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Thunder Bay to BC (Canada) and back 75XS

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by SherpaT, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. SherpaT

    SherpaT XS650 Enthusiast

    As far as gearing goes I would go with 17-33 for most things on a 19” wheel as has been stated by many experts on here I think maybe 17-32 is good on a smaller 16” wheel maybe? There are threads. I don’t regret running 32 but it is high and hard on the clutch in town. On the highway it was a new bike though. I haven’t had really any issues on hills either it’s manageable. 4000 @73mph about. I want to try 33 for all around use.
  2. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Thanks for the update. Where are you now? Hopefully it’s smooth sailing from now on. The tide through BC will be great!
  3. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    At least you are off to a smooth and easy start!
  4. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Atta boy Sherpa! You’re hanging on like a hair on a biscuit! I’m enjoying your adventure and your can do attitude!
  5. SherpaT

    SherpaT XS650 Enthusiast

    griennehornette, Boog, DaveO and 2 others like this.
  6. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Thx for the update. You must be close to BC now?
  7. SherpaT

    SherpaT XS650 Enthusiast

    978168B8-C5F3-4DA7-BD6E-A6065A429D80.jpeg 37877524-CD8E-43AE-8EF9-4CF2411EEB04.jpeg F95D6C7A-742C-4193-89F4-C240B75C6F06.jpeg 65197558-E559-4030-945E-0628A0FE1095.jpeg 989D2917-3A73-44F7-A670-8607E13E7F86.jpeg E5AD49C3-14B9-43F9-B24D-B29988A04B14.jpeg 260BDBA7-2013-45F3-8541-E60C03C86C5C.jpeg I have made it to bc took about 5 days to hit the border and then took it easy and enjoyed the mountains etc.

    Day 3
    I Woke up excited. I planned to visit a friend flying Agricultural planes out of Neepawa. Upon leaving the campground I rolled the bike over 15000 miles and followed the perimeter road to highway 6. I followed 6 until road 267 west which started out with fresh pavement and then Turned to 40k of loose gravel at 90km/h -sketchy but the old girl could handle it ! I hit hwy 16 - the Yellowhead and followed that pushing my gas as far as I could and even ran reserve out to see what it would do at 65-70. I managed 18 miles On reserve before running out and filling up with my extra Jerry can. I stopped in Neepawa for lunch and gas. looked at some airplanes and around 230 I headed out to Minnedosa turning left and then right through Rapid city. Two lane highway with 100kmh limit, I passed a tractor trailer going the other way hauling a grain silo on its side. Just as I was passing him on a narrow stretch he went though a rough area and I thought it was going to roll off and crush me like a bug! Kept going through the Assiniboine valley and got on the number 1 highway which is Canada’s main highway and mostly divided and higher speed. Lots of transports I basically tried to avoid it the whole trip. I stopped for gas in Elkhorn MB. I had made a small nav error and google rerouted me. It ended up being all gravel again for about 30km across the Saskatchewan border and dusty! I saw a semi coming from a mile away and just pulled a couple hundred feet down a farm road to avoid the dust. I ended up starting to feel a bit lost out in the middle of nowhere after a few turns. My cell provider didn’t work at all in Southern Sask. And my map scale was too large.I just used my compass and headed west till I hit Highway 8. Then turned Right to 48 west. I finally arrived at Kenossee provincial park and camped for the night. The bike ran good however all the gravel and big bumps I blew out the fork seals. Bike as well as me we’re dusty after 70k + at 65mph We had a few squirrelly moments in the loose gravel “ruts” at high speed. I am pleasantly surprised With how well the bike did on gravel though.

    Here is a link with all my photos so far and some videos I did explaining my route alongside the map.

