Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quick Trip - Hagg Lake + Vernonia

The colder and crappier the weather gets the more the darkness seems to set in too. So here's another Quick Trip suggestion for people in Portland who only want to get out for a day. This one also happens to be dirt free so you don't have to take the dualsport out to enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quick Trip - Lolo Pass to Hood River, Oregon

Here's a fun loop just outside of Portland I did earlier this fall. A quick and easy trip you can get done in an afternoon. You know, and nice mix of pavement, trees, and dirt for the busy biker on the go. It primarily follows Lolo Pass up over the West side of Mt. Hood, but with two variations I found to be worth the detour. And I suppose by the time most folks read this post it'll be too late to get this ride in due to snowfall, but hey at least you can start planning for spring!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY - Ammo Can Saddle Bags

It's quickly becoming winter here in the Northwest. I know, it's November already, but I wouldn't call it full-blown winter yet. Anyway rainy weather and colder temperatures mean it's a good time to bust out those projects and get your shit prepped for next year. Last winter I did a tear-down and re-paint on the KLR and added some ammo-can saddle bags. The paint has needed to happen for a long time. I wasn't too into it being called the "Barbie Bike" anymore, and even though my soft bags have done me good I've always liked the rugged functionality of ammo cans. Not to mention the little nod towards the always sexy Mad Max aesthetic.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Video Interference

The Guys over at Icon always come up with the best stuff. Sure, their clothes and protective gear are sweet, but their videos are damn fine too. I know this one has been out for a bit but I thought I'd share anyway. See how many Portland spots you can recognize.

Now go shred.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Falls City, Oregon - A Treasure Hunt

This has been a pretty darn good November for me, as far as Novembers go. I paid off a couple of major debts, work is going well both at my day job and at the studio, and the weather has been amazing. All this has lead up to a pretty damn positive state of mind. The cherry on top was the realization that several "warm" sunny days were lining up right on my weekend and what better way to celebrate than getting in a quality moto ride.

The guys at work are pretty into their gravel grinding adventure riding bicycle trips and have done a fair amount of exploring on Oregon backroads. I've found this usually leads to a lot of parallel interests when it comes to my dualsport riding. So when I mentioned wanting to go for a ride one of my coworkers presented me with a "treasure map" of sorts in the mountains just east of Falls City, Oregon. And in this case "Treasure" is more than a metaphor. There's something special buried in those hills...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gear Review - Metzeler Tourance Tire

The KLR is currently wearing its way through the second set of Metzeler Tourance Dualsport Tires. They're rated as an 85% street, 15% off road tire. Previously I'd gone through a couple sets of stock tires (my point of comparison) which, for those who don't know, are a far knobbier tire. Throw a couple of "L's" on there if you're British: Knobblier? Anyway I must say these tires have done me good over the years in a wide variety of conditions so I thought I'd do a little review.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Chuckanut Drive and my "Work" Trip.

Earlier this summer I began working for a rad bicycle shop here in Portland. We're primarily a Kona dealer and as such we have opportunity to attend Kona's annual "Launch Party" up in Bellingham, Washington where they debut all of their next year's bikes. It's definitely not an open to the public kind of thing. Lots of bike demos, and drinking... Anyway the point is when I found out our shop would be attending for several days I loaded up the KLR and told everyone that I'd meet them up there.

Far be it for me to miss a chance to do some riding around Puget Sound.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm Still Here.

It's been nearly 4 months since my last post to the blog. FOUR MONTHS of glorious weather in the Pacific Northwest (minus the wettest September on record since forever: THAT sucked). Truly, this weather why so many folks move out here: Incredibly mild summers, clear skies, perfect temps, and enough twisty roads to burn up a set of Metzlers in a month. So after long last I'm ready to finally ready to sit down and write it all out.

Are you stoked to hear about all my epic rides this summer?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A trip to the Crater Lakes (AKA "the ride of 1,000 mistakes")

So you're probably thinking, "Dude, there's only ONE Crater Lake." and well... you're wrong. But we'll get to that so just CTFO for a second. Secondly, I feel this trip warranted some explanation in an introduction (skip it if you want, I don't plan to make this a regular thing: these introductions).

Introduction: When I first started this blog I had this grand vision of writing about all the awesome adventures I've had on my motorcycle so others might be inspired to go out and do the same. I've been more or less riding since I was 9 years old, and now that I'm in my 30s I feel I'm becoming quite the adept dualsport rider.  I'd like fancy myself a bit of an adventurer. But this last weekend I got put in my place. Nature will take the unprepared and hand them their ass. I thought about glossing over the sordid bits and just talking about the amazing stuff I saw, but I think there's a lot to learn from my failure too. I can't imagine anyone looks up to me for the handful of posts I've made so far anyway, so I don't have far to fall by confessing I was caught so ill prepared on my recent trip. Hopefully everyone can do a little "do as I say, not as I do" after reading this.

