What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash) - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 26 Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 8:11 pm Thread Starter
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What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

My worst road story begins in Basalt CO and eventually ended in Basalt. Two weeks ago I was leading my 78 year old German friend Gerhard riding his R1200R on a ride in Colorado and we wound up on this very nice two lane that supposedly goes from Basalt CO to Leadville. You know the one. Yeah, that road is something to see. Well it started out real nice. Flat, curvy, not much in the way of traffic. Stunning red rock scenery. Then about 23 miles in it turned to gravel. I asked Gerhard if he was alright with it and showed him where we were going on the Butler map. Being a hardcore seasoned BMW rider he said "sure, vee have rode on gravel before!" OK we pressed on. After another 10 miles the gravel turned to rocks sprinkled with large rocks. Still we pressed on. We were going back and forth on the now one lane cow path trying to find the best footing while keeping from the sheer edge that would have certainly spelled our doom. We were crawling around at walk speed thinking the road would have to get better and what do you know it did for about .2 miles. Then it got much worse! Being the stubborn ass that I am and knowing there was no where to turn my massive cruise ship around I pressed on all the while bottoming out the trans gaurd and my front shock continually in the bomb craters in the road. Soon up ahead we ran through a small shallow rock strewn stream and over some rocks that would take several large men to move and then after another half mile or so we came to a fork in the road. Which way to go? The road to the right was nice and the one to the left looked like an avalanche happened on a hillside. Huge boulders that would move the moment you tried it... Naturally, THAT was the way to Leadville according to the map.... I showed Gerhard the map, pinpointed where we were and confirmed that the nice road went nowhere. He exclaimed while pointing at the avalanche, "Kirk, our motorcycles vill not go zere!!" Sadly I had to agree. I told him there was only one way to go and that is back the way we came. "42 miles THAT way" as I pointed. There was a Jeep that had just come down the other way and I stopped him and asked about the the route to Leadville. I mean who knew, the way could be paved with gold after the avalanche right? The shirtless kid looked at my bike and said " There is no way you are going to get THAT down there!" He showed me his topo map and I had to agree again. DAMN! We went 42 miles back to Basalt and by God's grace neither of us ever dropped it or popped a tire! So learn from my mistake. If you ever get the itch to go from Basalt to Leadville via the shortcut down Frying Pan Road, DONT FRIGGIN DO IT ON YOUR LT!!! You will not make it! Trust me!! On the plus side, we are both much better at navigating treacherous roads!
For those of you who would like to look up the road on your Colorado map or Google map. Just follow Frying Pan road out of Basalt and take it all the way to were Haegerman Bend and Forest road 527/ Ivanhoe Lake road meet up and you will see where we turned around........ stinkin frying pan road..... I should have known with a name like that! I may have to buy Gerhard a new set of hand grips from him squeezing them so hard!

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post #2 of 26 Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 8:22 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

On my LT - Cottonwood Fields Road (aka County Road 203), which took us from State Hwy 205 in Southern OR to Highway 95.

We were on our way to CCR last year, and Hoss found a great little 25 mile "shortcut".

About a mile in, turns to packed gravel. We stop. "If you're game, I'm game!" We went. turned out to be one lane with 50 miles of loose packed gravel, up and down hills. You had to stay in the existing tire trough or you're going down... Would have been a ton of fun on a GS. We were on LTs...

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post #3 of 26 Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 8:34 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

I think you win!!! It doesn't look that bad on Google Earth but those are old shots and a few rock slides can change every thing.

My adventures pale by comparison.

Although last year on the way to CCR north of Red Lodge, MT; we were diverted from the only paved road in that county due to a wreck. We thought there was a fire based on all the smoke. Then we found out is was gravel dust from all the highway traffic diverted onto a gravel road. Some of it was river rock and you couldn't see five feet in front of you. 30 minutes later we were washing our eyes out with bottled water. Several corners were quite unnerving as Semis would appear out of the dust. Don't want to do that again.

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post #4 of 26 Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 11:39 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Riding in NYC in the spring. Pothole central ...even when you least expect it. Dodging potholes is not easy on an LT and adding crazy taxicabs and jaywalking pedestrians to the mix certainly makes it more challenging.

I hit a pothole so hard that I dented my front rim and had both mirrors pop off (thank god for tethers). I couldn't imagine chasing my mirrors on 2nd Ave during the day in Manhattan.


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post #5 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 7:12 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I think you win!!! It doesn't look that bad on Google Earth but those are old shots and a few rock slides can change every thing.

My adventures pale by comparison.

Although last year on the way to CCR north of Red Lodge, MT; we were diverted from the only paved road in that county due to a wreck. We thought there was a fire based on all the smoke. Then we found out is was gravel dust from all the highway traffic diverted onto a gravel road. Some of it was river rock and you couldn't see five feet in front of you. 30 minutes later we were washing our eyes out with bottled water. Several corners were quite unnerving as Semis would appear out of the dust. Don't want to do that again.

