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So I decided to take a month off of work this year and had planned a grand solo motorcycle trip out to California on my 1994 Harley Road King. The plan was to cross the United States, and end up in LA where I would visit some friends and then return, via the path of the old Route 66. Well, a chronically leaking primary drive on my motorcycle and the need to repeatedly get it fixed made it so I lost about 5 days of travelling time. Thus I had to cut my travels down a bit. My new plan was to travel across the US, hitting places such as Salt Lake City, Bonneville Salt Flats, Sedona Arizona, Roswell New Mexico, St Louis, Chicago, etc.
I finally had my bike repaired late on July 4 and was all packed up and ready to leave early on the 5th. Day 1 consisted of travelling out of Ottawa on the Trans Canada Hwy. I made it as far as Espanola, Ontario and spent a nice night at the Clear Lake Motel. Doesn`t look like much but it was quite comfortable, the staff were friendly and it was way affordable. I think i paid 60 bucks.
Day 2 had me crossing into the US at Sault Ste. Marie. After spending over an hour frying on what seemed like the longest bridge in the history of bridges, I made it into the US and rode down the western shore of Lake Michigan. Green Bay WI was my goal but I ended up stopping in Memomee MI. Nice enough place.
My real goal was Milwaukee WI - yes you guessed it - HQ of Harley Davidson and the Harley Museum. Day 3 started out rainy. As well, my chronically leaking primary drive started leaking again. I made it to Milwaukee by noon and checked out the Museum. It is quite a site. They have at least 1 bike from every year since 1903. They also have an exact replica of the Captain America bike that Peter Fonda rode in Easy Rider, as well as the one that Dennis Hopper rode. If you are ever in Milwaukee, you should check this museum out. Definitely worth the stop.
After enjoying some fish tacos at the museum bar, I went out to my bike to
find a very troubling puddle of oil under my primary drive. This wasn
``couple of drops `leak. This was like Niagara Falls. What to do. Well - I
thought - my bike was back where it was born in 1994 so if it could be fixed
anywhere it would be here. I googled the nearest Harley dealer which turned
out to be The house of Harley
www.houseofharley.comÂ on Langley road
I booted it over there and arrived 30 minutes before closing, proceeding to the Service Dept to plead my case. When I told the service guys of my plans and my predicament, they immediately told me to bring the bike over to the service area for a look. When I arrived they had 3 guys waiting for me who immediately got to work diagnosing the problem. The mechanic quickly observed that my clutch/derby cover appeared to be warped and the oil appeared to be leaking from there. Within minutes they had ridden my bike into the shop (through the service waiting area no less), and had the cover replaced. And to top it off, they didn't charge me any labour to do so - only the cost of the parts. I was back on the road in less than half an hour. These guys rocked! If you ever need service in the Milwaukee area, go there.
So I was back on the road by 4PM, headed for Aramosa Iowa. Now some might ask, ‟why there”? Well, this is the HQ of J&P Cycles www.jpcycles.com, one of the biggest online retailers of motorcycle parts in North America, and recipient of many of my dollars from my recent Shovelhead Chopper build. They also run the National Motorcycle Museum www.nationalmcmuseum.org/which I plan to check out.
On the way to Aramosa, I crossed the Mississippi for the first time in my life - at Dubuque - and then rode the sweetest, twistiest, most deserted stretch of highway -US 151- through Iowa corn fields. Tomorrow it is off to J&P Cycles and the National Motorcycle Museum and then points west - stay tuned.