Ride (almost) to Spada Lake
February 7, 2010 at 3:00 am #3694
For those in the Seattle area, this is a great road to ride. Hit it today for the first time and had a lot of fun. There is probably 10 miles or so of twisty road with no houses that ends in a dead end. That means there is almost no traffic on it. Unfortunately there is a lot of logging along the road so there is a lot of branches and crap that gets dragged out onto the road. A lot of 4x4s and pickup trucks as well as folks go fishing. They have dragged crap onto the road as well. And last but not least all the trees mean there are large areas where the sun does not shine so those sections of road were very wet and slippy. Having said all that I had a great time and cannot wait till the summer when the road will be much drier and more fun can be had.
Now onto the pics (click for large version)…
I chickened out going any further than this. The road at this point was a thin layer of gravel over sticky mud and it was climbing up a very steep hill. I will be back one day when I have my Dual Sport.February 7, 2010 at 4:59 am #24431jayspotParticipant
Some great photos eon! Where about is this area? Just today I went hiking up at heather lake on Mnt. Loop Hwy. near Granite falls. Saw a lot of bikers along the way and even saw a group of newbies in town. made me jealous! hope to someday soon be able to ride that highway too….. by the way, what is a dual sport?….February 7, 2010 at 5:46 am #24442
This area is a little to the east and north of Monroe. There is a Google route map at the end of the post.
Dual sport is a general classification for bikes that are designed to go both on and off road. It’s kind of a broad/fuzzy classification and bikes tend to fall into more street or dirt biased. I’m leaning towards a Kawasaki Versys which is 99% street oriented but it could tackle a road like that one. It was actually a good looking road but a 550lb scooter with 12″ front wheels and lots of expensive tupperware is not the machine to be taking chances with. I was tempted though.
The were hordes of bikes out today, probably because it was so warm. Must have been close to 60′ today. Hard to believe it’s the beginning of February. I actually had to remove my GoreTex outer layer as I was too hot. That’s my summer mesh jacket I’m wearing there and I was very comfortable. I’m gonna have to get one of those cooling vests for the summer if I get too used to riding in these temperatures.February 7, 2010 at 11:51 pm #24444owlieParticipant
That looks like it was an awesome ride.
So the question of the day, the twisties sign in the first picture says 25 mph… How fast did you really take it?February 8, 2010 at 1:20 am #24446
Honestly I have no idea. The first half it was possible to go quickly as the road was dry but I had to watch out for the crap on the road, but that was easy to spot. Second half was tricky as it was dark and wet (and 12′ colder). The way back was interesting as that was directly into the sun. With the light reflecting off the wet road I would be blind for many seconds at a time. Interesting when you know a bend is coming up but you cant see . I actually had more fun just taking in the views but I think you could get some spirited riding in there during the summer. Kinda wishing I had tackled that gravel road now but it’s easy to say from the comfort of my sofaFebruary 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm #24455MunchParticipant
Careful Eon…. your slowly stepping into the “Cruiser guy” mentalityFebruary 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm #24456
LOL…it will be a while yet before I get any chrome. I just don’t like falling off. Tried it once, didn’t much like it. When I am riding ‘fast’ I focus more on taking a corner smoothly. Speed I don’t worry about so much. But as soon as the road gets damp I become a puss wad. A hangover from my fall that I still have not completely exorcised.
But riding that road I was torn between riding ‘fast’ and enjoying the views. I’m glad I stopped to take the pictures as they are the best ones I have taken so far on the bike. Now that I think about it I guess I do have a ‘cruiser guy’ mentality, but a cruising the back roads (and off roads) exploring type of cruising. I just need to get something a little more suited to those types of journeys.February 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm #24457Gary856Participant
Eon, I didn’t realize that MP3 was such a beast – in terms of its looks (pretty mean looking), physical size (bigger than I thought), and the weight (550 lbs?!!!) With 2 wheels in the front, it doesn’t even look capable of falling down. Just curious (and this may be a stupid question) – when it’s moving, can it fall down (drop to the ground) as easily as a regular motorcycle if you messed up, or does it hold a lean on 3 wheels and not fall down like a tricycle?
When you said dual sport I automatically thought, oh, DR650 or DRZ kind of bike, which I’m kind of looking for one also, and everyone says they’re awesome on those twisty roads. Versys and V-strom, as you note, are much more street oriented than off pavement, but still very capable on groomed gravel/dirt trails.
It’s so hard to stop to take pictures. When I get on a nice twisty road I just don’t want to stop. Need to get a GoPro kind of setup to take pictures/video without stopping.
