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[Trip Report] The quest for a new ride! 03/25/04

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,267
Location
Huntsville
#1
Howdy,
:tab So most of you already know I have been desperately shopping for another bike; specifically, a BMW R1150GS. Thanks to John Morin's evil scheming I have been converted to the Dual Sport side of the force :lol: The GS does everything my VFR does except 145mph. It does not have that sweet intoxicating V4 howl like the VFR's, but it has its' own addictive grunt.
:tab A week or so back, I get an email out of the blue from a guy wanting to sell his 2004 GS. I follow up and it seems to be one of those incredible deals. The bike only has 2375 miles on it, has over $6000 in accessories and the asking price is a mere $14K! So I start the process of finding out more about the bike and working on the deal. Finally, thinking everything is good to go, I decide to head up to Tulsa, Ok., to take a look and hopefully come home with a new bike. The owner has assured me that he has free and clear title to the bike. He just has to find it because he has misplaced it.

:tab I convince John to come over Monday evening and we leave for Tulsa in Dad's F250 with a trailer. 7-1/2 hours later we reach Tulas and check into the hotel where Wes, the bike owner, has reserved a room for us per his corporate rate. $30 per night sounds good. I pop in the ear plugs so I won't have to listen to John not snoring and drift off to lala land.

:tab Morning rolls around and we head over to Wes's office. He has a shop and keeps the bike there. When we get there, we meet Wes and take a look at the bike. It appears to be everything advertised. Satisfied, we head inside to make the deal. It is at this time that Wes casualy mentions that he has apparently lost the title and has just filed for a lost title application today. He tells us that he expects to have the new title by tomorrow and that he will immediately overnight it to me after he gets it. :brainsnap

:tab Right off the bat, things are going the wrong way!! How can I plop down $14K on a bike when I don't know the exact state of the title?? Wes is a little perturbed that we don't seem eager to trust him? He does agree to let us use his internet connection to do a title search with the VIN on Carfax. After wasting $25 to register, nothing shows up :-| Now I am starting to get a little concerned. Have I come all this way and gone through all this trouble to have such a sweet deal slip through my hands?

:tab After a little haggling, we get Wes agrees to use the local dealership as an escrow. We will leave the checks with the dealership and take the bike. AFTER I get the title, I will call the dealership and tell them to give the checks to Wes. Now I am feeling a little better. Wes does seem to be willing to work with us. So John and I head over to see the dealer a few minutes away and to see if this arrangement is fine with him.

:tab Ken Johnson at Atlas Cycles is the owner. He's a very nice fellow. He has no problem with the arrangement. This is a really cool dealership. He has Triumphs, Ducatis and BMW's all over the place! After a few minutes of oogling the various bikes, we head back over to Wes's shop to conclude the deal.

:tab I give Wes the Texas title transfer form so he can fill it out. This will let me convert the title from an Oklahoma title to a Texas title. John has since wandered off with another fellow that works there and also rides a BMW. When Wes gives me the transfer form, I notice that the name is not his?! :-? Huh? The name he wrote in is Jim Rodgers. Wes had already told me that Jim was the original owner and that Wes had paid off the lein and the bike was now his. I walk over to Jim and Wes to ask them about this. Jim confirms that when Wes paid off the bike, they never transferred the title. I turn to Wes and mention that if this is in fact the case, then he does not actually own the bike. At this point, Wes gets very agitated, tell's me to find John, get back in my truck and to just drive on back down to Texas! The deal is off!! :shock:

:tab Wes turns his back on me and walks away., For a moment or two I am just standing there in total disbelief... After I come to my senses, I follow Wes back to his office to try to reason with him. I am not sure why he is so offended :shrug: I have not called him a liar or questioned his honesty. I simply am trying to establish the actual state of the title. I was about to offer to have Jim transfer the title to me and give him the money, which he would then be free to give to Wes. But before I can do this, Wes starts in on me. He begins giving me the, "I've been in business for twenty two years and have never screwed anyone over and I'm not going to start today..." Nothing I say calms him down. Finally, realizing this has gone as far as it will ever go, I simply tell him that I am sorry if I have inadvertently offended him, find John and we leave. About nine hours later, John and I are back in Texas, empty handed and about $250 lighter in the wallet! :angryfir:

:tab Upon reflection, I really don't think Wes was up to anything crooked. I am not real sure how he thought he owned the bike since the title was never trasferred to him. When I called Ken Johnson at the dealership to let him know what happened, he confirmed my belief that without his name on the title, Wes has no transferrable interest in the bike. To me, this is just a matter of getting the I's dotted and the T's crossed. It has nothing to do with Wes being a good guy or not. I would think that some one that has been in business for so long would understand this, apparently not. :shrug:

:tab So... back to the grind. I have been watching numerous bikes listed on the Advrider.com site in the Flea Market section. Before Wes contacted me, I had been watching a particular 2002 GS. Interestingly, while sitting at my computer Tuesday night, I get an email from the owner... cool. He gives me his cell number and I call him back. We start talking and before long have hashed out a deal. He is in Ft. Collins, Colorado. I set to figuring out how I am going to get up there, get the bike, and get back here by Sunday. I have to be back Sunday because that is when I am meeting with my accountant to do our taxes :roll:

:tab A quick search of the internet reveals that a short notice flight to Denver will be just a hair less expensive than driving the F250 there and back. However, it will save me about two days. Wednesday morning, John heads back to Austin. By Wednesday evening, Beth is driving me down to Houston Intercontinental Airport. The current owner is the General Manager of the BMW/Ducati dealership in Loveland, Colorado. Hopefully, this means he is a little more trustworthy.

