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Thread: Considering US Cross Country Trip - R1150R

  1. #1
    Registered User achilles8857's Avatar
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    Considering US Cross Country Trip - R1150R

    Greetings,
    I'm planning a 4~6 week cross country trip in 2020 (and do hope to hit the MOA National Rally!). But debating whether my bike is the one to make the trek.
    2004 R1150R Sport Tourer as they say, with 45,500 miles, all scheduled maintenance has been done over its' life, and now has new Michelin tires. Has not needed a new clutch. I will likely do a leakdown test before heading out, just in case, based on what the plugs looked like last time they were changed.
    In general I'm pretty comfortable on the bike on paved roads in hot, cold or rain, but have never taken it off-road.

    I've done two long tours, one in Europe on a late model 1200RT and one in South Africa on a brand new 2017 1200GS. Loved them both. Europe was all paved back roads / very little highway (such as the Autobahn), and no off roads. SA involved a little (10%) gravelly stuff, so the GS was just great all around.

    I've had this R1150R bike for two years and done one trip up/down the east coast Florida to Penna, all great back roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway and Tail of the Dragon. It performed very well - no issues other than the typical leak around the oil filler lid which was fixed easily.
    However on this upcoming trip I know I'll be doing some moto-camping in areas of the American West. I've never spent any time out West, and I'm guessing this might involve taking the bike off road, out in the heat of the western desert, and up into high elevations. Camping maybe 2~3 days out of 10, say, and while I don't expect to be fording the occasional rocky stream, one never knows. In general I'm concerned about the general stress and reliability of a bike of this mileage in the conditions out West.

    Just wondering for folks opinions on whether my current bike, given it's age and capabilities, is the right (or simply an acceptable one) for the job. Considering selling it and getting a GS / GS Adventure.
    I know opinions will vary wildly, but thanks for any feedback.
    2004 R1150R
    MOA No. 208028

  2. #2
    This may be apples and oranges since my bike is a newer 2013 R1200R, but unless you have some mechanical issues, it should be fine. Mine has been cross country twice and once to Alaska in the last 4 years and has more miles than your 1150R. I can't see a need for a leak-down at this stage unless you suspect or know it's been abused. If your clutch hasn't been abused, it should have plenty of wear for a cross-country. Check brakes and fluids. You should be fine. Now, if you really want an excuse to get a GS, don't show my response to your SO. Go get the bike.

    Doug
    Sent from a Galaxy, far, far away

  3. #3
    I sold my R1150R with 177,000 miles on it. The engine never had any work. Neither did the transmission. It never had an on-road failure that prevented further travel. Voni on her 412,000 mile R1100RS and I on my R1150R traveled all over the US and much of Canada. Even with well over 100,000 miles I never hesitated to take that bike on a trip as long as it had up-to-date service and decent tires. I never used that bike as a dual sport bike but on many occasions rode a mile or few miles down a gravel road to a camping opportunity or tourist attraction (trap )

    We have ridden all over the west. Unless you are stuck in a construction zone or something heat will not be an issue. When stopped for a period of time, turn the engine off. We live in the Texas Bigbend where summer temperatures often are triple digits but the bike never cared. LA to Las Vegas at 114 degrees F the bikes didn't care but the riders did.

    As long as the bike's ergonomics fit you with a comfortable riding position the R1150R is an excellent touring motorcycle.

    ADDED: Riding from Florida to Montana and further west will be much easier than riding from Florida to Maine. The lack of congestion will be shocking if you have never driven or ridden across the Great Plains and Mountain West.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 11-04-2019 at 08:25 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  4. #4
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    Oh you East coast people are funny. No, us out West people don't have Indians still shooting at us.
    I had a bike just like your. As far as roads go, your fine. Stay off of soft sand, deep mud and tennis ball or larger rocks. The rock one I know about personally.

  5. #5
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    I rode a 1986 K75c to the 1998 Missoula rally. The bike had over 80K on the ODO. Never crossed a stream or needed the pack mules. If you don't have one, mount a windshield, you'll enjoy the relief from the drag load. Mount new tires before and plan for an oil change during the loop.

    That's about it

    Oh, the animal and insect life in FLA is probably scarier than anything you'll find in the west.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
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  6. #6
    Rally Rat 1074's Avatar
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    Old bike?! My newest is a K75c, 1986 vintage and I've made several cross country trips in the last few years on a /5.
    Boxerbruce

  7. #7
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    Took my 07RT out west from central Florida for a 4 week road trip in June 2017. 10K miles, 12 NPs, 13 states, 105F - 28F, 14K feet - 0 feet. No issues and no soreness thanks to the RDL saddle. Rear Michelin PR4GT had to be replaced when I got home though. Could have got a few K more out of the front.

  8. #8
    RK Ryder
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    I've gone coast to coast one summer (Ontario to southern California and then to Cape Breton Island and then back to southern Ontario) on my '98 R1100RT. I expect that it most likely had about 120,000 to 130,000 miles at the beginning of that summer. There were gravel and dirt roads to campgrounds but no streams to cross. Both low and high elevations with street tires and no problems (and I do not like gravel ). If your bike is serviced, along with newish tires, your bike should be a fine ride for your trip.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders & Knights of the Roundel #333

  9. #9
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    Considering I just rode my ‘82 R65 LS from Newfoundland to Tennessee last June I figure you’re good to go. Pretty much any bike will do a little off-road. My R1100 S is fine on dirt roads. Giv ‘er!
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  10. #10
    Registered User achilles8857's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Oh, the animal and insect life in FLA is probably scarier than anything you'll find in the west.
    Even with all the 'gators, it's the humans in Florida that are the real challenge.
    2004 R1150R
    MOA No. 208028

  11. #11
    Registered User achilles8857's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 83014 View Post
    Now, if you really want an excuse to get a GS, don't show my response to your SO. Go get the bike.

    Doug
    Seems to be a theme here. Everybody's taking away my excuses to get a GS :-(.
    Anyway - thanks to one and all who responded - looks like my concerns are nothing more that - pre-road jitters. The bike is good to go.
    2004 R1150R
    MOA No. 208028

  12. #12
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Take pictures and share them here. And have a blast!

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  13. #13
    Registered User achilles8857's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUGENE View Post
    Oh you East coast people are funny.
    So, you got paved roads out West now now? What a relief...;-)
    2004 R1150R
    MOA No. 208028

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by achilles8857 View Post
    So, you got paved roads out West now now? What a relief...;-)
    Well, at least some of them are paved.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  15. #15
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    Some roads are hard packed gravel and dirt. I have seen these in Kansas.

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