I picked the bike up on Friday and set out on my first ride on Saturday. I had no idea where I was going I figured I would just head west and see where it took me.
I honestly can't tell you how I got where I went. No idea of what roads I was on. I just made the decision that if I had to turn it would be North or West. Well that worked for a good hour, then I had to either back track (which I hate doing) or turn South. Well I went South, which led me to Highway 1A, which then allowed me to follow my North and West rule.
I soon came to the Forestry Trunk Road and decided to take it. For the first part of the trip I was on pavement, then rough pavement, and soon it was gravel. I was back to a decision of turning around or stay on it.
Well, I do hate turning around :)
Most of the ride was at 60 km an hour, but I did see some incredible country.
I finally turned off of the trunk road and headed towards Sundre. By this time I was hungry and questioning how long the bike would go with the fuel indicator flashing.
I did get fuel in Sundre but not food. I wanted a sit down restuarant and all I saw was fast food. I left Sundre and headed towards Cochrane, where I still didn't get food, but I did discover that if you follow a rule of staying off main highways, it takes over an hour to get to the city, but there is some incredible scenery within minutes of the city.
My little afternoon ride took me over 8 hours to do, close to 550 km, resulted in a sore bum, but the knowledge that the VStrom can handle some really crappy roads. And a smile on my face, wow I missed my bike.
In April I was hit by a car at a red light and my bike was written off. So, I had to get a new bike. I had bought a 2009 Honda in October, and I considered just buying it again. Then I realized I was doing it again.
The Honda was not the bike for the trips that I was planning on doing, but I started to think about my work, rather than my desire. So, I started a search for a dual purpose touring bike again. I knew from my research last fall that there are several to choose from, but the BMW was a favoured bike.
For me though the cost of the BMW was too great, so I went for my second choice which was a Suzuki Vstrom. Unfortunately this is a difficult bike to find used. I spent several months looking with no success, and started to consider Yamahas or Hondas. Then I found a Suzuki at Calgary Motorsports.
It is a 2002 DL 1000, a bit larger than I wanted, I was looking for the 650, but at this point I would take either. The Vstrom has a very good reputation amongst long distance riders and parts are relatively easy to get no matter where you are in the world.
I had to wait for the bike as they do an inspection and decided to replace the chain and sprockets, and I finally picked it up on Friday.