I don't EVER want to do that again! Those 3-6 miles might as well been 50 miles

I'm just glad you didn't go down either as me and the wife would have run over ya'! Couldn't see crap.

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post #6 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 8:21 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

The worst road would have to be the gravel lane going to my house....after a nice big rain.

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post #7 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 9:07 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14wntr
My worst road story begins in Basalt CO and eventually ended in Basalt. Two weeks ago I was leading my 78 year old German friend Gerhard riding his R1200R on a ride in Colorado and we wound up on this very nice two lane that supposedly goes from Basalt CO to Leadville.

You know the one. Yeah, that road is something to see. Well it started out real nice. Flat, curvy, not much in the way of traffic. Stunning red rock scenery. Then about 23 miles in it turned to gravel. I asked Gerhard if he was alright with it and showed him where we were going on the Butler map. Being a hardcore seasoned BMW rider he said "sure, vee have rode on gravel before!" OK we pressed on. After another 10 miles the gravel turned to rocks sprinkled with large rocks. Still we pressed on.

We were going back and forth on the now one lane cow path trying to find the best footing while keeping from the sheer edge that would have certainly spelled our doom. We were crawling around at walk speed thinking the road would have to get better and what do you know it did for about .2 miles. Then it got much worse! Being the stubborn ass that I am and knowing there was no where to turn my massive cruise ship around I pressed on all the while bottoming out the trans gaurd and my front shock continually in the bomb craters in the road.

Soon up ahead we ran through a small shallow rock strewn stream and over some rocks that would take several large men to move and then after another half mile or so we came to a fork in the road. Which way to go? The road to the right was nice and the one to the left looked like an avalanche happened on a hillside. Huge boulders that would move the moment you tried it... Naturally, THAT was the way to Leadville according to the map....

I showed Gerhard the map, pinpointed where we were and confirmed that the nice road went nowhere. He exclaimed while pointing at the avalanche, "Kirk, our motorcycles vill not go zere!!" Sadly I had to agree. I told him there was only one way to go and that is back the way we came. "42 miles THAT way" as I pointed. There was a Jeep that had just come down the other way and I stopped him and asked about the the route to Leadville.

I mean who knew, the way could be paved with gold after the avalanche right? The shirtless kid looked at my bike and said " There is no way you are going to get THAT down there!" He showed me his topo map and I had to agree again. DAMN! We went 42 miles back to Basalt and by God's grace neither of us ever dropped it or popped a tire! So learn from my mistake. If you ever get the itch to go from Basalt to Leadville via the shortcut down Frying Pan Road, DONT FRIGGIN DO IT ON YOUR LT!!! You will not make it! Trust me!! On the plus side, we are both much better at navigating treacherous roads!


For those of you who would like to look up the road on your Colorado map or Google map. Just follow Frying Pan road out of Basalt and take it all the way to were Haegerman Bend and Forest road 527/ Ivanhoe Lake road meet up and you will see where we turned around........ stinkin frying pan road..... I should have known with a name like that! I may have to buy Gerhard a new set of hand grips from him squeezing them so hard!
Had to break that into paragraphs to read without my eyes getting crossed...

kk610lt
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post #8 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 9:23 am
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Wink Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Aside from the road to my cabin, whick I do almost weekly in the summer, the worstone I canrecall is a dirt and gravel road west of Phoenix over some mountain to see a dam that was named after a President. Might have been Roseveldt.

Perhaps an Arizonan can give more specifics.

A very hot and sticky day and getting covered in road dust was not a treat.

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post #9 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 10:39 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Not my bike but this one always gets me... Seattle to Peachtree City (wherever that may be).

Looks like could be the Eastern Side of the Cascades but ??? I know the "and didn't crash" was part of the message thread but it was less a crash and more a slip slid'n away. I'll remove it if you think it off-topic or just too "failure to follow instructions". :P

More adventure than I would care for on an LT, but then that is why I also have the GS.
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post #10 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 12:15 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_yancey
Not my bike but this one always gets me... Seattle to Peachtree City (wherever that may be).

Looks like could be the Eastern Side of the Cascades but ??? I know the "and didn't crash" was part of the message thread but it was less a crash and more a slip slid'n away. I'll remove it if you think it off-topic or just too "failure to follow instructions". :P

More adventure than I would care for on an LT, but then that is why I also have the GS.
Boy, that would be hard to pick up in that slop!.

