A short trip down a favorite trail proved that it is still way too soggy for the GSPD. So, off to tackle a few errands. A few exits of highway, some city navigation, and the long way home via backroads. This bike takes it all in stride.
1990 BMW R100GS Dakar
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This is the way to start a new year. Beautiful blue sky with not a cloud to be seen. It has become something of a tradition to start the year on two wheels. It is a sort of defiance against winter. Today was cold. A high of 26 degrees, but it felt great to be out on a motorcycle. I thought it would be a short ride just to prove a point, but it turned into a few hours on largely deserted roads. This bodes well for 2015.
NJ Air Marshal Dave Cushing hosted another fine Tech day at his place, and had great weather to complement the great food, great motorcycles, and great conversations. It was pretty unusual to find that three of the couple dozen machines that showed up were GS Dakars ! One of them was an R80PD, which had a number of repairs and upgrades going on in the tech bay. A few old familiar faces and some new ones made the event a good time on a nice day with some great roads to and from the event. This got covered in the main blog, so see Preserving the Air.
After suffering for a long time with bad rear suspension, i decided to send the rear Fox Twin Clicker off to rebuilder Jamie Daugherty. Several weeks later it returned. It did not look any different, but boy did it work different ! The wallowing in the corners was instantly gone. The excessive dive under braking was significantly reduced. The rebound was...well....rebounding. It is amazing how much of the front end handling is dependent on the rear end. I took a trip over to Van Zant airport to log a few miles on a beautiful day. I played with the settings a bit and they actually adjusted the handling versus doing nothing previously. I had a nice chat with a few folks who were at the airport, and watched a few biplanes take off and land before getting back on the road. The damaged roads were the perfect test, and the bike was running perfectly.
No matter where you go, this bike commands attention. It generates questions from other enthusiasts, it gets nods and thumbs-ups from the dual sport crowd, deer and squirrels glance admiringly before scurrying away. And then there are the women. Well, uuhhhhmm....., you see..., its like this...,..under the ideal circumstances,......no. There are none. Not until today that is, when the hottie that you see pictured stood beside it for hours smiling....
A multi hour jaunt on a fall day was just what the doctor ordered for both rider and machine. The acceleration on this machine is surprisingly good, and I need to sort out the rear shock so that the suspension is up to the task of more spirited cornering. However, offroad, the bike seems just right. It climbs hills, dances around rocks, and has plenty of suspension travel up front for everything else. In this case, heavily wooded and rocky terrain on a brisk 50 degree morning. The bike likes the leaves ;-)
Despite plans to take a 3 hour jaunt through the countryside, multiple errands needed doing, and so the Dakar was pressed into the most unlikely form of service. As a vehicle for running around town, it works fairly well. There is storage, it is good on rough roads, and it is tall and agile. Characteristics well suited to the terrain. However, it just looks wrong to see it in a suburban parking lot...