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Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:18 am
by John @ Tenkara USA
Hi guys,

I've been thinking really hard about getting a bike lately. I loved motorcycles when I was a kid and rode dirt bikes but decided I couldn't carry all my fishing stuff with me and let that idea slip away. Tenkara has changed that, and I'm planning on taking a rider safety course next month to see how it feels to be back on a motorcycle.

I know some of you guys ride (Dave?) and was wondering how the combination of tenkara and motorcycles is working out for you. Is there something I'm missing that makes it not such a great idea? Is there anything I should look for specifically when I look for a motorcycle (if I decide to get one)? How do you carry your gear? Thanks for any help on this.

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:06 am
by statikpunk
works good. All my stuff fits easily into the saddle bag on my motorcycle. as a matter of fact here is a link to my second post ever on this forum way back in 2010. it shows a picture of my bike with my tankara rod sticking out just a bit. (man cell phone cameras have come a long way since 2010)

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:40 pm
by John @ Tenkara USA
Thanks for the feedback. BTW, nice bike! V Star? That's one of the bike's I'm considering but probably more likely a second bike. Haven't rode in about 20 years, so it's probably good to go with something smaller to start.

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:51 pm
by statikpunk
John @ Tenkara USA wrote:Thanks for the feedback. BTW, nice bike! V Star? That's one of the bike's I'm considering but probably more likely a second bike. Haven't rode in about 20 years, so it's probably good to go with something smaller to start.

I really like it. I get lots of compliments on it. and its a heck of a lot cheaper to get around on than my truck :)

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:51 pm
by John @ Tenkara USA
That's one of the big draws for me, too. I saw a bike I liked as a kid (Virago/V Star 250) got 70mpg+. That's makes evening fishing trips a lot cheaper.

My big worry is that a bike that small will get bucked around pretty good by the wind, which is bad in Montana and I think why you see more big cruisers out here than anything else. I was thinking the V Star 650 might be a nice starter bike that still had some heft to it, but I want to see how the class goes before I make any decisions.

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:45 pm
by statikpunk
one thing to remember is that when you get to 650 cc your insurance goes way couldsave a lot of money if you kept it under 650 my bike gets about 45-50 mpg around town..also dont worry about the wind we have killer wind here (no trees :) ) and even on my llight adventure bike its not a problem.
from the sound of what your looking for I think I might know of a bike that might suit your needs
check these out.

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:37 pm
by John @ Tenkara USA
I've seen those but haven't read to much about them. They look awesome and I really liked the old British bikes when I was a kid, plus there is a dealer not too far away in Helena. Thanks for the tip on the insurance, hadn't considered that but I'm sure that 500cc's will be plenty for me for a long time; I'm no dare deville (or Steve McQueen :) ). Is your bike a 650? Thanks for all the info.

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:05 am
by statikpunk
yeah, mines the 650 classic model

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:41 pm
by dwalker
I don' t know about you but for me to get to the places that I prefer to fish, a bit different from where I get to fish most often, I travel pavement, to narrow paved road to gravel road. The perfect combination for choosing a dual sport motor cycle.

I have a Yamaha XT225. These bikes in the Serow version have large fan clubs in Japan. The 225 has been replaced by a 250 version a few years ago. Unfortunately they do not import the Serow version into the USA. Same bike but made with stronger components for the wheels, swing arm, etc. And wouldn't ya know the year after I purchased my bike Yamaha finally started importing the 250 version to this country that had already replaced the 225 elsewhere a few years earlier and Kawasaki brought back the 250 Sherpa another popular 250cc bike. But they may have gone out of production again. Either of these bikes will get you around 75 mpg. And would be fine for places not to far away. Maybe within 60 - 120 miles. But you have to get used to being passed by everyone.

Not sure how they would do in strong side winds. In general bikes with a lot of engine metal down low ( think BMW boxer engines) and with minimal stuff up high, lower small faring do best in high winds. I do understand your concern about high winds. Years ago I rode to the N.C. outer banks on a Honda 500CX. A transverse V-twin, kind of like a Moto Guzzi, and top heavy. There was talk of evacuating the island due to an approaching hurricane. Just riding down the island in high gusty winds it felt like the wheels were being blown out from under me. There was no way I could ride the bike to the main land over the high arc bridge over the sound. Thankfully the hurricane went ashore further south. On a trip through Wis strong winds would just blow me into the next lane, on the BMW 750 the bike still felt stable but I was still blown around. Choose the right bike, use a small faring, learn to put your weight on the foot pegs. And definitely know what counter steering is. ( push right to right - really it's more pressure left go left) Always important to know but more so in strong winds.

