Friday, October 31, 2008

Dish Farm

Another beautifully warm Fall day here in Colorado. After a long week of network issues/cat herding and assorted outages; everyone was taking off a bit earlier than usual from the data center to try and get this week over with.

I left work at 1500hrs and instead of just heading straight home, I meandered my way to the south metro area known as Meridian Business Center. Basically a business park with wide roads and new looking buildings housing such local giants as Echostar, Teletech and countless office buildings.

I did spot this Satellite Dish Farm while wandering about and here you can see Brigitta with the farm in the background.

Not much else to report just a ride home which took about 30 miles longer than usual and allowed me to enjoy the warm sunshine and cool breezes sweeping through the Denver Metro area today. Hope you had a chance to ride.

EOM Mileage Notes:
Brigitta: 66,229
Maria: 62,339

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ride to Vote!

For those of you who've not voted yet via early voting, here's a chance to show your fellow voters on election day that there's riders out there amongst them, doing their civic duty.

I will ride that day, however, I already voted early. Got this in my email:

Press Release: For immediate publication

Date: 10/29/08
Subject: Ride to Vote

On Election Day (Tuesday, November 4th 2008), make your vote count in the polling booth and on the road - by riding your motorcycle or scooter to vote!

No matter which candidates, propositions and issues you support, please help demonstrate that motorcycle and scooter riding is an important part of our world’s mobility landscape. Ride to your polling place, park near the entrance, and wear your riding gear when you cast your ballot. Let the other voters see you as a rider! Election day is a great day to let everyone know you “Ride to Vote, and Vote to Ride”! So record your vote, and let your riding actions be seen. And spread the word with ‘I Rode’ and ‘Vote to Ride’ stickers:

Download “Ride to Vote” Stickers and buttons here:

Print (on adhesive paper) these “I rode to vote” stickers/buttons. Wear yours to work, and wherever you go during the rest of the day. If anyone asks you about your “Ride to Vote” sticker, remind them that riding is a good solution to many social, urban mobility and environmental issues.

Spread the message and encourage others to join the “Ride to Vote” effort this year. And please pass this email on to other riders to help encourage “Ride to Vote”! rides. By riding everywhere on Election Day, you make a statement about the value and importance of motorcycle and scooter riding.

For additional information, please visit the Ride to Work website at:
The 18th annual Ride to Work Day will be held June 15th, 2009

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ancient Sea Bottom

Yesterday as I was riding to the south of Franktown, CO I spied the below pictured landscape through the haze that dominated the distant mountains.

It reminded me of something I'd seen on either the History channel or the Discovery channel. How Colorado and the surrounding area, back in ancient times, was submerged under a huge inland sea which spanned about a third of what is now the USA.

The haze lent itself to helping you picture the far off landscape as it was as seabottom, with the visible flat-topped hills as old seamounts. Their flat-tops evidence of where the surface of the ancient sea had worn them down to the same level.

Hopefully, you can see the imagery I could see in the panoramic shot above. Picture the ancient sea's surface level with the top of the flat-topped hills and you'll get the idea.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

To Golden on Business

Today I rode up to Golden, CO to do some computer side-work to finance my motorcycling addiction. After all, my regular pay must go for stuff like the mortgage, bills, kids college fund....

I cut across the Denver Metro area using I-225 to I-25 to US6 which I took directly into Golden. I was not due at the customer's location till 0830, got to Golden at 0805 so I had a little time to wander about Golden and shot the following pictures:

Not as imposing as Devil's Tower in Wyoming but still, eye-catching

In the distant mountain top, you can see the M left there by students from the Colorado School of Mines which is located in Golden, CO

Here's Brigitta with the backside of Lookout Mountain in the background

I worked for four hours, enough for more repair parts and farkle for my motorcycles if I am frugal and then rode on home via the C-470/E-470 Superslabs. It was a bit windy on the way home but not bad. Brigitta is definitely a long ways from being a long distance tourer when compared to my 1150RT, Maria!

