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We made it! A little background. For me, this is the second trip Ive taken on the new wing. the first one was around 5,000 miles and i was solo. The bike was brand new at the time and my first touring bike. I loaded a huge bag and strapped it to the back seat and had room to spare. On this trip, my second and my wife's first, we were able to fit everything we "needed" in the trunk and side bags but I had purchased a dry bag prior to packing so I brought it along since we were planning on hitting Pigeon Forge. The trip called for rain every step of the way, at the beginning of the week, so i wasnt looking forward to her being introduced to bike travel this way.

Day 1-just shy of 500 miles. 2/3s slab, 1/3 back roads. wanted to get to the destination asap. stopped every 130 miles for her but at the end of the day she stated she didnt need it. no notable rain, arrived in Boone NC around 5ish. The bike performed well and we were both comfortable. she felt some discomfort when hitting large bumps, which would get worse as the trip progressed. The culprit ended up being the gap between her back rest and her seat. She used the gel pad to fill in the gap the rest of the trip which made it better. She didnt like the buffeting on her head with the shield all the way down. i prefer the screen down so i compromised. The Honda nav got us there easily since it was a direct route. XM satellite worked fine. Carplay worked fine. Still head the headset issue of one of them not wanting to go back to the music once we were done talking. if hers cut out, she just rebooted it. if mine cut out, i had to reboot and reinsert the phone cable. never determined a way to make it consistently hers.

Day 2-Blue Ridge pkwy. 140 miles..or so was planned. Beautiful views and paved roads. The clouds hovered above the mountain peaks and the luscious vegetation draped the sides like one continuous blanket. No surprising decreased radius turns, all very predictable. ran the range of 20-45 mph turns. She is a GREAT passenger. Never felt her once back there. I never had any surprises with her shifting around and was very neutral in the twisties. it was like I was riding alone. Unfortunately ran into an incident where a fellow winger ran into a car on the PKWY. Hopefully it wasnt as bad as it looked. That and the 7 that got hit by the truck that day got her thinking about the reality of things a bit more. Got off the BRP and headed towards our destination, Cherokee NC when we heard a loud pop and noticed the TPMS sensor on. Flat rear tire, a Dunlop with about 8900 miles. We were doing about 40 at the time, and didnt notice anything until we slowed to about 25-30. Then it wiggled the back end until we came to a rest in about 100 yards. a local lady helped us by marking the road, giving us water and calling tow truck and motorcycle dealers. only one shop had the size in stock, Schroeder's Honda in Hendersonville, NC, about 40 miles back and they were closing in an hour. He told me to bring the bike and they would come in on their off day to fix it. He also sent me pics of how to strap the bike down using the front. Tow truck arrived and I strapped the bike down. Wasnt risking a tip over. lol.

Day 3-130 miles. We met jesse and his mechanic at the shop. This was a saturday and their wives had plans on their day off so they had to bring the kids along. Nicest guy in the world. he and his wife were very understanding about the plight we were in. HIGHLY recommend them if youre in the area. I decided to change front and rear to Bridgestones and have heli bars installed. I was also able to sit on the Corbin fire and ice and that thing felt as if it cradled my arse. it seemed VERY hard though and because of that i decided to forego it.
Back on the road and headed to the Charohala skyway and Vonore TN. Going into Cherokee, before the mountain climb, we ran into a torrential downpour and gale force winds. We pulled over and waited it out for about a half hour. I was amazed how planted the bike felt despite the crosswinds. I never felt out of control. My wife was crapping her drawers however. Once in the mountains, the clouds parted and the sun presented itself. We hit a brief stint of some of the dragon before making our way to the CSWY. 10-20 mph tight turns with elevation changes. some were decreasing radius, some were neutral and some were increasing. a little bit of everything.

Once on the Cherohala, the "twisties" were 35-50 mph and predictable. there were areas of rough pavement but the biggest issue were the trees and limbs that had fallen in the roadway because of the storm. on two occasions i entered a turn and there were limbs in the turn. luckily traffic was minimal. on one occasion, a tree had fallen, which i could plainly see from a safe distance but it was near a turn. as i passed it a car appeared so a quick 2 taps of the downshift button and him slowing down, got us safely through. Arrived in Vonore having dodged the called-for rain and settled in. Her back was quite more sore than the previous day.

