After many winter months of exclusively local, city riding, I got a chance to take a nice ride yesterday, out to the beach community of Long Beach, Long Island. Despite warm weather these past few weeks, luck would have it that the temperature dropped to 35 degrees, but I didn’t let that throw a wrench in the works…
This winter saw many changes to the 1993 Yamaha FZR 600, including installation of a Yamaha R6 rear mono shock, rebuilt forks with Progressive springs, adjustable clipons, R6 Master Cylinder and front brake calipers, new digital dash, the rattle-can paint job and a few other odds and ends.
I have not been able to really shake the bike down since these fixes, so I looked forward to the opportunity to hop on the bike and get out of Brooklyn. To get out to the small island, I had to deal with the highways first: LIE to the Cross Island Expressway, down past Belmont Racetrack to the Southern State Parkway, eventually hitting the Meadowbrook Parkway which takes you toward Jones Beach. Never been out this way, and once you hit the Meadowbrook, it’s tough to imagine that you are only 30 miles from NYC.
The cold weather put a slight damper on the highway part of the ride, but I had donned my high-tech long-johns, and they kept me pretty warm. I’m still wrestling with a decent pair of winter gloves, but that can now wait until next season, since it seems this will be one of the last cold snaps of the year.
I made it out there in about an hour, stopping along the ocean side of the island for some photos. The East tip of the island is called Point Lookout, and is so remote that that you almost feel as if you have discovered it for the first time.
I can imagine that this place is crawling with people in the summer months, but for now, it was all mine, and I took advantage of the solitude to check out the bike, and to gain a little insight into how it behaves on a nice stretch of highway too.
This bike pulls strong from standing, even with the unmodified chain and sprockets (520 conversion is a popular mod), but the real thrill comes at speed, when you blip the throttle at about 5-6k RPM. She feels as if she wants to lift off the pavement. I kept it under control, and made it home safe. But it’s nice to know what’s lurking under the hood…