Friday, November 29, 2013

Had a great Thanksgiving dinner with friend Ray and his family.  They are from Iran.   Father and brother are
from Iran.  Very interesting to be with. they speak aramaic.  "The language of Jesus", they said.  Very proud of that.  Food was super.  Turkey, Ham, potatoes, yams, Beef chunks with spinach, beans.

Ray's wife is mexican.  Made desert: yams with marshmellow, brown sugar and condensed milk... like candy or somores.

Coffee, brandy , tea, wine, tequila, scotch, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Photo is Ray on Nov 1 out at El Mirage Dry lake
Found on friends FB post...  Best Video of the year!   Lean into it, pick your line, and put weight on the outside peg.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rocks sand and mud at El Mirage Dry Lake

Fun afternoon at El Mirage!   First ride was a fun climb up one of the foothills of the Shadow Mountains north of the lake.   More to post later.

12:04 AM,,,  OK,,, this is later...   I know I need to post more than just pics and videos here but I am so ADHD that typing gets me borzonged quickly.

Here's today's scoop.   Friend Alan from south of here picked up on my invitation of a forum to ride here in the desert.   He came over and we swapped stories while he unloaded and then we started down the (up the) camp road to the base of the shadow mountains.  Alan stands about 6' 3" and is built like a football player...  I could tell he was chomping at the bit to get up into the rock trails so when we reached the end of the road I let him lead the way up onto one of the foothills of the Shadow Mountains.   What a hoot!!!   Was a really great climb and we both managed it well.   

The video from the downhill return trip had a glitch so you miss the big BANG when I clipped a rock with y right side canister... PVC TLC will start tomorrow...   

We headed back to camp to put my stuff that had been in the canister away and then headed to the other trails.   I wasn't feeling must right so I asked if he would mind looking for sand and mud around the lake.  We headed west on Lake road to the north fence line and took turns leading the way through the sand, brush and mud slicks...  

Ever hear the phrase, "If it's gray, stay away?"   There were some guys riding out on the lake bed which is now closed due to water and mud...  When we reached the north boundary markers I leaned into a right turn right while I was crossing a mud slick...  Landing in sand is such a blessing...   The rest of the ride to the west end of the lake went pretty well.  Most of the road was just wet sand.   Where it got deep we kept the speed up and took out chances on the woop's.   I know that my front forks bottomed out a couple times.   

At the far west end of the property the fence line crosses the lake with a sign reading, "NO access to south when lake is closed."  We pulled up there and talked about the SCTA peeps who live along that fence on the private property side... lots of (like hundreds) old cars and trucks just rusting away...   Alan suggested that the economy would get a great boost if the owner would sell the vehicles and let hobby people buy them for restoration projects... lots of parts and labor would come out of putting the rigs on the open market.

When we turned around and headed back Alan led the way.  I commented that at least if he fell I would know not to follow that track...   Doesn't he get into a big patch of waterholes and mud and was waiving me off as I approached.   He managed to stay upright but the tracks were fun to see.   

Most of the lake ride was between 30 and 45 mph in an effort to stay on top of the sand.   It wasn't as deep as last week due to the rain, but most of the trail was 2-3" of loose stuff, so there was no way to drive it slow.   

I am certain that we passed one of the SCTA guys who was standing by on his side of the fence, but there was no way to slow down and chat at that point.  

The water holes filled some of the woops and that was a bit of a challenge...   finding a line to stay in the dry stuff at 45 MPH, and dunie bushes all over, was a good trick.   I had no choice at one point than to drive thru a water hole and took a pretty good shower...   Made it thru though...  That might be on one of the videos... will post later.

Once we reached the Hess Ranch (along the north fence) we were on pretty good roads and made short work of the 3 or 4 miles back to camp.   Always a good thing to end the day with a comfy ride to the finish.

Back at camp we shared a couple brews (Thank you Alan) and talked war stories while I admired my fresh mud coating and Alan loaded his bike...   You should see this dude run his bike up into his truck... advantages of being a semi-giant.

Sounds like Alan enjoyed the adventure.   He asked how he could get in on this BLM volunteer program so I told him about the Ambassador volunteers and forwarded his name to the boss for getting linked up.   

Will try to get to the other videos soon.   Travel safe!    Jeff

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Adult Helite Airnest Equestrian Airbag Vest
is one of the Products of the Week for June 2013!

Airbag Vests - the Cutting Edge in Safety!! 

Helite Airnest Equestrian Airbag Vests are the newest, most cutting edge safety vests available for equestrians.  Over 25,000 vests have been sold in Europe over the past five years.
The Helite Airnest Vest protects the upper part of the body by absorbing shock and distributing the pressure of a fall. It also limits extra torsion movements because when the vest is inflated it makes the rider take a natural contracting position, while still enabling the rider to round his neck and roll as that is one of the best natural means to land and protect oneself.
It is quick and easy to connect the lanyard to the vehicle. . In the event of a fall causing inflation, the vest is completely re-usable, just replace the gas canister.   

