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avert your eyes!

LED headlight bulb

I added Strix to the fleet for a couple of reasons – to take some pressure off Otus and to have a more modern motorcycle. What I did not expect was a headlight no brighter than Otus’ stock headlight. In fact, the first time I rode the bike after dark I was convinced the headlight didn’t work at all. I had to switch to high beam to see the road. When I pulled up in front of the garage I was surprised to see that low beam actually worked! I didn’t occur to me that a motorcycle built in 2003 would use the same headlight bulb as a motorcycle built in 1977. Yes – both bikes were shipped with a standard H4 headlight bulb. So what to do? Install the same LED headlight I bought for Otus when I was in Billings this summer.

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Wolfman enduro tool bag

tank bag elimination

After the 2015 riding season, and with the addition of another motorcycle, I’ve decided that I need to eliminate the tank bag. There are several contributing factors:

  1. each fuel stop required removal of the tank bag.
  2. because I electrified Otus’ tank bag I have to do a bit of unplugging to get the tank bag out of the way when refueling.
  3. a tank bag on the oilhead – at least the one I settled on – looked kinda stupid on the bike.
  4. the bag on Otus didn’t look right on Strix either.

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Winter Motorcycle Riding

cold shuts down Tucson

No, the city didn’t close down but I came down with a really lovely cold and wasn’t well enough to make the trip. I was all packed and ready to go but had a conference call to take first thing. I figured that was fine because it would also give things outside a chance to warm up from 29 degrees. As the conference call went forward I felt progressively worse and when the call concluded I felt like the only option I had was to unpack, stay home, and stay warm.

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Tucson, AZ

headed to tucson, az

Business is good and I’m headed to Tucson, AZ for a client meeting. I don’t like flying but I do like riding my motorcycle so I’ll be riding Otus to Tucson! I’m going to pace myself and take a few days to get there. When I got to Paonia, CO this summer I was ready to burn my motorcycle and I don’t want to feel that way ever again. To prevent rider burnout I’m going to take three days to get there and three days to get back so I’ll still be on speaking terms with Otus and my butt.

My Proposed Route

I plan on stopping about every 500 miles so that means Dalhart, TX on Thursday night, Las Cruces, NM Friday night, and Tucson, AZ on Saturday. Client meetings are Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and then I’ll head for home Wednesday morning. I’ll reverse course and plan on being home Friday evening. Stay tuned for more details on the trip and watch for a Spotwalla tracking map!

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iphone6+ cradle

iPhone 6+ on the r1150r

One of the many things that makes motorcycle riding and touring fun is adding farkles to your bike. Otus is modestly farkled up to suit my riding style, needs, and my definition of complete. Now that I’ve added the r1150r to the stable I am compelled to add the same/similar farkles to this machine so it’ll support my riding and touring needs. So, first things first – I added a mount for my iPhone so I can have it handy while riding. To mount the phone to the bike I needed a few pieces of mounting hardware:

The instrument cluster on the new bike is quite different from Otus so I had to futz with the positioning of the mount so I could still see everything. I really won’t know how things are working until I’ve put a few miles on the bike with the phone in this position. The one thing I do know is that futzing is the constant companion of farkles.

Farkle Futzing – one of my many hobbies. This is phone farkle futzing. Lots of F sounds today.

And apologies for the awful pictures.

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R1150R instrument cluster

6th gear

I’ve been slowly adapting to the 2003 BMW R1150R. Having ridden my 1977 R100/7 for the past 15 years, moving to something more modern has been quite an adjustment but the new bike is getting more comfortable and my confidence is increasing with each ride. I’ve commuted successfully on the bike all week and last night I hopped on the highway for the first time. The R1150R does not disappoint. The bike is very stable on the highway and in 6th gear is very relaxed. The bike handled well and was a joy to ride at highway speed. Just like Otus this motorcycle is quite at home on the highway!

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Hobbs demonstrating an extra-label use of the Givi topcase

adding cargo capacity

I’ve always liked Givi products. Otus features a Givi windscreen and I have been coveting their luggage for some time. With the addition of the R1150R I needed a top case so I went with the Givi E55 Maxia 3. Givi makes a mount designed specifically for the R1150R so that was added to the order. Givi also makes a universal mount that allows me to use the top case on Otus. So, one top case, two mounts, and a couple of hours in the garage and I added 55 liters of carrying capacity to both motorcycles. Check out the pictures!

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Otus in Repose - Lawrence, KS

saturday burn & turn

This Saturday I had an invitation from our youngest daughter to meet her for a Father/Daughter event at K-State so naturally I traveled on two wheels. This was my second non-commute trip on Otus since I changed out the final drive to lower his gear ratio. Just like the maiden voyage, riding Otus at speed is now pure pleasure. I can run at 75 mph and the motor turns at roughly 4,500 rpm. With the original gearing at 65 mph the motor spun at 4,500 rpm. That’s not hard on the venerable old boxer motor but I’m more relaxed when Otus isn’t working as hard. Also that lower gear ratio gives me a little more top end which makes passing much less work.

Oh, and I stopped for coffee at La Prima Tazza in Lawrence. Delicious! The flags in the picture are attached to a bicycle safety flag pole attached to a recumbent trike. Lawrence, like Austin, always keepin’ it weird!

Otus in Repose - Lawrence
Otus in Repose – Lawrence

spotwalla trip map

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