BMW S 100 RR Planet Power!

December 12, 2011

The only thing keeping your blood cool is the wind rush!  

This is BMW’S sale slogan for that bike – and whoever came up with this- brought it right to the point!!!

It was another dry, beautiful and warm December day here in the Bay Area when I arrived with my scrubby looking CBR 600 at the BMW dealership to test that mean and extremely lean BMW Superbike. What was awaiting me was superb engineering, compact 193 horsepower wrapped into precious low weight metals and shaped into a definite eye candy of a light-weight superbike with a total weight of only 450 lbs (204 KG).  Titanium valves and rocker arms help lowering the total engine weight to a measly 59 KG (132 lbs).  This bike is practically screaming for a race track. It is a beast!

Here it is. Still in the showroom.

I cannot even mention all the technical gimmicks I was just about to experience but one detail is so mind-boggling that it was like sitting in a space ship. I am talking about the Race ABS – “the” device to play around between Rain, Sport and Race mode.  What does that mean??? Well- in laymen terms- it plays with throttle response and power control. Let me be the judge of that one (Yikes).

Here are some of the basics- four cylinders, inline engine, bore and stroke 80 mm x 49.7 mm , 999 cc, maximum output 193 horsepower at 13000 RPM, 6 gear HP gearshift assist  – means up shifting without interrupting the shift flow with a bothersome clutch process. All of these details remind me to well that this is a pure bred race bike rather than a street bike. The last thing really fascinating me is the integrated lap time tracker. LAP TIME TRACKER???

I sat on it. It is a low bike. I am only 5’9 inches (175 cm) and to me the bike seemed very low. This was a clear indicator that we are not talking about a cruiser. Organizing myself into riding position I already felt the pressure of my own body weight (6 lbs(3 KG) heavier than the engine weight of this bike)   on my wrists, shoulders, neck and lower back. I didn’t expect anything else. It was almost like sitting on a full blown GP bike. Small, compact and precise!  I lifted the bike off the side stand with the movement of one finger. The bike fell into position like a fluffy feather tumbling in the air. The overall engineering, geometrics and ergonomics of that bike make every rider feel like it was custom tailored to the individual rider’s height, weight and seating position. It was like this bike was made for me. Period. I sat on it and I felt like home.

The engine roared. The dashboard lid up like a Christmas tree with all kinds of little numbers, letters and flashlights but then stayed set with a digital number board. God forbid the electronics fail…..

I started with the DTS (Dynamic Traction Control) in Rain mode. The smoothest of the settings of the DTS and ABS. The seating position is race like, low, like a tiger on the prowl in the jungle. Smooth, quiet, powerful and I would like to say safe.

The freeway was my first acceleration point. Wow— I hardly touched the shift lever and I was already in sixth gear at 4000 rpm and still had a power band-with like in second gear @6000 rpm on my Honda (????) how did I get so quick into 6th gear??  The whole bike is dancing underneath me with ease and grace. The bike is like an obedient dog. It doesn’t do anything what you don’t want it to do. The control is with the rider. I played around with the shifting. I couldn’t even rev it up higher than 5000 rpm on this short stretch of Freeway but had constant power flow and speed. No unnecessary downshifting and playing around with the throttle…. It was just hovering along like a purring cat totally content and in its element.

Exit to some of the back roads. Ok- I switched the electronics from Rain to Sport. An instant change was noticeable in traction, power control, and throttle response. Wow – who came up with a concept like this?  I paid better attention to my shifting and the rpm’s. The engine is smooth, the power is balanced, and the sound is subtle. Some little turns. The bike is low; I shift my body weight and the bike falls into that left turn effortlessly and stuck to the road like a butter knife cutting through soft margarine. The low rpm pull the bike through the turn like on tracks and the feeling was rather as it was pulled by 193 horses instead of propelled by them. There is no doubt in the geometry of the frame, swing arm, suspension system, front fork. Everything plays in perfect harmony like the precise game of the almighty universe.

Once I had some open road in front of me I accelerated a bit harder and the only thing cooling my blood was the wind rush!

On my way home I switched to race mode. Hellloooo—I am a race chick and cannot go slow. This bike practically seduces me to do the inevitable. RACE MODE.  Wham- these Germans mean it when talking about RACE MODE. The traction immediately switched to the nature of a beast. The rear wheel wanted to break out, the throttle response was aggressive and lurking for any predators.

