Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spillway falls at Vogel State Park, Blairsville GA

The view from Rt 129S is nice, but hike around the lake at Vogel St Park, GA and down 60 steps to the base of the falls... 20 degrees cooler and the noises of the world are drowned out by the tumbling water. Priceless.

Sunday of Memorial Day weekend we headed east from Ditto Landing, AL, to the US Motorcycle Trials Training Center in TN.  Brisk morning ride to a great show in the mountains.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This blog follows my adventures touring on my BMW G650 GS Sertao motorcycle.   Other topics drift in from time to time, and I am open to suggestions on places to go for great rides or photo ops.

You can also find me on various other sites: is my professional photography studio store.

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Hundreds of albums of photography from events, equestrian, food, garden and renovating houses can be found on Picasa KurtzInPa

If I missed anything currently significant I will definitely come back and update this post.

Happy Trails!

Jeff   570-401-4843

Feet up Tuesday and Planning

Happy Tuesday!!   That day after Memorial Day when it's supposed to be the start of a week but I'm still in State Park la-la land...   Not a bad life.

Looking at the schedule... I can't get from announcing in NY to the BMW Rally in OR in three days...   That would be 3 12+ hour days with no chance of managing a detour or weather...   maybe next year.

Am definitely enjoying no TV, no radio, no social drama...   fixing spanish rice with onions and refried  beand on an open fire this morning.   So calm...    

I brought back three buckets of hot coals from fire pits yesterday.   Added fresh wood for a nice
fire last night... just sat there enjoying the quiet.   Stirred it up and started again for breakfast.  

The campgrounds are pretty empty.  only two units where I can see them.   Lots of birds.  Constant sound of the creek behind the site where I am.   Traffic from the weekend is gone so the highway has only the occasional truck or motorcycle winding over the mountain.  Will have to do some of that myself today.   

Need to process more pics and videos.  Mail bills.   Plan more travels.

Enjoy the day!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Great weekend at BMW MOA AL Chicken Rally!   Good food, good friends, great rides!

No GS ride... :(
Visited Unclaimed Baggage twice...
Caught round 4 of the International Motorcycle Trials at Sequatchee US Trials school on Sunday.  More pics to follow.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blairsville GA to Huntsvilled AL.   AL BMW MOA Chicken Rally 2013 at Ditto Landing.

Met folks traveling from Phila, where they bought new BMW's) to TX and Mexico.  That's quite a shopping spree!

Travel safe, my friends!

There's a motorcycle in there somewhere.

210 comfortable miles heading west to Alabama on Thursday.   Perfect weather with temps in the 70's.  Weekend began with all-you-can-eat pulled pork, popcorn beans and beverages.  Ran into friends from the FL Rally and meeting a bunch of new buddies.   

Quiet coll evening for nice sleeping, give or take the refrigerator truck which starts up every hour or so... zzzzz

Will cap the weekend with Sunday at the FIM Trials World Championship Rounds 3 &4 in TN.    

Monday, 20, May 2013 02:29
It is a rider's worst nightmare to have an accident whilst out on the road, and there is certainly no shortage of gear that can be purchased in order to prevent and reduce the risk of injury if a rider is unfortunate enough to have an accident.
With so many different makes and models, choosing the right gear can be difficult as there are so many factors to take into consideration.
Peter Humphrey was involved in an accident whilst wearing a Helite Airnest vest, a cover vest which inflates to protect the upper body on impact, and it recent proved to be worth its weight in gold as it prevented him from severe injuries during a crash.
Peter has been riding for about ten years, and after surviving a minor accident where another rider crashed into the rear of his bike a few years back, he had not been in an accident since, until earlier this year where he was unfortunate enough to be involved in a more serious accident.
Whilst travelling to a friend's house on a spring day in April this year, his bike, a BMW GS, suffered damage and his injuries could have been severe if it was not for the gear he was wearing.
After discovering Helite at a bike show, Peter was introduced to Airnest vest which can be worn over any motorbike jacket.
The vest inflates much like an airbag in a car, when a rider is involved in an accident. After a bit of contemplation Peter decided that he would purchase the vest for around £400, it was appealing and he thought it would be a good idea to invest in one and it looks as though he was right.
The crash
The Helite vest managed to save Peter from any major injuries as he came into contact with another vehicle near J5 on the M65, while travelling at 40mph.
Although he was travelling within the speed limit, after veering out slightly to look for an overtaking gap, he lost traction on his front wheel and clipped an unsuspecting oncoming car.
After the collision, the vest inflated supporting his upper body and as he hit the floor, the jacket stayed intact and in one piece.
Following his experience, Peter has claimed that the jacket "massively" contributing to him only having minor injuries, adding: "it may not be for everyone, but it's a good piece of kit."
Peter is yet to decide which bike he will purchase next, but it's good to hear that the accident has not put him off riding for good.
Needless to say he is glad that he invested in the Airnest vest and he mentions that riders would have to have a very good reason if they decided not to buy one.
When asked what the experience taught him, Peter added: "It has made me realise as time goes on, you get complacent about riding, thinking back to my accident it was my second decent ride after the winter, there was a bit of cockiness.
"It's very much a case of you never finish learning how to ride, keep looking out for your own mistakes."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rainy weekend in GA... zzzzz...  hunkered down in tent.

Hopefully things will dry out soon... ugh.

Moth Man visited in the shower building.  Great color!

