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SS1000 to return a thottle cable - Warning Long


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This is my first Ride Tale post so bear with me. First a little background on why. On the way back from Gunnison Fernando, Jim Shoop, Meghan and myself spent 15 hours on the road the first day taking the very scenic way through Torrey, Escalante, Bryce and Zion to end up at Mesquite, NV. During the ride I realized that my body had acclimated to riding long days on the bike after spending 10 days in a row on it. On that day the only limiting factor was my being tired, not the usual aches and pains in old injuries. I figured that 15-hour day is not much short of time I would need for an SS 1000 and had always wanted to do one. I thought the timing is right being as it’s summer and the daylight is longer, I still have a couple of days off before I have to go back to work, everything is working on the bike and has been thoroughly tested during this trip and when else am I going to spend 10 days on the road on the bike to get acclimated. The idea is formed. The next day we slab blasted home the 400 miles.


We got home Thursday night. I figured spend Friday to plan the trip and rest, then go on Saturday. My original idea was to take the easy way. Head out in the afternoon for the first half, sleep for 4 hours and drive the other half. I looked at the map and tried to figure out a good route. I wanted something 550 miles away making a total of 1100 miles to make sure there was no dispute about completing the trip with the Iron Butt Association. After spending lots of time riding in the heat I wanted something not involving the desert because the heat definitely drains me making me tired quicker, no matter how much water I consume or douse on myself. It seemed the only way to avoid the heat was to stay along the CA coast, but that heated up North and East of San Francisco.


Hmmm, it would be nice to make Marin BMW my turn around point, besides I still had a throttle cable that belonged to Cary that I needed to return to him. Only problem was Marin BMW is only 375 miles taking the direct route and I needed a simple enough route for the Iron Butt Association to understand I actually went the mileage, so I couldn’t just do couple of laps of those nice roads such as CA 58. The other problem is the heavy traffic in the San Francisco area and reaching Marin BMW while they were still open, so I nixed the half up sleep and half back idea. I’d just do it in one shot as most do. That way if I ran into heavy traffic I could some of that 4 hours I was going to use for sleep. So to do it in one day and get back at a reasonable time I would have to leave at 4am. The only problem with this is I decided this at 10 pm the night before and still had to pick a route, find a local gas station for start and finish receipts that had the required info for Iron Butt and get the necessary forms ready to go. Screw it, I’ve worked 12-hour days on next to no sleep and some regular 10-hour days on no sleep. I kept in mind Fernando’s advice for picking a route that would keep the sun behind me all day and the fact I wanted to stay out of the Africa heat. Leaving at 4 am and returning late the desert could be used at those times and still stay out of the heat. With that said I found a route that went 545 miles from Long Beach to Marin BMW that took me around San Francisco proper through Oakland and Berkley that would hopefully avoid most of the traffic. By the time I return to the desert it should be late enough to be cool for the ride through and the sun is always to my back for this ride.


I usually ride optimally going a half tank, resting for a couple of minutes, then finishing the second half of the tank and getting those couple of minutes refilling the gas as that break. That way each leg of 125 miles, half of a tank for me, including a couple of minutes to rest would run around 2 hours if I cruised at 80 mph.


By the time I got everything taken care for the ride including toping off oil and tire air it was time for bed at 12am. Four hours of sleep would make life more difficult, but definitely doable.


4 am rolls around, Meghan signs the witness forms and says, “Now can I get some real sleep?” I originally thought it would be a little cool that early and wondered if I might need something under the ‘stitch to keep warm until sunrise. After opening up the garage I feel it’s dam warm for this early so it’s probably going to be a hot one and decide I’m not only going without liner, but I’ll need the vents on the ‘stitch open. I fire up the Bavarian Iron get my start gas receipt and head on out north and east through the local freeways to the I15 North. The electronic sign near the freeway says 68 degrees, which at 4:30 around here is definitely warm. I notice for a Saturday morning at O dark 30 there’s a decent amount of traffic out here on the freeway. The farther I get the heavier the traffic is, odd. My newly acquired V1 is on to keep me from getting a performance award and an unneeded stop in my itinerary. Not one peep this early so the nice police officer’s must be asleep or eating breakfast. Who am I to disturb them, keep right on doing what you’re doing and I will too. As for my music to keep me company while I ride the slab alone today, I’ve got a small problem. The MP3 player I use has a built in battery that only lasts about 8 hours on a charge. I figure it’s best to save it for the return half of my trip as I’ll be more tired and need it more then. That means the first 9 hours up I’ll just have to talk to myself to keep me company since no music, no passenger as I usually have to chat with on intercom and no other riders with FRS. Dam it’s quiet out here with earplugs. Although the V1 will occasionally talk to me to tell me about the nice policeman waiting for me. I guess I won’t be lonely enough to need to talk to him.


