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Thread: First time long distance... nervous!

  1. #1

    First time long distance... nervous!

    Hi all, I'm back on two wheels as of yesterday. Proud owner of a 2002 R1150RT, 47K and seemingly well taken care of. Saddle bags and trunk. I haven't ridden much in the last ten years, and only did one longish trip way back when, but that was only really two full days of riding each way. This time I'm heading most of the way across the country, solo, from New Orleans to Northern California to visit family there. While I'm not in a big hurry, this trip is less about sightseeing per say and more about making my destination while enjoying the trip. Mostly plan to hammock camp, but may end up in a hotel or two if things work out that way. Have people to visit in Memphis and Boulder, CO. Anyway, I have a ton of questions I'm trying to sort out and if anyone has any input I'd love to hear it!

    - Pace. I know I'm not in great riding shape and plan to start slow, maybe 3-4 hour days for at least the first few. I also plan to try to get in some local riding before I leave (which will be in early July). Any tips for staying safe and comfortable on a long trip? I have read some people suggesting standing while riding for a few minutes. Is that generally accepted as a good idea?

    - Route. A big hairy deal I guess lol. I'd like to stay off the interstate as much as possible, but also don't want to do a lot of local traffic lights/stop signs. Any tricks to route planning?! So far I have only seriously looked at leg from New Orleans to Memphis, which I will cover mostly on the Natchez Trace which I have wanted to do for a while. I will tackle the planning each state/leg over the next two weeks. Willing to go out of my way in Colorado and Utah for beautiful scenery! Expect Kansas to be a bit tedious. Nervous about heat in Nevada. California is known to me, have driven that route multiple times, and will expect be ready to be there already.

    - Gear. Just ordered a helmet, full face HJC CL-17, no frills but looks like a nice helmet with good venting. Might need to return and replace if sizing isn't right, but I had an HJC ten years ago and it fit well. Have a heavy leather jacket that I'm debating taking. Would be brutal in hot weather I think, no venting. And since I haven't ridden much on this bike, not sure about wind cooling... Any advice on what to expect in terms of temps given my route and time of year (July one way, September coming back). Maybe ship the heavier jacket to Cali, buy a lighter one for first part? Or just get a lighter jacket and layer for trip back. Also concerned about rain. Plan to not ride in it as much as possible. But I guess some is inevitable right? Should I get a serious waterproof jacket, or just a light rain suit to go over jacket, pants? How about rain booties to cover my leather boots.? Cover gloves?
    Overall I'm trying to avoid buying and carrying a lot of gear.

    - Gear stowage. I have the two side cases. Not sure I want to bring the trunk. It feels a bit much, but we'll see. I might just want to get a couple dry bags and secure them to the rear seat/rack with a bungie net thingie. Tank bag?

    - Water. Having access to water while moving seems like a good idea yes? So camelbak type thing, maybe in a tank bag? I'd rather not wear one on my back I don't think...

    - Food. Think I will only carry snack food, like trail mix and apples, etc. Otherwise eat out. Coffee is a concern, I like good coffee. Could maybe bring my little mini stove and single french press. But cream? Ugh, more stuff to carry, might be better to just go without if I can't find good coffeeshop...

    - GPS. Bike has nice Garmin unit installed, but I'm not sure I need it. I have travelled all over the country using my phone and Google Maps, so why do I need this clunky unit, that takes up a bunch of space on my dash?? Also the way it's mounted prevents screen from coming all the way down. Want to remove it and sell it, looks like it will sell for a few hundred on EBAY. Any reason not to do that? I plan to rig up some sort of holder for my phone which I will use for music/podcasts anyway.

    - Music/podcasts. Plan to use my phone and ear buds. Or if I can find a good bluetooth speaker system I can install in the helmet for not crazy money I would go that way. I don't need or want headset, I'm riding solo and don't talk on the phone that much. Just not sure about sound quality/noise and whether it will be comfortable with earbuds in my helmet. Was looking at these earbud 'tips':
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NUJ2RM...d=17HJ8OIQTAZ5

    OK, sorry this is already longer then I intended. Much love if you read this far lol.
    DG
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  2. #2
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Central Maine
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    First things first. Welcome to the Forum and the Club, it's great to have you. You may want to plan your trip around being in SLC during the Rally in July.

    I'm not as eloquent as most on here, I'm sure you will get some great advice, here's my $.02 worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by demet123 View Post
    Hi all, I'm back on two wheels as of yesterday. Proud owner of a 2002 R1150RT, 47K and seemingly well taken care of. Saddle bags and trunk. I haven't ridden much in the last ten years, and only did one longish trip way back when, but that was only really two full days of riding each way. This time I'm heading most of the way across the country, solo, from New Orleans to Northern California to visit family there. While I'm not in a big hurry, this trip is less about sightseeing per say and more about making my destination while enjoying the trip. Mostly plan to hammock camp, but may end up in a hotel or two if things work out that way. Have people to visit in Memphis and Boulder, CO. Anyway, I have a ton of questions I'm trying to sort out and if anyone has any input I'd love to hear it! If you didnt buy the bike from a dealer, take it in for a look over and general service, can't hurt and could save you some issues on the road.

