First All Day Ride ! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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First All Day Ride !

Thought I would share my trip from the perspective of this being my first street bike in almost 25 years. Give the new guys some perspective, in addition to showing the vets that babysit us, how much they improve the quality of our riding experience.

Had a couple from church that are long time riders offer to host a tour up to Mt Mitchell in North Carolina last Saturday. I was downright giddy as I don't currently have any regular riding friends.

At 240 miles round trip, a perfect introductory tour ride. It was hot in ATGATT, mesh or no. And zero percent chance of rain. (more on this later.) Most appealing was knowing that it is far cooler at the top than in town.

The route was awesome. We started out on 26 for a bit. I batted clean up in the pack. Normally, I know us new guys get put behind the ride leader. In my case, since I was still breaking in the bike, I wanted the liberty of alternating speed.

Spent much of the day riding 19 and 23, in addition to some BR Parkway time. Miles of twisties that were about perfect for a returning rider still working on settling in and re-learning riding skills.

I learned a lot riding caboose. I got to observe Roger and Penny's rider behavior, lane choice, obstacle avoidance, and pointing out road hazards to other riders. Relearned sucking up lanes from the back to allow group to move over. Lots of things that I had forgotten.

Most interesting was the twisties and watching how the three different bikes performed. Roger was riding this behemoth. Six Cylinder, full blown Gold Wing beast with about every farkle known to man including central heat & air. I think he had a big screen on it too. That bike had to weigh almost double the Versys and appeared to be mere inches shorter than a 50's Caddy. That said, the bike was shockingly agile in the twisties. I understand that much of it can be attributed to rider skill, but Roger rides that thing like he's on a 250 sport.



Penny, OTOH, was riding a CanAm. And let me just say that she is an absolute beast. She ain't no girly-girl. Wore me out in the twisties. I never rode over my head, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that she just flat pulled away........often!



We finally arrived at Mt Mitchell and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and reduced temps !











While it was great to enjoy the scenery, all three of us were jonsing to get back to the twisties.

Oh and remember the 0% chance of rain? Well it poured like a cow peeing on a flat rock. We made an emergency pit stop at Subway because puddles in the apex of twisties sounded unappealing.

The rain cleared and the roads dried pretty quickly. We took a slightly different ride home. Some amazing crank the bike over sweepers. I'm certain that I was barely leaned over, yet I felt like I was about to drag an elbow!

I made it home just before dark. I was on the bike for 8.5 hours. And I attempted to make peace with my old nemesis, Monkey Butt.

It's been 6 days since this trip and I cant begin to explain how enjoyable it was. Roger and Penny were superb ride hosts. They kept an eye on me the entire day. Pulled over to safe spots to discuss route changes. Kept the pack pace to within my personal ride ability. And made sure I was always having a great time.

To you veteran riders that take the time to help out the new and returning riders. Never underestimate the gift of your time and experience. While it may be the 300th time you rode the route, you are helping to shape lifetime memories for others, while teaching them road safety and manners. We thank you !


2014 Versys 650 in glorious Kawasaki Green

Last edited by Zoomie; 07-31-2015 at 07:47 AM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 07:55 AM
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Great description and wonderful photos. Fun isn't it?

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Great description and wonderful photos. Fun isn't it?
Indeed! My only regret is not returning earlier in life.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 10:07 AM
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Awesome! Jealous of where you live.

One pointer. You don't have to necessarily vary the bike's speed, just the engine speed. You can maintain 45 mph and change gears among 4th, 5th, and 6th.

It is definitely cool in the mountains. Heading up to Blowing Rock for my anniversary and it is almost 20 degrees cooler than home. Now to figure out how to get a bike up there since she doesn't want to ride to Blowing Rock. If I make her drive the car it won't be a pleasant anniversary.

The Goldwing was designed by a former racer. It can handle but is not forgiving so you do need skill.

My Versys Travels:


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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 10:10 AM
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Awesome pictures and good to see another V rider loving his bike. I haven't even had mine a week and I keep thinking of where I want to travel for my first long journey.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 10:30 AM
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Zoomie, thanks for taking the time to write that up. It is always great to read about someone getting back into riding, great attitude and better late than never! Having the maturity of age, riding within your comfort zone and knocking off the rust is key to many more years of riding. You picked a great all around bike to get back into it. The Versys will do it. Light agile bikes are fun!
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome! Jealous of where you live.

One pointer. You don't have to necessarily vary the bike's speed, just the engine speed. You can maintain 45 mph and change gears among 4th, 5th, and 6th.

