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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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7934 Miles

I bought my 2016 RGU in April 2016. It was a replacement for my 06 Road Glide that had recently developed some unrelenting regulator problems that left me stranded on the road a few times.
I put some miles on the 16 RGU last year with the longest trip to Gadsden, AL; 720 miles each way. I did the ride down there in two days because I left directly from work in the afternoon and stopped in Bristol, TN for the night. The trip back home to Virginia was non-stop except for gas, in 11 hours. A couple trips up to Detroit, MI during the riding season last year, 590 miles each way. Usually do that in about 10 hours. A bit slower than the trip to Gadsden because of the 200 miles of 55 mph limits.
One of the trips to Detroit included a tour of Michigan over a week’s time, all the way up to Marquette and back.
It was time to do a real long trip. I planned a three week road trip for this summer. I had the time on the books at work and the projects were all caught up. The plan was to go to Detroit, MI then up to Gaylord, MI for an event, then out to Clarkdale, AZ to my sister's house where I could base some rides out of. I would meet up with a friend near Kingman to tour the highlights of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico then back to Clarkdale for a short rest. The final part would be a trip over to California to stay a night at my niece's house then do the Iron Butt 50cc (Coast to coast in 50 hours) ride from San Diego back east to Jacksonville, Fl then home to Virginia.
Thursday, 20 July I launched out early in the morning with clear skies and nice temps from my home in King George, VA headed for Detroit. All was good until I ran into a rain storm near Cleveland, OH in a construction area. No place to pull off for cover or rain suite. Had to ride it out. Got mostly dried by the time I reached my destination in Detroit. Next morning, headed out to Gaylord, MI with a couple buddies. Made three stops with them for gas, food and liquids. Partied late that night, up early the next day. Partied some more till about 2am Sunday morning. A friend there asked if he could tag along on my ride to AZ. He asked how far I was planning to ride the first day. I told him, "Tulsa, OK". He spilled his beer, said, "that's over a thousand miles, screw that, have fun". I was up at the crack of dawn to some drizzle weather. Suited up and hit the road. Down the west edge of MI then down to I-55 south and eventually Tulsa, OK at about 1130pm. 1,000 + miles for the day. Hit a Motel 6 for the night. Up before daybreak and on the road. Great weather Along I-44 and I-40 until west New Mexico. Weather radar showed rain west of me so I suited up again and on the road. Hit a little rain near Gallup then off and on through to Flagstaff, AZ. I turned south on I-17 then stopped for gas and another radar check. Dang, ugly weather in the canyon south of Flag and dark was set in. Only an hour out of Clarkdale so I'll push on. Hit the road and began hitting rain until it was a deluge in the switchbacks. Cars on the shoulders of the road, cars on my tail following me, reflector road signs blinding me, then the road reflectors and lines began to disappear beneath the water. I didn't want to try to stop because of the cars on my tail. The rain was stinging my fingers and face. I think it might have had some hail mixed in there. Maintained about 60 through this for a few miles then suddenly, clear sky. Turned west at McGuireville and did the two lane highway across to my sister's house in Clarkdale Monday night. Another 1,000 + mile day.
Rested up for a day then traveled over to Golden Valley, AZ to meet up with a longtime friend, Fred to tour for a few days. Launched out of there on Friday morning for Zion National Park. Headed up toward Las Vegas then up into Utah. I've see pictures of Zion NP but they just don't do it justice. The rock walls seemed to climb to impossible heights. Stopped a few places along the way to just stand in awe of the rock formations. Went up through the tunnel and headed on over to Bryce Canyon. Got a room for the night in Torrey, UT then up early again the next day. Saturday morning, more canyons and amazing scenery you just won’t find back on the east coast. Fred asked me if I had ever seen a hoodoo. No, not sure that I have. I’ll show ya rather than try to explain. Went up to a scenic view then looked down into the canyon below. Sure enough, hoodoos all over the place, just standing there, looking back up at the visitors just as they have for the past 10,000 years or more. Got back on the road to head over to Colorado and Telluride to make a run down the Million Dollar Highway. A stretch of the road had no shoulders and the sides just dropped off what seemed several hundred feet down a very steep slide. Fred had asked me if I was afraid of heights. No, done a lot of tower climbing on active duty, so no, heights don’t bother me. Got as far as Dolores, CO and the storms were setting in. We hung out at a ball field at the west end of town to see if the weather would improve, but no. It just seemed to keep boiling up all around us. Looked like we would have to scrub the mountain ride in Colorado for another time. Suited up and rode south to Cortez in the rain and got a room for the evening.
Sunday morning headed out for the Monument Valley then back to Clarkdale, AZ. Monument Valley is an amazing place that seems to stretch forever. The distant mountains seem to leave no room for distant cities like Phoenix or Las Vegas. Rode the long straight highways, heading south to Flagstaff were we caught up with more rain. Suited up about 30 miles from Flag then rode in the drizzle the rest of the way till we parted at I-17 and I-40.
I spent a couple days relaxing in Clarkdale for the upcoming main event, the 50cc ride. I left Clarkdale about 630am on Thursday morning and rode up over Mingus Mountain again, through Jerome and Prescott then down to I-10 for the desert crossing to Vista, CA. Stopped in to see a friend and to cool off for about an hour at Temecula. Continued on to Vista to my niece’s house. Got cleaned up of the road grime, then went out to get a dinner.
