11 August 2012

Ride Report: Feeling Advanced

29 July 2012

After installing the ELS +4 Advancer I was anxious to go for a nice long ride to test it.  I was so anxious I didn't get any sleep the night before I wanted to ride.  Instead of riding, I hung out with my niece.  Sunday morning, after getting a little more sleep but waking up way too groggy to think about riding, I watched the F1 race and pondered if I'd get the chance to ride soon.

As the race was winding down, I realized that if I didn't try to go too far I could get in a good ride and be home for dinner.  I was backing out of the garage an hour later with my camera mounts stuck to the bike using sticky pods.  Might as well test out how those work on the bike too.  I ended up sticking one to the windscreen and the other to the tail.  (I have plans for these and the high cam mount version 2 in the works.)

Once I filled up the tank, I decided I'd ride until I had a gallon and a half left then turn for home to see how close I could get to the house before having to fill up again.  I took the quick way to the mountains up 985 to Lula RD then over to 129.  Once on 129, I decided I'd ride Richard Russell again since the weather was perfect for riding and the last time I had to dodge showers and ride on wet roads.  I stopped at the beginning to put the cams in the mounts then got on the road.

Unfortunately, the front cam was aimed so badly all I got was the sky!  But I did stop to take pics:
Baby @ Hogpen Gap on Richard Russell
By the time I got to Hogpen Gap I was wondering why I'd waited so long to do the advancer mod.  Had I forgotten about it?  Partially.  Every time the advancer is mentioned on the FZ1 forums, someone will say "don't buy it, you can diy" or something like that.  Inevitably, I'd follow the link, read the page and think about the many ways I could screw it up.  Then I saw the reasonably priced ELS Advancer and put it on my "to get" list.  The ELS advancer is worth the money if only because you can get it back if you don't like the thing.  The site says it's laser cut so I felt confident that I was getting the advance advertised.

The other thing I was wondering was if just the advancer made the engine feel smoother, how much better could it be once I synced the carbs?  Another on the to do list that I delayed mainly because I couldn't get to the sync tool but we'd just cleaned out the garage so the only thing that was delaying it was the heat.  During this ride I got motivated to sync the carbs heat be damned!

The throttle response and smoothness of the engine gave me a taste of what it could be synced.  The feel of the suspension made me wish I'd brought the stuff to adjust the shock because it was feeling pretty stiff.  I guess weight loss does improve the bikes performance because Baby has been feeling pretty spry lately.

Once over Hogpen Gap, I got held up by traffic heading to 180.  Good thing the video was of the sky or else it'd be boring behind traffic.  Undaunted, I headed over to Wolfpen Gap Rd.  It wasn't raining and it was the time of the year when the road should be pretty clean.

While watching this video I realized my last minute duct taping the external battery I put on my cams to the sticky pod may not be the best solution.  The external battery mod works like a charm though because I never ran out of battery or storage.  I got video every where I intended to--bad or not, the video was there.  Don't worry, I'll use the shock mounts next time.

At the end of the video (and a little before the bridge), I caught up with a group I'd seen earlier in the day.  There were two guys and two ladies in the group.  I guess they were couples however I'm not sure by the way they left that poor girl on Wolfpen Gap.  I tried to give her plenty of room once I realized she had to be either new on this road or new on a bike.  Up until I caught up with that group, I wasn't feeling all that smooth.  After following that girl I remembered my first few times on that road and realized I was smooth in comparison.

My other problem was remembering how the suspension used to be before I made the suspension mods.  I kept going into the curves expecting the bike to do what it used to do and not what it was doing.  I needed to erase that and get my current Baby in my head.  This didn't even include the smoothness getting on the throttle coming out of the curve and how it no longer upset the bike.

I decided I'd stop at the gas station and saw that they'd pulled in too.  Not the friendliest group but then I wasn't with Cruzman so I may not have been the friendliest Tamer.  After a short break, I decided I'd ride Wolfpen back to 129 then down Blood Mountain.  Mostly because I saw that group leaving in the direction I thought I might want to go next.  I tried to clear my mind so I could learn my bike all over again.  Wolfpen Gap, take 2:

No I didn't include where I dropped the bike because I was futzing with the front camera.  I left that for a video all by itself.  However the break I took after I got the camera sorted was better for my mind.  I just wasn't ready to ride the road no matter what I thought.  So here's what happened right after I left the gas station.

It was all Cruzman's fault.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Moving on.  As you can see from the Take 2 video, I was getting comfortable on my "new" bike.  A glance at the gas gauge revealed I was close to "it's time to go home."  So I thought I'd just ride Blood Mountain until it was time to go home but I got stuck behind a 18 (16?) wheeler and it's resulting traffic.  Forget that!  I didn't want that to be the last impression of my ride.  I turned around and

That's a much better impression.  I took the same way home as I had coming up.

The ride served it's purpose.  I really like, no, I love the ELS +4 Advancer.  There's a really popular bike tuner who says the FZ1 doesn't benefit from an advancer.  In fact, he's quoted in almost every post that comes up about the advancer on the FZ1 forums.  He's got dyno charts that show it too.  Then there's another really popular bike tuner who says the opposite with the dyno charts to show it.  I say with the ELS money back guarantee and a willingness to install and see for yourself you won't know.  I won't be unadvanced again.

Oh, and there's this extra bonus:  45mpg during that ride.  I wasn't being easy on the throttle either.  That's right I put 194 miles on one tank of gas in right around 7 hours.  Usually during a ride like that, my mpg is 40-42.  YMMV!

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

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