The Incredible V-Strom 650 – A Review

Okay, maybe I’m a bit late to the party. The V-Strom 650 and 1000 variants already have a large cult following. Entire websites and forums are dedicated to this one single Suzuki model, which remained largely unchanged for 8 years from 2004 to 2011. Home-shop fabricators and big corporations across the world make a living by creating mods to fully farkle and bulletproof the already solid foundation of a bike.

But why? It’s such a weird looking bike, you might say. Yeah, I say that too. At first glance, it doesn’t appeal to me; it doesn’t spark anything special inside me. It’s kinda plain looking. You can tell it’s a budget bike instantly – form follows function. Many times, function follows cost, as is evident with the number of plain steel fasteners that rust rather quickly. Anyway, a bit about me. Who’s this shmuck and why does he think he’s entitled to write a motorcycle review?

I’ve been riding motorcycles for about 18 years now, primarily dirt, and the last 3 primarily on the street. It’s better that way I think, since street riding is technically easier than dirt riding, and much less physically demanding. During this time, I’ve ridden a fair amount of bikes- dirt bikes including 50’s to 450’s both 2-and 4-strokes; street bikes including motards, sprotbikes, cruisers, sport touring, and adventure bikes, all the way from 1 to 4 cylinders. In reality, it’s not THAT many bikes, but enough to have a decent reference list in my memory banks for assessing future bikes. Aside from riding, I’m a mechanical engineer by education, trade, and hobby. Me gusta mechanical things. Motorcycles are one of the most attainable, complex, customizable, rewarding devices normal people can get their hands on.

How did the V-Strom 650 happen? Well, until the V-Strom, my primary bike was a Ducati Hypermotard SP. My dream bike. The bike is incredible. So much peaky power! The suspension is communicative and sharp. The list goes on. And therein lies the rub. That is all good and fun if you’re going out for a blast on the twisties with your buds, hooning around like a crazy person, but on a day-to-day basis, it’s CIA interrogation technique #27, just after blasting you with Britney Spears 24 hours a day and Chinese water torture.

Despite loving hooligan times, I also love my physical well being. To be honest, the Hyper actually took away my love and desire to ride. For once, I wasn’t sold false advertising. The bike is actually hyper. Yet, most of the time I just want to go for a relaxing ride to unwind – to feel that visceral sensation of wind in my face, a magic carpet ride of suspension, and smooth clean power.

So I started the hunt. I wanted another bike to supplement the crazy Italian thing I spent way too much money on. Something that would be a decent commuter, tourer, and all-around utilitarian bike for around 3 grand used. I tossed around a few ideas. KLR650… meh, I’m over singles on the street, too much vibration. Versys 650… sorry, I just can’t, the word fugly is generous. By the suggestion of a good friend, I started looking at the V-Stroms. To the internet! It was evident rather quickly that the 650 was the drug of choice for most of these so-called stromtroopers. Yeah, the 1000 has more power, but the 650 is no slouch. Plus, it’s smoother, more efficient, cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, cheaper to insure, the list goes on. Despite being offered a decent 1000 for just $1500, I passed and found a perfect 650 on teh barfs. Yeah, it had been down before. It had 44,000 smiles. Overall, not bad. Considering it needed a little work right off the bat and had no farkles to speak of, we settled on a fair price of $3000 which seems to be just under average market value. The test ride was simple – I had very low expectations honestly. Does it run? Do the brakes work? Does it turn? Yes, yes, yes. I did a few WFO runs with my friend to check for burning oil and it all checked out just fine. The ride home was bliss. But I know better. Honeymoon periods are the devil.

First things first – new tires. Gotta get those Shitko tires off ASAP. I don’t want to high-side my new bike that quickly alright? I went with the Bridgestone T30. Seemed like a good fit for this bike, plus they were on sale. I cleaned, lubed, and adjusted the chain. Added a big ugly Givi top case because practical korea is best korea. Cleaned the bike up real nicely. Sorted out some of the previous owner’s wiring shenanigans, added LED auxiliary lights, and off we went.

