Saturday, July 16, 2016

Texas World Capitals Tour 1,000 Recon

I'm finalizing the timing and routing elements of the Big-As-Texas Party "World Capitals Tour" 1,000.  It's going to be a fun ride for all who attend the BAT at the end of September.  Click on the link above to check out all the details.

Going to depart the Hilton Garden Inn in Allen and ride through Paris, Athens, Moscow, Vienna, London and to Georgetown.  My goal is to validated the planning software timing and routing through these segments.  

Click to see the full: SpotWalla Map



Monday, 7-18:  Departed the host hotel right at 6:00 am.  The weather was clear and dry the entire ride today.  Temperatures reached the upper 90s by the time I got to Houston.  Hit triple digits by early afternoon and stayed hot the rest of the day until I got to Georgetown.  The riders of the Texas World Capitals Tour 1,000 will have nice fall temperatures at the end of September.

Overall, the roads are fast and wide with speed limits of 70-75 mph over 90% of the route. The majority, over 60% are four lane or Interstate highways.  Services are plentiful along every segment.  Some slow-down through communities, but that is to be expected.  Traffic through the outskirts of Houston was flowing nicely around 12:30.  There was a bit of a slow-down along Anderson Loop (1604) over the northern stretch of San Antonio due to a fender bender.

Along the way I stopped at each checkpoint to take a picture and do a log entry.  Cellphone coverage was available at every stop, so riders of the TWCT 1,000 will be able to email their pictures.

I arrived at Georgetown on I-35 a little after 8pm.  Compare the arrival times below to those of the projected times of Garmin BaseCamp route table.

  1. HGI Hotel - Paris:  Arrived 7:20, 86.3 miles
  2. Paris - Athens:  Arrived 9:05, 106.4 miles
  3. Athens - Moscow:  Arrived 11:13, 121.7 miles
  4. Moscow - Vienna:  Arrived 14:02, 197.4 miles
  5. Vienna - London:  Arrived 18:06, 246.4 miles
  6. London - Georgetown:  Arrived 20:09, 123.6 miles

The final segment from Georgetown back to the Hilton Garden Inn in Allen is a straight shot up I-35.  At normal Interstate speeds, that's a little under 3 hours to cover the 193 miles.   Most all riders should be back at the hotel by around midnight.

Sunday, 7-17:  I've been farkling several items on the GS Adventure I bought in May.  Recently installed the FLIR PathFindIR camera and display.  I'll be using this in the early morning and after sunset along the TWCT 1,000 route tomorrow.  And, this will be the first extended hot weather ride since installing the airflow farkle to help solve the right side hot spot comfort issue.  It's projected to be in the high 90s or low 100s today.  I'll post how it worked when I get settled in at the hotel in Allen.

Texas World Capitals Tour 1,000 segment ride plan:

The Garmin BaseCamp route timing is listed below.  At each TWC checkpoint I'll drop a Spot message.  This will be a good way to compare the planned vs actual route timing.  For planning purposes I included a 0:10 minute dwell time at each checkpoint.


Friday, July 1, 2016

GSA Right Side Heat Issue

The Issue:  I have noticed, when the ambient air temperature is above 85F, the right side is noticeably hotter than the left side.  This condition exists at both low and high speeds.  The condition creates 'comfort stress' and is annoying.

The Source:  The heat seems to be coming from the right side radiator vent.
 There are two radiators on the GS, one on each side.  The right side has a coolant temperature activated fan that sucks air through the radiator and belches it out the vent.  To a lesser extent, the catalytic converter and exhaust pipe produces some heat that may contribute to the issue on the right side.

The Flow:  Air enters through the right side radiator and exits via the exhaust port on the right side of the fuel tank.  The radiator fan is mounted on the back side of the radiator and helps the movement of air from the radiator to the exhaust port.  The intention of the design is the heated exhaust belches out of the port, which is the widest point on the right side of the motorcycle body, and into the open air.

