Warning!!! This is a long-winded post, but if you're like me, you're at work and have nothing better to do with the bossmans time--so read on.
It was an awesome day for a ride in the Texas hill country this past Sunday. I got the bike on Friday and the salesman invited my wife and I to go for a ride with about 6 other people.
It started off with a boring bit of highway cruising to get us closer to the twisties. This is when I discovered all the shenanigans (sp) sportbike riders must go through to be comfortable. Face down @ss up that's the way I like to...stretch my legs.
After a quick pit stop for gas and snacks we were finally off the highway and headed for Bandera. Here the road starts getting a little twisty (mostly high-speed sweepers). After about 10 miles of this, I'm aproaching a reduced speed left-hander (you know, the kind with those < < < signs), when suddenly I notice a green blur and dust flying everywhere
. I'm thinking Oh $h!t, someone has gone down and I'm haulin my bike down as fast as I dare with my wife on the back-damn those brakes work great. I get over to the accident and see that this guy took out one of those < I mentioned, luckily for him all he got was some minor road rash and maybe a knee sprain. His bike, on the other hand (brand new 500 mile zx-12), didn't fair so well. His fairing one one side was destroyed, radiator leaking, Muffler bracket snaped, front tire fairing desintergrated, bent fork etc. When we asked what happened it was the usual MSF stuff--freaked out, target fixated, didn't look to the exit of the turn. One of the guys gave a ball park estimate of $6500--too bad he only has liability
. After this, I was a bit shaken up, nothing like a wreck to throw your confidence off. Well, we had to leave his bike there and took him back to a gas station so he could have someone come pick him up, and we're back off-with one less rider
By the time we made it back to the same turn and came out the other side my confidence was mostly restored and I started getting in the groove. Since I was riding 2 up, was getting used to a new bike with barely 100 miles (and was supposed to be breaking it in), I was bringing up the rear for this trip. I really didn't mind at all, I was riding at my own pace (which wasn't all that slow) and having the time of my life.
We finally got to Bandera which is a small little town, but a popular biker destination for sportbikes and Harleys alike. I always here how the Harley riders never wave but that's not the case here. We were some wavin' fools that day. We had lunch and were off to Camp Wood for the really twisty stuff of sportbikers dreams. The starting point of this 12 mile run was on top of a lookout point with a covered picnic area-finally the Dept. of transportation does something right. The first time though I was taking it pretty easy, some of the turns are sharp 10mph hairpin turns. Then I dropped my wife back at the picnic area and had another go at it. Boy, what a difference. I was going much faster because I could use more brake into the turn without doing a face plant into the bars. It was also much easier to flick it from side to side w/o my wife. Don't get me wrong, she's barely 110lbs but that's enough to change the handling through the tight stuff and make you use the brake very sparingly.
The ride back was pretty uneventfull. Travel 100mph+, look out for cops, stop and get gas, repeat. The whole trip covered about 400 miles (about 250 more than we'd previosly done) and my wife was a real trooper up until about the 300 mark. Needless to say, a Corbin seat is on my list of things to buy
This was a great trip, except for that guy wrecking his bike--I really feel bad for him. I keep imagining what would have happened to him if he hit that sign instead of his bike...ouch!
Looking forward to my next Sunday ride. By the way, have 500miles on the bike now--break-in all most over