The not so great Fly N Buy

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gixxerjasen
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The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by gixxerjasen »

Disclaimer - this isn't one of those super happy ride reports where everything is awesome, but it's also not really in the realm of adventure either.

I've been considering an ADV bike for a little while. I didn't think I'd want one but seeing roads to take when I'm on the FJR that aren't really FJR worthy and seeing the fun folks are having on trips with their ADV's got me thinking. Trying to ride the DRZ on Texas roads to get out of Texas to the good stuff wasn't any fun either so I went on the hunt. I contemplated the T7 and the Africa Twin but ended up settled on a KTM 1190 Adventure R.

I really wanted a 2015+ for the better frame and wheels, and was very picky to make sure certain items had been taken care of that are known issues. Ultimately I found one on ADV Rider that was in California, perfect for a Fly N Buy and I contacted the owner and he was willing to work with me so we set a date for Memorial Day weekend, enough time for me to get back home with a little bit of sight seeing along the way.

That meant roughly three weeks of torturing myself with videos and threads about the bike until I could finally go get it.

Finally, the day has arrived, I've logged on to work an hour early and will "Work" through lunch so I can duck out and head to the airport. Not like I'm getting much done today. Weather along my plane's flight path meant everything was running on time so all was good. I got to my gate with 30 minutes to spare. We got moving and I watched "The Mother" on Netflix and rewatched half an episode of "The Last Of Us" and both were of course great and I recommend them.

I'd flown into San Diego because it had the right flights and was actually the best airport to get to from where the owner lived in the South Eastern part of the Los Angeles area. It also benefitted him as he got to visit with family in San Diego before picking me up. We had a nice uneventful drive up and good conversation about motorcycles and race tracks.

The bike was perfect and my box of stuff I'd shipped was ready to go. We did the transaction and paperwork and then I loaded up the bike and put on my gear ready to get my ride started. I asked the, now previous owner, to move the bike out of the garage to the street. I didn't want to push a big new bike around his wife's car in case something happened.

This is right where everything goes from awesome to pear shaped. The bike is tall, and that's complicated by a Seat Concepts Tall seat. I'm 5'7" with a 30" inseam. I've always had to manage with bikes and make it work but this is turning out to be a different animal.

I climbed onto the bike and pulled it to the right off the side stand, and found that I needed about half an inch further reach to get to the nub on the kickstand. I decide to get back off the bike and put the kickstand up then throw my leg over, which is complicated by my duffel bag strapped to the back seat. I don't get my foot high enough and it catches on the seat causing me to fall over backwards and dump the bike. I'm so embarassed, right in front of the previous owner and I haven't even ridden it a single foot yet!

He helps me get it back up and now I just want to get out of there. I get back on the bike and have him flip up the kickstand for me, I'll figure this out later. I pull out and am on the road. I'm trying to avoid stopping because the reach is so far I have to hang way off so I do a lot of rolling stops. I always heard those are called "California Stops" and I'm in California, so they should be legal, right?

I make my way up to I-10 and decide to fill up with gas before leaving town. I stop at the gas pump and utilize the pedestal it's on as a curb to give me some additional reach and I'm albe to manage the kickstand issue. This will become my go to technique on the trip, constantly looking for curbs to use. However, when I pull the bike off the kickstand I use too much gusto and find that her tip over point is really high and over she goes into the gas pump. I knock off the pump handle and push the plastic of the pump in. I've now dropped this bike twice, and I haven't dropped a bike in a long long time.

McDonalds has already closed their lobby and I need to get 3 hours of riding to Blythe to get some sleep for tomorrow so I hit the interstate. As I get on, traffic is backed up, due to a wreck a few miles down the road. I nervously get over and decide I'm going to give my first go at lane splitting. Surprisingly most of the cars move over to let me thorugh, it's amazing, people in Texas would never move over, in fact they'd try to block you for sure. Lane splitting is awesome and before I know it I'm through and cruising along.

At some point the wind picks up and is blowing sheets of sand across the road and there's sand everywhere. It's getting inside the helmet and it's pretty crazy, but I still had decent visibility. That lasts for about 20 minutes and then I'm through it. I get to my hotel and grab a shower, call my wife and regale her with my issues tonight and then go to bed.

It's a new day, 5ish hours of sleep, it's going to be a good day, I've got a cool route planned and the bike is ready to go. Also this is where I start taking a few pictures so less "Blah blah" and more eye candy.