BMW Motorrader

My loving wife got me a BMW Motorrader or "motorcyclist" T-shirt for my 49th Birthday. That and a new battery for my 1987 R80 and the boys got me a 1:24 Scale Diecast model of a Daytona Orange R90S. I'd blogged about the last two items, the t-shirt was a surprise.

Photo credit:

If you do the coversion, it's almost 102mph....back in 1952, that was fast. Present day, heck even my 1150RT can do that! Of course, the R68 was a much smaller engine, 680cc vs my 1150RT's 1149cc's.

Here's a link to the specs on a R68, near as I can figure it, it only had 35 HP at 7000 1150RT has 98 HP at 5000 rpm. So when you compare it realistically, the R68 that made the record back in 1952 was truly "the fastest motorcycle in the world". LINK

Friday, October 24, 2008

LINK: 8K gets you a pretty decent commuter Electric Motorcycle

Now this seems like a workable option for those of you who ride and commute to work within the range of this new electric puppy:


Wow, weight is 285lbs including 90lbs of battery!

Excerpt: Boasting a 60-70 MPH top speed and 35-60 mile range, the sleek little bike just might be the perfect commuter ride, and the $8,000 pricetag is much more palatable. The bike can charge in about four hours, or 1.5 hours with an optional speed charger. Even better, the bike is modular in nature, which means you'll be able to swap in a better power system once one comes along with a minimum of hassle.

More info and pics here at's article on the e-bike.

Manufacturer's website: LINK

Transporting Skis on your Motorcycle

Temperatures in the high 40s on the way into work, rode Brigitta to see how the windchill would affect me this time now that I was wearing appropriate layers. Judgement: No problem! Only small issue: cold air blowing into my helmet, will have to noodle on that for a while.

As I rode into work this morning into United Airline's Flight Training Center, I wandered over to the East parking lots to see if the Airhead GS I see once in a while was there.

Instead I found this tough looking, well used, 1150GS Adventure:

So, what's that pink, narrow board-like object on its right side you ask? It caught my eye as well the first time I rode by the GS and caused me to return for pictures. It's a ski!

Now is that cool or what?!?

Can you imagine the looks on the other skier's faces when this GS and its rider show up at the resort? My guess is he skis in his riding gear and just needs to swap his riding books with ski boots once he's there!

Here's a closeup of the hardware/straps holding the ski to the motorcycle. No bindings on it, perhaps he's just transporting it to the ski shop?

A clever adaptation for carrying those ackwardly sized objects, don't you think? It looks like he's using the right passenger peg for one strap anchor point and a tube secured to the cargo rack as the rear mounting point.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Brigitta's Mini Me Ancestor

Today, the 1:24 Scale Model of a 1976 R90S that I won on Ebay, arrived. As you know, I've always liked the look of the Beemer Airheads with the S Fairing and I won this scale model at a very low price. I guess the 1:24 Scale is not the popular scale but works for me!

Ebay Auction Image

According to the seller, its made by Altaya of Spain, and is part of their "Motos Clasicas" series of diecast metal models. It came out in 2006 so there might be others around in case you're interested. Total cost to me with shipping from Spain: $23.

Here's a LINK to their site. They've other Marques and models as well. The website is in Spanish, and even though I speak it, was not able to figure out if I paid too much for the one I got through Ebay. Oh well. If I did, don't tell me! : )

I've got it displayed, sans case, with scale models of Maria, my R1150RT and a Franklin Mint Model of the Mercedes Benz 350SL Convertible which is similar to my 1987 560SL MB that is my ride when the weather is truly too bad for motorcycling.

The above model is of course the Daytona Orange version, not the black R80 I have with an add-on S Fairing painted black. Still, it's nice to look at.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cold and Windy = Primo Motorcycle Parking @ Work

Today in the Denver Metro Area, the forecasted high is 41F°, and it was in the mid to high 30s on the way in to work. The sun was out in force though and kept the bite of the windchill from being too nasty.

We also got a High Winds warning from the weather guessers and they were mostly right, it was windy but not really bad at all.

