PHOTO above: Curt, #5274 (IN.) astride his yellow BMW Four-Stroke Single, as he prepares to leave our latest event, the ThumperCafe-East #41 near Bedford, PA.
( to view Updated data 07-28-'16 - scroll down below this "Site Instructions" section )
(Site Instructions:) Hello Thumper Enthusiasts, I'm Jack Robinson (FSSNOC #000), your club Director. It is an honor to introduce you to THE THUMPER GARAGE. This mini-venue is in addition to our legendary hard copy THUMPER NEWS quarterly magazine. After viewing this page, please visit our other pages on this site.
You are encouraged to thump by the THUMPER GARAGE weekly. This is a FREE site for you and your friends.
You may contact us anytime 24/7 with your comments, conversation, stories, or questions via a mailed letter, a phone call or an e-mail. When you E-mail, please give us your first name, your FSSNOC member number, and your state. You'll receive a courtesy confirmation E-mail back. Our actual response to your E-mail will generally be posted on the following Thursday's THUMPER GARAGE posting so be sure to tune back in then... (Address-phone number-email address is below... **)
To join our club: Complete the application found elsewhere on this site (click on "more" above) and mail it to us with $40 dues for a 12 month membership or save a few bucks by sending $75 for a 24 month membership. Include your shirt size so we can gift you a FREE club t-shirt if this is your initial membership.
A subscription to THUMPER NEWS magazine, mailed to your mailbox, is included in your membership as well.
Our U.S. POSTAL address is: FSSNOC P.O. Box 1809, Hutchinson, Ks 67504-1809. To call our club, phone 620-663-1869 or you may E-mail: FSSNOCTHUMPERS@yahoo.com
When you e-mail, be sure to tell us your FSSNOC member number, your first name and your state. NOTICE: Please understand that your E-mail will likely be reproduced on this site. Any/all subject matter and information may be used in-part or edited and will become the property of the Four-Stroke Singles National Owners Club and FSSNOC,INC.
All included content in Thumper News or The Thumper Garage is solely for entertainment, not advise....
WELCOME TO THE THUMPER GARAGE!
It's a beautiful day in ThumperLand! Thank You for visiting us...
Our first comment today comes to us from Joe, #661 (MD) and is reference to the comments posted by "Three Fenders" last week about his latest acquired project, a 350cc Harley Davidson Sprint...
(View said project on our History Page):
Phil ... Now THAT is a project! I've owned 4 Sprints over the decades. The first was a 1967 SS250 that I drowned in a giant puddle I thought was 6 inches deep. Turned-out it was closer to 6 feet deep!!! 41 years ago...
Good luck! Joe, #661 (MD)
I sent the pictures for the BMW article, no response? Ok, sent the article and pictures Dec. 2015 crickets. Sent the revised article July 14 crickets. Called the bat phone to see if you got the article crickets. Sent photos yesterday crickets. Ok, so know the internet doesn't work , the phone doesn't work, and you told us the mail doesn't work. So short of me renting a Brinks truck and driving to KS, the fine members of FSSNOC will be deprived of a Pulitzer Prize winning article. Well, the small GS gets no respect again!
Curt (IN.) #5274
Reply to Curt, #5274 (IN)... ( Curt is featured in our Box of Fame in the masthead above: )
"Mine ear is open, and my heart prepared:
the worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold:
Say, is my Kingdom lost?" ... Shakespeare or (#000)
I, like Shakespeare, am ready to take the biting edge of your verbal whip. Go ahead, I deserve the wrath of your poison quill.
Spare me not... It matters not that I have been riding my Thumper gleefully around the country in a grand celebration of life in my rapidly dwindling years in the pursuit of a small portion of happiness, it matters not that I have been staying up late in a vain attempt to lengthen each daylight venue and then getting up even later, it matters not that I have been foraging for some semblance of food at least three times a day, it matters not that I have been in the company of friends and countrymen all the while boasting of the virtues of membership in the Four-Stroke Singles National Owners Club. I admit it all ... I have been languid!
