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Running on Fumes

Grave Robbers Run Ran

Monday, August 3, 2009
The inaugural Grave Robbers Run concluded with all eight bikes limping across the 750-mile finish. The three-day event featured pre-1980, sub $1000 motorcycles motoring for three days across amazing Idaho backroads. Most riders fetched their mounts from Craiglist for between $150 to $600, cleaned the carbs a time or two, filled up the oil and headed down the road with sleeping bag and tool kit bungeed. Motorcycle USA tagged along with the retro-styled Ducati GT1000 Touring and Triumph Bonneville SE (the motorcycle comparison test is on the way…). We felt like total cheaters, but had a blast anyway.

Day 1 was already blogged, the highlight being the scenic Sawtooth Mountains and exploding llamas. Day 2 saw the Grave Robbers crew head over the Continental Divide on Highway 93 to Lola, Montana. Following in the historic footsteps of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Bitteroot Mountains provided the epic landscape and twisty route of Highway 12, which re-crossed the Divide into the Pacific drainage and Idaho. The final day our posse (which briefly included John Wayne, we'll explain in the full rally report) sourced the twisty pavement of HWY 12, 13, 95 and 55 back to Boise.

Along the way, there were multiple breakdowns, near misses and passing of the gigantic wrench – a baton given to the most recent mechanical roadside stoppage. One rider’s Honda CB350 became a CB260, or so, after a cylinder blew up - limping the rest of the way around 50 mph. Another rider’s battery went dead on the fly - luckily he was carrying a replacement. Another’s bike would overheat on regular occasion after stopping atop an elevation climb… He eventually wound up with the giant wrench for good, pulling into the final driveway with his foot and a tangle of duct tape keeping a stripped spark plug in place.

Easily the most smiles per dollar of any rally we’ve attended… Stay tuned to Motorcycle USA for the full Grave Robbers Run report.


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