Technicalities - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Member Rides Show off your Versys...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Technicalities

This is a story about a trip that never happened but then it did after it almost didnít. Confused already? So was I.

A bike, a boy, and I heading off in a general direction with a general idea of what we were doing. No real plans. Well, sort of a goal. Donít miss the boat!!

We are home safe now but Iíll try to put this together day by day so you can ride along with us.

There were no pirates, hostage taking, illegal border crossings, crashes, murders, strippers, drunken brawls, or encounters with alien species. Or maybe there were. Either way it was a couple weeks of unforgettable fun.

So meet the players. You can figure out who is who.






1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
T-Minus 443 days (nothing like a little lead in eh?) We’ll skip a few days between then and now.

I had just got home from picking up my first street bike. You can read about that here (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=574480) if you haven’t seen it. Why did I fly half way across the country to buy a bike just to ride as fast as I could back home? Why not………

4 days to cross half of the country and get my butt back to work.



The night I got back I promised my wife that the next trip wouldn’t be so far from home. About 30 seconds later this trip got started.

Technically Canada, Mexico, even Alaska are closer to home than Dallas. I’m guessing she meant maybe a trip to central Oregon or something. The devil is always in the details.

I break out the map and figure out just how far I could get while still technically being closer to home than Dallas. Pretty much anywhere that I can get time off for is in range.



Mexico sounds like fun, so does Alaska…….

1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 07:22 PM
Super Moderator
 
kiwi 41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: 44.24'S 171.15'E Timaru, NewZealand
Posts: 8,623
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via Skype™ to kiwi 41
Probably leave out the pacific ocean, as you do not have a big enough circle to get to Hawaii
kiwi 41 is offline  
 
post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi 41 View Post
Probably leave out the pacific ocean, as you do not have a big enough circle to get to Hawaii
I'm scared of water anyway.

1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
So letís start planning, at least letís decide which direction to head. I should have a decent amount of vacation time so I start looking at destinations.

Canada looks nice.






So does Mexico.






Alaska, wellÖÖ..that is always an option.





After careful consideration which lasted about 2 minutes I decide to head north. 10ish days up and 10ish days back. That should put me into Alaska, I guess, maybe.

So that is the plan for the summer of 2011. Go north for 10 days then turn around. That was easy. And that was where the fun began.

1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 11:01 AM
Member
 
BAMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Denver co
Posts: 765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
this looks to be fun... i'm in.

1997 KLR 650
2011 Halle-friggin-leuya Versys
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
BAMF is offline  
post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 06:57 PM
Member
 
Pismocycleguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Talking Ice Please?

I'm partial to the "ICE"!
I think I'll go North!

ďDonít bother me with DETAILS!Ē
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pismocycleguy is offline  
post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
T-Minus 211 days (see we skipped a few)

I’m sitting on the couch looking at some maps. Do I want to cover a bunch of miles and see a lot or keep it slow and relaxed and probably not make it past Washington? Out of nowhere a 12 year old flies on to the couch and asks where we are going.

We’re, Wait………what? WE are not going anywhere. I am going north, well northish. Now go play so I can look at some more maps. In a flash he is gone and hopefully completely forgotten this whole going somewhere idea. Crazy, I’m not going 2 up with a kid in a northish direction with no plans.

And then he is back. Where, how far, how long, will there be bears? SERIOUSLY!! THERE IS NO WE ON THIS TRIP.

And then it hit me…………..

The older one is off to college soon. He is too cool to be seen with us old people anyway. The younger one isn’t far behind. Maybe a two up trip wouldn’t be so bad. And that is where my solo 2-3ish week trip in a northish direction came to an end.

Two up on a Versys though with no plans for a few weeks? Sure, why not. What could possibly happen? Wait for it, wait for it, wait………..BAM!! He already has a list of places to ride to. My solo trip in a northish direction just got complicated.



There was also a side trip to France thrown in just to make it interesting. So we sat down and redefined northish.



1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I had been reading some great reports about riding in Alaska. Beautiful scenery and as much adventure as you wanted to make it. That could easily eat up a three week vacation and just scratch the surface. Then I considered that I rarely ride two up and my son has never been on a ride that lasted more than two hours. I should probably have some sort of a plan before we load up and head off into the unknown.

So the planning begins…………about 5 minutes later the planning is not fun so it ends. I did decide that 2 weeks will be enough time on the bike 2 up so we will have to limit how far northish we go.

