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Thread: Wondering about cross country trips

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by beemerphile View Post
    I rolled into a town needing a motel one evening and checked-in. I thought the price was higher than it should of been and haggled a bit of a discount before running up against the clerk's rules of engagement. When I got to the room I checked Expedia on my computer and could have booked the same room the same night for $20 less. The difference would have bought dinner.

    Now when I have no reservations, I stop at the nearest McD's and use the Wifi to book a discounted room at a motel I have selected. More than once I even booked it sitting in the motel lobby.
    This plan works very well, but I suggest using the chain's own website, rather than one of the consolidators. I know too many people whose reservation didn't go through to the local hotel from the consolidators. This is more likely to happen when you're making a last minute (read: from the hotel lobby) reservation.

    Of course, YMMV!
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

  2. #17
    Thanks for the great advice. I get the feeling the Beemer club is even friendlier than the Honda folks.

    @Rinty: what is a day trip? I think when I was in Massachusetts, I rode out to Western New York, then rode back. It was about 600 miles over 2 days. I'm not planning to ride a lot of miles per day, least because the G650GS is not a touring bike. On the other hand, I also rode about 100 miles in a short roundtrip to the next city.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Inst View Post
    ...because the G650GS is not a touring bike.
    A "touring bike" is a bike that you are touring on. I have ridden 2,000 mile trips on my Yamaha scooter. I had a blast.

    These are marketing terms, and don't have to define your use of them. Similarly, what is an "adventure bike"? Here is one...

    aa harley.jpg
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    Airheads #3480 | Iron Butt Assn. #8914
    1976 R75/6 - 1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inst View Post
    because the G650GS is not a touring bike....
    Almost anyone can tour on almost anything, you absolutely DO NOT need a specific type of mount. I toured the entire lower 48 on a Yamaha FZ1 with no modifications whatsoever. I simply bungied a small bag on the seat behind me. That bike was way more fun to "tour" on than the larger specific touring bikes I have owned.

    One anecdote, I once spent the night in a motel in the Rockies and met a guy from New England touring on a stock Hayabusa. Made my back hurt just watching him get on that rocketship and blast off the next morning.

    Another example: I know a guy tours the USA on a Vespa 150cc scooter. Looks like the Clampett clan (from the Beverly Hillbillies TV show?) when he leaves on a trip.

    Good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  5. #20
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    A few years back I met a lady who was touring alone while at the Dust 2 Dawson gathering in the Yukon. She was in he 50's, a correctional officer from Quebec and very petite. Her bike of choice was a Hayabusa with an extended swingarm and some other modifications designed to make it a better drag racer. She had fashioned hand guards out of clorox bottles and made several small wind deflectors out of cardboard and duct tape. She rode it over the Top of the World Hwy to get to Dawson with the full intent of riding the Dempster, but thought better of it. She said the Hayabusa was quite a handful on the TOW (imagine that). She came back a coupla of years ago on a F650GS thumper and rode the Dempster. She sure seemed like she was having fun riding and camping using a Hayabusa.

    Then there was this guy. This is Malcom and the picture was taken at an overlook on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Malcom was around 6'6" and had purchased his first motorcycle, a Honda Rebel 250, in Chile. He then rode it to Ushuaia and was on his way to Deadhorse when I met him. He made it up to Prudhoe and then across Canada to New Hampshire. Sadly, he ran a red light in NH and was killed.
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  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    A few years back I met a lady who was touring alone while at the Dust 2 Dawson gathering in the Yukon.
    She was everyone's hero that year - the little lady with pink-highlighted hair on the 'busa. Probably drank the Sourtoe Cocktail too.
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    Airheads #3480 | Iron Butt Assn. #8914
    1976 R75/6 - 1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    I agree with almost everything that has already been said. My lone exception is that riding interstates is wonderful--as long as you stay out of cities. They are the safest roads, have great sightlines, and offer terrific scenery. Out in the open spaces an interstate is great to travel on, just have a way to get off the highway and go around cities. At least that has been my experience in about 20 years and close to 200,000 miles of riding in all the lower 48 at least three times.

    My only additional suggestion is: DO NOT OVERPACK OR OVERPLAN. On my early tours I always took more stuff than I needed and planned almost every stop of my trips. Subsequently I packed less each time and planned less each time. Nowadays I find I can be gone for an entire week or so with only a small duffle strapped on the saddle behind me. It has been amazing to discover how much easier--and more fun--a motorcycle trip is when I am thus unencumbered. Try it, you might like it also.