:tab Check in at the airport is a breeze. Well... except the part where the nice young lady informs me that I have been specially selected for a more detailed security search :shock: Oh great...!? I go off to the side where I have to remove my shoes, empty my pockets, dump everything on the conveyor belt for scanning and then submit to a full body sweep with a hand held metal detector. What a load of crap! If they are so worried about security, EVERYONE should have to do this!! Random searching seems silly. With my boots back on, I start the trek to find my gate. Then I get to sit for two hours waiting for my flight.

:tab The flight is boring and cramped as usual. I hate flying commercial. We make it to Denver at 10:20pm local time. While waiting to offload, I get to chatting with the guy next to me. He's about my age, works as an attorney, and most importantly, he's from Denver and knows his way around the airport. When he finds out where I am headed he graciously offers to give me a ride. Cool!

:tab Not long ago, I had a guy named Chris working for me here in Huntsville while he was attending Sam Houston State. Then he went and graduated, got married, got a better paying job with Roadway shipping and moved to Ft. Collins! Hard to blame him, Colorado... Huntsville... a real no brainer! I had already called him to let him know I was coming. The Roadway distribution center where he works is only a few miles from the airport. So my new attorney friend drops me off at the center. Chris comes out to meet me and shows me to his RV. See, Chris works seven days on, seven days off. When he's working, he lives in a corner of the parking lot in this little, and I mean little, RV. He works the late shift until 9:00am. After showing me where everything is, he heads back to work. I head to bed. It has been a long day!

:tab Thursday morning rolls around. It is a bright and crisp day. I love the feel of the dry air here. It makes going back to the muggy woods of East Texas a hard thing to do. I just have to remind myself how long I will stay young and beautiful looking because of my moist skin... :roll: Right on time Chris shows up and gets the RV ready for road duty. We lumber out of town and head up I-25 for Loveland. I'm doing nothing but sitting on my butt, yet I can feel a slight tingling in my skin and on my face. I breathe deep for a while and it eventually fades.

:tab It's good to see Chris again. It has been right at a year since he left us for Colorado. He's the friend that swears he will one day get a bike, seriously! I swear that when/if that happens I will faint. Of course I will blame it on the altitude :-P We have a great time catching up before we finally arrive at the dealership. When we round the corner of the building, the bike is sitting out front waiting, ready to go. We head inside to speak with Dave, one of the salesmen. Jason has informed him of what is going on and he is helping us do the deal since Jason is out of town on a business trip. Not all of the extras are present, Jason has graciously agreed to ship them down to me so I won't have to cram everything on the bike for the ride home. However, I do need the tank bag. His wife actually takes off from work to run home and get the bag for me. Way cool!! While waiting for his wife, Chris snaps a shot of me with the new bike.

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When the the tank bag arrives, I am ready to roll. We finish up with the Dave and then hit the road. First stop, a gas station at the next exit. I am on fumes.

:tab The first fillup takes all of 5.0 gallons. The bike is tall so it is a little akward holding the nozzle up high enough and to still be able to bend my wrists to operate the pump. I inadvertently over fill the tank. When I pull the nozzle out, the gas keeps coming up out of the tank?? I'm not talking about just a little gas either! :eek: Fortunately, the overflow catches it all and drains it away onto the ground. I'm guessing there may have been an air pocket in the tank that expanded because of the engine heat and forced the gas up out of the tank. I'll have to remember that! Gassed and ready for fun, we head for Chris's place in Fort Collins. When I come back outside after visiting with his wife Cindy, there is a HUGE puddle under the bike :oops: "Hey check out my new bike!! Just ignore that puddle under it... hehe"

:tab It is nearing noon and I plan on knocking out a lot of miles today, so I bid Chris and Cindy a farewell and head West into the mountains. The skies are clear and blue. There is little wind. The temperature is in the mid seventies. I can see forever. Off in the distance are the snow covered peaks. I am so incredibly stoked to be sitting here riding out of town instead of sitting in some office :dude:

:tab At Chris's suggestion, I take 38E Road out of town around the Horsetooth Reservoir. It winds around in the foothills and is full of nice 30mph curves. I stop here for my first few pics of the new ride:

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Then I head South on 27 Road to US 34. Here I run 34 up into Big Thompson Canyon:

Looking up the canyon
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My sense of expectation grows...
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:tab The ride up into the canyon is a blast. The traffic thins out almost immediately. The few cars I do encounter are easily passed in legit passing zones. Right as I am coming into the edge of a small town, a car flashes it's headlights at me. Instantly I go on alert thinking perhaps there in an LEO in hiding. What I find instead are three elk standing in the road. They don't seem all that concerned about me and the bike so I just sit there and watch them for a minute. When another car finally comes from the other direction, they decide to move off the road and I can get around them. Not long after, I come around a corner and see Estes Park:

