Ohiopyle in Autumn

Ohiopyle is about forty miles from me, as the crow files. It’s a phenominal motorbike ride, which is interesting because in the year I’ve been riding, I’ve never bothered to do it, due to the constraints of time and the fact I can get lost in my own apartment. Despite the relatively short distance, I had this preconception it was a bit fiddly to get to. I was wrong.

I haven’t bothered to get a RAM mount for the bike for a phone, or gone to the trouble of wiring in any power outlets (honestly, I can’t be arsed, and it doesn’t really fit the bike’s main job), so navigation on the bike for me is the old fashioned way; meaning using my memory, but mostly my miraculous palm-held computer that can tell me precisely where I am in the world, and how to get pretty much anywhere. So, little difference between me and and T.E. Lawrence, clearly…

After some map study I realised I could take a familiar back road almost all the way there, and left fairly early on a Sunday morning, intending to be back by lunch. The ride was absolutely breathtaking; sunny, unseasonally warm, and the Autumn colours were glorious. Perhaps the best of all, there was little traffic, and the small number of slow cars (I couldn’t begrudge anyone wanting to admire the scenery) were easy enough to get past. I felt for a few fleeting moments that I had my own private road. And, I didn’t get lost

I didn’t spend quite as much time as I should of enjoying the scenery, mindful as I was of needing to be back by lunch, but I got a lot out of the ride and it felt like one of those perfect moments you imagine having when you take up riding.

The bike used just a half-tank of petrol for around 100 miles of running, which is a great thing about the Ninja 300, but I again had the feeling I’d have liked something physically bigger, with a bit more punch and longer gearing. On the way out (it’s in the video above) I spotted a GSXR and had a moment of benign envy at how much fun a supersport would be on those roads; but I also felt the same looking at the people on their cruisers. They looked a hoot.

I experience this every time I take my bike out for a ride longer than fifty miles, which is my typical weekend sprint. This little bike that I ride daily, rain or shine has been perfect for me and makes a dull commute a joy, but as motorbikes start to consume more of the my attention, time and money, I think about what I’d like next to an almost obsessive degree.

Perhaps the perfect bike, isn’t one bike…

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5 thoughts on “Ohiopyle in Autumn”

  1. These are a great little bike. My daughter had one for a while and the best thing we did to it was to get rid of the OEM tyres and put decent tyres on it. The Michelin pilot streets made a world of difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m running the Pilot Street Radials at the moment. Prior to that I liked the Pirelli Sport Demon; a bias-ply tyre that is very popular on the 250.

      I ran the stock tyre (the IRC Roadwinner; some bikes came with Dunlop rubber) to the wear bars. I didn’t hate it as much as some did; they’re decent in the rain, but their feedback is rotten.

      The Pilot Streets flex more and actually improve the ride a lot, as well as having absolutely fantastic grip. They’re definitely my favourite.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My daughter upgraded about a year ago to an older sv650 which is only slightly heavier than the little ninja but with a heap more power.

        Hard to go passed the Michelin tyres we are both running pilot road 4 on the bigger bikes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They’re great bikes. I’m considering the DL650 Vstrom (with the similar engine. I have heard nothing but praise for that v-twin) as I like the height, suspension travel (roads aren’t great here) and wind protection.

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      3. The SV is a fun little bike to ride and the power is very usable. I’ve had friends with the vstrom and they have loved them, so you won’t go wrong with one of those.

        Like

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