    - Pace. I know I'm not in great riding shape and plan to start slow, maybe 3-4 hour days for at least the first few. I also plan to try to get in some local riding before I leave (which will be in early July). Any tips for staying safe and comfortable on a long trip? I have read some people suggesting standing while riding for a few minutes. Is that generally accepted as a good idea? I'd stick with sitting on the seat if I was you at least until you get more experience under your belt, as for pace, you'll have to be the judge for yourself, if you find yourself getting tired, rest. Stop often to go farther.

    - Route. A big hairy deal I guess lol. I'd like to stay off the interstate as much as possible, but also don't want to do a lot of local traffic lights/stop signs. Any tricks to route planning?! So far I have only seriously looked at leg from New Orleans to Memphis, which I will cover mostly on the Natchez Trace which I have wanted to do for a while. I will tackle the planning each state/leg over the next two weeks. Willing to go out of my way in Colorado and Utah for beautiful scenery! Expect Kansas to be a bit tedious. Nervous about heat in Nevada. California is known to me, have driven that route multiple times, and will expect be ready to be there already.I personally like the old US highways, most times they parallel the interstates, interesting sights and the pace is somewhat slower but I find I can still make reasonable time. Living up in the far northeast and not having much vacation time, I usually need to make tracks, so I will cover 500 to 650 miles per day, and I've found these routes allow me to do this easily. It will be hot in July everywhere except highest elevations be prepared with something to drink

    - Gear. Just ordered a helmet, full face HJC CL-17, no frills but looks like a nice helmet with good venting. Might need to return and replace if sizing isn't right, but I had an HJC ten years ago and it fit well. Have a heavy leather jacket that I'm debating taking. Would be brutal in hot weather I think, no venting. And since I haven't ridden much on this bike, not sure about wind cooling... Any advice on what to expect in terms of temps given my route and time of year (July one way, September coming back). Maybe ship the heavier jacket to Cali, buy a lighter one for first part? Or just get a lighter jacket and layer for trip back. Also concerned about rain. Plan to not ride in it as much as possible. But I guess some is inevitable right? Should I get a serious waterproof jacket, or just a light rain suit to go over jacket, pants? How about rain booties to cover my leather boots.? Cover gloves?
    Overall I'm trying to avoid buying and carrying a lot of gear. Your helmet being new to you I'd recommend you put it on when you get it and wear it for several hours, go for a long ride and check it out, it needs to fit well and not be uncomfortable, what works for a 2 hour ride around home will drive you nuts four days into your trip when on a long stretch of highway and all you've got to think about is that dam tight helmet rubbing you wrong. As for jackets, personal choice, I wear a Motoport jacket, it has a removable waterproof liner and will flow a ton of air with the liner removed so it works in multi season, multi weather situations. Motoport is located in California, you should check them out if you have time. If you decide after this trip this type of travel is for you, then I'd look at replacing the leather, util then, I'd get a rain jacket and pants that "easily" fits over the leather jacket and just go with that. I say easy because the last thing you want to do on the side of the road is struggle with a rain coat over your jacket. I don't use covers on my boots, I use bread bags, keep my feet dry and are cheap, boots dry. As for glove covers, I use playtex gloves under my leather gloves.

    - Gear stowage. I have the two side cases. Not sure I want to bring the trunk. It feels a bit much, but we'll see. I might just want to get a couple dry bags and secure them to the rear seat/rack with a bungie net thingie. Tank bag? The amount of gear you travel with is pretty subjective, I tend to look like the "Clampetts" when packed (only thing missing is granny's rocker), but I camp out so carry some extra gear, your top case will provide some nice storage options and save you buying other gear. If your staying in Cali for a long time, ship clothes and such before you leave and only carry trip essentials.

    - Water. Having access to water while moving seems like a good idea yes? So camelbak type thing, maybe in a tank bag? I'd rather not wear one on my back I don't think... I agree on water, no camelbak for me, I can afford to stop and have a drink, not in that much of a hurry.

    - Food. Think I will only carry snack food, like trail mix and apples, etc. Otherwise eat out. Coffee is a concern, I like good coffee. Could maybe bring my little mini stove and single french press. But cream? Ugh, more stuff to carry, might be better to just go without if I can't find good coffeeshop...

