The latest Episode of our Planet Ramble has just been posted. This time, we ride even more mountains, find a motorcycle in a rotary and check out some ancient Roman ruins and attend a party in town. We’re in Slovenia and it is awesome!!!
Click HERE to join us. If the link does not work, copy and paste the below into your web browser.
Come ride with us for the next part of our journey.
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has just been posted. This time we endure more broiling heat, find pizza with a sex drive and rumble through the Dolomite mountains. If you’d like to ride along, click HERE or cut and paste the below link into your web browser:
Come along and enjoy the ride!
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has just been posted. This time, we hang out in the tiny wine making village named Mercurey which was named after the God Mercurey… messenger to the Gods. We find some ancient buildings, wineries and a local resident.
You can travel along with us by clicking HERE.
You can also cut and paste this link into your web browser:
We hope you enjoy!
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has just been published. We ride deeper into France and find thunderstorms, Ancient Villages, lots of wine and road construction. Each had their fun elements… If you’d like to come along, click HERE. Or, you can cut and paste this link into your web browser:
We hope you enjoy the ride with us!
The next segment of our Planet Ramble has just been published. This time, we ride to Montreal Canada to drop off the bikes for shipment to Europe. We eventually get there and pick up the bikes. You can catch up by clicking HERE or by copying and pasting the below link into your browser.
We hope you enjoy. There’s much, much to come soon.
We’re getting excited to start Phase 2 of our Planet Ramble. Last year we rode across North America from Vermont, USA to Alaska, USA. For Phase 2 will we be shipping our bikes (both Ducati Scramblers) to London to start a large clockwise circular route. Although subject to change depending what we find and see along the way, we should be traveling through England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and France. We’ll return to England and fly back to the USA.
We will be storing the bikes in England until March, 2018 when we’ll return to London and complete counter-clockwise journey through Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Once leaving southern Morocco, we will head north and once back into Europe, head east, ultimately spending some time in Italy, before returning ourselves and bikes to London for return to the US. This part of the journey is exciting and we’ll be posting about what we’ve seen and done as we travel.
Once again, we will have a satellite tracking capability so you can see us in real time as we travel. We’ll post link and additional info soon.
We’re in the middle of a Vermont winter and the snow has flown quite liberally this year. Our back yard has a foot or so on the ground now and thus far, we’ve received nearly 5 feet of the cold white stuff. So when a company named Motorcycle House www.motorcyclehouse.com contacted us and asked us if we would test some of their products, I had to explain that it was presently the middle of the winter here in Vermont, and that we’d be happy to test their gear, but that we couldn’t test it on the bike until spring. That didn’t bother Dewayne from Motorcycle House one iota, and he rapidly agreed to send us a couple of Viking Cycle Enforcer jackets to test and provide comments on, whether they were good or bad. Soon the two Viking Cycle Enforcer jackets arrived and upon opening the box, I was quite impressed. So while we are waiting for Spring to come to Vermont, we decided that a winter test was in order. We couldn’t ride with the jackets on the bike, but we could try them out at one of the east coast’s largest ski areas. So we put on our boots, skis, gloves and Viking Cycle Enforcer jackets and headed to the mountain for a few rides. Before we tell you how it performed on the mountain, here’s some info on the features and design of the jackets.
