It was a bit complicated, but we finally decided to both drive up together in my car to Sandy, UT on Friday afternoon and find me a hotel and then Eric would drive the car back to Ivins and return in the morning on his Super Tenere, meeting me at Harrison Eurosports. It was a LONG slog up I-15 (about 300 miles) and we arrived in Sandy about 6:30 pm only to find no room at the inn. No room at any inn, not Motel 6, not the Best Western, not the Hyatt. No room. Oh, wait that skanky looking Super 8 might have a room? Yes, they had one left. A "suite" with a jacuzzi tub, king bed, sleeper sofa and all the glitz and glory one might expect for a King "Suite". How much? Uh, $150. What? You're kidding aren't you? We are Wyndham Gold Card Holders, can you give us a deal? No. AAA discount? No. Okay. Bye.
We went to the Comfort Inn or whatever it was called just down the road but the guy in front of us got the very last room. Crap! Back to the skanky Super 8. Because it was his last room, he said he'd give us a deal. Oh boy, $148 instead of $150. Thanks, buddy. However, it was the only room to be had in that area. So, Eric got me all settled in the nasty room and took off for home. I sent an email to Troy at Harrison Eurosports asking if someone could pick me up in the morning and bring me to the dealership. Yes! Yeah, yippee. Thank you!
I ordered Pizza Hut delivery for dinner (yuck) and then tried to sleep. I don't know if it was the over-powering smell of fruity something on the ripped and shredded bed linens or if I was simply too excited to sleep but it made for a long, restless night.
I was up early, had some brekkie in the motel lobby (which is the nicest room in the place) and then waited for my pick-up ride which did show up promptly at 11:00 am, our agreed upon time. Arriving at the dealership, there was my honey! Yippee, he had only gotten there maybe 5 minutes before I did. Things were now going very well and the nightmare Super 8 long forgotten!
Troy spent a LOT of time with us going over all the features of the bike. Explaining all the bells and whistles (of which there are a LOT). Truly, we spent quite a few hours going over everything, some things more than once. He was extremely thorough and Eric and I both felt we had a good tutorial.
Here I am, on the showroom floor, getting a feel for the fit. And yes, it was amazing! The low seat made all the difference for comfort for me. The stock seat still had me tip-toeing the bike. The low seat gave me a good solid ball of both feet on the ground. And, it was soooooo easy to pick up with the gas tank completely full. No problem at all. Yes, I was amazed. The glass slipper was almost custom fit to me!
Yeah, sorry if you're offended (not really). After all, when on an Adventure bike, one must give the ADV Salute :-) What I like about this picture, is it shows me with feet on the ground, off the side stand with a full tank of gas. It is sooooooo easy to balance and lift off the stand. Man, I'm loving that!
Okay, just about ready to go out the door. Four (4) miles on the odo!
So, now it's time for us to leave. It was around 4:00 pm. Yes, it was a long time at the dealership but worth every minute. They took spectacular care of us. We loaded my stuff into the panniers and top case and headed out. We took a frontage road rather than hit the freeway right off the start. I needed a few miles to get the feel of this new machine.
It is throttle by wire which is new to me. All my previous bikes have been cable actuated or direct cable to throttle (although fuel injected). Man oh man!!!!! What a difference!!! Just a little throttle delivered a LOT of power. So, I needed those five miles of frontage road to get the feel of the throttle. Also, we made several stops and I quickly learned that putting my feet down and feeling solid on the pavement was not an issue! Easy, peasy :-)
Since we were so late getting out of the dealership, we scrapped our prior plan of mountain riding that afternoon and instead just headed south on I-15 to Nephi, UT where we found our favorite Best Western was sold out! Geez, Utah was busy this weekend. We ended up at a National 9 in Nephi which was fine but not as nice as the Best Westie. Oh well, at least we had a room, on the second floor.....(yeah, my sweetheart lugged my bags upstairs for me - yes I'm spoiled - oh no - I'm a Delicate Fucking Flower - and don't you forget it!).
Tucked in for the night, a quick shared steak dinner at the restaurant next door, some television and a good long sleep, in that order!
We took a quick break at Circleville, UT. There is an absolutely fantastic Veteran's Memorial there. If you happen to be riding on UT Highway 89 through Circleville, take a moment to stop. It is well worth your time.
