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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all.

Got back yesterday from a nearly 1000 mi. trip through the Sierras, all around the Lake Tahoe area. The folks that put together the NorCal TT (pre '75, fully supported tour) kindly allowed me to tag along on my '93 900SS, with a minimal amount of hazing, and on the promise I'd have my '75 860 GT on the run next year.

There were several firsts on the trip for me: riding in a large group (about 25 bikes), that many miles per day in succession, having my SS in the sierras, and riding in some brutal heat.

All in all, the SS performed flawlessly - heat, cold starts, high elevation - never even a hiccup.

A few things I learned / observed:

Most of the riders were very experienced in all aspects. Been riding since they were kids (i've only been riding for 15 years, with several years off), have ridden all types of bikes in all conditions, are racers and not strangers to distance riding.

Following these guys was very educational for me - observing, following lines, etc. There were a couple of sections where being in the pack wasn't good though. Since they were mostly 60's / 70's bikes, their top speed was somewhat limited. Not that I wanted to go nuts, but I found that I had a hard time keeping a line in some of the long, high-speed sweepers at their pace. I felt as if I were in some middle-ground where I was constantly switching up the way I approached and executed turns. It was actually pretty difficult at times, and i wanted to blaze ahead except i just got a ticket two weeks ago and didn't know the route.

Through some of the more technical portions of the ride, I really felt like the SS and I had some great synergy going on. I was able to set up for and execute turns very well without "thinking" about it. I had no problem keeping up with people, even when they were going balls-out. Of course, my "modern" suspension, power and tire advantage made more of a difference in that than the rider.

Shouldn't come as a surprise, but the SS ain't so great in the dirt. There was a 4 mile section of twisty dirt / gravel road that I didn't know about - which was probably better. Washboard was brutal and caused the front end to get a bit squirrley at times. It was also pretty fun though, and was wishing i had some crappy fairings on so i could be a bit more adventurous and not worry about it. I did manage to keep up with the pack pretty well - except for this dude on a Harley that was passing everyone sideways, foot down, slamming gears with the suicide shifter - what a nut.

The Pirelli Angels were fantastic, such an improvement over the 10 year old Metzlers that were on the bike when i got it. Had about 100 miles on them before the trip to get them scrubbed a bit. Man, do they stick. I found myself getting way deeper in turns than i have before, and really gained some more confidence.

My somewhat-compromised body didn't fare so well on the trip. I've put in some fairly long rides on SS's, but never so many days of technical riding in succession. By the middle of the second day, my knees and hips really started to ache, and the aleve wasn't taking care of it. Essentially, being locked into a single seating position was really taking it's toll on me. I was envious of the long seats and upright bars that most people had. On the third day, my knees hurt so bad that it was difficult to weight the pegs well and I was feeling pretty sloppy. So, I've come to the realization that the SS is not the touring bike for me...

For luggage, I had a Kriega US20 bag on their tank mount, and a US30 on the tail. Both were great - not a complaint about them. I would like to get a map-pocket for the tank bag, which Kriega doesn't sell. Didn't have time to look before i left, but I'm sure I can rig something up with a waterproof hiking or marine map pack and some webbing. Oh, yes, their bags are extremely waterproof. I tested this in the wrong direction - I had a camelback bladder in the tank bag with a neoprene sleeve and a plastic bag around it, and it ruptured on day two. I rode all afternoon with no clue, only to open it at night and have water pour out. Unfortunately, I had my good digital camera in the same bag (only will make that mistake once) and it got soaked. Didn't try to use it until i got home, cleaned it and made sure it was 100% dry. It works fine, thankfully, but I didn't get any pics on the trip. Was pretty busy riding anyway...

So, that's the story. Aside from pain, it was a pretty epic couple of days. Now I have a lot of cleaning to to, especially after i followed a Triumph or two that left a fine mist of oil behind them...

Before - so fresh n' clean:



Not so much after dirt and vintage bike spewage:



Cheers,

Tom
 

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Hi all.

Got back yesterday from a nearly 1000 mi. trip through the Sierras, all around the Lake Tahoe area. The folks that put together the NorCal TT (pre '75, fully supported tour) kindly allowed me to tag along on my '93 900SS, with a minimal amount of hazing, and on the promise I'd have my '75 860 GT on the run next year.

There were several firsts on the trip for me: riding in a large group (about 25 bikes), that many miles per day in succession, having my SS in the sierras, and riding in some brutal heat.

All in all, the SS performed flawlessly - heat, cold starts, high elevation - never even a hiccup.

A few things I learned / observed:

Most of the riders were very experienced in all aspects. Been riding since they were kids (i've only been riding for 15 years, with several years off), have ridden all types of bikes in all conditions, are racers and not strangers to distance riding.

