Accessories for a 4000 mile trip - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Accessories for a 4000 mile trip

I just did a 4000+ mile trip from Salt Lake City up to Seattle and all the way back down to Dallas. I thought it might be useful to talk about the stuff that got me there and back again.

First, some background on the trip. It was 10 days straight of riding, 7 of those were on twisty mountain roads. Two were interstate, and one was a long straight state highway. I faced conditions ranging from pouring rain to snow to almost 100 degree heat within a week. My typical riding day was around 400 miles. One day I did 500+, one day it was only about 300, but mostly it was in the 400 range.

- Baldwin Saddles custom seat. I'm listing this first because it's hands-down the #1 thing that made this trip possible for me. Loren does FANTASTIC work. I got a saddle built for my height and weight with the gel insert, and it was never once the thing that made me want to get off the bike. I can't recommend these enough.

- Givi V35 and E52 hard cases. My main luggage setup. I have the Givi mounts all the way around, not the OEM Kawasaki ones, and it all works together really well. I had a duffel bag in the tail case that held all my clothes, as well as my tool roll. On one side I carried the thermal liner for my suit, my rain suit, and stuff like my spare face shield. On the other side I carried my hot weather stuff (a mesh jacket and riding jeans).

- Bags Connection "Trial" tank bag with tank ring mount. This bag is a little too big for the Versys--the handlebars hit the sides of the bag. But, I was carrying it for size. I had my phone and headset chargers in there along with various bike maintenance things, spare ear plugs, GPS case, camera, etc. with some room to spare. If I had it to do over, I'd probably buy the "City" bag instead that is made for bikes like the Versys and BMW GS with their high, steep tanks and handlebar clearances.

- BarkBusters VPS hand guards. Awesome for keeping the rain and cold off my gloves.

- Oxford heated grips. This is the only way I survived the really cold wet weather. The controller never flaked out once.

- Spot V2. Not strictly necessary for the trip, but it let everybody back home know where I was at.

- Garmin Zumo 660. Awesome motorcycle GPS, it was my primary way to know where I was and where I was going. If I had it to do over, I'd spend the extra money and get a 665 to get the XM weather. I got snowed out on a mountain pass and had to turn around because I had no way to tell how much further I had to go to get out from under the snow and back to rain.

- Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires. They're brand new, and they're 100% worth the money. They never once slipped or acted like they would slip despite riding twisty mountain roads in the rain at a grin-inducing pace. I don't scrape pegs or anything, but I didn't have much left on my chicken strips when I got home and they stuck like glue in all conditions. The centers don't look all that worn after 4000 miles either.

- Stock windscreen. Believe it or not, I'm actually glad I mounted the stock screen before my trip. I have a Givi screen and the OEM "tall" screen, but I like the stock the best. I prefer having clean air around my head to avoid buffeting, and the stock screen keeps enough wind blast off my chest to not be a problem. When it got really windy coming back into Texas, I just put my feet on the passenger pegs and leaned down on my tank bag.

- Motowerk footpeg lowering kit and passenger peg lowering kit. These to me made all the difference with saving my knees after 10 days of riding.

- Throttlemeister cramp buster. I had one of these lying around and tossed it in a bag when I was packing for the trip. I'm really glad I did, it saved a lot of pain in my right wrist after 10 days.

- Olympia Phantom suit. Not technically a Versys accessory, but that combined with some Sidi B2 Gore-Tex boots and Cortech Scarab gloves helped me survive the trip. It wasn't always comfy in the cold rain, but then again I don't know of any gear that is unless you have heated stuff. But it kept me mostly dry and mostly warm in a huge variety of weather conditions.

I think that's pretty much it. All that stuff put together made for a really nice trip. I stayed in hotels or with friends every night so I didn't need to pack camping gear, but a waterproof duffel on the passenger seat would have handled camping gear nicely.

Oh yeah, the thing that *didn't* work was the MFW footpegs and clamps I got from Twisted Throttle. I had them bolted to my SWMotech crash guards to give me additional places to put my feet, but one clamp ended up slipping a lot and by the end of the trip both footpegs were stuck in the up position due to grit or something in the hinges. I was pretty disappointed with how those turned out, and they'll be removed from the bike whenever I get around to it.

I'd rather be riding.
2005 Triumph Speed Triple | 2009 Blue Versys
1997 Suzuki DR350SE (sold) | 2004 Triumph Speed Four (sold) | 2008 ZX6R (sold) | 2008 Concours 14 (sold) | 2007 Suzuki M50 (sold) | 2006 Ninja 500 (sold)


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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One more thing--before the trip, I was feeling kind of "meh" about my Versys, since it's not really fantastic at anything. I was thinking about maybe trading it for a Tiger 1050 or Ninja 1000. After the trip, I'm totally in love with it. Seeing the adverse conditions it can handle with ease really opened my eyes to how great this bike is.