With that said, Dear Curt ... yes ... your photos arrived today and your story arrived a short time back. It is, with little doubt, an excellent piece of literature. All is well, all is well. I do have one question of you, my friend ... Were you doing a Rodney Dangerfield? ...as a Sidebar - Was great to see you at PA! (grin) -#000/Jack
(Oh wait a minute! Someone is at the door ... I'll be right back! Hey, it's a Brink's Truck!)
Good to hear from you, Eric! (This is Joe #661 talking to Eric in California...)
And glad to know you made it back to CA safe & sound.
You should check-out www.fssnoc.com for the "Director's Page" updates since 6/25. There is an ice cream ride report from me and also a good update from Alan in there.
And if you decide to join the Thumper Club, tell Jack R. Joe Gilmore sent you! (Although I guess Alan gets to take credit for your new membership should you decide to join...)
Speaking of Thumpers (and "Tiddlers")--- Alan's report mentions your interest/admiration for the small Thumpers on our ride. And now you've sent a pic of you on a KTM 390 Duke! Go for it, Eric!!! You only go around once in life!
My newest Thumper is 2 days old---well, it's 28 years old but I brought it home on Wednesday. A 1988 Honda NX 650 that isn't running (yet!) and looked really scruffy. Dismantled it today to make a list of what I'll need to replace/fix/paint/upgrade etc. The carb is full of a green algae-like nastiness---dang ethanol!
Congrats (in advance) on your new KTM! Joe
PS Rich & Eric---with your permission, I'll add you to my "Motorcycle Group" email list. Jack R.---I know you don't really do the email thing but let me know if you're also interested. And "Thanks!" for the extra stickers, too!
Reply to Joe (and Eric and Alan)...
I do enjoy hearing from all of you guys but as you note, Joe ... it's no secret, I'm just not a computer guy. I enjoy the once a week here at the Thumper Garage but that is about it. Please don't cut me off completely ... okay? = #000 And, Eric ... if you did indeed get a 390 Duke, Congrats!! Hope you'll join our ranks, we need all the ice cream eaters we can get! - Jack, #000.
Just in case, you better put me down for a sticker. Need to be in Wisconsin next month and it can't be much farther to Northport, eh? ...John Lang, #2829 (MI)
Reply to John, #2829...
Hi Ya, John! Yeah, I can do that for you. Washington state is just a hop, skip, and a thump from your neck of the woods, at least for a trail-blazer like you!
What John is talking about here is our next event, the ThumperCafe-West #42 in Northport, WA. on August 27, 2016.
We, the club, are offering a FREE commemorative decal to all those who attend if they notify us of their plans to attend the event. So, if ... You ... are planning to be there in Northport, WA, give FSSNOC a shout via e-mail, phone call, or drop us a note via the Postal Service. Then I can bring your decal to the event for you...
If you aren't sure just what we do at these events, visit our Events Page on this site, see the masthead for directions, and you can learn more. And, of course, you are certainly welcome to contact us with your questions, as well. If you are viewing this site and you are not a FSSNOC member, you are invited to attend and join onsite, however, we still have time to get your club packet back to you before the event so why wait? Click on the "more" for an application...
Attendees are encouraged to wear FSSNOC hats and shirts to identify them as club members to other club members, just makes sense, right? Be sure to review the last page in TN#123 to remind you of event details, times, etc... or you can go to the Event Page, too. Also of note, these ThumperCafe events are fun(d)raisers for our club so a donation at the event is a great way for members to help support the club financially.
If you have a friend who might enjoy being a member, now would be an awesome time to sign them up into our club then they can travel to the site with you as your travel companion, always fun to share the road with a friend! If you have access to TN#119, a club member reminded me that Issue #119 has a copy of my list of things that I travel with, such as clothes, tools, etc. Your needs are unique to you, of course, but to review a list like this might be beneficial.
Canada is only about 8 miles to the north. Be reminded that if you plan to cross the border, you'll need a pass-card or a passport, plus there are other rules and regs, so check it out in advance to avoid problems. Hope to see everyone in Northport! - #000
The following comments were originally to be used in Thumper News but due to space limitations in our paper publication, we are going to feature it here on the Thumper Garage ... enjoy! - #000/Jack
The April calendar shot in the 2016 FSSNOC Thumper Calendar was taken near the Four Corners area, with myself with my KLR650 and the KLR650 (now a KLR685) of my good friend, Tom, #2176 (aka Mountain Man) on our way from Ohio to the Rim Rock, AZ. FSSNOC ThumperCafe in 2015 by way of California. We had an excellent trip and a great visit at the 'Cafe, as usual.
An amusing part of the trip was when we two old hard-of-hearing geezers wearing full face helmets would try to talk at red lights and stop signs. I still don't know what he said...
I bought the 2007 Kawasaki KLR650 new in 2008 for $4500.00. After 75,000 miles, no regrets and only a few minor problems. A couple of batteries, the doo-hickey, a water-pump seal, a fan fuse, and a few Avon Gripsters. I have only changed a valve adjustment one time, one valve, and .001. Also, I'm still running the original drive chain and rear sprocket. I have been told that I'm a little anal about oiling the chain, but it works and I am shooting for 100,000 miles on it!
Hope to see everyone in 2016. Slatz, #4292 (OH).
Latest update: Slatz noted on his recent renewal notice card that he had just returned from thumping 5500 miles to Phoenix, AZ, Sacramento, CA, and Springfield, IL to attend Flat-track races (as I recall, his grandson is quite the racer!). His KLR650 is now indicating a remarkable 81,975 miles and the original drive chain is still intact! Well done, Slatz! Keep on Thumpin! - #000.
ATTENTION - MEDIUM and LONG TERM FSSNOC MEMBERS... Do you still have the THUMPER that you owned when you first joined the Four-Stroke Singles National Owners Club (FSSNOC)?
If so, here is the deal, so listen up...
TN#125, coming out this winter, is our annual FSSNOC THUMPER CALENDAR for the new year (2017). If you still have the original Thumper that you had when you first joined, we'd like to honor it and you by giving these machines a top priority as our choice of Thumpers to grace the pages of our upcoming calendar. Send FSSNOC your favorite (one photo - not a bunch) photo of your Thumper (and you, if you like) and we will consider it for use in the club calendar.
Best way to send it to us is to e-mail it as an attachment to an e-mail that explains all the details of you and it to:
FSSNOCthumpers@yahoo.com If that doesn't work, better give us a call at 620-663-1869 or drop us a card at:
FSSNOC P.O.Box 1809, Hutchinson, Ks. 67504-1809. Enclosing a disk should work as well... Thanks! #000.
ONE LAST TIDBIT OF BUSINESS... Notice to all who are due to renew your club dues in August. Your notices are in the mail as of today, so what is my problem? They should have been mailed about three weeks ago!!
So ... to help get us back on track, send us your renewal with dues as soon as possible, okay? ASAP... (grin)
What I'm trying to do here is to get Thumper News #124 in the mail early instead of having it be late due to the ThumperCafe in Washington on August 27, 2016.
So ... typically I'd be mailing out the magazines that very week but not possible due to me wanting to be at the event to see all you all, after which I may do a little sidetrip up into Canada, too (another grin)!
So ... recapping here, when your renewal notice arrives, please act as fast as possible, that'd be awesome! - #000
That's it for this week! KEEP ON THUMPIN' and tell someone about FSSNOC this week, okay? Thanks!! - Jack, #000
-----------------(Below ... Conversation for the week of 07-21-'16 thru 07-27-'16)---------------------
I've gone over to the DARK SIDE !!! I now have a H/D Sprint SX 350. It's in better shape than I thought !
It has only 4300 miles on it. I don't know what I'm going to do with it !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thump Thump! ...Threefenders (to enjoy a photo of Phil's new pride and joy, go to the History Page)
Reply to #0162...
Yo, Three Fenders, you did good! Looks pretty much all there and that patina is awesome!
Bet it'll be running before nightfall? Keep Us posted... - #000.
The latest Thumper garage lists TC#42 to be in Rockport, Washington on the "New Page" and Northport, Washington on the "Event Page". Both are off of HWY 20.
Please tell me that I'm confused. ...Joel #5190 (NE.)
