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A Ride Home...


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#1 DneprJohn

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:35 PM

Hello, all!
I Posted this over at Dneprheads, but thought I would share it with some folks here that don't go over there.  I have paid-off the 2001 MT-11 that I purchased from my good friend and fellow Dneprheads moderator Steve Bushmaker. I now have the task of getting it to my home in Northern Florida from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I think, Lord willing, I will ride it back.  My wife and I would leave Jacksonville, FL June 6th on an Amtrak train, stopping in Washington, DC and Chicago, IL, before arriving at Minneapolis, MN on the 8th.  We would then rest a couple days, visit with my friend, and prep for the journey, and leave on the 11th.  It would take us 4 days to get back, riding approximately 375 miles a day.   Our route would take us south out of Minneapolis on 52, then picking up 63 in Rochester and riding that all the way through Iowa and into Missouri.  We would then turn east on 136, possibly staying the night in Memphis, MO.  We would ride 136 across Illinois to 51, turning south and riding that to the southern part of the state and possibly staying a night in Carbondale, IL.  We would then pick up 45 shortly past Carbondale, and ride that through Kentucky, Tennessee, and half of Mississippi, attempting to stay overnight in Columbus, MS.  Turning east again, we would ride 82 to Montgomery, 231 to Dothan, 84 to Bainbridge, GA, then 27 to Tallahassee.  We are just south of Tallahassee on 319 in Crawfordville, FL.  
Notice, that the route avoids interstates.  If you want to plot a route without interstates, avoid Mapquest and Yahoo Maps.  The computers constantly try to modify your route to interstates, very frustrating. My wife has plotted-out non-ethanol stations to fill-up at, and motorcycle repair shops along the way, as well as nearest Ural dealers.  I intend to install a 2 1/2 gallon jerry can and holder on the sidecar for extra fuel, because there's a long stretch in Kentucky and Tennessee with no non-ethanol gas stations handy.  
For those who may think I am going off-the-cuff on this thing, I have done a long-distance trip with a Russian sidecar bike before:  I restored a '59 Dnepr K-750 during my time with the Coast Guard in Kodiak, AK, installing a Ural 650 engine and tranny,  installing Ural 18" wheels and solo gearing.  When I EOS'd, I took a ferry from Kodiak to Homer, then rode the AlCan highway, nearly flipped-over on a mountainside in Northern BC, ran out of money in Kelowna, BC, borrowed money from my parents and continued, going through Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Minnesota.  I removed the sidecar and sold it in Minneapolis, then a connecting rod bearing failed on the road in Illinois.  I was on my way to Georgia.  Had I not rode the bike so hard, trying to maintain 100KPH fully loaded with gear in the sidecar, and also kept a better check on the oil level, I might have made it all the way.  I also had neglected to put an extension on the oil pump pickup when I installed the deep sump on the Ural 650 engine.  Natch. I think I have learned from those mistakes.  
Anyone live near my intended route?  Lemme know, I might be able to visit you...
DneprJohn
John Timbes AKA "DneprJohn"
'01 Dnepr MT-11 with 750 Ural engine/trans, "Vaya"
This "NORMAL" you speak of, doesn't sound very fun...

#2 digitalebola

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:32 PM

Wow - Sounds exciting.  Keep us posted along the way.  I am a bit far from your route - but you have our moral support!

#3 DneprJohn

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:04 PM

View Postdigitalebola, on 12 May 2012 - 06:32 PM, said:

Wow - Sounds exciting.  Keep us posted along the way.  I am a bit far from your route - but you have our moral support!
That's okay, we are planning a trip up to Atlanta this fall.  Will try to meet up with you then.
DneprJohn
P.S. Can you delete the duplicate posting?  I couldn't find any way of doing so.
John Timbes AKA "DneprJohn"
'01 Dnepr MT-11 with 750 Ural engine/trans, "Vaya"
This "NORMAL" you speak of, doesn't sound very fun...

#4 DneprJohn

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:19 PM

We have changes in our plans:  My employer didn't approve the days off I wanted, so I had to modify a little.  Now, Lord willing, we will leave in the car on the 5th of June, arriving in Minneapolis the 6th, then leaving out on the
7th.  We would take 52 to Dubuque, IA, 61 to Davenport, then 67 to Godfrey, IL where a fellow rider has offered us lodging and food.  From there, we would take 159 south to 3, then ride 3 all the way into Cairo.  62 would take us to 45, and we would ride that all the way to Columbus, MS.  From there, the route is the same as before.  It would only take 3 days to get home this way, and the route is shorter.  I don't like that my wife will have to follow me in the car, but plane and train tickets are too expensive this close to departure.  Should be a good trip, though.  
DneprJohn
John Timbes AKA "DneprJohn"
'01 Dnepr MT-11 with 750 Ural engine/trans, "Vaya"
This "NORMAL" you speak of, doesn't sound very fun...

