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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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The longest first ride

Some of you may have already seen this. I posted it on ADV and tried to keep it updated while I was on the road this past weekend. I'm home now and figured I would post it here for all the Versys fans.

I did a lot of reading on here and PMing people with questions before I finally pulled the trigger. I love mine. Wish I hadn't waited so long. This was a 4 day (5 if you count flying) trip that went better than I imagined it could.

I'll put each day in it's own post so you can read one post a day or go for it all in one shot. It was fun, it was crazy. I'm ready for more.

Last edited by kenr74; 05-05-2010 at 11:24 AM.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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What was I thinking? What am I thinking? It all looks good on paper. Famous last words, hopefully not.

I have been drooling over the Kawi Versys since the first time I saw one. Good power, handling, and the looks only a mother could love. I had been planning on buying a Wee Strom eventually but every time I got close that damn Versys would pop up and shut the door. Everybody I talked to that had some miles on one of these liked them.

So the search began. Stopped by some dealerships to get some hands on time before getting serious. Looks good so I hit craigslist to see what can be found. Everything local is way overpriced so back to the dealership. Good deal but still more than I want to spend for a toy. Check eBay, nothing close. Look a little further, still nothing exciting. Then along comes……………..Kermit?



Hmmm……..definitely different but I like different. He is on eBay and half a country away. I don’t get out much so I don’t give it much thought. I put a bid in for the hell of it and am immediately outbid. Kermit doesn’t sell but is relisted with no reserve. This time I get serious. I have had good luck buying bikes on eBay and the seller seems to have their act together so I give it a shot.

Do the math, I love numbers. Cost of a local one plus the cost of some luggage less the cost of airfare, less gas, less hotel, less food, less the miles on the bike equals my max bid. Plus take some more off just because I’m cheap and that is what I’m going to bid. Won’t win but if I do I will be happy.

So I won the bike. Didn’t expect that but I’m excited. But wait………….the bike is a long, long, long, ways away and I’ve never actually ridden this bike or even another bike like it. Let the fun begin.








Ship it to me? Hell no. A road trip is in order. I can fill one hard bag with Snickers bars and the other with Coke. What could possibly go wrong over the next 2,300 miles? Considering my vast experience of riding to work on my DRZ this should be easy right? Oh…….forgot that I have a pretty tight window so I need to be back in four days.

It sucks that I have to fly through all this beautiful country that I have never seen but the reality is that if I didn’t work my ass off I couldn’t afford all my toys. Hopefully this will be a first of many adventures on this bike. Might actually have a plan for the next one other than get home before Tuesday.



The route and plan



I plan everything. I definitely need to get out more. I have a daily routine that is pretty much identical down to the minute. Not this time, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into so I figured a plan would be worthless. The start is in Dallas, TX and the end is back home in NW Oregon. Four days to cover a lot of ground. Once I pick up the bike I’m heading towards home. I guess I do have a plan, sort of.

Dallas to somewhere between Amarillo and Albuquerque the first day. Check the weather then keep going. Maybe Moab, maybe Vegas, maybe Boise, maybe Reno. I have my riding gear, gas money, food money, enough tools to do a full rebuild, and a few contact numbers just incase. I didn’t want to over pack so no tent or sleeping bag. Cheap hotels is the plan. Might bum a couch if that option comes up. Hoping for good weather but I live in Oregon so almost anything at this point is good weather.

I get on a plane in an hour. More to come. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a lesson of what not to do.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Part 2

So I made it to Dallas and just realized that half of the miles I’m doing have already been done. The next 2300 home should be just as easy right?

