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X - Kschues
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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to be taking my first road trip this summer and am looking for some advise.

How Many hours should I plan on riding in a day safely?

How many miles do you think that i can travel?

Should I avoid major highways?

are there any other pointer that I should know?

Thanks alot.

Kurt
 

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My brother and I did a 650 mile trip in two days. It was a lot of riding. I did it on a 2002 Sportster he was on a rented ultra classic. It was tough on my bike. We did do a lot of ridding but we also stopped every 60 miles or so and took breaks got gas etc and just enjoyed the adventure. When we got back the Harley guy was amazed at how many miles we did. He was more amazed I did it on a Sportster. What we did was plan a goal, Arcadia National Park, Maine and just meandered on up. Very little High Way and lots of stops.
 

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Did 350 mi in a day twice. It's a lot of miles if you don't have a good seat. If you are running a stock seat, don't try it!

It will depend on what your goal is. Do you want to get somewhere and enjoy it more, or enjoy the trip there and spend less time at the destination. If you want to spend time at the destination, then hit the interstates, otherwise hit the back highways and discover something new along the way...
 

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Riding around
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Kschues said:
I am going to be taking my first road trip this summer and am looking for some advise.
How Many hours should I plan on riding in a day safely? How many miles do you think that i can travel? Should I avoid major highways? are there any other pointer that I should know?
Hey Kurt, lucky you!! We took 10 days last June and rode from here down to the Outer Banks and then inland and back home up the Blue Ridge Parkway/Shenandoah Skyway. 2600 miles in all. We had planned to spend 3 days on the Outer Banks, but is started raining, so we packed up and headed inland, into the weather, hoping to get through it. I rode the v-rod with the HD forward seat (prior to my Butt Buffer insert) and my behind got really tired doing more than 250 miles in a day. Making a back rest out of my t-bag and duffle kept my back and shoulders from getting so tired. We meandered and took mostly back roads, and stopped alot, so we were out about 8 hrs/day on riding days. Got really sick of packing and unpacking the bikes, so we stayed 3 days at a B&B in the mountains and did day rides from there, which were excellent.

We had played around too much, tho, so we had to do a 400-mile day to get home on the last day, but still only about 2-3 hrs on the interstate. The thing about the interstates I don't like is the buffeting from the big trucks. I like the speed, but trucks are a pain and wear me out.

You'll surely want to consider something other than the stock seat if you're planning on doing long days. And be sure to keep the heaviest items you pack low on the bike. Take extra bungy cords.

Where ya going??
 

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Talk to the boot!
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Rode to the 100th Anniversary Celebration last year with a bud. First real road trip, aside from when I bought the bike. Superslabbed it all the way there, stayed in WI for a week with family, and superslabbed it back. Came up with these observations:

Sundowner seat (or equivalent) is a must for any long trip. :moon:
300 mile days are easy.
400 mile days are ok, but you don't have much time to stop and do things.
500 mile days are tougher, but still doable, just not too many in a row.
That 600 mile day convinced us to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. :tmbsdow:
Already had hotels and/or friends places lined up so we had a daily goal.
Had both hot and cold weather outfits, and rain gear if it's not waterproof.
Try not to pick up too many t-shirts at every HD shop you stop in.

Have fun! The 'Rod is a flawless long-trip machine, once you get the ergonomics setup right. Just runs and runs and runs. Some people were actually surprized that we didn't have a support van. I guess they didn't see "Birth of the V-Rod..."

:vrod:
 

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I took my V-Rod from SoCal to sturgis last summer. Went out in 4 days, and back in 3. With my highway pegs on my engine guard, a Corbin seat, and a touring windshield; 400 mile days were fine and 500 mile days were definitely do-able! The first few days were shorter but harder on me. As I got used to the hours on the bike, it got much easier.

Good luck and have fun!!!!!
 

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Yeah, but what if...
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So what about this "ironbutt" term? I thought it was for people who had done 1000miles in 24 hours. Do-able if you're a little psycho. 1609 kilometres. 12 hours riding @130 odd km's/hr. Allows sleep and fuel stops. Would need to be done on major highways (interstates) and I can't imagine it would be a lot of fun. Need an e glide ultra, or a Goldwing (gasp!)
 

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X - Kschues
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Discussion Starter #9
I live in Chicago so i was thinking of heading down old rout 66 until I arive at LA.

