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Thread: Prepping for 9000+ mile ride - any advice?

  1. #1
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    Prepping for 9000+ mile ride - any advice?

    I recently picked up a GS and will be riding from Dallas to New Orleans, Kentucky, Connecticut, Ontario, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, and back to Dallas. Trip starts in 2 weeks, and my longest trip to-date was a 5k-mile on my old FZ-1. Suggestions readily accepted!

    Also, I would love to hear about experience and tips planning routes with the Navigator V unit. Trying to avoid major highways and I'm not averse to dirt/gravel.

    Thanks!
    Current Rides:
    2015 BMW R1200GS
    2016 BMW S1000R

  2. #2
    Hangered... but aimed out flyhi2cfar's Avatar
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    Ride the Natchez Trace from NW of New Orleans to Nashville Tn, then over to the Cher. Skyway to a connection onto the Blue Ridge P/W (skip Ky if able) & drop over into WV northbound, through MD toward Connecticut. Take yer'time... there's two mile of ditch for every mile of asphalt in them Appalachian mountians!

    "travel'n" john

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyhi2cfar View Post
    Ride the Natchez Trace from NW of New Orleans to Nashville Tn, then over to the Cher. Skyway to a connection onto the Blue Ridge P/W (skip Ky if able) & drop over into WV northbound, through MD toward Connecticut. Take yer'time... there's two mile of ditch for every mile of asphalt in them Appalachian mountians!
    I used to live in Virginia and I'd ride out HWY 33 through the mountains - great riding out there! Done the Natchez Trace in a car but could be fun on the bike. Done the Blue Ridge Parkway, too.

    I have to go through Kentucky (quick visit to a friend) as well as CT. But I have no other planned stops the rest of the trip.

    What I really need are tips for surviving 15 days @ ~600 miles/day on a GS! My ride on the FZ-1 averaged ~460 miles/day for 11 days and I was dying for the last 2. I don't think this will be as rough because I'll be able to haul more gear and the GS is much more comfortable - cruise control alone makes a big difference.
    Current Rides:
    2015 BMW R1200GS
    2016 BMW S1000R

  4. #4
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    As I warn anybody running the Northeast Corridor, rout 95 is real tough. May be good to have an alternative for the 95 area.
    Oh yeah, Anti Monkey Butt powder and an AirHawk
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  5. #5
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    You need more time

    We did 9K in four weeks from TX to Nova Scotia and a lot in between before heading back home and I felt we were rushing at times...you really shouldn't and sometimes cannot ride every day.
    We do 500+ mile days to get out of TX on day one...then ease up a bit as stopping to enjoy the scenes is part of the adventure. There will be other rides I was once told...and they were right.

    The bike will eat up the miles easily....my main ride is a GSA. Building up to long days helps, sounds like you have a handle on that. The stock saddle works for some...some not...but the mentioned pads or beads give you fast options.

    Don't over-plan....even though there are those among us who wouldn't leave home without a play by play itinerary even for all 9K miles...my mom was that type and sometimes it was not fun...all business. I changed my approach.
    We sometimes stumble across some place so cool, we stay an extra day. Having two bikes and two riders having equal input on what's next works for us. Oh yeah...do not over-plan.

    Pre -planned routes are good, but be ready for on the fly changes daily due to weather,construction, slower pace of non Interstates and dread the thought...mechanical issues...they happen regardless of machines age.
    And then there always is a sick day that catches you off guard. Between the on the road food, fatigue from a fast paced schedule wonks even the toughest at times and trying to ride through that is not the greatest plan


    But all in all enjoy the trip...I'm ready to do it again as well.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  6. #6
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I agree that you are trying to go too far in 15 days. You mention visiting someone; must be a planning a short visit indeed. Unless you are really into long distance riding I think you will not enjoy this trip.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  7. #7
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    My GPS often times gets "confused." That is, when I don't follow the route exactly. I've learned to shut it off and restart it a few times for it to "get it's logic straight." You may even need to remove the battery to really "re-boot" it. It tries to get me back to the where I made the routing change repeatedly. Often times driving in circles over and over again.

    I've also found that in some towns - although you can clearly see the road ahead of you (you can see it) and know that it's the right path - it diverts you to a different route. There's one town whom I believe that Garmin does not like. No matter what I do it will not route me through this town instead routing me miles away only to be returned back about 1/2 mile down the road. It is configured for 'fastest route' but changing it to 'shortest route' makes no difference. It just doesn't like this town and a few others.

    Sometimes my GPS (Nav IV) will have take an exit ramp off a road only to get right back on again.

    If you have avoidances configured for avoid Interstates but that is the most efficient and fastest route the GPS will take you anywhere other than that road. Be careful how you avoidances are set.

    Finally know that the map database within the GPS is not perfect and up-to-date. Even though you update it regularly. When it comes on an anomaly it will route you what it thinks is the correct route but you know is not. Locals will tell you about a road to take - be it scenic or twisty - but the GPS doesn't like it and will route you some other way. If you deviate from the path it will suggest U-turns, turn arounds, etc. to get you on the route it selected. Traveling farther from the deviation will only frustrate and confuse it - see above (turn it off or remove the battery).