Reply to Eagle Eye Joel... It has been my observation that: "Clarity is singular, confusion is plural"
Yes, "we" (that be both you and I) are confused! Rockport is the brand of my sandals, Northport is where we are to be for the ThumperCafe on August 27, 2016. Thank You for discovering my error. In my defense, America was actually discovered when Colombo made an error and look what happened there!
Members: The ThumperCafe date is coming fast! I'm working on TN#124 a bit earlier than normal so that I can hopefully have it taken care of before I head for the great Northwest. As a reminder to all club members who are planning to be at our last event in 2016, our 30th Anniversary Year ... if you want a FREEEEEE commemorative decal signifying your attendance at this milestone event, you need to contact FSSNOC by calling 620-663-1869 or email us at FSSNOC firstname.lastname@example.org or write us a note and mail to: FSSNOC P.O.Box 1809, Hutchinson,Ks 67504-1809 ... so I can bring a decal to the ThumperCafe for YOU!
Thumper News #124 is our Autumn issue, number three in an annual series of four. The fourth issue is our FSSNOC calendar issue, always a fun one to do and to use throughout the year. It's JULY now, so we are featuring a vintage Gas Station scene sent to us by FSSNOC member #4856 (KS), Stanley Goertzen, who happened to be in Texas on his KLR650, which is also featured in the July picture. Stan was on the return trip from attending our FSSNOC event in the Hill Country. Thank You, Stan!
And all that reminds me ... Attention Members: Send a favorite picture to us for possible inclusion in the upcoming 2017 Thumper Calendar. Best way is to email it as an attachment to your email and put in the email any comments, background, etc that would pertain to the photo. Be sure to note somewhere that this photo is for the calendar.
And, notice we are saying here, send ONE photo, a favorite photo, to FSSNOC. We generally need twelve shots so not all photos will be used but all will be appreciated! Conversely, if we don't get enough photos to fill the calendar, you will be relegated to multiple views of my own Thumpers (grin)!!!! Also, note that photos taken in your driveway or in front of a garage door won't be used unless we have to... please don't make me!!
Thank you, Joel ... for allowing me to expand on my reply. Best wishes, see you in N-o-r-t-h-p-o-r-t ! I am so looking forward to this gathering!!! --- #000.
I just noticed on the Thumper Garage web site that the next Café is in Rockport, WA???
Summer issue of the Thumper News shows the gathering to be in Northport WA, on the 27th. Plan on seeing you there.
By the way, should riders be in the neighborhood earlier (19 August), NW Classic Motorcycle Club is gathering in Clayton, WA, not far from Northport. ...TY, #4929 (WA.)
Reply to TY... Hey, Ty, so good to hear from you, it's been a while. Thanks for the heads-up, it really is to be held at Northport. I sure appreciate you guys bringing this up, wouldn't want anyone to miss the get-together! Hope to see you there! - #000.
Hi Jack (0000),
On July 18, 2016 I finally returned home from the June 25th FSSNOC National Event in Bedford, Pennsylvania. It was great to see everyone again. Some people I have not seen in a couple of years.
I could have returned home earlier but I had the Vetter motorcycle fuel economy contest in Ohio a couple of weeks later to compete in. With two weeks to kill I was forced to ride all those great back roads on the east coast.
At the Vetter motorcycle fuel economy contest I got 160.7 Miles-Per-Gallon. Sadly that was only good for second place.
I was on the road for 35-days and rode 9,015-miles. On my return home my Ninja 250 turned over 100,000-miles. It was a dirty job but someone had to do it.
On June 26, the day after the FSSNOC National Event, my friend Eric arrived from California for the 4-state ice cream run. Eric rides a Yamaha FJR1300 but was impressed with people riding those Honda CBR250s .Now Eric is looking for one of those REPSOL CBR250’s like Jack (0000) rides.
Alan (5286) Ca.
Reply to Alan, #5286 (CA)...
Wow, wow!! That is some amazing gas mileage!! When I put your post on the site, notice I put that part in red, that is truly amazing!
For those who don't know Alan or maybe you haven't viewed his bike, just imagine an F-16 without wings and you'd be close, even down to the alloy color and the tail. By the way, Alan ... is there a stewardess onboard somewhere? Maybe some little bags of nuts? Or maybe Tom Cruise from Top Gun?
