Bikes at Mount Washington, New Hampshire - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Bikes at Mount Washington, New Hampshire

We took a few days off from all the summer chores in Maine and visited Mount Washington, NH, (tallest peak in New England as it's billed) mostly because neither my wife nor I had been there before, and its on the bucket list. Absolutely beautiful weather even though as it happened our "plan" wasn't as good as it could have been.

It turns out that last Thursday, June 14th, was "motorcycles only" on the auto road to the peak of Mt. Washington. Seems this event usually follows the Laconia Bike week. So much for our trip research.

No problem you say. Well, yes, problem. Our motorcycles are currently 2400 miles away in San Antonio. Bummer. Still, we were able to take advantage of the "guided tour" up the mountain - they operate no matter what - and found it worthwhile and more than a little spectacular.

What amazed both of us was how many Harleys we saw (well over a thousand by our unscientific rough count) and how few other-than-Harley touring, sport, and naked bikes. A few, but by comparison, nothing statistically significant. Translation = a drop in the bucket.

Beyond that, and even more amazing to us (we're apparently much more naive than we thought), was the fact that no more than 10 percent of the Harley riders wore what we consider normal riding gear. No helmets (or if so, those silly little half helmets or plastic shells), no jackets, no gloves, no nothin'. Except, of course, head rags, vests with patches and pins, and heavy boots. Reminds us of the old Smothers Brothers line, "I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy."

We noticed license plates from Quebec, Texas, California, Mississippi, Michigan, Ohio, New York, most New England states, and probably more states we've already forgotten. It tells us those folks probably rode from where ever they live to Mt. Washington dressed the way we saw them - amazing!

And, they rode up and down what is a very demanding, steep, twisting, and unforgiving lane-and-a-half wide road wearing the same non-gear they cruised the local towns and villages in. We gather that New Hampshire is clever enough to cover the issue of riding gear in their state motto - "live free or die."

We've nothing against Harley riders, but apparently we just don't understand the breed. Each and everyone we spoke with was friendly and their bikes were, for the most part, immaculate. Still, we couldn't get any of them to tell us how to become invincible and protected from accidents that seem to catch up with those of us who are mere mortals.

Today, Saturday, June 16, the road is closed to automobile traffic again. This time for a foot race to the peak! Holy crap!!


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 07:19 PM
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a healthy percentage of those H-D riders arrived in cages with their bikes in tow. but you're right, some of them do travel long distances dressed for fashion. you see them parked under bridges when it's raining, either pulling out the waterproofs or waiting and smoking. i don't get it either, but i guess we don't need to.

there used to be a good number of sport and standard riders in NH for bike week, but that was when the AMA series was racing at Loudon. not sure what it's like now, but that crowd would pretty much clear out on Sun/Mon, after the races.

the ride up Mt Washington can be awesome and intense (if you don't mind passing). but you probably didn't miss much if the road was choked by cruisers.

Originally Posted by Arion View Post
New Hampshire is clever enough to cover the issue of riding gear in their state motto - "live free or die."

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?

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Last edited by kevrider; 06-16-2012 at 07:22 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 09:04 PM
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My neighbor got back from Laconia yesterday. He traded his Sportster for an ElectraGlide with ape hangers and said the ride up and down Mt. Washington was real hairy.
I think Laconia is a more Harley and American custom type event. We just had Americade here and that is more general with an emphasis on touring bikes. I have a feeling if you went next week the BMW/Harley ratio would be close with everything else coming behind.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 10:12 PM
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MW auto road

I spend most weekends in Mount Washington Valley. The Auto Road is loaded with history & they have something going on most weekends. Heck, this past winter you could celebrate the 150th anniversary of the road by shoveling the road like they did in 1861. If in the area in winter, take the snowcoach to the summit - no one on else on the road, great views.

During bike week the Harley's, black tanks, no helmets rule. The rest of the year many of those same riders (my friends included) wear HD armoured jackets , HD hi-viz vests & 3/4 HD helmets.

NYG, love your neck of the woods. Went to Americade and love the rally, very organized, diversity of bikes & riders, great roads and scenery.

2010 Versys - Speedy Lowering Kit, Kawi Gel Seat, MRA Vario Touring Screen, Michelin Pilot Road 3, Powerbronze Hugger, R&G Radiator Guard, PIAA Slim Line Horn, Phillips Motovision Bulbs, Helmet Guardian
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