Monday, May 10, 2010

Vegas Baby, Vegas!

Originally posted 11/11/2009

Vegas cops having fun on the job.

We have recently acquired a 2008 Suzuki GSX 650F (I call it a Gixxer Wanna Be) to test some of the new products that we'll be introducing in the near future. I've been spending a good amount of time on it and last week I took it out to SEMA in Las Vegas, my first long trip on it.

The bike is a fantastic bike for long distance rides. It is extremely comfortable with ample power; rides like a tourer with the feel of a sport bike.

I headed out the door on early Tuesday afternoon, hoping to avoid some of the rush hour traffic. I did for the most part, but still had to split lanes as I was riding through the downtown area. Once I got out of the LA city limits, it was time to fly. The bike cruises at 100 very comfortably, and I had to constantly remind myself to keep it below 100. Yes, I do have the TPX System protecting me, but my days of speeding excessively is way behind me. The ride went by in a hurry and aside from a couple of cops pulling people over on the side of the road, no threats whatsoever.

After a day of SEMA, I left Vegas on Thursday morning. On the way back, there were cops everywhere. So much so that I lost count. There were at least 12 encounters, and again, the TPX saved my butt. There were an instance of an almost definite save, two maybes, and one where I was just being alert.

The first maybe came shortly after I had just crossed the state line into California. Traffic was light in my direction and I was cruising at around 100. The TPX went off with a very weak Ka, and I instinctively let go of the throttle and started looking around to see if there were other sources that could have caused a false positive. No semi trucks around, doesn't look like any car around me is using a radar detector, no commercial buildings nearby (in the middle of nowhere, actually). Hmmm, high chance of a real signal. I continue to let my speed drop and kept an eye on the TPX. The signal stayed weak for a few more seconds, then it started to ramp up in a hurry. Yep, there is definitely something out there. Sure enough, a few more seconds later, a CHP going in the opposite direction zoomed right by me. I couldn't make out the CHP from a distance, but the TPX sure did. I've seen instances where CHP would make a quick U turn to catch speedsters going the opposite direction once they've locked an oncoming vehicle's speed on their radar gun, but not all the time, that's why I counted this one as a "maybe".

The next encounter was a sure save, at least in my mind. I was about 6 or 7 miles out of Baker, and at that point it's a long down hill to get into Baker. Again, I was zooming along at around 100 when the TPX went off. A weak Ka. I looked around and didn't find any potential false positive source. Since I'm on top of this long hill, I can see far ahead and I don't see any cop on my side of the road, and I thought to myself it's probably a cop in the opposite direction again. I've already let go of the throttle and continued to let my speed drop. The Ka signal then went away. Then came on again. Then away again. The weak Ka would come on and off sporadically for a while, and I'm baffled. I'm thinking to myself that if it's a cop coming from the opposite direction, the signal should increase, but it's not, and the fact that the signal is coming and going probably means that a cop is turning its radar gun on and off as vehicles pass. I'm very confused, but regardless, decided to keep my speed at around 75, just to be safe. A short while later, the TPX went off again, and the signal got a bit stronger, and now I'm really confused. If there is a cop up the road I would've surely seen it already. The TPX would continue to go on and off with increasing signal strength, and finally, as I was approaching probably the only tree/bush on my side of the road, the TPX went full tilt, and guess who was hiding right behind the tree/bush? That's right, a cop. I'm sure that had I been speeding I would've been toast. The cop was taking advantage of the perfect hiding spot on the road where any motorists would probably have missed and turning his radar gun on as vehicles pass. Good thing that I had my TPX with me!

The second maybe was a classic scenario. I was in Victorville, traffic was a bit heavier but still flowing pretty well. I was going just a tad faster than the flow of traffic. The TPX went off and I immediately slowed down to the flow of traffic, and sure enough, as I approached the next on/off ramp, a cop was sitting there. I wasn't going that fast when I detected the cop, so I don't think that the cop would've really pulled me over, but you never know.

And finally, the last save was because of my awareness, not the TPX. This was also in Victorville after my second maybe, and again, I was going just a bit faster than the flow of traffic. All of a sudden I noticed brake lights flashing from the vehicles ahead, and I immediately dropped my speed. Sure enough, at the next on/off ramp, a cop was sitting there. My TPX didn't go off at all, and I'm thinking to myself, the cop's got to be using laser, and I'm pretty sure that's what it was.

I'm very grateful that I escaped the ride back without any ticket and thoroughly enjoyed our new bike. Can't wait till the next trip!

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