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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.