Still love the black stealth bomber (long)
mrgilmore at aol.com
mrgilmore at aol.com
Fri Oct 17 12:03:37 PDT 2008
Great read.? I haven't been able to ride my '95 GPz in a while, but I do love her.?
Take care and happy trails to you.
From: William K Denton <wkdenton at verizon.net>
To: GPz List <gpzlist at micapeak.com>
Sent: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 12:12 pm
Subject: Still love the black stealth bomber (long)
Coming upon my tenth anniversary as a GPz1100 owner, I have to say that I still love the beast. I joke with my riding buddies that the GPz is my only "modern" bike, the irony of course is that there's nothing truly modern about a 12 year old motorcycle. Having said that, I guess I like old things, because my next newest bike is an '86 SRX600, followed by a litany of early '80s and late 70's issues, mostly Yamaha, save for a CB-X thrown in for good measure.?
At any rate, I've been riding the GPz less lately, as 98% of my riding for the last three seasons has been local stuff, and my vintage aluminum is more suited to do that sort of thing. The GPz, as we all know, is a mile muncher, and I've done pitifully few long-distance jaunts in the last few years, mainly because I've been a poor, unemployed graduate student, career shifting to the teaching profession (high school chemistry). So, my black stealth bomber sits quietly most days, StaBil in tank and trickle charger on battery, waiting for the off-chance that her master will find her worthy of a short run somewhere, anywhere. Meanwhile, the XV920R, XS650, and CB-X get regular exercise, if only to H*me D*pot, Office Max, or a short 50-80 miler through upper Bucks County on a sunny day. If a motorcycle were capable of envy, The GPz would be green, not black.?
In this day and age of 10% ethanolic fuel, and as summer inexorably turned to fall, I thought it would be wise to get the old girl out for a spin, if for no other reason than to get some fuel running through the pilot jets to keep them from clogging up again. Alas, riding is eminently more enjoyable than pulling the carb rack to clean pilot jets <g>. It would also give me a chance to get a fresh charge of StaBilized fuel into the tank, as the cold, less ridden season is fast approaching.?
As I went to the shed and pulled off the mc cover, a pang of guilt hit me as at the sight of her. "Wow, what a beautiful bike", was my reaction, as if seeing the mc again for the first time in a long while, which made me realize that I probably had not ridden her since June. As I pulled out of the shed, I was reminded how heavy she was, rolling her across the back yard to the garage where I would check tires pressures before venturing out. Heavy, yes, but at 560 lbs., still 45 lbs. lighter than the CB-X (but 220 lbs. heavier than the SRX600!). Good thing I checked the tire pressures, too, because they were both about 10 lbs. low from sitting most of the summer.?
As the tires (and I) were both now pumped for a ride, I moved the petcock to prime for about 15 seconds, full enricher, turned on the ignition, and hit the starter button. She cranked but did not hit (damn). Tried again (c'mon sweetheart), hitting on one cylinder, still holding the button down (c'mon sweetheart, you can do it)....then two (c'mon...)... chug a chug a chug.. stalled. Tried a third time (okay, I'm sorry I haven't ridden you for three months, but I want to now!...)... hitting on two cylinders, then three, let go of the starter button, still going (c'mon sweetheart), chug chug a chug, (C'MON!...), and after what seemed like an eternity, finally hitting on four cylinders, as she fell into a slow, then faster idle, running nicely now, awaiting my inputs (oh baby, I still love ya!). About two minutes later she was responding to throttle inputs with no hesitation, so I presumed that the pilots were still clear. Chalk up another point for StaBil in the tank at every fill-up, a veritable necessity 24/7/52 in 10% ethanol fuel country!?
My planned ride was from Yardley, PA up to Milford, NJ (~ 80 miles RT) to meet a friend who was returning one of my bikes after I had swapped it for his pickup truck to grab a load of firewood. Not five minutes into the ride, I caught myself muttering the same phrase that I had been saying to myself since the day I rode this mc home from Huntsville, AL ten years ago....; "If I had to get rid of every bike I own except for one, the GPz1100 would be the one I'd keep". It feels right, fits me well, it sounds right, it rides right, it looks great, in short it does everything well (for a relative porker). To boot, 125HP @ 44MPG is nothing to sneeze at these days. This compares most favorably to the CB-X with 90HP @ 28MPG, which is my next most powerful bike. Now, I realize that most of us don't ride mc's to save gas, but it's nice to know that we can get about the same mileage as a Toyota Prius while having about 1000X more fun. Alas, the CB-X is a blast as well, with it's turbine-like surge of six 174cc pistons frantically trying to get out, urged on by a six pack of accelerator pump primed carbs, but the price to be paid it that it "only" gets about the same mileage as my Honda CR-V... such a pity.?
Anyway, if you're still reading this, you probably love or have loved your GPz as I do mine. Thanks for reading and allowing me to share or blog or whatever this post qualifies as.....?
Bill in Yardley, PA?
wkdenton at verizon.net?
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