12 February 2011

Yes, she can ...

After the several practice runs with our day trips getting longer and more difficult, we did one of the more challenging rides here in the area: Sunnyvale to Fremont, San Ramon, Livermore, The Junction, Mt. Hamilton, San Jose, Sunnyvale.

Spring Time in California

We started out around 9am by riding with our bikes to our chiropractor appointment in Fremont. As Andrea's little DR200SE is not really suited for highways, we took mostly some of the Express Ways and neighborhood roads there. This part of the trip took about one hour and was interesting that we saw a bit more of parts of the Bay we don't know so well.

It was a beautiful day, a bit chilly in the morning, but it went up to around 20 degrees Celsius. Sunny all the time.

From Fremont we found a nice road to San Ramon, mainly along Palomares Creek. A beautiful ride, not much traffic, and very relaxed. In San Ramon we had to stop for some coffee - so Starbucks was it. Continuing on through Livermore we decided to have lunch at The Junction, a small restaurant at the intersection of Mines Road and CA 130 - not very exciting, but enough to not be hungry anymore and to go on over Mount Hamilton towards home.

We weren't really late but as we took again no highways, it was around 5:30pm when we finally arrived at home again.

Trip statistics:
  • 256km (159 miles)
  • roughly 5 hours total riding time
  • average of 51km per hour (moving, standstill not counted)
  • 8 hours 30 minutes away from home
  • Mileage on DR: 2.35L/100km
  • Mileage on GS: 5.3L/100km (okay, it's double the weight ...)
Here's the map (click for large version):


  1. That sounds like a really nice trip. I've ridden my bicycle on some of those roads and there are some wonderful areas. My Beemers heads are being worked on at a shop in Castro Valley. I was wondering where it was. I had guessed south bay but was thinking further south.

    I like the textures in the shot with the chain.


  2. Ah, spring time... here it is maybe a month away, but some buds are already showing.

    Andrea: Good stuff! You are getting there. 5 hours in the saddle of lil' Sue? Talk about endurance... or do I notice some masochistic streak?

    Somebody is overdue for an upgrade!

    BTW Roland is talking stronger about getting a Burgman scooter. The seed is planted, his interest in this growing, and his shoulder is doing well.

  3. Yeah, we had some wonderful weather in the last few weeks. Sunny, warm over the days, cold at night though (around 5C). Sometimes it was quite chilly riding the GS out to Fremont early in the morning for the chiro treatment. For the next days there is some much needed rain coming, so I'm not complaining.

    Yeah, Andrea is really due for an upgrade so we can go on rides that require either lots of spare time (which we don't have) or some longer rides on fast roads. The DR200SE is good for around 55mph cruising speed, but into a headwind or uphill even that is pushing it. Therefore something with a bit more power and more stable manners is in order soon. Looking for a DR650SE. Kind of in the middle between all the 200kg bikes like the F650GS (even the singles) and the small DR200.

    Regarding Roland and a Burgman - it's definitely a nice scooter but 270kg? Ouch. That is 40kg more than my R1200GS. Even the Burgman 400 is more than 220kg. I wouldn't like it as a starter ... Tom, the salesman at BMW San Jose is about 190cm or so, he rides a Vespa GTS300 and loves it. Just as a reminder ... ;-)

    Also, a WR250X or R might be a good size for Roland. It's higher than my R, more open sitting position and longer seat to peg distnace. Still only around 135kg or so and very easy to control. Not as intimidating as 250kg tipping over.

  4. Thanks for the hint. He needs to have an automatic shift for sure, just to get into two-wheeling. If he likes it, bigger will come later. Never had considered a Vespa though.

  5. Problem with those big scooters is that they are surprisingly heavy. The lightest seem to the Yamaha Majesty with 210kg, Yamaha T-Max with 220kg and the Suzuki Burgman with around 220kg. That's in the same league as a "normal sized" motorcycle.

    The big Burgman and the Silverwing are heavier than a R1200RT - which is plain ridiculous everything considered. The R1200RT is a 1200cc touring monster with a fairing as big as a house and those "scooters" weigh more? Are they made from cast iron?

    For Andrea the most important thing was to learn riding, shifting, steering, and braking on something she couldn't possibly drop because it was so incredibly light and she could get both feet solid on the ground. The DR200SE weighs in at about 130kg, she can throw it around like a bicycle. For her a WR250R would be a bit too high with stock setup, for me it would be the perfect fun dual sport bike ... and you can drop it all day, it's made for it ... same with the DR. That gives a lot of confidence.