Nothing much to report so far. It was raining in Portland so I wasn’t very sad about getting out of there. I had a window seat and was ready to doze off. The middle was open but the stewardess kept saying it was a full flight so I immediately started doing the

SOOOPPP-----ERRRR-------MO-----DDDDEEEELLLL
SOOOPPP-----ERRRR-------MO-----DDDDEEEELLLL
SOOOPPP-----ERRRR-------MO-----DDDDEEEELLLL
SOOOPPP-----ERRRR-------MO-----DDDDEEEELLLL

chant in my head hoping for somebody hot and skinny to sit next to me. I would settle for not smelly and skinny if it came down to it but was hoping for the best. And then along came Bill. Oh Bill. It took about half a second after he squeezed between me and my rowmate for me to realize that he was one drunk fool. 80 years old and flying off to somewhere warm I guess. He had already had a few and then pulled out a few mini bottles of rum and pounded those down. The smell alone kept me pinned against the window most of the time but he didn’t take the hint. We talked about everything and anything until I made the mistake of mentioning my journey. Well, Bill knows every freaking back road between Dallas and Portland that ever was or ever will be. And now so do I. I tried to explain that I was going to be doing a lot of miles over the next few days but he insisted on making me some notes for some “short cuts”. Now I don’t really know if I will ever find that road past the 3rd cactus on the left just outside of BFE New Mexico but it sounded like a good one.

I get to Phoenix and have an hour to grab some food. Nothing exciting until I look up and see the most massive woman walking my way. I’m 6’ tall but this girl made me feel like a midget. I didn’t pay much attention but was wondering why she was so dressed up just to go flying. And then………………….it clicked that she was really a he. Remember when I said I don’t get out much? More wonderful observations to come from me I’m sure. So on the plane we go and she/he is two rows up. Damn that is a big girl. About ten minutes into the air she starts hurling and from the sounds I heard I’m afraid she may not be fooling anybody.

Sorry, no pics today. Three airports, drunk guy, scary he/she, I’m beat. That is it for now. I pick up the bike at 9 tomorrow and hope to get past Amarillo and maybe to Albuquerque. Getting a later start than I wanted but better than being at work.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Part 3

I had a cheap hotel in Dallas. Lots of noise combined with me being excited leads to not much sleep. The dealership with my bike is going to pick me up at 9 and then we do paperwork walk around and then I’m good to go. Just as we are pulling up to the dealership they are rolling it out for me. I just about jump out of the moving truck to finally see this thing in person. Just as described, looks good and is ready to go. They knew I had a long ride so it had an oil change, tank of gas, and the usual maintenance stuff you would do before heading out. I didn’t know what to expect since I have never had much luck with my local dealers but these guys are top notch.

I warm it up and do a few laps around the parking lot and Kermit is good to go. Back to the hotel to load up. Now I do have a DRZ but that is the closest thing to a street bike I have ever had. Apparently street bikes have keys which I managed to forget and went up to the room to gather my gear. Back to the bike and a group of people are around it. We start talking and one of them asks why I leave the key in it. Ummmm……..gotta go.

Ready to roll




It’s already 10:45 and I am just leaving the hotel. I’m in full gear including full MX boots which I’m starting to regret. Great protection but I didn’t adjust the shifter before heading out so it was a challenge. That should better for tomorrow.

Dallas is hot and muggy. I’m ready to turn on the AC but with the helmet and jacket vents open it isn’t too bad. What is bad is the wind. I’ve never ridden in wind so this is keeping it interesting. I get about 20 miles out of Dallas and all the sudden a dark cloud appears. Nothing like we have in Oregon. I have no idea what to expect and then within 10 seconds I go from sweating to freezing. The wind is insane and I slow it down and hang on. A gust hits me so hard from the side that if I didn’t already have a death grip I would have been blown right off. I’m starting to wonder if this was such a great idea.

20 minutes of battling to stay upright and then blue skies and sun out of nowhere. I take a deep breath and pull off at a rest stop to check my packing job and get ready for the rest of the ride. I’m a whopping 50 miles out of Dallas and wondering just how far I will get today. The weather is really getting to me but the bike just pushes right through.

