3 Brothers & A Buddy – Trip Preparation

This particular ride was extremely spontaneous and synchronistically fell right into place. As such, it turned out to be an absolutely superb outing. Below, you’ll find all the trip planning emails, from inception to the night before departure. — Scott */:-)


Paul on the day he got his new Harley Road Glide. Look at that grin!
(click photo to enlarge)

From: Scott Bruce Duncan
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 12:01 PM
To: Paul M. Espensen
Subject: 96 ci motor!

…….One more thing. Regardless of what bikes I own and whatever my current philosophy about riding happens to be, I still feel an absolute need to rendezvous with my brothers each year and do some riding. So that means me trailering to Eric’s house and the two of us riding out to meet you somewhere, like Death Valley, or me trailering to Breckenridge or Zion or the North Rim. Whatever it takes. And just because I’m swearing off touring bikes for now doesn’t mean I won’t end up back on one again. One thing I’ve learned about motorcycling is to never say never. Right? Anyway, I would love to keep up the annual ride until we’re all in wheelchairs and when that happens, we can circle the wheelchairs around the fire, drink Tequila and tell stories.

Scott */:-)


Happiness is a new Road Glide!
(click photo to enlarge)

From: Paul M. Espensen
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 3:25 PM
To: Scott
Subject: RE: 96 ci motor!

……We will certainly keep riding each year. Eric and I have been talking about the Death Valley ride for some time. Colorado is getting a little old. It’s been a long time since Lolo Pass. Who knows? I am sure we will think of someplace to meet up.

I’ll send pictures of the new ride once it shows up

Paul


A fine stable of iron ponies
(click photo to enlarge)

From: eric espensen
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2007 7:34 PM
To: ‘Paul Espensen’; ‘Scott Bruce Duncan’
Subject: Well, I did it…

I bought a used 2002 Yamaha FZ-1 this week. I’m the third owner and this bike needs some TLC. It was right side, lowsided a while ago. The plastics have been replaced but the headlight, valve cover and the pipe are scratched up. I have already went once over from head to toe and she is now rideable.

The last owner tried to jet and tune it. I will be rejetting and retuning her this weekend. I have already ordered the proper replacement parts for both cosmetic and tuning so she should be as good as my last FZ-1. It came with many extras, including a Corbin saddle. The Corbin is hard and might be ok for long rides. We shall see.

You can have any color you want as long as it’s blue
(click photo to enlarge)

See the attached pics. Any ideas of buffing out the scratches on the valve cover Paul? I might try some metal polish and some fine grit sand paper. Give me your thoughts. And I will have new rear pegs within the week, and once tuned and dialed in, she will be ready for some track time. Hint, hint, Duncan.

The FJR is content with new tires and a tune up. Plan to keep her for a long time for our rides. Just no more track abuse for her.

And the girls say hi!

Talk to you guys soon.

Eric


(click photo to enlarge)

From: Scott Bruce Duncan
To: ‘eric espensen’ ; ‘Paul Espensen’
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2007 8:17 PM
Subject: RE: Well, I did it…

Congrats, Doc! Before you freak out on the attached photos, they are not of my RC. It’s Stew’s. He lowsided today at the track and got off at 80+ mph. His Roadcrafter, boots, helmet and gloves absorbed all the damage and he walked away without a scratch or bruise. The bike looks real bad but if the frame and forks are still straight, it’s just cosmetic. It was upsetting, though, to see a beautiful, scratch free RC leave the pits on its own two wheels and return trashed in the back of a pickup truck. Major drag.

(click on photo to enlarge)

Unlike Stew, I spent an awesome day at the track. The RC is sublime and with every session, we just got smoother and faster. Then I had a pro tune the suspension and I let some more air out of the rear tire which resulted in even more fun. After a whole day of running the RC without the constraints of the street, I decided to stop wasting the RC on the street and to dedicate her to the track. I’m looking forward to stripping off all that street hardware! And tomorrow is another day at the track. Woo-hoo!

I rented a motorcycle trailer from U-Haul and it’s working out beautifully with my Element as well as inexpensively at $15/day. So now I’m eyeing track days in Portland and I’ll start looking at Pridmore dates in the Fall.

