Welcome to MOTOTOURERS.com

MTsticker1MotoTourers.com was originally MotoTour2010.com, a site where Jeff and Todd chronicled their preparations and adventures on their first multi-week motorcycle road trip. That four-week, 9,000-mile ride is still being chronicled here, along with hundreds of photographs from scenic and historic locations around the U.S.A.

Prior to the MotoTour 2010 trip, Jeff recorded his motorcycling adventures on the blog website, BigBandit.com. Those articles and photographs have been incorporated into this site as well.

Further motorcycling endeavors and adventures will continue to be posted here, as Todd and Jeff start planning a multi-week trip from Key West, Florida to Deadhorse, Alaska.

 

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RockSToc II

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2015 Touratech Rally East

The first Touratech rally on the east coast!

The first Touratech rally on the east coast!

Or, “The weekend of joy and pain.”

Piggybacking on the second annual Mid-Atlantic Overland Festival, Touratech finally brought their adventure rally to the east coast. Based in McAlvey’s Fort, PA – between State College and Huntingdon – the rally promised some of the best public dirt roads in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. Todd and I signed up several months early and waited patiently for what would be our first camping trip of 2015.

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Baron the Dachshund does my final walk-around inspection.

I sorted through my camping gear and packed the Super Tenere a few days before departure. Thursday morning, I hit the PA Turnpike west, and met Todd at the Family Diner in Harrisburg, for a late breakfast. This being our first overnight trip of the year, the loaded weight of the big Tenere was unusually apparent as I leaned it onto the kickstand in the diner’s parking lot. After a hearty breakfast and a scenic highway run west on Rt 322, we hit the nicely-paved 2-lane roads leading to the McAlvey’s Fort area.

The entrance to the rally was not where I had put it in my GPS, based on the coordinates given on the rally’s website. I began to turn around at one point while searching, but then I spotted the two large Touratech flags looming over the access road, just another 1/4-mile down Route 26. We rolled down the dirt-and-gravel driveway to the check-in desk around the first turn, where we received our wristbands (one for the rider, one for the bike) and our rally packs (stickers, a plastic beer mug, some literature on Touratech and the Mid-Atlantic Overland Festival, and a carabiner with a nylon loop whose function would be revealed to us later). Implicit instructions were given on navigating the rest of the driveway to the camp/rally site – the “road” was just wide enough for one passenger car, so rally volunteers were serious about traffic control. Nobody rolls down the driveway until they get the “all clear” from the volunteers.

DSCF6303Once we were allowed to proceed, we followed the road to the camp site, where our friend Anthony was directing traffic into the two camp sites – motorcycles in the Touratech area, and four-wheelers in the Overland area. The camping area was a flat, wide-open field, with the Touratech tents at the far end, and the Overland vendors beyond that, up on top of the hill. We were among the early arrivals, so we had almost the entire field to choose from. We chose the lower tree-line to our left, near the exit path, and set up our tents. There is still something about camping – setting up my own shelter, with basic comforts – that makes me feel as liberated as riding the bike does. Maybe it’s as simple as a change of scenery and pace, but it felt good to have our campsite up early. Getting the extra weight off the bikes was a relief as well. Read more »

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Keeping it Civil

Or, “Why I Started Giving The Finger Again.”

It was just another Saturday that I had to work, only this time it seemed Spring had finally arrived. It was sunny, with the air at a nice 60 degrees Farenheit. Compared to the last few days I was off from work – 40 degrees and raining – it was absolutely beautiful, so I decided to ride in.

This would be a 12-hour work day, so I needed to fuel-up – 91 octane for the Super Tenere, and Monster Zero Ultra for me. Moving through the parking lots – the only practical way to get from Henderson Road to the Wawa in King of Prussia – I ended up behind a mid-sized box van. He stopped for the posted stop sign at the intersection of the Chick-fil-A drive-through exit, so I stopped behind him. A mid-sized sedan came out from the drive-through smelling like chicken fried in peanut oil. Then, the box van in front of me started to move…in reverse. Read more »

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MotoTourers Hosts Mileage Challenge

10828129_10203994308796646_1071052832880348216_oWe ran our first mileage challenge on Facebook from March through October, 2014, challenging riders to accumulate as many miles as they could. The top three riders – all women – rode more than 20,000 miles each in the 8-month challenge window. All three received small trophies and certificates of achievement for their efforts and accomplishments.

