The tool for the job

The tool for the job
Buell Ulysses XB12xr In North Eastern Arizona

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Trip to the Barber Museum...And then some...

It all started with this post on the IronButt forum

The Barber Motor sports Museum has accepted the Barbie Bike from hell(Honda NS50F)for display.As a swan song we(along with Charles Fider on his BMW R100RT)are going to attempt to ride down to Birmingham for the acceptance.I believe(I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong)this is the first bike to be accepted by them based solely on it accomplishment of IBA rides.It sure isn't because of it's good looks! I think,(fingers tightly crossed)that we've got the BB from Hell up and running as good as she gets.
(Steady 70-75 on the flat.)The plan is to leave the Detroit/Windsor border crossing at 1:00a.m.on friday the 20th and arrive in Birmingham in mid to late afternoon.It is only about 734 miles.If anyone would like to ride along for a short or long part of the way with us you would be welcome.We won't be stopping long to chat but thought if anyone was along the route as we pass through you might like to give us a wave.We will be at the Barber sometime on the Saturday morning if anyone wants to say hello. Perhaps a RTE somewhere on the Saturday night.If you want to follow the ultimate girly bike(gone Bad!),Spot link is:...And will be turned on about 1:00 am on the 20th.
The ride home in my wife's car won't nearly be so much fun-But a darn site more comfy.
Bob Munden

Then I started to think ....
Since I was heading down to Spartanburg SC for the IB 5000 finish on Friday the 20th anyways.
Why not leave on Thursday night instead ?
Then I think some more..(This is never good)
Why not go and get my Bun Burner certificate at the same time !
A Bun Burner is a 1500 miles completed in a maximum allowed time of 36 hours. Since I did not have this ride certification yet, this last minute change to my travailing plans is really starting to sound like a good time to me.
I run some calculations through my mapping software and find a good place to meet up with Bob and Charles near Toledo OH. This would be a great first leg of 475 miles and I should be out there by 1 am IF I leave from Canastota NY by 6pm. Plus I will be able to get a 1 hour rest break before meeting up with Bob and Charles.
I E.Mail Bob Munden with a plan to meet him at a Denny's near where I-80 and I-75 meet.

Bob's response

Hi Carl,Depending on U.S. Customs we should be there sometime between about 2:10 and 2:30. If all goes well then S&T says 2:17am
at the I-75 I-80/I-90 junction. Should be two of us. Little red crotch rockety shape and a large Hannigan faring(Bronze)covering an old BMW R100RT.
Hope to see you there!
Bob Munden

Trip planning by E.Mail ... So far... So good.
So it is done, I will be leaving at 6pm on the evening of the 19th and heading to Toledo OH, To meet up with Bob and Charles, Two guys I have never met before.
Oh did I mention one guy is on a 50cc bike?
Then we will ride together some 680 plus miles to Birmingham Alabama. When we get there, I will take a few hour break in Birmingham. After my break I will head to Spartanburg SC via Atlanta GA.
If all goes well I will be at the Marriott Spartanburg at midnight on Friday with my BunBurner in hand.
It all looks so easy on paper.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words,

I took that picture when I pulled up to the gas pumps next to the Denny's meeting point. And if you note the top left corner of the GPS you will see that it is 2:08am and I have just arrived at our meeting place late. I lapped the parking lot on my way to the gas pumps and I am the first one here.
I start to fill my bike with fuel and I hear the unmistakeable sound of a high performance 2 stroke coming towards me.
Here they come!
Bob see's me immediately and comes over to the pumps, I note the time and it is exactly 2:17am. The time Bob had estimated. Charles is a few moments behind and finds us after lapping the Denny's parking lot. First thing Bob ask's me is if I had seen a Goldwing ? I tell him no, He explains that they had met up with a rider at the Ambassador Bridge and promptly lost him in Detroit.
So we get done with our hello's and mount up.
Before Bob closes his face shield he says to me...
Catch me if you can...
I complete my ritual for completing a gas stop as Bob and Charles head off down the road.
I always do the same thing at stops so I will not have to pull over on the interstate or worse yet, loosing something on the road. After completing this task, I head off after them.
I wind my Buell Ulysses up to 85 mph and stare off into the night looking for a 50cc Honda and a BMW100RT. After what seemed like an eternity I catch up to Bob and Charles running at near 80 mph!
on a 50cc Honda!
When the conditions are perfect that bike runs awesome, and right now conditions are perfect!
After a while I start to notice the smell of a two stroke engine and Bob is starting to slow down.
Soon Bob pulls into a rest area and starts fussing under the faring of the bike. He tells me that he needs to change the spark plug and is proceeding to change it very quickly, looks like he has done this before.
Before I can get my helmet back on, Bob is paddling the little Honda away from the curb and taking off, On a nice Crisp sounding machine
So here we go again...
Charles Fider Photo
After that brief stop we are off and running again, The Barbie bike is running great !
For a while I pull alongside and turn on all my lighting, and just listen to that little bike sing its high pitched song through the darkness of the night.