Here's a recap of a facebook conversation I just had with a buddy about mods to our Sertao bikes:

  • Hey bro! I have rode my setao pretty hard on and off road. I have 15,000 miles in less than a yr now. I changed chain and sprockets at 11,000 miles and stayed with the Tourane tires since I stay on pavement usually. Been thinking about adding some material to the seat. Probably us some like memory foam. ill take off the seat cover and build up the existing seat with foam and stretch the cover back on. After a hundred miles I get the butt ache. Never had any fatigue on my 1200 or 1600. Now I just have the sertao. Other than that I've installed a k and n air filter and smoke led tail light. Also stickers because stickers are just fun for me. Your in an opposite position for adventuring the smokies. I commute to work on my sertao, 75 miles 5 days a week no matter the weather conditions. Tell about your sertao
  • Jeff Kurtz
    Thanks for the detail. I am just over 11,000 miles in 13 months. Didn't like the way the Tourane tires tracked withe very little crack in the road... also had handle bar shimmy at about 35 MPH. BMW Jax said it was my luggage, but as soon as I switched to Scout 60's that went away. They seem to stick to the pavement well even on GA curves. I know they cost me probably 10% in fuel at 80 MPH.
  • Jeff Kurtz
    I added HID heqadlight. Denali running lights mounted on the inside end of the brushgard brackets. 6" taller windscreen (I'm a wimp). Digital tail light from Tractor supply. Givi top box with brake lights. BMW Side cases with added amber turn indicators. BMW Jax says my rear sprocket will last a while. FL sand was tough on rear tire and chain. Rear brake locked up. BMW Jax said it was caliper and they replaced it warranty. Gad cap broke and come off in my hand. I have a rubber cork with an eye bolt for a gas cap. Will find a dealer eventually and press for warranty repair.
  • Jeff Kurtz
    I also added a KUBA link to drop the rear end one inch. then handle bar lift kit and slid down the fork tubes a couple inches. I had trouble reaching the ground.
    Buddy of mine drove his Sertao from Toronto to Mexico last year. he recommended the Heidnau tires. He also talked about changing the sproket ratio but I haven't heard if he did.
  • Jeff Kurtz
    THen... (sorry, I'm a retired engineer... we never quit tinkering...) I read about a Booster Plug. From england for all BMW's. Boosts low end power about 5 or 7%. I was having problems killing the engine in parking lots and stops. This was an instant fix. The guys at the dealership came back from a road test and asked what I had done. It's a real stump puller now. 2nd gear in sand and water is fun.
  • Jeff Kurtz
    I would think it would be a great commuter bike... nimble and nearly 60 mpg. The GA Rally was sorta rained out but did some off road with the BMW performance reps. They were at FL winter rally also. I like the off road but hate to be out there in knee deep water with no buddies around. Found some fun dirt and gravel roads here. the tires track like arrows.
  • Jeff Kurtz
    Will quit bending your ear. Have a good evening... I'm sitting out the rain at Vogel State Park. Bring beer.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Jim's Smokin Que

Easy access... smells great for miles ("You can smell our butts for miles!")

Ordered 1/2 rack of ribs, fed two, leftovers in saffron rice tonight for dinner.   Def meed to make this a pit-stop of Friday, Saturday or Sunday in GA.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Back road in GA between 129 and Russel Harris Pkwy...   two water hazards and a refreshing dip.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

75 miles to Anna Ruby Falls today.  Wonderful GA Roads and exciting 100' + falls.   Will load videos eventually.  Then returned on alt route picking up old time landmarks.   What lovely country.
39 degrees on May 14th in GA!   Ouch!

Monday, May 13, 2013

GA continues to amaze me...   every road has it's personality...   every wrong turn opens new vistas.   If you pass thru Murphy be certain to have lunch at Dolyles!  The ultimate Bloody Mary (All the Way).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

When you are touring GA around Blairsville,GA, The Gauntlet and Vogel State Park, I recommend shopping for sundries at Sunrise Grocery.  

From one onion to local honey, very friendly, comfortable atmosphere and convenient.

Shop online at

or like on facebook at

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Daily visitor to Desoto Falls in Chatahoochee natl Forest.  One guy thinks it's a year old cub.  Not aggressive but not shy either. 

Drove The Gauntlet!

130 miles of twisties and mountains.   Nothing dangerous (except two rednecks dukeing it out for a place in line at the gas pumps.)

My tracker died before finishing the loop.   Will power up again today.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Desoto Falls is part of the Chatahoochee National Forest on Rt 129 north of Cleveland, GA and south of Blairsville.   3/4 mile hike in to the north falls which are posted to be 80 ft...   looks like more than that, but warer is high right now.

"The name originates from someone having discovered a helmet that could date back the the days of the explorers.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I don't wear a Helite Air Vest because it's gonna save my neck...

I wear it because I want to enjoy my grand kids for many years.

They need to know their grand dad as more than a cross beside the highway,

I don;t wear a Helite Air Vest to save my neck...   I wear it because I want to be there for my grand children.

Demonstrating Helite Air Bag protective vests for motorcyclists at GA BMW MOA rally in Hiawassee GA.

Black vests are $549.99 with two CO2 Canisters.  Hi-Viz is $625.00 with two canisters.  Call Jeff Kurtz Dealer 570-401-4843 for details.

The Wildcat trail is just south of Hiawassee GA and the GA Mountain Fairgrounds.  We rode 7.5 miles in and then returned, riding with the BMW Performance school instructors Brian and Liz.   This ride was part of the dual sport rides with the GA BMW MOA group.

Here's the video: