Sunday, September 13, 2015

I ride naked (a new bike, a new me).

Those that know me, since the early days of the Amherst Motorcycle Club, know that I've always favored sporty, fast bikes.  I follow MotoGP racing (Misano is on NOW, and I should be watching) and, after 2 sport bikes, I bought a cruiser for the 2008 ride to Sturgis.  I really enjoyed Ol' Blue for many years, but lately, I was bored with it.  Something was missing.  No matter how hard I flogged it, tried riding it in a sporty fashion, it just failed to excite me any longer.  I knew it was long overdue to look at something new.

If you read my previous posts, I recently looked at 3 different bikes (Honda, Ducati & Aprilia). I blame the Marketing (and Finance) department of Ducati (now owned by Audi/Volkswagen) for trotting out the 0% financing offer that got me into my local Ducati dealership.  Shit, advertising WORKS.  After settling on the Ducati Monster 1200, and failing to agree on terms, I opened up my search.  One bike that came to my attention was the BMW S1000R.  It was featured favorably in many comparisons with the Ducati.

After a visit to the local BMW store on Friday, we agreed to a test ride on Saturday morning.  I couldn't sleep, I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. The bike was a leftover 2015, offered at discount.  It had 35 miles on the odometer but was generally unloved, probably due to the color (matte blue).  This bike packs in a ton of technology into a svelte 460 lbs of (wet) weight.  The list of features is long, but ABS, TC, Dynamic Damping and Cruise Control are just a few of the options on this bike. Hell, I'd have been happy with ABS and a fuel gauge!  I was advised to take it for a short, 8-mile ride, so I wouldn't put on excessive miles. 

As I rolled out of the lot onto a busy road nearby, I was frustrated by the amount of early morning traffic.  I needed to get through this to get to a stretch of road where I could fully test the acceleration.  As I was blipping the throttle, I caught the eye of our local m/c police, who ride very nice BMW's themselves.  He was going the other way, gave me a look, and I gave him a friendly wave and, if not noticeable, sheepish smile hidden behind my helmet's face shield.  In other words, "Yes officer, I'll keep the speed down".  What a liar!

After I reached the 101 connector, I was immediately frustrated to be stuck in another line of traffic.  UGH!  I had go a little further than anticipated, to get the chance to open this bike up a bit.  First impression, very quick.  Second impression:  there's zero wind protection and I was being blown back into my seat.  Without a 'shield to displace some of the air coming over the front of the bike, it was like hanging your head out an airplane window.

I put about 20 miles on the bike before returning it.  On the return trip, I knew that I was going to buy this bike, if we could make a deal. 

You know the drill.  Get a value on your trade. Low-ball offer.  Misery ensues.  We had that discussion, he showed the trade number,  I didn't call BS, keeping it civil and wanting to walk out with a new ride.  I told the rep that the value I'd been given by the Honda dealer was considerably higher (it was) and if we could bump that trade number a little AND throw in the $300+ windscreen, we might be able to stay friends.  One more call to another used bike reseller and he found another $500 of trade value.  The screen was added to the deal, gratis, and we shook hands and set a time for delivery.

So, that's how I was able to put the rocket back into Joe Rocket.  I'm happy to be riding a new sport bike and will need to learn how all switches and idiot lights work.  Here's a few more photos of my new motorcycle (Blue) Gene.

I have to get out and ride now.  I'm sure you understand.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket

1 comment:

Patricia Henderson said...

Congratulations on the new scoot!