13 Day Solo Trip Across US on the Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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13 Day Solo Trip Across US on the Versys

Hey guys, just wrapped up a 13 day, 4800 mile solo trip across the US on the Versys. I'll be posting up some videos from the trip over the next week or so as I edit them.

My Youtube handle is "RealBigTuna" (link in sig). I can't post links yet. Too much lurking, not enough posting.

A quick summary of the trip:
Day 1: Chicago, IL to Geneseo, IL (grandma's bday)
Day 2: Geneseo, IL to Algona, IA
Day 3: Algona, IA to Badlands (got rained on for 4.5 hours)
Day 4: Badlands, SD to Black Hills, SD
Day 5: Black Hills, SD
Day 6: Black Hills, SD to Cody, WY
Day 7: Cody, WY to West Yellowstone, MT
Day 8: West Yellowstone, MT to Provo, UT
Day 9: Provo, UT to Moab, UT
Day 10: Moab, UT to Estes Park, CO
Day 11: Estes Park, CO to Kearny, NE
Day 12: Kearny, NE to Geneseo, IL
Day 13: Geneso, IL to Chicago, IL

Excuse the audio on the first 3 days of the trip. There is a decent amount of wind noise, and I had a cold. This was my first venture into moto vlogging, so needed to try several mic positions to improve the audio over the first few days.


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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 05:53 AM
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Sounds like an awesome adventure. I got to enjoy a few of those spots on the Versys in 2015. Great job making a big solo trip like that!

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:51 AM
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Sounds like a great trip!

2015 Concours 14 ABS, 2014 Versys 650 ABS, 2006 Vulcan 500 (sold)
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:52 AM
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Went to your youtube channel. Watched day 1,2 and 4.

Day 4 for you said "Go get some beer." Store must have been a hell of a long ways away cuz you never arrived...Lol.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Lol, I picked it up off camera


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:50 PM
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Moved thread, easier found under member rides
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 09:43 AM
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Hi and welcome to the forum! I can see you have only 8 posts but you are no newbie, that's great!
Let me be the first to ask you about your camping experience.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Hi and welcome to the forum! I can see you have only 8 posts but you are no newbie, that's great!
Let me be the first to ask you about your camping experience.
Thanks! Been lurking for a while, but figured it was time to share some experiences.

I camped a couple nights in Black Hills and Badlands. All of the campsites and facilities were very clean in both areas. Nightly rates were a consistent $28 for the designated camping areas. A lot of camper vans and families, but I never ran into any issues with noise or anything like that.

I was lucky a couple of those nights, snagging the last available campsite in Custer State Park 2 nights in a row. They typically book up well in advance, but going in with no set plan as far as dates go, I booked same day.

You can also do some backwoods camping in those areas for free, you just need to check in at a ranger station and provide them with a few bits of info. They require your name, contact info, the general direction you are heading in, and how long you plan to be there. They will also go through any fire regulations in effect at the time. Find a good spot, set up, then check out at the station when you leave.

I'll do some backwoods camping on a later trip. I wasn't completely setup to pull it off on this trip, although I probably could have.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 01:05 PM
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You must have done needles highway early in the morning, it is usually packed with traffic.

the Black Hills is definitely a great place to ride (except during Sturgis rally week).
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 01:13 PM
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I would also suggest upgrading your tires to Michelin Road 5s, they are MUCH better than the garbage Dunlops the V650 comes with stock.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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You must have done needles highway early in the morning, it is usually packed with traffic.

the Black Hills is definitely a great place to ride (except during Sturgis rally week).
Ya, I started that morning on Iron Mountain road at about 7:00am. Was around 8:15am by the time I started Needles. If you are going to ride in that area, as early as possible is the best time.


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ran into another Versys guy on the way back. Pic attached.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 04:09 PM
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So based on your route I assume you did US34 in and out of Estes Park, that road will make you want to punch kittens during the day, even on a weekday because of the insane traffic.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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So based on your route I assume you did US34 in and out of Estes Park, that road will make you want to punch kittens during the day, even on a weekday because of the insane traffic.
You got it. There was construction throughout to top it off. They had it down to one lane, so traffic was stopping completely as they let each side pass through. Would have been an awesome road traffic free though.


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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 06:56 AM
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So based on your route I assume you did US34 in and out of Estes Park, that road will make you want to punch kittens during the day, even on a weekday because of the insane traffic.

There is NOTHING that I could experience that would make me want to punch defenseless kittens! I wish I could say the same about other human beings though.

My Versys Travels:


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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RealBigTuna View Post
Lol, I picked it up off camera
Nuthin like a cold 6 pack of OCB...Off Camera Beer.

Cheers.

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 12:40 PM
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Nuthin like a cold 6 pack of OCB...Off Camera Beer.

Cheers.
I ALWAYS thought that OCB meant:

Old Coots Beer....

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Nuthin like a cold 6 pack of OCB...Off Camera Beer.

Cheers.
Nothin like a cold 6 pack of OCB that has to be consumed before it gets warm
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 11:57 PM
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Ok, the Beartooth pass video might be the best one yet. They weren't kidding when they said Yellowstone and Montana got a ton of snow this winter. I am assuming this trip was within the last few weeks? Down here in Southern Wyoming/Colorado we barely got any snow this winter, the mountain passes have been snow free since late may.
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