Harley Road Trip to see Dave

May 2019- Harley Trip (Approx 2,500 miles)

Background:

I have only owned a few modern bikes and have been riding 1970’s classics my whole life.

Objective:

Ride my Harley Ultra Classic from Colorado where I live (near Denver) via Arizona to Mission Viejo in Southern California to visit my good friend Dave O for the weekend of May 11th and give him a nice bottle of Irish whisky for his birthday. Also to visit several other friends in Prescott AZ and in Southern California.

Job Done:

Bike History:

In August 2018 I purchased my Harley Ultra Limited ( FLHTK) from Mile High Harley in Parker, CO, David O (Yes there is David O in Mile High Harley and Dave O in California). It had the Screaming Eagle stage 1 upgrade from new. It is a very high tech bike and includes navigation, headset for stereo and phone and it can even check text messages while on the road, even has cruise control. It has the tour pack, so plenty of room for luggage – Luxury!

It does about 230 miles on a full tank.

I rode the Harley for 900 miles on short distances locally during 2018 and early 2019. The only issues I have had prior to this long journey have been dropping it in the garage while maneuvering it. This is mainly due to my lack of understanding how the kickstand works. I already have a bad back, so dropping a 900 lb. motorcycle is no fun. When I dropped it no damage was done, but I panicked when the hazards started flashing and I had no idea how to pick it up. Upon visiting You Tube for advice, I understood that you have to put it in gear and then put butt in the seat, while holding the bars and rear grab rail, use legs to gradually pick it up. Well it screwed my back up badly! Once I understood how the kickstand tab located to lock the kickstand in place I felt more comfortable and have not dropped it since. I must admit I am impressed with the bike. It handles well and simply eats up the road. I am now a Harley convert!

Pre-Trip Prep:

Tools (Right hand pannier):

  • 3/8 drive ratchet with 6″ extension and torque bar.
  • Torx set.
  • Allen wrench set and allen wrench sockets.
  • Cable ties of various sizes.
  • Wire and electrical tape.
  • Wire cutters and strippers.
  • 6 in one screw driver and posidrive screw driver.
  • Duck tape.
  • Flashlight/ torch.
  • Small funnel.
  • Short air filler for tires and pressure tester.
  • Channel locks
  • 6″ and 12″ adjustable wrench.
  • Knife.
  • My trusted Fluke electrical meter.

Riding Gear (Right hand pannier and in a bag on the luggage rack):

  • Alpinestar boots.
  • Thermal leggings and top.
  • Neck gaiter.
  • Arai helmet with Harley wired headset attached.
  • Lightweight gloves and heavyweight gloves.
  • Frank Thomas warm leggings.
  • Lightweight waterproof leggings and top jacket cover.
  • Leather jacket.
  • Warm Bilt Explorer jacket.
  • Spare open face helmet.
  • Maps

Tech (Top box):

  • Laptop and charger.
  • Phone and charger.
  • iPad and charger,

General (Top box and left hand pannier):

  • Clothes to last 7 days including warm sweater.
  • Shoes.
  • Toiletries.
  • First aid kit.

Trip:

Thursday May 2nd 2019 (214 miles) – I left my house near Denver and travelled via the C-470 toll road and Hwy 285 to Gunnison in Colorado where I stayed in a hotel. It was a cold sunny day and had been snowing the day before. While traveling over the Monarch Pass it snowed and was very windy for a few hours. The weather was no problem for the Harley. I switched on the heated grips and was warm with my Bilt Explorer jacket and thermals. Here is a photo about 40 miles after the snow storm. I was really getting the hang of the Harley and enjoying it more and more. This is what its meant for- Great!

Photos from Hwy 285 just after snow storm

Friday May 3rd (195 miles) – I traveled to Matt Rambow (cNw) in Dolores, CO via Hwy 50 >550> 62> 145. What a beautiful ride, especially near Telluride! The snow was melting, the sun shining and the bike was preforming well. It was no problem riding at 65/ 75 mph through the mountain passes. It was great to see Matt and his wife and we went out for a nice dinner. Thanks Matt!

Matt’s shop

Saturday May 4th (366 miles) – I traveled from Matt’s to Prescott Valley in Arizona via Hwy 160> 89. The trip mainly consisted of long roads through the Navajo Reservation. I was able to open the bike up and was cruising at 85/90 MPH on the long straights, this bike has incredible power and torque. The scenery changed dramatically and I was now in the desert, so a no need for the Bilt Explorer jacket. Switched to my leather and jeans. It was 80 degrees! Just before Flagstaff AZ, I was strapping down my bag on the rack and smashed myself badly on the for head with a bungee cord/ Luckily I did not hit my eye. not a big deal.

The roads started getting busier and I eventually arrived at my old friend Ron Fratturelli’s and I stayed with him and Karen for the weekend. It was great to catch and I met up with my old friend Bob Epper’s as well as met John England who is a Norton Collector. I had a great weekend.

John England & Ron Fratturelli

Bob Epper’s

Monday May 6th (460 miles) – Traveled from Arizona to California via Hwy 89> 10> 60> 91> 241. I went to my very good friend Tom Spence’s house and stayed with Tom and his wife Sue for the weekend. As I pulled up Tom already had a beer ready for me and I had a drink with Sues 87 year old English dad (Rodney) who got me a bit drunk. Had a fantastic time.

At Tom’s house

I left Tom’s on the 8th and during the week I stayed with my good friends Dave and Beth Katzenmeyer.

As soon as I got to California it started raining and the traffic was terrible. No problem as I had the wet weather gear. The Harley is brilliant in the rain too!

I travelled around Southern California visiting friends and business partners for the week. It rained all week and I was reminded about California traffic and stress. I am so happy not to be there fighting traffic anymore. Drivers are terrible and have zero respect for motorcyclists. I added 200 or 300 more miles.

Mark D’Ambrosio

Alice & Joe Gagliano

Mary & Jesse

Friday May 10th – Visited my good friend Dave O in Mission Viejo, California for his birthday weekend and delivered a nice bottle of Irish Whisky. A good time was had by all!!

Dave & Me

Sunday May 12th (470 miles) – Traveled from Mission Viejo CA, to Prescott Valley AZ via Hwy 240> 91> 60> 10> 89. It was a pretty tiring ride leaving California, but luckily not too much traffic. I exited the 10 Freeway at Quartzite and traveled through nice windy roads in AZ up to Prescott Valley where I stayed the night with Ron and Karen again. We went out for dinner with John England & Bob Eppers too.

Hwy 89

Monday May 13th (366 miles) – Traveled from Prescott Valley AZ back to Dolores CO where I stayed the night with Matt at cNw and we went out to dinner.

Tuesday May 14th (426 miles) – I traveled a different way back from Dolores CO to home. This time I took Hwy 160 (Manco Pass) across to Hwy 25 in Colorado. Absolutely incredible views. I powered up the Hwy 25 at 85 MPH and got home about 4 PM. What a trip.

Pagosa Springs

Hwy 160

Home sweet home