Motorcycling in Minnesota's Journal|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in
Motorcycling in Minnesota's LiveJournal:
|Wednesday, March 5th, 2008|
Let's RIDE biaatches
Okay, not quite. But about this time every year I start getting the itch, and about this time every year I try to rally the troops into group motorcycling activities and with the usual flair for failure, I fuck it all up and only go on 2 or 3 rides with Ro.
Well this year is going to be different. As you may know, in January I had to re-examine my motorycle financing situation, and as a result I am now paying new Victory Hammer payments on an 7 year old Honda Sabre... so I DAMN well am going to ride the duck soup out of that thing!http://www.polarisindustries.com/en-us/Victory/2008Navigation/Hammer/HammerS/Pages/Overview.aspx
I suggest a monthly weeknight ride I'll throw out "THIRD THURSDAY" to start with. If we start in April that means only committing to about 6 -7 gatherings. Not much really. What would we do? RIDE. We would meet at a place we can all agree on at the same time each month. We would go on a different ride each month, of somewhere in the neighborhood of, oh, say, 2.5 hours.
What say you? Stop being a Nancy Boy and come ride with me! (In the case of you females, stop being such a wuss, and come ride with me)
Need a different day? just say so. Need longer or shorter rides? Just say so. Come up with any damn excuse, and by golly I'll do what I can to show you how far off the peg you just sent the bullshit meter!!
You bought it, you insure it, you love(ed) it, NOW RIDE THE DAMN THING!!
Comments open for:
People who say yes!
People with ideas for rides!
People who are going to try to come up with LAME excuses!
People with ideas for a meeting place!
|Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007|
The SuperHawk experience
Bobo dropped off the SuperHawk on Friday night, which was awesome because that gave me the chance to let Bananabandanas (BB) know for real what the plan was.
The Plan: Get up and leave the house for Ro's place by 9am. (This was supposed to be a ride for just BB and I, but I am not going into details about how it became a threesome. Just wanted to get that out there for those of you who may be wondering where your invite was...) The problem with getting on the road at 9 can easily be attributed to the 3.5 hours we spent the previous night at the bar. But, despite that we got up and got going at about 9, but we had to swing by LaCasita and drop off doughnuts. After Ro's we were to take the LAKE parkway to Minnehaha Parkway to the River Parkway to St.Paul and then to the Copper Dome for good eats.
It did not go quite like that, but it matters not. This is not a critique of my ride planning skills (or lack thereof) but an analysis of the machine upon which I made the ride.
Let it be said that I have ridden Bobo's SuperHawk 2 times previously. The first time was when I accompanied him to Milwaukee to buy it. The second was later that summer. Both rides combined might have clocked in at 2 miles. Other than that my sportbike riding experience is limited to a terrifying ride on a brand new, super tuned and re-geared Ninja ZX-11 (1991 or so) and a test drive on a Buell Lightningbolt a few summers ago. So I had some preconcieved notions about what I was getting myself into. I foresaw hurt wrists, accidental wheelies and a tired neck. I also foresaw lots of fun, as this bike has roughly 2x the horsepower of the steed I have been riding for the last 6 seasons. I got plenty of all that.
The morning was brisk, and I was wearing a Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh jacket which did little to keep out the cool. That was okay though. After getting all our gear together and getting suited up I started the bikes, mine then the SH. We allowed them to warm up a bit while I walked BB through the quirks of the Sabre. Then it was time. I admit I was a bit nervous. The layout of the SH is vastly different from the Sabre. The rider position, the peg position, everything is different. Being that I was very aware of this, it was not a problem. I backed the bike up, pointed it toward the street, eased off the clutch and rolled on the gas, and away I went. Since we were both on strange bikes, the ride up to the doughnut shop was tentative and I was glad for the lack of early Saturday traffic.
The forward riding position was more comfy than I thought it would be and I found my feet were finding the rearward footpegs easily and naturally. I had to monkey with the choke at every stop during the first part of the ride to keep the bike running.
After obtaining and delivering the bakery goods we hopped on the freeway to get to Ro's. I would have preferred to have gotten on the freeway near the end of the ride when I was fully accustomed to the bikes handling... but whatever. We nancy boyed it around the freeway ramp from 694 to 94 and moseyed on toward downtown. Along the way I played with different postures and rode in varying gears, playing all along the considerable powerband. We took the 4th st exit from the freeway which is about 2.5 miles long and as soon as we were clear of the cop hiding bushes I tucked, hung on and rolled the throttle. The bike got light and got going as I burned any residual carbon out of the engine and blasted down the concrete canyon. I looked for BB in my rearview mirror, a wasted of time. I glance down at the speedo just as it pointed at the triple digit and then I eased back. The rocket slowed to the posted speed limit right on time and I came to rest at the red light at the bottom of the ramp. BB showed up several seconds later. We grinned like schoolkids.
We scaled back on the fun for the trip through downtown and arrived at Ro's at 9:20. I got off the bike and looked up at Ro's window and he leaned out and said, "I'll be right down!" Get this, he was READY!!!