The interplay of perfect geometry and power development makes the bike practically fall into the turns by itself and I had to make sure that the 190/55 tire ( 6.00 x 17 inch rim)   made the best out of the pavement. I only can imagine how this would play out on the track. Dream on.

Back at the dealership I felt my body screaming as loud as the engine for freedom and wide open race tracks. My wrists were sore and my neck was stiff. The seating position is tough, the suspension is stiff, the aerodynamics are perfect and beautiful but whoever is riding this bike should be in physical shape.

My conclusion of the trip to the “planet of unleashed power” is that this bike is as tame as a pussy cat and as wild as a beast in one package. It is highly intelligent and offers several options in how it can be handled by the rider. It is extremely user friendly for anyone who just wants to enjoy a tame beast on a Sunday afternoon, yet a challenge for every racer chasing a world champion title in the World Superbike Championship.

The German motorcycle magazines are talking about the Japanese bike crisis and with BMW setting the bar for excellence extremely high with this bike I can see the argument. This bike is so full of itself, yet humble, that its performance cannot be challenged so easily.

What a piece of machinery!   Triple thumbs up!

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Sacramento & Company News 10 abc

August 27, 2011

Entrenched up to my eyeballs with transitional issues, time sensitive projects, business set-up and the occasional Happy hour I always have to expect the unexpected. And so it was this morning at 8 AM. While sipping my hot tea I am checking my mails minding my own business, expecting the usual and only the usual.

The first mail was an unusual one. The text read: Birgit, sorry for such short notice but there is an opportunity to be a guest on the Sacramento and Company morning show on Monday August 29 at 9.00 AM  in Sacramento. Are you available?

Flexibility is the spice of live…. of course I am available. Is it possible for me to switch from survival business mode into an inspiring and informative TV morning show guest talking about the “To Drink the Wild Air” story?

I don’t know but we will find out. On Monday morning at 9 AM on this live link.     Sacramento & Co morning show News 10

There was no time for any advertisement or Marketing. It just dropped onto my calendar out of the blue sky.

The show will be archived and can also be watched later.

I am off to Sacramento tomorrow afternoon  breathing the Wild Air !

 

 


Bikeminded – back to where I came from

August 7, 2011

Is there anyone out there who, after many years,  took up a hobby or a lifestyle again they had left a long time ago? How was the journey of the return for you?

End of June I decided to take a summer vacation during July. Now my “vacation” and summer (as it looks like) is over.  The deception of summer is only due to my geographical position in San Francisco were July and August are the most friendly hosts for heavy fog and rain.   Thank God this is only in the city and always gives a good reason to leave town. But life did go on – also in July.

I did prepare for my second half of 2011. First things first – I needed two wheels again and I got them.

 Meet “Rrramonn” a 1995 Honda CBR 600.

Thanks to the expertise and many hours of work at OKP Precision Works a run down, crashed and technically neglected bike was turned into a reliable piece of machinery again. A piece of machinery which will be part of all upcoming events.  Thanks to the magical support of the Ferrari Doctor himself from Waterfront Automobile in San Francisco the bike also sparkles like new and volunteered as the photographer.

A come back in sports which require extensive equipment seems more cumbersome and difficult in oppose to sports  where there is only a bathing suit or running shorts involved.

17 years can be a long time. I still have some “Birgit the Circuit” memorabilia stored which almost has disintegrated into dust. I had to throw out a 20 year old helmet because its interior crumbled like nicely aged blue cheese. My old gloves are only good to be pinned to a wall as a portrait of the good old times. My ex race leathers which are not so smooth anymore and far too small for my current size lie crumbled in the closet. Equipment of old materials long rendered useless and insufficient. Equipment out of style. But now the equipment question is solved. It took me some time but I am up to date again. The bike was the last piece missing in this puzzle.

Let’s see about the timeline according to the story in                                           “To Drink the Wild Air”:

1978   –    first bike

1983   –    first race

1991    –   last race

1995    –   last bike  ( approximately 250.000 miles and a fairly big number of (race) crashes later)

2011    –   first bike  ( “Rrramonn” a Honda CBR 600)

How is the feeling you might ask???

It is as good as it always was. I have to hone a number of technical riding skills but I haven’t forgotten. I haven’t lost the touch!

There are many things in store for me and Rrramonn. It will be another great ride.

Follow me.


Unlimited Realities ….

March 13, 2011

This week I want to share the newest scheduled radio show and another media write up, this time received from the German motorcycle magazine “mo.”     

 Unlimited Realities is the name of the Blog talk radio show, where the host Lisa Zimmer will speak with me on March 24 at 9.30 AM PST about “To Drink the Wild Air”.  I am looking forward to another inspiring conversation about intuition.  Please check out below link with the announcement.   

blogtalkradio.com/unlimited-realities-with-lisa-zimmer

Unlimited Realities blog Talk Radio:

Provocative, informative, and empowering radio. Featuring authors and those improving the world one step at a time.

Intuitive Consultant – Life Coach – Radio Host:                 

Lisa Zimmer (Mahoney) is internationally known as an accurate and confidential Clairvoyant and Life Coach. Lisa has been known for her insight and compassion in her work for over 25 years. Sought by law enforcement for crime solving, her reputation let to an International clientele.

Lisa Zimmer is a published writer and columnist who developed a Body, Mind, Spirit television show where she worked with and was endorsed by Dr. Bernie Spiegel, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Larry Dossey and other pioneers in the field. Her published guided Imagery Visualizations have aided clients overcoming challenges in their lives and guiding them to a more fulfilling future in accomplishing their goals.

************

That’s not all.

I have to extend a big THANK  YOU  to my old friends in Germany at the motorcycle magazine “mo ” .I have received the March 2011 issue with a quarter page dedicated to “ To Drink the Wild Air”. This little article transported me back to the times when I was still part of the staff at the magazine and work was fun. It will be archived in the Review tab for future reference.


2010 – the year of Action

April 29, 2010

2010 – the year of action is the title of the Epilogue of “To Drink the Wild Air” tackling the inevitable question  when reading this  – what  ACTION ??  There are different facets of action items within my project but the most important one is – to spread the word.

In the beginning there was only a vision, a vague vision I might add. It was my first summer back in California in 2004. I just had moved to San Francisco coming from Miami. Traumatized by the events preceding this cross country move I was sitting at the beach and decided to start writing my memoirs.

This was my house in Miami. It was a paradise. 

 I bought it in 2002 and had to sell it in 2004 before moving back to California.

I am not a writer. I had no idea how to go about a project like this – I had no idea what such venture would entail – I had no idea how much time it will take – I had no idea about anything. I just got up one morning and started with the research. 

Six years later in February 2010 the last key stroke of around 198.000 words was locked in. I couldn’t do all of it by myself. I hired a freelance writer in order to consult on structure, style and grammar. The actual writing process lasted for almost 3 years mostly on weekends or evenings. I took frequent “writer vacations” and put myself someplace up in the mountains in total seclusion to get work done, and sometimes nothing at all happened for lengthy periods of time due to other commitments in life. 

I scanned several hundreds of old photos to digitalize my archives. I spoke to family and old friends by phone to ask questions, I traveled to Europe and tracked down people I haven’t seen for more than 20 years to talk about old times.  

What did this process teach me?  It was a great journey. It gave me utter mental satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment the moment the manuscript was finished.

Everything poured out of me.  The stories of adventure, freedom and motorcycles, the horizon filled with opportunities and the big colorful wings carrying me sure- footedly along my path paved with the consequences of my own actions and influencing choices.    By the end I finished the manuscript with the fulfillment of having vicariously re-lived my life again. The taste of every nuance of emotions ranging from fearless to reckless, carefree to happy, sad to depressed, indifferent to attentive and  devoted to disappointed.  It all came back to me. 

There is no doubt – no regret – no drama – no catastrophe –no cliché in my story! What you see is what you get.  A happy narrative of a life well lived so far, yet only having scratched the surface of experience, with the end result that I am inspired by my own life again!

The mission is to transmit and project this exact sentiment on to other people. People I don’t know.  Strangers. My current actions reflect that very mission, although most of the time I am not able to see the next turn in front of me in the jungle of all uncertainties, but  action and effort is penetrating and ongoing.

I had a chance to read in public again on April 23 and I was invited to submit some chapter text to a magazine. More of that next time.

One major mile stone will be when “To Drink the Wild Air” is available at the cyber shelves of Amazon.com.  The earth will tremble…..