Colorado Trip – 2018

Last year I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Colorado. At the time I was in between motorcycles and had to sort that out quick. So I dived into Craigslist to find my next steed. This was going to be a summer trip that I needed to carry camping gear so I needed a rig that can carry the extra weight and still be fun to ride. Since I’m a creature of habit, I was looking for something familiar. And this came up.

Another Kawasaki C14 Concours.

This one has some nice history because I bought it from the original owner in Austin Texas. This rider loved this Concours and rode the wheels off of it. So it was an easy decision. Paid what he asked for and took her home to start the prep.

After a few more than familiar modifications and maintenance fixes (Dreaded cam position sensor oil leak). She was ready to roll. What an amazing and totally predictable machine. This bike has the heart of a Kawasaki ZX-14 bolted to a sport touring chassis and a worry free shaft drive. Yeah! No having to clean and adjust a chain!!

So onwards to Colorado to meet a couple of friends to show me Pikes Peak, Mount Evans and the Rocky Mountains National Park. I shared my plans with my good friend Nelson (an ultra mile rider) who has been preaching the gospel of knocking out at least a 1,000 miles (saddle sore 1000) on any given trip. I’ve never done such a stretch but he talk me into doing it and he would ride with me for support.

Sometimes the stars just align. It happen that my trip fell during a time when another friend of mine (Brandan) was making his way home from a ride to some northern states. We decided to meet in Colorado Springs. So we would leave around 2am to make our way north.

We traveled by night to avoid the triple digit daytime temps. Traveling with hydration packs and hydration vests helped keep us cool.

Seeing the sunrise did provide a great 2nd wind to help press forward through the Texas Pan Handle.

After the sun came up. We broke up the day by stopping off at a few Texas courthouses to take some photos.

Finally got out of Texas into New Mexico. I only had the pleasure to cut across its north eastern corner. But it has some nice scenery.

At the time I crossed into southern Colorado, the fires were going on and crossing the highway around Pueblo, CO.

My legs were gone when we arrived to Colorado Springs. Almost dropped the bike riding into the hotel parking lot. I was ready for a shower, dinner and some beers. It was a good day.

Next day we met up with my friends Jen and Miguel from Kansas and Colorado. Also met Brandan who was making his way home from Wyoming. We went up the amazing Pikes Peak and it’s 14,110 feet of amazing road. I follow the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Run and I amazed how fast they race up that road every year. We also decided to visit the Garden of the Gods

Colorado is a gorgeous state. Summer temps were comfortable, the roads in great shape, the terrain – scenic. My adventure continued the next day without my San Antonio friends. They venture back home to Texas.

After some great riding due northwest we decided to take a break at Breckinridge Brewery. Excellent food and drink.

We could have stayed longer at the brewery but we needed to look for a camp site for the night. Temps went from the mid 80’s to the 40’s quick! We camped out at the base of Mount Evans. After some fun chat on the days ride. We all hit the sack for our next adventure – Mount Evans.

A gorgeous sunny day awaited us that next morning. We rode to the entrance of Mt Evans to be met with a gift shop and restaurant. We had a hearty breakfast and chatted with other visitors.

At this point we our paths were needing part. We made our way together to Denver and one friend made their way to Kansas and the other to Colorado Springs. We parted and promised to meet up again soon.

Cheers amigos!

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Aerostich Roadcrafter Classic – King of Uncool But it Works!

Been riding motorcycles for a little more than 10 years now. I’ve evolved from the skull and cross bones ware of being a Harley rider to the more technical and modern cuts of Rev’it to suit my sport touring needs. As my free time became more fleeting , I had to find fewer excuses to keep me from riding. So my vanity has to be shelved to make way to form and function.

The struggle is real!  The issues I’ve encountered is finding riding gear that can suit multiple seasons, unplanned climate changes and a comfortable fit. I’ve tired of the days of hauling multiple inner or outer liners that seem to be the solution – after the fact. As a lazy, 40-something, I needed something that was a bit more practical.