The Helite Airnest Equestrian Airbag Vests is:

  • Reliable:  The vest inflates 100% in case of a fall, and yet has no history of unexpected inflations. 
  • Effective: The vest inflates very quickly and protects in less than 100 milliseconds after activation.
  • Reslient:  The vest is made of very strong  material and thread, in order to resist the high air pressure, as well as the added external pressure of a fall at high speeds and heights. 
Call me for details:   Jeff Kurtz -  570-401-4843

The Helite Airnest Equestrian Airbag Vest features:

  • CE certified airbag with 100 milisecond inflation time
  • KNOX CE certified semi-hard back protector
  • Inner textile 3D Air Mesh for comfort and ventilation
  • Free under the arms for freedom of movement
  • Discrete adjustable buckles to fit different jacket thicknesses
  • Easy, fast and strong fastening buckles
Here you gadget man Gary Weaver. Saw this at Lucas off road expo. Jump starter for my Sertao (which decides to take days off that don't match mine...) Will also power phone, wifi, pacemaker and vibra-whatever...

Dear Abby,

At 12,000 miles I had sole replaced on my Sears construction boot with 50,000 mile warranty.   At 24,000 miles the boot is coming apart at the heel.   

Will this silicone fix last or should I quit dragging my feet?    

Glueless in California.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Helite Air Bag Motor-vehicle Vest information

Contact Helite here in the US and Canada for quick details and delivery.

My name is Jeff Kurtz and I am your contact for Helite Air Bag Motorvehicle Vests here in the US.  The differences between these vests and out equestrian vests are the design of the triggering lanyard attachment and the insertion of a Class II back brace in the motorcycle vests.  Otherwise they are exactaly the same vests.

Here is a link to more details about Helite Air Bag Vests: US Details <<<

Below, you will find links to the corporate websites which are based in France.  You can contact me directly or send an inquiry through the corporate website and it will be forwarded to me directly.

Most sizes are in stock at my location in PA.  Vests can be purchased via paypal or credit card and will be shipped by priority within 24 hours.

Helite is the original inventor of the unique lanyard triggered inflation system that has been is use world wide for over 12 years.   Until recently Helite was the manufacturer of the Point Two air vests as will be seen on the manufacturers label inside vests sold before January 2013.  No other vest manufacturer has a triggering system as reliable and functional in any direction of travel.

Many of my customers have seen me demonstrate the Helite Air Bag vests at BMW rallies and BMW Motorcycle Owners Association (MOA) meetings.  Some of these sessions have been posted online on YouTube and on my personal motorcycle travel blog

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Collecting comments about the BMW lifestyle and how we avoid accidents for hundreds of thousands of miles... knock wood!

  • Lance LeFort Sometimes it's best to roll your eyes and walk away. Life is short and you don't want to spend it talking like an actuarial to someone who has decided to listen to the " motorcycling is dangerous" crowd.
  • Jeff Payne Well CLEDUS has been in every state in the lower there is some good stuff.rode over 250000.miles and ride your on pace.and also all of what Kyle b said.stop and take pictures we will love them when we are old.

  • Kyle L. Brandenburger commented on your post in GS Giants.
    Kyle L. Brandenburger
    Kyle L. Brandenburger8:26am Nov 17
    I've never kept track of miles, besides off-road miles are like "dog years"!
    Comment History
    Steve Smith
    Steve Smith8:17am Nov 17
    Been riding for 45 yrs. Over 200K BMW miles since 1995. Rear ended twice. Once while sitting still at a pay booth at a campground at bikeweek in Daytona (rear ended by a Harley rider) and once while in rush hour traffic in the HOV lane in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I was coming to a stop and was rear ended by a cage driver talking on his cell phone. No other BMW street bike accidents. I was wearing a high viz mesh jacket in accident two. Many of years of dual sport riding with only minor get offs. No injuries and no high viz.
    Brad A. Calbert
    Brad A. Calbert8:09am Nov 17
    I attribute a large measure of my safe riding habits to track time.
    Kyle L. Brandenburger
    Kyle L. Brandenburger6:59am Nov 17
    Being a good rider is just like being good at most things: The more times you do it, the better you get at doing it. The many miles of road, or trails teach you things which you will experience again in the future. I always say that I learn something on every ride. On the other side of this spectrum, it helps to know where your limits are and where your bike's limits are. Knowing the limits and testing them is a large part of the GS Giants! Once you know what you can do and what the bike is capable of doing with you on it there aren't a lot of scenarios that you haven't experienced. Time in the seat!!!
    Jeff Kurtz
    Jeff Kurtz6:40am Nov 17
    Good responses to all... looking forward to hearing from others. Travel safe!
    Mark Carrera
    Mark Carrera6:16am Nov 17
    Jeff, on a PR note (not belonging to the "biker-Set"...I usually listen for questions closely. If the audience is responsive to my replies, I add a little bit about our image VS the leather'd one's. I point out that when I am at a fuel or lunch stop, I experience positive interaction with the public and always get interesting questions. In contrast, I have observed the leather clad group either ignored completely or avoided all together. So, I describe our style as this, all terrain explorers.
    View All Comments
    Original Post
    Jeff Kurtz
    Jeff Kurtz10:53pm Nov 16
    How do we describe our lifestyle? I talk to people about our adventures and they have no idea. They are generic "motorcycles are dangerous" mind sets... Does anyone have stats on Hi-viz vs sleeveless t-shirt accident history? BMW miles traveled per incident? Comparison to the ;biker; set?

