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  1. #161
    Expert russc2542's Avatar

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    So while the garage doesn't have the free space to split the engine/frame/everything on the BMW to fix it, I got another bike to... fix. wait, what? dammit!

    '78 Suzuki GS550. Allegedly ran last summer, definitely needs some work.
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  2. #162
    Master

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    My dad bought his bike today. Brand new 17 Suzuki boulevard c50t today. I forgot how much fun riding is, I put the first 15 miles on it. Been at least a year since I last rode so I stalled it a few times starting out. Had to be gentle since it has to be ridden in a way the first 600 miles.

  3. #163
    Grandmaster melensdad's Avatar

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    Finally home, after 4000+ miles and a month on the road. Didn't get to see Niagara Falls due to weather fronts moving through the area. I suppose we could have but it would have added more time to the trip and we were both sick with head colds. According to my doctor, who I visited after getting home, in addition to sinusitis I apparently I have an ear infection too. So we were not motivated to stay on the road much longer. We did not stop at all the historic lighthouses. I wish I had mapped them better. It would have made for a better trip if I had planned a few of those short visits better than I did. In many cases we rode right past the signs leading up the road to those at 45-50mph and didn't realize we passed them.

    Lake Superior's Circle Route is well marked. Lake Erie's Circle Route and Coastal Trail are well marked. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is marked in New York, PA and Ohio. Lake Ontario and Lake Huron Circle Route signs were pretty much non-existent? Then again, in some areas we were off the quasi-official routes and on the smaller roads riding the lakeshores and through some of the small towns. I noticed signs, especially along the Lake Michigan route that directed people onto busier roads away from the lake.

    So clearly we followed our own path, preferring to skip some of the official roads. We did not do a full circle route of the Great Lakes. We did our modified version, riding at least 1 full shoreline of each and circling just Lakes Superior and Ontario. Caught part of the St Lawrence Seaway Trail as well, but did not travel its full length north on the Canadian shore and then back south on the US side.

    So, starting in Indiana, we rode up the Eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan, over the Mackinac Bridge, up to Sault St Marie, then clockwise all around Lake Superior back to the Canadian side of Sault St Marie. East along the northern shore of Lake Huron, down into the islands and a ferry crossing of Huron's Georgian Bay, where we then continued along its shore to the southeastern tip of Huron. Then south to Lake Ontario and along its North shoreline to the St Lawrence Seaway. Crossed the seaway by ferry to an island. Then from the island another ferry to the US side at Point Vincent, NY. Followed the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario, then parts of the Great Lakes Seaway and Erie Canal trails to Lake Erie. Followed the shoreline of Lake Erie from NY, through PA and Ohio. Then cut across Indiana to return home.

    Happy with what we did, no regrets about not doing the 'full' circle.

    Not sure what is next for us as far a big adventures go, but probably returning to long distance back packing and doing a north to south trip of Italy? In the mean time there will be plenty of local and midwest US rides for us, as well as returning to 'normal' life.










  4. #164
    Marksman

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    Glad u made it home safely and hoping u will recover quickly. I am jealous of your trip. I would love to take off and go. Now my problem is my wife is afraid to ride bc of all the distracted drivers. Who knows I might just take off solo one day!

  5. #165
    Grandmaster melensdad's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgreene78 View Post
    Glad u made it home safely and hoping u will recover quickly. I am jealous of your trip. I would love to take off and go. Now my problem is my wife is afraid to ride bc of all the distracted drivers. Who knows I might just take off solo one day!
    Mine too, but she went anyway. And distracted drivers are a problem for everyone, not just bikes. I added lots of extra lighting to try to make the bikes as visible as possible.

    She is also afraid of dropping her bike, I had it lowered to help her out with that issue and to let her reach the ground easier but its still a 500# bike and if it goes down she can't lift it on her own.

    She seems most concerned about tailgating drivers too. And that is very unnerving on a bike.

    It was also part of the reason we chose the route we took, staying off the interstates where people use cruise control, drive crazy speeds, and read the newspaper while driving. We figured 2 lane rural roads would be somewhat safer, honestly never had any issues where we even saw a distracted driver on the rural roads. We avoided most of the big metro areas, just because we didn't really want to go to cities like Detroit and Toronto. We did have to go through a few cities, but generally went right through the hearts of the cities or along their lakeshore roads.

    My wife tolerates my riding. She will ride around here, taking 100+ mile day rides on her bike, but only if I am also riding. Typically we will go out on a nice day, pick a lunch destination a couple hours away and pick a nice scenic route.

  6. #166
    Master

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    Speaking of extra lighting, I want to get some driving lights for my dads bike around Christmas, where to get them.

  7. #167
    Grandmaster melensdad's Avatar

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    Look at both of these, I've had good luck with both suppliers:

    Revzilla.com

    TwistedThrottle.com

    I will say that I've also added some lights on my bike that had good reviews from Amazon. Just don't do it. Stay away from the cheap Chinese LED lights. I added some Admore lights to my wife's bike, they can be seen DAY and NIGHT. I added some Denali lights to both of our bikes, they can be seen DAY and NIGHT. I've added some Custom Dynamics lights to my bike, they can be seen DAY and NIGHT.

    But the bargain lights that I bought from Amazon, with good reviews, can NOT be seen during the daytime in sunny conditions. And 99% of my riding is daytime riding. So the lights may work for night and low light conditions but nobody is going to see my extra turn/running indicators during most riding days. Simply a waste of money.

    If you want to add lights so you can BE SEEN by others on the road then I would suggest you get name brand lights from a reputable motorcycle equipment manufacturer. Yes they cost more. But ineffectively lights don't actually do anything.

  8. #168
    Sharpshooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgreene78 View Post
    Glad u made it home safely and hoping u will recover quickly. I am jealous of your trip. I would love to take off and go. Now my problem is my wife is afraid to ride bc of all the distracted drivers. Who knows I might just take off solo one day!

    I too too am envious of your trip. If you like I would be will g to show you an easy way for your wife to be able to pick up even a full dresser. Itís all technique rather than actual strength.
    Iím really looking forward to my trip around Lake Michigan over Labor Day as I just bought a new to me BMW R1200GSA.
    Eating beavers just to help save trees.

  9. #169
    Grandmaster melensdad's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indyhd View Post
    I too too am envious of your trip. If you like I would be will g to show you an easy way for your wife to be able to pick up even a full dresser. Itís all technique rather than actual strength.
    Iím really looking forward to my trip around Lake Michigan over Labor Day as I just bought a new to me BMW R1200GSA.
    She actually has a back problem with a couple disks that have serious damage. She is not a weakling but even the reverse lift with the legs doing the work doesn't really work for her. She has dropped it 3 times since she's owned it. All 3 times at speeds of 1 to 2 mph, trying to do a low speed turn. All 3 times I've had to lift it for her, and she has tried.

    As for the the trip around Lake Michigan I'd hope you can get off of Michigan 31 and onto some of the roads that actually go along the lakeshore. Its certainly the slow way to go around the lake but it is far more scenic.

    I used FURKOT.com to plan out my route on the internet the uploaded the data into my iPhone using the SCENIC app. It lets you lay out a route on the exact roads you want to ride, gives you a time it will take to run those roads too. And you can even set the travel time to something below 100% of the speed limit, plan breaks at specific points, even set times for how long you will be at breaks. The combination of FURKOT and the SCENIC app work really well. Only downside is you need to buy maps from SCENIC (not expensive) to use the app off-line. I was in areas with very limited/no phone/internet so I bought the maps. Just warning you that it is not completely free. But it does work.

  10. #170
    Grandmaster melensdad's Avatar

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    Thinking of another ride? Or maybe a drive? Debating between motorcycle vs convertible car.

    But thinking Route 66 might be a fun trip.

    Thoughts? Experiences?


    Route 66 Official Site - National Route 66

    Route 66: the historic route from Chicago to L.A. | ROAD TRIP USA


    Mostly interested in the part from Chicago (the start) into New Mexico (brother in law lives in Albuquerque and 66 goes right through the city) and then into Arizona.

    Not really interested into going into Los Angeles, or even crossing into California. I'm sure the border area would be fairly nice but the closer to LA the worse the traffic and why end a relaxing road trip with the hassle of LA traffic? I see no need for that.

    Probably ship the car (or motorcycles) home from wherever we end. Flying home seems the logical way to get back. If there is an Amtrak Car-Train we could do that but I don't think they have a car train from the Southwest. I have some digging to do.

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