Hot Exhaust – 12/23/2017

I occasionally go out to the garage in the winter and start my motorcycle (Kawasaki Concours C10). I like to hear it and believe its good to get the fluids circulating every so often. I happened to notice extra heat coming out of the vent. I saw that the exhaust header was glowing. This was due to the choke being on.

Of course, I’m a curious guy, so I had to see how hot it actually was!

Over 700 degrees is nuts and probably bad for the engine. I’ll be more careful with the choke in the future!

Hogan Haake

5 Corners Of Missouri

On Friday 9/29/2017, Eric and I set out on the 5 Corners of Missouri adventure. Its a trip I dreamed up after reading about other motorcycle adventures. The plan was to ride around the state of Missouri and visit the roads that were closest to the corners of the state. I came up with 5 corners because The northeast corner has a more eastern and a more northern area. If I got them both, I would have no doubt that I covered them all.  Here are a few photos of the trip and I’ll include the YouTube video once it finishes uploading.

If you’re curious where we went, download HoganTracks.

Northwest corner.

Northeast corner, more east.

Hogan pretending to be a computer hacker. I was actually downloading video from the camera so we could keep filming.

Northeast corner, more north.

Northwest corner.

Northwest corner.

Quick stop in Overland Park, Kansas to say hi to my dad.

Can’t resist a sign for Highway 69!

Southwest corner.

Southwest corner.

Motel Antics

Motel Antics

Along the levee southeast Missouri

Official Southwest Missouri corner.

Eric hiding from the camera.

Hogan Haake

Saint Genevieve Ride – 10/30/2016

Two guys from the office, Jeff Hug, Eric Ent, and I decided to go for a Saturday morning motorcycle ride. Its fun to share hobbies and motorcycle people like to ride together. The plan was to ride down the river road in Illinois and catch the ferry to St. Genevieve to get back home. I love going on trips, so it should be no surprise that I arrived first.

While I was waiting, I went into the gas station looking for breakfast and coffee. This station is large, but it mostly sells alcohol, so I was relegated to a stale pastry and coffee.

It didn’t take long for Eric to show up on his Yamaha FZ-07 ready to ride after filling up.

Eric and I were wondering if Jeff would show up. We weren’t sure based on how far away he lived. We sent him a text and said we would give him fifteen more minutes before we left without him. Turns out that Jeff slept in and rode very fast to get out to us with time to spare before we gave up on him. His bike doesn’t have a ton of range due to a small fuel tank so he filled up as well.

With full tanks, we headed out to explore the riverside! We all followed Eric as he had done this ride before and had a vague sense of where to go. During the ride south, we paced a southbound train. Eventually after about an hour of riding, we got to the ferry crossing. It didn’t open till 9am giving us time to play around before it opened. We were quite concerned about the ramp to get on the ferry. The metal edges didn’t fit nicely against the pavement and looked bad for our tires.

We didn’t know what to think so we tried to get our minds off of it. We started by exploring the area around us.

Before we knew it, the ferry had arrived and it was our time. The guys asked me to go first as I said it wouldn’t be that bad. I picked a line and went slowly and everything worked out pefectly. The guys followed the same line behind me and we were all set to cross. This is always a fun time on a motorcycle as you always get off and walk around to check it all out. I was a bit worried as smoke continued out of the engine room of the tug, but it never stopped running and crossed without incident.

On the other side, I promptly rode up the ramp from the river to the road to meet Eric’s sister Alisa. She was going to join our group to make it a foursome. After a few moments talking to her, I saw Eric park his bike at the top of the rise and walk back down. This seemed like trouble so I excused myself and walked over. Trouble it was.

Jeff’s Suzuki C90 wouldn’t start. It was running perfectly the whole trip (I even rode it while waiting for the ferry). Eric and I pushed it up the hill to the top. It was decided to bump (push) start it. After a few tries with Eric and I panting for breath, it started up. All was not well with the electrical system as can been seen in the video below.

Eventually Jeff’s bike settled down and we were on the road. We decided to take I-55 straight north and get home ASAP. Unfortunately Jeff was almost out of fuel. Eric and his sister had departed earlier so it was just Jeff and I. Unfortunately, to fuel up, you have to turn the motorcycle off and use the ignition key to open the fuel tank. We made three laps around the gas stating trying to bump start his bike to no avail. After two tries, we eventually jump started it with cables from my bike to his.He made it home in after the final jump start to diagnose the issue.

It was quite the eventful ride and most of us had a great time!

