Here was the dilemma. I loved the past 6 years and the 40,000 miles I put on my 93 Yamaha GTS1000. On a Pashnit tour several years ago Tim was taken enough to publish this thread on his forum, http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=374 . Just this June I took a 3000 mile 9 day ramble from Oregon across Nevada and made a great circle tour of Utah and home again. The bike ran great was it was about to become 17 years old and I wanted something both newer and different. I sold My GL1800 this spring and I have to keep my Ducati but I wanted a new sport tourer.
The Yamaha went to a new home in Utah and I began to look. As I did my son suggested I look at the Hayabusa. We all know Tim rides one, but I am older (don’t fold as well), bigger (taller and fatter), travel with tent and sleeping bag, and did not want a drag bike. As the internet search for information unfolded I discovered there are a lot of people who tour don’t mean “I take the Greyhound” when they say they tour on the “BUS”.
The choice was made and a low mileage 2005 model ended up in my garage. A few mods and local rides and then an overnight camping trip with tank bag, soft luggage andon my new Hayabusa seemed to say I made a good choice.
Now for the real test. I have always wanted to do a Saddle sore 1000 ride sanctioned by the IBA (Iron Butt Association). Two years ago I did the 4 corners of the USA tour on my Goldwing but the Wing did not rock my world so I sold it.
With the weather about to change here in Oregon I decide last Saturday was put up or shut up time. With all the needed forms and logs and my route mapped out and loaded in the GPS I left the local Texaco station near Eagle Point, OR at 4:22AM with my electric jacket liner plugged in and my Bagster tank bag loaded. The ride is a rather simple affair. Keep riding and on course, get receipts with dates and times, and fill out the mileage log.
From Eagle Point I rode East and South to Alturas, CA, turned North for Lakeview Oregon and then west through Denio junction, NV and North to Fields, OR. Feeling good and with all the cold weather gear stowed away I sat at a picnic table outside Fields Station and ate a burger. A passing motorist came to admire the bike and inquire as to destination and then casually pointed out the nail in the rear tire. The nail was actually a huge staple with one leg at a shallow angle in the tire groove. Deciding caution was best I cut of the outer leg of the staple and left it in place. There was no air at the station and I wasn’t sure the CO2 cartridges in my tire plug kit would fill that big a tire. It proved to be the right decision and no air was lost.
North to Burns and then east again to Vale, OR just short of the Idaho border. A quick fill up and highway 26 headed west to John Day and then Redmond. Night was falling as I filled up in Redmond and temps were cooling rapidly. I put the liner back in the jacket and headed out on the last leg home.
The Hayabusa rocks. I pulled into the gas station I started at and got my gas receipt showing 17 hours and 4 minutes total travel time. Despite speeds well above the limit at times I averaged 39 mpg and covered 1022.1 GPS logged miles.
I have a Bagster tank bra and bag which I love and a used Corbin saddle which I installed the night before I left. HID lights kept the deer at bay during the dark hours while the Brock Hindle full exhaust sang to me and my Magellan Roadmate is the best $50 I ever spent. I used the same older model on the Yamaha for several years. Sadly I had just installed a Rostra all electronic cruise control which is not yet functioning but I will figure that out.
I look forward to many happy miles and if you really want to ride your bike, try a Saddle Sore 1000.