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Me, Myself, and the K-RS on a Sunday in the desert...


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I woke up extremely early this morning (for me on a Sunday) - looking foward to doing something motorcycle related. It was about 6:00 A.M.


Most of my "regular" riding friends were either busy or out of town this weekend... my girlfriend was going to be driving up from San Diego this evening... so... there I sat - contemplating on what to do with the day.


The RT was filthy and in dire need of a bath... nah... that can wait - she won't mind.


Today was about the K-RS. I was fighting a flu-bug most of the week, and as a result, hadn't gotten to ride the new K-RS as much as I wanted to. Today was the day.


A bit chilly early this morning by desert standards - high 40's. I knew it would be warming to at least 80 later in the day, so I layered up.


Savannah II Jacket (oh man what a jacket - glad I got the bigger size), BMW heated vest, my new bmwrt.com long sleeve T-shirt underneath (Thanks Jamie and Leslie!), and a pair of Levi's with my rusty but trusty Joe Rocket Ballistic overpants, and my even rustier Sidi Champion Boots. Memo to self: Get some new boots already Tony.


As I headed out, the sunrise was amazing - and as each minute passed, the shadows on the mountains surrounding the area I call home displayed a spectacle that words cannot describe. It was crystal clear, with virtually no wind.... and the K-RS began to stretch her legs...


First stop was going to be the Chevron to gas up. I'm the only one there, and the attendant walks out to look at the bike. "Hey man, nice bike!" - "Thanks... thanks a lot" I replied. "Where you headed today?" he asked. I pause for a moment and look at him... "I have no idea... just going to wing it today." "Right on... have a safe day!"


From the Chevron, I thought I'd take the 45-50 mile trip up and over the mountain to a little town called Yucca Valley for some breakfast. There's this nostalgic diner up there that is attached to Hutchins Motorsports - one of the few dealers around that sells Harleys on one side, and Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki on the other. Truly a blending of cultures with the charm of an 'old time mom and pop cycle shop'.


The food is great, the people are great, and my mouth began to water just thinking about it. I hop on Interstate 10 heading west... with the rising sun warming my back. To my right and left are the massive windmills which generate most of the power here in the Palm Springs area, otherwise known as the Coachella Valley. It was so calm - the windmills seemed to be frozen in time. If you saw the movie "Rain Man" then you'll remember when Tom Cruise is driving to Palm Springs past these windmills. They are quite a site to behold. Hundreds of them.


Tall windscreen working well... shifting like a dream... let's see... hope I remember how to work the cruise... I set it at 80... the "set" light comes on... there we go.


If this isn't heaven I don't know what is.


I take the exit off the 10 for Interstate 62 - otherwise known as 29 Palms Highway. Really nice road, with some great sweepers as you head up the mountain.


As I'm heading towards the sweepers, there is absolutely no traffic, and the K-RS is practically begging to show me what she can do through these. I downshift and head into the first turn... the bike is practically on auto-pilot - unreal... so smooth and stable... (happy the rear brake is unlinked in this case) from this there's another turn in the opposite direction, I lean her hard, as my cheeks begin to hurt from smiling so much. Almost immediately, another sweeper in the opposite direction and I lean her hard once again... but this time am greeted by a grinding noise. My stomach sinks for a split second, but then I realize it was merely a combination of the toe of my boot and the footpeg. Ooops!


As I exit the last few turns I crest the top of the mountain, and begin the straight shot to Yucca Valley. As I go, I notice a convoy of Military vehicles heading in the opposite direction. The 29 Palms Marine Base is up in this area and there they were - Humvees galore along with a variety of other heavy equipment. American flags flown on the bigger rigs... I slow down to admire this convoy, and exchange waves with a few of the geared up soldiers poking their heads out of the vehicles. "Wonder if they're going to end up in the Middle East?" I thought to myself.


I finally arrived at Hutchins - with a healthy appetite. As I enter the diner, I'm greeted by Richard Hutchins - the owner. A man who is over 80 years old and still rides. He and his family are good friends, and as soon as I walk in, "Hutch" as people call him doesn't say good morning, doesn't say hello, he merely says "Still riding that *&^% Beemer Tony? When you gonna get a Harley?" I laugh and say, "Well Hutch, not anytime soon." He laughs and invites me to sit down with him in a booth to eat - and he proceeds to captivate me with one of his many stories of riding a motorcycle (A captured BMW as a matter of fact) through World War II. Incredible stories he has, and, he has a huge love of BMW's as well. He just likes to tease me.


Today, "Hutch's Blue Plate Special" was the french toast - so I went for it and had a great breakfast - laughing and talking about motorcycles with Hutch.


