I just re read most of this post and seen that your are taking v strom 650. I am buying a v strom 1000 this weekend and I hope it will do well. Our second day will be riding down 5 to coco's and on to bay of LA. I will have my wife riding with me and our oldest is around 72. We can never seem to get his exact age for reason. His wife is riding with him also. The only reason I'm taking my wife is she can help push or pick up the bike for me.