The tricks to ride a bike as economically as possible
THE 2015 annual RFS Bike Economy Run is a fun event.
“It is one of those on the calendar that you always look forward to. It is amazing how people still think it is a bunch of riders pottering around with light throttles at 60 km/h; trust me it is anything but that.
Fun I was going to have, I had decided to not bother trying to go for overall glory, but ride in comfort for a change.
However, being the competitive bugger that I am, I also ride to win something whilst having truckloads of fun.
I guess I have a fair record on the event, one overall win, eight class wins and three top-three finishes remind me why I feel like I need another chiropractor visit still three days after the event.
In case you wondering why the chiropractor features as strong as the essential — it is because to achieve results like that you have to spend two days scrunched up under the bike’s paintwork for over 1 000 km! But as they say, trophies at all cost.
I have been privileged enough to have ridden for, as well as managed, the Bavarian Motorcycles Team for the last three years. My mission statement has remained the same for all of these years: To win overall or my class and of course, get the most coveted prize of all — the Team Award. So this year was certainly no different. This year as a Bavarian Team, Roger didn’t want to enter a big team and rather let some of the privateers have a crack at the silverware. Although we are all on standard bikes, it is often conceived that a dealership team bike somehow has an advantage.
We didn’t want event regulars skipping the fun because they feel they cannot compete against the “factory teams”.
So as a smaller team we really had to make a maximum effort to beat our arch rivals, Team Triumph.
“However, it was Team Motorrad Tech that gave us the biggest run. But the team-mate put in a colossal effort and prevailed and we just pipped Team Motorrad Tech to give Roger and Sharon from Bavarian the Team Award. That’s mission accomplished.
There was another box that I needed to tick. I wanted to be the first big adventure bike in the class of “Dual Purpose Motorcycle over 1 000 cc” to come in under 4 l/100 km. I figured it would be a big challenge as they normally finished around 5 l/100 km.
Fortunately with the advent of the BMW R1200GS Liquid Cooled, it made things a little easier to get closer to this mark.
In testing, I kept getting figures around the 4,2 lt/100 km mark on a route that is very similar to ones we normally traverse in Mpumalanga, where most of the event is ridden. It just wasn’t getting as close as I needed it to be. Then the penny dropped in a tub of oil.
I approached Liqui Moly, whom I know to make the best motorcycle oils in the world. They kindly agreed to sponsor my efforts and help the LC get closer to the fine line.
My team-mate, Reg Gurnell who was mounted on the Team Bavarian F700GS, was coming on with great figures in testing and then the worst thing happened. As is typical with a dealership bike, the frugal sipper wasn’t available any more so he had to change bikes.
The sad part was that the replacement F700GS was nowhere near the economy of the first one. So that bike needed help as well.
Liqui Moly came to party and of course the process starts with a substance that everyone has forgotten about, but in my mind it is simply essential in your oil change endeavors, Engine Flush.
That is the substance that gets rid of all the deposits and gunk that is clogging up your motor and blocking its arteries.
Then it’s the super superb Liqui Moly Racing Fully Synthetic Motor Oil. Where Liqui Moly’s oil makes a difference is that it reduces friction, hence making the motor run cooler and more efficiently. I saw a live example of this on the R1200GS LC. In previous testing, the motor ran constantly at 85°C, after the oil change, it dropped dramatically to 80°C and pretty much stayed there the whole event long.
The bike I was on had 45 000 km on the clock, so I also ran through the catalytic cleaner as well as the fuel injection cleaner whilst doing my testing. These awesome additives helped clean out the fuel lines and injectors as well as removing the deposits from the catalytic converter, which can get clogged up after time and mileage with our dirty fuel.
Reg’s bike, sadly, was a nohoper. You get them, it often depends on how it was run in and ridden previously.
The Liqui Moly oil did help with this one too and it finished nearly 200 lt/100 better than it did previously, but still only good enough for second in class.
Mine, however, loved the new fluid and the internal clean and it came home in a dream fulfilling 3,97 lt/100 km and very obvious classes win! Both boxes ticked and mission accomplished!
I would like to thank Roger and Sharon for the ride and the faith in having me runs the team for them. Thanks also to the team effort from Reg: Glynese, Willlie, Braam, Giel and Iain for our superb win in the Team Award.
On behalf of Team Bavarian, we would like to thank all the organisers, especially Francois Jordaan and of course The Rock, Hannes Beetge.
To all the sponsors, Liqui Moly, as without them I would not have won, then most of all RFS who put so much effort and money into this event. If it wasn’t for you guys who knows where we would be, to Chris and his team, a huge thank you.” concluded Biggs.
The race starts with an engine flush and a catalytic cleaner
The author sitting pretty at the start of Day 2.