Touring the great lakes in a few weeks - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Touring the great lakes in a few weeks

In 2010 I went from coast to coast on my Honda Nighthawk 750. Got stranded on rte. 66 in the Mojave desert. Met bikers on harleys from switzerland (at the continental divide). Grand canyon, durango. Great trip.

Now im ready for a other adventure, but dont have the time to do the northern coast to coast i want to.

So im setting off on my new-to-me 2015 versys 1000 LT and doing the great lakes. Well, eventually.

Going south from Jersey to ride through West Virginia and Kentucky, then north through the twin cities, up to duluth, and then east across the northern peninsula of michigan, down to ohio, through erie and up to rochester before heading home. I'll be able to see the mississippi again and also all five great lakes. New states to tick off on a motorcycle--KY, MN, WI, MI, and NY (believe it or not, even though i live in jersey, ive never set motorcycle tires in ny state). I'll be eating mostly cereal, fruit and pb and j sandwiches, and will stay at the cheapest non-sleezy motels i can find.

Any ideas, comments, or discussion are welcome. I cant wait for the school year to be over (i work in the public schools) so i can take off!!!

Btw, the versys 1000 is a KILLER bike in every way. Had it for about a month and already put about 2000 miles on it.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by larrydevlin1770 View Post
In 2010 I went from coast to coast on my Honda Nighthawk 750. Got stranded on rte. 66 in the Mojave desert. Met bikers on harleys from switzerland (at the continental divide). Grand canyon, durango. Great trip.

Now im ready for a other adventure, but dont have the time to do the northern coast to coast i want to.

So im setting off on my new-to-me 2015 versys 1000 LT and doing the great lakes. Well, eventually.

Going south from Jersey to ride through West Virginia and Kentucky, then north through the twin cities, up to duluth, and then east across the northern peninsula of michigan, down to ohio, through erie and up to rochester before heading home. I'll be able to see the mississippi again and also all five great lakes. New states to tick off on a motorcycle--KY, MN, WI, MI, and NY (believe it or not, even though i live in jersey, ive never set motorcycle tires in ny state). I'll be eating mostly cereal, fruit and pb and j sandwiches, and will stay at the cheapest non-sleezy motels i can find.

Any ideas, comments, or discussion are welcome. I cant wait for the school year to be over (i work in the public schools) so i can take off!!!

Btw, the versys 1000 is a KILLER bike in every way. Had it for about a month and already put about 2000 miles on it.


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I live in Ottawa and have toured most of the area including down into Northern NY state. PM me if you want any info on riding on the Canadian side, routes, etc.. If you're a US resident, all you need is a passport, no visa is required. Most of the border crossing points have no traffic and zero wait time unless you hit the end of a long weekend.

Circling lake Superior is probably the best of the great lakes rides. Lots of info if you google.

Adirondacks in northern NY state is probably the best riding I've done. It's a must see (riding and exploring the back roads of the area) as is riding up White Face mountain. Lake Placid is the Aspen of the north.

Kingston/Thousand Islands area (start of great lakes where St. Lawrence meets Lake Ontario) is nice area to visit and get out on a tour boat on.

Canada is cheap riding right now as an American dollar goes a long way here with the current exchange rate.

Last edited by twowheels; 05-26-2017 at 06:09 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=twowheels;1387586]I live in Ottawa and have toured most of the area including down into Northern NY state.


Thank you very much for all of the tips. Unfortunately, my passport is not current and there is not enough time to get a new one.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 09:06 AM
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When in WV definitely check out Seneca Rocks! Then if you continue south there is the New River Gorge with tons of good sights. WV also has a lot of fun twisty roads! Michigan has some cool sand dunes to check out. Silver Lake dunes are the only ones I can think of off hand. Have fun on the trip!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 09:33 AM
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I used to live in Milwaukee, WI and did a Lake Michigan tour one year, touched part of Huron too. Two years ago my friends and I did a Michigan Coast to Coast tour riding up Lake Michigan and around rode around the perimeter to Lake Huron.

