Finally - my first trip report! Not sure of how long winded I might end up being OR what the proper TR etiquette is for posting a ďpostĒ ride TR, so I thought I would cover the whole trip in two posts - Day 1-2 & then Day 3-5. February 2010.
So Iíve been back lurking for a bit now and have some may have picked up, Iíve ran off and grabbed a new 09í GSA. Iíve also re-outfitted myself with all kinds of new riding gear, as I sold most of my stuff after selling my 04í 1150 a few years ago.
The itch started again very soon after selling off the older pig (Great bike!). Sellers remorse, other hobbies, blah, blah, blah. Life rolls on and soon the thought of riding, a dim, distant memory comes back to the fore. I guess after riding so many years, it just becomes part of you.
So I started looking late last year. Lotís of stuff going on in life and work, so I wasnít ready to take the plunge just yet. As the new year began, I got a few things straightened out, BMW incentives kicked in and the thought of missing out became too much to bear. I never really considered the 2010ís with the deals that could potentially be had on the 09Ďs and it was more important to me just to get back on the wagon (or off depending on your POV). I started working with a couple local dealerships, but it wasnít to be. Bad timing on my part with one dealer (I let the last Magnesium one slip away) and I would not shy away from either in the future - I just wasnít dead set AGAINST a fly and ride, so why not look elsewhere?!?
After much searching and talking with some fine BMW folks on either coast. I landed a deal in Utah.
Reasonably close, great deal, great people and sure, I can do a winter ride back to Colorado, right? So, my loose plan would be to fly out, ride some break-in miles, get a service, then return to CO.
So begins the report...well, almost.
I made this deal, now what the hell am I going to ride back in? Winter riding dumb-arse - ever think of the possibility of snow and cold? ATGATT right? Hiking boots and a gore-tex jacket ainít gonna cut it - itís time to farkle myself first!
This is where all that lurking, latest gear reviews, odd questions of all you INMATES began. So in two weeks time, I needed to be ready to ride once I hit Utah! Credit card at the ready, hereís a list of what I ended up with - this was to be a plunge of major proportions.
Shoei Hornet DS (Matte Grey) with breath box.
RevíIt Cayenne Pro
RevíIt Dakar Pants (Close out at Revzilla - thanks for the shipping guys!)
Sidi Adventure Boots - US version.
Airline tickets to SLC.
This was crazy - Iím sure youíve all experienced trying to buy multiple things from multiple folks - some with the inventory, some not - trying to tie sizing, colors and ship timing together. I spread the wealth. That was painless
, now onto the bike. Iíll post some gear reviews along the way..
Day 1 - Denver to SLC
Grabbed an cheapo flight from SWA to SLC early morning. The sales folks would be picking me up at the other end and ďdeliveringĒ me to the bike - this was a Monday so they are normally closed, but they offered to take me in and get me on my bike that day.
Uneventful flight, then a quick trip down to the dealership. I was there at 10:30AM or so and saw my bike through the window, waiting on some keys to be delivered and finally let in. Token showroom photos below...
While I waited for my salesman to show up, I hauled in my pre-packed riding gear and kit for the next week. I was still waiting for my RevíIt pants, which were to be shipped the next day, for riding the rest of the week. While I waited, I jumped on it for a quick ďtestĒ ride, as it started to rain just a bit. As I suspected, it was the right choice and memories of my 1150GSA soon came back flooding back. I should mention that I was vigilant in NOT test riding up to this point, as I knew once I rode, I would buy.
Paperwork went smooth and they offered to let me keep my bike in their shop that night after I had ridden some miles, so I set out (in the rain) to start breaking it in!
Kind of limited time that afternoon, and I hadnít eaten yet, so I rode N, NE towards the SLC foothills (Foothills Parkway) and eventually out west through the city. I was trying to limit the hwy miles and put it through its paces as prescribed by BMW (under 4K). Made it back into SLC and found this little place close to the university for some lunch. Obligatory ďfirst meal on the new bikeĒ photo!
Uneventful ride back to the dealership to put the bike under cover for the night and they shuffled me off to a local hotel (with farkling catalogs for my reading pleasure!) for the night. It was a long, busy day and I was tired. All that new GEAR! I slept well. I think I was smiling in my sleep (maybe that explained the drool on the pillow..?!)
90 miles on the ODO...
Day 2 - First Day Ride
Anxious to get riding and with my lift to the dealer on the way, I gorged on the lovely continental breakfast at the hotel. Sorry, no pics, Iím sure you understand.
My ride arrived at 9:30 and we were on our way back to the dealer.
I was expecting my new Dakar pants (thanks Revzilla!) to arrive and was not disappointed. We pulled in and by the time I unloaded my bags for the day, UPS had arrived with my pants. I was officially outfitted. ATGATT!! (well almost all the time). To my surprise, the bike was back in the showroom, cleaned and gassed up for day 2. Given some route advice, there was no time like the present to hit the road!
