Our weather in Oregon has been a bit on the cool and slightly wet side this spring. But today temperatures jumped to nearly 80 degrees and it was too good to pass up. I did ride the bicycle a bit to try and get back on that horse, but the ride on the Ducati was sadly only the third ride of the year.
Paul and I are planning to hit Laguna Seca for MotoGP and do a proper vacation on motorcycles. But I’m a bit out of practice to say the least. He may be taking his BMW R75/5, but he’s damn proficient on it in the corners and I really do have to work to keep up with him. I need to attend one of Roger’s MotorcyclExcitement schools in the near future! (I maintain his current website and hope to make a new site for him soon!)
The good news is that Paul did such a stellar job dialing in this bike for Sears Point last year that she’s ready to hit the road again with nearly no adjustments.
I had tried earlier this year to sell my Ducati 750SS, but admittedly it’s a slow market and I was asking a premium. Fast-forward to June and the weather has finally turned to summer. Time to take the bike off the market and ride! Paul suggested the following route for this Sunday:
I’ve been meaning to attend the DesmoNorthwest BBQ for at least two years in a row and this year I had no excuse not to. Naturally I hit my buddy Paul up to join me; he can’t say no to rides over 100 miles, let alone nearly 650 miles. In two days total! Yep, we decided to ride up and back on Saturday and Sunday.
But the leg up on Saturday was the real meat of the trip. We rode back roads from Corvallis to Edgefield in Troutdale for a late breakfast. We both had the bacon scramble with fresh baby red tomatoes and smothered in freshly grated Parmesan. Delicious!
From there we hit I-84 for a quick blast to Hood River, where we took the bridge across the Columbia to Washington, and headed North for Mt. St. Helens. Turns out this area is a meca for sportbike riders as we must have seen nearly 100 riders in this area. Most of the roads are fantastic and the vistas are even more amazing.
We continued on past Randle through the Mt. Rainier area, past Mt. Adams, through Enumclaw, and then on to Issaquah. All in all, I think we were on the freeway less than an hour and half all day. Here is our route:
Unfortunately when you’re behind on your day long back roads trip, you don’t stop for pictures. But luckily lots of other Flickr users have. Here is what you can expect from the area:
After riding some of the best, and some of the worst, that SW Washington had to offer, we were beat. Ten and a half hours later, we were hurting to say the least! Paul being the saint he is, and having water-tight hard bags on the VFR, went and got us some refreshments to unwind with after our journey:
The next day we cleaned up the bikes and headed for the BBQ. After supporting the Ducati website for nearly 2 years, I was able to connect names and faces. I already knew the club was full of great people and it was a really nice gathering of like minded enthusiasts. Here are some pics of the rides that showed up:
The worst part of the trip was definitely the last leg, from Issaquah to home via I-5. A record heat wave started that afternoon and we rode home in some seriously hot air on the blacktop for over 5 hours. It was like being blasted from all angles with heat guns no matter how fast or slow we managed. So we ended up stopping about every hour to rehydrate and recharge. Not much choice as we both had to be at work on time the next day.
All that said, I’m really glad we did this trip. Not only did I finally get to meet some great Ducatisti, I proved to myself I’m still capable of a big trip. I can’t wait to go again!
The VFR750 and 750SS attack the Willamette Valley again, but this time the VFR is being piloted by Blake in a very generous loaner agreement with Paul. What can I say, the man is the shit for extending such an offer!
We took the back roads on Thursday for a killer ride up to Portland to visit with our SEO and PPC Vendor, Anvil Media Inc., on official OSU business. The weather on the way up was spectacular and we were treated to the best the valley has to offer while passing up all the various crops Oregon is known for: grass seed, wheat, filberts, strawberries, hops, grapes, green beans, corn, and many other types of organic produce. A ride like this reminds me why we live where we do!
Here are a couple pics from the Wheatland Ferry where we crossed the Willamette, and the current Anvil Media headquarters:
Here is the Google Map of our route up and pictures from the trip:
To follow up our trip, we assaulted Mary’s Peak on Saturday morning via back roads again of course! Highway 20 leading to the peak has recently been repaved at the base of the mountain and the road to the summit is still one of the best hillclimbs out there in terms of corners per mile and scenic views. Here are the pics from the Peak:
Many thanks to Paul for loaning out the bike to Blake, the best in SEO and Social Media for hosting us: Anvil Media, and rural Oregon for best and most scenic roads anywhere!
I recently got the opportunity to catch up with an old friend from my childhood, Christian Hansen, who now happens to being making performance parts for Ducati motorcycles — right up the road in Portland! SpeedyMoto manufactures custom triple clamps, clips-on’s, rear sets, and many other billet aluminum pieces. Christian explained that what started as a business making custom clutch covers five years ago has grown every year and expanded to provide numerous parts for the discerning Ducati enthusiast tuner.
Here are some pictures from my SpeedyMoto tour:
As we wrapped up the tour, Christian had two pieces of exclusive news for dancrouchblog.com readers. First that there will be a special edition 848 model coming from Ducati later this year and it will feature a few pieces made by SpeedyMoto! And in other news, the SpeedyMoto crew is excited to see their first product on the big screen in the new Transformers Movie: Revenge of the Fallen. Check out the triple clamp on the Ducati in the movie!
It was great catching up with Christian and something tells me this won’t be the last time he’s mentioned on this blog as we’re planning to meet up again soon.
