CMG Life: My Commute with the big GS

As part of working at CMG, I am required to get from home (Saint John, NB) to the CMG offices (Sackville, NB), a commute of about 250 kms. Thankfully I don’t have to do this every day, as The Boss only needs me in the office a couple days a week, meaning the commute is there and back once a week.

The commute this summer has been particularly brightened up with the allotment of the BMW R1200GS long termer to myself while ‘Arris has pressed the Honda CRF250L into Fundy Adventure Rally scouting duties.

As we both alluded to in the last GS update, it is a bike that is spookily happy at 140 km/h + speeds, giving the rider the perception that all is still somewhat legal, even if it isn’t. Recently, as I was trying to make my escape from Sackville and the ominous rain clouds, I tucked over the tank with no regard to speed limits, desperately trying to outrun the storm behind me.

The Adirondacks region boasts some very good roads.
Rollin’ down the highway, smiling, like my Prince Edward Island forbearer, Bud the Spud.

It wasn’t long before I saw the cherries light up – a Mountie had me dead to rights. I pulled over swiftly, shut off the bike, and pondered how fast he’d clocked me at.

“Well,” he said, “XXX kph* is too fast.”

I handed over my licence and the bevy of documents that come with any test bike. Immediately, a cloud of confusion crossed his face as he tried to figure out how a New Brunswick rider had got his hands on a motorcycle from Ontario. And then, an unfortunate cager ripped by, offering him a quick escape.

“I’ll tell you what, have a nice day,” he shouted over his shoulder as he sprinted back to his cruiser to pursue the miscreant.

Double win! Pulled over, no ticket and not even a lecture?

A sunset is even more sweet after you've just avoided a ticket.
A sunset is even more sweet after you’ve just avoided a ticket.

The point of the story is this: While people generally think of budget bikes like the CBR300 or GW250 as ideal commuters, the fact is, not everyone’s commute is along city streets. If your commute involves a decent length of highway — and for many, it does — there is certainly room for a big bike like the GS.

No, you can’t say it’s saving you money on gas. However, you do have a bike that will double down as a wicked street tourer that can even handle unpaved roads if you buy the appropriate rims and tires (next on our list). And then, on Monday morning, you can still zip into work at extra-legal speeds while getting a pass from the cops because you’re riding an “old guy’s bike.” Maybe.

I’ve spent most of my motorcycling career on bikes with very spartan comforts. My DR650, much as I love it, wears the rider throughout a long day in the saddle. It’s been nice to experience the other side of moto-life, the kind that Editor ‘Arris usually keeps to himself.

*censored to avoid the ire of my insurer.

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