Cary, North Carolina to Port Orchard, Washington.

4040 miles....

October 2007


The reason for the trip.... To pick up this 2004 BMW R1150RT and ride it home.


After visiting friends in North Carolina, I then rode down though South Carolina and into Georgia all on the back roads.

This is the hardware store in Tignall, Georgia


 It was off to Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama again by the back roads. 

There is not only a race track but also a museum.

The museum must have the finest collection of post 1960's bikes anywhere in the World. It also has what must be the entire collection of Morbidelli race bikes in addition to many other Italian racers including the MV 750 ( a bored out 500 GP racer not a street bike conversion) prepared for Giacomo Agostini to race at Daytona in 1975. A bike he never rode...... 


ex factory Jawa race bikes with a Russian bike to the left








Bikes in this image include those of Freddie Spencer #19 and Skip Askland #27


Twin calipers AND gear driven, counter rotating brake rotors






ex Factory MZ from the Ernst Degner era. The bikes and the man from which all modern two stroke technology was derived.


V8 Kawasaki






Not sure what this is. It says "Cruiser" on the tank and "Showa" on the engine....

Here is the answer from Dr Junji Yoshida of Tokyo, Japan.

"I searched for the "Showa Cruiser". Showa was an bicycle manufacturer and

started engine business in 1948. Cruiser was a 4-cycle SV 250 cc bike and

sales began in 1954. Later the engine was replaced with a 2-cycle in 1959.

Showa was absorbed by Yamaha in 1960. Showa's experience in 4-cycle

engines is a part of Yamaha's 4-cycle technology."

Click here to see old images of this bike in Japan


4 cylinder FN (Fabrique National) from Belgium


1954 Honda Dream


Suzuki RE5 with black chrome finish


Japanese domestic market "Walter Wolf" Suzuki RG500 


50's Vincent in modern chassis




It was interesting watching this 1972 Triumph Trident Triple catch and pass the modern Triumph Thruxtons after starting in the second wave with a ten second delay.


And the bikes that killed off the Triumph Tridents in the mid seventies, Yamaha TZ's

The bike in the foreground  was unused from new!


Very early Indian V-Twin racer





This modern "BSA", it was claimed was made at the Hinkley factory. I'm not too sure......I think it is a home made spoof! albeit a good one.




A very nice Vetter Hurricane





This was our view of the race track with the Museum in the distance


Jeff (right) talking to the owner of an immaculate 1984 Yamaha 900 Seca with 124,000 miles on the clock!


A US built Norton 880 with a very interesting Mikuni two barrel carburetor


The weekend ended on a sad note when veteran Norton Commando racer Dwaine Williams crashed his bike into this barrier right in front of us when racing from right to left. He was killed instantly.


I then headed north to Waynesboro, Tennessee to visit with former racing buddy Stan Chiras who runs a training facility for Gun Dogs (Labrador Retrievers) 

This was the only real rain I experienced on the trip. It rained so hard Stan had to bring out the heavy metal to repair a Dyke.




Then it was on to New Mexico and Colorado

Santa Fe, New Mexico




The Rio Chama north of Santa Fe


Chama railroad station

There are more images from Chama here 


The landmark rock at the turn for Canyonlands National Park off route 491 in Utah


Thanks to Michael Bird, Andy and Michelle Stalder, Jeff Dalsis, Stan Chiras, Travis Wheeler and Michael Mahaffey for their help and hospitality along the way.





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