Onesie anyone?  I’ve always been curious about a one piece riding suit. Something I can just jump into and out of when needed. The appeal of being able to just wind up in street cloths at a moments notice was amazing to me. And like a one piece racing suit, the armor and suit stays in place when you’re tumbling.  Aerostich was on my radar but their prices were just outside of my budget. So I decided to try a competitor to start. I purchased a Joe Rocket one piece called the Survivor Suit that sold for about a third of the cost of a Aerostich Roadcrafter. As I used the Survivor suit I soon started to find it’s limitations.


I own a ‘Stich! So I finally purchased my Roadcrafter Classic. As with quality hiking and camping gear, the use of Gore-Tex is king. Especially when paired with other materials that can produce a riding garment that is weather proof, breathable, abrasion resistant and comfortable. Some manufacturers have their in-house versions but in my humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like Gore-Tex. Stitching is another important subject. A few companies use a more industrial approach to their stitching (double or triple seams) vs the more simpler pedestrian approach of a single stitched seam. Lastly the armor.  Most riding gear will come with some kind of entry level protective armor at the shoulders, elbows and knees or CE level 1. Aerostich gives you a few options. The suit has hook & loop fasteners where you can easily attach different densities of armor or none depending on your needs.


As of today (May 2018) I’m about 1.5 years into owning my ‘Stich and have been very satisfied.  I have upgraded my armor to the TF6 Hardshell pads including hip pads and a back/chest protectors.  I also purchased a suit carry strap that allows me to roll my suit into a strap for easy carry. I get asked about the comfort of the suit. You really need to understand the notion of creating a micro-climate to keep you comfortable while wearing the suit. During the colder seasons, zipping up the vents and using an electric vest and gloves to keep your body warm.   During the warmer rides, wearing wicking base layers and opening the vents as much as needed to enjoy the evaporative cooling.  Adding a cooling vest under the suit also prolongs the cooling effect.

I’ve rolled with friends that wear the latest Rev’it and Klim gear.  They look at me and make that comment – “The suit has to be good to look that bad.”

I don’t mind.



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Quick Trip to Big Bend

I was reading though some email one evening when a VFR forum post called “AM in Arkansas” caught my eye.  This lucky Kansas rider was taking a solo trip to the Ozarks on their trusty Honda VFR800.  A machine I am quite familiar with. 🙂

This strangely made me a little jealous.  My yearly long trip with my band of misfits “my riding buddies” never really manifested.  With the end of the year approaching, I started to feel the door closing on a opportunity for an extended ride.  Argh!!!!  

Blogs, forums, groups.   It amazes me how small the world can appear sometimes when your thumbing through the experiences and knowledge of fellow riders.  I sometimes live vicariously through some of the posts and start to formulate my own personal excursions.  

This spurred that ever returning urge to get out on my bike one more time before the end of the year.  A few of my riding buddies scheduled a late year ride I was not able to originally attend.  One of those kinds of rides that can be a quick get there and back without too much preparation.  That destination is the Big Bend region of West Texas. Lucky me, they reschedule.  The Big Bend area of West Texas has seen me a few times in the past on a slew of different bikes.  I tend to rotate bikes pretty frequently and it turns out that I needed to see what a recent acquisition of mine, a 2006 Ducati ST3, can do out in the deep nothing of West Texas.  

A quick 4 day trip was all I needed.  Not a long trip but just enough to quiet my demons and stretch the Italian legs of my Ducati.  As you can probably already see, my bikes of choice tend to be sport tourers of one type or another.  

It’s funny how big Texas can be sometimes.  Luckily our 80mph plus speed limits help scoot us along to your destination.  We super slabbed it on I-10, observing the very generous speed limits of course.  Only stopping for bio breaks and fuel when needed.  The highways in Texas are gorgeous in these parts.  Rolling hills, smooth pavement, fuel stops adequately spaced and rest stops when needed.  The only concern I had was the wildlife that would wonder onto the highway so we traveled late morning and got to Fort Davis by 3pm or so.  Checked in our very favorite motel, The Stone Village Tourist Camp motel.  I’m not much of a camper so we rough it in a couple of cozy motel rooms.  The temp was dropping so we quickly checked in, unpacked and got ready to visit our favorite Market for beer and snacks and plan dinner later. 

