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Vrooming on a 2019 Versys 650
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy, Versys riders.

Welp, I've been a WA resident for 42 years and have never traversed (it's thesaurus day, apparently) the North Cascades Highway. That is, never...until last Saturday when @Craigar invited me out for a two-wheeled stroll.

Neah Bay? On my Butler Maps list of best in-state rides, but ferries + holiday congestion (Sequim to Port Angeles can be annoying already)? Naw.

Mount St. Helens via NFD 25? I mean, it's open for summer and looks nice, but until you get to the famous spots, appears to offer very little in terms of views? Nope.

North Cascades Highway? Debris can be an issue as can cold temps even when—or especially when—it's newly opened for the season. But another friend just rode it and had a free & clear journey. And my neighbor and everyone else swears it's the Alps of the Pacific Northwest.

Let's do it, we decide.

Holy cow, what have I been waiting for? Gorge-ous sights, riding, and weather.

Captions throughout below:

182856

Diablo Lake didn't have its usual turquoise glow but was a pristine viewing/stretch break nevertheless.

182858

I don't have a center stand like Neil Peart did (and I'm not stupid enough to park my 650 on this busy highway) so this is my best "Ghost Rider" homage. RIP Neil/RIP Rush (the band. Rush is a band).

182851

@Craigar sportin a very slick-looking '15 Versys 1000. Looked crystal-clean the whole ride somehow...(my ride in foreground shows the dirt and dust more)?

182853

Worth 1,000 words.

182849

Sexy, don't you agree? Check out the unintentionally well-lit radiator guard (a favorite of my cheap but well-made Chinese import mods)

182854

Now that's a hero pose (and he wasn't even trying). @Craigar for the win.

182852

Washington Pass. Too beautiful to really drink in, and perhaps my favorite natural spot in WA as of now. My neighbor was right (Alps of the Pac NW, etc)

182848

Good lunch & conversation in Winthrop after we waited what felt like 12 hours to get through traffic leading up to a stop sign.

182859

Gassing up for the ride home. Winthrop is as awesome as ever, and this picture doesn't prove my point, but it was Disneyland levels of "crowded with tourists."

A long ride/day (nearly 400 miles and eight hours if nonstop round trip for me in Seattle) but absolutely worth it. Then I woke up at 3:45am the morning after to go on a location scout in Eastern WA for my new film, so fair to say I punished myself over the long holiday weekend.
 

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Vrooming on a 2019 Versys 650
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Howdy, Versys riders.

Welp, I've been a WA resident for 42 years and have never traversed (it's thesaurus day, apparently) the North Cascades Highway. That is, never...until last Saturday when @Craigar invited me out for a two-wheeled stroll.

Neah Bay? On my Butler Maps list of best in-state rides, but ferries + holiday congestion (Sequim to Port Angeles can be annoying already)? Naw.

Mount St. Helens via NFD 25? I mean, it's open for summer and looks nice, but until you get to the famous spots, appears to offer very little in terms of views? Nope.

North Cascades Highway? Debris can be an issue as can cold temps even when—or especially when—it's newly opened for the season. But another friend just rode it and had a free & clear journey. And my neighbor and everyone else swears it's the Alps of the Pacific Northwest.

Let's do it, we decide.

Holy cow, what have I been waiting for? Gorge-ous sights, riding, and weather.

Captions throughout below:

View attachment 182856
Diablo Lake didn't have its usual turquoise glow but was a pristine viewing/stretch break nevertheless.

View attachment 182858
I don't have a center stand like Neil Peart did (and I'm not stupid enough to park my 650 on this busy highway) so this is my best "Ghost Rider" homage. RIP Neil/RIP Rush (the band. Rush is a band).

View attachment 182851
@Craigar sportin a very slick-looking '15 Versys 1000. Looked crystal-clean the whole ride somehow...(my ride in foreground shows the dirt and dust more)?

View attachment 182853
Worth 1,000 words.

View attachment 182849
Sexy, don't you agree? Check out the unintentionally well-lit radiator guard (a favorite of my cheap but well-made Chinese import mods)

View attachment 182854
Now that's a hero pose (and he wasn't even trying). @Craigar for the win.

View attachment 182852
Washington Pass. Too beautiful to really drink in, and perhaps my favorite natural spot in WA as of now. My neighbor was right (Alps of the Pac NW, etc)

View attachment 182848
Good lunch & conversation in Winthrop after we waited what felt like 12 hours to get through traffic leading up to a stop sign.

View attachment 182859
Gassing up for the ride home. Winthrop is as awesome as ever, and this picture doesn't prove my point, but it was Disneyland levels of "crowded with tourists."

