One end of the line to the other, Key West to Deadhorse on a Versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by XC Rider, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. NDTransplant

    NDTransplant Been here awhile

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    You really did a nice job on this, XC. Spectacular.

    Maybe you posted this...is that front tire a TCK80, 130/80-17?
  2. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Each tooth on the front sprocket contacts a link roughly 3x as often as each tooth on the rear, so it kinda makes sense. Plus, its a tighter radius that the chain is wrapping around on the smaller front sprocket, so there's likely a little more friction happening up front, to boot.
  3. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Long timer Super Supporter

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    I've thoroughly enjoyed your RR and I've learnt a lot for my preparation when I eventually head north of the equator to do much of the same roads as you. Cheers.
  4. Oldfart123

    Oldfart123 Adventurer

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    I hesitate to ask this as I know how easy it would be to say "just read the trip journal" but when you put everything together will there be a way to easily find and then emulate your suggested route up north? Based on my reading, there were good places to ride and others that were not so good. As someone dreaming of taking a trip up to Alaska on my BMW R1200RT, learning from your mistakes and successes would be great.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences!
  5. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

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    Enjoyed Yor RR Dennis. Continue to have fun everyday!
  6. Jeffn

    Jeffn Been here awhile

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    Ditto what the other sentiments expressed. This was an Bravo or Travel channel worthy travelogue.

    And what gisdood(how is that pronounced?) said coincides with the physics of things. Also, the front sprocket gets a bout 10-15% more power to it so that factors in also.

    Welcome homw when that happens and let me know what I need to do to my stock DRZ/KLX to make it tat worthy.

    I'm looking forward to your tit-4-TAT report.
  7. PAJay

    PAJay n00b

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    Man that was just EPIC!
  8. OHjim

    OHjim Long timer

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    But what about the bike? Shipping it home?
  9. Mistress of the dual

    Mistress of the dual Some say....

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    I bet he's leaving it at his brother's house so he has an excuse to do another cross country ride. :ricky
  10. bricaud

    bricaud Adventurer

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    I ran into Claudia and German in downtown Portland, OR on 5/21/11. Small world. I can't get their website to work that was listed the buisness card they were handing out. Anyone know if they have a thread on ADV?
  11. Garry_88

    Garry_88 Adventurer

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  12. Kankujoe

    Kankujoe Adventure Traveller

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    Dennis,

    Thanks for posting your RR & photos... I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts & viewing your photos... You have been an inspiration to all of us who have followed your journey.

    I hope you have a safe journey back to Virginia and I look forward to reading about your upcoming TAT w/ your Dad.

    I am also extremely interested in your thoughts & review about your Versys. I would really like to know your pros & cons on the bike and what bike (if different) you will be choosing for any upcoming travels & what you plan to do with the Versys.

    Thanks again for sharing your adventure with us...
  13. Crazy Legs

    Crazy Legs Let's Ride!

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    I just have to add my "Thanks" to the rest who have read your story like I have. Your pictures put us in the saddle with you...well almost. With your shots I don't think we have missed a thing. Great work or rather great fun.
  14. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Hi Dave, it was great meeting you as well. Too bad our paths didn't cross up north. Good luck with sorting through all your pictures; if you took as many as I did, you've got a couple thousand to get through!:lol3

    My pleasure my friend; send me a pm when you put you do this ride and put together an RR, I'd love to get your perspective on it.

    That is absolutely correct, and a 150/70-17 in the rear. Both are technically "rear" tires, but when you got 17" rims front and back, you've got to get creative. :deal


    Well that makes sense; thank you, you learn something new every day! :D



    Good luck with your eventual trip to this part of the world; I absolutely loved it and think you will too. I hope to some day come and visit your neck of the woods; like Alaska, everyone I've ever talked to about New Zealand has described it as a "must see"!



