With a new bike, I wanted to take a ride for several hours to check out the ergos and generally get a feel for how it rides so I can take care of any issues before the long distance ride in June (2 weeks, approximately 5,000 miles). I have a new helmet as well which was causing some issues on the way home from picking up the bike so I wanted to see if it was still an issue (break in period) or if I needed to make adjustments.
As a note, Jeanne and I have done quite a few rides on the Hayabusa including a multi-day ride to the Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon, Moab, and Telluride before returning to Longmont and a ride to Virginia, Indianapolis, Chicago and back. We’ve ridden in rain and a touch of snow and done some camping. I’ve also passed along knowledge of the trips I’ve taken in the past including issues that have occurred. This also includes explanations of why I ride in the rain or snow; mainly when on a trip, we may not have the luxury of waiting a few days for the snow to stop or wait for sunny days to travel. That’s why you practice and why you have different types of gear along. You can’t just roll up the windows on a bike 🙂
So Sunday Jeanne and I took a ride up to Laramie, across to Cheyenne, and back to Longmont. This was intended as noted to be a first multi hour test ride of the bike checking for ergos and whatnot.
The ride up 287 was a little windy and temps were 55F when we got to Ft Collins after the first hour. I had expected some winds having gone to Laramie in the past and a touch cooler weather so I transferred some of my colder weather gear into the trunk including my heated gloves and the wire.
Temps dropped steadily and the wind increased as we headed north on 287. Winds were gusting at greater than 50mph according to the signs. My helmet was being pulled off my head and we spent so much time leaned left against the wind, that most of the wear on the tires were on the left edges. And at one point I couldn’t get the C14 going faster than 65mph and I was losing speed slowly. At about 62mph or so, we came out of the funnel and to the plains approaching Tie Siding and picked up speed again. Temps dropped to 34F as we got to Laramie. My left hand was icy cold and the wind had been blowing up my left sleeve!
We were going to snag lunch but decided to continue on on 80. One guy at the gas station asked if we were going west on 80 because 80 was closed west bound due to snow!
As we got on 80 east, it started to sprinkle a little. We could see fog ahead and the electronic signs were warning of fog and high winds. Going up the pass, the road started getting a touch wetter and a little more sprinkling. We had been seeing more snow on the banks on the side of the road and in the surrounding hills. The mix of rain and snow (sleet) was increasing as we head up the mountain and approached the pass. One of the road side signs had some blown snow stuck on the left side and the temps were again falling. 34, 32, 30, 28, 26. This was more sleet and temps were about where I was looking for a turn around and going slower but then we went over the pass. Still 26 and foggy and still wet. I popped open my visor to clear some of the fog on the inside. But the rain slacked off. No rain and cold I’m good with. As we continued, I could see the road drying out but more snow falling.
The temps slowly rose. It was still pretty cold. Probably 40 or so as we got to 25 south. West bound at Cheyenne was also closed with a long line of stopped trucks and cars. Humorously, the tail wind had me seeing 68mpg on the lcd 🙂
Anyway, we pulled in at a Denny’s for lunch then fought the winds as we headed south which included trying to suck the helmet off of my head! There were a couple of places where the cross winds changed directions quickly which was pretty scary but ultimately we made it back with Jeanne starting to nod off behind me (the *tap* *tap* *tap* of her helmet hitting mine 🙂 ).
The helmet needs to be modified. It’s pressing far too hard on the jaw. Maybe it can be adjusted or shaved.
Still need a heel rest for me. Throttlemeister worked pretty well although it’s a bit tight so I may want to add a washer to it.
One thing to note. Folks talk about replacing the whale of an exhaust. When I replaced the ‘busa exhaust, I found the balance was off requiring me to press a bit harder on the right hand and subsequently pack a bit heavier on the left saddlebag. The C14 is well balanced now. I can take my hands off on a straight and it basically stays straight. On the ‘busa I need to lean left about half a butt cheek 🙂 So thought before replacing the exhaust.
I tend to change position especially when riding, laying down on the tank bag and putting my elbows on my knees. This works quite well on the Hayabusa. On the Transalp, the bars are pretty wide and high making it difficult to get my elbows down. I was able to try it on the C14. The bars are a little higher than the ‘busa but I could get down and get my elbow on my knees.
Ultimately a good test ride, both for the ride itself and in reminding us why we check out the weather and check our gear before leaving 🙂