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Thanks for taking the time to post the video. Beautiful location. I'm going to miss out on these good autumn riding days due to projects around the house, so I appreciate your sharing the ride all the more.
Thank you.

Here's part of ride from a week ago: some roads in Dutchess County, NY, which is about halfway up the Hudson River, from NYC to my area, around Albany. (I was out of town for four days in between, so was a little behind in my video editing tasks lately.)

 

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Ok, maybe the last videos of the season from me.

It got up to the low 70s in my neck of the woods, and a couple of counties south of me, today. The forecast for the next week or so shows highs of about 60, and rain. And the days are getting mighty short. And pretty soon it'll start snowing.

So, here are two short chunks of my ride today. I did about 170 miles, and filled up the tank with nothing but non-ethanol high-test the last few times, and topped it off that way four miles from home. That is, I think the odds are good that I'll be calling it a season now.


 
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Discussion Starter · #183 ·
I don't know if I could stand to not ride through the next 3-4 months! If the road is clear and no white stuff is forecast (how can you even speak the word "sn**?) I wan't to get out on 2 wheels. I may think twice about it if temps get to be WAY below zeroF but usually I end up getting out there anyway if I can.
 

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I don't know if I could stand to not ride through the next 3-4 months! If the road is clear and no white stuff is forecast (how can you even speak the word "sn**?) I wan't to get out on 2 wheels. I may think twice about it if temps get to be WAY below zeroF but usually I end up getting out there anyway if I can.
Well, I'm used to it, been living in this area for most of the last 70 years or so.

And I guess I've always been spoiled, or a wuss, or both. When I was gainfully employed, my rule for riding to and from work was 50°F and rain not in the forecast. For retirement goof-off day trips, it's about 15 degrees higher.

And what I really dislike is the toxic nature of the roads around here in the winter. I mean: salt, slush, sand, more salt, and even brine (of unknown origin) the last few years. So even if it's a really warm day in January, I'll pass -- I just don't want unknown crud coating the bike (I'm talking about wheels, and bearings, and the frame, and suchlike, as I couldn't care less about the tupperware).

So my rule for spring reawakening is:
  • Warmer weather.
  • A good rainstorm.
  • A second good rainstorm, on a different day, with no snow or anti-snow road applications in between.
Luckily, my wife and I tend to break up the winter months with a vacation (typically, but not always, a cruise) to warmer climes in the middle of all that.

Other than that, those four or five months without a ride just build character, I guess.
 

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Ok, maybe the last videos of the season from me.

It got up to the low 70s in my neck of the woods, and a couple of counties south of me, today. The forecast for the next week or so shows highs of about 60, and rain. And the days are getting mighty short. And pretty soon it'll start snowing.

So, here are two short chunks of my ride today. I did about 170 miles, and filled up the tank with nothing but non-ethanol high-test the last few times, and topped it off that way four miles from home. That is, I think the odds are good that I'll be calling it a season now.


Thanks again for the videos!! Your time in putting these together and posting them is much appreciated.
Spending a month riding the northeast in the fall is a bucket list item for me.
I lived for a couple years in Connecticut when I was young and this brings back a lot of nice memories. I spent as much time as I could adventuring around the area on foot and handed down bicycles.
 

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Ok, maybe the last videos of the season from me.

It got up to the low 70s in my neck of the woods, and a couple of counties south of me, today. The forecast for the next week or so shows highs of about 60, and rain. And the days are getting mighty short. And pretty soon it'll start snowing.

So, here are two short chunks of my ride today. I did about 170 miles, and filled up the tank with nothing but non-ethanol high-test the last few times, and topped it off that way four miles from home. That is, I think the odds are good that I'll be calling it a season now.
You have some beautiful bike roads up there. We have some pretty fair roads. But the problem is gravel. We get plenty of snow, and they really lay down the gravel. The only time I spilled my bike was on a gravel patch. It was 10 or 12 years ago, but gravel still gives me the heebie-jeebies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #187 · (Edited)
Veteran's Day and there be free meals to be found. So took off on the AK 550 in search of food offers.
Stopped in the parking lot of Texas Roadhouse to pick up a coupon for a complementary meal when they are open (not open when they were handing the coupons out). That one's good until Memorial Day.
Ordered a free combo meal at Taco John's using the phone app and picked that up while riding around.
The ride ended up being 20 miles taking the long way around town.

