Kurventechnik and farkles

Yesterday I had my Kurventechnik course, which is the last of my mandatory lessons before the license exam. Given how much I’m learning, I’ll probably keep taking lessons, sending a portion of my paycheck to Urs Tobler’s vacation fund, but it seems worthwhile. I’ll think about posting a picture when I get them – who knew that I could get such a steep lean angle in a parking lot, or that my teutonic street fighter could have such fun in the mud? It’s no problem starting on any kind of wet gravelly hill, let me tell you; I did it perfectly from the start, and the ABS never kicked in. I’m also much more comfortable with the bike sliding than I was two days ago, though I’m still not all that good with hands free negotiation of curves or side saddle riding at 80kph, and I want to improve my countersteering quite a bit (I just picked up Lee Parks’ Total Control book, too).

In other biking news, I just ordered another farkle today: a set of grip puppies to bring down the vibe. I’m concerned about how they’ll interact with the heated grips (believe me, the other students were jealous of those yesterday!) but I really want to start riding higher in the rev range, and to do that for any amount of time I’ll have to find a way of dealing with the insane engine vibration in the right half of the tach. I’m thinking I should put together a list of the farkles I’ve put on (most I ordered with the bike), either for fun or so that I have an easy-to-reference list for the insurance if I have to lay ‘er down sometime.

  • Grip puppies – see above, not yet here
  • Mirror wideners – got ’em, but not yet installed
  • Tank pad – carbon look, BMW logo
  • FLM seat bag. Plenty of storage capacity for everything I’ll need at my destination.
  • Engine bars (factory) – to prevent serious damage if I lay it down
  • ABS (factory). Duh. I hear it’s standard on all 2012 BMW bikes now (it was actually standard on mine as well, though not on the American version)
  • Heated grips (factory). Oh lordy do I love thee.
  • TPC (tire pressure sensor) (factory). Let’s me know if the air inside the spinny parts is too much or too little.
  • Power outlet (factory). Never used it, but if I ever decide to buy heated gear or something, I’ve got a place to plug it in.
  • Center stand (factory). Let me tell you, this bike goes up on it’s center stand easier than any bike I’ve ever heard of before. I rarely use the side stand!
  • LED blinkers (factory). They look pimp.
  • Fly screen (factory). I can’t remember if it’s an option or not, but I think so. Like the headlights it’s a bit odd, but effective enough. Rattles due to vibrations, though.
  • Raised seat (factory). Gives me a couple extra centimeters, makes my legs feel a lot better.
  • Tom Tom Urban Rider GPS. I actually got it as a gift a month before I bought the bike.

That’s all, folks!

Ski Trip: Davos

Worst. Skiing. Ever.

That’s twice I’ve been to Davos, and twice I hated it. I hit Jakobshorn today with Leon, who is quite frankly way out of my league when it comes to skiing. My legs were unaccountably sore from running during the week, and visibility was such crap that I couldn’t see 4 meters in front of me at one point. Why can I not see Davos when the sun shines? Does it never shine here?

Not a good way to end the season, but it’s practically summer already, and there won’t be any more skiing for me this year.

Chicago gone Swiss