Pauline and I want to express our gratitude to Brian (SanJuan2), Jeff (Mitchrider) and Ken (Meese) for joining us this weekend for some excellent fellowship and some of the best Oregon riding anyone could hope for.
I started out the weekend cleaning the LT after a 4355 mile ride to Texas and back. The HDDC guys were a day or two ahead of us leaving from Red River and never reported the Grass Hopper hatch on the Extra-Terrestrial Highway (Nevada 395) and we plowed through 35 to 45 miles of them. Hey John! Was it as bad for you as it was for us? The LT was trashed by the time I got to Tonopah. When I got home Thursday I had to clean the bike twice, but I didn't have time to pull off the panels and get the critters out from under the hood. I polished her up for the weekend ride with Pauline. At least the bug smell was almost gone, but I still had wings and legs poking out once in a while.
Saturday morning Pauline and I left for the Portland Motorcycle Club Grand Tour checkpoint in Camas Valley and then onto our overnight stay at the Wolf Creek Inn, in Wolf Creek Oregon. This historic Inn was a stage stop in 1868 and now has been renovated with 9 guest rooms furnished for the period. The B&B is motorcycle friendly and is very comfortable.
Sunday brought a fun and mostly dry ride over to the coast on Hwy 42 and up 101 to Yachats. We stayed at the Fireside Inn and were just feet from the ocean and tide pools. Meeting both Brian and Jeff there we had dinner at the Adobe Inn and breakfast the next AM for our trip to Garibaldi.
Garibaldi offers a great view of Tillamook Bay, and with the weather clearing it was even better. Ken Meese made the jaunt over the coast range to meet us (at the checkpoint called Pirate's Cove) for lunch. Following the meal and much talk about the new GT in the parking lot, and a few ride reports from me and Pauline who got a 30+ mile test ride just minutes earlier, we took off for Clatskanie for another checkpoint. We took off 101 onto Miami River Road to Hwy 53, Hwy 26E to Hwy 202 onto Hwy 47. With the locals being nice enough to honor the turn-outs we were able to keep a much better pace than I expected for the end of a holiday weekend. The ride was without incident and was very spirited with many twisties and sweepers. It didn't seem like it took much time at all to make the 76 mile trip.
We left Clatskanie with Brian heading home to the north, and Ken "testing" Jeff's GT we headed south. From Rainer through Apiary we split off 47 toward Scappoose then back on 30. The sun shining all day.
Total mileage for the weekend: 830
Avg. MPG: 47.3
Total mileage for the vacation week: 5185
Avg MPG: 48.6
Total smiles for the week:
Now to the good part!
Thanks again to Jeff for letting us try out his new GT. What a machine; it rocks
My ride report:
I apologize for not getting a picture of Jeff's bike. It is the silver model and the two mods so far is a cool talk bag that flips up to expose the fuel cap and a taller than normal windshield.
The seat and handlebars are adjusted for Jeff who is a couple inches taller than me. The position was comfortable from the get-go. The seat is soft and keeps you firmly planted so you can keep your attention on riding. The instrumentation is easy to see and read.
The powerband was a lot smoother than I expected from what I've been reading. The only pinch-point I had was with Pauline on the back, and without a backrest, accelerated to pass a car and we both felt the bike escaping from under us (you know what I'm talking about here!). The power is phenomenal. Throttle control is of utmost importance.
The transmission is easy to shift and smooth as silk over 4k. The ratios are a little closer than I expected from 4th to 6th, but with a long powerband like the GT has you don't need big jumps in overdrive to have a smooth ride.
The "on-the-fly" suspension adjustments were fun to play with. Unfortunately the 3 Capes loop road is in bad repair and speeds had to be kept below the speed limit of 45 (with a few exceptions
), however when needed the GT is so agile you can steer away from trouble with a slight lean and a flick of the wrist.
From Pauline's perspective:
Pauline reports that the seat was intimidating at first. It appears smaller than would do the job, that is until you sit on it and get rolling. The peg height is just right for her rather short legs and she was comfortable from the start. The only hitch was her reluctance to move at all on the seat when we were cornering. She was comfortable holding onto one side handle and her other hand around my waist or on her thigh. She did feel the acceleration once and wasn't expecting so much torque. She wished she had the trunk and backrest at that point. She said she could easily ride on the back of the GT, especially if it was equipped with a trunk and backrest and an intercom. Easy fix for any of these items I said.
She is thinking about it as a second machine next year, but we will not be selling her LT.
Ok, I took some liberties here on the second bike statement. But I don't think it will be a hard sell thanks to Jeff.
Thank you again Jeff.