A trip on the Alaska Marine Highway looked interesting. Seemed like a good way to break the ride up just in case we needed a break. I book a ferry from Skagway down to Prince Rupert. If we miss the boat we have to turn around and head back so now we have a goal. Don’t miss the boat!!



Did I mention that I hate boats? Well not boats, I hate water when I can’t see the bottom. So it makes perfect sense to put my bike and my son on a boat in the ocean where anything unusual will send me running for a life jacket. This should be interesting.


1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 06:52 PM
Member
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: South of the border
Posts: 716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Great start Ken! Looking forward to seeing how this all turns out.

Michael
Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
- Terry Pratchett

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
miguelito is offline  
post #11 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 07:48 PM
Member
 
Baron650's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
yeah, nice, I came back for it.
Baron650 is offline  
post #12 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 07:59 PM
Rik
Member
 
Rik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon, Florida, colorado
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Long short story here. My work here in Florida is done....I tossed a coin with the sig other....I guess....she/we won...... either way you look at it, I'll be back slogging the 101 on my Versys somewhere around Lincoln city, Newport, Or Waldport by the end of the month.... again.......I guess that would make me "West" of the wettest part of Oregon?
Rik is offline  
post #13 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-10-2011, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik View Post
I guess that would make me "West" of the wettest part of Oregon?
I don't know that there is a wetter spot than the coast. I'm about halfway between there and Portland so we get plenty.

1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #14 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-10-2011, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
T-Minus 28 days (hang on, we are almost there)

We are a month away from go time and haven’t done any rides together other than a couple quick trips around town. I figure that we should probably do a dry run so we plan an overnighter over to central Oregon and then a longer route on the way home. Should be about 3 hours over and 6 back.

We start packing everything up and quickly realize that there is no way it is all going on the bike. Plan B, we hitch up the trailer.



Seems like it will work. It is a strong 650cc bike but I can’t see a damn thing behind us.



Unpack, repack, unpack, repack a few times and I think we can get it all on the bike. I stiffen up the suspension and off we go.

I let him know upfront that if I hear one complaint he is out. If he can’t handle a quick weekend trip there is no way I’m leaving for a couple weeks with him. We get started and I last 90 minutes before my butt is killing me. Time to stop for a drink. Not a rest break, just a drink. No complaining from me either or I’ll have to give him the bike to head out on his own.

After one night on the ground I decide that my back can’t handle two weeks of camping. Our list of didn’t bring but must have is growing. All bags and boxes are stuffed full and we don’t even have any food packed yet. The trailer isn’t looking so bad after all.

So here we are all loaded up and ready to head home. No he isn’t dead. He did manage to fall asleep a few times though which didn’t seem like a good idea.



One of the things I wish I had done on my first big trip was take more pictures. I figured this one out fast. I’ll just give the camera to my son and he can take all the pictures he wants. If that camera gets full we will transfer what we have to a memory stick and start over. One less thing to worry about, so I thought. It seemed great until I saw the pictures he took.

I think this might be the seat.



A great shot of my shoulder.



No idea what is going on here.





We did figure out how to use the panorama button.



Must work on how to use the camera before we leave!!

1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #15 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-10-2011, 10:06 AM
Member
 
Hardware's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenr74 View Post
Nice pic!
.

~~ Live Like You're Dying ~~
Hardware is offline  
post #16 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-10-2011, 03:38 PM
Rik
Member
 
Rik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon, Florida, colorado
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
That pic of your boy on the back playing "dead guy" is priceless! The trip that comes to mind in the spring of 2012... when I'm back to my oregon coast routine is a a run up to alaska for the D2D rally aka "Dust to Dawson" .....looks like an excellent excuse to wear out a set of tires and give some chiropractor some money to help repaint his yacht.....
Rik is offline  
post #17 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-10-2011, 03:42 PM
Rik
Member
 
Rik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon, Florida, colorado
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Dust to Dawson Motorcycle Rally
A trip of a lifetime, this rally begins wherever you are and culminates in Dawson City at the Downtown Hotel. Mostly riders from Alaska, coming over the Top of the World Highway , but from as far away as California and points east, arrive to enjoy ruckus celebrations at the Sourdough Saloon, regaling in stories of the ride, previous rides and rides yet to come. For more information contact [email protected] or check out the Great White North forum at www.advrider.com
Rik is offline  
post #18 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-11-2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Time to get this thing moving.

