Join Date: May 2013
Location: Houston, Tx, USA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Natchez Trail & Tail of the Dragon
Wow!! This was my first lengthy ride on my '08 Versys which I bought 5 months ago with 15K miles. Total miles, driveway to driveway (starting point Houston, Texas) was 2,212.
The Versys performed flawlessly. I must say, I was really impressed with her performance and handling. She was very happy to cruise the numerous State highways we chose (in order to avoid the big rig crowded Interstates) at 70+MPH. And, once we hit the curves of the Dragon and Devils Triangle, it was as if she was smiling the entire time I leaned left and right, shifted with ease and exercised the throttle with great smoothness.
She truly was a pleasure on the curves.
I kept a detailed fuel log and found my MPG ranged from a couple lows of 47 MPG when we were cruising at 70-75+ MPH to a high of 57 MPG when we were respecting the 50 MPH speed limit on the Natchez Trail Parkway, a limited access (no big trucks) 2 lane extremely smooth road which weaves through the trees for around 400 miles (we only road about 300 miles of it.)
For the most part, the weather was excellent. On the Natchez Trail, the shade provided by the trees protected us from a lot of the mid day sun while in the Smoky Mountain area, the gray sky at first made us fearful of rain but by the end of the day all I could recall was how so many of my "most memorable rides" have been under gray skies.
Our only encounter with bad weather occurred as we were headed home. We had started the day with our GPS saying we had 637 miles to get back to our driveway. Honestly, I think we could have made it (although it would have meant riding from 8 am till 8 pm) if not for the wall of water and winds that hit us around 3 pm. At the time, we were on a two lane highway with very small shoulders . . . there was no place to pull off the road. I've never experienced a combination of wind and rain like that! During a couple of the wind gust I remember thinking, "Hell, I'm leaning as much as I was on the Tail!"
It probably only lasted around 20 minutes followed by "normal" rain but that was enough to convince us to stop for the night with 237 miles remaining to get home. Turns out, it was a good thing we did stop. As we watched the weather reports we learned there was a wide, slow moving band of serious weather we would have had to ride through. Instead we were snug as a bug in a rug enjoying our Domino's pizza and cinnamon bread sticks!
After a pleasant morning breakfast we rolled out of Alexandria, Louisiana and head home. Rolling in to my driveway just before 1 pm I realized I had experienced an incredible ride with absolutely no mechanical issues, no accidents, no hotel issues, no health issues, no traffic issues, etc. Simply a very enjoyable week of riding the Versys.
My riding partner was on his Goldwing. I think all would agree, Goldwing vs Versys, we're talking apples and oranges. There is no comparison. However, I must say, I never felt intimidated or threatened by his Wing. I'm sure he was more comfortable but I was very impressed at the quality and type of ride the Versys delivered.
After a couple days unwinding and being a good husband, I'm fortunate to have a couple more days off. I'l be spending most of today and tomorrow giving the Versys some well deserved TLC. A good bath and waxing. Some serious undercarriage and sprocket/chain area cleaning and last but not least, she's earned a new set of tires!