Following these guys was very educational for me - observing, following lines, etc. There were a couple of sections where being in the pack wasn't good though. Since they were mostly 60's / 70's bikes, their top speed was somewhat limited. Not that I wanted to go nuts, but I found that I had a hard time keeping a line in some of the long, high-speed sweepers at their pace. I felt as if I were in some middle-ground where I was constantly switching up the way I approached and executed turns. It was actually pretty difficult at times, and i wanted to blaze ahead except i just got a ticket two weeks ago and didn't know the route.

Through some of the more technical portions of the ride, I really felt like the SS and I had some great synergy going on. I was able to set up for and execute turns very well without "thinking" about it. I had no problem keeping up with people, even when they were going balls-out. Of course, my "modern" suspension, power and tire advantage made more of a difference in that than the rider.

Shouldn't come as a surprise, but the SS ain't so great in the dirt. There was a 4 mile section of twisty dirt / gravel road that I didn't know about - which was probably better. Washboard was brutal and caused the front end to get a bit squirrley at times. It was also pretty fun though, and was wishing i had some crappy fairings on so i could be a bit more adventurous and not worry about it. I did manage to keep up with the pack pretty well - except for this dude on a Harley that was passing everyone sideways, foot down, slamming gears with the suicide shifter - what a nut.

The Pirelli Angels were fantastic, such an improvement over the 10 year old Metzlers that were on the bike when i got it. Had about 100 miles on them before the trip to get them scrubbed a bit. Man, do they stick. I found myself getting way deeper in turns than i have before, and really gained some more confidence.

My somewhat-compromised body didn't fare so well on the trip. I've put in some fairly long rides on SS's, but never so many days of technical riding in succession. By the middle of the second day, my knees and hips really started to ache, and the aleve wasn't taking care of it. Essentially, being locked into a single seating position was really taking it's toll on me. I was envious of the long seats and upright bars that most people had. On the third day, my knees hurt so bad that it was difficult to weight the pegs well and I was feeling pretty sloppy. So, I've come to the realization that the SS is not the touring bike for me...

For luggage, I had a Kriega US20 bag on their tank mount, and a US30 on the tail. Both were great - not a complaint about them. I would like to get a map-pocket for the tank bag, which Kriega doesn't sell. Didn't have time to look before i left, but I'm sure I can rig something up with a waterproof hiking or marine map pack and some webbing. Oh, yes, their bags are extremely waterproof. I tested this in the wrong direction - I had a camelback bladder in the tank bag with a neoprene sleeve and a plastic bag around it, and it ruptured on day two. I rode all afternoon with no clue, only to open it at night and have water pour out. Unfortunately, I had my good digital camera in the same bag (only will make that mistake once) and it got soaked. Didn't try to use it until i got home, cleaned it and made sure it was 100% dry. It works fine, thankfully, but I didn't get any pics on the trip. Was pretty busy riding anyway...

So, that's the story. Aside from pain, it was a pretty epic couple of days. Now I have a lot of cleaning to to, especially after i followed a Triumph or two that left a fine mist of oil behind them...

Snip'd
Cheers,

Tom
Sounds like a great ride! One question - where did you get the twin headlight fairing? I want! :D It's about the only thing left that I want to upgrade on mine - the lights...

Are they sealed beams, halogens or HID's?
 

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Just curious...

Why do people quote a long (and very interesting) post, just to ask a question about the headlights :sleep:? It's not like the whole post wasn't right there just above.
P.S. I really enjoyed the story, Tom!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hah, thanks guys. It was a great trip and hard to do justice in writing.

The dual headlights came on the bike, and we're from PowerBronze in the UK. They are halogen bulbs.

I may be making a similar (and better fitting) dual headlight cowl in carbon fiber soon. Also looking at different light options like HID, LED etc.

Check out my CF thread for more details and updates on that...

Cheers,

Tom



Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
 

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Joined
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Why do people quote a long (and very interesting) post, just to ask a question about the headlights :sleep:? It's not like the whole post wasn't right there just above.
P.S. I really enjoyed the story, Tom!
Hey! At least I snip'd out the pictures! :p

Hah, thanks guys. It was a great trip and hard to do justice in writing.

The dual headlights came on the bike, and we're from PowerBronze in the UK. They are halogen bulbs.

I may be making a similar (and better fitting) dual headlight cowl in carbon fiber soon. Also looking at different light options like HID, LED etc.

Check out my CF thread for more details and updates on that...

Cheers,

Tom



Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
Mmmmm! I'd be in for one of them! Check these guys out for HID stuff... The Retrofit Source online: headlight upgrades for all applications 2 HID Bi-Xenon main lights, with either some round or strip LED running lights? I'd been looking at trying to fit 2 HID's into the rectangular hole... Was going to be tricky... I'll keep an eye on your CF thread a bit more often now!
 
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