Now, back to the ride and route. At Panquitch, UT, we took a different route from two weeks ago.
First, we stopped for some lunch and filled up our gas tanks in Panquitch before heading off on Utah Highway 143 which took us past Panquitch Lake and was full of twisty turns. Oh, I was so impressed with the new bike. Cornering was a piece of cake compared to my F650GS twin. Power was a simply twist of the wrist. I didn't have to carefully plan a pass or even shift down if I didn't want to. Just roll the wrist and the bike leaped with power! How cool is that?
At the junction of UT 143, we turned left and rode along Cedar Breaks. (And being over 10,000 feet made no appreciable difference in the smooth power delivery!) Oh my, breathtaking scenery. We made a stop to enjoy the view at Chessmen Ridge, Elevation 10,460!!!
We took turns posing :-)
View from the other direction. This is a very small National Monument and incredibly delightful to ride through.
From there, we hit Utah Highway 14 into Cedar City and then back on the slab of I-15 toward home. It was warm in the mountains but once we got down lower it got downright HOT. The highest temp reading I saw was 108. Gack!!!!
Before we got home I needed a stop. A stop with an ice cold, big bottle of water! I don't have a hydration system on the new bike and I needed water in a bad way. So, we stopped, I drank, Eric drank and then we motored on home!
What a fantastic weekend. Even the long slog to Sandy, UT was filled with anticipation. So, here are my thoughts on the R1200GSA Lowered Suspension and Low Seat. First, it's a BIG bike. No doubt about it, it's a big machine, a beastie bike :-) I LOVE that it is shaft drive. No more chain drama for me. Don't even mention or think about the issues BMW has had with their shaft drives, okay? It won't happen to me.
The power is awesome and the delivery is smooth and quick once you figure it out. I love that when you put on the power, it answers with standing up a bit and moving forward fast! When you put on the brakes, it sits right down. No nose diving. It stands up to power on and sits down for power off. Wow!!!!
The balance is perfect! I had absolutely no problem picking it up off the side stand with a full tank (7.9 gallons) of gas. Although I can't completely flat foot, I had plenty of foot down on both sides to be totally comfortable. I never felt I was going to tip over when I picked up the bike. I didn't have to lean over to get the side stand up or down (way different from my F650GS Twin).
Cornering - yes, yes, yes! This bike grips the corners like there is no tomorrow. Weighting the outside peg, diving into the curve, I never felt intimidated at all. It went where I pointed it. A few times I slowed down for some curves but in retrospect, I didn't have to. I'm just not totally familiar with the bike yet. The mountain twisties were a dream, smooth, grippy and fast. I can't wait to get a few more miles and smiles to get more comfortable with the weight, speed and responsiveness of this beastie. What a machine!
This bike is feature rich! I'd go into detail, but heck, you can just go read the specs. Suffice it to say it has everything they can throw at it. I got it all, every feature imaginable! I'll sort through all the features eventually. There are so many. So many modes, so many computer functions and the flexibility to change displays on the bike computer screens and navigation screen! Oh my, oh my! I'll eventually sort out what I want to see on the displays and what modes I feel best riding. But for now, well, I'll be experimenting a LOT! What an incredible machine.
So what would I change? Yes, a few things. First, bar risers. I want the bars a bit higher and closer to me. My left shoulder (which is damaged) got a bit weary. I think risers will fix this problem and I won't be leaning on my wrists so much.
Second, highway pegs. It's nice to be able to stretch your legs out after a couple hundred miles. Yes, I need some highway pegs.
Third, a big foot on the side stand. Gravel, dirt and soft surfaces demand a bigger foot so you don't sink into the ground.
Fourth, well, a hydration system. I got hot and thirsty so I need a water delivery system. I'll figure something out. No problem. Just some time and experimentation.
Overall, I'm freakin' thrilled with this bike. It is everything I wanted when I bought the F650GS Twin and wasn't available for me at the time. BMW made a very wise move to give us the lowered suspension and lower seat option. This opens up the market to a ton more peeps who want this bike. I'm so impressed that me, a Delicate Fuckin' Flower, can ride this with ease.
I'll be putting on some miles this riding season and will keep you posted on my thoughts about this bike. Until then, hugs to all and thanks for following my blog.