Beau Andrews, Bruce Carrington and Dan Weber anchored one team that left via I-49 south while Don Glover and entourage traveled eastbound I-20. The two groups met up in Marianna, Fla., and traveled the rest of the way to Daytona together. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Bike Week is a great motorcycling gathering and has grown over the years to incorporate events from New Smyrna to Deland to Ormond Beach and beyond on Florida's central east coast.
Upon their arrival, Beau and Bruce went directly to the Daytona International Speedway which is always a happening place, filled with vendors, manufacturers and racing. They report all major manufacturers were there this year with the exception of BMW.
Perhaps saving money was a wise choice for BMW as universal reports put the crowds for Bike Week down significantly. Dan says it appears crowds were 50% off from previous years, Bruce guesstimates 25% or more. Local Florida media were also reporting slim pickings. This report came from a Daytona-area radio station, WDBO.
"Bike Week is back, but it's more like a whimper than a roar. Dave Hands owns the Ocean Court Motel in Daytona. He describes the streets as much more quiet at night, and his hotel too.
"With the economy and everything, I wasn't expecting a massive Bike Week crowd, and I think I'm pretty well right in saying this will be our worst Bike Week. I've been in business since 1987." Consumers are benefiting though. He's dropped all of his minimum stay requirements, and Hands says walk in traffic is looking for a giveaway, as much as 50 percent off on rooms. He won't do it, but the national chains are offering huge discounts to attract what's left of the crowd." Maybe this will turn out to be a good thing for cyclists, who have seen room rates skyrocket out of sight during Bike Week and Biketoberfest events. (Ed. note to businesses: Don't just ASSUME bikers will attend your events if you try to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.)
Despite the lower crowds or maybe because of it, Bruce Carrington reports this was his favorite Bike Week trip ever. Bruce and Beau stopped and shopped at all the major hotspots: Destination Daytona, Beach Street, BMW of Daytona and the speedway, but Bruce's favorite event was also probably one of the cheapest. $15 paid for a ticket that got him into the stands at the speedway to see Super Sport practice runs, which he describes as 'fast and awesome.'
There were in excess of 200 racers at the track in a variety of classes, 125 2-strokes to liter bikes. The most popular seemed to be Suzuki SV650s. After watching a couple of races and chatting with others spectators, we figured out that the two fastest guys were really in a class of their own. The brand of bike is a minor part of the equation, we heard the "fast guy" mention while being interviewed that he'd been racing at Oak Hill for 17 years.
You can get a sense of the track by going to YouTube.com and searching "oak hill".
BMW’s first ever ’Superbike’ success took place at Daytona, USA, in 1976, when American Steve McLaughlin won the AMA Championship Superbike race in a thrilling photo-finish with team-mate Reg Pridmore. Both were riding R 90 S BMWs prepared by Butler & Smith, BMW’s American importers. Back then the ‘Superbike’ class was a support race to the main event, but nine years later the first ideas for a Superbike World Championship (a world championship for production-based motorcycles) began to grow. The series was born in 1988 and since then has become the hallmark for close-fought, competitive racing, without sacrificing any of its friendly paddock atmosphere. It may be all-out combat on the track, but off it, it has an atmosphere unmatched by any other world championship.
BMW Motorrad has a very long history, but they are the ‘new boys’ of the Superbike World Championship. The company has decided to enter the series at, without a doubt, the hardest and most competitive time in its 21-year history. Any new manufacturer joining the series is going to face a tough time and BMW are under no illusions about the challenges ahead. BMW are entering World Superbike because it is a championship where fans and customers identify with the brand and the bikes. And fans will not have long to wait for the S 1000 RR roadbike from which the racebike is derived: it will make its public debut in early summer 2009.
What does Troy Corser think of the bike?