As I turn north up the 395 from the 15 the sunlight is starting to crest the mountains to the east. Man is that beautiful. I specifically did not bring the camera, as I wouldn’t have time for pics on this trip, that definitely was a Kodak moment. Looking at the desert pass me by with the light starting to come up makes this place beautiful. Of course the desert is always better looking when it’s not 115 degrees out.


I gas up at Kramer Junction even though I’m only at half tank so I have a receipt to prove my route through there. I blast west on 58 now that the sun has just crested over the horizon behind me putting the pass on all those slow 18-wheelers. Don’t they know I’m on a mission and their slow fat assess are holding me up? As I pass through Mojave I always like looking at the Airplane storage field just north of the highway. I notice in what looks like a junk pile closer to the highway an old F111 Aardvark. I don’t remember it being there when we met Dick Frantz and crew here for the ride up to Short Cuts Xmas party. Nice to see you old soldier. Maybe someone will give you some much needed TLC and restore you for display for your years of service, instead of some thrown out garbage in that pile you’re sitting in. I moto on looking at the rest of old commercial airlines parked to die on the storage runway. I cross the Tehachepe’s and watch the trains running on the parallel tracks to the highway thinking I never did see that train loop I keep hearing about. Today I won’t either since I am on a mission.


I stop in Bakersfield for a quick powerbar as the small breakfast wore off now that I’m four hours and roughly 250 miles into my trip. A quick jump north on the SR 99 to Wasco, then west on the SR 46. This took me through lots of Farm country with more fat ass 18-wheelers and lots of migrant workers in pickemup trucks. Mucho passing here to get the part of the road that goes over the mountains to the coast. At one point I notice the car in front in front of me. It’s four deep with 18 year old blond girls. One of the girls in the back seat turns around and waves at me. Huh? I’m used to kids doing that as I ride, but an 18-year-old blond? I wave back and then the other passengers in the car turn around and wave, while the driver waves in the rear view mirror at me. Obviously you girls have me confused with Wurty. I must be dreaming. I put the pass on them thinking about what I would’ve done with/to them in the past and continue west. I must remember I’m on a mission.


I chose to use 46 instead of 58, one of my favorite roads, since it was straighter so I could just keep my speed up and I knew I would stay on schedule. As I do go over 58 at shall we say enhanced paces I didn’t know how long it would take me to make it over and didn’t need the extra fatigue of running hot through that road as I usually do for fun. Maybe next time. Crossing over the mountains I realize that all that water hydrating I’ve been doing is really taking its toll on my bladder. I normally never have to stop water the local weeds, but man this is getting bad. I’m only 25 miles from my next stop in Paso Robles and I don’t need unnecessary stops today, but this is getting ugly. Ok fine, the next place I can I’m pulling off. Well, there isn’t anywhere up here to pull off. The sides of the road end at the cattle fences keeping the future hamburgers inside preventing me from finding a place off the highway. With all the cars out now it makes it a little difficult to just Free Willy on the highway itself. Dam that Easy Leaker doesn’t sound so bad now. As I keep looking around every corner for some place I can pull off low and behold a real rest stop out here in the middle of nowhere. After pulling back out onto the highway I get my first words from the V1 about the nice officer who wants to say hello. “Hello nice Officer. Goodbye nice Officer.” I say to myself as I continue westbound at the speed limit past him.


Speaking of which I learned a neat trick with the V1. Fernando previously mentioned that when Laney got her last ticket, she got 2 radar sources from a moving Officer using radar, K and Ka bands and asked about it. I told him that if he was using the radar in moving mode it does use two radar beams, but they both should use the same band K or Ka, not both. One beam is to pick up violators closure speed and the other beam is to pick up the officer’s speed so the unit can do the math to figure out the true speed of the violator. The CHPie I just passed was rolling and I did receive two Ka signals from him. The useful trick I figured out was if I only receive one signal I know the Officer is stationary. If I get two signals he’s rolling. It was nice to know where to look for them and came in handy the rest of the day. Obviously this is only a general rule as a stationary officer could be near another radar source or another officer also using radar so don’t sue me if it doesn’t work. I just know it worked for me the rest of the day. I obviously had time to think about this and other things without music or a companion to keep me company and had to occupy myself somehow. I also thought about how doing a Bun Burner 1500 was easier than a Saddle Sore 1000. * drive for 12 hours at the same pace I’m using today and cover 750 miles from 6 am to 6 pm. Sleep and rest for 12 hours from 6 pm to 6 am and finish the other 750 miles from 6 am to 6 pm the next day. Why * didn’t I just do that? Too late now I’m already committed. Note to self, look into doing a BB 1500 with friends. Easily doable.


Finally reaching the US 101 in Paso Robles, I stop for gas at the 76 station. The clerk has to be the slowest I’ve ever seen. She’s busy eating and talking on the phone, while trying to ring up sales. It’s a pay first inside before pumping and the line is going down the aisles of the little market inside waiting for her and not moving much. After spending 15 minutes just to wait in line, fill up with gas and wait in that line again to get a receipt, it’s northbound.


As I cross into King City, I remember my previous observation driving through there and the advice of Dick Frantz. Mucho radar enforcement. I take it down to 75 in the 65 and let others pass me, as I don’t need to meet the nice Officer. In that one short strip of highway I passed 4 CHPies working radar, including the one that picked off one of the cars that passed me. As I passed I said again, “Hello nice Officer. Goodbye nice Officer.” V1 to the rescue again.


I stopped in Salinas at the In N Out for lunch. I previously saw the sign and figured I should have one meal today that wasn’t a power bar and couldn’t resist. 20 minutes to stop, eat, use the bathroom and get back out on the road. Worked perfect since I was slightly ahead of schedule and that just put me right back on pace. About 20 minutes later down the road, I noticed I was getting tired and sleepy. Was it the recently eaten double double burger sitting in my stomach, the four hours of sleep I got or both?


Around San Jose I pick up 880 North towards Oakland. I notice the construction we saw on the way to Short Cut’s Xmas party is still going on. The southbound traffic is way backed up. Thankfully my side is not, so no lane splitting yet. I hope some of that clears up for my return ride. I don’t the extra drain of a lot of lane splitting on a day like today. As I got farther north I no longer felt sleepy or tired, but I could now recognize the signs of being tired. My reaction times were slowing and it was taking longer for my muscles to react to the brain inputs. I could turn on some music now to help wake me up, but then I would be even worse running out of music on the final leg of ride home in the dark desert. I remembered Meghan saying she was falling asleep on the return from Gunnison with her earplugs in because it was too quiet. Since I was starting to feel the pressure of the earplugs after this many hours with them in I decided I’d rip them out at my next stop coming up at Berkley for gas. As I got near Oakland sure enough the traffic stops and it’s lane-splitting time. I get to Berkley, find a gas station and rip out them earplugs. Upon continuing on the 580 towards Marin I notice I’m much more alert now. I didn’t take a break at the gas up, just stayed on the bike gassed and left since I was only 15 miles from my turn around point at Marin BMW. Maybe Meghan is right the plugs were putting me sleep. Lane split the whole way to the Bridge, sorry don’t remember which one it is. As I crossed the bridge the wind was pretty bad. The white caps off the brown ocean water and the commercial ships passing through were pretty scenic to look at after coming from the desert and Oakland traffic.


At last I reach Marin BMW. As I pull into the lot I see Cary at a desk completing a motorcycle sale. He stands up with a puzzled look and yells out, “What you come here for lunch or something?” I park the bike and go inside carrying his throttle cable. I answer his question with, “Or something.” and hand him the cable. I tell him about my mission and he says, “Your nuts” jokingly, knowing about the distance I just traveled going to Paonia and Gunnison and now take this on a day later. He introduces me to the people he’s selling the bike to who are already members of this board, but I’m sorry I cant remember the name. I was a little tired. He said he recognized my name from the board and is a lurker but is a member. Cary offers me a place to rest, drinks from the refrigerator and donuts but regrets that they aren’t Krispy Kreme’s. Oh sure, I’m on a mission and no Krispy Kremes? The horror, the horror.


