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Old February 23rd, 2014   #1
Redfish
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Default Redfish does a Demo Ride

So it's February. The majority of us are not riding our bikes, and if we are riding we are not riding as much as during the summer. Down in South Louisiana though, things are looking up. A little bit of green is showing amongst the brown in my front yard, and the ST is getting restless.

One of the admins from the FJR forum let us know that the Yamaha Demo Truck would be in Baton Rouge this weekend. He is one of Yamaha's Demo Riders and is very knowledgeable about motorcycles in general with an emphasis on FJRs and LD riding.

I wanted to meet him and I wanted to test ride some bikes. I may not ever get another opportunity like this.

Christmas in February:
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Old February 23rd, 2014   #2
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On Friday the weather was very nice. When I got there the temp was in the mid 50s and the sun was shining brilliantly. After meeting SkooterG, Dad and I studied the 2014 FJR ES pretty thoroughly. We were very impressed. I wanted Dad to ride it but he would not. The idea of riding in a strange group of unknown folks in the center of Baton Rouge traffic was unappealing to him. I agreed but was not going to let my fear keep me away from this opportunity.

The Yamaha Demo guys were great. A lead rider and a sweep rider with bike to bike comms kept us in staggered formation and fairly tight. I was nervous watching the very young man on the R1 in front of me and did not stay as tight as I probably should have. They led us on a 14 mile loop that was very nice and allowed us to lean the bikes and to accelerate "briskly".

The Electronic Suspension on the '14 FJR is AWESOME! The entire bike has been refined tremendously but that new suspension pushes it over the top. I had never seriously considered electronic suspension before but now...

For my second demo ride, I chose the Super Tenere. I was impressed with the big S10. Faster than I expected, comfortable, nimble, capable. What more could you ask from an adventure bike?
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Old February 23rd, 2014   #3
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Default Re: Redfish does a Demo Ride

Pic 1: Me seriously considering selling my beloved ST1300
Pic 2: Dear Old Dad posing with the bikes.
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Old February 23rd, 2014   #4
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Default Re: Redfish does a Demo Ride

That night I called a good friend and riding buddy who rides a very well maintained '05 (Gen 1) FJR. I told him how impressed I was with the electronic suspension of the FJR. We agreed to meet Saturday morning at the dealership so he could ride the FJR ES. He also wanted to ride the Yamaha FZ09.

My FJR friend rides better, faster, smoother, and more aggressively than I do and knows more about suspension than me. I wanted his opinion. While he rode the FJR ES, I hopped on the FZ09.

Have you heard about this thing? It is an upright standard 900cc triple. The price is ridiculously low and it is supposed to be huge fun. It was All That and more. Wow, what a fun little motorcycle. It will power wheelie in the first 3 gears, almost effortlessly. It does it so easily that you don't realize it's happening until it won't steer... Anyway, I was not trying to wheelie. I did not want to get kicked off the demo ride.

My friend was so impressed with the '14 FJR ES that he handed the key to his '05 to a salesman and said, "Get me some hard $$ figures while I go ride this FZ09 please."

Since this was to be my last chance, I went big. Let me rephrase that. I Went BIG! If you are going to be a bear, you might as well be a Grizzly. I chose the V-Max. Holy Mother of... What a Beast! It is a heavy pig at low speed but if straight line acceleration impresses you, this is your bike. Even with a shift light almost an inch across there was no way my feeble brain could get the message to my left foot in time. I would be thinking "SHIFT!" but I would already be into the rev limiter. I cannot give you any idea of how fast I went because the speedometer is down on the tank and I simply did not have the courage to look down.

Pic1: FZ09
Pic2: V-Max and SkooterG, Yamaha Demo Rider
Pic3: Me, SkooterG, and my friend hppants
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Old February 23rd, 2014   #5
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Default Re: Redfish does a Demo Ride

I really needed to get home to cut my grass (yes, I know it's February!) but my friend hppants insisted we take a ride. That is the beauty of choosing your friends wisely, they help you make good decisions.