Roads were dry and so I rode of course. The weather forecast was dire enough I guess to keep most of the motorcyclists I see on my regular commutes from riding which is too bad since it really was a pretty good day for it.

I had to be at both data centers today, and in both parking lots it appears Maria, my 2004 R1150RT, was the only motorcycle. Here's a picture of her at what's considered the prime parking spot among the 4-5 motorcycle riders who commute to work at the United Flight Training Center and park on the west side.

You usually have to get in before 0700, probably earlier, to get this spot which is closest to the building where my cubicle is located. It's got to be pretty cold for me to find it open for my use as I don't get in to work early enough to snag it on a regular basis. : )

So, yeah, there's benefits to riding in the cold!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A New Battery for Brigitta

Ever since I bought her, I've a bit distrusting of the battery that came with Brigitta from the previous owner. I had no idea how old it was but it was exhibiting some "strain" at times in starting the engine.

A few times, which I thought was due to rain (fixed by replacing the coil), or flooded carbs, I had a heck of a time getting her to crank over and start. You could hear the engine trying to turn over but it sounded labored.

This behavior was most evident in cold weather or if I did not remember to put her battery on a trickle charger before going to bed at night.

Even with a "good checkup" from the auto parts store guy, and with the trickle charger reporting full charge, she'd still labor through 3-4 engine turnover attempts before the engine would crank. Worrisome at best.

So my loving wife got me a new battery from, less than $88 with shipping! The BMW dealer had quoted me closer to $100 for a similar battery from Westco. The battery arrived this morning, I put it in with minimal fuss and under 30 minutes. It came fully charged up since the trickle charger went to green in less than 3 minutes I think.

Digikey P/N: P231-ND

Once I had Brigitta put back together (the securing rubber straps gave me some grief as the battery terminal posts were in a bit different location), I geared up and she fired right up after just one single labored turnover....not bad. We'll see how the new battery does in the coming cold weather.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Riding for Fall Foliage Pics

Another beautifully sunny day here in Colorado, with temperatures from the mid 40s in the mountains to mid 70s in the plains/front range.

I started off after a late breakfast and headed West towards Morrison and the mountains to see if I could find snow. In other words, see how far I could get. Turns out, you can get pretty far along the major roads!

There was a sheriff vehicle blocking the way west out of Morrison and Bear Canyon Rd so I turned around at his direction. I went into the Red Rocks Amphitheater Park through the #3 entrance and enjoyed once again the beautiful rock formations that exist there.

The Red Rocks Amphitheater

I made my way through the rest of the park and headed North on CO93 towards Golden and looked for signs for the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway and Lookout Mountain. It's been a while since I've ridden up this nearby mountain and its still as full of switchbacks and curves as ever. Traffic was light so my riding skills were the only limiting factor on my speed as I motored up and down Lookout Mountain.

Once down from the mountain, I went West on US40 till it merged with I-70 Westbound. The original intent had been to get on CO103 from it's eastern start point and ride that particular road all the way to Mount Evans Road (which is already closed for the snow season). I messed up though and realized this soon enough to exit where CO6 and I-70 junction.

I got off there, headed back East on US40 which is a nice and curvy two lane road. Since the idea was to find more changing foliage pictures, here you go:

On Eastbound US-40

Using this road, I made my way back to US74 which lead me South to Bergen Park and finally CO103. The signs confirmed two things, Mount Evans Road was closed for the season and that "Motorcyclists should exercise Extreme Caution". Hmmm, last time I saw that sign was 2006 when I ended up on the same road, on packed snow, and managed to go down with no real damage to Maria or myself.

The warning sign proved overcautious, the road was dry all the way up to Mt Evans Road and back down to Idaho Springs. On the bonus side, I saw the first snow of the Fall riding season. First it was a few spots here and there in the shady areas on the North side of the road. As I climbed higher, more snow would appear until I was seeing this:

On the way up on CO103

On the way down to Idaho Springs, shortly after Echo Lake

I had myself a late lunch, made for me by my loving wife, once I got to the outskirts of Idaho Springs. Soon, after heading briefly East on I-70, I got off at the CO6 exit and used this marvelously twisty road that traverses rocky canyons and five tunnels back towards the Denver Metro area.

