Thursday, July 15, 2010

BMW Rally 2010 - Day 7

Today was our first actual rally day. I didn't feel well this morning so it was difficult to get going. But I got my work done and finally got out of the room around 9:30. It turns out our motel was just a few blocks from the rally site. No wonder there weren't any rooms available for this weekend.

So we rode over to Rally, completed registration, dropped off all our raffle tickets and turned in our IBA paperwork. Reagan is now an official IBA member and has the license plate plaque to prove it. Then it was time to figure out what all we wanted to see. As there weren't any seminars I wanted to see I headed over to the BMW demo ride tent to sign up for a F800ST demo ride at 1 and then went over to the ERC range to help out since one of the instructors had been teaching the class 2x a day for 3 days. I figured I could help him out for an hour or 2 and get familiar with the range for my class tomorrow.

The class was great but it ran long and I missed my 1pm demo ride. Luckily I was able to get the same bike for the 3pm slot so I had some time to kill. I met up with Reagan and she showed me all the vendors she found and things of interest. We met a great lady from Denver who carries all the Olympia gear so we may be riding through Denver on the way home to get Reagan an AST jacket. I got a chance to meet the owners of Micatech cases and we discussed my taillight addition. Then met the folks at Roadgear and talked about my Coconut socks. And finally purchased a set of matching locks for our Givi cases. So now Reagan and I will have the same key for our cases.

It was time for the demo ride so I went over and waited for the rider orientation. Then it was time to meet the ride leader, go over a few more basics and off we went. In our group there were 5 S1000RR bikes, a K1300S, the F800ST that I was riding and a R1200GS in the rear. Obviously they positioned the bikes fastest to slowest. What they couldn't really do ahead of time is position the riders fastest to slowest. As luck would have it, the guy in front of me wasn't as comfortable with the brisk pace so I found myself really holding back in corners. The pace was brisk enough that I was able to see the 800 reach the ton mark easily. It was odd to be on a high revving bike after being on the GS for 3 years. I think the 800ST would meet my desires for a second bike that has track capabilities while still being something I could ride to the Hill Country for a weekend trip. After seeing the S1000RR in action and learning more about it, I want to take it for a test ride to see the amazing sport bike for myself. It might be great for the track but I wonder if it's too much for the ride out to the Hill Country.

After the demo ride we caught a seminar on the design of the S1000RR and then another seminar on a Japanese tour. I think Reagan was into the Japan tour until it became obvious this touring company didn't really have their stuff together. Since Japan is a country that really isn't into tourism, it appears they still need to iron out some kinks in their tour service. It seems a little too much "do-it-yourself" for a 12 day tour that's going to cost around $6K or $7K per person.

Once the tour seminar was over we walked back to the bikes, geared up and rode the 20 miles to Prineville where we are staying for the weekend. The ride was short and scenic, the Best Western turned out to be a real treasure find, and we met a nice guy who really was interested in Reagan's bike as he did electrical customization work for those who aren't handy with wiring. Upon his recommendation we walked down to a nice little steak house and had a fantastic dinner. Tomorrow I'm going to roast on the range in the afternoon, and I hope to get a demo ride on the 1000RR in the morning. Other than that I don't know what tomorrow holds.

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