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After purchasing my '07 VFR two years ago, I have slowly been adding bits to make it more touring friendly. Why do we buy a bike, spend months and thousands of dollars to make it just the way we want it, only to sell it and start over? There has to be a name for this medical condition! As posted in other threads, I'm about to set out on a 4500 mile round trip to follow the Mississippi River from beginning to end so I thought I would share some of my mods to make my 6th gen more tour-friendly.

I started out with some nice thick foam grips. I don't need risers but something a little easier to hang on to helps. The stock grips are rock hard and so narrow that my hands get tired holding something so small. Next came a nice Givi Tanklock tank bag. I prefer this over magnetic because there is NO contact with paint and it comes off with the pull of a lever. Next was the Leo Vince exhaust system. This is much lighter than the stock anvil system and has a nice adjustable note to it. I then chose the ST shield from Zero Gravity for better protection from the elements. The bigger the better for long hauls! I also found a Givi trunk and rack system on my local craigslist for less than the cost of just the rack new. To top it off, the seller delivered the items to me! Over the past week, I added some new Michelin Road 2s since they are bargain basement priced now and I'll likely flat spot them on my upcoming ride. No need to buy the latest most expensive tires to roast on a cross country trip. We ARE planning to stick to two lane county roads most of the time. And today, I received my Nelson Rigg saddle bags that I found dirt cheap on Amazon.com. I also purchased a digital voltage meter to keep an eye on things. I velcro-mounted it to the front side of my ignition box just low enough that it clears the bottom edge of the instrument panel. Being mounted down low also helps with visibility rather than having it up high in the sunlight. The last thing I did tonight was to re-mount the Monster fender that comes stock after I removed my Competition Werks fender eliminator. Without it, the rear tire is constantly slinging water/mud/debris onto the rear tail light and trunk. I could do w/o that for my cross country run. Aside from packing, The bike is much more road worthy for the long haul runs and can be easily reverted to sport mode.

Ready for new shoes!

Who doesn

Long Haul Ready

Does this make my butt look big?

New ebay voltage meter

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Sounds like some good touring improvements. I would just say, your bike would look SOOOOO good with the Givi panniers and side bags vs. the Nelson Rigg.......just saying :)

Also, if you don't have one already I highly recommend a Throttlemeister, Kaoko or similar throttle lock. If there is one thing I am so glad I have on long trips, its my throttlemeister!

Other things to bring, compressor, plug kit, battery charger. A few powerlets would be good. One constant that you can charge from, and one switched that you can plug things into like your GPS.

Do you have a GPS? In many cases a smart phone will do. By far some of the best mounts are RAM Mounts. You can buy a mount that uses the front tank screws, its perfect! Another option is using the steering stem, however I like to put a Powerlet there so I use the tank bolts for the RAM Mount. Brake reservoir is also a spot you can use a RAM mount.

Keep an eye on the electrics. I realize you have a meter, but having a spare RR is not a bad idea, especially if your running the stocker. Buy a Ricks Motorsport one, its better than stock and you'll have it when you need it.

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What to put INTO the bags gets into a whole separate thread from the mods to the bike itself!

http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php/topic/79033-long-distance-touring-tips/

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As many of us luv pix, here's a couple of my setup from a recent short trip (AL - NC & back):

post-15176-0-02470600-1409238864.jpg

and:

post-15176-0-48525500-1409238890.jpg

She's set up for trips in a similar fashion to yours, just different equipment. Ortlieb waterproof roll-top bags, tank bag that clips on to ring mounted to tank, RAM mounts to carry Garmin & V1, LED volt. mon., Spider grips w/ cramp buster, beaded seat (works very well to keep butt cool, gotta be careful when going to hang off :biggrin: ), 'safe-pak' that allows me to put helmet & small removable items in it & lock to bike, MRA screen with deflector, upgraded mosfet R/R, heli-bars, and sundry ...

Enjoy your ride :cool: ...

ACE

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Personally, I'd trade the Leo Vince for an aftermarket seat on a trip like that. :smile:

Looks like your set for an adventure though...I'm a little jealous.

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Carlgustav, with the V1 do you use any special audio/visual remotes to allow you to see/hear whats going on with it, or can you hear it just fine with the volume turned all the way up?

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I think I have those same Nelson Riggs bags, bought them last year about this time before the Sierra ride we took in September. Mine have a cut out for their solar charger which I bought as well, didn't seem to work as well as I was hoping so I ended up putting in a PowerLet outlet in the steering stem. I bought a new set of MotoCentric bags a few weeks ago as they are slightly different size and shape, gonna try these out this next trip. Can't find the pics I took of those, so you'll just have to believe me. :smile:

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The Givi V35 Side Bags with V46 Top Case are perfect for our bike. I recommend the PLXR panniers as they have quick release. All of this is waterproof and secure. Every now and then you will see Twisted Throttle or others with some of these items on clearance/scratch and dent because someone made a return. They have color matched panels, or paint ready panels you can buy and have painted.

