The Motorcycle

Bought new, 1998 Yamaha V-Max, 55,000 miles (before the ride) with Yamaha Mini-III windshield mounted high on brackets opened up about 30 degrees to direct air over the rider.  Galfer hydraulic lines make for crisp brake and clutch work while a Blue Ridge Mountain Sportmax gunslinger style seat, RaceTech springs, Bel-Ray 15wt fork oil, no air and 1-3/8 lowering blocks in the front forks and Progressive 11.5 rear springs out back get the rider down low.  The LeatherLyke bags fitted to a custom-made luggage rack, which also moves the stock rear turn signals back about eight inches, make this power cruiser into a Road-Max.

The Clothes

Motoport Kevlar touring jacket and pants with body armor, Shoei RF800 helmet with amber and clear faceplates, Bates Enforcer boots, Home Depot leather gloves, Academy ski gloves and rain gear, 27-inch square bandannas.

The Rider

Mad Mac, Houston, Texas, VMOA member number 503, 55 years old, 5-ft 6-in, 181 pounds (before the trip, 173 after), married and a grandpa.  Very little motorcycle riding experience prior to 1998.  Took advanced Motorcycle Safety Foundation course two months after buying the bike.

As Seen in American Motorcyclist

The American Motorcyclist Association did an expurgated version of my September trip in their Road Signs section of the American Motorcyclist magazine for February 2004.  While I waited for my copy, a VMOA member in Minnesota sent a jpeg of it to me.

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