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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, after almost 3 years of ownership, I finally managed to get away for an epic 5 day trip on the Multi.

Basic route: Columbus, OH -> Skyline Dr -> Blue Ridge Pkwy -> Tail of the Dragon -> Columbus,OH
We stayed off the interstates and used the Garmin twisty road routing. Total trip was roughly 1600 miles in 5 days.

It was bloody hot and we learned a lot about our capabilities and how the bikes performed.

I finally ponied up for the Corbin seat for the trip and was glad I did. There was no way I was gonna survive with the stock seat (and I sold the DP seat already). I sit probably 3/8-1/2" higher than the stock seat in the high position, but it opens up the knee angle a bit and also doesn't slope forward.

Our longest day was Elkins, WV to Smith Mountain Lake, VA, (via Skyline drive and the BRP) which was about 380 miles. Thank God it cooled down significantly in the mountains; it was perfect in the 70s on Skyline Dr and the BRP, and became quite miserable once we dropped in elevation. The hottest we saw was 95 in traffic, while transiting through Knoxville, TN, which is just miserable. It felt like my boots were melting to the pavement. I found my Klim Overland pants and Induction jacket are tolerable up to about 90, and above that I basically have to stand to get enough airflow to cool.

Google Photo Album:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/U16DF1y6gW91hED58


Pros:

  • The temp was about 15 degrees cooler in the mountains, and absolutely delightful
  • We booked AirBNB's the first 3 nights, which were wonderful and also quite cheap
  • The BRP from about Asheville to Cherokee was the best riding we've ever done, and still would be top had it not been for...
  • the Tail of the Dragon is epic. The ride over from Cherokee, NC is very similar roads/terrain and is good fun as well.
  • Leaving Deals Gap feels like the start to a hill climb. Dozens of bikers are standing around watching as you pull out and rip through 1st and 2nd up the hill and disappear off into the distance. There was a ton of traffic, but there are pull offs ever so often to stop and wait for a gap to build up
  • We can consistently do ~300 mile days with a burst of 400 miles, if necessary. Limiting factor is just over all physical / mental fatigue. The ass stays happy with a mixture of moving positions and standing every 10 or 15 minutes, which also cools you off. I can ride twisties all day with the Corbin and never get any complains from the ass; it's the straight slab through most of Ohio, which gets tiring.
  • The ride modes actually make some sense when it's loaded up with luggage. Sport suspension really stiffens up the damping and keeps the bike from excessive pitching. It almost makes me forget I had probably 30 lbs of junk on the back. I felt a lot more confident hustling the bike trough the twisties in sport mode than touring. Urban mode lowers the back enough to make backing up or stopping on hills slightly easier.
  • We met a bunch of nice people. It really helps restore some hope for humanity after dealing with people in the city all the time. Some helped us out with tips about nearby roads, restaurants, overlooks, etc, some just were interested where we're from and wanted to chat. I'd move to Virginia/North Carolina in a heartbeat if ever a job opportunity presented itself.


Cons:

  • the fuel sensor is junk... - half the time it flashes empty at me / the other half it reads full... new sensor is on backorder. I ignored the gauge and went solely off the trip meter. The bike averaged about 50mpg, even with the Tail of the Dragon and other spirited bursts, so stopping every 160-180 miles to refuel still left a sufficient reserve.
  • Regular foam ear plugs become extremely painful for me after about 3-4 days of wearing them for 8+ hours/day. I even wore a fresh set everyday and my ear canals were throbbing by the end of the trip.
  • my Moto gear is only tolerable until 90F
  • Ice melts in the Klim Fuel Pak(hydration pack) within 2-3 hours
  • Noticed the lip on the front wheel is bent; no idea how that happened.
  • the carbon fiber heat shield on the Mivv Suono exhaust loses a bolt every 1500 miles - doesn't matter if you put red loctite on it. I torque checked every visible bolt before the trip and still managed to lose one
  • Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT tires. They grip well enough, but response is still completely crap even after 4000+ miles. Turn in is so wallowy and vague it feels similar to when the front starts to wash out. I still haven't reached the confidence level of the stock Scorpion Trail 2's and the rear is starting to square off. Undecided what I'll replace them with but, definitely won't be more PR4's.
 

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Sweet! Nice write up. I've had my 2015 S for over a year and will riding my first long trip on the Multi in 2 weeks. TX, NM, CO, UT maybe WY. Going over a lot of familiar ground I've covered with my Kawasaki ZG1400. Looking forward to finding out how well the Multi does touring compared to the Kawi.
 

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[*]Regular foam ear plugs become extremely painful for me after about 3-4 days of wearing them for 8+ hours/day. I even wore a fresh set everyday and my ear canals were throbbing by the end of the trip.
Everyone's ears are different so you need to go through the entire search process yourself to figure out what will work. I have bought one of every kind of ear bud I could find (no I'm not kidding... probably tried 20 different kinds). Some buds actually control external noise REALLY well, and I've found a couple sub $30 buds that work with my ears and aren't uncomfortable. Gotchas with buds are the one's with microphone's may not work with your headset and it's getting harder to find buds without microphones. Also... they need to be small or they'll contact your helmet and that's really uncomfortable.

I also use Plugfones, which are foam earplugs with a sound insert. Those work for my ears but I need to replace the foam pretty frequently and when the foam is new it's a bit stiff so I don't wear them too long. After 10 or 20 hours the foam breaks down a bit and then I can wear them for touring without getting uncomfortable.

If you don't want audio then try different size plugs, and I'd suggest just getting industrial earlpugs... those are designed to be used for long periods of time. You could also try silicone plugs... some have good luck but they don't work for me (memory foam is more comfortable and has better noise control for my ears).
 

