Monday, December 31, 2012

Mileage Tally for 2012

I purchased my 2006 Ninja 650R in February of 2011, so today marks the end of the first full year I've had the bike.

It is significantly different from the ST1100 I came from, don't get me wrong, but I just posted my highest mileage ever year! 22,568 when it was all added up. Oddly enough, this is literally 40 more miles than 2009, my first full year with the ST11...   This year the furthest east I got was Moonshine, Illinois. We went west instead! For 2013, looks like I'll be doing a few regular repeat trips like New Mexico and Moonshine, hopefully tossing in a PA fall trip as well to visit family and see the changing trees.

I love this bike and intend on keeping it, like I do with all my bikes, until it's no longer worth fixing. I'm hoping to get another 2-4 years out of it! If anyone has any questions about the bike, or the mods I've done, please ask!

Mods list (cause I can't leave well enough alone):
  • Zero Gravity light smoke touring shield
  • Second gen 650R mirrors
  • SW Mototech mirror extenders
  • Digital 5 function voltmeter (
  • Garmin Nuvi 765 w/Aqua Box and RAM handlebar mount
  • Spencerized OEM seat
  • Versys rider pegs (modified to fit)
  • Givi soft saddlebag supports
  • Cortech Sport saddlebags
  • Rentech rear rack
  • Cutting board bolted to rear rack
  • Cortech Sport tailbag
  • Helen Two Wheels tank panniers
  • Hyperlights
  • Fiamm Dual high/low horns
  • Kurvey Girl angled valve stems
  • Gerbings dual heated gear controller
  • Helmet Guardian
  • Osram Nightbreaker Plus headlights
  • Barkbuster S1 Storm hand guards
  • GoPro camera mount
  • 2 tool tubes
  • DIY radiator guard
  • Go Cruise throttle lock

On tap for this year: SW Motech (hopefully) side case racks for the Seahorse 720s Karla bought me for Christmas , and some sort of hard tailbag (action packer?). Good possibility I'll be modifying the front fender and brake lines to accept larger dual sport tires front and rear as well (Shinko 705s).

Friday, December 7, 2012

Head east young man, Dec 6

Took a ride yesterday, stopped for some pics fooling around north of La Junta on my way back home. What a state this is!

Big sky

Never ending farm roads, not another soul out here. Just came off several miles of fast (45+ mph) gravel.

Looking east

Looking west


Snow coming this weekend and of course now I've caught a cold. TGIF.

Toys for Tots Dec 2nd

The weather seems to alternate weather good enough to ride every other year, and man did we get our turn this year! What a beautiful, warm day! Joined up with friends for our usual breakfast at the Village Inn down the street from the staging area. Dan even came to breakfast and drop off some toys although his bike isn't running and he had to get home to his wife and new baby.

Certainly a record crowd this year with the good weather. By far the largest we've ever seen! Normally we are waaaay up near the front (we go at the same time every year), but we were far from it this year. Here's a panorma of just a snippet of the staging area:

From left to right: Ditch (Pete), Elkhound (Harry), Carla, Outlaw (John), Ethan, Jen, Karla and I.

Ditch pointed out a bug on Outlaw's bike. This cannot be!! Outlaw rushed to erase the evidence...

Ditch had this HOT pink stuffed pig strapped on his back seat. It was so bright the camera struggled to get the color right!

Outlaw was unable to find his usual rocking horse, so sprung for two stick horses instead

Elkhound sunbathing

Now, does everyone remember what happened to Karla last year? If not, here's a reminder...

Well, Karla went so crazy with her retribution she probably scared the HECK out of the person in the porta potty next to Ethan!!

With that all sorted out, it was time to join our escorted group for the 4 mile slow ride to the Children's Hospital. Someone was taking (and now selling) photos as we pulled out of the staging area. Unfortunately only 2 of the group turned out. Here's Karla and I, can you see Outlaw's head floating on Karla's back seat? LOL!

They snagged a nice one of Elkhound and Carla too

Arrived safely at the hospital. Behind him is a HUGE V8 mounted right behind the solo seat.

Elkhound spotted a "motorcycle" that belongs to his neighbor

Karla testing out the horses...

The entrance to the hospital always looks great

Thousands of bikes roll through

We dropped off our toys, Ethan and Jen got their picture with Santa

Outlaw had to head home, but everyone else went to the HD dealership near our house for $1 beers and free BBQ. What a beautiful day!

Karla and I will be doing this ride again next year as always. After years and years of highly accurate, scientific study, I predict the weather will be terrible and we will have to drive. LOL!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Annual Fall Trip

Just as we have for a few years ago, we packed up the bikes and headed for points higher and more majestic for a weekend at the end of September. The plan was to stay in Ouray Friday night then to meet up with my parents in Durango on Saturday morning, they would come with us and share our campfire (atleast for dinner) in Arches National Park.

View Larger Map

It was warmer this year than last, coupled with a shorter route and later start made for some very pleasant riding up I-70. Plenty of color to keep us occupied too.

Eisenhower Tunnel

Stopped to get the camera out at the start of Independence Pass.

How about this for a lunch spot?

Kebler Pass heading into Crested Butte was next...

We stayed at the River's Edge Motel in Ouray again this year, and again we were pleasantly surprised by the entire experience. HIGHLY recommended!!

Here is the front lobby, and where we ate breakfast

 Time for the Million Dollar Highway to Durango!

Met up with my Mom and Dad in Durango and boogied off to Mancos for lunch.

Played around with this pic of Karla, I keep a camera around my neck for stuff like this:

Delicious fare, our new favorite spot

It was very busy when we showed up, I managed to snag this picture in between rushes.

Yummy. Very fresh, I think the homemade soup was the show stopper.

Next was Arches National Park, I had reserved a campsite for us months ago in the only campground in the park. Although it was warmer in the Colorado mountains this year, it was noticeably cooler in the desert. Awesome!

Hahaha.... We thought we would take an air mattress this trip... Um, a little too big!

Karla wandered off to take some pictures

Campfire cooking can be a team effort

Thank you Karla for this picture!!

Lol I don't know why Mom and Karla put up with these nuts... (and how cute is Mom's table? She goes bananas, it's fun)

Sunday started early, we were going to meet up with Mom and Dad for breakfast then hit some twisties on the way home.

Love this road... "shortcut" from Moab to I-70.

Only Karla would need to pee in a landscape like this...

Took some pics while I waited

You get so far out here it looks like another planet

Grand Mesa was our second set of twisties for the day, infused with some excellent color!

Pictures from our lunch spot

Ha, Karla trying to get service on her phone. It worked!

Great trip!

Full slideshow, 115 pictures