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I'm traveling up last week of june to visit two friends in toronto for a week. I have until the end of march to decide if I'm going to ride up there and back on my own or if I should just fly

This would be my first large trip, previously I've done 300 miles in a day but that was on a gs500 and it was pretty difficult (my butt wanted to call it quits around 250 miles)

Anybody have any advice on what I can do to decide if I'm ready for this trip / if I should do it, short of literally driving my bike around town for 9 hours straight to see how I feel?

Also just as importantly, is this even worth doing in the first place? I'd have access to a car while I'm in toronto, and they live near the subway, so I'd mostly be using the bike to go pleasure riding (and saving $$ on airfare)

If I do go, any places you would recommend riding while I'm up there?

Thanks
 

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DC and the greater Toronto area are just as bad when it comes to traffic. In between you can have a nice 2 or 3 day journey.
First get a Sit&Fly cover for your seat and then do a +400 mile day round trip (go west into WV, there are plenty of nice roads). That will tell you if you are ready and if you enjoy riding all day. If you do make sure you have decent gear. If on a budget I would get an old faded Roadcrafter suit (e-bay for say $300) and a frogtog rain suit to be ready for poor weather, in case it strikes while on your trip. Then do a test ride with your gear and luggage to make sure its all working as intended, another run into WV overnight.

Stop by Niagara Fall one way and return through the Adirondaks, Catskills, Delaware river area or vice versa.
 

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You're as ready as you'll ever be.

Google says about 500 miles and 10ish hours. I'd suggest, if this is your first longer trip, split it into 2 days for the trip up. Make it 250 or so miles each day, and give yourself a casual day of riding to cover that first 250 miles. Spend 6 or 7 hours covering that first 250, not 4. Take it easy on your body and your bike, you each need to get used to each other. On day 2 of the ride up, you'll be feeling the effects of day 1, so again, take it easy. Ride an hour, take 10 minutes off the bike, etc. You will learn a lot about the bike and how your body and your mind react to distance riding, helping you determine how you'll handle long rides in the future. Who knows- your ride home might be good for a 1 day trip, or it might end up being 3 days.

You'll also learn a ton about the ergonomics of your bike- the relationship of the feet to seat to handlebar triangle, what is good and what should be changed (bar height, foot peg location, seat shape). You will for certain discover your tolerance for the seat. For me, the seat is simple- if I am thinking about how it is making my back and butt feel, it's getting rebuilt or replaced, at all costs. I will not ever sacrifice my body for poor seat design. You should not be thinking negative thoughts about your seat as you ride. A MC seat is never "good enough". Make it right after this long trip and you'll enjoy future trips even more.

Nobody needs to be an Iron Butt rider. To what end? Take your time and enjoy the world you're passing through. Get off the interstate and onto the quiet 2-lanes. You'll take an extra day, but you'll enjoy the journey even more. Remember, the slice of homemade pie at the local Mom & Pop diner will taste a hell of a lot better that the Snicker bar at the gas station.

Enjoy your trip!

Steve.
 

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I would say wait to see what the weather is like.

There are some very nice roads through Pennsylvania but Toronto traffic sucks,.
 

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I'm 2 hours northing of D.C. and personally I'd ride or even drive it. No becasue traveling via motorcycle is Zen its because I dislike traveling by flight. Having to get to the airport 2 hours early, security checks, dealing with travelers from all over the world that are tired grumpy and then being stuck in an airport waiting for you plane to arrive hoping its not delayed or cancelled. Commercial flights are jut not my thing.

500 miles is easily doable in less than day. Get up early eat a good breakfast and head out. Soon you be clicking off miles. If you ut you head down and ride only topping for fuel, snacks and a piss break. its about a 7-1/2 hour ride. If you want to take it a bit slower and stop for lunch budget 10 or 12 hours. Leave D.C. around 5:00am and you'll still have time for a hot shower before sitting down to dinner with friends in Toronto.
 

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This would be my first large trip, previously I've done 300 miles in a day but that was on a gs500 and it was pretty difficult (my butt wanted to call it quits around 250 miles)
This is a roughly 500 mile trip? Do you plan on doing it all in one day? If so you are going to need to stick to the highways/interstates. I would recommend arriving in Toronto after 8pm if you can. Traffic can be brutal. If you are doing it over 2 days you have a lot more options and will have a much more enjoyable ride. I'd recommend 2 days up and 1 day back. Let me know and I can give you some suggestions.

Anybody have any advice on what I can do to decide if I'm ready for this trip / if I should do it, short of literally driving my bike around town for 9 hours straight to see how I feel?
You are ready, it's not difficult to ride a motorcycle 500 miles. As long as you are comfortable riding in traffic, Toronto will be some of if not the worst you will ever ride in North America.

...so I'd mostly be using the bike to go pleasure riding (and saving $$ on airfare)

If I do go, any places you would recommend riding while I'm up there?
Pleasure riding and Toronto do not exist, you will need to head East and plan on making a day of it. Are you going to have a full day for riding? if you only have an hour or two then you wont get away from traffic. The city is beautiful though and can be nice to ride around at night. Just not in a scenic twisty road kind of way :)
 

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Tenann80,

OP is from Washington DC. Traffic there is some of the worst in the North America.

Toronto will seem like a Sunday afternoon ride in the country.
 
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