A long ride/day (nearly 400 miles and eight hours if nonstop round trip for me in Seattle) but absolutely worth it. Then I woke up at 3:45am the morning after to go on a location scout in Eastern WA for my new film, so fair to say I punished myself over the long holiday weekend.
That is incredible, awesome, beautiful, breathtaking, amazing, and I'm out of adjectives
 

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Im hoping they open the border up soon. I live in Vancouver and Im missing riding the N. Cascades ang getting over to the "dry side".....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Im hoping they open the border up soon. I live in Vancouver and Im missing riding the N. Cascades ang getting over to the "dry side".....
S-A-M-E. SO many rides throughout BC I want to do and currently can't...

Crazy to think back on how it was being born and raised in a border state...I remember right after 9/11 I went up to Vancouver without my passport for a concert with my brother (I was young/aloof but it didn't even occur to me to bring it) and the US & Canadian border guards still let me through without it both ways! They were like, "Really, you didn't think to bring one to an international border," and I said in all earnestness, "nope," and they shrugged and let me through. Can you imagine?

Now, even with a passport, not happening (at least not yet). Things sure have changed.
 

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My brother lived in Carlton, on the road up the Methow Valley to the Cascades Highway, for thirty years up until a year ago when he moved to nearby Chelan. I have spent many a day exploring the area throughout the years during many visits, climbing, hiking and driving but unfortunately never had the pleasure of riding a motorbike there. It certainly is a spectacular part of the States - Washington has more than it's share of beautiful places - thank you for posting all of the great photos and bringing back so many memories.
 

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Great ride guys!

GS rider and I just reconnoitered another great ride south out of Sequim this week. Ended up doing 30 miles of dirt and another 120 miles of blacktop. Gotta say I was tired after that. Has me somewhat concerned about my conditioning level for taking on the WABDR. Was definitely starting to feel concerned about my dinky little 17 inch wheel as by the end of the return trip I was not doing a particularly good job of dodging the potholes. GS rider is also definitely faster than me now that he has new tires.
 

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The cascades are one of my favorite places to ride. I've only had two trips up there from SF, but these pics definitely gave me the bug again!
 

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Living in Alberta, and then in BC - I've been able to ride the Cascades fairly often.

(y)(y)
 

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Great photos!! Beautiful country!! I'm sure the ride was awesome. I'm green with envy.

Couple ancillary questions: Can you elaborate on those radiator guards you're both sporting? They both look like decent parts in the photos. I need to get one for my V.

Also, @Craigar, what kind of seat is that, and would you recommend it??

Thanks for sharing!! 👍
 

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Great photos!! Beautiful country!! I'm sure the ride was awesome. I'm green with envy.

Couple ancillary questions: Can you elaborate on those radiator guards you're both sporting? They both look like decent parts in the photos. I need to get one for my V.

Also, @Craigar, what kind of seat is that, and would you recommend it??

Thanks for sharing!! 👍
Sorry about the delayed response. It’s the covering that you can get off of EBAY. It’s comfortable for me. Tappezzeria Italia Seat Cover. I can’t remember exactly which one. But it is made by them.
 

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Thanks for the follow up. I've been looking at seat options lately. There are several popular aftermarket seats mentioned on this forum. Many are on the pricey end of the spectrum, which is OK if they work. I bought an Airhawk, and it's an improvement over stock, but still not quite what I'd hoped. Unfortunately seats are just one of those things that require an extended test ride to evaluate, and likely multiple rides to really get a feel for long haul comfort. That Tappezzeria cover looks good in the website photos, and might be a less expensive option, but do you have to send them your seat, or maybe just a donor seat for the install? Appreciate your response!
 

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I think you really get what you pay for in my opinion. People swear by Terry A. Some love Laam seats etc.. My bike came with that cover already on the seat pan. It’s comfortable enough for me. But (no pun intended) I prefer a firmer seat. The Sargent low that I had on my V650. Was perfect for me. It was both firm and had support that I could slide back up against the raised portion. Bringing it back to the cover. It does appear, that you can either take it to a shop to reupholster. Or do it yourself. It’s decent quality. Hope it helps.
 

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Great photos!! Beautiful country!! I'm sure the ride was awesome. I'm green with envy.

Couple ancillary questions: Can you elaborate on those radiator guards you're both sporting? They both look like decent parts in the photos. I need to get one for my V.

Also, @Craigar, what kind of seat is that, and would you recommend it??

Thanks for sharing!! 👍
I am slow as punch these past couple of days. I picked up the stock the OEM Radiator Guard on EBAY for a pretty decent price. Many have made their own here as well. Ian purchased his aftermarket online. Perhaps he will chime in.
 
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