Author Topic: Thousand mile New England Break In Ride- Great Touring Platform!  (Read 2215 times)

Offline DHarvey

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I bought the new '10 C14 last month and had worked in 400 miles before leaving Thursday morning to link up with a few Triumph buds who I get together with for a 'guys getaway' every May. We usually do 3 nights, 4 days and the timing was great because finally I could let the Connie loose.
Here's a brief trip report sprinkled with C14 observations from the perspective of someone new to the machine (I sold my Sprint ST for the C14).

Leaving the southern Adirondacks Thursday morning, I was heading to meet the guys east of Montpelier in Vermont so my A.M trek gave me the chance to test the bike on Vermont's 'App Gap', a 16 mile very twisty run between Bristol and Waitsfield. I had the panniers fully loaded along with a tail bag strapped to the TB19 on Phil's rack. The sun was out, strictly sunglass riding and the Connie purred up through the hairpins (watch that springtime gravel Bucko!) never breaking a sweat as I topped out over the gap and roared down past Mad River Glen into the valley. Holy ****!!I'm doing 85 but it sounds like 40..better get used to this fella! He's quiet. I'm learning..2nd gear through towns if you want to stay in the 30-39 mph arena...

Met the guys at lunchtime. Ray from Massena near the Canadien border turns 72 (going on 20) and rides his Sprint like a demon. Dale is the kid in his mid 40's and rides an older Trophy 1200. He too can move right along with the best of them. We headed north on Rte 102 which is now newly paved, a 35 mile stretch along a river with great sweepers and some technical twists, thence through Dixville Notch New Hampshire (they’re the folks who always cast the first vote on every presidential elections at one minute past midnight on Election day-all 12 of them) and then east into Maine. I’ve noticed over the years that the quality of the pavement in New England is getting poorer and poorer what with a shrinking tax base. Rte 16 in Maine especially between Rangeley and Stratton is pure crapola.. I’m talking frost heaves, cracks that’ll swallow your front tire and tar snakes the size of boa constrictors..I had to stop and reset the rear suspension to give my ass a break but all in all I think the Connie handled the road mess with a certain flare…please pass the Grey Poupon.

Finally we arrive at what I consider one of the great hidden motorcycle lodging meccas..of course now it’s no longer a secret. This is the White Wolf Inn in Stratton Maine..a real guys kinda place.my wife wouldn’t stay here under any circumstances..they have upgraded since the last time..but then again they raised their nightly room rates from $39/night to $55 so for that you no longer get a bare light bulb over the sink and the peeled caulk along the bathtub..it now has a fresh coat of caulking on it and there’s a real decorative piece of glass covering the lightbulb. But the real charm of the White Wolf is both the staff, super friendly, the bar with terrific draft choices and large honest meals from the restaurant. We ate at the bar, drank mucho beer and watched our bellies grow right in front of our eyes! Time to hit the sack.

Saturday was sunny again and after a ¾ mile walk to a nearby diner for breakfast we headed southeasterly to the Maine coast about 3 hours away. The roads are a bit better as you near the coast, probably not as severe frost heaving perhaps. I discovered the C14’s missile like acceleration as we passed numerous traffic..also discovered its brilliant and somewhat sudden ABS breaking abilities coming down off the passing efforts. Did something I’ve never been to before. We went to what’s called a’ Lobster Pound’..it’s a wholesale lobster business that services restaurants but they also sell lobsters on a walk inm basis.. you pick out the lobster you want.. they cook it for you and you buy clams, butter, a drink and eat it on their picnic tables..goobered butter all over my shirt (you really can’t take me anywhere) but damn, lobster for lunch.. I’m in heaven. Are you getting the impression I like food?

