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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got back Sunday afternoon to Maine after my 5 week 9000+ mile ride. My bike isalmost 6months old. I started my trip in Maine and went as far as Mission, Texas. Here are a few of my observations.
-The hotter it is the worse fuel mileage you will get. I don't know if this is an expansion issue or not. My average in New England was 47. In the mid-west (IL, IN, KY) was 45. From TN south with 90 degree temps the best was 42.5. Like I said it is hard to tell what the issue is. I had several 200 mile trips without putting my feet down without the fuel light coming on!!
-The dealer Network- I had services performed at two dealerships and did the rest myself. Victory of Memphis (FRS Powersports) and JPM Powersports (Hopkinsville KY) both provided absolutely the best customer service. JPM replaced two tires at the 12000+ mark for the price I was quoted for one at a Victory dealer in Indy. JPM and Victory of Memphis both had outstanding dealer floors that were loaded with accessories I actually wanted. Support your good local dealers please!! It is frustraiting traveling accross America and finding Polaris dealers with a Victory sign in the window with one 08 Vegas on the floor and absolutely nothing else.
-Tires- I went with the Metzler 880s but if I had it to do over I would have put the Dunlop E3s back on. Nothing wrong with the Metzlers but they are a little greasier on surface paint. I slid thru every intersection in the rain with them. Can be a little nerve racking if you are not used to it.
-Wind Management- I have a +4 Jurock shield and I like it alot. It does its job well and didn't cost an arm and a leg ($160 shipped). No lowers but in reality could have used them. I don't usually wear a helmet but when the weather was bad or the law said I had to I was restricted on where I could put my knees. Without the helmet you can straighten your legs and get that much needed breeze accross your face. With the DOT half helmet the same breeze wants to lift it off your head. Hard to live with on a 960 mile daytrip.
- the bike performed flawlessly and I never saw another XC on the road for 5 weeks. I was asked at several places what I was doing so far from home and they were shocked to learn that I had no breakdownsor mechanical failures along the way. The bike was super stable even during the storms. I had my rain suit on for 3 partial days in 5 weeks and I couldn't have asked for any better weather for the trip.
- the weather- being from New England we have to prepare for any weather this time a year. The problem was I don't own chaps but will for my next trip. I rode thru Tropical Storm Hermine in Houston on my way south. The driving rain and wind was bad but I moved to the car pool lane and kept right on going. I rode from Memphis to Mission TX (960 miles) on that day. It got worse on my way home. I left Saturday morning to go back to Memphis and rode for 377 miles in Hurricane Karl. I have to admit it sucked some. The border patrolguys thought I was nuts but didn't waste any time getting me thru thecheckpoints(60 miles inside Texas). I had water inside my goggles that I had to stop and clean out a couple of times. It stopped when I was Houston and God turned the heat on. I was completely dry in 15 miles and it hit 105. The lowest temp I rode in was an indicated 47 (awfully cold without something on your legs other than jeans)in Ohio and had several days over 100 in TX and TN.
-Next trip- Plan would be to ride down the East Coast to Daytona. I was invited down for Biketoberfest but had to decline because as the Canadiens can testify when you go down there in Oct you may need a truck to get back....of course I could always stay until March Bike Week(still snowed in but would take the long way home)!!!
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

One sad thing did happened along the way. I was notified the Saturday morning (19 Sep)I left Texas that Carl Strain had been killed while riding his motorcycle on the Southwest side of Indianapolis. Carl was a high school classmate of mine that I had known since we played youth football together in Zionsville IN. He was struck by a mini-van that made a left hand turn into a gas station without seeing him. She was using her cell phone and obviously thought the call was more important than Carl's life. From what I understand she was not ticketed for anything at the scene or taken into custody. I went to the funeral with my Legion Rider vest on and was proud to see the motorcycle community embrace Carl's grieving parents. He will be missed.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

bigfoot said:
How were the luggage compartments as far as keeping out water?
The bags did very well. Not a drop in either of them and I had one 'swelled' nicely. I did lose a spare set of gloves and my clear goggles because I didn't shut one tight enough. Oh well what you going to do??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
bigfoot said:
You do realize that you could have done the 4 corners tour in less mileage.
http://www.usa4corners.org/
No thanks!
I have lived in Maine and Washington so those two I have already ridden anyway. Having been to California on business it wouldn't bother me if it fell into the ocean. Already did the other 4 corners. This trip wasn't about the ride it was about a journey. The ride was just my therapy for the journey. It didn't matter where I rode as long as I was by myself. Most of us that have been called NFIDELs in person can appreciate what this ride was about for me. I did this on a limited budget and only spent two nights in hotels in the entire 5 weeks and both of those because plans changed for the person whose house I was crashing at. So 14 states in 5 weeks 9000+ miles and spent 9 days near South Padre looked better to me than rushing the 4 corners route so thanks for the suggestions but I have nothing to prove. Who knows maybe I will take up m/c camping and then try it....
Mike
 