Anyway, quite dated but it does make the case that bigger is not always better. And 225cc will get a 200#er up and over the hill and across the stream.

Big Bloke on a Girl's Bike - the point being, a light weight bike offers a lot of advantages. ( it certainly makes it easier to hide it behind a bush. One of my big concerns is returning to the bike after wading way down or up the and finding someone made off with my motorcycle boots, jacket, etc.
(hmm, that url title is a bit unfortunate ) :shock:

The advrider forum a few years back had a thread about a Japanese woman who was going across America on a Suzuki 250. She had already traveled through Asia and Europe and S. America on the bike. They are cool looking little bikes too.

If you plan on riding a little further and assuming some gravel road riding I would consider something bigger. 350cc to 650cc range. The Mundo Enduro / Terra Circa guys in the mid 90s proved 350cc Suzuki's were a good choice for going round the world or across continents. They went 40k miles, their goal to circumnavigate the world by the longest land route possible.

There are several dual sport bikes in the 400cc range today that might be worth a look. But I don't know much about them. The 350cc bikes seem to be a thing of the past.

Jumping up to 650cc I know the Suzuki V-Strom 650 and the Kawasaki KLR650 bikes are quite popular. With lots of after market accessories like skid plates, engine guards and racks. ( in some circles the V-Strom is nick named the Poor Guy's BMW GS ) These bikes are heavier and more like 40 - 45 average mpg. Maybe 50+ mpg on long highway riding. I've really been quite tempted to get a V-Strom my self. Big enough to get you down the highway at speeds that will transfer cash from your wallet to the Court House. Yet nice for getting round the camp site spots at motorcycle rallies. A dealer 2 miles from my house too. I've been a BMW guy for 24 years but BMW has been making excessive demands on dealers driving them out of business. I have to go more than 130 miles for service.

Statikpunk beat me to it - but if I had more garage space and $6k I'd be darn tempted to get a Royal Enfield. I have read that more people have ridden more miles and made more round the world travels on these bikes than any other bikes. Until about 6 years ago they were built the same way they were in the 1950s. But since then they have updated the engines, and added some German engineered electronic ignition. Making sure they could be self serviced with out the need for an expensive electronic diagnostic box. otoh, some folks say they need this because they break down a lot Or as I once read if you want a $4k bike to ride get a Yamaha XT225 if you want a $4k bike to wrench around on get a Royal Enfield. But from what I've read the updated engineering is pushing that reputation aside. But you can no longer walk to the junk yard and find an ignition coil that will work fine. :roll:

A few years ago we had a local RE dealer but he moved to Minn. to work for the USA importer of the bikes. I occasionally see a couple of the bikes he sold going down the highway fitted with sidecars. Pretty cool looking setup. But side car bikes scare the heck out of me. If the side car wheel is on the ground, push right go left. If in a curve the side car wheel lifts off the ground then the bike reverts to counter steering and it's back to push right go right. Well, you can see in the right situation if you intend to swerve to the right for a safer distance from an oncoming vehicle you could suddenly find yourself going left into his grill. :o :(

You might find some interesting ideas or inspiration in the Thumper section of the Advrider forum.
Covers several single cylinder bikes. Generally 650cc to 200cc.

The - Minimalist Touring Thread, 250cc and under covers several of the smaller bike models.

And if you ride past the dirt road to something more like a path to find your fishing spot and you lack riding skills and don't have a training center near you. You can find some nice information in these DVDs. I have the first one. Watch it, then find a place to practice the techniques.

However, if you always fish next to paved roads then there is no advantage to being limited to looking for a dual sport bike model and several others could be contenders.

Perhaps I lost you around the 5th paragraph . Anyway - good luck with your choice. If you recall the actor Kennan Wynn. He was also an accomplished motorcycle rider/racier. ( along with Steve McQueen). I once read that in his garage, above his motorcycles, a sign hung from the ceiling that read - " If you think you know how to ride it. Don't." Over confidence or lack of skill can get you in trouble. What ever you buy - ride safe. I know from personal experience you can ride safely, doing everything right, yet come darn close to loosing limb or life. ( long story but 18 years ago I had a head on collision with a guy on another bike who went wide in a curve and nailed me on the right side edge of the pavement. If you'd seen the two bikes you wouldn't think everyone walked away with only minor injuries ) Oh, yeah, wear ear plugs too.

fwiw, ymmv,

Re: Motorcycles and Tenkara

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:00 pm
by dwalker
John @ Tenkara USA wrote:Hi guys,

I know some of you guys ride (Dave?) and was wondering how the combination of tenkara and motorcycles is working out for you. Is there something I'm missing that makes it not such a great idea? Is there anything I should look for specifically when I look for a motorcycle (if I decide to get one)? How do you carry your gear? Thanks for any help on this.

