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Old 5 Nov 2012
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Location: Seattle, WA - PNW, the Motherland
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Originally Posted by nicola_a View Post
When do you set off South??
Although I originally intended to leave in September my current grant cycle for work (I'm in research and development) ends at the end of March and I have agreed to see the project through to completion.

On the downside, I won't be doing any long trips for a few more months.

On the upside, I'll have some more money in the pocket to travel for longer with after March.
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
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Old 9 Aug 2013
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19: Got bored. Have Two Weeks. Gone Riding

I committed to finishing out our current grant cycle with work. This places me in the workplace rather than the saddle until the end of March.

It's the holidays though and I convinced the office overlords it was imperative that I leave for a bit. I have two weeks starting tomorrow, no question about it, I'm going riding.

Here's an little update of a trip from Seattle down the west coast that I took in December - January.

Left Seattle, Cold, and wet.

Please have better weather further south.

Oregon Coast is looking...wet. Won't stop raining.

A little bit better.

Dat Sun. Now in San Francisco.

Northern California coming into Cambria.

Ventura, CA.

Sun setting on CA 1, time to find a place to stay.

Waking up on the beach.

Heading in to Malibu.

Bougie Hollywood hills.


Kid rockin the hawk helmet pretty hard while shredding on the scooter.

Venice beach by day.

Skater at the venice beach skate park by night.

When hostels are available I prefer to stay in them. It's more fun kicking it with other people from other places and is almost just as cheap (in CA). Stayed here a couple days.

Rear knoby is getting tired, I packed another one though that I had laying around so I'll probably replace it soon.

Planning to meet friends in San Francisco for new years so I started heading back up the coast. Mmmm dats nice.

Somewhere near Big Sur.

Back end started getting squirly in the corners on the beautiful road that is CA 1 from Cambria to Santa Cruz. Pulled over to find that I had a slow flat.

Found the culprit. Took the Opportunity to swap out my balding tire for the spare I had been lugging around too.

As far as places to change a flat and mount a new tire go, this is hard to beat.

Mind as well make a sammy while I'm patching the tube.

Old tire off. New tire to be mounted.

Back in San Francisco. Hippie bus spotted.

Getting grub in the hate.

Sweet architecture.

Chilling at the park with friends.

Raged on new years, this was all that was left the next day.

Rolling out of my friends place in the Mission.

Getting back onto the coast to CA 1. I prefer the dirt but mmmmm those blacktop twisties look good too.

Back on the coast heading North.


Great coastal riding.

Rolled past this place and stopped to say hello and ask where the good food can be had. Locals always know best.

Pretty awesome show/work space.

Sweet bike. The panels were hand-rolled by the owner.


Probably so fun to ride around on these roads in the summer (or even now).

Getting further north, passed a motorcyclists favorite sign, the one with the squiggly line and a mileage number indicating upcoming tight turns and for how long. This one said "next 21 miles".

Making that morning breaky'. It was starting to get colder and colder.

Bomb oatmeal success.

Avenue of the giants.

You don't have to eat shitty while camping. Made 5 of these and fell asleep.

Back in Oregon meow.

Headed home.

Mental batteries recharged, now back to the grind on Monday.

Met Robert here, he was riding his bike around the US when he found out about a brain tumor that was hitching a free ride. Got surgery, and is now gearing up to go back and "put a tire in every state that I missed". Champion.
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."

Last edited by seantully; 21 Aug 2013 at 01:01.
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Old 9 Aug 2013
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19: Up-dating? Upping the date? Date-upping?

Alright so once again I prove bad at updating this thread. As with writing this trip report, planning and executing a trip has been a learning experience. "Planning, and executing"...man that sounds terrible now. I used to put a lot of time and effort into thinking about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. When you are doing something new I suppose that's a smart idea, and that process has brought me to where I am now, which is great. Having a better idea about how I like to do motorcycle travel. Through my last trip up North to Prudhoe bay I got a more fleshed out understanding of how I like to do things. I've realized that when traveling on my bike, just like any of my other interests or hobbies, I like to fly by the seat of my pants. Be well prepared with your equipment and knowledge beforehand but always do what feels right in the moment, have a blast, and try to avoid any regrets (both good and bad).

This new found understanding I realize has really just been a return to baseline. I have always enjoyed life most when I didn't plan it out. When I do everything I can to do my best at what I'm doing, have the most fun I can while doing it, and enjoy life for what it is right then, that's when I feel most fulfilled.

I look back now at all of my planning and it feels like just a bunch of mental masturbation. Sort of silly. Something to kill the monotony of a 9-5 job post graduation. I guess it served its purpose, hundreds of hours on ADVrider, looking at gear reviews, planning out where I wanted to go, etc. It really took up a lot of time and gave me something to do. It did, however, also give me a basic level of competence in something that I was/am still pretty new to, which is smart when the act of doing that activity poorly could get you into a pickle.

I've always been a methodical person when preparing for things but not if it takes the excitement and element of the unknown out. Now that I have a basic knowledge base and have acquired the necessary equipment to do what I want to do - enough to at least keep me out of major trouble - I think it's time to bring this adventure motorcycling thing back towards how I really prefer to do things, well prepared and poorly planned.

I am still heading South, but with a very different mindset, one that I enjoy much more and am way more familiar with. I'm confident in my kit, my gear, and my senses. Anything past that will be handled on the fly and addressed accordingly. My last "plan" that I'm making is to leave on September 1st...yeeeah yeeeah I accepted an extension on my work contract (AGAIN!) but it has worked out for the best. I have no time-frame, no goal, no destination, and no real direction. If I'm going to be in my 20's and wandering I mind as well enjoy it!

A couple months ago I went down the coast to visit friends and spin the wheels so I'll put an update in here shortly on that. Oh and I took the blog/website down that I had been cross-posting on and, as I presumed, all the photo links on ADVrider went down as well. Not sure how I'll be putting photos up in the future but I'll see if I get around to uploading the old ones again at some point. EDIT: See post #54 for pics

"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
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Old 12 Aug 2013
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20. Tooling and Tooling around

So I finally made time to put my new 688 piston kit in that I ordered from Eagle Mike. I did a cylinder swap and the ordering process was super simple and prompt from Mike...I on the other hand was not as prompt and took far too long to install and return my cylinder to Mike, thanks again for your patience Mike!

The install went smooth and everything worked as projected. After a bit of tuning I think she's running near perfect now. I did the swap to solve oil burning and as of today she hasn't burnt a drop of oil after a fair amount of high stress long rides.

If anyone has a 'burner' and is in search of a fix, I highly recommend the kit!

Here's some pics

Time to rebuild the heart of the KiLleR. She had been a 'burner' since the day I got her and although the cost of a 688 kit will buy a lot of oil, I don't like that she doesn't run the way she is supposed to and it's a pain in rural areas to be thinking about where/when the next place is to get full synthetic oil, etc. A 688 kit will fix the oil burning and she'll be all the happier for it.

I have a garage at my place in Seattle that I cleared out and filled with my tools and bike stuff. My friends and I named it 'Af-man-istan'. Here you can drink at any time of the day, blast music, get dirty, play darts, you name it. All females entering Afmanistan must apply for a visa.

This is the exhaust header where burnt exhaust exits the motor, look at all that soot build-up!

That's a fair amount of burnt off oil, there were times when I was pulling long days on the road at high revs that I could be burning through half a quart and it shows!

Pulling the top end off the cylinder, it wasn't scored and the bore looked good. Those damn stock piston rings just aren't built to spec with tight enough tolerances. At high revs the oil-scrubbers just can't keep up and it'll slowly burn through your oil to keep things lubricated.

I say nay-nay though, not anymore.

Lots of carbon build-up on the piston head. Interestingly after I took the piston out and left it on a desk by a window in the sun the oil build-up slowly just crinkled up on itself like paper shriveling up and just flaked off?? Pretty odd.

All the bits to be put back on. Checked the valves etc while I was at it obviously. Had to order some new shims as the tolerances had tightened up smaller than the shims that I had available.

Thanks Eagle Mike for the fast shipping!

Dammn look at that shine. New piston is a bit lighter and bigger. Rings fit nicer too so shouldn't be any oil burning.

Bike almost back together. Went through the break-in period meticulously working the motor harder and harder with different oils as the rings and piston worked themselves in. After some fiddling with carb adjustments and jetting she's getting dialed in.

Went out to to eastern Washington to get some dirt riding in. Did a couple legs of the Washington Back-country Discovery Route, which is pretty gosh dilly-darn good. A big fire came through in 2012 and much of the route between Ellensburge and Cashmere (day 3?) was burnt out.

For acres and acres it looked like this.

The ash was really thick, glad I was riding solo and no-one had to follow in the cloud of ash behind me.

The views were gorgeous,

the riding superb,

and the exposure was great.

My camera battery died as I realized I swapped out the wrong batter back at home so I used my camera on my phone instead to try and catch the sweet scenery. The ride from Cashmere to Chelan (day 4?) is really nice and the views were awesome. Didn't see anyone besides 2 other riders that were on top of Chumstick Peak.

The views on top of Chumstick Peak were 360 degrees and too nice to not call it a day and camp for the night right on top.

Choke cable snapped the next morning when I tried to start the bike so I'll need to replace that. Bike still started with a little coaxing.

Dropping back down in elevation the next day and there started to be farms and orchards.

Headed back towards Leavenworth snapping a last shot over a wood bridge. The cold water acts like natures AC unit cooling all the air flowing over it so it was a nice spot to cool down for a bit before heading back.

Also to note, not a single drop of oil burned since the install of the new piston/cylinder/rings and under high stress and for long periods of riding, installation success.
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
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Old 14 Aug 2013
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Posts 13 and 14 are now up

13: Tagging In
14: Red-Dog and Brown-Bear ride again
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
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Old 19 Aug 2013
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Pics update: post 15 is now up

15: Up and at'em
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
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Old 21 Aug 2013
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Pics update: post 16, 17, & 18 now up

All photos are now back online and these posts are up:

16: Catching Up
Catching Up (continued)
18: Catching Up (continued again)
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
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Old 17 Sep 2013
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No-Moto-Boundaries: New Ride Report Thread

Heyo, I left on Sep. 1st and have decided to continue this ride report in a new thread. Since I originally created this original ride report thread over a year and a half ago my mentality and plans about this adventure have changed a fair amount, and definitely all for the better (see post #33 above). Rather than changing or editing this thread to fit my new plans I have decided to start a new thread and in doing so preserve this one.

Come follow along here for the next chapter: No-Moto-Boundaires
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
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