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I fully understand your desire to ride alone.
I too ride alone on any tripover 500 miles and wouldn't have it any other way.
Last year I rode through 31 states on 2 separate trips.
One was to New Orleans and then onward to Key West. (3,400 miles in5 days, staying 2 nights in Key West)
The other trip was a circular adventure around the USA's central and western states (17), which took 9 days and encompassed 6,400 miles.
No camping out for me, too old.
I am going to purchase a Victory Vision soon (next weekend) and will do the 4 corners trip next year.
I believe they allow 21 days to complete it so I don't forsee any problems with that timeframe.
I am hoping for my wife to accompany me at least on the first two legs, (Akron Ohio to Maine and then southbound to Key West).
Your hints on making sure you find a "REAL" Victory dealership for tire changes caught my attention.
The Vision, having a very limited choice of tires (1) may make me pre-order at least a rear tire somewhere in California.
I am hoping to avoid a tire change, but I know it is a variable I must plan for.
I hope you took a lot of pictures as I did last year.
Just looking at them gets me excited for my next adventure.
I don't quite understand your ""infidel" comment, maybe you could expound?
 

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I'm curious as to what kind of maintenance you've had to do other than oil and tires. At 6000 miles I'm getting a squealing noise when first taking off when its cold and been sitting. Don't know if it's the belt or clutch??
 

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For NFIDEL:
For whatever reason I usually end up going somewhere alone. Other riders I know have LOUD HDs with no storage touring capacity, or are just city riders. I have managed to attatch fishing poles and gear to the bike. I have used my lash-on-bag (don't know what to call it) as a cooler to bring back 20# of cut/frozen salmon or steelhead. Both of those trips were a little crowded on the bike. Last week I even took a shotgun apart and went grouse hunting in the mountains on a "pretty good" road:2 miles of slow, dry, and just packed gravel/dirt. I did OK and even got some birds.
So what kind of camp gear did you take with you? What specific brand of tent or sleeping bag or cook stuff? I am planning the same thing for next year to just get out and ride.
I have been looking at the smallest and lightest stuff from REI. Did you use a travel bag on the back of the bike for holding more stuff? I am adding passenger handrails as a place to attach bungies for tent and bag or whatever. Did you camp in just a field or regular parks or what?
What kind/brand of rain gear do you have? 1 or 2 piece? Does the fairing protect hands from rain and such? Did you take any spare stuff (spark plugs, oil filter, etc...) or extra tools along on the trip?
Any photos of bike gear packed up would be appreciated.
bigfoot said:
Your hints on making sure you find a "REAL" Victory dealership for tire changes caught my attention.
The Vision, having a very limited choice of tires (1) may make me pre-order at least a rear tire somewhere in California.
I am hoping to avoid a tire change, but I know it is a variable I must plan for.
There is an Arlen Ness dealer in Dublin CA - eastbay, Oakland side of San Francisco Bay. However, SF-Oakland freeway traffic is a killer.You could use the Reno NV Victory dealer (good reports) or the Arlen Ness in Las Vegas NV for your tire needs. There is ArizonaVictory - good reports, and I know 2 good dealers in Salt Lake City, UT
Just plan ahead.
eta moya dva rubles
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

@ bigfoot- I have 3 combat tours in Iraq. We all come back with some issues in our heads. So I take long trips alone 300+ miles to be alone and at peace in my head. The Docs call it PTSD and my XC is my therapy. There is a country song that is called 'just came back from a war'. You should listen to it. It speaks to current combat veterans.
@ foambuilder- I said I thought of taking up camping... I haven't done so yet.The pic below is all I packed for the duration of the trip. I have a laptop in one of the hard bags and use the tour bag for my overnights so I don't have to unload the entire bike. I use a cheap pair of frogg toggs which work well but are not long enough for my legs. I had tried to buy a pair of m/c specific frogg toggs but the manufacturer told me they were out of stock and didn't think they were making anymore this year???.

The only accessory I used is my Garmin 255W. It is fairly cheap so if ruined it would be easily replaced. The ziploc method worked well even during the big storms and the fairing helped keep it dry. Pic was taken at the Indian Mound-Cumberland City,TN Cumberland River Ferry.

When I took my bike into Victory of Memphis at 15k they told me the front pads/rotors look they were starting to go. Now I am a heavy front brake user coming from a sportbike and will tell you especially that the front brake is very efective on a 1000 pound loaded bike but thought 15k might have been a little premature for pad replacement. They pulled the calipers off and I had road grime caught in the pads that were making a squeaking noise. A power washing fixed all the noises and other than going over the bike and two belt adjustments I haven't done anything to it. I didn't pack any spare parts because I called ahead to ensureoil change kitswere in stock. No spare tools either. I stayed mostly on interstates on this trip.
I had a fantastic trip and look forward to doinganother again when the thaw happens next year. I feel confident in the stock configuration of the bike. I might go with some stage 1s but will not mess with the internals of any motorcycle I am going to ride 20k a year. Nothing fell off or failed. My Harley buddies have even admitted they didn't think their bikes could go that long without some sort of failure. What is funny is I parked the bike in TX or I could have put another 3000-4000 miles on this trip. I really didn't want my bike slipping accross the border without me on it.....
Mike
 
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