A significant amount of the heated air that exits the radiator exhaust port is sucked into the area between the right side pannier and back of my thigh and lower leg.  This area is a 'dead' space with almost no airflow created by the forward movement of the motorcycle.  It is relatively calm and the hot air just accumulates, heating up my leg.  The fact that the cytolytic converter and exhaust pipe is just inches away contributes to the heat accumulation.  These elements are well into the airflow along the undercarriage of the motorcycle

I rode with the pannier removed to see how much it being in place contributes to the heat accumulation issue.  There was a slight reduction in the noticeable heat sensation but not enough to make a big difference to the comfort level.

Defining the Problem:   Heated radiator exhaust air accumulates in the area between the right side pannier and the rider's right leg.

A simple test, to confirm that it is accumulation of heated air, is to deflect airflow into the 'dead' space.  At speed, with the cruise control engaged, when I stick my open hand into the airflow away from the right side and deflect air it into the 'dead' space, the sensation of heat against my thigh and calf goes away as soon as turbulent airflow reaches my leg.  It doesn't take much deflected air to change the 'dead' space flow dynamics.

The Solution:  Deflect ambient airflow into the 'dead' space to create enough turbulence to disrupt the pool of accumulating heated air.

Air scoop
Side view


I fabricated a piece of thick plastic sheeting to fit in the bush guards around the bottom of the right side cylinder head.  It is fastened with plastic wire ties.  It has the effect of scooping air and deflecting it into the 'dead' space when the motorcycle is moving.

Initial tests rides have been good.  It works well enough to reduce the accumulated heat in the 'dead' space from distractingly annoying to barely negligible.  I'll keep working on the solution to resolve the 'comfort stress' issues associated with the new watercooled GSA.  Given its new design, I am resigned to a certain amount of issues that challenge my farkling abilities.  Hey, on the bright side...it will be great in the cooler months.  All I have to do is snip off the wire ties and remove the scoop until the hot weather returns.


Front view
Bottom view













The scoop is made of thick, flexible and strong plastic cut from a yard leaf bag frame.  Source: "Lawson Products - Easy Bagger"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

BAT Party Recon

Tentative Routes 
The farkling on the new GSA is coming along nicely.  Not quite complete, as I haven't yet mounted my FLIR PathFindIR infrared camera and display.  Waiting on one last piece of hardware to install the Pyle waterproof display above the instrument cluster.

Also, I have work out the best solution to capturing all the wires from two GPS units, the FLIR camera and the display.  All are being powered from one FuzeBlock mounted under the instrument cluster.  So, neatly tucking all the extra lengths of cables, wires and such away is proving to be a challenge.  

Today, I'm riding up to Allen TX to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn.  That is the venue for the IBAs Big-As-Texas Party at the end of September.  I'm helping with the "Texas World Capitals Tour" SaddleSore 1,000 and BunBurner 1,500 Gold riders.  On this trip I'm going to ride a couple of the route segment for the BBG to validate the moving average MPH calculations.  I'm interested in how much time it will take to ride from the Hilton in Allen, northwest to Willington, south through London and then on to the Stockholm just north of Harlingen.

Garmin Basecamp, route planning software, is predicting about 15 hours for the 979 miles.  Google Maps calculates a slightly different route between Abilene and London that saves about 15 minutes and one mile.

Click her for the full SpotWalla Map

Monday 6/27:  Departed just at sunup for Victoria.  Needed to take a couple pictures to put in the rider's guide for this stop.  From there it was northwest to cross over I-10.  From near Lulling it's a straight shot all the way to Allen via Interstates, toll roads and fast four lane highways.  Clear riding for any BBG rider.

