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Author Topic: Fly and Ride, Ride Report  (Read 388 times)
frostypuck
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« on: March 20, 2016, 10:15:36 AM »

Back in February, before I committed to buy a Zero-mile, never-titled manufacturer's leftover 2013 Suzuki Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S. from Romney Cycles in Romney, WV I thought most everywhere in Eastern U.S. was Easily accessible. If you're in the Boston area, the best way to get to Romney, WV is to fly to Pittsburgh International Airport, rent a car at Enterprise, drive 3 hours to Keyser WV, and then take a cab 35 miles to Romney. Fortunately the ride home is much more fun...

I had called the dealership several times during the week letting me know of my plans, so when I finally arrived a 230 pm on Friday, the bike was ready. The dealership was huge. They sell Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. The new bike showroom is vast, I would guess well over a hundred bike on display, and a large number out back in crates. Interestingly, I found my bike on CycleTrader, and one of the sales guys told me that the vast majority of their sales come from that website. Very few local customers. I guess its a small market.



They had the bike ready for me by the front door, inspected, detailed, and serviced. I had called last week to ask them to install a 12V accessory plug which they had. A couple weeks ago I picked up a SW-Motech dry bag from Twisted Throttle which cleverly connects via straps to any sturdy spots on your bike you'd like it to. I compressed the bag and connected 2 of the straps to the passenger footpegs, and the other two I looped under the passenger seat. The bag was super-secure. I had a cargo net over top to keep the various strap tails from flapping.



Prior to leaving home, I built a trip on furkot.com and downloaded it to my garmin. I selected that route for the ride home which avoided Interstates and stuck to secondary roads.



First impression about this bike: The C90 is a 1500cc fuel injected V-twin shaft drive. One of the reasons I picked this bike is that the seat height is taller than many cruisers, at about 28 inches, as opposed to 23 or 25 inches found on some other bikes. What's odd is that it uses a cable for the clutch, rather than hydraulic (I'm guessing so it can keep the "cruiser" looks without an extra master cylinder). Also, a single disk front brake (probably so you can see the wheel) and absolutely NO storage. No place for a registration, or a pair of gloves, or the owners manual. Also there is no tach (more about that in a minute...). The speedo and indicator lights and odometer and fuel gauge are all on the top of the tank, cruiser style. This means no tank bag to hold your EZ Pass, registration, owners manual, or pair of gloves.
Starting out, I was hoping to take it easy and get the feel for the bike. (The last time I rode a bike with floorboards and a heel-toe shifter was probably 20 years ago on a CB750 with ape hangers and a huge sissybar.) Anyway, as you can see from the map, the ride starts out immediately in the twisties. What the maps doesnt show is that at the same time, the elevation changes from about 2800 feet to 900 and back up to 1800 then to 2100 and back down etc. What I'm saying is ITS HILLY...AND TWISTY!!! Whats cool is there are elevation markers all along the route. Great for riding, not so great for feeling out a new bike. The heel-toe took some getting used to, especially because the toe part is angled up so high, I have no leverage to use that for upshifting. Its almost mandatory to use the heel pad for shifting up.



The exhaust tone is pretty quiet. I was using the same Scorpion full-face helmet I was wearing in my wreck in 2012. I think for that reason it is really noisy now. The whole first day of riding was in these peaks and valleys, and the only constant was the crosswind from the fields on either side of the roads. The roads were marked as 55 zones, but I would ride 15 or 20 minutes without ever seeing another car. So I was tempted to push the speed, but every time I would, a switchback or a twisty descent would come up. One problem I had was that the helmet was so beat up, I could not hear engine or exhaust noise. I wouldn't know if I was lugging the motor until I'd go to throttle up. With no tach to give me a hint of engine speed, I was often just guessing.
The route was SR50 to SR29 then on to SR522. In the 3.5 hours I was riding on friday, I was in WV, VA, MD and PA. Traffic was nearly non-existent and these routes almost never even went thru a town or village. After about 50 miles like that on SR522, I eventually got on to SR35, my home for the next few hours. More Quaker and Amish farmhouses, with a couple of small villages. No traffic lights, no traffic, no nothing. I was keeping alert for horse and buggies and as dusk started, I was looking more for deer. Just when I was on the verge of needing fuel (145 miles on first tank), I arrived in the tiny town of Mifflintown, PA. Which has a gas station, two restaurants and an Econolodge.

