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of the state. This road has everything: blind, tight switchbacks with the occasional rock and shale on the verges, long, sweeping turns with clear lines of sight for half a mile, and long, long stretches of straights that look like they were drawn on a map with a ruler. Drop down onto Highway 166, where the


temperature is soaring. More two-lane highways get you over a high-speed moun- tain pass with broad, wide-open corners clearly drafted by a sportbike rider who had infiltrated the state highway department. Into Taft for fuel, with temperatures well into triple-digits. Back onto Highway 33 and onto a long, straight two-lane highway populated by big trucks and farming equip- ment, bisecting vast expanses of oil drilling rigs and empty land. Up to Highway 58: more tight, twisting


two-lane asphalt with dramatic elevation changes thrown in. One stretch of straight pavement is just a series of blind crests, so steep that the other side is hidden. Even after riding that same road for so many years, the experience never fails to amaze me. A few more fast sweepers, up to Paso Robles for lunch, then a straight shot up the Highway 101 to Monterey, battling the vicious crosswinds through the vast agri- cultural tracts north of Greenfield. By the time the sidestands go down in Monterey, it's been more than 278 miles


since


Ventura. This portion of the ride tested both the


sporting and touring capabilities of the machine. Loaded with a camera, a com- puter, running gear and everything else I'd need on a long weekend, the S 1000 RR car- ried a full complement of tank bag, passen- ger seat bag and saddlebags. The machine didn't seem to notice the load while riding at a pace that was appropriate for public roads, but quite far toward the enthusiastic end of that range!


Sport Riding


The Metzeler Racetec RRs provided more than enough grip for anything I care to do in a corner, and the electronic rider aids really prove their value in real-world riding. I left everything on Sport mode, where the ABS just sort of sits in the corner and lets you get on with the task of braking (which is really just setting your corner entry speed). I was comfortable in the knowledge that if the unexpected occurs, the machine


Sylvain Barrier.


October 2017 BMW OWNERS NEWS


55


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