Ride boldly, Lad, fear not the
spills! (From "The Man From Snowy River," by Banjo Paterson)
I'm not the man I used to think I was.
"Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!"
(William Butler Yeats)
For a looong discussion on motorcyling in general and Adventure riding in particular, see the archives (or scroll down) for
the first post on September 28, 2006.
It gives some opinions and ideas, along with a bit of philosophy; one (old) man's view of the world of 2 wheels.
|New Scooter---2014 R1200RT
|Cap'n Ron in the Straits of Georgia
Saturday, October 4, 2014
New Ride Redux
5:40 pm mdt
So, to continue: The rides were good, and the RT ran quite well, but the fever struck, and although I fought it off successfully
for some considerable time, I finally succumbed to "NBF," or New Bike Fever." Although I ordinarily eschew
the idea of a New new bike, this time there was little alternative. Beemer came out with the new RT in 2014, and there just
weren't any used '14s out there. Besides, there was a major recall on the bike in June.
It seems that a couple of the
new models had a potentially severe problem in that the shaft inside the rear shock absorber broke. No crashes, no injuries,
but BMW Motorrad immediately sent out notice to all dealers and all owners that the bike was not to be ridden until a new
shock could be fitted. That took several months, and no doubt cost BMW a lot of money in addition to a strong hit on their
reputation. However, most peopel give them great credit for acting quickly before an accident happened. Unlike General
Motors and Toyots, they were responsible and did the right thing. There were several offers made to new bike owners to attempt
to compensate them for the inconvenience.
So, fever in hand, I bought a brand new R1200 RT(W) just hours after it went
onto the floor at a local dealer after the new shock was installed.
The new scooter has an updated engine. It is still
the traditional Boxer---180 degree opposed two-cylinder, but now the engine heads are liquid cooled, allowing for tighter
tolerances, giving a bit more HP (15), and presumably better mileage.
This particular bike has some but not all
of the offered features---no electronic suspension; no heated seats; no shift assist. I seldom change suspensions, as I rarely
ride two-up, and when I travel, my luggage adds sittle to the total weight. The heated seats, which I have had on two previous
bikes (the '05 RT and thee '09 K1200LT), but I do not consider them "needed." Rather, they are "Nice To Have,"
and since this lone bike on the showroom floor didn't have them, I took it without. The Shift Assist (not sure this
is even on the '14. It is optional on the '15) is a no-clutch shift for up and down-shifting, something a hack rider like
myself clearly doesn't need.
I now have just over 1200 miles on "Mein Schatz," and she is straining at the
reins to get out on the open road and stretch her "legs." Trip (somewhere) to follow.
Friday, October 3, 2014
12:20 pm mdt
Up to my usual sporadic entries. After the last Baja jaunt, I made a trek or two north. These were on the '05 Beemer---R1200RT.
First was up the Pacific Coast, then east through Washington, Idaho, and into Montana through West Yellowstone. First night
out of Boise was in Cooke City, Montana, just outside the Northeast Gate of Yellowstone. Awoke the following morning to light
rain, and rode up toward Beartooth Pass, but taking an early departure onto Chief Joseph Highway into Cody. Light rain most
of the way.
After Cody, rode Ten Sleep Highway to Buffalo, then down the Interstate to I-90 and eastbound
to Gillette and Sundance, where my daughter and son-in-law now reside. Rain all day, and heavy rain from west of Gillette
almost all the way in to Sundance. My Aerostich Transit Suit (waterproof leather, backed by Goretex) served my every bit as
well as Aerostich claims. It did not leak, and the only water was a damp kerchief which I wear around my neck on long trips.
It serves to reduce chafing from the jacket collar as well as catch water dripping off the helmet and down the nape in a cold
A few days in SD with family, one of which we spent on a local area ride to Spearfish and down into the Black
Hills around Mt Rushmore and Deadwood.
Left there homeward bound, but took a couple of detours; one through Estes/Rocky
Mountain Park and Leadville, before the climactic ride down 555 from Montrose to Durango. That is one great ride! Just after
Ouray, CO, you climb up some tight switchbacks and go up and down and around, passing through three mountain passes on the
85 or so miles between Ouray and Durango. Estes and Rocky Mountain are equally scenic, but the 555 route is some great motorcycle
riding---sweeping curves punctuated by he occasional hairpin posted at 15 MPH and meaning it. Truly one of the (many) great
rides this country has to offer.
That ride totaled just under 3800 miles.
Then Late August took me to Boise
again. Rode I-17 to Flagstaff, then took the long route via US 89 to Panguich, and the Interstate to SLC and I-80 to Boise.
Freeway speeds in Utah, Idaho, and parts of Wyoming are now posted at 80MPH---plenty fast for anyone.
After Boise, took
a long and roundabout route home. West to Vail, Oregon, then Burns. South to Lakeview and Alturas, California, then Redding
and Cottonwood/Anderson to see my Uncle Pete (pictured here). He has had a slight stroke, recovered, and now enjoys his 95th
year among us. He is older, a bit more weakened by the ravages of age, but hanging in there.
Left there and spent a
night on OH MISS, in Berkeley (she is stil unsold), followed by a two-day stop in the Sacramento environs with an old aviation
cadet classmate of mine.
Left there eastbound to Placerville and down south from there toward Vallecito and then over
one of the scenic passes to Bishop. From there over the desert north of Death Valley to Nevada and Las Vegas and finally home
after three weeks or so and 2700 miles.
Enough for today. New bike info follows on next entry.
For future use