Big Trip For 2008 - 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 16 Old 09-04-2006, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Big Trip For 2008

So I'm getting married next month and I realzing that I'm going to have to settle down a bit in the not too distant future. Kids, more responsibility etc. So I've decided to go and take a trip I've always wanted to take, coast-to-coast on my bike. And since i'll be married, i'll be 2 up. As much as I'd love to have a fully loaded GL1800/ST1300/RT/LT/GS etc, i owe too much on the wee so it just isn't going to happen. So, the wee will be my steed of choice unless i take the pocket bike. I'm in the process of ordering a few books on moto-travel but i've come up with a few questions before i've gotten them delivered.
my general plan is to head from NJ and hit aerostich in MN, Mt. Rushmore, Moab, see some of Old 66, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco and the list grows exponentially as the day goes by. I can't take the trip until late spring/early summer of 2008 because I won't have enough leave accrued because I figured I would need 2-3 weeks for the trip. I want to camp out while I'm transversing the middle states and stay in hotels while I'm in California.
My first few questions relate to farkles. Anyone sway towards a particular brand of hard luggage? I'm torn between caribou/givi e360n/happy trails. The happy trails set-back is that they aren't compatible with a corbin saddle which is something i would like to get for the bike prior to departing as well as being a few hundred dollars more than the other brands. Caribou luggage makes a strong argument for their product versus aluminum panniers. I don't know much about givi durablity, but I will have an E-52 topcase so for aesthetics it would make sense but i do subscribe to the function before fashion theory.
Tents are another item i have zero knowledge about. I have practically no camping knowledge so next summer i'll start camping. I've grasped the concept that I'll need a tent rated one person bigger than will be in it for a decent amount of room, so i figure with 2 of us we would need a 4 person tent. Anyone have any suggestions? I understand that i'll probably want a "bathtub floor" and practice setting it up and that it needs to pack reasonably small.
An intercom unit with audio input wil be ordered, looks like i'll be going with the starcom1 unit due to what I've read.
Just looking for opinions experiences, useful tidbits of knowledge about the wee and this kind of adventure....ride safe!

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post #2 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 08:16 PM
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I'm going to have to settle down a bit in the not too distant future. Kids, more responsibility etc.
Please get the reponsibility thing figured out before the kids

If you head this way - let us know. Happy future!


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post #3 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 08:53 PM
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kneedrachen , You have in your area one of the best places to learn about and outfit your camping Gear its called These peopleare great to deal with ( Over the phone for me) and they have retail store in Paramus. they will set you up . They have always treated me great.

My son and I are going to atempt to do this same type of trip in 2008 after high school graduation 7 before college for him.

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 09:58 PM
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lets take care of this nut in iran first or there wont be a 2008.
post #5 of 16 Old 09-05-2006, 08:47 AM
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I just completed a 7800 mile loop of the country on my ST1300 in June/July. I camped part, mooched part, and moteled part.

Riding 2-up on the Wee, you're going to have 2 considerations as far as gear is concerned: weight and length. Be sure to look carefully at the packed size and length of any tent you consider. Ask yourself: Am I going to strap the tent on lengthwise or crosswise to the bike? Is it going to form part of the backrest for your wife? This is a possibility, as I used my self-inflating foam sleeping pad and my tent to form the base for my backrest. It's quite a logistics problem you've challenged yourself with. Good luck! --Gene

It's not the destination that matters...

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-05-2006, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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the length of the tent was a big thing for me with the sidecases....i noticed on the happy trails sidecases they have a flat top with the footman loops so i'm thinking i could easily strap the tent down as well as any long/obtusely shaped items. . .hmmmm. . .thanks for the tips, probably taking a trip up to paramus tomorrow to see the aforementioned storefront...will post on my findings!

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post #7 of 16 Old 09-05-2006, 10:43 PM
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Campmor is great. They have all the tents setup.
Think also of what you will sleet on.
They have some great self inflating mats.

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-16-2006, 02:11 AM
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I just did 4500 miles in August from Indianapolis, IN to Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba - thus I know you will have a blast! Here's a link to some of the pics for those interested.

I packed 2 saddlebags, 1 tail pack (Cortech Tri-bag system) 1 tank bag, 1 tent, 2 chairs (which now have a permanent home in Butte, MT), a sleeping bag and sleeping mat (a MUST have), and an extra 1 gallon gas can. I can tell you the Wee was packed to the max. I had the rear shock cranked and I also raised the fork tubes 15mm in the clamp. Make sure if you are fully loading the bike (you and you S.O plus gear) that you raise the fork tubes the 22 mm possible, replace the rear shock, and get hard luggage for your crap.

Since it was just me on the Wee there was no problem - although I did have about 75 lbs of gear on the back. If I were carring another passenager - no way I would have been able to do it all. In my mind, 2 up riding is where the Big Strom shines - the Wee is great for singles.

Just my opinion. Whatever you do - raise the fork tubes and TEST RIDE before you make any decisions!

My favorite pic in Badlands N.P.


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post #9 of 16 Old 09-16-2006, 11:30 AM
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I've got touratech 35 litre Vega cases bullet proof, watertight, I put my tent on top of one and my sleeping pad on top of the other works for me.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-16-2006, 01:32 PM
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You rode the Sun Road, that is on my list of places to ride. Awesome views of the world from there. Looks like you had a good time and have memories to look back upon. Thanks for sharing your ride.

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