    The easiest way to "find & then emulate" the route I followed is to simply PM me with your email, and I'll forward you my route that I plotted on GPS. I have no problems sharing it; it's mostly accurate, I modified the route a little bit while on the road, but not too much. The only thing I ask is that if you were to make money from my "route" that you share a little bit with me! :D:deal



    Wow, thank you, that is high praise! :bow

    As far as making the DRZ/KLX TAT worthy, just look at the upcoming RR when I get it underway. My bike is pretty much already set up from having run the TAT two years ago, so you can either look up my past TAT ride report in my signature line, or just wait for the new RR. If you do look up my past TAT ride, don't be put off by seeing a KLR 650 at the begining of the RR; I actually started the trip on a KLR and rode it all the way to the northwestern end of Nevada until it brokedown. I then picked up the DRZ in California, did a few necessary mods, and then used it to complete my TAT ride and rode it back to VA, by way of Montgomery, AL to have Thanksgiving with friends! :D



    Oh how well you know me! :norton I did leave the Versys at my brother's place in Nevada, for multiple reason, but more than anything, this way it's just that little bit more of motivation for me to visit my brother and nephew, and this way I have a bike near the west coast to go explore/play/and visit friends when I have the time. Any ways, I have two other bikes here on the east coast! :D



    I didn't get one of their cards but I think I've got their email address somewhere, so I'll have to track it down and send them a note. That or I might just get lucky as I gave them my parents' phone number for when they'd come down through VA, and now that I'm out here, maybe they'll call and we can meet up again; that would be too cool, as they were really nice people! If I get info on their "website", I'll send you a PM.



    Hi Garry, thanks for the link, I enjoyed seeing your pictures. The video of riding in the hail on the Campbell Hwy does bring back some great memories; I also got a great laugh of your video with you getting soaked by a car! :lol3

    Hope all is well with you and Josee!
  15. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Alright, reviews, opinions, etc..., where to start........hmmmm......I think I'll start with some miscellaneous accessories!

    GPS, a Garmin 60CSX. I've had this GPS now for a little more than 2 years, I got it specifically for my motorcycle, and I'm overall very pleased with it (hence why I haven't replaced it in two years)! What I like about it is that now I know how to use it! :lol3 But seriously it, I like it because it has withstood the abuse that I've put it through, and I've often ridden in the rain with it, with so far no negative effects (knock on wood). The only down side to it as far as I'm concerned, is the small size of the screen.

    Tank bag, a Wolfman Explorer lite I believe. Once again I've had this bag for a little more than two years, and I've put it on several bikes that I've owned since. When I was at first planning this trip, I was thinking about buying a new tank bag since the Versys has a metal gas tank and I figured a tank bag with magnets would be easiest to use. However, in order to save money, I decided to use my Wolfman and found a way to use the mounting straps without too much difficulty. I LOVE this bag! After all the use/abuse that it has seen, it still looks practically new! The rain fly/cover that comes with the bag DOES work! It also provides a fair amount of storage space while not being too big, and has an expansion flap when necessary. Aside from a fender bag which is on my DRZ, it's the only piece of Wolfman luggage that I own, but I believe that you just can't go wrong with Wolfman.

