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March Riding

March 29, 2013

The weather is warming up, but not nearly warm enough, according to my wife, to be out riding the bikes.  I have a different opinion on the subject.  With the heated grips on my V-Strom I was able to put in plenty of miles, about 150, this month.  To be fair, about 100 of those miles were on an interstate ride for the sole purpose of putting some miles on the bike in colder weather, but they were miles none the less.

I always wondered if my ski bibs would be comfortable, or even effective, while riding in cooler weather.  I found a day where the temperature was in the high 30’s (Fahrenheit), jumped in the bibs, and away I went.  I had another motive on that ride too.  I wanted to see what kind of mileage I was getting before playing with the Power Commander III USB (PCIII) that came with the bike.  I don’t know what map is currently installed in the PCIII, but as a precursor to attempting at least one Iron Butt Association ride this summer I want to see if I can upload a map that maximizes fuel economy.  The members of (my favorite V-Strom-specific forum) post that they can get mileages of 40-45 miles per gallon for their DL1000’s.  I needed to know where my bike stands on the mileage front.

Back to the ride.  As I said, the temperature wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t exactly comfortable riding weather either.  At 39 deg F and windy, many people would have stayed home.  Not this guy…  I bundled up in my ski bibs, gloves, helmet, and “Look at me!” green jacket and headed east on I-80.  I originally planned on putting in about 200 miles, but about 40 miles into the ride I realized that I forgot to move some laundry from the washer into the dryer.  I can’t claim I was actually productive all day if I wasn’t actually productive…  All told I put in 110 miles with a fuel economy of about 37.6 miles per gallon.  I was expecting a bit more, but with the gusty winds, full luggage, and an average speed of 79 miles per hour, I guess I can’t complain.

The plan now is to find a decent map that will maximize mileage and allow me to complete a Saddlesore 1000 with a minimum number of fuel stops.  If I can get up to about 215 to 220 miles between stops, I can finish the 1000 miles with only 4 fuel stops.  If I can extend that to a 1500 mile Bun Burner 1500 ride then I will only have to stop 7 times for fuel.  Of course I may have to stop for other reasons – bathroom breaks and ensuring blood-flow to my legs and buttocks top the list.  If I get around to attempting these rides I will keep the blogosphere updated.


One Comment
  1. I love some of the new words being created in our language. Blogosphere, photo blogging site is a phlog. Nice idea of yours to post in the Stromtrooper forum.


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