This has gotten way long, I'll finish it tomorrow.
|Sunday, July 1st, 2007|
I have really taken a back seat on the bus this year when it comes to event and activity planning.
No bicycle rides, no photo trips, no workouts, no parties...
But I would like to plan one motorcycle ride.
I would like to have all of my friends who motorcycle to gather for one damn morning this summer and go for a 2 hour cruise.
Pipe in if you are interested.
Pipe in dates that are open.
I am thinking either a Saturday or Sunday, from approx 9 am until 1pm
WHO'S WITH ME?! Current Mood: curious
|Sunday, March 25th, 2007|
riding season is neigh.
Time to unbury your scooter kids, riding season is upon us. I dug the Sabre out last Friday, got some fresh gas in her and all I need now is Tabs.
How about you folks? Anyone out riding yet?
bagladydd getting a scooter this year? How about MissKrissy?
The more the merrier!
Have a safe and fun riding season.
|Tuesday, August 8th, 2006|
riding the rocket
Sunday after visiting both the Loring Park Art Fair and the Powderhorn Art Fair with Roshon, I got a chance to saddle up on the Suzuki Boulevard M109R. http://www.suzukicycles.com/Products/M109RK7/Default.aspx
for a short jaunt from Lake Calhoun south to 50th, and then west to Hwy 100, North to Glenwood, and then about a mile on Glenwood before I reluctantly pulled over and dismounted. (approx 10 miles)
Let me say that a real review would require about 100 more miles, at least. But I can share some impressions.
Fit: Not surprisingly the bike fit me (6', 250 lbs) very well. Reach to the pedals and handlebars was easy and relaxed. The foot controls were slightly forward from my shadow Sabre. I had issues with the speedo placement on the tank and the tach mounted on the handlebars. Here form was put ahead of function in a silly way. Every time I went to check my speed (which at times was considerable) I had to do a double take as my brain tried to figure out what to do with information like "3". I imagine not too many days on the bike would cure this, but it just does not seem like smart ergonomics. There are two other ergonomic/design issues I had with the M109R on that short ride. The turn signal actuator is much closer to the handgrip than I am used to and I found it clumsy to make it turn on the right turn signal. And finally the rear brake pedal is too large and makes for uncomfortable foot placement on the footpeg. I had trouble with my size 13, I can imagine that Roshon who wears 14-15 boots would really have trouble. The seat needs to be replaced with an aftermarket seat, but that is sort of industry standard and is hardly worth mentioning.
Handling: Power is the name of the game here. The straight away launch is tremendous! The clutch lever takes a heavy pull but the shifting is smooth and solid. I did not get a chance to test the braking, but with dual front disc and single rear disc the brakes were right there when I needed them. Throttle response is immediate. The long wheelbase makes for a different feel than the Sabre at low speed cornering, but at high speeds (off ramps anyone?) handling was butter smooth and confident. I would really like to get this bike out on some 50-60 mph twistys to really have some fun.
We took off from Lake Calhoun south beach, with me taking the indicated lead. I got to the first stop sign a block away, and no Ro in sight. He finally pulled up and off we went. (I never did find out what the deal was...) I started off into my first low speed turn from the stop sign and was immediatly put on guard at how different it handled from the bike I had under me for the last 21000 miles. I had a little trouble adjusting and my confidence was a bit shaken. The throttle was a lot more sensitive than the Sabre, and there was a lot more ponies pulling... this is going to take some getting used to, I thought. A few more rights, a few lefts and a couple more lights and stop signs and I was feeling much more comfortable. This bike had more low end pull than anything I had yet ridden. And every damn time I went to check my speed the damn tach stared back at me with a 3, or a 4 or something. Annoying as hell. Shortly after I began to feel a modicum of comfort on the bike (getting used to where to put my right foot so as not to drag the brakes etc) I began to get distracted. It was the rich tone of the pipes... on the bike next to me, yes, MY bike. I was again impressed with how awesome those pipes sound. The last time I had heard them from this vantage point the pipes were still attached to the Harley they migrated from. I loved them then, and still love the fat, solid tone they impart to the exhaust. Not too loud, not tinny. Nice. Anyway, back to the M109R, it was nearing freeway entrance time. A moment I both looked forward to, and was a bit trepidatious about. Should I baby it onto the freeway? Should I stomp on her? I was not really dressed for serious riding. No sooner had this debate begun than it was time to hang a right and enter onto the freeway. I decided to let traffic levels dictate. As I slowly made my way down the ramp, I looked over my shoulder to assess the traffic situation. I only saw two cars, both in the far traffic lane. A look ahead showed similar light traffic. Fuck it, I twisted the throttle hard and far and unleashed the herd. I was planted further and further into the seat as I shifted gears without thinking about it. In no time I was on the freeway, and hurtling down it at an obnoxious speed of 6. Whatever that means. I backed off the throttle and checked the mirrors for Ro, and cops. I saw neither. The road straightend out and I saw Ro, flying up to catch me like a bat out of hell. I had an epiphany right then, that I will choose not to share, as it is of a highly personal nature. Ro caught up to me and I was grinning like an idiot. We both coasted back down to the speed limit, and enjoyed the cruising. The bike cruised at 60 mph so easily and smoothly I felt like I could have stayed on the machine until Duluth. I'd like to tell you if the strange headlight fairing cut wind appreciably, but I was not on the highway long, and I was still jazzed about the launch. Too soon the exit came. Speed limit posted at 25 mph, I glanced down, I was doing 3, whatever that means. I tapped the brakes before the turn started, and then just leaned into it. I followed where I looked, and I was looking ahead and around the curve. My right heel began to drag and I lifted it up, the curve straightend out and so did I. It felt more like my Sabre than it had the whole ride, which means that once Ro improves his handling skills... well it will be fun.