    - GPS. Bike has nice Garmin unit installed, but I'm not sure I need it. I have traveled all over the country using my phone and Google Maps, so why do I need this clunky unit, that takes up a bunch of space on my dash?? Also the way it's mounted prevents screen from coming all the way down. Want to remove it and sell it, looks like it will sell for a few hundred on EBAY. Any reason not to do that? I plan to rig up some sort of holder for my phone which I will use for music/podcasts anyway. I use a dedicated GPS, but I understand others like their phone, if you've downloaded map sections for area's with no cell coverage, yes they do exist, you'll probably be fine.

    - Music/podcasts. Plan to use my phone and ear buds. Or if I can find a good bluetooth speaker system I can install in the helmet for not crazy money I would go that way. I don't need or want headset, I'm riding solo and don't talk on the phone that much. Just not sure about sound quality/noise and whether it will be comfortable with earbuds in my helmet. Was looking at these earbud 'tips':
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NUJ2RM...d=17HJ8OIQTAZ5

    I would highly recommend a SENA SMHR10 or one of their other products. I've utilized one of these for several years and its a good bit of kit. It connects to my gps, phone, ipod all seamlessly. I can make calls or answer the phone hands free, and my wife swears at any speed she cannot tell that I'm on a bike. Price range is around 170 bucks pretty inexpensive for what you get.

    OK, sorry this is already longer then I intended. Much love if you read this far lol.

    Most of all, enjoy your journey, don't over think it. Use the "anonymous book" if you breakdown, plenty of folks here who will come to your aid.


    DG
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  3. #3
    I think jandhumphreyme....covered it nicely. I will add my standing rule when traveling out west......if ya see gas....buy gas.....yes it has improved over the years but...ya never really know when the next gas stop will be.

    His best advise {IMO} don't over think it.

    Enjoy your trip & tell us all about it when you return....OR....as you go. Like some of those really talented guys on here do sometimes.
    Ron Prior {AMA member ,MOA member}
    Milford,Oh
    2002 KLT
    2004 Roadster

  4. #4
    Registered User GeorgeR1200RT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    357
    Hi all, I'm back on two wheels as of yesterday. Proud owner of a 2002 R1150RT, 47K and seemingly well taken care of. Be sure it is well serviced before departure. Saddle bags and trunk. Consider getting a tank bag. I haven't ridden much in the last ten years, and only did one longish trip way back when, but that was only really two full days of riding each way. This time I'm heading most of the way across the country, solo, from New Orleans to Northern California to visit family there. While I'm not in a big hurry, this trip is less about sightseeing per say and more about making my destination while enjoying the trip. Mostly plan to hammock camp, Hammock camp? Not easy to find a place to hang a hammock. Recommend a small tent with floor and screens….keeps out bugs and other critters and gives cover for rain and dew. but may end up in a hotel or two if things work out that way. Have people to visit in Memphis and Boulder, CO. Anyway, I have a ton of questions I'm trying to sort out and if anyone has any input I'd love to hear it!

    - Pace. I know I'm not in great riding shape and plan to start slow, maybe 3-4 hour days for at least the first few. I also plan to try to get in some local riding before I leave (which will be in early July). Any tips for staying safe and comfortable on a long trip? I have read some people suggesting standing while riding for a few minutes. Is that generally accepted as a good idea? Consider riding longer than 3-4 days. Just stop every hour or so and take a break. Walk around, take a short nap on a rest area picnic table, eat a small snack.

    - Route. A big hairy deal I guess lol. I'd like to stay off the interstate as much as possible, but also don't want to do a lot of local traffic lights/stop signs. Any tricks to route planning?! So far I have only seriously looked at leg from New Orleans to Memphis, which I will cover mostly on the Natchez Trace which I have wanted to do for a while. I will tackle the planning each state/leg over the next two weeks. Willing to go out of my way in Colorado and Utah for beautiful scenery! Expect Kansas to be a bit tedious. Nervous about heat in Nevada. California is known to me, have driven that route multiple times, and will expect be ready to be there already. Your route looks fine for what you are trying to accomplish. I also prefer avoiding the interstates….except I will use them to get around metro areas.

    - Gear. Just ordered a helmet, full face HJC CL-17, no frills but looks like a nice helmet with good venting. Might need to return and replace if sizing isn't right, but I had an HJC ten years ago and it fit well. Have a heavy leather jacket that I'm debating taking. Would be brutal in hot weather I think, no venting. The unvented heavy leather jacket can be a challenge in July. Joe Rocket and 6th Gear make vented jackets and pants that are not expensive. Take good quality rain gear. If the weather gets cool you can wear it over your vented gear and it will help keep you warm. Also get some kind of boot covers. For your hands rubber kitchen gloves with a wool or cotton glove inside is cheap, waterproof and warm. And since I haven't ridden much on this bike, not sure about wind cooling... Any advice on what to expect in terms of temps given my route and time of year (July one way, September coming back). Maybe ship the heavier jacket to Cali, buy a lighter one for first part? Or just get a lighter jacket and layer for trip back. Also concerned about rain. Plan to not ride in it as much as possible. But I guess some is inevitable right? Should I get a serious waterproof jacket, or just a light rain suit to go over jacket, pants? How about rain booties to cover my leather boots.? Cover gloves? There have been a few times when riding in extreme hear that I loved getting rained on to cool me off….also wet my clothes at a rest area. This is a quick way to cool down in extreme heat. High elevation is where you may face getting cold.
    Overall I'm trying to avoid buying and carrying a lot of gear.

