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Old 07-07-2010, 08:48 AM   #1
dirtdadx OP
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Location: Bowels of the OC
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X Challenge down the San Diego Coast

On a whim I decided not to join my usual group of inmates riding in the dirt on the day after the 4th of July and instead I slabbed it down PCH.

I am posting partly because a few pics came out nice. I rode partly to evaluate my BMW X Challenge bike as a long haul ride, since I just got it and it came decked out for touring. And I wanted to see how I would handle it in traffic since it is so much taller than my last bike.

The weather was not ideal. I encountered drizzle on the freeway and clouds most of the day. But I enjoyed the scenery and ride anyway; I am sure the weather reduced the crowds along the coast.

I took the coast south from Orange County, getting on coast highway in Oceanside winding my way down to La Jolla where I enjoyed this vista amongst many others. You are looking out onto La Jolla, Mission Bay and Downtown San Diego.

The X Challenge is a more dirt oriented dual sport than my old F650, but it still dresses up nice and looks the part in a swanky neighborhood.

I stopped at a favorite Mexican of mine place along the coast. The problem with a ride down this part of the coast is that there are dozens of awesome places to eat, little towns to hang out in, etc. You can only eat so many times, stop so many places, and explore so many things in one day. So choosing is tough.

The sign should not say "no parking". It should say "Parking reserved for bithcin' bikes, by permission from the Valet only". But it is a small sign.

A quick look at the rocky beach was my last stop of the day before hitting the interstate and going home. This is an easy day trip for me, I will be back again soon.

As for the bike, it was more comfy than I expected riding it for a whole day on the pavement. It is a really tall bike even with the low seat option I have. I am 5'8" with a 30" inseam. I can stop by "tripoding" or the "landing gear" method as I call it, where I put my toes down a few seconds before I stop with tip toes on both feet, but I worked on picking a side all day. I can get the whole ball of one foot down that way. I can flat foot one side if I slide to one side of the seat. And I forced myself to pick different sides, not just the left side which seems to be my preference. Picking the left side means I can stop with the rear brake and get less brake dive. I just need to get this to the point where it is second nature for me now. I kept thinking about picking a side so much I forgot to downshift, and it is hard to downshift from a stop.

I love a tall bike like this for visibility in traffic. Wind buffeting was not too bad, I think the instrument faring and may be even the front fender help. I want to get a fairing extension/windshield made by an ADV inmate when they have them in stock again.

The Saharas are nice on the road of course, and for my level of skill / speed on the dirt, they are acceptable there, too. The rear likes to brake loose under braking easily (ABS being off) in the dirt.

The saddle was also nicer than its reputation. The low saddle gets narrow in the lowest spot, but widens out toward the back compared to the standard height seat. That allowed me to change contact points of my butt with the saddle. I also rode with riding pants and gel padded cycling shorts, which I recommend.

The one thing I concluded is that I want some kind of anti vibration for the bar for multi day riding. Related to this is the Highway Dirtbike (HDB) handguards, which I love. They use the stock internal threads on the bar ends to install. HDB plan to make internal anti vibration weights that will work with the stock threads on these bars, but they are not available yet. I think I will opt for those when they come out.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:04 AM   #2
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Nice ride! You've got your X well farkled. The seat sucks though. If you decide to up the comfort level of the seat, talk to James Renzco. He did one for me, excellent work
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
prometheus rising
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Sweet bike, ride and pics, love to see any more pictures you have of this trip
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

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Old 07-07-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
dirtdadx OP
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I will take it again soon when it is sunny and post lots o pics. This was kind of an impulse.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:56 PM   #5
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You wouldn't think a dirt bike would be very comfortable on the road for a long time but other than a few little things it all comes down to the seat. Which I need to replace...

Nice bike.

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