I don't know what I was worried about, this was easy!
Day 1, 550 miles: Up at 0500 eastern, on the road before 0600. Left Columbus, Ohio on I-70 headed westbound. I didn't want to change visors on my helmet (Shoei Multitec) so I road the first half hour with the helmet flipped up, sun rose at 0620. Stopped just outside Indianapolis for gas and potty, then blasted north towards Chicago. Another stop before road construction on I-65 for gas and potty and a granola bar, then through Chicago. Tolls were a PITA!!! I had a baggie full of quarters. I just handed them the bag pretty much and said thank you a lot. Construction had me take the long was around Chicago and north of O'Hare it was bumper to bumper for an hour. 85 degrees in full gear is okay with a breeze, but in traffic? Ugh. Burned through most of my Camelbak in traffic.
I bought a Marsee 11 litre Pocket Rocket, wired it up with a Powerlet Kit, and found a Camelbak bladder (50oz) to put in the bag. Having water on the bike and available is the best thing you can do! Just the bladder in the Marsee bag and it never hit room temp. Still a little cool even towards the end. Put fridge water in and you're in even better shape. Didn't leak or sweat at all, I was worried about other stuff in the bag getting wet, like my new iPhone!
I had my iPhone loaded with tunes and cranking away on the two long commute days. I kept the iPhone in the inside pocket of my Cortech jacket and ran the ear bud cable under my t-shirt. I found some SkullCandy earbuds (SkullCandy link
) . These were pretty good. In ear so they offer some hearing protection, good sound, can't complain. No problem putting my helmet on, I made funny faces taking it off-awkward, but okay.
Cleared Chicago and blasted north to Oshkosh for the airshow. About 8.5 hours door-to-door.
Spend a couple days at the airshow (worlds largetst), very cool. My buddy rode down on his 2003 Harley Road King and we did about 100 miles just cruising around looking for a good root beer (can't beat Ardy & Eds if you're every Oshkosh way).
Day 2, 0 miles: At the airshow
Day 3, 100 miles: Rootbeer run
Day 4, 225 miles: We blasted north to Appleton (I had to see relatives) and then wound our way to Shawno where we picked up Hwy 55 which heads north through the reservation. No traffic, perfect roads and lots of hills and twisties. We took the long way to Eagle River, then over to Land O' Lakes and finally Minocqua to my buddy's house for the night-about 8 hours on the road. We crashed there rather than getting a hotel, saved some coin. Weather was perfect the whole week, not a drop of rain and temps in the 70s up north.
Day 5, 350 miles: Washed the bikes and hit the road. We had reservations at the Hampton Inn in Mackinaw City that night, just had to find our way there. We wound our way into the UP of Michigan and were on such back roads that we didn't know we were in Michigan until the signs for the highway changed. Through Iron River and then east and north, eventually hitting KI Sawyer (old B-52 base). Dean (Road King guy) was based there when he was in the Air Force. We wandered the base a bit and found the building he used to work in (now deserted). East and north some more we made our way to Munising for a fuel stop (and ice cream, of course). We were getting tired so we decided to just bang our way to the bridge and hotel (still 2 hours away). Crossing the Mackinac Bridge was awesome! Done it in a car before but totally different on a bike. Found some grub and crashed out for the night.
Day 6, 504 miles: We went our seperate ways in the morning, Dean headed back to Wisconsin and I cranked down I-75 towards home. Did 190 miles to Saginaw, stopped for gas, then another 190 miles to south of Toledo for another fuel stop. I just wanted to get home! From that last stop it was a quick 124 miles home. 7.5 hours door-to-door.
Best mileage I saw was 47-48mpg, never worse than 42mpg. Pretty consistently when we rode together I would take .2 gallons more than the Road King, of course I was rolling on gobbs of throttle in the twisties and hammer down sometimes when passing (why not?).
Best cage drivers - Michigan
Left lane hogs - Wisconsin
Worst drivers - Ohio
Fastest drivers: Indiana/Illinois (tie)
Best looking women - Michigan, by far
Worse? Who cares
Other bikes on the road - Harleys, too many to count. Jap cruisers, a few. Rice rockets, a couple. BMWs, counting mine? 6. (and mine the only '08. Saw two other nextgen KGTs but no Xenon headlight, so I assume '06, '07 and a couple older R's).
This bike will do all of 140 mph fully loaded (the 112mph rating on the side bags is a bit conservative) and is still pulling like crazy. Closed track riding professional, of course.
Comfort mode on the ESA in the twisties was okay, but I was riding with a Harley. I was about 20-40 mph slower than I could have been in the corners. Still fun though.
People weren't waving at us so much as they were waving at the Harley. People just stared at the KGT.
So that's about all. Good times for sure. Here's a couple pics.