I pop in the headphones and turn on some tunes. I’m suddenly feeling it and so is Kermit. This bike is so smooth. Tons of torque and just purrs. The wind is insane and I spend all day leaning left. We are cruising at 85mph and making good time. Suddenly I’m in Amarillo and still feeling good. I probably looked like the biggest dork on the road but I found that full tuck position worked great. This bike really fits me and we cut through the wind instead of being tossed around.

I’m looking like a total squid and I realize that I am passing a unmarked police car. Crap!! Sure enough he pulls out behind me and is all I can see in the mirrors. Mile after mile he just stays with me. I stay in full tuck figuring that I may as well be comfortable before I get an award. The lights come on and then he goes flying by me. Ahhh……..thank you.

Time to stop for a break and give thanks to whoever was more of a law breaker than I was.



Texas is big and it is flat. Very similar to the he/she from yesterday but Texas is much easier on the eyes. I thought I saw a hill earlier in the day but it turned out to be an overpass. I like it here. Everybody is very nice and drivers are calm for some reason. Seems like a good place to be on a bike. I’m just about to enter New Mexico when I see something so shocking I nearly crash. I’m able to pull off the road and get a picture to prove it but……………………..

Texas has a hill and I found it.



I thought it was really nice of them to put pointers out next to the hill so you won’t go flying by without noticing. This is also the same location of the only corner in Texas.



Well sure enough I’m closing in on New Mexico. No, not California. The actually state of NM. It is enchanting.



But wait…………I never got a Welcome to Texas shot so we spin this thing around and go for the money shot. Now it is obvious why the drivers are so mellow.



I battle the winds for another hour or so before I decide I’m done. Find the cheapest hotel I can and check in for the night. It is supposed to get close to freezing tonight so Kermit comes in and gets comfortable.



Hopefully they don’t notice an empty spot and kick me out. Wasn’t sure what the proper way to keep him safe was so there he sits.

I ended up in Tucumcari, NM. Not as far as I had hoped to get but considering the combination of me, new bike, and wind I’m pretty happy. 475 miles down and a couple more to go. Not sure where I’m going tomorrow. Moab sounds great but has gotten some snow. West is safe and known but I hear the wind is as bad or worse. I hear Mexico has margaritas this time of year.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Part 4

Well, make a list of everything that could go wrong on a trip like this. Out of that list nothing went wrong today. It was another windy ride but today was a special day for me.

About this time two weeks ago I was laying in bed going back and forth about this bike. The pros, the cons, the what if this, what if that. I couldn’t sleep and must have adjusted the pillow a hundred times before my wife asks me what was up. I tell her about it and that if I bid on it and win I would ride it home. I don’t think I got done with my sales pitch before I hear “Don’t do it”. Silence…………..I’m thinking of how to spin this and then she says “just be careful on your way home”. She knows me well. I remembered this situation on my ride today and it reminded me of how lucky I am.

I rode through some areas today that reminded me of scenes from 3rd world countries. People just getting by if they are even that lucky. Another good reminder of how lucky most of us are.

The alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. Alarm!!!! I know what you are thinking but I have a timeline and my list of “must see” is growing. I’m on the road at 6:30 and flying towards Albuquerque. Sometime last night I decided that I had just been to Vegas, Mexico is in a couple months. I’m going to Moab. I had never heard of Moab until I started riding dirt bikes and then it quickly became a must do. I missed out on a trip last year due to work so this was my chance. Damn the snow, the wind, whatever else decides to slow me down. I will see Moab today. So I made it a whole hour before I thought my fingers were about to fall off. Luckily I brought some hand guards with me and put them on last night or I would have lasted 10 minutes before pulling over and building a fire. It was just about freezing and my gloves were not cutting it. Hello golden arches. Quick breakfast and a very hot coffee and I’m ready to go. The sun is now out in full force.

Tucumcari to Albuquerque goes fast and I’m suddenly in Saturday morning traffic. Grandma in her Buick reminds me that I am invisible so I move to the slow lane and relax. I glance at the GPS and realize that I missed my exit about ten miles ago. Maybe a little too relaxed so we spin around and get back on the right track. The sun is out, the tunes are good, the bike is purring, and we just started a 150+ mile stretch between nowhere and nowhere. Life is good.

