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!