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Joe Frickin' Friday

My Torrey Oddity

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russell_bynum
"EJECT" "ABORT"?

 

Didn't you look at his bike while we were there? LOL.

 

I guess not.

 

Or, did you simply pawn if off as just another generic R12RT? If you did, you should really know better than that with Mitch.

 

Good point!!!

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Glenn Reed
"EJECT" "ABORT"?

 

Didn't you look at his bike while we were there? LOL. Or, did you simply pawn if off as just another generic R12RT? If you did, you should really know better than that with Mitch. I mean, the GPS mount alone should clue you into the fact that the bike is really different! I think it doubles as a roll bar for the front windscreen. :/:rofl:

 

Shawn

 

Knowing Mitch, both are functional...

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Joe Frickin' Friday
"EJECT" "ABORT"?

 

Wait, your RT didn't come with those?

 

I mean, the GPS mount alone should clue you into the fact that the bike is really different! I think it doubles as a roll bar for the front windscreen. :/:rofl:

 

Actually it's a hoist point for the whole bike.

 

600719243_HnYnn-XL.jpg

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russell_bynum
"EJECT" "ABORT"?

 

Wait, your RT didn't come with those?

 

My bike is Italian...the inventors of electricity, and immediately thereafter: the electrical problem.

 

If it had those buttons, one would do nothing and the other would cause the headlight to short out.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
If it had those buttons, one would do nothing and the other would cause the headlight to short out.

 

That would definitely make me want to abort my ride.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Day 13: Thursday, May 26, 2011

Route: Iowa City, IA to Ann Arbor, MI

Distance: 465 miles

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-151.jpg

 

 

The low fuel economy the previous day meant the engine was working harder, and I'm pretty sure that had something to do with what I saw when I inspected the bike in the morning:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-152-XL.jpg

 

 

I used to get about 6000 miles out of a set of tires (Metzeler Z-6s) on the old 1100RT. I got just 4500 out of the previous rear tire on this bike, but I figured that was due to a lot of sport riding in Wisconsin and in the Smoky Mountains; my assumption was that I would be able to get something closer to 6000 miles on this set of tires, since there would be a lot of highway miles involved. But here I was in Iowa City, with, you guessed it, 4500 miles on the bike since leaving home, and a rear tire that was down to the cords.

 

Fortunately I had picked a good city to stop in the previous night. Iowa City is home to Gina's BMW:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-153-L.jpg

 

 

Happily they were located just four miles from my hotel, and opened at 9 AM. I felt confident the rear tire would make it there, but I rode gingerly...just in case.

 

Happily, they had the tire I needed; all I had to do was kill some time while they serviced my bike. I checked the place out thoroughly while I waited.

 

Outside, both benches are completely reserved for a mysterious man named Ed Barr:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-154-L.jpg

 

 

What's Ed's story? Any of you Iowa folks know?

 

IIRC, this is Fritz, the shop dog:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-155-XL.jpg

 

 

Fritz is friendly as all heck, and over the years I imagine he's become accustomed to receiving attention from people wearing all kinds of strange clothes. Pet him once or twice, and he's your friend for life:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-156-XL.jpg

 

 

Eventually I came across BMW's newest offering, the K1600GTL:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-157-L.jpg

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-158-XL.jpg

 

Naturally I inquired about a test ride, and Gina herself was happy to oblige.

 

For anyone not a BMW enthusiast, this bike has two notable features. One is the engine: a transverse-mounted in-line 6-cylinder beast, 1.6 liters. Somehow despite this configuration it's still possible to comfortably straddle the engine.

 

The other notable feature is the throttle:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-159-L.jpg

 

 

The K1600 employs an electronic throttle control (ETC). On this bike, there's no mechanical cable connecting the throttle grip to the throttle plate. See the red arrow? That's the electrical signal wire; the throttle grip puts out signals that tell the computer what you'd like the engine to do, and then the computer decides whether your request is reasonable or not. This has allowed BMW to implement all kinds of interesting control behavior. Traction control is the most obvious: the computer can close the throttle if it detects the rear wheel spinning up too rapidly. But there are also several rider-selectable operating modes, some of which limit maximum power output if the bike is leaned over beyond certain limits, and/or reduce power output if your front wheel is airborne for too long or too high.

 

Three extra benefits from ETC:

  • You no longer need a separate cruise control module; CC becomes just a few extra lines of code in the computer that's already running the throttle.
  • The throttle grip is virtually frictionless, and can be fitted with a relatively light return spring, resulting in less wrist effort.
  • no more dealing with cable stretch/adjustments, or trying to eliminate that annoying deadband (the first movement of a traditional throttle grip that just takes up cable slack, but doesn't actually move the throttle plate)

BMW first introduced this system in 2009 with their S1000RR. If BMW bikes have always seemed high-tech to you, then you may be surprised to learn that Harley-Davidson beat BMW to the punch, installing ETC on their touring bikes in 2008 (although to my knowledge, they aren't using it to implement any of the sophisticated traction/power control schemes I described earlier). Moreover, Yamaha did it several years before Harley did.

 

Not being familiar with the area, Gina sent me out with Chris - a local rider - leading the way (he was there test-riding an F800GS). Chris took me on some nice country roads south of the dealership. Since we were both on unfamiliar bikes, neither of us was pushing things particularly hard, but we were able to get a taste for our respective rides. The GTL was...interesting...but I think I'll keep my RT. :grin:

 

Eventually we made our way back to the dealership, where my RT was waiting for me with a brand-new tire on the rear wheel; time to knock out the last 460 miles of the trip.

 

In an odd instance of symmetry, I stopped for lunch at a Wendy's restaurant in Peru, Illinois – not realizing, until I saw it, that it was the same Wendy's where I had eaten lunch on the first day of the trip. :grin:

 

The weather cooperated – mostly cloudy skies, temps in the mid 50s – until I hit the south end of the Chicago metroplex, and then it all went to hell. The rain started falling steady and hard, and the temperature dropped to the mid-40s. It stayed that way for the rest of the ride home. My gear was soaked through in several spots, and with all of the electrics operating at full power, I barely managed to stay warm enough; it was one of those days where you find that you're actually warmer if you keep your helmet on and stay plugged in and sitting on the bike, so you keep your stops short, few and far between.

 

After slogging through three hours of cold, wet grayness, it was a nice homecoming, being greeted by a happy wife, a long, HOT shower, and a delicious meal.

 

Turns out Ann Arbor had a lot of rain while I was gone. No problems at our house, but places near the Huron River were pretty soggy. All the rain and cool temps had left me with some work to do:

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-160-L.jpg

 

That's all I have to say about that.

 

2011-05-my-torrey-oddity-161.jpg

 

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Tank

Great tale of the adventure Mitch, thanks

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TEWKS

Good show Mitch enjoyed watching! :thumbsup: Man, you could feed some livestock with those grass clippings! :)

 

Pat

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ESokoloff
Well, that was a helluva trip............

 

984523884_94Srm-O.jpg

 

 

Bravo, well done :thumbsup:

 

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russell_bynum

Kick ass ride tale, as usual!

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Tasker
Kick ass ride tale, as usual!

 

Yup!

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Marty Hill

Way to go Mitch! :thumbsup:

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SageRider

Thanks, Mitch.

I enjoyed the read!

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flars

"...All the rain and cool temps had left me with some work to do:

..."

Was your wife laid up in the hospital while you were gone???

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Joe Frickin' Friday
"...All the rain and cool temps had left me with some work to do:

..."

Was your wife laid up in the hospital while you were gone???

 

In some ways we're very "traditional:" example, she handles the laundry, I take care of the yard. She's never used a lawn mower before, and we weren't expecting growing conditions to be so incredibly perfect while I was gone, so we didn't think there was any reason to plan on her taking care of while I was gone. I knew it would be long, but nothing like what I saw when I got home. I jacked up the mower for the first cut, and then cut it again a couple of days later at the normal height; it was still a struggle. :grin:

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Chris K

Great ride tale Mitch. Thanks for giving me something to do at work! (I hope my boss doesn't read this).

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TN_R11_Girl

Thank you for yet another lovely tale!! Makes me wistful for another trip out West!

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Burt

Great ride tale Mitch. I wish I could have made it out there.

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Ron_B
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

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KDeline

Again, well said.

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tallman

Mitch,

Great tale.

 

Are you runing the "C" version of the Z6?

 

Asking because I regularly get way more miles than you did.

Only exception was the one time I ran the regular ones, cord at 7,000 miles, all the others had a lot of tread at 7.500-10,000.

I know, dif bikes/roads/riding styles but just curious if it is the "C" version.

Thanks.

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Schooly

Great job. Loved the pics and story. This has me inspired as my wife and I will be there next week

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Killer
Great job. Loved the pics and story. This has me inspired as my wife and I will be there next week

Come by the information center on the corner of 12 & 24 and say hello (Fri&Sat 1-7, Sun&Mon 9-5)

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Mitch,

Great tale.

 

Are you runing the "C" version of the Z6?

 

Asking because I regularly get way more miles than you did.

Only exception was the one time I ran the regular ones, cord at 7,000 miles, all the others had a lot of tread at 7.500-10,000.

I know, dif bikes/roads/riding styles but just curious if it is the "C" version.

Thanks.

 

Yes, I've been buying the "C" version for the rear tire. linky.

 

Is the "C" tire what you've been running?

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Schooly

Will try to do that. Thanks.

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