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Author Topic: A beginner's guide to riding in France  (Read 8757 times)

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Offline dirtyXT

Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2013, 08:38:28 pm »
 :thumleft: :thumleft:

I love stories like this, a little bit of imagination and its all possible. meanwhile back at the laptop....
Bike history:
Ital jet 50 - sold, DT 50 - scrapped - AR80 - sold DT185 - confiscated  KDX250 - sold ZZR400 - sold KX500 - XT660R Swapped for R1 YZF R1 - sold - XT660Z - sold

 

Offline Justin

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2013, 10:54:31 am »
:thumleft: :thumleft:

I love stories like this, a little bit of imagination and its all possible. meanwhile back at the laptop....

Lol. To go on trips like that I put the projector up in the garage with scenes from the Alps. I then sit on the bike and make believe... ;)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 10:55:29 am by Justin »
Carpe diem!
 

Offline Wheelman

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2013, 08:06:45 pm »
 :sip: Looking forward to this :)
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Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2013, 10:51:29 am »
So I picked up the demo from KMSA this morning so that we can do a test run this weekend to get an idea of how much luggage we can pack in the panniers, optimal screen settings, camera mounting options, etc. etc. etc.  If anybody is going to be in the Lydenburg area keep an eye out for us.  

The bike is gorgeous in Sapphire Blue, and in pristine condition at approximately 18 400 km - with panniers, alu bashplate, crashbars, hand guards, heated seats and grips and Arrow exhaust.  It sounds SPECTACULAR with a great burble on over-run.



I have ridden one before, but while it's still fresh in memory, some initial thoughts:
  • The motor is a pearl, pulling strongly in any gear, from any revs.  Cruising at 120 kph it punches up to 160 within the blink of an eye to overtake, even in the relatively overdrive 6th.
  • It is exceedingly comfortable.  Something that caught me out a little on the Tiger 955i was that I would find myself not paying attention while riding it - it's just so smooth and strong and comfy that your (well, at least my) mind starts wandering and I stop paying attention to what's happening around me.  It's actually happened that I miss turn-offs because of it.  This Explorer is not THAT bad, I think mainly because the motor is so exciting, but I expect once the novelty wears off that this could be a slight concern - but if anything it speaks to the effortless comfort of this bike.  I really could see myself doing 1000 km days without hassle.
  • Handling is excellent once you're on the go - it doesn't feel heavy, turns in easily, solid and stable at speed.  Can't diss it in any way.
  • I have really long legs and, with the seat on the low setting, it was slightly cramped - no problems on the high setting - getting on and off the bike with the panniers on requires a bit of a dance though.
  • We have a 1200 GSA standing here at the office as well and, comparing the two bikes, the GSA is a fair bit taller, shorter and has more ground clearance.  It also feels lighter sitting on it and trying to get it on the main stand.
  • The screen on this thing does not work very well with my TX3.  On the highest setting it creates a low pressure zone just under the peak, causing the whole helmet to vibrate - as in teeth-rattling vibration.. Not fun.  The low setting pushes the airstream to about midway up my visor, with the peak in relatively stable air.  This is a lot better, but still not ideal.  Fortunately it is a 5 second job to set the screen, turn two knobs, adjust, tighten two knobs - can almost do it on the go.  YMMV according to what helmet you have, seat height, your height, etc...
  • The cruise control is VERY, VERY handy.  Stick it on 130 and enjoy the scenery, rest your hand, fondle your pillion, whichever.

Proper shakedown ride this weekend where I'll do a more in-depth evaluation with a full load.  Check back here on Monday!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 01:45:51 pm by IDR »
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Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2013, 10:59:38 am »
Oh - and before I forget - this one is for sale.  PM me for price and further details.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 10:48:02 am by IDR »
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline Kerritz

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2013, 03:03:59 pm »
Lekker man....jammer ek kon nie saam gaan nie maar sien uit na jou report Maandag. Enjoy, gooi mielies en lekker ry.
Vorige skoeters: XT660E, TL1000R, 2006 R1200GSA, 2010 R1200GSA 30 Years Anniversary, CRF450R, CRF450X, DRZ400SM, 950 Adventure, 990 SuperDuke (ISM) 2012 R1200GS Triple Black, F800GS, Wolskoeter!