    - Gear stowage. I have the two side cases. Not sure I want to bring the trunk. It feels a bit much, but we'll see. I might just want to get a couple dry bags and secure them to the rear seat/rack with a bungie net thingie. Tank bag? I have found tank bags helpful, just don’t get one that is too big and gets in your way. Most have a window for a map.

    - Water. Having access to water while moving seems like a good idea yes? So camelbak type thing, maybe in a tank bag? I'd rather not wear one on my back I don't think...I don’t use a camelbak type thing. I carry several plastic bottles of water that can be refilled at rest area drinking fountains. Always drink water when you take a break or buy gas.

    - Food. Think I will only carry snack food, like trail mix and apples, etc. Agree. Can always stop at a local grocery store to get some fresh fruit or vegetables Otherwise eat out. Coffee is a concern, I like good coffee. Could maybe bring my little mini stove and single french press. But cream? Ugh, more stuff to carry, might be better to just go without if I can't find good coffeeshop...I do not cook at campgrounds. If not eating in a restaurant, I will pick up something to eat when I get to the campground or motel. I’m a morning coffee drinker and pack up and roll from the campground early in the morning. I look for a local restaurant with a bunch of pickup trucks for my coffee and breakfast. If the locals eat there it is usually excellent. I do not keep food overnight at the campground and the critters leave me alone. Also do not wish to cook and clean. I simply sleep in a campground to save money…and hope they have decent bathrooms.

    - GPS. Bike has nice Garmin unit installed, but I'm not sure I need it. I have travelled all over the country using my phone and Google Maps, so why do I need this clunky unit, that takes up a bunch of space on my dash?? Also the way it's mounted prevents screen from coming all the way down. Want to remove it and sell it, looks like it will sell for a few hundred on EBAY. Any reason not to do that? I plan to rig up some sort of holder for my phone which I will use for music/podcasts anyway. While I now have a Garmin GPS on my bike, I still put paper maps in the tankbag window. I-phone Google maps also work where there is service. I used paper maps for nearly 40 years and they work just fine.

    - Music/podcasts. Plan to use my phone and ear buds. Or if I can find a good bluetooth speaker system I can install in the helmet for not crazy money I would go that way. I don't need or want headset, I'm riding solo and don't talk on the phone that much. Just not sure about sound quality/noise and whether it will be comfortable with earbuds in my helmet. Was looking at these earbud 'tips': I wear earplugs to seriously reduce wind and road noise. Had music on my LT and rarely used it. That is a personal choice.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NUJ2RM...d=17HJ8OIQTAZ5
    George
    R1200RT. Previous K1200RS, K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    506
    I hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by demet123 View Post
    Hi all, I'm back on two wheels as of yesterday. Proud owner of a 2002 R1150RT, 47K and seemingly well taken care of. Saddle bags and trunk. I haven't ridden much in the last ten years, and only did one longish trip way back when, but that was only really two full days of riding each way. This time I'm heading most of the way across the country, solo, from New Orleans to Northern California to visit family there. While I'm not in a big hurry, this trip is less about sightseeing per say and more about making my destination while enjoying the trip. Mostly plan to hammock camp, but may end up in a hotel or two if things work out that way. Have people to visit in Memphis and Boulder, CO. Anyway, I have a ton of questions I'm trying to sort out and if anyone has any input I'd love to hear it! Warning bells start going off. You haven't ridden much in ten years and have just bought a bike that you have little personal experience with and plan to head cross-country by yourself. In the hottest time of the year. Get the bike checked out and ride it a lot in the next couple weeks. I've heard too many stories of riders getting maintenance done on their bike, picking it up the day before they leave...and finding the dealership didn't put everything together correctly, so they only got as far as the city limits. So get it checked out as soon as possible. If you haven't already, sign up for the BMW MOA Roadside Assistance. Another good one is offered by AMA.

    - Pace. I know I'm not in great riding shape and plan to start slow, maybe 3-4 hour days for at least the first few. I also plan to try to get in some local riding before I leave (which will be in early July). Any tips for staying safe and comfortable on a long trip? I have read some people suggesting standing while riding for a few minutes. Is that generally accepted as a good idea? I just got back from a 4000 mile trip down into Utah and Colorado. I started exercising at home in the mornings a couple months before leaving. Your core muscles need to be in shape to ride day after day. I do some stretching exercises as well as pushups, situps and knee bends.

