Lately I have been riding my K13000S to work two to three days a week. Although I ride right next to a highway I never ride on it to work. It’s not that I do not like the speed and open highways offer, I just rarely find myself motivated to ride at highways speeds early in the morning. After a bit of research I found a back-way to town that takes a little longer, but is a lot more scenic and relaxed.
So…after ridding my 500+ pound 185hp K13000S for a couple weeks. A bike that is designed for one thing, riding highways. I decided to trade her in for a back country commuter. My primary goals were to select a lighter weight, more fuel efficient machine. After spending two days studying both the Kawasaki 250R and the new Honda CBR250, both outstanding, 70mpg, safe bikes. I ended up selecting a bike more in the middle weight and powerband range. That bike turned out to be an Aprila 750Shiver.
After riding the bike for a couple of days all I can say is I love this machine. This is my first Italian bike, and I have to admit, when the 750duce reaches 8000rpms the engine makes the most incredible sound. It’s as if the designers figured out a way to translate the vibrations from the engine and suspension into a deep melody. I also love the fact that for a smaller 70hp bike it has super wide front and rear wheels and tires. The grip is incredible, a perfect commuter.
Lastly – I am not huge fan of naked bikes, but I have to admit riding in a more upright position does provide a better view of the forks and road ahead which I believe increases your visual perception.
Now I just need to prove I can get 70mpg out of this new commuter bike.
This past Thursday was my first track day of 2011. Keigwins at TheTrack hosted the day and as always provided a super-fun day of track riding. My S1000RR was in the shop getting a few upgrades so I took a chance, (as insurance does not cover bike damage on a track) and rode my K1300S. The K was a great bike to ride on the track and I was happy I did not drop it. I was somewhat reluctant to push too hard going into the corners as this bike weighs over 500 pounds and the front suspension is not design to be as flickable as a dedicated track bike. The straights as you can image are where this bike excels with its 1300cc inline four cylinder power plant – the most powerful on the track that day. This will likely be the only time I ride this bike on a track, but with a couple of suspension modifications this could be an unbelievably good track bike.
Thanks to GotBlueMilk for the photo
Yesterday I had a couple of meetings up in Half Moon Bay. So with our beaufitul winter weather, I decided to ride the 50 miles up the coast. It was ‘california cold’ for the ride up but overall a really nice morning. The ride home was much warmer and I was able to avoid any speeding tickets which I was happy about. I stopped by Pigeon Point and took a couple of HDR pictures. I’m not sure which I liked better the ocean or the green winter grass…
The story of how Pigeon Point got its name. Wikipedia: “On June 6, 1853 the clipper was sighted at Santa Cruz, California. San Francisco is located only about seventy nautical miles north of Santa Cruz. The cool California Current offshore, enhanced by upwelling of cold sub-surface waters, often creates summer fog near the coast, and June 6, 1853 was no exception. As night approached, so did the fog. The Captain of the Carrier Pigeon, Azariah Doane, believed that the ship was far from shore, and so he gave the order to sail eastward toward the shore. In few minutes the clipper hit the rocky bottom. Heavy waves rocked the helpless clipper from side to side. The hull was opened to the incoming tide. After seven feet of cold Pacific water rushed into the ship, the captain and the crew had just a few moments to escape with their lives. Because the ship was wrecked only 500 feet (152 meters) from shore, all the members of the crew were able to reach the shore safely.”
Earlier this year I bought a BMW K1300S. I’m still learning how to ride it. I’m not much for cars, highways or traffic, but I’ve found that if I head out early on Sunday mornings highway 1 with the exception of surfers is virutally empty. This is one of my first videos. It’s an amateur effort, too long…the music is questionable. But I hope you can get a sense of how much fun it is to ride one of these machines along the Pacific coast highway. -john