Thanks Wildman, good to hear that you are riding the bike far and long!
Quick note in regards to tires, I would highly, highly recommend running a knobby on the front. It's a fairly common approach long distance or RTW touring or anytime you have to ride mixed terrain but with a lot of highway miles that would wear out a rear knobby. The front knobby makes the bike feel a lot more positive in gravel, sand, etc. and on highway you'll barely notice the difference in performance.
After a while the knobbies will start to wear down on the front of each knob and result in a bit of bumpy ride, some people have been known to reverse the tire to smooth it out. Roughly speaking, you will get close to the same mileage out of a standard rear (Battlewing, Tourance, etc.) and a knobby front (TKC80, MT21, etc.). No exageration, this is by far the best approach I have come across for solving the conundrum of mixed terrain and long miles. This setup is so well suited for the flexibility of this bike that it should almost come stock.
(And one has to pay attention, but there are small, almost imperceptible signs that your tires need to be changed, like when your steel belts start to show:))