My trip to Crater Lake has been on my list for a long time. Two summers ago my fiance and I wanted to go. I kept chomping at the bit to head down there and she kept wanting me to wait till we could go together. It didn't work out (the relationship, and the trip). Then last summer I had a small crew of friends really excited about going on motorcycles, but one thing led to another and it never panned out. So this year I'd decided once the weather got nice I was going to do it. Two weeks ago I received an invitation to go to a cabin with some friends near Mt. Hood but when I asked for more details I never heard anything back. Sensing a trend I thought, F*ck it, I'll go to Crater Lake. This was solidified when I received a different invitation from a friend who was going to be camping near Mt. Hood at my favorite little spot: Clear Lake. I had to work on Saturday but with a spot to stay near Mt. Hood I could get a head start on the trip if I left right after work. Friday night was spent packing and prepping. I keep most all my gear in one place so I really only had to stop by the studio to put together a tool bag, buy some food, and get everything ready to strap on the bike.

One long-ass day of work later I zipped out of town, made a quick stop at Government Camp for a small bottle of whiskey, and arrived at the campground on Clear Lake. There are apparently several Clear Lakes in Oregon. No, I haven't been to the other ones but I can unquestionably say this one is my favorite:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back Yard Maintenance

You would think a guy with an art/fabrication studio would have himself a sweet setup for wrenching on bikes too. I've definitely brainstormed some great ways to temporarily convert my fabrication table. I also wouldn't have to worry about shuttling tools around, and have access to my welders and such.

In reality my wrenching setup looks like this:

Yup. Posted up on a semi truck rim in the back yard, and by choice.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

BMW R75/5 Project update

I had my dad come into town this last week, and so decided to pull the 1972 BMW R75/5 out of the garage and snap some photos of its restoration progress. Turns out my timing for getting back on this project couldn't be better.

You might have read my little intro on inheriting the BMW restoration project from my dad. As a small addendum to that I came across this photo of the bike shortly after he first brought it home about 12 years ago:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alley Sweeper!

A couple years back I moved from my home in Seattle down to cozy little Portland.  One of the main reasons I made the move was for "Free Bike Fun". There's much fun to be had on two wheels and Portland has somehow found a way to bottle and sell if for... er free. I mean FREE! Call me what you will, but I originally moved here for the the pedal bike brand of fun. So imagine my amazement when I found out the moto culture in PDX was also all about the free bike fun movement.

Let me paint a little picture for you. See, Portland is filled with lots of signs like this:

These signs mark the entryway to over 140 miles of unimproved public roadways inside the city limits. Often these are back alleys and many could just as easily be mistaken for part of someone's yard. In fact many people treat these roads as if they're private property (more on that in a bit... Gotta wait for the juicy bits) but they're public roadways nevertheless.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

DIY KLR 650 "Chirp removal" exhaust mod

Most KLR riders are familiar with the distinctive "chirp" of it's exhaust. It's less blatant in the new generation of KLRs but the older bikes chirp like a flock of drunken finches, and honestly I hate it. Ditching the KLR's iconic exhaust sound is something that's been covered on many online forums, but here's my take on on it.

If you enjoy the chirp then just stop reading... Unless you're into that whole morbid curiosity thing.

The easiest solution would be to buy a new slip-on exhaust. Believe me, I'd like to. The stock exhaust doesn't sound great (chirp aside), it's heavy, and really bulky, but my ass is broke, and besides I really like making cool shit, so why not have a little fun here?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ride the Pipeline

When headed from Point A to Point Wherever we get stuck on getting there via the fastest way possible. Even I get hung up on that sometimes. It's easy to stick to the roads you know and forget to take your time and venture out. I've adopted a personal mantra to pay attention to those random urges to turn down certain roads when I'm out riding. I'll be cruising along and all of the sudden my subconcious says, "OH SNAP! Turn here!". Of course dualsports make it even easier to just head off down a road in a fearless fashion. No worries about running into dirt, or anything else... Don't know why, but it does, and  usually I'm rewarded with my compliance. That's how I found the pipeline.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gear Review - Gaerne Balance Boot

The Gaerne Balance has been slated as the perfect Dualsport boot. The perfect combination of motocross protection, hiking boot support, and bedroom slipper comfort.
Blah blah blah. Eff all that. I ain't talking about your run of the mill creature comforts. "oooh, this boot makes my soles feel like unicorns humping infinite furry rainbows made of marshmallows and glitter"!