We had a fantastic time. hppants lives on the other side of the Mississippi River so I led on my side and we switched once we crossed the bridge. We had a wonderful time. Along the way we both realized that while the '14 FJR is fantastic, we already ride wonderful motorcycles. By the time I got back home, I was completely hopelessly in love with Ole Blue again.

We had to take some photo ops. I have posted pics of these first two spots before but hppants had never been there and he likes to take pictures so, you have to see them again. Sorry.

Pic1: Barthel Store on River Road in St. Gabriel Louisiana
Pic2: St. Gabriel Catholic Church built 1774-1776
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Old February 23rd, 2014   #6
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After crossing the Sunshine Bridge over the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge, we turned north up the river road at Donaldsonville Louisiana. We switched the leader since hppants was more familiar with the area and I had to follow him.

We turned onto Hwy 77 beside the old Plaquemine Locks. This is one of the longest and best stretch of curves we have available to us here. hppants was doing an excellent job until we were halted by an open drawbridge.

To avoid following the cluster of vehicles that were ahead of us, 'pants turned into the parking lot of a small church for a break. To our surprise, the pastor was there and came out to speak to us. We had a very nice time with this gentleman. We discussed unruly children, life, religion, right, wrong, and motorcycles. He had ridden a Sportster as a young man and was much impressed with the long distance capabilities of our bikes.

We continued north up Hwy 77 to Maringouin Louisiana following some fantastic curves and very pleasant scenery. My ST said it was 68 degrees. I tried but could not quite keep up with the FJR in front of me. I had fun anyway. At I-10 hppants turned westward for Lafayette and I headed east back to my home.

A great and unexpected treat it was.

Pic1: Waiting for the drawbridge
Pic2: The Pastor praying that we could upgrade to new FJRs
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Old February 23rd, 2014   #7
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Default Re: Redfish does a Demo Ride

Very creative writing. I enjoyed the posts. I've done demos in recent years and get back on the ST and come to the same conclusion. It's not the newest and lacks technology found on newer bikes but it fits me and goes well enough plus the title is in a drawer at home.

I rode a few miles in close proximity to one of those new red FJRs this morning. I was heading to the barn after 200 miles on the NC700X and he blew by me. Paper temporary tag.......must have been brand new. He chose not to run over 90 so he couldn't catch me after I passed him.
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Old February 23rd, 2014   #8
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Default Re: Redfish does a Demo Ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by dduelin View Post
Very creative writing. I enjoyed the posts. I've done demos in recent years and get back on the ST and come to the same conclusion. It's not the newest and lacks technology found on newer bikes but it fits me and goes well enough plus the title is in a drawer at home.

I rode a few miles in close proximity to one of those new red FJRs this morning. I was heading to the barn after 200 miles on the NC700X and he blew by me. Paper temporary tag.......must have been brand new. He chose not to run over 90 so he couldn't catch me after I passed him.
Thanks for the compliments. I "had the fever" when I got off the new FJR but a few miles on my faithful ST put things back in perspective. It is difficult to get rid of a great motorcycle to get another great motorcycle.

Maybe the new FJR was in the break-in stage? If it was brand new, he might not have been able to rev it up yet. I'll have to ask Dad if his will do over 90 or not.
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Old February 27th, 2014   #9
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Default Re: Redfish does a Demo Ride

Thanks for the riding fix. It started snowing right after we got back from our LV trip in October, and hasn't stopped. A high of -1degF here today. Last night the weatherman said that we have had more days below 0 this year than the last 3 combined, yikes!
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Old February 27th, 2014   #10
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Default Re: Redfish does a Demo Ride

It has been an unusually harsh winter even down here in the swamp. I know I will not get any sympathy from you snowbound Northerners but my yard looks terrible right now. The clover, the dandelions and the weeds are almost a foot tall and bright green. The grass is mostly brown but just starting to turn green. But, we have had so much rain that my 850 pound ZTR will sink in the front yard if I try to cut it.

I figured even a weak Ride Report was better than nothing. I hope I helped you guys just a bit.
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