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Discussion Starter #1
To those of you with experience with long distance riding~

I've decided not to wait any longer, so I've set a few destination goals:

- California Redwoods (Humboldt county & the "Lost Hwy")
- Victoria, Canada (Canadian Rockies & the long way back home)
- Coast to coast (leave via southern route, return via northern route)
- (Lots of local, weekend rides thrown in to keep my chops up)

The bike: (should have this figured out in a week or two)
- 2006 or 2007 Sprint ST.
- ABS ? ...maybe not; worried about having a small tip-over and fouling the system, or some such nonsense.
- Blue or 06 sunset red

The rider:
- 38yr old (in a few weeks) slightly out-of-shape rider of 17-odd years 2 wheeled experience
- Longest ride to date: 3day each direction from Olympia, WA. to So Cal. and back on my Bonnie

The question:
- How have you prepared for long rides? I know the longer stuff will wear a person out quickly.
- What kind of essential gear do you carry?
- Any good tire repair kits?
- Anything other tips for a rookie distance traveler?

Thanks!
~Randy DTFR
Ride safe!
 

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Read the link below for likely more than you could ever want to know... LOL... ok, not everything, but there is a fair bit of discussion on all the choices I made gearing up for some LD touring....

Check out the Horizons Unlimited web site for reams of info on travleing long distances.... great packing and logistics information too....

cheers!

PS go ahead and start a planning thread in the Rides & Trips Forum
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info! Very helpful indeed :upthumb:

... more thanks for the Rides & Trips forum. I didn't even realize that was there; guess I should start wearing my glasses more often :knkknk:

I'll move the question over there and keep folks updated along the way :wink:

~Randy DTFR
Ride safe!
 

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I've ridden over 800 miles in a day at the end of a 10 day trip with no problems. Granted it wasn't on the Sprint but the VTX didn't even hiccup through the heat and wind.

Did a week long trip around Lake Superior along with the trip to/from the starting point.

Haven't checked out the trip planning forum but can make a couple of suggestions based on experience.

MoTow if you're a member of AMA. The advantage of MoTow over brand specific assistance plans is that MoTow will haul you to a bike shop of your choice, not one tied to the brand. Covers the US and Canada.

Earplugs, sunscreen, and lip balm are neccesities.

Know when to say when. Hypo or hyperthemia can set in without your being aware. Dozing off at 80 mph is not a good idea (don't ask!)

Have fun, I know I have! 19000 miles in 15 months on 2 wheels is testament to how much I like to ride.
 

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Just jump on and go, bro!!!!!


Oh, bring a tire puncture kit :-D

Trust me......
 

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Some things I`ve found useful on extreme rides are..

Chocolate coated coffee beans, great for staying awake
British Army gortex boot liners, dry feet even after riding all day in the rain
Baby wipes. These take up no room and have a dual purpose. Fantastic for cleaning dirt and bugs off helmet visors and leathers, also handy for wiping your bottom, as gas station toilets usually have really hard paper!
Accomodation guide. In Aus, The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (breakdown service) give free maps and books to all its members. They have an accomodation guide which lists nearly every hotel and motel in the whole of the country, with prices and phone numbers etc. Bad weather and punctures etc often mean you`re not going to reach your intended destination but by mid afternoon you normally know where your`re going to end up and you can ring ahead and book a cheap motel before the 5pm rush.

Avoid shoes. Jason S travels heavy, as you can see by the pics, I travel light. I`ve gone away for a week and haven`t even fitted the hard panniers, everything I need goes in the top box. Shoes take up the most room, so don`t bring any! I don`t wear my m/cycle boots on a long trip, I wear a pair of British Army combat boots. I can walk long distances comfortably in them, wear them to the pub and ride as well. I hook a pair of thongs (that`s flip flops to you) over the rear indicators of the bike to doss around in.

Take a list with phone numbers of every Triumph dealer within 500 miles of your intended route. I have been stuck in a small town (Bundaberg) with a broken fuel connector and rung around half the dealers in Australia trying to get one express freighted, when after a half a day on the phone, I found out, completely by accident, that the Harley dealership in Bundaberg also sold Triumphs and he had the part in stock!

I carry a small tool kit and tyre plug kit under the seat. Also a pocket sized can of 'Motul' chain lube. I carry the following small pack of spares. I metre of baling wire, rolled up, great for things like putting your silencer back on after the bolts have vibrated out. A 2 metre length of universal wire cable and 2 allen-screw type solderless nipples. This will fix any broken throttle or clutch cable. A dozen plastic ratchet-type cable ties, a roll of insulating tape, 2 metres of 14g electrical wire, some assorted nuts and bolts, a pocket maglite and a tube of superglue. Again, it`s all under the seat and fits into a tobacco tin. You can buy bulbs and things like that at any gas station so I never bother carrying them.

Take a good paperback book, in case you do get stuck somewhere, and take $100 and put it between the pages of your service manual under the seat as emergency cash.

[ This message was edited by: welshrob on 2006-11-21 16:23 ]
 

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Randy,

If you'd like to contact me direct, I do IBA rides and may be able to give you a few pointers from my experiences. You can email me or PM me from my profile page.
 

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I just recently made a 1006 mile journey (round trip) with my wife. Two days of riding and 1 day to rest in between (because of who we went to visit).
Three suggestions off the top of my head:
1) AMA or a AAA membership for starters. Cheaper hotel rates if applicable, cheaper towing if needed. Instant cell help. May not be needed with a new bike, but a blown (non-repairable tire or lack of fuel) in the middle of nowhere can be a call away.
2) Sattelite radio. It was a godsend on our trip.