Works great when I get to ride to a fishing spot. Very low cost at around 75mpg.
Not such a great facet is the worry someone will make off with some expensive gear if/while the bike is out of sight. It's just one of those things. 98% of the time no one messes with stuff. Then the 2%er guy comes along.

Best you can do is out of sight is out of mind. Park the bike out of sight in remote areas if possible. No need to flag guys driving past on the road. Even if you park where many others are around and might notice if someone is attempting to steal something and confront them. I always felt better covering the bike with a cover so they don't see what's on the bike. Left uncovered it's noticeable and quick and easy for someone to open a zipper and see what's inside the bag. Or lift a bungee cord and remove a leather jacket. Easy to do in a parking lot full of people too. If the bike has lockable saddle bags or top case that can help with a lot of stuff. But not everything that cost big $ will fit inside. Usually my biggest concern is my riding gear. I can replace a weather radio or fleece jacket with out to much cost. A riding suit that cost $1k is a different matter. I hike some of our local trails. Most of the time no one bothers anything on a motorcycle or in a vehicle parked at the trail head. But once in a while someone bust out someone's windows and makes off with whatever they find.

To my regret I haven't combined motorcycling and tenkara near as much as I planned on. After getting it set up I probably only made a hand full of fishing trips. Last year I worked so much neither of my motorcycles made it out of the garage. :( This year I am an unemployed layabout ( my wife's assessment ) and I've thus far this year been busy with so many other things that interest me ( though perhaps not so much the significant other) that I haven't yet gotten round to getting my bikes on the road. :( I hope to remedy that soon for my Yamaha. :) The BMW is another matter. It really needs a good going over by a dealer. And that cost me a nice large poke of coins. And I really could use a good road trip. It's been about 20 years since I rode to Yellowstone. Probably 5 since I last went to an out of state mc rally. ( in Shelbyville, Tenn. , I think)

On my Yamaha XT225 I have this rear rack.

It is a good sturdy rack. Offers some protection in a tip over. Many attachment points to tie stuff to and good hand holds to pull the bike out of a stuck spot. But I'm not sure if I wouldn't select something smaller and lighter if I made the decision again. With a large rack there is always the temptation to load more on it that you ought to. Too much weight far in the rear is a bad thing. More of a problem on a small light bike than on a bigger heavier bike.

TCI ( Turbo City) makes a lot of nice racks and other accessories: stronger skid plate, fairings, aka wind screen ( one of them is on my someday list) , side guards, and so forth.

Happy Trail also makes some good stuff for multiple models of bikes.

I have a Wolfman Tank Bag. I think it is this model. The tank is so small on this bike you have to get one of the smaller two bags they make. The next larger model fits my bike too but others cautioned me the next size larger would restrict handle bar movement to full lock positions. Probably not a problem in most riding. Just in trail riding where you might need full steering movement.

And I think this bag for the back seat, or at least this is the closest model still in production to what I have.

I wear a Aerostitch 1 piece suit. It's 25 + years old. Could use a good overhaul, repair of some zippers. Cost me $650 when I brought it. They're up around $1K now.

Riding the Yamaha it's good. Same as on the first BMW I had, which had a small handle bar mounted wind screen. On a hot day - open the vents at the waist, arm pits and wrist cuffs. And it was like being air conditioned - as long as I was moving. It actually insulates you some what from heat off the engine or pavement.

The BMW that replaced the one totaled in my mc accident is essentially the same model, except it : cost me twice as much $11k vs $5.6k - it has a full faring and ABS. No air gets to blow into the suit vents and you roast on any sunny day above 82˚. On hot days I learned to stop every 100 miles and fill up the gas tank. Get some nice cool gas from in the ground into the tank. Or even chucking a couple of cups of ice into the pockets. Thankfully in my accident I did not have to test the suit's abrasion resistance. I went straight up into the air and hit the ground in a push up position. Which gave me a slight wrist fracture and bloodied my toes. Occasionally I ride without it on during really hot days. But it is a risk. I try to learn from others and I know some guys who once when scooting down the pavement in blue jeans and a shirt. They are determined not to repeat the experience. If it's 99˚ and humid they wear full protective suits and sweat like they're in a sauna or stay at the house.

Anyway, maybe this gear list is of some value.