After spending a half hour looking over parts and accessories and talking with Bill Mensch about how I can install my newly acquired Street Pilot 3 without it falling off again I head out for my return trip.


I end up lane splitting most of the way back to San Jose on those freeways, which definitely puts me an hour behind schedule. It doesn’t matter, I’m on the return trip, I’ve now got music to listen to and I’m feeling better. No more signs of the fatigue I was showing earlier. I just need to moto home. One way or another it’s going to happen.


As I now pass through King City again on the return trip I only find one CHPie and continue with the, “Hello nice Officer. Goodbye nice Officer” even though I am now singing away with the music in my ears.


As I continue that dam cord connecting my MP3 player to the Autocom is acting up again. On the way up to Paonia we found it was getting pinched beneath the passenger seat and finally started going bad getting all kinds of electrical noise from the engine and sounding crappy. The local Radio Shack in Gunnison was out of the cord I needed so I made due with just straightening out the cord, which temporarily fixed the problem. On the way home from Gunnison it would work most of the way, but every now and then I had to straighten out the cord to fix it. Right about now I’m kicking myself for not picking up a cord on the day I rested because I forgot about it. Music is definitely necessary after this many hours in the saddle and riding the slab most of the day. I stop for another quick fix and it works until just before my next stop, which is good enough for me.


I stop in Paso Robles and gas up again at the same 76. Funny how uncrowded the place is when the replacement guy working there isn’t eating and using the phone while ringing up orders. As I go east over the mountains they are definitely a lot nicer to look at with the sun setting. Everything has a nice golden glow to it now. I’ve heard others say how the scenery changes depending on where the sun is, but man this is like looking at two different places. It’s gorgeous. Going back through the farm areas it’s like a ghost town now. I’m always used to seeing the fat ass 18-wheelers and migrant workers, but this place is now deserted. Almost like those crappy slasher flicks I like to watch. I can see it now. “Attack of the fat ass 18 wheeler migrant farm workers.” Yep straight to video, the best kind of slasher flick to watch.


As I put the pass on the few cars here getting up to 100 at times, I notice a pair of headlights gaining on me from behind. Hmmm, maybe those “Special Enforcement Zone. Double Fines” and “Speed Enforced by Aircraft” meant something. I can’t make out what kind of car it is behind the headlights, so I slow down just in case. As it catches me I see it’s a new red VW beetle doing 90 through here. I remember back to the wild woman I ran into with Gleno on a previous ride. She was racing up Pacific Coast Highway passing on blind curves and hauling ass in a tiny Geo that I would swear at times was up on two wheels around curves she was driving so hard. She would wave her hands angrily at other drivers that were slowing her up and as she passed them. She had a bumper sticker that said, “Don’t Hate” which we thought was the funniest thing after watching her drive. I checked the red VW, but no “Don’t Hate” bumper sticker. Oh well, I guess she just drives the same.


A quick stop in Bakersfield for a power bar and to fix that shorting wire again. As I continue east on the 58 over the mountains I slow for the darkness. On the Gunnison trip I aimed my PIAA’s a little lower since everyone seems to think I have the highbeams on chase me down flashing theirs, which gets old after a while. The down side is I cant see as far ahead now and there’s no need to hit something in a rush to get home in the dark desert. Lots more of the fat ass 18-wheelers blocking the road. The best one was the one who decided to pass on the start of the uphill grade. As he pulled around the other truck he slowed to the same speed basically creating a rolling roadblock for both lanes. This continued for 5 minutes uphill. At first I was the only one stuck behind them, but by the time he decided to give up and pull back in behind the truck he was trying to pass there was now a long line of cars backed up. Nice move speed racer now get out of the way, I’m on a mission.


As I pass through Mojave I can’t see the commercial airliner graveyard anymore because of the darkness, but the F111 is close enough to the highway to make out. “Good bye old soldier, rest well.” I say as I pass to my last stop.


