Last week I took a solo trip down to my Dad’s in the Daytona Beach area of Florida for a visit and help him with a few projects. I’m not too fond of solo trips and really do miss having Donna sitting behind me. A solo day ride is one thing but a solo trip is another thing entirely. This would also be the R1200RT’s first long trip since we brought it back from Daytona Beach, FL back in October of 2014.
We live just north of Atlanta, GA which means going through or around Atlanta to get to Florida. I commuted to Atlanta everyday day before I retired so I already had a plan. That plan was to get on the road by 6:30 am to be just ahead of the bulk of the rush hour traffic. It would also mean leaving in the dark which doesn’t bother me at all. I’d rather start the day in the dark than end it in the dark when I’m tired. You either get on the road early or wait and get on the road much later in the morning. Well my plan was a disaster due to the lack of driving skills of others. A multi-car accident on an entirely different highway caused major gridlock on Interstate 75 South! Imagine looking down at the GPS to see that you’re travelling 7.9 mph, and that was fast for that morning. It took me over an hour to travel a grand total of 18 miles, 15 of which were on the interstate! I was normally able to leave for work just before 7:00 am and get to work by 8:00 am with what I call normal rush hour traffic. An hour and 35 minutes into the ride I was getting to the exit I used to use from the interstate to get to my office! But once I got inside I-285, Atlanta’s perimeter highway, it was pretty much a speed limit ride. It was also pretty cold that morning too! When I left the temperature was in the upper 20’s (F) and peaked at about 30° (F) for quite some time until around central Georgia, well south of Macon. The cold caused another predicament too. I was dressed for cold weather riding, not cold weather sitting. After some time in traffic I was actually getting cold because I had also started to sweat. I had to turn the temperature on the heated seat down but left the grips toasty warm. As I approached southern Georgia the temperature started warming to near 50° (F) and slowly warmed a bit more. I actually had the heated grips on until I was in northern Florida! On the whole trip down the R1200RT continued to impress me. I had the dynamic ESA set to one rider with luggage and the mode set to soft, being on the interstate. To break the boredom of interstate highway travel it was good to have the Sirius/XM satellite radio. Once I got to Jacksonville, FL I tuned it into Radio Margaritaville!
After a few days in Florida it was time to head for home. When I left it was sunny and quickly warmed to about 74° (F) for a good while. As I headed west on I-10 and then north on I-75 the temperature started to drop but it stayed sunny. The day’s forecast had already told me that I’d be riding into rain the closer I got to home. As I approached Macon I was still in the sunshine but could see gray skies ahead. Once in Macon it started to rain on and off just enough to wet the windshield a few times. As I pressed on approaching Atlanta the rain became more steady, but not heavy. I switched the ride mode to “Rain” and continued on. The new fairing and windshield design on the R1200RT does manage to keep a lot of the rain off you while you’re moving. I’m still adjusting the new timing of the gas stops between the new R1200RT and our old K1200LT. In fact the R1200RT has a half-gallon larger gas tank, gets better gas mileage and goes further between fill ups. I stopped for gas south of Valdosta, GA to fill up and then did not stop again until I got off the highway near home, a full 265 miles later! And even when I did stop, I still had more than a gallon of gas left. This was with the cruise control seat at about 75 mph on the posted 70 mph stretch which was nearly most of the trip! The R1200RT averaged over 53 mpg on that last tank! Now along the way I was checking the trip computer (which can be displayed on the GPS screen) and it showed I’d get home with 65-70 miles of gas left (depending on the speed). The closer I got to home I also started to suffer from “getthereitis” but I wasn’t tired. But I will admit that I did find out what I had always heard about BMW seats being hard. During those last 50 miles I could have sworn I was sitting on a cinder block! Our previous motorcycle, the K1200LT already had a custom Rick Mayer seat on it when we bought it. That stretch from Valdosta to home was good practice for an Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000! And it looks like a forecast of sunny and warm for this Saturday!