I’ve got just about everything ready for this year’s NY to CA ride. With a smaller bike and limited storage, I’ll be travelling much lighter this year. After some initial packing last night, I’ve come to appreciate the generous storage provided by the Harley and BMW.
In the couple of weeks that I’ve had it, I’ve made some additions and modifications to make it more touring friendly. The mods include:
- Seat Concepts Seat
- Cheap soft luggage (panniers, tail bag, tank bag)
- Modified windscreen to make it taller
- SW-Motech crash bars
- Highway pegs added to the crash bars
- Barkbusters hand guards
- GPS mounted to the dash
- RAM mounts for the radar detector and phone
- Go-Cruise throttle assist
- Cup holder
- 12v outlet
For the past 6 years, I’ve ridden big touring bikes designed for long distance riding. I have high hopes for the little Kawasaki.
The panniers and tail bag that I bought for the Versys don’t really give me a lot of room to pack stuff. They looked like they were pretty good-sized until I started putting stuff into them at which time, they started to get much smaller. After tools, a ride atlas, rain gear, heated jacket liner, extra gloves, and some extra bungee cords, I’m left with just one empty saddle bag and the tank bag for everything else.
Judging from the short day rides that I’ve taken recently, I think the Versys be a decent long distance bike. It’s relatively comfortable after adding the new seat and eliminating the worst of the the wind noise. I seem to be getting pretty good fuel mileage as well so I should be able to get around 200 miles between gas stops.
Tomorrow’s weather looks good with temperatures in the low-mid 70’s. The goal for the first day will be to go 500-600 miles. That should get me well into Ohio.