I did almost the exact same trip lasts June. Vancouver to LA via the 101 and 1, over to Death Valley, over to the four corners area, played in the Rockies of Colorado, made my way back up to Yellowstone, then on to glacier national park and back home to Vancouver.
I would say that 9,000 might be a bit of an underestimate. I clocked in 12,200km on that trip.
I can recommend a lot of places along the way. Just ask.
Thanks! How did you feel about driving Death Valley? Some people say it is not a good idea on a motorcycle.
I will surely be sending you a couple pm's when I'll be on the road.
Yeah, probably the total km's will be more, especially with sidetours and stuff. That also pushes me to just get the chain and sprockets replaced, just to be sure.
In Vancouver I got all my work done at North Shore Suzuki, which has since closed. After that I did all of the work for myself. With the exception of the valve adjustment. I took that to 2nd gear motorsports for that. They were alright. No real complaints, no real compliments.
PM me all the questions you may have. I will try to answer them.
When I just bought the bike I got some gear at 2nd gear motorsports. They seemed nice people. But I also have a connection to daytona motorsports so maybe they will be nice to me with the price
(they gave me a discount on my clothes and helmet)
The coast road is cold. 12c up to 18c max. Bring some sweaters and heated grips are recommended. When you go inland the temps go up fast. I was in Vegas in July a few years ago and it was 55c on the tarmac.. brutal. You need evap vest for those temperatures and mesh gear along with a hydration pack.
It will be cold, warm, sunny, rainy, hail, all on the same day, so be prepared for lots of water. It hailed on us at 43c one time. I have Aerostich suit now and heated liner, but that is no good when it gets up to 30c+, need mesh gear. When I went I used Joe Rocket Alter Ego gear, which worked out great as it comes apart down to mesh, and goes back together with waterproof liner and warm almost down to freezing. Still needed heated grips on the coast.
It is a great place to ride though. Be sure to go through Redwood forest. Camping on the Oregon coast is recommended too. Amazing sand beaches there.
I got pretty sweet gear with removable inner liners and airvents. Next to that I'll be wearing thermo gear under my suit. I drove rogers pass at 4am (2 degrees celcius) and that went fine.. Only my hands got cold because I only have summer gloves and no heated grips.
Thanks for the tip about Redwood forest, those roads look very sweet on google maps!!
There are lots of campgrounds, and being that the summer vacation is about over everywhere in the US, shouldn't be that difficult to find ones with available spots without reservations (weekends excepted).
I think there are some nice places on Hwy 101, but for the most part, it's not that interesting to ride. And you will find there is still quite a bit of traffic during the week too. The more interesting roads crisscross the Cascades and Coastal Range (in Oregon and CA).
Thanks man! I'll keep an eye on the map for some sweet roads. After that I'll probably will be able to find some tips and stories about the drives here or somewhere else online.
I would recommend you take all the tools and supplies you need with you when you have time to find them before you leave. Yes, some towns have good motorcycle shops, but it won't be on your way or easy to find if you are just passing through. If you are mechanically inclined and have a good tool kit with you, you probably don't need roadside assistance. If not, CAA is accepted in the US by AAA. Just make sure you get the right coverage that includes motorcycle towing (otherwise it's worthless to you).
I just have the original toolkit. Pretty good for adjusting the chain and some small repairs, cleaning the airfilter and what not. I changed the oil myself last time, but as I'm planning to get it serviced anyway I'll just let them change the oil and the filter this time.
My main concern about the bike breaking down is running a flat tire. I've got no idea how often that occurs. I think I'm going to check out what the cost is for CAA with motorcycle towing. Just to be sure, hitch-hiking isn't really my thing
Yes, it will need a fresh oil/filter change before you leave. Again, much easier to do before you get on the road. When were the valves inspected last? If they were inspected and set correctly in one of the initial checks (24K or 48K km) it's likely they are still good. But if you don't know, probably would be a good idea to have them checked. The chain is at about half its life (assuming good care). Again, if it still looks good and tests well, you could do the loop with the existing chain. OTOH, if it starts wearing quickly on teh road and you have to do an emergency replacement, it'll cost you a lot more in the best case or you'll have a chain failure and associated damage in the worst case. The later will likely end your trip prematurely.
Take the advice you got about the changing conditions you'll ride through seriously. The coast can be chilly and wet while the inland valleys are still blistering hot. Make sure you have gear that can get you through those conditions without freezing (yes, 5-10C temps at 100 km/h will feel cold without the right gear) or getting dehydrated.
I'm thinking of getting the chain checked at the shop. They'll probably want to sell me new stuff so I don't know how reliable there advise will be.
I recently cleaned the chain and sprockets, could you give me an assessment on the condition based on some good pictures? They looked pretty good to me. Or is it important to measure the stretch? I believe I've read something like that in the workplace handbook or the instruction book.
For the clothes, I made a good investment before I bought the bike. If I get cold it will probably happen on the drive to Golden or Jasper, so I will know in time if I need some extra gear.
Given that you have a lot of time, you can probably do a lot of side trips to make this more interesting. Take a look at some maps and ask questions here, I'm sure there are a lot of people that know these areas and can give you pointers to interesting stuff to see along the way.
Yeah, it would be sweet to camp on every spot for 2 nights, so I have one full day of riding without a lot of gear on the bike. Thanks for your advice!!
What should I expect to pay at a shop for an oil+filter change, valve clearance check (with and without adjusting) and new chain and sprockets?
Thanks a lot you guys! You have been very helpful!!