Classic Velocity

Classic Cars, Classic Bikes, Classic Commentary

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."  -- Lao Tzu

Out for a Spin

A visit from neighbor Forrest leads to a 5 hour loop through north central PA. A great day for a ride into Elk country and down around the tributaries of the Susquehanna river. We stopped for lunch in Renovo, where the Sportsmans Restaurant had a surprisingly good Reuben sandwich. The lovely flowing river road down into Lock Haven was incredibly free of traffic. Then east again, before resorting to the highways for the trek home. A great day of riding.



It looks like the GSA has been lying idle, but that is just a lack of blog entries rather than miles. Now that there is decent riding weather, it has been doing commuting duty. A bunch of highway miles combined with some B roads. This would be fine if street or touring tires were mounted, but it is shod with dual sport tires which are surprisingly durable, if not smooth and quiet. The bike also went in for the fuel tank recall, and is fully sorted. Ready for a couple of planned long trips later in the summer.

Ergo Assist

Suddenly, and without warning, my wrists began to ache after long hours in the saddle. Actually, they began to ache after a decreasing number of hours. After a period of denial, this resulted in adjustment of the stock bars (twisting really) to adjust the angle more than the distance. This did not make much difference, and I began to search the forums. Despite many interesting alternatives, the most positive reports were from installation of the Rox Risers. I ordered a set. These are very simple but clever billet aluminum devices that allow for the adjustment of height, distance, and angle. The first trick to installation is making sure that they are even and level. If not, you have handlebars that are not straight. I used an angle level to get them right. The second trick is to reroute the throttle cable so that it is not stretched too tight. It will seem fine straight, but not at full lock. The solution involves disconnecting the cable at the handlebar and then reconnecting it underneath. Once complete, I had two more inches of height/reach adjustment, and the same amount of angle adjustment as before. Changing the reach/height also impacts seating position more than you might think. While I am still experimenting with the ideal position, this was a simple and easy change to comfort.


2 Hours to Twilight

Two hours of light remaining. Thick thunderous clouds to the west. Temperatures dropping. This combination might suggest a warm dry evening at home. Not !! Suit up, make sure the rain gear is packed, fall gloves, gas, hit the road. This engine always sounds great to my ears, and the performance is even better. I headed northwest, skirting the thick clouds and running in and out of patches of sunlight. The roads over the mountains are twisty and clear of traffic. I have not seen lean angles like this on the GS since the tail of the dragon run. Fantastic. Yogi waves from the top of a wooded mountain. All too soon, light begins to fade, and I make a beeline for the interstate to get back. Just a few hours and a few gallons, but worth every minute and every penny. I am restored.


Traction Trials

Fellow BMW GS rider Todd offered to show me some new roads, and I was glad for the chance. The day began kind of chilly with temps in the mid to upper 30s. By late morning it hit 40° and we headed out. The cool temperatures turned cold as we climbed to higher elevations, and there was snow still on the ground. Once on the descent, the temperatures climbed 8 degrees in as many miles. A couple of the corners were still sprinkled with the fine gravel used to combat snow and ice. Gingerly....

Rolling through farmland with the sun out and miles of sparsely populated roads was just the prescription. We thought about some offroad, but decided that the trails would not be in very good shape at this point. The next day, I returned to tackle a few trails in another area and discovered why it was still a bad idea. Wet and muddy sections from snow melt made the going dicey at times. Even worse, icy patches required walking the bike around a few sections, and the R12GS is not a fun bike to walk around offroad. This was no fun after a while, and I was glad to get back to pavement. Lesson learned.