Hogan Haake

Colorado Motorcycle Trip – 9/20/2015

Today was a day of pain, opportunity, and luck. It started out as the previous two had, in a motel room quickly getting ready before the sun came up. I had about an hour’s ride before I got to Silverton, CO, the northern gem of the Million Dollar Highway. From there south for at least an hour would be some of the most spectacular views of my ride. I was off to a gas station to fill up my bike and my belly!

Riding any Colorado road in the mornings or night can leave a person bone chilled. The sun was out, but it was frequently behind the scenery. I realized that if I was too cold, I wouldn’t be in top riding form, and found it best to stop and put on my rain suit for extra wind protection. Here is what that looked like!

Finally warm, I was able to ride normally and happy. Its worth not looking “cool” to be happy and warm and the stop only took about 10 minutes. It didn’t take long till I further south and the road got very interesting as did my ride.

Watch the video below, and you’ll see around minute 4:50, I pull over to look out at an overlook with a waterfall. Its a great view, but when I get back on my bike I mess with it a bit cause it won’t start. Eventually it fires up and I go on my way. At the 7:25 mark, I have to stop for a traffic signal for one way traffic. It seemed that I was going to be there a while, so I shut off the bike again. At 9:55 you can see the traffic light turn green and me try to start the bike. It took about 20 seconds for me to get it to work including some frustrating hand work and attempting to wave on the traffic backed up behind me. But she did start and I was off.

My problem now was I knew that the next time I turned off the bike there was a very high likelihood that it would not start again. At this point in the trip, I’m ahead of schedule and willing to stop more to view the things around me, with a machine that doesn’t want to cooperate. Deep down inside I knew that the moment of truth would come and I didn’t want to ride in fear all the way to Durango without stopping.

Eventually the moment was right and I stopped on an uphill to see a scenic looking waterfall coming down from the mountain. Delaying the inevitable, I hiked around to get a good look.


From the parking lot up into the waterfall.


Back to the pull out I parked out.


This is how the water goes under the road, they must expect lots of water in the spring!

Eventually I went back to the bike and it failed to start. But a few summers ago, I did a solo ride in St. Louis and had a similar issue. I rode out to Hermann, MO and stopped at the river to enjoy the view. When I got back on it wouldn’t start. After a Facebook post to the Concours Owner’s Group, I got a reply telling me to check the fuses, and it turned out I had blown one. So with past experience as my guide, I started to take off the side panel that hosted the fuses.

With the first panel off, I learned that I took off the wrong one 🙁 But I also saw the manual adjustment for the suspension that I have never tried before. So I took a chance and adjusted it. I wouldn’t know what this did until I could get the bike started and back on the road. So I put the panel back on and went around to the other side. I took off the panel and found the fuse box. Then I triumphantly took out each fuse knowing that I would find a blown one and could just replace it and be on my way.

When the last fuse was pulled and none were blown, I got momentarily flustered. I have no cell signal to call for help and I’m not sure what is wrong with my bike. I remember reading a story by Daniel Meyer about approaching a guy on the side of the road in Alaska beating his motorcycle gear because his bike wouldn’t work. Once the guy calmed down, they went over the bike system by system till they found the problem and got him going again.

With a little patience and a happy mood cause I was in Colorado about the farthest away from home I would be the whole trip, I started taking the motorcycle apart checking every electrical connection I could find and then testing to see if it would start. Eventually, under the seat was the ignition pack that when wiggled caused it to work once then fail. After some working of the harness, I was able to get it to work 5 times in a row.

IMG_20150920_093835 IMG_20150920_093843

With things back together, the ignition didn’t give me any more problems for the rest of the trip. Ohh, and the seat adjustment was amazing, making it more bouncy. My butt complained a lot less which made me happy. Come back in a few days for the continuation of the rest of this day.

Hogan Haake







Arkansas Motorcycle Trip Part 5

Sunday, and we are just starting to get into the riding groove. Its our third full day on the road and Hiatt and I are getting used to this life. The road waits, and all we have to do is wake up and eat breakfast. So we head down to breakfast for the second day in a row. We’re pros at this point getting at the food that we’re interested in. After a filling meal, we headed back to our room. That was when we saw some true Arkansas ingenuity. I have no words for this, so I’ll just show the photos.


