A few months ago, my friend Alex purchased a Kawasaki KLR 650 dual-sport motorcycle. With the trees changing color in the Poudre Canyon, we both took a break out of a Thursday afternoon and went all the way up to the top of Cameron Pass, before turning around. That was a 140-mile round trip.
It was a beautiful, sunny, comfortable day aside from some powerful wind gusts halfway up that had me crouching in a full Moto GP-style aerodynamic tuck. Tumbleweed went bowling across the road, nearly hitting both of us, and when we stopped at Poudre Falls, Alex mentioned something about a branch that came flying at him but I did not see.
Wind drama aside, it was a great ride. This was, however, the first time I felt the Buell wanting a little more power—particularly on the uphill in the super strong headwind at higher elevations. I don’t think I’ve ever flogged the Buell and its half-a-Harley-Sportster thumper motor so much! Nevertheless, when it came time to get gas at Ted’s Place on the return trip, the Buell still achieved 54 miles per gallon. It’s rated at 70 MPG, but that is under much less throttle-happy conditions.
“This is my favorite time of year,” said Alex, noting the cool temperatures and fall colors. Agreed!