 
Post-initial impressions were still too good to be true. The engine is so smooth! It has a super flat, super dull power curve. So consistent that it’s hard not to love. 3000RPM doesn’t feel much different than 8000, and it revs all the way to 10,500. Not bad! I had the lowest of low expectations for the suspension, and yet, despite being soft as hell, it’s actually quite good and predictable. The bike is surprisingly nimble, and soaks up even the goatiest of roads. It’s a real hoot to just blast down the nastiest goat road you can find and let it soak it all up. Here’s what I love – despite not having razor sharp throttle response and handling, you can still haul ass and it’s super easy. Your inputs can be lazy. The bike just flexes, wallows, and squirms while eventually doing what you command it to do. Wide open throttle, sure, why not. You won’t break the tires loose with your whopping 62hp. Too hard on the brakes while revmatch downshifting? Big deal, the brakes are very progressive. No stoppie action here. In fact it’s hard to mess up your line once in a turn, because the bikes inherent stability, inertia, and compliance overcomes any sloppy steering inputs and abrupt body positioning. Seriously, you can be a complete hack and still ride at quite the pace. The riding position is great, too. The peg-to-seat distance is a bit short for my 34″ inseam, so a taller seat will help there. The bars angle inwards a bit too much. It feels like riding a big funky scooter sometimes, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Overall, the ergonomics are fantastic. I love how you feel like you’re inside the bike, not on top of it.

Well darn… I’ve been riding for over 150 miles now, and the fuel still shows half a tank? That’s funny, most other bikes would be running on fumes by now. I should fill up anyway just to see what kind of mileage we’re getting here. It took 3 gallons. Yep. Despite all the hard riding and go-or-blow new bike riding technique, she still managed to deliver over 50mpg. What. The. Awesome? That means this bike has a usable range north of 250 miles!

Okay okay, downsides? Well, yeah, you aren’t going to win any races on this thing (against a competent rider). It scrapes peg far too early to rail that hard in the twisties, but that’s okay. The T30’s give up around that point too. It’s a bit top-heavy, so changing direction quickly on a super tight road can be a good workout. It’s sorta weird looking. Who cares, still way prettier than a GS.

Speaking of the GS… boy, those are sure nice bikes. Amazing electronic suspension. Powerful motor with gobs of torque. Great electronic aid features. The KTM 1290 Super Adventure is a feat of engineering too. Which brings me to an interesting point. Do you even adventure bro? There is something to be said for having a cheap, common, easy to repair bike. Parts are more universal and more available on fleabay. I think it actually makes adventuring and riding more fun, because you spend less time worrying about putting a rock chip in your $1,200 side fairing, and more time enjoying the ride, while romping the hell out of your bike without a care in the world. If you have the cash, sure, go for the top of the line bike, but for mere mortals like me, the old adage surely applies: it’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow, and it’s more fun to adventure on a shit bike than a have your bike shit on an adventure. Note: this does not apply to riders who carry a GS911 diagnostic computer with them on their rides. Moving on…

The V-Strom 650 is the best all around bike I’ve ever ridden. After putting over 2,000 miles on it in less than three weeks, I can still honestly say it’s the best thing since carbide tooling. Capable of being ridden hard in the twisties – schooling sprotbikes left and right with topcase waving bye bye as the wee snakes through the esses. And capable of doing 500 miles of twisties in a single day without killing a normal human. I can’t imagine how many slab miles that would be equivalent to. Any slab is too much slab. Yes, sporty hooligan bikes still have their place, which is why I’m going to keep one for the 15% hooligan riding I still want to do. But I have to admit that I am slightly saddened that on any given day, I will likely choose the trusty v-strom to get myself somewhere, giggling comfortably the entire way. Don’t underestimate the fun that can be had from a budget adventure touring bike.

 

Updates to come.

 

Beat the Meat

Well, once again, it had become the time to ride. Cept this time we has a new hoon’ing member. He goes by the Inhaler (explanation later) Cheeseburger had planned a delicious route up north once again, but this time we did it backwards and a in a big loopy kinda orientation, cause dis here California is on fire, and smoke burns mah eyes.

My bossman let me take out a super fancy 2014 BMW 1200GS, who in their right mind would do such a thing… So this edition ain’t so ghetto, or at least on mah end. It was all fancy and electronic. I painters taped all the leading edges of them there fairings, so they didn’t get chipped, cause this cousin is far too expensive to repair.

