Bike-Bonding 2019 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Ride Reports (Route Sheets) The place to share your motorcycling adventures.

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post #1 of 19 Old 06-30-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Bike-Bonding 2019

... or “There and Back Again 2019”

For the past three summers, I’ve had the privilege of being able to attend the Cache Rally, organized by 2mstone and a few others. The 4th Annual Cache Rally was in Torrey Utah, outside Capital Reef Park. Last year, the 5th Annual Cache Rally was in Buena Vista, Colorado. This year, the 6th Annual Cache Rally was in Gardiner, Montana; just outside of Yellowstone. All locations were beautiful, and all were a good time. (I had a bit of a misadventure on the way to the 4th, but there is a thread for that.)

For me, these rallies have been an excuse to pursue restoration of sanity via two-wheel therapy. The ride there and back again, has been the most anticipated event on my calendar each year. This year was no different. This thread, is my attempt to provide a ride report with the requisite miles, $, lots of pictures, lessons learned and some level of commentary on gear, and -probably- not much philosophy about life and riding.

Below is SteVee, my 2015 V-Strom 650XT outside the rail depot in Silverton, Colorado.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 03032F0E-14D8-4441-A111-9857DA8E75DA.jpg (672.6 KB, 5 views)

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-30-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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The Plan

The Cache Rally was scheduled for June 14th - 16th, so everything before and after revolved around those dates. I had committed to that trip the year before, so to the extent possible, I was going to be in Gardiner, Montana by sundown on June 13th.

In January, I started a new job within my company, and immediately they asked me to travel in June. Immediately, I said, “No, I have travel plans”. As June got closer, it became apparent that work and play travel dates could work together. My original idea of a ~2 week trip to Yellowstone and back for the Cache Rally, now could have ~2 weeks of work in the middle of it, some hotel points, travel $, and the 4th of July holiday thrown in making my trip over a month long.

I love a situation where everybody wins!

- Leave Alabama June 7th; ride around and see stuff, show up at the Rally on the 13th.
- Leave the Rally on the 16th, head to work 3 states away arriving on the 18th.
- Leave work when done 28th, 29th or 30th. Ride around and see stuff, visit family and turn east to get back home by July 8th or 9th.

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-30-2019, 11:07 PM
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I've managed to miss a couple Cache Rallies. Dang the bad luck. Good people and good times.
Question, where is the Cache Box?
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-01-2019, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notacop View Post
I've managed to miss a couple Cache Rallies. Dang the bad luck. Good people and good times.
Question, where is the Cache Box?
I think it went missing after the 3rd year. I’ve only heard about the legend of the little yellow box.

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-01-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Preparation

I was hoping to do no maintenance, other than chain lube, during the trip.

Tires: My front tire, a Mitas E-07 Dakar, had about 21,000 miles on it, so I put an E-07 non-Dakar on the bike, and had the spokes trued. I made the mistake of torquing the rear spokes to spec according to the service manual, which put my rear rim out of true, so I had a shop retrue my rear wheel. My rear tire (an E-07 Dakar) had about 8,000 miles on it, so I left it on.

Oil: Depending on how the route plays out, I expect the trip to be 7,500-8,500 miles. I usually change my oil and filter at 5k miles and use Yamalube 10w40. For this trip I switched to a full synthetic with the expectation of not changing the oil until I get home.

Other mechanical: I did the valves, plugs, air filter, brake pads and fluid, and flushed coolant around 24,000 so all of that was good. I lubed the clutch cable and greased the pivot point of the clutch lever, and the hinge on both kick stands. Chain and sprockets were done around 22,000, so they needed no work.

Other Gadgetry: A handle bar mounted Ram mount for my phone. A Garmin InReach Mini - a satellite communication device. It allows me to drop breadcrumbs at 10 minute intervals, send and receive texts, and has an SOS button. I wanted to add a Guglatech fuel filter, but couldn’t get it in time. I figured I was traveling in the U.S., so I shouldn’t have much trouble with gas quality. The question is, “How much trouble is ‘much’?” Later, I’ll have wished I had prioritized this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 7882E29D-EDDE-4297-9E0E-407F462998F9.jpg (471.0 KB, 1 views)

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-01-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Attitude

Several years ago I read a book called, “The Liberated Traveler”. The premise of the book was to plan a little; meet local people; try what they suggest, and have a good time. This is not unlike what many of the riders describe on the AdventureRider Radio podcast. The more flexibility you have, the less stressed you are likely to be. I packed approximately 45 days worth of flexibility for my 30 or so day trip.