Day 1- 422 miles, 14.5 hours, yes, 14.5 hours.



Wow, what a day. The only thing I wanted to do today was avoid Seattle traffic and get near Whistler. Should be about 7 hours of riding. Not many pictures today but it was interesting.

Originally I thought a ride up the Washington coast and then jumping a few ferries would be fun. After looking at the total mileage/time though we decided to superslab it up through Washington. It wouldnít be much fun but if we put in some miles today we could slow it down some when we got to the good stuff. Right or wrong that decision would drastically change the outcome of our ride. But wait, Iím getting ahead of myself here.

We are up early and plan on hitting the road at 6. That should put us near Whistler in the early afternoon and still have some time to explore the town. I fire up the bike and my fuel injection light stays on for a few seconds. Iíve never seen that before but I have 18k on this beast with no problems so I donít give it much thought.

Off we go.



I ride to work whenever I can but never go through downtown Portland. What a crazy mess. Bumper to bumper at 65mph isnít really how we wanted to start our morning but after an hour we cross into Washington and leave most of the rat race behind us. Canada here we come!

About an hour into Washington I see a rest area with free coffee. Time to stop for a break and recheck our packing job. So far so good and we have already covered over ľ of the miles we are trying to do today.



We jump back on the bike and fire it up. I should say try to fire it up. It slowly cranks and then starts to purr. That was not a good sign but Iím trying to not think about it too much. I canít think of any reason that the battery would be having issues but it sure didnít want to get us moving. I turn off the grip heaters and unplug the GPS. I havenít added anything electrical in over 5k miles so Iím starting to wonder what could be causing a low battery.

We stop in Tacoma for gas and a quick break. We get ready to move and Kermit is dead. Nothing, no lights, no fuel pump, no sign of life. Three hours from home with a dead bike on day 1. I havenít had a single issue with this bike and now on day 1 we have a dead battery. We fire up the GPS and find a battery shop right up the road. Now how do we get there?

We had stopped at a scale and weighed in at 900lbs. Now we are stuck at a gas station trying to bump start the bike. My 100lb son can get us moving but not quite enough to fire it up. We sit and wait while we discuss our options. I hit the starter one more time and it fires right up. We shoot over to the battery shop hoping for some good news. I hit the starter there and once again, nothing. I can deal with a dead battery so we tear into the bike.



I have all kinds of tools with us but not a single thing to check for electrical issues. Luckily the battery guys are ready to help. We pull the battery and it has a dead cell. Perfect!! Just pop in a new battery and we are ready to go. Kermit jumps to life and the knot in my stomach gets a little smaller. Before we head off though we grab a volt meter and check the battery. Lots of juice but not charging at all. We check connections and it is obvious that we have other issues. I figure we either have a dead stator or voltage regulator. Could our trip be over 3 hours into it?

As we put the bike back together another customer walks over and offers to go get his trailer for us and get us to a shop or his place until we could pick it up. Although grateful we are not ready to throw in the towel yet.

1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #19 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-11-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
kenr74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The wet part of Oregon
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
There must be some bike shops around here so we grab a phone book and start calling. I donít have one of those fancy phones like most of you. Mine makes calls and that is it. To make it worse it is T-Mobile so it makes calls if it really feels like it which is never when you really need it to. I only mention this because finding an actual paper phone book was a challenge. Think about how you found things before the internet and smart phones were around. That was us. A paper phone book and a piece of paper to write down directions.

The first shop we tried wasnít interested in looking at a Kawasaki, the second put us on hold until I hung up and tried again with the same result. We finally tried Kent Kawasaki and got right through to the service department. After I explained our situation they said bring it around back and ask for Steve. Finally some good news! So off we went using some scratch pad notes for directions hoping to find this place.

We jump on and off highways and finally make it to the shop. We pull around and Steve is checking the bike out before we can even get the seat off. I think the last time I took a bike to a dealer was about 10 years ago. It was the last time for a reason and also the reason that I learned how to work on my own bikes. At this point Iím thinking that this place may actually be worth dealing with. Not that we have much of a choice. We check the battery again and it is definitely not charging. After checking the regulator it appears to be bad. Good news, we know what the problem is. Bad news, they donít have one in stock and after a few calls nobody nearby does either.