At Kramer Junction I go to the same gas station I used previously so I would have a good receipt since it worked earlier. After filling up I press yes for the receipt. It says “See Cashier for receipt.” What? It worked earlier and now there’s no cashier on duty, just the pumps. This is bullsh*t. I didn’t go all this way to get screwed by my last gas stop before getting home. Did I mention that I was on a mission? I ‘m sure the Asian tourists who just got into their car after using the bathroom thought it was time to leave after hearing my expletives at night in a deserted and dark gas station. I was a bit cranky from the long day and was not in the mood but now that I think about it, it’s a bit funny picturing them hightailing away from me as I loose my mind over a gas receipt. I went across the street to another station and squeezed in 30 cents of gas probably over filling it, but I needed the receipt. I would just hope the Iron Butt Association believes I used more than 30 cents of gas in 250 miles and accept the receipt.


I moto’d south on 395 towards home. This road was deserted. Just me, my bike and the desert. The moon was rising to the east where the sun had previously risen. It was so low in the sky that it kind of looked like the sun behind all that smog. It was a bright orangeish brown with some clouds partially obscuring it. It would go well with my slasher pic in the farm fields. I’ve got to stop looking at it as I’m not paying attention to the roadway and should since it’s dark as * out here and there’s mucho dips in the roadway to hide stuff. I slowed down to 70 just to make sure. This final leg of 125 miles home seemed like the longest. I was getting very tired fast. I don’t know if it was the 20-hour day on the road, the four hours of sleep, the slow speed on a dark unlit deserted highway or the fact that I knew I was almost home. Either way it was fight to the finish. If only I hadn’t fallen an hour behind with that traffic. I knew I was almost there and had to press on. If I stopped I think it would only get worse at this point. At 1210 am I pull into the gas station for my final end receipt and go home to much needed sleep.


Things I learned? The 1000 miles wasn’t that bad, I was just tired. I did a lot of stretching while riding to keep everything loose and that seemed to help. Radar is a must even only going slightly above the speed limit instead of Mach 6 and on fire as I usually do. Staying out of the heat and with the sun to your back helps reduce fatigue. Just being in the vicinity of San Francisco even on a Saturday means lane splitting, not just inside San Francisco. I thought Los Angeles had the rights to that, but I guess not. The RT truly is a good long haul touring bike. I got downright comfortable as the miles piled on. Much more so than usual. If only I had a backrest I could put the bike on autopilot.


Dam this got a lot longer then I intended. Thanks for reading and giving me a place to share this. Who’s up for a BB1500? Dam I must be an addict because today I still wanted to go riding after I had my 8 hours of sleep.


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Thanks for a great ride, Brian. Lots of good detail. Many things reminded me of my SS1000. Returning that throttle cable seems like a good excuse. I'll have to remember that.


One correction. When Laney got her ticket, I was following. She didn't have her V1 yet. It was ME who got both K and Ka band hits on my detector. She just got the ticket. Got clocked at 87 in a 55. Nice officer let her off at just 70 so she could go to traffic school.

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Good write up, Brian. You got it going on, bud. Home from the Gathering and didn't get enough, eh?


Reminds me of a nice moment on the way home: Luky and I were camped in Yosemite, discussing our riding styles and the highs and lows of the previous week of riding.


Anyway, we're sitting around a nice campfire, and got to talking about a SS1000 or BB1500 GOLD. Eric says, "Why do we do it, Denny?" I mentioned laughing about that with the HA's in Gunnison - One dude actually called US "frikkin nuts" because they ride 1500 miles "to PARTY" and we ride 1500 miles... TO GO RIDING! laugh.gif


In reply to:

Who’s up for a BB1500? *, I must be an addict because today I still wanted to go riding after I had my 8 hours of sleep.


I can't really answer Eric's question, but I know I want to go! tongue.gif



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Montana Hoon

Brian --


Nice job on the ride and the write-up. You ought to send it in to IBA for them to include on their web-page. When you send your paperwork in, include an explanation about what happened with no receipt at the gas station. I don't think you'll have any problem.


Congratulations and welcome to the club!




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Awesome! That totally rocks!


It reminds me of my SS1K. Very little planning...just decide, gas up, and moto.


Screw the BB1500....let's go for a BB1500 Gold! Just say the word.

