1500 Mile American Southwest Tour
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I just returned from a most excellent motorcycle adventure through the American Southwest with my two wheeled comrades Bart Madson and Ray Gauger. And man what a trip—we saw so much cool stuff it’s hard to know where to begin!
During the course of our 3-day mission we logged almost 1500 miles aboard Honda’s reworked VFR1200F
. The funny thing about the VFR is that no one really knows if it is a sport or touring-type motorcycle. So to find out we brought along two other bikes that best embody each class. Representing the sportbike realm is one of the most iconic sportbikes of all-time Suzuki’s 186 mph Hayabusa
. To see how the VFR stacks up in the touring department we brought one of our favorite long-distance motorcycles, Kawasaki’s revamped Concours 14
We saw it all from the seats of these bikes. From the gorgeous pacific coast to the lush green pastures further inland. We carved up and down mountain landscapes before cutting through the sand dunes of Glamis. From there we headed east across the desert which is absolutely alive with vegetation courtesy of an extra wet rainy season. We also explored the snow packed mountains just outside of Tucson before returning home just to do it all over again.
Our route originated in Irvine, California and led us through some of Southern California and Arizona’s best roads. We kept freeway droning to a minimum instead focusing on curviest pavement we can find. Some of the best stretches of road were California’s County Highway S22. Arizona treated us to its freshly paved and bowling alley smooth stretched of road. Some of my favorites were Highway 188, just east of Scottsdale and Mt. Lemmon Highway just outside of Tucson.
So what’s the verdict? Is the VFR a sportbike or a touring machine? We’re in the process of deciphering our notes and analyzing the performance data in order to determine the bike’s true character. Stay tuned for the full report in the upcoming weeks.
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