Crap, we have enough battery to get us started and back home but is our trip really over already? As we are packing up Steve comes out and says that they have one bike on the floor with the same regulator. They will tear it apart and get me on the road if I will pay the labor to tear apart the other bike. The newer Versys use a different regulator now for some reason so they are taking it out of some other Kawasaki sport bike.

We head to the lobby to wait. It is strange to have somebody else working on my bike but if this keeps our trip together I can live with that.

Can you feel the excitement as we wait for the bike to be saved!



After a while Steve comes to get us. Iím up and ready to go but he has some bad news. The regulator didnít solve the problem. They did some more testing and the stator is working intermittently but not enough to charge the battery. Worse news, nobody has a stator and they are back ordered. Our trip is over. Steve heads off to put the bike back together and we start making calls. Do we limp home and jump in the car? Do we try it again next year? The ferry has one car spot left and will hold it for an hour. We would be a day behind which would really eat into our relaxed timeline. As my son and I discuss our plans Steve comes back with an idea.

They have a new Versys on the floor which has the stator I need. The boss already said no but after some convincing the new Versys is on the stand getting torn apart. Iíll have a running bike in an hour. The trip is back on. We run over to grab some food while Kermit is kept on life support. I had planned on doing a chain in Prince George but we decide to do that now since the bike is already up.

Steve comes back with good news. We are ready to roll. Then the bad news. He prints out the bill for us and I nearly pass out. Bikes are expensive. Iím cheap. It had been so long since anybody touched one of my bikes that I had completely forgot about labor. On top of that Iím from Oregon and we donít have sales tax. New stator, new chain, labor, taxÖÖ..add it all up and we are just under a grand. Considering all they had done for us I canít complain. So thank you to Kent Kawasaki for keeping our trip alive. I thought we were done but they managed to give me some faith that there might still be decent dealerships out there.

Iím now 7 hours into the trip and have spent more money than I expected for the whole thing. Crap again. If I had not just bought a house it wouldnít have been so painful but now Iím stuck with deciding to continue or not. Head north and spend money I donít have or call it quits. Like a good American I break out the credit card and off we go. I can already taste the Top Ramen in my future.

Two hours later we FINALLY make it past Marysville and get close to the actual speed limit. I donít know how you Seattle people do it. We must have gone 30 miles in first gear. We were full ATGATT in 80 degree weather going 10mph. Not a great start for our trip.

We are finally moving though. Running great as usual but every stop makes me nervous that we wonít restart. We cross our fingers and keep heading north. Before we know it we make it to Canada and get our picture taken at the border.



On my last trip up to BC I had just got a new passport and forgot to sign it. The guy we got that day was not amused and kept us at the booth for 10 minutes while he explained why signing it was so important. On this trip I think we must have had the nicest border guard ever. I dropped a glove and she ran out and got it for us. Then we asked her to take a picture for us and after she agreed the batteries somehow shot out of the camera on to the ground. Once again she came running out and rounded up batteries while the line behind us grew. She took a picture and then we got out of there before we got her in trouble. She was a very good example of what we experienced in Canada.

We managed to hit Vancouver near the end of rush hour but made it through without many issues. Once we hit Hwy 99 out of Vancouver the good stuff started. We were so exhausted at this point that we only took 2 pictures which I really regret now. That is a beautiful stretch of road between Vancouver and Whistler.





We finally pull into the Whistler RV Park at 8:30. 14.5 hours after we left home. What a rough day but we managed to have fun.



We brought a bunch of Mountain Home dehydrated food things for dinner and were ready to dig in. Just as our water comes to a boil I manage to bump the pot which then dumps directly into the burner. We are exhausted and hungry with a burner that wonít relight. Granola bars it is for us. Better than nothing I guess. What a day.

I fall to sleep thinking about the stator. What caused it, when did it go bad, will it happen again in the middle of nowhere instead of 10 miles from a shop, do we continue north on our trip without a plan?

1974 Kawasaki F11
2004 Yamaha WR450 plated
2014 Kawasaki Versys 650
kenr74 is offline  
post #20 of 80 (permalink) Old 09-11-2011, 03:04 PM
Member
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: South of the border
Posts: 716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
How I know that feeling of breaking down from a bad stator on day one. And the anxiety of whether it will fail again as you ride on. Glad you guys salvaged the trip eveni if it was expensive = $a grand! Yikes! Keep it coming Ken.

Michael
Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
- Terry Pratchett

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
miguelito is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome