Friday, September 3, 2010

The GPS lied and there are Indians all over

The days plan was to hit Davenport Ia. 40Th annual AMCA fall national which is a huge swapmeet and do all on back-roads. Jim was going all the way to the meet but would not head home with me but split off after and run up to Galena to meet his family. Tom was just out for a short ride and we pulled off at the site of Wild Bill's old home site.

Jim posing with Bill.
Tom making sure Bill's nose is clear. The man had a HUGE nose if this is close to scale.
Jim's never hit the Princeton covered bridge, so a stop was a must.
By this time the KLR was at 170 miles on the tank of gas so I checked the GPS. The next gas stop on my roughly planned route and it was 20 something miles away. Should be a fine distance and where reserve will just start to be needed. Besides a few towns were in between and might have gas stations not loaded in the GPS.
I couldn't remember if I topped off the tank the last fill up so 190 miles before reserve was in question while I enjoyed the open county roads. At around 185ish I had to flip the petcock and ride another 20 some miles to the GPS gas station. As we got closer to the shell station on the GPS is was clear there was nothing but a corn field. CRAP!!
Now I was panicking a little in my head and shot for the interstate but I couldn't imagine having another ten miles worth of gas left. It wasn't a BIG panic since Jim was with me and could shoot ahead and get a small can and run back.
Sure enough just before switching Interstates the bike quits. I hop off the bike and tell Jim I'm dry and I'm going to tilt the bike all the way over to the left and see if she fires up. Yep, she pops to life and I blast down the ramp to the ramp to I-80 and closer to more GPS gas stations but it's 8 miles away. Lucky for me a sign says a station is at the next exit just 4 miles away. As the bike hit the exit ramp she died again and I just pulled the clutch and rolled down to the intersection. Jim right behind me, I just said I'm tilting her over again and it worked.
I got to the gas station down the block and filled her up at 5.86 gallons and I just giggled. Never have I put that much in.
As we sat at the gas station drinking coffee and a gold wing club pulled up and they chatted with us.
The one big guy told us they were from the Peoria IL. area and we said the TT races were a favorite of ours. The big guy told us he was at the Indy mile race when Kenny Roberts took the TZ750 for it's big win. I would of killed to of seen it and this guy seemed like it was no big deal. Here's the link with a bit about it --- Roberts.

At the swap meet surrounded by HD's and a few odd bikes.

Old Indian at the meet that he still uses for vintage cannonball runs.
That little post-it note says 200K for this Flying Merkel.
Looking at this bike and trying to imagine my Grandfather hill climbing one of these, crazy..

This meet had some of the best old bikes I have ever seen. More Indians than I have ever seen in one place. The other odd thing was a lot of old Kawasaki bikes.

A little clip of a four cylinder Henderson, it didn't run longer than this clip.
This guy has it all, dog, girl and a bike..
when we came across these two Indian Chiefs I was in awe. They were perfectly clean and bright. I asked if they ever ride them and the man sitting down said yes.

I was stunned to see his young kids putting around on both of them. Must be great to learn the tank shifter and foot clutch deal. Also don't forget the throttles on the left hand and spark adjustment is on the right. I would really get wrong a few times, ok a lot! :)

If I remember it right this was a 1955 Ural. Looks just like the ones build up to the late 1990's.
Around a 1904 Indian humpback or later with all it's mighty 2HP. I always wonder if any of my past or present bikes will make it this long.

Jim tailing and about to peel off just after this bridge picture.

This bridge ( just north of Savanna IL) is steel grate like most of the two lane bridges over the Mississippi. Look straight down and you see the river at the same time the tires are giving you a shimmy.

Stopping at a John Deer dealer to put the warm sleeves on since the weather was getting cooler.
The last issue I had for the day was my horn has been on the fritz. Hit the button and it may or not work. So, cruising down the road and no one around I blast it for a few seconds and bam it's off and I'm still on the button. I look at the GPS and it's off. Crap again, it blew the fuse but I know where I'm at but the speedo is more accurate than the bike.
Nothing like being my own problem..
Even with it all going a little wrong it was a nice full day of back-roads and great weather..


Fiddle Mike said...

A good report. Nice photos of some great old bikes. Hope to cross a covered bridge before they disappear.

bluekat said...

Nice report and pics. I'm paranoid about running out of gas, or more accurate I'm afraid of being stranded. Close call yours. I'm glad you managed to squeak into the station on the last few fumes left in the tank.

the rider said...

An interesting read and good photos, I really have to do visit and tour around the USA sometime apart from next year's Sturgis rally, something like a month on a bike with the wife visiting all of the areas and people I read about.

All Over The World said...

Hi Jon,
Good read and great snap's.
My mate who has the Benelli Tornadohas a plan to cross the States on a Motorcycle some time in the not too near future, poss route 66.
I see you have a Qwack ?
My first bike is a Kawasaki ER 6F
in Blue, she will be one on the road 7-12-2010.


FATTKAW said...

@Mike, thanks.

@Bluekat, so far have never been stranded yet. The tube tires on the klr are always on my mind.

@The rider, if your ever passing through northern Illinois let know.

@All Over The World, if ya come with your mate and do RT66, I'm only two miles off that road!!!!

All Over The World said...

nice 1....

George F said...

Some very nice bikes, I love those metal bridges, there's a few over the Delaware river. You have visited 19 states on the East coast but missed New Jersey? the Garden State ;-) You have to visit :-)