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Discussion Starter #1
Managed to get a few extra days off at the same time some old friends from the Bay Area were visiting the beautiful high desert of central Oregon. Waffled back an forth on whether or not I wanted to take my Suzuki V-Strom or the 124... both would be a lot of fun, but the 124 hadn't had a proper road trip yet...

Compared to the mountain interstate commuting and spirited backroad driving I normally do, the biggest surprise was how incredible my fuel economy was. Averaged about 40mpg over the long haul (usually lucky to pull 30 at home). Despite mountain driving, I'm guessing more sustained speeds and higher elevation have a bit to do with that.

I found the Classica's cloth seats to be very comfortable over the long term, and the big advantage to cloth (as WedgeWA was the first to point out to me) is how cool it stays despite being in the hot sun.

Trunk space was more than adequate for a few days of clothes, camera gear, a large telescope and tripod, some outdoor equipment, and still had room.

Didn't get as many pix as I'd hoped (was having too much fun), but they give an idea. Super lucky to live in this corner of the world these days.

Also, I love this car.





Mt. Rainier National Park, WA by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


Lunch break, Rimrock Lake, WA by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


WA-142 twisties, near Goldendale, WA by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


WA-14 along the Columbia River by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


The Dalles Bridge, crossing from WA into OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


US-197, outside Maupin, OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


NF-430, Deschutes National Forest, OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


NF-430, Deschutes National Forest, OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


NF-430, Deschutes National Forest, OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


Tumalo Falls, OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


Tumalo Lake, OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr


cabin on Tumalo Lake, OR by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr
 

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Amazing pictures. Think I need to plan a road trip there myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What was the best bit (in terms of the car and the drive, rather than the amazing scenery)?
Further confirmation that the subtle changes I've made to the car are bang-on in terms of what I wanted :
- increased caster angle - firmer steering and better response, less vagueness
- very slight drop with Eibach springs - more planted and stable on twisty and uneven pavement but still retains great overall ride characteristics
- Good-Win Y-pipe - a bit more growl and bark but no annoying highway drone
- dem wheels (c'mon... they're perfect for that color and trim)

Beyond that, just continued appreciation for the simplicity and excellence of the car in general... over 1,000 miles I was continually impressed with the ergonomics, creature comforts, driving interface, top operation, powertrain... it's a fantastic mix of Mazda details and Fiat "soul" (cliche as heck, I know, but... it's true)
 

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Sweet! Man, I am jealous. We lived for 5 years in the Idaho panhandle (Moscow/Palouse region). We explored when we could, but never far enough to get us to those types of settings. Much less with a worthy vehicle.

Thanks for the photo tour!

Steve.
 

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Awesome pictures.

Another rider here - Moto Guzzi Stelvio has been my daily commuter. Now has a real challenger with the Fiat in terms of what i will take to work though.

Just picked her up yesterday:

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yep. Black on silver is a very sweet combination. Congrats.

Hey, tying bikes/great roads together... looks like the road to Sunrise on Mt. Rainier is back open as of this weekend. Would be a great break-in trip for a new 124.


the road to Sunrise... by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr
 

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Oh, man, it was bad enough that I was not yet a motorcycle owner when living in the PNW, and now imagining being a Spider owner in the PNW... bwwwaaaahhh-ah-ah-ah!! (Pass me a tissue please.)

Sorry, sorry. I'm under control now. Hey Jeff, what is that you are riding there? I don't think it is a Versys or a VStrom. Aprilia? I'm sure whatever it is, it's a great performer out there.

thinc2, after being here awhile I've observed that there are several Guzzi riders on this board. Like I've always said, catching the Italian bike/car bug the first time (even if it was born in Japan) leads to an incurible, lifelong disease. One I enjoy everyday.

Welcome aboard!

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
the road up to Artist Point (Mt Baker) opened last week... that'd be a great place to romp on the 124...
still waiting for it to arrive at the dealer
Truth... and some of the backroads leading up there for us Seattle-centric folks are pretty great, too... could be a good future spot for a 124 meetup!


convertible weather... by Jeff Conlin, on Flickr

Hey Jeff, what is that you are riding there? I don't think it is a Versys or a VStrom. Aprilia?
It's a 2014 Strom 650. I worked two major BMW MC shops for 10 years, but kept coming back to those Suzuki twins for my personal bikes (owned a few SV's and Stroms)... just like the simplicity and characater. It really is a new golden age of motorcycles, though... can't think of any "bad ones"
 

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It is a VStrom, nice. I agree, I bought a new 650 VStrom in 2007, rode it for 4 years and 26000 wonderful miles before trading it for a new FJR, which I still ride. Truth be told, the Spider is turning into the FJR replacement when I open the garage door. I'm certain that the FJR will be the largest bike I ever own. The VStrom still has a place in my heart. It did everything, and so well. 500 mile days were no problem with it.

I'm done with big bikes. 650-800cc is fine by me. My avatar Guzzi is a mild mannered 750.

Steve.
 
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