The purpose of this amazing ride is to announce the final race of the 2014 AMA Pro Grand National Championship race and MC the awards banquet the following day. This is the 6th time I have made this ride from Daytona Beach, Fl to Los Angeles, Ca. This year the ride was certainly different than any of the years in the past. The difference is the motorcycle. Prior to this year, the largest displacement motorcycle I have ridden was a 2001 Kawasaki W650 parallel twin. For those of you who are not aware, this is a two year production motorcycle produced only in 2000 and 2001. It is very much a Japanese version of a 67 Triumph Bonneville. Great bike albeit with a smallish fuel tank that made crossing the deserts a bit of a fuel challenge. Last year I rode a Kymco XC500 single cylinder scooter. Both were fun bikes without a doubt but the 2014 Harley-Davidson CVO Ultra Limited is a game changer. Sat Nav, Sat Radio, electronic cruise control and the massive 110 cu in V-twin with 6 speed transmission plus air ride rear suspension made the trip fly by. Out West there are many stretches of I-10 that have posted speed limits of 80 mph. That means 85 mph on cruise control for miles on end. The package the HD provides is so comfortable and stable that for miles on end you can cross you arms, tap to the music or simply relax with one finger on the left grip. Such stability in big cross winds is a haulmark of the batwing fairing that this year, has been enhanced with an air vent just below the windshield that reduces or eliminates any turbulence that may have existed before. There are 5 adjustable vents on the fairing and lowers and they matter.
Following a hardy breakfast I saw Ft. Stockton, Tx disappear in the rear view mirror. Destination Los Angeles now. Let’s roll! The traffic on I-10 increased with every West bound mile on the approach to LA. A stop at the summit for an ice cream and a cup of coffee and it was downhill, lane splitting and working with the traffic was the order of the day. There was plenty of time to think about the 2014 AMA Pro Grand National season that was going to end following the flat track finals at the LA County Fairgrounds at Pomona. I was aware the race was tomorrow but spent a good bit of time reflecting on the events that were already completed. The injuries were high this season. It’s part of the sport that no one wants to think about but is definitely part of it. The competition between the Harley Davidson XR750, the Kawasaki EX650 powered machines, the Ducati’s, Suzuki’s and the rest had been fierce this season. This race and the championship were going to come down to the XR750’s of Jared Mees and Jack Johnson as well as the Kawasaki of Bryan Smith. What began at the short track double header at Daytona International Speedway is now going to come to a conclusion at the half mile of Pomona. I love half mile flat track races. The crowd can see and hear everything that happens on the track and yet it has at least some of the feeling of blindingly fast speeds experienced on the mile tracks.
The rush of traffic has now turned into lane splitting and being up on the bars awake and alert. No time to contemplate anything now. It is definitely time to be a rider. Thankfully, that’s what i am.