The Early Years….
Lyn and I both enjoy Motorcycles… My riding days go back to the 70’s when I was in the Army. I have had bikes off and on and Lyn and I both had bikes in the 80’s when we lived in Redford Mi. I had a Honda 1976 CB550-4 and Lyn had a Honda CL-350.
In 1990, we were preparing to move to NH and left the bikes with our son Joe. From that time we were bike-less for a few years. In NH, they have the 2nd highest bike ownership per capita in the US. As a result, you are always seeing bike on the road and after a few years, I started getting the itch to ride again. In March of 2000, we bought a 1987 Honda Shadow 700. I was nervous as it was larger than anything I had ridden before.
It did not take long, I was zipping all over so much sooner than I would have believed! I was riding around NH with New England Riders and after a 2 up ride in June, we realized it was time for something larger for Touring. In July 2000 I ended up locating a 1998 Honda 1100 Ace Tourer in NJ with only 2000 miles. We drove down, checked it out and I rode it home! 🙂
I really loved this bike, it was one of my favorites and I went everywhere on it, including my first two IBA (Iron Butt Association) rides. It was not until I got my Goldwing 7 years later (and 3 bikes later) that I sold it in 2008 with 66,000 mile.
I kept the 700 for a while, hoping that Lyn would take to it. Unfortunately, she never really rode it as she was intimidated by the style and power. I ended up selling it to friend for his wife who was a more experienced rider.
I knew Lyn wanted to ride and in 2001, while riding in Londonderry NH, I spotted a 1980 Kwasacki 400. It was a little rough but low dollars and I thought it would make a good starter bike. I went home and brought her back, we tested it and rode it home!
This turned out to be a perfect bike for her and even though it was late in the season, she got in a few miles with it. She needed to “refresh” in 2002 but by June she had been traveling all around the area. She was ready to ride it to Americade but I talked her out of it as it was small for that trip on highways. She already was feeling like she outgrew it and in July of 2002 she upgraded to the 1999 Honda VLX 600. This bike for her was like the Ace-T was for me… a perfect fit and very enjoyable. She made trips to Montreal, Americade and Washington DC for Rolling Thunder.
She had been thinking about a larger bike and a friend was selling his 2004 Honda 1300 VTX. She went and looked at it and hemmed and hawed a bit before finally deciding to get it in March of 2008. I rode it home for her and she adjusted to it pretty quickly. It was a bit heavy but once moving she was very comfortable. She rode it to Americade that year and later did Montreal and DC.
She ended up keeping it for 6 years. It was always a bit heavy and intimidating and she had talked about a Can Am Spyder. In June of 2012, we found one, a 2009 with low miles in Londonderry NH and she brought it home!! She really likes it and it is a fun ride!
NOTE: In June of 2015 Lyn sold her Spyder as we purchased a new Travel Trailer for Camping.
Pat’s Mid Years
As I was riding more, and further, I realized I needed a more Touring suited bike. Ideal would be a Goldwing but they are (I thought) Really Big and not in my budget. I began looking at alternatives and the one that seemed to offer what I needed and at a reasonable price was the Kawasaki Voyager. With 1200 CC in a Touring package, it was just what I needed. In Sept of 2003, I located a 2000 model in Syracuse, met the owner in Albany and rode the bike home.
I really liked the bike! We were going to Americade in 2004 and I rode it out to get it outfitted for travel, including a CB Radio. In July, we made our annual trip to Montreal for the Veterans Cross Border Run. I was hit at a stop light and the end result was that the bike was totaled. I was devastated, in addition to having broken ribs and collarbone.
As I was healing, I had conversation with Bill Neese from the Motorcycle Tourers Forum. He was selling his 1996 Voyager and after a short negotiation, I bought it and had it shipped up to NH from TN. It arrived in Sept 2004 with 48000 miles.
I had this Voyager for almost 3 years, selling it in 2007 when I bought my Goldwing. At this point, it had 66,800 miles on the odometer. I had been watching for a Wing, though I always felt I could not afford one. In Jan of 2007, I stumbled across one on Craigslist in Palm Harbor Florida. It was a 2002 model with only 12,000 miles. I had a friend check it out, then flew down to purchase it. Being it was Feb, we arranged storage until I could go back at the end of March and ride it home.
As of May 2015, I still have this bike with 71,000 miles on it.
Dual Sport Era
When I had the Voyager, the Shadow was excellent for around town and short rides. The Voyager was top heavy and not as nimble around town. With the Goldwing, I was riding the Shadow less and less. The 1800 Wing is a whole new design in 2001 and it is low center of gravity and very nimble, easy enough to commute as well as travel distance. As a result of this, I was riding the Shadow less and less.
