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Thread: 4 corners trip

  1. #1

    Cool 4 corners trip

    I've owned my 1992 R100R for 8 years and am considering taking it in April on a Four Corners trip. It is in very good shape (brakes, battery, starter, tires, drive shaft are all new enough for the long haul) - My questions:

    What electrical components tend to fail that would warrant me taking spares?
    Where is the best location for auxiliary lights on front?
    Any airhead advice other than above for such a trip?

    Thanks a lot for your time - Ride safe -
    Last edited by hobarter; 12-12-2012 at 04:21 PM.

  2. #2
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Sugar Valley, Ga
    Where are you located? How far will you travel each day? These and many other questions come to mind before offering any type of travel advice. The first thing that comes to mind is that in April, the 4 Corners area can be cold-cold-cold. Or are you gonna stay down in the 5K areas?.....Anyway, God bless......Dennis

  3. #3
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    Believe he's thinking of visiting the four corners of the USA as opposed to Utah/Colorado/Arizona/New Mexico.

    As for electrical, just check that alternator brushes are not worn out, carry some bulbs, etc.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  4. #4
    AKBob RAColeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Fairbanks, AK

    3 things you really need. Pluss some Extras

    1. Airhead Beemer Club - Bum Book.
    2. BMWMOA - Bum Book.
    3. Credit Card.

    Friends - even if you've just met them.

    The right attitude. Enjoy the ride, don't get stressed if something goes wrong. If something breaks and you have to wait for parts, enjoy the down days.

    Last summer I rode from Fairbanks to Key West in a route that bounced all over @ 12K Mi. on an '84 RT.

    Things that Got opened and looked at. Gear Box Thanks Joe.

    Things that broke Cluch Cable in Destin, FL. 45 minutes after pushing it into a Hooters Lot, a MOA Member, and two Airheads with parts showed up. Thanks Jerry, Calud, and Kevin. The cable wasn't the "right" one it was out of a / 2 it followed a unusual route, it worked, and got me from there to Key West and up to Pensacola where the dealer got me the right part and had it waiting for me. Thanks JAX BMW. Another Airhead let me work in his Garage to change the parts and fluids. Thanks Eddie, Thanks Larry.

    Normal changes fluids twice, one rear tire change.. Pluss too much to add. Thanks Kevin and Annie.

    For a Nice place to Crash and much more. Thanks Mike.

    You can get by with a little help from your friends.



    Is my phone number in the bum books and have I helped others?

    Bob Coleman
    Fukengruver add umlaut
    '84 R100rt, '88 R100gs, Iron Butt

  5. #5
    If you wanted to go more around the 4th of July, you could take a crazydrummerdude with you. I'm looking to do a motorcycle trip this summer..

    Over on Old's Cool on advrider, I read something that I think I'll do from now on. Yeah, you can take the little doo-dads with you (regulator, diode board, whatever), but why not just box up an entire electrical system and leave it with a family member while you're gone so that in case of emergency (which hopefully won't happen), they can just ship you the whole shebang. That beats the spacial constraints and wear and tear of lugging a bunch of spare parts around.

  6. #6
    I'd carry a spare alternator rotor. I used to scoff at the BMW guys that swore by having a spare one around, then mine went out of nowhere . Luckily I was close enough to my house to make it back on battery
    // 1975 BMW R90/6 (cafe'd) // 1957 BMW R60 (in pieces) // 1967 Aermacchi/H-D Sprint 250 SS (custom special) // 1967 Moto Guzzi V700 (current restoration)

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Tularosa, NM


    SAME identical advice that Typ181R90 offers: 60k on the clock of a '78 R100RS and was very lucky to be about a mile from home when the engine (battery power) finally gave out of sparks after the rotor failed. . .these things go better with internal combustion vs. human power. A lot better.

    FYI, an Odyssey Battery got me many tens-of-miles toward home after the above fail. Not sure what another battery would have done, but ++ on an Odyssey for your trip.

