Went on my first overnight and solo camping trip with ol' Betsy, my 2007 DL1000 on Monday. Total of about 600 miles in 2 days; RI-CT-MA-NH-Barre, VT and overnight in state park. Day 2 Routes 302-112-118-3 to south NH (thanks Randyo and others for route tips)-MA-CT-RI and home.
Only in New England: Local, quaint town in NH buys a church, turns it into a town hall, and plants a missile in the front yard! Anyone guess the location?
My objectives for this trip were a few miles on my butt, grab a cot at the Barre Army/Navy Store, and enjoy a quiet night camping and working out any bugs. Lessons learned:
Camping: I've done tent camping before, but this was the first time with the bike. I enjoy the planning process and reading the forums for the how to's of packing. I ended up getting a 3-4 man REI tent, which still packs small, and large enough to store all my stuff at night, besides me. Glad I did; went to sleep under the stars only to wake up at 3am with a mountain downpour; 6am it was clear.
Thanks to Roy Bertallotto for his camping recommendations on the Yankee Beemers website; I bought a Byers Allagash TriLite Cot, all of 5 pounds and 27" packed up, easy to set up, solid and comfortable, with straps to hold down your air mattress. Recommended.
Campsite was Ricker Pond Vermont State Park. Great find; campsite #8 was right on the pond, and I was serenaded at 6am by a family of loons. The local park rangers, 2 semi-retired couples who live on-site, were all engaging and showed a real feeling of ownership of the park. My site was totally raked down, fire pits cleaned, and one of the rangers followed me to the site to deliver my night's worth of firewood!
Balance: Yes, I laid 'ol Betsy down after loading her in the morning. 5'8" and 30" inseam, sandy soil, ground not quite flat, a bit top heavy…as I stood her up she decided to keep going to the right, so just laid her down (motor running). Kill switch and a smirk later, I decided to unload her to ease the standing process. After a few grunts, she was up. Thanks to Hepko Becker bars and the soft dirt, no damage at all except my wounded pride! Too flustered at the time to take a picture…
Riding: I have 2 issues with the bike, the seat and the windscreen.
Seat: The stock seat was fine for me the first 3-4 hours, but I now understand all the comments on replacing it. My problem is I can't afford to give up much seat height as I toe-touch now. Anyone with a 30" inseam buy a Russell? The Sargent would be my choice if height was the only consideration, but if ride comfort was the primary factor, it appears that most would agree to go with the Russell.
Windscreen: I bought the standard MRA windscreen, which has an adjustable fairing (no Madstad). It eliminates all freeway turbulence for me up until 70mph. I think it is a great compromise solution for on/off road, but is not optimum for me for highway cruising. I am leaning towards the CalSci.