Center panorama shot
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left panorama shot
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Right panorama shot
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Anyone wanna try stitching those together to make one shot? I've no clue how to even try. :shrug:

:tab The town is really nice and clean, very pretty. I am amazed at how brown and dry everything looks. While stopped at the local Subway for lunch, the guys working the shop start chatting with me about the bike, where I'm headed, etc,... They tell me it has not snowed or rained in nearly five weeks!! They are in a nasty drought and are very concerned about the fire potential for the coming summer. I had already noticed that for this time of year, it seems like there is very little snow on the mountains. They assure me this is not normal. Both of them do like the GS though! After a light lunch, I head out of town to pick up Hwy 7 South through the mountains. This is the North end of what is called the Peak to Peak Highway. It rocks!

:tab The big GS looks like an ungainly beast. Let me tell you that when I hit the corners, this beast slices and dices like a sword fighter! It has lean angle to spare and never feels the least bit flapped when leaned over far enough to drag the sides of my feet. Then there is the ever present supply of torque on demand. Forget which gear I am in? No problem, just twist the throttle and pull right out of the corner! The big wide bars make lifting up up and over for transitions a breeze. I swear it is easier to go fast in the twisties on this bike than it is on the VFRs!! I can't believe something this much fun is not illegal! Well... okay. Having this much fun at these speeds might be a tad bit illegal, but still... :twisted:

:tab There are patches of snow on the ground in among the trees. They stand out in sharp relief to the brownness all around. Once I get up in the mountains a little higher, the Pine (?) trees get thicker and there is finally some green. At one spot, I come around the corner and see a really cool stone building sitting on an outcropping of rocks that jut into a small lake. I spind around and go back for a closer look. It is a little church.

That stuff in the water is ice :shock:
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A closer look where you can see the stonework details
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Hardly any snow on the mountains...
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:tab I take off again, thrilled at the privilege of being able to enjoy such an incredible day doing something I love to do so much. A day and a half ago I had not even remotely considered that I would be here doing this now. Funny how life tosses us some curve balls every now and then just to see if we are paying attention. A short while later I stop again for a few bike shots:

The big rock
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A big pile of rocks
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:tab It is not long before I reach Hwy 72. This is still part of the Peak to Peak Highway and continues basically in a Southern direction. It is more of the same twistiness. At one point, I come around and fast corner and spot a great place for another photo shoot! And a wooded potty break :mrgreen:

The fast curve looking back towards the peaks
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Imagine doing this all day!
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Looking back into the woods
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The bike and the peaks
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:tab The woods here are so totally different from those back home in East Texas. Here there is virtually no undergrowth. There are a lot of dead branches laying on open ground under the trees. I can stand in the middle of the woods and see a long way! At home, you cannot see more than a few yards or more in any direction because of the dense underbrush and vines. Seeing all the dry wood on the ground makes me think of how quickly the forest fires spread out here. Then it occurs to me how it must have been for the firefighters that died a few years back near Glennwood Springs. They were racing for the top of the ridge trying to escape the pursuing fire. I look up the hill to where I left the bike and think how grueling that run must have been. :-| I cannot imagine that I would have een able to make such a run and would have met the same grisly fate. Sobered by the oft fickle fate that comes our way, I climb back to the top of the hill and mount up to continue my ride. Once again feeling very appreciative of the opportunity that fate has tossed in my lap this week.

:tab Soon I reach Hwy 119. This forms the South end of the Peak to Peak Highway. Development is creeping up into the mountains along this stretch of road and the traffic picks up a little. The road would be a really nice ride otherwise. However, it is not too long. I do encounter one of Colorado's finest sitting in his F-150 on the side of the road. I see him with the radar propped on his arm and pointing right at me as I come around a corner heeled wayyy over and rolling hard on the gas :brainsnap I see him lift it up and glance at the readout and then set it beside him on the seat. I'm dead. I gradually reduce my speed to only a little over the limit and try to play it cool as I get closer. Unbelievably, he casually waves as I tool on by :bow: Once again... fate has been kind!

:tab The rest of the run down Hwy 119 is spent sitting behind lots of cars until I reach I-70. From there I run East to the start of Hwy 74 and head South again. This is all developed as well. It is mostly four lanes with a center turn lane, shopping centers, and lots of really expensive cars everywhere! I stop for gas, check my maps, check the GPS, and decide to keep heading South a bit to Hwy 73 where I will look for North Turkey Creek Road. It looks like it will run Southeast around Denver and eventually get me to I-25 so I can start the run home in earnest.

