2012 ST1300
I have a habit of looking in Craig’s List and this time was no exception. I have seen in Cycle Trader, dealer’s advertising 2012 ST1300s for $11,999. But every time it was too far away. Well, this time it was in the State of Washington. Hummm.

So after a few days I decided to call them and see if they still had it. Don, the salesman, said that they still did. Okay, next step was to see if I could get a loan for it. I put in a loan application and it was approved within a couple of hours! Really?

So, a few calls and emails later and a deposit, and I now owned a new 2012 ST1300! 1,100 miles away! Now I just had to go get it! Let’s see, first I need a flight, reservations made to SeaTac (Seattle). Then my son tells me that if I flew into Portland, I could stay at his place! Change the flight to Portland. Okay the date was set.

But some things change, that being my wife’s health. We found out she had Cancer. Now, I had to cancel those plans, and loose the $$$ for the flight. they wanted $200 plus the cost of a new ticket to change my flight) So Chris wound up with an operation within a very short time. Then she needed to recover, so I changed my plans for a month later.

I booked a new flight with Southwest, which turned out better since they allowed two check in bags (I needed both for all of the motorcycle gear I was taking.) And set up with Justin for a couple of nights. Plans were made! So, while waiting, I picked up a $10 footlocker at Walmart and found it was too narrow for my Russel Day Long motorcycle saddle, but my helmet and riding gear would fit in perfectly. I found a box for my saddle, then two nights before leaving, Chris suggested I should take an old flowered suitcase she had that she didn’t need. That worked out great for the saddle. I was also able to stash a number of other parts in it as well. All my clothes would have to go with me in my carry-on. But it all fit and worked out.

Time seemed to drag on, but the Tuesday I was leaving finally got here. I had arraigned with Oscar, a fellow worker that lived close by, for a ride into work and then with Bill, a Co-Worker, for a ride to the airport. Having the two bags plus carry-on of a bag and backpack, fitting them into each car was a bit tight, but they worked out!

Bill got me to the airport with plenty of time to spare, plus my flight was delayed by two hours. So I arrived at 2:30 and our flight took off a little after 7:30, with a stop in Oakland. I didn’t have to leave my seat, and when a gentleman sat in the aisle seat, he sounded a little grumpy at first, but once the plane took off, we started talking.

I found out that he was an owner of a dragster & team, but I never found out who he was. He was heading up to Portland for a drag race. He is also expecting his first grand baby soon and was really excited about that!

Once we landed in Portland, I was walking to the baggage pick up area when Justin spotted me. We went down to the baggage claim area, where I had no clue what to expect from the cheap foot locker I brought. It came without a mark on it and so did the other bag. All of that worrying for nothing! Justin and I took off for Justin’s home in Beaverton.

The next morning Justin and I took off for Issaquah Washington. It was a three hour drive up, so we had plenty of time to chat! As we got close to the bike shop, I called Don, the salesman, to let him know we would be there in a minute or two and he had the bike already, sitting by the door!

As Justin and I drove up, another ST1300 was sitting outside. When the two of us walked in, we met ToddC from the ST-Owners forum looking at the bikes. After greeting each other we walked over to my new 2012 ST1300. As I looked it over, I could see one of the mirror covers wasn’t on properly, so I popped it off and was putting it back on when Don showed up.

Since the shop already had their money for the bike from my credit union, and transferred whatever paperwork they needed to my Credit Union, I just signed one paper and got a copy of that and a three day pass so I would be able to ride it on the road going home.

After I took it for a spin, to test it and make sure it was road worthy, the four of us loaded the bike up into Justin’s truck and then Todd, Justin and I went for some lunch. We had a great time talking and then it was time for Justin and me to head back to Portland.

The way down was just as un-eventual as the trip up. We stopped at a Cycle Gear to pick up some waterproof gloves. Once back in town, we drove over to the local motorcycle shop to unload the bike. They had a perfect place for us to unload it, but it was a good thing we got there before they closed, we had fifteen minutes to spare! And it was drizzling.

After we unloaded the bike I went in to use the restroom and a salesman started talking to Justin about the bike. When he found out what we paid, he told us that he would have sold us one for $500 less. All well and good, but to get that price I would have had to have known they had one and knew the price up in Washington too. Yeah, as Justin and I discussed, good luck on that one.

