Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Rumbling Missoula, MT, Thursday, 01 September 2011 8:36pm

Today started off reasonably well. It was still pretty gray and rainy as I left Great Falls, but the weather got progressively better as I headed towards the Rockies. The rolling plains gave way to buttes and forested mountains.

I stopped for a photo a bit before the Continental Divide, and when I started again, I noticed that there was a new disturbing noise, this time clearly related to the engine, not the transmission. As I continued, it got progressively worse. It was sounding a bit like my mufflers had fallen off.

The riding was gorgeous: curvy, and mountainous, through forests and alongside rivers. I stopped in Lincoln for lunch, and decided to press on to Missoula—where I knew of a Honda shop—rather than divert south to Helena or try to get a tow from Lincoln.

There was non-motorcycle related rumbling as well. A thundershower passed over as I was leaving Lincoln, but I was only under it for about fifteen minutes, so I didn't get too soaked.

Five Valley Honda's service department took a quick listen to the bike and agreed that it sounded like my mufflers. They let the bike cool down and then verified that the bolts on the exhaust pipes on were loose. They told me that you might occasionally see one or two of those loose, but all eight of mine were. This might be because the exhaust system had been recently disassembled (to install the center stand that I got put on before the trip), or maybe just because of the extreme temperature cycling the bike has gone through in the past few weeks. Something to keep an eye on.

Once they were tightened up, the engine purred like a kitten again.

I'm staying here in Missoula with Mike, a friend of my friend Bo. He's a fellow motorcycle tourer (tourist?) and beer aficionado, so we've been trading travel stories and beer anecdotes.

183mi in 4:55


mliss (Anonymously) Wednesday, 07 September 2011 8:53pm

Hey look! There's a map! :) also, I have to put "no" in the are you spamming box? I'd like it better if I could just put something random. but I guess that wouldn't stop spambots.