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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I did some riding over the weekend. 150 miles with a friend on (most of) a favorite route closer to home, and 350 miles yesterday hitting some good twisties in southeast Ohio.

Saturday's ride was good, but interrupted by a road closure, cutting down the number of curves we could ride, but we still had a good time. My riding buddy that day is a friend and fellow musician I've not seen since the pandemic started and all our gigs were canceled. It was great to see him and talk during our breaks. He was on a newer Honda Goldwing "Bagger" he bought a couple months ago. Great looking bike, by the way, especially in red like his.

Yesterday was a solo ride, and a pretty good one. I normally go down and ride the twisty backroads of SE Ohio a few times per year. It takes a couple hours to get to the fun roads, mostly state highways, but very rural. Some of the roads are in poor condition, and you always have to watch for gravel, dirt, dead critters, etc., but if you exercise some caution and a little self-restraint, it's a good time. While many of us love riding really challenging roads like Tail of the Dragon, The Snake, etc., the roads in SE Ohio are not as technical (i.e. switchbacks, sudden elevation changes, etc.). But these roads are just as hard due to the road surfaces, oncoming trucks, and the occasional farm animal who has wandered onto the road. Some of this region has Amish population, too, so you also have to look out for horse droppings.

This trip down was my first on my 2020 R9T Pure, which I bought last fall. I've been craving a SE Ohio ride since the weather started improving this spring. Before I left home I finished packing the 'emergency kit' I've been assembling for my newish bike the last couple weeks. I also packed a couple turkey sandwiches, trying to avoid bad convenience store fare. I left at 7:30 am, with the air still kind of chilly at highway speeds, but thankfully I was wearing a couple layers.

I rode to OH Route 800 South in Canton, and took it all the way to the Ohio River, where the road dead-ends into OH Route 7. 800 has some nice curves, but the best part is the last few miles before it ends at OH 7. From there I took OH 7 North to OH 255 West, which ends at 800. 255 has some great curves, but much of the road is in only poor to fair condition. Still, it's worth riding. I then took 800 north to Woodsfield, then OH Route 78 West to I-77, where I stopped for lunch and gas. OH 78 east of I-77 is quite boring. There's some decent scenery, but it can lull you almost to sleep. 78 west of I-77 is a terrific road - not really technical, but flowing and fun for many miles.

From where I stopped in Caldwell, OH, I started heading north. I missed a sign and a turn on OH 285 North, lengthening my day as I ended up on OH 313 and had to ride halfway around Senecaville Lake, but that ended up being a good thing. The route around the lake has some really nice views of the lake, but even better, my missed turn led to me finding OH Route 513, which was a fun road I'd never ridden before. I took that to US 22 East, to 800 North, and then US 250 West to I-77 North. I had planned to take 800 all the back to Canton, but by this point I was already kind of tired, my knees were getting sore, and I had to make time to get home by 5, as I needed to shower, dress, and drive up to Cleveland for a band rehearsal. As I approached home I saw I was close to 350 miles, so I went out of my way a mile or two to get to that nice round number.

Sorry, no photos. The point of rides like this is the riding. There is some decent scenery in the countryside, but nothing remarkable in my opinion. Anyway, I'm usually too busy trying to get in all my favorite roads down there to stop and take pictures, plus yesterday I had limited time, so I didn't even get to a couple roads I usually try to hit.

The bike performed flawlessly. It was interesting trying riding in different gears and rpms at times around some of the curves. In really good twisties I tend to run higher rpms in lower gears, modulating the throttle to adjust speed and using engine braking instead of the actual brakes. Unfortunately (and as we all know) the bike gets very buzzy at high revs in lower gears, but it's fine. Kind of fun really. But I also experimented with riding some curves in 3rd or 4th gear, with the engine more "loping" than frantic. The bike felt smooth in those situations, but you have to be very smooth with the small throttle inputs in higher gears in the twisties, using or feathering the clutch more to avoid abrupt throttle openings. In my opinion, it's better to run lower gears and higher revs in tight curves.

