Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rustic Roads Project

The state of Wisconsin has 108 designated Rustic Roads. They are old-fashioned country roads, but all of them are a little more scenic than usual. They are either embedded in scenic landscapes, rolling hills, twisty bits... something interesting for the motorist.

The state gives a patch to each motorcyclist who sends in a photo of himself or his bike at the numbered sign. If 10 are sent in, a certain patch is given out. If 25 are sent in, another one is given out. They have even introduced a special one for 100! I don't know if I will get that many, but it will be fun to try.
Here are a couple of shots I got while I was out hitting four of them today:

This one started it all out. Another motorcyclist even showed up just in time to fill in the empty road.

Here's the start of another one I hit today.

Later on, it got very hilly; a nice change from the Chicago suburbs.

Sailor Dan's bar was along one of those, I think it was #11.

Now that I have a KLR and occasionally call myself an "Adventure Rider," I have to take opportunities like this from time to time. It looked to me like an access road for the utility company to get to the power lines. I didn't see any signs that said "No Trespassing" or "Private Property," so I went ahead and explored a bit. I stopped and deflated my tires from 30 psi to 15 psi, so I would have enough traction in the grass and dirt.

A bit further in, it got rougher and rougher, until it looked like this:
...and finally, like this. I wound up in some farmer's back yard. I had to turn around so as not to be rude, riding across his property uninvited.

When I got back to the road, I re-inflated to ~30 psi.
It was a little sad to have to ride home again. It was a great afternoon. The summer here in the midwest has been pretty weak. There were only a few days where the temperature got above 90°F. Most of the summer, it has been in the 70s, which is fine with me!
I kept an eye on oil level at the sight glass. After this ride of around 170 miles, I don't seem to have burned any more oil. I assume this is because I was nearly always below 4500 RPM.
I can't wait to get started on the Schnitz 685cc big-bore kit. I think it is a little ironic that my four stroke motorcycle burns more oil than it would if it were a two-stroke. At least if it were a two-stroke 650cc bike, it would make a ton more power and weigh a lot less!
The BeadRider seat pad is great. Again, not as comfortable as an aftermarket saddle, but I didn't get Monkey Butt either, so it is doing its job.


  1. Jeremy,

    Glad you finally switched over to the Kawasaki 650. Now there are no road condition can stop you...just like when Steve (Sticks) wrote in his review on the test ride of the KLR. I am envy of this ever since I have read your blog when you visited SoCal and rented the KLR. I live in SoCal, Orange County, and will eventually buy a bike similar to your KLR; possible a BMW F650gs will be a better fit for my stature and a definite dual purpose bike in my future. Now your Burgie are for those strictly road rides and easy going ride style. Good job on your blog site, its been a while.


  2. Thanks for the comments Phil. What kind of bike do you currently ride? Vino 125?

  3. Jeremy,

    A Vino 125 and I go everywhere ...rode to San Diego and back, Santa Monica Pier from North Orange County, also to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and all the way to Oceanside. My next bike may be one of the dual sport type or a Burgie 400 or Majesty. I like your compliment of bikes - creates great versatility.


  4. For what it's worth, I would stick with the Vino for all local riding. The KLR and Burgman overlap, but the KLR is better on the highway too. More wind blast, but a much smoother ride, due to the large wheels and plush, long-travel suspension.

  5. I agreed that KLR and bigger wheels provides an absolutely smoother and comfortable long distance rides. I will stick with the local roads on my Vino and adventure out too those greater excursions on a bigger bike. I enjoy STN and their blogs; great information on a utilitarian bike and and all those fantastic pictures. I also carry a small OLD DSLR, first generation Canon EOS, on all my rides - often I get stares from other drivers seeing a camera hanging around my neck as I ride around.
    I had the pleasure on riding one FJR1300, fantastic touring bike and a great "E" ticket ride - in reality the FJR is way too big for me - being at 5-7 and 155lbs; too much bike to handle.