Now Ruben Xaus:
BMW S 1000 RR SBK Racebike Technical Specifications
Capacity: 999 cc, 4-stroke, 4 cylinder, liquid-cooled
Gearbox: 6 speed
Power: 200 + hp @ 14,000 + rpm
Bore & Stroke: 80 x 49.7 mm
Compression ratio: 14:1
Fuel system: 48 mm Dell´ Orto injection system
Fuel tank capacity: 23 litres
Lubrication: Wet sump
Dry weight: 162 kg
Wheelbase: 1,428 mm
Length: 2,056 mm
Width: 532 mm
Front suspension: Öhlins upside down telescopic forks, 43 mm diamete
Rear suspension: Öhlins TTX
Front brakes: Twin disc 320 mm, Brembo, 4 piston calliper
Rear brake: Single disc 220 mm, Brembo, 4 piston calliper
Wheels: Front 16.5 inch x 3.5 inch, Rear 16 inch x 6.25 inch
Riders Troy Corser, # 11
Date of birth: 27.11.1971
Place of birth: Wollongong, Australia
Home town: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Favourite tracks: Phillip Island, Valencia, Portimao
First bike: Yamaha TY80 (road), Honda CR80 (race)
Career highlights: 1996 – World Superbike Champion2005 – World Superbike Champion
World Superbike history: 413 races, 128 podiums (33 wins, 47 seconds and48 thirds), 42 pole positions
Ruben Xaus, # 111
Date of birth: 18.02.1978
Place of birth: Barcelona, Spain
Home town: Andorra
First bike: Montessa Cota 25cc
Career highlights: 2003 – World Superbike Championship – 2nd
World Superbike history: 152 races, 35 podiums (11 wins, 13 seconds,11 thirds), 1 pole position
SBK Team Structure 2009
Team name: BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Team partner: alpha Racing
Director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport: Berti Hauser
Race team manager/Project leader: Rainer Baeumel
alpha Racing management: Josef Hofmann, Josef Meier
alpha Racing technical director: Thomas Franz
Riders: Troy Corser, Ruben Xaus
Troy Corser crew chief: Tom Larsen
Ruben Xaus crew chief: Wolfgang Martens
Superbike World Championship 2009 Race calendar
March 1 Phillip Island, Australia
March 14 Doha, Qatar
April 5 Valencia, Spain
April 26 Assen, Netherlands
May 10 Monza, Italy
May 17 Kyalami, Republic of South Africa
May 31 Salt Lake City, USA
June 21 Misano, Republic of San Marino
June 28 Donington, Great Britain
July 26 Brno, Czech Republic
September 6 Nürburgring, Germany
September 27 Imola, Italy
October 4 Magny-Cours, France
All good bikes need a lot of good accessories our additions on this bike has really made it perfect.
First of all if BMW did not offer this bike in lowered suspension and low seat, it would not have been an option for us to look at. The low suspension and low seat is listed in the spec sheet as 30.1”. Jean needs at least 29” or lower to be somewhat comfortable handling the bike. I researched and found an alternate rear tire in size 150/60/17 (stock is 140/80/17) which would lower the rear another 7/8”. I also lowered the front by raising the forks 22mm in the triple trees (also about 7/8”).
I broke in the bike in 2 days going to Arkansas both days (Jan 21-22 09) Thursday and Friday. 175 miles the first day and 320 miles the second day. I tried to hold no steady rpm, and did not exceed 4k rpm the first day then 5k the second day. No full throttle runs, but some brisk ¾ throttles up the gears. I noticed the motor really starts to want to go over 4k rpm.
The first add on was the SW-Motech crash bars for pretection, next the Calsci windscreen for better wind protection. I also purchased the Tourtech handguards after seeing a picture of them on advrider forum.
I researched the many farkles that are out there for this bike before settling on the few items we deemed necessary. I use these two sites for most of my information:
The stock windscreen is useless for wind protection. I researched the many windshields available and went with the CalSci medium (lowest model) and found it to be much better but still slightly turbulent for me. I am 5’11” and 32” inseam, Jean is 5’2” and 27.5” inseam, it works good for her. The picture below is of the CalSci screen.
Jean made her ride Saturday 1/23/09. We went about 225 miles, Arkansas and back. Her arms were sore from stretching to reach the handlebars. So the next farkle was the ROX barbacks. They are CNC machined out of aluminum and very nice. The ROX raised the bars 1-1/4” and moved them 1-3/4” back. It's a pretty tight fit with the front brake line, be sure and check lock to lock for clearance if you go with this mod.
I added the Fenda Extenda to the front fender to provide some protection to the exposed radiator. We both liked the BMW vario cases and the Jesse Safari 8” cases (most narrow by the way at 34”), but decided on the Caribou cases even though they are 38” wide.
Links can be found here:
1. Handguards http://www.touratech-usa.com/shop/F650Twin.lasso?-session=touratech:42CD719B051490D3E2Tuh18DE4E2
2. Windscreen http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/F800GSprod.html
3. Crashbars http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productlist/691/
4. Fenda Extenda http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/4583/691/
5. ROX barbacks http://www.roxspeedfx.com/cgi-bin/cart/showitems.cgi?subcat_id=268
6. Alaska Sheepskin seat cover http://www.alaskaleather.com/
7. Caribou Cases http://cariboucases.com/store/?name=Catalog&mode=d&id=005