    Walking Eagle

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Northern Front Range, CO
    tire chains.
    getting over the Cascades and the Rockies in April could be really dicey, if not outright impossible.
    1 spare throttle cable, 1 spare clutch cable. carry the clutch cable with sealed ends, right along the path of the current one.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  9. #9
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, Canada
    A few thoughts. My wife, Mary, and I 'rebuilt' my 1973 75/5 back in 2000/2001 winter. Her basement (we just met). Asked her if she wanted to go on a little ride in the summer. "sure" (she wiser now...) The trip was a four corners (Nova Scotia to Boston; then Seattle, San Diago, Jacksonville and home) tour. So, a two up and really fully loaded mule (with very modest brakes) set out on a six week adventure. 11,500 miles on that 28 year old bike. Now, back to your point: what to take/consider?

    - attitude of a high order
    - double your expense plan
    - credit card (tell the company what you are doing because it can look like someone lifted your card and is on a road trip.
    - Don't go in April
    - Join Airheads
    - Find out who and where the repair expertise is along your route
    - cables for everything
    - travel alone as much as possible with a good dose of situational awareness
    - take an extra helmet (uh... you never know what friends you might meet)
    - good maps and gps maybe.
    - good rain gear and boots
    - tools
    - SPOT Locator is nice to let others, who care what happens to you, to follow you.
    - Think of it as an adventure and act accordingly (that goes back to attitude I suppose.

    Lots more I suppose but those come to mind.

    (for the last few years I have been wanting to prepare something ie Forum or News regarding our trip in 2001 before it becomes far too much Ancient History )
    Bob Weber
    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  10. #10
    Registered User krpntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Mt Vernon WA
    The North West in April? Doable, but you better like rain. The season starts in early November and ends July 5th. You can cross the Cascades at a lower elevation along the Columbia river, but the wind may be a bit of a nuisance that time of year. The interstate and U.S. highways will be clear for the most part but in the higher elevations conditions change daily. The North Cascades Hwy(my favorite thru road) will not open till mid June or so. The most important thing to bring is your plastic. Everything else can be sourced along the way. Also, bring a friend on their own bike if you can. Sounds like a good time, good luck.

  11. #11
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    This thread is starting to take on a life of it's own. I don't think we actually know where the OP is starting from because he never mentioned it, his profile is incomplete and he has not posted a single reply yet. So where the start point might be is pure guesswork at this point.

    That said, unless he's starting in South Florida or near San Diego and heading either east or west _real_ slow it's gonna be a cold trip for sure!
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  12. #12

    4 Corners Trip

    We'll be starting from Michigan to Maine & onward - Thanks to all the replies so far - great ideas -

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern WV
    Quote Originally Posted by Typ181R90 View Post
    I'd carry a spare alternator rotor....
    I agree, unless you recently changed it. (I just changed mine on my 93 R100R.)

    Sounds like a great ride !
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R, 15 FJ-09, 15 Road King, 07 Moto Guzzi Griso No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  14. #14
    Assuming the bike is, as you say, in good condition I wouldn't worry much about it for a Four Corners ride. What is that - about 7500 miles from the start to the 4th corner, and then another 2200 or so back home directly.

    I would carry a few things but not much. I would carry an alternator rotor and a diode board. Rotors in particular don't like the thermal expansion and contraction of starts quick warmups on cold mornings. Windings break. Back in the day every dealer had rotors, but today they are not so ubiquitous. And they are expensive OEM. I'd get and install a good rotor from Rick Jones at Motoelectrik and carry the one from the bike as a spare. Ditto a diode board.

    Fuses, and maybe a headlight bulb. If you are a purist and want European bulbs instead of almost matching US bulbs then carry them too.

    I'd plan an oil and filter change at about 5,000 miles - looks like somewhere in west central Texas to me. Bring your own filter if you plan a DYI, or look to schedule in San Antonio or Austin at a dealership, or the new Barnett's BMW in El Paso. I have been doing on-the-road oil changes at Walmart. They lend me the pan and take away the oil.

    With your plan, if you get to Madewaska and then south a bit, weather should be fine. Once you get to Blaine you are done, and can drop as far south as you need to to get back east. The last few days on the west coast may be damp. Expect it.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

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