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Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
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Pterodactyl Offline
Road Warrior

Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,727
Joined: Sep 2013
Post: #1
Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
I haven’t posted on the forum for some time now and haven’t really been a frequent visitor. Why? Well, certainly not to spurn the good members of this forum, simply to cut down on screen time. I found that it was often easier to open my computer and pleasantly while away an hour or two than it was to, say, load up my kayak and go fishing, go for a ride, play a few holes of golf, swim at nearby Bronte beach or even to do some walking in the surprisingly, considering how close they are to the city, wild and remote mountains and national parks that surround Sydney.

However, after a little nudge from my good mate Cormanus, I have dusted off my keyboard, opened an Imgur account and got down to posting. But where to post? Milestone thread? Seat Time? Technical? Maybe even Introductions considering how long it’s been. For reasons that will, eventually, be apparent the Agony Aunt Column would be good, but, alas, the good Guth has not seen fit to give us that comfort. Any of the aforementioned might suit I guess. I’ll dump it in General Discussion section and let the Mods decide it’s fate.

The Sort-of Introductory Bit

In June and July, Darling and I spent a month in Greece. We spent a week on Mykonos and then, returning to Athens, we hired a car to explore the Peloponnese. After ten days we handed our car in and took a ferry to the island of Hydra. What has that got to do with motorcycles you may ask. Well, nothing really, except that on Hydra all vehicles, and motorcycles are, by law, banned. If you need to go somewhere then it has to be by either horse, donkey, boat or Shanks' pony. With a population of a little less than 2000, great restaurants, welcoming tavernas and beautiful beaches with crystal clear water it is a great place to unwind. Recommended.

Hydra, town and port.
İmage

Who needs a litre bike?
İmage



The Milestone Bit

Thursday last week; 24degC, wind light and variable with some scattered fair weather cumulus cloud. Perfect for a ride. I slipped on my Ixon textile gear, checked Last Blast’s tyre pressures and oil level, geared up and headed south from Sydney. Filling up on the city outskirts I noted the odometer at 99893kms. I rode through the Royal National Park and then on to Mt Keira lookout. Perched 460m (about 1600ft) on the escarpment above Wollongong, Mt Keira gives a stunning view, as they say in the realty ads, of Wollongong and nearby coast.

İmage

After contemplating the scenery for twenty minutes or so I saddled up and turned towards home. The odometer showed 30kms to 100k. Not wanting to stop for a milestone photo on a freeway or on narrow twisty bits I considered the options. It was 28kms to Bald Head Lookout in the Royal National Park. Perfect. Here’s a photo of our good mate Inhouse Bob, earlier in the year, admiring a not quite so stunning view from Bald Hill.

İmage

As an aside, on a recent ride with Cormanus (and more of that later) we discussed whether it was appropriate, when rain was on the horizon, to call out "Bob’s-a-comin”. Or worse still, “Wets on! Bob’s-a-here!”. That bloke is more effective at the precipitation game than a Zuni rain dancer, or a C130 cloud seeding operation. My poor attempt at humour aside, we would love to see Bob in Australia again and show him the real view from Bald Hill (and a number of other spots that were cancelled due weather).

With one eye on the odometer, and the other on Google Maps, I made a short detour through Helensburg and rolled into the Bald Hill car park just as 100k ticked over.

İmage

Here’s the view with Bob safely tucked away on the other side of the Pacific.

İmage

İmage

İmage

The Very Abbreviated Seat Time Bit

Earlier in the year Cormanus and I hatched a plan to ride to the Australian MotoGP and then, after the GP, take the car ferry to Tasmania and spend a week riding the great motorcycle roads the Island State has to offer. Cormanus also had some family business to attend to while there. I won't attempt to describe in detail the trip but I will say, without hesitation, if you ever intend to take a motorcycle tour of Tasmania, and you surely should, then for a guide choose Cormanus. In the week we were there we got around most of Tasmania, rode the best roads and had a great time. Thanks Mate. Recommended.

