I got the bike in early February and now, with 16,000 miles on it, I couldn't be happier with my choice. When I first picked it up, I wondered if I'd ever like it as much as my Ninja - no worries about that now! It's an incredible bike that really lives up to its 'versatile' billing. Even if I could, I doubt that I'd replace it with any bike on the market today. I might add one to the stable, but KawasiMoto would still be my primary ride. I've met some great people along the way too - this forum has been an incredible resource.
I had stopped by a dealer in Asheville to pick up a WeeStrom - we had already worked out a deal that I liked and all that was left was signing the check. However, when I got there, and they brought out the paperwork, another $2,000 got added to the price that we had agreed on earlier - extended warranty and some other stuff that I hadn't asked for. I left the papers on the table and walked out. That's when I met the fellow in the photo below, known here as John from Asheville...
I hadn't gotten a good look at a Vee away from the showroom floor until I saw his and fell in love with the bike at first sight. Then one of the guys that worked there pulled up on the new green Vee (I think it's the one that Jonathon has now) and I decided that if my local dealer could make a deal on either a Vee or a Wee, I'd snap it up. I drove back to Hendersonville, walked into the DalKawa showroom and found that they had the blue Vee on the floor. It must have had my name on it, because a few minutes later the bike was mine. At the time, if they'd had the Wee I wanted on hand, I would have probably have bought it instead. They're both very good bikes of exceptional quality, but the Vee was there, so... I still wish that I could have gotten one of the red models, but that's a small point.
Good times aplenty were in store...
My first mods were the Happy Trails panniers, along with crash bars, skid plate, a fender extender, and an Ermax hugger for the rear. A bit later, I added Distanzias front and rear - great tires, but I've switched over to a Metzler on the rear now and seem to be getting a lot better mileage out of it.
Maybe it was just my style of riding (lots of dirt roads, often at fairly high speeds) but the stock tires really sucked. The rear was slick at 2500 miles, and the front went soon after. The Distanzias were much better, but the rear still went in a few thousand miles.
Below is a shot of the green Vee that Jonathon got not long after I got mine.
Next a shot of 3 Vees - Jon's on the left, Neil's red one in the center, and KawasiMoto on the right.
There was a trip to the ADV rendezvous near Del Rio, TN in May-
A Vee gathering in Tellico Plains, TN in June - the best group event that I've attended so far, with a terrific group of riders in attendance:
A great weekend camping trip/ride to Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway to camp at Willville Moto Campground near the Meadows of Dan:
Several weekend camping trips to the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Camp in Pisgah National Forest across 'the hill' from home:
Lots of daily loops in the mountains near home:
Cool fall rides on the Parkway to both the Smokies and Virginia:
And of course, lots of trips to the Dragon...
That's Karen on her 600 Yamahammer, riding the Buffalo Shoals Rd. near Lake Lure, behind me below:
And Karen and Al checking out the view from near Bat Cave:
We even mingled with the Harley riders over at the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley a few weeks ago...
I wanted to get in one last 'destination' ride before year's end, so over the Thanksgiving holidays, I headed down to Fripp Island, just north of Savannah, Georgia and east of the Parris Island Marine Base near Beaufort, SC (where the Big Chill was filmed.) I froze my butt off getting out of the mountains through thick fog and low 30s temps, but once south of Columbia, SC, the sun came out and the rest of the backroads ride through the swamps and farm land was warm and comfortable. I'm not too happy when I'm out of sight of the mountains, but a few days on the coast was a welcome change at this time of the year. While I enjoyed sunny days on the coast, it was snowy and cold back home. Blasting through the Low Country on arrow-straight roads, lined with giant oaks draped in Spanish moss - not a bad trade-off for a few days.
Beaufort is one of the prettiest towns anywhere along the southeastern coast of America. It's an old town and has a lot of big, sprawling homes that date back nearly 200 years.
It's been a really good year and here's wishing all of y'all the same for 2010!