Texas farm country – RanchStoc 2024

Had a fantastic trip to Meridian, TX, to attend RanchStoc 2024, to meet old friends, and some new ones.

Stayed at Lake Tom Bailey Camp, MS after a good 600 mile ride. I was supposed to be met by thunderstorms and possible torando’s around Jackson, MS the next day.

Didn’t see any twisters, but it was an all day heavy rain event. Finally pulled in at Meridian Creek Ranch in the afternoon after another 600 miles.

Ranch lodge.

Visited an old, local “built by Norwegians” church located on the ranch

Next day, headed up to Stephensville, the get a hold of some BBQ at Hard Eight BBQ. Good stuff.

Started back home on Sunday morning. Very nice weather. Rode of Naches Trace for a while until I got to Jeff Busby Camp, where I decided to spend the night.

Next morning I continued up the Trace, and decided to make a shortcut, cutting across middle TN, into McMinneville, hit TN 30 (very nice road) until I reached my planned destination for the night, Cherohala Mountain Trails Camp. Had not stayed there before, so decided to give it a try. Very nice and friendly host.

Up early next morning, packed up, and headed up Cherohala Skyway. Didn’t see anothe4 soul on the way across. Stopped in Robinsville for breakfast, and continued on 28 towards Waynesville, hit the Blue ridge Parkway, exit on 276 down into Brevard, and continued on 276 to SC Foothills Parkway, the on SC 9 back home.

The GSA was ready for a 48K service, so I proceeded to do a valve check. Left side was all in spec. Right side had seen better days. That intake lobe looks “odd” 😆.

I’ll have to replace the right intake cam, and two cam followers. Oh well, nothing serious 😂.

BMW S1000 XR Brentune Stage 1-3 flash

BMW S1000 XR Brentune Stage 1-3 flash

Went ahead and pushed up stage 1-3 Brentune flash for my S1000 XR. This something I had been wanting to do for a while. Wow, big difference in every way. More torque, horsepower, smoother quick shift, and a lot more. You load down your original ECU flash down to the handheld, send it to Brentune Moto, and they send back a modified file that is pushed to the bike, again, using the handheld. Good stuff.

Stage 1:

  • Full exhaust flap control for valved exhausts
  • Full recalculation of the ASC torque control for straight line and cornering performance
  • Per-cylinder fuel tuning designed around aftermarket exhaust systems
  • Remapped throttle angles for increased power through the entire RPM range
  • Better power on all fuels leading to higher trap/lap times in testing
  • Smoother idle speeds and fueling for full exhaust
  • Fully recalibrated UP and DOWN shifts for faster quick shifter timing (30% faster over Stage 2)
  • Better cooling and engine prevention in staging lanes idling for drag strip or circuit
  • Early fan-on for better cooling
  • More aggressive and stronger launch control with no launch limit
  • Each cylinder tuned individually for maximum power and reliability
  • Recalibrated knock control to rule out “false knock” caused by engine vibration
  • Recalibrated torque control for all traction control modes (sport, race, slick)
  • Adjustable tire size and TC/ABS per customer request
  • Full AlphaN fueling conversion
  • Secondary air control (block off plate not needed)
  • Transmission gear box limiters raised
  • Factory exhaust control over exhaust valves for more power and better sound
  • Recalibrated intake air temp and coolant temp compensation tables for max performance in all weather conditions
  • Raised load torque limits for additional power
  • Air mass, idle, part/full throttle and Lambda correction maps for all exhausts
  • Ignition mapping optimized for more power
  • Removed 80% WOT (wide open throttle) limiter
  • Adjusted torque model to align with new power of bike and limiter removal
  • Shorter up and downshift dead times for maximum driveability and acceleration
  • Ignition/fuel calculation for maximum performance and response for almost all fuels and race gas

That’s a lot of changes and improvements. and you can certainly feel it when riding. Should have done this long time ago.


Current bikes

Figured I could write a few lines about the bikes I use for touring and just good ol’ mountain road carving.

My main touring bike is a 2015 BMW R1200 GSA. I’ve had this bike since new. I have done all the maintenance and service myself on all the bikes I have owned, and that goes the two bikes I currently have. You get to know your bike a lot better, and so you can do a much better job having the knowledge if something happens on the road. While talking about maintenance, I should mention that I also use and carry on trips, a GS911, giving me the ability I to diagnose potential issues, as well as reset maintenance reminders.

The draft horse - 2015 BMW R1200 GSA

2015 BMW R1200 GSA

The GSA is my main touring bike, for obvious reasons. Longer range, with a close to 9 gallon tank, better wind protection, ability to go off-road, very comfortable at highway speeds, long suspension travel, full electronic package, (dynamic traction control, dynamic suspension, automatic traction control, ABS, ride modes with automatic traction, suspension and ABS selection. You can also pack a lot of camping gear on it.

The GSA is a very tall bike, with a 35-36 inch seat height. and gets even taller if you use some of the aftermarket seats. I currently use a Russel Day-Long, which I find do be a very good all day riding kind of seat. The windscreen I use is a PIG tall touring screen, supported by extra shield supports on both sides.

The bike has a set of Clearwater Erica lights, which are mounted on the crash bar on each side of the bike. The light can be easily adjusted using the “wonder wheel” on the left handlebar, when yo can adjust different light intensities for low- and high beam, along with separate light intensities during day /night. The brake light is a Clearwater Billie light, also fully customizable from the canbus.

Other extras are radiator protectors on both sides, bigger side stand foot, BMW Navigator 5 GPS and a Uniden R3 radar detector, among a few other improvements.

I absolutely love this work horse. Never had an issue with it, except had the water pump changed under warranty,  as it started trickling coolant from the weep hole. Current tires: Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2. 40/36 PSI.

I currently have around 40.000 miles on the bike.


The thoroughbred, 2018 BMW S1000XR. I got this bike new in 2018. The main reason for getting the bike was to use it on short day trips, and weekend trips to the mountains. It can’t really compare at all to the R1200 GSA. Completely different animals. And this bike is exactly that, an animal, a beast. It is the fastest and most nimble bike I have ever ridden.


The S1000 XR has the same engine as the S1000RR, but tuned a little different (more torque mid-range). It is still basically a very angry-acting S1000 superbike engine, and its inline four runs at about 5K at ~70 mph.. It is my bike of choice on twisty mountain roads, as it is VERY planted, nimble, with a smooth power delivery that will do whatever you tell it to, whether it be sick acceleration out of corners, or power wheelies in first to fourth gear. It is not what I would characterize as a touring bike. It will do a daily commute, a cross country trip (again, I don’t consider it a touring bike, but it can certainly do it), it will (in capable hands) out-gun and out-handle many super-bikes. For some riders, this will be the ultimate motorcycle that can do almost anything to perfection. For me, it does everything to perfection, except being a perfect touring bike.

The XR also has dynamic traction control / electronic suspension control / ABS Pro (leaning ABS) / Ride modes. These are much more refined on the XR than on the GSA. The XR also has shift assist Pro (butter smooth clutch-less up and down, regardless of engine load). My GSA has shift assist, but is far from the shift assist Pro on the XR.

So, the R1200GSA for long distance touring, and the S1000XR for serious fun in the mountains, with some weekend camping blended in. I currently have around 13.000 miles on this bike.