:tab North Turkey Creek Road is a fantastic ride! It runs down in a little valley and like the name implies, it follows a twisting creek down out of the mountains. The pavement is nice and smooth. However, there is a good deal of sand in some of the corners in the center of the lane. Now is the time to really practice the art of holding a line through the corner! It is not long before I start to come down out of the mountains. The steep walls of the little valley are giving way to rolling hills covered in expansive subdivisions. Hwy 124 runs along the Southwest side of Denver and evntually hits Hwy 121 where I turn North for the short run up to Hwy 470. It is getting late in the afternoon and already the sun is fading. Now it's time for me to hit the Interstate and make time.

:tab I take US 85 South out of town. Off in the distance I can see a storm brewing. :-| I have my rain gear but I would really prefer not to use it, especially in the dark in traffic. The cloud is fascinating. It seems to spring from a central source and then to spread across the sky as if it is hitting some invisible ceiling.

Left shot
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Center shot
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Right shot
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These shots need to be stitched together to form one panorama shot.

:tab The storm seems to be moving off to the East. It looks like I will just miss it if I get lucky. At Sedelia, I turn off of US 85 and head South on Hwy 105. This run roughly parallel to I-25, there is little traffic, and the scenery is nicer. It just rolls up, over and around the low foothills. There are snow covered peaks just off to my right. The setting sun is back lighting them and makes them look all the more majestic. Eventually, 105 drops me out in the little town of Monument on I-25. I stop at McD's for a burger and a break.

:tab While I am eating, the remaining light fades from the sky. It may have been nice and toasty all afternoon, but now it is going to get cold! As I sit eating my burger, I watch the kids that come into the restaurant. I am parked near the entrance so they all walk by the bike. It is hilarious to see the parents dragging the kids into the restaurant when the kids are pulling against them to go over and check out the bike. There is just something magical about a motorcycle to little kids. I always try to wave at them when I am on the road, and where possible, if their parents are agreeable, I will let the kids sit on my bikes. It is worth it to see the look in their eyes when they sit astride the mysterious machines!

:tab With my blood grease level back up to satisfactory levels, I head out to the bike and steel myself for the cool ride. I've got my liner in the jacket. I set the heated grips to high (oh the misery...), and take off down I-25. It is hard for me to gauge the ambient temperature here. The air is so dry compared to that of East Texas. Sixty degrees here feels warm while sixty degrees in the damp woods of East Texas feels bone chillingly cold. As I get closer to Colorado Springs, I see the storm has moved East ot the interstate. Huge flashes of sheet lightning tear across the sky, covering many miles in the duration of a heartbeat. Am I going to get caught in this?

:tab When I get into Pueblo, I start getting sprinkles on the windscreen and on my visor. It is still early so I am not ready to yield the evening and stop riding. I want to at least make it to the New Mexico border. I pull off the freeway and stop at a local motel. They have a television in the lobby and the night clerk lets me switch it over to the Weather channel. The radar shows the worst of the storm as already being East of I-25, but there are some straggler pockets of rain still coming my direction. Reluctantly, I decide to break out the rain gear. The clerk watches with a bemused and incredulous look as I go through the process and then wishes me luck as I head back out into the night.

:tab I-25 makes a bend to the West between Pueblo and Trinidad. This is perfect because it carries me out around the edge of the storm and I never really get into any serious wet weather. Nonetheless, I am glad I have on the rain gear as it is considerably warmer with it on. The heated grips help, as do the hand guards, but once the sun has slipped below the horizon, the temperature drops quickly out here. Unable to enjoy the scenery in the dark, I settle into the task of droning away the miles. Just North of Trinidad I stop at a rest stop for a break. I call Beth to let her know how things are going. It is about 9:30pm and I decide to push on to Raton, NM., for the night. I was hoping to reach Clovis, but I am getting cold and the nuttiness of the last few days is catching up with me.

:tab When I finally reach Raton, I find the local Microtel and get a room. $40 for the night and it is one of the nicer hotels I've stayed in for some time. It feels good to get out of the riding gear and into a steaming hot shower. I look over the maps to decide what route I'll be taking tomorrow and then hit the sack. I've logged almost exactly 400 miles today. Sleep comes real quick.

:tab Unfortunately, waking comes real quick as well because some dweeb set the alarm clock for 5:00am!!! It takes me a while to realize that the noise is not part of my dreams. I fumble around in the dark and manage to get it shut off, but then I cannot really fall back asleep a soundly for the rest of the morning. About 8:30, I roll out and start packing up my gear. I head down to the lobby for a bowl of complimentary Fruit Loops and a bagel. Then I check out, load up the bike, and head South on I-25.

:tab There is a remote chance of rain today according to the weather guessers. It is overcast and in the low seventies. They also predicted high winds for most of the day. It seems they got it right with the wind thing. I am riding into a hard constant headwind out of the South. At times, I have to lean the bike over substantially just to keep it going in a straight line. Despite the slight overcast, visibility is excellent. I can still see the snow covered peaks of mountains off to the West. When I reach Springer, I get off the interstate and take US 412 to the East. Things are really flat now! :-|

Left shot
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Center shot
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Right shot
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Yes, you guessed it, another panorama shot. 8-)

:tab The really funny thing to me is that this highway is designated as a scenic byway :shock: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess :shrug: All I see are endless miles of pavement with no curves in sight, lots of dirt and rocks. Of course, I can't help but imagine the GS with big knobbies ripping across the country side :twisted: No time for that now though. I've got over 800 miles to go before I get home! Hmmm.... visibility is great, traffic is nonexistent, there are no white lines painted across the pavement... I'm gone!