A couple of things to note. The Great River Road that follows the Mississippi is a great ride, not super technical but great views and lots of sweepers. I did the Wisconsin side of it and just a bit of the Minnesota side. The area around Wyalusing State Park is so beautiful. For the most part all of Wisconsin is pretty great riding except the SE, not that you can't find good roads there but it's mostly farmland.

The Apostle Island area near Lake Superior is gorgeous too, worth stopping off if you have some time.

For the most part the state of Michigan is a bit of a bore with the exception of the coastal areas, you can see the Sand Dune park and the Tunnel of Trees. Also crossing the Mackinac Bridge can give you pucker moments if you are afraid of heights.

Agree that upstate NY and the Adirondacks are a must ride area.

Most of Ohio and Indiana are flat and uninteresting until you get to SE Ohio, great riding roads.

Here are a few trips I've taken that have touched those areas if you are interested.

Lake Michigan Loop
Lake Michigan Loop

Adirondack Trip
Adirondack Adventure

Boston to Milwaukee and Back
http://http://nighthawk-forums.com/i...ic,1000.0.html

Michigan Coast to Coast
Michigan Coast To Coast - 2015 Nighthawk-Forums Rally Report

By the way, I did the Lake Michigan Loop and the Great River Road on my old Nighthawk 650, they're great bikes.


Have fun planning your route.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Touring the great lakes in a few weeks

Thanks Squirrel Rocket and Turks!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 02:20 PM
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The run up the north shore in MN to Grand Portage is quite scenic. (national scenic byway)

If you go there, take time to do MN 1 from 61 until you get tired of it.

Betty's Pies at Two Harbors.

Motel prices will be a bit rough in this area but check the lodge at Spirit Mountain Ski area in Duluth.

Ma and Pa motels in da U.P. tend to be quite reasonable.

Do hit the Gay Bar in Gay, MI. https://thegaybar.com/

I'll be camping NW of Isabella on MN 1 the first week of June on Forest Service land at junction of FS/town/county road 178(Kelly Trail) and MN 1. Swing on by iff'n you're there then. Will be three Roadtrek vans and a travel trailer grouped up. We'll have beer and a place to throw down a bedroll.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

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And most of Canada too, eh?

Last edited by SteveJ; 05-27-2017 at 02:46 PM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 03:00 PM
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[quote=larrydevlin1770;1387650]
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
I live in Ottawa and have toured most of the area including down into Northern NY state.


Thank you very much for all of the tips. Unfortunately, my passport is not current and there is not enough time to get a new one.


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I must be missing something. IF you live in Ottawa (Ontario), and your passport isn't current - how do you plan to enter the US? Unless you're in ANOTHER Ottawa....

Ed
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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The top paragraph was a quote. The bottom paragraph is my reply. I'm not sure why the quote wasn't labeled as such.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
The run up the north shore in MN to Grand Portage is quite scenic. (national scenic byway)



If you go there, take time to do MN 1 from 61 until you get tired of it.



Betty's Pies at Two Harbors.



Motel prices will be a bit rough in this area but check the lodge at Spirit Mountain Ski area in Duluth.



Ma and Pa motels in da U.P. tend to be quite reasonable.



Do hit the Gay Bar in Gay, MI. https://thegaybar.com/



I'll be camping NW of Isabella on MN 1 the first week of June on Forest Service land at junction of FS/town/county road 178(Kelly Trail) and MN 1. Swing on by iff'n you're there then. Will be three Roadtrek vans and a travel trailer grouped up. We'll have beer and a place to throw down a bedroll.


Thanks for all the tips! I wont be traveling til the end of June. Wish I could stop by.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 09:06 PM
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[quote=fasteddiecopeman;1387794]
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I must be missing something. IF you live in Ottawa (Ontario), and your passport isn't current - how do you plan to enter the US? Unless you're in ANOTHER Ottawa....
Think you may have mixed up my post with that of Larry's.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 03:05 PM
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Think you may have mixed up my post with that of Larry's.
Look back at post #3 and you can see how I got the wrong impression.

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