  8. SherpaT

    SherpaT XS650 Enthusiast

    Day 4
    Kenosee Saskatewan - Medicine Hat Alberta 450miles or 712km. My longest day on the bike

    Woke up with the sun headed for Weyburn for gas and breakfast and some earplugs! Pushed through to Assinaboia for gas again and then another push all the way through to Cadillac sask mostly because I liked the name! Cool little town though. I was getting a bit cocky with how the bike was running and wanted to blast through the prairies making up for lost time. I was running 4K rpm and around 70-73mph all day and it was HOT like 36c or around 97F. I was hot and the bike was hotter. In Cadillac I had a snack and found a small patch of shade for me and the bike.
    IMG_1975.jpg IMG_1978.jpg IMG_1979.jpg

    I tightened up the chain added some oil and got her running again and roared down the road to Gull lake sask. There was some fresh pavement on the sacked out two lane I was following across the prairie and it was so hot I could see my tracks in it as I drove across it. I should have let up on the old girl but got into the small town of gull lake and it was clear that she wasn’t happy. I was going to have to get back on the #1 highway and As I let the clutch out it spit the right carb out and I limped to the side on 1 cylinder. I managed to get it remounted and fired up.
    Headed west towards “The Hat” . Traffic was doing 80mph and I stopped in Maple creek Saskatchewan for Gas And water at the sketchiest place ever. Fueled up and she wouldn’t start. Pushed it off the side by the rigs and a trucker offered to throw it in the back and take me to Calgary. Pulled the plugs ran it over to clear it and it fired up. Back on the road Amd I took it easy to Medicine Hat. Pulled into the visitor Center and the bike stalled and would not start!
    No shade and completely exhausted I pushed it down a path into the trees and tried a few things after it cooled down. Nothing worked and I decided to try and push start it for the first time. My saddle bags block the kickstart. It fired immediately but ran rough. I hit all the lights on the way to the campground and the carb popped again a bit so holding it in with one hand and the bike popping away I got to the campsite, shut it off and got a site. Wouldn’t start so I ended up pushing it to my site. What a day! Ordered some pizza to the site and started working on the bike. I found a cracked intake boot and also checked the valve clearance etc. I used some ultra grey to seal up the boot and left it over night. I Hoped I had solved the issue!

    IMG_1988.jpg 61949101662__B09D8928-0A18-455D-8297-9BE375FB8632.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  9. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Congrats on your arrival. Great pics. BC will be a great ride, especially after doing the prairie run! Safe travels.
  10. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    After reading this I took a run on the bike tonight and at 120 kph or 74.4 mph, I was revving 4800 rpm.
  11. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    A lesser man would've... No a lesser man WOULDN'T have!
    Good job! Ain't nothing going to stop you!
  12. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    No doubt! Your perseverance is inspiring!
  13. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    You’re certainly finding out all about how big Canada is Sherpa - good for you for sticking at it!

    Please keep the posts and videos coming. Your courage and determination reminds us all of....us. I don’t know how old you are, but there’s a whole bunch of age 60-70+ guys out here in XS650-land who are re-living their lost youth through your terrific adventures.

    ....and I’m one of them (photo from about 1978 in Kingston, ON....)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  14. 88_pony

    88_pony XS650 Enthusiast

    griennehornette, MaxPete and Jim like this.
  15. Glen Jordan

    Glen Jordan XS650 Member XS650.com Supporter

    By the time u get to BC you'll have excised all the gremlins. Friend and I made a similar trip in '75. From NB to Vancouver and back on my '70 and his '73. Covered 8100 miles in a month, and nary a mechanical problem. Our best day was over 500 miles. Am bone weary after 50 these days!

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  16. WideAWAKE

    WideAWAKE Single Fins and Twin Cylinders

  17. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Kinda reminds me of a couple long trips I took in my mids 20's. Makes me want to do another one.
  18. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  19. YamadudeXS650C

    YamadudeXS650C Central New York XS650 XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  20. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Just got to this thread. Man, you carry on when others would have given up - Respect!

    Apart from all mechanical woes and other hurdles, am enjoying your road trip. And the photos.

    Good luck and keep safe . . .

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