It is definitely cool in the mountains. Heading up to Blowing Rock for my anniversary and it is almost 20 degrees cooler than home. Now to figure out how to get a bike up there since she doesn't want to ride to Blowing Rock. If I make her drive the car it won't be a pleasant anniversary.

The Goldwing was designed by a former racer. It can handle but is not forgiving so you do need skill.
Thanks, I understand on the speed/rpm thing.

I never took our location in to consideration before the bike purchase. Once I started looking at the area, I was told that I may live in the most perfect place in the US for a bike. 1.5 hours from the tail of the dragon. 45 minutes from The Snake. 120 miles from Mt Mitchell. 45 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. And untold miles of casual regional twisting back roads. Talk about getting lucky !

While we all dream of doing death rides with bugs in our teeth, when it comes to wives, I see a consistent theme with happily married rider couples. It's called a trailer ! Heck, even a UHaul. Travel to your riding destination in comfort. Momma is happy. Jump on and ride ! Just look at Daytona Bike Week. There are almost as many trailers as there are bikes. I suspect that Sturgis looks about the same. Maybe a trailer is the big secret for a successful marriage?

That Gold Wing was nuts. He wasn't riding crazy at all but I kept waiting for sparks to fly. So smooth and fluid. I suspect it would have even raised an eyebrow with the sports bike crowd.

2014 Versys 650 in glorious Kawasaki Green
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome pictures and good to see another V rider loving his bike. I haven't even had mine a week and I keep thinking of where I want to travel for my first long journey.
Its an amazing bike. I was so worried that for the price, I wasn't going to get enough bike to avoid becoming bored quickly. Thus far, I find myself having a blast.

The bike is stable and comfortable. It is lithe, flickable, and fun. And it has enough on-throttle go to scare me.

The only thing bad I can say is that the seat design really does suck. Working on resolving this now.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Zoomie, thanks for taking the time to write that up. It is always great to read about someone getting back into riding, great attitude and better late than never! Having the maturity of age, riding within your comfort zone and knocking off the rust is key to many more years of riding. You picked a great all around bike to get back into it. The Versys will do it. Light agile bikes are fun!
I always worry about writing/reporting from Newb perspective. And in spite of my bike time on and off road, I AM a newb some 25 years later.

While the internet is evil from a number of perspectives, in cases like mine it is fantastic as I have so much experience at my fingertips.

Finally, for me, it's important to publicly recognize all of you that take the time to reach out and help riders like me. It means the difference between making life memories versys (see what I did there?) hospital time or worse.

And hopefully, it will give some other poor sap at home riding the couch the confidence to get out and live life one bug splatter at a time. And to realize that with some homework, skill development, and intelligent choices, that it is possible to lower risk to manageable levels.

2014 Versys 650 in glorious Kawasaki Green
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 11:34 AM
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 12:46 PM
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...The only thing bad I can say is that the seat design really does suck. Working on resolving this now.
Raise the front of your seat - co$t about $2....









GLAD you're enjoying your V - possibly the BEST bike available...!

-

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 12:48 PM
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for posting Zoomie.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 08:15 PM
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First All Day Ride !

Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Raise the front of your seat - co$t about $2....



















GLAD you're enjoying your V - possibly the BEST bike available...!



-

This raising of the front of the seat definitely helps but isn't the final cure all. This plus the lowering block for the bike in the rear definitely raised riding time from 30 minutes to three hours for me. I believe I'm going to have to break down and get a seat concepts Seat to get closer to perfection. But I do thank Fast Eddie for the seat idea. It is easy and does help considerably.




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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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I am ashamed to say that I cannot do the seat mod. My OCD/ADHD/EIEIO won't allow me to as seeing that seat gap would drive me crazy.

I'm going to start with the Seat Concepts cover and have it done locally, if I can find a good shop.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 06:37 AM
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You just made my morning! Thanks for sharing your adventure...

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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 08:50 AM
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Awesome pics. Glad you are enjoying the bike. Ride on brother, ride on

"Life is a ride, might as well do it on a motorcycle"
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 12:59 PM
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I am ashamed to say that I cannot do the seat mod. My OCD/ADHD/EIEIO won't allow me to as seeing that seat gap would drive me crazy....
Zoomie - the thought of HOW you'd have to tilt your head to see that GAP while you're ON the bike makes me CRAZY...!


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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Zoomie - the thought of HOW you'd have to tilt your head to see that GAP while you're ON the bike makes me CRAZY...!

I'll see it every single time I get on and off.

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome pics. Glad you are enjoying the bike. Ride on brother, ride on
You too !

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