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post #11 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 12:36 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Pennsylvania.
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post #12 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 1:11 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilsen
Aside from the road to my cabin, whick I do almost weekly in the summer, the worstone I canrecall is a dirt and gravel road west of Phoenix over some mountain to see a dam that was named after a President. Might have been Roseveldt.

Perhaps an Arizonan can give more specifics.

A very hot and sticky day and getting covered in road dust was not a treat.
If it might have been East of Phoenix it could be St Rt 88, or the Apache Trail which goes up to Roosevelt Dam/Lake. That is a beautiful drive through the AZ desert, but I dont think I would take my LT on that road if I was paid, my C maybe, a GS definitely. Last time I was on that road the washboards were about 3ft tall! (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration)
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post #13 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 1:41 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

The road that leads from US 550 to Chaco Culture NHP in New Mexico. It is considered a bad road even by Navajo standards and I made it thorough. The worst part is coming back out of the park (inside the park the roads are paved); there is an arroyo with a steep hill on the opposite side which means you need to build up speed through the loose sand. It was easy going in, not so easy coming out. I stayed up but my partner's RT did not. Luckily the sand was soft and there was no damage but just keeping your footing was hard, I sank to almost the tops of my boots in the sand. I am sure the small boy with his dog and several sheep at the top of the hill has told the story of the two fools on the big street bikes many, many times.
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post #14 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 4:10 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Nothing so bad as the original post, but at STC 2011 my wife and I, with our riding friend "Gold Wing" Steve took a local's advice at a gas station somewhere near the Blue Ridge Parkway to get off the main road and take "a little shortcut" that would save us time. Our goal was to get to the Pisgah Inn for lunch.

I think she's still laughing (the local, not my wife). She said this shortcut was their own version of The Tail of the Dragon, and she also told us it WAS unpaved for the a couple of miles. The first several miles were exactly as described: nice pavement, lots of tight curves, some switchbacks (UPHILL), and then yes - the road turned into gravel... but the topography didn't change. My assumption was it would be a couple miles of straight, flat gravel. Nope, it was the same road as before, but in 3-D, glorious gravel. After the first big downhill and switchback to the right I kicked the passenger off (OK, she wanted to dismount). I went ahead until pavement resumed about a mile later. She walked the rest of the way to catch up to me, waiting on the side of the road. I was passed by a couple of hikers while I waited by the side of the road for my wife to catch up. We found a main road, picked up a nearby interstate, and headed back for the Iron Horse Lodge, counting our blessings.

We still tell the story about how we didn't drop the beast in the downhill gravel switchback AND she wasn't killed by axe murderer-hikers.

And we never did get to the Pisgah Inn that trip, although we did this past April.

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post #15 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 5:09 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

The most "dangerous" is RT 95 in Fl. But the roughest was the road leading to Meat Cove in
Nova Scotia. Gravel and pot holes up the side of the mountain, down is\worse.

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post #16 of 26 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 11:44 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

i second PA !!!!!!!!
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post #17 of 26 Old Jul 4th, 2012, 8:59 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_yancey
Not my bike but this one always gets me... Seattle to Peachtree City (wherever that may be).

Looks like could be the Eastern Side of the Cascades but ??? I know the "and didn't crash" was part of the message thread but it was less a crash and more a slip slid'n away. I'll remove it if you think it off-topic or just too "failure to follow instructions". :P

More adventure than I would care for on an LT, but then that is why I also have the GS.
That just doesn't look good! I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but looking at your picture, and like someone else said, I bet that was a booger to pick back up!

I would have had to have hit the first car wash

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post #18 of 26 Old Jul 4th, 2012, 11:03 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

We are traveling in Colorado south out of Wescliffe on state hwy 69. To our west is the San Isabel National Forest and we are trying to get to the Great Sands Dunes Park without going 136 miles south/east/north around the mountain range. Sure enough, the GPS, yes GPS shows a road going over Moca Pass, elevation 9750ft. This is going to save us 90 miles and we get a scenic road! Off we go to County Rd 583, eventually traveling on this dirt road, with the free range cattle, rocks, holes (worst road). Eventually we make it to the back side of Sangre De Cristo Wilderness area, (we are over the top of the pass on our way down) to find a sign that says we are 4 miles from the Great Sands Dunes visitor center, but the road ahead was washed out and abandon in 1911, yes the year 1911. Ok who was the smart a_ _ that put it on the GPS.

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post #19 of 26 Old Jul 4th, 2012, 12:42 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

The most white knuckle riding I have done was the whale snot from Coldfoot to Pruhoe Bay, AK and back to Fairbanks. I had been given good advise prior to the trip that "momentum is your friend" so as I approached each section of slimy calcium covered gravel, I got a running start, pointed the LT straight, stood on the pegs, kept the speed and the revs up and let her tailwag though.