    - Route. A big hairy deal I guess lol. I'd like to stay off the interstate as much as possible, but also don't want to do a lot of local traffic lights/stop signs. Any tricks to route planning?! So far I have only seriously looked at leg from New Orleans to Memphis, which I will cover mostly on the Natchez Trace which I have wanted to do for a while. I will tackle the planning each state/leg over the next two weeks. Willing to go out of my way in Colorado and Utah for beautiful scenery! Expect Kansas to be a bit tedious. Nervous about heat in Nevada. California is known to me, have driven that route multiple times, and will expect be ready to be there already. I'm assuming you're going back east when you finish, so you have two legs you can use to pick up the bucket list of sights to see on. My trip took me through the 5 National Parks in Utah, the Hogback in Utah, the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado and the Tetons.

    Gas gets to be an issue. Bing maps was valuable. You can plan your route with it, and then click on the gas pump icon to see the gas stations along the way. I planned my stops based on my known gas range and where the gas stations were. Out west, I'd advise doing the same. I can send you a picture of a gas station and small motel along the side of the road in Nevada, if you'd like. Both were empty and abandoned.


    - Gear. Just ordered a helmet, full face HJC CL-17, no frills but looks like a nice helmet with good venting. Might need to return and replace if sizing isn't right, but I had an HJC ten years ago and it fit well. Have a heavy leather jacket that I'm debating taking. Would be brutal in hot weather I think, no venting. And since I haven't ridden much on this bike, not sure about wind cooling... Any advice on what to expect in terms of temps given my route and time of year (July one way, September coming back). Maybe ship the heavier jacket to Cali, buy a lighter one for first part? Or just get a lighter jacket and layer for trip back. Also concerned about rain. Plan to not ride in it as much as possible. But I guess some is inevitable right? Should I get a serious waterproof jacket, or just a light rain suit to go over jacket, pants? How about rain booties to cover my leather boots.? Cover gloves?
    Overall I'm trying to avoid buying and carrying a lot of gear. Ditch the leather jacket. You'll hit temperatures in the triple digits. The tricky part is when you get at 93F and above. Below that temp, your body will get some cooling benefit from the sweat evaporation. Above that, and sweat evaporates before it can cool your body and the air that does hit the skin can heat your body. Read some articles on the subject to get smart. PM me if needed and I'll find some for you. I found an Olympia Dakar jacket on closeout before leaving that worked well. Mesh material for air to flow. A breathable rain and wind liner, plus a quilted liner. You'll hit some cold temps up in the higher elevations as well as extremely hot temps, so getting gear to handle both is essential. I'm assuming you're going to wear riding pants too, right? Cycle Gear has inexpensive (relatively) gear if your budget is limited that would serve you well. I used some mesh gloves for the first few days in the heat. I had to change to some leather gloves that flowed some air instead. The hot air was too much on the hands. They were drying out to the point they were painful to touch. So think out your gear well. It needs to protect you in a fall...but also for the ride.

    - Gear stowage. I have the two side cases. Not sure I want to bring the trunk. It feels a bit much, but we'll see. I might just want to get a couple dry bags and secure them to the rear seat/rack with a bungie net thingie. Tank bag?
    I have two 37 liter side cases and a 46 liter top box. And I still used a Dry Bag on the pillion seat. Set out your gear in the coming days on the floor, pack it up, then set it out again. You'd be surprised how much space it'll take. This will give you the time to figure out what you really don't need to take, and what you're missing. I wavered between taking my electric heated jacket liner and gloves, or the quilted liner that came with the jacket. In the end, I had left both at home.
    - Water. Having access to water while moving seems like a good idea yes? So camelbak type thing, maybe in a tank bag? I'd rather not wear one on my back I don't think... I brought a Camelbak bladder and only used it a couple days. I used a couple water bottles instead through much of the trip. Take the time to get off the bike and drink the water. You're not on a marathon or getting an Iron Butt patch, so the time spent off the bike on an hourly break, or at least not moving is good if you keep it short. If you stop at a restaurant for lunch, you can use the water they bring you to refill the water bottles. Also, I found we ate pretty much only two meals a day. We'd go down the road for breakfast. (That's a break in the ride.) And we'd eat a late lunch that left us full enough to skip a large dinner.

    - Food. Think I will only carry snack food, like trail mix and apples, etc. Otherwise eat out. Coffee is a concern, I like good coffee. Could maybe bring my little mini stove and single french press. But cream? Ugh, more stuff to carry, might be better to just go without if I can't find good coffeeshop... I live in Seattle. I like my coffee. But I drank only what I could find on the way. I lived.