However, back to the MotoGP ride. I met Cormanus, who had bypassed Sydney on his ride down from Brisbane, at the Robertson Pie Shop, about 100kms to the south-west of Sydney. After a pie and a coffee we rode through Kangaroo Valley to Nowra and then on to the Braidwood Hotel for the night. Over a few refreshing beers, a little red wine, and some good pub grub we pondered the next day ride options and decided we would take a generally coastal route to Phillip Island. We planned to deviate from the coast road to ride a couple of the roads that link the coast to the mountains and plateaus of the Great Dividing Range. All these are lightly trafficked, lightly monitored by the law (not that we would ever break any laws) and very heavily twisted.

We left Braidwood next morning to effect the "plan". The weather was overcast and cool. As we proceeded eastward and came to the downhill run to the coast the overcast lowered. During the next hour we experienced, in my opinion at least, one of those rides that are memorable for their nightmare qualities; up there with thunderstorm rides, heavy rain rides or falling over on dirt kind of rides. The problem? Just fog, that's all. But dense fog, a thick pea soup that reduces visibility to around 30 meters at best and makes everything, including the road, very, very, wet. The kind of, well, let's say, cussed stuff that makes a mat of small beads that cling to the visor like pooh to a blanket and will not be removed except by a glove wipe, and then only for a millisecond. The kind of stuff that produces internal fogging of the visor that needs one to crack the same to clear but also lets cold, moisture laden air into the helmet. All this on a downhill section of twisties that, on a good day, would be motorcycle Nirvana but on this day was replete with hard-driven, tail-gating, windscreen wipered and air-conditioned four wheel drives that seemed intent on terrifying two CB riders relying on engine braking alone to negotiate corners that would give no indication of what, or who, was more than a few meters ahead. Couldn't slow down (who wants to be rear ended), couldn't speed up (poor adhesion and can't see) and with no shoulder to stop and get some respite, forty minutes of this felt like an eternity. At one stage, on a nasty bend, I thought Cormanus was going to over-run me and then he slid back and disappeared from view for the next twenty minutes until I could find a place to safely stop and wait. Later, on comparing notes with Cormanus, I believe that I had it a little better than him as my helmet is equiped with a Pinlock Visor System that gave some measure of relief from internal fogging. Recommended.

Down on the coastal strip the weather cleared and all was good. Our spirits soared and our hearts were filled with joy as we rolled the throttles on. In the nature of motorcyclists our travails were quickly forgotten, at least for the moment. We also managed to howl past those who had given us such a hard time coming down the mountain. Revenge is sweet, even if only imagined.

After spending the night at Cann River, and doing some pondering in a similar manner to the previous night we headed for the Fish Creek Hotel, which at about 60kms from Phillip Island, was to be our base for the weekend (no camping for us this year). This would normally entail riding a particularly boring piece of the Princess Highway between Bairnsdale and Sale, about 100kms of straight, heavily policed road that despite the amount of revenue raised along its length still seems to produce some notable accident statistics. The main cause is almost certainly sheer boredom leading to inattention. However, some years ago, our good friend and forum member, Noroomtomove, had pointed us in the direction of a pleasant country road that bypasses this piece of highway and, in his honour, Cormanus and I now refer to this road as the "Eijnar Highway". Previously Mr and Mrs Noroomtomove had invited us to lunch with them and so around midday we pulled into their property in a rural setting, which, curiously enough, has plenty of room to move. It was good to be welcomed by the Noroomtomoves (and again many thanks to them). After a great lunch of excellent sandwiches and many cups of tea to wash down the chatter we set out for Fish Creek. We were disappointed that due to family commitments Noroomtomove was not able to accompany us to the GP as he has done in the past. His white CB was in the garage and looking good.

