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Old 06-22-2014, 05:21 PM   #1
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Breaking in new Vstrom 1000a (or riding in style on the path you choose)

Life is all about choices n circumstance and I feel no matter what roads are passed up or passed by you should ride the one you find yourself on in style..Dontcha always wonder while traveling what great roads you are missing by a few miles. I guess that's the nature of the beast when time is limited and you are in motion. So wherever you are make the best of it.

This is not an epic ride report or a planned thing , apologies for the poor cell phone pics. On the way home I decided I oughta get this out while fresh in mind. Put it in day tripping so's maybe I can keep adding to it as I explore on this new bike.. the 2014 Vstrom 1000a.

Here's a quick sample of how I spent my week away from the everyday.. sticker bling..some of these are redundant and overlap a bit, but you get the idea.



Now before you say " oh another, I went to the Dragon thread" Let me tell you what I had in mind..I'm a flatlander, born n raised in the coastal south where you catch a curve on the interstate ramp for kicks. Elevation..shit, ain't no such thing. But I am lucky to live a day or two from some of the best riding..the Appalachians. There are obviously "named" roads through the southeast that are respected for a reason. Some like the "dragon 129" are beautifully maintained with no driveways or distractions. Great for seeing what your bike is capable of if'n you're not too stupid about it. Now what about the other roads around and inbetween these roads. That's what I wanted to explore. ADV is a great place and through the years of reading here and meeting up with folks you get an idea about these other roads and respect for them.

nanohiccup screwed with this post 06-27-2014 at 01:46 PM
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #2
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Now I've taken trips before, but this one was to be all about the ROAD or rather the bikes performance on any variety of road I could find . Really interested in seeing what the new bike could do and needed new stickers so here goes,,Not looking for food or history or any of the normal things I do while traveling although I ended up finding that also. My plan was simple, take a week off and go from one "named" road to another using gps backroads / shortest route. More on that in a bit, but first about the bike..2014 Vstrom 1000a.

Picked up from the dealer last Thursday.


Had to put a quick 500 miles on it by the weekend. Rode about 150 Thursday night on Mississippi backroads.
Then worked all day Friday. Playing on my usual toy.. I'm a palm tree farmer, my dream job..

www.palmsunlimited.net if'n you're interested in that sorta stuff..

Then Friday night , the 13th and a full moon, I went to Bourbon st in New Orleans....what a dumbass move..but it got me to 500 miles.

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Old 06-22-2014, 05:43 PM   #3
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This is what got left behind..


My 2006 vstrom 650. My first bike ever and the only bike I have any time on. I bought it new ,currently has 90k miles and has been rock solid dependable. I really planned on getting it to 100k before looking into a replacement.. But I got bit by the new bike fever...and I hear the only cure is more cowbell.

This new 1000 is definitely more cowbell!

A little about me.
I grew up like this.. seeing the country out the window, one interstate at a time..

So with a bike, backroad tavel is the way to go for me..

The only two wheels I was on growing up had pedals. So when i walked into a Suzuki dealership at age 32 I had no clue, sat on a few bikes until one felt right and trailered home a dust covered 2006 Vstrom 650. The bike taught me how to ride. Shortly thereafter I found Advrider and have been hooked ever since. Put a gps on the thing, a lowrance xog, and have went wherever it told me to go, I can't imagine owning a bike not capable of doing this.

This ole 650 has been abused and in places it shouldn't have been, I claim poor old ignorance.
I brung all this up to give you an idea of how I'm treating the new one and what kinda travel a trip like this was about.
Also to show you I'm not a motorcycle expert or some such, just a rider.. a power ranger at that..

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Old 06-22-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
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Congratulations on the new bike ! All new bikes are good...enjoy...

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Old 06-22-2014, 06:16 PM   #5
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Thanks! Have an old saying I use at work when hiring new folks " a new broom sweeps clean" Time tells how things really are. I hope this one is a good as the last..

So I left last Sunday and here are the results as of today.


I don't commute on a bike, just use for travel. Heavy handed mileage figures about the same as was getting on my 650, maybe 5 mpg less.

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Old 06-22-2014, 06:25 PM   #6
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So took it in Saturday to get the first service and 5 hrs later it was done. First time I had been back to a dealer service since I brought my 650 back for it's first service, I guess this is normal service but dang. Went back home and started getting it ready to go..

Wire and mount Gps
Lower screen, install mirror extenders..(zero buffeting on this trip, visor up riding at 80 mph.. my 650 took a madstad to finally fix buffeting)
Install highway pegs, rig up tank bag and tail bag
Checked bolts and such.
This all took longer and caused more cussing than anticipated so's I left Sunday morning instead of Saturday.

A little more on travel tech...
Gps. tomtom rider, new to me. Great for point A to B anything more complex is beyond me so far. Has a winding roads feature and multiple routing choices for shortest and fastest routes etc...did well for the trip

Music,,lg tone, I use it everyday in my normal life and works great inside a helmet as well.. I have a large playlist from Johnny Cash to Tool to Massive Attack, to Etta James to Cowboy Junkies etc..Riding music is important to me and has changed the style of music I like. Lots more electronic stuff like Air, Eastern Sun, Phutureprimitve, Zero7, Blue Foundation, bands I'd never heard of but sought out for how they flow with me while in a helmet.

