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I have been wanting to hit the road for awhile now on a Triple, to clear my mind, to reset, to just live my life a little bit free of anything else. It's about that time and I really want to start planning for it for the spring of 2013, likely around May.

I plan to start in Oakland, CA and head south through LA then over through AZ, NM and Texas. I don't care to see much in CA, I just want to blast through it. I may blow through AZ as well but once I hit Texas I will be in uncharted territory and must try BBQ. I then want to head to New Orleans, experience the people and the food then head North. I have to try the BBQ in Memphis and Saint Louis then head back West towards Denver, up to Wyoming then back down through Utah and Nevada finally getting back home. I am thinking 14 days. Not sure. I really don't want to have a schedule. I just want to go and let the day define itself.

I need to be more physically fit so will be working on that but I am also interested to know what else I will need and how I should prepare. I only have room for tank bags and perhaps something on the back seat. I have dual high mounts so I can't do saddle bags.

Please share your experiences with the road, weather, tires, bike prep and anything along the way. Comfort is also a factor. My long legs get tired and so does my ass. I am working with Corbin to get a seat in the meantime.

Initial route:

 

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I've never done anything like that and I applaud your effort. Question: are you planning on super-slabbing the whole way or are you just gonna take I-5 to get thru CA and then try back roads? I can't imagine it'd be super fun to take interstates everywhere for 2 weeks. Especially not on a naked bike.

Are you going to hit the Dragon while you're out east? I'm not sure exactly where it is, but I've heard good things and if you're in the area...
 

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Did a 1500 mile tour of france back at the end of august and 5000 miles in 14 days seems a bit much, its doable but you wont have much time for much else unless you ride nearly all slab imho.

 

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I have been wanting to hit the road for awhile now on a Triple, to clear my mind, to reset, to just live my life a little bit free of anything else. It's about that time and I really want to start planning for it for the spring of 2013, likely around May.

I plan to start in Oakland, CA and head south through LA then over through AZ, NM and Texas. I don't care to see much in CA, I just want to blast through it. I may blow through AZ as well but once I hit Texas I will be in uncharted territory and must try BBQ. I then want to head to New Orleans, experience the people and the food then head North. I have to try the BBQ in Memphis and Saint Louis then head back West towards Denver, up to Wyoming then back down through Utah and Nevada finally getting back home. I am thinking 14 days. Not sure. I really don't want to have a schedule. I just want to go and let the day define itself.

I need to be more physically fit so will be working on that but I am also interested to know what else I will need and how I should prepare. I only have room for tank bags and perhaps something on the back seat. I have dual high mounts so I can't do saddle bags.

Please share your experiences with the road, weather, tires, bike prep and anything along the way. Comfort is also a factor. My long legs get tired and so does my ass. I am working with Corbin to get a seat in the meantime.

Initial route:

What are you smokin?
 

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That would be a great trip, I agree though, not much time for exploring in two weeks at that distance. Three weeks would be much nicer and then you can do some longer days, some rest days The dragon is all the way on the other side of Tennessee so that is probably out for that trip.

As far as what you will need. GPS with routes AND paper map/atlas, tool kit, flashlight, cell phone with charger, etc. etc. there are a lot of good threads here and ADVrider is a good resource as well.

Make a list of everything you think you want to bring and then chop it down to what you absolutely need. Get some good water-proof luggage and rain gear. Will you be camping or staying in hotels?

Also, you could probably get away with 4 days of clothes and do laundary once or twice as well to save space/weight. For the states you will be in and the time of year it is likeyl you will see all kinds of weather so do plenty of research on what climates are like at that time of year, and if some of the more mountainous regions will still have a lot of snow. Speedy is a good bike for touring but it is more fun to keep it as light as possible.

Sounds like a great trip though and good luck. I have been thinking of just going out on my own for a week or so just to get away as well and just explore.
 

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A roadside puncture repair kit with the co2 cylinders.I took one on my trip and luckily didnt need it .Someone else on the trip picked up a puncture and they needed my kit.
 

