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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. New guy here. Just picked up a 2012 Burgman 650, and I'm currently in the break-in process, which means lots of back road riding.

On Tuesday we had some mid-60's weather, so I hopped on my bike and headed east from Raleigh. I made it about as far as Beulaville which is around 80 miles from here, before turning around and coming back. I found myself trying to navigate a Highway 50 Detour in the middle of no where with a dead phone and a flashing low fuel indicator right about the time it got dark and dropped 15 degrees, which was a little more excitement than I had planned for but it was still a good time.

Yesterday the weather was quite a bit cooler. I waited for it to hit 52 degrees (I don't have any proper winter riding gear), and headed off out of Raleigh about 1:00pm with no particular place to go. Before I knew it I was in Virginia visiting the Kerr Lake dam. I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't have my GoPro set up because the roads in that area are beautiful. I was on the back roads of the back roads, where there were no painted lines and no posted speed limits, so I decided it should be 35 and just cruised slowly through the country side on a little road called Redlawn Rd, approximately here:,-7 ... 7&t=m&z=13

Here are some photos from Kerr Lake Dam. I didn't get to stay as long as I would like, but I'm sure I'll get out that way again soon. I passed a lot more scenic areas along the trip, but was a bit unprepared gear wise. I'll have my GoPro and a different camera with me soon. I just got a camera mount for the GoPro camera to mount to the brake fluid reservoir covers from Motorcycle Larry, and having a smaller camera I can fit in the dash next time is on the list too. Not as practical having to get off the bike and get the camera out from under the seat each time.

I'm up to 318 miles on the bike so far. Trying to get the 600 mile service out of the way early so I don't have to watch the RPM's like a hawk on my trip to the beach next week. I took the butt rest off the seat, and the bike fits me much better now. I really enjoyed this ride. I didn't have any discomfort until about 132 miles into the 150 mile trip, and a short break would have remedied that. I have ordered a "Best Backrest", which should be here Friday, and a Clearview Windshield that should be here next week. I'll post some followups on those after I get a chance to try them out.

I guess I should probably take the stickers off the glove box at some point, but it's as close as I can get to a "new car smell", so I haven't had the heart to do it yet.


Premium Member
738 Posts
Now this is what we need more of,,,Ride Reports! aka Road Stories.

we should have 10 of these a week when the weather warms up. keep em coming! ill do my part when i get over this surgery. hope to be like new in a few weeks. ill post up a short ride i did a few days ago in a new thread.

thanks for posting! good job! nice bike!

515 Posts
Nice post :thumbup:

Great pictures :thumbup:

What made you decide so quickly on replacing the OEM windscreen ?

I also found the butt rest to be less than comfortable, pulled it off and bought a back rest from a forum member .
It's much better now for me at least.

I agree with the others who have said we need more travel posts like this !!!

31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DandyDoug said:
What made you decide so quickly on replacing the OEM windscreen ?
One of my main reasons for getting the Burgman was to get as much highway wind protection as possible, as I do a fair bit of riding on the highway with my buddy and his Goldwing. My last two bikes had horrible wind protection. I have been researching the Burgman for years, and knew before I bought it that I'd be getting a backrest and a windshield. I'm fairly tall, so even with the existing windshield all the way up, it is still a bit noisy with the wind hitting me. I decided to go with a Clearview XL with the vents.

My first bike a few years back was a Vulcan 900 Classic touring bike, with a massive windshield and lowers. I bought it second hand. I was new to riding and didn't really have anything to compare it to, and it wasn't until after I sold the bike and got a Versys that I realized how good the wind protection was on the Vulcan. I've been trying to get back to that ever since (though I didn't want to buy a loud V-Twin to get there). Between the Burgman's built in fairings, the Clearview XL, and the Shoei Qwest helmet, I hope to be able to actually hear the Scala G4 intercom system I got last year. :)

583 Posts
I don't know how many of you would be interested in an old rider's report but here's one I posted back in 2005 - funny thing - I went to Sturgis that year too and never did post a rider's report. This is a ride from Ephrata Wa to Missoula Mt going over Lolo Pass. This was the first time I'd been over that pass - I'll go again some day! Very nice two day trip. It was taken with a long time riding buddy - Gary.