Tonight will go out with my wife to Applebees for one free dinner and a coupon for $5 off the next time we go. But this trip will be on 4 wheels since the temps are too low for her and, besides, she hasn't been on the passenger seat of any of my bikes for over 10 years now (her choice).
 
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Discussion Starter · #188 ·
Ordered a Christmas gift from Walmart for one of the grand kids and needed to pick it up using their Curbside Pickup so decided I'd ride the AK to do so. Another 12 mile trip turned in to a 32.5 mile ride. I really like the sweet growl this bike has. Especially when starting up from a stop light. There are some who say scooters have a rubber band feel to them due to the slight lag between throttle input and rear wheel output. But this AK is set up so tight it is really hard to feel any lag at all. I twist and this thing jumps across the intersection without any hesitation or lag. Very fast acceleration. Did a right turn onto a faster highway from a side street while the cross traffic had the green light. It was a break in the traffic but more coming along at 55+ mph. I could feel the rear end starting to slide a little and almost burned rubber while turning onto the road. I was up to 55+ mph in no time flat. In fact the truck that crossed just before I took off ended up only maybe 25-30 meters (around 85-95 ft) ahead of me and it was not going slow.
Hit a lot of compression bumps on some of the roads and the front forks really do soften those up very nicely. No jarring. Just a much softer ride over them than I've been used to. I don't remember that my Gold Wing did any better. Temps getting into the low 30s F and I could tell even more during this ride that the fairing was doing very well at protecting my legs from the cool breeze. It really matters how much wind and what direction it's coming from so I am now thinking the protection on the AK is on par with the Burgman 650.
 

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Discussion Starter · #189 · (Edited)
At my wife's request, and since she new I wanted to tack on another 100 miles before I do the first (600 mile) oil change service on the AK 550, I went for a ride today down to Pella, IA. It's a Dutch community known for the Jaarsma Bakery where you can get many really yummy Dutch baked goods including some of the best Dutch Letters in the area. Sun was out and very few clouds. Air was crisp and clear. Temps were around the mid 40s F. Ended up getting 4 Dutch Letters, 2 Dutch Almond Sticks, and a Dutch Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Due to the temps I knew the mpg would be less than I like but that's the way it is when the temps go down. The trip down was about 55 miles and the trip back was about 59 miles for a total of 114 miles there and back. That puts the odometer on the AK right at 608 miles. Just in time to do the oil/filter change tomorrow when the temps are supposed to be in the mid 60s F. It's the last time I am expecting such nice temps to work on the bike for the next 4 months so really wanted to get that service done. Next service after this one will be at 3000 miles on the odometer so will likely be doing that sometime around June. The ave mpg display was showing around 65.3 mpg but that is proving to be very optomistic. The gas gauge dropped to 2 bars at around 102 miles. Then it dropped to the last red bar that started flashing at 123 miles. I was already on my way back and just knew that since we don't get the Euro 5 version of the AK over here the tank just had to still be the 15 L (3.9 gal) and so far during the time I've been riding the AK I knew I could go a lot farther even with the last red bar flashing. I finally stopped to get gas with 142.3 miles on this tank and filled up with 3.004 gallons. I had a whole .9 gallons to go to empty. The Euro 5 version shrank the tank to 12.5 L (3.3 gallons) so I still had plenty of gas to go. To be honest I was sort of wondering if that tank really was 3.9 gallon capacity and also really wondering if my AK was going to start sputtering before I got to the gas station. Still getting used to this bike. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. With lower temps dropping the mpg below where I'd prefer I ended up with 47.3 mpg on that tank. And that was also about 90% at 65+ mph. So much for the displayed 65+ mpg. My Burgman would always display LESS than actual mpg on the display. This AK is the opposite showing WAY MORE than actual mpg. As long as it is more consistent... which is something I have yet to determine.