The day was much clearer than Day 1, but cold. Gorgeous views of the freshly coated foothills on my S down I-15 to Spanish Forks. The plan was to hit Hwy 6 E, out to 89, and then head south towards Mt Pleasant. The REAL plan was to get a couple hundred break-in miles in, so I could depart Thursday (Day 4). Heading east, I was starting to watch the outside temp drop on the OBC. Temp was 38 and falling, blue skies, and all was well.
Hwy 6 & 89
How was I dressed? No electrics for the trip..
Revíit Cayenne Pro Jacket with two medium weight Patagonia Capilene layers underneath; RevíIt Dakar pants with lightweight Capilene layer; Hornet DS with breathbox (Thanks XPLORZ!!); Sidi Adventure boots with some mid-weight hiking socks and my Schoeller BD Ice Climbing Gloves. I also had BOTH liners in the pants and jacket. I was pretty comfortable overall. As I would find out, my feet and hands would get a little chilled if I didnít stop every now and again, just to get the blood flow going! I had hand and foot warmers just in case.
Not any breaks on the way south, I was finally out of the busy metropolis of SLC in clear weather, so I was really starting to get a better, more relaxed feel for the bike and my new duds. Lots of quick stops to run it through itís tranny paces and a few laps through the OBC info. Woohoo, first time I saw the ďsnowflakeĒ
on the dash as the temp hit 36, on its way to a 2 day low of 28! Before I knew it I was in Mt Pleasant...and a bit cold. I walked into Cavalier Pizza a little stiff as several folks eyeballed me as if I just stepped off another planet. Great pizza and I finally chatted with the waitress for bit. Sounded like she spent quite a bit of time with her hubby touring in CO on the back of a motorbike, but she thought I was pushing things in February! No pics - hey Iím a TR rookie!
Headed N to 116, west to 132 and finally N through the Sanpete Valley on the way back towards SLC. No destination in mind, only a general direction. At lunch I had scoped a road outside of Fountain Green called the Nebo Loop Rd. Not knowing much better but crossing my fingers for an open twisty mtn rd, I headed up as far as I could (few miles) to the gate - shutting the road down for the winter. Oh well. Took a few pics and headed on to Nephi.
Looking South from the gate closure on Nebo Rd.
A pic of the local facilities..
And my mug...sufficiently covered.
The thermometer started rising nicely in Nephi and I stopped for a coffee and some time in the sun. As I was mounting up, I got my first ďnice rideĒ compliment from an unexpected source. An older couple (60ís-70ís) walked by and the gent kept right on walking while his wife stopped and asked where I was from, where I was headed and that I had a great looking bike!! She proceeded to tell me about all the years she spent in San Fran on bikes of her own in the 70's. Obviously a seasoned rider with some good memories. Didnít look like it would have taken much to convince her to get back on the horse!
Spent the rest of the day winding my way back to the dealership around the W side of the Mona Reservoir & Utah Lake. Found a few twisties on Hwy 68 (actually took a couple laps up and down a stretch) and got even more familiar with the handling - fun stuff!
I managed to snap off a few shots on my way up!
The end of Day 2 riding found me safely back at the dealership with ~320 miles on the ODO - I couldnít have been happier with the performance of the bike AND gear! The day wasnít over, yet. There was a the small matter of my indecision on panniers and a test ride on their demo S1000 RR - woohoo! (I'm glad I'm out of garage space..
So I was really on the fence about panniers. I read quite a few posts on this board and was probably leaning towards a set of the Trax or Jesses. My intention was to have the dealer remove the mounts (with credit $$) and just wait until I returned to CO. It seemed like there were quite a few pros to the Adv cases, but the one con was the price. After hashing it around a bit with sales, he agreed to give me a great deal on the set, keyed, with locks. To me, the price with the three yr warranty, keyed to the bike, made by Touratech - it was kind of a no brainer. I even bought the BMW pannier handle/compression straps. A nice addition.
A little more gear stuff - the helmet. I canít say enough about the fit of my Hornet. I have a Shoei head - as others have other heads..
Before leaving CO, I was really concerned about all the reports of fogging on this helmet. In looking for suggestions, I came across XPLORZís (
) post on the breath box addition. So even before riding, I outfitted my helmet as such. I still had problems with fogging big time. I tried multiple combinations of venting, visor openings and nothing seemed to work. I certainly noticed it being worse, the colder and more humid it became. Definitely noticeable going from summits to valleys, moister to dryer air. The BIG positive was not having cold air in the box to breath in. I ended up riding most of the trip with my visor cracked, but breathing warmer air - no raw throat. I think the real answer is pin-locks or a some other anti-fog gooo on the visor. Itís a work in progress - but the REAL answer is clear, warm weather!!
So ended my Day 2 (Tuesday) - off to the hotel (with my bike this time!) to plan my for Day 3, a route and hopefully another 200+ miles of break-in miles.
I still had to make it back to Colorado. As it turned out the next few days would include new record low temps, snow in the desert, the haven of riding behind a snowplow, some stupidity...and, in the spirit of the Olympics, the bike & I have our first bobsled lesson together! . Itís not a new bike anymore!
More gear reviews and Days 3-5 to follow.....