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Bus and Ride – Exploring East Jesus (April 22nd)

Even with going to sleep at 2 am and waking up at 8, I awoke to the day having already gotten ahead of me – it was already 80 and the sun had barely come up! Yikes!

I wandered over to the kitchen/lounging area and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but… FRESH, HOT PANCAKES! Complete with butter and syrup! In the middle of nowhere! Thanks, Frank!

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Bus and Ride – Phoenix to Slab City (April 21st)

On Saturday I got an early start to a very productive day and… hahaha, who am I kidding?

The solution is always MORE TARP STRAPS!

After playing Tetris with trying to fit all of my crap on the bike with tarp straps and no real luggage for several hours, I finally got on the road. I was a bit hurried – I had gotten a very late start and I wanted to make sure that I made it to East Jesus before sunset, as the proprieter’s website warned that anybody arriving after dark without prior notice would likely be met with the business end of a shotgun.

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Bus and Ride – OK to PHX

The next day, I wandered to the agreed meeting spot with a bulging pocket full of $20s. Little did I know when I set out that my bank did not exist in this state, so I was forced to use the ATM of another bank to withdraw the money… but it was an easily overcome obstacle. I do wish I’d gotten a photo of the pile o money though, that was fairly ludicrous. I had too much on my mind at the time.

I met up with the owner of the bike and took it for a spin around the parking lot. There was a very, very steep learning curve. I am a short, 5’5″ or so woman, and the only bike I’d ever rode was my Rebel. Never even test-drove a dual sport, never rode dirt bikes as a kid… nada. The DR650 is a tall machine, and this one was even taller – stiffer suspension and the Renazco seat make it a good couple of inches taller than a stock version. I found that I could flat foot one foot, or drag both tippy-toes. I learned really, really quickly that the clutch was not nearly as forgiving as my Rebel, although it did take a few stalls due to a dropped clutch getting up to speed from a stop to drive the lesson home. The low-end torque was phenomenal, like nothing I’d experienced on the smaller bike. I looked it over for obvious problems, and finding none that would outweigh the value of the purchase, gave away my bundle of cash and had the title signed over to me at a notary.

Why yes, most of my luggage IS tarp straps, why do you ask?

It was an ugly fucker, but paint is cheap and it suited me just fine.

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Bus and Ride – OR to OK

This story begins some rainy day in March. I’d been in Oregon for 5 months of dreary, grey skies and incessant rain, and I was absolutely sick of it. After searching Craigslist for a DR650 for weeks and coming up with nothing local, I decided to do a meta-search and searched the entire country for them. One ad caught my eye:

“This is 2001 DR650se. This bike is trail ready and street legal, what more can you ask for!? Perfect for this upcoming riding season …

This bike has seen the Continental Divide as well as the Western Trans-American Trail. This bike will walk away from KLR650 and keep up with any Honda 650. I have been averaging 44-48 mpg around town, better on longer trips.

It has 10,5xx miles on it, a blast to ride. Has a tm40 pumper carb, properly jetted, upgraded front and rear progressive springs (will hold up to a 270lb rider), front fairing, skid plate, engine guards, pro taper aluminum bars and risers, Ims tank, renazco seat, pro moto billet rear rack and side guards, TUSK Handguards.

Price is $3000 cash OBO”

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Livin’ on a DR650

Unlike many ride reports, this one does not have a particular beginning or any predetermined end. I have no schedule and a shoestring budget. Quite frankly, I ride while I have money, I work when I don’t, lather, rinse, repeat. I consider myself to be nomadic, and the only real static “home base” that I have is a mailing address in Phoenix AZ, where my parents live. I’m happy this way, I’m in love with life and I’m more than happy to exchange security and stability to taste more of it.

I apologize now if my style doesn’t appeal to some of you, or if you consider me a miscreant in my quest to maximize the amount of time I spend unchained from the workaday world, but I am unapologetic about who I am, and I’ll try to be straightforward about what it takes to get me where I end up. If you consider taking extra condiments from a fast food restaurant to be stealing, you should probably pass this one by!

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