IBA Premier Member
Joined: 29 September 2005
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
|Posted: 02 July 2006 at 7:08pm | IP Logged
Apologies to those of you who already saw this elsewhere...
A couple of weeks ago I did a MOSSSS1000 (pending certification [EDIT - the certification came though]), on my Wife's
250 Ninja, stock except for a slightly taller windscreen and an AirHawk seat
All the miles were done inside the borders of Missouri, on the Summer Solstice
(thus the extra 'SS') the entire ride done in daylight. I left at 5:12
AM, two minutes after the beginning of "civil twilight", and finished
it at 1006 miles at 8:39 PM, 22 minutes before the end of "civil twilight".
After getting my starting receipt in Sullivan (east-central MO) I headed to the
extreme northeast corner of the state (Alexandria). This would be a
counterclockwise rough circumnavigation of the state.
My intent was to complete the entire ride in daylight, according to the US
It was a beautiful morning. I was surprised by some of the traffic
though. I didn't realize there were so many people doing so many things
while I sleep :)
I had a couple of audio books loaded on the Ipod, but found that with the Ninja
my head is in too much air, and the noise was high enough that I couldn't
clearly understand the words. So I just listened to music. And
learned that my Ipod battery charge lasts 8 hours. Argh.
I haven't ridden much on a bike with my head in the full wind in many
years. I forgot just how noisy that is. I always ride with
earplugs, and cannot imagine what a ride like this would be without them.
I headed into territory from which I have removed a few dozen Whitetail over
the years (using the traditional methods, not vehicles). I would not appreciate the irony of one of them returning the favor, so I paid close attention, it
being sunrise'ish. I saw just a few deer, none of them near me.
North of Hannibal it became overcast with high clouds. Not evil
rain-threatening clouds, but good sun-cheating clouds. That kept the next
couple of hundred miles cooler than they might have been.
About 2 miles before Alexandria, the Ninja suddenly and unceremoniously
I did the Curley Shuffle (mentally) for a few moments. I didn't
immediately think of fuel, being positive I had more range than the 189 miles
(by GPS) I had traveled. Plus, there had been no warning, no sputter or
hesitation, just a sudden stop.
Oh, and I had largely forgotten there
even WAS a fuel reserve switch, there not being one on my ST and I don't
remember ever needing to use the one on my Interceptor.
Still, something in my pea-brain woke up before I rolled to a stop, I flipped
the lever, and after some sputtering I was back up to speed to roll into
Alexandria. I fueled up and headed West on 136 across the top of
Only about 10 miles later, I was fiddling around with something when suddenly
the bike died AGAIN. Now my brain was in full vapor lock. What
could it be? Was it not really out of fuel last time, and this was some
other intermittent problem??? I was almost coasted to a stop by the time I realized I
had bumped the engine cutoff switch.
Doh! That, and other short words.
When the GPS told me I had gone 250 combined miles, I looked at the elapsed time
and became concerned that I was off the pace I needed to complete 1000 miles by
9PM. It really needed to be a BBG1500 pace. I would need to pick it
up, and not only that I needed to pick it up enough to recover my shortfall
from the first quarter of the ride.
Managing speed is a different sort of affair on the 250 than it is on my
ST. Still, I worked at it.
About this time the wind also picked up, and seemed to alternate from the south
to the west. I noticed it took more throttle to maintain speed, and
noticed that the little Ninja was a bit more susceptible to the winds bidding
than is my ST. Of course I knew that already, but the magnitude of the
difference was being newly revealed.
136 was nice. Two-lane rural road, with a few towns sprinkled along it,
but not so many it slowed me down too much.
Just as I hit the turn signal to turned into a gas station At Bethany, I had to
switch to reserve again. This had only been 158 miles. I guessed
the headwind had affected my mileage, but I was shocked by how much. I
fueled and headed south on I-35.
I hit construction traffic, but only for a few miles and only slowing to about
45 or 50. The cloud cover slowly went away, and it started to turn into a
hot day. My camelback, strapped behind me on my tail-pack, was a great asset.
Clearing the traffic, I found the gusting wind had stiffened. Now I REALLY noticed needing more throttle, and when I was in the sidestream of a semi I felt like one of those little
ping pong balls in a bingo machine.
It wasn't a bother, just something to deal with.
I fueled up in Peculiar. Back on the road the hot wind got even stronger,
and straight out of the south, right in my face. I found I had to lay on
the tank and keep the throttle pinned, and even then I had to downshift every
once in a while to keep my speed up. I got ROTTEN fuel mileage on that
section, about 33 MPG compared to the 47 or so I was getting when the wind was
not a factor.
At Willow Springs I fueled up and noticed there was no time on the
receipt. I used that as an excuse to grab a quick McBurger (and a
receipt), as the hungries were on me. I had been eating jerky, but
something more substantial sounded good. This was by far my longest stop
of the trip, a little over 13 minutes.
I was just starting to notice a bit of discomfort from the nether
regions. I had gone about 600 miles so far, and honestly had been
pleasantly surprised by how little I noticed the seat. I am positive that
my AirHawk pad made a big difference, but still... I was impressed.
I would not remain impressed for long. If anyone ever devises a
measurement system for motorcycle seat comfort, it will be a logarithmic
system, like the Richter scale. Once the butt meanies start, they escalate
By the time I got onto 60 East near Springfield, the wind settled down, but the
heat didn't. 60 wasn't nearly as scenic as I had hoped. It was
fairly freeway-esque, but with a 65MPH speed limit. It rolled on by.
At Sikeston I fueled and turned north on 55. It was 874 miles into the
ride, and with the rest of the trip being on the slab, it looked like I had it
made easily, barring surprises.
In fact, I started to toy with the idea of completing my daylight SS1K, then
taking I-70 to Kansas City and back to make a MO BBG1500 out of it! I had
the time, the bike was running great, and I did not feel tired.
My enthusiasm for this idea increased, until a physical inventory returned a
solid veto from my butt. I just did not think that was something I could
handle for another 500 miles.
Other than a little construction, it was clear sailing up into St. Louis.
I hit my mark at a gas station at I-270 and Tesson Ferry road at 8:40 PM, 21
minutes to spare, 1006 miles (by GPS. 1009 on Streets and Trips, 1050 on the
odometer). As I exited the freeway for that stop, I noticed I-270
grinding to a halt just ahead of me, so I modified my plans to slab the
rest of the way home, and instead headed out cross country. That slower
route landed me in St. Clair about a quarter till 10, 1052 miles. My
If the last couple of hundred miles were pretty brutal on the butt, the last 50
miles were pure torture. There is no way could have stretched it out
another 50 miles, much less another 500.
Final mileage was 1052. Looking over my GPS log, I see my average fuel
stop was a hair over 5 minutes, with one being 3:50 (how did I do
THAT!?). My average speed was 63.4 MPH. The total duration was 16
hours, 35 minutes. Overall mileage was 43.1 MPG.
I am not sure what's next on my IB agenda. I do think this is my last
stunt on the little Ninja, at least until a MAJOR seat upgrade.
I guess I wait for the muse to strike...
Edited by Steve Jones on 06 March 2009 at 8:26am
Ride To Eat