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I grab gas and hit I-10 for a little bit and pop into Arizona. I stop in Quartzite and snarf down two breakfast burritos from McDonalds because it's quick and easy. I'd done some scounting and found that there's a dirt road out of Quartzite that runs right parallel to I-10 for about 10 miles. I'm planning on using this road as my first getting dirty with the new bike as I figure it'll be well maintained.

Well, first thing is I hit a gate with "Private Property, Keep Out" signs and realize I'm off my track. No room to turn around where I'm at but just inside the gate is a big turn around spot so I pop in and then back out and no one shoots at me. I find the road and at this point I should have turned back to Quartzite because the difference in the condition of the road and the guy's driveway is so stark that I see why I missed the road. Stupidly I continue on the road.

The big Adventure on Dunlop Mission Trailmax tires still fully inflated for road use is actually doing really well through everything. I'm pretty impressed and having a good time and seeing some good stuff.

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Everything is awesome until it isn't.

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This wasn't so much a drop as a dirt related incident. I was running the right rut and then hit some loose gravel, caught the edge of the high center, things went a little crazy shooting me across the road into those rocks you see on the right. I was trying to steer back onto the road and just about made it when I hit something and the bike stopped dead tossing me and the bike back onto the road.

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Just to point out, I'd planned for this risk, knowing that the interstate is a 500 yard walk away but I need to solve this myself. I think to myself, "What would Itch Boots do here?" Well, after a couple of failed attempts to get it up I'm already sweating so I know she'd take off her jacket and helmet so I do that. I also set up my helmet camera running so I can record this debacle. Then we need to strip the bike down a bit so off comes the duffel, the now high side pannier and the top box. Dragging your new bike around on it's side in the rocks and gravel is a sound that's quite painful. I tried putting the wheels in the left rut with the pannier holding the bike up high in then center to reduce the lifting angle, but that puts my footing on the loose downside of the center and I can't get any traction. More dragging to get the bike across the road with a wheel in each rut and me up on the center and this works and I'm able to get the heavy girl up right and then fire it up and work the clutch to get it pointed back down the road. Bike packed back up and me suited up I'm back on my way.

The little road gets worse before it gets better but I'm being much more careful now and manage to make it the roughly 10 miles back to pavement. I get back on the main roads and turn toward Prescott hoping to make higher elevations before the desert heat kicks in and I'm successful. 69 past Wilhoit is a fantastic bit of twisty mountain tarmac and I get to test the big Adventure bike in sport bike mode. The Dunlops are surprisingly good and she's growling through the corners and I have a big grin on my face. So much fun.

I am a one semester alumni of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University at the Daytona campus (yes, one semester, long story, no money) and I've always been curious to see the Prescott campus so I swing by.

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After that I have Garmin take me to the nearest gas station to fill up, still using curbs to help. I grab a sandwich wrap, water and an apple for a picnic lunch later and get back on the road. GPS has me doing some strange turns but we did a bunch of turns to get in here in the first place. However I quickly realize it's trying to take me back to Embry Riddle, and I can't remember how to do "Skip next destination" on my GPS. Rather than play with the GPS in town around traffic I look for a place to pull off. I hit a T junction as the road ahead is closed and see that beyond the barricades is good pavement and wide for a turn around so I pull in.

Not sure what happend next, the road had a side slope to the left, caught my leg on the peg, or whatever but the top heavy bike full of fuel is going over to the left and we are going for another roll on the pavement. I can't believe I've dropped this bike again! It's been on it's side 4 times in 24 hours, only the previous times the hard luggage and crash bars took the damage, this time I wasn't so lucky as I fell into one of the construction barricades. The left side plastic has some nasty scratches and the Puig touring windshield caught on the barricade and shattered into three pieces.

I start struggling to get the bike upright but the side slope is not helping, but thankfully two cars whip in and these guys jump out and help me get the bike up. I thank them both and one guy hops into his car and takes off but the other guy is a motorcycle rider so he sticks around a few minutes to chat. I tell him about how I just bought the bike and am riding it home. He looks me in the eye and says something to me that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. "Well, you got your first drop out of the way now, right?" Yes, yes sir, sure did get that FIRST drop out of the way. Ugh.

After he leaves I pull the stock shield out of my duffel bag of parts (don't I look smart riding with ready replacements, not) and start swapping out the screen. I'm sick to my stomach, really rethinking my decision on this bike and wondering if I've made a huge mistake. I've got a lot of worry and dread and am nervous every single time I have to stop the bike. The thing is, while moving, this bike is amazing at doing everything it does but at this point I can barely enjoy it being so full of worry.

