Thursday, June 21, 2012

New to me BMW and picking it up in Mission Viejo

I have been looking at new motorcycles for a while. Last Friday I went to Modesto to test drive the new BMW K1600GT. I tried it and the 1200RT. The K1600 was a bike I could own, not so with the 1200RT too much shake. There was a K1600GT on Ebay and the Modesto BMW dealer ran the vin number for me to check out the bike. I decided that if I could save $3,000 off MSRP the Ebay bike with 4,400 miles would be a good buy.  Monday at 3:20 PM I won the Ebay auction. LINK to auction The bike was at Mission Viejo Infiniti 400 miles away.

Wednesday left the house at 7:00 AM headed to the Sacramento Airport, a start to a long day. Southwest does a great job of moving you around California. Flight was overbooked by 4 and they offered a $300 voucher and a refund on your ticket for today flight. Next flight was Noon and I would be riding in LA rush hour traffic, I passed on the bump, a good decision. Flight was quick and a great view of the Sierra's as we flew south. Alfredo the sales manager said he would pick me up at the airport and he was waiting, great service for a used vehicle.

Signed paper work and parted with some $$$ and I was on the road at 12:30PM headed home. I planned to stop after leaving the dealership to have lunch and call Veronica before getting on I-5. Two right turns, no restaurants and I was on I-5 headed north. Got in the carpool lane, you can't get off everywhere so I missed a couple of places to eat. The freeway like all in California was rough as hell, bike was bouncing on the slabs. Quick switch from Sport to Comfort on the adjustable suspension and I feel like I am on a Honda Goldwing, same road now smooth.

Carpool lane ended and I was reminded why I don't live in LA!  TRAFFIC it came to a near stop,glad I did not take the flight bump this morning it would be worse in rush hour traffic.  Where safe I started to split (share) lanes. Only 20 to 25 miles per hour but I was moving. Kept this up for almost 3 hours, all the way to Santa Clarita at the base of the grapevine. Time for a break, Micky D's for a fish sandwich.

Best thing about LA is the weather some of the best in the world and today was one of those days. Light overcast and mild temps, this was about to change. Lots of traffic going over the grapevine but moving 75+ nice ride. Dropping down into the valley you could feel the heat coming. I found the air temperature on the BMW control menu and watched it rise to 102 degrees at the I-5 Hwy 99 split. Sign said road work on I-5 expect delays 34 miles ahead, quick decision to ride up Hwy 99. Pulled into a quick-stop  for water and a call to let Veronica know where I was. Drank 1/2 the bottle of water and headed back out to the heat.  One hour later still over 100 degrees, saw a rest stop and took a break. Drank the other 1/2 of my water bottle and refilled it. Called Veronica to let her know where I was at 5:00 PM. I poured the the water over my t-shirt and put on my jacket. I found the A/C vents on the BMW and the ride got better. Another hour and it was time for dinner and more water. Not much around so another Micky D's and an Angus Burger for dinner

Still over 100 degrees so more water over the t-shirt before heading north. Finally at Turlock the temp dropped below 100 degrees, 96 never felt so good.  Almost 7:30 PM and Wednesday night so I stopped at the Stockton Motorcycle Club . Needed to show off the new bike and have a diet coke.

Henry Harvey checking out the K1600GT.

Got home just before 9:00 PM. Longest day of the year and the still light out side when I got home.

SUMMARY: Long ride, not sure if Traffic in LA or the heat of the valley was the hardest to ride in. The K1600GT worked great and was comfortable to ride. Slabbing on I-5 is not my idea of the good ride, but needed to get home. The K1600GT has so many options I feel I need to take a class to learn them all, I will spend some time reading the manuals.

I think this bike will be around long enough to give Payton a ride when she gets a little bigger.

Monday, June 4, 2012

BARF ride to Tioga and Sonora Pass

Did my first BARF (Bay Area Riders Forum) ride. I started by reading a post on 5-9-12 by rodr Dawn to Dark Yosemite Ride. Have looked a several other Barf Rides but all did not fit my schedule, hard to do when you are retired. This ride was coming right through town so it was perfect. The route was almost the same as I have done for many years on Bill's birthday ride. Click here and scroll down for information on Bill's birthday ride.

Here is a short video from last years ride.

SV2007 arrived from the south bay at 7:35 AM and waited with me for the group to arrive. The bay area riders started out before dawn to get to Stockton around 7:50 AM.

The group arrived and we did a quick meet and greet.  Wide variety of motorcycles. Goldwing, H-D, Triumph, Suzuki V-Strom, Honda ST1300, Yamaha 400cc scooter, BMW boxer and K1300GT. Everything but a pocket rocket.

Going to be a long day so we are off to the first stop at Copperopalus.

Next Stop was the fish Hatchery at Moccasin .

 Has a discussion to add Olmsted point at a stop in Yosemite. Everyone who had been there said it is a must stop for photos. I did not mention that the person who layed out the run had not been over Tioga Pass.

 Next Stop gas, what a bargain only $5.09 per gal

Going through  Yosemite I ran a little over the limit and pulled away from the group to get pictures as everyone arrived at Olmsted Point'

 The group arriving, weather could not have been better. This section of road was closed by snow 5 days before.

Our group leader taking in the sights.

Our group photo at Olmsted Point

Tioga Pass 9,945 feet above sea level. 55 degree at this elevation, does not get much better.

We stopped for lunch at the famous Whoa Nellie Deli.

I had the Kansas City Caesar Salad.

Fish Taco's for the group leader.

 Next stop the town of Bridgeport CA. Everyone was ready for a stretch.

Next we headed north on hwy 395 to our turn to Sonora Pass.  I told everyone I would be stopping at the turn to turn on My GoPro video camera. I have attached a video below.

We rode to Sierraville for gas and then to Knights Ferry to look at the covered bridge and make decisions on dinner.  This had been a long day, my GPS said I would be getting home around 7:00 PM. The rider from Sonoma was looking at after 9:00PM.  At his point I told the group I would follow until the turn off to Valley Home Road. 

Video of Orange Blossom Road.

Over all a great day with a fine group of riders. Everyone rode at there own pace, and no one ridding over there head as I have seen on other group rides. Hope some of the BARF riders can make my ride on September 16, 2012.