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re-adjust to a more northern western route. (stay west of Dakota and Texas)
as in stay more west, but do places like yellowstone, waterton & Glacier and through Denver, east of Denver, you start getting in to the plains :/


also if you're not a avid long trip riders do one or two smaller warm up trips. you will learn a lot on what you need...vs going on a major trip and missing something you absolutely need.

for example: I learned, to always have a back up stove. back up lighter, back up matches. back up gas in a bottle. and pack heat for the peace of mind.
 

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If you can afford it, I'd look into getting an Aerostich 1 piece suit; probably the light weight version.
It can serve as your only piece of riding gear, even in the rain.
Plus, since it has a ton of pockets, you'll increase your storage space.
They're not cheap, but if you plan on doing more touring in the future, it'll definitely be worth it.
Lenny
 

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1500 miles in 14 days averages to a hair over 357 miles a day. Probably a bit much.
Agree, add a week to the trip and it sounds more realistic.
I've done 4 and 5 hundred mile days but two solid weeks of back to back days like that will get old.
 

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I agree with noobinacan...stay in the west. I've done several of these and it is a blast. Speedy will handle things just fine. But, for a 14 day trip you will want to have a couple of rest days. Not that you couldn't ride every day, it's just that you will enjoy the days you are riding more if you have a couple of breaks. And allow enough time on travel days to enjoy a unique experience that presents itself. I once spent two hours talking with an old rancher who grew up in the area of Grand Coulie Dam before it was constructed. Sam remembered when the river used to freeze every winter, with boxcar sized blocks of ice. He took care of the ranch so his brothers would have something to come home to after the war.

How about a theme for your trip? A tour of significant ghost towns in the west. Or a tour of significant Native American pueblos and settlements. Is there something you've always been interested in that you could turn into a theme for your trip? One guy I know was interested in the westward migration. So he visited a lot of the mountain passes and travel routes of those that opened the west. Up here in the NW a lot of folks do a tour of all the dams -- there are a lot.

Late May can still be cold. When I crossed Nevada a few years ago in late May there was still a lot of snow in the mountains. And late spring rain storms can dump a lot of water -- I rode through a storm system that stretched up the entire west side of Wyoming. If you are well prepared, these things can be a great part of the adventure.

I think interstates are BORING. For example, your map shows a route including I-80 going through the most boring parts of Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Highway 50 through Nevada is MUCH better.

Interstates also have a higher concentration of idiot drivers. You'll have much better opportunities for meeting really interesting people on the blue highways and back roads. So I suggest planning a trip that minimizes the super slabs.

Remember, the "ride" is not only the time you are on the bike. The Ride is the entire experience. Give yourself a theme (or well thought-out purpose) for your trip and it will sustain you through the challenges, and help you give meaning to all of the experiences you will have.
 

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Remember, the "ride" is not only the time you are on the bike. The Ride is the entire experience.
So true! I've learned a lot after two trips (Virginia to New Orleans and Virginia to Nova Scotia) the last two years, and this quote sums it up. The first year we wanted to see "everything" and planned 400-450 mile days. The second year we planned backroads and 300-350 mile days. While both were great trips, there is no doubt that you will enjoy the latter-type trip more!

Many of us have stock high mount exhausts and Ventura and Kriega are two of the popular luggage options that work well, depending on your preference (see luggage threads).

My buddy swears by his one-piece suit, but I have no interest. It is unquestionably the best riding attire, but pretty clumsy when stopping at restaurants or touring attractions (especially if hot). I just toss the jacket over the handlebars and go...

Just my $0.02.
 

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Great idea and good luck on your trip. I think you have the right idea about being in better shape before trying something like this.

Might want to look in to an AirHawk. I am 6'3" and one of the side effects of the AirHawk is that it can give you an extra inch of leg room. I also got lowering pegs that add an inch of legroom there too. That helps with my knees.

My Ventura Rack is great for these trips since I can take plenty of stuff if I want to camp. That and a tank bag is all that I ever need.

Get a Powerlet of something for your GPS/Phone. It doesn't vibrate loos like a standard cigarette lighter.

I am good and happy for about 300 miles/day but much more and it isn't as fun. Sure I can ride all day, but what's the fun in blasting across country but not enjoying it.

