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degrees and then rose into the high 50s as we approached Pismo Beach and the Pacific Ocean. It shot back into the 90s a few moments later as our route brought us back inland toward Santa Maria and stayed there nearly the entire way home. It was still almost 90 degrees when I pulled into my garage at 10:45 p.m. Little things normally associated with


reducing lap times made such a mile-eating grind far, far less unpleasant. Clutchless shifting made dealing with traffic a one- handed affair, not that you needed to do a lot of shifting with the torque and flexibility of the S 1000 RR motor. I first experienced an S 1000 RR on a test ride when the machine first was introduced, and all these years later the engine still thrills, every time. ABS took even more stress out of traffic. (And yes, while ABS isn't normally associ- ated with racetrack use, the fact is that modern ABS systems would likely get most club racers around a circuit more quickly. Old superstitions die hard.) Add in a couple of touring-oriented


features like the heated grips and cruise control, and the bike becomes a pleasant place to spend a couple of hours without stopping. The electronic cruise control on the S1000RR is nice and accurate, and gave me peace of mind while stretching my right hand for a moment or two. Not that my wrists, back or legs ached


much. On a modern sportbike, the bars are low, but the machine is so short (for agility on the track) that the reach to them is not far. The S 1000 RR's seat was well-padded, the pegs high but not cramped for my 5' 10” frame, and the sporting fairing does a decent job of deflecting the wind. Six hours straight on a cutting-edge


sportbike platform capable of winning National-level Superbike races (see Jordan Szoke, the dominant rider in the CSBK Canadian Superbike Championship on the Mopar Express Lane BMW Superbike Team S 1000 RR) was a lot more pleasant than it had any right to be. The proof, to me, was that when I got home after that six-hour, 371-mile ride, I just got off the bike,


unloaded it, took off the luggage, wiped it down, showered and went to bed. The next morning, I felt like I could do it again—and wanted to.


Epilogue


There was a moment on the ride up, in one of those big, fast, wide-open sweepers. My friend Kevin was ahead of me on his 2015 S 1000 RR, Chuck behind on his 2016 S 1000 RR. I was following Kevin closely enough that I could feel the turbulence left behind by his machine slicing through the air. Leaned over, knee out, upper body cranked into the wind for a proper cornering posi- tion, the wind noise and exhaust note pro- vided the


final sensory elements of a


symphony of speed. The S 1000 RR was in its element; loaded with luggage and hun- dreds of miles into the trip, perfectly settled and stable, power pouring through the rear tire, giving me everything a sport-touring rider could want, and I thought, I wish I could live right here, in this moment, all the time.


www.mortonsbmw.com


www.mortonsbmw.com


October 2017 BMW OWNERS NEWS


57


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