Saga of the DR650 and 2017 in quick review

Been nearly a year since I posted here on the blog.  Not sure why…I think life just gets in the way sometimes and the with all the rides and things, I get so far behind in updating the blog that I just say the heck with it and don’t bother with it at all.  I’ll try doing things a little different this year.

So, 2017 for a quick review:

  • Bought a DR650, a more off-road oriented motorcycle
  • Rode to the Pacific Northwest on the Alaska-ridden DL650, which was a trip of 6,991 miles with the serpentine route I rode (guess I could do a ride report on that later)
  • Came back and decided with almost 70K on the bike, to sell it and upgrade to the generation 2 DL650
  • Sold the beloved DL650 to a guy that wanted a bike to ride mostly to work within the city and occasionally take out of town
  • Put about 3,100 miles on the DR650 and sold it (reasons below)
  • Purchased a 2012 DL650, the generation two bike with the newer body style, which I managed to put about 3,500 miles on it the rest of 2017
  • Got in probably eight separate overnight and multi-day camping trips with some friends and the motorcycles

The DR650 I purchased earlier in the year was obtained because I always wanted to ride one and check out its abilities but didn’t know anybody locally that had one.  Also, my number one bucket list ride desire is to ride to Ushuaia in South America.  This ride has a lot more dirt, gravel, and mud riding than what I typically do here in the states.  I’ve already gotten my wife’s agreement to do this four-month long ride if I can figure out a way to pay for it and still cover needed expenses back home; so it made sense to get a DR and see if it was a potential motorcycle to use if I did ever manage to go ride that far south.

As I mentioned in last year’s posting, I bought it from a woman that had ridden it all over North America and has taken great care of it.  While I had it, it did have a cam chain adjuster gasket start to weep that was taken care of and a few other normal other maintenance needs.  I rode it numerous times to southern Indiana, where more accessible curves and hills against that contained a lot more harder dual-track roads.

Taking the DR650 through stream crossings and into places I wouldn’t feel comfortable with my more touring-oriented DL650, I found I really enjoyed it.  Riding on gravel and dirt was a lot more fun and it showed me that this model bike would be perfect to take down to Central or South America if the chance presented itself later.  Throw some semi-rigid side bags on it to carry gear, it performed just fine.What I didn’t like about it is the old-style fuel system, a carburetor, since I don’t like working on motorcycles.  Also, this isn’t the best bike for interstate speeds; in fact, it is a pain to ride at over 60 MPH or so.  It’s a very “buzzy” type of bike to ride long distances at fast speeds.  It would be good for the slower speeds south of the US border, but it would suck on the interstate for days getting out of the country.

All-in-all, I think the Suzuki DR650 is a good bike overall and a great choice to ride down south.  Besides the interstate system in the US, doing long stretches of the Pan-American Highway in Peru, or the notoriously windy Route 40 in Argentina, it’s going to a bike that would be a blast to ride to Ushuaia.

I gave a lot of consideration to keeping the DR650, but for the typical riding that I do not, it would have spent a lot of time in the garage.  While I did ride it a number of times to get better acquainted with it, I realized it would not get ridden as much later overall.  So, to free up space, I sold it to a guy that wanted a good running bike to play with on his farm.  If Ushuaia ever looks like it really can happen, I’ll pick up another good used DR, do some modifications to it, and head out down the road with it.

Hopefully, this post gets me fired up again to get this blog going once more.  I think it will.  Lots of plans for 2018 riding and motorcycle-related posts, so plenty of opportunities to provide content.  For now, the focus is to think about warm springtime temperatures again and hoping this winter passes by quickly!

New beginnings?

The website, once again, has been rebuilt.  It’s been a heck of a headache trying to salvage postings and pictures after my previous host hosed my website, somehow managed to corrupt every one of my completed backups and much was lost.  Oh well, what does one do in circumstances like this…just move forward, and start anew!

Now on a new RELIABLE host, I’m hoping that these types of problems are far behind.

I plan to detail many more of the future motorcycle adventures here, along with some insights and thoughts as time allows.  So hold on…new journeys are coming.

Updates continue…

Massive change to the Asphalt Journey website here upcoming.  New domain provider, server space, and a complete update of the functionality and design to make it easier to navigate and view.

As of tonight, all of the images for the Alaska trip postings have been restored. Will continue to go back further in time to continue updating lost photos.

Website changes are still pending so check back often!

April’s weather is supposed to be showers, not snow

April is upon us and here at the Crossroads of America, it sure feels like the beginning of February.  Light snow showers and cold winds are not the normal and make us really wish for the sixty degree days that should be upon us right now.

Been a lot of months since the last update.  Lots of things happening both personally and in the family so blogging has been at the bottom of the list.  That hasn’t kept me from setting up the final touches on some rides I’ve thought about for the last couple of years though.

The winter was spent planning this year’s rides.  Later this month hopefully finds warmer weather as a friend and I shall make an oval path into Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina as we try to find some very serious curvy country roads to welcome in the new riding season.  Looking forward to doing some camping off the motorcycle as well so hopefully the weather cooperates.

Been planning another epic adventure to try to meet or exceed last year’s Alaska journey.  Putting the finishing touches on a journey to the Pacific Northwest…starting in South Dakota, and going through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and California before taking a different route back home.  This ride knocks out over a dozen of my bucket list items of specific roads to ride and sights to see.  More information to come.  Looking to met up with Rob from the Alaska adventure on this trip as well.


Autumn has appeared

November has appeared and the the first nights of near freezing temperatures have already shown their selves.  This week is unseasonably warm with temperatures in the middle seventies…a vast difference from last year when it was nearly a freezing rain on the night of trick or treating.

Feedback from the Journey Logbook site have been very positive.  I had wondered how others would view them before they were published but it appears that each of the eight different logbooks have been well received.  With Christmas coming, they make for very inexpensive but unique presents for family and friends.  I have received some requests to create additional different types of logbooks so I may look into that over the course of the cold winter that will soon be here.

The Vstrom gets the occasional ride still but with lowering temperatures, it finds itself spending more time in the garage.  It will get ridden throughout the colder months but just not as often.

Life continues to go by at a very fast pace.  Plans are being made with Rob (one of the duo that joined me for the Alaska trip) for another simply epic ride that we hope will be possible this coming summer.  I shall belay the details for now and create its own blog posting for that information.  Rest assured, we are ensuring that we do everything we can to ensure that this become yet another adventure that is undertaken; hopefully without broken bones and damages to thy riding steed this time around.

Enjoy the autumn….