Not a "Looney" ride, but a bit loony nonetheless - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Not a "Looney" ride, but a bit loony nonetheless

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.

Northbound Map

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.

Southbound Route.

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.

Cheers,

Kurt
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 04:25 PM
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Awesome ride, awesome bike, your mileage in 2 riding days on the V is inspiring to me, makes me think I can do it too!!

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40 years riding, 2 years MX racing
20 bikes owned over time, 3 MC shops worked at
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome ride, awesome bike, your mileage in 2 riding days on the V is inspiring to me, makes me think I can do it too!!
It would be an easy bike to do a SaddleSore 1000 on. I've already checked that particular endeavor off my list, but the bike is quite capable.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 01:42 PM
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Sweet! I love those covered bridges.

I've had to do a little love on the bike (including reshaping the seat to hold me in place better), and it's very comfy for the long haul now. The stock rear shock is crap, unfortunately.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 05:18 PM
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Great story, and nice pics! Love the covered bridge too, but my favorite picture is this one. I love riding these kind of roads. Wish there were more of them in Texas, preferably around San Antonio, but unfortunately I have to head west about an hour to get something vaguely close.




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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 08:11 PM
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Amazing! I am so impressed.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 08:19 PM
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Kurt
What size tires (Pirelli Scorpion Sync) did you use?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by flying_hun View Post
There's no comparison with RGal's ride and pics, but I did a bit of lunatic riding over the Labor Day weekend.


Cheers,

Kurt
Thanks for sharing.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 08:32 PM
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Sweet roads and great pics! What a great area to ride through. You put some good miles on the bike.
I froze riding through California and it was in July. I was the only biker wearing gloves and a winter jacket. Really wish I could get back there again soon though.

"The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends"
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 10:43 PM
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Hun!, thats a sweet ride!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roadstergal View Post
Sweet! I love those covered bridges.

I've had to do a little love on the bike (including reshaping the seat to hold me in place better), and it's very comfy for the long haul now. The stock rear shock is crap, unfortunately.
Thanks, RGal. Still waiting on the Hyperpro to arrive, but the Corbin made this weekend's BARF rally much more bearable. 1117 miles from Friday AM to this evening. Epic roads!

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Originally Posted by Bear on a bicycle View Post
Great story, and nice pics! Love the covered bridge too, but my favorite picture is this one.
Hwy 96 is really a treat. We used it Saturday to get to a road called Forks of Salmon. Simply amazing! Miles and miles of single lane and less goat trail suspended a couple of hundred feet about the river! Then after you think it will never end, it opens up into two-lanes of perfectly cambered, reasonably fresh pavement with NO cars on it running twenty miles or so down to Hwy 3. Stunning. I haven't downloaded photos yet, but I'll see if I have anything worth sharing.

BTW, the V rocks! We hooked up with some locals with trick bikes and good skills, and the V hung just fine with the quick group.

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Kurt
What size tires (Pirelli Scorpion Sync) did you use?
120/70-17 front and 160/60-17 rear, I think. BTW, in the less than 2 weeks since I mounted them they have accumulated 2900 miles of all kinds of conditions. Since the stock Dunlops were toast at 3100, I am greatly encouraged that the Pirellis look like they'll last 4-5K. Obviously, YMMV. Far better feel, feedback, and grip than the stock tires. Far better. If they last longer too, that's a good thing, right? Since the Syncs have been around for awhile, and tire technology has really moved along over the course of the past decade, I suspect the new Scorpion Trails will be even better. We'll have to see.

Last edited by flying_hun; 09-12-2010 at 11:45 PM. Reason: typos
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 11:56 PM
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Nice lookin' bike too.

Chris Brown
In SoCal
2009 V - custom black-on-black - SOLD
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