Back from Clearwater / Russell Expedition
I had a safe and successful trip out to California this past week. Trailered my GTL up I-25 and across I-80 through Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and finally arriving at Rancho Cordova for my Clearwater Lights installation last Monday. I had bought a set of Ericas, Darlas, and a Billie light during the Veteran's Day sale and, since I already had an appointment at Russell for a Day-Long seat, figured I might as well have Clearwater do the install as I would be within 2.5 hours of the place.
The Clearwater installation took about 2.5 hours. Glen stopped into the shop towards the end of the installation and I was fortunate enough to meet him and get a little chit-chat in before the guys finished with my lights. I first learned of the Clearwater lights on this forum last year and quickly took a liking to them and was determined to have the extra light for those dark nights, whether it be a long cross country run or just driving my 34 miles to work along the dark and winding backroads that happen to have quite a few deer. It was only later that I was reading the comments about the yellow lenses and how they can make the bike pop out of the background during day time driving...and I thought that might be a nice addition to the night driving capabilities. Having them installed and getting a better idea of the yellow lens performance...well, it blew me away. They were much brighter than what I had expected. As others have said on this forum, I noticed a lot of people looking directly at me as I passed them by as they sat at the intersections along the roads I was riding. I could also see a yellow hue on the white background speed limit signs as I rode down the highway. I had once wondered if I would bother to switch out the yellow lenses for day time riding versus night or if I would just not bother with them...well, I can unequivacally say that I will absolutely be inserting those yellow lenses for any daytime riding. If you are getting Clearwater lights, buy the yellow lenses! I always felt the yellow paint on my Goldwing helped me stand out a bit and the louder pipes on my HD helped me stand out a bit...these Clearwater lights with the yellow lenses is an entire level up.
Went up to Shasta Lake for my Tuesday appointment with Russell. Stayed in a hotel in Redding, just down the road. Several months ago, I had scheduled a "ride-in" appointment at Russell to have a Day-Long seat built for me and requested leather samples in brown and black. Pretty much thought I would be going with a brown color and I received the samples the next week and the one color jumped out at me. Some of the samples they sent me could be used for the entire seat, some of the leathers could only be used for seat insert sections. There were two brown samples that caught my eye: the first was a darker brown, but it was marked for "insert" use only, the second was the tan color that I selected. I really wanted to do a ride-in appointment for the seat, as opposed to taking measurements and sending my seat in to them...I just felt I would get a better fit that way. I went for the January appointment because if fit into my schedule and I was impatient...I will say, I think anyone riding in during the warm weather months will have some beautiful roads in that part of the country...I will be going back. The guys took my measurements that morning as I sat on the bike, in addition to what I had already provided them. I told them I wanted the seat to come up and back. I started with the BMW "high" seat that came with my bike. Now, they happened to have an extra K 1600 seat in the shop, so they put that on my GTL and told me to come back around 11:30 AM for a test fitting. The seat they gave me must have been the short one, because I really felt cramped at that point (BTW, the seat pan is the same for the K 1600s, whether you have the low, high, or extra high seat). I came back for the test fitting and sat on the foam support construction they had built. Liked what I felt and told them to move forward as it was. I came back later close to 4:00 PM and they had the backrest complete and were finishing up the rest of the seat. I will tell you, as soon as I did the test fitting, I knew there was going to be a world of difference. Others have said sitting on the Russell Day-Long is akin to sitting in a nice, comfy office chair. I'd concur with that...I would also say that it served to make the OEM BMW seat feel like I was straddling a padded log. I had a short ride around the area but wanted to get the bike loaded back on the trailer before it got dark and caught some sleep before getting an early start back home the next morning.
Probably be about 2 1/2 months before I get to put a long day or two on the seat...looking forward to when that time comes. I'll get a few afternoon rides in when the temps dip upward, as they do on occasion throughout the winter here on the front range...but I have a few more items to complete for April. Everyone was great that I met on the trip and I'm very happy with these latest additions to the GTL. Didn't have any big storms on the trip, but the 60+ mph winds on my way west through Wyoming resulted in near white-out conditions for 2 1/2 hours and also caused icy spots on some of the roads. On the way back, some snow in the Sierra Nevadas had chain laws in place for California Highway 44 but things were better after leaving California. Encountered more high winds and icy roads coming back through Wyoming and finally decided it best to stop around 3:30 AM as the winds were picking up, the temps were going down, and the roads were getting patches of black ice.
Current: 2019 BMW K 1600 GTL, 2010 Honda Goldwing, 2003 HD FXSTD-I 100th Anniversary
Former: 1981 Suzuki GS450, 1991 HD FXSTC, 1995 HD FLHTCU 30th Anniversary