Last Rides

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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

oldironnow
We all deserve some rich butter on the dry toast of every-day.

I'm stoked for you!
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Mad4TheCrest
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

oldironnow
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Mad4TheCrest
Indian FTRbase, Indian Scout, FJR1300es

Indian has an EZ-up and a handful of bikes to ride. A big twin of some flavor, a Scout and two FTRs. A black and a white FTRbase. The nice lady notices me staring at them. Indian called my bluff; i did tell them i wanted 17" wheels.
"Do you want to try one of them?" She asks, coming out from under the canopy.
I'm still on a bit of a high from the Yamahas and especially the Harley PanAm, and Indian is not on my 'list,'  but i come to my senses after a second.
"Uh. Yeah... yeah. Sure - I think i do!"
"There's another FTR with better suspension that's out right now. Do you want to wait for it to come back?"
"No. This will be fine. Let's go with the black one."
An even shorter interview than HD's occurs.
Key on. Start it up. Let it idle while writhing the gloves on. Just a stout pop-pop-pop of exhaust. Smack both tires. Check that the rear brake lever lights the brake light by prodding it with my boot while cupping my left glove over the taillight. With the Buell, i can squeeze the front brake lever with my right hand while holding my left hand over the taillight. Not even close with the FTR! I must be a foot short in arm-span. Huh...
So it's long... Swing a leg over comically easy. The bike feels like a large Grom. Where is it? The bars are 'here' - normal/right. But there's this enormous space where the fuel tank should be. I feel like i could stack three of my daily tankbags on top of the FTR's tank just to reach my normal sternum level set-up.
So I go. And stall, trying to clutch around the big twin parked ahead of me. And go. Puttering out to the track's interior hub intersection. Police interns hold me for cross traffic. And then an Africa Twin pulls up. And then a third bike in my mirror. The FTR quickly kills a cylinder, perhaps the keep that rear header from setting my femur on fire.
We're released with a youthful wave of gloved hand, and i stand on the pegs past all the interns until the road tips over the lip of the cliff that pours down to the highway at the bottom.
The brakes have great initial bite. They 'whiiirrrr' just like my '95 Ducati's, but feel a touch un-linear with more pressure. Maybe a different set of pads would be in order.
With 17s at both ends, and being unsupervised, i can take some speed on the way down through the two major lefts and the sweeping 180 right near the highway gate. The FTR is stable, self-assured, willing to turn in and hold what angle you want. A partner in confidence.
Also a partner in 'going'. Up, up, up through the gears in a gap in the flow. The transmission is close to Japanese snick-smoothness. It is smoother than the Pan America's, which is good - for a Harley. (Still a touch of those HD dogs clashing together. Maybe a further adventure in designed character?) The FTR gives Naked bike wind roar and pressure that is Buell familiar. Also Buell familiar is the feeling that the trailing edge of the spinning front tire could have intimate friction with one's most private naughty bits. Right down on the front end. The lack of 'motorcycle' between my chin and waist is most noticable at this moment.
More ignition cuts at each stop light. Then the turn back towards the track.
The single gauge is '90s- complex; a needle sweep and some small, basic LCD displays. It tells the story of 85 in a moment of undeveloped 45, and the suspension is well balanced all along the bumpy, old return road. The benchmark left is a composed turn with the FTR, not a sporty rush. Likely because its 60" wheelbase is between the Pan America feel (62.2") and the R7 (55") connection.
Upon turning it in to Indian, i get the usual "Well, how did you like it?" question.
"I love it. Really amazing. But where's the rest if the bike?" The answer is it's all there, just in different places. The long bike gives room to stuff all the fuel under the seat, and squash the airbox-tank around the top of the engine. Pretty neat.

"Wanna try the Scout?"

Indian Scout Sixty

"Sure. I always admired that frame that surrounds the radiator. "
"Well, there ya go!"