    Finally turn off the blue tooth integration with your headset. The GPS voice telling you to "turn around, recalculating" will drive you nuts.

    Be safe and have fun.
    -don
    #161988
    "If you don't treat yourself right, no one else will."
    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, and '16 R1200GSA (wife's)

  8. #8
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Kevin on this one. 600 miles a day for 15 days without a day or three off just seems a little crazy. A lot of distance, a lot of unknown roads, summertime road projects, and who knows about the weather you might encounter?

    Don't want to rain on your parade (sorry, can't resist an easy bit of humor) but firmly believe your route is a bit ambitious for the time frame.

    My last long ride was from Louisville, KY to home near Seattle. Distance 1900 miles. BUT...early May weather didn't cooperate, blizzards from Canada to southern Colorado effectively closed most routes. After visiting family in Iowa I ended up having to route through Texas, NM, and Arizona before heading north. Nine day trip, 7 days riding, 3800 miles. Big day in the middle of the trip was less than 500 miles, battling 30-40 side winds all effing day. I've done near 1000 mile days that were much easier than that particular day.

    Have alternatives in mind and best of luck with your adventure! (I'm envious).
    Bill Johnston

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the advice.

    I intend to take breaks, and perhaps even a day off. My FZ-1 had custom seats (almost as comfortable as the GS's) and I was able to go as far as 700 miles in a day. On my 11-day-5000-mile trip, one of those days was spent stopping and walking a lot - probably only rode 100 miles - and my last day was around 350, but my average was around 460. My only plan that trip was to see Mount Rushmore and I did a lot of improvising to work around the worst of the weather. Ended up seeing so many random-yet-cool roads.....

    It's all about the ride and having some alone time, and vistas are important to me. As far as my visits, I'm just stopping over for dinner and a free bed with friends I haven't seen in a long time. There isn't any place I "have" to be after Connecticut. My planning (if you want to call it that) is really just a rough idea of direction and I'd love to make both coasts. On the last ride, I woke up each morning and took 20 minutes to figure out which direction to go then took another 20 after lunch to figure out where to stop. It was so much fun that I figured I would do the same this time. The 9000-mile estimate is not from detailed planning but rather from knowing that I will keep riding until it's just not fun anymore, and I'm finding the GS is much more fun than the FZ!

    I'm so excited!!! Just 2 more weeks..... I haven't had a real vacation (over 3 days) since that last ride in 2014.
    Current Rides:
    2015 BMW R1200GS
    2016 BMW S1000R

  10. #10
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Hope you have time to post a few photos for us!
    Bill Johnston

  11. #11
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Hope you have a fun trip.
    I take it you will start with new road tires. Even with street tires, you may want to plan a tire change during your trip.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nawlinstornado View Post
    I recently picked up a GS and will be riding from Dallas to New Orleans, Kentucky, Connecticut, Ontario, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, and back to Dallas. Trip starts in 2 weeks, and my longest trip to-date was a 5k-mile on my old FZ-1. Suggestions readily accepted!

    Also, I would love to hear about experience and tips ...
    My suggestions:
    1. Turn off the GPS and ride, not navigate.
    2. Unless you're riding the S100RR in your signature, go find your former FZ-1 for the trip.
    3. Whatever you were planning to pack, toss it out and go with a toothbrush and one change of underwear.

    Good luck and try to have fun, not work and worries.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    My suggestions:
    1. Turn off the GPS and ride, not navigate.
    2. Unless you're riding the S100RR in your signature, go find your former FZ-1 for the trip.
    3. Whatever you were planning to pack, toss it out and go with a toothbrush and one change of underwear.

    Good luck and try to have fun, not work and worries.
    1. Pretty much my plan, although I have 2 stops I must make in the first 4 days. GPS is already set to "Avoid Highways" and "Find Curvy Roads."
    2. I wish I could ride that distance with the S1000R, but would be too painful. And I did find my FZ-1 yesterday.... Sitting at the dealership for sale :0(
    3. Kind of what I did last time. Though it was a blast, I'm looking for a bit more comfort.

    Thanks for the well-wishes!
    Current Rides:
    2015 BMW R1200GS
    2016 BMW S1000R

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Hope you have a fun trip.
    I take it you will start with new road tires. Even with street tires, you may want to plan a tire change during your trip.
    That occurred to me yesterday, too. I've done some research and it looks like most people are getting at least 9k out of the rear and more out the front of these Michelin Anakee III tires. But since I'll be traveling when my next maintenance is supposed to be done, and I'll do that on the road, I'll inspect the tires and can replace any at that time.
    Current Rides:
    2015 BMW R1200GS
    2016 BMW S1000R

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeabeckS View Post
    Hope you have time to post a few photos for us!
    If this trip is anything like the last, I'll end up with about 5 photos per day. It seems like all the best vistas are where the riding is too good to stop!
    Current Rides:
    2015 BMW R1200GS
    2016 BMW S1000R

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