    Good luck.
    Thank you for your reply to this thread, I too am planning a cross country (USA) trip next year after I retire. I plan to go from California to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side and back, I will take the northern route there and the southern route back. I plan to take a tent and camp where I can and stay in a hotel when needed. There is no way I can make the Niagara hotel reservation until my last stop before crossing the boarder. As you say don't over pack or over plan, there is no way I can plan my exact nightly stops hence the tent and sleeping bag and pad. All I can do is estimate hours of travel and shoot for stopping points. Please email me direct if you have any other words of wisdom this will by my first cross country trip, my longest was from my home in CA to the rally in Salem OR a few years back on a K1300s and I now have a 2016 R1200RT fully loaded.
    Thank you....Steve

  8. #23
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    A friend of mine rode her 650 GS across Canada and back, I met her on the ferry to Newfoundland. She had a great ride and the bike was great for her.

    On another note if you end up in hot weather keep your gear on, it will protect you from the wind sucking every bit of moisture out of your body. People talk about chill vests etc but an easy one is to wet down your t-shirt before you put your jacket on. Full face helmet will also help as give better protection in the event of a get off.

    Go out and have fun. ADVrider.com has a tent space thread that can offer many places to pitch a tent, have some friendly conversation and maybe a beer or two. Kind of like the anonymous book but offers of a place to stay.
    Last edited by skibum69; 10-13-2018 at 01:26 AM.
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  9. #24
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    I agree with almost everything that has already been said. My lone exception is that riding interstates is wonderful--as long as you stay out of cities. They are the safest roads, have great sightlines, and offer terrific scenery. Out in the open spaces an interstate is great to travel on, just have a way to get off the highway and go around cities. At least that has been my experience in about 20 years and close to 200,000 miles of riding in all the lower 48 at least three times.

    My only additional suggestion is: DO NOT OVERPACK OR OVERPLAN. On my early tours I always took more stuff than I needed and planned almost every stop of my trips. Subsequently I packed less each time and planned less each time. Nowadays I find I can be gone for an entire week or so with only a small duffle strapped on the saddle behind me. It has been amazing to discover how much easier--and more fun--a motorcycle trip is when I am thus unencumbered. Try it, you might like it also.

    Good luck.
    A hearty second nod to interstate travel. Yes - local roads have their 'charm' and unique scenery, but a trip of this magnitude also requires time efficiency, and the ability to outrun bad weather.

    Speaking of weather, monitor radar every day. A simple App to your phone (I use Intellicast Radar - allows me to observe the USA as a whole, or pick radar locations near where I am traveling, so I zero in on developing storm fronts, and try to avoid them or dress for it) will be invaluable.

    Take a break every 6 -9 days. By that, I mean a stay in a better-than-average motel, no travel for a day, take in a movie or shop a mall. Do laundry, so that you're only packing enough stuff for a week. However, pack so you can dress (and undress) in layers, and have excellent rain gear along, as well as several pairs of gloves. Also, hide away a charge card and $100-200 in cash somewhere in the bike for emergency use. Have soft tiedown straps for emergency towing or in a worse-case scenario, so that you can rent a U-Haul, purchase 4 ratcheting straps, and haul the bike home yourself (don't ask!).

    When it comes to clothes, be ready to toss out the little stuff (socks, shirts) if they become too soiled, and buy replacements along the way.

    For back-up gear, besides tire patching tools and worms (and know how to use it before you go!), carry spare fuses, spare headlight bulbs (and know how to change them out), a spare GPS (perhaps your phone, though never as good as a dedicated GPS device), energy bars, water, good first aid kit and paper maps.

    You'll want a healthy reserve of fuel for more than just the wide-open spaces out west - massive traffic jams can suck your tank dry as well. Consider gassing up whenever you start to creep below half.

    Lots of good advice already posted, including about daily mileage - don't be some 700+ mile a day hero. Be smart and recognize that not every day will be a carbon-copy of the previous one, in terms of progress. An excellent rule-of-thumb is to figure on covering 50 miles for every hour you invest each day in traveling. That automatically accounts for time for fuel, potty, lunch, photo-ops, breaks, etc. It's a formula that is remarkably accurate. I start out planning all my long trips with that simple equation: i.e. A 450 mile ride to St. Louis today? That will be 9 hours of total travel time. Usually works out upon arrival to within minutes of such an estimate.

    Good luck and keep an eye on those tires. Long distance travel can be brutal on the rubber. Don't assume you're going to get some 'manufacturer's promise' of mileage. Replace when getting near the TWI marks.

    And don't worry about motel reservations. Wait until mid-afternoon to figure out where you're easily going to call it a day - then phone ahead and make your reservation for that night. A trip of this duration can be tough if camping. No shame in dropping $$ for motels - not like you're going to do this every other year and break the bank. Be smart about shelter, AC, decent showers and a good bed, along with free breakfasts. For me, those comforts trump the 'economy' of camping every time!

    Last edited by greenwald; 10-12-2018 at 02:51 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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