Our evenings for the entire trip were spent at a great bistro in Fort Davis called The Blue Mountain Bistro.  Food, drink, staff and atmosphere were all wonderful. Since the town was small, our stroll to and from the bistro was very convenient.  We indulged and got back to our rooms to rest for the next day.

The credit for the map above goes to

Our second day was filled with a ride from Fort Davis to Alpine TX down to Study Butte/Terlingua.  Then to do the extremely picturesque and technical road that is 170.  A ride we missed the last time this group and I were in the area due to heavy rains left the road with a ton of run off debris on it.

The trail led us to Presidio for a quick fill up.  Then off to the funky town of Marfa TX.  What an unusually place.  Very artsy and bohemian.  We stopped at Planet Marfa for a drink and a bite to eat.  

Temperatures started to drop again right after our late lunch.  We raced back Fort Davis to call it a day.  Later that evening  our friend Thomas decided to join us from San Antonio after work.  It was good to add him to the mix.  

Map credit to

Our 3rd day started with a ride around the Fort Davis Loop.  Another scenic route around the semi mountainous area fill with long sweepers. We made our way towards Valentine to visit the famous Prada Marfa Art Sculpture.  A very unusual item you do not expect to see in the emptiness of west Texas.  

After the Prada Marfa Store we shot over to Alpine Texas to visit some friends that were involved in the Alpine Tx Art Walk Festival.  

Voni Glaves, besides being a wonderful artist she and her husband Paul are also accomplished motorcycle travelers.  More on Voni & Paul here.

We called it a day once again and headed back to Fort Davis.  Another wonderful trip.  Shared one more wonderful meal and back we went to rest for our trip back.

Our buddy Brandan had other plans to get us home.  We scooted east on 90 and took a left on 349 in Dryden TX.   Ended up at Fort Lancaster. We didn’t have time to look around much so got back on bikes and hit I-10 to get us home.  Our buddy Thomas broke off sometime later to enjoy some twisties in Leakey, Tx before getting home.  The rest of us shot straight home. 

Good times my friends.   Do it again soon. 

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Harvest Classic Motorcycle Rally – 2016

Missed last years event due to rain but heard it was one that was attended by many and have stories to tell for a long time to come.  

This motorcycle rally isn’t the norm.  Focusing on classic and vintage European motorcycles of all kind.  Let’s say the Harley crowd is kept to a minimum and easy to spot.   

The rally serves two purposes:  a wonderful together for all motor-heads that love vintage and classic European and Asian motorcycles.  And also the most important of all in the name to battle childhood cancer.  May we cure cancer soon. 

The rally has been hosted for the last 14 years by the wonderful town of Luckenbach, TX.  Nestled in the hill country of Texas.  Made famous by Waylon Jenning’s song Luckenbach, TX.  A sleepy town that is known for its music and those wanting to escape from the city life for a little while.  

Camping is allowed.  And the weather is perfect for it.  Fall has dropped our temps well below of the 90’s.  I hope to camp one of these years.  Folks were riding to and from their camp sites on small pit  bikes and dirt bikes.   The ones that stood  out the most, were the trails bikes.  They were making their way to and from the few made trail areas.  Crazy what these bikes can manage. 

Then there was the area where exemplary bikes were displayed for judging.  Some great examples were found.  

The parking lot was equally impressive with the bikes the folks rode to the rally in.  Also a makeshift tent city where the main grounds were way over booked.   One bike that caught my eye was one that is definately on my bucket list to own one of these days.   The Motus MST.  Well until next year, enjoy whatever is left of your riding season.   


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Finally an Italiana. 

I’ve always wanted either an Aprilia Futura or a Ducati ST.  But the typical maintenance horror stories you hear from some have kept me away from them.  I finally bit the bullet and got me a “Duc”.  

A 2006 Ducati ST3 came home with me late Aug 2016.  Not the ST3″S” model, but this one was upgraded with an Öhlins racing rear shock and upgraded front fork springs.  She is a sexy beast.  

The previous owner and Ducati of Austin were very helpful and shared the entire bikes maintenance history.  So I had no real reason to deny her any longer.   

Took her out on a couple of short Hill Country rides recently.  Rides like a dream.  Sounds like a brute.  Looks like a super model.  More to come later.  

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And then there was Buellah.

