My first 'sort-of' long trip - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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My first 'sort-of' long trip

I've only been riding motorcycles since September. (and that includes a winter of no riding...Ohio gets cold)

I started out last year on one of the new Honda Rebel 300 bikes. Great to learn on. Also taught me what I like and what I don't....and what I don't like is the Honda Rebel 300! (ha ha) Single cylinder vibrated to the point of physical pain. So I sold it and picked up the Versys 650 this spring. Just before I started my little trip, I had 1500 miles on it.

I live just north of Columbus, Ohio, and I have a friend who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and it's been a goal of mine to ride up this summer for a visit. Still being a new rider, I wanted to avoid the highway. I've ridden some on the highway, but avoided it because I thought it was more dangerous. So I've kept to the back country roads, and what 'in town' riding I've done, has been in my smaller town just north of Columbus. (I've since found out that highway riding isn't as dangerous as urban riding. But being a novice, I thought highway=danger...I was wrong)

I planned on taking the back roads to Ann Arbor, and had a plan all set. Plenty of short breaks (to rest my hind end) and one gas fillup. I wouldn't even be going through Toledo, but rather the west side of Toledo, in what I thought would be country roads.

I start my trip at 10:45 in the morning. 15 miles away from home I get hit with a detour. I'm close enough from home to still be familiar with the area, and I have a feeling this detour is going to be a long and far out one. I was right. It easily added about 30 minutes of extra riding. Then, after another hour of riding...another detour. ..I was hit by 4 detours in all on the way up there. One of which got me totally lost. I had to break out the cell phone for some GPS assistance. And on the west side of Toledo...what I thought would be country roads was well developed suburbia. What I thought would be 65mph ended up being 35-45mph...with lots of traffic stops. And for miles south of Ann Arbor, again what I thought would be 65mph country roads ended up being 45mph commercial developed land with lots of traffic lights. The trip just dragged on and on. With my 1 gas break and several 'butt-rest breaks' it took, me just short of 6 hours to make the trip. And it was 90 degrees. As a frame of reference, a car trip (without butt breaks and probably not a gas break) takes 3 hours. A cold beer and a shower were first on the list after arrival.

So I made the decision to take the highway back home. Good choice: With gas break and several butt-rest breaks, it took 3.5 hours. But more than just the time factor, it seemed better because I was always at highway speeds, never at traffic lights, not going slow. Also, going highway speeds kept me cooler.

I'll make the trip again, but I'll make it a combination of highway and back roads. (no more than 25% back roads..and ones that don't have DETOURS!)

Last edited by Ohio Rider; 07-17-2019 at 03:45 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:07 PM
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I live just north of Columbus, Ohio, and I have a friend who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan
First I've heard of people near Columbus getting along with those in Ann Arbor.

Congrats on the ride! If you're like me, you definitely just caught the bug - good luck staying in any one place for very long anymore.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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First I've heard of people near Columbus getting along with those in Ann Arbor.
NOT!!

(For those that don't know, he's talking about the Ohio State University vs Univ of Michigan rivalry)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:30 PM
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So, lesson learned. Zoom in on google maps when planning routes. Gives you a much better idea of the area.

My Versys Travels:


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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So, lesson learned. Zoom in on google maps when planning routes. Gives you a much better idea of the area.
I think some of the satellite shots may be a bit old.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:11 PM
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Thanks for sharing your ride.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 12:07 PM
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Totally with you on taking back roads. One thing I do (feel free to laugh at me) is use Google maps to plan a trip. Turn on the traffic status (green/red road coloring) because it will also show which roads are closed. I also use street view at various places just to make sure itís a fun road to be on. Takes a lot of time but worth the effort for me. Other than the length of the ride glad your first trip went well!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 04:59 PM
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I just got back from what I think will be my last long ride........SD to southern BC, Canada and back. A little over 2300 miles.....my body did not like me the last three days of riding. Old age sucks....
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 12:28 PM
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I just got back from what I think will be my last long ride........SD to southern BC, Canada and back. A little over 2300 miles.....my body did not like me the last three days of riding. Old age sucks....
Duffy - sorry you didn't let me know you were coming into BC. I would have tried to ride w/ you a bit, acting as a 'guide'.

Ed
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 01:12 PM
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Duffy - sorry you didn't let me know you were coming into BC. I would have tried to ride w/ you a bit, acting as a 'guide'.
Thanks for the offer Eddie.....I never got west of Creston. This was a combined group from the Volusia Riders and the Vulcan Baggers. Most of the folks were Canadian so we had lots of "guides". It would have been nice to meet another Versys rider.

