Trip to NC and other tidbits

Steve Northrop blackgpz at
Thu Oct 16 19:02:44 PDT 2008

Got back last night from a quick 5 day jaunt to Hendersonville, NC and back. 
Three of us covered 2200 miles and it was almost entirely back roads. We 
weren't on an Interstate for more than 100 miles of the whole trip. I got 
quite a workout trying to keep up with 2 young snots on a Ducati and an R1. 
The kid on the R1 got a performance award. We were all going about the same 
speed but he was the "tailgunner" so he got nabbed. Come to think of it, I 
haven't got a performance award since I stopped riding with Chalk and 
Buehrle. Bruce took us on the obligatory Deal's Gap/Cherahola Skyway ride. 
They're still fun and not much law enforcement during the week. Stopped at 
an Aprilia dealer in McHenry, MD on the way back. Some of you may have 
noticed the Triumph Daytona is missing from my sig line. It's been sold and 
I need another sport bike. I fell in lust with an RSVR 1000 Factory so it 
may be my next MC purchase.
Some GPZ observations from my trip.
Thanks Dave and Dave for the custom handlebar risers. They are absolutely 
perfect for me and make for a much more comfortable ride.
I installed some Buell footpegs on the GPZ that lower the pegs about an 
inch, giving a little more leg room. They are about $25 for the pair and 
need the pin hole drilled out and thinned a little where it fits in the peg 
bracket. I have the part number of the pegs and can take some pics if anyone 
is interested. It makes a small but noticeable difference. The pegs are 
lower but they are a little shorter. In 5 days of riding hard in the 
twisties with no chicken strips on the rear tire, I never touched them down.
If you haven't tried an 18t c/s sprocket, do yourself a favor. It should 
have come from the factory geared like this. It makes 5th gear like 6th is 
stock and turns 6th into an "overdrive". That smooth sweet spot at 4000 rpm 
is a true 71 mph and you are cruising along effortlessly. I installed a 
taller screen for the trip mostly for rain protection just in case. It is 
one I would recommend. It is the Zero Gravity Sport-touring screen. While it 
does direct the wind up at your helmet, the air is so smooth, there is no 
buffeting. I have no issues with it and will leave it on for a while. 
Lastly, I took a chance and tried some Bridgestone BT-021's mostly to try 
the dual-compound rear tire. I rode them to WV in June and didn't really 
care for them then. After this trip, my opinion is the same. Granted they've 
been ridden hard on a heavy bike with a heavy rider with a heavy throttle 
hand, however, I expected a little better performance from MotoGP's best 
tire company. In a nutshell, they ride stiff and are not nearly as compliant 
as my beloved Pirelli's. With less than 4000 miles on them, the front tire 
is shot. First set of tires I've ever had that the front tire wore out 
before the back. The back looks like it has 1000 miles left in it. I don't 
like the way they turn in and the front tire doesn't feel planted at full 
lean. I'll go back to my Diablo front/Strada rear in the Spring. I got 6500 
miles from the last set and it's the combo I've liked the best.

Steve in Western NY
'96 GPZ1100
'08 KLR 650
"You Can't Fix Stupid", Ron White 

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