Monday, October 31, 2011

What's In A Number, Part II

Don't get me wrong, I don't much care that my bike has 42,000 miles (67,600 km) on it.  I am quite proud of that number in all honesty.  My shop tells me that I am one of their higher mileage bikes, and I like that.

Oilburner and I never purchase something with our eye on value retention or resale.  We purchase what is good and plan on keeping it until it is worn out.  After all, I drive a truck that is 18 years old with 230,000 miles (370,000 km) on it.  And yes, we bought it new.  It has been paid off for over a decade and hasn't required much work beyond normal maintenance.  The engine should be good until 400,000 miles (645,000 km) at least. 

So mileage doesn't mean too much to us.  But I know it is important to some people.  A friend was looking at used GT's and RT's that had 50,000 miles and 75,000 miles (80,500 km and 120,700 km).  He was seriously concerned over longevity.  We told him that shouldn't be the only limiting factor.  But to him it was a deal breaker.

Of course, mileage really depends on your expectations.  It might be a different story if you want a daily or long distance rider.  Higher mileage may be less appealing.  A collectors item that will be ridden less frequently might not be a problem.

Now, I did forget to add the winking smiley to the end of the last post.  I have no qualms about keeping my R1200R in my garage.  Truthfully, it would be next to impossible to ask me to get rid of it.  (Sometimes I get really attached.  Just ask Oilburner.  He's been trying to bribe me for 17 years to get my truck.)

There are a couple people out there wanting to get their fingers on my R1200R.  But I ain't listing to them.  So yes, the beautiful R1200GS with the DOHC engine is appealing.  After all, I have been drooling over GS' for years.  It has always been a bike that was unattainable to me, a dream: too tall, too heavy, I don't need that kind of power.  My eye sparkles and delights looking at the GS, but never at the expense of my "R".  I just can't give up the bike I love for one that I don't know.

Rest assured.  The R1200R is remaining in my garage.

But that doesn't mean I don't have enough love to share...

So that "number" is now TWO.  hehehe.  I'm catching up to you Brady.  :)  And rIePe...have you ever been accused of being a prophet?  ;)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's In A Number

24,901.55 - circumfrence of the earth at the equator, measured in miles
5280 - feet in a mile
451 - degrees in Fahrenheit at which paper burns
42 - The answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything

When can something be nicely worn in without being worn out? 

For kicks, Oilburner and I have been talking bikes.  (Like we've never done that before...)  I was wondering where is that magic mileage sweet spot when a bike goes from "nicely broken in" to "too many miles".  Where is that perfect line of a bike still being marketable versus someone having prejudices against the mileage.

My baby went in for her 42,000 mile service yesterday.  I didn't even look at the new DOHC Classic R1200R.  Well...I didn't look much.

I sat with the service manager and chatted and laughed.  I stood in the service bay talking with the tech working on my baby.  I played with the used oil, no metal shavings, no burnt smell.  I inspected the valves, the chains, the springs.

Then Oilburner arrives...

He starts looking around.  He starts talking.  He starts asking me if I am going to take a test ride.

I've never demo'ed a bike before.  I've never had enough confidence to jump on a bike that I don't own and take it for a spin.  I mean, how much am I going to have to pay if anything happens to a motorbike that I don't own.  This is the same reason that I never ride someone else's bike.  I've even been resistant to riding Oilburner's bikes in the past.  I had only ridden any of his previous bikes once each.

Somewhere along the way that changed.  And I can't pinpoint when it occurred.  A couple months ago, when he informed me that I would be riding his new bike home I didn't bat an eye.  Didn't have any queasy butterflies in my tummy.  I hopped on it and took it for a rrriiidddeeeee.  I'm suspecting my trepidation left me for good after Oilburner totaled his bike.  My subconscious thought process might have followed something along the lines that if he totaled a bike in one fell swoop, there wasn't much worse that I could do.

So back to the bike shop...

I decided to take that test ride finally.  Steve, our friendly, neighborhood sales guy, rode the Classic R1200R off the showroom floor.  Yes, I said rode.  It went over to the service bay to get a couple pounds of air.  Then she stood in the parking lot waiting for me to take her out.

We enjoyed a quick little romp, unfortunately rush hour traffic was closing in.  I took her over to a short, twisty little road I know.  Autos prevented full utilization of the best curves.  We also scooted over to the main thoroughfare to enjoy the high speeds against traffic.  She was an enjoyable bike.  There wasn't a "wow" factor.  She was so similar to my bike.  There didn't seem to be enough differences to justify a trade.  She was nice, just not nice enough.

Oilburner and I took a seat at the table, sipping some sodas and talking about the ride.

All the while is a big, beautiful R1200GS sitting in the sun, gleaming in front of me.  Hmmm...  In for a penny, in for a pound.

Steve checks it over and sets the seat on its lowest position.  I swing around to turn her on, only to realize the key has suddenly disappeared.  Explain that one to me...  Yeah.  Steve left the key in the seat lock.  hehe

We only get to spend a short time together.  Rush hour traffic had set in.  Any direction we traveled was going to be hindered and just spent burning a clutch up.  We went to a short little road with a couple of representative curves.  Wow.  WOW!  Four miles was way too short a time to get a feel for anything.  All I know is that I wouldn't mind spending a couple hundred more miles getting to know it.

So what would you guess that mileage line is on my precious bike?  I was thinking 50,000 miles might be getting there.  Boy was I wrong. It seems that my baby's time has passed.  Those who didn't know her don't want her.  She can be her 2007 model self, but would need to have 30 or so thousand miles on her, instead of the 42 that she has.  Finicky damn men.  Apparently no or old model doesn't matter.  But they can't have been well ridden. ;)

Darn.  I guess I will just have to keep her in the stable.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I had to stop and play the last sentence of the conversation over again.  Three grown men, none of whom had children, were talking about sippy cups.  Really?!?!

I believe that many men act like children, but the use of a sippy cup?  Well...yeah.  I guess I can see where it would be beneficial.  But I am way off track.

The conversation was actually chiding Oilburner for not having a cup holder on the RT.  After all,Ken had one on his.  And the discussion at hand was the only way Oilburner would be able to drink while riding with a full fact helmet.  Sippy cup came up, but I think they meant something with a flexible straw.

I didn't care.  I knew Oilburner wasn't installing one.  That is a Goldwing farkle.  So I tuned back out of the conversation and thought forward to the ride that was coming up.

We hadn't ridden to Cherohala or the Dragon yet this year.  With the fall colors coming, and winter not far behind, those roads were going to be busy soon.  Therefore the first "autumn" like weekend of year saw us headed there.


Who knew the first autumn week would have us experiencing 37.4 F (3C) at 12:30 on the Skyway.  But there it was in all its blinking glory on my temp gauge.


Where were the 67 F (20C) highs they had predicted?

Nothing to worry about here though.  Starting out in my winter jacket and four layers of winter clothes showed me that would not be sustainable at freeway speeds.  So I switched the layers to the Gerbings heated jacket directly at the breakfast/meetup location.  Two guys had fairings, and one of them heated gear.  The Harley dude, sans a windshield, had on a down jacket.  We were all prepared.

There isn't much more to say about this day.  It was all about the ride in the company of good friends that were well matched in riding styles.  The twisties were smooth and easy. The side trips were agreed upon.  The route was up for changes.  We were all willing to take a lead.

You can see more images on Flickr.  And you can watch the video that sums it all up.

Cherohala With Friends from Love Of A Motorbike on Vimeo.