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                                                  Frequently Asked Questions

I receive a number emails each month. I enjoy the feedback, and answering questions.  Over the years the questions below seemed to be the most common, so I thought to add this FAQ page.  I hope you find the page helpful, and be sure to check back frequently because when I take in a good question, I'll add it.  I will still answer all questions with a personal note.
The Motorcycles

If you could only choose one bike, which would it be?

The Yamaha.  The smooth, ultra fast, agile and flickability, the deceisive factors.  Add in the bikes many touring accroutments and you have the winner.

Is the Honda ST 1300 a hot bike in summer?

Yes, but that does not detract from the overall package and fun of the bike.  I just deal with it when I'm in Phoenix in June.

What are you feelings on the reported "High Speed Wobble" of the 1300?

I think they are blown way our of proportion.   The 1300 has a short wheel base for a bike that heavy.  The shorter wheel base makes it easier to turn and lean, and more light in the steering, but the trade off is a little instability.  At high speeds (110+) with the screen high, top box, and loaded panniers, the bike will wiggle.   It will also wiggle in dirty air behind 18 wheelers, but so what, you're on a MOTORCYCLE behind a truck!

Do you think BMW has final drive problems?

Yes.  Although my bike has been absolutely trouble free for 50k miles, they have way too many failures.  I spend a lot of time on various forums, and my guess this happens 1 in 10, which is way too much.

Which bike is the more comfortable?

The RT.  It  has the better seat, and riding position, also the wind protection is a notch improved.

What brand oil do you use in your bikes?

Amsoil Full Synthetic in the FJR and ST and change it every 15k  or 1 year each bike.   In the RT I use BMW dino.

What about tires?

I currently run Pilot Roads on the RT and FJR and metzllers Road techs on the Honda(or the latest version).  They return excellent mileage, and stick pretty good.  They also do well in "dirty" air.

The Ride

Do you always ride solo?

About 98% of the time.

Why do you always take your cross country rides early to mid June?

The weather is not as hot, vacations for most are not going on, and ahead of fire season in the West.  The weather can be a little less stable then late summer, but that's ok, I'll make it.

What is your longest ride at one time?

1,170 miles.  Salina, Kansas to home.

Do you have any interests in rallies such as the Iron Butt?

None.  I view my riding as something fun, but I can see why others are drawn to them.   I enjoy exploring and being out on my motorcycles, and not having to worry about being somewhere.  My competitive urges are dealt with by the other things in my life.

Of all your tours, which one is the most favorite?

All of them have been fun and rewarding.  But if I had to pick just one, it would be the 2005 West Coast Tour.   Probably because I had just retired, and it was the first time I was able to ride without having to worry about when to return.

Name your best day of riding.

I can't name a single day, too many good ones.  You'll recognize them when you come across them in the journals.

What was your worst day on a ride?

Easy.  A rainy, cold ride across the Montana Mountains in 2006, it was 240 miles of misery.  You can read about it  here. 

How many states have you visited?

The lower 48 at least 4x over. (and most states way more than that).  All of Canada except New Foundland, Labrador and the Yukon.  I'm working on Alaska and the rest of Canada, but not sure when I'll get to it.  I achieved all the goals I ever dreamed  long ago.  The only real objective I ever had was to ride the lower 48 at least once.   The rest I just take it as it comes.  

What about National Parks?

I've visited 27 of the 56 National Parks.   That list would include all the major parks.

Which Park is your favorite?

Crater Lake, with the Grand Canyon not far behind.

What is your favorite Historical Site?

Tie, Gettysburg, and the Little Big Horn Battlefields.

Name your favorite all time road.

The Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel to San Luis Obispo.

What is your least favorite?

Probably I-95 anywhere between Miami and Boston.

What is your favorite area of the USA.

Noway I could answer just one.   A short list would be the Blue Ridge of North Carolina, Big Sur, Palouse of East Washington, Big Bend Country in Texas, Rocky Mountains of Montana and Colorado, and I have many others.