I've spent time chatting with others about some of my longer rides. I've told some that I had ride reports posted in other places on the web. I'll share them with you know. Enjoy
Date: Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:30 pm
Subject: The Ride Home
On January 10, 2003 I purchased my 2000 KLR650. It was one of the,
if not THE, happiest days of my life.
My buddy found it for me on the DSN KLR list here on Yahoo. I told
him if he could find a good deal out west, I'd ride the greyhound and
go get it.
A few phone calls, and a 17 hour bus ride to Las Cruces, NM and I'm
the proud owner of a A14 with about 13,500 miles on the clock. The
gentelman I bought it from had taken several long trips with it,
which is good, because I'd hate to have to train the bike ;)
A quick test drive of about 1 mile reassured me that this was the
bike for me. With a substantial savings over new, Jason was indeed,
a very happy camper!
I suited up and headed south on I-25 and then put the sun over my
shoulder and aimed for El Paso. I found an agent for my insurance
company to satisfy DPS, and parked at the Petro truck stop for
dinner. Imagine my shock, when I came out after dinner (and sunset)
my new baby had no lights!!! A quick call to research/tech support
in Glendive, MT helped me decide to replace the headlight fuse and
the tail lamp. Ready to roll, I found a inexpensive motel for the
On Saturday, I headed to world famous Barnett H-D. Like Camelot,
you hear it exsits, but you don't really know for sure till you get
there. I perused the selection of hardware, and decided to come back
to get some shirts for my friends. That is, until I dropped my bike
in the drive way. So much for lookin cool for the girlies! I guess
it's off to GranPrix Kawasaki to get my bike inspected. I took the
opportunity to get a disc lock, as I would like to keep my
Later that afternoon, I went out to some property I own near Dell
City and played a little in the sand and visited my neighbor. Then
went to Dell City for enchilada's at Rosita's cafe. They were very
good, and I am happy to report the locals were just bustin at the
seams to meet a stranger, seems they don't get many there.
Heading south on FM-1111, I fueled in Sierra Blanca, where they had
a computer set to the Weather Channel. Didn't like what I observed
on the satelitte image. Having dabbled in general aviation, I deftly
noted "clouds bad" and "precipitation worse". But, since I did sign
on for the ride, I put the front fender into the wind and rode on.
After sunset, and several attempts at buying rainpants, I pulled
into the Best Western in Pecos. Nice place. Free full breakfast is
provided with your room!
From Pecos, I battled the weather (wind, rain, and cold), but
surrendered at Sweetwater. A good dinner with even better scenery at
Taco Bell must have inspired me the final 30 or so miles to Abiline.
A few beers in the lounge defrosted me for the evening.
Now, Monday morning it's crunch time. I have to be at work by
10:00, and am a long way from Dallas. I rolled early, and dodged
snowballs from the autos and big trucks on I-20 in the metroplex. A
quick trip to the insurance agent made me only thirty minutes late
for work. Not too shabby for shootin from the hip, me thinks.
New(used) motorcycle $3,000
The look on people's faces when they meet me at the pump all frozen
and wet, PRICELESS!!!
Date: Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:25 pm
Subject: Ride Report-Laredo, TX
Sorry for not getting this on here sooner, but I have limited
Last week of January, 2003, I took a weeks vacation from the big rig
and headed south to Laredo for some R&R. Total mileage was about
1,200 miles, covering superslab (I35), lots of two lanes, and some
outragesously fun dual-sporting.
After a late start, I headed out of Dallas and spent the first night
north of Waco. It just got really cold after sunset. Day two I made
it down to Laredo and got a hotel on the north side of town. And for
those keeping score, YES, the KLR did fit through the door of the
room, and YES, it spent the night inside every night. Call me
paranoid, but it's a long walk home!!
I went to one of the cycle shops I had seen while down here for
work. It was Johnny Gregory's shop. Nice guy. Told him I was on a
KLR650 and was looking for some good back roads or dual-sport stuff.
He called a friend of his and they sent me up to I35 xit 27(ish).