I plan to stop and visit:
My brother in oklahoma (he flys for the air force)
A friend in new mexico.
And maybe stop and check out flagstaff.

I have 3 months summer vacation so time is not an issue.

Thanks for all the suggestions
Kurt
 

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I drove from New Orleans to Hollywood Fl, and back, during bike week. I never went more than 400 miles in a stretch, but could have. I installed headphones in my helmet, and loaded an Ipod with a couple days of music. I think that, and the sundowner seat, touring shield with lowers, and several footpeg locations made it a no-sweat ride. I may do Seattle this summer from Dallas.
 

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Last summer I left the house at 10AM and headed for Eastern Washington (Seattle to Lake Chelan, up Methow Valley, over North Cascades Highway and back down I5)returned to house about 9PM. Stopped only for lunch and dinner (probably an hour combined and to sight see and fuel up (guess is about two hours). That is about 8 hours in the saddle. Loved every minute of the trip.

I have the Sundowner seat and have been more seat sore spending the same amount of hours in my Audi A6. Get the seat, your Butt will thank you.

Take back-roads for the scenery as well as the riding challenges, but watch your gas. I have had to backtrack a couple times after realizing the next town is just out of range. I carry a 30 ounce back packer fuel cell that gives me a little extra range if I screw up. Very safe and easy to carry. May carry two next long trip since I now have saddlebags.

If the temperature range is extreme (desert/mountains or day/night say) take the chaps (should wear for safety anyway) and extra layers. Amazing how fast temps can drop in the mountains.

Watch for dehydration in hot weather. Nothing saps water out of you as fast as hot air over bare skin (we all like to ride sans jacket at times in hot weather, but laying her down due to heat stroke will leave lots of road rash on those bare arms). Some recommend soaking a sweatshirt or tee shirt in water and wearing it under your leather jacket with a wet towel or teeshirt tied around your neck to keep cool (have not tried it yet, but should have (see tip over thread)). Of course carry water and drink lots of it. Stop often and rest in the shade.

Enjoy the trip.

Fred

PS - I second Daniii get the touring shield, lowers are nice but optional.
 

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It just depends what your a$$ can handle. For some reason, the stock seat fits me great and I've never had a bad day riding. I had a 400 mile day and a 600 mile day in January from Orlando to San Antonio....and they were both awesome days of riding.

These two things make it easier:

1) Tunes...I used an ipod mini and it worked great. Music really seems to break up the monotony.
2) Wake up early. I would set the hotel alarms for 5:30 a.m. so I could be on the road by 6. That way you're picking up good distance. Leaving early also allows you to stretch out the day more by taking longer breaks at your stops or just stopping to enjoy the sites.

Now, if I hadn't been seeing deer on the road in the Florida panhandle as soon as the sun went down I'm sure i could have picked up a lot more distance!
 

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V-Fred - good idea. Wait - that means you get my trailer......
Did you see how I mounted the lowers directly to the shield? I am going to lower the windshield an inch or so tonight. (since now I can)
 

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Daniii: No I missed it. Did you post a picture? Can you? Would love to have them removed with the windshield when I take it off (almost never). I mount my shield 1 inch down and it gives just enough room for the lowers mounted all the way down. Airflow is perfect for me. I am 5' 11.5". Bike also seems to handle best at that point, less susceptible to buffeting.

Fred
 

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X - Kschues
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Discussion Starter #17
I hear a lot of you talk about tunes. Is that Safe?

Kurt
 

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Kschues said:
I hear a lot of you talk about tunes. Is that Safe?

Kurt
I dont' see why not. With the pipes roaring, the tunes are really more background music than anything else. You can still fully hear what's going on around you.

I could see the other argument though too. But, I'll just exercise my freedom as an American and use them anyway.
 

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Riding the good life
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To help in the packing of clothes arena, I suggest saving all your beat up undies and socks for the the trip. Wash them of course before the trip, but along the way, you can dispose of them, and not have to wash them along the way. Your load will lighten up considerablly along the way. T-shirts too. Who cares if they look beat, as long as they are clean. Once dirty, they can be used as rags for cleaning up the bike if you wish, then dump them too.

Stop at walmart, buy new ones once you dispose of the old ones, and dump them too. The stuff is just too cheap to think about carrying a load on a bike for so long.

