Thank you Stromtroopers, this is a great forum and I appreciate all the suggestions and knowledge.
Greywolf your advice and expertise is astounding, everyone else too.
This year has been a year of challenge for me.
A lot going on, some new directions and changes.
I have had experience previously during times of upheaval and know this is a dangerous time to ride.
I decided after careful consideration to go on with my vacation, to the maritime provinces and gaspe peninsula by motorcycle with my girlfriend, and to (try) and clear my head.
I also decided that I was going to take it smooth on the trip, and be relaxed and stay well within my limits, slow and easy.
I have turkey strips on my tires instead of chicken strips.
I had purchased a new to me V-strom 650 this year, as I wanted an inexpensive bike easy to maintain, with fuel injection, abs brakes, lots of mileage per tankful able to adequately travel two up, and a more comfortable upright riding position. Bike came with lots of givi luggage.
I had rented one for a few days last year for a ride with my son, and enjoyed it.
The wind buffeting was giving me splitting headaches, (major I was ready to turn around and sell the bike) and I found the front end to be a bit squirrelly, and not so steady.
After reading up here on the forum, I decided to try and fix those problems
And tightened up the head bearings (it was very loose) , put on a richland brace, and techspec tank pads.
Front end feels more planted
For the wind I did a lot of research here and asked some friends too and put on a madstadd bracket and cee baily perfect strom windscreen.
There is still a lot of wind (it is a motorcycle )
I did a few protection and comfort mods.
rox risers, some mirror extenders, crash bars, skid plate, with highway bars, (it is really my road bike not off road but I still think that the skid plate is a good option to have. )
I also looked into the wind from the sides that also comes up the tank which I felt really caused a lot of the problem. And based on some posts here and some trials, I put on some wolfman tank panniers and agro tubes attached to the engine bars , this effectively reduces the heavy draft and now no off balance washing machine shake even at highway speeds. . It is very ugly but it works very very well, and gives me storage for raingear, chain lube, tools, locks, first aid kit, etc.
I have the sena system for communication, but decided no phone, no music, no earplugs just concentrate on the ride and the scenery.
My girlfriend does not chitchat while we are on the road,
This is my first time doing a 12 day trip with a passenger, different from my usual riding trips with friends. Girlfriend is great, no fighting, no complaining, we had a great time. She did say that to do another long trip she wants a more comfortable seat. (probably a Russell)
excellent trip, different,
On the road usually at 7.30-8.30 am arrive at 4.00-5.00 with a few stops for gas lunch , pee, lunch, etc. . and able to enjoy the afternoon / evening at the next destination, took a few days off for sightseeing, and a harbour cruise.
We had so/so weather but that is usually the case for coastal trips, they say in Nova Scotia 180 days of precipitation per year, we had mostly grey days with wind, occasional rain, and some sun, a couple of days were tough, rain storms on the coastal roads with heavy gusting winds , 2 days really cold in gaspe 7 degrees c or about 45f, and one afternoon fog was so thick I couldn’t see 15 feet in front of me, at about 6.00 pm I just could not go any further 50 miles from my destination I hit my limit and went to the nearest hotel.
For the Cabot trail we had ok weather grey and mist for the part through the park, heavy eastern winds (the guy at the gate warned us when we went in) , . It is really one of the most beautiful rides I have ever done. We were lucky as with the wind there was no fog.
As my girlfriend said if it was sunny, clear and warm it also would have been crowded and bumper to bumper traffic full of motorcycles campers and cagers crawling at a snails pace along the route.
The scenery is breathtaking, the Cabot trail is magnificent, all of it, the coastal roads are wonderful, Louisbourg fortress, Charlottetown PEI and in NB visited the town where my dad was born, mostly as in all travels the people we met made the trip. They are really hospitable and down to earth.
I did not reserve hotels far in advance except for Lunenburg The rest either the day before or same day. No pressure, good thing it was off season.
All in all was a great trip, and I got to tick off a lot of things on my list.
enjoy the photos
Cap des Rosiers in Gaspe.
Meat cove at the tip of the cabot trail
Says it all
Lobster rolls in NS
Fish and chip wagon in NS.
afternoon in Lunenberg
Girlfriend taking a power nap after a long day in the rain.
Great sea food place in PEI
Baie des Chaleurs NB