Sunday 6/26:  Depart the Hilton Garden Inn at 6:00 am for the first stop on the Texas World Capitals Tour:

  1. Allen to Wellington - 6:00 - 9:57, 283 miles, 71.5 Over all avg MPH
  2. Wellington to London - 9:58 - 14:40, 327 miles, 70.1 Ovg
  3. London to Stockholm - 14:41 - 20:09, 370 miles, 67.3 Ovg
At each of the stops I took the pictures that will end up in the Texas World Capitals Tour - BBG riders guide.  I did this recon ride on a Sunday.  The BAT TWC BBG will be done on Friday, Sep 30.  My pace had me riding through San Antonio at around 16:30.  I rode I-10 to I-37 through the city center.  There might be some rush hour traffic issues though San Antonio on a Friday.  But, what's a little rush-hour traffic to an IBA BBG rider?  All part of the hard riding adventure, right?

Without even trying, I was able to leave the Hilton Garden Inn in Allen at 6:00 am and arrive at the Stockholm historic marker by a little after 8:00 pm.  That makes 980 miles in 14.1 hours or an overall average of 69.5MPH.  Considering the variety of highways, cities and towns along the way, that is a pretty good Bun Burner Gold pace.

I wanted to determine the moving and overall average miles per hour between Allen, though Wellington and London to the Stockholm marker.  95% of the highways had speed limits of 70 or 75 MPH.  The moving average on both my GPS units were at 72.5 MPH.  All of these roads will be ridden on the BBG during daylight hours on Friday, September 30.  

Since it would be dark by the time I would arrive in Victoria, I decided to stop for the night in Raymondville.  Got a great room at the brand new Holiday Inn Exp for $81, plus tax.

Saturday 6//25:  Just a short 5 hour drive from home to Allen, just north of Dallas.  It was a hot ride up I-35.  By the time I got to Big Deal it was in the mid 90s and very humid.  Topped of the tank before checking into the Hilton.  The desk clerk says they have coffee by 5am in the lobby.  But, my room has a Kerrigan coffee maker.  I'm set...

BAT Party Recon

Tentative Routes 
The farkling on the new GSA is coming along nicely.  Not quite complete, as I haven't yet mounted my FLIR PathFindIR infrared camera and display.  Waiting on one last piece of hardware to install the Pyle waterproof display above the instrument cluster.

Also, I have work out the best solution to capturing all the wires from two GPS units, the FLIR camera and the display.  All are being powered from one FuzeBlock mounted under the instrument cluster.  So, neatly tucking all the extra lengths of cables, wires and such away is proving to be a challenge.  

Today, I'm riding up to Allen TX to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn.  That is the venue for the IBAs Big-As-Texas Party at the end of September.  I'm helping with the "Texas World Capitals Tour" SaddleSore 1,000 and BunBurner 1,500 Gold riders.  On this trip I'm going to ride a couple of the route segment for the BBG to validate the moving average MPH calculations.  I'm interested in how much time it will take to ride from the Hilton in Allen, northwest to Willington, south through London and then on to the Stockholm just north of Harlingen.

Garmin Basecamp, route planning software, is predicting about 15 hours for the 979 miles.  Google Maps calculates a slightly different route between Abilene and London that saves about 15 minutes and one mile.

Click her for the full SpotWalla Map

Monday 6/27:  Departed just at sunup for Victoria.  Needed to take a couple pictures to put in the rider's guide for this stop.  From there it was northwest to cross over I-10.  From near Lulling it's a straight shot all the way to Allen via Interstates, toll roads and fast four lane highways.  Clear riding for any BBG rider.

Sunday 6/26:  Depart the Hilton Garden Inn at 6:00 am for the first stop on the Texas World Capitals Tour:

  1. Allen to Wellington - 6:00 - 9:57, 283 miles, 71.5 Over all avg MPH
  2. Wellington to London - 9:58 - 14:40, 327 miles, 70.1 Ovg
  3. London to Stockholm - 14:41 - 20:09, 370 miles, 67.3 Ovg
At each of the stops I took the pictures that will end up in the Texas World Capitals Tour - BBG riders guide.  I did this recon ride on a Sunday.  The BAT TWC BBG will be done on Friday, Sep 30.  My pace had me riding through San Antonio at around 16:30.  I rode I-10 to I-37 through the city center.  There might be some rush hour traffic issues though San Antonio on a Friday.  But, what's a little rush-hour traffic to an IBA BBG rider?  All part of the hard riding adventure, right?