 

So Thursday night, Inhaler rode up to mi casa from his dwelling about an hour south. We then rode up to an undisclosed location north to crash at a sick persons house, the feller has somewhere around 11 motorcycles. He needs treatment, just one more should do.

Inhaler muttered something as we went to sleep:
“I wonder how many men there are in their 50’s and 60’s, freshly divorced, living in half demolished and under-construction homes with 10+ motorcycles?…”
I LOL’ed until tears.

Cheeseburger: I found us a real nice place to stay with a sick feller I know from hoonin’. He’s one of the regular guys I ride with. I figured it would be nice to get a jump start on day one. His garage is sweet. He even has bikes in his dining room. He is a true inspiration for me. 

 

Shortly after leaving motorcycle garage mecca, we romped up north some more, stopped for snacks and safety.

 

It was starting to get warm, so Cheeseburger gifted Inhaler this cute little skull and crossbone bandanna. Ain’t he just cute as a button!?

 

Cheeseburger: I do think this is pretty cute. I explained to Inhaler that a bandanna is a beautiful thing to have out riding. He’s starting to get it. 

 

We hoon’d around for a quick minute, then took another break for snacks. Riding between Fast and Stupid is draining, must hydrate! Hydrate or die!

Finally we made it up and inside that “Lost Coast”
It’s one of them special places only special people get to go. The beauty cannot be captured in a picture, so I didn’t even try.  But here’s a picture of our break after goaty Lost Coast hoon’n

 

Cheeseburger: The lost coast is just…. I knew I had a problem when I rode it two weekends in a row. It’s four hours from my house just to get to the start of it. It’s goaty, twisty, remote. At times it is like you can reach out and touch the sea. True magic. 

Eventually we dun got real hungry, everyone had a hankering for a burger. So burgers is what we dun got. They were so tasty. Here is where we first witnessed the rare and rather spooky Inhaler inhaling. He finished that double cheese burger in about the time it takes to lick a stamp. It was just gone! We tried to warn him that all dat meat was gonna hurt. He didn’t care.

Cheeseburger: Inhaler is overall a pretty civilized boy. He hasn’t been roughed up by us yet so I was shocked to look over and his burger was gone after 45 seconds. I don’t think I’d finished putting ketchup on my burger before his was gone. Also, at this point I REALLY wanted to take a 90 minute diversion and see if our favorite ridge road was open on account of all of the things being on fire. DENIED. 

Witness Mistress feeding her little Wee. It is a thirsty beast. Especially when it is being pinged off the rev limiter for close to an hour. Fast times were fast.

Cheeseburger: My wee does what it wants. It eats all the oil it wants. It goes when I ask. If she needs a wee nip after hoonin’ times who can blame her? 

If this doesn’t make you happy, then go crawl in your special place and cry until clarity.
Witness this new Bridgestone T30 sport touring tire, completely heat cycled, bubbled.
We don’t need no stink’n track dayz. Just give us 299!
(If you know bout this tire, you know it is super hard compound… and does not do this on the regular)

 

Cheeseburger: I don’t know how this tire ended up in this condition. I was on mah best behavior. 

After even more hoon’n we stopped so I could get dat der whore bath. Gotta clean mah face, dis here beard gets gnarly quick. Bugs nest, things grow.
The Inhaler wasn’t feeling too hawt, he had to lay down for a quick little rest.
Inhaler: “Make the pain stop”
CheeseBurger: “In 2.5 hours when we get to camp”

 

Cheeseburger: We told him to take it easy on the cheeseburgers and ice cream. It got real smokey for a spell, too. For some reason SisterCousin thought I was going to take us the short route to our camping spot. But that would have meant giving up my happy place and missing out on some sweet riding. As if. 

Luckily for him, the burger passed through his there insides and he regained hoonie status.
We romped up to Mistresses’s happy place. It is so beautiful, even in the smoke. *spooge*

 

Cheeseburger: We were pondering the majesty of the mountains. This spot just kills me. I leave a little piece of my heart there every time. Also, we night hooned up this road. Good times. I don’t know why I love night riding so much but I do. 

Made it to camp around 10:30pm on Friday night. We was all real real tired.
Set up dem tents, had some sweaty meat with cheese fer dinner. Drank some bourbon, took some drugs, then I dun there almost brushed mah toofs with bourbon. Luckily I saved it at the last minute as I was bouts to pour the precious liquid on mah brush. That would have been alcohol abuse!