5:46 am. First fuel stop...
West Chester OH
So; At the first fuel stop we are running at a Bun Burner gold pace, this means that our overall average is  better that 62.5 mph. I like riding with these guys. They know how to get the business done. And with that we are off after a very quick fuel stop. 
Soon we will see the morning sun.

AM in Kentucky.. A Study in riding style...
Charles Fider Photo

Charles Fider Photo
Bob was in that position the entire trip.
8:17am. Monfordville Kentucky
Our next fuel stop 
Our pace is still very good and all is well with all the bikes. We are starting to see more traffic now and we have been through Cincinnati and Louisville without any major traffic issues. Bowling Green is the next city we need to ride through.

Taking a Trail mix break.

Back on the road again.
We get going, but as the heat of the day starts to rise the little Honda starts to slow some plus the traffic is starting to get denser as we reach Nashville 
Charles Fider Photo

11:39am. Columbia TN
Our next fuel stop.
Bob is having trouble keeping the pace of the Barbie bike up where it was during the night, He checks the bike over after filling it with fuel, I get myself into hot weather mode. I see the thermometer on the gas station is reading 90 degrees and I change down to just my LD Comforts for the August heat.
Plus we make this a lunch stop, This is the data from the end of our break. We are no longer at BBG pace anymore, But I am still pleased with a 1000 miles in under 17 hours. 
As usual, I am the last guy out from a fuel stop and as I head south on I-65 towards Alabama I see Charles sitting at the top of an off ramp. I signal him to let him know I seen him and get off the exit ramp to see Bob taking his riding gear off. Bob thought at the last stop that fuel might be causing some of the bikes running issues, but it was soon apparent that was not the case. 

I returned a call from my job, They were wondering how far I have got so far.
Charles Fider photo
Bob puts his last spark plug in the bike, I look at the one he removed and it looks fine, Nice color, not fouled or wet. 
We head back on the road and "The little bike that could" is running along at an ok pace. The 80 mph speeds are now a thing of the past. It looks like 65 will be our top speed in the hot August heat.
We roll along and then Bob starts to slow and I can really smell the exhaust of the Barbie Bike now.
Bob chugs along, struggling to get 55 mph out of the bike. Charles and I cover the back of Bobs bike to help him from getting hit from behind. 
It went that way for a while till Bob gets off the highway north of Birmingham and takes us on a little detour to a Auto-zone store 
2:12 pm, Parts stop.
Clerk, Hi, how can I help you today? Bob, Do you have a spark plug for a Honda NS 50?
They had no clue how to look that plug up, so Bob starts giving the clerk spark plug numbers till they get one that works.

I wondered what people thought, when they seen this motley crew of bikes.
Bob puts the new spark plug in the Barbie Bike and the crisp sounding engine is back. 
3:04 pm, Last fuel stop ...
We are on the outskirts of Birmingham near Leeds getting our fuel slips to stop the clock. I am starting my rest break, and Bob has stopped the clock on his ride.
Charles Fider photo
Charles Fider Photo
Bob's GPS data 
Bob Munden Photo
Once we got our receipts from the clerk in the store, (I hate it when the pump does not give you a slip) We headed to the hotel that Bob and Charles were to stay tonight. What I did not know was that other folks had also read Bob's posting on the Iron Butt forum and were waiting to meet us at the hotel.
Michael Jordan's pictures from our arrival.
Why is this man smiling ? 
I think because he is getting off that bike now!

So we meet the reception party, Michael Jordan and Jeff White and Bob, Charles and myself finally get to talk to each other and I wanted to take Bob up on his offer to ride the Barbie Bike from hell.

Back after a few laps of the Hotel parking lot, Fun little bike !
Bob really built something really cool here, and I must say, very impressive.
Jeff White trying the Barbie Bike on for size.

The Blue BMW is Jeff Whites and the V Strom is Michael Jordan's The story of the trip was coming out . Plus it was the first time I got to talk to Bob and Charles, and add Michael and Jeff. 
L-->R. Charles Fider, Michael Jorden with camera,Bob Munden,Jeff White,Carl van Kesteren
Well, this might have turned into a party or something like one if I had stayed the night here. Bob and Charles wanted me to stay with them and go to the Barber tomorrow. And I did want to stay but, I had a reservation in Spartanburg SC tonight and I was still on the clock for my Bun Burner.  
The few hour break was really relaxing, Made some new friends, But I got to go now. Jeff a resident of Atlanta offered an escort to the east side of the city and I took him up on that offer.
Jeff. ready to head out.
Jeff Watson Photo

Jeff and I went back to the gas station that I had used a few hours earlier and went back on the clock. Also the receipt came out at the pump this time. So off we went ...

Pictures from Saturday.
Michael Jorden Photo
Michael Jorden Photo.

Stay tuned in for the last leg of this ride...
Part Two:" The Gathering Storm"