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Great American West, Revisited

For the second year in a row, I decided to ride a naked bike from Los Angeles to the Tetons and back again. I cunningly waited for my wife to go to work before stealing her new Yamaha SR400 for the trip, and was safely in Ridgecrest before she’d found out.

I completely varied my choice of roads compared to my 2015 ride; this time, I traveled through Death Valley National Park and across the Nevada high desert before entering Utah and sneaking up the east side of the Uintas. I took my favorite road from Soda Springs and approached the Tetons and the Big Hole mountains from the south.

The return route to Los Angeles was a rough affair, as I fought gusty headwinds almost the entire ride back south.  The SR400’s 25 horses were proud and brave, but at 6’2″/200 lbs, I was a big ol’ sail for the gutsy little bike.  Not as bad as Patagonia howlers mind you, but when I rolled back into L.A. after the 2400 mile roundtrip, I was admittedly windblown and weary. Still, fairings or windscreens be damned, I was pleased to have ridden only 130 interstate miles, the balance on wonderfully empty secondary roads of the Great American West.

Armed with a big smile, I reported to my wife that her SR400 had performed flawlessly, confirming its household standing as an honest, unpretentious motorcycle with very good fit and finish.

She was not amused.

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