Texas was good other than the wind but Northern New Mexico is great and getting better.

Rio Grande supposedly just outside of Albuquerque



Starting to get to the good stuff





All downhill from here







New Mexico goes fast this morning and I’m ready for Colorado. Unfortunately this sign was a good representation of my time in Colorado. Something just wasn’t right. I did think it was pretty funny that their sign was not very colorful.



It seemed like the second I got back on the road the wind went crazy. I’m heading North and leaning hard to my left to stay upright. I finally head West and get into my now favorite tuck position. The wind keeps me pinned down but we are moving.





I just about have my chin bar on the windscreen when it occurs to me that this thing is tiny. I’ve seen bigger thongs than this but we won’t talk about that. Don’t ever drink to much kids. A new windscreen looks like it will be a must have. It works well up to about 75mph but then it seems to give up.

I make a quick stop just before leaving Colorado and the gas station lady is grumpy and not much help. I can’t get out of there fast enough.

Luckily Utah is ready to welcome me.



The wind is gone almost as fast as it showed up. I’m on a nice straight road heading West before I turn North and hit Moab! Then I notice that my road goes right between this


And this



The pictures don’t do it justice. It was a battle between good and evil with me right in the middle. I clicked it into 6th and ran through 20 miles before getting wet. Just as I’m turning North evil seems to be winning the battle but it won’t catch me.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Part 4 continued




So the weather is now beautiful and the wind is back but not insane like it was in Colorado. Moab here I come.



























I spent about 3 hours to cover the last 100 miles. Didn’t really take many pictures so I have an excuse to come back. This area of Utah is just indescribably beautiful. My words can’t even start to explain the area and pictures don’t do much better. I sat for a while watching clouds move across the sky and again realized just how lucky I am. Four days of riding is just a blip on the screen but a good reminder to enjoy things while you can and count your blessings.

Left the hotel at 6:30. Checked into the hotel at 6:30. 603 miles for the day. 1078 for the trip.

Time for bed. Part of not planning this meant that there was nothing available in Moab so I ended up heading north to Green River. Totally different than Moab but still a beautiful area.



Not sure where I’m heading tomorrow. Boise would be easy but SE Oregon sounds interesting so I’ll see what is happing in the morning.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Part 5

Last night I sat in my hotel room trying to pick my next destination. After two near perfect days I was ready for another. I guess the ratio of good days to hard days must be 2:1 because today was my turn to pay up.

I was on the road at 6:30 again with Salt Lake City as my point where I needed to decide the final destination for today. Salt Lake City was 180 miles away and a good warm up for what was to come. I was shooting for either Boise or Winnemucca as a staging point for my final day. I was either going to enter the SE corner of Oregon or the central East side and work my way towards Bend and then home.

I planned a quick stop for breakfast that was about an hour away. As usual my fingers were about to fall off pretty quickly so I pulled over to put on some heavy gloves I use for climbing. Nice and warm but I couldn’t feel anything so back to the riding gloves. Hot coffee was close so on we went.

Utah was just as beautiful in the morning as it was at night. How often can a guy say something is just as beautiful in the morning.





So coffee awaits me in Price, UT but before I get there I hit a long straight stretch of road and pin it. We are shooting for the gap at the very end.





All is well but I’m ready to warm up. We hit BK for some sort of breakfast and more importantly some hot coffee. Fill up and we head West up into the hills. I asked somebody what the weather was like up there and all I got was to take it easy. Sounds scary but it is bright and beautiful here.












I pull off often and let traffic by since I am in full tourist mode. Another day of incredible sights. A nice curvy road to play on and Sunday morning traffic that is really in no hurry. Up, up, and away we go. The drop in temperature is obvious and the sky starts to darken. The roads are dry but there is a light dusting in the hills.



