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Discussion Starter #1
Last week, Lacy and I decided we were very overdue for riding US12 through Lolo Pass and Clearwater National Forest between Missoula, MT and Kooskia, ID. So we got the time off work and rolled out about 9 AM Monday morning.

We headed north on US93 from Twin Falls to Shoshone, then on ID75 to Stanley and Challis. This was only my second run up 75 north of Stanley, and blasting along the twisties that follow the Salmon River is 100% awesome. We continued north on US93 out of Challis and stopped for lunch in Salmon, ID at the Savage Grill.

I've eaten small-town snack bar burgers all over the place (the Shoshone Snack Bar, in Shoshone where I grew up, has a certain level of local fame) but these were the probably the best. Hand-made 1/4 burgers with fresh toppings, and a great price to boot. I highly recommend.

We continued up 93, now covering completely new territory. I always love to go places I've never been before, and climbing the passes into Montana was an awesome experience. Much of the road was challenging and I enjoyed testing and improving my riding skills on the tight, fast corners. The XR, of course, handled them like a dream. No complaints there at all.

Night 1 we stayed in Missoula, but didn't really do anything exciting. Next morning, we gassed up and headed back down to Lolo to the US12 junction.

The next 100 miles were probably the most incredible I've ever ridden. I don't know if it was because it was so new, or because that particular bit of the Lewis & Clark Trail is just that great. But US12 through the Clearwater Forest offered some of the most impressive views I've seen in Idaho...and it's getting awful close to where I've almost seen them all (that can be reached on an on-highway vehicle, anyway). There are more pictures awaiting some reformatting on my wife's DSLR, but here's one I took with my phone:



We stopped in Kooskia for lunch at the Kooskia Cafe--pretty typical hometown restaurant fair, but good and cheap. Then continued out of Kooskia on ID13 to Grangeville.

ID13 is in a horrific state of disrepair. It's not many miles, but they are jarring, rutted up, and in general unpleasant. The parts that weren't a complete wreck, ironically, had just been resurfaced and thus were covered in still-setting chip seal. Bleh.

South out of Grangeville we rode US95, which was very nice this year. They've finished the road construction in the passes and it was a great bit of ride. However, the temperature spiked dramatically as we came down Whitebird Grade into the canyon above Riggins. For the next hour it was like riding into a blast furnace, and we forced to stop and hydrate and cool down frequently. I have never wished I'd worn a full face helmet so bad this time of year before. We hopped onto ID55 in New Meadows and rode the last bit into McCall, where we stayed the night.

McCall is always a pleasure; we went down and enjoyed Payette Lake and had dinner at the Toll Station.

The next morning we discussed our route. Initially, I had intended to continue down ID55 then cut onto the Banks-Lowman Road and ride back into Stanely before continuing south. But we were pretty worn out from the heat the day before, and decided it would be best to crank on down through Boise and east on I-84 instead, getting us home before the temperatures started to come back up that afternoon.

That led to a serendipitous turn of events.

I figured since we were going through Boise, we could say hi to my friend Luis and since we were gonna stop and dink around a bit, we might as well hit Carl's Cycles so I could grab an air filter for the XR.

It was at Carl's we stumbled across this:



The deal was too good to pass up. It's an '08 Vegas Low with 2000 miles, they were asking $8800 for it. It came with the performance exhaust (what kind is that, anyone know?), the stage 1 flash, and a K&N air filter. It also included a small, slipstream-type windshield, which Lacy loves. We traded the Shadow for it right there, and got a damn good deal on the trade-in too.

So, after 900 miles, we're now a 2-Victory household.

I'd say it was a pretty good trip.
 

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Congratulations.
Sounds like a great trip with a really great ending.
Your sweetie has a nice looking bike.
 

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That's a great story Luciferiad, glad you had a great trip and congrats on the new ride ,I really long to get enough time off from work to do just what you guys did... Really sounds like a great time. cheers
 

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Congrats... Love a happy ending to a story!
Quite a jump from the Honda to the big leagues!
Feel your pain with the heat being here in Eastern WA.. Ugh.
 

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Wow!
Second time today I posted that word but this time I actually mean it.
Wow!
 

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Very cool trip and even a cooler bike!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'd like to add some further commentary and another picture or two, perhaps. I was in a bit of a rush this morning and didn't get to add some details about the bike I would otherwise have liked to.

Funny thing was, we were trying to get Lacy's Shadow sold anyway, and I figured that'd put $700-1000 in our pockets after payoff depending on how badly I was gonna get raked over the coals on the deal. The bike booked at KBB for $4900 and at NADA at $5500, so I was gonna ask $5500 since it didn't even have 8k on the clock and was otherwise in like-new (if slightly bug-covered) condition.

Had a buyer lined up, an old friend, but he couldn't get a loan and surely didn't have the cash. See, right here this is shaping up VERY MUCH like how I got my XR. So, I was looking at having to sell it to a STRANGER :crzy:

I have little patience for being haggled with when I think I'm already asking a reasonable price. I also didn't want to have to screen all the tire kickers wanting test rides.

