Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In her element!

I finally got the chance to steal out a little time to take Elvira to a track. She loved it! I didn't have such a bad time either. Work's been crazy so I'm a little behind on a lot of stuff. Since I'm leaving for Idaho early tomorrow morning, there's been a week's worth to cram into a couple of days. Last week was just as bad coming off the holiday. And then I have to go take a half day to go play. So now the situation's worse but it was worth it!

Unlike my usual fountain of words, this will be a short post. Besides work, I seem to have gotten roped into taking Katie to dinner because it's my birthday. How'd that happen?

Elvira came into her own on the track. Here's a word to the wise, though, If you want more cornering clearance, adjust the suspension up! Otherwise she touches down pretty easily.

The sport bike side of her heritage had the chance to come to the forefront. My appreciation for her just grew immensely.

Clinton wanted to ride along. Unfortunately, I couldn't let him ride due to policy, etc. There was a formal class being conducted. One perk of being an instructor is that I could take advantage of the instructor "practice" time while the students were in the classroom part. Even though I wasn't actually scheduled to teach this particular class. I'm going to pay for Clinton to take the Advanced Rider Training class when he's ready. Not that he needs me to cough up the dough for him, or anything. It's my way of investing in my son's riding, I guess.

The upside is that I got to ride his VFR. There were still chicken strips on his new tires. The front tire had strips about 3/4" wide. Clinton hadn't worn them all the way over, yet. Which I'm happy to report because it means he's riding more or less responsibly on the streets!

His challenge to me was to finish scuffing the front tire all the way across. I'm pleased to say we met that goal!

I have to say that his VFR is really sweet in this environment. It was so easy to just roll the bike from side to side, using the pegs as lean angle sensors. As a matter of fact, after a few spirited laps on the VFR, I was worried there was a problem with the FJR. It seemed slightly reluctant to turn in on the first lap back on it and I was wondering about the front tire. There wasn't a problem with Elvira, the FJR's just that easy to ride.

Clinton was stationed on a corner with my Nikon snapping pictures. I'm sorry to say I heavily dragged his pegs a couple of the times I came through that turn. Sorry!

There was also an ST1300 present. I took a few laps on that. Which was interesting, considering I was really after that bike to start with when I bought Elvira. It was nice to have chance to ride them both back to back.

Jeff Earls, of Iron Butt Rally fame was there also. I asked Jeff to ride Elvira for a few laps so I could listen to her run. He agreed as long as he was being forced into it, of course! I also took a few laps on what he calls Battlestar Galactica, a.k.a. as a BMW K1200GT. Jeff rode the last Iron Butt on that bike. You have to hand it to BMW. Those big bikes are comfortable and they soon inspire the rider to lean the bike with great confidence.

After a fun hour and a half I had to hit the road for home. I was glad of the chance to explore this side of Elvira. Early tomorrow morning we're headed out for an eleven or twelve hundred mile round trip to Idaho and back. It will be another chance to get to know each other better.

This will be the last post until Monday, possibly Sunday. I'm not taking the laptop. Thursday will be a full day of meetings with a leisurely, long ride on either side.

The guest post will be ready next week. Be sure not to miss it! Have a great week!

Miles and smiles,



Anonymous said...

Very smart looking bike you've got there. Hope Elvira gives you as much entertainment as Sophie did.
I have done about 22,000 miles on my ST1300 and am very pleased with her. Any tips on first-time peg scraping?

American Scooterist Blog said...

Loved the great images of you looking through the turn. The visual is so perfect! Have yourself a blast on that trip sir!


fasthair said...

HI Dan,

Fun fun fun!!! You sure look sharp at the track.

I sure would like to do a day at the track. There is one about 2 hours from here but I don't think a HD Softail would be much of a "sport bike" on the track. I'll have to look into seeing if they offer a course with bike included.

Enjoy you road trip. Nice place to be riding in. I loved it when I was out there back in '98.

Ride safe and have fun,

mrs rc said...

Ever since I got my new Dyna I have this thing about scraping pegs. The bike is so much more stable than my old one was that I feel like I could. So somewhere in the back of my mind is always this thought as I go into a turn..."oooo, maybe I'll scrape my peg this time!" But I've never done it. Maybe I'm just too afraid I'll tip her over completely! :-(

Lady Ridesalot said...

Woo Hoo! I love pictures of riders in motion. Looks like you were having a ton of fun! Sometimes even the teachers need to have recess! Ride on!

Steve L. said...

great pictures Dan.

Makes me want to sign up for the ART again!

Although I'd really like to do it ona bike that can lean a bit more than my Suzuki S50.

Bryce said...

The track you were on, is it a dedicated track for motorcycle instruction?
That is is is used for other purposes?
I've seen it in other photographs. I see young son is well adept with the the Nikon. good one!
As for you riding his machine, is Clinton the only one of your offspring interested in motorcycles?

Seeing the foliage and the riding wants me to save my money and travel west for a rider course.

Steve L. said...

the track is Pat's Acres - a track designed for go-karting so a lot of tight turns. You can see the layout here.


Kano said...

Happy Birthday! -Eliva's broken in already and doing laps at the track. You really put the miles on in a hurry!

Bryce said...

Blogger Steve L. said...

the track is Pat's Acres - a track designed for go-karting so a lot of tight turns. You can see the layout here.

Got dizzy following the track from the birds eye view.
Can hardly imagine doing so on terra firma!

A maze of asphalt! And in a lovely
wooded setting!

I wonder how many trees jump out and hit the riders?

Steve Williams said...

What a great place to learn how to handle a motorcycle. Elvira looks right at home.

Looking at you looking through the turns makes me think I need to do some neck exercises to make sure my head turns that far before I try any tight turns like that!

irondad said...

See the next post.

I firmly believe in leading by example. I'm glad the photos show me doing what I preach!

We get a lot of Harleys with floorboards. There's a bunch of scraping at first but then the lines get better. The point of this particular course is for street riders on any bike.

Like Jon, I encourage you to look at the next post.

Lady R,
I swear we're working hard, honest!

Steve L,
ART's awesome, isn't it? Those riding bikes with less lean angle have to be more precise than those of us with clearance to spare. Makes it seem somehow on a higher plane, doesn't it?

Thanks for pitching in to answer Bryce's question on the track.

Three of the four ride.

I don't remember a rider hitting a tree although we have had several unplanned track exits!

Just put another 1100 miles on the clock between last Wednesday and Thursday. It's an addiction, I can't help it!

Steve W,
Try WD-40!

Take care,


Steve L. said...

Dan I guess I get to find out about the lean angles on a bike with more clearance next year.
I plan to do the RSP and ART again probably as I am picking up a new bike tomorrow.
A 2007 Bandit 1250S, in Vancouver that I'm getting a screaming deal on.

irondad said...

Steve L,
How awesome! Congratulations. I hope you come through one of the courses I'm teaching next year. Trouble is, nobody knows their schedule for 2009 yet!

Take care,