I took the XS1100 for a ride Saturday afternoon. First up to Spokane to get tabs for the car and truck, and then a 180 back down to Pullman via 195 to Rosalia and then 27 through Oaksdale, Garfield, and Palouse. I’ve been trying to ride if the temperature threatens to get to at least 45 degrees, the big fairing on the XS coupled with my electric vest helps to make the ride bearable. One good thing about this weather is that I am not too hot and bothered to spend my money on the KLR just now. Once the temperature starts poking around the mid 50’s to lower 60’s, I won’t mind poking my head and chest out in the wind. I imagine that I’ll have about the same percentage of my body exposed to the elements as I used to on the FZR, but I won’t know for sure until I actually ride one. One thing that I can be sure of is that it won’t offer near the wind protection of the XS. I’ve never had a bike with so much fairing and windscreen that the wind hits me in the back.
I don’t know if the temperature ever really hit 45 degrees, but on the ride home from Pullman, the sun went behind the clouds, and that was enough to make me tuck in and turn the vest up another notch. It wasn’t exactly a comfortable ride home, but I’ve had worse. Some of them occurred during the dead of winter on my dirt bikes in Montana; no wind protection and what in the world is electric gear? I did wear a helmet that time of year though. I can recall other rides on the FZR600, riding over Lookout Pass on the Idaho-Montana border in the middle of night. I didn’t have electric gear then either, instead, I used to stuff my pants with toilet paper at the Rest areas and ride in a tuck all the way to Missoula, I like to think of myself as being pretty limber, but I don’t think that I could tuck in behind the windscreen on a sport bike for 90 minutes at a time anymore.
I’m glad I went out yesterday though, the weather went south today and the rain has been coming down sideways for the better part of the afternoon. Man I’m going to be spoiled once the temperatures hit 50. Any day now.