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Mediocre Strafer
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Discussion Starter #1
Went for my last motorcycle ride today. Due to medical issues not of interest here, I won't be able to ride bikes in future. It's been 36 years since I got my first "real" street bike, a shiny new 1977 Suzuki GS-750B, and started grinding the center stand into sparks and trying to get girls to photograph it.

Today, I pushed the K13S out of the garage, put my iPad, helmet bag, and documentation in the Givi soft bag, and rolled out of the drive. I wasn't sure I was up to more than a short straight trip, but as soon as my feet came up onto the pegs, that wonderful, weightless, balanced sense of a motorcycle took over. And the K13S had a brand-new set of Q2s on, further sharpened from a trackday at Laguna Seca six weeks earlier. Don't you love that "balanced on a knife edge" feel of new tires?

So it's off on one of my favorite local loops, a little traffic at first, but then free and up into a regional park. The BMW has the wonderful ESA suspension, with damping adjustment at your fingertips. You can go from plush and bouncy to rock-hard track settings in about half a second, it's awesome. Meandered down the trail road, low-fiving all the people walking the other way.

Out of the park and onto open road, balancing at the stops so I don't have to put a foot down. Is there any rider who doesn't play this game? Thinking good thoughts about all the bikes, all the rides, all the friends, odd little memories creeping in. If you leave your visor open nobody can tell if those are tears or it's just the wind...

I touched 150mph up the hill from Santee, on a clear highway with blue sky above, and I don't care who knows it. The K13S just barks the shifts with its power shifter, the sound is amazing. Took my favorite cloverleaf at moderate fun speed - I was at Laguna last month, nobody to impress here.

The gas warning light flickered on, and I headed for my BMW dealer. Parked the bike carefully at the end of the "For Sale" row, walked in and tossed the key on the sales manager's desk, and told him to cash me out. Folded up the check and walked out.

Do it right the first time, and you don't need to do it again.

KeS
 

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Mediocre Strafer
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So let's close the stat sheet:

Bikes owned: 21 (see rider resume for list)

Miles ridden: Something over 300K

Tracks ridden: 10 (see rider resume for list)

Crashes: 2

My fourth year and second bike, classic left turner in front of me - completely blind, with traffic he couldn't have seen me if I'd been driving a semi. I did everything right by the book at the time, immediate hard braking, then transition to a swerve as it was clear I couldn't stop. Hit the rear passenger side panel of his station wagon and extremely fortunately (and with my braking and swerve), by the time I flew over the bars the rear of the wagon had cleared and I just sailed through the air rather than the station wagon. Bike totalled, I had a few scrapes. Worst was bruising on my stomach/ribs from hitting the windscreen on my way over.

Second was a couple years ago, taking the S1000RR with new tires out to scrub them in on the freeway. Made a gentle turn from a stop and bike went down instantly at 15mph - must have been something on the road, not just new tires. Mild bike damage, none to me.

Drops: Dozens. I can drop a bike at a standstill with the best of 'em.

Best bike: My 2006 ZX-14, hands down. With secondary butterflies removed and PCIII mapped, resprung forks and Ohlins shock, this was the BEST throttle response I've had on any bike. 27K and I never should have sold it.

Coolest bike (tie): Moto Guzzi V11 Sport / Buell 1125CR The Moto Guzzi was just Italian cafe cool, and it sounded exactly like a Chevy small block. The Buell had a motor to die for, no wheelbase at all, and looked like it came from a Batman movie. I do not recall a single moment when it was moving and had both wheels on the ground, and when you stopped in the summertime you could hear gasoline boiling in the frame rails.

Fastest bike: BMW S1000RR

Highest speed: 186mph (several) on the road. On the track, I saw 172 on the optimistic speedo of the ZX-14 at the end of Big Willow's front straight.

