Howdy, folks! It's been a while but I'm getting ready for a little sojourn across the American South. Not on a dual sport this time, but a super sport motorcycle. sanDRina, my trusty DR650, is back in India and enjoying a new lease on life with my friend Santosh there. When I get to India next, whenever long distance flights are feasible again, can't wait to ride sanDRina. Santosh, sanDRina's current guardian, looking after her in southern India. In the meantime, now based in Austin, I've got myself a DRZ400 and a BMW K1200S. Before I got into dual sport adventure riding, I was all about sport-touring on a Suzuki GSXR-600. Crazy young people! Now, I've upgraded to a more, shall we say, gentleman-ly sport bike, the amazing K1200S. Jammin with this BMW K1200S I've lusted over this bike ever since it was launched in the mid-2000s and luck be told, when I was living in Chicago, riding that gixxer, a good riding friend, Andy, bought this very K1200S. Me, him, and a bunch of other riding friends, put some miles down sport-touring our way across the US, from Kentucky to Montana. I would ride right behind Andy, enjoying the view of this K1200S as it twisted and leaned through long and sharp corners. I was most mesmerized by its single-sided swingarm and how the rear wheel looks like it's just spinning with no attachment to the bike. When I got back to the states in 2017, Andy reached out. He still had the K1200S but wasn't riding much and was looking for a new home for her. He didn't want to sell her to just any old schumk. I was drooling as I realized what Andy was leading to. Yes, I would take her and promise to treat her well. In 2018, I flew to Chicago, reunited with my old riding friends there, picked up the K1200S and rode her down to Austin. Along the way, she got a new name, Kassya Andy parting with his beloved K1200S. Saying goodbye to my old haunt, Chicago, with Darren on his Tiger. Andy probably had some premonition as very sadly, a year later, he passed away from a freak accident. We were all very saddened and now every time I ride Kassya, I remember my riding buddy, Andy. Rest in peace and hope you're smiling whenever you hear Kassya fire up, because I know you're watching over us and riding along. So, this tour. We are living in strange times. Covid has changed us, forever. Borders are closed, people are afraid of strangers outside their bubbles, and hugs and even handshakes are not in vogue. But, we can still travel, at least for now, within our borders, while practicing good social distancing and wearing face masks to reduce spreading Covid until we've nullified this threat. I've been holed up these past months with my wife or as we like to say, life partner, and we're getting itchy feet! Her family planned a little getaway in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and while they'll be driving over on the slab, I figured this was a great little opportunity to head out on Kassya for a little tour of the American South. Over the past few days, I've been getting Kassya ready for the trip. If you know me, you know that I love wrenching on a motorcycle but this BMW, I still have a lot to learn. I don't even have torx bits! And she has a shaft drive that needs its oil changed and she's got a whopping 39,000 miles on her clock. She was overdue for a full servicing and I thought best to leave it to a professional for now. I'll acquire the tools and know-how for next time. That's how I did it with sanDRina, too. I sat with experienced mechanics who showed me how to wrench on her before I got comfortable with an engine job. Haha, remember that? Kassya got some new boots last weekend - Dunlop Sportmax RoadSmart III's. CuznBob's in Austin is a well-regarded BMW mechanic and he said he even maintains some of the police BMW bikes in the area and they ride on these Dunlops. Sounds good to me. New Dunlop boots for Kassya. The old Continental Road Attack tires that came off were well past their change-by date and the rear even had a mushroom plug in it. I had a look inside to see how well it was seated and look at that, a pretty perfect seal on the inside. This gives me confidence in using mushroom plugs. Mushroom plugs doing their thing. A little shake down ride with the new tires, trying to wear down those chicken strips. Austin sure is a beautiful place to call home. Kassya getting dropped off at CunzBob's yesterday for her mega service: engine oil and final drive change, valve check, brake fluid change, new spark plugs, radiator check and new air filters. There are two air filters. After that, I'll give her a wash and mount some electronics for the trip. CuznBob, taking care of BMW's and other bikes in Austin. This is the rough route map I'm thinking about for the journey there. No Interstate Any suggestions on the route?