3) Something different for you to consider. How many of us would "sponsor" you for a night if you came near our neck of the woods? I may not pay your fuel bills, but I've got an extra room/bed to crash on (free), free chow and beer/drink of your choice, hot shower(free), free do-it-yourself laundry, and a local Triumph dealer in town in case you had issues. Tools at hand to deal with mods you may want done, and a closed garage with guard dogs to store the bike for the night.

I realize it's not the info you were looking for, but you would be surprised at how many of us bikers would offer you the same if you were headed our way, especially Triumph RAT's. Altering your trip could expose you to so much of Americana, and save you a ton of cash in lodging. Not to mention local flavors vice a highway taste.

Different, but an idea to consider.
 

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RandyDTFR
check out the the book destinaion highways bc & destination highways washington st. all the best motorcycle routes & roads.and if you can swing it, hit the kooteny rat raid (july)when you`re up here.
Pack light,you can always do laundry or buy new,Vented gear &rain gear in summer,My wife has an aersol tire repair can.i have small 12v compresser &plug kit.AWAYS carry some bottled water dehydration slows the thinking.
Its amazing how much you don`t need to take,but its no fun to be stuck some where.
ps
raingear over vented gear can keep tou warm too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys!

I'll have to start a log to keep track of all the good info :wink:

First point of business is to get the bike :) I'm tottering between a new 2006 model with or without ABS. I gotta learn more about that first. (I would go '07, but Sunset Red is no longer an option)

I have AAA for maps, lodging books, discounts & MC towing.

Being in the Air Force makes it a bit easier to save money on hotels by staying on mil bases when available.

I'm hip to the Destination Hwys WA book (I've ridden 90% of the roads in the western half of the state), but will pick up a copy of the Canada addition

Uncle Sugar issued me a wonderful pair of boots that I've just had re-souled; Tour Master "convertible" jacket (the "Flex" model?), but need to get a good pair of leather pants (or something of the sort).


Oops! Didn't mean to start the log here and now :)

Yes sir, I'm quite excited about this. :-D

~Randy DTFR
Ride safe!
 

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First point of business is to get the bike :) I'm tottering between a new 2006 model with or without ABS. I gotta learn more about that first. (I would go '07, but Sunset Red is no longer an option)

~Randy DTFR
Ride safe!
Buy the '07 Tornado Red and we'll trade! I have an '06 Sunset Red ABS with hard bags, ~850 miles, first service has been performed by the dealer. :-D
 

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I would recommend getting a Stop and Go Tire Plugger. Also you can get a 12v compressor for bicycles that works great on MC's. The CO2 inflaters look ok but you can't depend on them. An alternate to the compressor is take a can of flat fixer.

Also, if you are going a long way from home, make sure YOU have all the sockets or allen wrenches necessary to remove and replace both front and rear tires. Triumph dealers are not everywhere and rice propelled dealerships don't necessarily have things like a 46mm socket.

I'm planning on going into the long distance touring mode myself. That's why I have an FJR on order and I've stripped my ST of touring stuff so that I still can get a twistie fix.
 

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Did 6,225 miles in 10 days this summer. Concur with above advice. Drink lots and lots of water and scarf a sandwich once in a while to keep the blood sugar up, trail mix works well too and doesn't take up much space. I'd also recommend satelite radio and very good rain gear. The list goes on and on. Have fun!
 

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Hydration, hydration, hydration. After buying the bike, and a rough route plan, nothing is more important. I would suggest finding a Camelbak or Platypus drinking system to sip from while moving so you can stay ahead of the dehyration crash. This also means increase your regular intake of water days before. I can't stand the extra stuff on me so my Camelbak actually lives in my tankbag, where the drink hose is easily reachable with the left hand.

Don't just jump out and do your LD run cold. Work up your endurance. It's like any physical endevor, you have to train for it, atleast alittle. The best way is to just ride more! Ride to work, ride on weekends. A good 'long' weekend ride a county or 2 away for lunch and back is a nice start. I'm spoiled because a lunch ride for my weekend crew is a minimum of 180 miles, sometimes I put on over 350 miles in a day just for lunch with this crew. It's fun, but taxing if you don't do it enough.

Count me as another vote for a Stop n Go plug gun kit. I also stripped out the pump of a $18 Walmart cig lighter powered inflator. Packs down into a medium camera case, and I don't have to worry about running out if air, like the CO2 setup. Though I did trim off the cig lighter interface and put on 2 aligator clips to go straight to the battery. It's worked quite well for me.

I'm kind of a luddite when it comes to directions and entertainment. I hate the idea of having to blast music for hours on end inside a helmet. My hearings bad enough. I'll stick to earplugs. I'm also not sold on GPS as a replacement for a good plan, and a map. GPS can help you if you get lost though.
 

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On 2006-11-23 03:12, SprintST wrote:
Hydration, hydration, hydration. After buying the bike, and a rough route plan, nothing is more important. I would suggest finding a Camelbak or Platypus drinking system to sip from while moving so you can stay ahead of the dehyration crash. This also means increase your regular intake of water days before. I can't stand the extra stuff on me so my Camelbak actually lives in my tankbag, where the drink hose is easily reachable with the left hand.
What he said.... I used a 1 liter pouch that Aerostich makes to fit in the breast pocket of the suit. It was absoTively a saver... the effect of evaporation is so huge on the bike at speed, not to mention if it gets a little warm. The more exposed skin you have the faster you dry out.....
 
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