Scouting ToTD 6 Times

Piece of cake. In a car. Is it tough? Meh. There are much tougher roads in Simi Valley. 318 turns is tough, but the worst parts are not as bad as its rep. Still worth it though.

Definitely a tourist attraction, and a good ride to test your skills. If you take the right line around the turns, and you keep your head on a swivel, you should be fine. If you ride like an idiot you might be enshrined on the Tree Of Shame.

On one of the dry runs a tow truck was brought in to bring a bike up from roughly 60’ off a cliff. The rider climbed up and was crediting his air bag vest for saving his life. Hope to post the GoPro clips soon.

There are some interesting shops in the area, particularly the south end of ToTD. I rewarded my 2016 Honda CR-V with a Dragon US 129 badge. I just have to come up with a clever story about how I earnest earned it.

The ”YNP” badge next to it was from my last real vacation, when I bravely drove through the woods at Yosemite National Park, much to the chagrin of Park Rangers who tried in vain to stop me. I bravely defended myself against rabid man eating squirrels (I swear they were big!), and fought off waves of flying blood sucking penetrating drones (military code name MOS-key-toes).

There are some nice shops at the South end of ToTD. Don’t miss this one, apparently owned by Mister Dragon himself.

Not a fan of the insensitive “killboy” logo which is shockingly sexist, toxically masculine, politically incorrect, and seems to imply that the dragon will not killgirl.

I mean really, what would @AOC say?! Makes me want to retreat into my safe space! #tongueincheek

Found some interesting artwork at the South end of the road. I understand Mister Dragon has a penchant for eating plasticky South Eastern motorcycles (rice rockets). Apparently American Iron motorcycles taste too much like greasy chrome.

Here is a piece of today’s route. Not sure how to edit it down to just the ToTD road.

660 Miles, 10 Hours, By Car, Tomorrow We Scout

Jumped in the car around 0800ET and got to the hotel around 1800ET. I guess that’s not too bad, considering I stopped a few times for food and gas. I’m about 16 miles from Tail Of The Dragon.

I’m staying at Luxbury Inn & Suites in Maryville, TN. The rooms were marked down from $129 to $79. Pretty good deal considering its newly renovated and who doesn’t like hot breakfast. 🙂 The manager told me I can come down twice, its from 0600ET thru 0900ET.

Gonna get some rest, then tomorrow I’m going to enjoy a nice English Breakfast before heading out. I need to find a GoPro mount that’ll attach to my sunroof, or window, or (gasp) suction cup on hood or door. I really want to catch ToTD on video.

Just for kicks, I captured the drive:

Scouting Tail of The Dragon (by Car)

If you’re reading my blog, you might remember a failed shift linkage on my 2016 Street Bob (FXDB) caused me to cancel the final leg of my three week vacation back in August. So I didn’t get the chance to do Tail Of The Dragon. On the bright side, I ended up trading up to a 2019 Road Glide (FLTRX). I planned to do it a few months ago but delayed the purchase due to my relocating to Florida.

I got home safely after the vacation, but the adventure wasn’t over. Unpacking the bike, I got careless and twisted my ankle in the garage. At first I thought I’d shake it off, but after a few hours I realized I needed to get it looked at. So I went for a bite and then headed to the Emergency Room. The doctor confirmed I had a broken Fibula, and had a nurse put a fiberglass half cast on my foot. The doctor gave me the name of a local Orthopedic Surgeon.

On the way home I wrestled with the idea of nominating myself for a Darwin Candidate award. I called Aetna, since I don’t usually take recommendations from hospitals I never went to. Aetna recommended someone in the area. After some researching found he was one of the most successful and popular Orthopedic Surgeons in the area. He put me into a walking boot, anticipating 4-6 weeks to heal (clean break). I wasted no time and purchased Amazon Prime so I could watch some movies, and treat myself to Mayans M.C. once it comes on.

Fast forward to this week. I took my final X-Ray, and went to DMV to pick up the tags for the new bike (which Rock City Harley-Davidson paid for). I had a few more vacation days to burn up before the end of the year, so decided to take them now. I’m heading out early tomorrow to scout ToTD by car. This way I can take advantage of the Fall weather, hoping the road isn’t covered in leaves. Wouldn’t want to my car to be taken out by one of those race bike adrenaline junkies.

Bed time…then up early, and 600 miles to ToTD. Along the way I’ll try to reign my desire to start modding the new bike. The two things I have in mind are Lower Fairings (HogWorkz) for protection against rain and rocks, and 12″ handlebars (KST Kustoms) because I need to go up a bit and the grip angles are causing wrist discomfort.

Limpio is now Limpia #facePalm

So a couple of my female riding buddies (y’all know who you are!) gave me shit, because I decided to name my new bike Limpio. Apparently motorcycles owned by males need to have female names.

The reason I named my old bike after a character in Weeds, Season 5, Episode 3, played by Ramon Franco was because I never really washed that bike. I thought it was clever.

Apparently not clever enough. Now I have to name my new bike after some silly Ecuadorian spiritual cleansing ritual.

OMG forgive me Limpio…er…Limpia.

Limpio Has Entered The Building (Home Safe)

Limpio has entered the building, trip total for 21 days of riding (23 days if I count the 2 days spent on the shift linkage mechanical and trade up fix) is 7,087 miles total for the trip (6,117* miles on Sucio and 970* miles on Limpio).

This vacation was my longest ever, and I’ll never forget it. Thank you Florida for stupid labor laws. I plan to do this every year although it’ll probably be 2 weeks instead of 3.

“So like the new bike?” Has got to be the number one question asked in the past few days.