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Part 5 continued

Up we go further. Darker and colder and now the road is wet. A snow plow passed me on its way down the hill. I pass a policeman on the side of the road that is giving me the WTF look. Is there something I don’t know here? I checked the elevation and it wasn’t much higher than where I started. On we go.



The road is starting to worry me. Slush on the sides but I have a wide enough clear path that I’m comfortable continuing at a slower pace. I’m starting to hold up traffic but there is nowhere to go. There is no shoulder and I’m not going to try to stop in the slush. All of the sudden it looks like the snow plow guy said screw it I’m done. I go from wet pavement to wet but packed snow. I’m scared. I’m not ready to die so I slow it down even more. There is a semi behind me intent on getting up the hill no matter what it takes. I put on the flashers and hope for the best. Finally I wave my arm and he backs off. At least when I go down I have a chance of scrambling off the road into the ditch before getting ran over.

I’m still chugging along and I see a place to pull off and come to a slow stop. Even better…………it is a gas station with coffee. I go inside and ask how much further I need to go before it gets better. Good news, this is the top.



I decide to wait it out. Finish the coffee and talk to some truck drivers for advice. Sounds like all is well a mile away. Still thinking about it when a snow plow goes by and clears the way. Off we go.



Should be easy from here right? The wind is suddenly insane again. I feel like I’m in a wind tunnel. The road is clear but now there are huge wet snow flakes coming down. I wipe my visor every 10 seconds. Then every five, then I can’t keep up. We pull over and wait it out. I’m mentally exhausted. We sit and wait and wait. We are covered. Kermit is no longer green. It slows down so off we go.

Light at the end of the tunnel.



The end of the tunnel. Hmmm……wonder why they put those there.



We battle the wind into Salt Lake City and I’m done. I’m ready for a hotel. My 3 hour warm up ride took 6. I call home to hear a voice that will cheer me up. I just went through something I never want to see again but now it is sunny and beautiful. We check the weather. Winnemucca is good, Boise is good. They are both supposed to be windy tomorrow though. Hmmmm…………get a hotel, head North, or head West? I’m not ready to give up yet so North we go.



Idaho is just like last summer but nice and cool. Sunny, dry, and moving fast. Stop for a quick bite and I’m ready. Boise it is but we hit Boise so soon that on we go to Ontario were we stop for the night. No internet here so Kermit isn’t in for the night, YET.

587 miles for the day bringing the total to 1,665. The first 200 were brutal but from lunch on it went pretty fast.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Part 6

On to day 4. Should be a good one if I can stick to the route I want to take.

Good morning sunshine.



I’m up before the alarm and wanting to move. It is still dark so I roll out the bike and get packed. Head over to McD’s to get some food since most of today will be in the middle of nowhere. Talk to some locals about the gas situation and all sounds good.

I’m sitting there wasting time and counting the minutes until it is light enough to ride. A guy sits down a few booths over and starts singing. Hmmmm………free entertainment. I’m pretty sure he is homeless and here to warm up. He is working on a coffee between tunes. It is still dark outside but he has a hat on and the darkest glasses I’ve seen. Stoned or drunk and having a good time. I’m not sure what he is singing but those songs will never be the same. All the sudden he slides over and asks me if my bike is a Hyabusee. I haven’t heard of that one but go with it. Well of course it is a Hyabusee but it is the touring edition. He has never seen a green one so I let him know that they are only sold in Texas so I imported it. Sounds like he used to have a black Hyabusee but had to sell it because of too many tickets. He would ride between Ontario and Boise and get it up around 300mph before he had to back off. I knew it was coming and sure enough he wants to take my bike for a spin. Oh look it is light enough to ride. Gotta go.

So off we go. Easter Oregon is mostly farmland and the roads are busy with trucks and tractors. I have a quick stop for gas and then a long stretch of nothing.







I’m not religious but this sign seems like it could apply to a lot of situations.



