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Discussion Starter #1
So I had a terrific week long trip to N. California planned with friends. Hundreds upon hundreds of kilometres of beautiful California pavement.

It was going to be the first long shake down on the mighty VFR after all the work had been completed. Someone asked once about a New Bike Day thread for it, so I'll combine it with a ride report.

First of All, New Bike Day pics and info.

I wasn't looking but came across a 4200 km VFR1200 for sale in South Surrey. I had paid zero attention to the bug VFR when it came out due to the price, $20,999 as a bare bike. The owner had purchased it new from Burnaby Honda Center in 2015. After adding the Honda bags, Heli-bars, an Akrapovic pipe and a Sargent seat. The price was right for me and a deal struck.







Unfortunately, real life got in the way and on the day of departure, I checked in at home from Kirkland and found that my presence was needed. Oh well, such is life at times.

I was able to get it dyno tuned by Nels before having to return, so that was a saving grace.

153 HP and 86 ft/lb ...... good enough for me. Actually, once Nels told me they did a cat removal on another VFR1200 with the same mods and got just under 170 HP ...... looks like i know my winter project.

 
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Discussion Starter #2
After putting about 8000 km on it, changes were made over the winter.

Rod at RMR Suspension took care of the springs, valving and oil before putting an Ohlins out back.

I sent the ECU down to Guhl Motorsports for a reflash to remove torque limiters in 1st and 2nd gear. While apart a Stebel horn kit went on and the PAIR system was removed. A K&N filter replaced the OEM one and a PCV added on. Things got to the point where I'm looking at parts on shelves and withstands thinking "This thing is never going to run again" ....... I used to think the same when we had the helicopters torn apart for major servicing.



I have a Samsung phone that I use for guidance and music while riding. The problem is that it blows the rough the battery in no time. That wouldn't do for a road trip and I didn't feel like wiring in a separate plug. I ended up buying an external battery and using heavy duty Velcro, fixing it to the inside of the fairing. No more battery anxiety and it will power the phone all day using only half the external battery's juice.



Eventually it was all one piece again with wonder of wonders, none left over.


Once things got partially under control at home, I found out I still had a lot of time sitting around. I was going to do a big loop on a day trip when SWMBO suggested an overnight.

She didn't have to suggest it twice.

With Destination Highways Washington in hand, off I went with no particular destination.

Breakfast on Day 1 at Mondos in Marblemount. Certainly worthwhile stopping there again.





From Marblemount to the Crater Peak viewpoint, it's about 68 km. I managed to do the Holy Frail uninterrupted. That was a first for me. Temps were in the low 20's C, pavement clean and no, none, zero cars that I came across. Absolutely sheer heaven. I did see 2 motor officers on BMW's stopped at a pull off for westbound traffic. Obviously on their way home from the NAMOA conference and competition in Yakima, they must have had better things to do. They each waved back as the old guys VFR hustled by, heeled over in a tight right hander with one hand raised in greeting.

After 68 km of bliss, time to take a stretch.

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
An obligatory bike beside the snow shot at Liberty Hell turned out to be a very smart decision ......



* ** That water was about an inch deep and flowing fast enough to keep gravel rolling across the road contiously. As you moved closer to the bike it went to coarse sand then up to silt.

I stopped for fuel in Twisp pondered whether to head over towards Metaline Falls or south toward Grifford Pinchot. Mt St Helens won out so I continued South on 153 and then 97.i took 971 out of Chelan (DH5) and then a Twisted Edge (TE-A) on the Navarre-could Rd, most recommended.

I continued South then hung a right and over to Leavenworth for fuel and access to Hwy 97 (DH55) and Ellensbburg.

Out of Ellensburg runs the Yakima Canyon Rd. Years ago, in my misspent youth, myself and the guys I was supposed to be in California with had the opportunity to talk with one of Washington's finest here. Apparently, the speed limit is 45 MPH through the canyon. And there is cell coverage all the way through. And wonderful pavement with corners that don't end. On that day we apparently upset a local who called ahead. I have a pic somewhere of that roadside chat, but for now all I have is this ......



BTW, every time I've gone though that canyon I have seen 2 state troopers parked side by side and looking very business like.

Leaving Yakima, I headed east on I82 before turning South on 241.

My destination ...........
 

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Founded by a great-great uncle, I hadn't been through in over a decade. Impressively, there are over 500 wind turbines in the area, quite a sight to see.

I wanted to eat at the Bluebird Cafe but they were closed, so across the street was the place. No worries about theft, keys and helmet left on the bike.




Heading south out of Bickleton, the road goes through rangeland before diving into and out of a canyon. A heads up ...... those 1 or 2 corners that say 10 MPH ..... you may want to slow for those.

After a long day and at the recommendation of the lady in Bickleton, I checked into the Ponderosa Motel for a long soak in a hot tub. Being old and having high pegs are hell on the knees.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
The front desk guy had recently sold his ZX-7 and told ne of a great road westbound out of Goldendale. He would print out the directions and leave them on the bike.

The next morning I headed over for the complimentary breakfast.

Biscuits and gravy ...... I just don't get it. I've tried them and I still don't get it. I stick with some fruit and a boiled egg.




Topping off with dead dinosaurs from Sinclair's, aka Dino Fuels.




The road suggested by the front desk guy is DH36, Hwy 142 out of Goldendale. With Mt St Helens on the right and My Hood on the left, it's a stellar view. Down past Blockhouse and through Klickitat and Pitt, the road was a lot of fun.



It dumps out onto Hwy 14/Lewis and Clark Hwy (DH44).