Ok, well the Road Glide was beyond imagination. 80-90 mph on stretches was so easy, with music too! Such a superior bike for longer, faster rides.

I need to add an adjustable H-D back rest (I’ll need it once the sissy bar bag is removed). Definitely need to get a 2″ higher handlebar (the sweep back grip angle made my wrist sore after a couple days). Not sure I need to get a taller windshield, since air flow is already excellent.

The Street Bob was enjoyable but at speeds up to 50-60 mph. Anything higher and I found myself holding my left arm across my chest to help eliminate buffeting. It can not be fixed with a larger windshield. It can not be fixed with side spoilers. A Batwing would have helped since as far as I know those don’t come with vents to cancel the vacuum, which is the root cause of buffeting.

Having tried both a Street Glide and Road Glide at highway speeds, I found that even though both models’ fairing have vents, only the Road Glide was comfortable at 80-90. I’m sure the Road Glide would have done better than the Streer Glide with side winds since the fairing is attached to the frame but I never got a chance to test that (read several reviews that mention that).

Do I wish I had both bikes? Yep. I won’t be using the Road Glide to commute. So I won’t put 16,000 miles per year on it. But I do plan to do a whole lot of riding, and that riding will be quality long distance stuff. Like the past few weeks.

Thanks to Jim Colley and Merle Fisher for letting me latch on for a couple days, and to so many other people who I met during the last few weeks, and for all the cheers and support here on Facebook. Kudos to every Harley-Davidson shop who helped me with supplies, service, parts, and advice.

Huge huge thanks to Kenny “BB” Waller at Rock City Harley-Davidson who tolerated my borderline shyster level negotiation. He actually saw me come in the previous day for a bandana, and had me pegged for a trade in. Karma is a thing. He saw me the next day when I had Sucio towed, and he read my mind on what bike I wanted. Aha! I see what he did! LOL

*Sucio’s miles don’t exactly align with Fuelly pics.

*Limpio had 4 miles when I bought it.

First Two Days With Limpio

DAY ONE (Friday; 382 miles):

At the 50 mile mark Limpio lived up to her name. She asked if we could hand out under an overpass until the rain cleared. Since she showered yesterday. Of course I said yes.

This gave me a more time to read up on the navigation center console. Wow it’s packed with functions. I never knew there were Weather Bands.

Apparently I hit a button that shows me current music track rather than speed limit. Fixed. I also had to figure out how to get audio turn by turn. Fixed.

Searching for songs/albums/artists is as good as it gets for now, since I’m sporting a half helmet, so can’t ask Siri for help. I see a Full Face helmet in my very near future. 🙂

Cruise control is very simple to start/set/stop, and boy am I using it on long stretches. Switching between functions is a bit convoluted but got that sorted out too.

I am happy to report the hard saddle bags are fully sealed. Not a drop of water got in, even in pouring rain at 80. They are huge compared to the Pelicans I had on the Dyna.

The handlebar grips are angled a little too inward. My wrists are complaining a bit. Is it possible to get carpal tunnel on a bike? Adding slightly higher bars with less offset to the list. Maybe 10 degrees.

DAY TWO (Saturday, 233 miles):

I got up early to go to Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson, to get a Jiffy Stand Extension Kit, since I could barely reach it. Now I can reach it with my heel to extend, and my toe to bring it back. This was a stress point for me, where I’d somewhat panic if I couldn’t find it the first time. Now, no problem. #wipesBrow

I took my time today, did a bunch of slow speed turns to force myself to get used to it. . One more day of riding from Tallahassee, FL to Ocoee, FL tomorrow. I also stopped at a few overpasses when rain got heavy. In one spot there was a couple on the other side of the highway, also under the overpass. We exchanged peace signs so we could get selfies, from across the highway, like anyone would care. LOL

One more day on the road. From Tallahassee, FL, to Ocoee, FL. Roughly 250 miles.

No Relive route to publish today.

Bye Sucio…Hiya Limpia

Before I head out this morning thought I’d share a picture of Limpia, who replaces Sucio. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog you have all the details.

I’m having breakfast, before putting the sissy bar bag on and hitting the road again. So far I’m extremely impressed with the fixed fairing design. Not only is the bike easier to handle (once your brain processes how it works), but believe everything you hear about the brilliant air flow design.

Harley-Davidson did their homework and deserve kudos for putting to rest buffeting at high speeds. How effective is the design? How about my sending a feature request to the company to give us a “Hey asshat, slow the fuck down before you get a ticket! This isn’t a drag race ya know!” alarm if we go over 80.

When I picked up the bike around 3pm it was late enough to reset expectation on how many miles I would do the next day (today). My original 300-400 mile plan for a full day was supposed to become a 150-200 mile late day.

Thanks to all of Harley-Davidson’s wind tunnel work, I hit 270 miles without realizing it. It was starting to get dark, my only indicator that it was time to look for a cheap hotel to rest up for the next day.

I could have gone on another few hundred miles if it wasn’t so late. I was going 80 or so along the straightaways, with the (stock) stereo volume at 60%. I was jamming and singing along without any buffering. I can’t believe the difference.

To be fair to traditional fairing bike owners, I test drove a few Street Glides before I ever tried a Road Glide. It was OK, I’m sure I’d invite a Street Glide to prom night over a Road Glide. Heck I would even bring a Street Glide home to meet the parents.

The Road Glide is a different animal. Your parents warned you about Road Glide. The one that corrupts your mind and soul. The one that has you doing crazy shit just because you can. The one that transforms you.

Will update later once I have a few hundred more miles on the saddle.