Finding a Tire: Racing Unlimited

Sep 09, 2013 View Comments by

Finding a Tire: Racing UnlimitedComing back from my trip out west I met up with my roommate Grant Plaxton in Lewiston, ID. Only the Snake River separates the sprawling town from its sister town of Clarkson, WA. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to put two and two together, especially since I had been riding Highway 12 all day with signs posted everywhere that I was on the historic Lewis & Clark trail. Now that I have left the Adventure Hermit (Joseph Trey) and hooked up with Grant, the riding style has changed. We will be slabbing it from here out, which is going to put quite the toll on my Dunlop 606s which are already showing signs of wear with 2,500 miles on them. For now, they are okay, and I thought about rotating the front tire during our first night of camping, but swimming in the river and exploring the area had priority over the 45 minutes that it would have taken me to rotate the tire in the field.

Grant and I made it through Glacier National park, Yellowstone, and the Badlands in a breezy four days, fully taking advantage of the high-posted speed limits that the states out west have to offer. Less than a thousand miles from home, Grant noticed that his rear tire was starting to show the white bead while my front was down to just a knob or two. The problem however was that it was 5:00 on Saturday afternoon. I was sure all the shops would be closed, and no one would be open on Sunday. We were kind of stuck. As we pulled into Fort Dodge, IA, or as the locals call it, “Dirty Dodge,” Grant started calling dealers in the area. After going through the whole call menu, Grant punched the key to get him back to the main menu on his phone and low and behold Alan, the owner of Racing Unlimited, answered the phone. Grant explained our situation and time schedule and Alan said that he would sell us some tires if we came right away. Twenty minutes later, Grant’s bike was on the stand getting fresh rubber, and I was debating if I could make it the last 1,000 miles on my current front tire. You see, I didn’t want to put on a new knobby, just to slab it back home at 75 mph wearing it down. Alan understood this and told me to look out back in their pile of old tires and to just take whatever I found. I climbed up on the pile and started digging. Most of the tires were non-DOT from the huge motocross scene in the area. I was a little leery of running a full-fledged knobby at 75 mph, so I passed on all those options. Back in the shop, a new choice was presented to me. Alan showed me a used dual-sport tire, which he would sell for only $40. Now that was a no-brainer! With Grant’s bike now ready to go, and with my new (to me) tire around my waist like a hula-hoop, we took off saying thanks to the most helpful dealer in Iowa. In the morning I will change my tire and we both will easily make it back to Michigan without delaying our ever pressing schedule of go go go.

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About the author

Commercial fisherman to pay the bills. Adventure Rider for the smile on my face. Documenting it all as proof that anyone can live this dream.