US release of the Tenere 700

The Tenere 700 made its official debut at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach Ca. today.  The sale price is set at $9,999 with an estimated delivery date of May/June 2020.  Pre-orders at the dealer should open in March or April, still not sure if we will get an “early bird” discount but I’m not holding my breath.

This is the motorcycle I got to sit on and start up a couple weeks back when at the HQ in Georgia. It sounds so sweet!


Here is the graphic from the official Yamaha website


From  Sportland Yamaha in Cle Elum, I’ll order the solo seat and a center stand then it goes to Tyson Blood at Fusion Graphix in Tumwater Wa. for a wrap, something along these lines or somewhere in between.  Yes, it will match the van.

From there, I head to see Seth Laam for a custom seat. I don’t have the crash bars or skid plate picked out yet but the ACD racing skid plate looks very well built.


But for now, we wait……

(As the pieces fall into place, I’ll go back and update this post.)


Québécois vanlifers go to Cajun country

I am really loving this life! Last week, Lise Lussier reached out to me on social media, we are both followers of Far Out Ride where I had replied to them that I was  in Louisiana and could suggest things to do as they pass through soon. Lise was also asking me what to do and where to go. My standard list is: Buck and Johnnys Zydeco breakfast every Saturday morning in Breaux Bridge,   Champagnes swamp tours  on Lake Martin, Tour the Tabasco factory on Avery Island, Vermillionville  historic park in Lafayette and sample one of the 5 excellent Boudin shops in Scott and Lafayette Best stop, Don’s specialty meats , Billy’s Boudin , NuNu’s and one of the first to sell Boudin Commercially Johnson’s Boucaniere .For those that don’t know what Boudin is, here is a great short film about it.

Now back to Lise……5BE4AD77-9C50-4727-8C0F-6E04146B1BCC

Ms Lise Lussier is a retired nurse from the Montreal area that is a part time vanlifer who spends winters “down south” in the states staying active and warm.  She took my suggestion to have Zydeco breakfast at Buck and Johnnys for some Saturday morning dancing and a hike around the Lake Martin swamp. On Sunday she met me at Vermillionville for a cochon de lait and tour of the park. It was so nice to spend the day with another traveler with similar goals and aspirations.  Vermillionville is also a Harvest Host location so I helped her secure a spot for the night.


During our time walking through the park, I had mentioned all the amazing food we have down here in Cajun country. One of them was Boudin,  the other was the Turduckens and de-boned stuffed chicken from Hebert’s specialty meats in Maurice.

At Vermillionville, Lise waited for another Canadian Vanlifer to show up, Nicole Leclerc is a retired 1st mate on Ice breakers in the Saint Laurence seaway most of her life. She and Lise had also met on social media because they both drive vans made by the same up-fitter Safari Condo 


The following night for them  was  at Palmetto Island State Park south of Abbeville. One the way, they stopped at Hebert’s for a stuffed chicken and invited me for dinner! ☺️😁E2A27561-82C8-42E7-8D3A-AA243E24D9CB

HOW COULD I SAY NO?!?  😁 It wasn’t a hard decision to head out in the van to the State park, luckily, I was able to get in the next spot over. We cooked the chicken(it was delicious)  on the fire pit and later watched an armadillo root around for it’s dinner. Louisiana wildlife at it’s finest 🙄




Breakfast was buckwheat pancakes with my special blend of  Black Rifle Coffee in my van. Shortly after,  I said my goodbyes leaving them to go and explore Abbeville on bicycles.


I really wish them the best on their travels, it would be really cool if we could meet up down the road in the future or at least hopefully sharing their story of adventure inspire others to do the same.  Get out and GEAUX!


Doubling back to North Carolina

I’m  back in North Carolina for a few days before heading to my winter roost in South Louisiana. My long time friend and host Amanda suggested we finally go on the hike we planned over 12 years ago. Just couldn’t pass that up, so back there I went!  We headed out from her place in Landis for the Stone Mountain state park in the NW corner of North Carolina. It was a gorgeous weekend in the forecast with clear days and cold nights.


Our night was booked with the Harvest Host at the MenaRick Winery not far from the State Park. Thanks Rick for the wine tasting and the great fire side chat!


On the way back we stopped in Catawba NC at Murray’s Mill, it’s  a local historic landmark. Lots of families were taking their Christmas card pictures to capture the fall colors.


Thank you Amanda for your friendship over the last decade+ , I promise to get back much sooner the next time. I’ll continue staying in touch until then.🌹

The van now has over 44,000 miles and this is my route since the last June. (Some of this was done by the bike also)  It’s  been a great vanlife so far! I can’t stress enough to get out and make your own Adventure!!!



Joe Hauler of San Marcos Ca.


I get a lot of inquiries about my hitch carrier, so I thought a dedicated post about it was necessary.