Very soon, I reachHwy 39 and turn South, heading back into the wind again.
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:tabFor miles and miles, it is totally straight and flat. It is almost hypnotic. For fun, I keep an eye on the odometer and the mountains back to the West. When I finally lose sight of them, I have gone about 85 miles!! What's this?! Out of nowhere a sign pops up claiming that there are steep grades and sharp curves ahead! :dude: Bring it on!!

:tab The excitement is short lived. The road is just dropping down the face of an escarpment and has maybe five 30mph curves. It is scenic though so I stop for a few pictures.

Flat as far as I can see...
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Looking back up the way I just came down
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An obligatory bike shot :roll:
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Not a whole lot of green out here...
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:tab I shoot on down to the bottom. I am half tempted to turn around and run back to the top for more. However, I did not get on the road until 10:00am CST and I am still hoping to make it to Austin this evening. Already it is nearing noon and I have yet to cross over into Texas. I have been running like a bat out of heck and seem to be getting nowhere fast, or at least it still all looks the same. :scratch

:tab I had toyed with the idea of running I-25 a little further South and then cutting back to the East on Hwy 104 between Las Vegas and Tucumcari. It looks like it would be nice and twisty, but it is just a little bit out of the way. After spending some time on 39, I start to think that might not have been such a bad thing. Now I am wondering how far to the next gas station!? The last little town of Mosquero had a sign saying "Last gas for 50 miles!" I was at about 90 miles then. So far I have not gone more than about 130 miles before stopping and I've been putting in about 3-1/2 gallons. So I should be okay. However, the speeds I have been running out here are not exactly conducive to good gas mileage :oops: All I have to do is make it to Logan. So I settle into a nice 80mph cruise in an attempt to stretch my mileage on this tank.

:tab A few miles outside of Logan, the reserve light comes on. Hmm... I've no idea how far this bike will go on reserve, but it should only be another 10-15 miles to Logan. I slow down a little more. When I get to Logan, I don't see any gas stations :shock: It looks like a decent sized town, there has to be one here somewhere. I wander around through some neighborhoods and then finally find a place to stop. It soon becomes readily apparent that no one out here has ever seen a bike that looks quite like the GS. Everyone that walks by does a double take. Several people even stop to talk to me and ask questions about the bike and where I'm headed. Relieved, gassed and ready to go, I head out of town on US 54 looking for Hwy 469.

:tab Just outside of town, there is a good bit of road construction on US 54. At one point traffic comes to a stop because the road is one lane and we have to wait our turn. Once by, everyone opens up and takes off. The guy in front of me has a serious emissions problem and it starts making me feel kind of funny. A little further up the road, I snap back to reality and realize I never made my turn off for Hwy 469!! Doh!! I check the maps and sure enough, I have way over shot it. Now I can stay on the highway, head to Tucumcari and then cut back East on I-40, or I can backtrack and go an extra 40-50 miles, or... I get out the GPS and set it to max detail.

:tab Hmm... Looks like we have some named back roads that cut South over to I-40 where I can head East and get back to my original route. Well, I bought this bike so I can run the backroads, what the heck?! I turn around and head about a 1/4 mile back the way I came from and find a little gravel road that heads out into the desert. Cool! I've got a full tank of gas, this should be fun. So off into the unknown I go, clipping at a nice smooth 65mph on the gravel. I stay relaxed and loose on the bars and just sort of let the front end wander slightly. The bike tracks great and feels wonderful! I can really get into this :dude: About fifteen minutes later, I pop over a rise and see I-40 ahead. There just happens to be an overpass and an access ramp right here, so I'm good to go. I hop on the interstate and head for Hwy 469.

:tab When I reach Hwy 469, I once again turn South into the wind. At times I have the throttle WIDE open and can barely manage 100mph because the headwind is so strong. So I settle into a nice 80mph pace to conserve fuel. I see a bluff up ahead and it looks like I will get to enjoy another four or five curves again. Sure enough, I round a long left hander and then do a short series of 35mph corners and pop out on top of another plateau that goes off into the distance as far as I can see. By the time I reach Grady and hit Hwy 209, I have done exactly four more corners, fast banked ninety degree corners. Owning a bike out here would be pure torture :-| Hwy 209 has exactly three corners before I finally reach Clovis. This appears to be the land of loud Harleys! They are everywhere. Needless to say, while I am getting gas, I get a lot of strange looks from passersby.