    - GPS. Bike has nice Garmin unit installed, but I'm not sure I need it. I have travelled all over the country using my phone and Google Maps, so why do I need this clunky unit, that takes up a bunch of space on my dash?? Also the way it's mounted prevents screen from coming all the way down. Want to remove it and sell it, looks like it will sell for a few hundred on EBAY. Any reason not to do that? I plan to rig up some sort of holder for my phone which I will use for music/podcasts anyway. Don't ditch the GPS yet. I had planned on using a smartphone a year or so ago for my trip, and gave up on it. A couple concerns. If you can't secure the smartphone well enough, you might just find it drops off the bike and you lose it in pieces on the road. If you use it for pictures, then that same holder you rigged up becomes a pain in the rear each time you take the smartphone off and put it back on. Most smartphones aren't waterproof. You can easily encounter rain in July. Lastly, a lot of smartphones will overheat in the direct sunlight and shut down. Instead, I'd rig up a USB port to the front of your bike where you can plug your smartphone into and still have it available for listening to your tunes. I had my smartphone in the tank bag charging throughout the day.

    - Music/podcasts. Plan to use my phone and ear buds. Or if I can find a good bluetooth speaker system I can install in the helmet for not crazy money I would go that way. I don't need or want headset, I'm riding solo and don't talk on the phone that much. Just not sure about sound quality/noise and whether it will be comfortable with earbuds in my helmet. Was looking at these earbud 'tips':
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NUJ2RM...d=17HJ8OIQTAZ5
    Go the Sena route as already suggested. You can get your music as you want, but far more importantly, you can get verbal directions from your GPS. You don't want to be trying to look at a washed out GPS screen in bright sunlight, in a location you're not familiar with and get into an accident. I tried to make do with a car GPS when I went to the Coeur d'Alene BMW MOA Getaway last fall. I almost missed a freeway exit in heavy traffic (accident potential!) and missed a couple turns as I was getting close to the hotel. As I was trying to turn on a tight side street to get back on the right road, I almost dumped the bike. ($$$ in plastic panels) I started realizing that I was trying to save money by making do with things like a car GPS, and could easily spend far more in hospital bills and bike repairs by being cheap.
    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  6. #6
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bedford, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    691
    Just a few suggestions to add to the existing advice. Do get the bike checked over by a someone with good oilhead knowledge. Have them check all the regular things but ask them to pay special attention to checking the pivot bearing and the final-drive. Both can give long service if properly maintained but there are almost always tell-tale signs for impending failure if you're lucky. Far better to avoid dealing with those two issue while on a road trip.

    First, relax and enjoy.

    Second, we are seeing record high temperatures already this year for several areas that are south of the route you have planned, expect to encounter some tripe digit days.

    That means, plan on proper clothing, water intake, and mineral replacement, for that. Nothing major, just be mindful of what you should be doing. Remember, light coloured urine is a sign everything is fine. Dark, strong smelling urine is the most obvious sign that one is dehydrated. Just pay attention to it.

    On a normal day the average person needs 8-12 cups of fluids, on 100+F days on a motorcycle you need to double that. My plan for riding from Colorado to the Rally in SLC is really no different from my rule of thumb for any long rides in hot weather where gas is questionable. Start early after a light to moderate breakfast that includes at least 1-2 glass of water, stop after 1.5 hours and fill up with gas, drink water and have a snack (something that handles heat fine), stretch, and get back on the road in 15 mintues or so. Ride another 1.5 hours and stop for lunch around 11:30 am (resturants won't be as busy) gas up first and then have lunch with at least 2 glasses of water. Get back on the road by 12:15-12:30 for another 1.5 hours and repeat the 15-minute gas/rest/water stop. Back on the road for the final 1.5-hr leg of the day and you'll be stopped at 3:30 pm with a full 6 hours of riding and a ot of time to relax and enjoy whereever you've stopped.

    For mineral replacement, that can normally be taken care of with simply eating healthy balanced meals, but having some fruit helps and don't forget salt. High temperatures mean perspiration which leaches out minerals including salt which is important to your body.

    For clothing, as has been suggested, ditch the leathers. I've ridden in 98+F with full leathers and it saps your energy like a sponge. Good quality mesh gear will give you the most airflow some of the lower priced stuff skimps on flow and/or protection which is not a wise idea.

    For the days that are above 90F (you get no cooling from straight airflow above 94F), I'll be using a Rev'IT Liquid Cooling Vest. Depending on how that works for me, I might buy their Fluid Cooling Neck Collar while I'm at the Rally for the return ride.

