SB on the torquee thing.

Total: 237 miles
Est time: ~5 hours

[ Sunday - August 31, 2014 ]

Minh needs to put some miles on the FJR.  He asked me whether I have vibration on my GS (handlebar).  Of course I have vibration.  However it's not predominant until I reach the 80+ MPH.  Even then, I feel it more in the feet than in the hands.  I guess BMW did a good job in keeping the vibration down low.  In Minh's case, the FJR is pretty vibby right now.  It's understandable given he only has a couple of hundred (300+) miles on the bike.  The motor is nowhere near broken in.  Even on the GS, the motor was sluggish up until about 8K miles.  After that point revving the motor above 5K RPM doesn't have any hints of resistance.  That gauge hand swings effortlessly from 1.5KRPM to whatever.

This makes me think.  Here I am, given the speal from Japanese bike owners, that Japanese bikes don't need extended break in after 600 miles.  I had always questioned this notion, but ended up taking their words at face value.  Now that I hear Minh's questions about his FJR, I'm reassured that those people didn't know what they were talking about.  Even Japanese bikes need a proper run-in.  600 miles is not enough.  You need at least 4-6K miles to properly break in a bike.  Of course, if you beat up the motor, you'll likely need less break in miles.  In this case, time will resolve Minh's vibration issue.

So to help the FJR break in process, we decide to take it on the road for a lobster run.  Santa Barbara here we come.

We decide to take the PCH all the way out to SB.  This, unfortunately means, we have to contend with downtown LA.  I hate riding through there.  It's like a rat's nest but at high speed and spacial awareness is a rare commodity.  Sure enough, I needed to change one lane to take the junction from the 110 to the 10, but a car decides to cut us off and force us to take the 10 east instead of the 10 west.  How irritating.  Not only that, the next available on ramp is under construction so we have to mill around in downtown a bit longer.  Man this place is run down.  I can't help but feel a bit awkward even in the day time.  I can only imagine what it's like to walk around here at night.  Now I see why kids that go to USC keep on getting assaulted or killed.

At last we're back on the 10 and heading west.

The PCH is packed where the 10 ends.  We split a bit and get a in front of traffic a bit, but there's nowhere to run.  It's a beautiful day so everybody and their pets are out walking the streets.  The wind is also kicking up sand all over the place.  My goggles accumulate a layer of fine grit making me feel like I'm riding through a sand storm.  The face shield got the same treatment so it's no good when I pulled goggles off.

Once we get pass Oxnard, the roads clear up again, but the 101/1 drivers are their usual self.  Speeding, cutting off, etc.  Good thing is, this GS has plenty of power.  Even in "Road" mode, the bike zips around effortlessly.  All this torque and the new TT seat is making me slide back and forth.

I have 1/2 of a lobster and Minh got the crab cakes.  It's never a disappointment to eat at the Santa Barbara Shell Fish Co.  The clam chowder is also excellent.  A gentleman sitting next to me (from Texas) showed me a trick.  He held up a bottle of Tabasco pointing the other finger at the chowder.  I said, "Really?  OK... I'll give it a try."  "A drop is all you need," he said.  From that point on, every spoon of chowder had a drop of Tabasco.  It's unexpectedly tasty.  When he left I thank him for corrupting me.  To that he said, "I've never thought of it nor heard it like that before."  It was pleasant lunch.  The funny thing about this happenstance meeting, the Texas gentleman did make a comment.  He thought it was interesting to see an Asian person ride a BMW instead of a Japanese bike.  To that comment I said, "Nothing beats German engineering."  "Touche" he replied.

For once, the 101 appears to be free flowing at 3:00pm.  That's definitely unusual.  So Minh and I hop on the freeway.  Sure enough, about 4-5 miles into the 101, it plugs up.  We ended up splitting for about 15 miles before we got out of the nonsense traffic.  The question is why it was plugged up in the first place.  There were no police, accidents, nor construction.  However, I was having fun splitting that entire stretch standing on the GS.  It made the bike much more stable and allowed me to see a ways down the road.  Not to mention I stood out like a sore thumb.  The majority of the folks were very civil.  For once jerks were far and few in between.

Once got back in town, it's your typical manic rush.  Again for no real reason.  I'm still struggling with the TT seat in combination with the torquee GS making sliding.  It looks like I have to start clamping my legs.

Written on: November 15, 2014
Last modified: November 15, 2014