April 10, 2014

FXRT - An Unexpected Journey(long read)

Let me just start off by saying, the last thing I need in my life right now is an additional motorcycle in the garage. I know, we all need "another bike", but my current space is limited to the amount of motorcycles I currently own(which is 7). Thats already a lot of bikes but sometimes there may exist a "unicorn" that we all might dream about.

Im a classifieds crackhead, a trait that my late father genetically blessed me with. Thanks Dad! So here I was last Wednesday, doing my normal crack of dawn routine troll for the stuff I normally look for; jeep parts, furniture, mopar stuff, sporty parts, etc. I get a wild hair to see if there are any FXRT's up for sale. Side note here: Im a quad cam guy till the day I die. Im a small dude, and the power to weight ratio with the XL powerplant is Harley's best ever produced. With that said, I don't discriminate, I love all bikes, but Sporties and Buells suit my frame the best and I don't feel like a midget. I have quite a few friends that are FXR fanboys and everytime I see them I get an earful of why the "FXR is the best bike Harley has ever produced". I never argued that, I just wasnt that interested. That is until a few buddies of mine purchased FXRT's in the past couple years. When I saw Matt's bike, and Max's bike, I totally fell in love. The fairing is just a thing of beauty, combine that with the bags, and just how clean they looked, and I was hooked. But, I never thought I would own one, just didnt seem to be practical from a space, cash, additional bike, type of situation. Now that the side note is over, there were a couple up for sale but all at the current going rate for these bikes which is 8-13K. I then did something random, that in the past has never worked, I google searched "FXRT For Sale", filtered in the last 24 hours, and one link came up for a cragislist ad posted earlier in the morning. It had only one photo, a little bit of info, and the phone number. Seeing the price, I immediately thought it was a scam, but I called the dude anyway. He immediately picked up, and I happened to be the first caller(WTF, that never happens). I ask him the normal stuff, we talk for about 30 minutes, and I tell him that I want the bike. Two Problems: The bike is in eastern Tennessee(1800 Miles away from me), and this dude is 73 years old and not at all in tune with technology. So now I start to have a little internal panic about the logistics of this whole situation knowing fair well its only a matter of time before this dudes phone starts blowing up with people, local and around the country probably, wanting to buy this thing. My biggest concern was, there is only one photo on the listing and I wasnt about to buy something with just one photo. Then how am I going to get this guy money, he doesnt have an email, phone that can take photos, computer, etc. My only immediate option was to overnight this guy a money order and pray to the powers that be this dude was legit and so was the bike. So after some cohersing the guy mentions that he can ride over to his sons house and have him send me some photos. Enter Scott, his son, 45 and more tech advanced than his leader. Scott sends me photos, and a video, and Im ready to pull the trigger. I tell him my predicament and ask if he has heard of Paypal, Holy Shit he actually has a Paypal account! I quickly read through the policies and see they dont have buyer protection for anything with a motor and dont want you paying a full amount for a motorized vehicle, only a deposit, FUCK. "Well Scott, would you be okay with me sending you a deposit through paypal, and then I will figure out the logistics and get you paid somehow by Friday". He and his dad were both down with that and took the add down. Phew, maybe this was meant to be after all!

Matt's bone stock RT 

Max's Dreamboat

My dream, come true?

I start searching for shipping quotes after I see that one-way plane tickets werent as cheap as I thought they would be. Well, neither was shipping. Shit shit shit. I randomly think of two friends that work at Delta to see if they can get me on a stand-by flight using one of their buddy passes. One of them comes through and come Friday AM I am on the list to get to Knoxville TN. All of these are three legs, no way I could get a direct flight, that would be WAY too convenient.

Dont get on Friday, dont get on Saturday, but Sunday morning comes around and im now en route. HOLY SHIT, im really doing this. Flying across the country to purchase a bike I have never seen in person to then ride it all the way back across the country. You only live once right? Salt Lake to Detroit, Detroit to Charlotte, Charlotte to Knoxville. I left at 8:40 AM and arrived at 9:30 PM. Steve(FXR owner) picks me up at the airport and we drive to his house. I walked in the garage and there she was. Even better than I thought, I was tripping that this was really happening. We do the exchange, talk for a while, round up some extra parts, and by that time it's 10:30 and steadily raining outside. He offers me to stay at his place but I am dead set on getting home as quick as possible. I put all my rain gear on, he guides me to the gas station, and I set out for Nashville 230 miles away. 30 miles in its fucking puking rain, I mean like the kind of shit where a car is 500 yards in front of you and you cant see because of their spray. I make it 100 miles before I decide to call it because it just doesnt feel safe. I wake up in the AM, still raining, and depart with the intention of making it to Lincoln NE which was like 830 miles away. Longest ive done in a day was 800 on my Buell, I was wrecked the next day, but new it was doable, plus the FXRT was MADE to be doing shit like this. I figured two back to back 850 mile days would be hard, but possible. The first 400 miles was gnarly, raining just as bad as the night before, but at least I had daylight on my side. Make it to St Louis at sunset and my first taste of clear skies. Get some food in me and hit the road again. I make it to St. Joeseph MO just after I starting seeing deer in the road that didnt really exist. Alright, its time to pull over, its now 3AM and I had ridden 685 miles since I left in the morning. Get a hotel and get some much needed sleep.