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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2013, 11:56:05 pm »
 Rock ' n Roll !

 8)
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2013, 08:13:28 pm »
We're back home safely after a great weekend away with friends in the Lydenburg bushveld...

We learnt a couple of things, both about the bike and our gear!  For one, you can press the record button on the action cam until you're blue in the face, but it won't start recording when the button is in the 'hold' position ;D  I must've somehow switched it when charging the damn thing.  This means that we have no cool video of anything but a stretch of highway on the way home ::)  So, I'm not going to bore you, or waste my time with video of boring highway - so here's a screenshot of that video to show that the camera mounted on the pannier gives a pretty cool perspective:



I might mount it a little more in-board in future, as the outer edges of the panniers catch a lot of wind and, thus, a lot of bugs which also end up on the camera lens - but you would then lose a bit of field of view.

BUT - that bike!!!  What a machine!  So smooth, so comfortable, so powerful.  An absolute pleasure on the road, loaded or not.  Set the cruise control to 130 kph, sit back and relax - it's completely effortless on the highway or on fast secondary roads.  I tend to get cramping in my right shoulder from nursing the throttle on long distances, but there was not a whisper of it the whole weekend.

I did experience a bit of a loose feeling at very high speeds (200+, on a private runway of course), but I imagine that would be because of the weight on the back of the bike (pillion and full panniers), as well as the aerodynamics of those huge, square boxes.  Otherwise the bike is very sure-footed with predictable handling, even on bad roads at well over the national speed limit - I expect largely attributable to it's significant weight.

The seating position is spacious and comfortable, with a lot of room to move forward or back, for both rider and pillion.  The pillion perch is a fair amount higher than the rider's, so it does expose the pillion a bit to the elements.  This was the only thing that Vida mentioned that bothered her.  We fiddled with the screen a bit, but never really found a setting where we were both happy with the amount of protection vs buffeting - the highest setting seemingly being the best but I have to dip my head down a little to get the peak out of the worst airflow.  I expect the taller touring screen with perhaps an Aerotrim or something would be the cure, but I'll have to experiment a little once I get my own.  For now though I think we'll stick with the highest setting.  We don't plan to do much highway riding in France at all, so for a large part it's irrelevant.

The sun had just set as we stopped at home, so it was a little chilly for the last stretch, but the accessories on this particular demo make a huge difference w.r.t. comfort.  The heated grips work brilliantly, with two heat settings: REALLY toasty and mildly toasty.  The same goes for the heated seats, which warm your seating area quite satisfactorily.  There is also a stream of warm air coming off the radiator over your legs if you tuck your knees in against the bike.  This was not uncomfortable at all in the relative midday heat we had on the way there.

The on-board computer is also a very handy thing to have for a stats nut like me.  An Info button in the LHS switchgear toggles between ambient air temperature and 2 trip meters, each of which will give you odo- and trip-meter, average- and instant rate of consumption, average speed, distance to empty, trip time (hours and minutes) and cruise control status, which you can scroll through using a second up and down rocker.  When the bike is stationary you can also go into a fourth Setup menu where you can set the time and format (12 or 24 hour), units (km or miles, km/l or l/100 km, mpg both US and imperial, etc.), ABS on or off, traction control (1, 2, or off) and to toggle the self-cancelling indicators on or off.  A distance to next service is also displayed in this sequence.  This bike has only done 1900 km since the last service so the distance displayed is 9999 km (14 100 km actual).

Speaking of stats, we got some pretty decent consumption considering that the majority of the distance was under full load, with ample use of the cruise control and some pretty hard riding between the farm and Dullstroom (both ways) as well as some test riding by others!
683 km total over 7 hours and 7 minutes
Average fuel consumption of 18.5 km/l, with highway consumption being around 20 km/l

I never touched the traction control or ABS settings.  Fortunately never needed to test the ABS, but the traction control kicked in a couple of times when I was taking a friend for a spin - preventing one or two unintended wheelies to my great relief! ;D  It was relatively unobtrusive, just cutting power for a split second or two.