Alan, It was really fun to meet your friend, Eric ... tell him I'll forego his share of the "Kid's Kup" ($1.24) that we shared on the ice cream run IF he'll send in his membership to the club, it's just the right thing to do, Eric! Tell ya' what, if Eric sends his membership ASAP, I just happen to know where there is a new, zero miles, never been fired, never sold, example of the Repsol Special Honda CBR250R. And, of course, we should expect him to attend the Washington event on it, as well, eh? I'm thinking that you have a conflict of dates for that time, correct? Sorry about that, I've been practicing my coasting of late!!
(Alan and I enjoyed more than a couple "coasting down grades" races as we motored through the Rocky Mountains during the 2014 Coast-2-Coast Tiddler Tour! He always wins, and by a bunch, too!)
Best Wishes, Alan. Congrats on 2nd place. You are number one with us, my friend... - #000.
One of my personal favorite Four-Stroke Singles is my Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 Cafe Racer. I could stop there but as usual, I do have a bit of a story. It, this tale, is of no value information-wise, so if you have to be somewhere, of course, you may go ... but if you have a few minutes:
I've often commented about eating at Ruth's Cafe in nearby, maybe 20 miles, Partridge, Ks. Last Wednesday, that's my favorite day, Wednesday ... 'cause she serves homemade, and when I say homemade, it is true, made from scratch, noodles ... sometimes with beef and sometimes with chicken, I'll take them either way, though I am partial to the chicken.
After my lunch, I fire up the Enfield, as always it was parked on the sidewalk in front of the Cafe, no one cares where I park in Partridge. It sets there on the center-stand, chugging aways patiently as I put on my jacket, helmet, and gloves. "tump-tump-tump- (say it slowly and with feeling, from your gut) tump-tump-tump-tump", never a hiccup ... well, almost never.
Always thinking about the club (grin), I remembered I needed some postal postcards, the kind you can buy at the post office and they come already stamped. You may remember your folks talking about postcards. Nowdays, everyone thinks of a postcard as a card with a colorful photo of a popular tourist destination on one side and "Glad you're not here!" or something clever like that on the other side. Why postcards? Well, this year I've amped-up my efforts to finish our year in the black, financially speaking. We rarely do, generally we are in the red, some years, very much so, and as we speak, we are in the red but not by much ... so anyway, I always try to send a Thank You card to all who attend our FSSNOC events. Usually I use a modest card in an envelope and all that does require a first-class stamp. So this year, our 30th year in "business", I'm sending postcards ... sorry 'bout that, but just know that my appreciation still remains first-class even if the token sent hasn't...
Partridge has a post office. Yah... I'll motor down the dirt street (no I won't, it's soft dusty dirt! I'll walk...). Nope, it's only 12:15PM, it doesn't open until 1PM.
"tump-tump-tump-tump-tump" ... the Enfield awaits. I grasp the narrow clip-on style bars with a firm grip, plant my left boot, and swing my right leg over the bump-stop seat. In comes the clutch, "snick", it goes into gear, and I'm off. The tone of the "tump-tump-tump-tump" changes, but not much. At rest, the noise level is modest, it is a quality note that emits from the BSA Gold Star after-market muffler. As the rpms build, the noise level increases but still carries a rich note ... I shift and the symphony begins all over again, and again, and again, this time in top cog.
Oh well ... I'll ride over to nearby Yoder, maybe 10 miles or so, they have a post office, too. It's a nice day, things are green as a gourd due to lots of rainfall this year, and there is a light wind out of the south. I park the Enfield alongside the Yoder Post Office, just off the traffic area of the main street. Again,as in Partridge, no one cares where you park your bike (or your horse and buggy) in Yoder 'cause they assume that you have some level of good sense, perhaps?
This is an Amish community and I step quietly inside the confines of the portable building. The Postmaster appeared somewhat startled to see someone in full cycle gear, the black road-racer boots, the snug aero-designed leather pants, the coal black "Where Thumpers Rule" t-shirt crossed casually with wide bright red suspenders and, as is my habit, I was cradling my full face black race-replica helmet as well. I gave him a minute to gather his compose, then, from the dimly lit interior of the facility, I asked the poignant question?
