11 June 2010

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally Departure Day

6 Jun 2010:
Total Mileage -- 191

After feeling a little lupie before I went to bed, I didn't think I'd even feel like riding the morning when I woke up.  The first thing I did was wiggle my fingers to see if they were swollen.  It's usually a sign of how the rest of me is feeling physically.  I was so pleased there was no swelling I interrupted Cruzman who was making up his bed to tell him.  He said I should wiggle my toes to be sure.  They worked, I could ride.

We made a plan before going to sleep the night before that we'd be up early enough for Cruzman to chase the cop up the Dragon as soon as the opened the road at 8 a.m.  I knew I couldn't do any more rides like that because I'd spent most of the rubber on my rear tire during the previous few days of spirited riding.  I didn't trust myself not to be spirited on a Dragon run so I said I'd accompany him and have breakfast while he was riding.  When he was done, we would go back to camp and sync my carbs before breaking up camp.

Cruzman adding air to his tires so he would be ready for his run:

We were going to meet FZ1_ARAO and CrazyBiker so they could have a last run while Seena and I ate breakfast.  Unfortunately, Cruzman was running on CP time so we arrived at Deal's Gap a little after 8.  There was no sign of FZ and Crazy, so I assumed they were on IST again that morning.  As soon as Cruzman left, I checked my wallet as was pleased to see I had enough money to purchase the Alpinestars Alloy gloves AND get home.  I didn't waste any time making my purchase in case I talked myself out of it.

I've been looking for a better summer glove for a while now and was pleased when I saw these the second day in the store.  As soon as I put them on, I knew I had to have them.  It is a deerskin leather glove with armor that is more suitable to my current style of riding.  It features molded leather knuckles with an open air design that should make it comfortable in summer months.  It has silicone padding on the fingers too.  The Men's small fit perfectly. The best part is the seams are on the outside of the fingers!  All of that adds up to just the very comfortable glove I've been searching for to replace my worn vented leather cruiser gloves I got when I first got the VX800.

To my surprise, Seena pulled into the parking lot as I was walking back to the bike.  I had to look at the gps (I don't wear a watch) to be sure my eyes were correct.  She said the boys were already here and probably were making their run.  Just as we were walking towards the restaurant, I hear the by now familliar sound of the Gen II FZ1 with Micron exhaust coming down the hill.  Seena was excited to see them, but as soon as I saw the missing windscreen, I knew something was wrong and started praying for the best.

I kept trying to tell her that something wasn't right, but she didn't see it.  It wasn't until Crazy turned into the parking lot that we could see up close something was amiss.  He was quick to say it wasn't his bike and Seena ran over to FZ to make sure he was all right.  Thank God.

He banged up his shoulder on a little get off under hard braking coming out of a corner but other than that he was okay.  The poor bike, on the other hand, was not so good.  Seena tended to him while Crazy and I looked over the bike.  The damage didn't appear to be so bad, the front end was tweaked a little, but Crazy thought it all could be fixed.

They saw Cruzman on their way back and thought he might turn around but after a few minutes it was obvious he wasn't.  We decided to eat and wait for him to get back because I was certain he could help get the bike so it was more rideable and could be taken back to the Lodge where they were staying.

FZ had something to donate to the Tree of Shame.  I have no intention of posting a picture of it here.  FZ teased me when I said the only picture I needed of that tree was me standing next to it point at my contribution and since I am never going to make a contribution to that tree, I don't need a picture of it.  He wondered if everyone had such a superstition.  I don't know.  I don't think of it as a superstition, more putting out in the universe what I expect.

His donation was a broken passenger grab rail, but he had a broken windscreen that would have worked just as well.  It wasn't long before Cruzman returned and we spent a while getting the forks straight enough for Crazy to ride FZs bike back to their lodge.  FZ and Seena already left so he could get a little rest and let the advil kick in before check out time.

I was going to ride Crazy's bike back to the lodge then help them get their bikes on the trailer while Cruzman and Teddy vacated the camp site.  They would bring me back to the Resort to pick up my bike so I could catch up to Cruzman and get my things out of the trailer.  But first, Crazy and Cruzman ran the dragon.

Cruzman getting ready to roll:

Cruzman's Video -- Part One:

Akshay on the Dragon Part 1 from Cruzman on Vimeo.

Part Two:

Ashkay and I on the gap from Cruzman on Vimeo.

While they were gone, I took a few pictures:

By the time they got back, Cruzman decided to accompany us all the way back to the lodge, maybe a little over a mile farther down the road from the camp ground and about midway we switched so he could ride a Gen II too.

Crazy has every mod known to man on his Gen II, including a re-done suspension.  That meant his bike was very high.  Extremely high for me.  When I was lifting it off of the side stand, a bystander reached for the front thinking I didn't have it.  I told him I had it, but once I searched for the ground with my other foot, I understood why he was so quick to come to my aid.

Once the bike was moving, I had no issues with the distance from the saddle to the ground.  The first thing I noticed was a cramping in my thighs from the peg position.  The Gen II is designed to be sportier than my Gen I.  The foot pegs are farther back and the bars have less angle to them so that you lean forward a lot more than on the Gen I.  Nothing like a real sport bike with clip ons, but it is a big change from my normal riding position.

The seat is a two part one where the passenger has their own perch pretty high above the rider.  I found the seating area very wide compared to my Gen I.  The tank seemed wider even though it is smaller because of where they moved something to accommodate the fuel injection.  I tried to concentrate on the roads because they were a little wet and I didn't want to damage his bike.

