Sunday, October 07, 2007

First Anniversary with Maria

I was annotating my maintenance log with the services I did on Maria today, my 2004 R1150RT motorcycle today and realized upon checking my blog archives that it has been exactly one year today when I bought her from the Sturgis BMW dealer!

Yep, one year and 22,447 miles ago, I traded my 2006 Honda Shadow Aero 750cc motorcycle for Maria and I've not had a regret since then.

Spent an hour or so this afternoon, after the services described in the previous posting, practicing U-Turns in a nearby housing development whose roads are closed to public traffic. I still have to put a foot down once in a while but am reasonably confident I can do some U-Turns in narrow streets without having to resort to the duck walk. I just can't seem to do it over four times in a row without dabbing my foot down sooner or later!

I'll not be trying out anytime soon for a motorcycle riding demonstration team anytime soon but I should be able to get Maria turned around when I need to with some demonstrated ability to any casual observer.

I still catch myself stealing glances at the edge of the road instead of back towards where I want to go so it's a matter of more practice I think. I did find I can make a U-Turn within the width of two parking spaces when I really nail the maneuver though! More often though, I go to about two and half parking spaces.

I tried turns in narrow roads, wide roads, from left turns back the way I came and also from standing stops.

Definitely need to practice more so I quit having to dab my left foot down when doing left handed U-turns. Right-handed U-Turns are tougher for me and while I did do a few of those, I concentrated on left-handed ones since those are the ones I end up doing more of when exploring and riding my motorcycle.

I have to keep remembering to keep the revs up, work the friction zone on the clutch, keep my eyes aimed back where I want to go instead of the edge of the road and finally hang my outboard buttcheek off the seat to balance the motorcycle as I lean her into the tight turn. Lots to think about, must practice it so often that its muscle memory!!!

Not too shabby considering she's not the smallest or lightest of motorcycles! Here's a link to her specs and the blog entry I made the day I brought her home. LINK.

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