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m3 and "THE SCOOTER WARS"..........
what an adventure! just the way it is supposed to be! bright sunshine ..fast bikes...good food,ice cream and many many old and new friends to ride with. the open house at capitol bmw in raleigh nc was a booming success. great fun was had by all!!
accompanying me on this mission were derek (klr650) and randy (ktm super moto). these two guys rode with me and my trusty yam tdm 850 to the capitol city baited by bar be cue , baskin robins ice cream and demo rides on the newest bmws and triumph motorcycles. did i mention that they carry scooters? real cool scooters too!!
read on and you will here tales of :an on going tdm "gearing" experiment as i try to wring more efficency out of my battle twin. 2) you will read of the great "scooter wars" where madmotomike fought a huge handicap to gain the respect of his adversaries. 3) how madmotomike blessed with perfect timing and klingon guile almost got home with a ktm super moto to park in the garage!!!
it all started in a galaxy far far away...no actually it started when my friend rick lee sent out a "call to arms". his comunique mentioned the open house at capital bmw in raliegh nc. it promised free food, ice cream and the chance to ride some really cool bikes. being up for a road trip and being on the tail end of an extended abscence from work ; my mind hatched a plan.
we/i answer the call and would make a day of it. figured that i would take all who gathered at bojangles and lead them north thru some fine carolina scenery only to gorge ourselves on the hospitality of bmw and study how bmw is once again knocking down technological barriers to give us bikes that help us be safer and expand our comfort zones.
it was an unusual mix of bikes that responded. my tdm battle twin was accompanied by derek's travel weary klr650 and randy's exotic outrageous ktm super moto.
the super moto was a pretty narrow focus bike with which to travel 200+ miles on . it did outstanding.. in fact it worked so will i tried to abscond with it.
cruising speed was mostly 70-75 mph. above that speed the singles were getting a bit windblown and vibey. a freak of timing had these tough one cylinder bikes accompanied by my tdm which is in the middle of a wild gearing experiment.
the tdm is geared tall from the factory . it has very good torque all the way to idle. i have been trying to get it geared so that at 60-70 mph it will be running on the pilot circuit of the carbs. if i accomplish this i should theoritically see a huge mileage jump. the trick is to not gear it so tall that pulling off from a stop would be impossiable. the results are good...and bad. first the good: with the stock 15/44 gear the bike turns 3200rpm at 60 mph. it turns 5300 rpm at 100mph. gas mileage was always in the 34-36mpg range(this is after replace the needles and needle jet with stock new components...59,000 miles of wear!). my first move was the change the rear to a 38 tooth. this worked well! mileage in the low 40s. engine rpm at 60 mph is 2700rpm. at 80mph= 3800 rpm. top speed is down to 120mph in fourth gear. bike is running well but top gear passing power is somewhat compromised...IT GETS BETTER!!
as the final part of the gearing portion of my mad scientist venture . i installed a 17 front sprocket. . my gearing is now 17/38!!!!!!!!!!! the bike turns a miserly 2300 rpm at 60mph. top speed is down to 115 mph in fourth gear. 100 mph comes up at 3800rpm. "she be gear'ed like an ole norton manx". bike has lost some instant pop but seems more civilized and even more sneaky fast. mileage is right at 50 mpg!!! 49.6-50.8mpg yesterday!!
i like it ! has extended the range on my tank from 129 (main) to right at 200 miles. next phase will involve aerodynamic efficency and mainuplation of the fuel mixture screws...
any way back to the story. this is the bike i was riding yesterday with the singles . those bikes will always gravitate to a slower speed. the yamha tdm 850 will always gravitate to higher speeds. darn thing is so relaxed a serene 100mph feels like 60! no drama ....just velocity!
made it to raliegh (the back way)in good time. got spun around in raliegh and managed to miss the turn off the beltline twice. spent almost 40 miles circling raliegh testing my new eye perscription as i try to find my way...randy was not amused. derek has ridden with me enough to expect this. i would blame my brain injury but truth is ....i was lost BEFORE the injury.
we did eventually arrive and joined the throngs milling about eating and checking out the scoots. food was great and the turnout was as well.
