Summertime motorcycle commuting is something I normally don’t do a whole lot of because of the afternoon temps. Mornings temps rarely dip under 80 degrees but the rush hour return home is well into the triple digits. I have to give my 2004 Yamaha FJR1300 some credit. With a 1300 cc inline four cylinder, full faring and tipping the scale at about 600 lbs. This sport touring rocket has a very efficient cooling system. I keep synthetic motor oil in her and a recent radiator flush to help her along, keeps my afternoon return home uneventful. Well, minus the occasional leg burns from the heat burps the engine fans my way from it sides.
I sometimes wonder how lane splitting would be like if it was legal in Texas. It has come up for votes the last two or three sessions but the powers that be (and the existing road ragers) say we are not ready for that much excitement yet. The FJR with its side cases maybe too fat for lane splitting. The use of its top case may be in order to piss off my fellow Texans while I whisp by them in traffic. If it were legal to lane split, I would only use it if traffic was absolutely at a stop. I wonder if one can just travel on the shoulders in that kind of situation?
What about gear? After witnessing too many motorcycle accidents on our organized rides. I have started to wear all the gear all the time (ATGATT). I have to say when I road a Harley a few years back with a t-shirt and half helmet in this kind of weather. My skin would feel toasted and the air cooled tractor would struggle in stop and go traffic. My current water cooled FJR allows me to navigate this heat only while I wear my gear. Full face helmet, mesh jacket, gloves and armored over pants keep me cool and safe. Yeah I see the cruisers and sport bike riders in their shorts, muscle shirts and running shoes. I just don’t get it. Maybe they have yet to see someone in an accident yet and the aftermath of the road rash, broken bones and more serious – death. The following video was out together by a friend of mine Photoryder on a spill another friend of ours took a while back. We helped him through his recovery. Not a fun time in his life.