Girl Meets World on FZ-07 Motorcycle - Chapter 2 - Part 5

Oh darn, stuck in Colorado

Tiff and I met at the track, where she races her Ninja 250 with more enjoyment and positivity than anyone else on the grid. When Tiffani got word that she’d be getting laid off from her job in Los Angeles, she didn’t fret. In typical ultra-optimistic Tiff style, she saw it as an opportunity to hit the road on her newly acquired Yamaha FZ-07. What follows are Tiffani’s reports from the road, albeit a bit delayed, originally posted for her friends on Facebook but shared here with her permission for all to enjoy. — Ari Henning

FZ-07 firewood camping in Colorado
Establishing base camp! It's about time I learned to build a proper fire!Photo by Tiffani Burkett

Now that I'm marginally settled again and my phone is less dead let me tell you a story about a bike that will now be officially dubbed the FZ-07C (aka: FZ-07 Colorado edition) as it can apparently handle just about everything you could want to handle in this state. I've been in Colorado about three weeks now partly due to injury and mostly due to liking it too much, so let's recap:

After establishing a good free base camp in the middle of the woods, it was a lot easier to do some day trips and explore the area without having to worry about where I was sleeping each night. So naturally, my first order of business was to explore a nearby racetrack! Rocky Mountain Minimoto was holding an event at the nearby Bandimere Speedway, and who can say no to grown men on children’s bikes with supermoto tires. The turnout was light, as the weekend overlapped with an MRA weekend (Colorado’s club racing organization) down in Pueblo, but everyone still put on a good show. A racer named Gary let me ride his bike around track after the event was over, letting me scratch that racetrack itch. Perfect way to spend the day!

Tiffani at the track in Colorado with mystery bike
Still not sure what this bike even is, but it was fun!Photo by Tiffani Burkett

After that, it was back to camping. I met up with some of Hollywood’s friends from a local bar and we all camped by the lake for a couple days. Randy had a fully dressed KLR 650 and lead the way around some of the more dual sport friendly roads near Decker and Lake Wellington. Hollywood was still working on getting his own bike, and having grown up “whizbanging around a ranch” on dirt bikes, I conceded to letting him do the riding. I still couldn’t stand on the pegs anyways with my sprained knee, so I didn’t feel compelled to disagree.

In case anyone was wondering, the FZ-07 with a set of dual sport Shinkos can handle fire roads, small stream crossings in the rain, slick hills, freaking rocks freaking everywhere, roads that were clearly not meant for sport bikes, AND it can do that riding two up. After riding it for a bit and seeing what the bike was capable of, he dubbed my set up the perfect Colorado bike, as it is quick, sporty, and nimble through the endless twisty roads around here, but also can get you anywhere you reasonably might go off the highway without getting yourself into too much trouble. It’s always funny to see the look on people’s faces in the rare instances where I let someone else ride the FZ. I guess it’s probably similar to how my face was when I first test rode one and determined I had to have it, haha.

We tooled around the area for a bit before heading down to Pueblo to visit Aaron, a racer who had crashed and took a hard hit to the head during the previous race weekend. He was still in a coma, but the doctors seemed hopeful. We dropped off some flowers to match his racebike to wish him well. At some point, Hollywood found a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance at a random used bookstore in the middle of nowhere, which he gave me as a gift for the road. Apparently it’s a must read for any road trip on a motorcycle. I had never read it before, so should be good for killing time when I’m in the middle of BFE with no service!

Tiffani cleaning her FZ-07 in Colorado
The cleanest this bike has been since I bought it. Let's see how long this lasts.Photo by Tiffani Burkett

At the end of the week, I ended back up toward Denver to get some new tires put on the FZ. With 15k on the front tire and 8k on the rear, they were ready to be swapped. Dennis, another friend from the MRA, spooned on some new Shinkos while I cleaned off a month’s worth of dirt and grime. As we finished up, Dennis mentioned some flat track racing down at IMI Motorsports Complex. Not one to ever say no to racing, we headed over for some good old fashioned redneck sports. We arrived to see a number of other MRA racers who I knew from racing in Colorado and California. Sadly (by which I mean to say thank God), I got to the track too late to sign up for the hooligan class on the FZ -- a race comprised of street bikes in no way made for flat tracking. I think I might have done well with my Rich Oliver and Feel Like a Pro Dirt training. But, it's probably for the best that I didn’t get a chance to try on my only transportation, haha.

The races were entertaining, but when a storm rolled through in the late evening, the clay-like dirt turned into a slick slip-n-slide of mud. After a few failed attempts to navigate the mess (on my freshly cleaned bike. Le sigh), I gave up and accepted help from some racers who offered to trailer out the bikes for anyone still stuck in the gates. The next morning was more racing! I headed over to SBR Motorsports Park with Dennis and Hollywood for some supermoto racing with Colorado Supermoto. After some spectacular battles (and spectacular crashes) I finally parted ways with Hollywood so he could take care of some work, then headed to Colorado springs to meet up with Price and Tomasz, some friends from SoCal who just drove in to race the Pike's Peak Hill Climb in a few weeks.

Tiffani in Colorado with fuzzy hat
Chilling at 14,110 feet while my buddies try to acclimate before the big race.Photo by Tiffani Burkett

The next week went by quickly. I showed Price around some of the roads I had come to love near Deckers and Pine Grove and Evergreen, and rode to the top of Pike's Peak. I tried the much acclaimed donuts at the summit while Tomasz practiced some runs before the big race. Although, admittedly, I was starting to miss my travel buddy of the last few weeks. But Hollywood still had some affairs to get in order, so I headed back up the state to camp at Poudre River and Rocky Mountain National Park without all the inclement weather that ruined them the first time.

While the campground at RMNP isn't the most exciting compared to the dispersed camping I'm now getting used to, the view is top notch, and you meet some of the nicest people camping in national parks. That said, just one more week till the Hill Climb, and then it's finally time to move on from Colorado. But man this state is charming!

FZ-07 at Rocky Mountain National Park
Turns out Rocky Mountain National Park is way prettier when you’re not getting snowed on.Photo by Tiffani Burkett