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Late season central Indiana covered bridge and gravel riding

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  • Late season central Indiana covered bridge and gravel riding

    This past Sunday I took a nice day trip west from Indianapolis to Rockville to get lunch at the Thirsty Six Saloon, find some interesting back roads and to check out some covered bridges. The "E" is finally running well with its '80 Special carbs installed tho it's still a touch rich on the very bottom end (running stock 42.5 sized pilots turned only .75 turns out... I'm gonna try 40s). Like my other UJMs, it makes a perfectly competent gravel road bike, limited moreso by my skills negotiating turns (weigh the inside peg and don't use the front brake!). Absolutely loving this bike. It's the best "all-rounder" for the style of riding that I do that I think I've owned. I got a calculated 37mpg on this ride, I'm pretty sure I should be able to get it up close to 39-40ish if I can tune out the last of the bottom end richness. I love the sound of the 4-1 RC Engineering exhaust, I have it packed with some fiberglass wrap that tones it down nicely tho I wonder if it's actually flowing worse than a stock 4-2 now and thus contributing to the low end richness.

    Then yesterday, I hopped on the bike as soon as I got home from work to make the most of a 76 degree November afternoon, rode north to Kirklin Indiana then over west a bit to check out Scotland Road, a twisty bit of gravel that winds along Sugar Creek, and over to the site of the old stone Scotland Bridge, now replaced with a modern bridge as of this year. Rode back into Kirklin to grab some dinner at Booker's, an excellent local family restaurant.

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    What the bridge used to look like just a year ago:

    Yamahas: 1978 XS1100E, XS500C
    Other bikes: 2000 Kawasaki Voyager XII

  • #2
    Thanks for posting your ride info & pics. NIce when when an 11 is running well. Better when it is actually used to go explore.
    Should be included in the official Wander Indiana promo's

    I enjoyed the ride along

    78' XS1100 E
    78' XS1100 E
    78' XS1100 E

    '73 Norton 850 Commando
    '99 Triumph Sprint ST
    '02 G-Wing GL1800


    • #3
      Thanks for the ride pics,,,,there isnt much better than country roads, quiet, no traffic on a Yamaha 1100 purring along,,, every minute of that kind of riding allows us motorcyclists to relax and reflect on life. Thanks for the visuals, ride safe,,,Mike in San Diego and Pa.


      • #4
        I have an E model with later model carbs and with 81 exhaust. I have a washable K&N in the stock airbox, 42.5 pilots, pilot screws are 3.5 turns out. I think the mains are 110. floats are middle of range 0.904. I live at 8800 feet elevation and most riding is on mountain roads. I do 1.5 miles of hardpack gravel so I have to be aware of loose gravel and turns. I get very consistent 35 mpg, The bike pulls hard to redline (which I don't push that hard except to test). Love that bike.

        I used to have an E with K&N pods and a Jardine 4into 1 exhaust and stock carbs with bigger mains. I really got tired of tweaking the mains trying to get the best out of that system as it wouldn't pull past 100 mph. It sounded great and had really good low end torque however.
        Skids (Sid Hansen)

        Down to one 1978 E. Stock air box with K&N filter, 81H pipes and carbs, 8500 feet elevation.
        03 Honda ST1300 ABS