Some good news from the ride yesterday:
  • I wondered how my posterior would fare with the Sargent seat I added last fall. This was my first long day with that new saddle, and it was fine. Actually, I think it was better than expected. My rear end got a little sore, but not because of the seat, but from sitting that many hours. I moved fore and aft once in a while, and more often as the hours and miles progressed, and that helped. As I posted on the Sargent thread on the forum, I'll probably still add an AirHawk or something similar for long trips, but I'm glad I can do most long days comfortably.
  • While my knees still begin to hurt after a few hundred miles, even with the lower footpegs than my old VFR had, my neck was fine. The last couple years, during long rides and tours, my neck got sore from holding my head up, constantly "looking up" from the sportier, more forward-leaning upper body riding position on the VFR. My back was always fine, but the neck wasn't good after hours on the bike. I'm thankful for the more relaxed but still sporty enough ergonomics of the R9T.
  • I've gotten used to the wind blast of a naked bike. Cruising at 70-75 mph on I-77 yesterday was pretty easy and mostly comfortable. I did lean forward a little, which helps. But the wind does become an issue at 80 mph - and maybe 70-75 with a headwind. I won't normally cruise that fast on the interstate, but it's good to know I can maintain 70-75 when necessary without making much effort or feeling too much fatigue.
  • I've also gotten used to 6th gear being a little shorter than I'd like. I've said before I wish 6th gear were more of an overdrive gear, better suited for long stretches on the interstate at lower rpms than it actually is. But as I've changed my shifting patterns for the different engine and gear ratios, I've become much more comfortable with it. Now 60 mph in 6th gear on a rural highway it feels like the engine is just thrumming along easily and quite happily. 70-75 mph on the interstate is a little buzzier, but it doesn't feel like the engine is running as hard now as when I first got the bike and was unhappy with the shorter 6th gear.
  • Lastly, it was nice getting home after a long ride and not having to immediately put the bike on a centerstand and whip out a can of chain wax to lube the chain while it was still warm, before even taking off my riding gear. Hooray for shaft drive!
If all goes according to plan, I'll be setting out for North Carolina in a couple weeks. As I said above, I've really wanted to do a SE Ohio day this spring, but it was also kind of a dry run for the trip I have planned for later this month. Yesterday was a good test to see how the bike will be for long days on multiple-day trips, and at the moment I'm pretty encouraged!
 

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Hey Tim, you were almost in my old stomping grounds. Did grad school at Ohio University in Athens with my 1989 Honda CB-1. Some absolutely beautiful riding in SE Ohio.

Had to put a Mustang seat on my R9T Pure after a quick 200 mile jaunt let me know the stock seat wasn't going to cut it. Need to get into better physical fitness shape before my next long ride, too much chair time during this pandemic.

Whereabouts you heading in North Carolina?

Best,
-Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Tim, you were almost in my old stomping grounds. Did grad school at Ohio University in Athens with my 1989 Honda CB-1. Some absolutely beautiful riding in SE Ohio.

Had to put a Mustang seat on my R9T Pure after a quick 200 mile jaunt let me know the stock seat wasn't going to cut it. Need to get into better physical fitness shape before my next long ride, too much chair time during this pandemic.

Whereabouts you heading in North Carolina?

Best,
-Tim
Definitely some fun but slightly treacherous roads in that region!

I'm heading to Franklin, NC. The VFR forum I've been on since I bought that bike has an annual ride based there that week. Folks break into smaller groups depending on the planned pace, route, and how many miles they want to ride. The event isn't as big as it used to be, and I sold my VFR last fall, but it's all good. I haven't made my hotel reservation yet, but I am still planning to go at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Will they let you ride with them if you no longer have a VFR? :oops:
Lol, they won't care. Maybe only half the folks there will actually be on VFRs.

That reminds of this story: I was a member on the old bulletin board style Sab/Mag forum for a short time. (Honda V4 Sabre and Magna models.) I got on there through a mutual friend who had owned one. I attended one of that group's rides maybe 10 years ago. By that point the members' bikes were so old with so many miles that very few folks were willing to trust them for trips, so almost everyone showed up on other, newer machines. :LOL:

The VFRs have held up better, made for better sport-touring machines in the first place, and there will probably be a few or several at the event. But many former VFR owners still visit that particular forum, and still show up for rides organized on the forum with other bikes.
 

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Yes. I agree. Riding in twisty roads with very closer bends better use same gear as possible (3/4) and only use throttle/engine retention. No brakes. No clutch. Like "Scooter" only turn softly on/off throttle.

Next time try to listen "Red Baron (Manfred Von Richthofen) plane sound". Available in Pure/UGS. Mantein throttle just a little without revs up. Constant while riding in flat road . Reach and mantein 38miles/h at 5° gear or 50miles/h at 6° (same sound). Lean your left ear a bit over exahust and listen carefully...Red baron plane appears ready to attack...

Ninet sounds this way...

 

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I was a member on the old bulletin board style Sab/Mag forum for a short time. (Honda V4 Sabre and Magna models.) I got on there through a mutual friend who had owned one. I attended one of that group's rides maybe 10 years ago. By that point the members' bikes were so old with so many miles that very few folks were willing to trust them for trips, so almost everyone showed up on other, newer machines. :LOL:
OMG, I had forgotten about those Sabre-Magna bikes. A guy I worked with had one of those back in 1989, and it seemed like an old bike even then. I love the design of Honda's V4, but never thought much of the San/Mag line of bikes.

Best,
-Tim
 

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I did some riding over the weekend. 150 miles with a friend on (most of) a favorite route closer to home, and 350 miles yesterday hitting some good twisties in southeast Ohio.

Saturday's ride was good, but interrupted by a road closure, cutting down the number of curves we could ride, but we still had a good time. My riding buddy that day is a friend and fellow musician I've not seen since the pandemic started and all our gigs were canceled. It was great to see him and talk during our breaks. He was on a newer Honda Goldwing "Bagger" he bought a couple months ago. Great looking bike, by the way, especially in red like his.

Yesterday was a solo ride, and a pretty good one. I normally go down and ride the twisty backroads of SE Ohio a few times per year. It takes a couple hours to get to the fun roads, mostly state highways, but very rural. Some of the roads are in poor condition, and you always have to watch for gravel, dirt, dead critters, etc., but if you exercise some caution and a little self-restraint, it's a good time. While many of us love riding really challenging roads like Tail of the Dragon, The Snake, etc., the roads in SE Ohio are not as technical (i.e. switchbacks, sudden elevation changes, etc.). But these roads are just as hard due to the road surfaces, oncoming trucks, and the occasional farm animal who has wandered onto the road. Some of this region has Amish population, too, so you also have to look out for horse droppings.

This trip down was my first on my 2020 R9T Pure, which I bought last fall. I've been craving a SE Ohio ride since the weather started improving this spring. Before I left home I finished packing the 'emergency kit' I've been assembling for my newish bike the last couple weeks. I also packed a couple turkey sandwiches, trying to avoid bad convenience store fare. I left at 7:30 am, with the air still kind of chilly at highway speeds, but thankfully I was wearing a couple layers.

I rode to OH Route 800 South in Canton, and took it all the way to the Ohio River, where the road dead-ends into OH Route 7. 800 has some nice curves, but the best part is the last few miles before it ends at OH 7. From there I took OH 7 North to OH 255 West, which ends at 800. 255 has some great curves, but much of the road is in only poor to fair condition. Still, it's worth riding. I then took 800 north to Woodsfield, then OH Route 78 West to I-77, where I stopped for lunch and gas. OH 78 east of I-77 is quite boring. There's some decent scenery, but it can lull you almost to sleep. 78 west of I-77 is a terrific road - not really technical, but flowing and fun for many miles.

From where I stopped in Caldwell, OH, I started heading north. I missed a sign and a turn on OH 285 North, lengthening my day as I ended up on OH 313 and had to ride halfway around Senecaville Lake, but that ended up being a good thing. The route around the lake has some really nice views of the lake, but even better, my missed turn led to me finding OH Route 513, which was a fun road I'd never ridden before. I took that to US 22 East, to 800 North, and then US 250 West to I-77 North. I had planned to take 800 all the back to Canton, but by this point I was already kind of tired, my knees were getting sore, and I had to make time to get home by 5, as I needed to shower, dress, and drive up to Cleveland for a band rehearsal. As I approached home I saw I was close to 350 miles, so I went out of my way a mile or two to get to that nice round number.

Sorry, no photos. The point of rides like this is the riding. There is some decent scenery in the countryside, but nothing remarkable in my opinion. Anyway, I'm usually too busy trying to get in all my favorite roads down there to stop and take pictures, plus yesterday I had limited time, so I didn't even get to a couple roads I usually try to hit.

The bike performed flawlessly. It was interesting trying riding in different gears and rpms at times around some of the curves. In really good twisties I tend to run higher rpms in lower gears, modulating the throttle to adjust speed and using engine braking instead of the actual brakes. Unfortunately (and as we all know) the bike gets very buzzy at high revs in lower gears, but it's fine. Kind of fun really. But I also experimented with riding some curves in 3rd or 4th gear, with the engine more "loping" than frantic. The bike felt smooth in those situations, but you have to be very smooth with the small throttle inputs in higher gears in the twisties, using or feathering the clutch more to avoid abrupt throttle openings. In my opinion, it's better to run lower gears and higher revs in tight curves.

Some good news from the ride yesterday:
  • I wondered how my posterior would fare with the Sargent seat I added last fall. This was my first long day with that new saddle, and it was fine. Actually, I think it was better than expected. My rear end got a little sore, but not because of the seat, but from sitting that many hours. I moved fore and aft once in a while, and more often as the hours and miles progressed, and that helped. As I posted on the Sargent thread on the forum, I'll probably still add an AirHawk or something similar for long trips, but I'm glad I can do most long days comfortably.
  • While my knees still begin to hurt after a few hundred miles, even with the lower footpegs than my old VFR had, my neck was fine. The last couple years, during long rides and tours, my neck got sore from holding my head up, constantly "looking up" from the sportier, more forward-leaning upper body riding position on the VFR. My back was always fine, but the neck wasn't good after hours on the bike. I'm thankful for the more relaxed but still sporty enough ergonomics of the R9T.
  • I've gotten used to the wind blast of a naked bike. Cruising at 70-75 mph on I-77 yesterday was pretty easy and mostly comfortable. I did lean forward a little, which helps. But the wind does become an issue at 80 mph - and maybe 70-75 with a headwind. I won't normally cruise that fast on the interstate, but it's good to know I can maintain 70-75 when necessary without making much effort or feeling too much fatigue.
  • I've also gotten used to 6th gear being a little shorter than I'd like. I've said before I wish 6th gear were more of an overdrive gear, better suited for long stretches on the interstate at lower rpms than it actually is. But as I've changed my shifting patterns for the different engine and gear ratios, I've become much more comfortable with it. Now 60 mph in 6th gear on a rural highway it feels like the engine is just thrumming along easily and quite happily. 70-75 mph on the interstate is a little buzzier, but it doesn't feel like the engine is running as hard now as when I first got the bike and was unhappy with the shorter 6th gear.
  • Lastly, it was nice getting home after a long ride and not having to immediately put the bike on a centerstand and whip out a can of chain wax to lube the chain while it was still warm, before even taking off my riding gear. Hooray for shaft drive!
If all goes according to plan, I'll be setting out for North Carolina in a couple weeks. As I said above, I've really wanted to do a SE Ohio day this spring, but it was also kind of a dry run for the trip I have planned for later this month. Yesterday was a good test to see how the bike will be for long days on multiple-day trips, and at the moment I'm pretty encouraged!
What a nice read! Keep it coming 👍🏼
 

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Hi Tim!

Sounds like a fun day! I used to live in upstate NY quite a while back and road an 88 Honda Hawk GT then. Southern California has its own unique challenges (mostly wacky drivers) but I do miss those quiet county rides. Glad to hear your feedback on the Sargent seat. I ordered a black pleated solo with red stitching. I haven't been able to ride my bike very far so I wasn't sure if it was any better than stock. It's not thicker but it is wider. I'm coming off a Ninja 1000 onto my new R nineT and it's definitely an adjustment but I love this bike. Ride safe brother!
 
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