Without even trying, I was able to leave the Hilton Garden Inn in Allen at 6:00 am and arrived at the Stockholm historic marker by a little after 8:00 pm.  That makes 980 miles in 14.1 hours or an overall average of 69.5MPH.  Considering the variety of highways, cities and towns along the way, that is a pretty good Bun Burner Gold pace.  Especially for an average rider like me.  Greg Rice would shaved an hour off that time.

I wanted to determine the moving and overall average miles per hour between Allen, though Wellington and London to the Stockholm marker.  95% of the highways had speed limits of 70 or 75 MPH.  The moving average on both my GPS units were at 72.5 MPH.  All of these roads will be ridden on the BBG during daylight hours on Friday, September 30.  

Since it would be dark by the time I would arrive in Victoria, I decided to stop for the night in Raymondville.  Got a great room at the brand new Holiday Inn Exp for $81, plus tax.

Saturday 6//25:  Just a short 5 hour drive from home to Allen, just north of Dallas.  It was a hot ride up I-35.  By the time I got to Big Deal it was in the mid 90s and very humid.  Topped of the tank before checking into the Hilton.  The desk clerk says they have coffee by 5am in the lobby.  But, my room has a Kerrigan coffee maker.  I'm set...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Out with the old...

...and, in with the new! 
2016 BMW R1200GS Adventure

On May 17, I took deliver of the 2016 BMW R1200GS Adventure.  This is the 22nd motorcycle, 5th BMW, 4th GS and 3rd Adventure.  I had been lusting after the new water-cooled version ever since its debut in 2014.  But, at the time I was concerned about the reduction of fuel capacity and range.  The new version reduced the fuel capacity by 3 liters or from 8.7 gallons to 7.9 gallons.  At the time I was very happy getting 350 miles of range at 79 mph moving average on the 2013.  After deciding not to put in for the 2017 Iron Butt Rally, the 3 liter reduction did not matter much.  So, I marshalled the funds, negotiated the deal and took the plunge.  

As of this writing I have put over 5,000 miles on the bike.  The new water-cooled model is beefier, smarter and handles noticeably better.  Its 92 ft-lbs of torque and 125hp engine is very responsive.  The upgraded data management computer is very useful.  Compared to the 2013 model, the 2016 GSA seems lighter, more nimble on and off pavement.

I'm already on my way to "Farkling" it to enhance its utility.  Gone are the digital ACU camo bags and pouches.  They served me well on the 2013 GSA, but I've opted to go conventional black load bearing equipment.   Haven't installed my FLIR PathFindIR camera and display yet.  I've ordered a Wunderlich screen reinforcement and device mount to accommodate the Pyle display.

One of the first performance issues I want to resolve is the fuel endurance range of the new water-cooled engine with the rated 7.9 gallon fuel tank.  As with my previous GSA I'm going to do a 'run out of gas' experiment at three different moving average miles per hour.  The first of these "ROG" tests will be at 80mph from Kerrville TX to probably near the I-10 & I-20 merge near Cherry Creek.  At that moving average speed this test will give me good idea of how far the bike will go on a full tank of gas at the highest sustained speeds I would expect to encounter.

So, follow along with me as I wup this now GSA into shape for more Hard Riding Adventures!

___________________________________________________________

A tribute to my 2013 GS Adventure.  Acquired in October of 2012 from Lone Star BMW of Austin, this motorcycle carried me over 139,000 miles of hard riding adventures.  Including two Iron Butt Rallies, 10,000 miles in 10 days all in the state of Texas and many other long-distance rides.  All without a single breakdown of any mechanical or electrical component.  Truly, a most reliable machine.