Weirdest moment: Riding a Hondamatic CM400A with a friend's 13' reticulated python in a pillowcase in my lap. Halfway there, the snake popped its head out of the pillowcase. In traffic. All I could think was that it was going to fall and get tangled in the rear wheel and we were both going to die. I grabbed it behind the head with my left hand, rolled every stop sign and turned right at every red light, and eventually made it to my friend's house. Rolled the bike up on the lawn, hit the kill switch, and let all of us topple over. The snake and I lay there looking at each other and gasping for several minutes...

Coolest moment: Hit a dieseled on-ramp on a GSX-R1K. Both ends of the bike let loose immediately, but rather slowly, and I did a perfect Moto-GP drift into the (fortunately vacant) rightmost lane. Totally looked like I knew what I was doing!

Coolest ride: A trackday at Chuckwalla a couple of years ago on my S1000RR. I was fresh off my Superbike class the prior month, Chuckwalla was less than a year old, and I was on the best sport bike in the world at the time. A couple of riders passed me just as I came out of the pits at one point, and I thought - "Hey, they look like they know what they're doing, let me see if I can follow them around and learn something!" They were snapping into their turns nicely, good form and all - I moved off line to their outside to watch for awhile - then moved down under them to watch their knee dragging form - I was really impressed. Then I passed them and tried to do the same things in the next few turns - I'm terrible at getting my hips rotated and never come close to getting a knee down.

It wasn't until the next lap that I realized that since they hadn't re-passed me, I must not look so bad myself!

Scariest moment: Getting off the freeway in Santa Fe, NM after a tank-of-gas ride in below-30* temps. The freeway was clear, but the downhill offramp still had ice and snow on it, fully covered at the bottom. I had already eased off the throttle and applied the rear brake, and started gingerly applying the front when I realized my fingers had frozen and were not responding to requests. Cross-traffic ahead! I layed her down and slid right under this school bus... :) Ok, no - I reached across with my left hand and mashed the brake lever with my left hand, eventually getting the bike stopped short of the intersection.

Scariest ride: Interstate through Denver in the middle of a snowstorm. I was hanging off the bike like Kenny Roberts - at 20mph - trying to keep the bike as upright as possible.

Funniest ride: Riding into town during college on a bread run, with a coed on the back, while holding a flashlight in my mouth because the headlight was broken. Interesting conversation with the police officer, too.

Funnest ride: Taking my GF to the 1/8 mile local dragstrip. Neither of us had a clue what we were doing. I had her put the front wheel against the back wall of the local Costco to practice doing burnouts, because she had never done one before. S1000RR - traction control OFF for the burnout - then ON to not loop the bike at the start. We both sucked. Still creamed everything except the stretched ZX-14s and Hayabusas...

Longest day: 900 miles from Houston to Santa Fe, NM. In August.

Longest ride: Left Houston at 10pm for the 10-hour ride to Lubbock. Amazing what an 18-year-old will do to get laid! There was a tropical storm coming in, but I was going to be clear and gone over an hour in front of it, so no prob. Had my cool new Vetter WindJammer fairing, all packed up for the trip, new tires mounted...

First flat was 90 minutes into the ride. No problem, I brought a spare tube (the '77 was the LAST year of tube tires for Suzuki). Wheel off, tire off, can't see shit, new tube in, tire on, starts raining... oh yeah, this is where the tropical storm catches up to me. For the rest of this story, just assume it's raining like hell. Wheel on, unpack the cute little spark-plug compressor pump, pull a plug, attach the pump, pump up the tire, pack up, on my way.

I had just reached the front edge of the storm again when - second flat. This time I got to change the tube by the light of the flashing lightning. I put a 19" front tube in the 18" rear, patched the rear tube where I could hear air whistling out, and etc.

90 minutes later the third flat happened.

I got to Lubbock 23 hours after I left Houston, raining the entire way, and had the seventh flat tire the next day on the trip to the Lubbock dealer. I found that the Houston dealer had cut the bead on the new tire, exposing the bead wire which apparently took 90 minutes to wear through a tube. Sitting on the highway median changing the tire this last time, I took too big a bite of the tire bead, leaned back hard to pop it over the rim - and bent the tire iron in half. It was exactly then that I vowed never to change another damn tire myself. And that I had no desire to ride a motorcycle further than a tank of gas would take me.
 

