I was lucky to be able to enjoy a second “significant” motorcycle road trip this year. My brother Colin and his son, Troy, came out to the coast from Alberta on their motorbikes. Colin had previously ridden up the Sunshine coast and wanted to share that with us, and it sounded fantastic to me. I asked Colin to be our road captain, since he knew the route and I don’t really care to lead unless I’m riding solo. We set out on August 14th on a trip that ultimately looked more or less like the map below:
Continue reading Motorcycle Road Trip 2012 #2: the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island
My first “real” (i.e.: more than one day) motorcycle road trip of 2012 began on July 30. Myself, my nephew Shane, and our good friends Jeff and Tim set out on a journey to buy Shane a T-Shirt. Yes, that was the only actual specific, tangible objective of the trip. Everything else that happened was purely incidental…
My travelling buddies at the Grand Coulee Dam
Continue reading Motorcycle Road Trip 2012 #1: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, and back again
I will state this now very clearly: Harley Davidson motorcycles built since the late 1980′s (i.e.: those with the Evolution motors) do *not* habitually leak. These engines are generally as tight and well-designed as any, albeit with a different aesthetic than the finely balanced Hondas and BMWs of the world.
That said: my beloved Road Glide began to leak about a week ago. The leak was a very small amount of quite clean lubricant, dripping from some generalized location on the bottom of the engine. I say “generalized” as it wasn’t a single spot: generally, wherever the engine was lowest e.g. towards the kickstand side. In other words, there was no obvious source of the leak. And when I say “small amount”, I mean about one drop every three or four hours. Placing a clean paper towel under the engine for 24 hours would result in a spot no larger than you might get from resting your Egg McMuffin on the same paper towel for a few minutes.
Regardless of the size of the leak, *any* leak is frustrating, even if it isn’t critical. My bike is scheduled for its 32,000 km service next week, and the measurable fluid levels were all “in the zone”, so the leak wasn’t critical. But I wanted to be able to clearly point the service guy in the right direction to solve the problem. So I began digging. I washed the bottom of the engine, towelled it off , and got out a flashlight. From here on, I started to get a bit of an education regarding the engine of the bike I love. And I also have a tip regarding avoiding the leak I experienced, so read on…
Continue reading HARLEY DAVIDSONS LEAK!!! Kinda…
My second big motorcycle trip of the year took me down the Coastal Highway (Highway 101). Road trip #1 had already established that I enjoyed motorcycle touring, so now it was about seeing where that enjoyment would take me. I still had questions I wanted to ask myself during the ride: how far in a day is too far, are scenic roads just a little more enjoyable than “main” highways, or a lot, and is driving through unfamiliar cities on a motorbike ‘way more scary than in a car? I packed up my bike and set out on August 1 to see what new things I could learn about myself…
Continue reading Motorcycle Road Trip #2: the Coastal Highway and Computer History Museum
2011 is the year I wanted to start taking my motorcycle on some longer, multi-day trips. I had lots of questions to explore: would I figure out how to pack what I need? Would the Road Glide be comfortable for the long haul? And most important: would this kind of riding be the kind of thing I really want to do- in other words, is it “fun” for Kelly?
My first road trip of 2011 was “back home”: to Edmonton. A destination I’m familiar with, through territory I’ve experienced before in a car. I miss my friends back in Edmonton, but haven’t felt particularly like making the trip in the last half dozen years or so. I like where I live, and my friends/family come out here often enough… but the bike gave me a reason to make the trip. And so I packed up and set out on June 25…
Continue reading Motorcycle Road Trip #1: to Edmonton and back
It occurred to me shortly after I bought my first motorbike last year that video taping my rides might be kind of interesting. I started investigating the various options, ranging from duct-taping or velcro-strapping an off-the rack home video camera onto my bike, through custom-built video rigs specific to motorcycling. What I settled on was probably overkill for my needs, and turned out to have some unexpected frustrations: the Race Optics EVO-HD Camera system.
Continue reading Recording my rides: the Race Optics EVO-HD Camera System
Two weeks ago I came down with a cold, and a week ago I was diagnosed with a lung and sinus infection. The doctor said it was probably a variety of “mild” pneumonia, what is sometimes called “walking pneumonia”. So I’ve been coughing, clearing my sinuses, and generally feeling crappy.
On the plus side, the weather has been generally unpleasant as well. That sounds funny, I know, but for me there is nothing worse than being sick when it is beautiful and sunny and the birds are singing: it just feels doubly unfair. There were a couple of decent days this week, today not being one of them: however, it wasn’t raining, and I was feeling a bit better. This meant that was overwhelmed by a desire to get out on my motorbike, which I did.
Continue reading Lung infection and six months on my Harley
Earlier this year I completed a motorcycle skills training course, bought a Kawasaki Vulcan, and got my motorcycle license. I had ridden before back when I was still a teenager, but this time I actually got my license. Between May and September I rode about 10,000 kilometres- most of that was smaller rides in the 100 km or so range, but I had several 500+ kilometres days as well. During that time I learned a lot about riding, and more importantly about myself.
Continue reading My other Harley: 2011 Road Glide Ultra