Monday, September 08, 2014

coastal cruising

An awesome day yesterday. We had a relaxing morning just chilling together, then we geared up and took the new bike out. We headed south down 17 to Santa Cruz, up Highway 1 along the coast, lunch break in Half Moon Bay at one of my favorite places, then back along 92 to 35/Skyline to 9 [the classic route]. Ended up putting about 120 miles on the bike, and it was a blast...while it's definitely the biggest sub-four-wheeled vehicle we own, it is surprisingly maneuverable and brilliantly made for cruising, with serious power to vroom and pass and hit the twisties [which is quite interesting on a huge bike like that]. Though for folks who've seen the CHP do amazing things on their R 1600 motorcycles [the less-commuter, more-business version of ours], that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise... :^)

We've even managed to fit Will's car and all five bikes into the garage in a way that requires minimal shuffling to get something out when we want to, at least until January, when everything is thrown into chaos again and the game of Tetris to fit things in becomes more challenging. Crossing fingers the second garage gets finished in good time...

Saturday, September 06, 2014

additions to the stable

Been a busy few weeks for the two-wheeled part of the Lawton stable...traded in one for another and added two new rides.

The trade-in just happened today: we traded in the Ducati Diavel Strada for a BMW K 1600 GTL Exclusive edition [basically a package edition with bells and whistles included]. It's a beastly big thing, but is awesome for two-up riding [as we found out today, and will confirm tomorrow :^) ].

The new rides are "300cc Italian bikes"...aka Vespa scooters. Breaking my ankle again caused some permanent soft tissue damage in my left ankle, so I'm kind of screwed when it comes to shifting or trusting my ankle to support me and a bike at stops [it gives out randomly, sadly]. That left me with the option of retrofitting a paddle shifter to an existing bike, going with a CVT/automatic [like the Honda CTX700], or getting a scooter. I'd ruled out scooters entirely; I need to be able to hit highway speeds, which pushed me towards the 500-600cc range [BMW, Bergstrom, etc.]...and those were too wide for me to flatfoot comfortably with my bad ankle.

Then a friend told us that Vespa had a 300cc sport edition with an 80mph top speed, so we checked it out...and ended up with two of them, one for me, one for Will [who had been looking for a smaller-engined bike to go with his others, something that he could ride all the way to the edge and just go nuts with].

Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport SE
[vroom vroom]
Things are getting a bit cramped in the garage right now, so "Project: Second Garage" is in the works, with "Project: Remove Cabinets in Current Garage to Make Room Until Then" ["Project: Make Room" for short] scheduled to happen some time in the next few weeks. We've got one more trade-in/trade-up coming [which is why the new garage is needed, so everything that should be sheltered can be], but that won't be happening until January-ish...we don't think the new garage space will be ready in time, but absolute worst case, a couple of the motorcycles can take a place of honor in the game room in the house until it is. :^)

Now I just need the weather to cool down a bit so I can get out there and get some miles on the scooter...