"Got any postcards?"
"Any what?" was his reply.
"You know, postcards. Like you can send through the mail?" I cautiously countered.
"Gosh" he paused "We haven't had those for years..."
"Isn't that coat hot today?" he asked, hesitantly.
"Yeah, a little bit, but it is vented and has pads in case I fall down, see?"
"Oh..." he replied, now with elbows and forearms on the counter as he watched me leave...
Back outside in the sunshine, I re-fire the Enfield, the exhaust making tiny little dust devils in the sand. I roll the Enfield off the center-stand and ride slowly out of Yoder, much like a gunfighter leaving Dodge City. I was sure that the Amish, who are known for their simple and forthright ways, would use postcards! Wonder how the communicate? Say it with me now, deeply: "tump-tump-tump-tump (shift) -tump-tump-tump (shift) -tump-tump (shift) -tump-tump (shift - top cog) tump-tump-tump-tump-tump..."
Haven! A busy town! Even has some Industry. Sure, I'll ride over there, what is it? Maybe 8 miles, if I go the scenic way, the way the Amish go, apparently, as the road is graced occasionally with a series of road apples ... "do not run these over",
I caution myself as I ride. Haven Post Office, the sign reads. I catch a glimpse of a lady crossing the street to the bank and I take note that she is wearing post office clothing ... okay, we are in business now. I park, backing the Enfield into the curb as in this bigger town, someone does care how you park, and that someone has a squad car. Buying my postcards here in this small city won't be as fun as in Partridge or Yoder, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?
The door is locked. Another sign, this one much smaller, reads, "Closed 12:30 - 1:30". The postal lady comes back across the street, and seeing me at the post office doorway, she darts into the nearby hardware store, but not before I can shout,
"Looks like I caught you on your lun......"
She disappeared into the store, her response, muffled by the sound of the heavy door closing, was "Y-e-a....."
Still upbeat, I head for Mt. Hope, just up the road and over the overpass, they are bound to be open AND have postcards, I assured myself as I continued on my quest. Now Mt.Hope, like many smaller towns nowdays, isn't what it used to be, at least I don't think so. The buildings, including a huge stone built hotel, were once elegant and imposing, now many are simply empty. Took me a few minutes to even find the Post Office ... hey, there it is! I park alongside the curb, not sure if there is any law remaining in town or not, probably a Sheriff Patrol does drive through from time to time. The park lines have long since disappeared so I park where the Enfield looks about right, in fact it looked so right that I took a picture. I approach the door, aware now of the ominous presence of silence about me. I thought I could hear the Enfield's exhaust cooling, "tick" "tick" "tick"
"Open Wed-Thur-Fri 10:30AM to 12:00PM" ... Okay, I get it, I finally get it...
Ever the optometrist, I'm NOT giving up! I now set my sights on Burrton, Ks. Almost a city compared to the others, it is on Highway 50, a coast-to-coast (well, almost - for you nitpickers :) route, they gotta have a full time, honest, real Post Office! I mean, what is this, the Old West? Doesn't living in the USA mean that you get free mail service? Didn't Thomas Jefferson say that in a speech back in the day?
Nope, not if it is after lunch ... the postal world in small town USA apparently goes to lunch at lunch time and never comes back... I fire the Enfield one more time. It responds with "tump-tump-tump- -tump-tump"... What was that? It missed a shot??? I'm done, I'm headed for the house! I noted that the reset odometer on the Enfield showed 90 miles...
"Got any postcards, the ones with the tree on them?" I asked my local Post Office person.
"Ain't that coat hot today?" she asked wryly, momentarily ignoring my question.
Chewing her gum, she grinned at me as if to say, "YOU been ALL over lookin' for those STUPID postcards, haven't youuuu?"
"All we got is these ones with flowers on them, they be okay?" she asked.
"Give me 50..." I muttered.
xxxxxxxxxxxx Two weeks ago posts are below xxxxxxxxxx
This Little Thumper Could... INGOMAR, MT. to Prudhoe Bay, AK.
