Grand Canyon Motorcycle Trip - 1987

Yamaha XJ900R and Honda VFR750

The Seca served me well on a quick cruise to the Grand Canyon in 1987. The essentially maintenance-free shaft drive was a real advantage on a trip of this distance (about 9300 km) which my brother and I covered in 14 days with weather ranging from cold rain in Michigan to hail-storms in Kansas to breezeless 120F in Utah.

It was an awesome experience to be crammed into such a short time. Had we taken twice as long to cover the same distance, it would have been significantly more pleasurable and interesting. One needs lots of time to investigate the intriguing places that you pass by.

Amazing country

My brother's bike is a 750VFR Honda which, according to bro', excelled on the trip, especially noticed at high altitude riding at Loveland Pass (about 12000 feet). The lean tuning (and resulting high economy) of the motor worked well in the thin atmosphere, where my Yammy was puffing black clouds. This was the only time that I was a little concerned about my bike's performance. In general, both bikes performed flawlessly, creating no grief for their sometimes very tired riders.

Way up!
Kinda breathtaking!

My riding doesn't take me to those altitudes often (unfortunately), so the bike is running great 99+% of the time.

Taking a breather

I must say that Colorado is a most interesting and breathtaking State. The variety of terrain that we experienced on this trip made and makes riding so much more rewarding than driving (although on very hot or wet days, one wonders). Of course, an added bonus, especially these days, is the fact that 50 or 60 miles to the gallon fuel economy is not difficult to achieve.


This is me posing for the somewhat typical "I was here" photograph. Even with the Grand Canyon having a depth of thousands of feet, I think I felt more trepidation when we visited the Barron Canyon in Algonquin Park, mainly because the latter has not been tourist-ized with railings.


We didn't opt to spend more time investigating the canyon during this trip as time was short but I think now we realize that was a mistake. Perhaps we will again make the trip, although I doubt that it will be as exciting if we are not travelling by bike.

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