:tab I run US 60 out of town and head for Texico. This is where I finally cross over into Texas. It is already getting late in the afternoon. Am I nuts thinking I can make Austin today? I pick up US 70 and head Southeast passing through towns like Muleshoe, Farview, and Sudan, apt names given the surroundings. When I reach Littlefield, I head South again, now on US 385. It's hard to feel like I am making progress. The scenery never seems to change, all the dirt farm fields start to look alike, even the towns look alike. When I reach Levelland, another aptly named town, I decide it is time for some grub, but what to get? Moments later the scent of BBQ wafts into my helmet, problem solved! I make a fast U-turn and follow my nose to the source,

H-Bar-C BBQ
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:tab It is not much to look at, inside or out. There is no one here except me and the two ladies working. When I walk in wearing the full riding suit and gear, their eyes widen slightly. Their curiosity piqued, they start in with the questions while fixing my order. Then while I am eating, they continue asking, "Where are you headed? Where are you coming from? Why are you wearing all that stuff? What are you riding?" They're friendly, so I indulge the conversation between mouthfuls of delicious BBQ and tater salad. The "boss" seems really interested in the bike and comes outside for a looksee. Like most women, she is not too keen on having her picture taken. Seems women never think they look good enough to have their picture taken :roll: So I just get another of the bike. :mrgreen:

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:tab Stuffed and feeling much better, I head out of town after popping a few Rolaids for preventative measures. I stick to Us 385 until I reach Brownfield. Man the people that named these towns must have thought they were really clever :lol: The streets are not very well marked here in Brownfield so I have to pull over and check the GPS to see where I need to go to pick up Hwy 137. While I am pulled over, this huge fire breathing monster truck pulls up next to me. The driver is hanging out the window and checking out the bike. "Niiice Biiike" "Wut izzit?" Over his shoulder I spot what appears to be his 4-5 year old son climbing around trying to get a good look over Dad. Turns out that Pops rides some kind of KTM offroader. Oddly enough, he has never seen or heard of the R1150GS?! But he immediately recognized the looks of a bike meant for some off roading. After a brief chat, he roars out of the parking lot. I figure out where I need to be and head out of town on Hwy 137.

:tab So far, I have seen very few LEO other than the Colorado Trooper that had me dead to rights. As I am picking up speed South of town, I notice that a car way up ahead of me has funny bumps on the roof! Thinking it wise not to come hauling up behind it to quickly I start to roll off the throttle. At the same instant, lights come on and start flashing. A car coming at us just got busted, whew! It would have really sucked following that guy for miles and miles at just below the speed limit. I ride off into the dusty horizon thinking how the other person's day probably just crapped out and yet mine continues on in unabated flatlanded bliss.

:tab Farming is big business out here, cotton farming to be precise. There is still the remains of the previous crop on the ground, little white patches scattered about, reminding me of the small patches of snow in the mountains of Colorado. Most of the fields have been recently plowed under. All afternoon I have been seeing huge tractors plowing away. The ground is really dry and the tractors are kicking up some serious dust. In several places I ride through some pretty thick dust storms. Several are bad enough to limit visibility quite a bit! The wind has not let up at all. I am riding down the road hanging onto the throttle with my right hand and holding my left hand up under my chin to keep the dust out of my helmet. This is fun right? :scratch

:tab When I reach Big Spring, I take up US 87 and start running Southeast. The plan is to ride all the way to Brady on 87. There are a few side roads I had been pondering earlier in the day, but now my butt is informing me that I need to make time and forget about looking for fun roads. If I get lucky, I'll get into Austin before midnight. At least the highways are starting to have an occasional curve or two every now and then. I pass through Sterling, San Angelo, Eden, and finally reach Brady. It is now quite dark. I stop for gas and call John "Irondawg" Morin to see if he is home. He is!! Seems he spoke with my Dad earlier and Dad told him I was coming. Smack me for not calling him earlier but I was not totally sure I was going to stop in Austin or just keep pushing for home. In the end, I opt for Austin. I want John to see the bike so he can look it over and help me take a good inventory of what the bike has had done to it and what might be missing. It's about 9:00pm so I think I can make John's place on the North side of Austin by 10:30-11:00pm. He seems doubtful :roll:

:tab Outside of Brady, I pick up Hwy 71 and head for Llano. Now the terrain is getting more hilly and entertaining. This is a nice break from the monotony of West Texas and Northeast New Mexico. There is little traffic and the deer seem to have all gone away!? Strange? But I'm not complaining, I settle into a nice fun pace and reach Llano quickly. I pick up Hwy 29 and head East. John had said to run all the way to US 183 before heading South. After the droning of today, I just have to do some fun stuff or I will lose my mind. So I decide to take FM 1174 down to FM 1431 for the final run to John's place.

:tab Riding the GS in the dark is an interesting experience. I am used to the headlights on the VFR's. The headlights on the VFRs are AWESOME. The high beam and low beam combined on the GS are barely equal to the low beam on the VFR! This has cemented the decision to get auxiliary running lights for the GS to light up the road. Still, I can run a nice pace without getting crazy and I'm having a great time rolling on the throttle coming out of the corners and feeding in that massive torque from the big Boxer! :twisted: I roll up to John's driveway right at 10:30pm. 800 miles in 12-1/2 hours. My butt is killing me!! I don't ever want to ride across West Texas again. Tease me about trailering to your heart's content, I'm immune. :-P

:tab John comes out and gives the bike a good looking over while I go rummage for a beer or two or three... I have a few pains that are in desperate need of deadening. Then we spend the next hour talking bikes, roads, etc,... I get to see pics of the infamous women from John's recent trip South of the border :oops: Looks like he had a great time! After letting Beth know I have arrived safely, it is time to hit the sack and get some shut eye. My neck and shoulders are really stiff from fighting the wind all day and hanging onto the bike. As I lay in bed waiting to drift off, I feel like I am still swaying to and fro even though I am not moving. I wonder how long this will last?