saw rick and bama and friends who have ridden up from fayetteville. rick tried to use the goodyear blimp that was circling overhead to distract me while he jumped in front of the ice cream line! dirty rotten scoundrel! i fell for it of course.
there were alot of demos. the bmws were in high demand as were the hottest triumphs. the rocket lll and speed triple getting the most attention. i wanted to ride the bmw k100r with the hossack front end on it . the popularity of this model made it unavailable. i tried begging and whinning to no avial. i finally challenged those who were smart enough to sign up early to an arm wrestling contest for the right to ride. na didn't work.
the scooter demo line was small. my brain is small...brain hatched a plan. lets demo the scooters! GOOD IDEA! or not. i grabbed a piaggio typhoon 50 cc. derek got a gs 150 cc. randy got the big gun 200cc piaggio. the rider orientation was given due attention. i think they said no passing and behave yourselves. what i heard:" rubbins' racing! ya lift ya lose! and rules? what rules?!!!" it was plan to me that i was out gunned as we pulled onto the road. everybody pulled away! i was wide open .....throttle pinned jousting in traffic at maybe 30 mph! i needed a plan and quick too! i am not scooter experianced but have watched many videos which show proper scooter technique. Performance Bikes :Video nasty and Fast bikes show 1&2 reference.
i was quickly out distanced at first. the car traffic was Not amused as i refused to behave like a moped. i took my half out of the middle. this one lady was tail gating me. she pissed my off so i took her picture and it is featured here! take THAT!!!
i found that if i ducked my head and had a long enough run; it would hit 42 mph indicated. no power?! hmmmmm.....it gonna have to take klingon guile to put derek and randy in their place. i tried to keep my cornering speed up. i also tried to catch them stopped at a red light . i would aggressively keep the throttle on hard as i finally approached from the rear and then i would swoop past just as the light turned green!!! yeah buddy!!!
i would then instantly get my elbows out and live in my mirrors! trying to discourage retailiation! i would dodge and dart and feint......anything to prevent or prolong the inevitable.
another favorite trick was to anticipate the green lights and get rolling early. i tried holding the brake a bit and preloading the throttle but my timing is not great!
the coup de grace was I WAS THE FIRST ONE BACK IN THE PARKING LOT! i guess that makes my arguably THE WINNER!! we turned left back toward the dealership. the demo leader took them down to the corner ,hung a left and up to an entrance about 150 feet from the corner. i saw the opprotunity("i was only below the hard deck for a few seconds , i took the shot, there was no danger to the plane..) i dove in the exit before the turn at the left hand corner and arrived ahead of everybody!!! how's that for "thinking out of the box!!?"
we were roaring with laughter. motosport should be laced with fun and much laughter. this is the way it should be.....
we said good bye to our friends and headed home. the adventure was not over..............
on the way home we started swapping bikes. no big deal UNTIL randy let me take a spin on the ktm. i had planned it to perfection.... all day long i have been complimenting his ktm and heaping praise on my yamaha tdm until it happened. his curiosity got the better of him (he also wanted to get me to shut up about my tdm). we swapped bikes. we pulled out onto the road and i promptly missed a turn (he thought is was an accident).randy turned right . derek followed me. we reversed our mistake and expected to see randy waiting by the road. no randy? we went a bit further. still no randy? figured he was up ahead so we kept going . got to hwy111.............no randy. we stopped and talked about it. just give him a call on the cell phone. oooopppsss! i am on randy's super moto . he has my bike and my phone. i have his bike and phone! derek didnot bring his phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!! major opps!!!
nothing to do but keep going... so i am thoroughly enjoying my new ktm . resplendent in bright orange paint . dripping with titanium and magnesium. the bike is beautiful and purpousful...and now it is mine mine mine. i traded a clapped out overgeared 1992 yamaha with 60,000 miles on it. sounds like a great deal!!
we finally stopped . i told derek that we will get something to drink and give him 10 minutes on my timer. if he does not show we will go by he shop and see if he's there. if he is not there ; i will hustle home and pack the wife and kids and get moved . hopefully after a couple of months he will give up the search.
so aside from the strange navigational problems. we had a great day! you should have been there. join us for the next one.
loose on the land
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