It seems like itís been forever since Iíve had a full day to just relax and go for a ride. Between work, a home remodel, and weather, itís been since my California trip a couple of months ago Ė way too long!
I was able to get enough work done yesterday to feel okay about taking today (Sunday) off, and the weather looked decent, so it was finally time! I decided to do my ďtrack dayĒ format, and load the Multistrada in the back of my pickup and drive a couple of hours to Baker City, Oregon, and do a nice 280 mile loop of some nearby favorites.
I got to Baker City around 9:30 local time, and it was cool and mostly cloudy, and as I climbed the hill toward John Day, the temps dropped to around 40 degrees. Thankfully, my heated gear was keeping me nice and toasty. The snow-capped mountains in the distance were really beautiful, so I had to stop for a quick photo.
As I approached Prairie City, the view was just amazing.
There was almost no one on the roads, anywhere along the way. Probably because it was Easter Sunday. In fact, I saw only two motorcycles the whole trip, despite the fact that it was actually pretty warm, climbing to around 60 in the afternoon. It was pretty awesome to have the roads pretty much all to myself (not that theyíre ever that crowded in central Oregon anyway).
Since my previous trip, I added a couple of improvements to the bike. After putting the full Akrapovic exhaust system on the bike, I found that the fuel mapping was not what it should be. Okay, but a little rough, and sometimes ďstumbly,Ē especially at lower RPMs. It didnít seem that a remap was possible (at least not easily), but I did find some info about a dynamic mapping system called RapidBike, that continuously adjusted the mapping on the bike, to instantly adjust for weather, altitude, whatever. Although there wasnít a whole lot of info available on it, I decided to hook one up and give it a shot. I also found that the ďtouringĒ windscreen that came with the bike was completely inadequate, with lots of wind buffeting that was driving me crazy. So, I decided to try the touring windscreen made by Ermax.
The bike was transformed! It was really good before, but the RapidBike system mad a huge difference. The power delivery was always great, always. Low RPMs, high RPMs, colder weather, warmer weather, climbing hills, deceleration, whatever, whenever. Just fantastic. No issues whatsoever. Iím a believer.
The windscreen was a big improvement too. Iím fairly tall (6′ 2″), and if I sit up totally straight I still get a pretty good wind blast, but with my normal (slouchy) posture, itís pretty darn good. Much, much quieter. My face shield hardly picked up any bugs, because the taller screen was getting most of them, which was also good. And man, without all that wind noise, I sure hear that thunderous Akrapovic exhaust note just fine! Itís pretty loud! Iím glad I put the noise reducer insert, otherwise it would surely be too much. I think in itís current form itís perfect. Bold, earth-shaking, bone-rattling Ė but not completely obnoxious. Just right! And the pipe and trapezoidal end can are works of art, in my opinion. Just gorgeous.
Now that the bike is fully broken in, at several points along the way I decided to really put it to the test, twisting the throttle to the max. WOW! This bike completely kicks ass. How can a bike this comfortable be so fast, sporty and fun? Itís amazing. The sound with the throttle wide open in fifth gear climbing a big hill from 6000-8000 RPM or so is just unbelievable. I absolutely love this thing.