P.K. Adventures ( North Texas Tenere Madmen😉)

I was invited through Jaxon Fyffe to meetup with Aaron Gragg, the leader of Possum Kingdom Adventure riders which is a good bunch of guys Northwest of Dallas. He had a trip in the works going down to the coast. Not doing the math, I said sure. (It was a 1200ish mile trip over 3 days!😳)

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We were joined by Tim Scholtz, Kevin Landis, James Queen, Zach Bagley, and the father and son(two up) team of Lee and Max Chestnut. Aaron agreed to let me park the Yamahauler on his ranch while we were away. More on the ranch later…

Day 1 was right at 500 miles at a very quick pace. We stopped in West, Texas just north of Waco for gas and lunch. West is known for several Czechoslovakian bakeries all serving meat filled rolls called Koliches. YUM! The route was all “Farm to Market” secondary roads. We showed up at the hotel in Winnie, Texas after about 11 hours on the road. I slept hard that night!

Day 2 was along the coast, new roads mostly for me. From Winnie, down to the Gulf Coast skirting the beach to the ferry to Galveston. A short (free) ferry to Galveston island and the touristy town that Galveston is. Then Bay City and seafood lunch in Port Lavaca.


Our hotel for the night was about 100 miles away in the very historic town of Goliad. All Texans are taught of the fort and battles that happens there. A really neat place!

Read more about it here…. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjg05

Enjoy some of the pictures from the sleepy little town.

Day 3 had rain in the forecast all the way back to the ranch… yuck. I chose to take a  more direct route that had me going through more rain then the others who normally follow the radar to avoid the clouds. Riding  in the northwest for so long, I’m prepared for the wet stuff. Luckily, I only hit about two hours of rain of the 6+ hours on the road. I did meet up with Zack and James outside Seguin, Zack hit a slippery patch of pavement and went sliding across 3 lanes of highway. His handle bars got bent pretty bad and he lost 1/2 his foot peg but only got a little road rash on his forearm. He was lucky! 5F58A492-36B2-4598-A141-7A419996E424Even with his bike in that condition, he still kept a pace faster then I cared to keep up with. Not wanting to slow him down, he sped off and I was happy to “ride my own ride”

When passing through Cherokee Texas, the smell of wood smoke had me activating my antilock brakes for open pit BBQ. It was South Side BBQ Ohhhh my! Was that tasty! The perfect place to stop and grab a bite after skipping breakfast wanting to beat the weather. I actually beat Aaron back to the ranch by almost an hour.

Aaron had some ranch duties to take care of as soon as he got parked, you see he manages 4000 acres with about 75 head of cattle!  He also has “High fence” and “low fence” guided hunts form wild pigs, turkey and deer.  He asked if I wanted to ride with him to feed the cattle and if we see any feral hogs, it was open season. We didn’t see any hogs but I did get a great tour of the ranch while we fed the cows.

To book guided Hog, Turkey or Deer hunts contact Aaron a Possum King Hunting Company    in Graham Texas. He did say that a 2 day hog hunt has a 90% chance of getting at least one hog.

Once again, this is why I do what I do.. Meeting some great people along the way!
Thanks Aaron and all of the Possum Kingdom adventure riders! I hope I didn’t slow y’all down too much 😉

Arai helmets

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—>Click here<—-

The link above is a good article about Arai helmets. How they are made and what goes into their high cost. I picked my second XD-4 up at BAMF Moto in Portland. James was able grab one right out of the container from Japan, apparently this color scheme sell out fast. So thanks James🙌

My first Arai XD-4 lasted 5 years and a bit over 50,000 miles.  They are the most comfortable helmets I’ve found that fits my large melon head 😏🙄

I spoke with an Arai sales rep at the Dallas IMS show and a new design should be out this year, but I have many thousands of miles to go on this one. Looking forward to seeing what’s new.

Dallas International Motorcycle Show

I went to the Dallas IMS with two goals, sit on the T-700 again and meet up with my friends from the industry. Both were accomplished! It was so nice to meet up with old and new friends from the motorcycle world.

Just like nearly 10 years ago at the 2011 IMS in Seattle, I was able to sit on “my next motorcycle” 😉   This time I won’t have to wait as long🙌 I was still on active duty then (no beard) and didn’t get my 1200 Super Tenere until 2012 after I retired.

Here are a few more pictures of the T-700

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Right across from the Yamaha display was John Bettencourt of Heidenau tires. We’ve been friends since he found out I had a tattoo of a heidenau tire on my leg. ☺️ I even stopped by his warehouse  on my 2016 ride.  He’s at all the IMS shows so it’s great to catch up.

Then I wandered over the the “Adventure” area they had set up at the show.
It was a little stage set up for presentations from Long Haul Paul Pelland, Paul is trying to ride a million miles while raising funds to help fight his Multiple Scleroses. I picked up one of his 2020 calendars he has for sale to help his journey.

The Backcountry Discovery Route Foundation. It’s their 10th year and they were introducing their 10th route from the Pennsylvania/New York border through New England, up into Maine and stopping at the border of Quebec. Facebook friend Nathen Fant From “For the love of knobs” is an ambassador for the BDR routes. He and his wife did the Southern California route last year. Epic riding!