I think your route looks like you're going to have a lot of not so interesting parts. I would add some riding through the Ozarks in Ark and Missouri. That part in Kansas is gonna be rough. It's flat boring and WINDY in Kansas. I don't care for the interstates on my S3 since anything over 75mph wears me out. I get wanting to skip California since you live there but after that, you should switch to 2 lane highways for some interesting stuff.

The Hill country near Austin is cool but the rest of West texas is pretty boring. I would probably go a little further north to hit southern Utah since every thing I've read says it's one of the best places to ride in the US.
 

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re-adjust to a more northern western route. (stay west of Dakota and Texas)
as in stay more west, but do places like yellowstone, waterton & Glacier and through Denver, east of Denver, you start getting in to the plains :/

...
It's a long boring ride across Kansas for sure. I've made that trip in a car way too many times. That ride across TX will seem never ending too. If you go north through ID, MT, WY you'll have a much less boring ride.
 

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There is no end to the route planning advice available. Myself, I would say there is plenty of great riding in CA, NV, UT, NM, CO, etc to keep you busy for years and years...but if you want to visit the flat states like TX, etc then that's up to you. I will say TX does seem to know a thing or two about good food, and I don't even care about food, so that's saying something.

As for the bike itself, I just did 3500 miles in about 10 days on my S3 last month for the TnT run. I avoided interstate 99% of the time. My longest days were around 575; my shortest only a couple hundred. Here's what I would suggest:

I too have dual high-mounts, so saddle bags were a no-go. I used a small (10 liter?) tank bag (Marsee Corona mount - they don't offer it for Triumph any more sadly) with a quick-release so I could easily fuel. I also had a small Coretech tailbag (http://www.revzilla.com/product/cortech-sport-tail-bag-2). Since the rear seat on the S3 is so small, I made a flat plate that I attached with a couple of straps around the seat that gave a larger base for the bag to sit on. Basically a home-made version of this: http://www.thecycleguys.com/fast-rack-luggage-rack/ Mine was heavier as it was steel, but it also cost me less than half to make it instead of buying, and mine was more secure as I had more than just velcro holding it on.

Here's a pic of the whole rig:



The tail bag could have been smaller, but I hauled an iPad and a pair of shoes to wear when off the bike. Those took up a fair bit of space.

I find I pretty much can't use the map pocket on my tank bag with this bike - it's located too far back and I can't look down enough to see it easily. I already had a Garmin Montana GPS that I use for hiking, so I bought a RAM mount that attaches to the clutch mount and supports their AMPS powered mount. It looks a little goofy in non-touring mode, but it puts the GPS up nicely in your line of sight. I then added Garmin's City Navigator NT software and was good to go. Also, fwiw, the Montana's touch screen worked fine with my gloves on.

If you stick to the slabs (but why would you???) you'll likely be fine, but assuming you take the 2-lane highways you could find crossing NV might be a fuel-challenge. I had a little fuel problem coming out of Tonapha when I saw a sign saying next gas 163 miles...after I'd already covered 10 or so miles to get to it. Do the math: A Speed Triple on near-deserted highways where you could easily run 100 mph for hours...means I couldn't make that jump! I ended up going back to the station closest to that edge of town and picking up a 1-gallon washer fluid bottle, filling it with fuel, then stopping about 50 miles into that leg of my trip to add that fuel to my tank as I wasn't real comfortable with it riding around behind me.



A safer solution would be something like an MSR fuel can (take a look at REI or someplace similar) or some other certified container you could put a little extra gas in. You don't need a full gallon, but half a gallon might be the difference between a lonely walk and coasting into the next gas station. That run ended up only being a little over 160 miles, but all the same unless I really baby the bike (not likely!) I'm usually seeing the reserve light around 130 miles.

Another thing I ran into that you almost certainly will hit as well - tire usage. I had to pick up a new rear tire along the way. Most of us are running sport tires on an S3 - they aren't going to hold up that well to thousands of miles of highway riding. I'd consider switching to a good dual-compound sport touring tire like maybe the Pilot Road III. Otherwise you're simply going to square off any sport tire and need to buy something half-way through the trip...and you'll likely pay a lot more on the road than if you do it before hand.

