We were at the SBK weekend at Tooele, UT with our dealer RKA. I took the K bike out of LA on Friday afternoon and tried to make my way as close to Miller Motorsports Park as possible. Leaving LA on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend on the route to Vegas is a nightmare... unless you are on a bike!
I was expecting traffic to be heavy out of LA, and it was, but what I wasn't expecting was heavy traffic, including some stop-and-go action, all the way to Vegas! I guess I was lucky enough to have never experience awful Vegas traffic until now. After splitting lanes from LA to Vegas for the most part, I ended up the day in Mesquite, NV without seeing a single cop. Guess you can't issue speeding tickets if there is traffic!
The next day I took the back roads to Miller. I took Interstate 15 to Cedar City, UT, and from there on, it was Route 130 to 21 to 257 to US6 to 36. My plan was to use this opportunity to scope out a stretch of the back road for me to attempt to get the K bike up to its top speed on the way back, as I want to make sure to do so on a stretch of road where I feel it would be safe to do so.
The back roads of Utah are a lot like the back roads of Nevada; light traffic, smooth roads, and straight. I didn't encounter any cops outside of town and thought the roads would be ideal for the top speed attempt.
I found a stretch and made a mental note of it, and also opened up the K bike several times for a few "trial" runs. I got the bike up to 147mph GPS reading on one of the trial runs (about 160mph on the speedometer on the bike), my new personal record, and for sure that the bike still had more to go. I was excited for my return trip.
I made it to Miller a little after noon that day, and shortly after, it started to rain. The forecast had called for rain that evening, but I guess the storm decided to come early.
It rained and rained and rained on Sunday as well. Despite the rain, the races went on, and so did the stunt shows, which, to me, was just as nuts. I was complaining because my bike was my only mode of transportation for the weekend and I had a half hour ride each way from my hotel to the race track in the rain, but the racers and stunters put it all in perspective. Racing and stunting in the rain takes a lot of guts and confidence in your equipment, and mad props to the racers and stunters for enduring the elements.
|Utah State Trooper's BMW, armed with radar!|
On Monday morning, the rain stopped. On the way to the track riding with Richard and Kathy of RKA, the TPX detector sniffed out a Utah patrol catching people speeding on the Interstate on the way to the race track well in advance. We were only going 5mph over the speed limit at the time so I don't think we would've gotten pulled over anyway, but it's always good to see the TPX detector working!
|Beautiful day in Utah with the snow capped mountains!|
The crowd filled up at the track as the sun came out, and I'm pretty sure everyone enjoyed the break from the rain and the awesome races.
At the end of the day, it was time to hit the road again. As I headed out of Miller, I gave the K bike another trial run and got the GPS speed up to 152mph (about 165 on the speedo) and it was at about 9,500rpm, still another 1,500rpm to go. All I need now is get to the location that I had picked out!
|GPS don't lie.|
I stopped at a little town called Vernon, just outside of Tooele, to fill up, and ran into Drew on a F4i who was going the same way and trying to get to Cedar City by end of daylight as well. We decided to ride together and he was interested in witnessing my top speed attempt along the way.
At Vernon, I got the camcorder set up on the bike as I wanted to document the top speed attempt. About 20 minutes into the ride, I noticed the camcorder had fell off the mount and I pulled off on the side of the road. Crap! The base of the camcorder had came apart. I was both pissed and dejected as I wanted to document the top speed attempt. With the camcorder out, I decided not to do the top speed attempt as documenting it was one of the reasons that I wanted to do it. It will have to happen at another time.
Drew and I hauled ass on our way to Cedar City. We made it just as it got dark and settled in for the night.
We left early next morning to get back to our respective final destination; Barstow for him and LA for me. Since I had the TPX detector and jammer set up, I got to ride lead. Again, we were moving pretty well, but since we were on the Interstate, we weren't going as fast as we were on the back roads.
The TPX detector saved our butts several times. The first save was between Cedar City and St. George, where we were approaching a hill. As we got close to the crest, the TPX detector started going off on Ka. I immediately backed off on the throttle to get the bike down to around 75mph. Since I didn't brake, Drew didn't realize that I was slowing down until he caught up to me, and by then, we had crested the hill and sure enough, a Utah State Trooper was sitting in the median catching people speeding.
The next save came just past Mesquite in Nevada. Again, we were moving pretty good on a long stretch of road. The TPX detector then started going off on Ka with no cop in sight. We both slowed down and sure enough, about half a mile down the road, a Nevada State Trooper was on the side of the road. The same scenario would play out again as we got just outside of Vegas.
As we got past Vegas, the TPX detector would save us again, this time, in California. We were approaching a long uphill and the TPX detector started with a weak Ka alert, and it would get stronger as we got closer to the top of the hill. Again, the cop was hanging out just on the other side of the crest.
Drew and I parted ways as we got to Barstow, and I finished up the ride at a little past noon.
Despite the bad weather and the equipment failure, it was still a great weekend. Got around 1,500 miles in, set a new personal land speed record, and got to watch some awesome races!
Next ride long ride, LA to El Paso!