View Full Version : April '12 Mountain Trip

30-04-2012, 03:57 PM
Just got back from a long weekend mountain ride. We actually rode up instead of trailering this time, and the trip was as much about the ride there and back as about the destination.

I rode up to my sister's place south of Jacksonville, FL on Wednesday, and stayed the night there. I started from Orlando on Wednesday morning. I had to work that day, and rode up to Jax after work. So I packed my bike and went to work all loaded up.


Though I did take a bag with some extra clothes, my laptop and misc stuff to my friends Lauren & Bill's the day before. Lauren was going trailer her bike up to my sister's place, and when we left the next morning, her husband Bill followed in their Armada pulling the empty trailer. I guess their concern was if anyone had any mishaps or didn't feel like riding home, they'd at least have another option.

We got on the road about 5:30am Thursday morning. It was about 430-450 miles, and the route looked a little like this:


We knew it was going to be chilly, but it actually turned out to be F*CKING FREEZING once we got out in the sticks on the empty back roads before the sun came up. It was probably in the 50's, and then with the wind chill and humid air, much worse. My brother-in-law Jim was dressed for the warmer weather we knew would come later in the day. He's pretty tough and didn't complain, but I could tell he was miserable. None of us really expected it to be that cold, and for so long. It was around 10am before it warmed up at all. I gave my sister my balaclava to wear since she was in a half helmet. Made her look like a ninja. laugh.gif


We took our time going up, stopping for fuel and water about every 75-80 miles, and one good long stop for lunch. The weather forecast was 40% chance of rain, but though we saw dark clouds on the horizon once, we never hit any rain or anything like bad weather.

So it took about 11 hours to get to the cabin, but since we were taking it easy it wasn't a difficult day at all.


The worst thing that happened going up was one of my saddlebags ripped. This was the first time using them on a real road trip, and the only other time they were used was just a test run when I first got them. That was in Nov '10, but they've been stored inside the house so there is really no reason they should have ripped. Not very pleased about that.


30-04-2012, 03:58 PM
The next day we decided to drive to some local places to check out the shops, have lunch and just relax from the long ride. This is Helen, GA. Used to be a logging town, and when it started to die off, it reinvented itself as a replica of a Bavarian town or something. They have a city ordinance that requires all businesses to have that German/Swiss sort of decor.


30-04-2012, 03:58 PM
The next morning we went playing in the mountains with some local friends that came by.


Climbed up one mountain where there was a park and an observatory:



Rode for hours in what amounts to a sportbike amusment park:


Passed another friend who came to meet us:


So turned around and we all met up at a local gas station/country store:


30-04-2012, 04:02 PM
What tankbag is that? Is it magnetic? (tank is plastic on the blade so magnetic ones don't work)

30-04-2012, 04:03 PM
Sunday we packed up and headed home. The ride back was pleasant and uneventful. It's always a little sad leaving the cabin, but at least riding out makes it a little less so. When you have to load the bikes up and drive out, it's more depressing.

On the way back I stopped by a pecan orchard I saw going up and got a few pics.

Lauren on her ZZR1200 coming back to find me lol




30-04-2012, 04:06 PM
What tankbag is that? Is it magnetic? (tank is plastic on the blade so magnetic ones don't work)

Here's a post I made about it when I first got it (too lazy to type it all out again haha!)

================================================== =

I added to my supersport-touring set up! :)

I stopped by the Twisted Throttle tent outside the speedway last Bike Week looking for a new tank bag. I love seeing them there. It's nice to have everything there where you can see it all in person, try it out on your bike and figure out what you want without having to wait for something to be shipped and hope it's really want you were expecting.

They can also do installation on anything that requires it.

I ended up with the "Engage" (http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/2131).

From their website:

The Engage is a small 7-liter tankbag specifically designed for motorcycle gas tanks that slope steeply downward to the rear of the gasoline filler cap.

Dimensions:14"L x 11"Front W 5.5' Rear W x 4.25"H


Volume 7 liters
Easily removed for gas fill ups
Reflective trim
RC-Fuse Zippers (RC-Fuse Video)
Integrated mobile phone window
2 Year warranty

They actually show this one (http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/2130/395/) as recommended for my bike on their website, but when I tried it out on my bike, it was difficult for me to reach the bars over it. The Engage was a better for me.

The cool thing about some of their tank bags is they mount with a gas cap ring mount, no mounting straps or magnets. And you can get an electric version of the mount ring, with a wire that is connected to your battery, and a power cord goes into the tank bag so you can power your phone, GPS, whatever while you ride.

The mount rings are sold separately, and the electric one is significantly more expensive than the non-electric one. They also charge $50 an hour to wire the electric one if you want them to install it, but they will install the non-electric one for free.

I went with the non-electric one, since I already have a power outlet on my bike. If I add any more, I am going to need a fuse box. I may get the electric one later for this bike, or more likely I'll wait until I get a new bike and get the electric mount ring for it.

Some pics...