Absurdly low. And forward pegs. Ugh. But let's do this. '...for Science and Knowledge...'
An extremely low motorcycle. One could trip over it crossing a darkened garage. And i keep missing the pegs, my feet 'plopping' onto the moving pavement. This is a learned skill. I am unlearned.
Nothing feels right. My tailbone already hurts just trolling past Harley and Yamaha tents. "This is ridiculous. What am i going to learn from this?" I almost turn back before leaving the track, but again decide to tough it out.
Just taking it easy down the hill, not wanting bury a peg or drag my heels (as done once on a V-Rod test ride) and stagger off into the huge rain trough on the outside of the entrance road. If i escaped the ditch, the bike and i would endo all the way to the highway like hillclimbers rejected by the hill.
A timid blast into a gap in the trafffic. A carefull row through the box. 55 feels... fast. I'm hanging on like a hangover. Resolute. Determined not to lose. The simple right turns are terrifying in advance, with wobbling imprecision on my part, but the Scout can deal with me. We avoid pranging the pegs at the fast light, and just miss the pothole at the slow light that leads onto the 'speed straight' - a section on South Boundary Road where the coastal scrub crowds right down to the road. There are no turnouts for cops and radar, and the bend up ahead seals off the run from any inspection but overhead.
Braaaaap.
Braaaaaaaaaap.
Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap!
Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!
65 miles per hour. With a grin, that's about it for me.

Everything works fine. There's just not enough of 'it'.
Not enough gearbox (five cogs)
Not enough power (okay, it's fine)
Not enough comfort (ohhh, my aaaass!)
Not enough brakes (they do work)
Not enough suspension (the bulbous front is vague and the rear chatters sideways over generic street pavement irregularities)
At the perfect left turn, i realize this is the perfect adventure bike.
I mean it.
Perfect.
It's perfect for riders who never leave their county.
Every trip to work, or the softball park for rec-league, or the tavern, or your folks' house for dinner will be an adventure. The bike makes the body feel the trip, turns it into a journey, like you've accomplished something. A victory over the road and banal existance.
It vibrates, shakes in your hands, and one bends to its existence. 'This is difficult. I am doing something difficult, on my way to stocking shelves at the store.' It's an ethic that can lead to a mastery. And who doesn't wish for agency in every single day.

FJR1300es

Staggering off the Scout opens my mind to 'what other maddness might i try?'
Harley.
Iterations of its corporate badass-self in a long gleaming row do not tempt. I must be defective in some way.
I've tried before, and i do not want to feel unhappy.
Yamaha.
Have i mined everything?
Wait. There's that lone FJR1300ES. Beefy. Stout. Demure. Hiding in plain sight like a Honda Accord. I once met a proctor at a trackday on one of those. So fast. Let's do this.
Last call for the day. Four p.m. A couple of other riders and i cajole the Yamaha people into letting us pick bikes from their two squads of motorcycles to make one last run out of the track.
They like the idea so much, we leave early and i'm not ready. Rushing with the gloves and helmet. Spastic. No introduction to the bike. Just swing a leg over, key on, hit the start button, dab the gear lever for a snick engagement, follow the leader immediately ahead.
The FJR is wide in the middle. It feels like one has decided to sit on a warm and friendly Rottweiler. A kinda cushy and firm keg-on-legs feel as the bike glides lightly at trolling speed with the Twins Cup middleweights getting it on with qualifying, roaring into Turn 5 just over the fence. At walking speed, everything is floating grace. Serene, as we head up out of Laguna Seca's bowl one more time.
All day long, every ride, the intern-police cadets would stop the cross traffic on the group's approach to the main intersection and give the ride a priority-pass through.
Now, we wait. There's a lot of day's-end cross traffic.
The FJR is as easy to balance on the left foot as it is to glide at school-zone speed. And the grips are neither low nor high. Right 'there'. Not clipons. Not fist-in-the-wind. They have a lot of non-descript buttons. I consider playing with them all for quite awhile, but i'm not good with menus and the screen is small, so i let the urge pass. Let's not cause a problem on the last run. The wind screen button, though, that's worth toying around with, and I zoom the screen fully up and down more than a few times until the proctor ahead of me starts feathering the clutch and creeping up a bit toward the traffic interns. He delivers a short beep of the horn. And directly, they halt the flow on the bias and let us through.
Over the lip of the hill and into the world. The afternoon wind is on it out here, buffetting like hell over the screen. Naturally, i start playing with the screen button, but quit, not wanting to eat it through inattention. I need to understand the brakes and feel. But the bike seems to already know me. 'I've been waiting for you.' The tight righthand hairpin before the gate gets leaned into deeply but without any squirreliness due to the long wheelbase. The bike feels like a long moderation stick, stably damping out any lunacy and ham-fistedry through a stiff frame and good suspension.
Bursting onto Hwy 68, i'm certain there's an electric motor down there. Vastly less character than the Pan America. Vastly more power than the Scout. The rotating tube on the right handlebar seems less a throttle and more of a rehostat teleportation device.
People, other people, non-motprcycle-racing-fan people, are building around the group in density out on the highway. We're going slower on this loop. We are pedestrian. We are commuting. Every light is stopped at, and the 'power alley' on South Boundery is taken at legal speeds because, sure enough, now a cop is at the end where it widens out. Though he's a-watching the outbound traffic for loons.
The wind really tumbles over the screen, and punches my helmet back and forth, no matter what position I thumb-button it to. I'm a short and slouchy kind of rider. Testing the thing, i sit up very straight and stand a bit, and the wind settles down, leaving me alone in a smooth torrent of air over a still pocket of calm. The bike might be best for six-footers.
The Magic Left is disabled by the proctor taking it reeeeal easssssy on the last leg in the face of all this outbound traffic. I gather no special data from this moderation stick.
There's nothing wrong with the Yamaha Accord. Acceleration, speed, handling, comfort.
Open package.
Apply to boredom.
Arrive in good order.
Especially if you're fond of Rottweilers.


