2000 K1200LT Icon (get it?)
Left the Deep South of Vermont foggy, misty Sunday AM. 41 degrees F, toasty warm with Gerbings, stayed dry, but the road was wet and rivulets of water streamed up the CeeBailey windscreen. World's Greatest Pillion Rider (WGPR) drove a car and dropped it at BDL where I picked her up on the LT.
With WGPR aboard, headed west across NY and into PA on I-84. Overcast, but with dry roads, we covered interstate miles, counting deer carcasses all the way through PA. What a lot of road kill deer! At average 80, sure glad I had my deer whistle! I know it worked, didn't hit a single deer.
South on I-81, first night spent in Hazelton, PA, arriving just as the rain started. Still dry! Rain came during the night, in the AM we left Hazelton under low clouds and on wet roads into the AM rush, tractor trailers abound. We still managed to stay dry, and after some miles the sky started to clear, traffic thinned out, and we were again comfortably cruising rural PA interstate. First, a peek of sun through the clouds, then breaks of blue, and finally blue skies above.
Nice riding for interstate, until we ran into a long construction delay and then an overturned trailer blocking the entire road forcing all traffic to exit, somewhere along the Harrisburg beltway. https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/1...uphin_cou.html
Detouring from our original plan to get to Gettysburg battlefield, we traveled a route east of Gettysburg and headed straight for Front Royal and the northern entry to Skyline Drive. Now under mostly sunny skies, the only complaint was the 35mph Skyline Drive speed limit and all the park rangers checking. Nice ride, no problems; we saw flashing blue lights come instantly on in the oncoming lane the same instant my detector screeched, but lucky us, just a warning as the car with the blue lights didn't turn to follow us.
We found ourselves in Charlottesville for the night.
Day 3, picked up the Blue Ridge Parkway in Rockfish Gap. Best day yet! Early morning sun, low in the east, lit the yellow, orange, and green leaves of the parkway. Dry roads, sunny skies, and almost zero traffic. Temps still around 40 degrees F, but delightfully comfortable with Gerbings idling on low heat. For those who don't know the Blue Ridge, speed limit is 45 mph and with only a few cars and fewer rangers compared to Skyline Dr., it can be just a wonderful ride. And so it was. During summer vacation days, I'm sure the traffic is awful, but off season, midweek, you can have the Parkway all to yourself. A decent number of passing zones, and lot's of scenic pull-overs, cars tend to yield the road.
Dropping down off the Blue Ridge near Fancy Gap, we picked up I-77 and headed for Huntersville, NC. Great time getting together with Saddleman. Best dinnertime of the trip with those great folks. Got to tour Saddleman's shop. Impressive. Anyone who has Saddleman give them some help with their KLT won't know what a good deal they are getting.
Again heading out into an urban morning rush, from Hunterville we started up I-85 amongst the semis for a few miles, then exited south, bailing out of the congested commercial traffic. Navigating by the sun until we intersected rte 49; we found a nice leisurely, low traffic ride through mostly rural NC until we entered the urban sprawl of the Raleigh area.
Visited the newlywed recipients of our KLT gift in Cary, NC. Dropped off the bike and spent a few hours going over features. Dinner with them and his family, great fun that evening and the next day. Next morning WGPR and I rode with the newly weds, each of them on their sport bikes. Destination, her horse where it is boarded. We communed with the horses while she treated a cracked hoof. Later that day, we got dropped off at Raleigh Airport and flew back to cool and rainy New England and our waiting new GTL.
For all the comparisons between the KLT and the GTL, articulating this and that about the good and the bad, performance vs. comfort, I have to say the best assessment is written above by Eyvind (mondrage) who said, having ridden a GTL: "However, I’m sad to report that I felt it was missing something. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Lack of heft, of substance. Don’t know."
Yeah, that's it. He nailed it. That's all you KLT owners need to know. In the realm of how things feel, sometimes a poet gives you a better picture than a scientist or an engineer. If you have a KLT, keep waiting. I feel good about my gift of our beloved KLT, but I'll miss it. We'll continue efforts to make our new GTL more like our old KLT...maybe with a bigger windscreen and 40 pounds in each of the side cases?
Life goes on.