The next morning I arose at 6:45, as my alarm was going off across the campsite in my top case and neither of those lazy fookers moved an inch. Also, I really didn’t get much der sleeps that night, as I didn’t pack a sleeping bag, cause it’s August and California is on fire, should be hawt right?

Wrong.

I shiverd all night until I got up, put my wool socks on and wrapped mah bare legs in a jacket. I is smurt. Who needs pants!?

So at 6:45 I crawled out of bed, donned my stich and snapped some snazzy pictures of our home.

 

Cheeseburger: I am the mistress after all. I will get up when I wanna. 

Inhaler, so tired, yet so stoked, much confused and very cold.

Dat crick

CheeseBurger and Inhaler looking at a little fishie, which Inhaler poked with a stick cause it looked dead. It wasn’t, it was very much alive.

Cheeseburger: He was a cute little fishie. Inhaler thought he was dead. Fishie was just hiding. Then we saw a frog. I love frogs and think they are adorable. 

Once on the road we hauled, hoon’d, cried in our helmets. Them roads, so epic. I cannot use words.
Exemplary.

 

Cheeseburger: That road WAS spoogetastic. All I did was git curious after seeing the road carving up the mountain on our last trip. I love that our repertoire of roads is constantly expanding. 

Inhaler

Mistress CheeseBurger

SisterCousin!

 

Slide-e times were had, giggles ensued, eyes watered from the sheer and pure bliss.
Then we got dat hunger again, cheeseburgers it is!

Cheeseburger: What Sis isn’t telling you is that we mapped out cheeseburgers, were told it would take X minutes and made it there in X/2 minutes.

If you get my drift. Back to SisterCousin…

 

Once again, the Inhaler gulped down his burger in record time, but he had this lust for the soft serve, so off we went to fix his craving. I dun tried to snap a photo before he took the first bite… But alas, I was too slow. The Inhaler inhaled dat sweet sweet tasty cream.

Shortly after soft serve was demolished, we had to stop at my favorite swimm’n hole. It is a bit chilly on da willy, but so soothing. Inhaler did not approve.

 

Cheeseburger: I cannonballed my ample behind in the water without warning. That water was cold and real refreshing. AAAAH. 

Post swim

This gets SisterCousins rare *Two Thumbs Up* approval.

 

Cheeseburger: I sometimes ask myself if SisterCousin could get any weirder. The jury is still out on that one. He also neglects to mention that we got nice & dirty right after this and before hitting Lassen. 

We was haul’n rooster testicles through that there park, thankfully right after we stawpit, dat pesky Ranger drove by and mean mugged us. I gave him the “Ain’t doin nothing wrong (at the moment)” glare.

 

 

Cheeseburger: Speak for yourself. I am pretty sure I was up to no good as the ranger rolled by. 
Obligatory Lassen picture

Finally we made it over to Quincy, Ca. (my special happy place)
Stopped at a local bar, got a drink, then headed over to Moons for Dinna. After making us wait for 20 mins, they still had no time frame on when we was gonna be seated. So we rode over to Subway. Cause us hoon’s can’t wait, we had riding to do still!

 

Cheeseburger: Now hold on a gosh darn minute. This is where I christened fresh meat as the Inhaler. See, we watched him put a foot long sammich down his throat in the time it took us to finish about a third of our sammiches. He also was threatening to shove his inhaler in his helmet the whole ride because California (and my happy places) is ON FIRE. So there’s smoke and that’s no good for him. So I told him his name was the Inhaler. He stood up, walked away and chuckled. He liked the name and it stuck.

After a delicious Subway dinner, we romped up into the mountains on my favorite road in the world. In the pitch black darkness. Yes!!!! Night Hoon!

Later on down the road we found our “campsite”, rode down a dirt road for awhile, didn’t see any signs for said camp ground, so we pitched tents where we stopped. I joked that we were probably camping in a one of them Cult mountain folk Praise the Lord camps. But, Advil was washed down with bourbon, tents were set up (with rainflys this time to conserve body heat, cause it was NIPPY and I had no sleeping bag…) Cheeseburger lent me her blankie, cause I was gonna die otherwise.

