My boss finds it astounding that I can poke a finger into whatever fluid is leaking from his HMMWV and tell by taste whether it’s diesel, brake fluid, coolant, gear oil, ATF, etc.
I never really thought that was weird.
So said the esteemed Eminem. It’s game-on time! Lots of updates, and the enormity of the task before me is rather daunting, now that I’m home again and on the home stretch. Time to start eating this elephant one bite at a time.
Home late last night after a month away on the job, training Citizen Soldiers prior to deployment to faraway paradises. Damn it feels good! Speaking of paradise, it’s 61F and partly sunny here in Tacoma, which soundly beats the entire month of weather at Fort Hood (Killeen), TX where we saw everything from 104F and high humidity to lashing thunderstorms and constant rain, deep mud, and soul-sucking wet boots. This is literally the first comfortable morning I’ve had this month!
Baja prep continues. The bike is up at Cyclops Adventure Sports for some final wiring. The stock wiring harness for the 950SE is outrageously complex (seriously, WTF, KTM?) and pulling the mask off to install the Extreme LEDs left an exposed rat’s next the size of a small loaf of bread to deal with. The timing sucks, as the Cyclops boys are busy, but we’ll git’er done. I can’t say enough positive things about Cyclops, as Darryl, Sandra, Greg, Bobby, and the rest of the crew have been enormously helpful in helping me with the best lights in the biz, setup, riding philosophy, and just being a great part of the riding family.
Robbie of 21″ Front (dude, I’m still figuring out this web thing, but will get you up on a sponsor page…once I get a sponsor page set up!) had his brother stop by the house with one of the sets of Tractionator Enduro H/T tires he hooked me up with. I’ll get those on the 950 rims and do the wheel and swing-arm bearings at the same time, then test ride before the big gig.
Jay Joo of Sena kicked in an outrageous package of gear (same deal brother, I’ll get that sponsor page up ASAP now that I’m home on a personal computer!) and I have to figure out what’s what and how I want to set it all up. There are so many options, I don’t know where to start!
First big test of everything assembled will be at the Backcountry Discovery Routes for Motorcycle Relief Project marathon ride (BDRs4MRP) in just two short weeks from now on 10-11 September, where we’ll hammer down a straight-through ride of the 575-mile Washington Backcountry Discovery Route in under 24 hours to raise funds for and awareness of the Motorcycle Relief Project, which takes Veterans suffering the effects of PTS (I don’t use the term PTSD because it’s thrown around too much and poorly understood) and puts them on adventure bike rides to help them regain that sometimes lost sense of camaraderie and purpose that makes military service so special. Tom Larsen is living the dream there helping our brother and sister Veterans and I hope to work at similar purposes when my active duty time is over in just a few more short years. You’re a good man, Tom.
Backcountry Discovery Routes marathon ride for Motorcycle Relief Project
OK, with this update typed, it’s time to hit the garage! Where to begin…well, the 300 needs a new inner clutch cover gasket so I can rip with the kiddos before school begins. That’s as good a place as any.
So I’ve run into a bit of a snag. I’ve been signed up for the #BajaRally in October for 5 months now. It’s an enormous investment in time and money and spare parts and logistics, and that’s not even including the seat time necessary to prepare. I’ve put everything I have into it. The problem is, I completely forgot that I scheduled my 15-year renewal of marriage vows at the same time. This means everything to me! I’m so conflicted! It’s killing me that I’m not going to be able to go. In the end, I have to do the adult thing and back out, but I want to give the opportunity for someone else who deserves it to go in my place. The church is here in Tacoma, and she really is a great woman and an amazing cook.
So did you hear? I’m one of only four people nutty enough to have entered a big bike in the 2016 Baja Rally. Is it madness? Perhaps. Is it going to be one helluva adventure? Damned straight.
So with that in mind, unibrawler.com was born in an effort to collect all my ride reports and equipment reviews in one place and offer more substantial and permanent coverage of the lead-up to this race…and others.
Plus, some people have remarked that I should be collecting and sharing all the hilarious mechanical shenanigans and riding buffoonery I get up to. Well, my pain is your gain, so join me on this ridiculous ongoing crisis and laugh along!