Friday, I went down to San Diego to meet my niece at the Balboa Park for lunch and to tour the model railroad museum. The largest HO scale model railroad in the world. All run by computer control and radio link. Wrapped up the day with dinner at home and turned in early for a 2am rising to head down to San Diego and the starting point for the 50cc ride. Tossed and turned in anticipation of the epic ride. Saturday morning, up at 2am. Bike packed up and I was on the road at 230am as planned. I found the gas station at the very end of I-8 and got fueled up just as they were closing at 315am. Got my gas receipt and logged in my information on my travel log then hit the road. Over the mountains and down into the desert, feeling good. Day light started to seep up from the horizon as I passed by El Centro. Stopped for gas in Yuma as the sun came to full view, scorching its way into the early morning sky. Gassed up, got a drink, refilled my water bottle, logged my data and hit the road for the next stop Tucson, AZ. Temperatures really sored that morning. I’m not sure why my mileage took such a dive but I was low on fuel by the time I got to Eloy, AZ. Way short of Tucson. I’ll have to make up the mileage later in the trip. Once again, gassed up, logged my data, drank some fluid then back on the road. Next stop was Benson, AZ so I could get back on my scheduled stops. Back on the road for Demming, NM, a planned stop. No incidents. Bike was running smooth. I was comfortable. Demming came and went without incident. Next stop was Van Horn, TX. The sun was setting now and I had been in the saddle for over 18 hours and over 1,000 miles since I left my nieces house that morning. I could see the lightning in the distant storms to the east and decided to suit up for some wet riding in the dark. A little over 100 miles further, dark was upon me. The LED headlights on my RGU seemed good enough to see down the road until a gator (truck tire) appeared almost as though it were moving toward me. I did a counter steer into the left lane to clear it. Man, that sure came up fast. Why couldn’t I see it sooner? Seemed to blend in with the road surface until the last moment. A tractor trailer was coming up on my left so I moved to the right wheel line of the right lane. No sooner had I moved when another gator appeared dead ahead. My movement was still kinda to the right so I continued it onto the shoulder of the road, narrowly missing going off the asphalt and narrowly missing a reflector post. That troubled me now that the second gator came outa nowhere. Was this 50cc really worth it to risk being taken down by highway crap? I weighed the bragging rights vs. my personal safety and damage to my bike. Ft. Stockton was just coming up and I saw the lodging sign with a few cheap rooms. Checked in to the Super 8 and had some time to do some calculations after I got cleaned up. There was no way I could complete the 50cc ride without doing quite a bit of night riding. Maybe slowing down a bit would help, but then there is the potential of being run over by faster traffic. Just can’t do it. I called ahead to Jacksonville where I had a room reservation for Monday morning and cancelled out. Went to sleep feeling depressed that I couldn’t complete this ride that I had been looking forward to for so long.
Sunday morning, woke up early, packed the bike up, got a bite to eat at the breakfast in the Super 8 kitchen. Really wasn’t worth the money. Could have stayed at the Motel 6 for much less.
I cancelled my route for Jacksonville, FL and selected home as my next destination. Hit the road on I-10 east then took some country roads up to I-20 and Odessa, TX then east toward Arkansas. Uneventful ride to Brinkley, AR. 825 miles for the day. I checked into a motel 6, set my alarm for 4am and got some sleep. Monday morning, on the road at 445am. Looked like rain in the forecast and on the radar. Got through Memphis, TN with little trouble but a lot of overcast. Stopped for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel at Jackson, TN. The radar was showing storms just east so I suited up and hit the road again with a full belly. Hit rain near Nashville and got the bike cleaned off of all the bugs that had been accumulating over the past few days. Bike ran great and my rain suit and boots worked as advertised. Comfortable all the way into Cookville, TN for a gas stop. Got a drink, a snack, a little stretching then back onto the road for VA. Exit 13 on I-81 in Virginia. Stopped for more fuel and a drink. Much more rain in the radar all the way home. Lets get this thing done. I hit a few rain storms coming up I-81 till I turned east onto I-64 toward Richmond, VA. Stopped for my last fueling in Waynesboro, VA. Looking at the storm clouds on the mountain and deciding if I want to take the short way home through the country or tack on about 25 more miles and take i-64 across to I-95 and north. Radar showing heavy rain further east on I-64 so I decided on the country roads and a little rain. Back on the freeway just after dark. Rain started at the foot of the mountain climb then came to the fog. Oh great, what next? Just then, I noticed a couple of deer standing on the shoulder of the road, their heads turning back and forth watching traffic go by. Yeah, that could be worse. Turned off of I-64 at Charlottesville and headed north into the country side with just about 50 miles left. Light traffic, a little rain off and on. Into the city outskirts of Fredericksburg then onto Kings Highway, the last stretch. Pulled into the driveway, house all just as I left it three weeks ago except the grass is taller. Stopped the bike in the garage and killed the motor, “Wow, what a ride”. Odometer check, 940 miles for the day. 7934 miles for the whole trip. No problems with the bike. Just one sore butt from the ride.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0728171304a.jpg (622.0 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg Highway.jpg (93.9 KB, 65 views)