Day two dawned with a temp of 26 degrees when I was ready to take off. This would be the theme for the day. Cold. I stayed on SR35 for another 50 miles or so, and being a saturday morning, I saw virtually no traffic. Occasionally I'd come upon a farm truck hauling hay or chickens, and I saw a lot of trucks hauling race cars, mostly amateur, I suspect were heading to Pocono or some local race track. But most of SR35 has a climbing lane when going up hill, and invariably every time I was behind one of these trucks or cars, they would immediately pull to the right to allow me to pass. SR35 eventually meets SR15/SR11 then just becomes SR11. The temp was still in the high 20's and my cold weather gear was not holding up. I had to stop every 30-45 minutes to warm up. I found a Lowes and bought a 10 pk of Hot Hands, and put three inside each glove, and a couple in my inside jacket pockets.
I crossed I80 somewhere in the middle of PA,  and stayed on other 3 number State Routes like 682, 648, 264. These were smooth, fast and chilly. Most of them were shaded by trees and there were ice patches on the sides of the roads. I passed Bed Rock, but didnt see Fred Flintstone. After a break in Tunkhannock? I decided it was time to run toward home. I hopped on Route 6 and took that til I got to I84. Just outside Scranton.

 

I84 is just as terrible as you'd imagine, and nothing much to report, except that I'm probably Wanted by the New York Toll police. At one of the toll booths on 84, I went into the EZ-Pass only lane, and found that it couldn't read my toll pass through my jacket pocket, and in the infinite wisdom of the State of NY, they have a  stupid barricade at the toll booth. now I understand why the NY cars come to a stop at the Mass Pike toll booths, they expect a stupid barricade.
Anyway, I am now a toll-evading scofflaw.
I84 thru NY and CT was miserable, as expected, and once I got to Hartford, I decided I had gone far enough on the Interstate. I got on Route 6 and rode that all the way to 295 just outside of Providence. There were 2 things I had to consider, I was still expecting snow at home on Sunday. And I was hovering on the verge of hypothermia. For real. When I stopped for gas or coffee, I would begin shivering uncontrollably. My hands were numb which caused problems stopping and clutching.



I got home around 5pm, 10 hours on the road, 590 total miles from WV to Norwood, ~450 miles on Saturday. The bike was averaging 155 miles between fill-ups, just about 40 mpg. I never stretched the tank distance, as it holds 4.8 gals, and I was putting in 3.8-4.0 gallons per fill.
My quick release saddlebags are on order, and I'm debating whether to get a windshield or not. Everything up to about 75 mph is just fine, and even when behind tractor trailers on the highway, there's really no instability as it is.
Anyway, all in all, I'm enjoying the new ride. I'll see you all on the Spring Ride!
 
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andy750
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 06:31:10 PM »

Epic ride! How lucky are you to be riding in Spring  Grin Grin. That early road sounded just great and what a dealer find! A huge warehouse showroom of cheap bikes just waiting for riders  Cool. I dont envy you in the I-84 sections - miserable I know only too well and with such cold no wonder you were hypo. Should have got some newspapers to stuff down your front. Good insulation. Takes me back to getting my VStrom in WI and riding the last 4 hrs in freezing rain/snow  Cool. Isnt motorcycling fun! Wink

Its going to be an epic Spring Ride this year guys so get your bikes ready!

Dates to be announced soon!

cheers
Andy
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 03:53:09 PM »

Sweet Chris!  Welcome back  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 07:42:18 PM »

Jeepers, hopefully on my third try, congrats Chris, and  wonderfully written. I am sure that you will have a tach and all sorts of betterment afixed by the time the rest of us get riding!
Your report inspired me to start planning my ride to  Barber this Spring, Thanks!
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