For the very short stint of gravel we had to ride, the bike was a hand full.  It's quite top-heavy, and just plain heavy in fact, so changing direction is a relatively nervous affair.  It's actually not too shabby in a straight line though, feeling planted and the suspension working quite well to soak up bumps.  I imagine tinkering with the suspension settings and fitting more appropriate tyres than the stock Tourances will improve matters here.  There's no getting away from the weight or the engine configuration though, so she'll always be happier on the black stuff.

In conclusion, I am incredibly pleased with it and, for our application of doing heavily loaded, long distances on tar with the ability to do some dirt, it ticks all the boxes.

We fly out in 18 sleeps!  :ricky:

The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline bmad

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2013, 09:48:59 pm »
Great stuff :thumleft:

Looking forward to your ride report.
The misses and I leave for France on 28 June. I rented a house on the Cote D'Zur for 7 days :biggrin:

No riding for me though, just a relaxing holiday, so I will live my biking version through your RR
 :ricky:
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Offline Kerritz

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2013, 10:19:23 pm »
jy...'n stats nut? genuine?  :pot:

Soos altyd 'n goeie write up. Bly alles het mooi verloop die naweek.....die volgende paar dae gaan soos 'n ewigheid voel vir julle.

Groete vir Vida O.  :biggrin:
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Offline Pumbaa

Re: Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2013, 08:23:11 am »
Great start to the rr. We're hoping to leave for the UK around the same time to start our 2-3 month trip to Eastern Europe. My KTM is ready and waiting for us. Can't wait, super excited.

Sent from my HTC J Z321e using Tapatalk 2
 

Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2013, 10:47:44 am »
Oh - and before I forget - this one is for sale.  PM me for price and further details.

This demo has been sold... to ME! ;D
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline Kerritz

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2013, 10:50:36 am »
Oh - and before I forget - this one is for sale.  PM me for price and further details.

This demo has been sold... to ME! ;D

Gelukkige bliksem!!

Nou hoef ons nie meer vir jou te wag nie...en jy gaan BAIE minder geld spandeer op "oelie"  :deal: :pot:
Vorige skoeters: XT660E, TL1000R, 2006 R1200GSA, 2010 R1200GSA 30 Years Anniversary, CRF450R, CRF450X, DRZ400SM, 950 Adventure, 990 SuperDuke (ISM) 2012 R1200GS Triple Black, F800GS, Wolskoeter!

Kaapse Jelly Tot!
 

Offline Jules

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2013, 11:02:05 am »
Nice one Snottie!


 :biggrin:
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Offline woody1

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2013, 11:12:28 am »
Sub... would not like to miss this story. When we lived in Holland for 5 years we travelled a lot (in a cage).  France is really a great place to visit  :ricky:

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


Ducati 100cc Mountaineer, Honda 550 K3, Suzuki Gs1000E, Suzuki Gs1000G, Suzuki 1100 Katana, BMW R1100RT, BMW R1150RT,,,,,All gone. Only 2014 ST in the garage at the moment... And Honda XL 600
 

Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2013, 12:34:58 pm »
Oh - and before I forget - this one is for sale.  PM me for price and further details.

This demo has been sold... to ME! ;D

Gelukkige bliksem!!

Nou hoef ons nie meer vir jou te wag nie...en jy gaan BAIE minder geld spandeer op "oelie"  :deal: :pot:

I shall name him Richard Parker.
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline grizz

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2013, 10:31:39 am »
Planning makes it great.

I like the preamble to the ride report.

I take it we can look forward to many photos.
NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPIDITY OF OTHERS....

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Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2013, 10:39:09 am »
Planning makes it great.

I like the preamble to the ride report.

I take it we can look forward to many photos.

That's the plan!
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Geotraveller

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2013, 06:23:10 pm »
Really looking forward to the rest!
 

Offline bmad

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2013, 09:23:20 pm »
Oh - and before I forget - this one is for sale.  PM me for price and further details.

This demo has been sold... to ME! ;D

Gelukkige bliksem!!

Nou hoef ons nie meer vir jou te wag nie...en jy gaan BAIE minder geld spandeer op "oelie"  :deal: :pot:

I shall name him Richard Parker.


 :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
Classic, that is awesome. Well done :thumleft:
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!