Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Where have you been riding? Tell us all about your trip. Prove it with pictures! If ya didn't take pictures, it didn't happen...
Forum rules
This is the place for you to post reports about your rides. Remember the mantra: "If you don't post pictures, it didn't happen".
Post Reply
User avatar
tubarick
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 258
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:13 pm
Location: Garner, NC

Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by tubarick » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:34 pm

Twice a year, my Brother in Law invites me and several friends to stay at his condo in Ormond Beach, Florida and go motorcycling in the area. Usually, I ride my BMW R1150RT, but I decided to surprise him with my choice of ride this time.

On Monday, 7 May 2019 I traveled to Ormond Beach, Florida on my 2009 Ural "T". My rig is modified with many factory goodies: full fairing, sidecar windshield, a stepped driver and passenger seat, leg guards and engine crash bar. I have made several long trips on this machine, (up to 400 miles in a day) but this is the first time I’ve made a high speed, all Interstate Highway trip.

In preparation, I replaced the worn-out pusher tire, and I decided to install new spark plugs, which were due at the 30k km service anyway. That was a good move - the old ones were toast. I inflated the tires to Owner’s Manual specs (32, 30 & 40) and checked the fluids.

I dressed ATGATT, including a modular helmet equipped with an interior flip down tinted sun shield. I chose a mesh jacket and pants for the trip, which worked out well for the weather conditions.

I left Garner, NC around 5:00 AM and traveled Interstate 40 East. I reached I-95 quicker than I expected, but realized that, due to the dim lights in the speedometer, I was driving closer to 80 mph than 70. I made that correction quickly. I continued on Interstate 95 South. I maintained the posted speed limits of 65 and 70 mph whenever possible.

I didn’t keep detailed gas mileage information on the trip. I refueled whenever I stopped to rest or have something to eat or drink. For one long stretch, I “drafted” an eighteen-wheeler which driver was maintaining a rock steady speed. (And, no. I wasn’t on his bumper, either!) I switched to reserve (just in case) when I hit 200 km, and stopped for gas shortly after that. I put only 3 gallons in the tank – 70 km per gallon! I actually reached Reserve only once, on the return trip. I refueled at 205 km, 4.1 gallons for 50 km per gallon, or 31 mpg.

I reached my Brother in Law’s condominium shortly after 3:00 PM, driving 797 km or 495 miles.

I would love to say that it was a wonderful trip, but I’m not going to sugar coat the experience. It was rough, hot and hard on the body. I believe that I have a very good Ural rig, but after 8 hours of constant steering and working the throttle, I was very tired. The factory stepped seat is a good seat, but it’s difficult (as all motorcyclists know) to move around and stretch your legs or change positions on long trips to be more comfortable. The last two hours were tough, and I was glad to park the rig and get some rest.

Road conditions made the trip physically difficult. I-95 in NC is two lanes, but the pavement is in fairly good shape. I-95 through South Carolina is only two lanes for the majority of the distance, and the highway is in rough condition. That State has made a lot of improvements in their methods of patching concrete pavement, but there are long sections with bad patchwork, broken pavement and poor transitions from pavement to bridges which shook my rig violently (not to mention the driver!). There is a lot of grooved pavement around Florence. In Georgia and Florida, there are three and sometimes four lanes in both directions and the pavement is much better. Luckily, there was little active construction work and I had only two delays for crash traffic.

Tuesday morning, I checked out the rig thoroughly. Fluid levels were fine and there were no leaks in the engine, transmission or rear drive. I brought engine oil with me and didn’t need to use it. I did use an awful lot of Windex removing dead “love bugs” from the rig.

Tuesday and Wednesday, I drove around the Ormond Beach, Flagler Beach and Daytona Beach area with my Brother in Law and a friend, doing the tourist bit.

I returned home Thursday, 9 May; leaving Ormond Beach at 8:00 AM. I made the deliberate decision to drive slightly slower (65 mph) when the Interstate was three or more lanes wide and stay in the right lane. This quickly proved to be a mistake, due to heavy truck traffic, slow moving RVs and reckless/aggressive drivers traveling in excess of 80 mph, especially around Jacksonville, FL. For the rest of the trip, I did my best to stay on or near the usual speed limit of 70, keep up with surrounding traffic and drive defensively. I ran into badly broken pavement in South Carolina and made an unscheduled stop at a Rest Area when I felt unusual vibrations in the drive train. When I inspected the bike, I found that the battery tray broke away from the frame and dropped the battery on top of the drive shaft. I pulled the battery out of the way and used wire ties to keep the battery away from any moving parts.

I made more rest stops, encountered a bit of rain, and arrived safely home after eleven hours in the saddle.

A few days later, I pulled another service on the bike. I found a welding shop to re-attach the battery tray, (and I also had them spot weld the inside swing arm nuts to the frame). I inspected the donut and saw that it was wallowed out. When I removed the rear drive and drive shaft I found that the u-joint on the drive shaft was worn out. I replaced the u-joint and donut. Total repairs added up to $150.