 

Rachelle McMullin fromWolfman Luggage and JC Davis from Mosko Moto were also on hand to show off their excellent luggage.  I first met both of them back in Denver at Woodys Wheel Works last summer. Rachell was then Woodys PR person and JC helped me flip burgers for Woodys blues festival. I love how the motorcycle world keeps circling back.

After the show Paul and John piled into my van for some great down home bbq at Hickory House BBQ  not far from the show.  I recommend the pulled pork. We got to just sit an chat about our travels and the current state of the motorcycle industry.  A great time hearing about the behind the scenes news.

Here are a few more pics from the show. Not that many big names were there. Honda, BMW and Ducati to name a few were no shows. As the price goes up to be in a show, less big names will continue to drop out, only raising the cost for them even more. Sad…

One last thing is it’s awesome for others to walk up to me and ask if I’m that Tenere guy☺️ Being recognized is a cool feeling. One of the PNW Tenere guys back in Seattle(Dan Mancini) had two of his buddies at the show and they walked up to say hi. Derrick and Bruce ride with Dan a couple times a year, last time was in Utah out where those John Wayne western movies were filmed 😉 Thanks guys for saying hi! I really appreciate it! I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY,

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10 years riding Adventure motorcycles

I was reminded recently, its been 10 years when I picked up that KLR “685” off Craigslist. What a decade! So much has happened since! 

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It all started just before my last USAF deployment to Kyrgyzstan July-December ‘09. I went to see Simon and Lisa Thomas from 2Ride the World  before I left to see their presentation about their life on the road, then once I deployed, watching videos of Charlie and Ewan ride their motorcycles around the world sealed the deal. Charlie and Ewan fanned the flames of an entire segment of motorcycle design and style of riding. Adventure motorcycling was unheard in most circles before their Long Way Around and Long Way Around TV series.

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My Adventure training started pretty quickly after picking  up the KLR when I got back from my deployment , attending the PSSOR Adventure camp   Bret Tkacts and his crew did a great job of covering the basics.  I even returned a few more times to PSSOR for more training over the years.

54AE6DEA-E700-451A-842C-D977FCA5E31CBEFF4351-F192-4968-A4C7-F51579EE9E0A67988237-16B7-406B-A3DD-651505699CE53EC7CDA7-D209-4F2B-817E-0214F32A7D692745AAEF-9427-45A2-A972-BE893DA73658That KLR was a great start and took me to some really cool places. Places I couldn’t get to on my Harley, it definitely opened my eyes to what’s possible. B2A2B25B-7087-401D-9B96-2D9D801569C28519D347-DA98-4BBE-B8DA-8EC2CE6E98A7B57445E5-BD5A-4DEE-AF9F-F8CF80C576DBC3FE6A6A-7409-458A-9C79-AC56DEAEB6226A376A02-EE59-49F8-919C-50DA0272FBA24213CC2F-BFE3-490A-BD33-1D301D012687After 30,000ish miles on that KLR the lack of power was evident then what I had with the Harley.  By that time it was 2011 and was retiring from the Air Force, there was a new bike about to hit the market and this video popped up.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tCHWsSRWMkc&t=13s

It’s Nick Sanders returning to England after his Incredible Ride doing 3 laps back to back from Argentina to Alaska, pretty much non stop. For a motorcycle to hold up like that without issues was the strongest selling point I could think of. Much better then Charlie and Ewan’s BMW’s for sure 😉 I sat on the Yamaha Super Tenere first at the IMS show in Seattle and knew that was my next bike.
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It wasn’t too long after I sold the Harley and KLR to get a 2012 Super Tenere from Jeff at Sportland Yamaha in Cle Elum. From there things really took off when all I asked was to ride with others that had a Super Tenere. It didn’t take long to build the PNWSTOG from the ground up. What a great group of guys, friendships that remain to this day. Oh and the places we have traveled together!

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A few years back I was asked by Jeremy from AltRider to lead a 3 day ride through the Cascades as a conclusion to their international distributors meeting. It was a huge honor to show riders from all over the world our neck of the woods.

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Going to a Horizons Unlimited meet up (Training clinic from Jimmy and Heather Lewis) and hosting various world travelers really had me calling for the open road. That  was evident when the Tenere Across The USA trip started to formulate in my head.

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The Tenere Across the USA trip was life changing in many ways, it gave me the self confidence to change my situation and do what I want, on my own terms. It’s a great place to live! These last 10 years really have been amazing! I wouldn’t have thought my life could be this great. I’m also very thankful for all the friends I’ve made this last decade. Y’all have really made a difference! THANK YOU ALL!!

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!

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Here is the graphic from the official Yamaha website

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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.

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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 

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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 🙄

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!!!

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Joe Hauler of San Marcos Ca.

WWW.JOEHAULER.COM

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

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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!

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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!

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

EDIT
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.
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Reply from Joe
Glen,
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.

Joe

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!
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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).
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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!

 

 

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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!

 

 

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