First ride with the bike fully loaded

I went to practice for the Vegas R/C race in October, and took the bike.  Which in itself isn’t unusual, but this time I did it with ~ 70lbs of gear on the bike for camping.  

Last year I did a similar test to make sure the bike handled properly at speed loaded up.  With new luggage, and weight moved around quite a bit on the bike this year and new suspension, I knew I needed to give it a test, so why not.  Best part is, it was raining when I left so I could make sure the cases stayed leak free. 

The side cases were loaded with the final load out for the trip (camping gear, clothes, etc…), the top cases loaded with an approximate weight load (I used books) because I didn’t want to “test” the new setup with all my camera gear in it.

Also I have not heavily loaded the bike on the new suspension yet so I wanted to see how that handled.  I put some weight on it when we went camping this summer, but not this much.

I also got to see how it liked the gearing change I made, and with the load on it, the torquey 1050 triple engine loved the taller gear, and gave me 5Mpg increase in mileage just on the run from Denver to Lakewood.

How did the bike handle:

AWESOME! – The bike hasn’t felt this planted and easy to ride when loaded to the max before.  Really eager to get on the road with it!  I couldn’t even tell there was 70+lbs of gear behind me, the CoG is quite low it feels like.

There is something quite fun having essentially a sport bike, that’s comfortable to ride, you can take off the bags and race through canyon roads with it,  or that you can load up like a pack mule when you want.

Bring on Sept 6th!

Other progress:

With the side bags loaded out properly, they come in at almost exactly the same weight, which is great (24lbs each).  Last year the OE side cases weighed around 19lbs each, so I am moving only 6lbs more to the sides than I had last year, but they are carrying much more gear.

I am still trying to fit everything I want to bring on the bike… I am very close to getting there.  I picked up some of the Rick Steves pack cubes and Ebags packing cubes for clothes, and using some nylon straps to compress them down to make the clothes take up less space.

I am also doing what I can to lower the weight of the top case contents, to get it below the max for the mounting plate its on… so far I am close.  I think I am like 5lbs over right now.  Which is OK since last year I was 10+ over and didn’t know it.

I am applying strips of 3M SOLAS grade hi-vis retro-reflective tape to the top case, and areas of the side cases just to increase visibility a little bit.  I may add some to my helmet as well.

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