The Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail

I’ve been out riding sections of the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail this past week just as the leaves were turning. The colors were spectacular! As far as “Adventure Trails” go, it’s pretty tame compared to other states. There aren’t any rocky goat path  hill climbs or muddy single track through a swamp to break you or your machine. It’s mainly graded forest roads , ATV/UTV/ snowmobile routes with a few ORV parks thrown in along the way if you want a detour for more of a challenge to go play on. There is surprisingly, a bit of sandy roads up in the most northern section though. If you are new to adventure riding and have little off-road experiences, this is one route you can do to build your off road skills starting in the south and working north.

I was very lucky to have a few other riders join me as I hopped down the state, Mark Solnitzky met up with me on his Husky 701 in Delta Wisconsin for the two northern sections, Ben Orth joined me for one day on his new to him Africa Twin to ride the center of the state east of Eau Clair. I was extremely fortunate to meet up with Chad Barger and his friends “Twin headlight” Ernie Bell and Jarvis Jacobson. Chad was on a brand new T-700 loaned to him from Eric Williams who is the sales Manager of  Two Brothers Yamaha in Onalaska. It was Eric’s personal bike! Nice friends to have! 

Chad designed the route  and set the GPS tracks back in 2007 and 2008. It’s normally a 2-2&1/2 day ride tackling it all at once and camping along the way but with my #motovanlife I took about a week doing day loops. Taking my time exploring the entire length of the state. 

My hosts along the way that I found to let me park the van came from mutual friends and a new resource to me on social media. Bunk a Biker is a large Facebook group of motorcycle riders that let travelers camp on their property for a night or two for free.  My first stay was with Garland and April in Delta Wisconsin. Garland is an Air Force Veteran and we have a mutual friend Dave Grant back in Georgia that got us connected. 🙏 He had enough space for Mark to pull in his RV also and Garland lives right on the route! Can’t beat that! 

The second hosts were Doc and Penny from just outside Chippewa Falls. I was their first person to stay there from the Bunk a Biker Group. They welcomed me with a great meal, I later returned the favor making them dinner another night. Doc is a Navy Veteran and Sgt at arms of the Road Dogs MC in the area. Sharing stories of our service and the road always makes for a great evening. 

Next was James and June that are furniture makers in the very small town of Montana Wisconsin. I was also their first person to stay from Bunk A Biker. They found out about Bunk A-Biker while at Sturgis just this year. I sure hope I left a good impression on my hosts that they do it again.

Working my way down the sate I went back to Chad and Melanie’s house in Westby. I had stayed with them last year on my way through to New England. I hadn’t  planned to ride his trail last year but vowed to return this year with the T-700.  Thanks Chad and Melanie! 

The last section delayed a couple days so I could hang out with Dan and Becky in Black Earth Wi. It’s always a great time seeing them!
I went south from Black Earth into northern Illinois to the very small village of Nora and stayed with the 3rd contacts from Bunk a Biker, Teresa and Rudy. I was there first too!

I had planned to ride the day I showed up but 25+mph winds wouldn’t have been fun so I delayed the ride 24 hours. The forecast was for clouds and mid 50’s so I bundled up and got on the road to do the last little bit from the Illinois/Wisconsin state line up along the Mississippi River to just north of Cassville. That’s the spot where we (Chad and the guys) turned back north the other day.

All in all, it’s a 630 mile route from end to end but I logged about 1200 miles with doing the day loops. Not the most efficient way but I’m not really about that these days when it comes to seat/foot peg time on the T-700😉😁
Get out and make your own Adventure!

A few days with Don of All Moto Tire

Well, I’m back on the road after another wonderful summer in the PNW! Leaving the smoky skies of western Washington in Everett at the start of US 2, I headed east and didn’t outrun the smoke until an hour out of Spokane!😳🙄 First night was at a Harvest host family farm near Mt Spokane in Mede under clear skies!

I’m trying to stay on US 2 all the way to Duluth Minnesota before heading south on the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail. But first I needed new tires on the T-700, that’s where my old tire guy from Graham Wa comes in. Don Daugherty has been putting Heidenau scouts on my Super Tenere since about 2013, but now he and his wife Debbie are retired from their day jobs, sold their house in Washington and moved to Kalispell Montana. He was kind enough to host me for a few days so we had some time to explore☺️ He asked if I had been to Glacier National Park and I hadn’t so he said that was a must do! Because it was mostly pavement, we kept the stock tires on for another couple hundred miles get the last of the life out of them.
I was blown away on how beautiful GNP is! Our ride started in the chilly morning up for a wild huckleberry bear claw at the Polebridge Mercantile.

After the delicious bear claw, we headed into the National Park where we were greeted with lots of traffic and a couple spots of construction up to Logan Pass. The views are beyond spectacular!

The east side of the park is closed just past Logan Pass because it drops into the Blackfeet reservation and they are trying to control the 😷 so it was an up and back the way we came. We tried to make a full loop but it wasn’t our day.

This was as close to a loop as we could get. I’ll take it! I’m
Once the riding was done, it was tire changing time. Don still has all his tools and machinery to get the job done quick.

I went with a different approach for my first tires after stock. The rear is a 140-80-18 Heidenau Scout Enduro tire ( without the center stripe) and the front is a 90-90-21 Mitas E-10 Dakar, both came from Revzilla and I hand carried them to Kalispell. The stock rear tire size is a 150-70-18 which is a bit more wide and not quite as tall so I also ordered a Kouba lowering link which drops the rear suspension 1/2” making up for the taller tire.

Don is a Heidenau dealer so he can get you what you need, just give him some notice for the freshest set.

While taking off the rear tire I got a refresher lesson on proper chain maintenance. Not having one since 2011, I was a bit rusty but luckily it wasn’t 😉

After the tires were on I made dinner with my instapot, Ethiopian chicken stew and red lintels. New flavors with spices shipped in from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. We split the leftovers as I packed up to get an early start the next morning.

Thank you Don and Debbie for hosting me these last few days. I’ll be coming back to ride more, you can count on that!
Here is the link to contact Don if you need tires for your next adventure, or you are in need of a new set while passing through Montana.