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Discussion Starter #1
'm from Massachusetts and and visiting California next week to go to my GF's son's wedding. I rented an FZ 09 from a guy in Hesperia on Riders-Share.com. I'll be staying in Palmdale and not knowing the area, I was thinking that maybe there's be another rider from here that might like to do meet up for a Saturday 7-13-19 ride. I was thinking of heading towards the desert but I'm not stuck on any particular destination. Anyone game?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hopefully the state doesn't slide into the ocean in the meantime. That's some spooky stuff goin' on out there right now.
The town I live in in Massachusetts is on the ocean. I can swim and I know from racing hair scrambles that I can ride in almost waist deep water.

Nobody out there wants to show an old guy the riding hot spots?
 

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Hey Chester, just head south out of Palmdale into the mountains. On a Saturday you'll find plenty of people to ride with. You can even head into La Canada Flintridge and meet a bunch of people at the Shell station.
I live in Florida and know nothing about that area but I just read a thread in the XSR900 Ride Reports section of this forum and it sounds like what you're looking for.

https://www.fz09.org/forum/97-xsr900-ride-report/65566-visiting-my-old-friend-angela-angela-s-crest-hwy-hwy2-so-cal.html#post870124
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Chester, just head south out of Palmdale into the mountains. On a Saturday you'll find plenty of people to ride with. You can even head into La Canada Flintridge and meet a bunch of people at the Shell station.
I live in Florida and know nothing about that area but I just read a thread in the XSR900 Ride Reports section of this forum and it sounds like what you're looking for.

https://www.fz09.org/forum/97-xsr900-ride-report/65566-visiting-my-old-friend-angela-angela-s-crest-hwy-hwy2-so-cal.html#post870124
Thanks, I just looked at the route and it looks way cool.
 

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Palmdale? You're in a great position. There are number of beautiful roads out there, but I would recommend San Gabriel Canyon road - if you go all the way up there is Crystal Lake Cafe where bikers hang out.

There is other harder route next to San Gabriel - can check Glendora Mountain road

If want more - check @the_backroad instagram - with detailed guide on best roads around LA with photos, rating and comments

I might join you, but looks like am booked for hiking that day. Have fun and be safe!
 

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North side of mountains

You can try the north side of the mountains, (Wrightwood), by taking the 138 east from Palmdale. Then look for the 2 and that's Angeles Crest Highway (ACH).
 

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Chester,

From Hesperia go west to Wrightwood and get on HWY 2 (ACH) westbound. Very famous road but on the weekends it is very busy. On top of that there are lots of fallen rocks in the road from the mountains. Just be careful. Ride west and you will eventually get to Newcombs Ranch. Popular hangout. Continue west from there and you will come to a road called Angeles Forest Hwy, turn right.
Turn right on Mt Emma Road. This road will be a little residential (very rural) in areas. Turn right on Fort Taejon Rd. Stay on the main road. There will be a couple of small “Y”’s in the road. You will come to a “T” in the road, go left then immediately right. You will be on Big Pines Rd. This will take you back up to Wrightwood and Hwy 2. From there you can go left back to Hesperia. Hwy 2 also known as Angeles Crest Hwy is fairly fast and at altitude. The loop back is tighter but a lot of fun with hardly any fallen rocks in the road. If you’re not wide open, you should be able to do this on a tank of gas.
Have fun!

-Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
'm back from my California trip. The wedding was a drag but the bike rental was probably the best ride of my life. First off, I rented a 2017 FZ 09 on Riders-Share and it was excellent. Got a great motorcycle from a great guy. The FZ 09 feels very similar to my FJ 09 except for I have K-Tech on both ends of my bike and it makes a big difference. Still, the FZ09 with stock suspension is a pretty good ride.

Ok, about the ride. The guy I rented from recommended one his favorite route which is Rt 138 to 18. I had an hour ride out through the desert from my hotel to the mountains. One cool thing about this area of the desert is that there are these areas with dips and rises and at speed you feel like you're gonna get launched. I actually broke out into a huge smile at one point. After about an hour it went from straight to starting to get a little curvey and then as I started to go up the mountains, it became holy shit cool. Twisty doesn't even begin to describe it. Short tight turns that had me flicking the bike back and forth, close tight turns like I've never seen. Cut backs, hairpin turns and elevation changes that just never ended and a gazillion turns that that never stopped. The route is nicknamed "The Rim of the World" and it is like someone designed a road for maximum motorcycling fun.

Now I have to explain something. I've been riding for most of my life and I'm 62. Almost all of my experience has been off road so I'm always working on improving my pavement skills. Recently I've been trying to figure out trail braking and trying to incorporate it into my riding but haven't found any improvement or understood what it was really going to give me. So on this ride through the mountains I finally discovered and figured out trail braking and damn, I was riding twice as fast through turns and it just became the most natural thing ever. I was able to just crank into and out of turns fast and comfortably. It's so simple and it set me free.

So back to the ride..... There are lots of cars and bikes up there and it's mostly single lane except for a few sections of passing lanes. No matter what people up there are driving, they think they become speed racer. SUV's and mini vans become Ferraris. Of course there was nothing up there that could touch a decent sport bike and so besides the technical aspect of riding up there, there were lots of bonsai passes. At one point I got behind 3 Harley baggers and all of a sudden they they are trying to ride like they're on crotch rockets. That didn't last long as I could see how ragged and bad handling those bikes really are and they waved me by and pulled over never to be seen again. The funny thing is nobody wants to get passed and worked their asses off to keep me from passing them. Most gave up and eventually would pull over and let me pass. Others I had to find a spot and blast by. There was one guy in a Beemer (car) that decided he wanted to race and when we hit the passing lane section his driving became maniacal in trying to keep me from passing him. The funny thing was that it wasn't even challenging on a motorcycle. I dusted him and he fading back into the distance. After a few hours I started coming down out of the mountains and finally back into the desert and much to my surprise I ended up on old Route 66 which was way cool. Eventually I made my way to Barstow and took a good look at my Google maps and realized I had a pretty long ride back to where I was staying. The map routed me to Route 58 which goes through the heart of the Mojave Desert.

I'll say this about the desert.....it is hot as a MFer........but the Mojave Desert was twice as hot as a MFer. I did not see many bikes in the desert and I'm guessing it's because although I loved riding out there, I didn't realize that the desert heat is slowly sucking the life out of you. I started out the day around 8 AM as suggested here and I hydrated my ass off often. Although you're extremely hot, the dryness of the heat keeps you from feeling really uncomfortable. I rode the desert roads at 90 to 100 mph most of the time and went through 5 tanks of gas during the course of the day. After an hour on RT 58 I started getting low on fuel and finally had the fuel light start blinking and showing 12 miles of gas left...........and nothing but desert and highway as far as I could see. I started getting really nervous as the heat here was getting to me and I was scared shitless about running out there. On top of that, I was starting to feel kind of nauseous which is a sign of heat stroke. Finally I saw a mobile mechanic working on a tractor trailer and I stopped to see if he had any gas. This is when I discovered that I had full blown heat stroke. The mechanic didn't have any gas but he did give me a bottle of very warm water. I had to lay down in the shadow of the truck and sipped water and I was seriously worried. After about 10 minutes I felt well enough to get up and Google gas stations nearest my location. This is the funny part, it was only 2 miles down the road. I hopped on the bike and rode there and filled up. Ate half of a miserable gas station sandwich and a bottle of Gatorade and sat in the shade. I was fully heat stroking out and knew I had to get back as quickly as possible. So back on the bike and I rode like a maniac to make time as I knew I wasn't going to last long. It's an interesting thing, I didn't feel bad when I was riding but when I stopped for gas or to hydrate I knew I was in trouble. Even so, I still was having a blast riding through the desert at 100 mph to make time. It's a weird cool place. Around 5 o'clock I rolled into the hotel parking lot and just about crawled to my room. I was not in good shape and really should have gotten help. Instead I jumped into an ice cold shower and just stayed in there for a long time and then cranked the AC and laid on the bed drinking cold water. On top of that my wrists and hands were sore as hell from twisting the gas and squeezing the clutch all day. At 6 o'clock I got dressed and went to the wedding rehearsal dinner. The hardest part was that there was nobody that rode and I didn't have anyone to talk about this amazing ride.

The next morning we got up and went out for breakfast and then my GF took the car out and I took the bike to return it. We went separately so could let it loose for a last hour through the desert. It was great but I was pretty used up from the previous day. The next day we drove down to San Diego and I got to stand in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans a month apart then flew back to Massachusetts the following day. That's my story and I'm stickin to it. rim of the world.jpg
 

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Now that's what I'm talking about! A real-deal adventure report. You made my Saturday morning. Thanks for that.
I'm really glad that someone read it and appreciates it. I haven't had a chance to talk about it with someone that rides and appreciates the mindset and enthusiasm for the type of bikes we ride and how and where. Makes my day that someone got it. Was my best day ever on a motorcycle and I've had a lot of days. TY.
 

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Trust me Chester, a lot of us "get it"!
Enjoyed your entire experience from your first post til now.
Thanks for sharing and remember you don't need to cross the Mississippi River to enjoy epic roads.
Three or four times a year I travel 10, 11 or 12 hours with my bike on a trailer to enjoy some quality riding time in the Smokey Mountains.
 

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That was a great story Chester glad you made it out and are ok. Question to you that bike showed you miles left on the tank? I have a 17 FZ-09 and have not seen that Ive looked for it.
 

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That was a great story Chester glad you made it out and are ok. Question to you that bike showed you miles left on the tank? I have a 17 FZ-09 and have not seen that Ive looked for it.
The gas display flashes and I think it shows miles left underneath. I forget exactly as it was a rental. My bike is an FJ 09 and it's a different display. I'm assuming it was showing miles left but I wouldn't put much faith in it anyway.
 
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