I put new tires on the moto about 3 weeks ago and have not had nice weather during the weekend since then, until last weekend. The new tires, sunshine and temps culminated in one of the best Bear Mountain runs I have had so far this summer. I wish that I would have taken a real camera with me.
Weekend before last, some friends of mine arranged to borrow some bikes from BMW and take a ride upstate. I was lucky enough to be included in the activities. We were all riding various iterations of the GS model. I had a 2014 R1200GS. This is probably the biggest motorcycle that I have ever ridden. For its size and weight, the bike is surprisingly fast and nimble. We left the island of Manhattan around noon on Saturday and rode just under 400 miles to Lake Placid. We left Lake Placid early Sunday AM and returned to NYC by a different and slightly longer route. We came back covered in insect carnage and bearing CF cards full of images from the adventure. I took a Canon 5d Mk III with a 50MM f 1/1.2L and the Fujifilm X100 S. Since I snapped so many photos over the two day ride, I’m going to break them up into a few different posts in chronological order.
I took my bike out of winter storage recently in anticipation of spring. Saturday was a nicest weather that New York City has seen so far in 2014. Prior to Saturday, I had taken a few solo rides upstate along the Hudson. Then Saturday, I was joined by two friends. We ended up riding for close to 9 hours. I’m throwing up a couple of snaps from our ride, as well as a couple from my other 2014 rides, so far. Apologies that these are all iPhone snaps. So the quality is not fantastic. The photos that I appear in were snapped by my friend B. Swiss.
One of my favorite motorcycle blogs recently ran a series called “Broventure” wherein two guys rode some enduro-touring bikes through southern Utah and AZ. The photos and stories are awesome. Start with number 1. There are links to the rest of the installments at the end of each post. I was extremely envious of this entire story. Sounds like one of my dream vacations.
I came across the site “Stories of Bike” recently, thanks to Asphalt and Rubber. I agree with their statement, “It won’t take you long to realize that there is a clear moto-hipster vibe that’s going on with the Stories of Bike” Plus, the term”moto-hipster” made me laugh out loud. Even though these types of bikes aren’t really my cup of tea, I have to admit that I ended up watching all of the videos. I did identify with some aspect of what each of the featured riders/bikes were about. Even though I never did any heavy mods to my early bikes, the first two that I owned were a CB250 and a CB750, similar to the production versions of the modded bikes in the videos. I also found it interesting to learn about the Aussie version of cafe racer culture. The vids are very well produced and short enough to keep them interesting. To be honest, watching these vids kind of made me miss working on bikes. Check ’em.
Everyone’s favorite GP rider takes some fellow Dainese sponsored riders to the Rossi Ranch in Tavullia Italy. Here is the video–
Saturday I took a trek down south to Mechanicsville, MD with the RedBull KTM moto-x crew to shoot some outdoor track action. It was a really good time. For one, we took Amtrak to get to MD. Something that I have not done in my adult life. I have taken regional trains since then (here and in Europe), but nothing over like an hour or so.
As far as the race goes, there wasn’t much competition. Ryan Dungey (above) detonated both rounds with a gap of almost 10 seconds at the checkered flag. But the atmosphere was very fun. The weather was beautiful. Plus, I love motorcycles. Here is an overview of the track.
My friend A-Raj, who also came along–
Trusty 70-200 f/2.8–
Fave shots from the ride back–
Even though in the world of GP, Ducati has struggled for the past year, I think that it is probably still my favorite brand of sport bikes. It’s distinctive L-twin growl appeals to me in a way that no other sport bike ever has. So, I was incredibly stoked to see this thing today on Uncrate, today. I’m imagining that the GP bike that Ducati has been developing for next season’s factory team riders (which is going back to the 1 Litre threshold of displacement) may have inspired some design aspects of the new 1199. Here is what Uncrate had to say:
Powered by what the company is calling “the most powerful twin-cylinder production engine on the planet,” the Ducati 1199 Panigale Superbike ($18,000-$28,000) promises uncompromising speed — and it delivers in spades. At its heart is the aforementioned Superquadro engine producing 195hp, which thanks to tremendous frame and engine integration resides in a bike with a dry weight of just 164kg — that’s roughly 362 lbs — along with class-leading tech like a sporty ABS system, traction control, Ducati’s Electronic Suspension, quick-shift, Engine Brake Control, and Ride-by-Wire systems, and a TFT display that changes to suit your environment. Not that you’ll have time to notice
Now I just need to raise $28k so that I can pick one up. Hehe.
Today was a very sad day for me. As I was starting to settle into my Sunday ritual of watching MotoGP, I watched one of my favorite Italian riders die on the track. I never really understood the whole idea of mourning people that you have never met, until today. When Michael Jackson died, I specifically remember thinking how ridiculous it was, seeing all of the footage of fans crying their eyes out, etc.. I guess now, I sort of get it. I never had the pleasure of personally meeting Marco Simoncelli. In fact, there were a few times where I was a bit annoyed by his riding style that I thought could be a bit reckless. Ultimately I have a lot of respect for his tenacity and potential. He was a rookie who always pushed things to the edge. Even if the only thing that I have in common with the man is the love of riding motorcycles fast, It was enough of a connection to put me in shock and break my heart when heard that he had passed away after the gruesome wreck that I watched on TV. Godspeed, Signore Simoncelli. Today– I mourn with the rest of your fans, friends, and family.
Finally, something made by Harley that I can get into. Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for the company. But when it comes to motorcycles, there are two camps– sport bikes and cruisers. I fall on the sport bike side of the fence. I love MotoGP, and anything with fairings. That’s not to say that I don’t like naked bikes. I’m totally into cafe racers and street fighters too. I actually owned a Ducati Monster for a while. Generally, I like bikes that go fast and get low in the corners. I have never been a Harley guy. At all. But check out this collaboration.
Harley-Davidson. UK dealer Shaw Harley-Davidson approached Bell & Ross regarding the bike design which was “inspired” by the watchmaker’s vision on “performance, precision and engineering.” Using the Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Nightrain base, they worked together in developing a housing for the Bell & Ross BR 01-92 Carbon watch. “The watch mounting positioned the timepiece in an ideal place for its primary function as a professional tool for the rider.”