Up we go into the clouds. I stop to throw on another layer.



Quick stop in a small town along the way.



Trying to not crash while riding one handed. Yes, that is fear in my eyes.





Pass #1 for the day. No snow yet.






GPS says go right but there is a road going left that looks interesting. We go left but it quickly turns to gravel. Start to slow down and the front wheel is gone. We are going down. I jab a foot down and now don’t regret the full MX boots. Kermit is going down but I’m fighting gravity and hoping for the best. Finally stop the fall with about and inch to spare. This thing is HEAVY!! I’m used to throwing around a 200 pound KTM so this may take a while to learn.

Since we are already on gravel we stick with it. I see more dirt worthy tires in the future.




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I stop for a break and add another layer. We are still climbing.




Something isn’t right though. I’m being watched. I turn off the tunes and listen but nothing is moving. Something is definitely out there though watching me. Finally it moves. Busted!!

The infamous deer that all those signs have warned me about.



Further up for another stop. I’m playing leap frog with a group of trucks. I pass them then they pass me while I’m taking pictures. I think they are annoyed but they wave as they go by.







Didn’t get to meet the mayor since they were closed for the day.

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More of part 6

Into the fossil beds









The sky is beautiful, it is warm now and I’m whipping through a canyon with great turns. Kermit dies. Hit the starter and nothing. Still have power but won’t start. I’m a good hour from anything and just about to break out the tool kit when I see the kill switch is flipped. How did that happen? Bike starts right up. We go around the next corner and find this.



Another hour of twisties and we hit Prineville. The wind has been steadily increasing to Texas strength and keeping a line is getting difficult. It is sunny but there is so much wind that the sky is full of debris. I stop at an overlook and the wind pushes the resting bike over. I was expecting it so an easy catch and we get moving again.



I stop for lunch and then get ready for the last 3 hours towards home. I have done this drive many times so not a lot of pictures. The morning was beautiful but now I’m back on the wet side. 3 hours of rain and snow.





Back to reality. A nice 20 minute stretch of sun though before getting wet again.



Finally home



436 miles today and a total of 2101 for the trip. It was fun. I’m ready for the next one. Need some sleep and then some more tomorrow.
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To be continued

My actual route less a few side roads. 2,101 total miles.




I’m sitting at a red light this morning waiting for my turn to move up to the next light and then the one after that. In typical NW Oregon fashion it is raining and my wipers are just smearing water back and forth. I wish I had ridden today. I remember being right in the middle of 3 hours worth of snow and rain yesterday. My hands were cold and wet. Despite all my layers water had found a way to run right down my spine. I’m exhausted but I have 90 more miles before I can call it a day. A guy is jumping out of his RV parked along the road. He gives me the wave and a thumbs up. He has been where I’m at. He isn’t just a rider but an adventurer. I guess I am too now. Very much a rookie but I took the first step.

I thought this would be the end but that just doesn’t feel right to say it. The whole point of this trip was to get from A to B. Anything in the middle was a bonus. Not only was this my first ride with Kermit but my first ride more than an hour away from home. I’ve ridden dirt all over the place and dual sport all the time in the hills behind my house but never venture far. That is definitely going to change now. This is a perfect weekend get away bike. I could see a week long trip but anything more than that would be pushing it for me.

So did I learn anything?

Street tires don’t like snow or gravel. I’m definitely a better rider now but there were multiple situations where things could have gotten ugly.

Stop often and get off the bike. Even though I did a lot of miles I was rarely on the bike for more than an hour at a time. Between gas, food, pictures I was able to gets tons of rest and never really felt worn out on the bike.

Some planning would have helped but you don’t need to have a timeline or even a goal in mind to have a good time. Most of my vacations have been well scripted but this showed me that they don’t need to be.

Slow down. I loved riding in the mornings. Afternoons were fun but I could do without them. My next trip with be riding from daylight until lunch and then exploring wherever I end up at for the rest of the day.