I followed Justin back to his place, getting a little sprinkle on me, but it really wasn’t too bad. Once back, we ate first, then I started adding the FARKLEs on:

• Helibar Handlebar risers
• Throttle lock (I first had to cut part of the grip away for the throttle lock to fit, then had to drill a small hole and put a screw in it to hold it.)
• Tankbag
• Wire/plug from the battery to power my tankbag,
• Shark Grips
• Hwy wings
• Spot mirrors

That took me a while to get everything on, but I did. At least now I could ride in comfort! Only thing, I could have sworn I had thrown my tankbag pad in the footlocker, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Justin found it a little bit after I left and mailed it to me) So I bought some drawer liner and cut off a big piece of that to keep the tankbag from scratching the tank. Then got everything else (bags organized) ready for the next day!

The next morning I loaded up and was pretty much ready to take off when Justin suggested we go get something to eat and let the traffic die down, so I wouldn’t have to be riding at a snail’s pace in the rain. That turned to be a good idea, even though it delayed me for two hours.

After breakfast, we stopped at Target where I got that drawer liner to put under my tankbag. I put on my new rain gear (what a PIA, but worth it) and then I was all loaded up and ready to go. Justin took a picture, but he somehow lost it. Oh well!

The traffic had lightened up a lot, so I was able to ride without stopping in the rush hour traffic. I had my route planed out by heading down to Oregon 26, then I217 and on to I5 south. Getting out of the Portland area was a bit of a pain with all the traffic, thank goodness it wasn’t raining very much. Once on I5, the road cleared up pretty good and off I went. I was keeping my speed just about 5mph over the limit. I even passed a couple of cops sitting in the median, so I figured I was doing okay.

I had about 620 miles to travel for the day, so I planned to stop every 120 miles or so, that way I could make good time and break up the ride a little. As I was coming to my first stop, the rain had started up again and it was just too wet to stop, so I continued on. After just a few miles, my amp (connects my GPS to my Autocom) in my tankbag lost power, so all I heard was a somewhat loud noise it makes when the battery dies. I wanted to pull over, but the rain was just coming down too hard still. I rode like that for about 20 miles before I spotted an area that I could pull over and then swap some plugs, so I could hear my music; just some songs were really low.

I continued to ride for another 40 miles, as It was still a light rain, but I decided to gas up and eat. I had gone about 180 miles at that point. The bike had right at 203 miles on it and it took 4.97 gallons. 40 MPG, not bad! After eating, I was getting back on the bike when I noticed that the right spot mirror had fallen off! Bummer, I really do rely on those mirrors to spot vehicles on my side!

Not long after leaving, around the 200 mile mark, the rain had stopped. I was glad I didn’t see any more, but at least, overall the rain was never too bad, there were a couple spots it really came down good, but those didn’t last too long.

I continued through Oregon and then came into California. My first stop was the Agricultural Inspection station, which the guy just waved me through. Then the freeway through the Shasta lake area was interesting, winding through turns that were slated for 40 to 50 mph, but on the bike, I could take at 70MPh with no issues, other than the other vehicles on the road. Some of which I had to manuver around, others I just passed…okay, flew by!

As I approached Yreka, I decided that if I got gas there, I could make it down to Elk Grove on one tank. So I stopped to gas up and take my rain gear off. I had ridden about 340 miles by then (more than halfway) and was getting a bit tired. So after gassing up (took 3.7 gallons at 162 miles - another 40 MPG) I grabbed a Pepsi and something to eat, and a 5 hour, to help me wake up. Once back on the road, the 5 hour kicked in and I was ready for the next 280 miles!

I made a couple of stops along the way, one for a regular stop and the other to replace my helmet blue shield with my clear. The Sun was setting and I was getting close to Sacramento. And as I closed in on Sacramento the traffic was picking up too. I had to really watch these drivers, they were crazy!

The day and a half I was in the area, I lost count how many times I saw idiots pull out in front of people. It was like; I’m going any you will just have to slow down for me! I think if I lived in that area, I would just get me an old clunker and dare them to pull in front of me! Sheesh! I even had one pull that crap on me!

Anyway, back to the ride!

I continued on to Elk Grove via I5 to I305 to SR99 South, my off ramp being only about 11 miles down the 99. I was soon pulling up to the Holiday Inn Express, where I had a room waiting for me for the next two nights. After checking in, I was getting ready to unload all on gear and bags, when Dave called to see if I had made in yet. I told him I was just loading all my gear on a dolly and heading to my room. He said he was just a few minutes away, and by the time I finished, he was there. We took my gear up to the room, nice room, and then we headed over to our Mom’s, on just the other side of the freeway from where we were.

The next morning after getting up, showering and then eating, I called Chris to talk to her since I really didn’t get a chance the night before. At the end of our conversion, she asked me why not go to DMV today and get it over with. I figured, why not, so I found the nearest DMV, just 5 miles back towards Sacramento, so I jumped on the bike and headed over there.

That was about 9:30am. After standing in the line to start the process, the gal hands me my paperwork and then instructs me to take the bike over to get it inspected while waiting for my number to be called! What a great idea, unlike the DMV in Hemet last April when I had to wait twice! So I took the papers and rode the bike to the verification station. It took the guy about 15 minutes to finally get there and start inspecting. I was afraid he was going to come up with issues, it being brought in from another state, but as long as he found what he was looking for, he was fine!

Within tem minutes of him getting all the information, I was back in the building, sitting down, waiting for my number to be called. When I was called up and because I didn’t have the title (my Credit Union did…duh) the gal gave me the parerwork and a 60 day temporary. After collecting $1,100+ for taxes and all, she said I needed to get the paperwork to my credit union and once that all takes place, I’ll get my plates. Cool! That went much better than expected and Chris’s suggestion was a great one! DMV out of my hair, CHECK!

I then headed to my mom’s and then we headed to WallyWorld so I could pick up some oil and I picked up some Seafoam. I now had 651 miles on the bike and wanted to do the 600 mile oil change and filter. And BTW, I brought a filter with me for that purpose. The Seafoam was because I figured that that bike had been sitting for a while with fuel in it for test rides, and even though they filled it up completely when I picked it up, a can of Seafoam would clean out anything left in there from time.

I always hate changing that first oil filter. They are glue on at the factory or something! It probably took me about 10 minutes of banging on a flathead screw driver to pop it loose. Once it was loose, it came right off. I then put my new K&N204 oil filter on (the one with the nut at the end) and my oil (Delo 400 XLE 10W-30) in it. I then dumped the whole can of Seafoam in and later took it to get filled up. 286 miles at 6.61 Gallons. (43 MPG - doing great!)

Before leaving my Mom’s, my mom, my son, Dereck and his family and my two sisters and a niece and her fiancé all went to Golden Corral for dinner. After coming back, my two sisters, mom and brother and I chatted for a bit before I had to go back to my room. On my way back is when I filled the bike up. Then parked at the hotel for the night; the hotel was great, they let me park the bike near the hotel front doors.

The next morning I got up, got ready, ate breakfast and took off around 7:30am. I rode until I came close to the 120 mile mark and stopped at a MckyD’s. I had a quick bite and back on the road again. My next stop was just north of Bakersfield, where I filled up the bike (245 miles @ 5.92 gallons) and had another snack (and 5hour). This would be my last gas stop. I continued down SR99 to SR58 and headed east.

Kramer Junction was my last stop, which was 120 miles since my previous stop. Kramer Junction is right at SR58 & US395. After a quick bite and drink, I was off again. The temperature was already starting to climb. It had been in the upper 80’s since 99, but now, as I got through Victorville and down the Cajon Pass, the heat climbed to 102F and the traffic started picking up. Instead of continuing down I15, I took I215 through San Bernardino and Riverside. HOT HOT HOT!!!

Before I knew it, I was coming on my offramp to home! It still took me 20 minutes from that point, but I was getting closer by the minute! Home at last, but no Chris. She had gone to an office party on the other side of town. I took a quick shower and then headed over there too.

It was good to be home! So, overall, I rode 1,115 miles total. It took me 11 hours for the first leg from Beaverton to Elk Grove. It then took 8 hours for me to ride from Elk Grove to Murrieta. 58.68 mph average, and that includes my stops!

Justin was such a big help on this. Everything went like clockwork! Once I had my FARKLEs on, the bike was perfect. I do need to adjust the throttle cables, but that’s about all I noticed about the bike that wasn’t up to par!