Short weekend trip - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Short weekend trip

For the first ride of the year I decided to ride to Oklahoma City to visit the daughters - 500 miles one way. Leaving Friday evening, as I drove through the night, the weather remained colder than anticipated and remained in the low 30's the majority of the distance teaching me a few things along the way:
1. You can never have enough layers of warm clothing.
2. Hand warmers are a blessing from God and worth every penny.
3. If you wish to nearly die quickly, when you reach a high rate of speed, close your helmet shield and watch it and your glasses quickly fog over. (any tips to avoid this are welcome)
4. Any and all faults in your outerwear will become glaringly apparent in seconds at highway speed as what feels like frost bite sets in.
5. It IS possible to nearly fall asleep in the cold on a motorcycle.
6. The police don't sleep.
7. Nebraska has some nice four lane roads with sparse traffic. Please someone tell them that 60 mph speed limits are unnecessarily slow especially when accompanied with copious amounts of troopers.
8. The freezing ride is well worth it to visit your daughters. The ride home in great weather was just a bonus.

A few random thoughts -

While thawing out in a convenience store in Concordia, Kansas, the clerk looked out the window and commented how the digital sign showed it to be 31 degrees, paused for a moment, the stated that it had dropped to 30. Thanks for that bit of encouragement.

Kudos to the clerk in Hesston, KS for properly identifying the Versys motorcycle. His boss has a his and hers set and says they are great for touring. Wonder if he is on the forum...

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains, has nothing on Kansas or Nebraska. The wind was crazy strong - thought it was going to push me right off the road. The heavier cruiser style bikes I saw didn't seem to be as affected. Any thoughts? The only other time I've encountered worse winds was driving through a storm that I later learned had tornados in it.

It sure looked cool to see the pickup in front of me take out a pigeon with feathers flying - not so cool when I had to duck fearing a collision with one.

The trip down, in the cold, nearly persuaded me to sell my motorcycle and the ride home persuaded me to keep it, though my pained butt skeptically considers it a good thing to do a 1000 mile jaunt for the first trip of the year on a short weekend.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 09:31 AM
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Very interesting story TFTRSB's!!!

I'm assuming it was necessity that drove you to taking an overnight trip in freezing temp's & l have no advise for you other than take an extra day off work next time & enjoy the ride:
OR
Use your car!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 09:58 AM
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Ah the joys of discovery! I was amused and enlightened by your tale and your lessons learned. It brought back memories from a similar trip long ago.

In October 1972 while on my way from England to Saigon, courtesy of the USAF, I stopped in San Antonio to visit my parents and to pick up my Suzuki T500J that had been air freighted to the S.A. airport. Even though it was a UK version I had no trouble with Customs and rode it to my folks house to be stored while I was in Viet Nam.

To my surprise and lasting disappointment my assignment was cancelled and I was sent to Grand Forks AFB, ND. That, by the way, was not a good deal. SAC and I did not see eye to eye on any number of issues, humor being at the top of the list.

No matter, I decided to ride the T500 to ND and then consider a better form of winter transportation. To say that the trip went from pleasant to pretty terrible might be an understatement. Texas and Oklahoma were OK though windy (as you mentioned) and then it became cooler and more windy. Then came the fog and heavy rain. Oh yes, and the usual "you're going North old son" October temperatures. Heated gear, GoreTex, heated grips? Not back then, especially for a 500cc two stroke twin with a tiny battery and charging system. By the time I reached Grand Forks I was ready to swear off motorcycles forever.

Fortunately, I eventually thawed out and reconsidered. When I departed Grand Forks 13 months later in December 1973, I put the Suzuki in an open U-Haul trailer and headed for San Antonio. When I stopped for gas in Oklahoma (in the days when attendants pumped fuel) the gentleman noticed a foot of snow in the trailer along with the bike. That time discretion was the the better part of valor. Isn't life and discovery grand?

And that's all I have to say about that, to borrow a line from Forrest Gump.

Arion

"Plan? Plan! There ain't no plan."
Pig Killer, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Last edited by Arion; 04-04-2016 at 10:02 AM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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My2wheels, anybody can take a car - more of a test I suppose. Daughter's birthday was on Saturday and closing the family store on a Friday is heresy.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofattoridesportbikes View Post
My2wheels, anybody can take a car - more of a test I suppose. Daughter's birthday was on Saturday and closing the family store on a Friday is heresy.
You're misquoting my post, but it's OK, just do what you gotta do.....
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 08:23 PM
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