How slow can you safely go on the Interstate? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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How slow can you safely go on the Interstate?

I'm contemplating a multi-state camping trip ('dreaming' is probably more accurate at this point). The plan is to take back country roads where possible but leaving NYC some amount of highway is unavoidable. I've never been too fond of the interstate on a motorcycle (and haven't done very much of it either). Still getting the hang of my new V2, seat height, winds and handling of the bike. I'm wondering if I can safely go 50mph in the right lane. I realize that 50 mph is still at or above legal minimums for most states but I'm wondering if its safe. Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. I'm looking to travel south down the I-95 from NJ.
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post #2 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 07:17 PM
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I personally consider anything slower than the posted limit somewhat dangerous .... I prefer to go slightly faster than the traffic. What about Hwy 1?
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post #3 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcham View Post
I personally consider anything slower than the posted limit somewhat dangerous .... I prefer to go slightly faster than the traffic. What about Hwy 1?
I agree that's ideal but I need to build more confidence before i can safely push 65-75mp/h.

What about hwy 1?
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post #4 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 07:44 PM
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By I-95 you mean the NJ turnpike? I take it pretty regularly. It's typically a pretty calm road, but 50mph is much too slow. You would be putting not just yourself but others at increased risk. Just find some slow traffic and stick with them. The speed limit is 65, and the slow traffic does 68-70.

If you're going to do 75 eventually, just do it there. There are very few roads straighter and more controlled. You'll face the most risk getting out of NYC.

And wear earplugs, they'll help with noise and anxiety.
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post #5 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 08:31 PM
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Uncertain what you are asking. If 50 mph makes you nervous imagine 50 mph on a loaded bike when the wind picks up or it rains. Dreaming is good, that's where adventure starts. My suggestion is ride & make certain your veh & medical insurance is up to date. Confidence in your ride will increase the more you use it. Wear proper gear ---- jeans & a t-shirt doesn't cut it.

Accidents will happen, mostly not your fault (riders).

The important thing to plan, using secondary roads, are fuel stops (are they actually open for service).

Just ride, ride the speed limit, ride in traffic. Have fun and before you know it you will be coaching others.

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post #6 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 08:36 PM
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The most dangerous thing you can do is ride at speeds noticeably slower than the flow of traffic (assuming normal conditions. )

As far as going at 75 mph compared to 50 mph you will also find the bike becomes more stable, the engine more responsive and generally it feels great. Your fuel mileage, and therefore your range on a tank, will also be roughly 10 to 20% worse than what you would get at 50 mph.

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post #7 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 09:19 PM
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stormbytes, sounds like you need to get comfortable with the bike first, before loading camping gear and going out. I'd suggest riding the bike as naked as you can get it and out onto the faster highways early on a sunday morning when there is little to no traffic. Get some miles under your belt this way. Stretch your speed when the road is less crowded. Spend as much time as you can, different days, different weather. I think you'll find you get confident quickly. Then add things to the mix -- put some camping gear on it and try; or ride Sunday afternoon when traffic is a bit heavier; or go out when it is raining and see how high speed feels; or pick a windy day and try it. More miles will mean more confidence. You absolutely will hit all this (wind, rain, traffic, etc...) when you finally take your trip, so practicing first should help you out.

Good luck with the trip. Hope you have fun. Post a ride report when you complete it.
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post #8 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 10:46 PM
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As others have said, take some time and get used to and comfortable with your bike.
IMO you should be comfortable cruising at about 10mph faster than the typical flow of traffic. This does not mean to ride that fast, you should just be comfortable with the ability to.
I don't ride the highway much since I don't commute and only use my bike for fun (live at the foothills of the Rockies)!
When I used to do more highway I would ride just a bit faster than the flow of traffic, but did have a few issues with LEO's.
Now I look for the biggest pocket of open road on the highway and put myself in it. As the open pocket closes up with traffic I look for another one. Sometimes I find that the speed it takes is a little slower (pocket of open road now behind me) and sometimes I have to accelerate up to an open pocket ahead of me.
I will not cruise next to another vehicle and always expect a crazy move from the left lanes as you get closer to exits. And stay out of blind spots. You may think that just because you are not next to a vehicle you are safe but many times the crazy move to get to an exit first starts with the person hitting the brakes.
I know it is more than you asked for but all pretty important stuff IMO.
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post #9 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormbytes View Post
I'm contemplating a multi-state camping trip ('dreaming' is probably more accurate at this point). The plan is to take back country roads where possible but leaving NYC some amount of highway is unavoidable. I've never been too fond of the interstate on a motorcycle (and haven't done very much of it either). Still getting the hang of my new V2, seat height, winds and handling of the bike. I'm wondering if I can safely go 50mph in the right lane. I realize that 50 mph is still at or above legal minimums for most states but I'm wondering if its safe. Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. I'm looking to travel south down the I-95 from NJ.

Speed is relative to the vehicles around you. If everybody is going 65 then you going 65 won't feel fast it will feel like you're in the pocket, make sense?

It's speed differentials that can cause anxiety in my experience. Saying that though it is almost always better to be moving a bit faster than the general flow, keeps you from getting trapped in a bad situation.

A key is to look far ahead instead of directly in front of your bike. That does a lot to reduce the sensation of "going fast".
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Last edited by Spec; 10-17-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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post #10 of 52 Old 10-16-2017, 11:34 PM
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When I ran a sidecar rig towing a tent trailer I'd go the speed I was happy with and no one ever ran me over. I could also go like stink if I wanted to.
Lots of folks will suggest going faster than the speed limit. I'm of the mind, go what speed you like. I don't mind trucks passing me. I watch the mirrors and am aware of what's coming up on me.
Oklahoma had signs on the Interstate, 65/45 no tolerance. So you could be a legal slug at 45 and a felon at 66. Go figure.
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