2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Thunderhill or Bust
May 31, 2011
With a few complaints lodged recently about the Raptor's transmission acting up, there was no guarantee we'd actually make it to northern California's Thunderhill Raceway for a motorcycle track day.
Luckily, the transmission worked just fine, with only some minor abruptness at low speed when cold. Other than that, the Raptor was awesome. It comes pre-wired for ballsiness, especially with the 6.2-liter V8 that's never at a loss for power, even when hauling two sportbikes, leathers, helmets, boots, tools, fuel and luggage.
So myself, The Wife and our friends JonE and OLI (names have been changed to protect the guilty) were off, ready to spend the majority of our Memorial Day weekend driving Ford pickups and riding sportbikes. And that was okay with us.
Both The Wife and JonE found the front seats to be surprisingly comfy, and the wife even found the rear seat adequate enough that she fell asleep for a short stint when we had three people in the truck (usually JonE rode with OLI in his truck).
Loading my bike into the Raptor's way-tall bed at home was aided greatly by our house-of-a-neighbor, Tony. Always good to have a neighbor like Tony at your disposal. Thanks, man.
The Raptor averaged 13.0 mpg during the 1,000-mile-plus round trip (12.0 worst, 14.7 best).
For a photo essay of the trip, follow the jump. If you don't care, don't follow it.
Loaded up and ready to hit the road.
Yep, gas is expensive these days.
Eight hours later and we made it to Thunderhill, and JonE's excited. And why not? It's a fantastic track, with plenty of flowing, high-speed turns and a great surface. Easily one of the best tracks on the west coast.
Riders crest a hill then head down an off-camber right-hander at Thunderhill, while the Raptor looks on.
That's a lot of crap. We had four bikes and five riders in our group, if you include The Wife riding on the back with me in two sessions.
For some reason, the battery in OLI's truck couldn't handle running his stereo for a half hour. Raptor to the rescue.
Track day is over, now we're heading home.
On the way home, the Raptor hit the 25,000 mile mark. Turns out it's hard to take a sharp photo of the odometer while you're driving. At least for us.
We parted ways with our friend, OLI, in SoCal. Which meant things got a little more crowded in the bed of the Raptor, which is pretty small; good thing for the extender.
And inside the cab as well.
All in all, a great trip. We just might have to make this an annual thing. Too bad we won't still have the Raptor next year.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 25,210 miles.