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Motorcycle ride to South Park Colorado

Monday morning, while I was having my first cup of coffee and thinking about how I should spend the day, Todd called and asked if I wanted to go riding. I didn't need any convincing and said yes. We agreed to meet at Cheesman Park at 9:15 AM. A third guy was a no-show.

We rode west on US-6 then took I-70 west into the mountains. We stopped at the visitors center in Georgetown to look over the map. We started up Guanella Pass road, fortunately it was closed and a forest ranger told us it wasn't paved all the way, the road exceeded my skill level. We came back down and rode on to Breckenridge.

We stopped at the Blue Moose Cafe in Breckenridge and had a late breakfast. We met-up with a friend of Todd's that works in Breckenridge unfortunately he wasn't able to go riding with us. It was about 12:30 PM when we started south on CO-9.

The road south from Breckenridge was in good condition and a fairly easy ride. There were a couple of hair-pin curves - just slow down before the turn and look where you want the bike to go. The road goes over Hoosier Pass which is on the Continental divide. We stopped and took some pictures at the pass. Todd put his camera on time delay and took a picture of us together in-front of the Hoosier Pass sign (I hope he will send me a copy.)

We continued south from Hoosier Pass through Alma into Fairplay. We stopped in Fairplay in-front of a tourist site called South Park City; it is a tourist site built from old historic buildings and artifacts collected from the local area. In reality, South Park isn't a city or town, it is the name given to a valley between the east range of the Rocky Mountains and the west range of the Rocky Mountains. There are three such valleys - North Park, Middle Park and South Park.

We gassed up in Fairplay then continued on CO-9 to Hartsel where we turned east on US-24. My bike took 2.2 gallons of gas and the trip-meter read 108.5 miles (49.3 miles/gallon). We stopped at the junction of CO-9 and US-24 and snapped a couple of pictures of the South Park valley. It was so green and lush - just beautiful.

We stopped for a rest and a drink at the Thunderbird Inn in Florissant before continuing on to Woodland Park. At Woodland Park we turned onto CO-67 and rode north through Deckers to Conifer. This road took us through the Pike National Forest and the 2002 Hayman Fire burn area. It is still beautiful country even with the fire damage.

We dodged a rattlesnake crossing the road north of Deckers. I've encountered many prairie rattlers but this was the first timber rattler I've seen. We ran into a little bit of rain too but got out of it when we reached Conifer.

We came down US-285 from Conifer back into Denver. We ended our trip at Charlie's of Denver (6:00 PM) where we had a couple of beers. We traveled 262 miles in 8 1/2 hours (5 1/2 hours in the saddle.) I was completely exhausted but had a really good time and saw some beautiful country.




http://picasaweb.google.com/109439245417572714439/SouthPark

Family of Foxes in central Denver

We have a family of young foxes living outside the apartment building in central Denver.



I took this video from the balcony of my apartment Monday evening June 8, 2009.

2008 Suzuki Boulevard C50 Gas Gauge

The Suzuki Boulevard has a funky gas gage on it. It's a little hard to tell how much gas you've used and how much is left. The owners manual isn't much help; it tells you that all 5 LED's will be lit when it's full, the left most LED will be lit and the right 4 LED's will be out when there is about 0.9 gallons left, and the left LED will start flashing when there is about 0.4 gallons left. That's not very useful.

I did a simple experiment to find out how much fuel each of the 5 LED segments represented. I filled up each time another segment went out then recorded the fuel and mileage. The gas gauge is not liner and should be used in combination with the motorcycles trip odometer. My findings are shown below.

Click image for a more readable view.

2008 Suzuki Boulevard C50 (VL800) Gas Gage
4.1 US Gallons. 5 LED segments.
Empirically verified.
The gas gauge is not liner; it is a rough guide.
Use in combination with the trip odometer.
Click image for a more readable view.


Specifications call for regular unleaded gasoline with a minimum pump octane rating of 87 ( (R+M) / 2 method ).

All 5 segments will be lit up while there is more than 3.1 US gallons in the tank. The 5th segment (far right) will go out when the level has dropped to about 3.1 US gallons.

The 4th segment (2nd from right) will be lit up while there is more than 1.95 US gallons in the tank. The 4th segment will go out when the level has dropped to about 1.95 US gallons.

The 3rd segment (center) will be lit up while there is more than 1.33 US gallons in the tank. The center segment will go out when the level has dropped to about 1.33 US gallons.

The 2nd segment (2nd from left) will be lit up while there is more than 0.84 US gallons in the tank. The 2nd segment will go out when the level has dropped to about 0.84 US gallons.

The 1st segment (far left) will be lit up while there is more than 0.40 US gallons in the tank. The 1st segment will start flashing on-off when the fuel drops below about 0.40 US gallons.

The gas gage is not liner. The gage should only be used as a rough guide and should be used in combination with the motorcycles trip odometer.



DATA

May 4, 2009: As I left work the 5th segment went out; I was close to a gas station so I pulled in and topped off the tank (the 5th segment came back on as I pulled up to the pump.) It took 1 gallon to top the tank off. The gas gage is not linear.

The odometer read 40.1 miles which yields a better mpg than the last 4 tanks and a whole lot better than 29mpg. The last 4 fill-ups have all calculated to be less than 40mpg.

The 40.1 miles above was comprised of 20 miles at highway speeds (>50mph no stops) and 20 miles city traffic (<40mph>
May 10, 2009: On the way home from a group ride and picnic the 4th segment went out (2nd from right). I was close to a gas station so I stopped and topped off the tank. It took 2.15 US gallons. Segment 5 (far right) represents about 1 US gallon used and segment 4 (2nd from right) represents about another 1.15 gallons used (total 2.15 gallons used) leaving about 1.95 gallons left in the tank.

The odometer read 74.8 miles (34.8 miles/gallon); not quite as good as last time but about 64 of these miles were stop and go city traffic. Still, I think I should be getting better mileage.


May 18, 2009: On the way home work the 3rd (center) segment went out. I was close to a gas station so I stopped and topped off. It took 2.77 US gallons. Segment 5 (far right) represents about 1 US gallon used, segment 4 (2nd from right) represents about another 1.15 gallons used, and Segment 3 (center) represents about another 0.62 gallons used (for a total of 2.77 gallons used) leaving about 1.33 gallons left in the tank.

The odometer read 82.7 miles (29.8 miles/gallon.) These miles were all stop and go city traffic and also included 4 hours on the ABATE practice range. Never the less I think this is piss poor mileage - time to take it in for a tune up.


May 31, 2009: The 4th segment (2nd from left) went out this afternoon. I drove for another 1 1/2 miles before I was could stop and gas up. It took 3.26 US gallons. Segment 5 (far right) represents about 1 US gallon used, segment 4 (2nd from right) represents about another 1.15 gallons used, segment 3 (center) represents about another 0.62 gallons used, and segment 4 (2nd from left) represents another 0.49 gallons used (for a total of 3.26 gallons used) leaving about 0.84 gallons left in the tank.

The odometer read 119.4 miles (36.6 miles/gallon.) About 20 of these miles were at highway speeds, about 5 miles were on twisty mountain road, the rest were in stop and go city traffic.