Friday, October 18, 2013

Trip to The Netherlands

Last week, I rode the R1100S to The Netherlands, to have the Rapid Bike fuel injection module set up by Dutch specialist Ruud Fredriks, founder of Tovami. How a sunny and sweet ride it was. I mostly took A roads, but there were areas where the landscape was absolutely beautiful and hopefully where only B roads were available.

Just a few miles before destination, I stopped by a town map to make sure I was where I intended to.

When I arrived, I wasn't really impressed with Ruud's shop. I even thought it was closed. But then that was before I pushed the door ...

Ruud's shop is clean and organised. There was a BMW HP4 on one bench waiting for a new set of clutch plates. The story of this bike is that it's being raced in the Dutch Superbike championship (as well as IDM). Ruud has spent half of the time praising for the HP4 technological advance and build quality. He's prepared the one you see below himself by working on the electronics (making the ECU think the rear wheel is smaller to change the traction control's behaviour, for instance).

I've spent 2 hours with him that felt like 5 minutes. Ruud is a very knowledgeable person who has dozens of racing and riding tales to listen to, like the one about this dyno room he's built himself.

Ruud also builds his own kit like this battery-powered air-fuel ratio tool he once took in an airplane to check if his setup of  the plane's old Bings would work up there. Would ...

Now to the RapidBike fiddling part. He put the R1100S on the dyno, tweaked the map for every rev range and throttle openings and only stopped when he was happy with the result. He managed to build a map that provides a nice flat torque curve (where the standard one has a flat spot around 4500rpm) and helped bringing the power figures up to 101BHP at the rear wheel (compared to 98 standard at the crank).

The ride back home was great. The bike sure pulls stronger. I said that already, but this R1100S came to the point of being the best bike I've had in all these years. Now that it's well set up in the engine department, the major improvements made in the suspension area can really be felt and are definitely to be considered as the bike's best upgrade.

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