Ken,
- 2006 RG 107/DD6/FatBagger 200mm Rear end w/Car tire
- 2016 RGU with Car Tire

Last edited by EasternSP; 08-12-2017 at 02:48 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 07:41 PM
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That's amazing brother.

Those photos are places I long to ride to.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 09:04 PM
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Great story, great ride!

Because I live in the mountainous Prescott/Jerome/Clarkdale area of Arizona, I have every sympathy for what you experienced when you drove through here during the height of monsoon season. I'm glad that you made it home safely.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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I've been over that mountain road many times over the years since 1975. Did the ride several times from El Toro, CA and had snow in the upper elevations. It's awesome at night when the stars blend with the distant light of the cities.
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Ken,
- 2006 RG 107/DD6/FatBagger 200mm Rear end w/Car tire
- 2016 RGU with Car Tire
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 10:54 PM
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Thanks for sharing! Sounds like a great adventure!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 07:53 PM
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Awesome trip report!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 10:23 AM
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Nice ride.
Good you made it home safe.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 10:51 AM
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Some Great Riding For Sure.
One hell of a way to break the bike in.
Swomack
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 11:10 AM
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Epic trip. Hope to do something similar someday.

2011 Road Glide Ultra
2002 Heritage Softail
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swomack View Post
Some Great Riding For Sure.
One hell of a way to break the bike in.
Swomack
Oh, that bike was already broken in. Started out at 23775 miles. The longest day travel prior to that was 720 miles, and that was only because I arrived at home. This trip gave me the open road to push it. I bought the bike new with 6 miles on it in April 2016.

Ken,
- 2006 RG 107/DD6/FatBagger 200mm Rear end w/Car tire
- 2016 RGU with Car Tire
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