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Sounds like a great trip! I’ve used the same foam ear plugs for years and they are plenty comfortable but I’ll agree that after awhile, they start to hurt which is problematic since I do not ride without them. I’ve given thought to custom molded ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a Sena and find the speakers work well enough, even on the highway, as long as I'm wearing ear plugs.
A quick search and there are a gazillion different ear plugs.

My typical plugs are the giant 3M bag o foam plugs from Home Depot, which obviously aren't working for me.
I've tried the Radians DIY silicone moulded plugs, but they make donning a helmet a pain and any pressure from the helmet liner would cause them to not seal well.

My plan is to start by getting a bunch of trial packs of the various Howard Leight plugs and sleep in them for a few nights to figure out what works.

I seriously underestimated how much of an affect ear plugs would have on the trip. I wear them 99% of the time and it is extremely fatiguing without them. I also can't hear anything from the Sena at highway speeds without ducking behind the windscreen; it's just a roar of wind noise.
 

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On the ear plugs.....I found that if I burn a hole about 1/2 through the foam type with a soldering gun, it will make the plug more pliable. I like the foam ones with out the "flange". The hole is long ways. YMMV But it does make the plugs more comfortable and the sound reduction in not affected. You can get small med sizes online by the way. Cheers
 

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Ear Plugs

I have had great success w/Nonoise plugs. I find them extremely comfortable but have not worn them more than 3 days in a row. They are not as quiet as the foam but very comfortable and seem to work fine for protecting hearing. They also come w/a convenient storage container. Regular cleaning is required. I have been wearing them for years, since my brother sent me a pair.

javascript:;
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the tips on ear plugs.

Earplugs: Try These
https://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leigh...e=UTF8&qid=1530935225&sr=8-6&keywords=earplug

How'd the "twisty Road" feature work?

Thanks,
t_bare
I used my Garmin Zumo 390.
The trip forced me to use Garmin Basecamp more than ever, which I still contend is a pretty awful program. I started the trip using the twisty road routing preference, which works meh, ok.

Let me explain:

I set route avoidances to: u-turns, highways, and unpaved roads. The unpaved roads feature actually worked well, but it did send us down a couple interstates.

One would think that Basecamp and the GPS would calculate the same routes given the same conditions, but that is definitely not the case, at all, not even a little. It's mind boggling that the same preferences, map data, and routing algorithm give completely different results.

Say I create a route from start/finish waypoints in Basecamp. It calculates its own route, then I put in a couple shaping waypoints to move the route to suit my fancy (like staying on the BRP the entire way). Once I upload that route to the GPS, the GPS then calculates its own route, which completely defeats the purpose of the trip planner. It basically only uses the waypoints in the GPX file and not the actual route you took so much time creating. So the same waypoints, shaping points, and route preferences/avoidances, gives me completely different results between the actual GPS and Basecamp. The only way to fix this is to add more shaping points. I believe the limit is 30 points per file. But, now how many do you really need and where do you need them? We're now deep into SWAG territory. Sure you could make the points equidistant along the route, but then what if you want to detour off the route for food, fuel, some random attraction? Sometimes you can't, do don't want to, just add the new waypoint to the route and carry on. So if you cancel the route, go wander off for a while, and then try to resume the route, you have to figure out which of the gazillion shaping points is your new start point. The only alternative would be uploading the route as a track (aka breadcrumbs), but then I get no actual routing and have to follow the line on the map.

One issue I do have with the twisty roads, is that you really need to keep an eye on time and distance. It will easily add hours per day to the trip, if you aren't careful, by doing stupid stuff.
For example:
We're on the BRP from Roanoke to Asheville. The only time we plan on leaving the parkway is for food and fuel. With the twisty roads "feature" on, it sees that every mountain road between the parkway and the valley floor is littered with turns. So, instead of staying on the parkway it would have us go down the mountain, go a couple miles, then go back up the mountain. This would just repeat FOR-EV-VER. This required a bunch of shaping points to keep it from being stupid.

I brought my Dell 14" laptop, which does fit in the left saddle bag, for booking lodging and created routes each night.
By the end I was creating two routes in Basecamp: twisty and fastest. This gave us an idea of the twisty roads along the route and also what is the quickest we can get from A to B. In the end, we still have to make it to B for the night, so there is a tradeoff. I would then just set the routing to fastest, and use shaping points to direct it down some fun roads. The fastest routing is much more similar between Basecamp and the GPS, than the twisty roads.

Also, one last tip: You need to zoom in and be careful where you put the shaping points. It's really easy to drop them a couple hundred feet from your intended route on some side road, which just pisses everything off. It will keep directing you to turn around, just so you can go a few feet down the road and make another u-turn to get back on your intended route.
 

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Thanks so much for that well explained evaluation. I have have found the same issues with my antique Garmin 276c where you plan a route on the laptop then the GPS has different plans and I'm also quite familiar with the "shaping point" to keep it focused and if you get that thing on the wrong side of the road the gps will want you to U-turn or nav to that exact spot. I've been curious if the "Twisty Road Feature" was worth the cost of upgrading. It does not sound like Garmin has had much improvement in the last 20 years. I have done a similar trip from Tampa Florida to Waynesboro VA. It is beautiful up in those mountains.

t_bare
 

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I also have problems with most earplugs. I have very small ear canals. I've been using these for many years. They are somewhat smaller and definitely softer.

Howard Leight | Max Lite Earplugs

HTH,
Ken
Those are my favorites after testing many kinds of earplugs including the custom silicone ones. In bulk they’re so cheap there's no need to reuse them and jam dirt back in your ears multiple times a day on a long ride.
 
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