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Cool trip, Brian. I would have paid money to see the looks on the faces when you flipped out about the receipt!!! smile.gif


I'm convinced more and more people are going to think we are totally crazy! Maybe, but to quote Michael Keaton from the "Dream Team", "It's great to be young and insane"




TRASH (Tom Roe Appreciation Society of Hooligans)

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Awesome write-up Brian!


I was going to post our little SS1000, except it would read like this:


"Woke up in Chicago, got on RT and headed West on I-80. Stopped."


I like your version much better. Congrats! cool.gif

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Great job Brian!! We must have just missed you in Marin (not sure when you were there, but Cary didn't say anything when I went through before Lunch). If I had known you were coming... well, I might have just had to take that backrest down to Jim Shoop and ride along with you!!


The story is awesome!!




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Simply awesome! I had similar thoughts on my ride back from Gunnison but those plans will have to wait for a short while. By the way, who is this Jim Shoop that rode with you back to Mesquite ... I thought I was still in CO at the time wink.gif


Great riding with you and Meeeghan at the UnRally ... hope to see you all again soon!



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Great job Brian, and a nice write up to boot.


I came back from Gunnison thinking that these long trips aren't so bad. I need to stretch my legs a bit more, but it's nice to know you can get it done on 4 hours sleep after doing a long trip. smile.gif

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In reply to:

First a little background on why. On the way back from Gunnison Fernando, Jim Shoop, Meghan and myself spent 15 hours on the road the first day taking the very scenic way through Torrey, Escalante, Bryce and Zion to end up at Mesquite, NV.


Uh, that would be Fernando, RickZ, Mehgan, and yourself. Geez, I've been so tired that I didn't look like myself, but looking like Jim?.... wink.giftongue.gif Must have been the haircut.

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Ouch, apologies RickZ and Jim Shoop. How the * did I do that? See what I get for posting when I'm tired. Notice the time of my post, 4 am. I posted this thing thinking it was going to be short and got longer than *. I'll have to start recognizing the signs of fatigue when posting and know to pull over and step away from the keyboard to stretch and use a sour lemon drop to wake up. I hear you're not supposed to use caffine or sugars because their diruretics. You'll have to make unplanned stops in your post and use the bathroom not to mention dehydration. I could also use an Easy Leaker while posting which would allow my use of as much caffine and sugars as possible while posting without ever having to leave the website. Hmmmm. Naw. Sorry again. I'll edit post.


Another edit - I tried to edit the post but the BBS won't let me saying I exceeded the time limit to make edits. Also, I can't say "H*ell" here? Dam BBS software removed it. I'll have to start using "Gadzukes and Horney Toads."

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In reply to:

was going to post our little SS1000, except it would read like this:


"Woke up in Chicago, got on RT and headed West on I-80. Stopped."


That's what I thought to, but once I started writing it was funny how much detail I remembered. By the way, it was nice to finally meet you after hearing a lot from Gleno. I dig the new Avatar. Was that the "The Chopper bunch"? tongue.gif

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In reply to:

We must have just missed you in Marin


I got there around 1:30. Of course upon returning home one of the first things Meghan told me was, "Don't forget to send Kris that picture" It's still coming, I swear. laugh.gif

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Congrats on the SS1K, and a great read! What you did is the way to do it: make it a "mission." Returning a throttle cable, great "mission." I remember reading Lentini's 50CC experience when his "mission" was to collect ocean water samples from the Pacific AND Atlantic. Missions make it more fun.


Thanks for the tip on analyzing radar signatures for possible rolling units versus stationary units.


I know exactly that stretch of highway just outside King City. Coming back from Marin BMW about 1.5 years ago, I was punching buttons on my GPS while doing 90mph and then I see red blinky lights in my mirrors. Fortunately, the CHP officer was very nice, and after a warning, we chatted about the Laguna-Seca races and his Buell for about 30 minutes. Then he told me to be careful and sent me on my way, ticket-free.

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Nice write-up, Brian, and congrats on the accomplishment. But you didn't mention that you did the SS1000 on a set of worn out shocks. Talk about saddlesore!

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Actually the front is ok, its just the rear thats absolutely gone. I'm going tomorrow to see about having the heavier spring put on my new Ohlins rear so I can install those. I was happy to do this on that crappy D220 rear tire so I can hurry up and get rid of it.

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