After breakfast, I took a stroll through the shop. No ST1300 yet... they had an FJR with a sold sign on it. I head over to the Harley side where they had some beautiful machines. All 100 year anniversary models... really really nice looking bikes. Ran into a few locals I know... we walk outside, and much to my surprise there's a crowd around the K-RS - all Harley Riders. They start flooding me with questions. Felt like it was a press conference. BMW's are not that common in these parts. Here I am in my Savannah outfit with these black leather clad biker dudes on Road Kings and Wide Glides to my right and left. Wish I got a picture. Felt like a stranger in a strange land - but it was fun - and everyone was really nice - and again I found had nothing but respect for Beemers.


I hung outside the shop for awhile B.S.'ing with the locals and once the breakfast settled, I headed out... on my way to Joshua Tree National Park. Great road through there - and total beauty wherever you look. Me, myself, and the K-RS were very happy campers.


Once through Joshua Tree, I headed back to the Palm Springs / Palm Desert area and hopped on Highway 74 - a wonderful, twisty mountain road that serves as a 'shortcut' from the desert to San Diego. I headed up the mountain, putting the K-RS through her paces - and at one point pulled off to take a peek at a map.


There is a small town up in this area known as Juliene that is known for awesome apple orchards - and great 'small town' stuff. I found the other road I needed and headed to Juliene. What a charming little town - parked on main street and walked around a bit. There was an art fair going on. Stopped at a small place to have some lunch and picked up a small jar of 'apple preserves' I have heard so much about. Neat town.


Back on the bike, I check my map, and find a route that will take me down to the Salton Sea, and back over to the desert. It was the long way home, and off me, myself, and the K-RS went.


The Salton Sea always seems like a bizarre thing to me. It's like this huge lake in the middle of the bottom of the desert. Weird how that got there. Tooling along the backroads I am at total peace with myself, and all of the stress and worries I had when I woke up are all but gone.


I finally get back to Rancho Mirage (which is in between Palm Springs and Palm Desert) in the late afternoon.


I shed my gear, got something to drink, and saw I still had time to give the RT a much needed bath. So that's what I did.


A great Sunday, a great ride, and wow - what a bike. You know what? Sometimes the best rides are the ones where you are alone and have no particular place to go. I really needed this today.

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62 AND 74 ON THE SAME RIDE?!?!?!?! ON A NEW KRS?!?!?!?!


You're killin' me.




My first real taste of what an RT can do came while attempting to follow RickZ DOWN 62 from 29 Palms into the Valley. Awesome road...and on an RS you've got the power to put your speed where you want it...that hill's a bit steep for the RT and I always wind up really working the gears to keep it moving like I want.


And 74? Just awesome.


OK...Julian to the Salton Sea...tell me you didn't take S22 down the Montezuma Grade. Please tell me you didn't do that. If you managed that road on top of everything else (and Julian Apple Preserves to boot), I'm just going to have to blow my brains out right here and now. wink.gif


Sweet ride...I really felt like I was there. (Sadly, I wasn't there...I was up to my armpits in K75 parts most of the day...more on that some other time.)

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If you managed that road on top of everything else (and Julian Apple Preserves to boot), I'm just going to have to blow my brains out right here and now.


Those are awsome roads. Russell if you Post it they will come. Let's Moto.

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"Ask and ye shall receive"


Oh Yazz...


Tony, your ride this weekend pretty much covered our route to Death Valley last January - but sort of in reverse. From San Diego to 29 Palms via Santa Ysabel, down Montezuma, Salton City, Mecca, Box Canyon, Joshua Tree... and we also covered Yucca Valley/Rt 62 on the way home, altho like you I much prefer dragging my pegs going UPHILL on Rt 62!!


Russell's powers of recall were only slightly dinged from "The Bounce" - because he's got it mapped for this next trip to DV. "All Y'all" come on out and play!


What. What - Is it "Awl Yawl?" Whadoo I know? I'm from Chi-Town!tongue.gif



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A great Sunday, a great ride, and wow - what a bike. You know what? Sometimes the best rides are the ones where you are alone and have no particular place to go. I really needed this today.


Tony, what a beautifully-written report. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing it. It brought a smile to my face and made me wish I'd been along with you.

Great job, man! Enjoy ...



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Glad everyone liked the write-up... it really was a great ride and a great day.


And Russell - YUP... it was S22 down the Montezuma Grade... WOW what a road. Tons of fun... and definitely one that a a person needs to be on their toes for...


All that... and the Apple Preserves - it's true, it's true. But PLEASE don't blow your brains out... we'll just HAVE to get a group together down the road and go at it together.


Actually... I just noticed you mapped one out already! Sounds great! I'm there.


Hmm... one more thought... maybe a "Spring in The Springs" sort of ride / weekend - in Palm Springs. This area really can be heaven on earth most of the time - with the exception of August and September - when it's hotter than H*ll.


Can't wait for Death Valley! Until then, if anyone finds themselves out in these parts, for gosh sakes please drop an e-mail!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi! Enjoyed your ride report-about the Saltan Sea-I had heard it was created by accident in early 20th century by people trying to reroute the Colorado River. It got a little out of control.

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