Three old guys to Alaska - goldwings and a 300 versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Fuzzy74, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    433
    Location:
    Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee
    Day 6
    We packed up the tents and headed north. More beautiful roads through the Black Hills. This place is definitely worth a return visit. Sorry about the pinkie in the way. Right handed camera with left hand operation. For some reason if I steer with left hand and hold camera in the right the bike stops. Need to check with Kawasaki.
    D5-1.JPG

    For those with Face Book here is a short video.

    Saw a sign for motorcycles to use extreme caution, very sharp curves ahead. Worst one had a caution speed of 40 mph. Must have been for the Harley types who trailer their bikes to rallies.

    Stopped in to Sturgis for the rally. Must have been too early for the crowds.

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    After Sturgis we headed for Wyoming.
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    Towns here aren't much bigger than Alaska. d5-4.JPG d5-4.JPG
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    First glimpse of tower.
    d5-6.JPG d5-7.JPG First selfie while riding. I'll shave when I get home.
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    #21
  2. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 6 part 2
    Even with knobby tires they made me get off to go on the trail around the tower. 1.2 mile hike.
    Tower 4.jpg

    Tower 1.jpg

    Tower 2.jpg

    Tower 3.jpg
    Camera battery died so no more pics. Headed west to Gillette, WY which required a bit of I-90 then north loop on WY 14. No services for 75 miles out of Gillette. 65 mph speed limit and a car every 5 to 10 miles. We skirted lots of threatening weather by following the only paved road north of I-90. Forecast worsened to severe storms with hail. When 14 made final turn north towards Sheridan we ran out of luck. Temps dropped 30 degrees and steady rain last 40 miles. We stopped for night at campground in Dayton, WY planning to head west in morning towards Cody. Campground told us they did not advise camping by rive so we booked a couple $55 rooms. Dated but clean and quiet. We were at 4,000 feet about 30 miles east of 9,000 foot pass.

    Video shows they gave good advice with rain to continue all night.
    #22
  3. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 7 A Change of Plans …. Twice
    Still raining in the morning and 41F. I found out that when I packed my Gerbing jacket and gloves I somehow left the controller behind. Only Harley shops up here even know what heated gear is and their controller is proprietary to their stuff. Gerbing has no dealer in Montana (A Harley dealer is on list but called and they went to Harley brand.) :baldy

    Plans to head west climbing another 5,000 feet into heavy falling snow were abandoned andwe headed north into Montana on I-90 expecting a 250 mile travel day to Bozeman. 56 miles into Montana we stopped at the welcome center to warm up, use facilities and get maps. After the stop temps dropped into the mid to upper 30s. My Gerbing gloves were promised to be water proof but got soaked. With the additional cooling of evaporation at 70 mph some of the glove fingers literally froze so I could not bend fingers and when I rolled into Billings it was pretty tough to work clutch, brake, turn signal and throttle Quickly thawed when stopped so then just cold, wet hands, not frozen. Checked the Harley dealer and found their controller wouldn't work. Bought some snowmobile gloves at a power sport shop to move on

    While I was working out gloves 670 checked weather and there was snow ahead on I-90. At this point we called it a day at 11:00 am, Nuke donated some hotel points and we finished the day in comfort. Tomorrow sun is supposed to be out and get temps to high 60s. Since we missed the Beartooth we will get it on way back and will find some roads to ride in western Montana and maybe Idaho the next 2 days prior to tires in Kalispell on Tuesday.

    Nuke has promised to start contributing soon and when he does the color commentary will vastly improve. :clap
    #23
  4. Vandergraf

    Vandergraf --------------------

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    Safe traveling to you! Like 9Realms, I too am curious how the Versys 300 manages your trip.
    Also curious, is this ride report in real time? What night did you camp at Dayton?
    I'm 1/2 way through a 2 week trip from Minneapolis exploring the Bighorn's on my KLR and rode east yesterday (June 7) from Lovell on 14A to Sheridan.
    It started to rain a mile or so from Burgess Junction. I pulled into Bear Lodge to put on my rain gear and the sky looked very threatening but I lucked out as once I put on the rain gear, it stopped raining until I got into Dayton, then started pouring. Spent some time in the Dayton city park under a picnic shelter until it let up enough to ride to Sheridan. It then rained for the next 24 hours. Luckily, my hotel is across the street from a solid Irish pub! This is a beautiful area to ride. I hope to ride a lot of mountain forest roads over the next few days. Also hoping it won't be too muddy for Shinko 705's...
    #24
  5. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    We were in Dayton Friday night.

