Thursday, September 22, 2011

And I'm off !

I haven't had a 'real' vacation in about 2 years (the odd 3-4 day weekends not counted). I'm long overdue, so here I am on day one of a week with nowhere to be at no particular time except for Seattle this coming Saturday night where I've got a ticket to a nice seat at Pacific Northwest Ballet's All Wheeldon performance. Spending the week getting around by motorcycle I decided to splurge (by my modest standards) and book a hotel room that is a block or two from the Performance Hall. So all I have to do is rollup late Saturday afternoon, checkin and take it all in :-).

I'm doing this trip on the smallest motorcycle I've ever had. Honda's new for this year CBR250R. I've been wanting a small 250cc sized street bike for a while and until this model year the only real choice has been the evergreen been around forever Kawasaki 250. Honda's release of it's 250 put me over the edge. An msrp of $3999, ride ready weight of only 360 lbs and real world gas mileage in the 60-80 mpg range and a newly designed engine with many innovations, I was ready. The engine has only a single piston. I like the idea of the single piston's up and down motion being mapped onto every inch of the road throughout this trip. The bike makes just enough power to be suitable for a trip like this. It's peak output in the low 20's of horsepower happens at just beyond reasonable freeway speeds. Riding this bike means using ALL of it's potential. Contrast this to my Triumph Speed Triple 1050cc bike for which 20+ horsepower is the engine just getting started at the lower end of it's usable range !
The 250 is just enough. As a corollary it consumes just enough. Good gas mileage, oil changes that require LESS than 2 quarts of oil (really !), the tires, chain and sprockets are likely to have very long service lives because of the low power being transmitted through them.

I like it.

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