The Fish Creek Hotel - sometimes called "The Fishy"
İmage

Those who are interested would have seen what transpired at the Australian MotoGP as Marquez continued his march to another World Championship while the Moto3 World Champion, Mir, cemented his place in motorcycle history so I will leave that alone. While at the track I met up with a group of friends that I have accompanied on rides to previous GPs. Cormanus and I joined them and we watched the race from turn 6 (Siberia). Younger, and mostly much more adept and faster riders than I, they are a great group of blokes and have always made me feel welcome both on the ride and camping with them. I had developed a friendship with one of the lads' father, a lifelong and very keen motorcyclist. I was saddened to learn that earlier in the year he had developed a cancer and, perhaps mercifully, quickly passed away. After the race and the crowd had dispersed Cormanus and I joined them as we scattered his ashes on the grass inside of turn 3. A few words were spoken and a beer or two consumed. Dusk had fallen and we were in prime skippy time for the last of the run back to Fish Creek. Fortunately none were sighted.

On the Monday evening, we pulled up in Melbourne Docklands to board The Spirit of Tasmania. We had some time to spare as Cormanus had arranged for us to meet with another forum member, Aussieflyer, at the Station Pier. We heard him before we saw him. Not overloud, but a very distinctive, and some would say perfect, note from the exhausts. And the bike? Well, a real tribute to Aussieflyer's imagination, workmanship and attention to detail. A true café racer and in absolutely concourse condition. In a word, superb. And his mate Mick's Suzuki was not bad either. I don't have photos but am hoping Cormanus will bulk up this thread with photos and comments, or even give us another chapter of the Cormanus Chronicles to help me out.

Next morning, leaving the Spirit, we started our Tasmania ride. On day one we explored Cradle Mountain, rode to Burnie on the north coast and then down the west coast to Strahan. The west coast is exposed to the frequent low pressure systems that march unhindered from the Antarctic across and up from the Southern Ocean. West coast weather conditions can often and for long periods be very motorcycle unfriendly. Heavy rain, snow and ice are common all year round. Average rainfall is about 80ins a year, producing a wilderness area noted for its isolation, rainforests, wild rivers and lakes. But we struck it lucky. The weather was cool and generally fine making great riding conditions to match some really good roads.

Cradle Mountain, summer but still with some snow and ice
İmage

Cormanus atop the same
İmage

Strahan at dusk
İmage

After a night at Strahan (pronounced "Strawn") we rode on to Hobart. On the way we passed Derwent Bridge where, thirty years ago, I introduced Darling to the joys of bushwalking in the Tasmanian wilderness. We had three glorious days of trekking, trout fishing and camping around Lake Petrach. Steep terrain, flats covered with difficult to traverse button grass, constant rain, some sleet, mud and midges with the odd snake sighting. Oh, I nearly forgot the leeches. I loved it. Since then Darling has held fast to: "Spending the night under the stars is fine. It just has to be five stars". Hasn't stopped me though.

There followed three days of great day rides out from Hobart. A day with Cormanus and his mate Richard and wife (on a very nice BMW) to Port Arthur; a day by myself (Cormanus doing family duty) riding to the top of Mt Wellington and then to the south west of Hobart and, finally, a day ride with Cormanus where he showed me a couple of very scenic and motorcycle challenging roads that I had missed the previous day. All very, very, good stuff.

Cormanus and BMW K1200 riding friends
İmage

Hobart from Mt Wellington
İmage

Leaving Hobart we rode up the east coast. Most of the moisture pushed onto Tasmania's west coast remains there making the east coast a different country. Scenic but dryer and more akin to the east coast of the mainland. We had a good run up to St Helens for the night. Highlight of the ride was some "spirited" riding amongst a group of bikes on the Lake Leake Rd up to Campbelltown (some twisties and brilliant sweepers). While in Hobart, Cormanus had a dealer change his CB's chain and sprockets and the chain needed some adjustment by St Helens, probably from piling on the torque on the Lake Leake Rd. Next morning we did find a motorcycle workshop on the outskirts of St Helens, East Coast Motorcycles. As we rolled into the driveway I couldn't help but be reminded of Billy Bob Thornton's workshop in the movie U Turn, a 1997 neo-western neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. But, in fact, the truth couldn't have been further from that. This bloke knew as much about motorcycles, and maybe more, as anyone I've known. Racing bikes to home made rat bikes, all there. And all showed the signs of someone who knew what they were doing. Cormanus' chain was adjusted very smartly and in the true Aussie tradition of helping out a bloke on the road, no charge, with the laconic "She'll be right, mate". Highly Recommended.