This 3/4 touring design is well thought out and it has several features that are not included in jackets costing hundreds of dollars more. Here are just a few of the thoughtful features you will find on this jacket. The interior has several well arranged pockets. On both interior sides of the jacket are three pockets. Each side has two small pockets which can hold small items as well as a third zippered pocket of good size. The first of the small interior pockets has a tag indicating that they are for a small electronic device. These pockets are suited for an item the size of an ipod. Thoughtfully, there are two wire pass through holes in each of these pockets through which you can feed cables or wires should you want to use wired headphones or the like. A nice touch is that the wire holes are not directly in line, so if any moisture gets into the pocket, it can not directly travel through to the interior pocket where the device is being kept. Smart!. Directly below the device pockets are slightly larger pockets (perhaps 4″ deep) that could hold larger items such as pens etc. There are also nice zippered pockets on both sides of each main zipper. On both sides of the jacket behind the main jacket zipper is a larger zippered pocket one of which is labeled to hold sunglasses, but could equally hold maps etc. as well. There is one more 6″ X 6″ zippered pocket in the interior of the jacket with a covered zipper. So what does the interior of the jacket give you? Seven different size pockets three of which are zippered. All of these pockets are accessible with the jacket liner installed in place. With the jacket liner removed, you lose the 6″ X 6″ pocket, but you gain a 10″ x 7″ zippered pocket with a water resistant zipper. You can also get to this pocket with the jacket liner installed, but you will have to unzip the liner about 5″ to get to it.
Speaking of the liner, it is not very thick but it does insulate well. There is a tag indicating that the liner is polyester, PU coated. This seems to indicate that the liner may act as a rain liner as well, but since we were skiing on the snow, we can’t comment if it is waterproof or not. Many jackets come with liners that insulate you around the body, but the liner does not have sleeves. We were pleased to find that the Enforcer’s liner did have attached sleeves all the way to the sleeve cuff. Removing the liner is quite simple, a single zipper wraps around the interior of the jacket and the sleeves are removed by detaching a single button at the sleeve’s cuff. I can say that the liner insulated fairly well, was not uncomfortable and was easy to get in and out of.
The exterior of the jacket has several zippered pockets as well, one zippered pockets of each side of the chest and one fold over and velcro pocket at each side of the waist. The cuffs of the jacket are are adjustable with velcro as is the waist with the use of two separate side cinch straps. Each sleeve is adjustable for size with the placement of three separate snaps which allow you to adjust the fit of the bicep. I have fairly large biceps and with the liner installed and the button at the loosest, it fit well with no tight feeling.
The jacket’s main zipper is of the storm flap design (double flap) with each side of the jacket’s zipper being covered by material to seal out wind and moisture. Each of these flaps button together over the main zipper. As we stated earlier, we did not use the jacket in the rain so we can’t comment on its water resistance, but can vouch for the design idea. Lastly, the collar of the jacket is covered with a neoprene like material. Smooth, it was comfortable, sealed out the wind well, and did not chafe or catch my beard. A nice touch, nicely done.
Lastly, the jacket is armored, with foam armor in the shoulders, elbows and back. We could not tell whether the armor was ECE approved, but based on the foam material, we don’t think it was. If it is, we will let you know.
So with all these features, how did the jacket perform? Overall, very well! When we arrived at the top of the mountain it was about 30 degrees F (-1 C) and the wind was blowing quite strongly. I was wearing a poly undergarment and a wool sweater. The liner in the jacket was in place and I can report that I was nice and warm. During two runs, no air seeped into the jacket and the blowing snow did not penetrate it. It was comfortable and the longer tail of the jacket kept any air from penetrating from underneath. We’ll report again on the jacket once Spring has arrived and can try it out on the bike.
As of this writing, the jacket is priced at $99.99 and represents an amazing bargain for the price. It would be well worth it for double the price. We don’t know how long it will be at this price, but based on this test, I would even buy it for a ski jacket, never mind having it do double duty as a motorcycle jacket.
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has been posted. This time we ride in rain, park in front of bright green buildings, jump a Cat, play in the fog, and stand in front of a barn. You can find it by clicking HERE or by cutting and pasting the link below into your browser.
We hope you enjoy it.
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has been posted. This time we find bulging trees, more cable ferries, shrimp factory ships and more rain. You can find it by clicking HERE or by cutting and pasting the link below into your browser. We hope you enjoy it.
Crossing Into Canada We Find Craft Beer, A Very Large Bird, Thoroughbred Race Horses, Wind Turbines And Gravel Roads Along The Ocean
The latest episode of our Planet Ramble has been posted. This time we travel from Maine into Canada and find interesting craft beers, a very large bird, thoroughbred race horses, wind turbines and deserted gravel roads alongside the ocean. You can find it by clicking HERE or by cutting and pasting the link below:
We hope you enjoy the latest!