When we wandered into Carl's and showed interest in the Vegas, it was thrust on us very quickly. 2 salesmen began working on separate aspects of the project. One went to get a trade-in value on the Shadow, the other started running numbers for financing the Vegas. We had barely uttered the words "let's see what we can do" before they scurried off to make it happen. They hauled the bike outside and started it so we could hear the pipes. They were quick to advertise the included extras. They offered a test ride immediately.

Initially Lacy balked at the test ride. "I don't want to fall in love with it," she said.

"Well, you better find out if you like it enough to own it before I start filling out paperwork," I countered.

She rode it. I went with her on the XR, and we were guided around the neighborhood by our salesman Mark, who failed to impress my wife with his personality or technique, or riding habits :ltr: As it turns out, his pilot skoot was an older 88" Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic that (SURPRISE) had an electrical problem so the turn signals, tach, and speedo didn't work :ltr::ltr::ltr:

Yes, I made appropriate snide commentary about something being broken on a Harley.

So the test ride went poorly because she was stressed out, being dragged around an unfamiliar neighborhood on an unfamiliar and significantly more powerful bike. Also, it was well past lunch time, and someone tends to get grouchy when her blood sugar tapers off. I got her talked down and we discussed in earnest. She continued to hem and haw as I filled out the credit app, and maintained a very unimpressed attitude while we ate lunch, waiting to hear back on financing.

But once we were approved, she lit right up. They gave us .24% higher interest than the new-bike loan she had on her Shadow, and paid the Shadow off at like $1300 above KBB's trade-in value (they wanted that Shadow bad, they made a big deal of that, and I don't know why lol). And we rode that bad boy outta there. She waxed nostalgic over her plucky li'l Shadow, but I knew when we hit I-84 on the ride home her whole outlook would change. One rip on that throttle makes all the difference.

We got out on the interstate, and I let the XR have the reins. I racked out 4 gears and 80 MPH before merging from the onramp and guess who was right in my rearview mirror the whole time? We blasted out of town and I stopped at the rest stop just past Memory Road.

Her grin was so wide I thought she hurt herself. She was in love.

The power, the little shield keeping the wind and bugs off her, the ride, the color...yup. Smitten. So yeah, here's another pic for the archive.

And let me tell you, that SOB is QUICK. First gear feels 2 miles tall, and I'm pretty sure she could take me and my XR for a walk down embarrassment lane, if she were so inclined.

About the only detractor is the pipes. They look good and sound great, but are almost offensively loud. I think we'll have to swap them out :(
 

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Great story. So glad to hear how it all worked out. Also so happy to hear your out riding
 

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That is some amazing country there in and around the bitterroot valley. We lived in the Missoula area for about 8 years and loved it. Now we have been in the Billings, MT area for the last 8 years, I used to love traveling the lolo pass. We are lucky now to live in an area where we now have the world famous Beartooth highway out of Red Lodge and the Chief Joseph highway connecting into Cody, Wy. If you ever get a chance head through Yellowstone and out the NE entrance through Cooke City and into Red Lodge. Look up the Beratooth Rally, we were there all last weekend and had an absolute blast. We do the Beartooth ride several times a month. It's absolutely amazing.


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About the only detractor is the pipes. They look good and sound great, but are almost offensively loud. I think we'll have to swap them out :(
Bahh, just ride in front of her. Besides, if you don't you might not keep up. :ltr:

Serendipity is kewl. Good report. thumb up
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bahh, just ride in front of her. Besides, if you don't you might not keep up. :ltr:

Serendipity is kewl. Good report. thumb up
lol I lead anyway, since she has a terrible sense of direction. And they don't bother her while she's riding. We just don't want to aggravate our neighbors, one of whom is a really sweet old lady we often chat over the fence with. I'll leave aggravating the neighbors to the guy with the Dyna who lives across the street. Anyway! More pics:
 

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Damn you guys have some beautiful bikes, and a great place to ride.
What a great deal on such a nice bike.
Does it have any baffles in those pipes?
 

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Damn you guys have some beautiful bikes, and a great place to ride.
What a great deal on such a nice bike.
Does it have any baffles in those pipes?
Good point. If it does, it might be cheaper to just wrap them up in fiberglass.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Damn you guys have some beautiful bikes, and a great place to ride.
What a great deal on such a nice bike.
Does it have any baffles in those pipes?
I'm thinking they don't, judging by the tone. I was just thinking about baffles earlier this morning. I'll see what I can find out.
 

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The pipes look like Vance and Hines. If they are it should somewhere on the pipes. Most exhaust pipes have some sort of baffle. Figure out how to get it out.Wrap a little fiberglass around them and shove them back in.

12 and Clearwater canyon is some great riding.
 

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Wow, two awesome bikes. The Vegas should run sweet with the closed loop ignition. Awesome colors too. My aunt just moved from Missoula to Boise. Would love to run the mountain roads in Montana and Idaho.
 

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congratulations..... I know my wife sure loved her Vegas when she had it...
 
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