I first heard of Joe Desrosiers back in 2016 at the Touratech Rally east from a retired Navy pilot that needed a custom motorcycle carrier for his camping rig.  Joe’s custom carrier would be necessary for me to carry my Super Tenere on the van. There isn’t anyone making a carrier for that heavy a bike( that I could find or afford). He’s been in the business for 22 years now making hitch carriers, so he knows a bit what they need to have to be safe. I’m glad I was able to find the right guy for this specific job.

I rolled into his shop one morning last July about 9 am and he started measuring then started cutting and welding. It took pretty much all day because I left the shop about 10 pm. It did leave with 3 coats of “rattle can” spray paint. ( I later had it properly powder coated in Lafayette Louisiana at Rim Pros)

Here are the specs of my bike, van and the carrier.

The motorcycle is a 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere, when put on calibrated scales weighs 550 lbs without luggage and 1/2 tank of fuel.

The van is a 2018 F-250 Ford High roof, EXT long Transit w/ Ecoboost Turbo. Heavy duty class IV hitch factory installed  with a 772lb tongue weight. The van has Airlift Suspension  and 2,  2”x4” x 2’ steel tubing welded by Joe to the frame from the hitch frame to just short of the axel to reinforce the vans subframe.

The carrier is modified from his Heavy Duty Hauler line that normally has a 800lb to 1000lb rating. It’s constructed from 1/4” thick, 2” tube steel so it really is Heavy Duty!

The set up has served me very well since that day. Now I haven’t had the bike on the carrier the entire time, but I could easily say it’s been on the back for 10,000-15,000 miles. The van currently has 44,000 miles on the odometer.  The bike is on the carrier when I do short trips or I’ll be riding frequently as I make my way across the US. I can tell the difference between having the motorcycle inside the van or on the carrier, but it’s not unsafe in the least! It’s very secure!




The carrier was made so I can open the van doors all the way when the bike isn’t loaded. The wheel stop is removable and a pin is used to keep it in place.  I also had an “L” bracket fabricated by Joe so I can hang the carrier vertically when the bike is inside the van. It’s the custom work like this that make it totally worth it!


When you call Joe, tell him the Kilted Cajun sent you! He is an absolute pleasure to work with!

After posting on social media, a few concerns were raised about the safety of the hitch carrier and its mounting to my van. I’ll post the concerns and the reply from Joe.
Reply from Joe
For over twenty years of doing this there have been naysayers, negative Nancy’s and doubting David’s.
Without using four sheets of legal paper to doing long hand calculations we know from experience that it works. We are banking on the fact that the OEM engineers have made that trailer hitch four times stronger than they rate it as listed. That combined with our abilities to add strength where it maybe needed makes this possible without causing the vehicles to “pop wheelies”.  Placing a 400-600 lb load two feet behind the vehicle does not adversely affect the vehicles handling. Yes you can feel it back there. Yes you may want or need to increase the springs ability to hold the load. Yes you will be approaching maxing the capacity of your tow rig and adjusting your driving style and speed maybe required. Yes you may need to purchase improved load rated tires for the two bearing the brunt of the load.While an engineering degree is not required to use a hitch mounted carrier some common sense is. We have tried to make our product as strong and light as possible.
Keeping it simple has always been out motivation. Straight forward and easy to use with a few well placed quality tie straps. Testing throughly on the toughest of roads and under Baja racing conditions has proven our designs to withstand the tests of time.
Making sure your motorcycle is safe when you get to your riding place is our only goal.
You can get where you want to go with your bike with with some consideration and understanding of the physics involved.


Robins Riders in Central Georgia

8714D060-4D27-47EB-BEDB-AFCDD129D8C6David Grant is an old Air Force buddy that retired near Warner Robbins AFB Georgia that hooked me up with some of his riding buddies for a day. Thanks Dave!
Dave had to work 😞 sad, but that didn’t stop us from having a blast with the Robins Riders.
Ricky(Tiger) was the leader with Steve( Tenere), Chris(Tenere), Barber(Tenere), Fred (Bonnieville)and Bob(Savage).

This was our route out to lunch at Maebobs in Irwinton, we even found some dirt along the way.
I’ve said it several times that this is why I do, what I do. Getting out to meet local riders and to find 3 more Super Tenere was a huge bonus.
Enjoy the pics.

Two Wheels of Suches in North Georgia


What an amazing 2 &1/2 days I’ve spent here in  North Georgia! This is absolutely some of the best riding I’ve done since leaving Washington!
I pulled into the well known campground in Suches Georgia Friday afternoon, quickly found my reserved spot and at only $15 a night, the price is hard to beat! Unloaded the bike and hit the road!




The Twisty pavement of Ga 180, Ga 60 as well as US 129. Then the off pavement forest roads of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest offer all levels of skill to traverse.
I was able to do several loops over the last few days. I only went through a bit over a tank of gas for all of this so it’s all close in!



I was able to get a bunch of really good pictures. Enjoy!