The installation:


The mount ring on the gas cap:

The mount on the tank bag to that attaches to the gas ring mount:

When mounted, the tank bag doesn't actually touch the tank:

I keep the carry strap on it, wrapped back around it so when I get to where I'm going I just pop the bag off the tank and can carry it on my shoulder.


30-04-2012, 04:11 PM
Anyway, a few more pics from the GA trip:

At the cabin



Me in my new riding pants

The loo at Sunrise Grocery

30-04-2012, 04:12 PM
looking forward to having a look at this when I get home, I can't see the pics from work. Sounds like a good trip though

30-04-2012, 04:15 PM
Random rider rolling through Helen, GA:


Me in my PJs in the clubhouse loo early one morning

gsxr750 patiently waiting

30-04-2012, 04:17 PM
And, when we finally got back to my sister's house, I was content with the 1165 miles I rode for that trip. So my bike was loaded on the trailer with Lauren's and I hitched a ride back to Orlando with them.



30-04-2012, 04:20 PM
Nice write up

30-04-2012, 04:24 PM

looking forward to having a look at this when I get home, I can't see the pics from work. Sounds like a good trip though

It was awesome. Seriously one of the best rides I've ever done. We really lucked out and never saw any rain while we were riding - though it poured Thursday night after we were all unpacked and settled into the cabin. It was great ride and relaxing long weekend.

30-04-2012, 05:40 PM
Great pics there. Looks like some trip for the bikes, I'd say the roads were brilliant.

30-04-2012, 05:51 PM
Thanks! The roads are so much fun! Mentally draining though. You can literally do nothing but switch-backs and sweepers for hours and hours. It's like a track day with sessions that last for a full tank of gas.

30-04-2012, 06:26 PM
I'd take that over potholes anyday lol!

30-04-2012, 07:02 PM
I did see several potholes on Saturday. They were small, and probably just winter damage that hasn't been fixed yet. But one of them caught me by surprise going up to the observatory. That hill was so steep and had so many cracks (running across the road so they made little steps) and tar snakes, there was just too much stuff vying for my attention, so the first time I noticed that pothole was when I hit it. Fortunately it was small.

30-04-2012, 08:02 PM
Crackin pics, very jealous

30-04-2012, 08:25 PM
Great story, amazing pics and not one little bit jealous!! laugh.gif

That was great Tam and thank you for sharing. 10300.gif

30-04-2012, 08:29 PM
I did see several potholes on Saturday. They were small, and probably just winter damage that hasn't been fixed yet. But one of them caught me by surprise going up to the observatory. That hill was so steep and had so many cracks (running across the road so they made little steps) and tar snakes, there was just too much stuff vying for my attention, so the first time I noticed that pothole was when I hit it. Fortunately it was small.

I hate when that happens, when the road is in real shit and you're trying to avoid everything.

slow poke
30-04-2012, 10:38 PM
have you a spare room ,,, i wanna live there

30-04-2012, 10:49 PM
I wanna live there too! The mountains are 11 hours away via the back roads, or 9 hours via interstate. lol

Thanks for the compliments, all. :)

Oh, by the way - I just called Nelson Rigg and told them what happened with my saddlebags, to see if they could warranty the tear. Problem is I can't find my invoice from New Enough. I only have the confirmation email. However the guy I talked to at NR said he knows a guy at New Enough (Motorcyclegear.com now), so he called for me and got them to email a copy of my invoice to him. I've got an RA #, and just need to send the bags back to them. They will look at it and see if it can repaired. If so, they will repair the tear, if not I'll get new bags. That's pretty good customer service. thumbup.gif

30-04-2012, 11:16 PM
Nice one. That is good customer service, good to see once in a while.

30-04-2012, 11:28 PM
Amen, sister. Nissan should take notice!

01-05-2012, 11:26 PM
Going through the video and grabbed a few screen shots of riding off into the sunrise on the way home




02-05-2012, 05:13 PM
Seriously, them roads look amazing. Love to get a spin on a smooth level surface for a change! LOL

02-05-2012, 10:53 PM
Yeah, the roads up there are pretty nice. But you should see some of them in Florida. Some of these old grove roads are so crumbly and torn up I am up on the pegs while leaned over in a turn sometimes.

25-06-2012, 10:46 PM
Finally got a chance to edit some of the footage from the trip and put together a video.



30-07-2012, 08:24 PM
Great stuff Tam. Hope I can do as well on our Kalispell MT run next week.

31-07-2012, 02:25 AM
That sounds cool! Montana? Ride report please! :)

31-07-2012, 07:39 PM
Oh it's gonna happen. Will try out my new vid glasses and see what they film like. Bunch from the GWOF ("Moldwing" types) are meeting up and riding the Going To The Sun Road and some other spots around there. One chap and his missus all the way from Australia! She and I are taking the scenic route back through the interior of the BC and the Kootenays and up the Icefield Parkway. Be about 3000 km (2000 miles) round trip. Won't have much access to the web other than her tablet so it's gonna be a good week before I can post things up here. Leave on the 8th, home on the 15th.

31-07-2012, 07:47 PM
Looks like a cool aul spin