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Old 04-11-2006, 10:13 PM   #1
Kinda new round here
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Name: Denis

  Bay Area, CA

  Kawasaki Ninja 250

Join Date: Mar 2006

Posts: 2
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<-
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:28 PM   #2
stirring the pot
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Name: Jim

  Pacific Grove

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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
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:53 PM   #3
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Name: Dennis

  Rio Vista, CA

  05 ST1300, 09 DR 650

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Posts: 1,545
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.
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:59 AM   #4
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Name: Chris

  Orangevale, CA

  FJ 1314

Join Date: Jan 2006

Posts: 492
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.
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:13 AM   #5
MyLife on TwoWheels
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  DL650, KLR650

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Posts: 1,250
Re: From SF to LA and back... on a two-fitty!

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Old 04-12-2006, 05:16 AM   #6
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Name: James

  Ventura, CA

  Suzuki GSX650F

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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.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:26 AM   #7
Ride hard, Shoot straight
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Name: Hugh

  Humboldt Co, CA

  Harley Dyna/ Honda ct110/Bandersnatch

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Posts: 782
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.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:36 AM   #8
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Name: Dale

  Mays Landing New Jersey

  4wd Dual Sport

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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"
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:00 AM   #9
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Name: Donna

  Foothills of the Sierras

  07 BMW R1200R

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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

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Old 04-12-2006, 07:03 AM   #10
Ally House
Playing the low notes 2
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Name: Ally

  Eugene, OR


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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'
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