I'm still headed over to the Mogollon Rim but figure I'll pass it and grab gas in Pine first, then backtrack. The gas station on the edge of Pine is full with people waiting in line for a pump so I move on into town to see if there's another one. Big mistake! There's some kind of festival going on and I find myself in stop and go traffic through town, not fun on my tall bike! I find no other gas station so I have to turn back around and go back through all the traffic and thankfully there's a pump open at that first station now. Gassed up without incident and make the run back to the Rim.

I knew this to be a popular local tourist location so expected the road to be in good condition as I'd seen reports that you could do it in a Prius. Not sure it'd be fun in a Prius but it was doable. The Adventure R handled it really well though with the only rough sections being the washboard parts. I've had my FJR on a washboard road and this combined with some of the gravel made me happy to be on the big ADV bike instead of my long time FJR. About halfway in I found my spot for lunch.

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While eating a guy came up and asked if I was claiming this campsite. I told him that I was just passing through and grabbing lunch. They were really nice and asked if I minded them starting to set up and I told them to go ahead. When I was done eating they were kind enough to accept my stuff into their trash bag so I didn't have to carry it around.

Boy was I glad to be getting out of there though. There was a steady stream of traffic coming into the place for the holiday weekend and the jeeps were out in full force and even worse were the SxS's ripping around. Most slowed down and gave way but I was nervous on every blind corner. I guess something did happen because as I was about 2/3 through two police cars came ripping down the road past me to some incident behind me. I'm behind a line of cars and here comes another police car. Then a bit later a fire truck and an ambulance. I'm in loose gravel so we keep pulling over on this very wide section of the road but I'm trying to do rolling stops lest emergency services has to be called out for me. At the point the ambulance comes by the traffic ahead goes full stop and I see gravel free packed dirt on the right so I stop there. All good, except that as soon as we start moving there's a pile of loose gravel and a ditch. I chose the gravel and immediately the bike starts swapping ends and I'm sure I'm going down. I thought, based on how my day was going that I'd used up my bag of luck but there was still a little left in the bottom of the bag because somehow I stayed upright. One more police car and we were clear out of the park area.

I'd planned on riding 188 down and back up 60 to Show Low but all my antics earlier in the day had eaten up a lot of time so I just plotted my route to my hotel in Springerville.

As I'm getting off my bike I see I have several calls and a voicemail from my hotel. Seems they are out of hot water and have moved me to the Howard Johnson down the street. I get my paperwork from them and head down the the HoJo. There's a large construction crew checking in ahead of me and the hotel staff is frazzled with all the people plus the transfers like me coming in. As I walk to my room, the construction crew has set up in the parking lot with Mexican music blaring and coolers open. I wonder how long that will go on. I get to my room, take a shower and then start the process of swapping seats on the bike with the Powerparts seat I have to see if it's any better. The rear rack sits over the back of the Seat Concepts seat so it has to come off to swap the seats, more work than usualy but not a big deal. I test it and it seems a little better and while less comfortable, it's more manageable so I decide to stick with it.

I strolled a few blocks down the street to the XA bar and grill and had a delicious burger titled "The Cure" with some Onion Rings and watched the hockey game. Stars pull out another one in a do or die game. Do they have four of those in them? We'll see.

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I walk back to the hotel and the parking lot party is in full swing. I get on the phone and chat with my wife and son, then sign off as I'm exhausted so I'm in bed by 8:30pm.

I wake up at 4:30 and decide to ammend my pland for today. I've decided the part of the NMBDR that I was going to run is too remote for me to be running alone, we'll do that another day. I've stayed in Soccorro NM and done the Trinity Site and then run home on the same day, so if I can make Soccorro early enough, then I can certainly make it home. 831 miles the GPS says for the day, let's see how the big Adventure does doing the LD haul.

Say what you will about Daylight Savings time but you really need to visit Springerville in the summer. As this part of Arizona doesn't do DST, you are about as far east as you can get but still be the same time as Seattle. As such the sun was already lighting up the sky at 4:30AM.

The hotel staff had informed me that breakfast started at 4:30 so I wandered down to find the lady in the middle of setting everything up. She already had the essentials out so I grabbed a cup of coffee first then some fried eggs, bacon and some blueberry yogurt. As I'm eating she turns and asks me if I'm a part of the "Wild bunch" that was partying in the parking lot till 3:30AM. Ugh, yep, saw that one coming, thankfully my room was quiet and I was deadd to the world. I informed her that I was not, and was asleep by 9PM. Then I paused and told her "If you'd like to point out the rooms those people are staying in, I'd be happy to fire up my very loud motorcycle in front of them." She didn't say anything but got a big grin on her face thinking about it and turned back to her work.

As not all of the guest participated in the party, and many were probably up late because of the noise from the party, I elected to push the bike way out to the front of the hotel between the lobby and the road to fire it up. Also, there's a curb there.

I managed to not drop the bike at all today, which was huge for me. Only two things of note on the rather boring ride home. First, I was riding behind an F150 into the rising sun and suddenly the F150 is hitting his brakes slowing way down. As my angle changes, right about where the blinding sun is, I see an Elk standing off the left side of the road. Now, it seems Elk are about as smart as deer, because given the choice of the forest off to the left, or the road with the big scary vehicles, the Elk of course ran right across the road in front of the truck. I'm glad I wasn't running alone because I didn't see him and this would have ended badly. The Elk was actually running to one of his friends, another Elk on the right that I hadn't seen yet. The truck has now come to a full stop waiting to see what these two are going to do. As I rolled up behind him I have my clutch pulled in and in my right hand is the control for my bikes noise maker. I rev the throttle and let the Yoshimura sing and the Elk got smart and ran away from us to the forest to the right. With the danger clear me and the F150 gave it the beans and got out of there.

Later, crossing 380 north of the White Sands Missile Range I got stuck in traffic behind a building. Yea, not a mobile home but a military looking building. It was wide enough to block our shoulder, our lane and the oncoming lane. The State Police escorts were forcing oncoming traffic onto their shoulder to let this thing pass. Speeds were between 40-60mph depending on terrain but that went on all the way to Carizozo when they finally let us get by.

After that it was pretty boring the rest of the way home. I rolled into the garage just shy of 48 hours from when I'd picked it up.

My first order of business I think will be to contact Renazco Racing for a custom seat as many KTM owners are very happy with what they've been able to do. I'm starting to have more confidence that I can get this bike to work for me, and while I'm loathe to lower the suspension, I may do it if it's necessary. It did the sport bike thing, the dual sport thing, and even the touring thing, all very well. I'm even super impressed with the areodynamics of the bike because with the shorty stock shield I had clean air and was less sore in the neck than I am on an FJR (tested with several windscreens) after a long day like this.

I had a good time for sure, but the enjoyment was overshadowed with the worry and second guessing of myself on this. I wish I had a better report but it is what it is and I'll get it all fixed and have better rides ahead.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by bigjohnsd »

We of short inseams and tall bikes soon learn to watch where we are headed and how to stop with one butt cheek off the seat - another inseam challenged rider here as well.

Good story.

I dropped mine again last Monday being a dumb ass - nice technicolor bruises on my left leg are beginning to emerge.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by Cav47 »

GJ,

That is a great report despite the struggles. Glad you made it home.

Remember, it’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by gixxerjasen »

Cav47 wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 11:40 am Remember, it’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.
Yea, I consider the fall in the desert somewhat of an adventure. Falling over at the gas station, just embarassing.

Thanks for the words of encouragement John, I'm learning already. Picking her up is akin to a ruler across the knuckles, you need to start learning really fast or the hurting commences.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by wheatonFJR »

Can fully relate. I appreciate an honestly written report instead of happy happy fakeshit. Kudos to you for the well written report and hope that you are able to use it how you want to. My money is on you winning.

That bike Really looks sharp.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by extrememarine »

Very nice - congrats. You'll master the "Capt'n Morgan" stance the more you practice it.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by Festus »

Good thing Wayne didn't send you to pick up his truck :)

I want to "love" the story but I can't love the struggle you had. Hopefully it's smooth sailing ahead.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by gixxerjasen »

Cleaned off the bug guts for some quick glamor shots.

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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by N4HHE »

gixxerjasen wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 10:57 am This is right where everything goes from awesome to pear shaped. The bike is tall, and that's complicated by a Seat Concepts Tall seat. I'm 5'7" with a 30" inseam. I've always had to manage with bikes and make it work but this is turning out to be a different animal.
Sorry about your troubles but I am 6'-1" and have a 29" inseam. My FJR seat is in the high position. I buy the tallest seat I can get for my KTM, Husaberg, and Beta dirtbikes which start much higher than an FJR in high (but not as wide).

When I am tired I sometimes use a tree to mount my dirtbike. Sometimes I put it in gear, drive off hold on and step on the left footpeg at the same time to throw my right leg over already in motion.

Darn it, don't have a video of me mounting the bike like this, but I know that is how I started this ride:
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by gixxerjasen »

I've seen videos of people mounting the bike like that, and considered it, but then I considered how it could all go wrong at the same time and figured I'd maybe try it later. Thankfully curbs were plentiful. I also found that if there wasn't a curb, I could use my right hand to steady against the gas pump while I fiddled down to get the stand up.
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by 0face »

Welcome to the multiple drop club, it's part of riding these monsters. Putting one of those Dunlop's on my S10 next week.

There's a couple of different options for "Assisted Lifting" of these behemoths. They don't ever seem to fall over in the perfect way you see everyone lifting them up in the videos do. They're always angled down, stuck in a rut, buried in sand, or some object is in the way. I don't care who you are, if your by yourself, there's a chance it's going to end up being funky to lift. You need to be able to self-extricate. the options aren't great but there's a few out there.

Hell of a ride home, but you made it, you learned a shit-ton about the bike and yourself, and now your ready to go and do all it over again!
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by gixxerjasen »

0face wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 4:32 pm now your ready to go and do all it over again!
I am! But I'm going to use the bugnatr approach next time. You know, bring friends to help you lift it. :lol:
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by Festus »

Too soon?

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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by LKLD »

I don’t know, you bought an adventure bike and had an adventure. Looks like you got just what you asked for.

Congrats!
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by bigjohnsd »

Thankfully when I dropped mine last week in front of the Two Doors Down Coffee Bakery in Clyde Park MT I had plenty of help to pick her up.

When I ride by myself, especially off the pavement I carry one of these:

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ANYONE CAN DO IT, ANY AGE, ANY SIZE, MAN/ WOMAN --Doesn't Matter- -
ANYBODY EASILY CAN LIFT THEIR BIKE
GIVE YOURSELF THE CONFIDENCE AND PEACE OF MIND OF NEVER HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT DROPPING YOUR BIKE.
YOU WILL BE ABLE TO EASILY LIFT IT UP ANYWHERE.

$228 ( way less than a couple visits to the Chiropractor or the ER)
https://www.motobikejack.com/

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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by SkooterG »

Dude. Better you than me.
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IBA #327

'04 FJR (X2) -- '09 FJR (X2) -- '13 FJR (X3) -- '14 FJR ES -- '17 FJR ES -- '23 FJR ES -- '14 BMW GSA What can I say? I have issues!
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Festus
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FJRModel: 2013 FJR, 2023 KTM 390 Adventure
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by Festus »

That is a great looking bike. I like it a lot better with all the bags off.
"That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be" - 1911

"Stay thirsty, my friends"....... Wouldn't that mean I'm dehydrated all the time?
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gixxerjasen
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by gixxerjasen »

Festus wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 7:07 pm That is a great looking bike. I like it a lot better with all the bags off.
Excactly the opposite of how I always felt about the FJR. FJR was clearly designed to run panniers and looks odd without them. This one definitely won't be running bags for my day stuff. I grabbed another set of Giant Loop Mojavi's on sale to toss in some tools if needed.
wheatonFJR loved this
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Current Bikes:2007 Yamaha FJR1300AE | 2016 KTM 1190 Adventure R | 2001 Suzuki DRZ-400E
Son's Bike:2019 Honda CRF250L

I'm here to serve as an example of what NOT to do.
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spklbuk
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by spklbuk »

Nice moochine! 🐮🤠

Vividly remember the first time I had to drag my Tenere around in the rocks. I described it as "squeaking like the hinges of the gates of hell." Gut wrenching.

I picked mine up one too many times.
Montani Semper Liberi

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Dog hair is a fashion statement and a condiment.
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escapefjrtist
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Re: The not so great Fly N Buy

Post by escapefjrtist »

Congrats on the new scoot Jasen! With my short inseam, the Tenere is a tip-toe affair too. I (mostly) plan stops to provide the best opportunity for keeping the bike upright, although there was this one time 0face and 'bug came to the rescue. No pics though...so it never happened!

Enjoy your new (to you) Adventure!

~G
wheatonFJR, gixxerjasen, and bigjohnsd loved this
IBA34365
'15 FJR-USD-A
'18 Tenere
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