    Other luggage, side cases are Givi E21 and the top box is a Givi E36NJ. I specifically wanted to go with hard luggage for this bike because: 1) I'd never had hard luggage on any other bike (except my Harley), 2) I wanted waterproof luggage, 3) I wanted lockable luggage, and 4) I figured it would be a good investment and I could use this luggage on other future bikes. First the E21 side cases. First impression was that while they looked just fine overall, the plastic construction seemed a bit thin and easily breakable. Here's what I've discovered. I like that the bags are small and give you adequate storage space without weighing down the bike too much. I also LOVE the top loading option (this is a BIG reason why I choose these bags). I love the MonoKey easy on/easy off options of the bike. The locking mechanism works well and seems to be solid. The down side. While going over the Top of the World Hwy, I hit a huge bump in the road, causing both my front and rear suspension to bottom out, and in the process my left side case popped off the bike! :eek1 The result was some good road rash on the case, and a small crack on the lid. Not a huge deal as the case still functioned and see to still be waterproof. What was more disturbing is that now that side case would come loose (come unlatched from the side case rack) when riding on a bumpy or washboard surface road. I fixed this with a strap.
    Now, the E36NJ top case. This is a different story all together; I LOVE EVERYTHING about this case! I had originally bought a pair of them used, thinking that if I were happy with them, I'd use them as side cases, but if they looked too big to me, I'd sell one and keep the other for a top case. This is exactly what I ended up doing because they were bigger than I wanted for side cases, and I really do NOT like the side loading side cases. Who ever though that side loading cases were a good idea, I'll never know! :huh However as a top case it is great! Lots of room, and above all, this case is (appears to be) much TOUGHER than the E21 cases. While it never came off the bike while rolling down the road to test it in case of a crash, I think that it would fare much better than the E21 case did. Mounting, locking, waterproofness, etc... all met my expectations and beyond. I would recommend this case to anyone.
    Overall, the only thing about my luggage that I would change is my choice of side cases. What I would get instead, I don't know (as I really want TOP LOADING side cases), but if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears! :ear If I had to throw out an idea out there, I think that I would probably go with some aluminium panniers of some type, like those made by Happy Trail. I had looked at those, but there were quite a bit more expensive.

    Bike accessories, and added parts:

    Vstream windscreen. I'm pleased with this windscreen. The only other one that I've had on the bike is the stocker so I can't comment on how it compares to other aftermarket windscreens, but for me I was happy with this one. The main reason why I choose this one is that it was the only one that I'd read about that said that it would NOT conflict with handguards. My second choice would have been the Givi windscreen.

    Handguards, Zeta. Look good, mounting went easily (not perfect, but not hard to fit), and seems to be solid (I have not tested them with a crash!). My other option for handguards was the Barkbusters VPS; they look great, but were a bit more expensive, hence why I went with the Zetas. On a side note, some people like the Zetas because they make a blinker/turn signal that can be mounted in them.

    Crash bars and skid plate (grave guard), SW Motech. Probably some of my most expensive accessories, but also some of the most important pieces of protection in my opinion. I went with these above all others because of the reviews that I read about their high quality and ease of fitment. I will say that I was not disappointed. On a side note, the skid plate provides a good place for me to pick up the front of the bike with my little travel jack for changing out the front tire! :thumb

    Radiator guard, bought on Ebay (I forget the seller/brand) but it came from Germany, was laser cut SS steel, and cost about $70 or so. Looks good, easy to mount, and obviously did it's job as my radiator has survived! :D

    Well that's about it for the motorcycle parts/accessories. Review on some of my personal gear and the bike coming later.
  16. Ratman

    Ratman Lucky Rider

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    Baja is good
    First, great report. I too appreciate the real time report. Not to mention the quality of the writing/photography. First class

    I noted that also when I was on the dirt roads up there. Some of it was courteousness, but when I noticed one day that the lenses of both my aux lights were broken out, I realized it was drivers exercising self preservation.
    That's when I realized that the smart locals know that windshield and light damage happens to them also when they are passing oncoming traffic or are being passed by we motorcyclists or other vehicles. ...and anything with a dirt tread is the worst.....especially a high powered cycle often traveling at elevated speeds.
    I've concluded that slowing way down or stopping when oncoming traffic is blasting by on the Haul Roads up there is a good practice. And when we pass do not accelerate/roost as soon as we are by them....Just saying
  17. Jeffn

    Jeffn Been here awhile

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    'knock on wood'

    So your seat mod did double duty...:D
  18. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

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    I've been riveted to this RR for the last few days & have spent most of my spare time reading it. As many have said...great job on the report! Outstanding photos and just the right amount of narrative. Thanks so much for taking the time to bring us along with you.
  19. AirDrive

    AirDrive Terminal No0b

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    over 95,000 views, 500+ comments and a 5 star rating.....good to see I'm not alone in my opinion of your report.

    BTW, it would seem you had a third choice for the hand guards.......didn't you use milk jugs on the 400?
    .
  20. twohawks

    twohawks Not Afraid

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    No surprise Denis. Outstanding. See you at CH3?