6,733 Miles 23 Days 17 States - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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6,733 Miles 23 Days 17 States

Last week I returned from a 6,733 mile ride that took 23 days and covered 17 states on a 2009 Versys.

My route took me from Charleston, SC to Santa Fe, NM, then up the Rockies through Colorado (stayed in Lake City for 5 days) and on to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. From there I rode across the Beartooth Pass (elevation 10,947 feet) into Montana, across South Dakota (stopping in Sturgis for coffee), and then through the mid-west to Charleston. In addition to interstate super-slab and state highways, my riding included county roads and country dirt/gravel roads.

With stock sprockets, H-T 7.5" Teton panniers, and a 65 liter dry bag across the passenger seat, and strong headwinds during much of the east-to-west and west-to-east segments...my V delivered 47 mpg overall for the trip. I might also add that a significant portion of the ride included interstate speeds of 75-80 mph (as measured by a Garmin GPS). Other than an oil change and new tires (Dunlop Road Smarts) in Colorado...the only attention the bike required was routine chain lubrication and tire pressure adjustment. It did not consume any measurable amount of oil throughout the trip.

While a heavy touring machine would certainly have been more comfortable for interstate highway travel...the V earned my complete respect due to its highly capable performance in a wide variety of situations. It truly is a versatile motorcycle.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:40 PM
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glad to hear you had a great trip! I am planning to come back across Canada on mine in two weeks and it's good to hear the little V likes to stretch her legs...thanks again for posting your info...any pics coming? would love to see what you experienced!
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I have some fairly nice pics...just need to figure out how to post them on this forum. Have a nice trip, Surfire. The V surprised me...its legs are much longer than I expected.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:57 PM
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Sounds like a great trip, there is a thread on how to post photos but can't find at moment. It shows how to put your photos into a site called photo bucket. If bear on bike is out there he will know as he gave the advice.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 06:04 PM
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:33 PM
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Truly impressive.
Would you mind sharing what mods you think helped the most on a trip of this length.
For example, I would imagine you're not riding with a stock seat.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:48 PM
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Sounds like an awesome trip. Glad to hear the Versys performed so well.
How were the roads in Yellowstone National Park? I am planning a trip up to Beartooth Pass and considering going through the Park from the Jackson Hole end. Id like some feedback on hwy 191/89/287 and 14/20 from someone who has ridden it.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:47 AM
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Sounds like you had a really enjoyable tour . I hope to ride out to the rockies at some point and enjoy a sizeable tour.


Those who say money can't buy happines haven't bought A VERSYS.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stephenwclark View Post
Sounds like an awesome trip. Glad to hear the Versys performed so well.
How were the roads in Yellowstone National Park? I am planning a trip up to Beartooth Pass and considering going through the Park from the Jackson Hole end. Id like some feedback on hwy 191/89/287 and 14/20 from someone who has ridden it.
The only rough area I encountered was around the northeast entrance where they are doing road/bridge construction. Mainly a dirt situation with a small bit of mud. I loved the eastern side of the park...lots of bison and great views. The western (Old Faithful) area...not so much. You'll love the Beartooth.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:25 AM.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Truly impressive.
Would you mind sharing what mods you think helped the most on a trip of this length.
For example, I would imagine you're not riding with a stock seat.
I started the trip using an Alaskan Sheepskin seat pad that I had previously used on my BMW R1100RT. It DID NOT work on V. I ordered a Soft Bottom gel seat cushion and had it shipped to a friend in Lake City, CO. The Soft Bottom worked quite well and cost approximately $125.00 with shipping. Here are the other mods I made to the bike:

- Givi windscreen (intend to add a Laminar Lip)
- Fenda Extenda (seemed to protect the radiator adequately)
- LSL frame sliders (personal preferance over crash bars)
- Acerbis Dual Road handguards (worked well for bug and rain deflection)
- Motowerk handlebar riser (improved riding position)
- Motowerk Flatfoot (this is a "must" for the V)
- Skidmarx hugger (worked well for keeping water and dirt off the electronics)
- H-T 7.5" Teton panniers (tight on space but are within the width of the handlebars)
- H-T pannier top bags (much more useful than I expected)
- Cortech Super Mini tank bag (very compact and quite handy)
- Powerlet 12v socket (used to charge cell phone/GPS and power Cycle pump)
- Harbor Freight rear swingarm spools
- Dunlop Road Smart tires (big improvement over OEM)

My gear included a Cycle pump Adventure Model that I used to adjust tire pressure between the rather extreme elevations.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-05-2011 at 01:23 PM.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 09:49 AM
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6 day trip

I also just completed a 7 day road trip from Newfoundland, Canada throughout all Atlantic Provinces, and back. No plan, no destination, just me and my '07 V. I did not clock the kilometers, but I estimate it to be about 5000km. I met some wonderful people. Only add on was a Givi windshield, and 12 V outlet for GPS. My V performed perfectly, no issues. I will obtain a gel seat for next long trip though!! I now realize what I require to do a cross Canada journey next year. I am bitten but the touring bug now.

I figured it out!! A good day is when you can't see through your visor or windshield b/c of the bug splatter!!!!
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the Trip Report

Thanks for the report. Okay, gotta say, I've been to Lake City off and on since the late '70's, - I've camped and wheeled in the area and love it. Last time I was up there was about three years ago. Well, thanks for mentioning Lake City, brought back some great memeories.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the report. Okay, gotta say, I've been to Lake City off and on since the late '70's, - I've camped and wheeled in the area and love it. Last time I was up there was about three years ago. Well, thanks for mentioning Lake City, brought back some great memeories.
Friends own one of the small historical houses in Lake City. They parked their 35' motorhome at the campgrounds at the north end of town for me to use as a "guesthouse". Did four great days of riding in the area. Our trip to Paonia was especially interesting.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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My favorite photo of my V...the Sand Springs stop on the Oregon Trail. A Wyoming State Trooper stopped and we talked about motorcycles. He gave me a WY state police sticker that ended up on the left rear pannier.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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It was hot in Elk City, OK...home of the Route 66 Museum.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:29 AM.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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MidPoint Cafe in Alden, TX. A popular stop on route 66.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:32 AM.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:35 AM.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Grand Tetons.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:38 AM.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Top of the Beartooth.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:39 AM.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Had a cup of coffee, took this photo, and headed for the Black Hills...before the t-shirt festival got into full swing.

2009 GREEN Versys
2006 Yellow Pearl H-D VRSCR Street Rod
2010 Scarlet Red H-D FXDF Fat Bob

Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.

Last edited by CharlestonADV; 08-08-2011 at 11:41 AM.
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