The little 650 proved, it can run with the big boys…………. (see Tom's photo on Event page)
Son Randy (Yamaha XT1200), Mike EVERMAN (BMW 1200GS), and I (BMW F650GS) departed Cascade, MT. at 0800, 20 June,,,, we returned at 1700 on 1 July.
We rode the original ALCAN Highway from Great Falls to Fairbanks, AK. where we stayed overnight at Eielson AFB arriving the evening of 24 June. The next morning we departed for Prudhoe Bay, on the infamous Haul Road (Dalton Highway) which is 830 miles of the worst road in North America. Half-way is the village of Cold Foot. It is the only place fuel is available once you head north until you reach Prudhoe Bay. Due to decreasing weather conditions, we chose not to spend the night at Cold Foot, becoming the first motorcycles this season to make it non-stop from Fairbanks to Prudhoe. We arrived 14.5 hours after leaving the AFB. After a good night sleep, hot food, $6.50 a gallon gas, FOG, Rain and 38 degree weather, we sucked it up and headed south. 12 hrs. Later, we arrived back at Eielson AFB.
The last 30 miles going up, first 30 miles coming back were the worst,, wet, loose gravel 6-8 inches deep with some of the rock the size of your fist. Each of us had moments of lock to lock tank slappers,,, but somehow none of us dumped the bikes.
We departed the AFB the morning of the 27th, when we arrived at Nugget City, we turned south and headed to Prince George, BC, then down Hwy-97 to Kamloops, BC, then to Grand Forks, BC. We crossed the border north of Spokane, headed east on I-90 to Missoula and on to Helena, then home to Cascade after 6100 miles.
We took two, half-days, for R&R ,despite rain, mud and less than nice roads, got our 550 miles a day in. We blew fork seals on the bikes, and wore the rear tires on all three bikes by the time we got home. Everything else stayed together.
This was a ride of a Lifetime, every other journey will be easy after this one.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
...Tom Wrobel #5288 Cascade,Mt.
Reply to Tom, #5288...
Wow! What can I say? Impressive, Tom, very impressive!
(Look for photos on the masthead above and on our Event page.)
Hey Tom... Great report on an awesome ride ... you guys are tuff! Brings back memories of the Alaska trip I took in 2001, and you're right, it is a trip of a lifetime! I can remember how it changed my own perspective on days on the road, distances, etc. We, of course, began our trip in Kansas so we had more miles to go to get to Alaska. Our trip was 36 days, 11,000 miles, and included a FSSNOC meet at Tok, Alaska at Fast Eddy's for lunch. And, for the record, we did go north of Cold Foot, but I've yet to get to Prudhoe Bay. Our group of five bikes (including Lynn Pittman, #139 (CO) and myself riding double with our wives) did do an extensive nine day tour of Alaska including many miles of dirt/mud roads. An Alaska trip puts the "AD" into ad-venture!
Off the subject for a moment, Tom... I remember meeting you. It was in Ingomar, MT. at our ThumperCafe in 2014. Matter of fact, many of our members will recall seeing that yellow Beemer posed in front of a horse corral in downtown Ingomar (as featured on the cover of TN#118 - Spring of 2015). Little did I know at that time in 2014 that our paths had crossed, well ... in spirit anyway, way back in the 1980s! At this point, the story gets a bit twisted:
A year or so ago, FSSNOC #001, Phil Vigo (see TN#123, pg.3) contacted me, said he had some "stuff" that I might enjoy and that I should stop by his garage at some future date. Phil lives about 40 miles west so in a few days as I motored by, I stopped to see what he had for me. Phil and I had worked at the same motorcycle shop here in ThumperVille and had shared many day-to-day experiences, many of which remain very active memories to this day. He had a stack of photos, newspaper and magazine clippings, and other things that he had saved from those years. "Sure, I'd love to have them!" I said...
After a nice visit with Phil, I secured the bag of goodies on the DR-Z and rode back to the house. Later that evening, at the Thumper Garage, I began to dig through the sack of memories. One particular clipping caught my eye. It was from Road Rider Magazine (which later became Motorcycle Consumer News - MCN), the date was January 1984.