We took Rockhouse road out to Berryville where we ended the previous night. This is a nice back road route that was lots of fun. A narrow two lane road encroached by trees. Those trees created eery early morning shadows! Hiatt was in the lead and took off like a rocket, occasionally slowing down to make sure I was still alive. I was uncomfortable with the texture of the road and the shadows to go too fast, so I took it relatively easy. At the end of this short diversion, we headed to the nearest gas station to fuel up and consider the rest of the day. At the gas station was a group of 4 riders doing the same thing as us. The license plates had them from Wisconsin, so they were on quite a journey!

We decided to re-run the 215 to Oark route because it was quite fun the previous day. This time, we would run it backwards and see it from the other direction. Its amazing to me how much faster things seem when you have already seen them before. This route passed by very fast. We were less worried about where we were going and discovering new things. Riding backwards on the route was like getting revenge to us. We focused on the turns that we didn’t take as well the previous day and not getting lost like yesterday.  We skipped the town of Oark and just made the turn to stay on the major path. If you’re wondering why we would re-ride the same route again, it may help to look at the pictures that follow. They best describe the roads we were on. The last photo of the group is Hiatt’s back tire. The dark spot is the portion of the tire he has been riding and shows just how far he has been leaning into the turns we have been riding! I would be lying if I said that I didn’t ride aggressive today either…

We stopped near the end of this route to have lunch at a Sonic. We just can’t seem to get enough being outside on this trip! Of course this is Mother’s Day (a made up holiday), so we called mom and both got to say hi to her. Then we proceeded to call our wives and wish them the same. Of course, we could each hear in our wife’s voice the need to have us home soon. We had been gone for a few days, one of them celebrating them. Of course, we can’t thank them each enough for allowing this trip!

At the end of the route, we were back in Eureka Springs. We had decided that we need to end up near Harrison, Arkansas at the end of the day to facilitate getting home earlier than planned on Monday. That would make the girls happy, and that is always a consideration for each of us! The plan was to head towards Harrison and run the Mountain View route from the pamphlet and be back in Harison that night. Of course, to get there, we could take the Rockhouse Road route again… So off to Rockhouse we went. I took the lead this time, but was a bit lethargic after lunch and road at a more civilized speed. My lack of speed turned out to be a blessing. Around a nearly blind left hand turn, there was a red truck that was backing out of a driveway that just seemed to be parked, blocking the road. As I slowed, it finally pulled back into the driveway and we passed without issue. Had the truck been there earlier in the morning, it could have been a much different story!

Not being that far from Harrison, we figured we would finish off the day with the Mountain view run and finish in Harrison where we started this adventure and get home to our girls early. We ran the route backwards from the directions on the map, but were getting good at it by now. The drive down US 65 South was long, straight and fairly boring. We had a near run in with a police officer for speeding in Harrison and decided we better take it easy on the larger highways. Going the speed limit after the last couple days was difficult, but we didn’t want to add any donations to local cities (tickets) to the expense of our trip. At this point, I was starting to get saddle sore from all of the riding we have done. I was ready to get off the bike and walk around. We came over the top of a hill and there was a very long downhill of at least a half mile. I was probably doing 5 – 10 over when I crested the hill with light traffic and let off the throttle. There at the bottom of the hill was a Highway Patrol officer waiting for people to speed down a hill. As we passed the bottom of the hill, eye contact was made, and he didn’t look to happy to see us pass. I watched in mirrors as we passed just waiting for him to come after. Once out of site, we may have speed up a bit just to add some distance. Then we found a place to pull off and rest.

There is nothing quite like canoe country. The rivers are peaceful and everyone seems happy. We stopped and walked down to the river to relax and stretch our legs. And *maybe* there may be girls where there are rivers and canoes…

Back on the road, we were rewarded with nice mountainesque views. At the far end of the route, Mountain View Arkansas, we turned up the scenic road to head back to Harrison. This road was secluded. So we may have speed up. Being that few cars were on it, I saw a couple of snakes on the road warming up before the evening. We made one more stop at a river to stretch our legs and had a treat. As we pulled in, the road was gravel and quickly went down into a large lot. I went first and had no trouble with the gravel. Once parked, we walked around and took pictures. Then we met and talked with Tabatha. She was a young cute girl looking for her grandmother who run a canoe outfitter on the river. It was a nice discussion that kept us off the bikes longer.

When we arrived in Yellville, Arkansas, it was getting dark fast and we were tired. So we found a hotel and decided to call it a night. This was the first no-name hotel, but it turned out to be just fine. Staying in Yellville positioned us to do part of another route from the trip and get home early to the girls on Monday night. Once settled, we went out for pizza. We sat outside and enjoyed the sunset and the 4 cars/trucks that we driving around town showing off.