Thursday, April 10 – 12,000 Interstate Miles in 6 months on my GTi300

My ride for coffee to Flagler Beach this morning was when the odometer on the GTi300 turned 12k. Hanging at the sea reflecting on the last 6 months living with the 300 I realized that this is perhaps the motorcycle that I have enjoyed most in recent years. It became a three cup deal thinking about all the fun I’ve had on that amazing package.

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The vast majority of those 12k miles has been commuting to work on the Interstate. My commute is a bit longer than most. Typically every time I take the bike out of the garage it is time for an oil change again when I return it to its proper parking spot. My commute is on average about 3000 to 3500 miles round trip. Imagine changing oil after every ride! This bike is truly amazing to me. How can a single cylinder 300cc machine overachieve to such a high level? It’s illogical when you really think about it. On the Interstate, I typically ride at 75 miles per hour. There are times that I run 70 for a tank or two during the day but there are also times, especially out West, where I will do a couple of tanks at 80 miles per hour. In 12,000 miles I have NEVER added a single drop of oil between 3000 mile oil changes. Seriously? When I leave the house the oil is new, clean and has a nice amber color. When I return it looks the same way as it did when I left the garage. It sings a happy song at those speeds. The exhaust appears to have opened up just a bit as the little engine that can has broken in. Just a few short years ago I could have never imagined doing 600 mile days in total comfort at 70 miles per hour averaging 70 miles per gallon.

About my commute. I announce/broadcast about 35 professional motorcycle races per year with AMA Pro Road Racing, AMA Pro Flat Track and some Amateur events for the American Motorcyclist Association out of Ohio. Those events are all over the USA. Last year was a 25,000 miles year for me. For those miles I rode my Piaggio BV500, the Kymco Xciting 500 and the aforementioned Kymco GTi300. Each of those scooters have their own strengths and a few weaknesses. I truly enjoy all three but the GTi300 calls my name when I am contemplating which to choose for the long distance work. Commuting on scooters is too cool. It definitely takes more time to get across the country on a scooter. Not because you ride slower but because when you are suited up in your waterproof leathers, seat bag on the rear seat and all the touring gear people want to talk at gas stations. They find it compelling. When they see the Florida license tag and you are in a gas station at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin it really does get their attention. Commuting has never been so enjoyable as the miles simply pile on.

Obviously all the scooter types already know about the aerodynamic advantages scooters provide especially in cold and rainy conditions. Others see you rolling out the Interstate at 75 mph and think what is he thinking? The truth is I am as comfortable on that machine as I have ever been on the Electra Glide Ultra Classics, Honda ST1300’s and big adventure touring BMW GS’s and V-Strom 1000’s that I have enjoyed in the past. Of course I don’t ride quite as fast on the GTi but in truth that is a good thing because I am not old enough to ride high performance motorcycles yet. I still like to twist the grip a little to tightly more often than I should.

Gotta go. It’s time to take a nice ride down the coastal highway home for some fresh synthetic in the GTi. Going to give the old girl a nice detail too while I’m at it. The Springfield Mile is coming up May the 25th in Illinois and I’ll be headed on up to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for road racing the following week then back home to Daytona. Perhaps we will meet up out there on the highways of America over the summer and gloat just a little about what we know about scooters that the rest of the two wheel world have yet to discover.

Till next time,

Barry Boone

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