(previously posted to another list on 6/14/01) Gather 'round, sheepshaggers, and let me tell you what "real" is. Real is the hookey ride me, biff-boy, and BDC (all 1150GSes) took yesterday. We met at BDC's house, helped him adjust his valves, learned how to use the twinmax, and synched everyone's TBs. After a greasy burger and fries, we hit the road for testing. West is where we headed. Up Page Mill Road to Skyline, across to Old Alpine Road, to Pescadero Road. North on Stage Rd to La Honda Rd and back home. Real is not the ride, but it's what happened during the ride. Biffy and I exchanged leads several times, absolutely flying over these goat trails they call roads. Old Alpine Rd is a very tight, twisty, poorly graded, and maintained bit of asphalt that absolutely scares squids. There are dents in the cliffs and missing bark on the redwood trees where confident squids on their new plastic rockets misjudged the road and went ballistic. These roads are the domain of the big twin GS. Every one of those 85 mighty ponies can be put to the tarmac if you are brave and skilled enough. ABS is absolutely required to stay on the rubber, as far as I'm concerned. But none of that is real. What's real is flying through a blind downhill off-cambered turn marked at 15mph at 40, listening to the front tire chirping as the ABS cycles, while leaned over and the rear Tourance is sliding toward the outside on the gravel. Real is finding a pothole right smack dab in front of the front tire which compresses the front shock to the stop as the brakes are released, then reapplied only to have the rear wheel lose all contact with the ground, then flop over to the otherside of the bike, pivoting about the tank and doing it again, and again, and again until forearms ache and the front rotors get hot enough to boil water. Real is stopping after 150 of these turns under the redwoods, pulling off the helmet with a HUGE grin, and waiting for the riders behind you to catch up. First biffy shows up and we squeal like little schoolgirls about being in the ZONE. Where's BDC? Nowhere. Not good. Not real. We look at eachother after coming to the same conclusion, blink once, then start gearing up to go find him. Running off the wrong place on that road will not just kill you, but turn you into a stain. Just as we fire up the boxers, here comes BDC, slowly and very dusty pulling up behind us. He overcooked one of the nastier turns, focused on the runoff instead of through the turn, and gave up on the brakes and traction, choosing to lowside. Tires still had chicken strips...he could have made it but *chose* not to. Hard to understand...hard to get inside his brain. But he was lucky. It wasn't a fast turn and he wasn't trying to catch up with us, because we were so far ahead. He just didn't get in the Zone. That's fucking REAL my friends. BTW, biffy is the Real Deal (tm).