Monday, October 18, 2010

My New F650GS Twin

Submitted by Doug Schafer

Mary Hawes was listening to all the banter at the Wednesday night supper and asked for a contribution to the Newsletter that needs to be put out shortly. Dale had an exciting story to tell about a near life threatening motorcycle encounter and a savior in the form of two women, but he declined. She then twisted my arm, about a _ a degree, to tell you about my new F650GS twin. This is the same bike I sat on out in Sturgis when Meggy and I were coming back from our Thermopolis, Wy. adventure.
I had ridden this model of bike at the BMWMOA Rally in Gillette and knew then that it should be my next BMW. I was angry at BMW for lying to me when I discovered that the 2008 F650GS that I thought was a single turned out to be a detuned 800. But ya’ know that test ride really did put a smile on my face. It had been a real hoot to test ride.
I had asked Judson Cycle to get me one of these in blue and thought the deal was done, but due to circumstances beyond their control, it was not to be. Jill worked diligently and found what I wanted at Sturgis Yamaha/BMW. They even agreed to the same deal I had worked out with Judson. I tried to work out a deal to pick it up the morning of Hawes Biker days and ride it back to the campout for the greatest impact of oooohs and aaaahs. Alas, that was not to be either.
So the next Saturday, my Doc let me leave work at 11:00 AM. I beat feet home and picked up the Mad Norwegian, Danielle (youngest daughter), and Morgan (the other motorcycling granddaughter) and we headed west, arriving at Sturgis BMW about 3:30, and signed my life away. Got the “this is the clutch lever, this is the brake lever” introduction, but I also got the “this is the computer, this is the ABS, this is the tank” information. At 4:50 it’s ready to ride back to the Ramkota at Rapid City. So off we go with me leading and Marge and the girls in tow. Did I mention that it was 42.1 degrees, at least that is what the computer read. Does anyone need this information? Ramkota screwed up the reservations so we got the King Suite, nice. Supper at Outback, the tip was $15, don’t ask. Breakfast at Minerva’s, don’t ask, and headed home. Temp 42.7,wow a warming trend.
You’re supposed to break in an engine by varying the speed, no speed over 5000 RPM. How do you do that on a 310 mile interstate run? You pull off at each exit, stop and continue on, and repeat ad nauseaum. Yep, really did. Not exactly every exit but most. Back and butt enjoyed the change of pace that the pull offs afforded. Playing with the computer helped pass the time. 39 miles worth of gas in the tank, average MPG 41, current MPG 52 and of course that damn temperature gage now at 52.0 degrees.
With all the pulling off at an exit and going again I passed the same lady in the same car (makes sense) 7 times between Belvedere and Oacoma. Stopped at Al’s Oasis and when we left her car was parked along side my bike. I really wonder what she thought or did she even notice? Where were my women all this time? A new formula says it takes 3 women the same amount of time to travel a certain distance as it does for a solo motorcyclist to pull over at most exits. They were always behind me, I was always waiting, not long, but waiting. And no, no speed limits were exceeded. (We did a pit stop thank you very much)
Playing with the computer can be fun. Going uphill the MPG drops and if you shut the throttle off going down the James River hill you can watch the MPG climb to 171. Yup, it’s true. So after about 700 miles, what do I think? It’s different. Very narrow. More horsepower and quicker revving than the R100RT. Very light. What does it still need? The tank bag arrived yesterday. The saddle bags will arrive, hopefully, before the Falling Leaf Rally in Potosi. Other things; handle bar risers for sure, mirror extenders probably. And when money presents, crash bars and center stand, and hand guards with wind deflectors. Topbox? Will it ever replace the R100RT? Hopefully not. Will it take me from home to the blacktop over my crappy roads - already doing that with grace. My adventure sometimes is just getting to the blacktop. Will it take me to Alaska and back - certainly hope so, some day. Oh, and when the computer say 0 miles left in the tank you can still go 6 blocks and put in 3.94 gallons. Can you feel my GRIN:)

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