To Mazatlan on a Brutale -
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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To Mazatlan on a Brutale

I have finally published the write up of the trip from the Seattle area to Mazatlan, Mexico. It is on my blog here:

From there click on the ďblogsĒ and you will find the write up under ďmissivesĒ, the Summer 2011 missive to be exact. It is not short. It was 22 pages in word and doubled when I added the images.

After thoughts on the Brutale as a tourer

Depending on what I was doing I would tour this bike again. If I were going to get off pavement onto gravel or dirt for much of the way I would take the F650GS. It is designed to do this and does it very well. If the route were all pavement then the Brutale stands up well to the task of touring. It is a minimalist experience as you wonít be carrying much with you but then you will never be that far from a store to buy what you need. The sitting position is a lot more conducive to touring than I thought it was going to be. I thought I had 2700 miles of torture to get the bike home but it was not like that at all. The position is not great but is certainly doable. It would have been better if I had softened up the suspension but this is counter balanced by the fact that the bike itself runs perfectly smoothly.

Things I did not do to the bike and did I have regrets not doing them. I thought long and hard about adding a windscreen. I did not regret not adding one. They are expensive, I donít like the looks of them and I would only need it until I got home. And in the 1500 miles I rode the Brutale before I left including several 100 + days I discovered a few things about how the bike works for me. I donít like the weight on my arms that sitting position produces but by 55 or 60 mph the blowback is holding me up and by 70 Iím holding on. I did not want a windscreen to disturb this and on the trip I never got arm weary once. So I would not do a windscreen. Saddlebags were the other gear I thought about but did not buy. I could have carried more but it would not have made the trip any more comfortable, safe, or enjoyable. Youíre going on motorcycle trip not putting your house on wheels. Its suppose to be different. Get over it, pare down, get by. It works. A little depravation makes you appreciate your things more. Like the old joke where a fellow is walking along and sees another guy hitting his head against the wall. He stops and asks "Why are you doing that, it must hurt?" and gets the reply "Because it feels so good when I stop!"

Things I did do to the bike and how did they turn out?

1. The seat. No question this was a good idea. I am older now and not made of steel anymore. I canít imagine what the original seat would have been like and have no desire to learn.

2. Rear hugger. Keeps the bike cleaner. Probably worth it but hardly mandatory.

3. Rizoma pegs. You bet, much improved grip.

4. Sliders. Cheap insurance, get some.

5. Improved water pump. This worked surprisingly well. On the original the bike ran in the high 2 teens and low 2 twenties a lot. Now it runs 10 Ė 15 degrees cooler and almost never goes above 214 even in stop and go traffic down here where it is hot. Buy one, youíll be happy.

6. Big bar ends and bar end mirrors. The bike came with big after market bar ends, donít know whose. The Rizoma mirrors give very good view to the rear and the combination are stable enough that I car read license plates in them. Canít ask for more that that.

7. Rizoma grips. Boo. These things have very little grip. Look great, just donít perform. They are OK for a dayís work but not a trip.

8. Throttle Rocker. This may be the neatest $12 item I have ever bought for a bike. Before you say, ďHow many $12 things can you buy for a bike?Ē let me say it redeemed those Rizoma grips. I had to modify the thing a bit. It is designed to have a wide rubber band thingy mounted on your grip and the Throttle Rocker then clamps to that. Well, with bar end mirrors that was not going to happen so I cut the band and used gel super glue to glue it right to the Throttle Rocker. If anyone has not run across these things before, they are designed to be adjusted so that you can keep the throttle open the desired amount using the heel of your hand rather than gripping the throttle and twisting. It did this very well. Iím going to leave it on the bike.

9. Dual compound tires. I put on Michelin Pilot Road CT2 or something like that, second generation dual compounds anyway. Between those and my consciously staying on twisty roads whenever I got the chance I arrived home without any noticeable flat spot in the center of the tire. I guess they worked and the grip seems good enough for me. They have about 3500 total miles on them now and have at least that much more in them.

What would I have done differently? Really not much other than the grips. Iíd use the same set-up next time without worry.

So where am with all this. I have some friends up in New Hampshire who own a beach house in North Carolina. They say I can stay there if I want. They leave a key with the neighbor and will let them know when Iím arriving I choose to do so. Iím beginning to think that would be a nice trip. Itís been a long time since I stopped at a fish camp in Alabama or Mississippi and had fried catfish, hush puppies and a coke. Iím beginning to think that if I go, Iíll go on the goose.
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Last edited by mazmaz; 10-16-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 01:42 PM
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Great write up, thanks. I have done some touring on my Brutale also, although not like your trip. Glad you made it home safe. Make a trip to New Orleans and give me a shout, I grew up there. Great seafood.

07 Brutale' 910R Arrow Thunder, PCIII,Ferracci chip, CRG mirrors,levers. Scotts, Motovation sliders.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 03:59 PM
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Good writup and beautiful pictures of your Brutale.

I dream about a long trip on my Brutale too. But it does not go so well with the family.

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