2014 Trip Preparations

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.


2 thoughts on “2014 Trip Preparations”

  1. Mark, good luck on the trip and I really enjoyed reading last years posts. I’m thinking about picking up a GTL and you addressed a couple of my key concerns. Coming from a Valkyrie for the last 10 years I enjoy the straight up riding position with feet somewhat in front. My dealer lent me the gtl for the weekend and loved everything except the riding position, but wnder if it’s something i’ll just get used to. It does make me want to look at the 14 HD Ultra Limited but the power issues you touched on are kind of deal breakers. Have you gotten used to the riding position or been able to make it more comfortable for you. It is a fun bike to ride.
    Thanks and have a good ride.

    1. The K1600 is a great bike and I got used to the riding position and actually prefer it to the Harley now. For any kind of spirited riding, its far better. Highway pegs are a mandatory addition so that you can stretch out every so often.

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