A Classic Ride to the 2011 Bonneville Vintage Grand Prix


| 4/24/2012 4:02:57 PM


Tags: Bonneville Vintage GP, Triumph, Honda CB, classic rides,

“It’s been a while since we did this, eh?” my brother Carl said with a grin as he pulled on his helmet. By “this” he meant take a multi day ride on our motorcycles and yes, it had been a while. About 20 years or so by our best recollection. It was the summer of 1990 or ‘91. He was riding a 1974 Kawasaki 500 H1 and I was riding a 1981 Yamaha 650 Maxim. We were both single and living the life (we just didn’t know it at the time). Fast-forward through time to September of 2011 and he is riding a 2005 Triumph Bonneville and I’m astride a 1980 Honda CB 900 Custom. We are both married with kids and the opportunity like this to ride is rare. We are on our way to the Salt Lake City area from Grand Junction, CO to see the 2011 Bonneville Vintage Grand Prix. Having ridden solo last year, I’m grateful to have a road companion for this year’s event. We consulted the internet mapping services on highway choices for the trip, and have opted for the lengthiest and most scenic route assuring that only about 45 of the 324 mile trip will be done on interstate highways.

2011 Bonneville Vintage GP tour 

Warmed up and ready to go.

After a quick 23 mile stint west on I-70, from my house in Junction to Loma, we have established that when my speedometer says 75 mph Carl’s Triumph says 85 mph. While it has plenty of power to go for more, it is most comfortable riding the Triumph between 65 and 75 mph on its speedo. That works out fine as the rest of the day’s roads will almost exclusively have a 65 mph limit. As we wind our way north on Highway 139 the road bunches up into a great wad of curves. A more pleasant ribbon of bituminous would be hard to find. One noticeable change is the air temperature lowering as we rise in elevation to almost 8,300 feet. As we wind down the north side of the pass the pavement condition forces our speeds to diminish but only for a few miles.

2011 Bonneville Vintage GP tour 

Highway 139 heading up Douglass Pass




bike on highway

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