I half jokingly told Marcus that it would be easier (and probably faster) to fly out and buy my '88 R100RS. While not perfect cosmetically, it has a performance modified engine and a transmission that shifts like a Honda! And who wouldn't want one since they are the ultimate babe magnet ?!?!
He got back to me and gave me a verbal handshake on the deal. We agreed that Labor Day would be the best hand off. I would ride with him for a couple of days to make sure that he was happy and then turn back to Utah while he continued to New York.
I picked him up at the airport and we looked over the bike. I had changed all the fluids and tuned up the bike in preparation for the trip. He looked the bike over, we went for a brief ride and he wrote a check.
Only one problem flawed the transfer, the side panel that had never been a problem in all the years that I had owned it suddenly decided that it wanted to stay in Utah and disappeared along the side of the road. We went back over our route but found no trace of it. Bummer!
My friend Linda in Aspen had agreed to put us up for a night. It was a great trip spanning all that Utah and Colorado have to offer. We started south in the desert and then turned east into the mountains. With over 400 miles to go we stopped only for gas and lunch. Sorry, no pictures of that part of the trip. Just take my word for it, with great roads and perfect weather it was a gorgeous ride that is the stuff of dreams.
|Looks Photo Shopped but it isn't. It's really this great!|
Our plan was to ride over Independence Pass and then continue on to Manitou Springs where I would turn back. I will put this route up against anything that the European Alps have to offer. It runs along the Roaring Fork River on the western side and tops out over 12,000'. Beautiful scenery and tight roads are a challenge as you try to make the most of both without taking a flying lesson off the side.
At Buena Vista we stopped for lunch and decided that I would return from there. Labor Day crowds packed the road and I had seen it all before. Motorcycling is a solo enterprise even when traveling with a friend and I felt confident in Marcus and the bike.
While eating lunch a guy came over and asked who owned the Transalp. I admitted that it was mine and he and his partner joined us for a discussion of bikes and life. He wanted a bike, she liked her Lexus. Park the bike, wear the gear, and somebody always wants to talk to you. It's one of the joys of traveling by motorcycle.
It all has a happy ending. This is the BMW parked in front of Marcus's garage in NY. No problems or drama. I made it home with a similar lack of events. My only note is that the panniers seem to add quite a lot of wind resistance at highway speeds (70+). They didn't affect the handling but the gas mileage dropped considerably. A small price to pay to get home quickly.
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