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I managed to get the whole week off work. This is the first Springtime vacation I've had in a long time.

After the trip to Mountain City TN on Monday, I decided to go visit some relatives. I left at about 9 Tuesday morning and returned on Thursday afternoon at about 3. I covered just a hair under 1100 miles in six states.

I stayed on the backroads as much as possible. The weather was great, but a bit windy at times. Blue skys, puffy white clouds, sunshine. Temperatures varied from the mid 50s to the mid 80s. No rain!

In the past I've said this bike is as smooth as the Gold Wing at highway speeds. With the taller windshield in place, I now feel a vibration in my butt and my feet that I did not notice before. I think this is the "sensation" the Japanese engineers were talking about in some of the press information. I think this vibration was always there and I just did not notice it when I was out in the wind with the short windshield.

The bike was very comfortable on this trip. During the hotter parts of the ride I had to sit up on the edge of the passenger seat to get some air under my hind end. I'll be adding the beads today.

This trip was more suited to the CTX than the highly technical stuff I rode on Monday. I only had a couple of first gear switchbacks on this ride and they were uphill. Out in the open wind of West Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri I was very happy to be on this bike. My Trophy is not nearly as happy in the wind. My cell phone told me that the wind in Sikeston MO was 0mph with gusts to 29mph. It was mistaken. The wind felt like a steady 30mph with occasional additional gusts. At one stop I had to chase my gloves across the parking lot.

I've always seen those lottery winners in Illinois, so I wanted to get some tickets in Cairo. The only retailers were liquor stores. One of them opened at 8 a.m., but I didn't want to wait. At 7:30 there was already a line of guys to buy booze. I didn't want to hang around with them for half an hour. I skipped the tickets and went on to Missouri.

On the way back from Missouri I was impressed that I could cross the Mississippi River, hang a right turn, and immediately cross the Ohio River. I love those old narrow bridges.

As flat as it is in West Kentucky and West Tennessee, it's still possible to find some good curvy roads. After a stop at the Shiloh National Military Park, I made it to Mississippi with a minimum of highway riding and then through Alabama up to Savannah TN on backroads. The park at Shiloh was covered up with high school kids. They were having a great time and it made me think about what it was like to be that age.

On Thursday morning I made my final family visit of the trip in Hendersonville TN and then took some very nice backroads back to Corbin KY. I saw quite a few bikes in the Pickett State Park area. There must have been some kind of gathering. I drove through the spot where the deer killed my Gold Wing with no adventure. It's always nice to get home with no bones broken.

I managed just a hair under 50mpg for the trip.

I was pleased with the sound system. I turned it all the way up and I could hear it just fine even though I wear ear plugs when I ride. I turned the sound off whenever I came to a crowded area. I don't want to give anyone a reason to dislike bikers.

One thing I noticed with the taller windshield is that the exhaust of this bike is quite a bit louder than what I'm used to. I couldn't hear that with the shorty. My Gold Wing and my ST1100s were much quieter. At normal rpms, the Trophy is much quieter as well. I'm not a fan of aftermarket exhausts, so I'll have to get used to the noise.

This was the most relaxed trip I've taken since I moved to Kentucky seven years ago. I hope I get to do this again.
 

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One thing I noticed with the taller windshield is that the exhaust of this bike is quite a bit louder than what I'm used to. I couldn't hear that with the shorty. My Gold Wing and my ST1100s were much quieter. At normal rpms, the Trophy is much quieter as well. I'm not a fan of aftermarket exhausts, so I'll have to get used to the noise.
I'm glad you mentioned that. I thought it was just me. The taller windshield DOES seem to amplify the sound of the engine. But I have grown to like that sound, so I don't mind too much.
 
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So I'm guessing that if you're hearing the sound system and exhaust noise better with the tall windshield, the wind noise must be cut down quite a bit? I like the exhaust purr ... but the excessive wind noise I can do without. So I'm quite looking forward to getting this windshield delivered and installed. ;)
 

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Also went for a nice "little" ride today... around town. Got some highway in but a lot of city street riding at 40mph or under. Only went about 36 miles today. I was on a mission to find some things and wanted to post a tag on the ST site. Since the tag photo requires the bike in the pic and I'm not telling anyone there I have the CTX yet (they'll see it in June at the camping trip) I snapped the photo showing just enough of the handlebar and windshield to know it's a bike for sure, but not enough to indicate what bike. I'd rather handle all the questions from those guys about me getting the CTX in person, with the bike present. :)

I did listen to music on the speakers all the way. City or Highway didn't matter, I could hear the music just fine. With my earplugs in I have the volume at about 3/4 and can hear it fine at 65 mph behind the tall shield. I do notice the engine too. Without earplugs I hear the engine just a little better but I also hear a LOT of road noise (not the wind, well, just a little), tires and other engines, especially from other cars I pass or are passing me... at any speed, city or highway. I like not hearing so much of that noise so I'll keep wearing the earplugs.

I now have 586 miles and might do another little trip tomorrow and then the 600 miles maintenance. I found out that the oil filters should be the same as on both the ST bikes so I didn't need to buy any since I have a few for my ST. I also think I have enough dino oil for this oil change but if not I can make Wally world a 15 mile trip to get some. :D
 
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