Keep the FZ-1 updates coming!

Scott


This is what chagrin looks like. (shuh-grin) noun; a feeling of vexation, marked by disappointment or humiliation
(click on photo to enlarge)

From: Paul Espensen
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2007 8:37 PM
To: scott@dunthor.com; ‘eric espensen’
Subject: Re: Well, I did it…

That’s awesome! I need a track bike to trash. I would have a lot of fun fixing it up after a good crash.

Eric, are you going to bring the FZ1 on our May trip? Just joking. I assume you’re riding the FJR. Still don’t have a route yet but we should by next week. No matter where we go, we are planning on meeting you in Flagstaff. Is that okay?

Paul


(click on photo to enlarge)

From: eric espensen
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2007 6:59 AM
To: ‘Paul Espensen’; Scott
Subject: RE: Well, I did it…

The FJR & I will meet you in Flag. Sounds great! If I took the FZ-1, the FJR would get too jealous. I’ve figured out names for the two bikes. The FJR is most definitely “the wife” and the FZ-1 is “the girlfriend.”

Sorry to hear and see about Stew. Good thing there is a good dealer up in Seattle that can help with the repairs!

Eric


From: “Scott Bruce Duncan”
To: eric espensen; Paul Espensen’
Sent: 4/25/2007 11:22 AM
Subject: RE: Well, I did it…

When in May are you guys planning to ride and for how long?

Scott */:-)


From: Paul M. Espensen
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 11:26 AM
To: Scott
Subject: RE: Well, I did it…

May 16 until the 20th. We’re looking at a southern Utah route or a New Mexico / southern Colorado route. Either way, we are meeting Eric in Flagstaff and heading out from there.

Paul


From: “Scott Bruce Duncan”
To: “‘Paul M. Espensen'”
Sent: 4/25/2007 11:33 AM
Subject: RE: Well, I did it…

Well, if Eric has the FZ-1 rideable by then and would let me ride it, I could fly in to his place and join in providing work could be juggled around a bit. Camping or motel?

If not, then perhaps we can meet up this Fall for our annual ride.

Scott */:-)


From: Scott Bruce Duncan
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 7:35 PM
To: Eric
Subject: FW: Well, I did it…

Little bro:

Any chance of that FZ-1 of yours being up to that ride in May with Paul? If so and if work cooperates, I could fly into LA and join you for the trip on the FZ. No worries if it isn’t workable and no promises at this stage. It’s just a delightful, intriguing thought about how to get my annual “brothers” ride in.

Scott */:-)


Editor’s note: Eric enthusiastically agrees to having me ride his FZ-1 and launches into a flurry of work to get it ready. He repairs all the damage caused by the lowside of the previous owner, rejets the carbs, performs a tune-up, modifies the front shock, and much, much more. – Scott */:-)


From: Scott Bruce Duncan
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:28 PM
To: Eric
Cc: Paul
Subject: Planning

Hey Doc!

So when do I need to show up for the ride?

And what airport? LA?

When will we be back at your place?

And how do we resolve the camping vs. moteling issue? Setup a conference call with the 3 of us? As I said I’m totally cool with either.

Scott */:-)


From: Paul M. Espensen
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 8:13 AM
To: Scott; Eric
Cc: Don Surina
Subject: RE: Planning

Camping is the goal. Spoke with Eric and he showed some interest in leaving on the 15th and meeting in Flagstaff, however that is 497 miles so you would have to leave pretty early in the day. Don and I will leave on the 15th only if you two decide to do that because it is only 257 miles for us. So you guys decide what day you want to meet up.

I have attached the route from Van Nuys to Flagstaff just to show you where the meeting place is. Schnebly Hill Rd is just south of Flagstaff. This is the location that Chop and I have used many times as the kickoff point to past trips. It’s just off the highway. Once you get off the highway, just go about 1/4 mile to the west and there is a remote camp site location. This is not a maintained campsite; there is no water or toilets. However, just up the freeway, is a restaurant/store/gas station, etc.

