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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 11/15/2011 11:41 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
We had a really nice evening tonight. Cool, but really nice! So I had to take a romp in the woods. Mainly I wanted to test the new head light and see how it did in the pitch black. I really like it. It has a slightly longer reach than the OEM bulb and the light is this really nice white light. The beam is just a bit wider as well. I noticed I wasn't using my high beam near as much as I usually do. So a good upgrade there. Still weighing my options for aux. lighting but narrowing it down I think. It was extra cool just running with the low beam at times; you can see more of the night sky through the tree tops. Yes, an excellent run tonight.


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RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 12/1/2011 3:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

Well fellas, last night proved to be one of the most intense night romps ever. Some sort of weird front moved in and we were suddenly getting hit with 35-40 MPH sustained winds with gusts of 60+. So right out of the gate when I left work things got interesting. Now riding in windy conditions is one thing - I do it all the time around here - but this was something quite different. The big gusts just simply move your arse in a big way, and you never knew when they were going to hit. So the slab portion of the ride was a study in concentration and anticipation, as my arse wasn't the only one being pushed around! But this was only the beginning.

Once I got off the highway and headed for the hills things really got intense. I made the usual stop at my favorite haunt, and hung out for an hour or so. When I went out to mount up for the run home, I could not believe how much the wind had picked up. The minute I hit the road I knew I was in for a difficult stretch. Not even a mile in, and now in the deep forest, the road surface was covered in pine straw, and the wind was riping down branches, bark, and anything else that it could and depositing it right onto the road. So here I am, in the pitch black, all alone (No one else was out, oddly enough!), just getting fragged by pine straw, pieces of various trees and bushes, and a road that now looked more like an obstacle course than an actual road.

I was a little nervous but I kept loose and just ran the gauntlet, trying to keep that good balance of body postion, proper engine speed and most of all, traction. As the debris struck my visor and body over and over, I stayed focused, kept my head up and carefully worked the bike through the debris field. At one point I came upon 2 branches that had strewn themselves across the road, and trying to swerve around them was going to be too dangerous in the pine straw. I was going to have to go over them. Immediately I thought about what we did in the MSF course where we actually rode over some 2 X 4s and I thought, "well, the one drill I hoped I would never have to do for real I'm gonna have to do now." So I shifted my weight back just a little, got nice and straight, elbows slightly out, got up on the pegs a little bit and gave the throttle a nice little snap.

Almost instantly the low end torque of this great engine unloaded the front wheel, then lifted it up off the ground ever so slightly, and I carried that momentum right through the obstruction. The rear made it right over and the front touched down nice and soft. I did it. My first mini-wheelie. Lou, we had touched base on this very thing, and here I was, in the situation and just doin it. you would have been proud, Sir!

This carried on for miles and miles, and I must say I was very glad when I finally broke out of the trees. But there was no time to take a breath, as a monstrous gust hit me right in the face the minute I was in the clear and almost knocked me right off the bike! When I finally got home I shut the engine down and just sat there in the saddle for a moment or two; I was actually a little drained. All the hustling of the machine and the intense concentration sort of took it out of me. But I felt good; my trusty steed did extremely well I thought in adverse conditions, and I reckon I did OK too. Another run in the books, and this one I will remember for quite some time. 


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RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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GAJ
Registered Member



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   Posted 12/1/2011 4:22 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Yes, super windy around here as you describe; only happens about once a year or so.

They had forecasted it; didn't you think taking the car might have been a better idea?

Sounds like you handled it well, however.

Congrats


Selling my one owner '97 TL1000S: www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=372346

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Easy Rider 2
Central Illinois / Central Florida

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   Posted 12/1/2011 5:47 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
GAJ said...
They had forecasted it; didn't you think taking the car might have been a better idea?
And another one set for tomorrow......or so the national newscast said tonight.
 
I NEVER go off on a ride of more than 1/2 hour or so without checking the forecast ahead of time.
 
 


'06 Suzuki S50 (VS800)
'07 Honda Shadow VLX 600
 

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 493
 
   Posted 12/2/2011 9:21 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
GAJ said...
Yes, super windy around here as you describe; only happens about once a year or so.

They had forecasted it; didn't you think taking the car might have been a better idea?

Sounds like you handled it well, however.

Congrats
Thanks, Geoff! Yessir, I did have that thought about the car because I did see the forecast (ER2, I'm with you there!) but we only have one cage now and that is my Wife's primary ride, so it was not doable for me. And to be honest I kinda wanted to take it on. Part of being an every day rider is that you are going to be exposed to all kinds of adverse conditions, and you have to know how to deal with them. So many of you guys could take a ride like this and not even blink, and that's where I want  to get to. This was an excellent test for me and the bike to see how well we both held up in conditions such as these and I have to say the bike did great. And I learned a ton. The ironic part of this is that I am reading "proficient Motorcycling" by David L. Hough and many of the things I had to execute that night I had just read about, so I got to back up that book knowledge with real world experience immediately. Mr. Hough certainly knows his stuff!
 
I rode the back side last night and just as I got to the top of the mountain I was treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in many years, not to mention a crystal clear star field later on. You just can't beat the rush these little adventures provide.


Regards -
 
RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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GAJ
Registered Member



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   Posted 12/2/2011 12:19 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
In Belgium, where as teens we could only ride 50cc street bikes, a friend had a dustbin fairing on his bike.

THAT was a handful in crosswinds, I can tell you!

Sounds like you learned a ton on your ride Raptor...just be aware that as your confidence grows, you'll have to keep it in check and avoid the red mist.

That bit me one time and is usually mentioned in most of the motorcycle books.


Selling my one owner '97 TL1000S: www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=372346

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 493
 
   Posted 12/2/2011 1:43 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I know what you mean. This a key message that a lot of you guys convey during discussions like this. This concept is not lost on me! The reason there are so many 20, 30, and 40+ year vets on this board is because you all have developed incredible skills and excercise good common sense. This is how I see myself evolving as well. The speed part is intoxicating to be sure - no one disputes that - but more and more I am finding that it is far more challenging (and rewarding) to have a good ride every time out. A good ride to me means hitting your marks every time, being in good position all the time, taking that perfect line every time, anticipating trouble and using good judgement, working to perfect your technique and master your machine every time - this takes incredible skill to achieve. Any fool can twist a throttle and go fast. That doesn't make you a good rider.

That red mist thing officially has my attention now, btw!! :p



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RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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