For 2015, we will be hosting the next evolution of the mileage challenge: the 2015 MotoTourers Mileage Mania! Registration will start soon, with the challenge itself running from April 1 through October 31, 2015. Riders will be required to submit a starting photo on or after April 1, depicting a dated receipt and odometer (for each motorcycle they are registering – mileage per rider will be added together). A final odometer pic will be required on or prior to October 31st. The highest accumulated mileage for the season will be declared the winner. Awards are still to be determined.

2015_logo_ver2_600Update: The 2016 Mileage Mania! page is up, with links to registration on the RideMaster website!

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MotoTour 2014 Videos

MotoTour 2014 is in the bag. Ok, so it was only a weekend of camping and riding in West Virginia, but those roads are awesome! We camped at Big Bend Campground, and Saturday’s loop included 33 West from Franklin, WV to Elkins, then south on 219, east on 250, north on I-81 and then back west on 33. Breakfast was at Fireside Cafe on the north end of Franklin, some coffee in Elkins, and lunch at the intersection of 250 and 220, which seems to be a popular motorcycle hangout.

Some videos have been posted to our YouTube page. These were shot with a ATC Chamleon dual-lens camera from Oregon Scientific, which I picked up on woot.com for $40! It’s no GoPro, but it’s much easier to use, has the cool feature of synchronized dual lenses, and costs a lot less!

Click here for the MotoTour 2014 video playlist!

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Todd Dual-Sports His “New” RT

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Yamaha Bolt Quick-Review

While my Super Tenere was in for scheduled maintenance, Martin Motorsports lent me a brand new (9 miles on the odometer) Yamaha Bolt. I spent the first three hours exploring the back roads just west of PA Route 100, between Boyertown and Allentown. The Bolt turned out to be a fun little bike in that setting, but came up a bit short on main roads and highways.

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Water Crossing in Illinois

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2014 Mileage Challenge on Facebook

MotoTourers_smallIf you’re on Facebook, join our 2014 MotoTourers Mileage Challenge. Post starting and ending odometer readings in 2014, and follow the Group all year long for info on rallies, rides and events.

 

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2014 MS5000 Challenge

Todd and I met Paul Pelland last Memorial Day weekend at the Mason-Dixon 20/20 rally. I had no idea who he was before then, yet I had participated in his first MS5000 motorcycle challenge in April and May. The MS5000 challenges riders to ride 5000 miles in 50 days (April 1st through May 20th) while raising awareness and funds for the MS Society.

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Through his website, Paul Pelland’s Endless Road Tour, I learned Paul was a regular participant in long distance rallies, and had completed a few Iron Butt Rallies; one of them on a Ural 750 that required a motor swap during the 10-day rally. Paul was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and chose to withdraw from the competitive side of rallies, but is still a huge presence in the long-distance riding community. He regularly speaks at motorcycle events on the challenges of living with Multiple Sclerosis, comparing it to riding the Iron Butt Rally on that 750 Ural.

To further raise awareness for the battle against MS, Paul has enlisted long-distance riders everywhere to take on his MS5000 challenge. Riders compete by raising funds and riding miles. Last year required a full 5000 miles ridden in 50 days to become a finisher, while this year’s event allows a combination of miles and funds to qualify.MS5000MotoTour

Head over to Paul’s page and join the challenge. Or, help out the MotoTourers with a donation for the cause. Either way, you’ll be helping find a cure for MS as well as providing support for those suffering with MS. Also, take some time to read up on Paul Pelland’s adventures as he attempts to ride a million miles for MS.

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