That evening we boarded the Spirit at Devonport and next morning arrived in Melbourne. The weather had turned to wet and cool, cold in the mountains. We rode northward from Melbourne over some interesting roads in the Healesville to Marysville area. Mind you, in the dry they would have been a whole lot more interesting. The area itself is heavily forested so wet bark and leaf litter made for a cautious but enjoyable ride. Reaching Marysville we then skirted the Snowy Mountains region and rode to Mt Beauty for the night. Once again, we did some serious pondering regarding the next days ride.

Marysville Tavern (Victoria), Rhododendrons, CBs and
Cormanus
İmage

Leaving Bright we headed north west to Ebden on the banks of the Hume Reservoir, formed in 1936 by the damming of the mighty Murray River. After some good seasons (thanks Bob, you helped) it was brimming and surrounded by lush green countryside. After breakfast at Ebden and a short stop at the dam itself, we rode the delightful Murray River Road, well described by Cormanus in previous Seat Time threads.

Hume Dam, Victoria
İmage

Our initial plan was to ride to Corryong then, due to the uncertain weather, skirt the Snowy Mountains and head north towards Sydney. While having lunch in Corryong both Cormanus and I kept casting glances to the east towards the Snowy Mountains and tried to convince ourselves that the weather over the mountains was improving. Surely it was. Wasn't it? Surely that cloud looks as though it is lifting. Doesn't it? Well, to quote young Oscar, "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” So we did. Thirty minutes later we were blasting up Swampy Plains Road climbing into the Jagungal Wilderness. The clouds had indeed parted and the road surface was dry. Talk about Twist and Shout. This was serious fun. Concentrating on the road ahead took the mind away from the cold and we were elated when we stopped at Cabramurra, Australia's highest town, for a self serve refuel and a little sight seeing from a nearby lookout. Another hour on we had descended to Gundagai and were headed for the Boorowa Hotel where Mike, the Kiwi Irish publican, helped us wash the dust from our throats. Several times. Later we played darts with Mick and a couple of friendly locals. The rules of the game I never did comprehend but apparently everyone has a chance until the last few throws, I think. I slept well.

Boorowa - from the hotel verandah
İmage

Well, good readers, if you have stuck with me to here I thank you. But all good things must come to an end. We rode out of Boorowa through Crookwell and the Abercrombie Gorge, all good riding, to the Tarana Hotel. After a killer burger for lunch, it was time for Cormanus and I to go our seperate ways. For Cormanus another 1000kms to Brisbane and home; for me a mere 180kms to home for a total of about 5150kms for the ride.

It is always a privilege to ride with Cormanus and I have to thank this forum for introducing us. We have riden many tens of thousands of kilometres together since June 2014 and I do hope that we have a few more rides left in us. Just in case you think I am being too kind to him, remember he was the dolt who accidentally deleted my Milestone thread and then replaced it with his own. I have therefore, by Pterodactylian decree, declared his Milestone thread unauthorised, even provocative. I have taken offence and thus sought a safe space in the General Discussion section for my Milestone post.


The Sort-of Technical Bit

Most of us have riding habits that sometimes we are almost unaware of. I guess that's why we call them habits. After an hour or so of touring riding, when coming to a reduction in the speed limit, normally upon approaching an urban area, I tend to let go of the handlebar, drop my hands to my sides and steer the bike with my knees for a few seconds. Easy. It relaxes me and resets me to Urban Mode. You know, the mode that prioritises being aware of motorists with mobile phones rather than Touring Mode where corner speed entry tends to take priority. After disembarking from the Spirit of Tasmania and less than an hour into our Tasmania ride on decelerating I released the bar. To my surprise Last Blast took a distinct liking to making a left turn with me automatically leaning my body to keep running straight while I quickly replaced my hands on the bar. I then noticed that with the wheel running straight that the handle bar was turned to the right. With both hands on and leaning on the bar the effect was not really noticeable, but it was there. What was going on? My theory is that the tie down procedure on the Spirit was the cause. On riding to the allocated deck and parking position the bike is left on the center stand in first gear with the steering unlocked. The crew then attach two substantial fabric tie down straps with mechanical ratchet tightners to both sides of the bar until the the bike is secure with the front forks firmly compressed. They also apply the front brake and secure the brake lever with an elastic band. I suspect this twisted the forks out of alignment. So why not Cormanus' bike? Well, he has a fork brace and I suspect my bottom bridge pinch bolts may have been a little under-torqued.