Having been on ADV for a while, and having a neighbor that was heavy into adventure riding, I decided to sell my beloved Shadow and get a bike that I would use more and to try something new. I looked at several different bikes such as the Vstrom, Dr650, KLR and BMW. Being new to off-road/adventure riding, and also vertically challenged, a BMW F650GS single cylinder appeared to be my best best. I began the search and after a few months of watching Craigslist, found one in CT. It only had 800 miles on it, a 2007 model and already lowered! We drove down, tested it and brought it home on the trailer!
The 1st picture is as I brought it home on May 3rd 2008… The 2nd picture shows it as finalized before my 2010 Trip to James Bay. I really liked this bike and enjoyed learning to off road and Adventure Ride with it. In addition to local runs and practice in the woods I did the following:
MTF Southern Mountain Ride in WV (4 days)
Camping Run to NH Greenfield State Park (3 days)
Vermont Puppy Dog Route (4 Days)
Vermont Baley Hazen Military Road (From the Revolution)
BMW Adventure Ride at Americade
These were all in preparation for my main Goal which was to ride the famous Trans Labrador Highway, all gravel road from Labrador City to Goose Bay. I then took the Ferry over to Cartwright and continued down to and around Newfoundland before heading home. 10 Glorious days of carrying all supplies and camping along the roadway in the wilderness. This July 2009 trip was an Adventurer I will never forget!
The following year (July 2010) I planned a trip (another 10 days) up into the wilderness of remote Northern Quebec known as James Bay (just south of Hudson Bay). We traveled up via Route Du Nord (The North Road), remote dirt and gravel, limited services. Another great camping adventure until, returning via the James Bay Road I went off the road and over an embankment, totaling the bike and doing a lot of damage to myself. It was several months before I was able to return to work but in the meantime, I already had another bike!
Another MTF Member, Bob Moore of KY, was selling his DR650. This bike was more off road capable than my beloved BMW but I never really bonded with it. I did manage one Adventure ride into VT but that was shortened on Day 3 as I had some ignition problems and had to abort the trip. After trailering it home, it fired right up and never failed again but I was not totally confidant in it. I sold it in 2013 as I had not ridden it that much and with our pending move south, I also knew I would not have time in the coming year.
So, was that it??? No, of course not! Another reason that I was not riding the DR much was the famous Russian Ural!
I had been looking at these for a while, they just looked like fun! Not practical, no LD machine, not a highway rider, not the most reliable but just the most darn fun one could have with a motorcycle. On November 7th, 2009, using a friends (Chris Harris) trailer, we drove to PA and picked up our 2005 Ural Gear Up motorcycle. With 2 wheel drive option, this beast could go just about everywhere. I had Chris, a mechanic for Ural, go through the bike and adjust the setup etc.
I hated to part with it but did not want to pay for shipping nor did I know if and where I would have a place to keep it. Hence I bit the bullet late in 2013 as we prepared for our move in 2014.
This ran in the snow, made a great camping vehicle and one of the dogs loved to ride with me in the side car!
At moving day, I only had the Wing so we arrived in GA on 7/15/14 without a dualsport bike. As normal, I keep an eye on Craigslist and was always looking for possibly a BMW again. In Oct., I spotted a 2011 F650 GS Twin Cylinder with less than 10,000 miles in down in St Augustine Florida. on October 18th, 2014 I went down to look at it and rode it home!
2016 saw a few changes. In May, I sold my 2002 Gold Wing and purchased a friends 2012 loaded for long distance riding. I did a Long Distance RTE in June to Forkesville PA and was in much pain upon arriving home (left foot and leg). I decided Not to ride to Schoolhouse RTE as a result and then decided it was time for a change.
As much as I liked LD riding and mentally still enjoying, it was obvious that physically it was time to stop. I decided to sell the Wing and renew my enjoyment of the Ural, Russian bike with a sidecar. That was some of the most fun on a motorcycle. After trying to sell/trade, I was finally able to work a deal with Ural of New England for a trade deal of my Wing towards a new 2016 Ural! We closed the deal on Nov 14th.
Current Stable – Dec 2016
So, as you see now, we have a total of 2 bikes (as of today) 🙂
My 2011 BMW F650 GS
And my 2016 Ural Gear Up
Sold This Past Year…
The Gold Wing! 2002
My new “too me” (purchased 4/29/16) 2012 Honda Gold Gold Wing
Here is my current Mileage from all of my “rides” (as of Nov 2016)
|1996 Kawasaki Voyager||1,018||18,800||18||6,740|
|1998 Honda Shadow Ace Tourer||2,846||64,400||22||8,259|
|2000 Kawasaki Voyager||294||10,500||35||13,035|
|2002 Honda Gold Wing GL 1800||3,312||64,252||19||7,080|
|2005 Suzuki DR 650||1,042||2,650||2||928|
|2005 Ural Gear Up||1,825||6,710||3||1,342|
|2007 BMW F650 GS||785||15,829||20||7,359|
|2011 BMW F650 GS Twin||760||2,242||2||1,076|
|2012 Honda Gold Wing||199||1,961||9||3,596|
I am a Proud member of the Iron Butt Association. The 60,000+ members of the Iron Butt Association are dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. Although based in the United States, they have thousands of enthusiastic members throughout the globe! One of our more popular slogans is, “The World Is Our Playground.”
“How do I become a member of the Iron Butt Association?”
The Iron Butt Association is not your typical “club”. We are more a state of mind. We do not have monthly dues, a newsletter, or even a membership card. In fact, the closest thing we have to a membership card is our “World’s Toughest Riders” license plate back. On that note, to become a part of the Iron Butt Association, you must complete at least a Bun Burner 1500 (1,500 miles in 36 hours) or the SaddleSore 1000 (1,000 miles in 24 hours). The rules for these rides can be found under the “Rides & Rules” section of this web site.
Completion of a Bun Burner or SaddleSore gets you a certificate of accomplishment, an IBA pin and IBA plate back as well as a listing on our web site as an Iron Butter at www.saddlesore.com/ssbbfin.htm
I became a member back in 2001 when Richard Hamblen and I both did a Saddlesore 1000 ride in New England, known as the New England 1000. On Saturday August 4th, Richard and I began our Endurance ride. This was a 1000 mile ride through 6 New England states that had to be completed in 24 hours. It also qualified as an IBA Saddlesore 1000 ride. The ride began in Augusta Maine and we rode up the day before and stayed at a motel. Getting up at 3am, we began our journey at 4:05am. We had planned a finish around 2:00am and ended up finishing at 2:40, with almost 1 1/2 hours to spare. The ride was challenged by Richards slow tire leak, some major traffic around an accident and a couple bouts of torrential rain! With the ride, I became IBA Member # 8868!!
After completing the NE 1000, Richard and I decided to do a 1500, which the IBA requires you to do in 36 hours. Exactly 5 weeks after the 1000, we embarked on the 1500, leaving Andover MA at 5:00am on Sept. 8th. The route would take us through CT, NY, PA, WV and up to Cleveland OH. Here we turn back towards home via Erie, Buffalo and Albany before returning to Andover. This ride was tougher than the 1000 but we were also prepared thanks to our previous run. With only a 1 1/2 hour nap we made it back in 33 hours
Early in the 1500 and our congrats at the finish
Over the years I have done a few more! 🙂 Some who do not understand call us “crazy” but we who did this test ourselves, our capacity for endurance, all the while maintaining safe conditions~!
SaddleSore 1000 09/29/12 IBA Memorial Ride
SaddleSore 1000 10/15/11 NH-1000 Jack Shoalmire Memorial
SaddleSore 1000 09/26/09 Lower Great Lakes 1000
SaddleSore 1000 05/02/09 NH-1000!
SaddleSore 1000 04/16/09 Moonshine
SaddleSore 1000 04/10/08 Moonshine
SaddleSore 1000 03/09/08 Home from IBA JAX
SaddleSore 1000 03/06/08 To IBA JAX
SaddleSore 1000 09/01/07
Bun Burner 1500 09/09/01
SaddleSore 1000 09/08/01
SaddleSore 1000 08/04/01
The memorable ones for me (besides the first) were:
The down and back to JAX, the NH 1000’s, the Memorials and the Lower Great Lakes.
I have not done any in a while, maybe it is time again! 🙂
RTE (Ride to eat)
Rides to Eat are some of the best rides around. These get called all around the country and all different times and they are gatherings of Riders to socialize over a meal at (sometimes a pretty neat) some nice little restaurant. It is a great way to meet many riders that you know from the Internet. Forksville PA, Moonshine IL, Schoolhouse in Downsville NY, The Mastersin Augusta GA, Sconyers BBQ in SC, MTF Founders Feast and of course, the IBA Pizza Party in Jax FL.
Often some of my closest riding friends are only seen a couple times a year at these RTE Events. I have already already attended 5 in just 7 months here in GA.