New Jersey to Alabama: my ride - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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New Jersey to Alabama: my ride

Ah, and such a fun ride it was! After getting on the Greyhound in Opelika, AL and getting off the bus (24 hours and 25 minutes later!) in Mt Laurel, NJ, I was ready to take my first interstate ride - from New Jersey to Alabama.
I wish I had stopped to take more pictures, but I was pressed for time as it was, and cut my photo-taking short.

So, here they are!

April 29th, 9:05 AM: The journey begins in Opelika, AL aboard Greyhound:

April 30th, 9:40 AM: The journey ends with my stop at Cycle World of Cherry Hill (CWCH) located in Cherry Hill, NJ. I was very happy to get off that bus!

However, someone had dropped the ball prior to my arrival. So, I had the pleasure of seeing my bike almost literally from birth:

While waiting for the bike to get put together, I met one of the locals, who was pretty cool, I think:

I also saw a nice piece of classic steel. She was a 1951 VW Beetle...

...with a 224 hp EFI turbo 4-cyl!

(needless to say, he'd killed a couple of SRT's)

Prior to completion, the techs at CWCH installed a 12V outlet for free, once I had purchased it:

Finally, the bike was assembled. I mounted my Cortech saddlebags, my TomTom, and I was ready to roll!

I hopped on I-295 south, and made my way to Delaware before needing to make my first refueling stop:
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Once I had filled up, I rode to Cycle World of Brooklyn, Maryland for my first oil change - at 121 miles. They fit me in no problem, gave me no trouble whatsoever, and had a pretty nice selection of bikes and gear:

And spotted a nice ZX-11 outside the shop:

After I was done there, I rode on through to Virginia, where I stopped for the night at a Comfort Inn just off of exit 126. I got done there, and took off southbound. I had made my way past Richmond, got on I-85 southbound, and decided to hit a back road for some nice scenery and a small change of pace. I wound up on Flat Rock road, just off of Exit 34 on 85 South:

Once I got back on the road, I made my way into North Carolina. I stopped in at a cycle dealership in Durham, called Kawasaki and Suzuki of Durham, NC. The service staff there was very friendly, and quickly fit me in for my 500-mile service. After servicing my bike, I was off again, on my way south, where I stopped in at the North Carolina transportation museum:

Unfortunately, they were 15 minutes from closing, so I was only able to get that picture. I got back on the road, and burned I-85 south all the way to the state line:

Unfortunately, it was the only state line sign I had thought to get a picture of.

On my way to the GA state line, you'll find the world's biggest peach...butt?

Every time I pass it I chuckle.

I was riding about 40 miles away from the GA state line when I encountered these two individuals on the highway, who invited me to ride with them:

That's Joe on the left with his VTX 1800 and Mike on the right with his 1-month-old HD Road King. Both of them are retired USMC, Joe was a CH-47 pilot and Mike was an MH-53 pilot. They also got a shot of me, wired up on MD Amp and ready to ride:

And now, two days after the trip began, she's home:

So, that was my ride. Two days. 928 miles. And it was a blast! I just wish I'd had more time.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 06:08 AM
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Welcome nice pics and write up.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 09:04 AM
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great pics and story
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 02:40 PM
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Great Trip

That seemed like a blast. How were you able handle the breakin period? Did you keep it below 4,000 rpm the 1st 500 miles? How do you like your saddle bags? Would you recommend them?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 04:57 PM
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Thanks for sharing

2008 BMW R1200RT
2008 Kawasaki Versys
2002 BMW R1150RT
2002 Suzuki VStrom DL1000 (Gone)
2002 Harley FXDWG Wide Glide (Gone)
2002 Harley 883 Sportster (Gone)
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 11:12 PM
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Great trip. Its broke in now. I bet it didn't spend much time under the 4000 rpm mark. I am having a hard time with that myself. The urge to twist that throttle is too great.

Happy Riding.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 06:08 PM
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HB9400 had a good question. How were you able to handle the breakin period? Did you keep it below 4,000 rpm the 1st 500 miles or did you vary the revs a bit. I just purchased my Versys on Thursday, 05/08/08 and it's been a real challenge keeping it below 4K on the rev meter. The bags look good. I have a spare set of GIVI E360 Monokey cases from a previous bike that I'm going to mount. I have just ordered the side rack for them. Please let our curious minds know if you adhered to the breakin policy and if you noticed any adverse effects if you didn't.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 04:52 PM
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Great Pics! I didn't really adhere to the manufacturers all. I actually tried to do a variation of the motoman method. I basically varied my RPM's frequently and tried to put various loads on the engine, from accelerating and decelerating. I think as long as you don't keep your engine sitting at the same RPM for extended periods or redline it during the first few hundred miles you are fine. My dealer told me to run it how I am normally going to ride and said I should have no problems at all.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 07:41 PM
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Great story. First bike?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Second bike, actually.

I must say, I am really impressed with this bike. I took a HUGE gamble with this bike - bought it without ever riding one, went someplace miles away from anyone I knew, from a dealership I never dealt with - everything worked out well. And, for never riding the bike, I was immediately impressed with how well she rode.

I remember getting on the bike the first time. It was almost like she knew I was a little nervous about the trip, because, thinking about it, it was almost like she was saying, 'It'll be okay, I'm not gonna let you down' in the way she handled and the way she gracefully rode around in the parking lot prior to my departure.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Man, LOTSA ?s!!!

Sorry for the delay. The break-in? I varied RPMs, but I went up to 4,000 until my 112-mile oil change, then up to 7,000 until my 429-mile oil change, and then, after that, I've had it up to 9K RPM a few times.

All in all, she runs excellent, and she returns 50-52 mpg. Not bad, until you take into consideration that I'm not usually taking it slow from the lights.

Thanks for the compliments. The bags are Cortech Sport Saddlebags. They're pretty decently sized given the shape that they have. And YES, I would DEFINITELY recommend them. They're spacious, come with neoprene protectors to keep the paint from getting scratched up, and they're durable. I know, because at one point, after riding for about 1 1/2 hours, I had stopped at a funny angle on a downgrade. I wound up losing my balance, and laid the bike down - literally. I was holding the bike as she went slowly lower...and lower....and lower...until she was sideways . But, she took no real damage and rode just fine after I righted her again. The saddlebags kept the bike from getting scratched up.
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