So, how to straighten this out. I used the following procedure:

First check the rear wheel is aligned by checking the index marks on the adjustor plates. Then:
1. Loosen the steering stem nut. To get a socket on this the bar needs to be lifted. When done replace the bar; no need to fully torque. Ensure the top bridge bolts are at correct torque.
2. Loosen the bottom bridge bolts. Leave almost finger tight.
3. Loosen the right axle pinch bolts, the axle bolt and then the left axle pinch bolts. Leave all almost finger tight.
4. Loosen both left and right brake caliper bolts to almost finger tight.
5. Loosen the mudguard mounting bolts.

When I say, "almost finger tight", I mean take to finger tight and back off a turn.

If you have help get the helper to hold the bike from the rear while it rests on front and rear wheel. Mount up with feet on the pegs and, firmly pushing forward onto the front bridge, throw your weight onto the front suspension and bounce it up and down several times. Continue until you see that the front wheel and the bar are aligned with the fore and aft axis of the bike. I didn't have help so with the bike on the center stand I held the front brake on and trying to not put any input to the bars threw my weight forward to bounce the front suspension releasing the brake and bar as the suspension compressed and rebounded. I had to put brake input incase the bike came forward and off the centre stand leaving me and the bike lying on the floor. This straightened things up but not completely so I put the front tyre against a cement column and pushed the bar to help align it with the front wheel. I then did the bouncy bouncy bit again and all came good. Then I followed this:

1. Torque up the steering stem nut and the handlebar upper holder bolts
2. Torque up the center bridge bolts.
3. Torque up the axle bolt
4. Torque up the right axle pinch bolts
5. Torque up the caliper bolts*
5. With the front brake applied pump the fork up and down several times to seat the axle
6. Torque up the left axle pinch bolts
7. Tighten up the mudguard.

Recheck that all is correctly aligned and torqued in case you, or I, have forgotten something. Check front brake operation. Go for a ride and check that on deceleration with the bar released the bike runs straight and true. Last Blast did so.

*Note that Honda requires the caliper bolts (ALOC bolts) to be replaced after loosening or removing. I don't often do this. Instead I apply medium strength Loctite and make sure I don't over-torque. So far so good.

The Agony Aunt Column
or
"There is no fool like an old fool"

Dear Aunt Agutha,

Please help me. In February 2012 I took a CB1100 (build date 6/10), pure and unsullied, from the showroom. In Candy Glory Red it was a sight to behold. I'm a pretty constant sort of bloke and I was so sure that our union would last me well into my twilight years (I'm in my 73rd year) that I named that CB Last Blast. In the past I have had flings with Triumphs, BSAs, Matchless', Ducatis and Hondas. The Ducati I particularly remember as being a monster, not only by name but by nature; high maintenance that one. One ageing Triumph ('61 T120) is still, like a maiden aunt, in my possession but sees no action. But flings were all they were. Honest. I thought that Last Blast was the real thing and as we cruised towards our 100k anniversary all was well.

Then, walking through the Exhibitors Pavilion at the 2016 WSBK at Phillip Island it happened. Across a crowded room I caught sight of a shapely young Italian. My pulse quickened, my head spun and the desire to possess, quite frankly, overtook me and has become an obsession. However, to realise this obsession I would have to consign my faithful Last Blast to the realm of bikesales.com.au, a realm of no longer wanted bikes characterised as "pre-loved". Does Last Blast deserve this fate? Does the Italian need me or do the carers just want my money (about AUD25.000, ride away)?

Your advice is eagerly awaited.

Pterodactyl.

