Greasers Garage


The study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon.

Robert M. Pirsig



Finally the summer is here. Normally I would be sulking and angry. Not this year. This year I’ve retired and I’m away from that miserable heat in Texas. I am at home in S.W Colorado. For years I made a living in the motorcycle business, repairing , selling etc. Now finally it was my chance to actually just ride them. Of coarse I have my BMW Rt1200 , a new generation BMW , away from that huge clutch and flywheel spinning around that makes me feel like I’m on one of those kids gyro , throw up rides at the carnival. To me , the very best in motorcycling period. And I have Yuliya’s MV Agusta . The worst in motorcycling .Period. But before I left the adventure bike bug had bitten me. Well to be honest, Id just given up on riding on the track. MSR Houston is a plain shit track. Yes it’s shit and dangerous , who the hell puts a wall at the exit of turns. Well in Houston they do. And the price for a day, while you share the track, is just plain silly. I needed a new bike world to go play in. Now Rio Bravo MX track is around the corner, but if you really want to feel old, and shit your pants. Go try that. I came of one jump and saw Jesus, Mohammed and Budha huddled together and they all had that “oh Fucking hell “ look on their faces. Pack my shit . And be thank full all my bones are still kinda orientated in the correct way.

So one hot miserable day in Houston I stop by the BMW dealer to test  a F800GSA. Now I’m new to this ADV bike thing, and I’m in a giant city and yes that is the wrong environment for that bikes intended purpose. But I hated it. Riding down the road is terrible. Sure , sure, down the trails its probably awesome. So I stopped in at Honda to try this new auto thingie from this lot. Two miles down the road. Yep . buying one of these.

So off to Colorado, now don’t take your wife bike shopping. No ,no not the nagging thing. My wife jumped on it. Took off. Came back and bought one for herself. It was supposed to be my birthday present. WTF? Ah that’s ok at least I wouldn’t have to see her sore face and deformed body after every long ride on that MV.



The Africa Twin is amazing. The transmission is brilliant and just plain fun. And it makes a fantastic partner on long rides. I would encourage anyone to go give it a try. You won’t miss that clutch lever.  And remember which bike you’re on, at the first stop on my RT , after riding the Africa Twin for some time, I stalled from not pulling in the clutch. Embarrest I told Yuliya who promptly told me she had done the same. On the dirt the bike has a few features to help. Traction control, wheel selectable ABS and “gravel mode. The Traction assist has only three settings. Level three is just to much , sneeze and the power shuts off to the back wheel. Two , my favorite, lets the bike slide approximately 20 degrees out before saving your ass. And one, a lot less. It doesn’t take long to realize , these are big bikes. And a claimed 95 Hp can get it away from you really fast. This reference is off road.   The brakes are fine. Suspension is ADV bike , soft and comfortable. A lot of expert reviews state how soft, how insufficient, how this , how that. This is a bike that I bought for just $1000 more than the new CRF450L . I can buy two Africa Twins for one BMW1200GSA. Yes the GS has tones more stuff. Save yourself a bunch and get some upgrades. I have only two issues with the bike. It does not have cruise control. The throttle mechanism is no excuse. As the 2018 model with full ride by wire doesn’t have it either. And I struggle to get enough weight on the front wheel. This is an ergonomics issue and a suspension issue. But that’s for another day.



 I was alone in Colorado and desperate to hit the trails. My guide book had all the usual tourist crazy areas around Silverton and Ouray . This area is known as probably the best in the USA for outdoor motorcycle adventure. But I had my eye on getting to Summitville. Summitville is the site of Colorado’s worst eco mining disaster. The EPA even built a water processing plant on top of the 12k foot mountain. I wanted to go find it.

So down my road and west on 160 into Pagosa springs for gas and through to Wolf Pass . A breath taking ride up and over the stunning mountain . The road is full of turns and hairpins and bike nirvana . Its wide and easy to pass the huge dinosaur motorhomes being towed by pick up trucks .I’m sure if the truck could communicate , it would be shouting at its owner.” Why would you leave your suburban mansion and tow a suburban mansion across the country to park it in a suburban trailer park , with all the same suburbanites “, what the fuck, then you realize there’s more of them than you.