After 500+ miles of this in one day I was both mentally and physically drained but she never did go down. The rear brake caliper kept getting clogged with the mess from the road and eventually ate up the rear brake pads. Other than that the LT perfomed like a champ outside of its normal environment.

Also had an interesting ride up a goat trail to the Old Christy Mission in Tenn,at midnight courtesy of Rallymaster Bain in the Cape Fear Rally. Made it to the top of the trail but crashed on some rocks in a mud section on the way down. Banged the girl up a little but she kept right on playing.

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post #20 of 26 Old Jul 4th, 2012, 12:58 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

It was a dirt road leading back to a Forest Service campground in Montana. There had been some rain, but the road seemed to have drained pretty well, so I proceeded on my LT to the campground. I was tooling around the campground, looking for a spot when I came upon a slope on the road. I started up the slope and realized, too late, it was pretty slippery from the rain. About halfway up, the back tire started slipping and the bike began sliding sideways. This campground was in the middle of nowhere and I was the only one there, so dropping the LT in the mud on the side of a slope was NOT an option. As they say in dirt riding instruction, when in doubt, throttle your way out. I opened up the throttle and, miraculously managed to hang on to her, steering into the skid, found some drier dirt and got it to the top of the hill. Relax sphincter...pick next camp site...done. Won't do that again.

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post #21 of 26 Old Jul 4th, 2012, 6:21 pm
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

95 North
Sunday coming home from Orlando FL.
105 deg. temp and stop and go parking lot they call a highway
Covered 60 miles in 2 1/2 hrs.
left FL. at 4 am got home at 10:30 pm 1100 miles
And I would and will do it all over again as long as I own a LT.
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post #22 of 26 Old Jul 4th, 2012, 11:12 pm
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Smile Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

I recall two really bad roads.
The first was in Sweden, No 70 between Stockholm and the Norwegian border near Mora. A short stretch of about 20 km (we found out by riding this far) was being rebuilt and the surface was loose rock.
Not gravel, but round boulders, about 4" diameter. All over the road.
Just before Idre we encountered this road and I believe the LT was one of the few road bikes that could have handled this. Towing our bushtec was also instrumental in continuing to point forwards. No alternatives other than an overly long diversion. We did meet another biker who had changed plans because of this road and he just looked at us and continued to shake his head. We don't read Swedish so that didn't help.
The second wasn't the road as much as the weather.
Riding from Munich to Lienz in Austria last September we got caught in a snow storm on the B161. The forecast had predicted snow to 1500m and our routes highest point was around 1000m.
Turned out to be the worst storm they had had at that time of year for more than 70 years, snow down to 300m. Lucky us ! Every one was caught out by this snow. We went down 3 times in about 10km. Again towing our bushtec which I believe helped us to stay pointing forward. Once the rear tyre looses traction the rear force on the hitch stabilises things. We could have done a U turn, but two things, we were close to the highest point and a lovely long tunnel (Felbertauern tunnel), and going down hill with the Bushtec pushing rather than pulling didn't sound good.
Each time we slipped over I just kept smiling thinking how great it was that I hadn't had time in Dover to mount the new side case chrome strip.

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ET4 Thing 2

Last edited by Hilton; Jul 4th, 2012 at 11:15 pm. Reason: spelling
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post #23 of 26 Old Jul 5th, 2012, 8:52 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Had to be that fire road someplace in Pa.that turned into a jeep trail with grass growing in the center and briar bushes overhanging. I kept trusting my GPS and before I knew it I was on a dirt road too narrow to turn around even if I unhooked the trailer so I had to keep going. My biggest concern was a tip over and a hunter eventually finding a pile of bones with an LT for a headstone.
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post #24 of 26 Old Jul 5th, 2012, 9:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

My wife tells me there is a named "condition" for those times when you trust your GPS despite knowing you are going the wrong way. I have to find out what it is...

2000 K1200LT-C "Tsukune"
2013 Honda NC700X "Moka"

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post #25 of 26 Old Jul 5th, 2012, 10:41 am
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14wntr
My wife tells me there is a named "condition" for those times when you trust your GPS despite knowing you are going the wrong way. I have to find out what it is...
Victim of being one who is conditioned not to question what you perceive to be established authority no matter how small--unable to speak truth to power for fear of the consequences-- I gave her (my GPS is a she) the benefit of any doubt because she never led me wrong and the map showed a numbered road a short distance ahead so I figured she was unaware that this section was DIRT. There is probably a named condition for referring to anything that gets you into trouble as a "SHE".
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post #26 of 26 Old Jul 5th, 2012, 10:46 am Thread Starter
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Re: What is the worst road you have ever traveled with your LT? (and did not crash)

My wife refers to my GPS as my b**ch.

2000 K1200LT-C "Tsukune"
2013 Honda NC700X "Moka"

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