.
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Fatfatboy
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Ha,, warm Rottweilers. That’s funny,,, but real.  I’ve sat on a few of those and never knew it.

.
You meet some of the best folks behind bars.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Mad4TheCrest
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Allred
Interesting sequel Oldiron, and appreciated here on CycleVisor.

The FTR base is an interesting looking machine, and gets a decent score.

The Scout is butt ugly, and doesn't

The FJR is as pretty as it is timeless and refined in its long history.

I'm wondering if the adage "if it looks right, it is right" works here?

.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

oldironnow
In reply to this post by Fatfatboy
Fatfatboy wrote
Ha,, warm Rottweilers. That’s funny,,, but real.  I’ve sat on a few of those and never knew it.
You have to tell us.
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

oldironnow
In reply to this post by Mad4TheCrest
Mad4TheCrest wrote
I've long felt the FJR was the best looking of the big shaftie sport tourers, and OldIron's Rottweiler impression is both fitting and un-deterring of that feeling. Now if that big dog could slim down -  to chubby Doberman, say, ...? 🧐
Exactly!

A narrower dog is the answer.

Maybe repurpose those R6 frame moulds for the 1300 engine.

https://global.yamaha-motor.com/business/cf/facility/


.
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

oldironnow
In reply to this post by Allred
Allred wrote
Interesting sequel Oldiron, and appreciated here on CycleVisor.

The FTR base is an interesting looking machine, and gets a decent score.

The Scout is butt ugly, and doesn't

The FJR is as pretty as it is timeless and refined in its long history.

I'm wondering if the adage "if it looks right, it is right" works here?

.
It is. I studied some Accords recently, and I am overly harsh.

I could see getting an updated FJR1300, or maybe snagging one being flogged used shortly after the new version arrives. (if it does)
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Mad4TheCrest
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Fatfatboy
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This post was updated on .
My last ride,, and first good ride of the season (pathetic, I know) was to Arkansas with my bride and two other couples.



Kickstands up at 8:15 am a couple Fridays ago and traded a 5 hour super slab ride for a 10 hour back road burner through the Ozark hills, Valleys and the occasional ferry to Eureka Springs where we landed a nice clean hotel, for sixty- nine bucks, with a pool for us to wash the days bugs off while sipping some Gentleman Jack.

Our iron steeds taking a rest on the Peel ferry crossing Bull Shoals Lake.


After breakfast in an old house turned to cafe in old town Eureka Springs we headed south on Highway 23, aka The Pig Trail Pass, which was the subject of this weekend ride.

The Pig Trail Pass is a groovy, twisty hilly section of Highway 23 that runs north and south.
The reason for its name sake is because the Razorback fans use it as a short cut through the mountains between Ozark and Fayetteville to the games,,,,, or,,, because the route is a twisty as a pigs tail.
I prefer the latter.

On The Trail



Overlook stop on The Trail.


At the overlook stop above the guy on the black Road Glide didn’t get his foot planted well and him, his wife and the bike put a heavy lean against the side of the concrete Jersey barrier. Bruised her ankle, his ego and put a nice 3” raspberry on the left side of his sparkling black fairing.  I didn’t photo that. I didn’t have the heart.
I did, however, buy him a nice 3” Pig Trail Pass decal for him to cover it as a bandage.
He says he’s gonna leave it that way. His wife doesn’t believe him. He really keeps his bike spotless. I’m talking Allred spotless.

