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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? Lots of push-ups? 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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Hi Randy....

Are you camping or motelling?

Solo or with pillion?

How tall are you?

I'd be apt to go with the ABS.

If you've read my post, then you'll see I did a pile pf planning... it worked out great to have spent time rolling options around prior to leaving.

I did less physical prep than I had intended but it didn't really affect me... I will say that a 600+ mile day will kick your butt and without some serious prep, I'd suggest doing multiple 600 miles days would do some serious damage... :) However... by the time I was done with the trip I was in much better shape then when I started.

The GPS was a huge hit with me. Throttle/Cruise control is a must.

If you are riding correctly your abdomen will (should) be doing a lot of work, IOW not putting a ton of weight on your hands and using your legs to take stress off your butt... speaking of which... get bike shorts with the nice chamois lining...

The better condition you are in the easier the physical aspects of the ride will be.

Ear plugs. Sound is tiring.

Be ready for temperature and weather extremes. Be able to waterproof you and your gear. Think about electric vest if you are going to be riding in sub 50F deg weather.

Add reflective stickers where ever you can.

Head mounted flashlight rig. Great for camping or the unlikely need to do bike work after dark.

Get the large cylinder inflation kit, one cylinder can easily fill a rear tire on a sprint.... or a mini compressor.... and practice with a tire repair kit before you go.

Heat can easily be overcome if you have a water source... just soak down the clothing and keep riding... cold on the other hand will stop you and can really make you a dangerous rider.... even layers will fail if it gets cold.... electrics are warm! Just rode in mine the other day and the nose vapor was freezing on the face shield!...

Rain gear... staying dry will mean staying warm. Being wet will mean mucho evaporation once the rain stops and you're tooling along at 50-80 mph... and that evaporation will suck the heat out of you very quick... Get an Aerostich or similar riding suit and stay dry and warm....

You might want to look at a chain oiler..... wax should be every 250-500 miles...... that can be hard to do as often as you should, but then an oiler will mean a dirty bike....

If you are tall like me you may want to leg over a <06 Tiger.... if I could back it up I might have elected to go with a Tiger over a Sprint ST for the ride position....
 

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On 2006-11-21 12:46, RandyDTFR wrote:
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
I concur with Jason: If you have 34+ inseam you should look at a Tiger!!! Get a Corbin seat while you're at it. I can do 800+ days on it without any probs!

On 2006-11-21 12:46, RandyDTFR wrote:
The question:
- How have you prepared for long rides? Lots of push-ups? 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?
1) Don't start off doing a 900 mile day. Do a 500-600 miler first, then go into serious miles. Your body will adjust to the riding on the first day and will give you less grief on the other days. On my last Montana trip I did 100, 800, 800, 700 (about) in 3 days and a couple of hours, got home, and was ready to re-pack and leave again!! But the wife wouldn't have it... :cool: As for sports: what sports??? :-D

2) I have a simple tire plug kit from autozone (or similar). Walmart pump... So far I didn't have to use either...

3) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!! Get a camelback so you can drink while riding (or some other means for doing that). Makes a HUGE difference not to have to stop and drink all the time!!!! And don't worry: you won't have do #1 that often either like that... :cool: To eat I always go for beef jerky. Gives me nice energy without filling me up. And with not being filled up I don't have to 'unload' in filthy gas station bathrooms, which is a treat! :-D

4) Write a trip report... :cool: :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys!

I'm keeping a list of advice, and plan to highlight those which apply before each trip. Then I'll compare them and see which I use consistently. Guess thats the AF training kickin' in :)

- Are you camping or motelling?
I'll start off motelling...the maybe try camping on later trips

- Solo or with pillion?
Solo. My wife LOVES her bike, which is OK with me. I don't much enjoy having a pillion.

- How tall are you?
6'2" and about 190lbs.

I've ridden the older Tigers before, and found the seating position to upright. I've got some minor lower back problems, and anything over 100 miles in that position begins hurting. The seating position on the Sprint suits me better. I had taken my Daytona on 300 mile rides without any problems.

Update on the bike search:
After pouring through years of back issues from all the MC mags, surfing the net, comparing specs, talking with friends... I purchased a new, Sunset Red '06 Sprint ST yesterday. I'll be bringing her home Wed or Thurs afternoon. Cant wait! :-D

Currently Schedules Rides:
The first few will just be local stuff, breaking in the motor and learning how the bike handles- getting comfortable with each other. The 80 or so miles home from the dealer will include riding PCH through Malibu... there will be photos~

I'll keep y'all updated with photos and ride reports~

Thanks again!

~Randy DTFR
Ride safe!
 

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Some good comments above.

Yes, earplugs and hydration are very important.

Most riders will be able to ride their max distance the first couple days and then drop off after that, i.e., if the max you have been able to ride is 700 miles, don't expect to be able to do that for 10 days. However, some very experienced LD Riders can, just depends on the rider.

For use of the throttle/cruise. If you use it only use it after well awake in the morning and before you tire later in the day. One of the first signs of fatigue is inability to hold a steady speed. So if you are using a throttle lock the next sign of fatigue maybe be when you hit the rumble strip on the edge of the road which is too late. :-|

Yes, step up your ride distance and number of days.

No need to try to make hotel reservations ahead. Finding a room is rarely a problem.

No matter the number of miles, waxing the chain once a day is good.

Put the rain gear on before you need it, not after you've hit the edge of the rain. Best to put it on at an exit.

Lots of good items to buy at aerostitch.com and White Horse Press. Go to the Iron Butt Association website for 25 tips and read ride reports.

So much more but alot of it is learned experience.

If you are going to do a southern then northern coast to coast ride look at the Southern California Motorcyclist Association and their 4 Corners Ride.

Doug
 
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