The Photo Competition Bit

This is not a competition for the best photo but is a test of observation. One of the above photos that I have posted contains an anomaly. What, who or where is it? Who sees it? Easy peasy really and I am sure that blokes like Popgun, Ferret or Django will be all over it. Can you beat them to it? Go on, have a go.

Merry Christmas to you all. I hope you have a happy and healthy 2018.

Don't ride safe. It's boring.
(This post was last modified: 12-07-2017 04:24 AM by Pterodactyl.)
12-07-2017 04:23 AM
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Vic Offline
1st Service Completed

Indiana, USA
Posts: 70
Joined: Apr 2016
Post: #2
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
omg . last blast has served you well. never say never they say, maybe next one can be named it'sa blast. Biker Happy new year.

2014 CB1100 Standard
12-07-2017 04:44 AM
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The ferret Offline
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 18,364
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #3
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
Welcome back Big Bird. You have been missed. Nice write up and congrats on the 100K milestone on Last Blast.

I dont remember the dressing up.. Square mirrors, color matched side covers, dart screen and cafe seat. When did all that happen? Looks great and suits you.

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300
"a good chunk of life's problems can be solved by going for a ride"...Guth ..... "daily" ...Ferret
12-07-2017 05:27 AM
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Rocky Offline
Road Warrior

Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 1,987
Joined: Apr 2014
Post: #4
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
Great post. Well worth the wait Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

Still rockin', rollin', and ridin' after all these years
'67 BSA 441 VR, '70 Triumph Tiger 100, '02 Honda CB900F, '06 Triumph T100 Bonneville, '14 Honda CB1100A
12-07-2017 05:46 AM
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Django Offline
High Mileage

Germany
Posts: 888
Joined: Oct 2014
Post: #5
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
Hi Ptero, long time not seen. However, looks like you're enjoying life. Thumbs Up

Great write up, as always really entertaining, reminding me, why I missed your posts.

The milestone picture: I wondered about the odometer view, 0 rpms suggest stalled engine, but no control lights, while ignition has to be switched on to show mileage? Is that the anomaly?

Some words to the Italian bride: I can tell you from experience: it will hurt you, seriously. But if you really cant resist, how about Last Blast II ? Rolleyes

Nice to see you. Beer

73 Django -- IBA #59882 -- Django Tours -- Django on CB1100
This message was signaled with a flashlight into the end of a fiber.
(This post was last modified: 12-07-2017 06:57 AM by Django.)
12-07-2017 06:52 AM
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curlyjoe Offline
High Mileage

Massachusetts
Posts: 1,312
Joined: Jul 2014
Post: #6
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
Beautiful pics and prose, Pterodactyl! Welcome back and congrats on the milestone. Thumbs Up

The only anomaly I see is on 2 photos of your trusty steed. No RLETS. Maybe that's the source of your handling issues. Smile

2013 CB1100 ABS
2008 ST1300
(This post was last modified: 12-07-2017 07:34 AM by curlyjoe.)
12-07-2017 07:34 AM
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Ben70 Offline
1st Service Completed

NCAL
Posts: 206
Joined: Sep 2016
Post: #7
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
Great travelog/ride report! You have been missed. Thanks for the update!

Ben
12-07-2017 08:08 AM
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pdedse Online
Running Like a Top

Oregon
Posts: 456
Joined: Dec 2013
Post: #8
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
Wow, after that post, it's obvious you missed us!

Beautiful photos.
12-07-2017 09:45 AM
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GaryMNM Offline
1st Service Completed

Northern New Mexico
Posts: 89
Joined: Aug 2015
Post: #9
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
Great pic's and write-up indeed! Thanks for taking the time to put it all together and share it. Thumbs Up
12-07-2017 09:47 AM
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use2b Offline
Running Like a Top

Perdido Key Florida
Posts: 557
Joined: Aug 2016
Post: #10
RE: Last Blast turns 100k and More. About to join the “pre-loved”?
amazing post , congrats on the 100000K and that tree is the Duck's Guts !

The best part about growing up in Florida is i didn't have to move here when i got old.
2013 CB1100AD K10
12-07-2017 10:24 AM
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