Stay with me here, Tom ... this does relate to you (grin). The article was titled, "50,000 MILE VENTURE" and it was written by Bob and Patti Carpenter of Road Rider Magazine. They had ridden a then brand new Yamaha Venture touring bike through 49 of our 50 states. The idea was to do an extended tour of 50,000 miles to test and show to the motorcycling world the reliability of Yamaha's new bike. The Honda GoldWing had been out since 1975 and had been available as the Interstate with all the available touring goodies since 1980. It was plain that Yamaha had some ground to make up to gain market share in this very attractive and profitable market niche.
Imagine my surprise, when one day a heavily-laden 1983 Yamaha Venture pulled onto our drive at the motorcycle shop where Phil and I worked, Al's Honda-Yamaha in Hutchinson, Ks. As an avid motorcycle magazine reader, I knew who the people were and what was going on ... it was an exciting moment to meet Bob and Patti Carpenter! They seemed in no hurry to ride out so I asked if they'd like to have dinner with us after we closed the shop at 4PM (our Saturday hours). They heartily accepted and rode off to secure their evening's accommodations, promising to return at 4PM.
I had the absolutely PERFECT place to take them for our meal ... the VENTURE INN!! (GET IT? Yamaha Venture?) They were very impressed, needless to say, out came the cameras for photos. They were impressed with the sign as the building wasn't that great, but the overall affect was a definite winner. That done, we went inside to order Mexican food and drink some cool beverages. We ordered our beer in pitchers in those days, I remember that they were like $2 or $3 each, and when they came to the table, Bob asked, "What in the world is that??" He'd never heard of "red" beer! Really, true story. What is red beer? It is tap beer with lots of red tomato juice (like Hunts, etc) in it ... very refreshing after a hard Saturday at work selling motorcycles, I can tell you...
Back to the article clipping, at the end of the piece, Bob did sort of a wrap-up, listing a few highlights of the 50,000 mile ride. "We visited many dealers along the way. Our vote for the nicest dealer people goes to the gang at Al Stucky's shop in South Hutchinson, Ks. A good bunch, in spite of their fetish for putting tomato juice in their beer." Of course, it was great fun for me to read this clipping some 31 years later, as you can imagine!
The wrap-up continued in Bob's article with, "Best wrench of the whole trip was Tom Wrobel, who does his mechanical good deeds at Spartain Cycle in Great Falls, Montana. The bike never ran better than after Tom had given it a massage." As I read this, never dreaming that there was any connection to all this ... Tom Wrobel? Wait a minute!!!!
Yep! Here it is ... FSSNOC #5288 Montana! So what about it, Tom? Would that be you? Is that awesome, or what? As they say,
"It's a small world ... if you have gasoline!" - Jack, #000.
For Sale: 2007 Suzuki LS650 S-40 with 700 miles, looks new. Just did $900.00 worth of refresh to get it ready to sell. I'm 80 years old and can't enjoy the bike due to health... Call Ron at 214-212-0327 in Grand Prairie, Texas. Ron was FSSNOC #2754, and later was FSSNOC #4995.
For Sale: 2012 Suzuki TU250X - a 250cc street bike with 6600 miles, one owner, bike is garage kept and in excellent condition. Has a 16 tooth countersprocket and a new rear tire. $2800 or $2400 to a fellow FSSNOC member. Call Wayne at 352-799-7081 or email@example.com Bike is in Florida. Wayne, #3242 (FL)
THE CLUB STORE ... CLICK ON IT WHEN YOU ARE DONE HERE? It's Summertime and the thumpin' is easy ... time to get some new club gear, eh? Order yourself a bright new yellow and black club cap, a couple cotton t-shirts, and at least one sweatshirt to wear under your riding gear at high altitude. Remember, every day is FSSNOC gear day. Tell the world about our club by wearing our stuff... Thanks!
..... YOU'VE JUST VISITED THE THUMPER GARAGE. PLEASE CLICK ON THE "MORE" ON THE MASTHEAD ABOVE ... AND CHECK OUT ALL THE OTHER PAGES OF THIS SITE. PLEASE CONSIDER BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE FOUR-STROKE SINGLES NATIONAL OWNERS CLUB (FSSNOC) TODAY ... Thank You! - Jack, FSSNOC #000/Director