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Author Topic: across America by Bullet  (Read 9453 times)

Leonard

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2007, 11:30:14 AM »
WOW!  I had no clue that the IBA rides were so extensive, well done.  I'm sure someone else on a Royal Enfield will add their name to the IBA record book one day but it won't be me. 
 I would forward you the newsletter but all the links seem to be broken.  Maybe Kevin or Rhett could revive it if you want to take a look at Mr Germain's story.  There was a topic about it on Yahoo's royalenfield group also if you are interested.
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
2001 Kawasaki W650 (going, going...gone)
http://www.romeoriders.com

Foggy_Auggie

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2007, 04:58:33 PM »
go for it!

 an important lesson learned was that the things most likely to fail were things that I had monkeyed with myself.
KEEP IT STOCK, or as stock as possible, and you'll probably have no issues - or at least none that would end the trip.


Good words to think about.

Regards, Foggy
Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Fortiter Et Fideliter

RagMan

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2007, 06:34:21 PM »
After modifying trucks, cars, boats and bikes I am starting to realize that such mods are best left to the rich and famous - every seriously modified vehicle I have had failed prematurely. The Enfield is going to change uses, but the engine stays stock.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

dewjantim

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2007, 05:33:20 PM »
Yeah, going to leave mine stock also. Well I might put in a 535 piston, cams, bigger carb, a little port work, stronger clutch springs, shift kit, change gearing, and a free breathing exhaust......yeah I like em stock too.......Dew.
If it hurts, you're not dead yet!!!!!

cyrusb

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 09:46:42 PM »
On a bullet? Google " travelluna " ,youll get your answer.

gromit

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2008, 01:55:24 AM »
I see you guys are looking for me.  ;D  I did do an Iron Butt Saddlesore 1000 on my Bullet.  I haven't ever bothered to send in the recipts so it's up to the individual reader whether it counts to them or not...having been through it, it certanly counts to me.  (And now I may just get off my butt and send the folder to IBA)

Here's the write up I did at the time....the trip was a lot longer than the original 1000 miles...I'll post the whole thing.

Chapter 1. SaddleSore 1000 - NY to MN

     First things first.  Sorry for the delay in sending this.  I returned Friday but just couldn't get my mind around writing it up till now.  The report may ramble a bit, so if I miss anything or if anyone has any questions, please send them.  I decided to break the trip report into three parts as it was getting kind of long.  This is the Saddlesore 1000 part.

   I would be seriously remiss if I didn't start by thanking Peter Askey at Uncommon Motorcycles and Kevin and the whole gang at Classic Motorworks.
Without their generous support (and my knowing that I would disappoint them if I didn't give it my all) this trip would not have happened.  Special thanks to Jim at Classic for the wrenching assistance.

   The Plan:  Travel from my home in Rochester, NY to Classic Motorworks in Faribault, MN in under 24 hours to qualify for a "Iron Butt Association" certified Saddlesore 1000.  This is the 'entry level' qualification for this organization which promotes safe long distance motorcycling.  After completing the SS1K, travel north then east along the top of the Great Lakes till I reach the end of Lake Ontario then turn south and then west for home.  Do it all within 100 hours to also qualify for a "Great Lakes Challenge" from the IBA.

   The Preparation:  Bike was purchased from Uncommon Motorcycles and delivered July 3, 2006.  A careful break-in followed with progressively longer rides for the first 1800 miles.  Bike is stock Bullet Classic with solo seat, free flow muffler and rejetted 28mm Micarb, windshield (thanks to Peter), home-brewed throttle lock and full size headlamp.I added a tankbag and saddlebag/pillion bag setup all from Nelson Rigg.  I carried the basic toolkit, spares for the cables and a tire tube, rain gear and an extra quart of oil.  A sheepskin 'buttpad' from Alaska Leather topped the solo seat.