At Carson I headed north on the Wind River Hwy into Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Miles of great riding and very little traffic. Both a blessing and a curse as I ended up having to bump start the bike after leaving the lights on while stopping to take pictures. With this problem (an old, weak battery i should have replaced earler) all 3 of my Hondas have broken down on me this season.

If you haven't done Windy Ridge, make time to do so.



But here's a tip. Make time to check if it's open first. I ended up riding around and over fallen trees, dozens of them, to get to the barricades stating the road closed. Of course I saw the signs much earlier but chose to ignore them and think happy thoughts.

I made my way South and considered whether to go east and then north or out to the coast. The ocean one.

Down NFD21 to NFD90 and onto Lewis River Rd which took me onto 503 to me down to Woodland for a healthier(?) breakfast. I found a place called Don's Donut Depot. As good as it sounded, Rosie's Restaurant won out.



From Woodland I headed out towards the coast. No more photos from here though. I took Hwy 4 (DH17) put to PCH101. North along DH16, west on Hwy 8 to the Satsop-Cloquallum Rd. and out to Olympia and I-5 home.

All in all, with side trips, i managed about 1800 km over the 2 days. Travelling solo, it was a good mind clearing trip.

My knees were knackered by the time I got home. So now the last mod (yeah, really honey, last mod, no more, honest) has gone on, And that brings this back around to New Bike Day. In from the UK in less than a week, Gilles rearsets have made a noticeable difference ..... Both in comfort and disposable income.





So the next time you have 2 days clear ....... I urge you to just go ride. Have fun, be safe, eat the way you want, ride the way you want. We don't know when we aren't going to run out of time. Make the most out of what you have.
 

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This is a most awesome rider report, aboard a steed that would be well suited to those roads with a bit of comfort thrown in. I did most of those on roads on the 2013 Ninja 1000, also on my own. Great times. Thanks for the report!

How's the Sargent seat?
 

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nicely done David. pretty early for that trip to Windy Ridge - in fact, I'm a bit surprised FR25 was open. btw, I found 25 distressingly rough when I was last thru there, about 2 years ago. perhaps your 'sled' has better suspension than mine?

and also, btw, on 142 west of Goldendale, that's Adams to the north, not St Helens. Adams is still well over 12,000 feet tall - St Helens, of course, is no longer so tall!
 

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Agreed, never doing 25 again until they repave it. Huge roots, heaves and cracks especially bad in the northbound lane.
 

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I can tell you that Curly Creek Rd over to Northwoods was frickin' horrible.*

Mt Adams? *I thought I saw the crater but maybe not. Still pretty though.*
 

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Thanks for the ride report. Pretty close to what I have planned when I have an opening.

I read somewhere on the government website that has info on road openings in and around Mount St. Helens that they don't think Windy Ridge will be open until July! And yes that road which goes up through MSH on the east side has been brutral on the cajones each time I go through.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is a most awesome rider report, aboard a steed that would be well suited to those roads with a bit of comfort thrown in. I did most of those on roads on the 2013 Ninja 1000, also on my own. Great times. Thanks for the report!

How's the Sargent seat?
Thanks. Not having to do chain maintenance at the end of the day made up for the shaft drive shenanigans. *

I'm not a fan of the Sargent. I'd like to have it half an inch taller. Back to those knee problems. Skiing and dirt biking ..... Not the best way to keep them long lasting. I'll probably send it off in the winter to get more foam added. Otherwise, I don't recall any numb bum so it worked in that area. * *
 

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Interesting bike... I'm surprised actually - given that bike was essentially a marketing turd when it was launched. Seen very few of them on
the road.. and all I have ever heard about is the small tank that makes sport touring a bit of an oxymoron.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The VFR1200 meet ups and group rides are always kind of a letdown.
*:roflmao:roflmao :lolup :lolup

I had read all the bad interweb comments as well. Those and the ridiculous pricing insured that I never looked at them. Read the magazine reviews and you'll see a different story though. Honda ended up blowing them out of the warehouse. The guy who bought my bike included the original bill of sale. That $21K bike in 2010 sold brand new, left over stock for $11K in 2014. I'm not saying it will ever be an RC51, but those sat on dealer floors for years as well.

Range right now, after the tuning, is estimated at 260- 280 km per tank. I usually refuel at about 200-225 km and always have close to 4 litres left. That's punching a big hole with saddlebags. And after two or so hours, I'm always ready to take a break.
 

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nice trip report sir, i've done pretty much the same route, albeit south to north.

last year i almost pulled the trigger on a white vfr at the honda centre, but ended up choosing to stay with the blackbird.
 

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*:roflmao:roflmao :lolup :lolup

I had read all the bad interweb comments as well. Those and the ridiculous pricing insured that I never looked at them. Read the magazine reviews and you'll see a different story though. Honda ended up blowing them out of the warehouse. The guy who bought my bike included the original bill of sale. That $21K bike in 2010 sold brand new, left over stock for $11K in 2014. I'm not saying it will ever be an RC51, but those sat on dealer floors for years as well.

Range right now, after the tuning, is estimated at 260- 280 km per tank. I usually refuel at about 200-225 km and always have close to 4 litres left. That's punching a big hole with saddlebags. And after two or so hours, I'm always ready to take a break.
Yeah mine was less than that for a DCT brand new out the door with heated grips. I added the bags on later. After decades of doing all day trips on sport bikes it's like nothing I've ever experienced.

For fuel I find if I stop at 2 hours or so and gas up I can do that all day long with no fatigue vs. a longer stint but also longer breaks when I do stop.
 
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