Nope. This boot isn't for happy trail riding tree-hugging hippies...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New ways to connect!

Check it! We've updated the blog with some exciting new ways to use and connect with Moto Ryder.
On the right-hand column you can Subscribe via email and get blog updates directly into your inbox, or subscribe via RSS in your favorite reader. AAAAAAND you can now actively search the blog to different roads, routes, and keywords. See? Ain't that handy?

You can also connect with Moto Ryder through social media by clicking on any of the following links. Just pick your poison:

Lastly we encourage comments! Have a ride you'd like to recommend? Love/hate our review of different products? Or variations on one of our recommended routes? Just comment below any of the posts.

Happy riding.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Urban Enduro - Apr. 14! via SFRC

It's Monday, ya say? Don't despair! That means you're one day closer to the 5th Annual Alley Sweeper. Put on by the folks with Sang Froid Riding Club.
I'm probably going to be pulling the ammo cans off for this one...

Portland Oregon Alley Sweeper (2012) from Ned Thanhouser on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

2013 Flying 15 MC Spring Opener Rally

I finally participated in my first official Motorcycle Rally. Typically I'm not much of one for big group rides, but I went out on a limb and did the Flying 15 Motorcycle Club's Spring Opener Rally this year. The weather was supposed to be good, I needed some new ride ideas, and figured it'd be sweet to see some of the other rider's in Portland. It was all that, plus I even got myself a little lost on some winding dirt roads. Definitely a win.

For the record I wouldn't recommend this ride as a complete loop, but many of the roads on the map should definitely be included if you're planning on cruising through the area. There's some damn good roads to be had.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


This Sunday... Stop goin' bonkers with the bat in your garage and get out there and ride!

We emerge from the darkness! 
It's the Flying 15 Spring Opener, and DAMNED if it doesn't look like it'll be an effing FIIIIINE day for it.

Details from the Facebook Event:
"The Flying 15 Motorcycle Club welcomes you to the 17th Annual Spring Opener Rally on Sunday, March 24, 2013. Once again we will be starting off at Kelly’s Olympian located at 426 SW Washington St. in Portland. Three blocks of free parking will be reserved for rally participants so motorcycle parking is never a problem. Registration starts at 9:00am, but come early for hot coffee and breakfast specials. Ride starts at 10:00am with the last bike out at 12:00. Registration fee is a $10 donation and will include a poker run card, ride map, event pin and free pass to the after party. As usual, all makes and models are welcome to this and all FFMC events."

Dualsports encouraged to find "alternate routes". Not officially, of course, but I will be...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mount St. Helens Loop from Portland

Today was one of those magnificent mid-March days in Portland that makes you realize that spring is just right around the corner.

It's not, of course, and we still have two to three more months of soul-crushing rain and dismal cloud cover before we really get to enjoy nice weather...

Nevertheless all this sunshine has me thinking of one of my favorite after-work motorcycle rides out of Portland.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Passing the time till summer

Some of you may know, my dad has a strong interest in BMW motorcycles. He's taught me a lot about what I now know and appreciate about motorcycles. His first bike was a 1972 BMW R75/5 and while that bike is long gone, his collection has grown decades later.

I feel very fortunate that this love of BMWs has blessed me with a winter project this year...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gear Review - Icon Pursuit Glove and Fly Trekker Helmet

As this blog continues to grow I feel it's helpful to send out some feedback on some of the gear I'm using, and customizations I'm doing on the bike. Hey, if I can ramble on about why a route may or may not be a good one I can say the same about my gear too, right?

I spent a lot of time going over the KLR last winter, and getting it ready for a solid summer. Somewhere during that time I also decided it was time to invest in a new helmet. The open-faced motocross helmet I used to ride with was an awesome idea at some point I'm sure, but I wanted something more versatile, yet closed faced. I should also mention I'm up against two main issues when it comes to new helmets:
1. I have zero budget (in the negative sense)
2. My head is fucking huge.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Get it while you can

Tonight was one of those freakish mid-winter nights in the Northwest where it's clear, dry, and warm-ish outside. I got home from work (luckily early) and scrambled to get the bike out and warmed up. It was definitely a race against the sun to get any riding during daylight at all, but I made it out for a solid ride around the neighborhood, and even caught sunset from the top of Tabor. And somewhere on the East Side of Tabor I got a little ambitious in my turns when I felt my foot come up as I scraped the left peg. Thankfully this answers a longstanding debate I've had with some friends of mine that the pegs WILL touch before my ammo cans do. Good to know...