   The Trip:  At 3:30 PM East Coast Time I left Rochester and headed west towards Minnesota.  I traveled on I-90 almost the whole way, staying in the right lane and traveling between 55 and 60 mph.  I wore a yellow/black rain jacket with a bunch of reflective tape on it to keep from getting run down from behind.  It worked but it was a less than perfect plan.  One eye on the road, one eye on my mirrors for the next 22 hours.  Trip got off to a less than auspicious start as I noticed oil on top of the crankcase after about 30 minutes on the road.  No reason to stop could be seen when I shut her down and took a look at the situation but it was to concern me most of the trip.

Weather was great for the first roughly 500 miles and traffic was very light.  I kept a close eye on my oil level and added about 1/10 of a pint at each stop.  Gas consumption ended up around 55mpg for the first 1000 miles and top speed attained was 63mph.  Bike could have gone faster but I want to keep her beyond this journey.  Heavy rain outside Chicago tested my resolve and I did take a nice 1/2 hour breakfast break at a rest stop in Belvedere, IL.  Rain got me again in Wisconsin and I was in and out of it until the Minnesota border.  A quick run past Rochester, MN and up I-35 from Owatonna to Faribault and I was there.  I got gas to get an ending receipt and had Jim at Classic sign my end verification at 1:15 PM Central Time.  Some minor wrenching on the bike and we agreed to meet the next day at Classic when they opened.  Kevin put me up for the night at a hotel with a Hot Tub.  He is a Man among Men.

   Things I Learned:  *That* wasn't easy.  Bike ran well despite the oil leak that we sorted at Classic (plugged breather line).  Bike got 55 mpg fully loaded.  A chain stretches significantly in 1000 miles if it's relatively new.  Oil leaks, while scary, shouldn't stop you-just keep it topped off, press on and fix the problem when you are able.  The RE design, while dated, is capable of amazing endurance.  Don't be afraid to take your Bullet on a long journey...I'm typing this from home and it got me here.

   Next:  The Journey round the Lakes.

gromit

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2008, 01:56:11 AM »
Chapter 2 Journey Around the Lakes

When we left off Rick G was soaking in a Spa and eating Tylenol in Faribault, MN...

Upon getting up well rested Tuesday morning I went down to visit some more with the good folks at Classic Motorworks.  Kevin was there to greet me as was Jim, Tait and the rest of the gang.  This is a class group of people.  I told Kevin the story of my journey so far and he put Jim back to work on my bike.  Kevin wanted to make sure that everything was 100% good before I hit the road again.  How many folks can say they had the owner and CEO of their motorcycle company out running around town at 9AM getting the necessary crankcase fluids for them.  Kevin did it for me and I am grateful.

The plan originally had me continuing around the Great Lakes and finishing by 7PM local time on Thursday for a 100 hour circumnavigation.  My experience of riding for 22 hours straight and seeing nothing but the rest areas of I-90 had me rethinking this plan.

Some discussion with Jim regarding routing had me heading back to Wisconsin and up some scenic roads up to Duluth, MN then on up to Canada.  Plan was to take WI-35 north to Duluth.  This road gives some nice views of the Mississippi River.  One small problem cropped up with regards to routing.  A detour took me about 60 miles out of my way as a section of WI-35 was closed.  If I had any hopes of finishing my trip in 100 hours, they were fading fast.  Might as well make the rest of the trip a 'flower sniffing' journey.  This turned out to be a wise decision.

Only incident that stands out on Tuesday is the bee that managed to make it up my sleeve at 50 mph and proceeded to sting the hell out of my inner forearm.  I'm not allergic but he must have pumped some serious poison into my arm because I looked like Popeye for the next couple of days.  Bike continued to run well but I was still getting a bunch of weeping of oil out of the hoses from the crankcase and timing box.  I made it a bit beyond Duluth before bedding down for the night in a cottage that I will kindly describe as 'rustic'. The shower was hot and the bed was comfy.  Life was good.

Wednesday morning dawned over Lake Superior with a continuation of the high pressure system that had begun the previous day.  I started the day about 150 miles from the Canadian border and my route brought me up Highway 61 which hugs the north shore of Lake Superior.  Words can't do this road justice, great views all the way with numerous scenic pulloffs and little traffic.  Highly recommended.

Border crossing was uneventful at Grand Portage and I pushed on towards Thunder Bay ON.

Route would now take me down HWY 17 with a 90 kph speed limit which is just about right for my Bullet. Between Thunder Bay and Nipigon there wasn't much to see, just mile after mile of pine forest.  After Nipigon the views began again in earnest with a more remote 'lake country' feel.  I spent the night in a motel in Marathon.  After 22 hours from Sunday into Monday and then 12 hours in the saddle on Tuesday and Wednesday, I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't bushed.

Thursday was my day to get home.  As I was in Marathon, ON, 894 miles from home, I could plainly see that that wasn't happening today.  Might as well enjoy the ride.  Continuing on HWY 17 I went through Lake Superior Provincial Park.  WOW.  Sweeping turns, great views, few cars and the smell of fresh pine.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Unfortunately after two days in the bush on HWY 17 I ended back up in civilization in Sault Ste. Marie.  Why does every cage driver seem to want to run me down here?  A quick sandwich and I'm out of here.  A look at my map and I'm considering other routes home.  No sense going around the east end of Lake Ontario since my 100 hours is up for the Great Lakes Challenge.  Oh well, one door closes and another one opens.

There's a ferry from South Baymouth to Tobermory around Georgian Bay. 
I've never been there and I've heard it's beautiful.  I'm heading that way.

As if the cars trying to kill me aren't enough, I've been seeing Moose Warning signs since just north of Duluth and I'm familiar with the danger, I have a cousin in Maine.  What I wasn't prepared for was the +/- 200lb black bear that ran out in front of me at 50 mph just outside Spragge.  There had been a train derailment there fairly recently and it was 7:30 PM and the workers heading home down the tracks which run parallel to the road spooked it out and right in front of me.  It scrambled across, leaped over the culvert on the other side and misjudged the slope of the hill past the culvert.  A bear face-plant followed.  Better him than me.  I was shaking and laughing at the same time.  I couldn't have missed him by more than a few feet.

Wow...this is a long one....

Next : THE HOME STRETCH

gromit

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2008, 01:57:02 AM »
Chapter 3 The Home Stretch

We left off on Thursday evening with a bear encounter and a decision to make a try for the ferry to Tobermory.

After missing the bear I pulled off for a few minutes to get my thoughts together and check my route.  I didn't have a ferry schedule but since it was the high season, I figured it would be doing the maximum number of runs it could.  The turn south in Espanola answered my questions regarding the ferry schedule.  A 'Ferry Information' kiosk was set up at a hotel and I pulled in.  A very kindly seasoned citizen that was behind the desk looked at the schedule and informed me the ferry was leaving South Baymouth at 10:30 PM.  No problem.   I was 72 miles away and I had two hours to get there.

A spirited run down route 6 towards South Baymouth followed.  Of course as luck would have it I went on reserve about halfway there and having never run the bike totally out of gas, I had no idea how far the reserve would get me.  I had a feeling I might find out tonight.

The gas held out and I pulled into South Baymouth (passing a closed gas station) at 10:05 PM. Perfect, plenty of time to get my ticket before the ferry sails.  I pull onto the dock and all the cars, trucks and passengers are gone (it's one of those circular pull-up deals, so I can't see the ferry yet).  This ain't good.  I make it around to see the ferry 30 yards from the dock and heading out.  Seems the seasoned citizen in Espanola probably should have put on her glasses to check the schedule for me, the ferry leaves at 10PM.

The ride up had left me shivering and out of gas so I asked one of the loaders where I could spend the night.  He told me about John Budd Memorial Park where (free) overnight camping was allowed.  It was less than 1/4 mile from the ferry which fit my gas situation and free which fit my finances.  I slept under the stars, saw a shooting star as soon as I lay down and had a great dark-sky view of the Milky Way all night long.  In the morning I discovered the park wasn't as primitive as I thought, clean bathrooms with a shower were available.

After breakfast and a fill-up I boarded the ferry for the 9:10 am sailing (I checked the schedule myself this time) and tied the bike down with 3 others in the bow of the ship.  First on - first off, nice.  The ferry trip is two hours and scenic.  A bargain at $29 Can.

I wish I could say the rest of the trip was beautiful vistas and wildlife encounters but it was more of a grind to get home.  Bike continued to run perfectly and I had replaced the 'C' clips on the oil lines with small radiator type hose clamps on the third day which solved the problem of oil leaking onto the top of the engine.  I chugged along to Niagara Falls for the border crossing where I waited in traffic for 2 1/2 hours as it was now late afternoon on Friday, Labor Day weekend.  DOH!

An oil leak from my tappet cover (I'm still diagnosing that one) scared me a bit in the home stretch but bike and rider made it home safe, sound and glad to be out of the saddle by 9:30PM.

I haven't figured out gas mileage for the trip with half of my receipts being in liters and half being in imperial but my best guess is 60 mpg.  I used 2 1/2 quarts of oil, most of which was lost due to the breather set-up which I am currently working to eliminate/improve.  The problems really come when you push the bike hard, if I never ran it above 50, I probably could have finished without putting any oil in the bike.  Total trip mileage 2688 indicated, 2553 approximate actual (.95 conversion factor, bike indicates 100 miles for every +/- 95 traveled).

Post ride inspection revealed only one other problem cropping up, the air filter mounting bracket had rubbed the coil and a small hole has formed, weeping coil-juice.  I don't think we would have gotten much farther with that situation going on.  If you have a stock air cleaner setup, you might want to pull it off and check clearances.  I fixed mine with a washer and some JB Weld on the coil until I can get a replacement.

I can say that I would take the Bullet anywhere (that I can stay off the interstates).  It's a hardy little beast.

Questions can be addressed to the lists (I've cross posted on Bullet-Mania and RoyalEnfield) or via email at [email protected].

Hope you enjoyed the trip.

Rick G

bob bezin

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Re: REndevous, Was: across America by Bullet
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2008, 03:30:21 PM »
So here's a thought for the adventurous:

We plan an early summer REndevous: Multi-state by nature, and a week in duration (a couple of days to and from and a couple of days riding).

Location is dermined by participants who are commited to attending.

We plot each person's starting point on the map and draw a circle to encompass everyone.
Pinpoint the center of the circle - and that's where we meet.

It would be ideal to hook up with others nearby or along the way.

Any interest in developing this into a plan?

Matt

2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
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bob bezin

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2008, 03:35:27 PM »
it sounds like fun  has anyone signed up? where would the starting point be? i am
in viroqua wis. 30 miles south of lacrosse.  i hope this post winds up under the quote
from thumper
2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
65 500cctriumph
04 bonnie black
71 750 norton.
48 whizzer

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2008, 08:22:21 PM »
This is a GREAT idea

Bankerdanny

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2008, 10:54:07 PM »
Bob,

Sounds like fun. I am in Evanston (Chicago).

You should start a new threead for this.
Endeavor To Persevere

luoma

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2008, 03:23:55 AM »
Where I'm at, I'd have to do a cross-country ride to get to the starting point of a cross-country ride.

geoffbaker

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2008, 04:35:21 PM »
I'm planning a July trip from Tucson to Seattle. Maybe I could take a slight detour eastwards... :D

bob bezin

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Re: across America by Bullet
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2008, 08:17:21 PM »
bankerdanny
 If you wanted to go to the fairabault rally 3rd week of june (21) you could take hwy 12 or 14 northwest to madison wis than 14 west to my place . maybe spend the night . and we could ride up to the rally.  of course every one els is invited to camp here on my 40 acers
Iam about 90 miles west of madison wis. this would fulfill the origional idea of a group ride
and get one to the rally.    bbezin@ yahoo. com  for directions
2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
65 500cctriumph
04 bonnie black
71 750 norton.
48 whizzer