The latest episode of Stage 1A to our Planet Ramble has been posted. We ride into the heart of Maine in darkness, but miss hitting any moose. We end up exploring a state park where I walk on water and we hole up in an “old mill”. The following day we ride in rain and very bright sun. Then, in a very small town, we find relics from America’s 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt and Suffolk, England’s red communications technology.
You can find it by clicking HERE or cutting and pasting the link below into your browser.
The latest edition of our Planet Ramble has been posted. Instead of heading south to warmer weather, we do the opposite and head north. We prep two brand new machines for this adventure. Kim rides a Ducati Scrambler and Mike rides a Honda Africa Twin. At the beginning of this portion of our journey, we get lost in Maine, ride in the dark in moose country and head for the Canadian border.
You can find the latest by clicking HERE.
Or you can cut and paste the below link into your browser.
Hope you enjoy our latest!
The latest edition of our Planet Ramble has been posted. Today we travel more of the ALCAN, have a quick visit with the RCMP and find Destruction (Bay) along the way. You can see it by clicking HERE or by clicking/cutting and pasting the link below:
We hope you enjoy it!
Long overdue, here is the latest update to our Planet Ramble. In this post, we travel a lot of miles, riding from Idaho, to the top of British Columbia and ending up in the Canadian Yukon. Along the way, we see some awesome sights along the Icefields Parkway with mountains and glaciers surrounding us. We then continue deeper and further north to Iskut, British Columbia and see the most amazing mirror lake we have ever seen. Ultimately we end up at Watson Lake in the Canadian Yukon and find a Signpost Forest. You don’t want to miss this chapter! Join the ride by clicking HERE or clicking on the link below. Safe travels!!!
Can a Ducati Scrambler be made into a comfortable light duty (i.e. pavement and maintained dirt/gravel roads) adventure bike good for longer trips and gravel roads? I had been asking myself that question for quite some time and have finally decided to investigate for myself. Those of you that follow us know that Kim and me just finished a trip from our home in Vermont to Eagle River, Alaska. We rode mostly on paved roads, although we did travel on some forest fire roads and unimproved roads. Kim’s Suzuki DR-650 performed admirably and carried her to Alaska easily. However, the DR is a fairly low powered thumper and riding it for long distances became somewhat of a tiresome experience for Kim. She said that although the bike did everything she asked and had a relatively lightweight feel, she felt under powered on those 75 MPH stretches of two lane roads common in the western US. Passing was more difficult that she desired, especially since I was traveling on a KTM 990 Adventure twin cylinder machine. She also wished that the bike was not a single because the thump, thump, thump of the single was tiring over time.
So I set about looking for a machine that was relatively small and light that we could turn into a light duty adventure bike. Since Kim is only about 5′ 3″ the bike could not be too high, nor could it be too heavy. She really wanted to get away from a single cylinder machine and frankly I don’t blame her. She never said a word during our over 7,500 mile trip to Alaska, but I had to ask myself, whether I would have enjoyed riding a single for that long a distance. My answer would be no, so I really shouldn’t expect her to feel any different. As I looked around the market, there really wasn’t much out there that fit Kim’s want list. She had already been on a V-Strom and felt it was too big and heavy. She had also ridden the BMW F650GS (twin) and F800GS extensively in Europe and South America, but she didn’t really like them because of their relative size and ride height. If she were to like a new machine, it would have to be about the size of her current Suzuki DR-650.
One of the few alternatives was the Ducati Scrambler. It’s a twin of approximately 800ccs and is actually very small in stature. Scramblers were created for dual sport, so if Ducati at least considered dual sporting, perhaps we could make this new Ducati into a light duty adventure bike. After doing some significant searching I found a number of bolt on parts that could potentially give her the utility of an ADV bike. So maybe, just maybe, we could adapt a Ducati Scrambler for ADV touring.
