Automotive Motorcycles Ramblings

“Hey, I’ve Never Been on this Road. Let’s Go to Deschutes Brewery!”

Do you ever pull out the map just to find long stretches of twisting road that you’ve never ridden on before? So do we! Paul and I were planning a day of motorcycling from Eugene to Bandon via some back roads, and then back up the coast via 101. But the weather forecasters suddenly warned of an incoming front that could drop rain as early as 11am at the coast. We decided to go east instead to seek out warmer temperatures and avoid the rain until the last minute on the way back.

View Larger Map

Nothing really that special about this route except that I had never been on Highway 242, which is actually the old pass highway to and from Eugene. The road isn’t really maintained anymore and is actually closed most of the wet season. It starts out very inviting, similar to Highway 199 from Grants Pass into the Redwoods, or Highway 1 in NorCal: a thin strip of asphalt draped in the middle of a dense forest with corners ranging from 15 to 35 for at least 10 miles. It would’ve been pure bliss but nearly every corner had the gravel marbles dragged into the roadway by the oversized RV’s littering our beautiful road. Nonetheless, the scenery was incredible!

After tap dancing through these tight and sometimes treacherous corners, we left the forest and ascended to the 5000ft summit where the road opened up a bit. Suddenly the vegetation was becoming non-existent as we crossed through the lava field. The landscape changes so quickly and completely, it was like being on another planet. Here’s a picture I found on Flickr:

Highway 242 conveniently links right up to Sisters, where we would’ve ended up anyway had we taken 126 to 20. We pushed through the annoyingly crowded main drag (no choice) and headed onto Bend. And gosh, as long as we’re in Bend, we better hit the Deschutes Brewery for lunch. I had the Ham wrapped Halibut, and washed it down with their Sagebrush Classic Pils. A really tasty lunch to say the least!

Not the Pils, but a shot I took of a Deschutes bottle a while back:

Then back to business as we headed home. Except the business of enjoying the 30+ miles of tight corners through the Santiam Pass that was practically ruined by the endless stream of RV’s, dawdling sedans, and small trucks towing boats. It’s a public road and all, but please use the turn-outs folks!

All and all though, another great day trip through western Oregon covering nearly 300 miles. And we beat the storm back home. It’s been raining ever since I got home. Perfect timing!


Automotive Ramblings

Motorcycling Trips to be Remembered: July 4 Weekend, 2008

Paul and I hatched this little plan a few weeks before his 33rd birthday to take 3 day road trip over the July 4th weekend. The gist was to actually have no planned agenda for our weekend and to decide as the date got closer. We ended up choosing to go north towards the Olympic Peninsula and would plan our ride as we went.

View Larger Map

Our day 1 was absolutely fantastic! We did our best to avoid interstate and chose a careful route that not only ensured mostly back road twisties-a-plenty, but also happened to be in the opposite direction of most holiday travel. Highway 47 from Forest Grove to Astoria reminded me of the Gran Turismo stage titled ‘Deep Forest‘. Blasting through gentle 35-45mph corners between the dark forest and under train trestles, on many sections of new tarmac, made for one of the most scenic and delicious rides in recent memory. The last third of the road before Astoria turns to total shit, and is even more ‘entertaining’ when wet. But the majority more than made up for it. After lunch, we pushed into Washington and took a bit of a detour on highway 101 ‘alternate’, and this road was also totally devoid of traffic, full of fast sweepers, with perfect road surface, and wide lanes that would make anyone feel like Ben Bostrom.

1993 Ducati 750SS and 1997 Honda VFR750
July 4 Motorcycle Roadtrip 2008 007

We ended the day at Lake Quinault. This wasn’t exactly planned, but it was 5:30 and we needed gas. Pretty badly too after our assault on southwest Washington. As my anxiety built, I kept hearing Merlin telling Cougar, “[…] we’ve got to land this thing. We are way low on gas!” After miles and miles of absolutely no civilization in the beautiful Olympic Peninsula rain forest, we spotted a sign stating 2 miles to the Chevron, next right. So we turned in and checked out the lake. After filling up with the best gas I’ve even put in the Ducati at $5.09 a gallon (ouch!), we cruised past the lodge and general store, and found an open tent site. Having setting up camp, we went back over to the lodge for dinner. Little did we know the lodge was actually a really nice place in the middle of nowhere. A fantastic structure built in the 20’s, it was quite opulent compared to the campground.

July 4 Motorcycle Roadtrip 2008 017

Walking in, you’re immediately greeted in the main lounge area with a bar, huge fireplace, and lots of leather furniture. Past that to the open doors of the deck features a large manicured lawn leading down a gentle slope to the lake. The lawn is dotted with small groups of Adirondack chairs and small groups of people pouring wine for each other. A wedding had just finished and the photographer was finishing up with the shots with a fantastic backdrop.

July 4 Motorcycle Roadtrip 2008 011

We dined that night in the Roosevelt room, named after President Roosevelt who stayed there once. They were able to seat us immediately and after browsing the menu, it was clear we were going to eat very well indeed. $17 for camping, $85 for dinner. Oh yes we did, donning bug splattered leather jackets, helmet hair and insect repellant! I recommend the beef tenderloin, it was waaay better than my pork medallions LOL!