Over all the bike is an awesomely powerful and fun bike with decent handling and a tremendous street presence.
I hope I get to ride it again... soon.
|Wednesday, May 17th, 2006|
I am going to start posting Oddball Minnesota rides soon. I have been waiting for the weather to stabilize a bit.
Anyone know of a statue of a big fish, ear of corn, paul bunyan, etc... that they would like to ride to see?
This is going to be fun.
|Thursday, May 4th, 2006|
Superhawk Meets Hiway 60
The yellow sign with the black "S" wearing an arrow as a hat says 35mph
The speedo says 65 mph
The tach says 4500 rpms
The solution to this dilemma was third gear.
Rev up, drop one gear and rev more. I need room for engine braking.
Everything I have read in Lee Parks something or another or Superhawkblahblahblah.com is put to the test. Now.
Since I an typing this means it worked and I did not become a high speed tree hugger.
The poetry of this ten minute stretch hits me a few minutes later when I was back on a straight.
The Buddhist ideal of no thing was briefly grasped. No thoughts at all, a clear head.
I guess it's only 234 miles to an "A" in meditation class. Current Mood: fast and windy
Anyone up for a Sunday ride, after 1 pm?
|Sunday, April 23rd, 2006|
First real ride of the year
Today 20kbobo, Ro and I went on a short but enjoyable motorcycle ride. Started off by meeting 20kbobo at http://www.bettysbikesandbuns.com/
where he had some iced coffee drink and a sandwich and I cold press coffee on ice. After we got caffienated, it was off to Ro's place. Ro was not done doing some minor repair to his scoot, so 20kbobo and I clowned around while he finished up. After what seemed like an hour and a half, but was really more like an hour and thirty minutes, we saddled up and hit the road... for Home Depot. It seems that Ro managed to misplace a 6mm nut during his repair job. Going to Home Depot on a Sunday is bad, going to the Quarry Center Home Depot on a Sunday is just stupid. Whoever designed that parking lot should be strung up and shot. Another 25 minutes gets eaten up at HD. Then, were off. We putz around aimlessly for several blocks, when I decide to take the bull by the horns, so to speak. I zoomed up and took pole position and led the crew to hwy 280 at the Broadway entrance. A short jaunt leads us to SE Minneapolis, and a few more blocks brings us to the Missippi Parkway system. We hop on at Franklin avenue and take the parkway south to the Ford bridge, which we cross into Minneapolis. Then it is Parkway along Minnehaha creek to Lake Harriet. Lots of fun was had in this stretch. Ro enjoyed rattling the park users with his loud pipes, and 20kbobo and I enjoyed trying to scrape pegs on the twisty's. The only sucky place was the approach to cross Cedar Avenue. It seemed only 3 vehicles mananged to make it through each semiphore cycle. The line was over three blocks long. Then From Lake Harriet it is chain of lakes parkway to Lake Street. At Lake street we got behind a group of about 15 riders on crotch rockets. It was cool to hear them take off from stoplights, just a bunch of buzzing like giant mutated insects or something. Then we headed to http://cdn.digitalcity.com/shoppingvenues/0d/01/104262918_135
Bob's Java Hut. I had a Sprecher Root Beer and Ro and 20kbobo had foofoo coffee drinks. We hung out and talked about the ride thus far and admired some of the other bikes that were there. Then on the the final leg of our journey. North to Franklin, West to the Chain of lakes parkway, and then on to Theodore Wirth Parkway up into North Minneapolis. On The Victory Memorial Drive stretch, which is long and straight, Ro and I drove side by side for a short stretch, jamming on and off the throttle, making our bikes lurch forward and back, it was noisy fun. Then I saw the COP. Throttle back and hang at 25mph. He was on the city street that runs paralell to the parkway and was pacing me. At 42nd the parkway turns right, and then he got behind me. Great. By now Ro and 20kbobo had noticed him too, and we were all driving very civilized. At Penn, the COP turned off and we continued forward. We ended our ride at the Camden boat launch. It was super fantastic.
Thanks for letting me use your Jacket, caveman. Current Mood: chipper
|Wednesday, April 19th, 2006|
why aren't these posts showing up on my friends page?