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 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"