Well, I finally had the chance to take Blue Belle out on our first full-day ride - a 350-mile round trip up to and along God's (and FDR's) gift to motorcyclists, the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not only did it give me a chance to complete the 1000-mile break-in, but it was a great opportunity to figure out what I'll need to do to make her a great tourer.
Power - there's plenty of it when needed, and all across the revs. Enough that i'm glad I didn't have this bike when I was 25, because I might have easily outrun my (lack of) common sense.
Economy - with a good mixture of back roads, interstate and Parkway, mileage was in the upper 50s, on 87 octane. I expect this will even improve over time, and since this is my primary year-round transportation, it's important to me.
Handling - superb, especially on the twists going up to and coming down off the Parkway. The V just went where I asked it to, no questions, with hardly any braking required.
Room for improvement:
Wind - the stock V doesn't have much wind protection, especially compared with the Scarabeo 500GT I rode previously. It's OK for this hot, muggy summer, but will be an issue from October onwards. A bigger windscreen and hand guards will take care of this.
Seating - since I lowered the bike, it's fairly cramped, so Speedy will be getting more of my business! Crash bars with highway pegs may come later. Once the legroom is sorted out, I'll be better able to assess the actual seat; 'perma-wedgie' is what currently comes to mind.
Vibration - this is the big one; I'm not used to this degree of buzzing, both in my hands and feet. What makes it more difficult is that the strongest vibrations are right around 4500 rpm, which translates to 65 mph in 6th - right where I want to be on back roads! I'm changing the rear sprocket to a 43T this weekend, which should move the mega shakes to a different speed. But I need to find a way to reduce the vibes before I can really enjoy 400-500 mile days (which I do fairly often).
All in all, though, I'm a happy camper. The Versys is, above all, an excellent value; even with the necessary farkling, it's a way better deal than anything else in its class. There are ways to readily take care of any deficiencies, and the positives easily more than compensate. I look forward to many long and beautiful adventures together…