The only comfort item I changed on my bike was the grips. My throttle hand in particular gets really sore/cramped up after a few hours. I added a set of grip puppies from CA Sport Touring. (http://www.casporttouring.com/cst/motorcycle/GRIPPUP/GPSMALL.html) They're just up in Hercules, so you could easily stop in to pick up a pair. At $10 (installed no less...the owner just walked out and put them on my bike in the parking lot while I was there) if you don't like them you can just cut them off and keep going. They slip over your stock grips, so if you can remove them and just keep going. They did help my hands on the ride, but it took a long time before the soapy water used as lube to get them on finally worked it's way out. Until then, the grips wanted to slip around a bit which was very uncomfortable on any sort of aggressive riding. Since I run bar-end mirrors, I wasn't worried about the grips coming off, but it was still annoying.

A throttle lock of some kind would be a worthwhile item to look into as well for long highway stints. I've never actually bought one, but every time I do a long piece of highway I know how much I'd like to be able to shake out my throttle hand from time to time.

I'm about 5'10", 170 lbs, 32" inseam and have no problems with the stock seat. It's basically invisible - I never even gave it a thought. Occasionally my knees get a little crampy after several hours, but just moving my foot around to different positions on the pegs is usually enough for that. On the other hand, the base of my neck does get stiff after a full day of riding. I have no answer to that other than ibuprophen. Throw a bottle in your tank bag; you'll thank me at some point, I'm sure.

Riding gear wise, you don't need to run out and buy a full Aerostich suite. Nice, yes, but you can probably get by with what you have. I wore a RevIt Sand jacket (http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-sand-jacket) with a dual liner system (rain/wind and thermal) but only took the rain liner. I did take a fleece that I wore under the jacket when it was cold, but chose that instead of the jacket's dedicated thermal liner since a-I wasn't in really cold weather (temps ran from about 50-100 for me) and b-I could wear it off the bike so it was more versatile. I wore my standard Dainese sport gloves and boots, and a pair of A* overpants that are decidedly NOT waterproof. I did bring a ligthweight pair of shell pants I take hiking that I pulled on over the A*'s when I had to spend a full day in the rain, otherwise I just dealt with getting wet if it was only a small shower. The jacket, btw, did fine on rain. The coretech bag not so much, but I also admit I didn't stop right away to put the rain cover on it.

Most of the rest of my clothing was the same stuff I take hiking - mostly because it is wicking, fast drying, and rolls up very compact. Much better than a cotton T-shirt and jeans most of the time. A trip to REI will also show lots of options in this department, but that stuff isn't cheap and I wouldn't run out and buy it just for one trip. I had all of it already as I enjoy hiking, snowshowing, backpacking, etc.

Here's the whole story of the trip:
http://www.triumphrat.net/ride-trip-reports/218604-to-taos.html
 

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What are you smokin?
LOL! I think with a little more planning you could make this one wild ride! There are so many awesome areas to ride in the west alone it seems a bit of a waste to spend days on end trying to cross Texas. Maybe you should pin point some attractions you'd like to see or do. Are you riding to eat or riding to ride?

5000 miles in 14 days averages to a hair over 357 miles a day. Probably a bit much.
350miles a day is peanuts, especially if you are slabbing a bunch. You can finish that by lunch easily.

As for packing, you are limiting yourself more than you may think. Try a weekend ride with only the clothes on your back and a spare set of gonch then decide what you may need for a 2-3week road trip.

Either way I hope you have a great time! Have fun and ride safe!
 

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Thank you all for the replies. I think you're correct that it may be too much. 5000 miles in 2 weeks at 400 per day roughly is quite a bit. I really want to experience the areas on the other side of New Mexico. I have never been out there and really love BBQ. Maybe I will extend it a week or perhaps I'll just head up to Yellowstone. Not really sure yet. The last thing I want to do is find myself wiped out after a couple k.

Perhaps this trip should be saved for another time and I should set my sights to 2000 miles or so the first time out, to get some more experience on a multi day adventure and really enjoy it.
 
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