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What.....

Aww man. Never really expected to see this kind of post from ya, sir. Well done on a very lengthy and albeit highly enjoyable riding tenure. I'm hoping to be that lucky.

Best wishes to you and hope you can heal up as much as you can to still have a good quality of life. Your knowledge and opinions are appreciated here.

-Christian
 

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Man...I don't know what to say. It is a very emotional moment for me when a fellow rider has to hang up their helmet.

Let's just say at the age of 22 I can relate to you. I for one am interested in hearing about your medical issue if you don't mind sharing that is, as I have some of my own that have put a damper if not destroyed my riding career (which of the two it is remains to be seen).

I wish you all the best!
 

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Great stories! A lot of riding and a lot of memories and you came out the other side... Nuff said.

I was laughing at your snake ride. You could have chosen a friendlier snake to ride with. Most of those retics are mean summa bitches.

I once had an 8 foot Burmese Python that my sister agreed to take care of for several weeks. Long story short, he managed to wrap himself around the underside of the bench seat in her Ford Ranger and wouldn't come out. She drove 75 miles back to school and had to stop at the local mechanic to have them remove the seat from the truck to get the snake out. This is long before smart phones and camera phones, so a couple of the mechanics ran home to get cameras.

So what's the next hobby/passion?
 

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Man...I don't know what to say. It is a very emotional moment for me when a fellow rider has to hang up their helmet.

Let's just say at the age of 22 I can relate to you. I for one am interested in hearing about your medical issue if you don't mind sharing that is, as I have some of my own that have put a damper if not destroyed my riding career (which of the two it is remains to be seen).

I wish you all the best!
Same here, I'm 26 and have a disease that will probably make it very difficult or impossible to ride when I get older. So I'm trying to get in as much fun on bikes and other physical activities as I can while I'm still physically capable.

Glad you did it right man.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Sounds like a great way to say good-bye.
 

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Kevin:

Thanks for allowing me to drag along on some of the fun. These are my photos, thus, most of the focus is on my lame bike, positioned with the beauties that Kevin owned and was riding at the time. So, ignore the Triumphs, those are just mine. We start with photos of the K13S.















 

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The best photo I have of the Black Buell taken from La Rumorosa.



I know if we look hard enough we can find the nickel I dropped. ;)



I know I MUST have a photo of your BMW "Taxicab" bike around here somewhere. I will have to find it on a different PC later today. That bike was 2006 or 2007?
 

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Are we not men?
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Damn, again a thread that I never would have expected. I hope it all works out for you.

I also am curious what it would be to make you stop riding altogether, seeing how passionate you've been about riding. If you wouldn't mind shedding some light...if too personal, I understand.
 

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Mediocre Strafer
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Discussion Starter #20
Great stories! A lot of riding and a lot of memories and you came out the other side... Nuff said.

I was laughing at your snake ride. You could have chosen a friendlier snake to ride with. Most of those retics are mean summa bitches.

I once had an 8 foot Burmese Python that my sister agreed to take care of for several weeks. Long story short, he managed to wrap himself around the underside of the bench seat in her Ford Ranger and wouldn't come out. She drove 75 miles back to school and had to stop at the local mechanic to have them remove the seat from the truck to get the snake out. This is long before smart phones and camera phones, so a couple of the mechanics ran home to get cameras.
Been there. Had a 10' retic (a very skinny male we were nourishing back to health) leave his nice warm basket and wrap himself AROUND the steering column of my mother's Toyota at 10pm. I had two choices:

- Take the dash apart to get him out

- Wake up early and call her insurance company to upgrade her policy, so that while she was driving to work and turned the heat on, and the python decided to come out, I could collect big

I decided unwisely to take the dash apart, and for three hours that snake bit me. You know how it feels like getting your hand caught in a rose bush? He bit me enthusiastically, repeatedly, and vehemently the whole time. I had to put newspaper down on the floorboard because of the blood running down my arm and dripping.

KeS
 
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