On US6, heading East

Once I got to Golden, I headed East on US58 until it got me on Eastbound I-70 which I rode to the I-25 superslab junction. I cruised southward on I-25 until I neared the I-225 junction which I used to get to Parker road and eventually home.

About 167 miles ridden today, a bit more than I had planned but it was quite enjoyable in terms of riding, traffic, weather and sights.

Hope you got a chance to ride today....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cruising for Fall Foliage in the DTC

Yesterday's ride to work reminded me I'd not taken the seasonal changing of the leaves pictures for the blog. I had spotted a few likely locations during the week and today went out to see what I could pose Brigitta against.

I first tried the leafy neighborhood streets in the area around 17th and Monaco but traffic was heavy, too many political signs that I'd have to photoshop out and the light and leaves coloring wasn't quite right yet.

So I headed on south towards the DTC or Denver Tech Center and Westland Park where my loving wife had mentioned there was a cool shot as one enters the park through a large metal arch.

On the way to the park, I stopped by the data center where I sometimes while away my work hours and took the following shots next to some trees that border the complex.

Leaving the vicinity of work, I chanced upon this canopy-shaped tree in full color:

A few minutes later, I was at Westland Park's entrance. I positioned Brigitta as close to the arch as I could and got this nice shot of the Rockies framed by the arch.

As I am only in day 4 of a 7 day "take things easy" recovery period after a surgical procedure on the 15th, I chose to return home for lunch and not wander as far as I normally would.

Hope you liked the pictures. The temperatures were in the mid to high 70s be the time I got to Westland Park, I had to remove my windshirt and just ride with a t-shirt under my riding jacket! Gorgeous Colorado day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Nice Fall Day at Work

Although the ride in to work was in the mid-40s, my riding gear kept me nice and warm. In addition to the regular Air Mesh Kevlar Jacket(with liner) and pants(over jeans), I also put on the ATV Grip Covers I normally use on Maria during really cold days to see how they'd work out on Brigitta.

Yeah, GS style hand guards for Airheads would look better....

I am happy to report no issues with accessing the handlebar controls with these grip covers on. I was able to just use my summer mesh gloves under them and my hands stayed warm enough during the 11 mile commute to work.

The covers do nothing for Brigitta's looks but I know if I had to ride her in really cold weather, that it's doable, at least where my hands are concerned.

Later on, as I walked out of work, I took this picture of Brigitta and three other motorcycles who were out in the nice sunny and by now 70 degree weather. Brigitta fired right up and off we went to enjoy a nice ride home on a nice Fall day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Truly better as a fair weather motorcycle

Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer, pretty as she is...proved to me to be a fair weather motorcycle this morning.

I had taken her out for a short spin in temperatures that were in the upper 30s. I was wearing as usual my Motoport Air Mesh Kevlar gear, a windproof insulated liner for the jacket and jeans under the riding pants. That Air Mesh gear sure lets you feel the air streaming past the miniscule S fairing I installed on the motorcycle!

If Brigitta were my only motorcycle, I'd be looking into purchasing the insulated pant liners for my motoport pants! Fortunately, I have Maria, my 2004 R1150RT, with her full fairings which keep most of the wind off me while riding.

In less than 30 minutes of riding, I was chilled slightly and my hands were starting to feel a bit numb, so I headed on home. I guess Maria will be getting more of my attentions from now on until Spring arrives once more in the Rockies.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My BMWMOA Mileage Contest Results for 2008 (unofficial)

Well, I guess I slacked off a lot during this year's BMWMOA annual mileage contest. I guess you could say the accident I had in June was a contributing factor but I know for a fact that I did not ride as much as I did in 2007 during the contest period.

During the 2007 contest, I finished 11th of 79 riders in Colorado that sent in completion forms to the BMWMOA; with a mileage total of 15, 181 racked up during the six months of the contest. LINK

This year, I managed only 8,211 miles on Maria for the same period of time.

