Monday, 22 February 2010
Coast-to-Coast BMW R75/5 NEW JERSEY to CALIFORNIA round trip - Nov.15 - Dec.15 2009. Part the Final....
Eric's farm, Tuscon.
There were some awesome dirt roads and utility access trails right by Eric's farm. Seriously fun time.
The Minolta has a wind up mechanical self timer that I have to set with a pair of pliers. We only did one shot like this and I couldn't have been happier with how it came out.
Now I'm getting ready to actually head back to New Jersey. Eric is staying on his farm in Tuscon and I've got to get home before the whole Northeast is covered in snow. Even with taking I-10 back I could feel that the days were too short and the nights too cold to find good road-side camping. Of course I had no money for hotel rooms so I decided to hit up my fellow ADV riders. I sat in a Starbucks for a few hours plotting out major cities that were about 600-700 miles apart and then proceeded to PM ADV riders in those cities. I got immediate responses from everyone and ended up staying with ADVers in (barko1) Las Cruces, NM, (Whip) San Antonio, TX and (Dranrab Luap) New Orleans, LA. Again, I was in mission mode to get home so I didn't take any pictures on the way back.
At this point there ADV riders that I stayed with really made the completion of this whole trip possible. Especially Whip in San Antonio who probably saved my life with his space suit. When I told him where I was going he rightfully told me I was insane for thinking I could ride back to NJ in my jeans and leather jacket. He lent me his Aerostitch which just so happen to fit perfectly. I actually strapped it to my passenger seat thinking I wouldn't need it only to pull over on the side of the road heading up to Tennessee to put it on because I was so fucking cold. I went directly north from New Orleans to stay with a friend in Cookeville, TN and there is no way in hell I would have made it there without the Aerostitch. Likewise, the ride from Cookeville, TN to College Park, MD to stay with another friend was even more difficult. I really didn't think I was going to be able to make it even with the 'stitch. My boots sucked and my feet felt like frozen blocks of ice. I had socks covering my face and two pairs of gloves and more socks covering my hands. It was 20 degrees in the mountains of Virginia the night I was heading to stay with my friend in MD.
The next day I got to hang out in Maryland and enjoy a relatively short ride back home. I decided to end the trip in NYC which ended up being the right call. I rode up to my friend's place in Brooklyn and spent a few days in NY before heading back to the Jersey Shore.
Brooklyn, NY. Warm and Happy in that suit. Taking the BQE into Williamsburg felt absolutely epic and was such an amazing way to end the trip.
Note the oil all over the rear tire. Eventually the pinion gear oil seal gave out and allowed drive shaft fluid to flow into the final drive and over flow and spray everywhere. Luckily the ring gear seal held up so the rear drum brake was fine. For the last few days of the trip I simply made a point to top off the drive shaft fluid periodically.
Parked on the sidewalk in front of my friend's Sportster. Same dude I rode down to Virgina with before the trip.
Home, sweet home.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
OK so this is where things get really fun. So far I've been on interstates from NJ to CA and up and down the 101 and 5. Thanksgiving is over I want to take Highway 1 up through Big Sur. Eric had left for San Francisco again a day before me so I was on my own and wanted to experience the highway and do some more camping.
Camping spot for the next couple nights.
So I found a great spot off Highway 1 just south of the Carmel Highlands. There were some stones blocking a rather wide path that led down a trail right on the edge of the cliff. I managed to ride my bike down without being spotted and hung out at the end of the path undisturbed and out of view for 3 days and two nights.
Time for pics of my favorite place in the world.
Camping out at that spot was amazing. The last night Eric rode down from San Francisco and met up with me and we camped out together one last night before heading back to Laguna Beach for a two day stop before heading back to Tuscon and then east to New Jersey.
Laguna Beach again.
Bike is still running like a top. I figured I'd reward her for her service with a full oil change including Castrol Syntec Full Synthetic for the engine and some Redline Shockproof Heavy for the gears. Only a light fuzz on the transmission drain plug! Guess I shimmed it properly.
Saw these guys riding around Tuscon taking pictures with kids. Pretty awesome thing to do for the holidays.
Part 4 soon. :-)
Saturday, 20 February 2010
Rode down to Epping this morning to have a birthday breakfast with Heather, my oldest daughter. She is 17 tomorrow. Happy birthday sweetheart. Took the Old Pac as you do when you live on the Central Coast. It was foggy as.
Down in that fog is the freeway that links Sydney with Newcastle.
Self portrait time.
Just after Mooney Mooney Creek Bridge. I love this little uphill section. Even in the fog it was fun to tractor on up there.
Told ya it was foggy. About a km south of the new/old Road Warriors cafe. For some reason some of the superbikes behind me backed off. Why I don't understand.
Friday, 12 February 2010
Norah Head Lighthouse. Just up the road from home. 1/2 hour ride. Ok so it is not a long ride. But wonderful view. Lighthouse was built in 1903.
Jan and I took a ride up there today. It is very hot here at the moment. So it was a shorts and t-shirt type ride. Before you all start to scream about wearing all the right gear just let me say, "Let those who ride decide" we both know the dangers and are old enough to know that it will hurt if we come off.
The view up and down the coast is stunning.
Not far off shore ore carriers are waiting their turn to dock at Newcastle port.
Time to head for home and the pool. Said it was hot didn't I. Jan breaking in her new lid.
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
On the road...
No pictures from day one. I live a block from the ocean in New Jersey and rode up to the beach to take a shot of the bike against the Atlantic before heading out. Unfortunately I hadn't used a 35mm in years and everything on the Minolta is manual. Add to that the light meter battery didn't work so I lost that first shot which sucks. First day of riding, however, was fantastic. Rode from Seaside Heights, NJ to Somewhere in Tennessee. Camped that night on a wide portion of the median of I-81 about 40 miles west of Knoxville.
