Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Post here about where you have been and what you've done on your Vulcan 500 or other bike. Also this is a place to post invites for meetups. Pictures and GPS routes/tracks are encouraged!
bikerbill
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:07 pm
I ride: 1997 Vulcan 500LTD named Hidalgo

Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby bikerbill » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:25 am

A few months ago a member in another forum that I am in, VROC, offered me a complete engine at a great price. S and his wife used to tour on a pair of Vulcan 500's. S now has health issues that have ended his riding career and his wife did not enjoy riding by herself so they sold the bikes. He had purchased this engine for his wife's bike because her bike was "...getting a little long in the tooth." at around 65,000 miles. (This was before he knew just how durable the Vulcan 500 is.) After selling the bikes he still had this engine and a few other parts sitting around so he made the offer.

I was humbled that he would make this offer to me so I graciously accepted it. The only problem, if you can call it that, is that S lives in southeast Michigan! Now being the great guy that he is S had arranged to have the engine brought closer to me by way of two other VROC members. One, Sk, would bring it to Eureka Springs, AR during the VROC World Reunion in mid-September then another member, H, would pick it up there and bring it to western Oklahoma where I would get it from him at a later time. I considered these options and even contacted the couriers on their willingness to do this for me. After some consideration I decided that there was too much of a chance that one of those links might not work out and opted to go get it myself.

Deciding the dates for this trip was the tough part. Also deciding which 'mode of conveyance' would be best was on my mind. The round-trip mileage is 2,700 miles. This meant that it was at least a three day trip and possibly four days. This could mean that I would have to take a day or two off of work. The Labor Day holiday was approaching so I chose that weekend to do it. One negative of choosing this weekend is that my wife's birthday is during that weekend. (Doghouse potential) I considered making a platform and mounting the engine on the passenger seat area of Hidalgo and trying to make it an Ironbutt ride. I also considered taking the truck and bringing along Daniel for that 'Road Trip' experience. Since our last epic 'Road Trip' was when he was six years old and we made a round trip from Levelland,TX to Seabrook, TX in about 36 hours to get a parts bike. Daniel is now 13 years old so I felt that it was time for another one. Driving it will be!

I had originally planned on trying to get away either Friday evening or early Saturday morning. Daniel now plays in his high school band and his very first marching performance was on Friday. Nix the Friday departure. I had also had a very trying week at work and was fairly fatigued. I was concerned that I might not be up to three or four days of driving. I decided to put the trip off to another time and contacted S to tell him. I also contacted Sk to see if he would still be willing to take the engine to Arkansas then I went to bed.

The next morning I got an email from Sk saying that we had changed his plans and would not be going anywhere near S's house on his way to Arkansas. Oops!

After much 'hand wringing' and 'teeth gnashing' I decide that this will be the only weekend I could do this for a long time and opted to 'Got For It!'. Daniel and I quickly pack a bag and point the truck eastward. "Michigan Here We Come!" It's 9:00 on Saturday morning.

My truck is a 2002 GMC Sonoma with 150k miles and the *big* V6 engine. Although it had been sitting for about a year and a half I had brought it up to snuff earlier this year due to Daniel's need for getting to and from extracurricular school activities. It has been a dependable machine so far and this will be a test of its mettle to handle LD driving. My rough plan today is to make it through St. Louis before stopping for the night. This would be about 1/3 of the way. It's mostly Gas-N-Go's all day with a photo-op at a rest area near Joplin, MO. Near Rolla, MO, it's about 9:30pm and I feel it will be safer to stop here than try and push through to St. Louis. We have covered 770 miles in 12 hours. BunBurnerGOLD pace!

Sunday morning we get on the road about 6am continuing eastward. St. Louis comes at around sunrise and we take a quick photo-op at the Gateway Arch. (Accidentally too. We missed a turn and just happened to end up at its parking lot.) Again it's Gas-N-Go's most of the day with more photo-ops at the Ohio and Michigan state lines. Construction near Indianapolis slowed our progress somewhat (and raised my frustration level too). We arrive at S's by 4:30 local time. We visited with S and his wife for about an hour then, all loaded up, reversed our course back to Texas.

Wow! Texas looks a lot farther away now. Can we make it the 1,350 miles home by tomorrow evening? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Stay tuned for the next installment of 'Bikerbill's Travels'.
--
'Biker' Bill
'97 EN500LTD 'Hidalgo'
198,000+ miles so far
VROC #3833
IronButt #6024

SlipStreamer Enterprise II, Vista Cruise,
Cobra Spots, Drifter solo seat,
Pro-Tac backrest, ScottOiler,
F&S luggage rack, LED & HID lights,
4-gal AUX fuel tank

User avatar
Triangles
Site Admin
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm
I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
Location: Toledo Ohio
Contact:

Re: Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby Triangles » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:22 pm

You were in my neck of the woods. I'm less than 5 miles from SE michigan!
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bikerbill
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:07 pm
I ride: 1997 Vulcan 500LTD named Hidalgo

Re: Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby bikerbill » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:51 am

Part 2: The Return Leg

It’s 5:00 local time on Sunday afternoon in southeast Michigan on Labor Day weekend. And what a beautiful day it is! Daniel and I have driven from Levelland, TX to SE Michigan in about 30 hours to pick up an engine and other parts for our Vulcan 500’s. We have the aforementioned items secured in the bed of my 2002 GMC Sonoma and are ready to head home to Texas.

Wow! The sun is getting low to the western horizon. Texas looks a mite farther away than I thought it would. I wanted to get back home in time to get a good night’s rest before returning to work on Tuesday. I turn to Daniel and say, “I hope we can make it home in time.” Can we do it? Let’s see if we can!

We headed south back to Napoleon, OH and get some celebratory sweets in the form of DQ Blizzards! We took a photo-op at the Indiana state line but no other stops except for Gas-N-Go’s. While driving through Effingham, IL, I see that they have a large Christian cross at the roadside that looks remarkably like the one near Groom, TX. I thought, harrumph! They are just trying to copy us Texans. Their cross can’t be bigger’n ours! <insert Texan sneer here>

It’s about 11pm and I make the call to stop for the night in Vandalia, IL. (Coincidentally we stopped here for fuel earlier in the day.) When we got settled into the motel I Googled the cross at Effingham and found that it is eight feet taller than the one at Groom. Darn! We Texan’s have been bested! Daniel and I have covered 975 miles today.

At 6am we are back on the road to Home. Gas-N-Go’s again are the norm. No more state-line photo-ops either. We’re on a mission!

That Mission does have a small bit of time to visit a Route-66 roadside attraction at St. Robert, MO. Some time ago a place called 'Uranus, MO' was set up as a 'Tourist Trap'. We had been seeing its billboards all throughout Missouri so I decided that we would stop in and see it. A couple of years ago they opened a Fudge Shop there too. Yep! Their slogan is: "The Best Fudge Comes from Uranus". We got a couple of pounds of the stuff along with some 'Route Beer' (Route 66 theme here) for my younger son.

On the trip out on Saturday we had taken a route from Lubbock to Wichita Falls then up to Oklahoma City. While traveling through OKC now Garmin is showing a traffic delay near Lawton, OK. So far during this trip Garmin’s Traffic notification has been fairly accurate. Combine that information with the fact that the turnpike is not the smoothest road in Oklahoma I decide that we will go through Amarillo instead. This actually reduces the mileage and makes home a bit closer. It’s about 3:30 on Monday afternoon and I40 has us driving directly into the afternoon/evening sun. It’s worth it for the smoothness of the highway! (and no tollbooths) We cross back into Texas at 5:30! WooHoo! We’re nearly home!

We have not had a real ‘sit down’ meal since we left home two days ago. I think, since we’re so close to home and we’re making good time, it this is as good a time as any to do just that! At Shamrock, TX we stop at the only fast food place we can find, a Dairy Queen. It ain’t much but eating while not driving is a treat. We spend a little more time resting than I had planned on but we’re back on the road by 6:15.

Amarillo comes at about 7:20 and we’re on the ‘Home Stretch’. A minor decision to take US385 instead of I25 makes the last couple of hours entertaining. US385 is much more rural and has several cattle/feed yards. Normally this isn’t much of an issue other than the ‘aroma’ that exudes from them. Tonight those yards are teeming with little bugs that don’t move out of the way of my windshield. We are stopping every 20-30 minutes to clean them off so I can see the road ahead.

FINALLY!! At 10pm, on the dot, we arrive home. 30 hours ago we were in SE Michigan with concern that we might not make it home in time for a good rest before returning to work/school on Tuesday. Now we are pleased that we have done it! Got home and in time for that much needed rest.

For our troubles we retrieved the following:
One complete Vulcan 500 engine with less than 3,000 miles sealed in a bag
One Vulcan 500 left side exhaust header pipe
Several cables for Vulcan 500’s
Misc fluids

Neither bike needs an engine at this time but it’s good to have on-hand ‘just in case’.

Miscellaneous Trivia regarding this trip:

Total Mileage: 2,710 miles
Total Fuel Consumed: 123.6 gallons
Fuel Economy: 20.8 mpg
Total Time: 60.5 hours
Average Speed Overall: 44.8 mph
Average Speed Moving: 64 mph
Total Expenses: “No Comment”

Spotwalla Track: https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id ... a0d4add329 password=michigan
Pictures from the trip: https://bikerbillsvulcan500rebuild.shutterfly.com/829
Last edited by bikerbill on Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
--
'Biker' Bill
'97 EN500LTD 'Hidalgo'
198,000+ miles so far
VROC #3833
IronButt #6024

SlipStreamer Enterprise II, Vista Cruise,
Cobra Spots, Drifter solo seat,
Pro-Tac backrest, ScottOiler,
F&S luggage rack, LED & HID lights,
4-gal AUX fuel tank

User avatar
Triangles
Site Admin
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm
I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
Location: Toledo Ohio
Contact:

Re: Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby Triangles » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:35 am

WOW. You were in my stomping grounds. Adrian isn't far from me. That seems like some pretty crazy lengths to go to just for an engine!
ImageImage

bikerbill
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:07 pm
I ride: 1997 Vulcan 500LTD named Hidalgo

Re: Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby bikerbill » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:17 pm

Triangles wrote:That seems like some pretty crazy lengths to go to just for an engine!


It's not the destination, It's the Journey!

User avatar
Triangles
Site Admin
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm
I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
Location: Toledo Ohio
Contact:

Re: Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby Triangles » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:55 pm

LOL sounds more like the Cannonball Run!
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bikerbill
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:07 pm
I ride: 1997 Vulcan 500LTD named Hidalgo

Re: Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby bikerbill » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:47 am

"Gumball"

User avatar
Triangles
Site Admin
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm
I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
Location: Toledo Ohio
Contact:

Re: Ironbutt Worthy 'Drive'

Postby Triangles » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:03 pm

indeed!
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