My wife has a Yamaha FZ6R in "Bluish Cocktail White", and I ordered her a full setup and having the panels painted this week.

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Carlgustav, with the V1 do you use any special audio/visual remotes to allow you to see/hear whats going on with it, or can you hear it just fine with the volume turned all the way up?

I have the Valentine module that 'remotes' the speaker via cable to ear buds. However, this is not ideal as the wiring is a pain to deal with. Also, with additional headphones in the helmet for bluetooth to SENA, the whole set up is just messy (for lack of a better term). Now, if Valentine has a bluetooth module that can connect to the SENA, or thru my phone to the SENA, then that would be a better setup. Even with the V1 display in my peripheral vision, and the units' speaker volume (not fed to the ear bud) all the way up, I'm still likely to miss an alert until too late ...

ACE

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Hey Mailman, I live in Minneapolis (actually Richfield, a first ring suburb south of Minneapolis). I'm offering any support I can early in your trip. I'm about 225 miles south of Itasca State Park, where I assume you'll start. If interested or necessary, PM me and I'll give you my address and phone number.

Max

Oh! You probably do not need to be told but DO watch out for the hooved forest rats. They're nearly as thick as the insects. And they hunt VFRs. :sad2:

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Hey Mailman, I live in Minneapolis (actually Richfield, a first ring suburb south of Minneapolis). I'm offering any support I can early in your trip. I'm about 225 miles south of Itasca State Park, where I assume you'll start. If interested or necessary, PM me and I'll give you my address and phone number.

Max

Oh! You probably do not need to be told but DO watch out for the hooved forest rats. They're nearly as thick as the insects. And they hunt VFRs. :sad2:

MaxSwell, I'm not coming near you! I know how you draw the critters! j/k I DO appreciate the offer! I have a sister-in-law in Andover on the north side of the cities and a nephew in Apple Valley as rescue points should something go awry but I will keep you in mind if something goes down. Deer are really the only real worry I have since we will be following the 2300 miles of river, that definitely ups the chances of an encounter. The critters love to be near water. If I could eliminate just ONE problem be it mechanical issues/ bad weather/deer/poking myself in the eye with a stick, I would eradicate all of the deer within 20 miles of the river.

First three nights itinerary from Colorado...A friend's home in Le Mars Iowa, Bemiji MN area, La Crosse or maybe Prairie Du Chien WI. as the sunset allows. Coming south out of Grand Rapids, we plan on skipping the metro area and will cut off of 169 @ Princeton, travel through Cambridge and wiggle down to Taylor's Falls and pick up the river again to the south. I can drive blindfolded from Andover through T.F./St. Croix Falls over to Rice Lake, WI on 8. (Mother-in-law lives there)

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Carlgustav, with the V1 do you use any special audio/visual remotes to allow you to see/hear whats going on with it, or can you hear it just fine with the volume turned all the way up?

I have the Valentine module that 'remotes' the speaker via cable to ear buds. However, this is not ideal as the wiring is a pain to deal with. Also, with additional headphones in the helmet for bluetooth to SENA, the whole set up is just messy (for lack of a better term). Now, if Valentine has a bluetooth module that can connect to the SENA, or thru my phone to the SENA, then that would be a better setup. Even with the V1 display in my peripheral vision, and the units' speaker volume (not fed to the ear bud) all the way up, I'm still likely to miss an alert until too late ...

ACE

It wouldn't necessarily need to be Valentine specific. If the adapter your using outputs a normal audio port (head phone jack), then you can buy a basic bluetooth "audio transmitter", which uses A2DP, and it should pair with your headset. You can plug anything into it and it should stream the audio. These things are typically $20 or so, check amazon or ebay for bluetooth audio transmitter.

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IRT Bluetooth transmitter I bought one from monoprice.com and it works with my Cardo G9x system. I use it with my Radar detector. I pair that along with my phone, the RD uses the aux and the phone uses the phone link which has priority, at least at the moment.

Link: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=108&cp_id=10823&cs_id=1082703&p_id=9722&seq=1&format=2

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IRT Bluetooth transmitter I bought one from monoprice.com and it works with my Cardo G9x system. I use it with my Radar detector. I pair that along with my phone, the RD uses the aux and the phone uses the phone link which has priority, at least at the moment.

Link: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=108&cp_id=10823&cs_id=1082703&p_id=9722&seq=1&format=2

that's awesome, I just bought it!

Along with RAM Mount RAP-300-1U, RAM-B-201U-A and RAM-B-202U.........all of that with my ram mount brake reservoir setup should allow my Passport S3 to work great on my bike with my uClear

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