After The Pass we took a eastern route on a farm road just before hitting the city of Ozark to avoid the slab and finding a place for lunch at a back road greasy spoon joint that you could tell by the building design at one point in time was a Waffle House. I couldn’t help but think of the song Martian Boogie. I didn’t eat the crayons.  I had the shrimp basket because everyone knows that fried shrimp baskets in Arkansas is a delicacy.

After lunch we hit Scenic 7 Byway which is a magnificent stretch of tarmac that runs north and south through almost the whole state and crosses the Ozark and Ouachita mountain ranges. We picked it up north of Russellville crossing the Ozark mountains and through Ozark National Forest.

Just before the town of Jasper we came upon Arkansas Grand Canyon which was  developed by a collapsed cave and carved out by the Buffalo River.

 

My bride living on the edge.


Can a group picture still be called a selfie.




After the Grand Canyon photo shoot we continued north through the town of Jasper that is a motorcycle mecca. There’s a few single story motels with many motorcycles parked around. I made a mental note to make a reservation at one of them and spending a few days enjoying the rides in the area.  

We continued north on 7 Byway to the town of Harrison where we called it a day and claimed a hotel home for the evening.
 They didn’t have quite the lounging space that the first nights stay hotel had so we spent the evening sitting on the curb eating pizza, having cocktails and inventing the next Olympic sport, Hotel Office Chair Downhill Racing.

My bride going for the gold.
 

Sunday morning we had to start the dreaded trip back to realization. We looked to the west and could see the storm clouds a brewing so we sacrificed the enjoyment of the back road burn to the super slab jam northeast.
Made it home in four hours. Just before the skies dumped buckets.

Boss man Bob and bride


Crash with his new bright yellow sticker



Ran into my ol’ buddy Billy at a gas stop. He was on his way west to Arizona.
He called me a couple days later. He got wet.


Runnin tail.


Peace out.


.
You meet some of the best folks behind bars.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Allred
Excellent, excellent ride report FatFat, and great pictures, and I'm proud to see I even got a passing mention in the missive too!!!

Billy looks like he is probably quite a character!

.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

oldironnow
Damn that's a great story!
Way to go!

That Pig's Tail corner looks incredible!
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Fatfatboy
Administrator
I’ve been home for a week since picking up the two Springers in southern Florida and finally got a chance to ride one of them. It was only about a 25 mile ride but man I love these Springers. I think the Fatboy my have met it’s match.

With their older evolution motor they aren’t as smooth as the Twin Cam in the Fatboy. There is much more vibration felt in the floorboards on the Springers than the conterbalanced twin cam of the Fatboy but that can be forgiven on looks alone.

When I open the garage and see those to Springers gleaming in the sun my heart giggles.



The red striped version is the bike I was after the most. It’s been on my bucket list since I created one.

I haven’t been able to ride the blue striped one yet.
Maybe ride it to work one chilly morning.




The red striped has 12,500 miles on it. The blue striped has 62,000 miles on its clock. Oddly the blue striped is a bit cleaner than the red striped. Mainly the chrome bits. Both have fantastic paint with no defects and both have been ceramic coated.

I bought them as a pair off eBay and my thoughts were to either sell the blue striped or the Road Glide but after seeing the two in the garage side by side my wife thinks I should keep them all and build a bigger garage.
Tough 1st would decisions.



.
You meet some of the best folks behind bars.
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Mad4TheCrest
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Re: Last Rides *Mad4's New Ride*

Fatfatboy
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Mad4TheCrest wrote
Both of those springers look great, but they don't look capable for corners. Boulevard cruising yes!

How great with it be if a bike could like like that AND be capable of sporty cornering?
Whadaya mean? They corner great,,,,,,,,




as far as 1940's tech goes.

.
You meet some of the best folks behind bars.
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Re: Last Rides - Little Gem

Mad4TheCrest
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Re: Last Rides - Little Gem

oldironnow
There's some gorgeous there!

My last rides are all commuting lately, but I enjoy stringing them together.
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: Last Rides - Little Gem

Mad4TheCrest
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Re: Last Rides - Little Gem

Fatfatboy
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Slim= feet planted?

.
You meet some of the best folks behind bars.
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