For the long haulers... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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For the long haulers...

I am working o a trip next month, about 350 miles each way. It's normally a 5 1/2 hour trip by interstate. My wife doesn't care to run interstate, but she will.

For those of you that travel longer distances on your bike, do you go out of your way to stay off the super slabs, or just suck it up and get to the destination?

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post #2 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 03:09 PM
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i don't ride long. a 200-mile day is big-time for me. every now and then that 200 miles will be entirely on the freeway. other 200-mile rides may include zero or only a few slab miles. i'm happy to be up on two...wherever they may take me. i do stay out of the dirt, though.

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post #3 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 03:31 PM
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I avoid interstates like the plague when I'm touring, unless I absolutely have to make some big miles in a short time. We rode up to Maine in the beginning of June, and the only part of it that we rode on the Interstate was a section of I-81 through eastern PA on the return trip (my girlfriend had to get back to work, so we had to crank out the miles).

Long miles riding a bike on an interstate make me wish I was in a car, and I can't think of a much more damning condemnation than that.
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post #4 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 03:44 PM
 
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A 300 mile day or less would be mapped out using TyreToTravel mapping software and uploaded to my Garmin as a .gpx file. We would only be taking secondary roads. If we are doing 300+ days and have a schedule to keep, we will do interstate because sometimes, we just have to make time. It isn't fun on the interstate but it isn't terrible either. Keep in mind that most cities have bypass systems in place to avoid going straight through the downtown area. A little strategic planning if you have to take the slab helps tremendously!

We just did a 7480 mile ride from Florida to Upper Michigan and then out to San Diego. I only had about a about 2.5 weeks of actual travel time, so heading west from Michigan was all interstate. Coming back across to Florida was mostly interstate. It was just the only way we could spend extended time with some family members during our summer vacation.

Travel safe and if you have the time, just enjoy the ride!
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post #5 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 03:49 PM
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If I have a destination in mind and there is not much I want to see along the way, I will use Interstates wherever possible. They are safer than most other roads, your average speed is higher, and food/fuel is easy to come by, easy and relatively safe rest areas available. Not necessarily scenic, but I can tell you of some interstate highways I really enjoy riding. When you get to your destination, then look for the most interesting riding.

350 miles each way is enough to test you, your riding gear, and your bike. The reason many don't take long trips or use Interstates is that their bike isn't up to it. That means the bike has to be comfortable after hours in the saddle. Yes, a good seat for you is very important and after a couple hundred miles the fans of some seats will not be quite as vocal about how good they are! Probably second in importance is the windshield. That has been hard to get really good on V Stroms, but there is help coming for that.

You didn't state how long your trip is? That has everything to do with packing, and with the wife along that means careful packing. Carrying a passenger is a lot harder to do longer distances in my opinion. Planning some stops is recommended.

It is common for me to do 600-800+ mile days. It has taught me what works and what you need for long days in the saddle. I left Billings, Montana two Saturdays ago. Arrived in Houston Sunday evening. 1626 miles in two days.

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post #6 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 04:21 PM
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For those long stretches on the slab, I find it most beneficial to stop every 1.5 to 2 hours. Whether I need fuel or not. Stop get a bottle of water to share. Maybe a snack to share something small, find some grass and shade and rest for 10 min or so. It really recharges the batteries and allows you to calm and center yourself. I know it really helped keep the mrs. spirits up to stand and walk and take the helmet off and talk normally.

Safe travels!
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post #7 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCinNC View Post
I avoid interstates like the plague when I'm touring, unless I absolutely have to make some big miles in a short time. We rode up to Maine in the beginning of June, and the only part of it that we rode on the Interstate was a section of I-81 through eastern PA on the return trip (my girlfriend had to get back to work, so we had to crank out the miles).

Long miles riding a bike on an interstate make me wish I was in a car, and I can't think of a much more damning condemnation than that.

No kidding.

I'll ride way out of my way to avoid interstates. Out here in the west semis go 80+ mph on the interstates. Makes for a miserable ride in their wake and getting by them.

I like to go across rural Nevada to bypass the I15 to head anyplace east of here. Yea it's desolate but in a good way!
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Last edited by Spec; 08-15-2016 at 04:26 PM.
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post #8 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigThump View Post
A 300 mile day or less would be mapped out using TyreToTravel mapping software and uploaded to my Garmin as a .gpx file. We would only be taking secondary roads. If we are doing 300+ days and have a schedule to keep, we will do interstate because sometimes, we just have to make time. It isn't fun on the interstate but it isn't terrible either. Keep in mind that most cities have bypass systems in place to avoid going straight through the downtown area. A little strategic planning if you have to take the slab helps tremendously!

We just did a 7480 mile ride from Florida to Upper Michigan and then out to San Diego. I only had about a about 2.5 weeks of actual travel time, so heading west from Michigan was all interstate. Coming back across to Florida was mostly interstate. It was just the only way we could spend extended time with some family members during our summer vacation.

Travel safe and if you have the time, just enjoy the ride!
I'm a huge fan of the Tyre program, and have used it for the past couple years. I like that you remove can the interstates as an option when planning a trip, and the program will avoid them. Definitely one of my favorite pieces of freeware.
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post #9 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
No kidding.

I'll ride way out of my way to avoid interstates. Out here in the west semis go 80+ mph on the interstates. Makes for a miserable ride in their wake and getting by them.

I like to go across rural Nevada to bypass the I15 to head anyplace east of here. Yea it's desolate but in a good way!
I would say that the only advantage my Harley Road King had over my current touring rig was that, when a truck passed me at 80 mpg, the bow wave from the truck would barely ruffle the feathers of that 900 pound behemoth. My current bike is a little heavier than the V-Strom, but even that one can take a bit of a beating from some of the trucks if I'm on the interstate.

I hear you about desolate in a good way. There's nothing like being in the middle of nowhere in the desert, stopping the bike and getting off for a few minutes, and not seeing or hearing anything but the wind. That's a little slice of heaven right there.
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Last edited by RCinNC; 08-15-2016 at 05:34 PM.
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post #10 of 50 Old 08-15-2016, 05:32 PM
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Depends on where you live, where I'm located (central Cal) the first 30 to 50 miles is always slab, after that all smiles.

I find on a three or four day ride that the last few hours I'm ready to be home and it's Slab all the way. The trip three weeks ago was 1000 miles and the last 101 miles was four lanes at 80 mph.

But I have ridden to LA more then once straight down 5, talk about boring, but once you get to the traffic in LA, it's lane splitting time!
And my reason for taking the bike was so I could split lanes in their traffic.

If you have never experienced LA traffic....you're lucky. 10 million people all trying to get someplace at the same time.
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