I hope you like it - its very long. I wanted to be a writer when I was younger which accounts for all those words. You can't make a book using few words!

June 14, 2005

We meet at Wanda's Cafe in Ephrata WA at 7 am to have breakfast. The
local rumor is Wanda got busted by the health department for smoking
over the hash browns and eggs, rumor had it she quit smoking at the grill, so I deem
it ok to going back there for eats. The new rumor I hear inside is
more disturbing. She's apparently taken up chewing. Strictly rumor, so
I'm told. Oh well, she wasn't cooking this am anyway, so we ordered
and set about going over the two day ride we were about to take over
hot coffee. Having previously deciding to go over Lolo Pass via
Lewiston Idaho and on to Missoula for the night, we began mapping a
route that would get us to the best roads in the quickest time
possible. That plan lasted all of two hours! We also had not decided on the
return route. That got tabled in favor of the two plates of hot food
the waitress was about to set on the map, so we dove into the hash
browns and eggs, and more hot coffee.

Walking out to the bikes, we check the time, 7:45 am. The bank temp
reads 54. The morning sky is overcast with no hint of blue that might
promise sun breaks. Not one to be stopped by a threatening sky, I look
over at Gary and asked him what he thought of it all. He is up to
going also, as I knew he would be. It has been planned to go
regardless of the weather. Besides, this is the east side of the state
and it doesn't rain much here.


Leaving Ephrata on SR281, which disappears in the merge with SR17 five
miles later, the smell of drying hay and alfalfa was heavy in the air.
It is a clean smell, one I've always enjoyed. I remember thinking the
farmers would not be cutting it if it were going to rain, so that was
some comfort against the gray clouds that looked more threatening than
ever as we head south east toward Moses Lake.

I feel some remorse at selling my last ride, the 95 Ultra that Gary
now rides. Two Evo's sound really cool together. I've
rode with friends with that Ultra, and their Evo's and mine made
beautiful music side by side. Get a pack of like type motors and wow,
do they sound great! These two bikes have different motors and
gearing, and don't have that resonance. Oh well. They still sound
good. Partly I feel remorse over selling the 95 because I love the
paint scheme the MOCO came up with on it, aqua and silver. My Ultra is
Vivid Black. Vivid? The silver on Gary's bike is a close match to the 90 Fat Boy I
sold in 2001, 2 years after buying the 95 Ultra. I neglected that Fat
Boy badly after buying the Ultra, riding it only 1k miles the next two
years. I knew I'd never look back on that sale with any regret. Only
when the price on them skyrocket will I even think about that. First
year models have a habit of doing that, but it takes quite a few years
to see any real gains. Oh well. I rode that Fat Boy to Sturgis in 97.
My ass still hurts over that ride. I rode that bike well over 40k
miles total.

Easing into Moses Lake at a leisurely 50 mph, we keep an eye on the
going-to-work traffic, almost as dangerous as the just-got-off
traffic. They are a bit more aware, sipping the morning coffee as they
drive, and having just banked a night's sleep. My theory, anyway,
still its best to keep a wary eye on them.


