Last Saturday I made a little trip to the St. Lois area where I met up with a guy named Bob Honz. A sales guy and GS rider he and I negotiated (he gave me a price and I wrote him a check) on a new to me 2008 BMW R1200 GS Adventure. I’ve now filled my quota of bikes. This one is my go get dirty bike. For those who don’t know it is a giant dirt bike or as my wife likes to call it, “Two wheeled Jeep”. Which if you know me that makes a lot of sense. It’ll carry two very well, but rally this bike is about commuting and getting there when the road ends.
Saturday was a blizzard in the midwest. Not the worst weather I’ve ridden in, but I would be in the snow most of the way from St. Lois to West Lafayette. Temps were in the mid 20f range so very chilly. When I left out of St. Lois Honz had said the dash powerlet plug was wired direct to the battery. On his bike it may be but on this bike it is in the CANBUS. The BMW CANBUS is a power signaling system that automagically turns off the current if it is too much. Electrics draw quite a bit of current. Scratch electrics for the four or five-hour ride. I thought I was cold a few weeks ago. This was going to be frigid.
My kids don’t know what to do with me, but they like to take pictures of me screwing up. Heading down the Interstate in a snow storm is a relatively tame excursion compared to some of our adventures. The bike was flawless on the Interstate and when we got off the road onto hard pack snow of the side streets it did really well. The tires are a street bias versus off-road bias and that will have to change. Temps as the day went on continued to fall and it got dark fast. The headlight and auxiliary lights weren’t really set up for me, but that is an easy fix. When you get home to the garage that is.
Stopping for lunch I checked out the powerlet situation. What I found was not to nice. There was no way on the road to fix my electrics. I also ran into another problem. I was using my iPhone as a GPS for directions on how to get home. In the sub 20f weather it suddenly stopped working. Basically it froze. Not good. Luckily spousal accessory unit and curtain crawlers were following. I got home by simply memorizing the directions. For some reason driving down the Interstate on a motorcycle in a snow storm caused lots of people to give me thumbs up. I think that was their thumb.
A ride like this isn’t epic it just is a ride. I’ve done a lot colder and a lot farther. I did spend a few hours shivering though.