You go south on the east access road about 1/2 mile and head east on
Callaghan(sp?) road. They told me it was about 23 miles, but my GPS
recorded 45 miles elapsed. This road is all caliche with some stream
crossings. After a good rain, it would be a handfull. You cover it
mostly at about 15-25mph, but there are some stretchs you get so
bored you wind er out in 3rd gear hitting 50mph... then you hit the
Another day I was going to go to South Padre, but an RV'er that had
spent the night near McCallen reported very high winds. A veteran of
2 spring breaks on Padre, I'm well aware of the damage the sand can
do at elevated velocities. My cam corder never did recover! (But I
did save the tape!!!).
I rode along the river to Falcon Lake, and there are many trails in
the area, presumably for fishermen to get access. I stopped in a
little town (I forget the name... perhaps a notebook is in order for
next trip??) and had some really good steak fajitas. The scenery
inside was as good as outdoors. Gotta love what mother nature can
Back in Laredo, I made the obligatory trip accross the bridge
to "take in the local scenery" and a fantastic time was had by all.
I spent a total of 4 nights in Laredo, and was fortunate enough to
have access to cable tv so I could watch the reporting of the
The trip was too short, money went quickly, and I'm sorry to be back
on the road. As I type this, I am in a Chicago public library, it's
25 degrees and snowing. I really wish I was back in southern
Texas...WITH MY MOTORCYCLE!!!!!
Trip Report - Dallas,TX to International Peace Gardens,ND
On the first day of my summer vacation, I woke up. And, I went downtown, to
look for a gas station to fill the fuel tank on my 2000 KLR650.
This was a spur of the moment trip, only thought of the month before. No
real planning was involved, nor was there any real saving for expenses either.
This was going to be a "shoot from the hip" trip. Let the chips fall where they
may. I have friends in the Bismark,ND area and the invitation made for the 4th
of July. How could I pass up explosives and beer???
I left Dallas at 01:20 on Thursday 03 July after being up since 04:00 of the
2nd. Now I know you may be wondering why I would leave so late with no sleep.
Well, I had to turn in my semi for maintenance and was without accomidations. I
made for Oklahoma City, however only made it to Denton on the far north side of
the metroplex before I realized I needed some serious sleep. Night 1, Holiday
Inn. 50 miles for the day, 50 for the trip.
I hit the road about noon on day 2. While in Oklahoma City, I visited the
OKC Memorial. I'm not going to get into my personal beliefs or politics here,
but simply comment that the Memorial seemed to have been laid out well, although
I am still curious why there was a Ryder rental truck parked on the street by the
post office the entire time I was there. You would think some one would have
learned by now... Temperatures were over 100, making hydration a priority. I
stopped more times than I can recall for water breaks. Continuing north on I-35 I
ran the super slab to the Kansas line and jogged over to US81N to avoid the
Kansas Turnpike tolls. US81 took me north to McPherson,KS about 30 mi south of
Salina where I spent night 2. 400 miles for the day, 450 total.
Day 3 brought an early start to a very long day. With it being the 4th, I
was under the gun. Fireworks start at dusk. I hit US81N hard, and tried my best
to stay focused. Doing my best to stop only for fuel, I made great time up to
South Dakota. SD47 is one of the most beautiful stretches of road I've been on
and I've driven truck for goin on 6 years. US14 took me west to US83 just east
of Pierre,SD. It was a frantic stretch, because I was watching a super cell
thunderstorm develope on the horizon. I'm sure even the experienced LD riders
get the willies passing near these!! I headed north on US83, and that effort
lasted exactly 2 miles, before I realized that I could indeed whip a 180 degree
turn and bump 75mph in near zero visibility, strong wind gusts, and being wetter
than a mackeral. I rode the storm out at a small truck stop at the previously
noted intersection. One nice things about strong cells is they usually move
through pretty quick. This one did, and I was on the road in less than an hour.
Us83 was the final leg, but with over 240 miles to go, it was no home stretch.