Merging onto I90 eastbound I ease the Ultra up to the legal limit, 70
mph. Not many cars on the slab. The Samson Ovals roar. Life is good!
It looks dark in the east, but this is the way we've chosen. The
staccato sound of the two Harley's at speed sooth me into a sort of
trance, fully aware of my surroundings, yet at a high level of
relaxed. Life is VERY good. The plate on my Ultra says it all for me,
ZENHOG. I bought it with this plate and was going to get the standard
issue plate, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense
not to. This is my Zen, after all, has been for 40 years, just had no
name for it for many of those years.The ride, the air rushing past,
the openness, the sound of the motor doing its thing, the whine of the
gearbox,the humm of the tires, the smell of the early morning, sage
mingled with hay and alfalfa, the smell of fresh rain on pavement.
WHAT? Oh, crap, it is raining. We slow to 60 mph. The rain stings my
face where its' bare. I miss that full beard I sported around for 20
years. I've settled on a goatee/moustache combo. Less protection.
I get harcuts on a regular basis now too. Getting older I guess. Those
clouds were rain clouds after all. I look at Gary, he shrugs his
shoulders as if to say, oh well. His favorite line, it seems. I can
almost hear him say it. We forge ahead. One mile, two, three, ****,
this rain it seems, is as stubborn as the two riders cutting a path
through it, and its' coming down harder now. I spot the rest area sign
ahead and signal to turn in. We stop in a persistent if not soaking
downpour in the rest area to get some rain gear on. We suit up.
Burdened with the additional gear, we set out on I90 once again. One
mile down the road, damned if it didn't stop raining. The pavement
begins to dry out under us. Figures. Back up to 70 mph. We slog on,
not wanting to stop so soon to take off the rain gear. A wise choice
as it turned out. Ritzville is coming up fast, and the exit to SR261
is just a mile or so past town. Its dry here as we pull out on to 261
south and ride towards the big town of Washtucna for gas and to turn
east on SR26 headed for Pullman. That's the plan, anyway. Looks dark
that way.

The sky is darker to the south and it takes no time at all to turn to
rain once again. It starts raining some three miles or so south of
Ritzville, so the decision to leave the rain gear on was a good one.
Its coming down pretty good in spots, not like it was on I90 where we
got well drenched, but enough to make rain gear feel welcome. SR 261
flows along like a river of asphalt over the green and brown hills.
Mostly straight, with few curves, it is a rather boring road. Never
the less, I enjoy the rolling hills of green and earth. The smells are
incredible. The fresh tilled earth has a, well, earthy smell to it,
and there is lots of it here. Without the rain, you don't get that
smell, just the dust. The rain does have some benefits!

Two miles or so before pulling into Washtucna, the rain begins to die
off. Good! Now if it would only warm up some. We find the gas station
only to discover there is only one grade of gas, regular unleaded,
plus diesel. So regular will have to do. Its' not warm, only 55
degrees according to the air temp gage on the dash. Maybe there will
be no pinging problems. I get only one gallon, enough to make it to
Pullman with what I still have. We've only gone 90 miles anyway.

We pull out of Washtucna heading east on 26 fully expecting to make
Pullman some 60 miles ahead in an hour. The skies turn darker as we
head east and it begins to rain again. Crap, we've only gone five
miles! I liked the look of the skies heading south when we were on
261. Gary gets my attention and points south and the obvious, its' not
raining to the south. The skies are brighter there. If only there were
a road going south. We ride on in a persistent drizzle for the next 25
miles until we spot a sign, SR 127. I make an instant decision, we go
south on 127. What a good one that turned out to be! It stopped
raining within half a mile. If you are ever in the area of
this road, take it. It is laid out between rolling hills, not big
ones, but little ones that are close in on both sides. The road is in
great shape and the twisties are as good as they come. Curves are
posted for 35 and 45 for the most part, but I take them at 50 and 60
with a smile on my face. I don't get too daring with all the crap I
have in the bags. Gary is not so happy with the twisties, but I love
em. I quickly loose sight of his headlight as I dive into another
curve. I finally slow to let Gary catch up. In no time at all, and
some fifteen miles later, we begin a quick descend downhill to the
banks of the Snake River, and not much else. Don't get me wrong, its'
a beautiful place. There is a state park and it is nice here, but like
much of Garfield County there are few people and fewer jobs, which is
the reason why there are so few houses here. It seems there should be
a town here, but what do I know. We cross the bridge over the Snake
and head back up the hill and away from the Snake River.

I spot a sign, you know the ones, with the dinner plate with knife and
fork promising a café two miles ahead. I get on the CB and ask Gary if
we should stop for coffee. Yep, just what he needs too! Its cold,
still only 55 degrees and we are still wet from earlier. I am looking
hard, as I need to get warm. I'm damned cold. There is nothing here.
Twelve miles ahead is the town of Pomeroy. A bit more than two miles!
At least we found a town! Next time I'm in Pomeroy I won't be eating
at the Farmers Café. That's where we pull up. It sounds good, like
that's where the farmers go, right? Like a truck stop? No, the farmers
are all across the street. I can't remember the name, but you'll find
it if you come here. I want pie and coffee. The waitress says they
have no pie, and calls across the street to find out if they do, and
yes they do, and would you rather go over there? She even mentions
what pie they have! Banana Crème. Its that kind of town. Friendly.
Well, she works there part time too, and knows probably everyone in
town. She is young and quite pretty, maybe 20 years old. I wonder what
her future is in the place? We are here and don't want to get up and
move, so I have a bowl of soup and the coffee instead. Gary has
coffee, and a couple of smokes. We have more coffee. Gary has another
smoke. The soup warmed me up good, so it worked out. We mull over the
rain and scenery we just went through for half an hour and finally
decide its time to get on with it, warm or not. It is 60 degrees on
the dash temp gage, not much improvement, but a step in the right

The next 30 miles slide past quickly. There was little to interest me
between Pomeroy and Clarkston except for the small pass we went over.
Quite a bit of a hill here out in the middle of nowhere and I am sure
it's the Palouse hills we have just traversed. We pass though a busy
Clarkston and on into a sleepy Lewiston where we stop for gas and buy
a map. Hmm. The 87 octane didn't cause any pinging, so I am wondering
why I am reaching for the 92 when the 90 would work as well. Have to
look into that I tell myself, as I serve the Ultra the 92 octane. Now
comes the moment we've been waiting for. Off come the skid lids and
into the tour paks. Alright! No helmet law in Idaho. Its warming up
some, near 65 if I read the temp gage right. I wish the MOCO had put
in digital. Easier to read.

We head east out of Lewiston and cross over the Clearwater? Snake?
River on 95/12, a four lane. It is busy this time of day, at one pm
and it seems everyone is in a hurry. We are not, so settle into the
right lane at the speed limit. I'd hate to be here around 4 or 5 pm
when every one is trying to get home. I hate heavy traffic, and this I
classify as being very nearly heavy. In no time at all, and 10 miles
east, we depart from Highway 95 and onto the real highway 12. This
highway is two lanes and follows the Clearwater River along the
southern bank and we climb leisurely in altitude along it. I feel
good, the weather is warming up and the traffic is thinning some. The
air flowing through my hair feels great. This is a large river and the
scenery is just beautiful, in part because of the size of the river.
You can see the far bank, and the foothills in the background give a
nice frame to the overall picture. The highway is still busy here,
with logging trucks flying past, with their load of logs not slowing
them down much. The empty trucks pass at the slightest provocation.
Those drivers are crazy. Must get paid by the load. Bit by bit, we
leave the busy traffic behind, or most of it, anyway. We go through a
town named Orofino, head south and find the town of Kamiah where we
fuel up, even though we have gone but 65 miles. Gas is sparse in this
part of the state, and the last thing we need is to run out. I think I
saw only one more station, but I don't remember. Gary has to have
another smoke, so he stands around next to the propane tank and does
his thing. I go in the store and get a 6 pack of coke and throw it in
the cooler. We decide to stop up the road a bit to sit and have a
break. We do so at one of those historical landmark places, just after
crossing the river and we are now on the northern bank of the
Clearwater River. We both carry camp chairs for just this sort of
thing. The place we stop at has three large signs, which I dutifully
read. Hell, I read cereal boxes. I love to read. One was a map of the
general area, actually. I'm getting CRS because I can't remember what
the hell I read! That's why I have a digital camera along. Duh. I
forgot to take it out and get a shot of the signs. Something about
Indians and settlers, I think.

Half an hour later we mount up and head out and onward. We are soon
passing through Kooskia and along the middle fork of the Clearwater.
It is smaller here, and the riverbed is steeper as we gain elevation
heading in the general direction of Lolo Pass. The river looks more
hurried here. In the little burg of Lochsa we see a sign, last gas for
75? miles. We are good to go so do not stop. We can make it to
Missoula. Somewhere in this vicinity is a great sign if you are into
riding motorcycles, winding road sign is posted with this, "next 77
miles". Great! I says, Crap, Gary says. Well, its' not as bad as
that.The backdrop of the river makes for a nice shot. Gary is in the
lead and knows not to let the phtographer (me) get started taking
pictures. We travel at a leisurely 45-50 mph. The road is good and the
scenery is fantastic. The road is right next to the river, hardly ever
do you loose sight of the Clearwater. Got to pay attention here
though, there is no guardrail for most of this road. At some unnamed
place on the river, some 50 miles from our last stop, we pull over to
take a break. There is a curious thing here. A broad set of stairs has
been built from wood down to the riverfrom the parking area, and I can
see no reason for it. At the right side is what looks like a slide
built onto it handrail high, but it beats me why the hell its there.
You would get slivers if you slid down that! Novelty? I dunno.

We pull out and head up river again. I figured about 20 miles to the
pass and am surprised when I spot a sign that says Lolo Pass, 5 miles,
or something close like that. It is getting late, and Gary does not
like riding at night with his old eyes. I don't like it because we are
in deer country and with all these trees around, they can be in front
of you in seconds. In no time at all we are climbing as the v-twin
begins to labor harder than on flat ground. It looks surprisingly flat
here, not that steep, but having to pull up the wick as hard as I am,
I know we are heading up hill quickly. There are passing lanes here
and there and we stay in the right lane. I know Gary is sandbagging on
me on the corners as an old fart from Oregon passes us in his
Oldsmobile cage. I pass Gary and pick it up a bit, Gary does not. His
headlight fades on the next corner as I have a bit of fun. The fun is
soon over and the pass has been cleared. Down we go, but not down too
far. The pass is not what I have come to expect, as passes go. In
Washington, when you climb a pass, you climb hard for 6 or 9 miles,
not like this, 1 or 2 miles and it really isn't that big a hill. High?
Yes! Steep? No! The hills quickly open up to a beautiful if not too
wide green valley and the speed limit jumps to 70. Great! Petal to the
metal. The road is good and we make good time. We are soon in Lolo
where we get gas before entering the madness that is Missoula only 5
or 6 miles away. Brooke street is busy.

This used to be a quiet town. Long time ago, I guess. I remember
vacations with my mom and dad when we would go through here to get to
wherever the hell it was we went to. The hot springs? I was a kid, so
why would I remember where we went? When we got there, I would swim,
or hike, or just hang out, but I don't remember much in the details. I
do remember this town though, so I would just like to know, why the
hell is it so big now? Anyway, we get a room at the Comfort Inn on
Brooks St, unload the bikes and go next door to the 4B s to get
something to eat. If you want a good hamburger when you are in
Missoula, don't go there. I don't know what they have that is good, I
just know it isn't the hamburgers. We passed on eating there for

So, that's my' report of half of this trip. Let me know if you'd like
to hear the other half or if I should just shut the f*** up and not
post it. I haven't wrote it yet, but will in the next few days. I hope
you all have enjoyed it as much as I have riding and writing it.

Ken S.


I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
The sinners are much more fun.
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