2007 Buell XB12X Ulysses

2007 Buell XB12X Ulysses

Started my search for an “Adventure” style motorcycle that didn’t mind a little dirt every once in a while. But I wanted something that had some personality.  Originally fell in love with another ugly duckling, 2005 Ducati Multistrada.  But the parts availability and the general uncertainty of the Ducati scared me off this time.  The Buell Ulysses was on the bucket list for quite some time now.

When I first started down the rabbit hole of motorcycling, I had to take a riding class. Since I purchased a Harley, the class I took back in 2005 was the Riders Edge training class.  The instructors were these two older fellas.  Looking back, the instructors wore Buell adventure riding gear and of course rode Ulysses.  I was blinded by the Easy Rider character that I wanted to be.  That i really didn’t care to notice or register the kind of bikes they rode.

This unusual bike produced by Buell decided to do things their way.  Fuel carried in the frame (4.4 gals).  Motor oil in the swing arm.   Powered by a Harley inspired 1200 sportster engine.  All weighing at about 450 lbs.  I’ve owned a sportster in the past and this bike does not ride like one at all.  The bike does share the potato V-twin sound and feel.  With the familiar spastic shake at idle.  But as soon you launch, the bike smooths out.

Rev band is limited, red lining at about 6500 rpm.   Coming from Japanese sport touring bikes, you become very familiar with the rev limiter.  The front and rear suspension is fully adjustable.  Very nice to have to dial in that feel depending on what is ahead of you.  The transmission provides you with a 5 speed gear box.   I found out, that is all you need.

I love the simplicity of the bike.   No radiator and up right riding position.  Two factory power outlets (one on the dash and another under the seat) makes this rig very adaptable and convenient.  Being an air cooled bike, I was surprised to find that it has a cooling fan on the rear cylinder.

After much consideration.  The ruggedness of this bike made me yern for the refinement of a sport tourer again.  I decided to put it up for sale.  Didn’t take long, new owner paid my asking.  Wow!   I’ll try to own another in the future.  


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MotoGP at COTA – 2016

Since the opening of the track in Elroy, Texas (Suburb of Austin, TX).   My self and a few of my good friends have been coming to support motorcycle racing at it’s best.   I consider myself lucky to have such a wonderful venue so close to my home in San Antonio, TX that we can just ride up to COTA (The Circuit of the Americas) to partake.

My good buddy Javier was chosen to be a track marshal.  With his stature and build, you would want him helping you get your strayed bike back on the track.  He really enjoyed himself.   Shared that there were volunteers that came from all corners of the US.  And a few from abroad.   Would like to help out at one of these races either for MotoGP or MotoAmerica one of these days.

My group of friends and I have really enjoyed sitting in Turn 15, Section 15 for the last couple of years.   You can really enjoy some really good battles from there.  Plus it’s close to the eats/drinks, entrance and the retail stuff.

I was lucky enough to meet and get an autograph from Pol Espargaro.  Very friendly fella.

Ideas for next year.   This area was teaming with families and their young kids.   I have a 3 year old that would love this.  My wife, not so much.   We will see.

This section was just after the bridge leading into the Retail area.   The smell of the racing fuel and the sound of the racing engines were intoxicating.


Bravo Ducati!   Your Ducati Island is one to greatly admire.  No demo bikes to ride though.  Maybe next year.  🙂


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My good friend Nelson had mentioned that this bucket list bike was my “Eleanor”.  Taken from the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” to describe the automobile the lead actor longed for but never owned.  I’ve owned a couple of 6th Generation VFRs but have been told the best version was the 5th gen with its gear driven cams and no VTEC voodoo. 

More to come later.

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Consuelo is gone, the itch is back.

The time came to sell my 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14.  She was a fun and reliable steed.  But once again I long for something different for this new riding season.

Disfruta Diego!


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MotoGP Viewing Party at COTA


To celebrate the return of a new season of MotoGP, The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) hosted a viewing party of the 1st race from Qatar.  The sponsors RideSmart and Woods Fun Center gave out door prizes and raffled out goodies.  COTA graced us with a parade lap!  Thanks to the powers that made this happen.  I hope they do this again in the near future.

Can’t wait to return for the big show in April with a few of my friends.







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