Tag Archives: Motorcycles.

Time for me to give it up.

I rode my ZX-11 in to work this morning.   When I first got on it at Ogre Ranch, my knees protested, but when I hit the highway, I didn’t care.  It felt so good to be on the Ninja again… It was like being born again.  Of course, I always feel that way when I hit the highway on this bike.

By the time I hit Vernal, my knees were staging a protest and it was a bit awkward getting off the machine.  That’s not good.  By the end of the work day, my knees were giving me hell.  Getting my right foot on the peg was difficult.  I was half way home when I finally was able to yank it up by my pant leg.  Once I pulled into Ogre Ranch, getting that foot back off the peg was not happening.  I almost dumped the bike because of it. I’m not yet ready to give up Riding. I’m just going to have to give up Sport Bikes. My knees can only bend so far now. Cruisers and Enduros, I can still do. But Warp Speed Land Rockets – Not so much. In all seriousness – This is really freaking depressing for me. I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved this ZX-11. It’s been my favorite vehicle out of everything I’ve ever owned. And I can’t even get my feet on the pegs anymore.  This is killing me.

I’m going to have to sell it or trade it.

3,000 Cash or a Trade for something with All Wheel Drive that gets decent fuel economy, or some sort of “Hot Hatch” with front wheel drive.

Sunday Ride

Hit Red Cloud Loop, just North of Vernal.  I was looking for an alleged Ghost Town that is up there someplace.  I didn’t find it, but I think I know where it is now, and will hit it next weekend. I didn’t get to do a lot of pictures because I was White Knuckling the whole way, going quickly, and just taking it in and enjoying the experience.  On the way out, exiting above Maeser, this is the route down.  The views were spectacular.  I had to stop and take a pic a couple places on the way down.

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Monday’s Motorcycle: Adventure Bikes

This nails it for me.  Watch this…

And this one…

This captures something inside me like nothing else… Screaming Warp Speed is fun. But this is a Lifetime thing. I could spend the rest of my life doing this. Adventure Touring. Looking at all the options out there, there are many great ones. The Triumph Tiger, The V-Strom, and others. But that goofy looking KTM has some appeal to me. I don’t know which one would be the best of the best. Probably the BMW, but it’s size and weight is intimidating to me. I am most comfortable on the Liter bikes. So that 990 Adventure is what I’m leaning to.
It’s about the Freedom, guys. Other bikes do the Cool. The Thrill. The Speed. And they are all great. But these big Enduros do the Freedom.

KTM To Work

Do to the requirement of attending our monthly team meeting at the Range today, I opted to ride the KTM.  The Range is not Sport Bike Friendly.  Not at all.  It’s not even Car Friendly.  It’s 4X4 friendly for sure… So the KTM went to work with me.

I like it.  Due to the use of Off Road Cogs instead of actual Tires, it did have an abundance of vibration.  But that was expected.  It’s very different through the curves, the way these sorts of machines lean.   I like the riding position and the fact that its so much easier to stand up on the pegs.  It’s odd standing up on the highway… but fun.  I only went tops 67 MPH and not my usual Warp Factor 9, but it didn’t feel like I was going slow.  It’s just a fun machine.  I got used to the bike more… and coming home on it I was much more confident and comfortable.  I liked it even more.

I also liked the fact that I was able to say to myself, “Hey, where does that little turn off go?”  So I took it… went over a couple hills and across a field and back onto the highway.   NICE!  That is the exact thing I wanted an Enduro for.  I can go anywhere on it.  I love that.  It’s not smooth pavement only.  I am digging this Enduro thing.  The Two Wheeled Jeep thing.  It’s addicting.  I find myself daydreaming about where I can go and explore.  I’ve gone up to Paradise Lake a couple times… and it’s fun.  But I want to take it further.  Go explore some Ghost Towns.  Go up to the tops of some of these mountains around here.  And I will.

An Enduro is liberating.  It really is.

Ride to work… Get a Ride home.

I hate it when my Wife is Right.  Grrr…

This morning, she said, “You shouldn’t ride, I’ll give you a lift in.”

Oh no… I’m big tough biker… I can ride!!!  *Beats Chest*

Let me back up and give you some background here.  Saturday night my right knee really starting hurting.  Sunday morning, I woke up to a knee that would not bend. Pain.  Lots of pain.  Gout attack in the knee.  So I was on the couch or in bed all day.  Same story with Monday.  Same with Tuesday… but Tuesday night it was getting better.  Today, Wednesday morning I felt pretty good again.  ”I can ride!” I said, and watched he drive into town in the Explorer as I put on my helmet.  Got a leg over the ZX-11, backed it up no problem.   Rolled forward… Oh Crap.  I can’t get my foot on the peg.  So I rode all the way into town with my right foot off the peg.  That’s not easy, but I couldn’t get it on the peg.  My knee wouldn’t bend.

I pull into work… Wife pulls in after me.  Having seen my foot hanging of course.  She did not say “Told you so.”  She knew she didn’t have to.   I hate it when she’s right.

After work…. my knee was killing me.  My left knee even started hurting.  So I limped the bike over to my Sister In Law’s, and parked it.  Called her up and she came and got me.

When we got home I looked at her and said “I can ride the KTM to work tomorrow… I can stand up on the pegs.”  Oh man… she was pissed!

BTW – I don’t need any Gout advice.  My hell every time I say Gout I get every form of home remedy suggestion and that’s about as annoying as my wife being right.  So… stuff that jazz.  I’m going to see the Bonesaw tomorrow.  Maybe get some Cortisone injections.