I was not able to add the miles I racked up on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 since I bought her a few months into the contest and of course had missed registering her as one of my motorcycles. If I could use those miles, it would add another 4,481 miles to my mileage total. Total between both motorcycles: 12,692.

So yeah, not too bad, just not usable though for this year's contest. I only entered Maria and you already saw the miles I managed on her.

Oh well, there's always the BBIR I just signed up for....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Signed up for the BBIR

I'd blogged about the Bavarian Black Ice Run or BBIR unofficial mileage contest for BMWMOA members: LINK

Well, just registered both Maria and Brigitta in the Daily Rider class. If you're a BMWMOA member, I encourage you to sign up. The registration form is linked to in the link above.

Should be fun, hopefully encourage people to ride year round.....another freeze warning tonight, will have to ensure the roads are dry before heading out tomorrow.

Now, where's my heated vest?

Notes: Maria entered with 61862 miles, Brigitta with 65826 miles.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Really Cold Rides of the Year

So far into this month, my morning commutes had been while riding at temperatures in the low 50s and high 40s at most.

My first really cold ride of the season was last night as I rode home from United Airlines' Flight Training Center where I am a contractor. I'd flown in from SFO where I'd been on business with some family visits thrown in.

Temperatures were in the low 40s, with a light rain falling. In fact, the plane I came back in on had landed in a thick fog, first time I'd gone through that! I wasn't able to see the runway until the plane was merely a few feet from touching down, a bit unusual.

I got geared up in the misty rain, hoping that the wet pavement in the parking lot was showing me what road conditions were all the way home.

Visibility of course was crap with water on my helmet's visor. The droplets that collected on the visor reflected oncoming headlights, further interfering with my vision. I kept wiping the drops away using my gloves but still, it was not great conditions for riding.

And yet, it felt good to be back on my motorcycle after two days of no riding while in California, the land of fruits and nuts.

Today, I went out for a ride once the temperatures were above 40 degrees according to the house thermometers. It was a leisurely jaunt towards Parker Rd from the suburbs I live in, then South onto the town of Parker itself. I compared my onboard thermometer reading of 42 against the bank in Parker's roadside thermometer reading of 37. So my onboard thermometer reads 5 degrees high or the bank thermometer is off by 5 degrees. Hmmm.

Took the above photo using my cameraphone, had to do some manipulation using to make it somewhat usable. I liked the way the light was hitting this tree near the Parker Town Center, the cameraphone really did not do it justice.

It was perhaps an hour of riding, taking the really long way to the grocery store. The store is less than one mile from the house you see, but as long as I was riding, I figured I'd look for other riders. None to be found.

By the time I got my groceries and gassed up Maria, I was starting to feel the cold penetrate my gear and underlying clothing. Time to pack the heated vest onto Maria's cases I guess.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fairing Options for Airheads

Regular readers of this blog know my liking of the S Fairing for Brigitta, my 1987 R80. The S fairing came out in the late 70s for the R90S and R100S airheads and made quite the impression not only in the BMW motorcycling community but went on to become icons of the era.


A really nice reproduction

Brigitta, my meager version of the above pics

Through the services of Google, one can also find other fairings by aftermarket manufacturers that were made to go on Beemer Airheads such as mine. Sure there were the faired versions from BMW for the RT and RS versions but the following are ones that caught my eye:

Manufacturer: Rifle
Manufacturer: Krauser

Manufacturer: Unknown, it looks like it'll poke your eye out though!
Update: It's a Jacwal Superwedge, source: LINK


Manufacturer: Falcon, kind of cool in a way

Manufacturer: Glaser Monza, kind of funky

Another Glaser Monza

Manufacturer: Luftmeister

Manufacturer: Pantera

Manufacturer: Vesco Rapid Transit

Different angle on the Vesco Rapid Transit

Manufacturer: Vetter Windjammer III

The Falcon fairing would have been a close second choice for me to the BMW S fairing but I think I'll just stick with what I have for now. If Brigitta ever becomes my long distance tourer, one of the things I'd have to add to the S fairing's windshield would be this: