Long trip preparation - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question Long trip preparation

I was hoping some of you more experienced guys might be able to help me get ready for my first long motorcycle trip. On Thursday, I'm starting my trip from Dallas to CO Springs to deliver the monkey from the relay across america thread. I've never been more than an hour or so from home while on the bike, so this is definitely uncharted territory for me.

I've adjusted/cleaned/lubed my chain, checked my fluid levels, and packed for the trip. As an added bonus, the parts guy I'm interested in insisted on taking my bike to work with him tomorrow for one of the service guys to check out. At first, I was rather annoyed that he wouldn't stop bugging me about it, then I warmed up to the idea of a free once-over by a qualified mechanic. (Plus, it will shut him the hell up. Unless of course, they find something I overlooked, then I will never hear the end of it.)

Tool-related crap I have packed thus far:

Hex wrench set
small socket set
Gerber multi-tool
medium crescent wrench
tire patch/plug kit
small air compressor
chain lube
couple of rags
zip ties
duct tape

My questions are these:

1. Are there any glaring omissions from my list above?

2. I'm going to encounter gravel roads at each of my campgrounds. I fear gravel immensely. Any advice on how to cope with this imminent danger?

3. Got any any other pertinent advice that might help me along the way?

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post #2 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 08:17 PM
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I've never been on a long haul with my bike except for trips to Colorado & Deals Gap (in which case I trailer my bike & half my garage... just in case)

I can speak to #2, I grew up driving on gravel roads.
(remind me to tell you a story about high speed persuit on gravel)

Most gravel roads will have two or three hard-pack surfaces (depending on how wide the road is) from regular traffic. For the most part, you should be fine as long as you take your time & watch your lines (stay on the hard-pack as much as you can). The sides will likely be soft, so be aware of that.
Also note that some "gravel roads" might actually be covered in rock - sometimes problem areas due to excessive wetness will be covered in white rock. Hard-pack lines apply here too, just not necessarily quite as smooth.

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post #3 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 08:23 PM
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As far as gravel, I practice steady braking, throttle, and lean. My last two long rides had some gravel roads (see: Wolfgap, WV).
If you are going to venture far from major roads and cities, I would pack a fully charged GPS (I just pack my Garmin from my car, in case I get in a tight situation).

Remember, most bike shops are closed on Mondays. If you are running solo, I would get a container for a gallon/half gallon of gas. If you're out in the country, fill up before 5pm even if you don't need to.

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post #4 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post

Remember, most bike shops are closed on Mondays. If you are running solo, I would get a container for a gallon/half gallon of gas. If you're out in the country, fill up before 5pm even if you don't need to.
oh yeah, good point on 5pm thing... you'll also probably find a lot of businesses are closed on Sundays in more rural areas... or that might just be around the midwest? still, something to keep in mind.

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post #5 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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I've been slightly worried about the fuel issue. But as far as I know, I should be ok on the roads I'm taking. I've been on the majority of my route before, its just usually on four wheels, with a whole passel of students along for the ride.

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post #6 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 10:25 PM
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If you have a fear for gravel roads, then this might sound real basic but definitely remind yourself to relax. Be weary of the hazards but don't let it turn you into a mummy on the bars.

As for fuel, go to your local outdoor shop (Cabelas, REI, etc) and look for a fuel bottle. MSR seems to be a favorite to carry in the luggage for a lot of tourers, they've got a 30oz bottle for $20.

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post #7 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 04:32 AM
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Cell phone charger
Tire pressure gage (maybe already in your plug kit)
The Parts Guy

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post #8 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmike View Post
Cell phone charger
Tire pressure gage (maybe already in your plug kit)
The Parts Guy
Good call on the tire pressure gauge. I keep one on the bike at all times, but I should toss it in w/the other tools.

Parts Guy is getting left behind. I don't think he'd be comfortable on the back for that long of a distance, anyways.

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post #9 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 07:34 AM
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I copied and pasted this from a request I had to list touring items back in '07.

Make sure the bike, tires, chain and sprockets are in good shape and prepared for the mileage you are going to travel.
Clean, lube and adjust the chain before you leave.
When touring I run the tires at max inflation, and check them daily (take an air gauge).
Take a small can of chain lube. Lube it every 500 miles, even if you don't clean it. Lube it more often if you're running in the rain.
I run Ventura soft luggage with a waterproof inner liner. On/off the bike in 10 seconds, and the rack only takes 5 minutes to install. There's some nice hard luggage available also.
Take some old rags, clean rags and something to clean your visor, a couple of garbage bags [great for dirty laundry, wet swimming trunks, waterproofing something that should have been].
CO2 tire inflation kit.
Atlas, and preferably a GPS.
I have a wind up flashlight.
Zip ties and duct tape are nice extras.
I carry a 15' cable lock to secure the bike.
I carry a 2' cable lock to lock helmet, jacket and tankbag to the bike.
Aftermarket saddle, I run Corbin. If you can't get that, one of the sheepskin covers is supposed to be nice, but I've never tried one.

I seperated this one. Some will get a laugh (RC90), but I don't wear underwear. I wear Nike full length undergarments, and the nice thing is they don't have any seams. The seams in underwear, be it boxer or brief, will not feel good after some long miles. It also helps to lotion your ass, and especially the hamstring area. [some people use monkey butt].

Wear full gear. With the obvious benefit to safety, it really helps not having the sun and wind beating on you hour after hour.
A windscreen is a nice addition. I run the GiviA755.

Do yourself a favor, and if you haven't already, threadlock your bar ends and all of the bolts holding your shift linkage together. There's an extra bar end laying on the highway in Ohio if you need it. Let me know.

I take a clear shield and sunglasses, tinted shield and clear glasses.
If you run a clear shield, take some suntan lotion for your face. Or get fried, your option.

I have a FroggTogg rainsuit. I keep it in my tankbag. Quick on and off. Ventilates well.

Take a camera.

Crampbuster or some other type of throttle assist/lock is a must for long range touring.

I start out with one bottle of water in the tankbag. When I get gas I drink it and buy another. I like lukewarm water, so that's not a problem for me. A bottle a tank keeps me happy. According to how fast your going through tanks, at least a bottle every couple of hours.

It takes one minute every morning to do a light check. I've had two tail bulbs go out on different trips.

Most motels will let you park at the entrance drive through.

Take as many tools as you can comfortably handle.

Wheelie across every state line.

Earplugs. You may not wear them on a daily basis [I don't] but I do like them when touring. Back to back days of helmet noise can be tough on the ears.

DO NOT use bungee cords to secure anything.

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post #10 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 07:42 AM
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I personally don't carry all that tire repair stuff. And a compressor? It's a 12v that you run from the bike? It's a probability and seriousness calculation I suppose. A cell phone and credit card weigh far less. Are you going to be in remote locations with no cell phone signal, gas stations, or residences? If so then yep, take it all. After loading my Givi E55 trunk for a 3-day trip there isn't much room left for air compressors, arc welders, etc

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post #11 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 07:44 AM
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+1 on HondaJim's opinion re: Crampbuster, ear plugs and the right riding gear. Those are a must and saved me on my Iron Butt ride last year. I also wore bicycle shorts with the butt pad under my riding pants.

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post #12 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 08:50 AM
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+1 again on earplugs. If you get them nice and secure, it's amazing how much less fatigued you feel. All that wind noise really does draw down your energy.

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post #13 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 08:53 AM
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Or earphones. Listen to the sounds you want to hear. Even at a low volume it is a thousand times better than wind noise.

Forgot to mention a Sleeping Pad for your sleeping bag. The ground in COLD! Even. 1/4in pad helps to keep you away from that cold.

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post #14 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 09:55 AM
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You can cut back on tool weight/space by only taking the tools that actually fit screws, nuts & bolts actually on your bike. ie, you don't need an entire socket set...just 2 or 3 sockets the ratchet and an extension...

As for gravel roads, just go as slow as you need to comfort-wise. brake gently.

This sounds like it's going to be an epic journey for you Mary! I hope it's the first of many!

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

"The Shadow"
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post #15 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
You can cut back on tool weight/space by only taking the tools that actually fit screws, nuts & bolts actually on your bike. ie, you don't need an entire socket set...just 2 or 3 sockets the ratchet and an extension...

As for gravel roads, just go as slow as you need to comfort-wise. brake gently.

This sounds like it's going to be an epic journey for you Mary! I hope it's the first of many!
8mm, 10mm, 12mm, and 13mm sockets and if you want 17mm for the drain bolt, 22mm and 27mm for the rear axel.

5mm, 5 1/2mm and 6mm hex.

Standard size Phillips and Flat head screw drivers.

Duct Tap

Zip ties

Standard back packers first aid kit w/emergency whistle.

Have fun!

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post #16 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 10:12 AM
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+1 on Crampbuster, earplugs and bike shorts. They helped out a lot on my trip. And I would pick us some spare fuses just incase. You don't want to be held up by something so small. You can store them in a film canister, or other small container or just tape them to the inside of the roll of duct tape.

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post #17 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 10:26 AM
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post #18 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 10:52 AM
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If you aren't a smoker and don't normally carry one, a lighter is very handy tool!

What I pack normally depends on the length and area of trip but the Axle wrenches (22/27 the ones out of the stock 919 tool kit work great and are small)saved my ass when I was about 400 miles from home and the chain needed some serious adjustment due to a bad shop and improper tightening.

Water and small energy snacks are a must in my packing as well... let me tell you it really sucks to run out of water in the middle of the AZ desert in 115 degree weather ( and I mean the middle, oh did I mention I ran out of gas too... 40 miles from the next station. Thankfully another biker just happned to be cruising right in front of me with about a gal.5 of fuel!!! I pack gas after that!)

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post #19 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post

Wheelie across every state line.

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post #20 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 01:02 PM
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Just take it easy and slow on gravel. Be gentler with the brakes (especially the front) and give yourself more space with regards to braking distances.

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post #21 of 29 Old 08-31-2011, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the helpful replies guys. At this point, I think I have everything covered. All I have to do now is get it all on the bike and wait for Thursday to arrive.

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post #22 of 29 Old 08-31-2011, 03:14 AM
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I'm getting ready for a long trip as well and ran across this post while searching for tire plugs: https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...ist-25020.html

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post #23 of 29 Old 08-31-2011, 09:15 AM
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have fun and be safe! take lots of pictures!

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post #24 of 29 Old 08-31-2011, 12:34 PM
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It's a Honda............................................. .......... you will be just fine.

Get a good-nights sleep and be well rested for the adventure that awaits.

Do your pre-ride check, pack secure, and off you go.

Carry on wayward woman.

Ride safe,


Doc



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post #25 of 29 Old 07-27-2014, 05:59 PM
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Nice, this thread is 3 years old though, just FYI

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post #26 of 29 Old 07-27-2014, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucilleBrawl View Post
I was hoping some of you more experienced guys might be able to help me get ready for my first long motorcycle trip. On Thursday, I'm starting my trip from Dallas to CO Springs to deliver the monkey from the relay across america thread. I've never been more than an hour or so from home while on the bike, so this is definitely uncharted territory for me.

I've adjusted/cleaned/lubed my chain, checked my fluid levels, and packed for the trip. As an added bonus, the parts guy I'm interested in insisted on taking my bike to work with him tomorrow for one of the service guys to check out. At first, I was rather annoyed that he wouldn't stop bugging me about it, then I warmed up to the idea of a free once-over by a qualified mechanic. (Plus, it will shut him the hell up. Unless of course, they find something I overlooked, then I will never hear the end of it.)

Tool-related crap I have packed thus far:

Hex wrench set
small socket set
Gerber multi-tool
medium crescent wrench
tire patch/plug kit
small air compressor
chain lube
couple of rags
zip ties
duct tape

My questions are these:

1. Are there any glaring omissions from my list above?

2. I'm going to encounter gravel roads at each of my campgrounds. I fear gravel immensely. Any advice on how to cope with this imminent danger?

3. Got any any other pertinent advice that might help me along the way?
I like to carry my own tie down straps if bike has to be towed (some tow truck services may only have a canyon dancer or worse, rachet straps. I like to also have a small flashlight.

I live on a gravel road which prompted me into selling my Wing. A 630 pound Burgman has been a little squirrely but OMG, my 919 is so much easier to ride in loose sand and gravel. So you can have the confidence that the bike is very manageable in these road conditions. The rest is up to you and your comfort zone. I was riding my Burgman through the Pike National Forest in Colorado and was following my GPS on the worst road I had ever been on riding 2 up. Dang GPS was set to shortest distance and not fastest time. At first it was like riding on ball bearings even on hard pack. My speed was low at 15 mph and gradually I rode faster and faster and got more comfortable. The washboard though was worse to me as it would just shake the hell out of you and the bike. Fortunately we only had patches of that. Only way to ride that is real slow.

Dan

2005 Honda 919. (Hercules)
2007 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive (Iron Maiden)
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post #27 of 29 Old 07-27-2014, 08:59 PM
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Oh, a small first aid kit, small tablet of paper and pen and a emergency information 3x5 card in your wallet or tank bag.

Dan

2005 Honda 919. (Hercules)
2007 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive (Iron Maiden)
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post #28 of 29 Old 07-27-2014, 09:03 PM
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One last thing; a roll of toilet paper. Oh, almost forgot, couple of energy bars. Sometimes you can make a meal out of it if you lose your wallet or are just too danged tired to run out to find some supper after a long hot ride.

Dan

2005 Honda 919. (Hercules)
2007 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive (Iron Maiden)
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post #29 of 29 Old 07-28-2014, 05:33 AM
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H4 lamp.

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