Taking a long ride... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-25-2008, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Taking a long ride...

Ok, not a LONG ride like some.... but

A long ride and a much, much, needed vacation. I've got next week off. A full 9 days out of class. I've decided to take five of those days and hit the road. Here's, roughly, the route...

http://tinyurl.com/5utlut

Roughly 2000 miles in 5 days. Not bad. Will be about 500 miles per day with 1 full day at the Grand Canyon for hiking. Will hit Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, Route 66, Death Valley, and Mt Whitney.

Only question is... any places you guys know of that I should stop at along this route... interesting places/good to eat places?

I'll be taking advantage of the free 'continental breakfasts', but lunch and dinner will be "road food".

I'll post pics when I get back with a full ride report.

-edit
Damn, just found out CA-120 is still closed ... guess I'm going to have to route around Yosemite to the north somewhere. Anyone got a good road that isn't closed?

Last edited by HappyWanderer; 04-25-2008 at 01:02 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-25-2008, 01:17 AM
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That sounds really ambitious! I recently took 3 days to do Death Valley and Mt. Whitney from Vegas, plus some (1077 miles total). There are a few long stretches on your route. Grand Canyon isn't really a day hiking kind of place, but Zion is - Hidden Canyon is my favorite. If it was me, I'd spend my hiking day in Zion.

Here is my Death Valley to Mt. Whitney ride report from My2Wheels.com. If you're heading from the Eastern Sierras to Death Valley, be sure to take the road from Lone Pine to Panamint Springs and detour south to pick up the Wildrose Canyon rode, those are the highlight bits.

You might want to spend the $80 up front and get the annual National Park pass if you haven't all ready.

Good luck,
Neil
Quoted from Jeff Buchanan - "Let's face it, half of our trips on motorcycles hide behind some vague excuse, some masquerade of purpose. The magic is in the going."

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post #3 of 10 Old 04-25-2008, 12:09 PM
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Keep an eye on the weather last year I met a friend in Barstow and we did a run through the that area. We hit snow just north of Las Vegas on the way to St. George. The next day we got into snow in Zion and then went up to Cedar City to head for Bryce Canyon. The road was clear but there was from two to four feet of snow on the sides of the road.

This around the 24th of April.

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post #4 of 10 Old 04-25-2008, 03:00 PM
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I agree with the above, watch the weather like a hawk. Things can change quickly. 500 a day may be pushing it, that's about 8 hours. You still need time to stop and do things. I would alot myself time for between 300 and 500. Especially if you use non interestate travel. I've done Zion as well, I would take some hours out of your day and hike, it's beautiful. I haven't done touring on this bike yet but know that the stock seat isn't the best for long days in the saddle. I would also have a throttle lock on there to give your hand a break now and then. I tour a decent amount on my GoldWing but can tell this bike will be a little hard to do the long mile.
However, looking at your route, if time starts to become an issue it would be quite simple to chop off the latter chunk of your trip and go back home and still you would have seen a great deal. You can kiss off a day at the Grand Canyon. Start thinking about using the 9 days if you want to see more. Remember to pack the proper clothing. The deserts are warm in the day but can be bitter cold and windy at night.
I'm 10 miles south of your route as you pass Mojave, e-mail me if you want contact info in the event you have trouble.

Have a safe and enjoyable journey,
Scott
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-25-2008, 03:51 PM
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I agree with the comments that 500 a day is pretty long. I find my most satisfying tours are when the daily distance is under 300 with a "break day" for every three days of riding, but I've also had good luck with some where the average was more like 400. One trick is to plan an occasional "miles" day which is pretty much entirely on main highways with "nothing to see". You can achieve 600 miles (or even a bit more) on one of those, and that allows the *other* days to be shorter and have time for seeing the sights.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-25-2008, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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I've already done a 370 mile backcountry jaunt on the Wee. Took me 10 hours but that was taking LOTSA breaks. This bike is great for touring. And I'm even a fan of the stock seat. I'll be watching the weather. Right now it should be clear all next week but with some wind on Tuesday. I can deal with wind after my last ride (50mph gusts... sheesh)

edit-
I'm going to the dealer today to try and get a universal vista cruise. Hope they got one. Heard install is a bit of a bear. Might just try the O-ring trick if I can find one. If not... I'll think of something.

Last edited by HappyWanderer; 04-25-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-25-2008, 11:16 PM
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I've heard some advice from serious touring types that says don't do anything to your bike the week before a ride - no mods, no service even. That said, you might consider a Crampbuster. They're cheap, non-invasive, and you can remove it easily if you don't like it. My longest 1-day ride was 670 miles, 06:30 AM to midnight, with some extended stops. I have a Crampbuster and never even think about cruise control, unless I really need to do something else with my right hand, which isn't much.

My last 3-day trip averaged about 350 miles per day. That's at least 8 hours of riding per day. A nice way to spend the day for sure, but it's not supposed to turn into work.

Just one more piece of advice - bring lots of water, drink lots of water - at least 2 liters/day. The desert wind blast will suck the moisture out of you without a drop of sweat.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-26-2008, 03:48 AM
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I'd be pretty suprised if Tioga Pass through Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park is going to be open any time soon. Check with the park service to find out but that is traditionally a late opening pass.

Definately go with a cramp buster, cheap, easy to install, and if you don't like it either remove it on the trip, or just roll it out of the way and you won't notice it at all. I would also consider some grip warmers if you can, the after market ones for ATV's work fine and are pretty simple to install, just pull your grips, grease those babies up with epoxy, slide the grips back on, run the wires (not so hard, lots of information on it around here), and yer good to go. Hardest thing about it is figuring out where to put the switch. If you were short on time you could just duct tape that to your handle bars for this one trip and figure out the final location as you rode, then complete the jobe once home.

Have a great trip.

Last edited by dakarrider; 04-26-2008 at 03:56 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-26-2008, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWanderer View Post
edit-
I'm going to the dealer today to try and get a universal vista cruise. Hope they got one. Heard install is a bit of a bear. Might just try the O-ring trick if I can find one. If not... I'll think of something.
I put the vista cruise on mine and thought it was a snap. Less than 10 minutes. I also use a throttle rocker (throttle rocker II) it attaches with a velcro strap that I can also use on my brake lever for maintenace. I like having both. They perform similar but different functions.

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post #10 of 10 Old 04-26-2008, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone.

I'll be heading out tomorrow morning (6am). First day is going to be my long one. After that it is a series of short days (under 400/day). I did buy and install the vista cruise. Went on slicker than ... well, you know. Looking forward to having it for the long straight stretches of Nevada.

I did change oil/filter, clean/lubed/tensioned chain, and washed the bike. Figure 2000+ miles called for fresh lube.

I'll post a ride report when I get back. I've got good input on where to stay/eat (eating being the most important).

Oh yeah, I decided to bypass Yosemite all together. I'll hit it in July. I'll just ride the CA Little Dragon and have fun doing it
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