Not too long before this ride 'Steve in Florida' came through and spent a night on his way to Colorado. It's always nice to meet new folks.....I remember the old Honda ad, "you meet the nicest people on a Honda". That seems to apply to bikers in general.

I might very well be in Northwestern Wa. next year sometime with the toy hauler. I might just give you a yell then.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for the offer Eddie.....I never got west of Creston. This was a combined group from the Volusia Riders and the Vulcan Baggers. Most of the folks were Canadian so we had lots of "guides". It would have been nice to meet another Versys rider.

Not too long before this ride 'Steve in Florida' came through and spent a night on his way to Colorado. It's always nice to meet new folks.....I remember the old Honda ad, "you meet the nicest people on a Honda". That seems to apply to bikers in general.

I might very well be in Northwestern Wa. next year sometime with the toy hauler. I might just give you a yell then.
Hiya Duffy. It was good to meet you and the Mrs. I've spoken highly of you two with my Mrs. Who knows, we may be out that way at some point. I did and do appreciate the camping spot.

Had fun with the granddaughter in Colo and went on and finally rode the Devil's Highway in AZ. That road should be on every rider's bucket list. Awesome twists and elevation changes, decent pavement and no traffic. I pulled over for a lunch break for about a half hour and not one single car went by. Totally awesome road and experience. I did it two days in a row making it a loop with 78 and US 180. BTW don't hop on this road without checking your gas. It's something like 90 miles between stations, though a resort may have gas.

Another neat road find was NM 4 near Los Alamos.

Anyhow, got home last night. Wifey and I are heading to the N GA mountains in two weeks for more fun and games.

Too bad you didn't hook up with fasteddie, Mrs fasteddie does know her way around cooking, and has done some really neat art work. (Another driveway I've stayed at)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

To the OP, touring is a wonderful disease to catch.


On TDY at home.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 07:03 PM
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Congrats on your adventure. Columbus to Michigan country? Thatís a REAL adventure! As a native-born Ohioan, Iíve always found Michiganders pretty welcoming and fun. Now, have one of them venture to OSU country and the story changes! Buckeye fans will burn their bikes! Never figured that out. But if Buckeyes lose to Michigan, the whole Columbus campus area gets drunk and sets itself on fire! Always has, always will.

Youíre absolutely right about safety on interstates. Thatís the smart route in most cases. Iíve never had an issue there. On distance, itís my go to routing until I get where Iím going, then I venture more off the Eisenhower system. You picked an interesting route. Toledoís always under construction - has been for at least 40 years it seems. I assume you hit Sylvania or thereabouts. You clearly learned quite a few things! Thatís what itís all about. Keep riding the good ride. Donít tell me - your next trip will be to Happy Valley?

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 01:04 PM
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Hiya Duffy. It was good to meet you and the Mrs. I've spoken highly of you two with my Mrs. Who knows, we may be out that way at some point. I did and do appreciate the camping spot.

Had fun with the granddaughter in Colo and went on and finally rode the Devil's Highway in AZ. That road should be on every rider's bucket list. Awesome twists and elevation changes, decent pavement and no traffic. I pulled over for a lunch break for about a half hour and not one single car went by. Totally awesome road and experience. I did it two days in a row making it a loop with 78 and US 180. BTW don't hop on this road without checking your gas. It's something like 90 miles between stations, though a resort may have gas.

Another neat road find was NM 4 near Los Alamos.

Anyhow, got home last night. Wifey and I are heading to the N GA mountains in two weeks for more fun and games.

Too bad you didn't hook up with fasteddie, Mrs fasteddie does know her way around cooking, and has done some really neat art work. (Another driveway I've stayed at)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

To the OP, touring is a wonderful disease to catch.


On TDY at home.
Why do I keep referring to you as Steve in Florida? I was talking about you on this long trip and mentioned your method of travelling. I do believe any other long distance stuff will be done with my bike in the toy hauler.

You and your wife are more than welcome to visit any time.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 07:25 PM
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Why do I keep referring to you as Steve in Florida? I was talking about you on this long trip and mentioned your method of travelling. I do believe any other long distance stuff will be done with my bike in the toy hauler.

You and your wife are more than welcome to visit any time.
Because my name is Steve and I domicile in Florida.

The RV makes the logistics a whole lot easier, and most of my camping is free on USFS or BLM lands.

Looking forward to a possible visit.
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Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

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And most of Canada too, eh?
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