We live in a beautiful country with mostly friendly people. I was amazed how many times asking for directions or advice turned into a 20 minute conversation.

No matter how a restaurant fits “home-style” into their name it won’t compare to home.

TAKE MORE PICTURES!!! I really need to find a better way to get pictures. I could have shot many more pictures but my combination of gloves/camera/riding skills didn’t allow me to take pictures without pulling over. The positive side of this is that I have a few places that I will be going back to just to spend time with the camera.

I used to think naming a bike was strange. I planned on removing “Kermit” as soon as I got home. I get it now. Kermit stays.

Camp or hotel? Still up in the air on this one. I have all the gear but not sure I have the storage on the bike to really camp. A weekend trip will answer this one.

When I had the first thought of riding this bike home instead of shipping it I figured I would spend roughly the same amount of money. That was important since it was part of figuring out how much the bike was worth. I know I spent more on gas than expected but less on food. Hotels were pretty much spot on so I’m probably about where I wanted to be. In the end though I don’t really care. I couldn’t put a price on the last four days. It was worth it.

So what about the bike?

I really couldn’t be happier with it. I have had two DRZs and a KLR. Still have a DRZ-SM that will now go to full dirt dual sport duty. The Versys will never be a great off road machine but I think it would be hard to beat for ripping up the back roads and some logging road riding.

I was nervous about buying something half a country away. I have bought bikes from further away but never ridden them home. A lot could go wrong over 2k and I know I was lucky that this was mostly uneventful. An oil change and throw on some more aggressive tires and I’m ready to go again.

The windscreen and the foot pegs don’t work for me. I’ll probably buy a bigger screen and build some pegs next weekend. I don’t understand the need for rubber on a foot peg. Give me steel with teeth to dig my boots into.

I read a bunch of complaints about the seat. I mostly ride a KTM race bike so the Versys seat was like a couch. No worries at all. I’m not sure I would want to do 500 miles without a break but a couple hours at a time was easy.

Gas mileage was lower than I expected but with the wind, weight, and speeds I was going it was ok. I remember one stop I had 180 miles and it took less than four gallons. Most stops were in the high 30’s though. I normally stopped around 150 miles but mainly due to not knowing where the bottom of the tank was. I think I read that a warning flashes when you have a gallon left. I never got to that warning.

Anyway, I know this wasn’t very exciting for most of you that have been there and done that but it was fun for a first trip. I appreciate all the advice along the way. Now it’s time to start thinking about which direction to head next. Maybe something a little closer to home this time. Canada and Mexico are both technically closer.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:58 AM
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Great first trip! Glad you decided to keep "Kermit" badge, that is unique!

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 12:25 PM
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Great trip report and pictures. I must say though I've never taken my bike into the motel room with me. I'm like you and really enjoy riding in the early mornings the best.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 12:31 PM
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That has defenitely got to be the best first ride story ever! Thanks for sharing! and congrats on the new bike
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 12:42 PM
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Maybe something a little closer to home this time. Canada and Mexico are both technically closer.
Thanks for a GREAT write-up!

Looks to me like you're ready for Alaska!

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 01:15 PM
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Some trip. Wish i would have known you were in my neck of the woods could have taken you out for some good bbq that first night. I've taken my bike into hotels back in the 80's better safe than sorry.

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 01:42 PM
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I started reading this on ADV and finished over here.

Great first ride - on the bike and cross country for you. I appreciate you sharing it with us. Well done.

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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I was sitting in my room looking out the window and just didn't feel safe leaving it out all night. Never heard a word about it though from 3 different hotels. Rolled it in after dark and out before daylight. Of course my wife wouldn't let me bring it into the bedroom when I got home so I guess the garage will have to work from now on.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 03:00 PM
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That has defenitely got to be the best first ride story ever! Thanks for sharing! and congrats on the new bike
x2. Wow is all I've got to say! Thanks so much for sharing a great story with good pics. Welcome to the brotherhood!
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