I did try using the Noodoe navigation with different settings coming back than I used going down. Noodoe navigation is proving to just not be up to par as a navigation tool to rely on. It keeps attempting to route me onto roads that should not have anything to do with either getting there faster or on a shorter route. And the really big kicker that showed up today was that the navigation attempted to route me on city streets to get to the highway that ran around the perimeter of the metro area instead of the faster, and also shorter route of taking the beltway through town. The moment I merged onto the beltway the navigation stopped trying to recalculate and redirect me but instead simply gave up and posted a message that it could no longer route me to my destination!!! REALLY! There are dozens of alternate routes that would take me 55+ miles several towns out. County, state and other local roads abound to follow to the destination I had plugged in with no way points in between. But the navigation just gave up and quit. On the way back it still refused to keep me on the shortest and fastest route trying in stead to have me take any of a dozen gravel roads that lead me way far from either being fast or short paths going home. It did finally pickup on the main city street I had to take to get to the beltway again but wanted me to stay off the beltway and navigate on city streets parallel to it. After I entered the beltway anyway it again gave up and quit. I guess that means a Christmas present will be added to my wish list of a bracket from AliExpress for mounting my phone on the top center of the dash. There is one bracket sold by a few places that is specifically made for the AK 550 that mounts using the existing windshield bolt holes. I'll also be adding a Eastern Beaver 3CS 3 position fuse block just like I had on my Burgman and my CTX1300 before that. I like that fuse block and it provides all the fused aux circuits I need.

Oh, almost forgot. I actually took a few pics on this trip!
The city center park across from the bakery.
Wheel Tire Sky Vehicle Car

The Jaarsma Bakery. They bought the store next door with the green front and now have a line that forms going in that door and exiting their original door.
Sky Wheel Tire Car Building

The big wind mill just a block down the street. It is still a working wind mill and the blades were turning today.
Wheel Tire Sky Car Vehicle
 

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Well, I'm used to it, been living in this area for most of the last 70 years or so.

And I guess I've always been spoiled, or a wuss, or both. When I was gainfully employed, my rule for riding to and from work was 50°F and rain not in the forecast. For retirement goof-off day trips, it's about 15 degrees higher.

And what I really dislike is the toxic nature of the roads around here in the winter. I mean: salt, slush, sand, more salt, and even brine (of unknown origin) the last few years. So even if it's a really warm day in January, I'll pass -- I just don't want unknown crud coating the bike (I'm talking about wheels, and bearings, and the frame, and suchlike, as I couldn't care less about the tupperware).

So my rule for spring reawakening is:
  • Warmer weather.
  • A good rainstorm.
  • A second good rainstorm, on a different day, with no snow or anti-snow road applications in between.
Luckily, my wife and I tend to break up the winter months with a vacation (typically, but not always, a cruise) to warmer climes in the middle of all that.

Other than that, those four or five months without a ride just build character, I guess.
Same here. I won’t ride in the spring till I’m convinced enough rain had washed all the salt off.Little bit colder climate here than where you’re at, but I haven’t put it away yet. Rode 70 miles yesterday, was pretty chilled in my knees. Used my snowmobile gloves. Looks like some possible snow next week. Might have to put it up.
 

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Its been between 50 and 60 F the last few days as we are having weather coming off Hawaii called the 'Pineapple Express'. It brings warm air but very wet with high winds Gusts up in the 50-60 MPH range.
Again tree branches are coming down all over so no two wheel riding. Power is on but popping out so often for a minute or so.
I'll ride in almost any weather but raining tree branches I tend not to. They hurt a lot. In the last week we have had 4 people killed when a tree crashed down on the two cars a couple days apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #192 ·
You mean you can't just ride between the falling ... tree branches?
 

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The other thing regarding this time of year — not quite over yet — are wet leaves on the roads. About as slippery as ice.
 

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Its been between 50 and 60 F the last few days as we are having weather coming off Hawaii called the 'Pineapple Express'. It brings warm air but very wet with high winds Gusts up in the 50-60 MPH range.
Again tree branches are coming down all over so no two wheel riding. Power is on but popping out so often for a minute or so.
I'll ride in almost any weather but raining tree branches I tend not to. They hurt a lot. In the last week we have had 4 people killed when a tree crashed down on the two cars a couple days apart.
Things not improving much? Thought about your above post when I just read this...

 

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These storms do not stop at country borders. BC Canada is only 2.5 hours drive and the northern Washington state along with much of BC got hit much worse.

Today was calmer, light rain at times but 40 to 46 F
 
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Discussion Starter · #197 ·
Went on a twilight ride tonight. 46 miles around the area. About a third of the way along the sun set and the LED lights really started to reveal their power. Did I say I really like LED headlights?
I keep trying out the Noodoe navigation. This time it was better but still not as good as I think it should be. I set a lot of way points for this trip to see if I could get it to route in a more predictable manner. Most of the way around it was working fine. But for the first way point there was a gravel road that cut across from the street I was going down over to the street where the way point was located. The best and fastest route to that way point was NOT taking the gravel road. And especially since once I came to that way point I would have had to do a U-turn to head on along the street in the right direction IF I had followed the Noodoe routing on that gravel road. When I continued on past the gravel road to take the better paved road Noodoe did recalculate... and then once I arrived at the way point Noodoe tried to get me to do a U-turn anyway and then another U-turn to continue in the right direction! After I past the other end of that gravel road Noodoe did recalculate and the rest of the trip was routed as it should be. Thanks to all the way points. I think I figured out that if the way point is placed on the wrong side of the road Noodoe tries to get me to approach it going the direction of that side of the road and then turns me around. If that first way point was on the left side of the road (for USA roads) the routing might have been good all the way around.