Picture 1: The Florida Welcome Center. Picture 2: The Beach at Ormond By The Sea
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Рик Гаптилл
2019 Ural cT
2003 BMW R1150RT
2003 Ural M81030 650 2WD

User avatar
Mr Wazzock
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 6278
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:22 pm
Location: Boston, UK
Contact:

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by Mr Wazzock » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:18 pm

:thumbsup:

That beach is fab.
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

User avatar
Lokiboy
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 4401
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by Lokiboy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:00 pm

That is very good MPG for those speeds. Sounds like you had a really good ride, seat comfort not withstanding.
2011 Gear Up - "Erika"
Yorktown, VA

Mains: 127, Idle: 40, Needle: 1 shim
MKIII air filter
100,000 km and counting

User avatar
Gwtg
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:42 pm
Location: Emerson, NJ

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by Gwtg » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:49 pm

My helmet is off to anyone who rides the interstates on the Ural. It is exhausting to me. I can ride 55+ on secondary roads without a problem. Add in the stress of other drivers, boring scenery, poor road conditions that bounce the rig everywhere and it gets tiring quick.
Thanks, Greg

2014 Ural Patrol

User avatar
Mr Wazzock
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 6278
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:22 pm
Location: Boston, UK
Contact:

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by Mr Wazzock » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:57 pm

I wasn't fully aware of the "issue" with coping with the speed of other vehicles on the highways / interstates in the US, until I (again) watched a video last night on Youtube of a guy test riding a Moto Guzzi Griso (1200cc, 105 hp); on the bits where he's occasionally going faster than the speed limit he's blurred out his speedo in the video (very clever, I wonder how? Youtube tool?) But when at 70 mph (we can read it then) he's being passed lots of times by other vehicles. This is on a highway in Oklahoma. At one point there was a crew cab truck towing a box trailer passing everything in sight on the inside lane (our biker was doing 70 in the middle lane with others in his lane), I thought, Feck. (with a capital 'F') :o

Here in the UK we're festooned with speed cameras and they're also watching you from the overhead gantries on the motorways. So not a lot of speeding goes on, driving licenses don't last long otherwise. Also, we got speed limited semis, and ditto other large panel trucks, 56 mph. So 60 mph on a UK motorway on a Ural is doable and not too intimidating, lot of trucks will be slower than that so if you fancy toddling along at 50 - 55, simply tag behind a couple; the fastest vehicles are rarely much if any over 70 because, as I say, of the cameras. In additon, it is a great advantage having 2 or more lanes if you're on a Ural and don't want to play keep-up because it's much easier for drivers to pass than on single road, and of course much safer. :)
-
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

User avatar
DylanW
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:29 pm
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by DylanW » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:54 pm

Semi trucks in California have a lower limit as well but we don't really have any monitoring besides CHP with radar guns. So they follow along with most drivers and don't really go the limit. I'm actually surprised how low our motorcycle fatality rate is here considering we allow lane splitting as well. I can't count the times I've seen a guy with nothing more then a helmet go flying between two cars 20 MPH faster then anyone else.
2002/2003 Tourist
1999 Ducati 900SS
1974 Vespa Rally 200

User avatar
tubarick
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 258
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:13 pm
Location: Garner, NC

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by tubarick » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:23 pm

There were many cases where trucks or clueless drivers drove ten or more miles per hour under the speed limit on the two lane sections of I-95. I had to carefully gauge my speed and get into the left lane to pass, while worrying about drivers who drive ten miles per hour (and more) OVER the speed limit.
Рик Гаптилл
2019 Ural cT
2003 BMW R1150RT
2003 Ural M81030 650 2WD

Paint shaker
General Secretary
General Secretary
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:09 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by Paint shaker » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:53 pm

Sounds like a nice trip! I try to avoid the interstates on the Ural, but sometimes it has to be done.
Current; 1997 2Wd Ural w/an 08 Engine, Drivetrain and Electronics not many mods, I just ride the thing! 1998 Buell S1W, 1998 H-D 883. 1983 Jeep CJ 7.

Previous; 1990 H-D Springer, 2001 H-D 883, 2008 Buell XB12R, 2006 Buell Ulysses, 2008 H-D FLHP Road King (work), 2010 H-D FLHP Road King (work) x3, 2012 FLHP Road King (work) X2, 2004 Buell XB12R (Race bike).

User avatar
tubarick
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 258
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:13 pm
Location: Garner, NC

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by tubarick » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:23 pm

I set up a trip via US-1 and other routes, but they all converge in southern GA. In addition, the estimated drive was 12 hours as opposed to 9 in actual experience.
Рик Гаптилл
2019 Ural cT
2003 BMW R1150RT
2003 Ural M81030 650 2WD

User avatar
Happytrails
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1171
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 7:35 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by Happytrails » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:45 pm

Oh the beach !! :)
-JR

2018 Ural GearUp, Urban Camo
1991 Honda Goldwing SE

"riding is good therapy"

User avatar
harryball
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1726
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:53 am
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: Interstate Blast from NC to Florida and Back

Post by harryball » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:13 pm

My wife and I have road warriored our way to over 30,000 miles each on our Urals. Our 2017 rigs just over a year old each have more than 12,000 miles on them now. (Our 2008 and 2010 carried us 20,000 miles before we sold them) We made the I95 run from Miami to SC then up through Charlotte on I77. Your story is familiar and after our last trip to St Paul (from Jackson GA) we made a decision when we arrived.

If you are riding a Ural to meet a deadline (real or imagined) you're doing it wrong. It's not about back roads, interstates or Highways. Be careful, and ride until the enjoyment is fading, then stop and do something else for a while. Our trip back was wherever, whenever and how ever we wanted to go. We enjoyed that trip back immensely more than the trip up with all the mandatory "gotta get there" and "must use interstate" and "can't stop now" riding.

Besides, you missed Fargo GA on 441. You have to call Kevin at the 4 room (not star, room) Gator Motel and spend the night then wander over to the Suwannee River Cafe at 6am and have breakfast. Then saddle up and head down the road to visit Stephen Foster State Park in the Okefenokee before making your way on down to Jacksonville where you can pick up I95 if you'd like.

Glad you had a blast and came home safe.
---
2017 - cT - "Georgia" My wife's rig.
2017 - M70/Retro Gen 2 EFI, Sigmund. My wife's other rig.
Robert
http://HabitatForBats.org - Give a bat a home!

Post Reply