There's no comparison with RGal's ride and pics, but I did a bit of lunatic riding over the Labor Day weekend. My wife suggested I go visit my sister who lives near Salem, OR for the weekend. The fastest (and dullest) route there is 600 miles and 10-12 hours. No point in that, and the temptation to put in some major seat time on the V compelled me to improve that route.
Saturday, I rolled out of my driveway in the Bay Area on a cold and foggy morning (describes almost the entire summer), and headed towards Hwy 101. My plan was to ride up to Eureka to do a little scoping around in preparation for the rally I'm running there this next weekend. My plan had been to stay on 101 past Crescent City, then catch 199 up to Grants Pass, but it was so cold and foggy in Eureka, I changed plans and headed for Hwy 299 to Willow Creek, then turned north on Hwy 96 along the Klamath. This is an amazingly empty road! Little traffic and no visible speed enforcement on a holiday weekend!
The pavement okay, neither great nor awful, but the key is that it offers mile upon mile of empty sweepers.
Once I got on 96, the question was whether I would stay on it all the way to I-5 and still be in California, or whether I could somehow link up again with 199 into Oregon. Fortunately, there is a "closed in winter" road that runs from Happy Camp up to 199 that I spotted and made the cut off. I got to Grants Pass after 5 PM, and after much slab, got to my sister's at 9:30 PM. Nearly 700 miles and 14-1/2 hours.
After a lovely day off the bike, I climbed back on at 6:45 Monday AM, and headed south again. It was chilly in OR, already feeling like Autumn. Monday morning I decided to do back roads for a while rather than slabbing it through the Willamette Valley. The roads were very scenic, but I was clearly not ready for winter. I did stop to take some snaps of one of the local covered bridges.
I went back to the freeway for a few hours to get to California. At Yreka, I veered off to Hwy 3 going south. Kind of scenic, but not all that exciting until south of Callahan where there is a fun mountain pass to get over. After that I picked up some of the usual holiday weekend traffic until I was past Weaverville. Then it was up and over on Hayfork Pass (good stuff!) then down to join Hwy 36. Heading west on 36, I was reminded of why I feel it's the nicest piece of road in northern California. There are lots of other great roads in this part of the world, but few of them have the variety and the sheer length (~140 miles) that Hwy 36 offers. It was a very long day, with me getting home at 10:20 PM. With some doubling back and side exploring, it came in at 1480 miles over two riding days.
What did I learn? Besides that I'm a numbskull? The V acquitted itself well. The new tires (Pirelli Scorpion Syncs) a significant improvement over the stock tires in terms of grip and feedback, and they were fine in the little bit of off-pavement riding I did. I love the way this bike handles! The Corbin saddle is a huge improvement over stock, but it's not good enough. Ibuprofen is my friend.
What wasn't so good? The ride was colder than I hoped, and I need to get on the stick with mounting some handguards, heated grips, and a powerlet. The other area that showed up wanting during the colder portion of my ride is the windshield. It's simply too small when it's cold outside. I've had good luck with Parabellum shield in the past, and I am inclined use them again.
I'm still waiting for the Hyperpro shock I ordered to show up, and look forward to trying it out on a similarly challenging ride.