This weekend I was able to get away for my first multi-day road trip of 2016. And, on top of that it was my first trip away on the KTM. AND on top of that, my first ride out with the Kriega bag that I bought over the winter. And you know what? On top of that… it kicked ass all the way around; everything down to the weather.
My trip was out to central Pennsylvania to a town called Newport. My first day planned route had me in the saddle for over 300 miles. For me to get off of Long Island and in to New Jersey, I’m committed to at least an hour of slab. Having Manhattan between me and everywhere else I want to be is sometimes a mental challenge.
Can’t lie – before leaving, I questioned whether sitting on the 690 for that length of time would be a miserable experience. Though I’ve got a Seat Concepts saddle which makes things worlds better than the KTM gel seat that was on there before, it isn’t perfect. The other thing I wasn’t so sure about was whether I would feel fatigued from battling the wind. Granted I toured around on a Speed Triple for a few years, but the 690 is a different ball game.
I don’t know if it was the general excitement of being free in the world or what, but I left home at 0’dark-thirty and just chugged along effortlessly on the slab until it was time to start the backroad leg of my ride. Any worries that I’d had about my butt cheeks or anything else fluttered away in my wake.
While I was riding along, I could see my license plate flapping in my shadow. Finding a parking lot (conveniently decorated with a sweet mural) I pulled over to secure it. The plate would inevitably break, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose it altogether. I quickly jury-rigged the plate on all corners and got back on the road.
The sun was out, the sky was blue and I still had hundreds of miles to soak up and things to see.