Rode a loop back to Stratton in the afternoon stopping at the Old Town canoe factory and store to check out their goods. If you’re into canoes, this is the top of the line. Cool to see how they used to make the canvas covered jobs. What workmanship.
Friday morning was overcast with weather reports warning of heavy rains so we donned our bad weather gear before departing. Thought we would revisit rte 17 heading south which provides a panoramic view of the Rangeley Lakes..on a clear day you can see 100 miles and some bald eagles if you’re lucky..well not today.. it was socked in and the road, if you call it that was totally ****.. I’m talking first gear 10 mph stuff..bobbing weaving around the worst crators and cracks, even bottoming out the suspension..and why exactly am I doing this ? The thought keeps creeping across my mind. At a break I tell the guys if I ever recommend doing this road again in the future, just shoot me dead away, no questions asked!
We survive and return to civilization, you know roads where you can actually travel as fast as oh say 40 mph,,will wonders never cease? And then eventually back to the real world highways as we breeze along heading towards our next goal, Hurricane Mountain Road near North Conway, NH.
Hurricane Mountain Road is basically a paved goat path for lack of a better description. Wide enough for say a Minnie Cooper and a half, the road essentially goes straight up the mountain and straight down the other side. Perhaps a bit of exaggeration as there a re a cuppla nasty hairpins but it offers as good a hill climb experience as you’re likely to find. Would you believe coming down in first gear with the engine revving to 5,000 rpm and I’m still using the brakes, hell both brakes, front and back! Thank God it wasn’t raining. That would have been an ass pucker fer sure.
At this point, I’m really becoming a fan of this bike. It’s been extremely comfortable in the seat, hauls plenty of luggage, runs like a sports bike..I’m getting happier with each mile on my purchase.

In North  Conway, we spend an hour at the Whitehosre Gear shop..everything motorcycle, from riding gear to farkles, to all manner of accessories to touring books..three grown men acting like kids in a candy store..well worth a visit if you’ve never been.
After lunch we run the Kangamaugus Hwy (rte 112) which is a blast.. being a Friday in May, not too much traffic, certainly no tourist traffic yet..great sweepers, a huge gas all 30 something miles along the way. We finish the day riding north on I-93 through Franconia Notch..breathtaking views, no less grand than the Grand Tetons quite frankly.
Spent the night at the Cannon Mtn View motel in Franconia. More upscale than the White Wolf (rooms around $90/night) but they also have a bar, restaurant and live music on the weekends. Being Saturday night, we hit the jackpot. Wings, pizza and Guiness..does it get any better n this?

Woke up this morning to torrential rains..cats and dogs type stuff. I can the original plan to run a bunch of central Vermont twisties to go home and after saying goodby to the guys, I run the interstate to White River Junction and then route 4 through Killington back into New York. The bike handled just fine in the rain, solid feel and I love the adjustable windscreen.. I got to pick which part of my face and helmet got the total soaking! Great way to kill time..amazing what entertains little minds.

Well that’s it folks…I gotta get the 1,000 mile service (1,400 miles actual). I’m extremely happy with this machine. I envision many years of fun with it.

David

Offline Walker18

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Re: Thousand mile New England Break In Ride- Great Touring Platform!
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 10:28:54 pm »
Great write-up, David! Welcome and congratulations on your new Connie! A congregation of Connie's will be in Vermont at Mount Snow, Aug 8th thru the 12th,
hope to see you there!
COG#8443                                                  
AMA# 1088783
2012 C-14  'Rudy'

Offline Sea Level

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Re: Thousand mile New England Break In Ride- Great Touring Platform!
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 10:56:33 am »
Excellent write-up, David. Being a native to the areas you describe, I can agree with many of your descriptions. I also get a kick out of the foreigners take on the indigenous customs, like the lobster pound. It has the same sound as if someone had said to you "and then we had something called a 'hamburger'"....   ;D

Offline DHarvey

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Re: Thousand mile New England Break In Ride- Great Touring Platform!
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 04:54:21 pm »
Hamburger? What's that? Something akin to a 'burger' or 'hamburg', perchance a quarter pounder?
Yeah I love the local jargons.. now take a sub (actually short for the original 'submarine')..depending on where you stop to refuel the belly it might be a 'sub', a hoagie' or even a 'grinder'. ;D

I love the beauty of Maine, NH and Vt (as well as our beloved Adirondacks)..cycling through mountains is just pure fun...

Offline bbroj

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Re: Thousand mile New England Break In Ride- Great Touring Platform!
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 08:09:58 am »
Dave, nice writeup! Still hoping to meet up with you at a meet n greet or other local ride. In the meantime, I'm glad to hear you're getting in the miles on the new bike. Maybe if it ever stops raining around here.....
'12 C-14, Vance and Hines CS One muffler, lowered pegs, tank bra, bar risers, Phil's Farkles rack with Givi V46 top box, fender extender, Bucks tail brights, Canyon Cages and much more to come!
COG 9331
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