One very excellent ride report Josh. Was eager to read your report as that is a road that is on my list of "Rides To Do". I really enjoy solo trips, but after reading your narrative, I think that is one road that I would feel more comfortable with a riding buddy. Your salamander story most likely reminded many of us of similar "scares" when camping in isolated areas. Thank you for sharing.
Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
Just wanted to post an update about the bike, and the transmission, specifically. I sent it out for repair a week ago. I need new bearings (of course), a new 5th gear (it was starting to go), the shift dogs were severely worn (hence my shifting problems), and I need a new (used) cluster. It's a pretty hefty bill when all is said an done, although more than 2/3rds is parts. I decided to have the shift mechanisms updated to a newer style, so that adds a good bit to the price.
This transmission always made some "noise" since the day I purchased the bike, and I had nothing to compare it to. I'm sure the trip wasn't what killed it, but I'm sure the roughness of the JBR didn't help matters. The shifting problem happened after I rode up and hit some really hard bumps in the road (At speed) so I'll let you draw your own conclusions. Be careful if you head up there!
There are some parts that are back ordered from Germany, so I probably won't see the transmission back for at least a month. It's too cold/snowy to ride in Toledo, and I always have the GSPD...