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Since my justification for buying the Versys was to get a bike that would be better two up than any I had, here's a few pics and a brief report of the first weekend out and about with my wife on back.

A few words about my wife at the outset. She has always been pretty good about riding pillion, then a few years back she got her M1 and a bike and started riding on her own. We attended a Lee Parks clinic, and she became a pretty skillful rider. After a few scary moments in traffic - and the death of another rider - she quit riding, and didn't even want to ride pillion anymore. Fortunately, she agreed to join me on a distant riding vacation on a rented bike earlier this summer, and it reminded her that she really enjoys riding pillion on a brisk romp on a twisty road. She suggested getting another bike. :D

I picked up the V a few weeks ago, mounted a topbox on it at her request, and added some Ortlieb soft bags to carry the rest of our stuff. This past weekend we decided to do an overnighter to Mendocino on the coast.

Map link

The plan was to ride north inland to get away from some of the fog that's been plaguing us this summer, then turn out for the final run to the coast. For those of you familiar with the area, we went inland to Lake Berryessa, then north to Pope Valley, over to Napa Valley for lunch in Calistoga, then out through Anderson Valley towards the coast.

Pope Valley scene:

Pretty blue:

A few more views while stopped at a fruit stand on the way to the coast:

Orchard next to the fruit stand:

Heavyweight tourer:

Local Mendocino views:

Sunday morning out to the beach:

Lovely spouse photographing the foliage:

Coming down the coast, I thought for awhile that traffic might be lighter than normal because of how cool it's been. Wrong! It may have been lighter than normal, but there was still a fair amount of slow moving traffic, and Hwy 1 doesn't have many places to overtake. Despite the many pullouts, and signs telling drivers about the pullouts, there are still some folks who are studiously oblivious to the line of traffic behind them. We did learn that while the Versys is no liter bike, it can still dispatch slower traffic with aplomb, which we did enthusiastically until a local deputy very graciously wagged his finger at me for my indiscretions. :guilty:

Time to head for the goat trails above the coast! Much more fun. No traffic. Great views!

After a great lunch in Jenner, we wound home going back and forth between the coast and the goat trails just above it, stopping for a while a cheese factory to try their wares before heading home.

What did we learn? The V is quite capable, and we're happy with it. That said, I ordered a Corbin on Monday morning - more for me than my wife (that downward slope gets really annoying!). There's also a new shock on the way. I'll keep the stock tires until they're worn out, but I'm looking forward to trying something better. This looks to be a fun journey. :)
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