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Since moving to Wallowa County 5 years ago, I have had a dream of riding a motorcycle across Wallowa Lake. This was a "bucket list" kind of dream, meaning that it was something that I eventually wanted to do before leaving this life, but not something that actually needed to happen. It has taken 5 years to complete for a couple of reasons. 1st: Wallowa Lake does not freeze over every winter. 2nd: I needed a bike and tires capable of riding on a frozen lake. 3rd: convincing my wife that I wasn't going to die in my attempt. So, this year all requirements came together, quite literally in a perfect storm of ice, motorcycle, and an understanding wife.
I suppose the pictures tell the tell better than my rambling:
lake start.jpg
From the top of the boat ramp prior to riding onto the lake. The empty 30 gallon barrel was there to float the bike should it go for a swim. My life jacket was in case I accidentally went for a swim.
TW on lake.jpg
Me doing a trial run before going the 6 miles down and back to the other end. The shore behind me is not the far end, just the West side of the lake. Fog rolled in before I did my actual across-lake run, so pictures didn't show anything.
tw up ramp.jpg
Pulling the kids up the frozen boat ramp after giving them a sled ride around on the lake.
rear studded.jpg
Minimal hex-head screw studs in rear and front tires.
front studded.jpg
In the end, it was a successful ride and now I can move on to the other two items on my bucket list. Although, I'm only in my mid-30s, so maybe I shouldn't be in any rush.
Thanks for reading.
 

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Love it!! :D
Since moving to Wallowa County 5 years ago, I have had a dream of riding a motorcycle across Wallowa Lake. This was a "bucket list" kind of dream, meaning that it was something that I eventually wanted to do before leaving this life, but not something that actually needed to happen. It has taken 5 years to complete for a couple of reasons. 1st: Wallowa Lake does not freeze over every winter. 2nd: I needed a bike and tires capable of riding on a frozen lake. 3rd: convincing my wife that I wasn't going to die in my attempt. So, this year all requirements came together, quite literally in a perfect storm of ice, motorcycle, and an understanding wife.
I suppose the pictures tell the tell better than my rambling:
View attachment 72425
From the top of the boat ramp prior to riding onto the lake. The empty 30 gallon barrel was there to float the bike should it go for a swim. My life jacket was in case I accidentally went for a swim.
View attachment 72441
Me doing a trial run before going the 6 miles down and back to the other end. The shore behind me is not the far end, just the West side of the lake. Fog rolled in before I did my actual across-lake run, so pictures didn't show anything.
View attachment 72433
Pulling the kids up the frozen boat ramp after giving them a sled ride around on the lake.
View attachment 72449
Minimal hex-head screw studs in rear and front tires.
View attachment 72457
In the end, it was a successful ride and now I can move on to the other two items on my bucket list. Although, I'm only in my mid-30s, so maybe I shouldn't be in any rush.
Thanks for reading.
 

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Enjoyed the photos and text!
Easily removable tire studs - how was the riding without them?
I've ridden on ice in a New Jersey winter (Honda CB160, while stationed at McGuire AFB)
Street tires were fine, if carefully about acceleration, turning and braking.
Easier (for me) to ride a motorcycle on ice than a bicycle
Only dropped it once, due to throttle cable freezing during early morning hours in a snow storm...key under tank, no kill switch and no positive return cable.

So, what are the other two items on your bucket list?

Don't leave them for too late in life (if worth doing).

I was surprised when I lived to be 30
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. Nice when someone else appreciates the weird things we do on TWs.
SportsterDoc, the stock tires were terrible in snow before studding. I looked at the the rear after attempting to ride in 6 inches of powder and it was completely packed full of snow between the lugs, which reminded me of when as a teenager we would buy tractor tubes and over-inflate then to take sledding. With the studs, traction on hard pack snow and ice is great, as long as I go straight or do not lean the bike in turns (= very slow turning). If the front tire gets in even an inch of loose snow, it still wants to wash out and go all over the place, for example if I ride under a place on the road where an overhanging tree has dropped a little snow. That made me pucker a few times while riding the 10 miles to the lake from my house. The rear seems to do great in powder now even with the minimal studs, for a motorcycle that is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that wearing a life jacket (correctly called a PFD) in the winter, is a surprisingly great way to add extra cold weather insulation. At least to the chest and back areas that it covers.
And for my other two bucket list items:
2: Go wild hog hunting, probably in Texas.
3: Bow fish (archery) an alligator.
Now if I can somehow incorporate my TW into both of those, I would die an even happier man (in a long time hopefully). I suppose I have more simple tastes than someone who wants to see Italy or something boring like that.
 