Keeping the hammer down in the best "safe and legal" manner I know how, I pulled
into my friends farm 3mi west of US83 in Moffit,ND right at dark. I could see
the fireworks from a distance. Nothing like ancient chinese technology guiding
you in. Well, I managed to cover nearly 700 miles today. Wow!! Lots of miles
and lots of smiles... no wonder you never see a motorcycle parked in front of a
psychiatrists office. At Moffit, I sat with about 1,150 miles and needed an oil
Day 4 brought an unexpected day trip. I asked my buddy how far it was to the
border, since I had previously rode to the Mexican border, I could complete a
Mexico-Canada trip if we went. Well, before I knew it, we mounted up and ran for
International Peace Gardens, ND and went across into the park. Without
intention, I had completed one of the more serious (although admittedly less
serious) long distance rides. Maybe Anchorage to Key West next?? Probably not
with the stock seat still on my KLR!! I must note, that this trip was extended
an extra 30 miles courtesy of my good friend who will remain nameless. You see,
DON, has a trouble reading street signs. Specifically the ones that tell you
which way to go for a particular destination. I think speed limit signs are a
bit fuzzy to him as well! We (DON) overshot our road and I ended up leading us
back through some nice sweepers in the North Dakota Turtle Mountains. Since we
had just travelled east on this road, we were able to push the limit, so to
speak, again, in a manner that can only be described as "safe and legal". For
the record, Kenda 270 do pretty good in the turns up around 80...
kilometers/hour... yeah... right... We had dinner in Rugby,ND which claims to be
the exact geograpic center of North America. I'm sure Los Angeles and NYC have
made similar claims.
Day 5 brought a parked motorcycle. I was pretty much full of riding. With
the whole gang out in the shop, it seemed a good time to change my oil. When I
pulled the drain plug, the threads from the boss came with it. Further
inspection revealed that I had bottomed out the bike, denting the Happy Trails
skid plate about 1/2" and cracking the engine case. I know what you are
thinking, and believe me, I thought the same thing. Well, with some good help
from some good friends, we got it fixed. Dave thought of using a brass plumbing
fixture to give me a new set of threads (I dare you to find a metric heli-coil on
a sunday ANYWHERE in North Dakota!). With a tap, some JB Weld, and a few prayers
we were in business. I guess the biggest suprise is that this damage had to be
done back in January while in the Laredo,TX area. I did a great dual sport ride
there (the subject of a previous ride report), and I was able to ride ALL THE WAY
TO CANADA without losing any oil!!!
Day 6 was the local riding in the Bismark/Mandan area, testing out the
repair and evaluating if I would be able to ride it home to Dallas. I figured it
would work well, or die trying. You can't have adventure when all variables are
Day 7 I rolled out about 9:30. The weather channel revealed that I would
indeed get soaked today, just a question of when. I stopped for lunch in
Gettysburg,SD. I had a cell sneak up on me and I had to ride wet for about 20
miles east bound. I got ahead of the rain, and turned south into sunny skies.
What adventure is complete without a stay at the Iron Butt Inn?? Genoa, NE, is a
great little town that encourages camping in it's city park. A nice older couple
in their RV informed me that it's free and pretty safe. So, I got situated on a
comfy looking picnic table about 22:00. Sweet dreams valiant rider!! Today I
covered about 500 miles.
Day 8 started earlier than I would have liked. The thunder started about
02:00. I'm not sure how loud it was, but when you are on a picnic table in the
middle of tornado alley, you hear this stuff! I found a picnic shelter in the
park and put my KLR under and grabbed another table. It was a heck of a show.
Impressive lightning! I rolled out of town about 0:700, and headed for York, NE.
Not getting the best night rest made me decide to take the day off instead of
pushing it. I grabbed a $32 hotel room on the North side of town and just
chilled for the day. Slept, ate, played online. Called work and told my boss I
would be a day later than planned. Day 8 was only like 70 miles.
Day 9 was long day. York, NE to Dallas, TX. Express train, all aboard!! I
made it out of the hotel about 10:00 and rode like the wind. I pushed it as hard
as I could, taking safety stops as needed. I pulled into Dallas at 01:15, 8 days
later and much richer for the experience.
Here are some observations. Stock seats are ok, after 3 or 4 days your butt
goes numb anyway. Gel filled grips and maybe gloves would be a bonus. You might
prefer street tires as opposed to the 50/50 kenda's I ran. Ear plugs help reduce
fatigue caused by all the noise, especially when you remember to use them.
The most important thing I learned from this trip is the worst ride you will ever
have in your life is the one you don't take!! Ride Safe.