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Thread: From SF to LA and back... on a Kawasaki Ninja two-fitty!

  1. #1
    Gone away denist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    Kawasaki Ninja 250

    Artist Painting From SF to LA and back... on a Kawasaki Ninja two-fitty!

    I've been enjoying the road trip reports and photos on this website for a long, long time, as a lurker. Always wanting to try touring myself, always imagining the freedom and solitude it offers. But first I had to get a bike. Enter the ninjette:

    Fig 1. Completely stock, with rashed and cracked fairing and exhaust (previous owner), still pretty.

    After spending 1,000 riding around Berkeley, I felt the chances were good for surviving a 1,000 mile road trip to LA and back. I was very fortunate to find another like-minded rider who liked the idea. We became close friends during the 4-day trip.

    Day 1: Oakland to San Simeon S.P.
    Route: I-880 -> 17 -> 1
    Weather: Perfect

    Fig 2. Hard luggage by Rubbermaid: 8 Gallon Action Packer
    Ugly? Sure! Useful? You bet! It held my sleeping bag, clothes including rain gear, food, and some misc. camping stuff.

    Fig 3. First stop: somewhere along Hwy 1, in Big Sur

    Fig 4. Me and my friend Sai

    Fig 5. Julia Pfeiffer Burns S.P. is home to a spell-binding waterfall

    Day 2: San Simeon S.P. to Marina del Rey, LA
    Route: 1 -> 101 -> 1 (incl. getting lost and doing a ~40 mile detour north)
    Weather: Perfect

    Fig 6. Waking up, hearing birds singing, looking around...

    Fig 7. How about a nice, hot cup of oatmeal??

    Fig 8. We set the tent up in the dark; next morning I realized how pretty the place was

    After San Simeon, the coastal route straightens out. Perhaps because of this, we didn't stop much until arriving in LA.

    Day 3: The Getty Center
    Route: I-405 (in my mom's Camry)
    Weather: Rain, and lots of it
    It's a very nice museum, and I visit it often because they change their exhibitions frequently.

    Day 4: Sandstone Peak in Santa Monica Mtns
    Route: 1 aka PCH
    Weather: Partly cloudy with rainbows
    The tight, twisty road leading up to the trailhead is a lot of fun to ride. I felt like I was leaning the bike the furthest I've ever done!

    Fig 9. View fron the top of Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica range

    Fig 10. Above the cloud top

    Fig 11. USGS marker

    Day 5: LA to Morro Bay
    Route: 1 -> 101 -> 33 -> 166 -> 101
    Weather: Gray, cold

    Fig 12. Route 33 goes inland from Ventura through Los Padres Nat'l Forest
    "Nice set of twisties." <- understatement

    Fig 13. Route 166 took us back to the coast
    166 is mostly straight and flat. It passes through spectacular farmlands.

    Day 6: Morro Bay to Oakland
    Route: 41 -> 101 -> G13 -> 25 -> 101 -> I-880
    Weather: Gray, cold, wet, very wet (later in the day)
    The weather was uninspiring for stopping and taking pictures, so we just enjoyed the ride.

    Fig 14. Road leading into Pinnacles Nat'l Monument

    Fig 15-16. It started raining as soon as we entered the park, so we decided against hiking

    That was the last photo stop, since it started raining pretty hard as we left the Pinnacles. Riding in the dark, in the wet, through stopped traffic on 880 made for some tense moments, but nothing too bad.

    The trip almost doubled my motorcycling experience. It was safe, fun, and not tiring. I'm looking forward to the next one!

    Edit: read my friend's write-up ->here<-

    more pictures ->here<-

  2. #2
    stirring the pot Loki's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Changes weekly

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    Great story and photos. I enjoyed you post. I'm glad you enjoyed your first touring adventure. More importantly, you made it home safe.
    "If you are not getting as much from life as you want to, then examine the state of your enthusiasm". Norman Vincent Peale

  3. #3
    Road Scholar BigD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Rio Vista, CA
    05 ST1300, 09 DR 650

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    WOW! Looks like you guys had a excellent adventure. Thanks for sharing a trip you will always remember. OOOOPS!!! I ment
    Happy Trails.

  4. #4
    Gone away planeoldguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Orangevale, CA
    FJ 1314

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    Looks like a lot of fun, I did it two up on a gpz 305 in '83 or so from Santa Monica to Concord and back, but we were just slabbing it in a hurry, got a ticket on the way back, two up, 90 mph on a 305!
    The judge laughed and sent me to school.

  5. #5
    Gone away MyLife on TwoWheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    DL650, KLR650

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

  6. #6
    Gone away Invisigoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Ventura, CA
    Suzuki GSX650F

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    Hard luggage by Rubbermaid - and it locks too.

    Nice writeup.
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

  7. #7
    Gone away HUGH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Humboldt Co, CA
    Harley Dyna/ Honda ct110/Bandersnatch

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    Wow, only the second post. Thats really jumping into this site with both feet, and a hand full of pic's. I know a certian leader who will be very happy. Hey Tim. Will look foreward to more.

  8. #8
    AKA Gixxerdale G8ESCAP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Mays Landing New Jersey
    4wd Dual Sport

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    Wow! A great ride and write up with great pics from a new rider/member! Very cool. That was a great ride for a new rider to venture into. I hope you have many more to share with us in the future.
    "The key to life is to die young, at a very old age"

    "Ride like you own the road, and one day the road will own you"

  9. #9
    10% Angel 90% Hooligan demenshea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Foothills of the Sierras
    07 BMW R1200R

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    What a fun ride and write up! Kudos for taking a longer trip on a 250. The bike has heart, to say nothing of some get up and go for a smaller bike.
    I love this shot!

    Great pix!!
    Glad you had fun and hope you are planning another trip before too long.
    “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment." Papa-Ken

    Ride Like a Girl
    Travel Blog for Riders

  10. #10
    Playing the low notes 2 Ally House's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Eugene, OR

    Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

    Great post, great pics. Very nice job. I loved the Getty pics as well. I also thought the Rubbermaid was inspired. I look forward to more posts!
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither'
    Benj. Franklin

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