Tuesday, November 15, 2022

MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE 2022 DNFs - BMWs and KAWASAKI

A 1995 BMW GSPD Classic (one of 150 manufactured) suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure on the way to the Start of The Last Broke Bike Mountain Ride leg of the 2022 ‘round the world rally, September 6.  At 70 mph on Interstate 90, 30 miles west from the Start point in Boise, Idaho the drive shaft grenaded at the lower end where it connected to the rear drive unit.  The rider escaped serious injury by miraculously staying upright as the rear wheel clunked and attempted to lock up at speed. The BMW was a DNF (Did Not Finish), more of a Did Not Start. A few days later, after a truck ride to its home near Seattle, the Broke Bike was sold. Potential buyer(s) beware! This Classic has had all of the classic BMW failures: drive shaft, two engine bolts stripped, electric rotors (3) replaced, rear shock blown. On the plus side, it should have a solid transmission with the C clip installed at the factory, and has new Avon tires with less than 1,000 miles on them...and it has the superior Tea Pot side stand.


The 1992 highly modified BMW R100 GS of entrant # 69 (photos above) was also a DNF, in the Canadian leg of the Alcan 5000. Zigging when it should have been zagging over a serious risk avoidance section of high speed gravel caused the entrant to throw in the towel and limp back to California. The rider was unscathed but the meticulously prepared BMW was bent, scratched and then parked for extensive cosmetic repairs.

The 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 of # 9 suffered a chain loss at 65 mph on pavement, eight miles from Anamosa, Iowa. An Indian Motorcycle owner came to the rescue and with the help of J & P Cycles, the KLR was back on the road a day later. In Wyoming, off-pavement, the heavily loaded KLR 650 proved its true dual-sport nature, navigating some serious gravel and dirt sections.

The KLR of # 9 did suffer a small fall down into the front of a stationary SUV when the owner was checking the oil level and the motorcycle rolled forward, down a slight incline. Alone and unable to lift upright the KLR, because the front wheel was pointed the wrong direction, the owner used a Hi-Lift car jack to lift it to a vertical position. No damage was suffered in the "bike fall down."

Earlier DNFer Richard Livermore (# 7, aka Dick C. Nevermore) had a similar “bike fall down” in Chile in January, 2016 when he lost control of his parked Honda GL 650 in front of his motel room and broke his windscreen and a front turn signal. He was able to repair the windscreen damage with cable ties and the turn signal with duck tape and a spare turn signal he carried. 

One entrant in late September, 2022 opined, “Maybe Livermore’s crashing in North America once and South America twice, his motel bike fall down, and then self-DNFing himself in Africa, put the jinks or bad mojo on our 2022 adventures?”

In the spirit and style of Livermore’s Indiana-farm-boy-English, and after researching the mystical world of Toto's Kansas and the etymology of certain phrases and words Livermore often used, # 9, ever the existential motorcyclist, looked skyward for a circling Edgar Allen Poe described raven for some seconds, and then said, “Okey dokey, you betcha,  and the crashing and DNFs this year will be cosmically blamed on the psychologically dark world of nevermore.”

[Saul Bishop posted November, 2022]

 

  

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE and MOTORCYLE ADVENTURES - Research Spring and Summer 2022

 

Europe thru Russia to the USA – Out!

In April, # 9 halted his adventure plans to start an overland motorcycle journey in June from Heidelberg, Germany to Latvia, and then across Russia and onward to the USA.  His adventure motorcycle for the rally leg, his often used 1986 BMW K100RT, has been gifted for another use.

 
The # 9 adventurer said of the plan hatched three years earlier, “It’s a fool’s journey in 2022 given the political environment, no visa possibility and high cost of shipping or flying the motorcycle out of Vladivostok to Los Angeles. Some of the big wallet guys with mega dollars can’t buy passage for their vehicle out of Vladivostok, let alone for themselves, even using their private jets. They can't even enter Russia.”

 

ALCAN 5000 – In!

Entrant # 69 has been prepping his BMW for the 2022 Alcan 5000 August 23 – September 1. www.alcan5000.com/ has details. Photo below is the BMW preparation in progress. The rally leg will take # 69 as far west as Telegraph Creek in British Colombia.


In 1939 Slim Williams and John Logan dragged, pushed, pulled and rode a BSA motorcycle down the telegraph trail to Telegraph Creek, and then on to Hazelton, BC. It was the first motorcycle adventure from Alaska to the Lower 48, to prove a road could be made the connect Alaska with the Lower 48.  What # 69 will find in Telegraph Creek in August, 2022 will be far different from the village in 1939, but he is guaranteed to have a riding adventure as most of the road from the Stewart-Cassiar Highway to Telegraph Creek is gravel and dirt, a challenge for the heavy BMW with a full load of luggage. Motorcycle preparation is a key element for # 69’s success and that of his BMW 1992 R100 GS “Bumble Bee” model as there are no BMW parts depots of shops on this leg of his adventure.

 

“Looking For America” Adventure  - A Go!

A long loop through the heartland of America in June is mapped, booked and a confirmed for # 9. Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota are on the route. Arrival in Duluth for the globally famous Ride To Work Day celebration at Aerostich Designs, the rally sponsor and headquarters, is the northern most target. The Looking For America tour is a book promotional tour combined with a research project.  The book being promoted, ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLIST: FRAZIER SHRUGGED, went live as a digital publication in May – Amazon also offers it as a print copy. 

Some of the research for the book was conducted during Livermore imposed down times spent after stewarding and guiding Richard Livermore to his preferred five-star secure hotels, B & Bs, and motels during Livermore’s self-terminated attempt to circle the globe using # 9 as his paid guide. Frazier said of his current research, “Back when Livermore and I were on the road, like in South America, he would often not attempt to speak Spanish, opting for American slang and idioms when speaking with the locals. An example and a Livermore favorite was “Okey dokey” instead of saying “Si.” I may have mistakenly thought his farm boy language came from Kansas, and several times said to him, "Yo, we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto," to cajole him to try some Spanish or Americanisms the locals could understand or translate. In June I am traveling to Kansas (the physical center of the Lower 48 of the United States of America) to see if they teach school age children to use that particular American idiom, or another favorite used by Livermore as a substitute for "Si," that being "You betcha." It should be fun research and maybe I will find Dorothy and Toto, if they have returned from the imaginary Land of Oz."

[Saul Bishop posted, from the road May, 2022]