Maybe they saying the same thing about me. “Bike looks like a bug, fucken wheels are not even the same size, and why the fuck is he dressed like a power ranger, whew thank our gracious God and he’s son Jesus  we’ve gotten away from the neighborhood”.

I wave at the state trooper always parked on the top, he’s not there to bust my balls, he’s there keep a keen eye on the overloaded vehicles descending the mountain. Get it wrong , the results are going to be ugly . For me the only concern is how much can I get away with on the Continental TKC80 nobbies, I just shoe horned on the bike that evening. Don’t dare try this yourself but I can tell you , they stick like glue. Honestly I rode the same manner I do with street tires on. Lets just say I was happy the trooper stayed on top the mountain.

For some reason I could not find the turn of to Forest road 330. I looked and looked. I checked the map, and from what I could conclude (at home) it was 8 mile’s west of South fork. I looked and looked to no avail. Although it never really showed where in South fork to measure from. Typical Andy , I had left the map at home, I had only my notes, and I must have fucked up somewhere as usual. Of I go, Back over the pass , having a blast. Past my Buddy, and back down the other side. Past more dinosaurs . Dinner at the “Lost Cajun” in Pagosa and back home.


Stunner pass.

Today I’m going to head down and start from the bottom end . The long way around. Typical me. If you don’t succeed try again, only make it more complicated this time. This time. Take map.

It’s 88 miles to Chama from my home. A stunning ride that would leave motorcyclists drooling and smiling

Now guys and gals this ride back into Colorado( You are in NM briefly) , and up 17 to La Manga and Cumbres pass .I’m not going to bother to try explain. I don’t have those fancy author journalist fancy adjectives. It would be like Gordon Ramsey saying ,” yep bacons nice”. This road is why I ride bike.

I miss the road again. At Horca there is supposed to be a road. A sign. Something . I ride past searching. This is mad , turn around go back to Horca. . Well the only other road there is FSR250, my road. And 100 yards up the road is the sign. WTF .

The journey begins. First miles are wide washboard roads. Dinosaurs , tourists, fishermen and locals who don’t bother to stare , they know where the money comes from. Others , amazed , didn’t see shit in Roswell and here in the woods is a power ranger alien. Off I go, I don’t even know they’re there. The road gets bumpier, . thinner, technical  and the other humans are nowhere, perfect. The scenery is like from some “gone with the wind” movie. When I look, its amazing . For some reason my brain has goes to, I’m in Paris racing for Dakar. (or Argentina or Brazil to China or whatever the fuck it is now). The Honda is brilliant and I’m shifting in manual with paddle shifters at my left hand. 2nd and 3rd in gravel mode

,( ABS ON. , it works perfect) traction control on 2 for now. The TKC nobbies work well although those Dunlop trail max tires would have been fine to. Fuck it . nobby’s fits better in my Dakar fantasy.   Switchbacks , gravel, sand, turns , stretches of long highspeed. I have found my new heaven. I’m blasting around, . Bikes brilliant. I miss FSR330 again, funny thing is I know where I missed it. But no matter  ,Forest road 250  is great.

I finally reach the flats at the Alamosa reservoir , the dirt road now opens up to what looks like a freeway on dirt. So wide 4 cars could pass. And for miles. I cant resist myself. After a long stretch of scouting I return back a long ways. There’s no one around. Nothing I can see. I want triple digits on the dirt, just cuzz .

Mission accomplished the road spits me out all the way in Alamosa. 90 something miles of trail riding fun. Fill up the trusty Honda and its back to Wolf pass , past my pal, down to Pagosa and off to Bayfield. 130 more miles of riding bliss. Smiling all the way home.

The total from that morning was exactly 301 miles. This was a perfect example of , it’s not the destination , it’s the ride.



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