Oh, if anyone has a Can Am Spyder they are willing to trade for a ZX-11… Yeah, I’ll trade you right now.  Next week?  I don’t know, but right now I’d trade you.

Dudes, I seriously would not wish Gout pain on anyone… not even those few people still alive that I call my enemies.  Gout pain is insidious.  It’s basically God saying “I don’t like you.”  It hurts on a level that you just don’t understand unless you’ve had it.  No, I’m serious.  I’ve been shot.  Stabbed.  I’ve broken many bones.  I’d opt for another Gun Shot Wound over Gout Pain.   Because with Gout – there is nothing you can do about it.  There is no Position of Comfort, especially in the Knee.  In a Toe or Ankle, Gout is Hideous shit.  In the knee…. No… That’s God punishing you for something.  That’s a taste of Torment from Hell.  OTC Pain Meds… They don’t work unless you Combo them Up.  And when you do that, you have to be careful.

Horrifying

Went for a ride on the KTM… this time I went and hit dirt.  About five miles on sand, dirt, gravel, and rocks.

I have to be honest, this was absolutely horrifying.  It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done.  No, seriously… out of everything I’ve ever done – this was the scariest.  I got to a point where I overlook Highway 40, and I had to stop to take a breather.  I was drenched in sweat and my heart was racing!  Oh man.   At one point, it felt like my hair was on fire and my balls were on fire… and I glanced down… I was only doing 28 MPH.  Oh Man!

But I survived, didn’t face plant.  Kept the bike up.  Coming back I was able to open it up some more… went faster.  Caught a bit of air.  It was scary and thrilling.

I got my Enduro Bike

I’ve wanted an Enduro for years.  And I’ve wanted a second bike to add to the Ogre Ranch Stables.  Finally brought it home.  It’s a KTM 525 MXC… I’ve probably mentioned it before.  Well, the deal is done and the bike is mine now.

The bike is in brand new – seriously, like it’s never been ridden, brand new condition with a ton of upgrades.  First thing I have got to do to it though… is lower this beast.  It’s tall.  I’m talking, big time, Shaq Attack altitude.   To give some perspective, here it is with my Superhawk…

The bikes were parked almost completely side by side, with the Rear Tires up on the concrete pad… The KTM is a big machine.  My ZX-11 isn’t much bigger than the Hawk was in physical size, and the KTM is just dwarfing it.  The riding position is very much upright.  It’s like a Culture Shock Whiplash riding this thing.  Of course, the hard part is getting it going… and by that I mean getting up on it. I’m about 2 inches too short for it, or so it feels.  The bike was set up for Desert Racing, which it never had a chance to do, so it’s in Desert Attack Mode right now.   Yeah, that’s going to have to be changed a bit.  I need it in more “Dual Sport” mode.   She’s Street Legal as she sits now, lights and everything… good to go.  But Tires and Suspension are set for Baja 1000.

The big question:  Why?

Man, I don’t know.  I just always wanted an Enduro.  I’ve been attracted to Adventure Touring.  Go freaking anywhere.  Up trails that disappear over mountains.  That kinda stuff.  Now I have the machine… I need to go do it.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

The biggest thing I got to get over is riding on Dirt.  I’ll be honest… it scares the shit out of me.  I’ve not had good luck on dirt and gravel and such.  So this is me overcoming my fear of Earth.  Once I can do that – I’ll be in a much better place psychologically when it comes to riding, regardless of what I am on.

To Ride

I read an article in Motorcyclist Magazine last month that I wanted to share.  It’s finally come up on their Web Site.  This captures the feeling that I have not been able to communicated.

The article is called “It can take you there.” by Joe Gresh.  The last few paragraphs are the juice.

It was a beautiful ride. No pack to synchronize my speed to, no pesky photo stops to interrupt my mojo, no need to think of things to say to people I want to impress. I could go in any direction I cared, alone. Between raindrops, the dense, moisture-laden air condensed into foggy mist. Man, I could smell everything: living things, rotting things.

The forest is a compost heap and I’m on a silver centipede pounding double-time through Deep Musty. Big Banger thuds softly—nothing can stop this engine, man, nothing! The rain falls harder and my hands numb from the cold, wet gloves. I can sense it, further on. More throttle, Big Banger lunges to 70 mph, 3000 rpm. Not enough—more! Seventy-five—it’s just ahead, it has to be! Faster still, Big Banger’s exhaust begins to drone. God, it feels good to shiver—I never want to die! Squirming black road iridescent with oil rising, cut dark green left, dull gray light blasts through a gap, asphalt yawning, stretching. Raining harder, Big Banger’s wheels are circular rivers, water streams from my visor, turn to clear and see trees blurring, and right now each curve is exactly where it should be, exactly!

I lived half a life in hundredths of a second. I wish you could have been there with me. I wish you could have seen me. I caught up with it, man! I caught the moment and it was perfect. And there was nothing in my way!

If that doesn’t make you jump on a Motorcycle and head out, nothing will.   When I read that, I thought, “Man, he nailed it.  That is it!”  That was poetry.

 

 

To Ride

Riding a motorcycle makes one contemplate mortality, as I hold it on my own hands… I am more aware of it. Every time I fire up the engine, I know it could be my last time. I say a little prayer… Asking that I have a good ride, and if it be my last, that I am taken home quickly. I trust in my Skill, and in my God. I have faith. This allows me to Not Fear. As a result, I enjoy my Ride more… And I enjoy everything else more too… My Wife. My Children. My Friends. And the little things in life are sweeter too. A sip of a cold Tea. A smile from a pretty girl. A laugh from kid. Wind in my face. Jokes are funnier. Food tastes better.
I don’t ride because I want to die. I ride because I want to live.