The Motoscavy

Sept 2006

The MotoScavy (Short for Motorcycle Scavenger Hunt) was one of our more interesting rides. It was a four day, 900 mile plus ride that covered four states.

I must preface the ride with the back story.

Feb 2006, I decided that I would not take the VFR to Hawaii. I had just picked some Krauser hard bags, so the motorcycle was now in full sport touring mode. I felt there were too many states untouched to have it landlocked on the island. I loaded her up in the back of a trailer and drove down to OKC. A couple of pen marks later, and Tracy had custody of my beloved interceptor. (The judge gave me full visiting rights, and said I could get her back as soon as I got back on my feet =)

I moved a few months later. Tracy and I had planned a ride that summer, but we never really committed to the cause due to the hassle of the move.

June 2006, I get a text message from Trace... with Lat-Longs on it. I punched the numbers into my GPS. He was in Key West, SOMABEEOTCH!!!! He had left without me!

Trace later assured me that he would be able to take another ride later that the issue was dropped.

Sept, 2006..I readied myself for the big ride. Trace was now not sure if he could go. I became pretty pissed at the whole situation. In comes Kev, to rescue everything. He said that he would go in Tracy’s stead. Kev couldn't quite do a super distance ride. He was riding a Honda RC 51 at the time, but could spare four days to see how far we could get.

With Kevs diplomatic talks successful, hostilities between Trace and I ceased. As part of Tracy’s peace offering, he agreed to ride along with us. As fate would have it, he couldn’t get the entire four days and had to settle for just the weekend. Kev and I would leave and catch up with him later.

As we pondered over the idea on where we could meet, an interesting idea came to us. After the “Great Rhode Island Twilight Zone Incident,”..(For more, see Operation Clam Chowder) we had both bought Garmin GPS’s. Since Kev and I weren’t going to take the boring highway route, we thought we would drag Tracy into our backroad riding ways.

We made up a motorcycle scavenger hunt, where we would leave clues and trinkets along a path. Tracy would get a text message with a GPS coordinate and a picture of the location. There would be a password that the had to text back to get the next clue and so forth. We would be armed with video cameras, and so would that we could later see each others side of the story

The Ride:

Kev and I took off on a Thursday morning, At about 90 miles away from home, we set the first clue. It was toy Ford Pinto and a note with the password. We put it in a ziplock bag and duct taped it to the back of an ice machine at a gas station. We text him the GPS coordinates and off we went.

We did this a few more times along the way. One clue in particular was an action figure that was so ugly that I found him to be particularly interesting. We named him “Sergeant Slag” and he became the unofficial mascot for the rest of the ride. Sgt Slag, or “Slaggy” known to his friends, spent two days and nights hiding under a boulder before being eventually rescued. See also: Slaggy's Last Ride

 VFR at State Line Tavern

VFR at State Line Tavern

 RC at STate Line Tavern

RC at STate Line Tavern

Our first state line crossed was Arkansas, We stopped took the obligatory pictures and planted another clue inside a drainage ditch. Looking over our shoulder, we noticed a quaint little, hole-in-the-wall bar called the State Line Tavern. The State Line Tavern is literally located on top the state line. One side is Arkansas..which is dry county, and the other is Oklahoma..which is wet..or legal to sell alcohol. When the beer is brought in, it literally has to be moved to the Oklahoma side of the bar. We walked in, had half a beer and struck up a conversation with a bartender named “Kelly”

Now, I must put a small disclaimer here. I DO NOT condone drinking and riding. It is illegal, stupid, and dangerous. In this situation, I literally drank only the neck of a beer and we sat there for a solid hour. I knew that we were only 2 hours from our final stopping point, where we could safely put the bikes up for the night and then drink without worry.

We told Kelly of our Motoscavy and she thought the story was hilarious. Kev asked her if she would hold a note to give to Trace when he came through. A bonus clue of sort, one that Trace would have to interact with an actual person to get. We put a note on the clue in the drainage ditch to go inside and talk to Kelly, and off we were. See also: The State Line Tavern

Stopping some 50 miles down the road, Kevs bike wouldn’t start. In a panic I ran over to him, watching my million dollar Suomy helmet hit the ground and roll towards me. We gave Kev's bike a push start and we were again road bound. We pulled into the hotel in Hot Springs, AR. There was something not right with the RC. The lights were dim and it was barely running, the alternator was gone. We parked the bikes and decided to worry about it in the morn. We walked over to a Mexican restaurant, and drank Tecate into the night.

The next day, we called the local Honda dealership and rode there two up to retrieve a battery. Installing the battery in the parking lot, we then rode the injured RC to the dealership. I must mention there was a motorcycle rally in town, so we did this in front of a dozen Harley folks. So much for that Japanese reliability!

The guys at John's Honda took the RC in and found the stator to be bad. There wasn’t another RC stator for 400 miles. Kev’s ride was over.

We rode two up to Little Rock, AR and spent the night at my in-laws. The next day, We had the project of getting the RC back to OKC. Also, Tracy was now on the move. We wrangled up a Uhaul to take back Kev’s bike. Tracy kept texting us passwords and we returned his clues. He saved Slaggy and met Kelly at the Stateline Tavern. By the end of that day. The VFR, a Uhaul truck, a Hayabusa with Trace and all the trinkets, met again in the parking lot of John's Honda in Hot Springs, AR.

On the way back up to Oklahoma the rain struck with no mercy. I found out that the frog togg was as waterproof as wearing newspaper..I can’t stress how bad this thing sucked. It was pretty good at keeping water off from the front. But any rain coming down a vertical axis, was funneled directly into my jacket. I was soaked not from the outside, but from the inside out, and that my fine readers, is a miserable experience.

The temp dropped from 101 degrees in LA to mid 50’s in OKC. I was soaked, cold and really wanted to throw in the towel.

Damn you Frog Togg.

We made it home after battling the rain for some three hours. Later, Kev and I took Tracy out and bought him a steak for completing every checkpoint of the Motoscavy.


Lessons Learned:

1) No bike is perfectly reliable
2) Frog Toggs are horrible
3) Always watch your helmet

The ride ended with four states down, and became Chapter three in the By way of Motorcycle video series. Kev was very hostile towards the RC for letting him down, He went out and bought a new Aprilla Mille. I'm writing this... in June, 2007..and the RC is still broken.


KM (2017)--Kev here, and thought I would give an update to the RC portion of the story.  I put a new stator on the bike, and it didnt fix the problem, so the dealer was off, unfortunately.    We talked to a mechanic friend of ours, and he agreed to look at the engine to see if anything there was causing it.   He did, and no issues.   I finally (like Billma said above) got frustrated, went to the BMW/Aprilia dealership, and bought a brand new RSV1000R.   It was beautiful, but also sad because I dearly loved the RC.   I sold it to a friend of a friend who took it to a couple of dealers, and one found that there was a small fuse that was in the tailsection (not with the other fuses) that no one checked.   Tracy and I had checked all the fuses in the fusebox, but that was it.   A friggin fuse.   I tried to buy it back but he had none of that.   But I was happy with the Aprilia and visited the State line tavern once again with it in my next adventure.