Cruiser-wise, not my cup of tea normally, but I happened to see a photo of a 2010 Harley Forty-Eight and thought it was drop dead gorgeous. I want one! Then I read about the “Classic 2.1 gallon peanut tank” – looks great, but 2.1 gallon? Damn, did they build that bike to be looked at, or to ride? How can you get anywhere with a tiny 2.1 gallon tank? lolFebruary 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm #24458
I just double checked the specs of the MP3 and it has a dry weight of 538lbs, so I guess with battery and stuff it’s real life weight must be close to 550lbs (not exactly sure what the difference between dry and wet weight is). While you can lock the suspension at <5mph and/or 1800rpm, once moving it will fall over the same as a 2 wheel bike. The 3 wheel stance though helps enormously with low speed stability. Riding at a walking pace is very easy. Strangely enough I suspect that stability makes it easy to drop if you are not careful. Lean the bike just a little bit and the offset wheels provide stability. Lean it a little more and *suddenly* you've got all that weight tipping over. The seat height (31") and wide seat does not help either. I have a 32" inseam and sitting on the front of the seat I can just get my toes on the ground.
At speed it can lean over to 43′. That’s as much as most sport bikes I believe. And with twice as much grip up front you have less chance of low siding. At least that is the theory. I believe it as experienced riders have reported having more confidence leaning into bends in low grip conditions.
As far as dual sports go, I cannot make up my mind on which bike to get. I would love the BMW F800GS but I’m not sure I would do it justice. Getting a Versys and then possibly a smaller more off road oriented bike later is my current plan. We will see what I feel like once I have money in my pocket and walk by the BMW dealer
Might need to start a GoPro thread to learn about folks experiences with it. I have one and am still learning how to use it. I have a couple of trips planned for this year and I would love to get some cool video from them. I’m trying to work out all the wrinkles now before then. I actually had the GoPro onboard on Saturday but the batteries died on me after about 75 minutes of video. They were fully charged rechargeables. I’m thinking they must be kaput as I’m sure I got much more than that before. Of course they died before I got to the interesting part of the dayFebruary 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm #24459eternal05Participant
Are your rechargeables lithium or alkaline? If they’re alkaline they’ll die right away in our current weather. Alkaline battery life dives in the cold, and it doesn’t take too low a temperature to cause this, especially with wind chill from a fast-moving bike. I only had alkalines the first time I took GoPros to the track, and that was in September. It was 50-something degrees and they didn’t even last one 20-minute session. Then again, you’re not exactly getting the same wind chill since you’re not bombing down a track straight at 160mph…
Honestly, I go through batteries like a crazy person. I kept forgetting to try to find lithium rechargeables (still haven’t), and each time I’d have to run out to a 24-hour grocery store and buy some normal lithium batteries…and they’re SUPER expensive. Even with lithiums, I sometimes have to change batteries partway through a track day (and keep in mind, if I were to leave the cameras on 100% of the time I was on the track, that would only be ~2.5 hours).
I’d ask Elwood what his experience is, but I doubt Miami ever gets cold enough for this to matter. Or am I wrong?February 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm #24461Gary856Participant
From what I’ve read (based on dry/wet wt numbers on various bikes and web sites), for a 600-650 sized, liquid-cooled motorcycle with a 4-5 gallon tank, the wet weight is typically about 60-70 lbs higher than the dry weight, depending on the actual fluid capacity, of course. I think the battery is a part of the dry weight, while gas/coolant/engine oil/fork oil are the “wet” part.
I also have a 32” inseam. On my SV650 (w/ 31.5” seat height) I can flat foot on both sides because the suspension and the seat cushion sink down a bit when I sit on the bike. From your picture I can see the floor board of the MP3 forces you to have a wide-leg stance which explains why you have to tip-toe to reach the ground with a 31” seat height and a 32” inseam. The DRZ, which I’d like to get, has a 36” seat height, but people much shorter than me ride DRZs, so it should be just a matter of getting used to it. The seat height of my hardtail mountain bike is about 39” and that’s not a problem, so…
BMW F800GS can almost match the unique look of the MP3! I like the modern, highly stylized European look of both bikes very much. I just don’t have the heart to take something like a new F800GS off pavement and get it dirty, or worse, lay it down. LOL
I imagine serious GoPro users can wire it (w/ a voltage regulator) directly to the bike’s battery for unlimited electrical power. Nevertheless, I always assumed that it’d run out of memory capacity before running out of battery power (on a full charge).February 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm #24462
On the standard GoPro a 2Gb card will get you about 55 minutes of video. You can use an 8Gb card and get 2x4Gb files (it stops recording after 4Gb and you have start a new recording). At least that’s what I have read. It gets a bit confusing as you will also read 2Gb is the maximum card size you can use, but they upgraded the firmware to allow 8Gb cards. I have an 8Gb card coming this week so I will let you know if it does not work.
The HD version will obviously use more memory per minute but I cannot give you the specs on that. Not sure if it uses more power than the standard.
I believe I have lithium rechargeables but I will double check when I get home. 75 minutes is not that great. I might need to look into hooking up a power supply but given I want to move the camera around that’s not much of an option. Starting to think the camera might be great for short bursts where you go out with the purpose of making a movie, but not so great for continuous shooting where you are just riding along.
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