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Old November 3rd, 2015, 12:00 PM   #1
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Thumbs up 650 mile weekend + CA Hwy 36

So I used Halloween as an excuse to visit some friends and get some real touring in.

The friday ride up from Sacramento to Arcata was about 5 1/2 hours and 300 miles including 140 miles of California highway 36 from Red Bluff to Fortuna. I'd only ran that stretch from Fortuna to Red Bluff previously and I think that's actually the more entertaining direction. I do know that switching from a 08 Ninja 250 to the Hyper was a lot more entertaining. If you get the chance, you really want to run this stretch of highway. Although I'd wait to Spring at this point as the road work + rain is probably going to leave some turns pretty sandy.

One thing I discovered: Do not blip the throttle as you top a hill that drops sharply on the back side if you don't want to wonder why the dash is in your face. I was running about 60 when I pointed the front tire to the sky and I'm pretty satisfied that the DTC and ABS kept me from eating it. If someone had seen me it would have looked intentional as all in all it was really smooth. Just unexpected

This was the first long trip with the woodcraft rearsets and I really do love the feel of them, although since they sit a little farther back I think I will look into the race seat as occasionally the stock seat restricted how I wanted to move around on the bike in turns. Sitting on the pillion is a nice cushy spot to stretch out though.

At the end of the day, I think I could have happily done another 100 miles, at least non technical ones.

Coming back Sunday I had to dodge some heavy rain and that led to about 350 miles, mostly Cali 101 from Arcata to Santa Rosa. I only got off the bike once for about 10 minutes and so was in the saddle for almost 6 1/2 hours straight. I was pretty done at the end, but the Ninja would have killed me if I tried to sit on it that long. Had it not been for the rainy, dark, bumper bumper traffic of I-80 for the last 60 miles, I probably could have gone longer with some hot food.

All totaled, I rode ~650 miles with ~12 hours of saddle time (and yes the bike reported the avg speed was 55...) in a span of 54 hours. Did I buy the right motorcycle?

Yes. Yes I did. I wouldn't mind a little more wind pro (puig windscreen going on this week), but I think the only thing I'd really change would be another gallon of gas. I got caught 20 miles into the fuel light not 100% sure where the next gas was and could have done without that. That's on me though, and it turned out I really had plenty of range.

And heated grips for the coast. And probably an Aerostich.

This was also my first real serious rain ride and I discovered for the most part that I don't care about rain as long as it's not coming down so hard that I can't see. The bike just never seems unsure of itself.

That brings the odo up to about 2400 miles, and all of them but the 20 or so with the broken tip shifter have been fantastic. Actually those 20 were fun too, just a little more sedate since you can't hammer a broken shifter.
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Old November 3rd, 2015, 01:59 PM   #2
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Great read. Thanks for sharing!

I got caught in that same rain storm. California needs the rain, but takes away the fun on the backroads.

Any pictures from your ride?
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Old November 3rd, 2015, 03:04 PM   #3
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Nice.

I've found that with the panias on the Puig screen generates a slight and it's only slight, shimmy at 105 -110 kph. It goes as quickly as it comes. (trye pressures are 36f and 38r) But if your doing distances it is worth the dollars.

Last edited by AussieHyper; November 3rd, 2015 at 03:41 PM.
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Old November 3rd, 2015, 04:27 PM   #4
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Nice ride report. Was just thinking about trucking my bike down to redding and spend 2-3 riding around there including hwy 36. So you think it's pretty done for the year as the road is dirty?
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Old November 3rd, 2015, 10:32 PM   #5
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It's hard to say to be honest. They look to have just finished repaving the top, but there's some heavy equipment still around. Lots of new material on the shoulders that could wash onto the road. That section has always been dicey because of rockfalls though.

There's also some shoulder work with new material along the river outside of Red Bluff, pretty sandy in places, or threatening to be. Rain would probably help clean that actually.

From the top down to the coast was in great shape though. Of course, it might not break 60 on that side for a few months.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #6
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Hey, I did a camping trip up in that vicinity on my Scrambler over Halloween weekend. That was one of the reasons I decided to get a Hyper instead.




We did 36 and the roads around it in the summer. Great area to ride.
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Old January 16th, 2016, 09:24 AM   #7
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+1 on the 'Stich, our Dakar suits have never leaked.

I've had a couple of fun rides down 36, it is as good as you describe. Of course it was twistier 20 years ago, as Caltrans seems to straighten out our favorite roads way too often. I would keep an eye out for cattle and deer, though!

A bit further south, I always enjoy 198 and 58...but watch for semis on the latter. The solar farms on the Carrizo plain have turned 58 into a truck route, and the east side is too tight for them.
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