    Again, don't get spooked about the above, they're just things to be aware of and are easy to accomodate. The main thing is to relax, enjoy while staying alert and safe.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    ...
    For mineral replacement, that can normally be taken care of with simply eating healthy balanced meals, but having some fruit helps and don't forget salt. High temperatures mean perspiration which leaches out minerals including salt which is important to your body...
    As Alan said, don't forget the salt. I normally don't use any added salt, but on the trip I definitely added some whenever I had the opportunity. I've had two exposures to heat exhaustion in the past. Once, when I was working on a roofing job in college. I drank a lot of water on that extremely hot afternoon, and it all seemed to sit in my stomach. The other situation was when I was hiking with my daughters and one had some heat exhaustion. Some water, rest and salt were the cure.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  8. #8

    Thanks everyone!

    Great advice! Just what I needed. Was slammed with work today but managed to read everything twice and will do so again and take notes. Def going to ditch the heavy leather jacket, although may ship it to Cali for return in mid September... Water and minerals (salt!) will be a priority. I think I may go for a tank bag and put a camelbak in it, because I know myself and I tend to push myself in the moment, i.e. not stop on a regular basis. BUT knowing that heat could be an issue I WILL stop regularly if it's above 94ish...
    Dang I'd like to make the rally in SLC, just not sure I can get on the road in time... Will try.
    Yes, have been planning to take the bike to local indie shop that seems really good. Talked at length with the owner and he really seems to know these bikes. Helped me steer clear of an '01 with 120k because there was some odd vibrations on acceleration that he thought MIGHT be final drive issues.
    Took the bike on a 45 minute cross town errand today. Seemed to run well, maybe a little clunky on shifting, but I have heard that is normal with these bikes. Wasn;t bad. Gearing seems tight. ie. Out of 1st, wants to shift to 2nd really quick, then 3rd and 4th also seem quick... was surprised to be cruising around town in 4th a lot. Curious what RPMs these bikes like to run at ideally...?
    Looked at the Sena system, and I can see it's quality, but I don't really need the mic and there are tons of cheaper systems on Amazon. I know you get what you pay for lol. But I don't want to pay for system that I only need part of. I'm looking for a bluetooth system that has speakers only, but oddly I haven't found one yet!?
    Thanks again my friends, I'll update as I go.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by demet123 View Post
    Great advice! Just what I needed. Was slammed with work today but managed to read everything twice and will do so again and take notes. Def going to ditch the heavy leather jacket, although may ship it to Cali for return in mid September... Water and minerals (salt!) will be a priority. I think I may go for a tank bag and put a camelbak in it, because I know myself and I tend to push myself in the moment, i.e. not stop on a regular basis. BUT knowing that heat could be an issue I WILL stop regularly if it's above 94ish...
    I try to buy all my gear with the idea of it serving as many purposes as possible. I stick to textiles because they can be waterproof whereas leather can't. I buy only hi-vis so I can be seen. So far, that's worked well with 11 years of commuting from one end of Seattle to the other and no close calls. My point is that if you buy the right gear for this trip...you won't want that leather jacket to ride back in. And besides...what are you going to do with the gear you rode over in? Ship it? This stuff is bulky with all the pads and that'll get expensive.

    Water is a necessity, even under 94F. It isn't just that you will get thirsty. You will get drowsy and have problems focusing on what you're doing. It is insidious. Like carbon monoxide poisoning, you may not realize what is happening, or why. In fact, if you're like a lot of guys, you'll try to tough it out. So make that stop once an hour. Drink some water. Get back on the bike. It doesn't have to be a long stop at all.

    Yes, you can find some cheaper BT systems...and more expensive ones. I've had my Sena 10C now for a couple years. I use the video primarily as a "dash cam", although for my recent trip, I loved the ability to take video as I rode along so I could capture the scenery as I passed through it without stopping constantly. The sound output is essential for listening for directions from the GPS. As for communicating...if you find a fellow rider who has one, it takes your riding to an entirely new level.

    I have two friends who I like to ride with. Dave decided to finally spring for a new BT prior to a full day trip we took across a couple mountain passes here. We hadn't seen each other for a couple years, so had a lot of catching up to do. It made the trip like we were sitting in the front seat of a car together. It was also handy for safety reasons. I could warn him about rocks and sand on the road before he came to it. Doug, the other friend also bought a new BT prior to our last ride. We didn't talk nearly as much, but being able to when we wanted to, was wonderful. I mentioned Sena because it seems like most people I know have one of those. You can link to any BT, but when you stay within the same manufacturer, it uses a better communication channel or method than when you use "universal pairing".

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  10. #10
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Meant to mention, but forgot, consider the BMW ProRain one-piece rain suit it is as good as any others (I've got the Rev'IT one) and now comes with an integrated storm hood for $160. I don't think you'll get much (and nothing that will perform nearly as well) for anything much less expensive than either the BMW or Rev'IT, so for me it's a waste of time trying to save $20-$30 and have it not do the job. It can also do double duty over your mesh gear when it is cold to keep you warmer. While some of the better textile gear is waterproof when new, most isn't for long so I prefer the lighter and more versatile option of mesh and the small, quality one-piece rain gear. It also tends to actually cost less as quality mesh gear is quite reasonable.

