Dallas to Kansas City and Back - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-23-2011, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Dallas to Kansas City and Back

I go to Kansas City on business once a month. This month I decided to make a bit of an adventure of it, and do the trip on the V.

On the first day, starting from Dallas, I went through Oklahoma and then into Arkansas. Then from Arkansas up through Missouri to KC. On the way back, I took the western route, down Kansas into Oklahoma and stopped in Norman, OK. Then I went almost directly south back to the great state of Texas.

I don't think the details of the trip would be particularly interesting to anyone else, so I thought I'd write about my experience with the V and the various gear I used. Oh, and just say that eastern Oklahoma is just gorgeous with awesome roads. That's all I'll say.

Rain Gear

The first thing I would like to mention is the versatility of the Tourmaster Rain Suit. I didn't have any rain on the way up, but the wind was making me a bit cold. So I put on the rain suit and had a very comfortable ride all the way into Arkansas. I also wore it on Sunday and it was great in the morning. But I was too hot by noon and took it off.

On the way back, I had two hours of rain each day. The first day, I wore the Tourmaster until about noon, when the rain stopped and it got warm. I was perfectly dry.

The next day (today), looking at the weather report, I thought I would be out of the rain in 30min. I didn't feel like putting the suite on again ... I wanted to be unburdened. Well, that was a mistake. After about an hour, I was soaked. The rain then stopped for about 15 minutes, and then started up again. Big mistake. I kept kicking myself for having a great rain suit in my luggage and riding in the wet.

Oh and another lesson: it's bloody hard to see out of a visor when it rains. Is there something people do to to help that? Like get the hell out of the rain?

I also had Alpinestars Drystar gloves with me. They kept my hands warm and dry. They don't work great if it's very cold, but that day they did the trick. They're a bit thick so I don't ride with them unless I need them.

I'm also glad my trusty Garmin 1490 didn't have trouble in the rain. I would be lost without the GPS. I only thought of that as I looked down and saw it covered with water. Garmin!

Seat

I recently added a Russell day-long saddle to my V. What a difference. Day-long is right. It's an amazing seat. No pain at all the first two days. On the second day on the way back I noticed that my left leg had a little bit of circulation pain, probably due to the fact that, since I was riding with the wind, I was not shifting around as much. So I did some of that and the pain went away. But this has made all the difference for me in the comfort of the bike.

So a huge to Russell.

Luggage

I also had an amazing amount of luggage space. Between my E52 topcase and my pair of E41 side cases, I had far more capacity than when I usually travel with my backpack and my Rimowa roller. I measured that at about 50 liters. The E52 was dedicated to my backpack, second computer, tools, pump, etc. So I had about 50% more capacity with my two E41s. I did have more to pack, however, with riding clothes, etc.

Since the trip was primarily a business trip, I needed my luggage to be protected. Not only expensive computers, but my dress clothes. I didn't have any rain on the way, but as I said above, on the way back I rode in the rain about two hours each day. Everything in the luggage remained dry. I could not see a single drop of water that got through. Very happy with the Givis.

My only small complaint is that I don't particularly like the latch on the E41s. I don't find it as easy to deal with as the one on the E52.

Wind

My V (don't know if it's all Vs) has a hard time in the wind. I don't know if it's all the luggage, the light weight of the bike, or what. But when the wind blows, I have to lean the bike a lot. Much more than the cruisers I pass.

I still have issues with wind buffeting. I think this is mostly when I'm riding into the wind. But I get vibration in my helmet at about 60mph. Very annoying.

Mileage

I didn't get great gas mileage for the trip, but I'm still happy with the mileage of the V. I got anywhere from 42 to 51 mpg, depending mostly on the wind, I'm sure.

Texas

I did some whooping when I crossed Lake Texoma and saw the sign welcoming me back to Texas. And I'm not really a whooper. Or any kind of country music fan. I'm not native to Texas but have lived here for half my life, and every once in a while, I realize how much I love Texas.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-23-2011, 10:30 PM
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I use Rain-X on my visor,helmet and windscreen makes a huge differance.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-23-2011, 10:51 PM
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"Oh and another lesson: it's bloody hard to see out of a visor when it rains. Is there something people do to to help that? Like get the hell out of the rain?"

I've been dealing with this issue the past week or so because of drizzle/mist/fog in my area...

Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
I use Rain-X on my visor,helmet and windscreen makes a huge differance.
Damn, I used to know that...and have used it in the past--works great. Don't you hate when as you get older you forget stuff you already knew? I am going to pick up a bottle tomorrow. Thanks.

I noticed my V doesn't get along too well with wind either. I think it might be a combination of its tall stature and light weight. With a Givi windscreen, going into headwinds got better, but the side winds still push me around a bit too.

Glad you had a safe and fun trip. Sounds like you had a cool little adventure.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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That's a good idea. I will try that.
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