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Mar 21st 2018, 11:13 AM   #1
 FeralRdr's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Adjacent to the Hobbit Garage

It Was Spring; So, I Decided to Follow My Front Tire

With lots of expected sunshine and decent temps too, I had planned a full day of riding for the first day of Spring. Unfortunately, I had forgotten I had an appointment scheduled for yesterday morning, and a last minute reminder foiled my cunning plans.

Fortunately, the appointment was over by noon and the rest of the day was free and clear. With the kibosh put on my original plans, I decided to just hit the road and see where my front tire would leadeth me. I ended up rolling North, and decided to see how some of my favorite I5 side routes faired.

My Route:



Basically, I headed out to Felida on the West side of I5, and went North through Ridgefield and past the new casino to La Center. I continued North on Pacific HWY up to Woodland and took Green Mtn Rd up and around to Kalama. Since last Fall, I've stayed in the lower sections of Green Mtn Rd (due to gravel and debris). However, I took the high section yesterday as the lower areas were in great shape. In fact, with one exception, all the roads were in excellent shape. The one exception being Allen Canyon Rd, which sits just North of Ridgefield and East of the Ilani casino. It has gravel, pot holes, and a lot of bumps and dips on it. It isn't anything real dangerous, but I do advise a little caution if traveling through there.

I did find one surprise up on Green Mtn Rd. They've done a lot of Logging up top, and this has had the benefit of opening up the visibility of the road, as well as removing a lot of the sources of the pine needles that were almost perpetually in the steep twisty section just below the intersection with Shirley Gordon Rd.







Continuing North towards Longview, and was thinking of crossing back over into Oregon and hitting Apiary and 47 to Clatskanie. However, as I approached the turn off, I got a wild hair and decided to see how far up 504 I could get before I either hit snow & ice, or it got just too cold to go farther. So, from Longview I slabbed I5 up to Headquarters Rd, and then took Silver Lake Rd to 504. A quick dodge back to the West to get fuel, and I headed back East via Tower Rd, and then back onto 504 for a nice leisurely sprint up to the gate just past Cold Lake (with a few stops along the way).







Though the temps were comfortable for most of the day, once I reached the long bridge at the entrance to the blast zone I did start to feel the cold. As I continued to climb higher the temps dropped from the mid 50's down to the high 30's. By the time I reached the gate, I was really wishing that I had brought my winter riding gloves, and not just my non-insulated GTX gloves. As you can see in some of the picts, there still is a lot of snow up in that area. The Highway itself is clean and clear, but there were a few spots where the snow melt is trickling across the road. So long as the temps stay above freezing, those wet areas shouldn't be an issue.

After a short break for picts, I turned around and zipped back down to warmer climes. I basically retraced my route back with the exception of deciding to take I-5 back instead of the many side roads. As it was approaching 5:00 as I came off the mountain, I decided I would just slab it back to avoid being caught out after dark, and hopefully still have some daylight remaining for after ride maintenance (chain lubing).

It definitely turned out to be a great day for a ride, and a fantastic way to welcome in Spring.
Mar 22nd 2018, 01:49 PM   #2
 Rock Dodger's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Washington

Great post, Feral! Thanks!
Mar 22nd 2018, 07:40 PM   #3
 TREX600's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Custer, WA

  Suzuki 09 GSXR 1000 Suzuki 09 DRZ 400SM 1970 Yamaha 250 DT1 Enduro
Nice pic
Mar 22nd 2018, 10:51 PM   #4
 Willow's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Silverdale, WA

  848evo, DRZ400SM, XR100
Nice! I can't wait for more warmer weather.......
Great pictures
Mar 23rd 2018, 08:53 AM   #5
 
  Mar 2018
  Lynden, WA

  2004 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic (California edition)
That looks like a fun ride
Mar 30th 2018, 09:28 AM   #6
 Sirena's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Beaverton, OR

your front tire is smart 8)
Mar 30th 2018, 10:03 AM   #7
 FeralRdr's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Adjacent to the Hobbit Garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirena
your front tire is smart 8)
Careful CJ. Knowing my luck, the darn thing will demand that I refer to it as "Doctor Front Tire", instead of "The Intrepid, Adventurous Leader of Alacritous Motion".
Apr 11th 2018, 07:50 PM   #8
 Greg's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  PDX

  2014 Triumph Daytona 675R
How are you liking the new Ninja 1000? I'm leaning towards swapping to something next year that I can do longer rides on and this is high on my list.




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Apr 13th 2018, 11:25 AM   #9
 FeralRdr's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Adjacent to the Hobbit Garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg
How are you liking the new Ninja 1000? I'm leaning towards swapping to something next year that I can do longer rides on and this is high on my list.




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I've really enjoyed my N1K's over the past few years, and for me it is currently the best option for where and how I like to ride. It is definitely very capable when it comes to Long distance travel: It has more than enough power to haul gear and luggage at a fun pace, it's light enough to enjoy the tighter twisties, and it has ample range due to it's 5 gallon tank and 40+ MPG fuel mileage (though that's typically riding "The Pace").

I rode my 2012 model to Arizona a few years back, without any problems and had a great time. I only upgraded to the 2017, due to falling down and going "Boom" on the 2012. Fortunately, no major injuries, but because I opted to go to the ER, insurance became involved, so I ended up filing a claim on the bike as well. Though it was easily repairable (cosmetic damage only), it ended up being totaled out. Rather than buy back and repairing it, I opted for upgrading to a newer model year.

The 2017 definitely has some nice improvements over the 2012, but the only ones that I was really interested in were the Slipper Clutch and the OEM Hard Luggage option. That's not to say that the ABS, LED Headlights, or traction control aren't appreciated nor useful, but those are niceties that I didn't absolutely have to have. Even the hard luggage I didn't absolutely need, but I knew that I would more than likely, eventually get a set; and I did (Thank's Santa).

I'm not going to tell you that they are perfect, nor that there aren't better options (depending on budget or personal tastes). The suspension is typical OEM minimalism with only basic setup and adjustment. Most owners definitely start looking for a seat replacement, and the exhaust is definitely one of those things that you either like or hate (aesthetically speaking).

Still... For what it is, it is a great option for getting out for either just a day trip, or a longer multi-day excursion.
Greg likes this.
Apr 14th 2018, 07:18 AM   #10
 Greg's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  PDX

  2014 Triumph Daytona 675R
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeralRdr
I've really enjoyed my N1K's over the past few years, and for me it is currently the best option for where and how I like to ride. It is definitely very capable when it comes to Long distance travel: It has more than enough power to haul gear and luggage at a fun pace, it's light enough to enjoy the tighter twisties, and it has ample range due to it's 5 gallon tank and 40+ MPG fuel mileage (though that's typically riding "The Pace").

I rode my 2012 model to Arizona a few years back, without any problems and had a great time. I only upgraded to the 2017, due to falling down and going "Boom" on the 2012. Fortunately, no major injuries, but because I opted to go to the ER, insurance became involved, so I ended up filing a claim on the bike as well. Though it was easily repairable (cosmetic damage only), it ended up being totaled out. Rather than buy back and repairing it, I opted for upgrading to a newer model year.

The 2017 definitely has some nice improvements over the 2012, but the only ones that I was really interested in were the Slipper Clutch and the OEM Hard Luggage option. That's not to say that the ABS, LED Headlights, or traction control aren't appreciated nor useful, but those are niceties that I didn't absolutely have to have. Even the hard luggage I didn't absolutely need, but I knew that I would more than likely, eventually get a set; and I did (Thank's Santa).

I'm not going to tell you that they are perfect, nor that there aren't better options (depending on budget or personal tastes). The suspension is typical OEM minimalism with only basic setup and adjustment. Most owners definitely start looking for a seat replacement, and the exhaust is definitely one of those things that you either like or hate (aesthetically speaking).

Still... For what it is, it is a great option for getting out for either just a day trip, or a longer multi-day excursion.
Thanks for the response, I've watched about every video I can on youtube (I always over research). Having an older model and getting a second one is a strong endorsement! And with the motor etc being around a few years hopefully any issues have been sorted out.

It checks a lot of boxes for me, the factory luggage looks good I would get a set as well.

This would the heaviest bike I would have owned, but I just need to test ride one to see how I like it. I don't mind the look of the exhaust, but I've heard it is too close to the pegs.

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