Our Day 1 couldn’t have been more perfect. As we retired to the sounds and sights of a nice fireworks show over the lake, the rain forest began it’s thing. It started to drizzle. And then rain. All night. Every time I woke up, the rain sounded more intense. I can’t believe how dry we actually ended up considering our campsite had turned into a giant mud puddle. I guess that forestry sign that stated the region gets over 148 inches of rain a year was no joke. It was now about 8:30 in the morning and we had finally resigned ourselves to the fact that the 30% chance of showers had turned into a full on 100% downpour.

July 4 Motorcycle Roadtrip 2008 009

July 4 Motorcycle Roadtrip 2008 008

We suited up and broke camp in the rain. After a decent breakfast at the general store, we decided going around the Peninsula would only lead to an entire day of riding in the rain, and decided to head south, back in search of dry and hopefully warm weather elsewhere in the state. But after a bowl of soup at the Olympic Club in Centralia, and a search of the weather forecasts to the east, west and south via Blackberry, we realized we weren’t going to find anything like that. So we blasted down I-5 to PIR to meet Paul’s bosses, who were racing this weekend. Dodging most of the rain, we arrived just in time to see Bob take the checkered flag for his run group.

July 4 Motorcycle Roadtrip 2008 020

July 4 Motorcycle Roadtrip 2008 019

We treated ourselves to another fantastic dinner, this time at our one of favorites in Portland: Gustav’s pub at the Rheinlander German Restaurant. Their fondue is fantastic and it’s the only place in Oregon that I know of that serves the wonderful Spaten Helles. I had the prime rib and Paul had the schnitzel. I often consider moving to Portland just to eat here more often!

The last day of our trip, we headed out to our favorite back roads from the Portland area via Sandy, Estacada, Silverton, Mill City, Lyons, and finally back to Albany. We had a celebratory lunch at Calapooia Brewing (try the Pilsner, it’s perfect!) and then parted ways to finish off our weekend.

The Ducati made the trip without any hiccups and is now in need of full detail to clean out all the grime from the rain soaked roads. But it was a great and spontaneous trip with some of the best riding I’ve done since I last rode regularly years ago. Thank you Paul, for insisting we make this trip. I had a great time!


Automotive Classifieds of Interest Motorcycles

1993 Ducati 888 Superbike For Sale: Like New With Only 700 Miles!

The title says it all. Aside from a handful that are probably hiding in private collections, this has to be one of the lowest mileage 888’s for sale anywhere!

1993 Ducati 888 Superbike on eBayMotors:

1993 Ducati 888 For Sale1993 Ducati 888 For Sale Low Mileage1993 Ducati 888 For Sale Tail

quote from eBay listing:

Up for auction is this piece of treasure I’ve kept hidden away in my air conditioned garage. It’s a 1993 Ducati 888 and it is in excellent showroom condition. Purchased new and used only occasionally but I made it a ritual to always keep it running and in tune. The mileage is correct and is at a super showroom low of 712 miles. If you see the bike you will understand.

3 days to go, and currently at $9300 no reserve. I’ll update after the auction. (Update: Auction ended at nearly $10700!)

Check out previously listed Ducati 888’s on


Automotive Classifieds of Interest Motorcycles

1994 Ducati 888 SPO Limited on eBay

Nice maintenance and upgrades on this 1994 Ducati 888 SPO LTD on eBay (Colorado):

1994 Ducati 888 SPO Ltd1994 Ducati 888 SPO Ltd

1994 Ducati 888 SPO LTD #99
14,919 Miles
2 Owners
Machesini Magnesium Wheels
Michelin Pilot Sport Tires
Brembo Cast-iron Front Brake Rotors
Brembo GP Front Brake Master Cylinder w/rear brake switch
Giacamoto Crank Case Breather

Recent complete overhaul by Cliff’s Ducati/BMW
New Timing Belts
New Front Brake Pads
New Plugs
Completely new set of water hoses
New Water Pump Seal
New Fuel Filter
New Clutch
New Rocker Arms and Valve Adjustment

Cyinders have new Nicacell Plating and new rings
New Head Gasket

Total Repairs and Upgrades: $4,146.22
(Receipts for all work available)

If you’re on the lookout for an 851 or 888, do yourself a favor and join the Ducati 851/888 Yahoo group. These guys watch eBay and CL like hawks, and often know history and all the right questions to ask.

Check out past Ducati 888 For Sale on


Automotive Motorcycles

1993 Ducati 750SS Wallpaper: Created with Canon 70-200 F4L

I’ve rented the 70-200 F4L from ZipLens to practice my motorsports photography. Here’s the first result, some 1993 Ducati 750SS Wallpaper:

1993 Ducati 750 SuperSport Wallpaper

1993 Ducati 750SS Wallpaper Background for 1680 widescreen
1993 Ducati 750SS Wallpaper Background for 1152

1993 Ducati 750 SuperSport Wallpaper

1993 Ducati 750SS Wallpaper Background for 1152
1993 Ducati 750SS Wallpaper Background for 1680 widescreen

I didn’t PS these very much, though the first one did get a blatent gradient overlay applied to the sky. But my intention was to make an 80’s bedroom wall poster effect, and I think I got pretty close for a first effort. Please feel free to leave comments for suggestions and improvements. Enjoy!