Americade 2018 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Americade 2018

I had the pleasure of visiting Americade for a second time. It's only four hours away, I don't know why I don't go more often. One interesting observation, my first trip there was in 2015 and in three years the ridership has become younger and more diverse. It's still mostly older guys on Harleys and Goldwings but there was so many more types of riders and bikes than I saw last time. Here are a few photos:


Gearing up for the ride out. My friend John is riding my Ninja 650 and I'm taking my Versys LT which I bought last year. This is the first real road trip for the Versys so I was going to learn a lot about it this week.


I've posted this spot many times before but it's John's first time at the Quabbin Reservoir. I know you can't see the water from this spot but the view is lovely.




Dining at the Freight House. It's a neat spot to eat, mostly counter service with a few tables scattered among the antiques. Good food.


We took HWY 2 from Boston out to the New York border. This is just before the Mohawk Trail, a view from the French King Bridge.








A small break and a little silliness at a roadside gift shop.


In the heart of the Mohawk Trail. This road is fun with lots of elevations and some tight turns though the speed limit is a bit slow but a few twists of the throttle here and there can liven things up.


Made it to the Heritage Hotel, third time I've stayed here on a bike trip. Great staff and very motorbike friendly. What's fun is that most of the riders sit on the balcony at the end of the day and share stories with one another.


The demo ride ritual, get up early and get in line to get first pick of preferred rides and time. I gravitated to the BMW booth this year taking out four different models and one of them twice.


Surrounding the demo tents is a skills course. It's fun to watch the riders as you wait in line. That woman in the red jacket on the police bike shredded the course, amazing control, she is one of the coaches. It was fascinating to watch the riders improve as they repeated the course and took instruction. Some improved a great deal but all improved to some degree.


After a day of demo riding nothing hits the spot better than pulled pork nachos.


Great view of Lake George from many of the restaurants. John and I are chilling talking about the days rides.


Loved this guys passengers!
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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We didn't get any rain this time but the pollen sure was thick.


The Euro-spec version of the new Tracer 900 GT. I slobbered over this bike for quite some time. Just a display model, not for demo ride. Shame.


Yamaha also had this bit of weirdness, the Niken, also just for display.


Every manufacturer does it's demo rides a bit different. Indian has the largest group ride and the least fussy assignment process, just get in line and wait.

Ranking the demo rides from wildest to tamest:

Aprillia
Yamaha
BMW (depending on ride leader but always spirited)
Suzuki
KTM
Moto Guzzi
Honda (weird that they would hustle in parts and slow way down, almost to a crawl in the tightest twisties, I suppose they don't want those $30k machines dinged up.)
Indian (painfully slow at times)

Slingshot and a custom Trike company had demos as well but I did not try. Harley decided to cancel showing because they couldn't get their preferred spot on the rally grounds.


John rolling out on an Indian Scout. We didn't ride together because somebody jumped in and took his ride. Happened to me twice as well but I snapped back at the line jumpers, John is too nice and patient.


It's fun walking up and down the streets that are just filled with motorcycles. The constant straight pipe rumble and roar does get a bit tiring though.


My Precious. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my new helmet. I detailed on FB that I had ten random people come up to me unsolicited and tell me how much they like my helmet. The funniest one was a salesman from the Schuberth Helmet company, he said, "I like how your helmet looks but I don't like your helmet". Sadly, the helmet is the wrong shape with a major hot spot on my top, front forehead. So much so that I get numbness and headaches, I'm really sad, I don't think another size or insert that can solve this problem. I will talk to the dealer where I bought it soon.


Some cool stuff on the road besides bikes.


Riding home as the sun sets. We had great weather, great bikes, fun people and beautiful roads. A very memorable trip. Oh, and the Versys did real well. If you are interested in the bikes that I had demoed I plan on writing that up very soon in the Motorcycle section.

Ride safe, ride often!


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Old 06-12-2018, 10:47 PM
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Nice!

One the skills training course do you ride your own bike or a loaner? Is that lady a cop or just on a police bike?
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Nice!

One the skills training course do you ride your own bike or a loaner? Is that lady a cop or just on a police bike?
You use your own bike, I saw quite a few drops, low speed of course. I don't know if she is a cop but it is a former police bike.


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Old 06-12-2018, 11:21 PM
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Great pics and write-up! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:47 PM
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Last time I was there it cost me about $1,000.00. New helmet, rain suit, led headlight, ect. Can I say great vendor area. It was a side trip from a work training school so I was in the car and didn't get to do any of the rides.

Jeff

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Old 06-13-2018, 07:03 AM
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You use your own bike, I saw quite a few drops, low speed of course. I don't know if she is a cop but it is a former police bike.
The seat on the cop bikes totally transforms the way those bikes handle because you are up higher and over the tank. Makes a big difference but the extra height combined with the width of the seat makes it scary holding that bike up at a stop with a cross wind.

Thanks for the writeup. Nice bikes you have.

My Versys Travels:


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Old 06-13-2018, 08:07 AM
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Awesome; I love Americade. I don't go every year like a lot of folks, but I've been to 12 of them going back to 1998, plus a couple trips to Lake George in the Fall for the unofficial "Leafycade." Love riding that area.

2015 Versys 650 ABS
AMA, MSTA, Retreads

Nat'l Cycle "Sport-Touring" screen; Givi hand guards; BMW Sport Grips; Omni-Cruise throttle lock; Motowerk mirror extenders, side stand foot & highway pegs; Denali Mini Soundbomb horn; SW-Motech top rack, Quick-Lock Evo side racks, wide foot pegs & GPS shelf; Givi E-22 side cases & V-47 top case; RKA 13L Shiloh Road tank bag; Hyper-Lites; Sargent seat; Shoodaben ECU reflash; decalectomy.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome; I love Americade. I don't go every year like a lot of folks, but I've been to 12 of them going back to 1998, plus a couple trips to Lake George in the Fall for the unofficial "Leafycade." Love riding that area.
Never heard of "Leafycade" before but I did ride up to Lake George a few years ago in the Fall, it was post peak color and it got quite cold especially towards the evening. It is a great area for riding.


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Old 06-13-2018, 09:48 AM
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We used to drive through and vacation in that area frequently 35-50 years ago. I always loved those trips. Someday I'll get back out there.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:53 AM
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Never heard of "Leafycade" before but I did ride up to Lake George a few years ago in the Fall, it was post peak color and it got quite cold especially towards the evening. It is a great area for riding.
It DOES get cold there. One year it snowed up there in early October and I had to turn back. Leafycade was an unofficial gathering of Americade fans; used to draw maybe a few hundred riders. It gradually shrank down over the years to only a couple of dozen, then we remained renamed it Renecade. That was late 1990s-early 2000s; I don't think anything of any size has happened there in the Fall since then.

2015 Versys 650 ABS
AMA, MSTA, Retreads

Nat'l Cycle "Sport-Touring" screen; Givi hand guards; BMW Sport Grips; Omni-Cruise throttle lock; Motowerk mirror extenders, side stand foot & highway pegs; Denali Mini Soundbomb horn; SW-Motech top rack, Quick-Lock Evo side racks, wide foot pegs & GPS shelf; Givi E-22 side cases & V-47 top case; RKA 13L Shiloh Road tank bag; Hyper-Lites; Sargent seat; Shoodaben ECU reflash; decalectomy.
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