Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
frankencat

First RT Ride - Daytona!

Recommended Posts

frankencat

Finally got to take a nice ride on my new RT this week - Bike Week 2003 in Daytona. Daytona is roughly 200 miles from where I live and there are a number of ways to get there. I only had about 700 miles on the RT so I was itching to get it out on the road and see what it could do. I rang up a bro of mine who rides a customized '00 GS and invited him along for the ride. My band was invited to play there a couple of nights and we rode out on Tuesday morning, hung out, had fun, jammed Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and rode back today. Big thanks out to the Christian Rider's Ministry who put us up (err.. put up with us) for a couple of nights and generally were a cool bunch of brothers and sisters from the "old school", hehe.

 

It was a blast! Now on to the ride!

 

It had been raining here for a couple of days and it was raining when we took off on Tues am. We were pressed for time so we took the straightest route - I75 to I4 to I95 to Daytona Beach. This is also the most boring IMO but hey, we got to ride. Both bikes ran and handled great in the rain and we avg'd about 80 mph which put us there in around 3.5hrs with 2 stops. The RT had just had it's 600 mile service and was running like a top. The GS, well that thing ALWAYS runs great wink.gif. Riding around Daytona was cool and was allot more "civilized" than I remember it from 10 or 20 years ago, lol. Something cool I learned, BMW's just blend in to the scenery so you don't have to really worry about security. With all of the high $$ HD's out there nobody bothered our bikes a bit. Stopped by the BMW site at the speedway, met Mr. Eidlewiess (sp?) who is a very friendly guy. He encouraged us to come out with them in the summer. Might just take him up on it. Anyway, back to the ride, the inevitable "idling in traffic while you wait for everybody else" thing that happens in Daytona gets these R motors heated up in a hurry. Had to shut down a couple of times after long rides and then sitting. Noticed the valves got a little noisier after that and that nice fresh 600 mile tune-up was also out the window after that. Still ran great though and we pushed hard on the way back. We headed back going West on I40 through the Ocala National Forest - very nice ride esepcially for Florida where we have the most boring roads imaginable. Great scenery, nice sweepy 4 lane roads with long stretches of nothingness where you can really let it rip. I wanted to see what the RT could do and aver the course of two or three runs got her up to around 115-120 mph - fully loaded. It seems to handle better the faster you go but the power drops off after about 110 - feels like it is at it's breathing limits at that point. Anyway, I never reached the end of it cause I kept running out of road but I am VERY happy with the performance of the RT in this respect. The rest of the trip back on I40 went great and it felt downright good passing HD's and other folks at 80-90 mph where we were very comfortable and in control while they were holding on to those hogs for dear life at 80 mph. Believe me, I know the feeling, that's why it feels so good on the BMW IMHO wink.gif My bro was heading north and west to Dallas Texas and then on to L.A. as Daytona was the start of an "around the globe" tour for him (Ride safe bro!). When we got to I75 he went north and I went south. This is where I had some problems with the RT, there were some wicked cross winds - don't know how fast but they were blowing me around all over the place. I felt very unstable and could hardly hold 75 mph without feeling like I was gonna go sailing off the bike. It was hard to keep the bike in a lane and it lasted all the way home and really shook me up. A guy on an HD passed me at about 80 mph and it didn't seem like he was having as mouch trouble as I was having. Another guy on a crotch rocket was all tucked in and passed me as well although not as easily as the HD guy. I had to stop twice during the last 60 miles of the trip because I was so shaken up and I couldn't believe what was happening. I had just come off a stretch where I felt like 90 mph was a comfortable "one hander" and now all of the sudden I am holding on for dear life at 70-75 mph. Am I just not used to the quicker, lighter handling of the RT? Is that the tradeoff for performance....stability? Hmmmm, maybe my old HD is slow but I was NEVER blown off the road by anything and I rode that thing for close to 20 years in all kinds of condition. Hmmmm....(deep contemplation)...I was tired and just resolved to make it home and analyze/reflect later. At the moment, I am still winding down but wanted to share with all of the good folks here at the forum. Hope you enjoy it, and if you are heading out to Daytona, bring your rain gear AND your sunblock. I am nursing a little bit of a burn myself but it was worth it smile.gif

 

Hey, if you get a chance, go and say hey to my new bros over at the Christian Rider's Ministry on the corner of Peninsula and Main. A good bunch of folks and they have music every night in the tent and plus they have free bottled water. What more can you ask for??? wink.gif

 

God bless and ride safe.

 

Share this post


Link to post
KeithATL

>>>...and now all of the sudden I am holding on for dear life at 70-75 mph.<<<

 

 

Frank,

 

Next time that happens you might want to try loosening your grip on the bars instead of "holding on for dear life". The bike's track will stabilize much quicker if you don't fight it. Lowering the windshield also seems to help (especially with an Aeroflow).

 

Keith B.

02 1150RT Silver

Marietta, GA

Share this post


Link to post
frankencat

Thanks Kieth. I did both but with limited success. What really bothered me was how easily I was tossed around on the road. Not a very confident feeling.

Share this post


Link to post
Jake

Nice write up! Wish I could have joined you folks up there. Despite the wind trauma, I trust you and the RT bonded a bit on the trip.

 

Regarding the wind, there's some good threads buried in here with excellent tips on dealing with the gusties on the RT.

Share this post


Link to post
rdfrantz

Frank, I've ridden heavily for 30 years on all kinds of bikes. The RT is absolutely the worst bike I've been on in crosswinds. I really and truly have been blown across two lanes of traffic while scraping the upwind peg. That's how it is.

 

That same fully enclosing bodywork that makes the bike so nice to look at, and ride all those long miles in comfort, and yes, stability, is just not the ticket for crosswinds. The similar styled 1100/1300 Honda STs are greatly affected to, but not to the same extent, seemingly a result of their higher CG and lower profile. Lower profile, like with the sport bike you saw, is a big help: The K-RS is only about 1/4 as much affected as the RT despite its also full enclosure.

 

I've discovered that finding an "optimum" speed in crosswinds helps. I like 55 - 60 on the RT. Speed contains a balance of gyro-stability and also time in which to make corrections and have them take effect before leaving your chosen road space. There have been several posts you can find by searching about handling crosswinds that contain valuable advice. I just take some of the posts with a grain of salt about the bike being "self-correcting", considering the rider just hasn't encountered severe enough conditions to overcome that indeed valid observation.

 

Life's a balance. I hope you do find yours with the RT.

Share this post


Link to post
OldRider

Dick , that is not true. You are just whinning again and were not riding fast enough. wink.gifgrin.gif Just dial it up until it tracks straight and narrow.

Share this post


Link to post
frankencat

Thanks Dick. Exactly what I needed to hear. I rode it today down to a contract site who I am doing some work for and it is very windy today as well and I am making some observations about the RT's handling in crosswinds for myself but your observations are very astute and obviously come from experience. I too have been on the road for a spell (20+ years) which made this all the more suprising to me. Thanks bro.

 

Jake: The RT and I *definitely* bonded during the trip wink.gif Let's just say that this ride on my old Shovelhead at 70-80 mph would have left me wanting a whole allot more than just a cup of hot coffee.

 

Peace smile.gif

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...