As some of you may be aware, partly from reading about it on this blog, our friend Eric Talbot has gotten into motorcycling in a big way. He's been putting in as many miles as he can on the Honda Big Ruckus, and I would not be surprised if the dude gets his license before the summer is over.
Eric has been doing a lot of research into various brands and models of motorcycles, trying to figure out what bike would be best for him when he's ready to move on from the Ruckus. He's been intrigued by a BMW, the 650GS, and found a dealer out in Worcester -- Wagner Motorsports -- that he thought mught have one he could look at.
So we -- Eric, Jim Lawson, and I -- made a plan to ride out there this morning, leaving from Mirage at 10AM. My friend Rick joined us as well. It couldn't have been a much better day to ride -- sunny, warm, with a slight breeze. We decided to take the scenic route, heading out through Amherst to Route 202, then north to Route 122. That would take us all the way to Worcester (arriving just around the corner, coincidentally, from "That's Entertainment", the comics shop where we have done signings before), where we would pick up Route 9. We'd follow that for about five or six miles and until we got to Plantation Road, and then only a mile or two up that to get to Wagner Motorsports.
The first part of the ride was great -- Route 122 especially is a beautiful road, moging around the north end of Quabbin Reservoir. There are also a number of other, smaller bodies of water along the way... a lot of eye candy. Here's the crew (or 3/4 of it, anyway) at our first rest stop along Route 122, getting ready to get back on the road.
That's Jim in front on his Yamaha FJR 1300 (or "Feejer", as he likes to call it), Eric on the Honda Big Ruckus, and Rick on his Yamaha 1300.
We got to Worcester with no problems, though once there the ride changed dramatically. I don't really care much for riding in cities -- too much traffic, and on warm days you often aren't moving enough to stay comfortably cool. Bt we did make it to Wagner Motorports, after a small digression (a.k.a. getting lost) due to poor signage.
They had lots of bikes, but unfortunately no 650GS. Eric did sit on this Ducati Multistrada, which he kind of liked.
We were also disappointed that this dealership had just decided to stop selling Moto Guzzis and replace them with the new Indian motorcycles (yes, another attempt at revival of the fabled brand... wonder if THIS one will succeed!).
We decided to head back the way we came, and on the way we stopped at the Victory dealer in Barre, MA. They had a bunch of nice bikes, including this Victory 8-Ball which Jim sat on...
... and this big new full-dress Kawasaki touring bike, here with me trying out the saddle.
Rick liked this Victory cruiser (the "Kingpin Tour" model) with a full set of leather-look hard luggage.
After checking out these bikes, we wandered into the center of Barre (a smallish town) and had a nice lunch at the Quabbin Pizza and Seafood restaurant, before heading back home. All in all, about 150 miles of great riding! -- PL
P.S. I forgot to mention the bike I rode today. It's one I just got last week, and this was the longest ride I'd taken on it yet. It's the new Honda Fury. This is Honda's first attempt at a kind of "chopper"-style factory custom. It has the 1300cc motor from the VTX cruiser. It's not my typical style of bike, but I really like it. It's got a great sound, handles well, and its power is -- as Jim put it after trying it out -- "very grunty". (That's a good thing.)
Here's the Fury posing with some lilac bushes. -- PL