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Published: August 26th 2009
Tue 25th of August 2009 Man and Machine
It is time to say a little more about the motorcycling experience. If you are not into bikes you might want to skip this one. I have been with the bike for a week now and as you motor along in the middle of nowhere you appreciate the continual hum of that engine. This is far from a Zen like experience, which is almost laughable to read these days from a motor cycle maintenance perspective. Prisig worried constantly about tappets, slack in the chain etc. reminds me of my experience with a BSA 650 A10 back in the seventies, where each weekend was dutifully spent replacing the head casket or some such thing. Bikes are very different now and in a week I have convinced myself that BMW’s are the crème de la crème. Still you have to appreciate the level of dependence you have on the machine. I have not gone anywhere isolated enough to worry about rescue, but there is the hassle if something goes amiss.
As you read this you will appreciate I am a motorcycle riding enthusiast rather than a total motorcycling enthusiast with all the grease, polishing etc that goes with that. Notwithstanding I know good engineering when I feel it. I have had a BSA 650 (70s) a 250cc Yamaha Trail bike (70s), a Honda 750 Four (70s), a Suzuki’s Intruder (early 2000s), a Triumph Daytona (early 2000s) and two Suzuli GSX 1000s (now). This BMW R1200GS seems to be the perfect bike for this trip. Good power for cruising carrying significant weight, comfortable and I guess good handling (it is hard to compare this when you ride a GSX to work).
In terms of maintenance I look at the tires daily and try and check the oil. The window looks like it has oil but it is hard to tell. I did take the tool kit out and can’t figure if the tool to take the oil cap off is missing since I see no obvious way to add oil. I rely pretty much on the computerized system to tell me anything is wrong. Hey it told me the low beam on the headlight went out, but in the dark lets face it I don’t need the computer for that. On a long ride like this the dials become like old friends and I play with the various displays. The temperature is something I watch a lot. It runs at about 275 F in the cold south and about 310 F in the outback. There is a range indicator. However I have come not to trust it. On a long trip it said I would arrive with 65km to spare I arrived with 15km and who knows how accurate that is. Someone asked e about the spare tank - they obviously have not ridden a bike for a long time.
I can ride for about 150kn before I feel the need to stretch my legs - the polite way of saying my rear end is starting to ache. Five minutes off the sandle and we are ready for another 150km. This is a different experience to riding the Suzuki over long distances. In that case it is $150km, rest then 100km, rest, then 75km until you finally get down to about 25km. This is much better.
I would not want to give up my crotch rocket for those short trips to work, but I can see this bike in the garage at home for those weekend getaways. One can dream I suppose.
Tot: 2.583s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 10; qc: 50; dbt: 0.047s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb