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I decided nothing would get the Burger and I acquainted like a tour of all the New England states. I had some time away from work, and planned a route starting and ending in Stamford, CT.

I loaded my black burger up with about 1.5 weeks worth of gear. I was going to be away from Stamford for about 4 weeks, with a combination of leisure and business in between, so I needed a wide variety of gear. I stashed my Tumi laptop bag under the seat, which is bursting at the seams with laptop, myrid chargers, cameras, work papers, etc. Using a bungee "spider web" I attached a medium-sized duffle bag where the passenger would normally ride, with CF tripod on top. In my Givi E52 topbox I stashed liners for my riding jacket and pants, a water bottle and my camera bag, which contains my "heavy duty" digital SLR. Everything fit comfortably and securely on the Burgman, and it was stable as ever on the highway. At lower speeds, she was a touch "squirley" with all the gear, but not terribly so.

I left Stamford on 2 July, and took the Merritt parkway over to I-91. If you're ever going through CT., I highly recomment the Merrit. You can easily get on from I-95, and it's amazing to think there is such a nice tree-lined, two-lane road completely 18-wheeler free so close to the disaster that is I-95.

Traffic was light, and there where several other bikers out. I briefly rode with a couple Harley types, but was largely alone. The weather was beautiful and the Burgman ran like a champ.

I-91 was a little rough to Hartford, and your classic highway ride with plenty of big rigs and SUVs. Once past Hartford, it turns into a more plesant two lane highway that meanders through Western Mass and up to Vermont. I stopped at a diner for fuel for myself and the Burgman, and then it was back to the northwards travel.

I took a quick stretch break at one point in Vermont, and pulled off I-91 into the parking lot of a store that sold cat products. I little furball came out and seemed quite fascinated with the burger. I turned my head a second to make a phone call, looked back, and there the little bugger was sitting in MY seat! I kept shooing him off, and he kept coming back. While dogs love Nissian trucks, I guess cats like Burgmans!

I left I-91 and got onto Rt. 10 in VT/NH. This is one of those roads that time forgot, and a place that amazes me when I think I have missed it all these years! The road passed farm after farm, and you could smell the warmth of the dirt, and fresh manure, and the "earthy" smells those of us that live in suburban "blah" forget about.

From Rt. 10 I turned onto 116, which eventually becomes the Kancamangus Highway that you can read about here. The weather was turning a little threatening, but the roads were dry, and the Burgman handled hill and dale with ease. I turned off the Kanc onto Bear Notch road, which is another quiet road, and a great ride.

330 miles and three fuel stops later I arrived at my destination for leg one, in Bartlett, NH.

A few days later I took a 50 mile loop out Rt. 302 into Maine. I stopped for some ice cream and took a little break at a roadside turnout by a plesant river, thus adding Maine to my list of visited states.

On the 4th, I declared my independence from New Hampshire and headed down to my parent's house, which is south of Boston. Again this was mostly highway riding, and done for the sake of expediency rather than scenery. I can comment that the Burgman was a true gentleman on the highway. Hills were no problem, and the CVT handled them with ease. Power was on tap when requested, without the engine making a great deal of fuss. Large vehicles would slap the Burgman around a touch when passing, but not so much as to feel uncomfortable at a 70 mph speed. I did have a few miles on "grooved pavement" for the first time in my 2-wheel career, and it was quite disconcerting. I remember my MSF course saying you feel more unstable than you actually are, and to just stay relaxed, but it was very nerve racking! I got into the slow lane and took my time, and that seemed to help.

I'm travelling on business this week, so unfortunately the Burgman is "resting" in my parent's garage. This weekend I'll head back to CT., on as yet undecided routes and hopefully find one that goes through Rhode Island!

Things I learned from my first two wheeled tour:

- Mesh jacket and pants worked great and were very comfortable. I wore "soccer shorts" under the mesh pants, which are nylon and have no pockets or seams. This made the ride quite comfortable. No need for the liners, atthough once the sun went down on the Kanc it was a touch cool.

- Add me to the camp of Lemon Pledge "true believers!" This stuff works great on the bike, helmet, and everything!

- The Burgman carried my impressive load with ease. I'm wondering how I can shift the load around so I could do touring 2-up, since a key part of my loading strategy was the duffle bungee'ed to the passenger seat.

Overall, I still can't stop smiling when I think about riding the machine! I'm hoping to do a few more "tours" and looking forward to getting the engine fully broken in!

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Nice write-up. I've been on many "impromptu New England Tours" myself, so it brought back some memories. One time I told my wife that I was running down to the store for something. My brother-in-law who had bought my prior motorcycle went with me. We got home about 8 hours later. I could tell from the look on my wife's face that I had some explaining to do. I'd actually done just what I'd set out to do - only the store I ended up going to was up in New Hampshire! (We lived in southern Connecticut.)

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Really enjoyed the write up. Thanks for sharing it with us. 8)
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