I have also attached what I believe is the beginning of the route. It is for southern Utah. I believe that this is a good route for this time of year. It takes us past the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which does not even open up until May 10th so hopefully, we will miss any snow. I have not really checked on camping locations but Bryce Canyon would be on the top of my list for a night. I will do the usual and check for campsites with showers, etc..

Let me know what you guys think and what your intentions are. All of this can be modified to fit the needs of you guys who have the most distance to travel. The main goal of this trip is just to get out and ride. It’s been too long.

Paul


From: Scott Bruce Duncan
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 1:06 PM
To: ‘Eric’
Subject: RE: Powerlet install instructions

This is going to be fun. Thanks so much for working so hard on your FZ and letting me ride it. I consider it an honor and getting to ride with you is a real treat.

So the FZ power outlet is shipping today as are the soft bags from Aerostich. I also ordered a power kit for my tank bag so I can keep my various gadgets charged.

The height and angle of the pipe on your FZ is stock, is it not? If so, we should be in good shape. If higher than stock, I think the heat will adversely affect the right bag.

Scott */:-)


From: eric espensen

DryBag Saddlebags from Aerostich.com (click on photo to enlarge)

Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 6:29 PM
To: ‘Paul Espensen’; Scott
Subject: FZ-1 update

New Bridgestone B-021 rear tire so as to not wear out the old one in the middle of Utah.

Throttlemeister installed. Stock seat replaced with the Corbin seat for Duncan’s butt.

Waiting on powerlet power socket kit.

Anything else you can think of?

Eric


From: Scott Bruce Duncan
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 8:12 PM
To: ‘eric espensen’
Cc: ‘Paul Espensen’
Subject: RE: Well, I did it…

Oh good! I love the feel of fresh rubber!

Do you have a little compressor, one of those nifty plug kits and an air gauge? I know Paul will have his with but I figure we need our own set for the parts of the ride to and fro. I have all this stuff but I won’t bring it if you have it.

How ’bout a first aid kit? Again, I’ll bring mine if you don’t have one.

Are you bringing a folding chair for camp use? If so, do you mind adding mine to the FJR? If you don’t want the FJR looking like a farm truck, I completely understand.

And I just remembered to change my Air Click frequency so we don’t have to do dueling volumes. I just about blasted out Uncle Bob’s eardrums on our Colorado trip!

Scott */:-)


From: eric espensen
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:25 PM
To: Scott
Subject: RE: Well, I did it…

I have a plug kit for each bike, CO2 and a small compressor I bring with. No first aid kit, we don’t need no stinking first aid kit! Bring yours.

I have two folding chairs, so no worries.

And I don’t use the Airclick, just long playlists so no one can screw with my iTunes!

Eric


Tuesday, May 15

I fly into LAX on Tuesday afternoon and Eric is there to pick me up. Right outside the airport, I am treated to an In-N-Out Burger where Eric demonstrates his skill in navigating the myriad menu options to secure me an extra tasty, low carb burger. When we arrive at his house in Van Nuys, we get right to work on packing the bikes. I’ve purchased a set of waterproof saddle bags from Aerostich and we secure them to the FZ-1 after putting some packing tape on the paint where the straps touch. A camping ride always requires a lot of bulky gear but in the end, we get everything on the FZ except a folding camp chair which Eric straps to his FJR.

I mount my Garmin 478 GPS and my iPod AirClick on the FZ. Thanks to the power sockets

Garmin 478 GPS

Eric has installed, I can plug in my newly electrified tank bag and wear an electric vest if it gets chilly. When we stay in motels each night, I charge my GPS, iPod and cell phone in my room but a camping trip doesn’t allow that. So now I can charge the gadgets, one at a time, in my tank bag during the day. It’s almost not worth bothering with a cell phone on this trip due to the vast areas North of the Grand Canyon that do not have coverage. It becomes a rest stop ritual for each rider to pull out their phone and check for signal. For those of us who call home each night, it will mean hiking to the nearest pay phone and queuing up with all the teenagers who are calling home to tell their friends how bored they are camping with their families. Anyway, we finish packing and twiddling and call it a night as Eric says we need to get an early start in order to avoid the LA traffic.

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