In the second small town I came to I took a short detour around a few city blocks on some bumpy brick roads just to feel the suspension at work again and also to go past a time/temp sign to see what that was telling me. Temp did get down to 34 F on the way around. Those bumpy brick roads would cause some jarring and jolts with my Burgman 650 as well as a few other bikes I've taken down those same roads. The AK handled them better than any. I didn't feel any jarring or jolts even though I could tell there were bumps over the uneven bricks. Was a very good test of the suspension on the AK. I think it's the bike with the best suspension I've owned yet even counting my Gold Wing.

While riding at 34 F temps I could tell that I definitely need to put some handlebar muffs on the bike to aid the heated grips. I didn't have the heat turn on more than the second setting but my palms were warm but my finger tips were still frigid, on one hand anyway. I could have turn up the heat one more setting but at 34 F I wasn't anywhere close to how cold I'm used to be able to ride. I need warm hands at zero F or even below. My heated gloves did that for me. I could add the heated gloves system on this AK but I think I'm going for the muffs first to try those and see if they will enable the heated grips to work for me a lot colder than barely freezing temps.

While I was at it I realized I could test out the accuracy of the speedometer on one of the roads... legally. Speed limit was 65 so I slowed to 60 indicated and switched to my clock on the Noodoe display. I noted where the second hand was while passing a mile marker and then when I passed the next mile marker. 60 indicated mph was definitely lower than actual mph. But not by as much as I was expecting. I attempted to do the same while bumping the indicated speed up to 63 but road conditions and traffic made it difficult to hold steady at that speed. But it was close. If my suspicions are right I am thinking this speedometer is not as far off as my Burgman 650 or ST1100 speedos were. Those were about 10% off, optimistically. On those bikes around 66 indicated mph was actual 60 mph. On the AK I still need to verify what I was coming up with but it seems to be about the same offset as both my cars... about 5% or 6% off. It seemed to be real close to 60 mph actual while I was showing around 63 indicated mph. I like to know what my gauges are showing me. I really don't care if they are different than actual as long as I know what they are showing me. I'll be trying that test a few more times. It's easier to determine where I can run at 60 mph since one mile SHOULD be one minute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #198 ·
Yep, another nice day for a ride... again.
Rode up to my son's house to help hang Christmas lights on his house and set up the inflatable Christmas figures in his yard. Better in his than mine IMO. I'm not into climbing up ladders so much for hanging lights any more. Top of the ladder and leaning way out from the top to reach the gutters to clip on the lights. And with 15 mph steady winds and some gusts on top of that! o_O

Anyway, the ride was really nice. No need for the heated grips this trip as temps were in upper 40s F all the way around. 44 miles round trip.

While I was riding I was thinking that I could run the cable for my heated gloves controller through the cable hole in the handlebar cover and down and into the right glove box through the hole for the Battery Tender pigtail. I had already installed the SAE connector to the heated gloves cable end so will just plug it in there without the need to flex the glove box door or punch a hole anywhere. I am considering this a temporary solution until after Christmas when I am hoping to try out handlebar muffs that I just might get this Christmas, maybe, with the heated grips to see if that will be all I need for the cold temps I ride in.
 
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I have a set of 'Hippo-Hands' and theywork well with heated grips but, they are a No-Go on the Burgman 650 due to blocking the mirrors.
 
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Discussion Starter · #200 ·
I have a set of 'Hippo-Hands' and theywork well with heated grips but, they are a No-Go on the Burgman 650 due to blocking the mirrors.
That's a BIG reason I gave up on them with my 2005 Burgman 650. That was when I first tried Hippo Hands but I didn't have heated grips on that bike. With the AK the mirrors are up high on stalks and there is nothing that handlebar muffs/Hippo Hands would block... other than the wind. And with the heated grips I now have I thought I'd give them another try. Did I say I put them on my Christmas list? :giggle:
 
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