#5 yatesfly

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

If you come down 67 you will come through rushville maybe I can meet you for a meal or what ever. I think you have my phone number I will watch your post I am about 110 north of Dave.  Dennis Yates
dnepr MT16,64 hd xlch,71hd xlh, 82 honda gl500

#6 DneprJohn

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:59 AM

We arrived yesterday in Minneapolis, after a 26 hour drive.  Stephen and I dug right into Vaya, repacking wheel bearings, replacing some tires and tubes, installing the spare fuel can, taking off the sidecar windshield, etc.  Most fluids were changed.  We will hopefully finish-up today and be ready to go.  She definitely needs a carb balance!  
DneprJohn
John Timbes AKA "DneprJohn"
'01 Dnepr MT-11 with 750 Ural engine/trans, "Vaya"
This "NORMAL" you speak of, doesn't sound very fun...

#7 digitalebola

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:11 AM

Awesome - keep us updated!

#8 DneprJohn

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:29 PM

View Postdigitalebola, on 06 June 2012 - 08:11 AM, said:

Awesome - keep us updated!
Did some more work wednesday and enjoyed a couple Labatt's with Stephen Bushmaker.  Oilpan dropped and cleaned, new gasket installed and engine filled with fresh oil.  Valve clearances and points adjusted.  New wire run for the alternator light.  Parking brake installed.  Brakes adjusted, again.  Carbs adjusted and balanced. We did another shakedown run, this time on the freeway.  I got up to 60mph!  Vaya is more comfortable with 55mph, though.  
Today, we got off to a late start, and so we made it to Dubuque, IA, 257 miles.  Bike is running great, 55mph on the flats, maybe 40mph on the steepest, longest hills.  When I ran out of fuel far from a station with non-ethanol fuel, I found that she runs better on E10, slowing down less on the hills and has less spitting and sputtering.  No indications of overheating. The transmission is leaking from the output shaft, so to shield my  boots from the spattered oil, I took two fry cartons from Culver's and zip-tied them on either side of the doughnut.  Works fairly well.  
Tomorrow, we plan on making it to Godfrey, IL to stay with EVC Man, a member from the Soviet Steeds forum.  We also plan to stop in and say "Hi" to Dennis Yates in Rushville, IL.
DneprJohn
John Timbes AKA "DneprJohn"
'01 Dnepr MT-11 with 750 Ural engine/trans, "Vaya"
This "NORMAL" you speak of, doesn't sound very fun...

#9 DneprJohn

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:19 PM

View PostDneprJohn, on 07 June 2012 - 10:29 PM, said:

View Postdigitalebola, on 06 June 2012 - 08:11 AM, said:

Awesome - keep us updated!
Did some more work wednesday and enjoyed a couple Labatt's with Stephen Bushmaker.  Oilpan dropped and cleaned, new gasket installed and engine filled with fresh oil.  Valve clearances and points adjusted.  New wire run for the alternator light.  Parking brake installed.  Brakes adjusted, again.  Carbs adjusted and balanced. We did another shakedown run, this time on the freeway.  I got up to 60mph!  Vaya is more comfortable with 55mph, though.  
Today, we got off to a late start, and so we made it to Dubuque, IA, 257 miles.  Bike is running great, 55mph on the flats, maybe 40mph on the steepest, longest hills.  When I ran out of fuel far from a station with non-ethanol fuel, I found that she runs better on E10, slowing down less on the hills and has less spitting and sputtering.  No indications of overheating. The transmission is leaking from the output shaft, so to shield my  boots from the spattered oil, I took two fry cartons from Culver's and zip-tied them on either side of the doughnut.  Works fairly well.  
Tomorrow, we plan on making it to Godfrey, IL to stay with EVC Man, a member from the Soviet Steeds forum.  We also plan to stop in and say "Hi" to Dennis Yates in Rushville, IL.
DneprJohn
We dropped in on Dennis Yates and had a great visit, eating Mexican food, then riding the Dneprs through town to his house to kick tires and talk bikes for awhile.  Our wives discovered they both love knitting, so they had a great visit, too.  Alas, too soon, I had to go in order to make it to Dave Totten's house in Godfrey before dark.  Dave has several rigs, including an '03 Army Green Ural Tourist.  He noticed that my lean-out was actually lean-in, so we set-about adjusting that, and before you know it, we were digging old parts and accessories out of his basement and making changes to Vaya.  She got some short, upright risers, a set of Chang Jiang bars with welded-on 7/8" ends, and a tonneau cover.  We had to make shims out of aluminum stock to get the controls to fit, but everything went together well.  We enjoyed some adult beverages after the successful end and test ride, then went to bed.  David got up real early to go to a BMW rally in Pontiac, IL.  Kristen and I got up a little later, and after having an excellent breakfast of yogurt with blueberries and granola with his wife, we took-off.  
Avoiding East St. Louis was nigh-on impossible, but we did manage to skirt the edge and get back on the open road.  Vaya is a totally different creature with the new bars, handles better and I can sit on her for much longer time leaning forward, and I don't find myself leaning up against the hand guard for the rear seat much anymore.  We made it to Corinth, MS before nightfall.  Trying to stay on 45 through Tennessee was frustrating, with it switching between 45E, 43, and 45 South several times.  We hope to take it on in to home in Crawfordville, FL tomorrow.
John Timbes AKA "DneprJohn"
'01 Dnepr MT-11 with 750 Ural engine/trans, "Vaya"
This "NORMAL" you speak of, doesn't sound very fun...

