Thursday, July 22, 2010

Alan Is Right, We Have The Best Customers

Hey Everyone and welcome to my short weekend ride report. The powers that be here at San Diego BMW Motorcycles we nice enough to let me put a cool 800 miles on out 2009 K1200LT Demo over the weekend. So given the time of year and ambient temperatures I decided it would be fun to ride an over-nighter to Phoenix. OK the destination might have had more to do with a free hotel stay voucher at the Wyndham hotel downtown Phoenix. So I grabbed my vented riding apparel...ALL of it (see earlier post "Coverleaf-1, DeAngelis-0) filled up my Camelback and hit the road Saturday 3pm.

Immediately upon descending to the desert floor on I-8 I was greeted with 109 degrees Fahrenheit. 109 seemed to be the magic number on the trip as the ambient air temperature gauge stayed there about 3.5 of the 5 hour trip. At times the heat let up and I was treated to a brisk 105 for about 6 minutes. Other times, just east of Yuma to be exact, the LT and I saw 119 degrees. Liter after liter I chugged from my Camelback as staying hydrated is probably the most important safety precaution you can take on these hot rides.

A few notes on the K1200LT: First off the wind protection using all stock components is OUTSTANDING. Like the Herm says "If the air outside is hotter than my body temperature, more of it certainly isn't going to help." Voice 2 system and stereo/CD player were a welcome comfort as I was able to rock out to my favorite Jackson Browne songs (there, I said it, I like Jackson Browne and I'm not ashamed of it!) hour after care free hour. Probably looked quite the sight for passing motorists really...little guy on a huge touring bike in a pink helmet. Given the singing along to "Somebody's Baby" and the ambient temperatures they probably weren't convinced that was water in the Camelback. The fuel range is incredible. But the seat...oooooohhhhh the seat. Sometimes you hop on a bike and for whatever reason the seat just does NOT agree with your hind quarters. I just could NOT find a comfortable position in the seat. I'd stand on the pegs for a bit, sit back on the passengers seat for a few minutes, the old left cheek-right cheek maneuver. But each time I'd return to the saddle it was more discomfort. At about mile 300 I started wondering if perhaps it was the boxers I was wearing or my textile pants were the problem. But I pressed on eventually making it to my hotel and settling in for the night.

Sunday morning I was on the road by 7am and the temperatures were already well over 100. Again the overall ride quality was outstanding but the seat continued it's beat down on my sit muscles. Mile after mile I neared home (and a cold beer) Jackson Browne doing his best to keep my mind off the discomfort below. Finally just after 1300 hours I arrived at my house in North Park and dismounted the steed. Mission accomplished.

Fast forward to work Monday morning. Tony Carpenter is in to have the shock replaced on his K1200LT. We get to talking about the features and toys on the bike etc. Another customer comes in who has been struggling a bit with his iPhone cooperating with the communication system on his K1200LT. I try a few tricks to no avail so Tony steps in. He's toggling through a few settings on the Voice 2 system when he picks his head up and says "Ahhh! There's your problem right there...The microphone sensitivity is so low it's essentially turned off." Tony adjusts the digital setting, gives the phone input lead a jiggle and presto! All is working as it should. My customer says "thank you" about 50 times and hits the road.

Back at the counter Tony and I pick up where we left off (though I'm making notes to 1099 him for the sublet labor!) talking about the trip. He mentions that I could have turned the wind spoiler inward to get a little more airflow. I mention that really my only complaint was the damned seat. He rears back in surprise. "Surely after all the dirtbike riding you've done you can't find the LT seat uncomfortable?" I reiterate to him that I just could NOT seem to find a comfortable riding position. "It just felt like I was sitting on a heated blanket the whole time." I tell him. Tony stares back at me shocked and asks that I follow him outside to the demo K1200LT.

"Mr DeAngelis, is this the LT you were riding over the weekend?" he says pointing to the culprit machine.
"Yes..." I reply somewhat puzzled.
Tony reaches down below the right side of the seat, looks back at me and smiles "Mr DeAngelis, the heated seat is in the 'high' position. You rode to Phoenix and back in July with the heated seat on full tilt."

Like Alan says: We have the best customers. If anyone want to come down and take a nice long demo ride on this Demo K1200LT I'll have Tony show you how to operate it's various accessories. Tony, that 1099 aught to arrive in the mail tomorrow or Friday.

Thanks for reading
-Sean DeAngelis