:tab Morning comes after a great night of sleep. We head outside to check out the bikes in the daylight. John's bike is a mess after his trip.

DSC01496.jpg


Everything on it is a nice dull shade of brown.
DSC01497.jpg


His headlight cover is so disgusting, I don't see how he could possibly have gotten any useful illumination from the headlights.
DSC01498.jpg


Seeing our bikes side by side makes for a stark contrast!
DSC01499.jpg


Here's another look.
DSC01500.jpg


:tab John has just returned from a trip of a lifetime into Central America, almost 10K miles in 45 days. Now his bike is in dire need of some routine maintenance. So we head to Lone Star BMW so he can get the supplies and parts. While I'm there, I go ahead and get the feelers for the valve inspection/adjustment. My bike will be hitting 12K real soon and that is the next scheduled service. After lunch at Chuy's Mexican Restaurant, we head back to the house. Will Bird comes over for a while to see the new bike and chat. Then it is time for me to head on home. I promised Beth I would be back in time for dinner at 6:00pm ;-)

:tab John rides out with me on the way to the car wash to clean up his bike. Will all that grime actually come off?
DSC01501.jpg


:tab After topping of my bike, I head East on Hwy 29 and make the run back to Huntsville on my favorite backroads in the area. I roll into the garage at 5:45pm. I can smell dinner cooking. Paul and Deb have come over to join us. It has been a great few days. 400 miles the first day, 800 the second and 175 the last. The bike ran great. Already I am in love with it. Now I just need a cool name for it?!

Adios,
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,891
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Huntsville, Tx
#2
Congratulation to the Fridays on the new bike -- looks great :lol: I'm so glad that this deal came through for you. Hopefully you can get the VFRs sold soon. The garage is filling up quickly. :shock: Although I've already ridden w/ Irondawg, I still would like to get a ride on yours as well.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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#3
:tab Yeah yeah... they're coming eventually Paul :-P I goofed off all week trying to get the bike deal done and now have to play catch up... Dad is still pouting because I missed three days of work this week. Of course, the two day I was there I was totally worthless anyway :lol: One of the perks of being self employed and having a Dad that likes bikes as much as I do :mrgreen:

Adios,
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2003
Messages
337
Location
Houston, Texas
#4
New Ride

Scott,

Did you really get a new bike? You haven't changed your signature or we haven't seen pictures. You happen to get, if you did, the bike that I wanted. While riding it to Texas, if you did get one, did you experience any surging at low speed (2500 rpm)? Does your bike have cases? You are tormenting us here. You must really be busy at work.

Anyway, congratulations on your new ride!

:clap
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
2,883
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Upstate SC
#8
That was a great write up. I've been looking for an adventure tourer for a few months now, at first I was going to get the Strom, but now I've decided on a GS Adventure. Hope to have one in a couple weeks. :chug:
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Messages
1,378
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7600 feet up
#11
Now I just need a cool name for it?!
Since you & John have matching bikes, one of you should name his bike Vincent and the other Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito's characters in "Twins").

Looks like you had a good trip.

FWIW with that Tulsa bike, as long as the person whose name was on the title was present and able to sign all the documentation, it probably wouldn't matter who you were handing the $$ over to. Bike dealers switch personal bikes so often it's not uncommon for them to never transfer the paperwork. But if you had bought THAT bike, you wouldn't have had this story to tell. :chug:

Congrats!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
616
#12
Tourmeister,

How does the VFR compare to the GS in regards to handling, comfort, touring, etc. For sure the VFR is more sport touring oriented but what are your impressions so far.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
852
Location
Plano
#13
AWESOME

:-D GREAT RIDE REPORT!!

Glad to hear you are enjoying the new bike. I agree with you, the std. lighting is not any good. I am very close to mounting PIAA 520's on my SW-motech crash bars using old R80GSPD brackets (with rubber inserts).

I have a suggestion for a name.... How about "Pitufa", this is what Mama Smurf was called in the Spanish version of the Smurf cartoons.

Saludos,
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
616
#14
Random searching at the airport

Scott:
Sounds like a great trip. A lot of detail!

If I am correct, you bought a one-way ticket to pick up the bike. That is likely what triggered your "random" search. I once did a 3 leg trip, which was, in essence, three one-way tix. At Newark Airport, I was searched 4 times, including once in a separate room, with every article of clothing removed from my luggage, patted down, wanded, shoes off, the whole bit. Also during that trip, an airport employee tried to start a conversation with my by saying hello to me in some middle-eastern language (perhaps pharsi). Since I am dark in skin and hair, I think she was testing...especially since she was blonde and light colored.

