Category Archives: FJR 1300
Oh the wind was kicking today!! Always makes for fun riding when your in a High Wind Advisory!
This time last year we would be at the kite beach getting our kite boarding on (well at this particular time last year, I would be watching from the sidelines with a ruptured ear drum while The Doc would be kiting). Sadly (but not too sadly) we haven’t been kite boarding this season. This year the desire to ride has won over both The Doc and I.
It was a little chilly today, about 62 when we left, and overcast. As the day went on the temp dropped and the sun came out. So we put on the inner liners in our motorcycle jackets and hit the road cruising. The Doc had it a little bit chillier than I did, I had the nice big fairing of the FJR to tuck behind One of the perks of the FJR!
The Doc wanted to get a new tank bag for the Duc as well as a tinted visor for his Arai helmet. There is a Barney’s about 15 minutes from our house but what fun would that be?
We wanted to ride!! We hopped on the Crosstown and headed over to St. Pete to that Barney’s. The route included a nice ride over a long bridge. With high wind that was fun! Actually it wasn’t that bad until we came off the bridge. There was a stretch of area wide open from the water and it was a straight onshore breeze. I swear the bike was horizontal as I rode through that.
Barney’s was a success. The Doc found Cortex Tank Bag and tinted visor!
After Barney’s we decided it was lunch time. I also thought it was a good time to goof off and steal The Docs helmet and play Stig. If you don’t watch Top Gear Uk, you must check it out. Especially if you love cars!!
Once lunch was complete was drove around town running errands. That sounds so boring, let me try that again. Once lunch was complete, we hopped on the bikes and fought crazy ninja’s as they tried to steal the treasure in the tank bag!!! That sounds so much more interesting!
We finally beat all the raging ninjas around Tampa, The Doc said something I was not expecting to hear, “Do you want to ride the Duc?”
“WHAT WAS THAT?!” I said. My ears must have been playing tricks on me, Did he really just ask if I wanted to ride the Ducati?!
We drove to a corporate center near the house where we played Chinese fire drill. He jumped on the FJR and I hopped on the Ducati.
I just wanted to drive down the road. There was no desire to take her to her limits, I leave that to The Doc. If she was mine, I would have done more but since it wasn’t mine, I wanted to take it easy with her.
The Duc did not disappoint. It was beyond anything that I have ever experience…and I barely put her in second gear. The roar of the engine, the power of her throttle, I was in heaven, and I barely hit second gear. It was this moment that I understood The Doctors instant love of her.
I told him that I do want to ride her again but for today, my straight line of taking her to 30mph (seriously, that is as “fast” as I took her but I got there with barely a twist of the throttle), was enough.
Like I said, when it is someone else’s bike, it makes me nervous. It is one thing if I tip my bike over, but to do it to someone else’s bike, I couldn’t even imagine that feeling.
It is Thursday and I still haven’t blogged about this past weekends Motorcycle Camping trip! I’m slacking!!!
It was an amazing trip!!! The Ducati fit the tent and the air mattress perfectly!!! This means we were able to fit the clothes we needed and other gear in the FJR bags! Sport tourers are beautiful things!
We woke up Saturday and took our sweet time making breakfast, gathering the gear and packing up the bikes. We finally got on the road little after 11.
Our camping location was the KOA Campgrounds in Okeechobee, FL. From Tampa to the campgrounds is about 3 hours straight shot. However, we aren’t interested in straight shots. We like to take the longest, most scenic routes as possible.
We cruised along until we got hungry and found the closest town we could to find a cute local place to have lunch at. We came across this gem in Arcadia, Oak Street Deli. The service here was beyond expectation. The owner came by several times making sure our cups were full and our lunch was delicious. I highly recommend this place if you are ever in the area!
After lunch we slowly made our way down to the KOA. This particular KOA is the largest KOA in the US. With this fact in mind, it was shocking when we found out that we were the only tent campers in the entire place!!!
There was a golf course, small putt putt course, two pools, a rec center, restaurant, bar and I am sure more things that we didn’t see.
We set up camp and decided to hop on the Duc and explore lake Okeechobee and grab some dinner. There was a nice scenic road that led to the lake. Perfect time for a couple of photo ops!
After dinner we walked around the campgrounds checking things out. It was really nice, if we didn’t have our tent it wouldn’t have felt like a campground at all. More like a fancy RV park. The perk of this is that if felt like our own private bathrooms! The lady set us up close to them.
We woke up early and packed up. We had some gators to go see! About an hour and a half north of us was Gatorland. Leaving early in the morning (8ish) was perfect. There was hardly any traffic. From the KOA to Gatorland was a straight shot. No twisty roads but there was plenty of Florida scenery to look at.
Florida scenery involving marsh looking areas, palm trees and cows. Have to love Florida!
We got to Gatorland about two hours after we left. There was a quick and delicious breakfast stop at Ihop.
We did the package deal where you could actually sit on a gator and ride the train. It was a fun place full of lots and lots of alligators. If you are ever in Florida and want to mix it up from Disney World, go to Gatorland.
This weekend I’ll post review the Sena Comm system!
Time to fly!!!!
The butterflies were going strong. Not the nervous kind of butterflies, the excited kind of butterflies. We walked in the front door and signed in. There are computers set up off to the side where you sign in and enter your information. Once we were done with that, we walked over to the counter to sign the release forms and hand over our Groupon tickets (seriously, Groupon. If you aren’t familiar with it, check it out).
We had to wait until our scheduled time so they said we could go up in the observation room while we wait. We walked up the stairs , very curious as to what was awaiting us (in the above picture you can see the stairs in the background).
It was a really cool set up. On the side of the glass we were on, you could watch the people in the wind tunnel. On the other side of the glass were the people who were waiting to go into the wind tunnel. We could see them and they could see us. You can see in the picture below the view from the observation room.
When that group completed, they called our group back. There were 10 of us total in the group. The instructor took us back into the staging area to get our suits and go over the safety instructions.
The safety instructions included a video to watch and go over hand instructions that we would need to know since we wouldn’t be able to talk to the instructor while in the wind tunnel. Questions were answered and we all felt safe and ready to go. INDOOR SKYDIVING here we come!
Since there were 10 of us, we would rotate our turns. The usual time is 2 rides of 1 minute per person, The Doctor and I had 4 minutes between the two of us. We did 2 rides of 2 minutes. We don’t mess around!
Watching the groups before us go, it didn’t look easy. Most of the people didn’t “fly” very well. They needed the help of the instructor to keep them in the proper position and up in the air. If you don’t stay in the right position, you will glide to the bottom of the wind tunnel. Some people “got it”, some people didn’t.
It doesn’t matter if you get it or not, its fun either way!!
The Doctor was the first one on deck! He stepped into the wind tunnel and started to fly. The minute he fell into the proper flying position, a huge smile came across his face!! He got it right off the back! His two minutes were up, from here the other people had their minute rides.
I was last in the group, which worked out perfectly. As you finish your turn you come back into the sitting area on the opposite end from where you entered. Since The Doctor was first, he got to sit next to me as we waited for my turn.
I fell into the wind tunnel and was off!!! So amazing!
I discovered if you turned your head in a certain direction, you would start spinning in that direction. I liked this! I would get a good spin going to the right, then the instructor would stop me. So then I would spin to the left for a bit. He would stop me again. Not sure why he kept stopping me, I was having a blast spinning!!
The funniest part is that you are in the 120 mph wind tunnel with the biggest, stupidest grin on your face…laughing. The problem with this is spit comes out of your mouth and since your hands are helping guide you/keep you in position, it makes it very hard to wipe it off. Not to mention, you have people watching you from all angles. This only made me laugh harder and the drool come out more. Quite funny!
The sensation is like the real thing but totally different. The feeling of weightlessness is the same but having no one strapped to your back and getting to move around on your own was awesome. Also in the wind tunnel, you can guide your self to the bottom by lowering your head. When you raise your head again, you rise higher. You can’t do that jumping out of the plane.
The best part of the whole experience was toward the end of your last ride. With about 45 seconds left, the instructor signals the guy in the wind control room. They increase the speed of the wind as the instructor grabs onto your arm and leg. He proceeds to spin the two of you way up high in the wind tunnel, then back down to the bottom. As soon as you get to the bottom, he spins you back up to the top. He does it one more time before you step out of the tunnel.
That last part was amazing! I was giggling (and drooling) like a silly little girl.
When we had all completed our riding time, we were brought back into the briefing area to change and receive our certificate of completion. The Groupon deal we got also gave us a free video and pictures from the experience.
Check out my Flickr page for more pictures.
The way home back to Tampa this day involved the scariest ride of my life! Check out Ifly Away – Part III – The Scariest Ride of My Life
It has begun. I am officially searching for a new motorcycle!!!!
Back in September I bought my FJR. Check out my post below about the FJR, here’s the link:
There are days when you want to jump on a motorcycle and hit the open road. On days like that, the FJR is perfect. Then there are days when you want to hop on a motorcycle and go off-roading. It is this last one that has triggered my thirst for a new enduro motorcycle.
The daily Craigslist posting search began yesterday! Already found 3 that I am interested in looking at! Oh the excitement builds. I am looking for a 250 or 300. Nothing too big or crazy. I just want something to go goof off on some trails with. I am hoping within the next 2 weeks or so there will be a new motorcycle added to mine and The Doctor’s collection.
Speaking of The Doctor, he is undertaking a new project at the house. He has a 99 KTM 640 enduro which he is converting over to a Motard. His father has an 01 KTM 640 Motard already. His bike needs some loving as well. So while both guys work on their respected bikes, I am searching for a new one so that we can all go riding together.
A bit about The Doctor’s 640. We nicknamed her Katie (KTM = Katie, we are so clever). Here she is, don’t let her looks fool you, she is a powerful machine and will scare the crap out of you before you have the chance to shift her into 3rd gear. That is from personal experience.
I love riding Katie. When I feel the urge to have the ever living crap scared out of me, I steal her from The Doctor and take her for a ride. At that point he would get stuck riding my XT 225. I always thought he enjoyed riding my smaller bike from time to time. It gave him a chance to do silly things that if they went south wouldn’t hurt him too bad like it would if he was on the 640
It is actually quite a site watching me ride Katie. I am 5’5, the KTM sits a lot higher than my little legs can reach. So I have to do this awkward jump from side to side to get her going. I have video of it somewhere. Will definitely have to find it and post it on here! Think you would all enjoy the laugh.
Here is the first picture of the Operation Convert Katie to Motard. The Doctor was test fitting a mock up wheel to fabricate bushings and spacers (don’t be fooled, I have a rough idea what that means but not fully, I just paid attention when he talked). New wheels, tires, carbs and a whole bunch of other parts will be taking over the man cave shortly. Yes, The Doctor built himself a man cave out back. The smell of sweat, man and grease lives strong out there! It is also home to where I am writing this post.
As the project goes along, I make sure to post pictures and updates. All updates will be posted in the “KTM 640 Conversion to Motard” category.
For now, happy riding to all
2011 was quite a year. There were so many fun, adventurous moments. Moments filled with laughter, moments filled with tears. Overall I look back on 2011 with wonderful memories and a sense that I lived it to the fullest.
Looking ahead to 2012, I see the best year ever. So many things that will be taking place, I’ll share those as they come along, can’t give too many spoilers away Here’s to you 2012 and all the amazing times that lie ahead!
2011 in review. There were some first time experiences:
And of course, continuing all the things I already love:
Peace out 2011!
The prepping for the last road trip of 2011 is underway. The Doctor and I are heading out tomorrow morning toward the Florida Caverns State Park.
Earlier this year I did a trip to Chattanooga, TN for some caving, white water rafting and zip-lining. Caving has been on my bucket list for years so it was nice to cross it off the list (as well as white water rafting). Zip lining was on the list previously but I was able to cross that off last year in Costa Rica.
Since The Doctor hasn’t been caving before, we decided to check out the Florida cave system outside Tallahassee. From Tampa to Marianna, FL it is about six hours via interstates. Since I’m not really an interstate fan, we are going to take US 19 all the way up.
Our plan is to leave before sunrise Wednesday and see where we end up. Find a local campsite and make camp for the night. Wake up Thursday and finish up the rest of the way. Thursday night we are going to splurge and get a hotel room close to the caverns so Friday morning we will be close to them.
There are hiking trails and canoe rentals at The Florida Caverns State Park so Friday after the caving tour, we will either hike, canoe or head back down toward Tampa. Goal Friday night is find another campsite. Then Saturday make our way back home.
I’m so excited for this road trip! It will be my first extended road trip on the FJR. Perfect trial run for March when The Doctor and I are planing on spending 8 to 9 days on the road somewhere. That trip destination has yet to be determined.
Christmas Eve officially started my 10 days of vacation. I haven’t had 10 days off in a row since summer break in high school. Saturday and Sunday were spent with friends and family enjoying the holiday festivities. The rest of the vacation deserves some special time with my loves, The Doctor and FJR
I was really feeling being around and in nature today while The Doctor was feeling more city-ish. So we compromised, today we would drive around town doing this and that then Wednesday we would take off on the bikes for a camping/caving/road trip!!
We were both on different missions today. I am in the market for a new helmet while The Doctor got “The Itch”. So our this and that’s for the day involved motorcycle stores for my helmet search and dealerships to quench his thirst for a new bike.
I put my head in quite a few helmets today. Looking for the perfect Cinderella/glass slipper feel helmet. You never realize how many different feels helmets can have until you start sticking your head in them!
Arai, HJC and Shoei OH MY!! Out of all the helmets I tried on, The Shoei Qwest is the winner. The minute the helmet came over my head, I knew this was the one. It was that perfect moment, the moment I realized this was it. I continued to try on other helmets but none of them could compare to the Qwest.
I wasn’t able to get a picture of the Qwest while we were in the store but here is the link:
Not to mention I wasn’t a fan of the color scheme of the one they had in stock. I’m a basic color kind of girl, nice light gray or silver is right up my alley. I would love black but a black helmet in the Florida heat would be a huge mistake!
I plan on ordering the helmet in the next couple of week so once it arrives I’ll let you know what I think of it.
For The Doctor’s bike search, we hit a couple of places today. The one shop we really wanted to visit was closed The Doctor was there this past week where he test rode a couple BMW’s as well as a Ducati Multistrada. As of right now, the Multistrada has taken the lead.
Before he takes the leap on the Multistrada, he wants to test ride the Ducati ST4s. Our search on Craigslist in FL has been a bust. There was one for sale in the Northeastern US The Doctor mentioned. I could see him flying up to get it and taking he sweet time getting it back home!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
The Doctor and I had two stops to make on this beautiful and sunny Florida Christmas. It seemed like such a waste to take four wheels on a day like today, so we jumped on our bikes and hit the Christmas stops in style!
In order to get to our respected places we had some choices of which roads to take. One option is to head down U.S Highway 301. It goes straight from our house to both stops. This was the easiest of the two options but it involves lots of stop and go traffic.
Option two was the scary beast that upon our last meeting scared the crap out of me!! This coming from a girl who has rode her enduro up the side of a mountain in Costa Rica with a hard mountain wall to one side and a cliff to imminent death to the other.
What could be so scary?! Interstate I-75. This interstate runs from Southern Florida up to the Canadian boarder were it terminates in Sault Ste. Marie (Thank you Wikipedia for that last bit of information).
Growing up in Florida, my life was spent on I-75. Whether for daily use or traveling, living in Tampa, I-75 is a majorly used interstate. Morning traffic reports always report some sort of accident, I have been stuck in traffic on this interstate due to some sort of accident. It’s just one of those roads. In a car, I have no problem with this interstate. On the back of a motorcycle, no issues. However, with me at the helm, it has been a slow battle.
The Doctor and I took a road trip a few months back over to Orlando and I-75 was part of that trip. Check out my blog this week “Bikes and Flying. I’ll go into detail how I-75 became my arch nemesis.
Yesterday though, the fear was gone. I got on the bike and told myself, “You Got This”. We made our turns and began to merge onto The Beast! Since it was Christmas morning traffic was light. It was like the planets aligned and my prayers were answered, when I hit the apex of the on ramp and I-75, there was a perfect gap for me to dart over to the far left lane. THANK YOU!!!!!!
The ride was quite enjoyable, so much different from the last ride where I swear I left “my balls” at the on ramp. Traffic was smooth and it seemed like everyone was relaxed. We made our way to our first stop then before we could blink, it was time to move our to my family’s Christmas extravaganza.
Every year we all gather at my aunt and uncles house in Zephyrhills, FL (yes, same place the water is from). It is always fun going there. As with every family, there are all the little kids and grand kids running around playing with their new Christmas gifts. The kitchen is filled with smells of turkey, ham, sweet potato pies with walnuts on top and every other delicious food you can imagine.
While all this is going on, the “grown-ups” all sit around joking and sipping on grown up beverages. It is very cool going over there because both my cousin Jason and Uncle Dave work for Harley. You get those two and The Doctor together and the motorcycle and shop talk never stops.
After the food coma, gifts being opened and amazing Red Velvet Cake, which is my favorite cake that either my aunt or my cousin Jason’s girlfriend make every year for me, I’m so spoiled. My cousin’s girlfriend trained at the Le Cordon Bleu in their Bakery and Pastry Arts Program. Some of the cakes she makes, I can’t even describe. I put a couple of pictures at the end of the post, she is phenomenal.
Sorry, went off track there, Red velvet gets mentioned and my minds spaces out.
After all the Christmas festivities, it was time to load up the presents and enjoy the lovely night ride home. The perk of having sport-touring motorcycles is the saddle bags. Perfect amount of room to fit all the gifts in.
We said our good-byes and hit the open road. We took U.S Highway 301 straight back home. I may have conquered I-75 during the day on the way up, but I wasn’t ready to push my luck at night. One day, eh night, I will hit that on-ramp to I-75 with nothing but the street lights and car head lights to light my way. Until then, I’m perfectly good taking other ways home
Seeing how I posted about motorcycle riding today, figured it was a great time to share a little about my bike, The Yamaha FJR 1300.
It is a sexy beast and I love it!
When I started riding two years ago, I came across this bike in silver as I was searching around online at bikes. The minute I saw it, I feel in love with it. It was one of those moments that you knew one day it would be yours.
The FJR 1300 motorcycle weighs in at 640 pounds. The Doctor’s bikes is 100 pounds less than this (EKKK). She truly is a beast! My original plan was to start out with something smaller, like a VFR 800 then work my way up to this bike.
So how did I go from an 800 to a 1300? Well one Saturday night at dinner, I decided I was ready for a road bike. Two seconds later from my comment that I was ready, The Doctor and I were looking on Craigslist for bikes.
We looked for both VFR’s and FJR’s. We actually found one of each to go look at. The owner of the FJR was able to meet with us the next day. So we set up a time to drive down to Sarasota to look at it. The owner of the VFR wasn’t able to meet with us until Wednesday. Why, no idea but if I were selling a bike and someone wanted to come see it, I would make it happen. Have to get on it while people are hot and ready to buy!!!
Now when we decided to go look at the FJR, I had it made up in my mind that I was not going to buy it, just look. This bike was at least 2 bikes down the road for me. This trip was mainly just to sit on it and get a better feel for it. Granted I have sat on FJR’s at dealerships for the past two years.
As we arrived at the guys house I saw the bike sitting in the garage. Love at first sight. The people who say love at first sight doesn’t exist are sadly mistaken. There is nothing sexier and more alluring than a FJR 1300 in silver to grab your attention and never let go!
Seeing how The Doctor was the expert on bikes, he took it for a test ride to “check it out”. While he was out at play, I sat down in the driveway with the owner Paul and swapped motorcycle stories (the Costa Rica dual sport tour is always fun to share).
As the story telling was getting good, The Doctor arrived back. He loved the bike and thought it was in great shape. The asking price was slightly out of my budget and a bit more than I wanted to spend, so we said thank you sir and were on our way.
Now the thing about the price is it was slightly out of my budget but it was a steal for this bike. 2004 with only 6,500 miles on it, this guy wasn’t asking enough in my opinion. We made it a couple of miles down the road with lots of debate going back and forth. This deal could not be passed up.
We stopped at an ATM, pulled out $200 and called Paul back. We said we wanted to buy the bike but with it being Sunday the banks were closed so we weren’t able to withdraw the full amount. He agreed that $200 would be our deposit until Monday when we could get the money and come pick up the bike.
“AHHHHHHHH” That is what I had on my brain all night Sunday and all day at work on Monday. “AHHHHHHHHH”. This was pretty much every hour on the hour. Was I really doing this? Was I really about to by my dream bike? “AHHHHHHH”
Working on Monday was torture. All I wanted to do was go get my new motorcycle. Finally when 5pm hit, I bolted for the door. FJR, FJR!!! Hauled ass home (while following all posted speed limit signs of course), picked up The Doctor and headed to get my new baby.
We arrived and she, FJR – I like to refer to her as “She” from time to time, was sitting there waiting for me!!! After exchanging money and signing over the title, she was mine. My dream bike was finally and actually mine!!!
Night time was approaching and me not being comfortable with riding in the dark yet The Doctor stepped up and rode my baby home. Quick side note, I have only rode once in the dark and that was in Costa Rica after my buddy crashed out around a barb wired fence and ended up in the hospital the rest of the trip but more about that story later
We stopped for dinner at the halfway point which also happened to be a great time to take a few pictures! However, I am having some technical difficulties with the pictures that I want to post now. I will get them up as soon as I can.
When we were done eating all I wanted to do was get home and go for a cruise on the back of her (again, it was night-time and I didn’t want to ride her in the dark). Unfortunately, I was feeling very sick (barely ate any of my dinner). When I got home, I crashed into bed and prayed that I would feel better by morning!!!
But back to the bike. My dream back was in the my drive way and all mine!!!