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Outstanding.
The empty (for flotation) tank and PFD show you may have too much common sense to own a TW :)
 

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Oh yeah, forgot to mention that wearing a life jacket (correctly called a PFD) in the winter, is a surprisingly great way to add extra cold weather insulation. At least to the chest and back areas that it covers.
And for my other two bucket list items:
2: Go wild hog hunting, probably in Texas.
3: Bow fish (archery) an alligator.
Now if I can somehow incorporate my TW into both of those, I would die an even happier man (in a long time hopefully). I suppose I have more simple tastes than someone who wants to see Italy or something boring like that.
We don't always hunt them, sometimes we keep them as pets
 

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Since moving to Wallowa County 5 years ago, I have had a dream of riding a motorcycle across Wallowa Lake. In the end, it was a successful ride and now I can move on to the other two items on my bucket list. Although, I'm only in my mid-30s, so maybe I shouldn't be in any rush.
Thanks for reading.
First, I am jealous of where you live gee dang-it! :p


There is so much crazy awesomeness going on here I'm at awestruck awesomeness overload! There is no way I would have thought about the barrel (I will not ask you if you tested the floating barrel saving TW device or whether it would work or not) we'll just go with it that it will. And then to add a PFD, forward thinking if you go in the drink!


Kids are great. Grandkids are better because you can give them back to their parents. You will learn this one day! :D


Me and Mrs. Admiral are going to be in your area in June for the 11th Annual Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree 8-11 June 2017: 2017 Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree | Adventure Rider

We'll be staying at the Log House RV CG. If you see Mrs. Admiral and I stop us to say hi. If you work there and we can stop in and say hi, let me know and we will. Don't be scared of us we don't hurt people...on purpose. :p
 

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This is great. Admiral you and MY towing the sleds I am going to have to try that in the desert with the grand kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Admiral, I'm at lunch in our breakroom and looking out the window at the Log Cabin RV park right now. Hopefully by June the is a lot more green on the ground. Every year I watch the adv bikes roll in and out of there that weekend and ask myself why I forgot to take the time off work. Maybe this year I will get involved. I had thought about hosting a Tw BBQ at my place for any members of this forum attending the rally. What evening would be best?
 

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Admiral, I'm at lunch in our breakroom and looking out the window at the Log Cabin RV park right now. Hopefully by June the is a lot more green on the ground. Every year I watch the adv bikes roll in and out of there that weekend and ask myself why I forgot to take the time off work. Maybe this year I will get involved. I had thought about hosting a Tw BBQ at my place for any members of this forum attending the rally. What evening would be best?
I can't say for certain, but I think me & Mrs. Admiral will be the only TW's at the Jamboree. I have seen 1 or 2 TW's in photo's somewhere in the first 10 years.

I'd say Saturday would work best for a BBQ!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Outstanding.
The empty (for flotation) tank and PFD show you may have too much common sense to own a TW :)
I like to think that what TW owners lack in common sense we make up for in resourcefulness.
If I rode a KTM I would say to myself, "My bike is Austrian and superior to all, so it can't sink in a frozen lake"
If I rode a BMW I would say to myself, "My bike is German and must have some amazing electrical gadget that I paid way too much for that will stop it from sinking into a frozen lake"
 

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Geez, I love it when a really crazy plan comes together! Well done and great execution. I love it when an idea starts bubbling around in our heads and it slowly manifests itself until we make it reality. Too often we forget to dream and enable crazy ideas. What fun, though!
 

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Great photos great story. Love the studs.
 
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