Riding in California

It’s been good to put some miles on the new Tiger 800XC. As with all Adventure bikes the accessories including Touratech Zega Pro panniers and top case almost reach the base price of the bike!

On our trip all the bikes (BMWs R1200GS, R1150GS and Triumphs 800XC & Explorer) performed brilliantly. Given that why would you pay so much more for an R1200GS, a great bike, than a Tiger 800XC? It’s lighter, faster, better road bike and all you have to watch off-road is the sensitivity of the throttle in low gears. I’m very much enjoying the experience of riding the Tiger! Here are some pictures from last weekend.

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Memories of The Arctic Circle

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A Note from Angus

After 8000 miles it is back safe home in Houston.
I wanted to agree with all Rod’s sentiments and add some of my own.
Most importantly we ran a trip with safety as the first priority throughout. Rod had some bad luck, but it could have been any of us. Both Randi and myself experienced similar moments on the Dempster but managed to hold on…Just.
Preparing the bike and the kit list are critical to the success of the journey. In my case my bike was approaching 10 years old so I was double careful with every stage of my set up.In the end I replaced a tail bulb.
I would recommend if anyone wants to do the “Off Tarmac” riding that we did, spend as much time as you are able, perhaps with an old dirt bike learning or relearning the skills needed. It all helps.
As a pleasant aside I was able to complete my ambition of completing riding every state in the lower 48, by running through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota and Montana. Thanks to Tom for helping me plan my route back.
To all the many ADV Adventurers it was a pleasure to meet on the way, I say good luck and see you again on the trail. Fritz, Scott, Cornelius, and the Boomer.de team. Safe Riding

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The famous patch on my vest that has been waiting 9 years to be completed

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Joslyn Kanouff my neighbors daughter and an important member of the home team colors in my patch

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Angus Reaches Houston – Home!

Angus made it safely home to Houston, the last of our intrepid riders. After many thousands of miles riding and many adventures, mostly good but some a little too exciting, the ride is over. We prepared very carefully for this trip and 99% of our preparations were sound. We used a number of kit lists and comparing those to the one published on Fritz’s web sight indicates that his is good enough with no need to publish more, so here it is again, you will need to scroll down to see the full list:

Fritz’s kit list

As far as our bikes were concerned they were all good and performed superbly. They ranged from Tom’s brand new Triumph Tiger Explorer, Rod’s BMW R1200GS, Angus’ BMW R1150GS to Randi’s Triumph Tiger 800 XC. I haven’t mentioned Brian’s Honda ST 1300 Pan European because that, despite Brian’s heroics on gravel, is a road touring bike. We are talking about Adventure bikes here. Given they were all good, similar ranges (the Explorer had the longest range), managed all types of terrain and hauled lots of kit you have to ask yourself why would you buy anything more than the much lower cost and lighter Triumph Tiger 800 XC?

What would we do differently?

I would take more time to rest and reduce the distances travelled “off-road” in a day, but that may be only me. A sat-phone turned out to be essential. The stories of phone coverage were false. If you want to go to the Arctic Ocean on a motorcycle – take a sat-phone.

Our Scala Rider G4 communications devices while working well for Tom and Randi broke down after a week for Angus and me. We never managed to be able to all talk to each other. My Soladec by Misemet solar powered battery charger failed totally after a week which was a shame. However, when you think of the scale of this adventure and the quantity of equipment we had to take these failures are small.

Everyone helped each other and we got on really well together. It was a great team! We followed in the steps of our hero Amundsen. It was all good, very good.

I hope those of you who have been following this blog have enjoyed it. I will keep blogging as and when we change bikes or venture out again into the unknown. There are a lot of logging tracks to be explored in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California/Nevada and then there is Mexico once the drug war subsides. Who knows? But if you follow this blog, you will be the first to know!

Ride Fast, Ride Safe!

Rod, Angus, Tom, Randi and Brian

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Strong Crosswinds Slow Progress

Angus continues his unintended Western adventure on 83s passing through Oakley named after Annie Oakley, Cimarron of “Rose of Cimarron fame” and then the Infamous Dodge City.The strong crosswinds are slowing progress.

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Angus Still Riding!

Angus is in Deadwood South Dakota.the last resting place of Wild Bill Hickok

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Angus is heading steadily south. Brian advised that the main roads were congested so Angus mapped his way across the Dakotas. “Imagine my surprise when I ended up on Hw 201 which has 30plus miles of dirt. I thought we had last the Dempster behind.”

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Tom and Randi In Olympia, Angus Rides On

Tom & Randi have arrived Tom’s brothers place in Olympia near Seattle to link up with their truck and trailer. Angus continues his ride back to Houston Texas.

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Last picture together, Angus, Tom and Randi

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Angus continues his journey east. Before the road starts I decide to take the 50 mile scenic drive through Glacier National Park. I can only say it Is a true National Treasure and well worth the visit.

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Once you get out of the hills you are on the Plains. Lots of Historical Markers noting battles with FIrst Americans so I have to imagine they didn’t give the land up easy. Angus took this picture because of the surreal cloud formation over the never ending grassland.

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Tom’s Triumph Tiger Explorer enjoys the camp fire

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