 

Cheeseburger: I sometimes feel like a mama bear to the boys. Sis was cold, I had a big flannel blanket I brought as extra. I was glad it was there. 

In the morning we awoke to this:

We just so happened to be camping about 200 yards away from the lake, where a sheet ton of other campers were. This was perfect for us, as we don’t like people. People suck, motorcycles rock.
Upon leaving, and riding back down the dirt road there was a sign that read something along the lines of “God is great, thanks for coming to our retreat”  I KNEWS IT.

We had some durty hoon’n to do on this Sunday. It was also a steady 101 degrees, talk about hawt.
Filthy, sweaty, grindy, sensual, durty roads.

Here the hoon’s are hugging what tid bit of shade is available.

Happy durtay timez!

 

Cheeseburger: I love this photo. SisterCousin failed to mention the twisties in between, the extra dirt, the other extra delicious twisties and happy route one times we had. Sis and Inhaler had stopped for food. I was not hungry and needed to hoon off by myself for a bit cuz I get like that. I was gonna head down route one mahself but then I had a sheriff turn around, perhaps to talk to me about riding bikes… I wasn’t feeling social so I made a left turn and went up a road I had seen on the map. Hmm, pavement ends sign. OK. Wait, through traffic not advised? So I keep on. No trucks? Good thing I am not in a truck. And off I went down ten miles of really narrow, seldom traversed dirt road. One lane wide, dug from the earth in spots. I saw a mama bear and her two cubs. Well… watched them haul ass away from me. I almost dropped my bike once on a real narrow turn. I was glad when there was pavement again and wouldn’t you know, it was on the boys route home. So I changed from my wet clothes and relaxed while I waited for them to arrive. 

Later on that day we stopped for our 2nd to last stop on the trip. Inhaler uttered “I’ve been moist all weekend” Sounds like someone has a yeast infection!

 

Cheeseburger: I needed a wee nip after those dirty times. Also, it was I who said I was wet from the waist down. ha. 

Up next was the railing of 128. It’s all our special road. Much speed, lots of style, safety definitely third. This was finally when the GS and I felt like one. So much evil, lots of safe passes were made. My face hurt so badly after that road, too many smiles per mile, I didn’t know that level of happiness was possible. *mind blown with a 12ga hollow point slug*

Lastly we hopped on 101 South headed back to the bay area. Cause it was late, we all had work in the morning and 3 days of riding 13+ hours a day, at speeds between Fast and Stupid took it’s toll. Mistress had other plans, no relaxing ride home for us. WOT for most of the ride, passing cruisers, schooling sportbiles, filtering safely at sane speeds. You name it, we did it.

Another  mindbogglingly good weekend in the books.
It’s hard to believe that 1500 miles went by so fast.

 

Cheeseburger: It was good, fun times. I know how to map a ride. We just need MORE days off and more rides. And yeah, I may have moved quickly but I just wanted to see the sprotbike riders fancy power ranger suits. 

 

 

fresh meat

SisterCousin broke his friend taking her on the route up north. So when he mentioned for the umpteenth time that he had this friend who liked to ride and who he thought should come on one of our trips I said no. I wanted to interview him before we took him out hooning far from home. So Sis took him for a real long ride Saturday. I was in charge of Sunday’s ride.

 

I wanted him to get in two back to back long days because the purpose of the interview was to make sure he had the mental and physical stamina for a day with the GT crew. Plus, I had to see if fresh meat and I could ride well together.  Motorcycling is dangerous and that danger just increases if your buddy is fading. I don’t want that. So Sunday the boys met with me and we went to Church. Fresh meat showed up looking like a regular on a shiny strom and an aerostich. I hung back and found my flow while they rode with the other boys. After breakfast, though, it was on. We ripped up one. i was in good hoonin’ form and fresh meat was riding well. i was happy. when we pulled over so i could get an espresso in tomales he seemed real happy with the roads and our ride. i told him i hadn’t even taken him to the good stuff yet.

 

i took them out to one of the goatiest roads i could think of. kinda like  the county had laid a thousand patches and never actually repaved the road. it’s glorious. i twisted the throttle and had it pinned in fifth as i bounced up the road. i was even airborne at times which is no small feat for a fluffy lass like me. fresh meat was right there with me. every time i looked, there he was. like when i went to slow down for pedestrians on the side of the road only to lock up my rear, squeal and scared the shit out of them. i laughed through the next few corners. i am dumb. he was there for that and probably wondering wtf is wrong with this woman.

