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Southwest Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

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  #61  
Old 08-02-2014, 07:38 PM
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Sorry I've been absent.

The trip was the best 10 day vacation I think I've ever had. I'm still haveing withdrawals.

Poor Mike. He rode 1,100 miles after his clutch failure in ft worth to catch up with us. Then it was great; except when he arrived at the Painted Desert KOA, Dan left to go to NJ to be with family. They passed each other as Mike entered the campground.

The three of us went to Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and then to stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona before visiting Meteor Crater. Finally, we rode on west to Flagstaff, ARizona (what a beautiful, high altitude city), and then North to The Grand Canyon. We camped at the Mather campground, pitched our tents at the end of a rain shower. Went to supper at the Lodge. Wonderful food, reasonable prices. Then, we each took turns trying to find the campground. First me (I tried twice and ended up where we started both times), the George. Then Mike. I refused to try again . . . . too humiliating. George tried again. This time he found it.
Next day, Dan came back and we were FOUR again (first time since Ft Worth).
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:47 PM
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After Grand Canyon, Zion National Park. Those on Facebook have probably seen the pictures. We stayed there two days. What a beautiful place! I knew it existed, but never knew it could be like that! It's amazing. We hiked up the river into "the Narrows". It was a hard hike and we forgot to take a lunch. So our steak dinner that evening was especially good. (followed by ice cream).

Then Bryce. We all wanted to spend more time in Bryce. We camped in the North Campground, only about a quarter of a mile from the rim of the canyon.

Rode Scenic 12 (The Hogs Back) WOW! Then crossed the Colorado River. The road drops about 2,000 feet as it twists and turns into the valley. Dan was feeling spunky running 20 over most of the way. Then, the Moki Dugway, Goosenecks, Mexican Hat, and finally Monument Valley. We didn't camp there. Stayed in the 4-star "The View" hotel. Ahhhh, the powerful hot shower and cold air conditioning!

After Monument Valley, we went up through Cortez where we thumbed our noses at the owners of the White Eagle. On to Durango and then Molas Lake Campground. I could have stayed several days at that campground. 10,000 ft elevation, cold (stormy that night). It was absolutely heaven.

We ate dinner in Silverton and then rode back up to the campground on The Million Dollar Highway at night in the rain.

Next day, down to Durango before heading out to the desert and Tucumcari.

Next post about Mike's tire failure.

Ken
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:00 PM
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We left Tucumcari. Rode to Amarillo for breakfast.

Did we check air pressures and tires for penetrations before getting on the highway? Nope.
Did we EVER check air pressures on the entire trip? Nope.

Mike's tire has a penetration right in the center of the tread. The outline of the head of the nail or screw is imprinted there.

His tire was almost brand new 10 days earlier. Apparently it had been punctured and was leaking air for hundreds and maybe even up to 2,000 miles before it failed.
Motorcycle tire failure is very rare and is usually caused by under-inflation. Mikes, it is believed, was under-inflated for a long time; maybe many days of highway riding. The almost new tire was bald when it finally failed. Equivalent 10,000 miles of tread wore off in less than 10 days. Looks like the nail or screw had stayed in there up until the final few minutes. Then it got spit out. The rest of the air came out.

Mike felt it getting loose back there. Dan had gone back a distance. Mike said that he thought the loose feeling might have been the road. In the next half mile or more (according to Mike) he changed tracks and lanes to see if the road was the problem. It wasn't. Then, it appears that the beads broke in towards the center of the rim. With the rim on the pavement, there was little he could do to control the motor. Luckily, he kept his feet on the floorboards until the motorcycle expelled him; else he'd have probably suffered broken leg and/or ankle.

We should have been doing a tire check every morning before getting on the highway. We'd break camp, load the motors, jump on, and within minutes we're up to highway speeds.

Not good. I'm convinced that a pre-ride check would have caught the problem long before the tire failed. Maybe it was destined to fail all the way back at the Molas Campground. He could have gotten a new tire in Durango.

We became too complacent. Tires rarely fail, we all did thorough checks just a day before the trip, tire failure wasn't in our thoughts at all. It should have been each morning. It will be from now on. I'm positive that this could have been avoided.

Ken
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:24 PM
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I thumbed through the thousand or more pictures taken on the trip to see i any showed imminent tire failure on Mike's bike.
Found one picture that it quite telling. It was taken the morning we left Molas Lake Campground, headed down the pass to Durango. Why oh why didn't we do pre-ride checks? A simple look at the tires would have revealed that he had a problem. Air pressure check would have totally confirmed it.

I cropped and magnified the image of Mike's rear tire. Also did the same in that picture of my own rear tire. The two motorcycles were maybe 15 feet from each other in the picture, Mike's was the closest to the camera.

First, Mike's. This tire looked almost new just 10 days prior.



My tire from the same picture. Obviously good tread left all the way across the tire:


A 30-second pre-ride check
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