Submitted by Bruce Jansen:
I grew up in northwestern Wisconsin, Turtle Lake to be exact, and places I know have been bonus locations... and it's country. Real country, not like "country' in the East that have trees and a population density just slightly less than Chicago. I'd sorta be rallying on my home turf... loosely speaking. There's real horizons out that way. How great is that?
I've lived in Connecticut since '86 and started rallying in '11. I've ridden all of the East coast rallies and I gotta tell you, there's nothing quite like trying to circumnavigate Washington, DC on a Saturday as the clock ticks down or cross the George Washington Bridge, at night, with several hundred cars and trucks trying to get through the tolls. Did I mention I'm a farm boy?
So along comes the Butt Lite and maybe, just maybe, I've got what it takes to do the days and the miles. And I've got good friends who say they're gonna do it too. And the start is only a couple of hours away from home. I can visit my Mom and siblings and ride the Butt Lite too. Does it get any better? What could possibly go wrong?
I've been riding a rallied up Kawasaki C1400 Concours and it's a great ride. Other than a few parking lot drops, it's never failed me. I can ride it for hours and get up the next day and do it again. But it's got 50K on the ODO and no cruise control and maybe in a couple of years I'll need to replace it. Did I mention the damaged fairing from the aforementioned drops and replacement is on the radar?
Rob Nye, Rally Master Extraordinaire of the New England based Minuteman 1000, took a new job as manager of a newly opened BMW shop mere minutes from where I work. I stopped in to harass him when they opened the shop... just before the Cape Fear rally. In the twisted way Rally Masters work, he told me he had demo bikes I could ride, which I did, and then he told me he could have a brand spankin' new 2014 water cooled, state of the art R1200RT complete with cruise control and some other stuff ready for me in time for the Cape Fear, which he did. So I bought one.. a little earlier than expected... and I proceeded to farkle it up... and put 8400 miles on it. Did I mention I'd entered the Butt Lite? Did I mention I absolutely love this bike?
You've heard about the 'don't ride this bike on the road or all hell will break loose' order that BMW issued about a day before the 2014 Minuteman? I rode it anyway. BMW can't tell me what I can or cannot do. Right? This is America after all. Until someone mentioned 'insurance coverage' and I called my insurance company and, yes, they will not cover me should I get into an accident until the bike is fixed. Then we (Rob and I) wait, and wait, and wait for information about what BMW is gonna do to get us back on the road. Butt Lite? Three frickin' weeks?
Rob worked his tail off trying to get me into a K1600GT but even with a great deal I was still gonna be sitting on roughly $1800 worth of farkles that weren't gonna fit on the GT and plus the GT ain't the quick and nimble amazing bike the RT is. Did I mention I've got about 2 weeks before I need to head west? And Rob has already sold my Kawasaki?
I spent about 4 days looking in and going to lots of places looking for a decent used rally bike. Finally found an '07 ST1300 from a local dealer with just under 5000 miles, relatively pristine condition with a Russell Day Long seat. How lucky am I? Bought it last Saturday and started ordering 'stuff'. Did I mention I needed all this stuff in about 2 or 3 business days? And the good 'stuff' invariably comes for the Left Coast?
I 'retired' yesterday and the whole week's been kinda hectic with no time really to add the 'stuff' to the bike so Twisted Throttle is lighting it up and wiring in my GPS units and the radar detector and a real horn and it was 'sposed to be ready today 'cause I'm gonna leave on Monday but... it'll be ready tomorrow and, yes, they're open on Sunday. And they're doing a really fine job too (not a clue what it's gonna cost me) and the bikes getting new tires in Hudson when I get there and all is pretty much well with the world just as soon as I get packed.
So that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. The alternative was to back out of the Butt Lite and who wants to go through life with that hanging over their head? And I might of gotten blessed to boot. Did I mention that Minnesota is completely flooded and no roads are open anywhere?