Sunday, March 15

The Big Red Bird, etc.

Saturday was all about riding (via car, unfortunately) to Savoy, IL to retrieve the new red BMW F650GS. Now that I've sold my car, being in a car for long spans of time is rather taxing. We made it and the big red bird-looking bike was sitting in the back room of Twin Cities, BMW, where a group of Saturday riding regulars were hanging around consuming Dunkin' Donuts and coffee and shooting the breeze. The bike was parked in center of the small area and with the riders sitting or standing around, it looked like they were paying their respects to a departing friend.

A woman who appeared to be around 80 was among the group. Soon she came up to me and showed much curiosity in the bike. "No, it's not mine." She wasn't sure she liked that particular Beemer. In fact, she wanted me to know that she rode BMW when they were really BMWs, when they were "not equipped with all this new fancy stuff." Although she was sweet, nice elder citizen and we chatted easily and for some time, she seemed to have some issues with change--at least in regards to BMWs. She also voiced concerned that the tank bag would prevent the rider from seeing the instrument panel--frankly I was too. It's a towering bag. With the tank bag market being what it is, I wouldn't have gone with that particular bag--but hey, it's not my bike. To each his own.You can tell from the pics that the bike is well-equipped. By the time Dave left, he had had his new Zumo hooked up, had donned his new Gerbings to handle the low 50s temp, and had made his appointment to return in April for the 600 miles service. I got a nice free black tee-shirt out of the deal. After what seemed like a long time, he was ready to hit the road. We headed out in different directions. This trip became a new test for me too as I drove the 100+ miles back. Would my collar bone or the ribs bother me? They did not. Much. I'm fine and ready to put this all behind me.

I stopped at my favorite little Thai-Japanese restaurant in Champaign, IL. I'm told there are other similar establishments there that are far better. I like this one and the two times I've be in it, there has never been over three other people there. Hmmm...Still, the crab fried rice hits the spot so well! Welcome to the garage, big red, which really isn't big at all. It's a 650 label but really is a detuned 800cc, which I was surprised to see the 798cc on the specs. Although the bike has some accessories already installed, it is definitely farkle time. Dave said the seat is "terrible" and hurt after an hour, partly due to the very upright seating and the extra demands this places on the tail.

Sunday, Dave tried the bike out on gravel. "It does better than Queenie (aka Suzuki SV650) does on gravel." Being able to ride on gravel and do a little off roading is why he wanted a more suitable bike and the reason poor Queenie will be searching for a new home. Countdown to VA: Retrieve the F800ST April 10th!

6 comments:

PassionForTravel said...

Cute Red bike. I sat on one at the local BMW dealer yesterday. Dave is right the seat was bad. I also sat on the G650GS much more comfortable seat but it's single. I'm currently riding a VStrom 650. I have a question, in your last blog entry you mentioned you like to ride alone. Does the thought of riding alone bother you at all since the get off. The reason I ask is that my riding buddy had a get off about 6 weeks ago. Similar situation as yours I made the corner and he didn't. I haven't been back into the back country since, I've just done riding around town and commuting. I wonder if part of the reason is seeing what happened to him I'm nervous about riding alone.

Sojourner rides said...

Hi PFT, thanks for dropping by...

No, the thought of riding alone does not bother me in the least! It is one of the only way I get to connect with myself, go my own way and just be, well, alone. I've agreed to take the "Spot" satellite tracker (I've sort of agreed) with me so that it makes others feel okay.

For me, it's the thought of riding with others for extended periods of time that unnerves me! I must undergo tons of mental preparation to do that.

You might have to spend some extra time to talk yourself out of the nervousness given your witness to an accident. Probably just need more time. We don't want to ride with fears of any sort. Good luck!

Jeffry said...

Besides the nice looking ride, what kind of reflective vest is Dave wearing. I am shopping around for a good one for the stepson who will get his Ninja 250 in a few weeks.

Jeffry

Sojourner rides said...

Hi Jeffry--I've sent you a personal email but just in case others here want to know about the vest Dave is sporting, it is the Hi-Viz Vest by Olympia Motorsport apparel and cost roughly $80. We bought it at Chicago Cycle in Lincolnwood, IL for the advertised price

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sojourner (Sharon):

Tell Dave he's got a mighty nice bike there, and that I wish him the best of luck!

Fondest regards,
Jack
Twisted Roads

Jack Riepe said...

PS: Did Dave pay the same price for those headlights? One is smaller than the other. Does he know that?

Fondest regards,
Jack
Twisted Roads