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Old 06-22-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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Sunday .. Mobile, AL to Dahlonega, GA
Slab it through Atlanta then Done with interstates for the week, price you gotta pay sometimes..

Finally,, mtns!..At least they look like mountains to me.


TWO was not open, but looks really nice and improved..Have soom nice looking cabins back in there now.

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Old 06-22-2014, 06:35 PM   #8
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Played around Suches for a little bit then went to Dahlonega for the night. I still haven't found all six of those gaps on the sticker, gives a good excuse to go back there. Ended up hoteling it the entire trip. One pannier was loaded with camping stuff. I think I mentioned earlier, I'm a dumbass. I over packed... figures...boy scout motto, be prepared. I could'a made this trip with a toothbrush and a credit card.
I really wanted the whole week to be about the road and this time of year was great for this since it didn't get dark until nearly 9. So I made the choice to just keep moving everyday and crash at a hotel when tired at night, the camping gear was a nice back up if my mood changed, but really just ended up being extra weight.

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Old 06-22-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
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Monday.. Dahlonega GA to Arden NC.

I started every day of this trip just setting the gps on smallest roads and picking a destination point then spending the rest of the day randomly making it reroute as I chose a path. Fucking with technology.

Went to Tellico Plains.. Mike is closed and out a riding,, happy trails brother.. Got lunch from the beach and took it up the mtn a bit to eat by the river..





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Old 06-22-2014, 06:50 PM   #10
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Monday after lunch
From Tellico , Cherohala to Joyce Kilmer , up and down 129 , 28 over to Franklin ish, to Culllewee mtn rd to Charleys Creek up 215 to BRP then to Arden.

Brp pic
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:57 PM   #11
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Tuesday. Arden, Nc to Fairmont W VA.

BRP over to 80, play around, then up to Shady Valley. Over to 16 and up to Mullens W Va. Play around the Hatfield McCoy, which was stupid on this bike, more rocky than what I intend to do But hey if you're on it , do it with style.. back roads to Elkins then New River Gorge then haul butt up to Fairmont on a larger rd.

beautifully maintained road

backbone tunnel just north of "the snake" shady valley tn

beginning of the hatfield mccoy trailhead, i just stayed on the main gravel rd through it. the interesting thing is the area and the folks that live around there.

new river gorge bridge, west virginia

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Old 06-22-2014, 07:08 PM   #12
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Wednesday
Fairmont W Va to Marlinton W VA via Ohio
Found where Coach Saban grew up.. no sign or anything there was hoping for a pic to send my son, oh well.. Roll Tide!.
Dad's gas staion on the left and Mom's ice cream bar across the street, now a bar..


I did a little googling the night before and had remembered a road called " the triple nickel" from reading on here. Just had to go find out what it was about. I had originally planned to go visit at BYOB in Pennsyvania but changed plans and decided an extra day back down in West Virginia was worth it.
Looking at a map now I realize just how close I was to going through Pennsylvania and that just north of 555 in Ohio was a road named 666... Of well ,,,next time.

Skirted right under Pennsylvania to loop over into Ohio for a ride on the Triple Nickel. Couldn't find a sticker, but damn what a road. Different geography. . open rolling hills , with no idea what's over the next rise. Coulda hid a war party out there sorta like the three sisters in TX. this is a road worth respecting, be careful. I had gotten used to up the mountain/down the mountain type curves, but these here are different. This is the only time in the trip where I unintentionally got airborne and also the only time where a curve snuck up on me.

At the bottom of 555.

This the curve that caught me unawares and I went over the line. Coming from the other way was a couple of whoopdeewoops and the power line you see went on straight while the road dove into this right hand curve. Slow down ,Jason

Beautiful country on 555. This road is like 60miles long, I only went up about 40 then right back down it. The 1000 vstrom performed great, this bike has legs and likes to travel.

Took two different bridges across the Ohio, impressive river. Funny thing, I saw more rebel flags in this section of southeastern Ohio than I see around home. Looped south on more small Ohio rds and ended back in W Va and was on single lane roads almost all the way to Rella's.

Side note about single lane roads in West Vriginia, I found the gravel ones to be smoother than the ones that had been paved over. Heck you could see rocks sticking up through the thin asphalt. The 1000's suspension is starting to settle in. I think I will eventually be looking at softening the front end up a bit, but not yet.

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Old 06-22-2014, 07:11 PM   #13
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Had a late lunch Rella's. Her place is right in the middle of some great riding, I ended up doing a loop and a half around the area as there are cool roads on both side of that mountain. I'm sure I missed some good one's. My vote for best sweet tea of the trip..



What a great place and area.. great support by local riders..
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=951117

Put a sticker on her fridge supporting this .. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=976900

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Old 06-22-2014, 07:14 PM   #14
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W Virginia.

Don't know where any of these were taken here ya geaux..



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Old 06-22-2014, 07:17 PM   #15
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Thursday ..
Marlington to Boone

Cool thing near Marlington is the national radio satellite or whatever it's called, anyways it blocks out cell service for like a 50 mile radius. No pic of it, but it's impressive in size.
Riding along and see something like this, I just had to stop and see what the heck it was..




This was in Meadows of Dan Virginia. The girl at the counter looked just like the girl on the sign.. Cool

Downtown Mayberry .. I mean Mt Airy. They sound alike huh..

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