If you have a business that should be featured on this blog, shoot me an email and let’s talk about advertising.
If you should find yourself even within 500 miles of Birmingham, make an effort to get to Barber Motorsports Park. In addition to hosting the likes of AMA Superbike, NHRA drag racing, Grand-Am road racing, WERA, and two vintage weekends, they also feature a museum of rare sport bikes. The on site museum is packed with sport motorcycles; and they’re all perfect. Either ultra-low mile originals or beautifully restored examples. Many of the 20-40 year old examples had as few as 10 miles on them!
Paul and I recently made the trip to Birmingham to see our close friend Ed for his birthday in Duluth. On the way out of the airport towards Atlanta, I remarked to Paul that we should find out where the Barber Motorsports Park was in Alabama and see if we could fit that into our trip on the way back. 10 minutes later, we saw the billboard for the ‘next right, Barber Motorsports Park’. We looked at each other and noted that we would definitely make sure to hit the museum on the way back. Then we checked out the website. It boasts over 1000 motorcycles on display. I knew the collection was impressive, but I had no idea it was going to seriously rival the collection I saw at Hockenheim.
And as I eluded to, the collection didn’t disappoint. The entire facility is gorgeous and the place is spotless. Every bike on display is of significance and was almost always in perfect condition. We stopped by on a Monday in late February and nearly had the entire 5 floors to ourselves. To say the least, it was a totally orgasmic sportbike experience.
Here are my standouts, shot with a simple point and shoot digicam. Had I planned a little better, I would’ve known the racetrack was just outside our airport and packed the DSLR. Something tells me we’ll be back sooner than later though, and I’ll have the chance to redeem myself. In the meantime, check out the collection in the Flickr Group Pool for Barber Motorsports Park, which features beautiful hi-res pics of the museum and recent races.
Here’s a perfect example of the bike I rode in college: 1989 Yamaha FZR600, in this exact paint and graphics scheme. Mine was never in this condition, but it was super cool to spot it in the collection for sure. I can brag that a bike I used to own is on display!
Upon spotting this awesome Honda CB-X, Paul’s first comment was, “I wonder how much those hard bags go for on eBay?!” I was dying with laughter!
And a little corner of the museum I’d like to refer to as my personal corner of sportbike porn heaven: A Ducati SS, an NC30, an RC30, an original Katana, AND a Yamaha FZR750RR OW01!
And here’s the complete photo album of our visit to the Barber Vintage Museum:
$15 was never better spent, that’s for sure! If you should find yourself anywhere near this part of the world, and have ever had curious itch or a serious addiction, to sporting motorcycles, this is a must do.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, here are the entries for the end of December:
1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 For Sale in Rochester – The title and registration, combined with the the obvious care and thoughtful upgrades, make this bike a standout. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one listed for sale in recent memory. What do you guys think of the $16k asking?
An RVF400 and VFR400 For Sale in the Bay Area – Naturally the VFR400 with original looking bodywork would be my pick. Too bad it doesn’t have registration. The RVF400 is probably the cooler bike mechanically, but restored plastics would be at the top of my list. But with a title and registration, and an asking of only $3k, it’d be a great rider while you tried to determine if it was going to be a track bike or light restoration for the street.
Honda NSR250 MC18 For Sale – With no title, this great little bike will be attractive to collectors and track day enthusiasts. As a track day bike, do you pick something like this or a new Aprilia RS125? I sat on the latter this past weekend at the Seattle International Motorcycle Show, it’s amazing how beautiful it is in person…
1988 BMW M3 w/ 38k Miles Back on eBay – in my previous post, I guessed that the winning bid would be around $25k. Considering brand new M cars are apparently immune to the sales slump, do you think this legendary M car will find a buyer this time?
2001 Ducati MH900e Mike Hailwood Evoluzione – The seller has it listed with a $13.9k buy-it-now shown. Having covered only a few thousand miles, this looks like a great buy considering brand new Sport Classics go for about this much!
1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfied Replica – Oh man… I’m very tempted to get myself the best xmas present ever and buy this before the auction ends in a few hours. It’s even titled and street legal. It’s only a couple hours away and I’ve taken all of next week off… But I probably won’t though, so I’m posting it here in case someone else can snag it.
1998 Bimota SB6R For Sale on eBay – For a buyer with some skills or connections to a good technician, this could be a steal. Current bid is around $7k. What do you think it’s worth once it’s running properly?
Stunning 1991 Porsche 928 GT For Sale with 5 Speed – I’m a big fan of the 928 anyway, but in this color, trim, and with the 5 speed, I think this looks like a great example. Current bid is just under $14k (no reserve auction) and 8 days to go. I’ll update after auction for the final sale price.
1998 Suzuki RGV 250 SP Lucky Strike Replica in Washington – This bike looks incredible, but the only problem is the asking price. It’s $16k! It does have very low miles and a title, but this is an outrageous premium considering the market and other examples of the Lucky Strike replica’s that we’ve posted on this blog.
1988 BMW e28 M5: Possible Project Car? – Obviously this one has a lot more miles than most cars I post on here. And I don’t know what showroom they’ve been hanging out in, but this car clearly isn’t that condition. Despite the fact that this car could’ve really benefited from a detail before shooting pics, the car looks complete and pretty good shape. If the motor was sound, this could be a pretty cool project car considering the asking. Which way would you go: fix it up as a nice driver or maybe enjoy as a weekend track toy?