Just got back from my ride out to Salt Lake City from my home in Edmond, OK, (just north of OKC). My 2009 F650 GS performed flawlessly, especially in the mountains. I strongly recommend the Airhawk seat pad- I experienced no burning butt issues on the ride. I shipped my field gear for the geologic filed trip I was attending in SLC, so I could travel light- had a Wolfman waterproof pack and Wolfman tank bag on the bike.
Day 1- Going out I headed west on I 40 to Amarillo, then cut to the northwest through Dalhart, TX, then up to Raton, NM, where I took I25 to Walsenburg, CO.
Hot and mostly flat until Raton. I wore a perforated leather Vanson jacket, and Darien pants. Bike has good acceleration for passing on two lanes. About 540 miles on first day.
Day 2- Caught Hwy 69 out of Walsenburg, and had the next 100 miles to Salida, CO all to myself in the cool morning air. Spectacular scenery- absolutely perfect. Continued on Rt 50 through Gunnison, Montrose, to Grand Junction. The Arkansas River was way up, and provided beautiful roadside rapids as the road follows the river for a ways out of Salida. High point of trip was 11,312' Monarch Pass, where temps got down to 40. Caught the interstate at Grand Junction, and through the afternoon heat onto Green River, UT. Started the day at 50 degrees, ended in Green River a dry 100 degrees. Toasty. 400 mile day.
Day 3- Short day, only 180 miles to SLC, headed to Price and Helper, then through Soldier Summit in the cool morning air. Again, the early ride out of Green River was just great- little traffic and lots of outcrops. I am a geologist, so Utah was especially distracting. I opened her up along Rt 6 to Price- zoom.
Next 7 days- attended geological field trip in UT and WY- really cool outcrops.
Day 11- Departed SLC heading east on I80, temps quickly cooled off from 53 to 40, with rain, and wind most of the way to through Evanston, Rock Springs, Wamsutter, and finally Cheyenne, where I caught I25 heading south. That cross wind kept me focused. Heated grips were a savior, and Aerostich Darien jacket with liner kept me dry and warm. The temps got down to 36 through western WY, had no trouble with fogging of face shield of Shoei RF 1100 helmet. Stopped for night in Longmont, CO. 485 mile day.
Day 12- Home stretch. Skirted Denver on I25 E470- interestingly the tolls are all electronic- I will receive bill in mail. Turned east on I70 and crossed into KS. During cool morning ride, the terrain has a little variety, not all flat in eastern CO, but it quickly irons out as you get into KS. Cloudy all the way but dry- temps were 53 at start, moving above 80 when I turned south in Salina, KS onto I35. As I crossed border into OK, the rains came, and it was wet all the way into Edmond, Earlier in the day Edmond had been drenched with 5 to 10 inches of rainfall. Fortunately, by the time I was riding there, most of the heavy stuff had moved off.
Gear kept me dry, although I need to get more comfortable waterproof gloves. My gloves and hands got clammy using the Aerostich rain mitts. Long day- 670 miles.
All in all it was a great ride. The twisty mountain roads were perfect for the F650GS. It handled superslab with no issues, and averaged around 50 mpg.
Strapping waterproof bag to tail worked OK, but I need to look into hard cases.
I also need a camera mount to take pictures while riding but without fumbling around with a little camera.
Thanks for listening,