Chilly Winter Ride

Chilly Winter Ride

Having a break in the weather I took the opportunity to get out for a short hour long ride. I headed up toward Ridgefield and then cut back through Battle Ground and Orchards. What made this ride interesting was the temp. It was a balmy 38 when I left and by the time I got home it was down to 32 degrees. Certainly the coldest I’ve ridden before but it was beautiful and well worth the cold. 

A Sunday Ride

A Sunday ride

The day started early. I told my wife I wanted to take her to a great spot for breakfast. What I didn’t tell her was that restaraunt was 2 hours away. We got up and ready. It was a beautiful sunny day and look to be perfect for riding. We geared up and headed out.

From Vancouver WA we headed down I-205 and connected to I-84. I’m not a huge fan of interstates but heading east out of of Portland on I84 is truly amazing. As you leave Troutdale and get in to the Columbia Gorge. I think that it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Columbia river on the left and steep cliffs on the right. We headed out to The Dalles and ate at Cosuins restaraunt. It a great local joint that has a good breakfast and amazing cinnamon rolls.

We shared a very tasty omelate and decoyed to hit the road. From The Dalles we headed east out to Biggs and crossed the Columbia River. Biggs is a nice crossing because unlike some of the other crossings there is no tolls at Biggs. From Biggs we headed south on SR14. SR14 is a great road that mirrors I84 but is only 2 lanes most of the way.

It also goes through some great little towns that flow up to the edge of the Columbia River. We wondered through great little towns like White Salmon and Stevenson. All together we did about 220 mile. It was a great Sunday ride to breakfast.

New Bike

New Bike, New Blog

Life is a fascinating thing in 2.5 short week I’ll turn 40… Its hard for me to wrap my head around the fact  that i’m turning 40!! My life has seen many changes in that time. I have 2 beautiful children who are the joys of my life. I have seen a marriage come and go. I met my soul-mate after that marriage fell apart. These are all things that have provided me with a lot of change in my life. However there has been one constant. Through everything I’ve always had bikes. They have been that constant that no matter what have been there. Over the last few years the stable has been a little light.after having to clear out everything a few years ago i have been trying to rebuild.  Last night that rebuilding got a serious boost.  I got an early birthday present from the most amazing woman in my life. She surprised me with a very nice 2006 FJR . This has been a bike on my desire list since it came out and i cant believe I finally have one in our garage. Not to mention that this is a substantial upgrade to the 1999 Concours I have been riding for the last 4.5 years. I figured that a new bike deserved a fresh start. So here we are. I hope you enjoy this journey and it will be interesting to see where this crazy road of life takes us.

The Northwest has been blessed over the last 2 weeks with wonderful weather for this time of year. It have been sunny and rain free which has made riding so great.  I haven’t been able to do much extra-curricular riding but I have been commuting everyday which is still a pleasure compared to driving.   I also am continuing my search for a FJR that meets what I have outlined in terms of year, mileage , proximity and price. It have been very challenging and with warm weather upon us im doubtful of finding a good deal until September or October but will continue to search. Until then i still have my trusty Concours and it is doing a great job.

One thing i forgot to post up is that my Concours rolled over 100K a couple of weeks ago which is exciting and goes to show how well built these bikes are. Hopefully ill be able to put on several thousand mile this summer on whatever bike I have to ride.

Until next time ride safe and ride smart.

Hwy 47

With the weather clear I decided to take the opportunity and take the Concours  for a short ride in one of may favorite areas. Yamhill County, this  is where a large majority of Oregon’s Wine is grown. I took off and headed north on 217 to 26 west. I figured the easiest was to get out of town was to hit the Hwy. From 26 I headed thrugh North Plains towards Forrest Grove. I connected with Hwy 47. This is a great way to see the best of Oregon wine country. I headed through Gaston toward the City of Yamhill. The great think about Hwy way 47 is that its a great combination of well paved roads nice sweepers and beautiful scenery. As I headed to Yamhill I passed Kason Vineyards.  One of my personal favorites for Pinot. I headed through the vineyards as the sun started to set. I got to McMinville and connected with 99w and headed back towards Tigard  through Dundee and Newberg.  All together I rode about 80 miles through some amazing country but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures but will try to get better about that in the future.

Looking for a new Bike.

So I gotten bit but the motorcycle bug and have started looking at new bikes. This is always an exciting thing and I dare say that looking is a big part of the fun. There was 3 bikes that I was looking at for my next ride.

1. BMW 1200RT
2.Kawasaki Concours 14
3.Yamaha FJR 1300

Now all of these bike are great sport touring bikes and I dont think there is a wrong choice. However while looking I have discovered some things that have made me lean towards 1 above the others.

BMW 1200RT-
The BMW has a great sport-touring reputation. It has the best weather protection of the bunch and also has a very strong following. It is also the lightest of the 3. There are a few things about the BMW that have steered me in another direction. First is the cost of maintenance. I can change oil with the best of them but I am not a DIY wrench. When I looked into what it would cost to keep the service up to date. it was a bit cost prohibitive. The other thing that I just couldnt understand is that BMW has a “feature” on their 2008 and newer models that requires you go into a dealer inorder to reset the service notice. To me that is criminal. No matter how great of motorcycle they build im not playing that game.

Kawasaki Concours 1400-
The Connie was the front runner for some time. I am current a member of COG ( Concours Owners Group) so it seemed like a natural fit. However then I started to look at what did I really want to do with the bike and I kept coming back to long distance riding. The Connie just didn’t seem to have what I was looking for. I looked at length through the IBA ( Iron Butt Assoc) and saw very few of these bikes. That got me thinking. Why not? I believe that the Connie attracts those that like the ZX-14 but want some touring ability. This is a different crowd than the one that does 750+ miles in a day. I also didn’t like the sitting position as much.

Yamaha FJR 1300-
This bike is one that I have thought about often. Back in 2008 I actually looked pretty seriously at a 2007 but just couldn’t get over the Burgundy color. Well I have come full circle. I am actively looking for a 2006 or newer FJR that will be my bike for the next many years. I am impressed by all the write ups and the LD touring capabilities are renowned. Now it just a matter of finding the right bike for my needs and in my price range.

If all goes the way I am currently planning I should have several pretty good rides this season. There is Laguna MotoGP at the end of July and then I really want to do an IBA ride this year. Im not getting any younger and life is only going to get craizer, so better now.

Back at it.

After not writing for several years I am going to try and start posting more regularly. Its funny I have been thinking about this blog over the last several months and finally decided that I needed to revive it so here I go. Hope that that read it enjoy.