G’Day USA: An Australian Couple Tours America Part One

Dec 23, 2013 View Comments by

G'Day USA: An Australian Couple Tours America Part OneThe United States is home to 2,057 designated historical landmarks, over 4,500 miles of breathtaking mountain ranges, 95,471 miles of shoreline, and hundreds of thousands of winding miles of historic routes and trails. This geographic equation is a motorcycle rider’s dream come true, offering up a continent’s worth of roads to conquer behind a set of handlebars. We North American brethren tend to take it for granted, or at the very least don’t always appreciate the natural beauty as much as we could, especially when witnessing somebody from another country seeing it for the first time.

G'Day USA: An Australian Couple Tours America Part OneLet me introduce Trevor and Kaye Blackley, a real touring couple hailing from Victoria, Australia, who recently completed a journey that’s traced a path to many of those points of interest. The Blackleys took six months off this year to tour around North America on board a Harley-Davidson Ultra-Classic converted to a Roadsmith Trike. Part of the reason behind the voyage, other than the sightseeing, was that Trevor wanted to do some product testing on the Roadsmith Trike conversion. He’s intended to establish a trike dealership in Australia for some time now, and this was the perfect opportunity to come to the states, visit the factory, and do a little touring around. (Not a bad way to justify taking six months off in another country to ride every day)! Being a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast inspired Trevor to start a business around his passion, manufacturing motorcycle trailers, so a trike conversion dealership seemed to be a natural progression.

The leather clad motorcycle bug bit Trevor at an early age in Australia when he and his father restored a 1930s AKD bike (Google it). With a hard tail frame, two-stroke engine, and a girder front end, he was gone for good; and after forty years with countless bikes (and trikes), he hasn’t come back yet. During his growing years on two wheels, Trevor developed an immediate passion for the long distance touring lifestyle. Fortunately for him, he found a charming gal named Kaye to accompany him on that long distance journey of life, and that shared love is what brought them over the big blue pond to make some new memories riding across our divine countryside.

G'Day USA: An Australian Couple Tours America Part OneTrevor and Kaye purchased a 2012 Harley-Davidson Ultra-Classic with only 300 miles on the odometer and had the Roadsmith Factory in Minnesota install a new HDTR trike conversion on it. After doing extensive research on the available trike options out there, Trevor opted for the Roadsmith because of a “clear attention to detail and quality in the engineering.” Following an overnight flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, the Blackleys picked up their freshly converted, American made three-wheeled muscle machine on a cloudy late May morning and headed off on their expedition.

The ember red batwing fairing was pointed due south on I-35 toward Texas (after a short pit stop in Memphis, TN, to see Graceland, of course), where he was to pick up a camper trailer for the duration of their excursion. Not just any camper trailer of course; Trevor’s very own custom Trevaye Camper Trailer that he makes in Australia, which even comes equipped with solar panels! His business idea came out of necessity, as most do, after he grew tired of sleeping on the ground in tents while on long motorcycle trips. “I wanted to move up to something with a little more luxury” says Trevor, and thus a business began. With the camper in tow, they suited up to embark on the lion’s share of the four months left of their adventure.

There are too many stories told by Trevor for these fingers to type out here, but during their four month tour they traveled through 47 states (they missed Alaska, Hawaii, and Delaware), Canada, and racked up just over 25,000 miles! That’s 6,250 miles per month, 1,562.5 miles a week, or 223.2 miles a day, all without a major issue.

G'Day USA: An Australian Couple Tours America Part OneSome of the most memorable experiences and sights seen were traveling the Icefields Parkway in Jasper, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies, the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachian Mountains, the Black Hills, and (for Trevor) the Harley-Davidson Museum, which was like “Mecca” according to him.

Kaye describes the beautiful scenery, and the comparison to home halfway through their trip in Canada:

“Once we got into the Canadian Rocky Mountains the scenery changed. We went on the Icefield Parkway—from Lake Louise to Jasper—it was spectacular. We saw pristine lakes, rivers, sweeping valleys, and lots of glaciers (the largest being the height of the Eiffel tower). We certainly felt the cold going past all the ice. We encountered black bear, longhorn sheep, caribou, elk, red squirrels, and bald eagles. We followed miles upon miles of shoreline, the lakes take up the whole valley and they are an incredible blue color. In Canada it feels a bit like home—some rough roads, metric measurements, fuel prices are more expensive than in the U.S.—around $5.13 per gallon— and groceries were also more costly. The front tire is getting worn out on the trike—we have now done 20,000 miles, and we’ve put our camping trailer up and down about 120 times (thankfully it’s quick and easy). We are now starting to set up camp a bit closer to the toilets each time. In bear territory, I’m not game to go outside the camper at night, just in case there is one lurking close by!!!……..until next time…”

To be continued…

Text: Taylor Young

Photos: Trevor and Kaye Blackley

Roadsmith Trikes has been selling three-wheelers since the 1970s. Today, they offer a variety of conversion kits for Gold Wings, Harleys, Victories, as well as other makes and models. You can check them out at www.trikeshop.com.

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