This past week we my son and I along with two other friends made a 8 day trip from Raleigh NC to Sydney NS around Cape Breton (Cabot Trail) and back. Since the Maine ferries no longer run we rode around thru New Brunswick. 3800 miles in all. Here is a brief trip report.
The herd consisted of 2 BMW R1200 RT's, 1 BMW R1150RT and my son's Versys.
I am in no way trying to compare the two machines, they are in different price classes. However, the Versys did well. My son (19) rode the Versys and I was very impressed.
To prepare for the event a few farkles were needed.
1) Givi top case
2) Givi 21's side cases
3) Heated Grips (Hot Grips)
4) Seat mod by Sargeant.
5) Helen2Wheels waterproof duffle with straps.
6) Cee Bailey's tall windscreen (euro cut)
7) Chatterbox X1 (not a necessity, but nice to talk to the other guys)
8) Garmin 2720 GPS
1) Raleigh -> Newburgh NY
2) Newburgh -> Bangor Maine (scenic route thru Vermont/New Hampshire)
3) Bangor -> Truro NS
4) Truro -> Sydney NS
5) Sydney -> Truro (thru Cabot Trail)
6) Truro -> Bangor
7) Bangor -> Acadia National Park -> Connecticut
8) Connecticut -> Raleigh
Well anytime you can spend 8 days on a bike with friends and arrive back safely with no breakdowns, it's really all good.
1) The people in Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick are awesome. They really welcome you.
2) The Cabot trail is a phenominal stretch of road, reminds me of the "Million Dollar Highway" in Colorado. Breathtaking.
3) Acadia National Park is a treasure, and Bar Harbor ME was beautiful.
1) We'll weather changes can be dramatic in the spring, we saw 41 degrees and rain, then 48 hours later 94 degrees and high humidity, so prepare for all.
2) The secondary roads in Canada "SUCK!". Now the dual sport crowd will say they are awesome, but if you really are trying to do sport touring riding (400+ miles per day), then SUCK would be appropriate. Potholes and broken pavement are everywhere. The main highways are as good as any interstate in the US and nearly as boring.
All in all, I would go back to Nova Scotia in a heartbeat, but not on a sport touring class motorcycle.
Now back to the Versys. Other than the fact that we arrived back in Raleigh with steel belts showing (9700 on the tires), it is amazing what a great value the $7000 Versys is when compared to the $18000 BMW's. Not the same ride for sure, but for those wanting to enter the sport touring world on a budget, a great option.