(Photos: The gravel road Apple maps sent me down in Iowa based on my settings to avoid highways.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DDB8E5A6-5E4D-400B-8213-DC76FD3BAF63.jpg (390.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 8FCD9B1E-63BB-4794-9CA2-59403BF2A9F4.jpg (527.6 KB, 3 views)

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-01-2019, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Luggage and Load

On this trip, I was going to have to work in the middle of the trip, so I had to bring work related paraphernalia, and more clothes than normal. The sum of my work paraphernalia weighed as much as my camping gear, so I decided to hotel it, leaving camping gear behind. The weight of the load, including luggage, frames, and contents was 36.8lbs for the left pannier and frame, 38.6lbs for the right pannier and frame, and 15.6lbs for the loaded top box for a total of 91lbs. I also brought a small tank bag with snacks and sun glasses.

I was carrying 2 qts of fuel in fuel bottles as reserve. With the exception of a camp stool, everything was loaded in the panniers.

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-01-2019, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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6/7 Day 1 - change of Plans. Alabama to Quincy IL

Slab in the rain, through the city.
Alabama to Nashville, to St Louis to Quincy, IL.

Prior to leaving, I researched satellite communication devices but didn’t make a decision until the day before. Cabelas had most of them in stock, so it was just a matter of buying one and activating it. The day before I left, I returned to Cabelas to buy the InReach Mini I had looked at two days prior. There inventory showed 2 on hand, but the people that should know where they were didn’t.

1st change of plans - Nashville REI.

I called the Nashville REI store and confirmed that they had one in stock. So Friday AM, instead of heading west on a US highway, I suited up in my rain gear and headed up the slab to Nashville. I picked up my InReach Mini, got gas and kept moving. Somewhere south of St Louis the rain stopped. I peeled off my rain gear and enjoyed parking on the interstate in St Louis on and off for an hour as I made my way through rush hour traffic. It was about 4:30 as I went through St Louis.

A distinct feature of this day, besides the rain, the traffic and the heat, was the flooding. Whenever I was within eye-shot of the Mississippi, I saw flooding. Flooded farm land. Flooded roads. Submerged railroad tracks. This has been a bad year for folks living along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

I ended day going through Hannibal, Missouri, the childhood home of Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain).

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-01-2019, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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6/8,9 Days 2 and 3 - Old Friends

Before getting on the road on the second day, I went online and activated the InReach. There are numerous monthly or annual plans that cover a range of services. I chose one with unlimited bread crumbs and 40 text messages. There is a $25/yr activation and the fee for whatever plan you choose.

After activating the InReach and starting tracking I headed north and west. A tank of gas later, I found myself at a gas station in Des Moines. As I filled my tank, I remembered that my best man, had moved in Des Moines before we lost touch many years prior. After 15 minutes in the gas station (and $4.99), I found his and his wife’s phone numbers on white pages dot com. I made a couple of phone calls, left a couple of voice mails and sent a couple of texts. Fifteen minutes later, his wife called back, and I offered to take them to dinner.

We had a nice dinner at Perkins (with a highly eccentric waiter), and a late night of sharing two decades of the joys and hardships that life brings. The next morning, I visited the church he pastors, and we had more time catching up. We had a wonderful couple of days together, and Monday morning, I continued west.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0491D7B7-FC67-4B62-8C80-AC5240243A7F.jpg (463.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg FEE62C98-25AB-4277-BF91-366FE7DC5188.jpg (419.7 KB, 0 views)

2015 DL650XT w/ factory Suzuki/Motech side cases and engine guard.
First farkle - Motech center stand
Suzuki handguards
Augustus Wind Deflectors
Fat, foamy grips
Givi AirFlow windscreen
Go-Cruise throttle lock
JD Astar 1260 lumen LED tail light bulb
Suzuki (SW Motech) Top Case
Hyde Racing skid plate
Adventuretech kickstand foot, fork brace, fender raising kit, and peg lowering kit.
Zita 26mm up / 20mm back risers
Sit and Fly Seat Net

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

Last edited by kd70qc; 07-01-2019 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Delete blurry photo
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-01-2019, 09:01 PM
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Subscribed! :-)

2004 V-Strom 1000 (currently broken - parts received - repairs in progress - snag hit - repairs on pause - unsnagged - repairs in progress)
Two Brothers with P1 tips, PCIII USB, SuperBrace Fork Brace, K&N filters, ROX bar risers, Kappa top and side cases, MadStad, Givi tall windshield, Givi engine guards, Sargent Seat, 12 volt air compressor, 530 Conversion, 17/44, SpeedoDRD, Rudolph Nose and Antlers
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