of the country because of old towns like this.

beautiful norwich beautiful norwich2

I roamed around the city looking for my destination. The signs being flush with the buildings kept the historical feeling, but made finding the establishment more difficult. Eventually I saw a bright yellow/orange triumph and quickly pulled over.

fuzzy speed tripple

FuzzyGalore aka Rachael was waiting on the side of the road for me. (Sorry for being late!) I believe I captured her taking a photo of me with her phone.

meeting fuzzy

We had a blast chatting over dinner. She took the ferry across from long island just to meet me. How cool is that? Thanks again for dinner! We had so much fun chatting that she missed the 8:30 ferry, so I invited her to come with me while she waited for next one.

My destination was an overnight stay with JohnsAlaska. The original plan was to sleep outside in my tent. With impending thunderstorms, John offered me a space inside instead. I happily accepted. Thanks John!

He came out to greet us as we pulled up. We chatted for a minute and then he offered me some space in the garage for my SV. When I went to move it, I lost my balance on the sloped driveway and the bike started to tip. The bike normally weighs about 400lbs wet, but with the bags fully packed I couldn’t catch it.

I watched in horror as it fell over in slow motion. I was holding onto one handlebar trying as hard as I could to keep it from hitting the ground. I managed to stop the decent just an inch from the ground, and then I couldn’t move. Flashes of a broken sidecase or worse a broken rack flashed through my head. I tugged hard, but it wouldn’t come back up. I might as well have been trying to move one of the tanks. 

I called out for help, and John rushed over. We both tugged on it, but it wouldn’t come back. My arms were starting to get shaky and tired holding the weight of the bike. I was going to loose my grip and drop it. Rachael came to our aid and the three of us righted the bike. Disaster averted.

I felt so stupid. I couldn’t believe I nearly dropped my bike. I haven’t dropped the SV since I bought it. I was very happy to have John and Rachael around to help me lift it. I would have had to take the cases off if I was by myself. I’ve lifted the SV myself before, but it was extra heavy today. I beat myself up for a while. John comforted me with a beer. It helped.

The three of us started chatting, and all too soon Rachael had to leave to catch her ferry. She got caught in the rain on the ride home. Thanks for riding over Rachael. We’ll have to do it again!

John and I stayed up past midnight chatting. When it was time to sleep, I crawled into my sleeping bag and fell asleep very quickly. I was exhausted which was probably why I tipped my bike. It was a fantastic day fun filled day that wasn’t tarnished with the minor incident.


About a 200 mile riding day.

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