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2022 Versys X 300
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
650 miles already so I'm due to drain the break-in oil. Three Walmarts in my area have been out of my preferred oil all year so I had to break down and pay $7/qt for "motorcycle" oil...should have bought a horse and buggy with the way things are going, but I digress...

I've read a lot of complaints about wind noise with this bike. Little background on me...I don't wear a helmet 99.9999% of the time...but I broke down and bought a Pearl White Vega Magna 3/4 to help extend my riding season a bit longer and NOW I know why people are complaining - holy Kaw! With a helmet on it sounds like a rockslide onto a tin roof, or a thousand angry fathers trying to shake a fresh garbage bag open. I hope my Puig screen fixes or at least mitigates this issue but I'm not getting my hopes up too high...when you see me riveting a bunch of different windshields together with door hinges, promptly remind me I also own a Nomad...

After a few hundred miles on Akira, I jumped on my Ninja 500 for one last ride before she went to the new owner and immediately thought the clutch cable had somehow become badly bound up...nope, just a "normal" clutch and not one of these new "cat whisker" assist clutches. Gotta gripe a bit, though, why does Mama Kaw combine a cat whisker clutch with a rock crusher transmission? Shifting my Honda VLX feels like setting the time on a Rolex, and it's a '94 model. This Versys transmission feels like I'm shelling walnuts every time I downshift. Hopefully this super special "motorcycle" oil smoothes it out a bit.

Did I mention that after 20 years of riding motorcycles, nine years as a motorcycle mechanic, a dozen or so personally owned bikes and four dozen flips, this is probably my favorite bike of all time?! Gripes aside, I absolutely LOVE this bike! This doesn't feel like a mini Versys, it reminds me of a miniature version of my 2005 FJR1300. I absolutely cannot wait to take her to the Triple Nickel, Pioneer Pass, Rim of the World, (et al) at the earliest chance I get. Previously my Ninja 500 (Daisy) was my all-time favorite bike to take down there but Akira will, without a doubt, usurp her title. If you haven't been to at least the Triple Nickel, it's the best-kept secret East of the Mississippi for motorcyclists (and, yes, I've done the Dragon, all eleven miles, got the photo and the shirt).

To be continued...
 

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Website for the Triple Nickel and the other eight insanely good motorcycle roads radiating like spokes out from Athens, OH:

Thanks for sharing this. Definitely on the list. I took a business trip to Salem OH last year. Very boring drive coming from the west but was really nice around Salem. Rolling hills, smooth curvy roads. Very frustrated I was in a car and not on my bike. Can imagine it gets even better as you go south from there.
 

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I've had good luck with "tourandride.com" when buying givi (from what I can understand, they basically are givi usa ... and usually have discounts). When I've called their customer service number for verification / questions, they have been very helpful. (I bought a replacement "lock button" for my v47 top case ... and they had it added to an air-shipment thay had coming over from italy and still gave me free shipping !)
Another vote for tourandride. I’ve been using them for my Givi/Kappa items for several years. Very good prices and delivery times!
 

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Website for the Triple Nickel and the other eight insanely good motorcycle roads radiating like spokes out from Athens, OH:

Living in Michigan. I'm able to hit 555 plus a lot more, in southeast and south central Ohio. Great, fun ride that has a couple of blind off-camber turns that could bite you.

Avoid fair-weather, weekend afternoons. By that time it'll be jammed with pirate parades and there are very few places to pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Avoid fair-weather, weekend afternoons. By that time it'll be jammed with pirate parades and there are very few places to pass.
On the Triple Nickel?! Man, I've ridden it no fewer than two dozen times (probably more) on weekends, holidays, whatever - and mostly in good weather - and I've never seen "parades" of any kind...perhaps a tractor now and then, or a timid driver going ridiculously slow...if anything the Tail of the Dragon should be avoided for its non-stop meet-ups and events and law enforcement, not to mention 35mph speed limit. Are we talking about the same Route 555??? It's 82 miles and runs South out of Zanesville and ends in Belpre. Super technical road with very little traffic of any kind. And, yes, t-shirts and stickers can be had at the Triple Nickel Diner or the little Marathon station near the top.
 

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On the Triple Nickel?! Man, I've ridden it no fewer than two dozen times (probably more) on weekends, holidays, whatever - and mostly in good weather - and I've never seen "parades" of any kind...perhaps a tractor now and then, or a timid driver going ridiculously slow...if anything the Tail of the Dragon should be avoided for its non-stop meet-ups and events and law enforcement, not to mention 35mph speed limit. Are we talking about the same Route 555??? It's 82 miles and runs South out of Zanesville and ends in Belpre. Super technical road with very little traffic of any kind. And, yes, t-shirts and stickers can be had at the Triple Nickel Diner or the little Marathon station near the top.
Yea I was there on a Sunday and got stuck behind a group, S/B south of 78. So I just said the hell with it and took a gravel crossroad and had just as much fun. Found a cool old cemetery, a cave, and some nice scenery along the way.