#10 digitalebola

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:21 PM

Sounds like you are making some killer progress.  I miss Mississippi - you are gonna be coming through my old stomping grounds tomorrow!  Keep it up!

J

#11 guzzidude

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 10:18 AM

Glad you're having a great trip. Let us know when you make it home safely.
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#12 sallen

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 06:22 PM

Sounds like your having a lot of fun, got any pics to post of the trip?

Would love to know what problems and fixs you encountered on the trip when it's finished.

Ride safe and have fun.

SA

#13 DneprJohn

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:14 PM

[/quote]
We dropped in on Dennis Yates and had a great visit, eating Mexican food, then riding the Dneprs through town to his house to kick tires and talk bikes for awhile.  Our wives discovered they both love knitting, so they had a great visit, too.  Alas, too soon, I had to go in order to make it to Dave Totten's house in Godfrey before dark.  Dave has several rigs, including an '03 Army Green Ural Tourist.  He noticed that my lean-out was actually lean-in, so we set-about adjusting that, and before you know it, we were digging old parts and accessories out of his basement and making changes to Vaya.  She got some short, upright risers, a set of Chang Jiang bars with welded-on 7/8" ends, and a tonneau cover.  We had to make shims out of aluminum stock to get the controls to fit, but everything went together well.  We enjoyed some adult beverages after the successful end and test ride, then went to bed.  David got up real early to go to a BMW rally in Pontiac, IL.  Kristen and I got up a little later, and after having an excellent breakfast of yogurt with blueberries and granola with his wife, we took-off.  
Avoiding East St. Louis was nigh-on impossible, but we did manage to skirt the edge and get back on the open road.  Vaya is a totally different creature with the new bars, handles better and I can sit on her for much longer time leaning forward, and I don't find myself leaning up against the hand guard for the rear seat much anymore.  We made it to Corinth, MS before nightfall.  Trying to stay on 45 through Tennessee was frustrating, with it switching between 45E, 43, and 45 South several times.  We hope to take it on in to home in Crawfordville, FL tomorrow.
[/quote]
Sunday was a very long day.  It rained on us just as we crossed the Alabama state line, and I got cold.  Wifey had forgotten to pack the waterproof liner for my mesh riding jacket.  We bought a poncho to layer with, plus I broke out all my extra clothes, even layering with my pajamas.  It stopped raining soon, but never really warmed back up.  My fry boxes fell off from being wet, so I improvised with a waxed-paper drinking cup to keep the transmission oil off my legs.  Vaya was still running great, but I had to add another half-quart of oil to the engine.  Twice in Alabama, I passed a vehicle going way slower than I was. That felt strange!  I was supposed-to be the slowest thing on the road! Also, Alabamans have this annoying habit of stopping at a yield sign, with no vehicles coming!  It got dark way too soon, and we got home about 12:30 A.M.  Home seems so strange and different, yet familiar, when you ride in from somewhere else in the dark.  The incandescent headlight bulb doesn't do half-bad, but that high-beam indicator is too bright.  May have to cover that up.
Starting Klicks, 7960.  Corinth, MS, 9111.  Home, 9749.  May be a little off because of solo gearing.  Dneprs may not be the most reliable, but they can travel long distances, given a decent break-in and driven at a relaxed pace.

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John Timbes AKA "DneprJohn"
'01 Dnepr MT-11 with 750 Ural engine/trans, "Vaya"
This "NORMAL" you speak of, doesn't sound very fun...

#14 digitalebola

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:27 AM

:cheers:

#15 guzzidude

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:55 AM

Very Awesome! Glad you're home safe. This shows that the Dnepr is not one to mock!!! Cheers!
MT11 - VFR. R.I.P.- BMW R100GS, R50/5, CB550SS, VStar1100, TS400, V11Sport, TR6/Bonnie, KLX650, GSXR600, etc.




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