Don't be offended about the searching, it's just part of the new American paradigm.
Dan B
'98VFR
 

Tourmeister

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#15
Don't be offended about the searching, it's just part of the new American paradigm.
So if that paradigm shifts towards full cavity searches, I should not be offended? :-P

I am just thankful that I seldom, if ever, have to fly. What offends me is that the extra security seems more for show than for results. :shrug:

Adios,
 

Squeaky

2
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Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,325
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Katy
#16
I actually had a can of hairspray confiscated during a pre-flight thorough search, but the refill can of butane made it through (both in checked luggage).

On the same flight, they also took my cigarette lighter because it wasn't a disposable. It was inexpensive, but it was a cute one I'd picked up on the trip. I was VERY annoyed...

Scott - Can't wait to see your new baby!
 

Tourmeister

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#20
:tab Wow guys, thanks! I've received quite a few emails containing the pics stitched together, I need to collect all of them and post them up. They came out really cool!

Adios,
 

BeemerDude

Inactive Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
291
Location
NW Houston
#27
This may be the wrong place to put this, but what the heck. If Scott has given anyone else a hankerin' to own a BMW GS here, I found this in todays' Chronicle:

'01 BMW 1150GS, 3,300
mi, Aero flow screen,
$8,500. 281-395-1048


Date: 4/7/2004
Source: Houston Chronicle

Seems like a good deal to me.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
3,886
Location
Round Rock
#28
'01 BMW 1150GS, 3,300 mi,
Good gosh, Tourmeister put at least half that on his just bringing it home, and irondawg probably put that much on his just taking the long way to the store and back...! :-)

Sounds like an awesome deal, if it's not wrecked...
 

Tourmeister

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#29
:tab Hmmm... Now that I have bought mine, I fully expect the market to be flooded with incredible deals!! :roll: However, if there nothing wrong with that bike, it certainly does seem like a good deal!! Are you listening out there Scratch? :-P

Adios,
 

BeemerDude

Inactive Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
291
Location
NW Houston
#30
Trust me, if I could afford it I would have already called that number myself. Incidentally, that AeroFlow screen is awesome and costs about $400 new (Harley riders who complain that "HD" really means Hundred Dollars for accessories have obviously never owned a BMW).
 

ZapataZR7

My Email is Dead!
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Feb 28, 2003
Messages
154
Location
Richmond, TX
#31
Pictures

Best regards Team:

Scott: I really enjoy a lot reading about your return trip....!!!!!

I "stich" the pictures and they are uploaded at the following location:

http://public.fotki.com/Zapata/misc/temp_pictures/

If you are unable to get the "original" size, let me know and I'll e-mail them to you.

Be aware that pictures do not stay too long at this location...so once you got them I will remove the Album. (only 10MB available)
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
75
Location
Austin, Texas
#34
mrr1150gs said:
We should be getting another member soon, my brother finally succumbed to the temptation and bought a new 2004 1150GS. I will let him tell you the Paul Harvey version...
Yes, I bought a 2004 R1150GS, Night black with a red seat. So far due to the winter weather we're having in Austin this weekend, I've only been able to ride it from Lone Star BMW to my house (12.9 miles). My first ride on the new bike was in the rain without a rain suit.

Now it's time to buy a weather-proof riding suit. I was planning to buy an Aerostitch 2 piece Roadmaster riding suit, but when I mentioned that to the person at LS BMW, they looked at my like I was crazy. I've worn my brother's Aerostitch and his Vanson Leathers. Both seem comfortable. Any other recommendations for riding wear?

My wife, father-in-law, and I spent the whole weekend building a storage loft in my garage so I can fit the bike inside. I'll send pictures of the new bike and the loft later this week.

Randy - a.k.a r1150gsrider
2004 R1150GS
 

Tourmeister

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#35
Welcome to the fold... I mean website...

I believe I have parked my fanny on that bike several times in the last few months leading up to my purchase of a GS ;-) I kept going over there and sitting on it and the Adventure model they have.

Cannot wait to see it on a ride ;-)

Congratulations!

Adios,
 
Joined
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Messages
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Round Rock
#36
r1150gsrider said:
Now it's time to buy a weather-proof riding suit. I was planning to buy an Aerostitch 2 piece Roadmaster riding suit, but when I mentioned that to the person at LS BMW, they looked at my like I was crazy. I've worn my brother's Aerostitch and his Vanson Leathers. Both seem comfortable. Any other recommendations for riding wear?
That's surprising to me that LS would give you such a look about the 'Stich, given that so many of their customers wear 'em. Did they give you any recommendations on gear?

Or perhaps they were giving you That Look cuz you were about to ride home in the rain w/o a rain suit... ;-)

I have the 2-piece Roadcrafter, and while it doesn't help my sense of direction or riding skills (see avatar :-) ), I've grown quite fond of it. Note that if you're wanting something that is slightly less easy to don/doff but is slightly more weatherproof, you might consider the Darien instead of the RC. With the Roadcrafter, I've found that it needs some additional waterproofing treatment (seam sealant and wash-in NikWax would help), and I carry at least rain pants if I think it's gonna rain pretty heavily.

All the best, and welcome, btw... :chug:
 
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