Thursday, November 29, 2012

The New Mount

Saturday 12/29:  I got this new 2013 BMW R1200GS Adventure for the Rally.  My 2008 GSA was put out to pasture after 160,000 adventurous miles.  Standing next to the new mount I engaged in a bit of zen bonding.  I began to tell the GSA what was in store for it with all the training rides, field testing, and a couple of practice rallies all culminating in the "Ride of a Lifetime".  I told the GSA I needed to depend on it performing flawlessly, like it's predecessor. 

Then, I asked my motorcycle if it understood that our partnership was special.  That we are a team and I am the team leader.  I asked if it had anything to say about it's role in our riding adventures. 

Just then, as if by some flash of serendipity, the stereo in my garage began playing......

"I'm going to make this place your home!

Seemed pretty fitting, to me.

Friday 11/30:  Headed north to New Mexico and turned right in Carlsbad.  Wanted to eat up some daylight to give the FLIR some more night time riding.  Specifically, I wanted to do some non-Interstate roads.  And what better place than the interior of Texas between I-20 and I-10.  Got dark when I arrived in Brady, about 3 hours away from home.  Stopped for gas, a sandwich and change into night riding glasses.  Adjusted the brightness/contrast on the FLIR and headed out.  The best settings I found for brightness/contrast are 10/5 respectfully on the monitor.  This gives the best view at night.  In addition to the ability to see the critters on the road, shoulders and on the adjacent field I found looking at the monitor screen when approaching vehicles and I pass each other.  I used to just look off to the right side to reduce the glare.  I often worried about hitting something just as I and the vehicle coming in the opposite direction pass.  Looking at the infrared display gave me a clear view of the road ahead.

I get better at using the FLIR with each ride.  I found that when I glance down at the monitor I should focus in the road at the point where my headlights stop.  This helps me to see if a critter is in the road on my path of travel.  By doing this I can also monitor the shoulder margins on each side of the road for the tell-tale white hot blobs of deer sign.  This gives me more than a 10 second path of travel view with just a half-second glance at the monitor.  The last hour of riding was through some of the most critter infested parts of the Texas Hill Country:  Fredricksburg to Luckenbach to Blanco to Wimberley.   I would never take this familiar route at night.  I would take the larger highways of US290 to US281 instead.  Riding with the FLIR made this experiment worth while and was less stressful.  It was good training.

Thursday 11/29:  Got a new farkle for the new mount and I'm going on a shake out ride to see how it does on the road.  See:  The FLIR PathFindIR Project posting for details.  I want to do some hill country roads, some interstate and some dessert highways to get a good workout for the installation configuration of the camera and it's monitor.  I've already determined the FLIR picture is not very effective with direct sunlight on the monitor.  But, it's primary use is for night time riding and spotting critters on the sides of the highway up to 1,000 feet ahead.

Wednesday, Nov 7:  Doing a shake out ride to the Texas Gulf coast and down to South Padre Island where I'll RON.  Then on Thursday head up along the Rio Grande to Laredo before turning north back to home.  A little over 1,025 mile ride. 

Ok, I got the new ride and it's pretty cool.  Has that new bike smell and feel.  Got finished wiring up my GPS harness, CAN Bus helper, modified the rear seat to accommodate my "BackUp" back rest, and tail bag.  I rode it to Gruene HD for my weekend class and plan on doing a 450 mile around the block ride on Monday to get the 600 miles on it for the initial break-in service.

Been working on farkeling it up to meet the functionality of the old GSA.  Here's a list of the things I've been doing to the new GSA to get it long distance ready.

  • Tank bag
  • Installed the oil cooler protective grill. 
  • Headlight plexiglass protector.
  • Foot pegs on the crash bars.
  • Windshield extension
  • Installed water bottle holder
  • BakUp back rest onto the rear seat pan
  • Tank bag holder on the rear seat pan
  • Gas cap lock quick release
  • Throttle tension adjustor
  • Garmin zumo 665
  • Spot Personal locator mount
  • Freeway Blaster Fiamm low tone horn
  • Retro-reflective stickers on panniers
  • Anti-slip striping on pannier lids

As I make modification I'll post them here. 

Today, Tuesday, October 23rd,  I'm riding my un-farkled 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure to Lone Star BMW in Austin to pick up my brand spanking new 2013 BMW R1200GS Adventure.  I was holding out for one of the new water cooled Adventures but they won't hit the market until late in the model year.   Even though my 2008 GSA is rock solid dependable, it currently has 160,000 miles on it and would have well over 200,000 miles on it by the time I trained up next year's rally season.

It's a Deal !
"Hey Gary, this looks just like the old bike."  "Yeah, I know Tim, and it's costing you a lot more to boot."

The Old Mount:  SOLD!
I put the 2008 up for consignment at Lone Star BMW/Triumph in Austin.  It is covered by an zero deductible extended warranty until July of 2015.  I put in a new clutch when it blew a U-joint at 123,000.  I will miss this trusty ride but have great hopes for the 2013 GSA.  The initial asking price for this excellent motorcycle is $9,500.