Poor Man's' Watch Forum
Bike Trip! : Days 1 and 2.
Posted By: Ricky Lee McBroom
Date: Thursday, 27 July 2006, at 3:57 a.m.
We hit the road on Tuesday the 25th, headed for the Atlanta, GA area. This is my first trip pulling the trailer in earnest. Here's the finished product, right before we rolled:
The trailer, I'm happy to report, pulls just fine. Indeed, it doesn't really slow me down at all. My usual cruising speed is 80 to 85 MPH, and the trailer handles that just fine. The only difference is that, once in a while, I like to open it up and let 'er rip. We're talking 115 to 120 2-up and, solo, 140+ is not out of the question. I dasn't try that with this rig, of course. 'twouldn't be prudent. I let it creep up to nearly 90 on a couple of occasions, but backed off immediately when I noticed.
Two other minor snags about trailering. First, the gas mileage sucks. I got a dismal 30.2 MPG on the first tank and, after that, I stopped checking in disgust. But I'm pretty sure it didn't get any better. Indeed, when we hit the Appalachians on day 2, I reckon it dropped to high-20's. Second, uphill starts require a fair bit of clutch abuse. Luckily, Honda clutches can stand the abuse.
Not many pictures on day 1. 'twas mostly interstate, with no really noteworthy sightseeing stops. The main orders of business were to get some real-world experience pulling the trailer, and to get to my buddy Ray's place in Douglasville, GA in one piece. Mission accomplished! We arrived shortly before 5 PM, to find Ray still sprucing up his Miata. We knocked back a few Harp lagers and shot the breeze while we (well, he ) cleaned the car. Hadn't seen Ray in 2 years or so, and had a great time catching up, and waxin' nostalgic about old times. It don't get no better'n that...
Here's Ray this mornin', ready to burn some road:
That's an '03 model Yamaha FJR1300. I got to try it out and, son!, that thing is a star ship! It's got 143 HP on tap, and as them ponies is pushin' a relatively lightweight package.. well, can you say "YeeeeeeeeHAW!"? I knew you could.
The electrically-adjustable windscreen is the Dogs Bollocks, too! Truly useful, it is. Lots of other things I like: the riding position is spot-on perfect, the panniers are much easier to detach than the ST's, the brakes are powerful almost to a fault, and the handling's a dream.
But, yes, I found a couple of things I don't like. First, the fuel injection is not sorted out. It surges a bit at certain steady-state throttle openings, and the power delivery can be a bit abrupt when you ring up the engine room and order Full Steam Ahead. Makes it a bit challenging to ride smoothly. Also, the fairing channels the heat from the engine right onto the rider, and at a long stoplight will fairly roast you. I know it's a 'hot bike', but sheesh!
Aside from those complaints, though, I love this bike. And, if I can trust the reviews I've read, Yamaha has made significant improvements in these areas on later models. This is a first-year example of the model, after all. Given that, it's a truly impressive achievement for Yamaha!
Of course, we have two lovely ladies following in a chase vehicle:
And what a cool little chase vehicle! They're having just as much fun as Ray and I, I do believe. Today's route took us from Douglasville to Helen, GA. While the roads weren't of the run-into-your-own-taillights magnitude of twisty as Deal's Gap, they still demand respect, particularly GA 136. Here's an example:
Great fun! The rig handles the twisties fine, and I had no trouble keeping up with Ray. Indeed, at one point I caught him tootling along at 50, and ambushed him with a WFO 80 MPH pass. I would've loved to've seen the look on his face.. To be fair, he's been takin' it really easy. Still, the ST has gone up a notch in my (already high) estimation. I'm asking an awful lot of it here, and it's delivering.
We arrived at Helen about 6 PM, got a decent deal on a great room, and are enjoying the atmosphere..
..which is, of all things, that of an Alpine Bavarian village. Some of it comes across as a bit cheesy and tourist-trappy. But all in all, it's a good effort. Here's where we ate dinner:
A great location, certainly, hard beside the Chattahoochie River. Good food, too!
We hadda do a few tourist things, natch:
Tomorrow.. Deal's Gap Or Bust!
Oh.. gotta stay semi on-topic. I'll just say that I chose the Casio yet again, and it hasn't let me down. The compass has even come in handy on a couple of occasions.
Messages In This Thread
Sounds like US 129! That's our route today...
} that you're doing it on a bike!
Wouldn't have it any other way!
One bloke at a rest stop surveyed our little caravan, then my rig in particular, then asked "Why don't you just drive a sports car, then you'd have room for everything?" My answer? "'cause once I get to the motel, I can unhitch the trailer!"
I experienced the same problem with two bicycles attached to the back of my car going to FLA last winter....normal mpg 25...this trip 19...sucks
Ooops! I meant KPH, not MPH! (Wanna buy some beachfront property in Arizona? )
The mileage.. yeah, it's atrocious. What really hurts is that I'm pretty sure the Miata is gettin' better mileage than I am.
But you're right, it certainly impacts my stopping power
negatively. I am careful to increase my normal interval. And in the
twisties I'm riding at maybe 8/10th of my usual and customary pace.
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