PA to Highway 101 and Back - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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PA to Highway 101 and Back

I got my Versys 08 in July of this year for just such a trip. It had 1200 miles on it when i bought it and now it has about 3500.
I was wondering if anyone who has made these types of trips before could give me a few pointers on what i could expect to break or need special attention between 4K and 10K miles.

Also any help on minimalistic motocycle travel would be appreciated.
This is what i have currently
1.Fieldsheer saddlesbags...contour i suppose.
2.Cortech sport tailbag.
3.Waterproof Sleeping Bag
4.Small Tent if needed.

Tentatively, trip will be through MI Upper Peninsula along U.S. Route 2 all the way to the coast. Then, to about the middle of California and back along another two lane Highway through completely different states.

also any tips for things to see along the way or a possible better route are welcome. Thanks to all in advance.

totalresistance

2005 Yamaha VStar 650 -(pfffh...sold)
2002 Yamaha R1-(sold)
2006 Suzuki DRZ400SM (hell yeah!)
2008 Kawasaki Versys
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 09:07 AM
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Nothing should break and nothing should need special attention. Keep your chain in good shape and just add gas.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 10:25 AM
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I second chain care. Buy a good can of lube and be prepared to use it frequently. On 600-1200 mile days, i lube some every tank of gas. I have had chains wear out mid +6000 mile trips and been hosed. I believe every 400 miles is standard amount.

Nothing should break.

Long trips, I recomend carrying a spare oil filter. You never know where you will be when you need a change. Most oils can be found out and about though.

Personal comforts on the long ride? ummm ,foot pegs are super nice for the long days, arm and hammer body powder

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 12:11 PM
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So much to see, so many options. I like to research routes using terrain feature of Google maps looking for the deepest valleys, highest passe's, most dramatic vista's. Google search the area's you'll ride with the word motorcycle inserted you'll get a ton of idea's. I live in CA. Hwy 1 is awesome the entire length. And one of the Worlds top ten motorcycles routes according to (can't remember) magazine is on the coast here.

http://www.bestbikingroads.com/motor...tt&code=a98219

Here's some "poop"
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/es...way/index.html

Highest motor able pass Colorado ??
Loneliest road in US HWY50 Nevada ??
The Entire CA and Oregon and Washington Coast, all three a camper friendly
Lake Tahoe, Mt Lassen area, Cascade Range
http://www.volcaniclegacybyway.org/
http://www.volcaniclegacybyway.org/volcan.html

couple pieces of gear
German Sniper Sleeping Bag or similar for small volume
&
I got a Bivy bag I use for a tent to keep the volume small.
But I have no problem with getting a motel ever other night or so.

"Respect the Ride if you don't you Won't"
"A man's got to know his limitations"

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks for the info...i'm taking notes...keep it coming.

2005 Yamaha VStar 650 -(pfffh...sold)
2002 Yamaha R1-(sold)
2006 Suzuki DRZ400SM (hell yeah!)
2008 Kawasaki Versys
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 12:34 PM
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If you want real advice from the real Long Distance riders(of course, not to say that the riders on here are not real riders)... checkout the Iron Butt Association website. These are the guys that know how to do what you are about to do. When I got into LD riding, I read this page and it gave me a lot of good pointers.

Best of luck

http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/aow.cfm

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 12:43 PM
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Put small tent and sleeping bag in a water proof compression sack. Bought mine at REI. If you have never used one you'll be amazed at how small the package becomes. Tent polls can go in some sort of plastic tube attached laterally from under the back of the seat to a forward supporting member.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 12:46 PM
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Way under-pack in the clothes department, a tee shirt takes up more space than you think. If you absolutely need something you'll soon be passing a store which carries one. Bring a tire patch kit and pump and chain lube. Oh, almost forgot, BABY WIPES and BABY POWDER!
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:25 PM
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not sure how much planning you have done, but the most important consideration is the time allotment. that determines whether you can enjoy the sights and smell the roses or whether you will operate like the LD riders mentioned above, who only stop for gas.

buy a ten dollar atlas from walmart, pour thru every state, decide what you want to see. get national parks pass for the trip, use it frequently, time permitting. these things may influence (be influenced by) your timeframe and mode of travel.

when shopping for things you want or need to carry, remember that items meant for hiking and backpacking are great for motorbike travel, especially clothing.

your description (US2-CA1-US##) sounds like a cannonball run, LD style. to each his own, but there's more to see than highway, if you have (make?) the time to see it.

for the mileage you're looking at, you should consider an automatic chain oiler. loobman, scottoiler, or some such thing.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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Last edited by kevrider; 01-19-2011 at 04:26 PM.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 06:34 PM
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Excellent advice from Kevrider. I forget that people travel in different ways. I'm usually in a time crunch and am trying to make it as far as I can away from Kentucky so I can enjoy where I get to longer. But, i will agree and if you haven't heard it yet in this forum, it is never the destination so much as the journey.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 06:53 PM
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Seriously, if you're going to tour, join the MSTA. They have maps, support, and a network of riders if you need assistance. I also recommend AMA for towing assistance. You never know what you may run into(hopefully not) down the road. Check out the website on my signature. The webmaster Jon is on this forum and there are a few Versys in the association as well. Great rallies too.

PS> This years STAR rally is in Johnson City TN, near the Dragon. The raffle motorcycle is the new Triumph 800, your choice between the standard and XC version!

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Last edited by Element; 01-19-2011 at 07:32 PM.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 07:20 PM
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Put gas in it and drive. I did 3432.2 miles to Florida and back in October of the past year. I oiled the chain most days as I did over 300 miles. Wish I'd have had an auto oiler. Other than that I had to take too much stuff as i was staying at Disney for 5 days and with some relatives three other nights.. Camped quite a bit as well. Do tons of research and stop and see whatever looks interesting! (Oh by the way, I had over 12,000 miles on the bike when I pulled into the garage.)
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks

I have time but not a whole lot of time...planning on riding for around 6 hrs a day. stopping for whatever we want to stop for. Can always turn around and burn it home if need be.

2005 Yamaha VStar 650 -(pfffh...sold)
2002 Yamaha R1-(sold)
2006 Suzuki DRZ400SM (hell yeah!)
2008 Kawasaki Versys
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 08:37 AM
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One other item I forgot to mention. Available at hiking/camping stores. Instead of bringing separate pants, shorts or bathing suit. You can buy one light weight but rugged pair of pants that you can unzip the bottoms and you have a pair of shorts. If you get the ones with the mesh liner in the shorts, they also double as a bathing suit. AND, they come with their own belt! Cost 40-60 bucks. Worth every penny. Packs light and small.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
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I have time but not a whole lot of time...planning on riding for around 6 hrs a day. stopping for whatever we want to stop for. Can always turn around and burn it home if need be.
Traveling with someone is a different game. Someone riding pillion or another bike going? 300-400 miles per day?

I would definately measure the distance you intend to travel at this pace. You can definately burn it home, but rushing to make a return deadline may put you in a situation that you don't want to be in... riding through thunder storms, riding at night, etc.

All just things to think about, I'm sure that you have got it all under control and you will thoroughly enjoy your adventure.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Rush

Just riding with 1 other person with their own bike. He will be on a Honda VTX1800. I will be on the Versys. Not real worried about getting back on time....work can wait. 2 or 3 day delay won't matter too much.
i am very easy going when it comes to travel. i like to see things. i like to look at whats flying by as long as its not interstate. Mtn. vistas at 6 am are the best! I love to camp in the middle of nowhere. for no reason.

zippable pants sound like a great idea. which brand is also considered to be tough enough for motorcycle riding?

2005 Yamaha VStar 650 -(pfffh...sold)
2002 Yamaha R1-(sold)
2006 Suzuki DRZ400SM (hell yeah!)
2008 Kawasaki Versys
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blipco View Post
Way under-pack in the clothes department, a tee shirt takes up more space than you think. If you absolutely need something you'll soon be passing a store which carries one. Bring a tire patch kit and pump and chain lube. Oh, almost forgot, BABY WIPES and BABY POWDER!
+1!

I did a cross country run on my Versys this summer, 18 meandering days - California to South Carolina, 5,400 miles (2,100 in California alone).

California Hwy 101 and Hwy 1, are not to be missed.

I've also done a couple of 2,000+ mile runs up and down the East Coast this past fall to Rhode Island (thanks Twisted Throttle) and Philadelphia, PA and back.


Take half of what you originally pack (I mailed back two packages of "overpacking" as my trip progressed).

The more you carry means the more you have to deal with each night-less is easier all around.

Synthetic clothes pack smaller than cotton (and retain heat or breath better anyway depending on need) and wash and dry easier/faster.

Chain lube (my newly pre-trip replaced chain failed about 3,000 miles into the trip on I-10 in Texas; I was lubing each every other night - maybe should have done more-this was the only problem I had with the bike), baby wipes (or womens makeup facial wipes are even better for cleaning hands) and a small travel towel for cleaning the windscreen and visor of bugs.

Canister stove for camping to boil water/cook/make coffee, and collapsible silicon bowl for microwaving water in motels is also handy.

A wide mouth (can take ice) water-bottle or better thermos (for hot or cold) was my most used piece of non-rider/non-bike gear.

Here is what I took cross country:







I'm going to do another cross country trip (Seattle,WA to Charleston, SC) this Spring via a Northern route-can't wait!

Have a good trip!


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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:19 PM
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A2, nice job, you could have gone around the world with that stuff. I used a Givi E52 only. If it didn't fit I didn't take it. I had a small back pack under a bungee net on the passenger seat which contained chain lube and water. If somebody says you need more than two pairs of under wear to go around the country. Don't believe her.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 05:08 PM
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The northern route can be much cooler/wetter than the southern especially west of the Rockies where you have elevation to consider. Depending on time of year for the trip, you might want to reverse the order and ride the north route (hy2) last...sometime after July 4th or even later.

On the north route (in summertime) you will have longer daylight... like 17-18 hours/day near the border this gives a bit more flexibility in planning.

My riding has all been out west where in-land the scenery tends to be near the mountain passes or major rivers. The coast is pretty much great everywhere. The Olympic Penninsula, and Puget Sound in Washington are very pretty and unique. The Oregon coast may be better than Washington coast because it is more accessible w/ lots of campgrounds. The north and central California coast is just beautiful and remarkably un-developed considering.

If I were camping I would still figure on a motel every 3-4 days, maybe a low mileage day, or 0 mile day thrown in every now and then.

Oh, if your not there yet check out advrider.com, LOTS of trip/gear reports.

Good Luck

Tom
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
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zippable pants sound like a great idea. which brand is also considered to be tough enough for motorcycle riding?
any brand will do, they are not meant for motorcycle riding.

hopefully, you'll be properly equipped with armored (waterproof) riding gear.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
Seal/CRAZY/misquoted


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