    As for the notion that you should give another consideration to running something like a Sena, again, I would second that idea. What I've found is that not only does our use of things tend to grow the longerwe have them, but it also tends to expand and change as time goes on. The more flexible/adaptable your initial purchase is the longer it will typically serve you. The more narrowly focused it is the more likely it is to become unsable or redundant or unnecessary to your future needs.

    You can get the Sena SMH5 Bluetooth Headset for $97 for heaven's sake, you'd be hard-pressed to get the basic functionality you're looking for at much less than that, with anywhere near the quality and ease of use. With the Sena you get your bluetooth speakers, plus, it is firmware upgradeable, has good warranty support, and if you ever want or need it, you have an intercom, hands-free phone, GPS, etc.

    I know, lots to consider. Just keep mulling it over and remember that an extra $20~ might be the difference between be happy for a reasonable amount of time vs making do. I prefer happy. ;-)
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

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    Alan (or others) -- do you have a problem with rain leaking through your riding gear? Just curious. I usually ride through most of the year in Seattle using an Olympia AST2 jacket. It has a built-in waterproof liner with waterproof zippers on the vents and pockets. The most I've ever had leak through, has been a little on the forearm where one of the vents is, and I think that was because I had the sleeve adjustment strap pulled tight which let water through. I have a TourMaster rain jacket, but since buying the AST2, I don't use it. No need that I've found. And I commute in rain a lot.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  12. #12
    Registered User crucian's Avatar
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    A ton of good advice in the replies to this OP.

    I'm out of Norfolk, Virginia August 1 headed to Santa Barbara, California. My plan is to cross from up-state NY, into Quebec and turn left, crossing the plains North of the border. While I am hoping for cooler weather in Canada, I'm not counting on it and will have ample water on board and a soaker cooling vest available, if need be. After reaching elevations in BC, I'll corkscrew down into California and my level of weather trust is such that I have a heated vest in my kit for time spent in the mountains. I almost froze to death around Amarillo, Texas a few years ago, in September.

    On the way back East in September I'd like to drop into Utah and Arizona to visit friends but will need to check weather before I commit. My home is in the Tropics so for instance today it's 86 F with a Relative Humidity of 72% which is normal summer weather for me. Get sticky, catch a breeze in the shade and the weather is heaven. Not so above 93F, breeze becomes your enemy as correctly stated in this thread.

    New ride this time out, '17 R1200 GSA. What could go wrong (other than the forks separating) with that wunderkind? Was it you Daboo suffering in the coffee department? I roast down here for a living and will have an Aeropress on board, no cafe coffee for me. I'm a tent guy and welcome a scenic and serene site but have been known to camp in the bush behind shopping malls. They didn't put that Golden Arch in front of Micky Dees for nothing, "Does a wild bear crap at McDonalds?" This time out in celebration of my 7th decade I'm packing a Helinox cot and chair. They pack up to almost nothing and while I've not yet slept on the cot, are reputed to be comfortable.

    My greatest anxiety is helmet related. I was in Virginia in May and had a Shoei that should have been the proper size shipped. It was so tight it folded my ears over and clamped my jaw like Tetanus. I sent it back for a one size larger swap but won't catch up with it until July 28. I have my fingers crossed.....

    Keep your eyes open and your core temperature regulated. DG, if you get too hot mid continent, head North.

    Tomás

  13. #13
    "and will have ample water on board and a soaker cooling vest available, if need be. "


    I have never tried one of the vest but.......I bought one of the neckerchiefs years ago. It is amazing how well they work. They stay wet long enough [for me anyway] and they keep the Carotid artery cool....
    Ron Prior {AMA member ,MOA member}
    Milford,Oh
    2002 KLT
    2004 Roadster

  14. #14
    Registered User crucian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post

    I have never tried one of the vest but.......
    Me either but for forty dollars, worth a try. As posted, not that I am rushing to Casa Grande, Arizona to see my friend Dan but it was 121F at his place last week.

    Your comment about the Carotid is spot on, I hadn't thought of that. You really have to re-think "getting hot" in some circumstances. Creating an evaporative heat exchanger for a major artery is good thinking. Oops, now I've got to buy a neckerchief!

  15. #15
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    When dry, a cooling vest will provide a surprising amount of warmth. Of course, it is only a vest, not a jacket liner, so your arms will not be warmed.

    I bought one from Cycle Gear last year for about $29. I was walking with a friend at a very fast pace in 90 degree temps. He was sweating really bad. I was nice and cool. They work. I'm not sure this is one of those deals where if you pay lots for it, you get more benefit. At $29, this one worked like a champ. Bring a large waterproof bag to store it in and fill it with water before you leave in the morning. I used a small "dry" bag from REI for mine.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

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