    Versys 300 running fine. Little less power available on highway with wind resistance of luggage and extra weight for hills. Frequently shift to 5th for climbing hills on interstate to maintain 70+ mph. So I'm at 9,500 rpm instead of 8,000, so what with 12,000 red line. Lowest gas mileage so far on full tank high speed interstate is 40 mpg. Best 68 mpg in Black Hills. Only issue is with luggage weight the suspension is compressed a bit making kickstand too long. Even with bike empty I feel it could be a little shorter. I have to be careful where / how I park to have the bike with som left lean when loaded. Perfectly flat ground is marginal. Couldn't get preload on rear to highest setting so will ask shop to try when they put my tire on Tuesday.
    #25
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  6. kokemill

    kokemill Adventurer

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    I hope you are still near a Harley dealer, I think you may have had some bad info on heated gear interoperability for the gear that uses wired connectors. I use a mix of HD(both pre and post supplier change) and Gerbings (both pre and post company sale) and it all works together. I have Harley 12v gloves,Gerbing 12v gloves, and Gerbing hybrid (dual voltage). The controller design is a PCM DC waveform (widely copied) and most if not all use standard connectors. The history is available on the site blog of the original designer who now sells his own line of gear. FWIW I checked the HD online store and the portable dual controller is still the same item I use.

    All my waterproof heated gloves get soaked, I always wonder if I'm getting shocked by the 12v and my hands have become part of the heating element. They are still warm even when wet.
    #26
  7. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    FWIW, the Aerostich Triple Digit covers work exceptionally well. In addition to keeping the rain out...they also help block the wind.
    Screenshot_20190609-101540_Chrome.jpg
    #27
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  8. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    On my two Alaska trips I used my bar mitts. Great for when it rains and in cold, which you will get on that trip. Looks a bit goofy, but I would not ride up without them.
    #28
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  9. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Does anyone know of a Canadian source for these, or any other brand of glove rain covers?

    ...ken...
    #29
  10. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    "Bar mitts"?? Whazat?

    ...ken...
    #30
  11. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Missoula HD used to be the Gerbing dealer in MT. Will stop there tomorrow. Thanks I’ll take a closer look.
    #31
  12. fasteddiecopeman

    fasteddiecopeman Been here awhile

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    You are ACTUALLY lucky - I rode the Beartooth in mid-July - there was snow at the top, so w/ the amount you got - you probably 'missed' SEVERAL FEET of the white-stuff!
    #32
  13. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

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    To 'waterproof' any gloves, visit the nearest Home Depot or the like. In the Tile section you will find extra large rubber/plastic work gloves that go half way up your arms. About $2-3 a pair. Not fancy, pack small, but they fit nicely over regular MC gloves and are waterproof. Been using a pair for 10+ years.

    Been laughed at by riders many times, those with their fancy $200+ waterproof gloves, until serious cold rain was encountered. Warm, dry hands on a wet, cold long ride is all that is needed.
    #33
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  14. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte

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    They do, but they are clumsy. Still, better than cold wet hands.
    #34
  15. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    20180524_111148.jpg

    With those I seldom wear other than light gloves and they don't get wet in rain, hail, sleet or snow.......I do have heated grips and that helps when cold.
    #35
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  16. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    I bought a pair of Hippo Hands for a ride to Alaska. They certainly provide considerable protection from the elements. What I didn't like was they also covered the switch controls. Also, they are really bulky to stow if they aren't needed. I ended up leaving the Hippo Hands home and relied on the Triple Digit Covers.
    #36
  17. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Handle bar mitts. Gotcha!! Thanks.

    ...ken...
    #37
  18. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    After reading this I wandered over to my local HD and picked up a pair. Except I'm not sure they're exactly the ones you're talking about.

    There's only one size and they don't quite fit comfortably over my leather gauntlets (medium). So I pulled them on over my motocross gloves. That works. But I can easily pack my (warm and waterproof) snowmobile gloves into the same amount of space the rubber gloves and MX gloves would take.

    Thanks for the tip. They would certainly work if I didn't have an alternative. At CDN$4.47 it was well worth checking out.

    IMG_20190609_154729.jpg IMG_20190609_154207.jpg
    #38
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  19. TNRyder

    TNRyder Adventurer

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    Hippo hands are somewhat bulky but they work. Adam Frasca set a Cannonball Solo record for riding from New York to LA. 37 hours 7 minutes on a Yamaha S-10. It appears he had no problem finding the throttle IMG_4054.jpg
    #39
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  20. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

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    Yup!

    Another source is getting XXXL dishwashing gloves on-line. Downside with those is that they come in soft colors, pinks, yellows and blues.....!

    And for cold riding, a pair or two ski mittens. Most are 'water resistant' and your fingers stay warm, even riding in snow and 24 degrees! Been there done that. Fingers get cold inside finger gloves from their sweat and limited insulation. Inside mittens they share the warmth and insulation. If beginning to get cold, replace them with a second pair- enough for a days long ride. At night, turn them inside out to dry. Another trick, when stopping for gas and the like, put the mittens next to the motor to warm them and dry them. As before, been using them for more than a decade.

    Sure, they are not as comfortable as fingered gloves, but better than cold ones and you get used to them.

    Sorry for the thread distraction, but it may be of some help to the "old guys" too!
    #40