Souvenirs? Send them back via postal or UPS to an address you trust so when you return, the packages will be waiting for you. Use disposable cameras too. Send them back in your souvenir boxes so you are not weighted down with this stuff.

For how many miles, when i did cross-country or coastal rides I'd target 600 miles in a day to get to areas I wanted to radiate from, or tour into. These miles were freeway miles. The most done in one day was about 850 miles. Once we were in an area we'd planned to enjoy, I'd ditch the bike and hike. If it was the city, I'd walk or use a taxi. its much easier to have locals figure out where things are at. being in a busy city on a bike, riding strange highways with tons of traffic, and looking for what ever you are trying to find can be difficult, and down right dangerous.

In batavia Ill, we were gawking at stuff while riding, and I ened up going through a red light, and hitting the right rear fender of a Pontia leMans. It was hell, as i took out the front end and front wheel.

We were lucky, as a guy saw the whole thing. He had a van, picked us up, took us to a dealership. They had the parts to replace the front end and wheel. The guy even gave us a place to stay for the night, as he wished he was going with us, and wanted to hear the road tales we had experienced up to that time.

So city riding is a whole nother mind set from country riding, specially if you are not familiar with the cities.

As mentioned, seat comfort is imparitive for big mile days. Don't skimp on improvements there, as you'll regret it once on the road.

We camped a lot when we did these trips, so the gear factor was raised due to the fact of carrying a tent, sleeping bag and the other necessary things to camp. One thing is the sleeping bag makes a darn fine item to lean against if you've no passenger on the back. We camped 4 to 5 days out of the week, and hotel'd it the remainder of the days for some creature comfort.

You might want to think about a camel pack too. This will help keep you really refreshed. If no camel pack, drink GATOR AIDE. You can get it in powder format, and with the contents of GATOR AIDE in really hot climates will get you replensihed in what your body needs in very short order. Some might not like the taste, but it beats drinking Coke or Pepsi as those beverages tend to dry you out more than quench a thirst. After having been around people who do tons of marathons and triathlons, you fiond out that things lik GU, Gator-Aide and other triathlete products have a little off taste, but help carry one remarkablly well. Even the nutrition bars are superb snacks on the road for these extended trips. ALso, beef jerky is another item to extend road time between end goals on your mapped experience.

Get in shape for your trip too. Do some 200 - 300 mile trips around the home base area to find out what will be best for you and what to do to improve the quality of the bike for yourself if this is to be an extended trip. If you can get 4 hour saddle time in, break for food and an extended stretch for 90 minutes or so, and a couple three hours more, ad do that for 3 or 4 weekends, you'll be amazed at what you'll find out you'll need.

Before our last cross country trip by motorcycle, to figure out what we'd need, we went from Baton Rouge, to St. Augistine Fla, down to Miami, accross the Tammiami trail to Naples, and up the west coast of Florida, back to Louisiana and Baton Rouge. We spent 2 weeks on the tune up ride first to figure out what the bike would need, and what we would need for the extended CONUS trip.

You might not have the luxury for that kind of time, so a weekend mini-tour 2 or 3 will aid in getting it locked down for needs.

When we did one of our cross country trips, we took 4 months for it. One thing was it was one way. We were headed to Hawaii. After about 3.5 months i was going kind of bonkers with traveling by then, and felt I was worthless and wanted to end it right there.

By then, I felt like I was just drifting from one place to the next with no purpose in life. it sounds crazy, but after awhile, the mind starts playing games with you. We really had no timetable to be anywhere, other than the planned route. It was a pretty crazy. We had spent weeks camping in the Rockies, and then by Jackson Wyoming, and up into Yellowstone. By the time we made the west coast, I was craving a cagers life.

Sounds impossible, does'nt it? But it is, cause getting beat up in the weather, bike issues, getting sick of roadway food, it gets old after awhile.

In the tool department, I had carried the tools for flats, fuses, and tools to keep running gear tightened up. Extra plugs, points (won't need that for V-Rod now will you?) and finally change for toll ways.

Hope the info helps.
 

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V-Fred - here is the link to the picture http://www.v-rodforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=54325#post54325

Rich - three months - damn. I'd like to have that much time off. Met a guy last night whose riding to Alaska for his 60th birthday. Now there's a ride. I really like the idea of disposable underwear. Of course, Kaz told me I should try silk drawers - I did and it does make it better. Easier to slide around, I guess (I know, tooo much information!)
 
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