Day 4-was headed home day. about 400 miles. 1/3 back roads and 2/3s slab. ran into a TON of traffic and for the first time I started not liking my seat. That day was the first time, since i had the bike, that i wanted a new seat. She was able to mess with the gel pad, moving it around in different positions to make herself comfortable but thats unacceptable. We survived another short burst of torrential rain and heavy traffic less than 50 miles from home.

Take aways:

-She loved the trip and is looking forward to more. Huge plus. although I enjoy solo trips and trips with the guys, I love having her along.

-Never had an issue with carplay. twice i had to reinsert the cord because i rushed it. XM was non existent in the mountains so I used my itunes.

-Heli bars. I felt a difference between my shoulders right off the bat. loved them. the ride is less sporty but i had beach bars on a heritage soft tail a few years back. No major issues in the twisties for me. the bars felt slightly less connected to my inputs in the tight stuff at first but then i guess i got used to it.

-I will be getting a new seat, leaning towards RDL and i will be moving the trunk back for her, even though she says she wasnt cramped. shes almost 6-0 so it was nice using her knees as arm rests, lol.

-contemplating a new windscreen to reduce the buffeting she feels. The stock one is fine for me but i cant imagine having my head knocked around like that for hours. she did say it wasnt a problem, especially when i raised it all the way, so we'll see. maybe the curve of the F4 will fix that without me having to go to a taller screen.

-the bike burned half a court of oil, which surprised me. On my 5000 mile trip not a drop.

-The NAVI. it worked well for A to B, no issues.
I charted my route on Kurviger, loaded the routes on a USB and loaded them into the bike as i needed them. All the way points showed up, the mileage and times matched and everything worked well until.....way point 15 on the BRP was off the planned road and onto a gravel side street. somehow i missed that during the planning. when we get to it, there is no GPS signal. I noticed that it was off course so i deleted it. all is good...or so i thought. the honda navi recalculates the route and because theres 50 something points and we have a poor signal, it takes about a minute and a half at first. less as it gets to the current one. no worries though, because the route still stays on the screen with the next way point showing. once it gets done recalculating, it wants to take me back to way point 1 so it keeps telling me to do a u turn. Thats just stoopid.
So as i followed the route on the screen, i would delete all the way points up until the current one.
Having said that, im content with Kurviger and the Honda navi so adding a garmin to the bars isnt going to happen. I used the honda for navigating and the phone for finding restaurants, sightseeing, gas stations and the waze app. for the slab.
 

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Great report! Love the title as my wife and I will be taking our first long trip this fall after the heat in So. UT breaks a bit.

In another post you had said you somewhere posted what you packed for the trip, but I didn't see that anywhere. I'd love to see what you packed and where as I'm still wondering how we'll fit both our stuff in the bags and trunk.
 

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Great report! Love the title as my wife and I will be taking our first long trip this fall after the heat in So. UT breaks a bit.

In another post you had said you somewhere posted what you packed for the trip, but I didn't see that anywhere. I'd love to see what you packed and where as I'm still wondering how we'll fit both our stuff in the bags and trunk.
Well the basic rule of 2 UP traveling is get out everything you both want to take on the trip and then put all your stuff back - should be enough room for the trip. :grin2:
 

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It gets better!

I am blessed that my wife rides with me on our planned summer vacation trips (and some fun shorter runs too)
I got back into bikes in 2000 when gas hit the unbelievable price of $2 a gallon. bought an original 1983 GL1100 with the King/queen seat. One 20 mile trip and she said no more.


Upgraded to a 1995 with a Diamond touring saddle. Convinced her to give it another try. first real trip was a 3 day wedding anniversary trip. She really enjoyed it. Had enough room in the trunk and bags for all our stuff, I did have a Kuryakyn top bag (still have it to) for quick get to items, it strapped to the luggage rack on the trunk/ Added a trailer about 5 years into the 1500.


We upgraded to an 1800. Trips got longer. Rode to Key West, Delta Junction Alaska, and more points in between than I can count. We have now bought a camper to pull (had it 1.5 years, but no camping trip yet...:(



Keep riding. The custom touring saddle makes a huge difference. The one I have on our 1800 is an Ultimate King.


Had a Tulsa Tall windshield for many years. Wife liked it, minimal buffeting on her. Broke it in Alaska (my shoulder took it out during an unplanned dismount....) I replaced it with an F4+4 windshield. I believe it may have a bit less buffeting for my wife but I really liked the Tulsa when riding solo...


May all your trips be great. Find a new place every month. I am getting closer to retirement, and looking forward to riding longer and farther....while I can :)


bryon
 
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