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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Hills and Hollers

Blue Belle and I just got back from our first extended road tour together - five days, 1600 miles, through the mountains of western NC, northeast TN, southwest VA, eastern and northern KY, southeast IN, southern OH and southwest WV. I'd say the road mix was about a quarter each of freeway, easy back roads, river runs and OMG twisties, and the V was a champ on all of them; stable, nimble, and economical (55+mpg for the trip). Got lots of questions and thumbs-up too, in major MoCo territory.

Just a couple of nigglies: with the CalSci windscreen, gusty cross-winds were a problem on one day (of course, there were also tornadoes through the area, so I can't really complain!); also, as has often been mentioned, the stock seat just isn't shaped for long-distance riding, although a sheepskin pad made it tolerable for 300-mile days. Everything else was just rock-solid.

I want to say a big to everyone here for your suggestions and input on farkles. The discussions have played a big part in my being able to choose (and find) accessories that added to my comfort and safety; there were times during the trip where I could see how each item made a real, functional difference. Much and truly appreciated!

Now, if I don't get too lazy, pictures to follow...

Mark Hirschhorn
Durham NC
09 Versys "Blue Belle' - the aerodynamic blue color...
Way too much of Speedy's stuff...
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CalSci windscreen / Emgo MkII mirrors / 43T rear / EB 12v outlet
Givi E52 top case / V35 side cases / Vista Cruise
Oxford Hothands / Cramp Buster
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 10:38 PM
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Southwest WV?? Any towns come to mind, or roads? That's where my hometown is, Logan.



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Southwest WV?? Any towns come to mind, or roads? That's where my hometown is, Logan.
Not quite that far down, although I've been through Logan on a previous ride. This time I was more along the 77 corridor, coming down from Parkersburg. Notable side roads were WV68 over to Ravenswood, WV62 from Ripley around Point Pleasant and up the Kanawha to Red House, then across WV34 to Kenna (at nightfall, into early dark - a truly butt-puckering experience ! Finally, the next morning, down WV3 along the Coal River and past Upper Big Branch to pay my respects.

I try to get up to WV at least once a year, if not more often. My wife lived there for 10 years (around Philippi and Elkins), and has her Master's from Morgantown; it's likely that we'll retire there in a few years, so I'm always scouting out possible locations.

You come from hard country, but good country. I've come to appreciate what a treasure it is.

Mark Hirschhorn
Durham NC
09 Versys "Blue Belle' - the aerodynamic blue color...
Way too much of Speedy's stuff...
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CalSci windscreen / Emgo MkII mirrors / 43T rear / EB 12v outlet
Givi E52 top case / V35 side cases / Vista Cruise
Oxford Hothands / Cramp Buster
Powermadd handguards / mirror extenders


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:03 AM
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Not quite that far down, although I've been through Logan on a previous ride. This time I was more along the 77 corridor, coming down from Parkersburg. Notable side roads were WV68 over to Ravenswood, WV62 from Ripley around Point Pleasant and up the Kanawha to Red House, then across WV34 to Kenna (at nightfall, into early dark - a truly butt-puckering experience ! Finally, the next morning, down WV3 along the Coal River and past Upper Big Branch to pay my respects.

I try to get up to WV at least once a year, if not more often. My wife lived there for 10 years (around Philippi and Elkins), and has her Master's from Morgantown; it's likely that we'll retire there in a few years, so I'm always scouting out possible locations.

You come from hard country, but good country. I've come to appreciate what a treasure it is.

Yep, I've met many many people from WV throughout my life since moving from there about 25 years ago, who love the place, but had to move away to find work. There were/are many in the military. That's my story, I graduated high school & joined the air force. I visit as often as I can, and I would LOVE to ride my bike there. I've been thinking about a cross country trip back home. Maybe next year or the year after.





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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:59 AM
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..... and the V was a champ on all of them; stable, nimble, and economical (55+mpg for the trip).
I have been very impressed by the stability of the V, high speeds, on the freeway, big semis all around, never thought a 650 could be so stable at speed.

Looking forward to your pics....

-------------------------------------------------

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Jake Sabre
2009 Kaw Versys
40 years riding, 2 years MX racing
20 bikes owned over time, 3 MC shops worked at
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 10:06 AM
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Now, if I don't get too lazy, pictures to follow...


We are waiting for the pictures and dont get lazy...

Good that you enjoyed your ride.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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first pix

OK, OK... I'm in the middle of welcoming my wife back from an overseas trip, but due to popular demand on this forum , I've got at least a few pictures ready from the first day.

In order: Home Sweet Home before leaving, the high point of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Parkway's end at Cherokee. I'd ridden several sections of it during the past four years, and this trip I was finally able to complete all of it!

More to come from Days 1 and 2... but as much as I appreciate y'all, the missus does come first...
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Mark Hirschhorn
Durham NC
09 Versys "Blue Belle' - the aerodynamic blue color...
Way too much of Speedy's stuff...
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CalSci windscreen / Emgo MkII mirrors / 43T rear / EB 12v outlet
Givi E52 top case / V35 side cases / Vista Cruise
Oxford Hothands / Cramp Buster
Powermadd handguards / mirror extenders


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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I have been very impressed by the stability of the V, high speeds, on the freeway, big semis all around, never thought a 650 could be so stable at speed.
The biggest challenge I found was dealing with oncoming (thankfully not directly!) coal trucks in the mountains; they leave an unusually big wake, and there's not much shoulder space on most of the roads they frequent. If you catch two or three in a row, it becomes quite turbulent. Fortunately, the ones I encountered were good at staying on their side of the double yellow.

I also must have caught them at the right time, since I didn't have the joy of following a loaded one uphill at 10mph. Coal is definitely King in this region, and getting annoyed at the trucks won't help your survival chances.

When in Rome...

Mark Hirschhorn
Durham NC
09 Versys "Blue Belle' - the aerodynamic blue color...
Way too much of Speedy's stuff...
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CalSci windscreen / Emgo MkII mirrors / 43T rear / EB 12v outlet
Givi E52 top case / V35 side cases / Vista Cruise
Oxford Hothands / Cramp Buster
Powermadd handguards / mirror extenders


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