Four day blast on the FJ09

Here’s a half ass attempt at a blog post about  my quick trip into BC and Washington State.

if you don’t want to bother with reading the below…you can have a look at the pics here:

Trip went very well. 3500 actual gps shown KM in 4.5 days. Odometer showed roughly 3650km, so there’s error there, and as well as indicated speed (usually 7%)

Saturday: SW Calgary to Nanaimo…yep 1100km in one go and the ferry.  It was a bit of a marathon day.  I started it all off by loosing my tent and foamie somewhere in Calgary.  Note to self, strap things down better.   Weather wise, it was an extreme in both situations.  4C in Banff, and 36C in Lilooet.  Bike made it no problems to Golden on one tank.  Picked up a new house and bed at the Crap tire in Salmon Arm ($135 gone…) and kept on trucking to Chase for a fill up, and to get off hwy one.  Had a bit of smooth gravel between Chase and Kamloops.  From there the road to Cache Creek is un-eventful.  Once on the 99, things become fun.  This is where the FJ shines.  It punts past cars, buses, a line of 20 Harley riders, without issue, and with absolute hilarity.  I did have to keep reminding myself about the 40km/h over rule…I love BC.  Going was good till Whistler, when traffic got snarled up a bit.  Once out of Whistler, the Sea to Sky high way is a pleasure.  I was in time for the 520 pm sailing.  Some home made sandwiches consumed on the ferry, I headed for my very decent campsite south of Nanaimo. Beer and pizza to round off a most excellent day


Days map here (Calgary to Nanaimo only)

Sunday: Easy ride around the south Island. Started the day off right with Nanaimo river road.  Epic paved road, which ends at a locked gate (opens 8am to 6pm, as it’s private logging road).  I was there early, and didn’t get to ride that part of the road to Lake Cowichan.  Instead, I turned around, rode that splendid paved section again, hooked up to Lake Cowichan, and did the loop to Port Renfrew.  This road is a treat.  It’s all paved, and rough in some sections, but for the most part, fast, flowing and empty.  Recommended.  I topped off the morning with a wild Salmon eggs Benedict at the Coastal Cafe.  Epic.


Breakfast done, I headed East towards Victoria.  This stretch of road is all perfect pavement.  And I was really looking forward to it.  Unfortunately, the fog rolled in.  It was bad enough that all I could do it follow the yellow line at 60 km/h.  The locals call August Fogust…Half way down the road, I stopped to help three guy fish out a large Victory bagger out of the ditch.  Amazingly we succeeded and the guy rode away unbroken, with a few scratches on the bike.  Lucky him


Spent the day hanging out with my buddy Scott, and his delinquent friends.  Good times indeed.


Monday: Early wake up call at 4 am, to catch the ferry to Port Angeles. Bit of a slog to Mt. Rainer…meh. The park pass was a bit of a rip at $20 USD.  Getting there and out of it was a pain, but worth seeing once for sure.



I stuck to back roads, and found a winner.  The Mountain Loop Hwy.  Perfect pavement, interrupted by roughly 25km of decent gravel.  The FJ coped well, I did have to be mindful of the wheel swallowing pot holes


End of day was a revelation though…Hwy 20, into Winthrop, WA, all to myself for close to 120km!! Magic.


Checked into the KOA campsite, set the tent up by the river, and went off for the worlds best pizza at East 20 Pizza.  Great day all in all.

Days map here:

Tuesday: Winthrop to Kaslo. Some great roads out of Winthrop.  No pictures, as I was busy riding.  Originally I was going to end up in Bonners Ferry, and head home the day following via Coleman.  It’s a bit of a shit ending to the trip, as it’s straight, and windy.  So I elected to head up via New Denver, hit the 31A to Kaslo, camp at Toad Rock, and get to do the 31A all over the next morning.  good plan.

Days map here:

Wednesday: Rode the 31A one more time.  Nice, very nice.  The rest of the trip was uneventful, and entertaining.  I’d let cars by on the passing lanes, but would catch them up quickly on the single lane stuff.  When ever the coast was clear, down to 4th gear, and gas it…fun.

The bike. Well, it was my first 1000km day on any motorcycle. It was cold going through Banff, 4C, and damn hot in Lilooet towards the end of the day, 36C.
Overally I’m very pleased with this bike. It’s not a tenere, and was never meant to be. I did a bit of gravel here and there. It coped well with it, and so did the tires. naturally the 17″ wheels didn’t like deep pot holes.
Engine is a peach. It’s very quick compared to the ST. It’s weird to describe, but it simply doesn’t linger, it just goes. On single lane highways, if I needed to punt more than three cars at once, down to 4th, and give-er! Wow wee. Even at 1200m elevation the thing motored.
And down at sea level, with the bags and the addedweight , it did perfect second gear power wheelies.
Pegs and bar was a bit buzzy, noticeable some times, other times I simply ignored the issue.
Economy ranged from 4.7L (taking it easy) to 5.2L/100km (caning it).  Tank range a respectful 280km to 330km for the idiot light to ping.  You could easily squeeze out another 50km, before having to push

Ergos…I’ve changed the seats to seat concept foam and covers. While fine around town, the mileage I was doing daily (except for sunday) the air hawk was a blessing, and quite literally saved my ass.

Suspension: The stock suspenders sucked! The money spent on traxxion dynamics cartridges, and the rear yacugar shock was well worth it. There were some amazing roads that I had a chance to test the bike. Stuck like glue, and the stock Dunlops did very well, wet or dry, or gravel for that matter.  10k km on the tires now, and they should be good for another 2k

Luggage, carrying capacity. The 45L givi E45s are plain as day, but they work very well.
Besides being a complete spanner, and loosing my tent and foamie before even leaving Calgary, everything stayed on once I strapped it down properly.


5 thoughts on “Four day blast on the FJ09

  1. Great blog, Greg, Enjoyed. Pictures are awesome.
    I have driven around Mt. Ranier with my wife in a car, nice round trip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s