scooterlife - photog's blog

Motorcycles. Scooters. Wheelchairs. Tape. Whatever rolls.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

GS and Relative Speed

An older picture of the GS on the way home from Hot Springs

I had a NCMEF board of directors meeting yesterday--about a 60 minute trip each way via superslab, so the BMW GS was dragged back into service.

It's been sitting quite a bit since I've been commuting on the Zip, but the big oilhead rattled to life and settled into its familiar BMW oilhead thump. Heading out onto the Raleigh Beltline, it was fun to rocket onto into traffic flow by prodding its wide torque curve into motion with a big handful of throttle. A few minutes later I was on I-40 and headed west, slicing through traffic.

At about 90mph.

I kept slowing down, but my senses had been tuned to different scoot sensations. Cruising along at 60 on a GS feels almost too slow since it's got a tall overdrive, so the natural reaction is to crank it up a bit. Factor in the sense of speed that's warped from being closer to the ground on a scoot, and I had no idea how fast I was going. I kept creeping up from 60 to 70 to 80 and beyond, sailing along in the left hand lane with the rest of the speeders.

It took the entire trip to recalibrate my butt and eyeballs to Big Motorcycle speeds.

Bear in mind that I've decided that keeping my license clear of points has been a major priority lately, so an NCSHP Performance Award wouldn't be welcome. My squid days are over. Mostly. (Playing Rossi on the scooter is more along the lines of my current hooligan moves, since it's really hard to get ticketed in a 45mph zone when 43 is the max velocity I can get outta the Zip, yet I can pull 90+ degree corners at that speed on it)

The GS hoovered up the miles as it always does, shrugging off a 120 mile trip like it was a jaunt to the corner post office--it's more used to 800 mile days. The BMW GS excels at all-day, all-night runs that include fire roads and the worst pavement on earth. With some planning and fortitude, I can take the scooter to any destination. The GS says "forget planning--point me in a direction and we'll cope with whatever Mother Earth throws at us." It's a good Big Brother to the scoot.

Obligatory MSF mention: if you haven't taken an MSF course, do so--whether you've got years of riding under your belt or you're a total newcomer to getting around on two wheels. And if you've got some money or usable motorcycle stuff to donate, contact the NCMEF. These are the folks that keep the North Carolina MSF sites running with supplies and a fleet of training bikes. It's a great way to give back to the sport--by helping other rides get a safe introduction to 2 wheels, and making sure everyone has a better chance of coming home safely every night.

Monday, July 11, 2005

IlMostro gets a Scoot

IlMostro--"Dave" to everyone else--sold me my Zip.

Dave and Linzi got two Vento Zips so they could ride in the True Grits mountain rally. In true ADVrider form, they pulled them out of the crate, put gas and oil in them, and then pinned the throttle for 100 miles alongside a few hundred other kindred souls propelled by 49 smoking cubic centimeters through the mountains.

When the joy of riding 38mph wore off, they parked them and eventually sold them. One had become recalcitrant and refused to start. Due to its reduced price, it came my way and became The Mighty Zip, Horsepower King of Raleigh. After coaxing it back to life with some TLC I found that the 100 mile flat-out "break-in" had done no harm. Matter of fact, I think it was good for the little beast, since it was destined to land in the hands of another ADVrider. We're not known for subtlety or being gentle on the twistgrip.

But IlMostro had been bitten. Granted, it was a tiny nip, a little mosquito bite, but it wasn't long before he started thinking about scoots again.

Now Dave and Linzi have gone over the edge.