 

meat finally gotta to see cheeseburgers kryptonite (real tight downhills) as well as see that i have no problem waving someone past if i don’t wanna go faster. so i let the boys tumble down to the next intersection like insane acrobats.  then off we went on the next road, finally hooning our way into mendocino and stopping for lunch. Fresh meat was happy. we talked about roads we could take further north and i gave him a name of a nice road.

 

after lunch we rolled back out. i was letting him roll out in front in spots where i knew he’d be faster. both he and sistercousin are faster than me in some spots, especially that tight twisty stuff. i hate them both so, so much. . while he was out in front we came across the road i had mentioned and he motioned asking if he should turn. he gets points for ‘membering and listening but i had better, funner, more northern routs planned. so off we went. we stopped on the side of the road after some high speed stupidity and he told me he was sore. i felt a tiny, tiny bit bad for him for like 0.5 nanoseconds. then we were off. i took him on one of my very favorite roads at high speed. i may or may not have been on my best behavior and there he was. i didn’t have to worry about him. i was liking this. that’s what i like about SC, too. it’s like riding alone but better.

at our next break sistercousin said he was going to slab home. i could see that fresh meat was tempted to follow Sister, who is his friend. he told me he was tired. I was like, but I wanna go ride another three and a half hours of twisties. Then i gave him the evil eye, a granola bar and a red bull. he made the wise choice to follow me. i dragged him over to one of my favorite goaty roads only to find it had been paved since i’d last been there. then i got hit in the face by a bee right by my eye. when i pulled over to wipe the smushed mystery bug off i jammed the stinger into the spot under my eye and was like OW MY FACE BURNS.

 

(this is why sistercousin went home. we burn through tires at an alarming rate here at GT)

 

dead, dead tire

 

he musta thought I am a mess but he was pretty happy when we stopped at the top of a hill. the wind was blowing softly. the sun made the whole world appear to be spun from gold and all we could hear were birds and the wind. it was peaceful and a little magical. i was happy to be sharing the ride with him. we chatted, smelled a few flowers and headed back out together. with just the two of us it was as fun and easy as it is to ride with SisterCousin.  I decided fresh meat was alright so he got the invite to come on a real ride with us. after that he’ll be allowed to call himself a ghetto tourer. (although his bike is a little too clean….)

 

The next day I sent him a message on FB and he told me he’d spent his whole Monday feeling mentally clocked out after our ride. That was about right… I approved greatly of this statement and his honesty. It goes back to why I wanted to interview someone before bringing them to the ghetto touring family. I look forward to riding with him again… and I’m just waiting until his name comes to me so that I can introduce him properly once he’s a full blown ghetto tourer. i have no doubts he’ll succeed.

 

(did i mention he rides real smooth?) we like that!

Mistress Cheeseburger’s Revenge

So I was telling SisterCousin that I was getting out of town and camping last weekend. next thing i know he invited himself on my  ride and was like, “where’s we goin?”.  I was gonna rehash mah usual far north route but he wanted to get my guru, BanjoBoy,  in on the action which meant we was going east and had to coordinate with the guru’s morning plans for us. plus, mah boss says i ride too goddamn much and I couldn’t get a three day weekend. so we had friday night until sunday.

 

so, i grabbed a map, gave guru our itinerary and set about planning. i found some nice squiggly looking roads that got us to our end point in faaaar north california from the oroville area. i sent it to the banjoboy and asked if we could camp on his lawn. he said yes so friday night we set out for three hours of slab and night riding. slab sucks. when we got to the guru’s he had already passed out so we staked out on his lawn and went to bed. he snapped a picture of us on SisterCousin’s Tyvek tarp from his home security cam and sent it to us. i am the big lump.

 

SisterCousin: UncleDaddy says I can’t sleep inside. Tis ok, I like sleeping with the bugs. 

 

Ghetto tourerzThe next morning we got up and set out. (But not before the buckle fell off mah boot. Talk about ghetto touring. I found the damn thing and screwed it in by poaching the screw from the other side. ) The guru Daddy had a route planned for us that included some dirt and riding over a recently chipsealed road. This is my favorite, Sistercousin approves mucho too!

So off we went. I don’t really know where we were but we started near paradise and ended up on the left shore of lake almanor. It was good times…

 

Until I passed the guru and sistercousin on the dirty section. I got reprimanded at lunch and the guru swore.

SisterCousin: Damn Cheeseburger was goin real fast, it was so durty the shit bike was skurred for it’s life. It did real swell going uphill on the rocky sections, just pinned it to winned it! 

 

Some pictures of Guru, Mistress Cheeseburger doin durty things:

 

 

 

SisterCousin: I stopped so dat dust could settle a tid bit and took this sexorz shot of mah motorcycle in da wild, where it belongs.

 

After lunch and good byes daddy headed back home and we set out to get up to the state of Jefferson. I found a nice looking twisty road on the paper and decided we’d take it heading north. We were not disappointed. It was goaty and twisty, it brought us to a little mountain lake so we stopped for a swim and a safety break. It was getting warm, time to take 10 off the bike. good, happy fun times.

 

 

Back on the bikes we rode a few more miles past that lake and it turned into dirt. Surprise! we were real happy, it was purty and sistercousin loves big bouldery roads like the one we were on. Then we stopped at another real purty lake!

 

SisterCousin: I sure do ruv them rocky durty roads. The shit bike likes them do, it think’s it is a little bmx bike, wheelies off everything in sight. 

 

After we got done with that super duper extra fun road we were HUNGRY. So we stopped in McCloud and had a cheeseburger. Damn, it was good.

Then I stopped in a little store and bought myself a state of Jefferson sticker. I was born there, gotta represent. Plus it’s my happy place, dammit! After cheeseburgers we stopped in to Weed (no, we weren’t smoking dope) and took a picture of our bikes by their real nice WEED sign. And then off… to more new roads we’d never ridden before. SisterCousin killed a squirrel with his bike.

 

 

We could smell and see smoke as we got closer to our camping spot. On our way we stopped at the gas station to get some water and found out the rodeo was in town. Yee HAW! We arrived right at at sunset at my happy place and I threw my arms up as if to hug the mountains. I was so glad to be there again. For me, getting out there on the roads to these magic spots is as close as I come to a religious experience. It’s magical.

The magic continued as we arrived at our spot right at dark and found a space was open. We set up then I hopped in the creek. The frogs were croaking and the crickets chirping. The moon was shining. We drank some bourbon, ate snacks out of my saddlebags and chilled out after a great day of riding. I was, in every way, so content.

 

 

The next morning we woke up, ate some granola bars and sweatymeat and got off to a slightly later start than I had wanted. So we had to split! I hooned at high speed to the gas station about 90 minutes away from our camp site on these roads:

SisiterCousin: These are some of my favorite roads on the entire trip. 30-50mph on the cliff edge. 
HNNNNNNNG *spooge*


We gassed up and headed along our magic ridge road to get some cheeseburgers. Once we reached the ridge SisterCousin put me on his shitbike. IT TRIED TO KEEL ME!!!! Every time I hit the brakes the thing would slide around like I was on ice. Maybe handing over his bike to me as we approached a steep, twisty and gravelly section of road wasn’t smart. After a short time I pulled over and told him to take his bike back. I DON’T WANNA DIE. I think he felt real bad for trying to kill me cuz he gave me a pair of riding gloves from his topcase. Mine were toast. I had a big hole in the finger of my glove. So I forgave him.

SisterCousin: On second thought, it probably wasn’t the smartest idear to switch bikes there. But what ever, shitbike tries to kill every and anyone that puts their cheeks on it. 

I was real sad to leave our ridge top road with its magical vistas but those cheeseburgers were real, real good after all the riding we’d done. Plus, I was finally gonna show SC another of my happy places. So off we went. SisterCousin has really learned the roads up there. It makes a cheeseburger proud. Off we went, goating down a new road. Happy times… then through the trees and to the ocean. I would follow him, he would follow me… and then I got to show him the first road where I ever felt truly fast. I pinned it to winned it. We got back to the freeway and we were done. We’d had slidy times, happy times, dirty times and sticky tire times. We’d done a bunch of new roads and some of the old favorites. I wish those times would never end but I always look forward to the next time I go back home.