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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Ortega Highway CA74 links the Lake Elsinore side of the Cleveland National Forest with the coast of South Orange County. With a nasty reputation for its deadly mountain curves and a heavy CHP presence, it is an addictive beast that has been brewing adrenaline for me for almost 12 years. With dramatic elevation changes and many blind, decreasing radius turns, this road is a sportbiker's haven, and a squid's worst nightmare.

My house is on the inland side, tucked up against the Ortega mountains, and the mouth of this lion lies a scant ten minute back-road burn to the south. I estimate that I have ridden Ortega some 500 times in the past 12 years.

Here is my ride report from Saturday, September 2nd, 2006. Accompanying photographs are below.

The Tamburini fired on the first touch, with no choke as the sun was just peeking over my neighbor's roof. The sky was blue, and an orange band of sunrise clung to the horizon in the distance, it was a glorious morning for a ride. I set out south for Tom's Farms, a Harley hang-out and a place to see one MV Agusta almost every weekend for breakfast...Mine! Tom's was quiet, and I rolled past along Old Temescal Canyon, figuring I would grab a bite on the other side. Old Temescal winds south, paralleling and crossing under CA15. It is twisty, tree-lined and bumpy, but familiarity helps me dispatch this stretch pretty quickly. After a sneak through the top corner of Lake Elsinore, I turned right onto Ortega, and aimed #211 for the coast.

When you spend a ton of dough on something, it is hard to be an honest judge. Have you ever met a Ferrari owner who says the ride is a little rough, the A/C sucks, and the seats are too narrow? No, not frequently. So, bearing that in mind, I must say, the bike gets along famously with this road, it simply inhales it, while communicating with me in a connection that is uncommon in my other bikes. The first part of Ortega is steep, uphill sweepers, with a big 245 degree right, a short left, and a massive 290 degree right sweeper. Don't mind the steel and RR tie guardrail, it is there to keep you from flying off the cliff, by slicing you into feathery strips as you go through it. Focus..My pace quickened, and the Tambo was making that F1 sound that somehow makes you open her up more? So I had to cool down as I neared The Overlook (or Cliffhouse), Ortega's most famous pit-stop. It was still early, the road and the Look were deserted, so I ripped a lofting second-gear acceleration wheelie up the long straight there, backing off early enough to slow for a very dangerous left, where oncoming cars from behind the blind curve have been known to shoot across this lane to hit a scenic overlook on the right, clearing bikes out over the cliff as they go...Yikes!

After the long sweeping valley above the Look, speed was chopped to 45 mph, for the cruise through the quiet town at the top of the ridge, and the local CHP hideouts. After getting several thumbs up from the bikes on the other side, I began the long curvy descent into Orange County. This sweepy, shaded descent links section after section of straight-free curves, it is a miniature TOTDragon, and can challenge the most skilled at times.

I won't bore you with the minutia, suffice it to say that the road was awesome, deserted, CHP free, clean, and I rode and rerode a few of my favorite sections near the top before descending into the lower canyons that release you into the flats that lead back to civilization and CA5.

I made a right on Antonio parkway, and realized this could be a safe place to try her through the sweeping corners at triple-digit speeds. Caution and an ounce of sanity kept me grounded though, and I instead enjoyed a brisk clip much closer to the posted recommendations.

From there, I took the 133 south into Laguna Beach, where I had a bagel and coffee amongst the local well-to-doers out for their ritual Starbucks, etc.

As usual, the Mighty Tambo drew a crowd, and many questions...If you don't like that sort of attention, I recommend NOT buying an MV!

After my bite, I headed north along the coast, and joined a parade of exotic cars making their way up PCH, I had to get a picture next to my bike's Italian cousin, and the mutaully appreciative driver took some pics for his collection as well.

I turned right on Jamboree, and headed for the superhighway over the hills, the 241 toll road to the 91 freeway, which lead me back to the CA15 and home.

135 miles, one tank of gas, and some lousy camera phone photos later, there it is, my ride report. Great day, great ride, great bike, great bagel, and a hot tub full of water waiting for me when I got home.

Enjoy the Ortega highway, just keep the shiny sides up!

Griff
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Tambo's are (for me) the best looking F4. Lovely pictures and nice write up, thanks :drummer:
 

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I'm assuming the parade of exotics were coming from Crystal Cove?

You should drop by there sometime. Hopefully we can get some crystal cove meets going, as I know a few of the members on board have been there already.

Lovely pictures, great writeup!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hey Alvin, as a matter of fact, it was just above Crystal Cove that I picked the group up, so i would say "yes"...I saw a Viper, Lambo, 2 Ferraris, a couple drop-top Porsches, a Corvette or two...It was fun weaving through all that high-dollar hardware!!!

Thanks to all for the kind words of encouragement...Next time I'll take my camera, its just that my Sliver phone is much lower profile under my leather pajamas!

Griff
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