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New Bike, First ride


wbrissette

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This past week I picked up a 2004 R1150RT from an individual in Tuscon, AZ. I flew out to Tuscon and drove the bike back to Austin, TX.

 

The seller picked me up at the airport on Friday morning and we went to his house to do the paperwork. Truth be told, I hadn't ridden for 15 years, so this was going to be an adventure. My last bike was a 1982 Honda Silverwing and this 2004 RT was much heavier (and top heavy). But after a quick drive around the block, I knew this was a great bike.

 

I am the coach of my daughter's soccer team, and was trying to make it to her soccer game on Saturday. I left Tuscon at 12 PM Austin time (I didn't change my watch), and drove towards Texas on I-10. The ride out of Tuscon and into the desert of AZ was pretty uneventful. Plenty of road and less traffic that I thought there would be.

 

At about 7:30 PM (my time) I hit El Paso, TX. Ah, let the fun begin. El Paso is interesting because you can see the slums of Mexico from the highway. More importantly, it seemed that 1/4 of the vehicles had Mexico plates on their vehicles. These drivers are not known for their best driving habits and I was a bit frightened by the possibility of having one of them decide they liked my lane better than I did. But, things worked out... at least until the outskirts of El Paso. Then traffic came to a dead halt. I suddenly had to learn how to move the bike in slow traffic (stop and go) until we came across the hold up. Turns out on the other side of I-10, they must have found a bunch of illegals because they had about 15 people sitting in a circle in the sand along the highway and a small covered pickup in the dirt too.

 

About 20 minutes outside of El Paso, the real fun began. Anybody who has driven though west Texas knows it's the land of nothing, the state has decided that so much nothing exists out there that the speed limits were raised to 80 MPH. This was going to be fun. The only hold back was that the winds in west Texas can also be very rough, and they were. I ended up stopping at 10:30 PM in Van Horn, TX. Not nearly as far as I wanted to get to the first day, but the best option for a motel unless I went to Fort Stockton 2 hours further. Not something I wanted to do.

 

I got up early the next morning (4 AM) and started out again. Once again, the winds were horrid and passing semi-trailers was the thing I remembered I liked least about driving a bike with cross winds. I phoned (or at least tried) my wife to give her an update on where I was, it was obvious by 7 AM that there was no way I was going to make the game in time, so I told her to go without me and I would meet her there. As the terrain turned to rolling hills, from the rough mountains, I knew I was closer to home. As 11:30 hit (soccer game time), I was on the outskirts of town. I drove to the game field and met my team there. They had just started the second half and looked impressive. I was home. 950 miles on a new bike and on something I hadn't ridden in 15 years. ;-)

 

Here are a few pictures (not many): http://homepage.mac.com/wayneb/Bike_Trip/TOC.html

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Nice Pics!! Just curious about how you liked the bike!! Just bought a 99 R1100RT last month and rode it home from Atlanta to Cleveland and very happy with it. So how many miles did it have when you picked it up? My bike only had 10,000 miles on it which was hard to believe.

 

Mark Turner

Cleveland, Oh

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Welcome! Nice bike.

they must have found a bunch of illegals

Did you say "illegals??" They're just undocumented. Give 'em health care and a drivers license. They'll be fine!

the state has decided that so much nothing exists out there that

...they decided to call it "Texas!" Did you happen to pass the Nothing Museum? I hear it's there. Next to the Hall of Fame for Wind. Kansas wanted to contribute but Texas said that they have the best of everything so, sorry!

Yeah, done that particular drive. In fact, all the way to Austin! Whhoooo, doggie! That's some flat ya got right there!

Now, go on an interesting ride, post pictures and all will be forgiven! thumbsup.gif

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Wayne

Congrats on the new bike. Looks just like the one I bought in Ft. Worth last year and rode back to Ca. I was fortunate enough to ride through Big Bend on my way home which was awesome. Too bad you did not have time to drop down and check it out. I stayed in Van Horn as well. Did you eat at the restaurant whose claim to fame is John Madden stopped and ate there? It was the best chile relleno I have ever eaten. Enjoy your newfound treasure!

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Nice Pics!! Just curious about how you liked the bike!!

 

It is how I always thought a BMW would be, an incredible piece of machinery. It rides like a dream. The only complaint I have is that the gear ratio between 5th and 6th seems a bit out of wack. Fifth seems a bit too high for 55-60, and 6th at those speeds is way too low. But, 6th is perfect for those 70-80 MPH roads.

 

Miles... when I picked it up it had 36K on it. But most were highway miles from coast-to-coast rides according to previous owner.

 

I'm very satisfied with the bike!

 

Wayne

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Wayne

I stayed in Van Horn as well. Did you eat at the restaurant whose claim to fame is John Madden stopped and ate there? It was the best chile relleno I have ever eaten. Enjoy your newfound treasure!

 

No, at 10:30 PM, all I wanted to do was get some sleep (plus eating Chile Rellenos that late just wouldn't have sat right). I had to get up at 4 AM to catch my plane at 6 AM, so I was a bit tired.

 

Wayne

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Yeah, Steve left the pen there that he signed everything with. So, he posted a thread asking if anyone wanted to ride back with him to get it and have lunch. 5 people showed up at the Denny's. Heard it was fun. lmao.gif

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Hey man, Tucson to El Paso in 7-1/2 hours (280 miles)? Bet you were tailgated even by RVs, no? Just teasing you.

I live in El Paso; that's why I dropped by. And yes, you should have detoured to Big Bend, or at least Ft. Davis and then Balmorhea; do it next time. It's an awesome break from the hundreds of miles of boring interstate, and you just add about 50 miles.

Congrats on the new toy.

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Hey man, Tucson to El Paso in 7-1/2 hours (280 miles)? Bet you were tailgated even by RVs, no? Just teasing you.

 

Actually all times were done via Austin (central) time, and I did make some stops for things like lunch and such. ;-) I don't know, I thought I was making great time for a 300 mile trek, but I guess I should have know something was wrong when that huge RV kept drafting me. cool.gif

 

The side trips in West Texas are on my list for this coming spring. I was more concerned about just getting home on this trip.

 

Wayne

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