Alternatively, the year before I went there on a weekday afternoon and had the whole road to myself, for miles- and it had smooth new blacktop, to boot! :giggle:

Lots of great roads down there. The area around Marietta is fantastic, too!

I rode to North Carolina in May 2021, and did Tail of the Dragon several times. Again it was mid-week, plus early in the season so it had very little traffic. But I hear ya, I would not go near that place on a Summer weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Yea I was there on a Sunday and got stuck behind a group, S/B south of 78. So I just said the hell with it and took a gravel crossroad and had just as much fun. Found a cool old cemetery, a cave, and some nice scenery along the way.

Alternatively, the year before I went there on a weekday afternoon and had the whole road to myself, for miles- and it had smooth new blacktop, to boot! :giggle:

Lots of great roads down there. The area around Marietta is fantastic, too!

I rode to North Carolina in May 2021, and did Tail of the Dragon several times. Again it was mid-week, plus early in the season so it had very little traffic. But I hear ya, I would not go near that place on a Summer weekend.
My dad and I did the Dragon in 2006...me on my '04 Mean Streak, him on his '05 C50. Little did we know there was an S2000 event there the day we arrived, so there were 80 of them bombing up and down the road along with cop cars parked every other curve. And, of course, someone crashed while we were there and their bike went down into a ravine...it was chaos. Most people that have gone have told me the Cherohala Skyway was the best part of the trip, my dad and I didn't have time for such as we only had 3 days to get down there, bomb the Dragon, and bugger off straight home. Was about 1200 miles in 3 days and only 22 of it was "the fun part", haha. It was later that year I heard of the 555 and ever since I can't figure out why it's not at least as popular as the Dragon if not much more. Really Pioneer Pass is my favorite of the nine, and it takes you to Marietta which has some really interesting and good restaurants. I recommend to fellow bikers all the time, spend a week in Athens and hit all nine routes, they're so beautiful and varied and, to me, epitomize what motorcycling is about.
 

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My dad and I did the Dragon in 2006...me on my '04 Mean Streak, him on his '05 C50. Little did we know there was an S2000 event there the day we arrived, so there were 80 of them bombing up and down the road along with cop cars parked every other curve. And, of course, someone crashed while we were there and their bike went down into a ravine...it was chaos. Most people that have gone have told me the Cherohala Skyway was the best part of the trip, my dad and I didn't have time for such as we only had 3 days to get down there, bomb the Dragon, and bugger off straight home. Was about 1200 miles in 3 days and only 22 of it was "the fun part", haha. It was later that year I heard of the 555 and ever since I can't figure out why it's not at least as popular as the Dragon if not much more. Really Pioneer Pass is my favorite of the nine, and it takes you to Marietta which has some really interesting and good restaurants. I recommend to fellow bikers all the time, spend a week in Athens and hit all nine routes, they're so beautiful and varied and, to me, epitomize what motorcycling is about.
Yes, most of my fellow "Michiganders" only know Ohio from Toledo to Sandusky (Cedar Point amusement park), and usually comment that "Ohio sucks." They have no clue.

Ohio not only has some excellent, twisty, paved roads, but also some great gravel roads. Have you had a chance to do the SOAL? (Southern Ohio Adventure Loop)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yes, most of my fellow "Michiganders" only know Ohio from Toledo to Sandusky (Cedar Point amusement park), and usually comment that "Ohio sucks." They have no clue.

Ohio not only has some excellent, twisty, paved roads, but also some great gravel roads. Have you had a chance to do the SOAL? (Southern Ohio Adventure Loop)
Just looking at this map one can see things get good in the Southeast:



I have not, this is my first adventure bike so that loop wasn't on my radar at all but I'll definitely be looking into it now, thanks for the heads up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Got my Puig clear touring screen and Kawasaki hand guards installed. Managed to score a T-Rex center stand despite their being outta stock.

Jake @ T13 has a preliminary prototype intake all ready for testing. We saw a 2hp gain on my stock bike just removing the air filter and lid so this is definitely good for at least that much. Kawasaki uses unequal length intake runners so he's also going to design and test an intake with unequal length runners which will use dual K&N 51mm pods.



 

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Just looking at this map one can see things get good in the Southeast:



I have not, this is my first adventure bike so that loop wasn't on my radar at all but I'll definitely be looking into it now, thanks for the heads up!
I wandered through SE Ohio a decade ago, it was a great day of riding. I've always wanted to go back.
 
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