Good ol Steve


 Start of the Journey

Steve said he didnt know what the range was. Only way to find out was to run out of gas. To bad the petcock lever was backwards, DOH. I was on reserve when it should of been ON. Thank god I only had to walk it half a mile. 
St. Louis sunset

Day 2: A Hard Truth

Wake up at 9, get my shit together after a shower and I am out by 10. Gassed/food up and now ready to hit the road. It's 10:20 and I have mentally commited to making it all the way home, I do not want to waste another night in some shit box hotel. I need good weather and consitent speed cause I have 1,020 miles till my driveway. The first 200 miles is the GNARLIEST wind I have ever ridden in. I wish someone behind me could of taken a photo because I had some crazy lean going on. But im at least riding a consistent 80 MPH. The wind was killing my mileage so I was stopping every 110 miles to fill up instead of 140-150. I make it to Cheyenne Wyoming just at Sundown and still have 430 miles to go. Im doing it, im getting home.

Invest in your education. Middle of nowhere Illinois

Fastest mailbox I have ever seen. It was also right next to the School for sale.

Best way to see Nebraska is when you are leaving 

  The passenger seat is VERY comfortable
 Cheyenne Sunset

I ride 45 miles to the next town of Laramie WY and the temp drastically drops to the high 30's. I have a heated jacket liner and gloves, but the only way to control it is wirelessly and my controller was DEAD. Im at the gas station trying to take apart the controller to get to the battery and the lady running the convenient store comes outside to smoke(literally right at the my pump) and is asking questions about my bike. She is a full meth head and was looking like she was pretty fresh of her last dose, she starts to walk away from me and her foot goes right into the curb and she blows her knee up something fierce on the sidewalk, she starting tripping out. I made sure she was okay and then got out of there. So of course the controller takes a watch style battery and I am in this small town at 9:30 PM trying to find a needle in a haystack. At this point im seriously debating on just calling it because there was no way I could ride that many additional miles in those temps without some form of comfort, the the meth lady was in my head and I was determined to get out of dodge. After an hour of running around I find a battery and am on my way.

100 miles down the road I start yawning, an uncontrollable amount, I start fading fast and still have 350 to go. I gas up and get a 5-hour energy and some milk duds. I never have energy drinks so I was hoping that I would get super hopped up since my tolerance was so low. Thank the lord that did the trick, within 15 minutes I was alert and chipper. I pound out the last couple hundred miles and hit my last gas stop at the stateline of WY and UT. I only have 60 more miles to go. Its pitch black and I am seeing Deer signs every 5 miles. I'm so paranoid about hitting an animal, and dying, 1745 miles into my trip, that I slow to 45MPH. Those were the longest 60 miles of my life. I pulled into my driveway at 3:45 AM with the biggest grin on my face. I couldn't believe I did it. Not only did I have my first 1,000 mile day, but I just rode from TN to UT in 48 hours. I woke up yesterday and couldn't believe how good I felt. I wasn't wrecked at all proving the point that FXRT truly is an amazing touring bike. I cleaned her all up yesterday and could not be more stoked at adding this to the quiver. Its an insanely rad piece of machinery, and I also got another experience of a lifetime riding her home.

Tired, delirious, and stoked

If Burty Reynolds and Kenny Rogers did a co-lab bike, this would be it.
Sorry for the long-winded tale.

Funny tidbit:
I find it so I ironic that I found this bike the same day I commented on Jeff's post about buying his RC51. My comment could not ring any truer after this story. Fucking universe works in strange ways.


Unknown said...

this is such a good story man! makes me pumped to buy something halfway across australia!!!

WhitelinePsycho said...

Epic, epic, epic, makes my eight hundred in a day to Sydney seem like a squirt to the shops, enjoy it man.

CHVRCH said...

Nice!!!! You're lucky Fats didnt see that, he's looking. Cheers on your 1000 mile day, or not. Nice bike! So how much?

bobx said...

rad bike. great story. glad you made it safe.

max schaaf said...

fucking rad story and photos

Hux said...


CJ said...

Fantastic! Great story, great read.

Rene EFE said...

Cool photos!

Frank N Stein said...

Great read man and Congrads on the score. You did what some of us think and dream about, KOOL AS HELL