Friday, December 1, 2017

New Zealand Motorcycle Tour

Hey friends,

It's been quite a long time since I've last posted. I'm writing this from Copenhagen which is pretty cool. Back in March I had the pleasure of booking a motorcycle trip around New Zealand. I'm about 2 weeks out from flying down there so just wanted to post that I'm definitely going to write about this soon. I probably won't post until I get back though since I'm not taking my laptop with me. Kind of hard to take a laptop when I don't have any luggage space for it! I'm renting a BMW F800GT so I'll write about that experience too.

On a side note, I'm moving to Chicago soon and am considering buying a Ducati Panigale (1299 maybe?) or a BMW S1000RR. Haven't decided which one yet so I'm going to explore first. Both seem amazing! Either that or I'll buy a cheap track bike and a standard bike like a monster. We shall see!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Long time no talk!

Hey Friends!

Haven't been riding much lately since I'm in graduate school. I did pull the bike out of the garage though and had it down in DC for a week when my car was in the shop. I got my first parking ticket when I parked in front of my school building (it's ok for scooters to park there but not sportbikes!).

Riding back home on I-95 I also got flipped off by a lady who was a left lane hog. I politely waved at her to move to the lane to the right and she wasn't having it! Just to reiterate, it's against the law to cruise in the left lane...pass left, keep right!!! This needs to be a huge concept taught for drivers. Probably part of the reason Americans are so bad at driving and why our roads are so unnecessarily congested. If someone approaches from behind, MOVE RIGHT!!!

Anyways, I've booked a trip to New Zealand for this coming December. Should be an amazing trip and I will definitely post pictures.

Finally, I bought a pair of Alpinestars GP Tech gloves in white/black. They are phenomenally comfortable with pretty much no break in period necessary. The only gripe right now is the left hand slight pinching between my ring finger and middle finger. I'm playing with the velcro straps to see if I can get rid of it. Will let you know when I figure it out, but otherwise, an amazing glove that I got on close out for $230!!! Separate gripe, they have a nice plastic wrist slider strap but due to it, it causes the glove to roll over to the back of the hand when placed on the counter. This causes the glove to roll and potentially fall off your bike if you put it down the wrong way. Easy way to get scuffs, but also, not a huge deal!

Keep in touch,


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Moar trackdays!

Hello again,

I said I was more or less done with riding for now, but it seems that was mostly for street riding!  After getting a bit hooked on the track, I ended up going for two more track days!!

I've learned quite a lot in three track days from being coached and sitting in on classroom sessions (and putting concepts into practice). I've picked up my pace, and I feel more comfortable going through turns quickly.  I can 150% say that I've become a better rider in a short period of time.  I can't say street riding would ever provide that boost so quickly.

Why yes, that is indeed my new Bell Star Carbon RSD helmet!

After my first track day, I picked up on the racing line, and practiced being smooth throughout the corners.  On day two, I worked on my body positioning, including anchoring better under braking and transitioning into leaning off.  On day three I picked up my pace and got a better handle on how hard I can brake in straight lines, in corners, how much gas I can apply while leaned fully over, and in general, how my bike handles.  Comfort level with my bike? Hopped on a rocket and went through the roof!

In general, I feel much more attuned to my bike's feel and feedback, and how my inputs affect my riding. Enjoying a nice cool down rain shower on day 2 allowed me to test my resolve on a partially wet track. I had no issues except for a small slide going over a puddle on a left hand turn.  My relatively new Pirelli Rosso Corsa's did the job and sorted out the issue, though I think a rain tire (for racing) would have been much better.  Street tires seem to be a bit of a compromise and while the are definitely better than race slicks, they aren't 100% fool proof...still have to use common sense and some caution!!

Body position needs some work. While I was close to touching down and dragging knee (even as a short rider!), I don't think I extended my leg far enough outwards.  Regardless, speed and skill is more important than dragging knee, it's not a goal but a by product.  I am still thrilled by my improvement and that's what counts!

I may have to book one more before I leave for school...more to come!

- Pandabear