A Vintage Honda Ride to Bear Mtn.

Scott Checks His Bike...

Scott and I decided to take a ride yesterday, to shake down and flesh out any issues with the vintage Honda.  Our plan is to leave Thursday for the big trip, so a little test ride was in order.  The weather was cool, but beautiful, so the choice to head up north to Bear Mountain seemed like a good one.  Met at the garage, got the bikes ready, bundled up and headed off through Manhattan, toward better riding roads.  There is nothing like Manhattan to let you know your choice to get to less congested areas is the right one.  The minute we hit traffic in the city, I was ready for the more open roads…

BMW DIY foot peg

Heading over the GWB and then north on the Palisades was nice, but what I really looked forward to was getting to the twisties up on the mountain, and the surrounding areas.  Stopped for a break at a rest area, and met two Canadians on BMW GS1200s, making their way from Western Canada, all the way down to Costa Rica.  Cool guys, and their bikes were packed with tons of fun.  Fishing poles, camping gear, and the best little trick I’ve seen in a long time.  The one guy had priced the highway pegs at the BMW dealer, and opted for the cheaper golf club handles, cut off and clamped to the engine guard.  Great call.  Love to see the fancy bikes with DIY mods.

A couple young sport bike riders admire (?) the CB550

Once we got up the Palisades, we kept on route 9W into the town of Highland Falls.  Stopped for some food at Tony’s Pizza, a hangout for some of the cadets from West Point.  Back on the bikes to meet up with another Moto Preserve member, who had already reached the top of Bear Mountain.  For anyone who has never made the trip up to this area, you take Palisades to exit 19, then 7 Lakes Drive to Perkins Road.  At the top, the overlook is gorgeous.  Bikes everywhere, and a little overwhelming when you first pull in.  We found our man, parked, and then looked around at all the other bikes, probably 100 or more in all.  Turns out, we were the only 2 vintage bikes on the mountain.  This seemed to work in our favor, since many of the other riders came up and checked out the “archaic” looking scoots, compared to their brand new, shiny sports bikes.

View from the top of Bear Mtn.

I loved the way our bikes looked, parked among the modern technology.  Scott’s bike was perfect sandwiched between 2 newer Honda’s.

Honda, new and old...

Made our way back home, hitting the Goat Trail, one of the twistiest roads in this area.  A good friend from the SOHC forum met us at the scenic stop along the trail, and blocked traffic for us, so we could have a leisurely but brisk pace through the turns.  A very good time indeed.

The trip ended well, other than the sudden downpour as we exited the Saw Mill Parkway, onto the Henry Hudson.  Up ahead you could see the sky get intimidating looking, and once we approached upper Manhattan, the skies opened up, and the downpour put a damper on the final leg of the trip.  Overall, the day was a success, and the issues we discovered will be important to address, before we leave for the longer trip later in the week.  Stay tuned…

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