I took this self-timed picture after about 300 miles of pouring rain. Made it to central Arkansas that night but was shivering so bad that I had to get a hotel room. The temp was about 38 degrees and after the sun went down I couldn't dry myself off from the rain. Best shower and sleep of my life.
Somewhere in New Mexico. I should take this opportunity to mention that I basically slabbed it out to CA. I was meeting with my friend from NJ in Flagstaff, AZ and we were heading up to hang out with his brother at Stanford before heading to SoCal for Thanksgiving. The time schedule was tight so I averaged about 650 miles a day which I found to be quite exhausting with the open faced helmet and lack of fairing.
Flagstaff, AZ. Finally met up with my friend Eric from NJ. Same dude who rode out west a few weeks before I left. He took time off from working on his farm is Tucson to ride around with me in California. We wanted to camp at the Grand Canyon but it was snowing and neither of us were prepared for those temperatures so we rode to Santa Barbara, CA to crash with a friend.
California desert was really beautiful. I had taken I-40 all the way from Tennessee through California. Crossing over the Colorado River into CA felt pretty fucking good. Eric ran out of gas for the first time on his whole trip. Luckily I had an extra gallon on my rack that got us to the next service station.
Both of us were on a serious budget. I blew all the money I had on fixing up the R75 and my heated gear. The end result was this being a typical dinner. Somehow those Milwaukee's bests and peanut butter, yogurt and bagel sandwiches tasted better than anything else I'd ever had.
So the next few days involved riding up to Stanford from Santa Barbara and meeting up with Erics brother who is in his senior year there. The 35mm stayed in the saddle bags for the next few days as we partied and enjoyed ourselves. We made it there for the big game against Cal so we got to see Stanford at its finest. Lots of fun was had before heading down to Laguna Beach for the Thanksgiving festivities.
Somewhere between San Francisco and Long Beach.
Eric eventually went to San Francisco to stay with a friend and I took his brother Bill back from Stanford down to Long Beach to stay with my cousin. So we were two up like this on the interstate for about 8 or 9 hours. The R75 pulled hard the whole way and never skipped a beat. It was around this time that I feel like I really started to be able to fully appreciate that motorcycle. Her name is Heidi.
Laguna Beach, CA. Thanksgiving day.
After hanging out for a week in Long Beach we took the short ride to Laguna Beach for Thanksgiving. Felt good to be at the final destination. I want to take this opportunity to state that I have not once had to touch a single thing on the bike. And when I say that I really mean it. No touching the carbs, no air in the tires, no fiddling with this or that. Nothing. Just gas up and go. I was leaking a little engine oil but just kept toping that off as well. Trans, drive shaft and final drive were stable.
At night on the 1. Heading back to Long Beach after Thanksgiving.
Part 3 still to come....
Sunday, 7 February 2010
I am posting this up for a mate of mine in Tassie. Steve Tully. It is with much regret that Steve is selling this beautiful explain of a R100LT. Looks way better than mine. Steve is selling as he has Parkinsons and can no longer ride it.
BMW R100LT for sale. Flawless and in pristine condition. 1994 complete with top box/ panniers/ BMW Stereo system/ heated grips/ lambswool seat cover/ comfort seat/ 23,000 kms!!!!! 2nd owner/ registered until August 2010. Turquoise Verte colour. Genuine reason for a very reluctant sale - I have Parkinsons. Contact me via email: email@example.com
Price: $9000 and delivery costs. Pick up in Tasmania welcome...I have tried to upload photographs but have somehow failed. So if you would like some emailed send me a message!
One of my dreams is to ride across the USA. I wish this had been my ride report. Pink Floyd from the ADV forums has allowed me to share his USA cross country meander here on my blog. Thanks mate. He rode a 40 year old R75/5. Who needs the latest bike with all those electronic gizmo's anyway. Pink Floyd didn't.
Ok, so I got back over a month and a half ago but have yet to put anything together. The trip couldn't have gone any better but I literally had ~$20 in my checking account and no cash when I finally got home. So since I got back it's been work, work, work and I haven't had much time to get all the pictures developed and organized for a ride report. All the pictures I took on the road were with a very old Minolta SRT 201 35mm with the exception of a few Blackberry shots.
I've only had the R75 since last March and I've been riding and working on it since then. It's a 1970 model that I purchased with about 29,000 miles on it in OK running condition (rough and in need of some serious maintenance). I knew I wanted to do a cross country trip but I didn't know when or how it would happen. Fast forward to late October. One of my best friends is riding his motorcycle out to Arizona to work on farm. In order to see him off my other friend and I take a trip and ride with him as far south as Chincoteague, VA, camp out a night on Assateague Island and then head back North as our friend heads south to Florida before heading West.
This was my first long ride since rebuilding my transmission and the lack of sheared metal and exploded gears is a great sign. My Aunt and Uncle are having a large Thanksgiving get together in Laguna Beach, CA with family from both coasts and lots of friends. I've got a plane ticket but I decide to take the R75 instead.
Time for some pictures. Let's rewind a little...
No way in hell I'm going across the country without checking out those splines. Luckily they were in perfect shape.
Unfortunately the output shaft felt a little notchy. Time for new bearings and seals!
Smooth as butter.
Need some extra juice for my heated jacket and gloves.
Ready for some road music. Also note the reinforced saddle bags. The plastic had some cracks so I epoxied and riveted aluminium sheet inside both bags.
Night before. Ready to go.
Part 2 later. "On the Road."