I'd rather be riding.
2005 Triumph Speed Triple | 2009 Blue Versys
1997 Suzuki DR350SE (sold) | 2004 Triumph Speed Four (sold) | 2008 ZX6R (sold) | 2008 Concours 14 (sold) | 2007 Suzuki M50 (sold) | 2006 Ninja 500 (sold)


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to write that up. I am aching to buy one of those saddles but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. I've got a couple 450 mile days coming up this week. I hope I will have as much fun as you did....minus the snow.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 02:00 PM
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Cheers for the informative report, Jehos.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehos View Post
One more thing--before the trip, I was feeling kind of "meh" about my Versys, since it's not really fantastic at anything. I was thinking about maybe trading it for a Tiger 1050 or Ninja 1000. After the trip, I'm totally in love with it. Seeing the adverse conditions it can handle with ease really opened my eyes to how great this bike is.

That is the best way to get to know ones motorcycle.
Not reading reviews and looking at it in the garage but trowing a leg over and riding 4000 miles.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the write-up Jehos. Very informative. I'll hopefully take a cross country trip once my kids get a bit older (lots of softball/basketball/etc). I've often wondered what will be encountered on such an adventure.

BTW, I too bought the MFW pegs with u-bolt clamps. I had the same slipping issues. I had resigned myself to having wasted the $80 for the useless clamps, and was in the process of taking them off my SW-Motech crashbars. But, while taking them off I realized the mounts could be bolted thru the crashbars for a superior mount. I just went on a appx 250 mile trip (each way), and the pegs/mounts worked wonderfully. However, I also experienced the pegs sticking closed due to grit. Personally, the sticking issue was minor in comparison to the much greater comfort they provided. I'll insert a link to some photos.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=15306

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=15901


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Dark Arrow Slip-On Exhaust, Spencer's Seat, Alaskan Sheepskin Buttpad, Givi Windshield, Givi E460 Topcase, SW Motech Crashbars, SW Motech Alu-Rack, Cortech Sport Soft Saddlebags/Tailbag, 16T Front Sprocket, Kawasaki Z-1000 Mirrors, Speedy's Handlebar Riser, Speedy's FlatFoot, MFW Highway Pegs, Gerbings Heated Gloves
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchieffallo View Post
Thanks for the write-up Jehos. Very informative. I'll hopefully take a cross country trip once my kids get a bit older (lots of softball/basketball/etc). I've often wondered what will be encountered on such an adventure.
I've done a cross-country trip every year for the past 3 years. The first two were to the Georgia coast to visit a friend. Those were 3 days each way the first time and 2 days each way the second. This was my first trip where every day was spent on the bike.

These are my tips for success on a trip like this:

1. Know how far you can comfortably ride in a day. It helps to know how many days in a row you can ride that pace before you get sick of riding. For me on the Versys it's 400 mile days for about 9 days. The 10th day I really didn't want to have to ride, but I had to get back home.

2. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. When you're going cross-country like this on a schedule you pretty much have to ride in whatever conditions get thrown at you, within reason. Obviously don't ride through hurricanes or heavy snows or anything like that, but be ready for hot, cold, and wet. Your choice of gear matters a LOT on this front, that's why I listed what I wore as part of my accessories.

3. Know basic repairs and carry the tools for everything you know how to do. I'm no mechanic, but I carry a pretty comprehensive tool roll, a tire repair kit, and an air pump. On this trip my clutch lever got all kinds of gunked up and I had to troubleshoot that it was the lever (and not the cable or the clutch itself) and get it cleaned up. On my first trip I had to deal with a broken saddlebag mount.

4. Be flexible. Sometimes events conspire against you. On this trip I was wanting to go up to Glacier National Park and down through Yellowstone. But the entire NW part of the country got hit by a cold snap and it was snowing in June. I had to find a different route and skip the parks that were getting hit by inches of snow the day before I was supposed to be there. In the end the trip was still a blast, I just spent the extra days playing in the mountains of Oregon instead.

I'd rather be riding.
2005 Triumph Speed Triple | 2009 Blue Versys
1997 Suzuki DR350SE (sold) | 2004 Triumph Speed Four (sold) | 2008 ZX6R (sold) | 2008 Concours 14 (sold) | 2007 Suzuki M50 (sold) | 2006 Ninja 500 (sold)


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