    This is a topic I want to explore in detail.

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    Saturday, November 16, 2013

    OK... so I will start to define 2014 travel plans.  Mackenzie graduates from AIT in March (I think...)  in Gulfport LA.   Will spend spring heading that way. 

    How do we describe our lifestyle?  I talk to people about our adventures and they have no idea.  They are generic "motorcycles are dangerous" mind sets...   Does anyone have stats on Hi-viz vs sleeveless t-shirt accident history?  BMW miles traveled per incident?   Comparison to the ;biker; set?

    This is a topic I wish to explore.

    Brad A. Calbert 200,000+ accident free miles. I am a motorcyclist.

    Today was a 4 Wheel day.  yep...   almost like training wheels.   Am now certified as a ATV operator with the feds...  Watch out, Bonnie and Clyde!

    Video from half of yesterday's ride:

    Out doing fences...

    Friday, November 15, 2013

    Riding fences in the Mohave Desert.

    Started the day at dawn on photo assignment.  Transportation was the Sertao, and the ride was as nice as the photos.  You can see the photo assignment results better at

    The thing at the left is called a 'dunnie.'   Veggie starts and nature creates a dune around it.  Mid-day the lighting is so FLAT that you can't hardly see these things... not fun unprepared at 45+mph.

    This is called Feet-Up.   A common position when not on the bike.

    This is called u-turn not properly balanced...   The footing is tricky...  when you are going in a straight line it seems solid.   Turn just a fraction and things dig in and wash out.   Gotta do u-turns way over the outside like a trials turn.

    This is a fence.  Not something you will see on a GS Track.  They are best left alone or crossed with an end-run.

    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Still pretty, even though out of gas...   
    When will I learn???    The light came on Friday when returning from the Rt 1 drive...   but there SHOULD be 75 miles left in the fuel tank...   Drove around the races all day Saturday and Sunday.   Let's see... the track is 2 miles west of here on the dry lake-bed.   Track is two miles long and 1/2 mile wide.   Down and back a couple times...   drove around talking to drivers and friends...   I guess that was all it took.

    Fortunately was only 5 miles from camp on the way to town when it quit... and there was still a guy at camp who had access to the gas cans in the maintenance building...   

    Time to buy emergency fuel container to keep on-board.

    View from the birthday tent...
    Ray and his son-in-law adopted me for the Nov 2nd day on the lake.   Hosted cookout and beverages.   This was the view looking south across the lake from the lawn chairs.   Always nice to make new friends.

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    Weekend of speed races and photos

    Well, folks... I didn't do much riding this weekend... was on assignment at El Mirage Dry Lake for SCTA (So Cal Timing Assn) land speed races.  Two day end-of-season event.   Great fun... Dozens of new friends.

    There are about 100 photos posted from the 2,000 frames I shot.  Will try to set up link to a slide show.   

    Entries included any number of wheels!  2 wheels in motorcycle divisions... 3 wheel was a MC with a sidecar.  4-wheels included most of the cars.   Around the perimeter we saw ultra-lights, para sails, a pylon racer, gyro copter, helicopter (life flight unfortunately, but the guy is fine), RC, quads, all sorts of atv's and off road buggies, choppers and a few BMW ADV types.   

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Lots to tell about this 3-day CA Rt 1 ride...   New friends from Austria, Germany, China and CA.   Will add tons of detail Friday or so when I get back to camp with the pig computer.

    Sonja and Bjoren, Germany

    Best Breakfast, Morro Bay

    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    This week travel days:  Tuesday and Wednesday to tour Big Sur and CA 1, Pacific Coast Highway.  Will travel this route counter-clockwise, taking the mountain route north and west on Tuesday to Kirk Creek Campground.   Wednesday will travel south to explore the coast after the morning fog clears.

    Scroll around the map for more detail.   

    During my travels my Spot tracker follows me at

    View Larger Map

    Saturday, November 2, 2013

    All the Gear, All the time!

    Saturday was a photo day.   These and other shots can be seen at