After a test ride and a bit of deliberation, we have taken the plunge. Kim is now the proud owner of a 2016 Ducati Scrambler Icon. The Icon is the base model of the Scrambler line and that suits us just fine. We’ve seen and tried Ducati’s own ADV parts and they fall far short of what we will need for our purposes. I’ve identified a number of parts that we are going to try and we’ll report on how well the fit our mission. So stay tuned for more updates as we attempt to convert a base Ducati Icon into an ADV machine Kim can love.
Just to entice you, here are a few pics of Kim’s soon to be converted Ducati Scrambler Icon which we will test out on a tour of the Canadian Maritime Provinces in early September.
The latest update to our Planet Ramble has been posted. This time, we play with horses, munch on berries and visit with eagles. You can find it by CLICKING HERE or by using the following link:
The latest update to our Planet Ramble has been posted. Today, Kim’s bike takes an unauthorized nap and duct tape reigns supreme. You can find it by CLICKING HERE or clicking the link below starting with reply #85.
While we are home now, we have posted the latest update to our Planet Ramble. At this point we are still in South Dakota and heading to Custer (yes that Custer) State Park. We make some friends while visiting.
You can find the latest update by CLICKING HERE starting with reply #70 .
The latest update to our planet ramble has been posted starting with reply 58. CLICK HERE to view it. This time we take you through the Badlands of South Dakota including some interactions with bison.
Hope you enjoy!
A gorgeous day of riding today, nice temperature but once again the wind was up. Amazing scenery was everywhere. So it was near the end of the day when we decided to take a brief respite next to a river. I took a short walk and when I returned, found this.
Apparently the DR gave Kim some lip and she showed him who was boss. Or so we thought. When we retrieved Kim’s helmet, the DR had done its work on her communicator and I ended up making supremely tidy field repairs. The end result…
More details when the Planet Ramble thread is updated. I’ll let you know when that happens.
Rode today from Gillette, Wyoming to Shell Wyoming. Route 14 traverses the Big Horn Mountain and it’s absolutely amazing. As good and exciting as any in Europe. Wow! Oh yeah, it’s over 1000 feet down on the other side of the guardrail.
Check out the GPS on my bike to see what the curves on the pass looked like.
We are about to head out on a long ride that may encompass many places and countries. We are very excited and will be leaving tomorrow, June 6, 2016. We will be chronicling our journey here on Ride2ADV.com as well as ADVRider. For the complete story and pictures from our travels, click HERE and you will be re-directed to ADVRider where we will be posting all the details of our journey complete with pictures.
We will also have a Spot satellite tracker that will update our position in real time. So if you want to see where we are 24/7, all you have to do is come to this page and click HERE or copy and paste this link
into your browser to see where we are.
We hope you’ll come along for the ride!
In a group of new introductions, Honda rolled out yet another adventure machine at the Osaka Motorcycle Show. Called the Africa Twin Adventure Sports Concept, this Africa Twin proposes to be a more adventure oriented and ready bike with a higher level of off road capability. The bike is still a concept at this time, but if the current Africa Twin and prototype CRF250 Rally are any indication, this up-rated Africa Twin just might make it to production.
Sporting a larger looking fuel tank, wide rear body panels that hint of perhaps more under seat fuel storage, a flat single piece seat, large, wide aluminum bashplate, bar risers, grippy billet platform footpegs, small frame, engine and rear brake protection bits, tubular luggage rack and upswept Termignoni exhaust,this version of the CRF1000L Africa Twin certainly looks the role of a much more sporty rally bike.
Missing in action are the bike’s turn signals, rear fender and mirrors, so it’s apparent that this bike is still a concept at this time. However, if a similarly equipped machine makes it into production, we are predicting that this bike will become more of an enduro model and a significant competitor to more off road worthy machines like the big KTM 1190. Time will tell.
Here are a few pictures to get your mouth-watering and your wallet burning.