The throttle and power felt very much like mine but maybe a little smoother.  I can't say if that's because mine is stock and his is modded but I got to ride Stella right after and she felt the same way, since her engine is equally modded to Crazy's bike.

The bike did seem to turn a lot better than mine, I think soley due to the upgraded suspension.  I really like those inverted forks and if that's what it means to have them then I want some.  Maybe it's time to start searching for a good deal on R1 front ends...

Just as I was really getting the feel for him, it was time for Cruzman to have a go.  I rode Stella the rest of the way and was grateful for the more relaxed ergos of the Gen I.  Initially, I liked the straighter Gen II bars on the Gen I but after the ride home I realized those bars are perfect for riding in the twisties but not so much for every day use for me.

Riding Crazy's Gen II was just a taste of what the bike is.  FZ said it best later when we were unlocking the trailer to prepare to load the bikes, I wouldn't trade my bike for one.  It's a nice and if I were just now buying a bike and looking at the FZ, I might go for Gen II over Gen I simply because of the FI and greater aftermarket support.  Since I have a Gen I, I see no need to get a Gen II.  Now we'll wait to see what the Gen III will be.

Cruzman left me to help the guys get everything loaded.  It turned out I also needed to move their clocks forward a little bit.  By the time we got back to the lodge, it was 11:30 and check out was at noon.  They still had stuff to pack and Crazy wanted to copy the video they'd taken on the Dragon that morning.  We just didn't have time.  They barely made it out of the room before check out time!

I kept trying to tell them that they needed to at least move their clocks forward to Indian Daylight Time...  I'm making jokes, but I honestly envy them that they are able to retain that bit of their culture.  The same with the Jamaicans who can infuriate you over timeliness.  At least IST uses a watch, Jamaican time uses an hour glass with a twisted neck so a Jamaican hour is like three American hours.

It's my best guess that black people's closes attempt at that is CP time which is about 15 minutes to a half hour late.  We have probably been assimilated the most.  I hope the others can retain their time standard.  Things should get doing when they need to be done, not when by a clock.

We'd just hooked the trailer to the truck and were trying to find the best place to load the bikes when Cruzman returned hauling his travel trailer.  It's next destination is a family vacation with his real family to the beach.  He left it parked near the lodge when we determined we needed to find a flatter spot than the nearby slopes.

We went to the gas station and the trailer was loaded in short order.  Afterwards, FZ returned me to the Resort while Cruzman and Teddy ate lunch.  The ride back to the resort on 28 was much different by car than by bike.  I think I like by bike better.

Here's FZ as they are getting ready to go:

He'll probably be sore for a week, but I think (actually I know) he'll be all right.  Nothing was broken just bruises to his shoulder and ego.  Later, I found out he had a couple of sore ribs too but he said he's fine.

His bike, on the other hand...pictures speak louder than words:

Seeing that slider makes me glad I have the same one.  Without it, the damage could have been much worse.

The handle bar is really bent:

I know you are wondering how it should look.  Crazy's bike will give you an idea:

Side by side:

FZ and Seena:

I liked that picture so much, I wanted one of me there:

And finally, CrazyBiker aka ModWhore:

I didn't linger long at the resort.  It was well past the time I wanted to be on the road.  I hurried back to the Village only to arrive at the same time as Cruzman and Teddy.  I collected my things and got the bike loaded and ready for the road:

This is the rear tire after the Rally...just enough rubber to make it home:

A lot different wear than the last time I replaced it when it was only the middle that was worn down.  This time I got to the wear bars on each side!!

I plugged in the fastest route home and took 28 into Franklin where I picked up 441/I-985 and rode it home, making only a couple of stops.  One when I got thirsty:

Another when I had to go to the bathroom.  I didn't get to go though because I saw a nail in the rear tire.  I didn't want to risk the time in the facilities so I just gassed up, added a little more air, and made a straight line home.

It was a great trip.  I got to see a lot of different FZ1s, both Gen I and II.  It allowed me to see in person some of the things I've considered doing to my bike like painting the radiator covers black to match the frame and those cool Devilsyam frame plugs.  Fortunately for me, when I got back, he posted that he had some more so I don't have to steal them off of someone's bike.

I met some new people, got to ride a Gen II, learned I need to learn how to be slow and smooth, I need sport boots not the touring boots I'm currently destroying, and I made new friends.

Total mileage for the trip was 828.  I bought 19.73 gals of gas at an average price of $2.789 for about $60.  I spent about $120 on food and other miscellaneous stuff (like gloves and new signal adapter plates).  I killed a BT-021 rear in 5,100 miles doing things like Twisty Butts, going to Savannah, trying to keep up with FJRs, and trying to lead FZ1s.  Buying the pre-paid Verizon phone was worth the $30--$10 for the phone and $20 in added minutes--because I was able to stay in touch with home when I otherwise would not have been able to.

The new gloves worked great on the way home.  I didn't even get black(er) hands from the dye like people complained about in the reviews.  I did notice my pinkie finger on the throttle hand went a little numb when I used the throttle boss.  I think that had more to do with the glove bunching than anything.  They just need to be worn more to fit to my hand better.

I also learned a smaller rally is not necessarily a better rally since most of the people at this rally already knew each other and not many seemed inclined to get to know some of the newer folks.  I am still looking forward to the next one and the FZ1-Forum meet in September.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog