RideLog 20140524 | Grand Tour of Georgia 2014 | Oxford, GA & Elberton, GA

Sunday, May 24, 2014
Start Odo: 1677
End Odo: 1936
Miles Covered: 259
Destination: Oxford, GA & Elberton, GA
Weather Outlook:  High: 85°F, 29°C | Low: 62°F, 17°C & Partly Cloudy
Origin: Alpharetta, GA – Exit 12, GA400

This was a ride I was eagerly looking forward to since I’d get to ride the recently acquired 2009 Yamaha FJR1300AE. Add to the bike, I was looking forward to testing and using a TomTom Rider GPS, mounted on a ram mount on the left handlebar.

It was going to be a warm day, blue skies and bright sunshine. The route I opted for was via the Interstates. Primary reason being I needed to put the FJR through its paces for Interstate riding and confirm all the positive remarks and feedback from FJR owners. Down 400S, jump onto 285 till I20 East and then into Oxford, GA. From Oxford to Elberton would be via local and State Routes where the FJR would be tested on slower speeds. Due to the long Memorial Weekend, I expected traffic to be light on the Interstates and it was. Good steady ride right the way through.

My observations on the FJR ride:

1. Suspension:
On wide sweeping turns; Left or right; while the bike keeps it line smooth – I can turn using just the right hand – the bike does give a little wibble wobble sensation. I think that might be something to do with suspension. I still need to go through the ‘suspension’ tweaking on setting. Bike was 1 up with just the TopBox. I left the Side bags off on this run.
Is this wibble suspension setting related?

2. Engine Heat:
I wear the Aerostich AD1 Pants. Outside temp today was around the 85-95 deg F range. Speeds around 4-5 over speed limit on Interstate. I occassionally felt fair amount of heat on my left leg coming off the engine. Anything I need to be concerned about? I had read that 09’s were better at the engine heat flow.

3. Corbin Seat:
Bike came with Corbin seat installed. Perhaps 250 miles (i got the bike with 1620miles) may not be enough yet to ‘get used’ to the seat. But I did find that the seat didn’t really plant my butt into the seat. From a decent speed, when I downshifted and used the engine to slow down, I found myself being slid into the Tank with manhoods’ happiness at stake each time. Reverse true when going from stationary through the gears – slid back into the seat. Seat change impending?

4. The Take Off:
This bike should have comms with Air Traffic Control. For sure.
I was riding I20 and I85 this afternoon. Steady speeds at 5mph over Speed Limit and generally in the right lane except to pass and to avoid bad patches. 75mph, vehicle in front to be passed. Look in mirror, signal left, turn head to left to make sure left lane clear, swing out into left lane, twist the right hand to edge past the vehicle. OH MY FLIPPING GOODNESS! Rambler flight 09AE – you are cleared for take off! 75 to 95 in no time! Just awesome. And the bike seems to want more throttle. Needless to say, had to watch the needle. You don’t get the sense of the speed the bike is going at.

5. Gadgets:
iPhone BT paired with TomTom Rider. Rider BT paired with Scala G9.
iPhone hooked up with a battery pack in the ‘glove box’. Need to get a USB adapter to use the socket in the glove box. TomTom Rider mounted on Ram Bar mount on right handle bar, between Reservoir fitting and throttle. This set up worked very nicely. Rider screen clear and visible in bring sunlight. I rode from 11am to 5pm, clear skies, bright sunlight. I need to get the cable to hook up the Rider to the Tender socket that the bike came with on the right fairing. The battery was down to ‘1 flashing bar’. Each longer stop I made I turned the Rider off. I had the iPhone GPS as backup, but Scala G9 doesnt allow BT pairing with multiple devices. Except for the ‘power’ issues, this set up certainly worked. Some refinements will be upcoming in mount locations. I will be using Ball mounts in two tapped holes in the Helibar plate and stem mount ball. Work in progress.

6: Helmet:
I have a Shoei Neotec Modular. Big advantage on a warm day. SO many options. Open face. Sunshade down. Sunshade up. Full face, Visor up, Sunshade up, Sunshade down.
At higher speeds though, lid up or down, I had that high pitched ‘whistle’ which I felt was coming through the helmet somewhere. I tried windscreen up or down. Whistle still there. Didn’t feel any ‘air turbulence’ going through the helmet. Just that continuous whistle.
Wonder what could be causing this?

Oxford, GA was a straightforward ride once off the I20. Nice little town. Very quiet and peaceful. Probably because of the long weekend.  The specific location – Kitty’s Cottage – is ‘hidden’ behind a larger building – The Old Emory Church – so if looking for the location from the picture in the GTGA passport, it can be missed and necessitate a couple of U-Turns. Quick photo session, a little sit down and some water and off onwards to Elberton. Judging from the time, I expected to reach the Elberton location around 2:15pm. Just after it’s opening time of 2pm. A simple enough route managed nicely by TomTom Rider. I was also ‘recording’ the tracks on TomTom. This worked very well. Downloaded the tracks off TomTom into Tyre and onto Google Maps. The ‘blank’ spaces on the return leg down I-85 was because I had turned the Rider off to save on the dwindling battery. I don’t have a wired charging connection yet.

Elberton, GA is a small town in the middle of Granite land, it appears. This location is easily found and reached. Right on the road you’d ride in to town on. The specific tag at this location is the Little Dutchy – a granite statue housed in a small ‘room’ of it’s own at the back of the museum and information on how it was commissioned, disagreed with, buried and then recovered and housed in the museum. Worthwhile spending a few minutes listening to the audio information tape. Photo session done, I headed to the Georgia Guidestones – about 10miles North from the museum. This location is not on the GTGA 2014 Tour, but worthwhile visiting while in the area.  The location is very peaceful and quiet. The concept and what the stones signify subject of many a discussions. Some, perhaps a tad heated. Locations and artifacts that set you thinking are, at the very least, interesting and worth a visit.

The return leg involved a fuel stop. I was hoping to find a station with non-Ethanol fuel, but didn’t want to risk running out of fuel in a futile search. Filled up in Hartwell and a quick shot up to I85S, across on 317 and home.

Snapshots from the Ride:

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Here’s a short GoPro video shot while on my way to Elberton from Oxford. The GoPro was mounted on a suction mount on the tank. The alignment is a bit off and the vibrations on the bumpy sections of the road show up quite distractingly. Work in progress on this also.

All in all, a nice day’s ride.

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