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I purchased a DL-650 in January and I absolutely love the bike. Time and my schedule have left me little time to ride but, by a stroke of luck I will be free from July 16 to August 2 this summer. I want to travel from Phoenix, AZ to the east coast during this time period and was planning on flying, but given that I now have this free time I really want to try riding across and back. I have driven the same route three times in a car but I have only done a few thousand plus mile tours on bikes before, and only just over a thousand. I have been going back and forth on whether or not to take the ride and I thought I would post here to get some suggestions and also to ask a couple questions.

My questions are:
Is it crazy to attempt such a ride alone and with a time constraint of around 7-10 days one way?

Does anyone have good ideas as to routes? I'm going from Phoenix AZ to upstate NY and back. I would love to drive up Route 66 to Chicago (at least partially on 66) and drive Route 50 back across from Maryland to Utah, but I don't really know how I should plan a motorcycle trip this long.

Finally, what are necessary farkles? I have an upgraded seat, frame sliders, a Cee Bailey's windscreen, a Givi topcase, and soft saddlebags (off another bike but they work alright). Things I would want in an ideal world are listed below, but if I buy everything I won't be able to afford the trip.

Things I would like (descending order):
Center stand

Large tank bag (preferably powered for gps and phone charging)

Noise blocking headphones (I'm terrible with earplugs, but I hope these would help save my hearing on long days)

Hard luggage (or at least some type of rack to keep my soft luggage off the muffler and body panels)

Go Pro Hero camera (I'm a college student with access to a film lab and some nice software so I was thinking of time lapsing the entire trip and producing a high quality record of the whole trip)


Ultimately I am just fishing for suggestions and ideas. I know I could take many short trips instead of such a long tour, but I think it would be a great experience. Thanks for all the help and advice!
 

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trip

Doable, no reason to not do it. I've done trips that long in that time frame before and I'm a heck of alot older (and stiffer) than you :)

Really good rain suit to add to the mix, the odds of missing rain completely for 10 days is remote.

Bill H.
 

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Oh its definately doable. If you figure its 3000 miles one way (worst case). So 6000 miles total...and say you do 400 mile days....that's 15 days round trip.

You might want to put together a good tool kit, tire plug kit, and air pump to carry with you.

It won't be easy, especially as a first long trip, but it can be done.

For your electrical connections I would recomend Eastern Beaver.

Suzuki VStrom Electrics

Hope this helps.
 

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Large Duffel on the rear seat. Easy on easy off. Don't even bother with the soft bags. Take all your borderline socks & underwear, T shirts & throw them out as you use them along the way. Pump & plug kit is a good idea.
Squirt your chain every day after your ride & be diligent about your tire pressure.
Where are you going to end up in upstate NY ? I can route you through our beautiful state.
 

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see your PM
 

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Stay hydrated, even where the heat isn't a "dry" heat.
 

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Having never done a long trip I will also recommend the pump & patch/tool kit. I carry them on my Vee all the time. Especially after seeing a friend pick up a nail on the opposite side of the state from where he lives! :yikes:

My patch kit & pump/compressor I got at Advanced Auto. The pump is small & fits in my trunk box. It plugs into one of the two 12V plugs I have on my bike. It's kinda slow, but it gets the job done. If you don't have a 12V plug you can get one at Advanced Auto as well & they're not too difficult to install.

As for the duffle on the back seat I'd recommend going to REI & search for a waterproof one! You know...the kind that folks take on white water rafting trips IN the raft. If they work then you know they'll work on the back seat of a bike.

DITTO ON THE RAIN GEAR!!!! You don't have to spend a fortune either. Search Cycle Gear. It's not the best in the world but the one I have cost me $40 total. It works just fine! Eventually I'll upgrade it, but it works for now for the amount that I use it.

One more thing....go to Home Depot/Lowes & get a "back support". The kind that has the "adjustable" velcro sides. You'd be surprised how much that'll help! The "long" trips I've taken so far it's been a God send!!!!!

Good luck! OH!!!!!! TAKE A CAMERA!!!! :biggrinjester:
 

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It's possible to do what you are envisioning in 2-3 weeks round trip, but it won't be much fun. 400-mile days are OK for a while, but when done day after day it gets pretty old. And even if you do it like I usually do -- up at 0-dark-thirty, ride for 100 miles or so in the morning coolness, stop for breakfast and a break, then finish the rest of the riding day at leisure and stop early for rest and sightseeing at your daily destination -- you will still find your days getting pretty tiresome. At some point when it changes from "want to" cover some distance to "have to," especially on the return trip, you may wish you had factored in some down time. Call me wimpy, but I would want at least a month for a trip of this length in order to insert some R&R and/or contingency days along the way.

In case you are wondering I'm no stranger to long-distance motorcycle trips. Years ago I did two Ohio-to-Yucatan round trips, and in recent years two trips to from Norcal to AK and another down the Baja. But I would never contemplate back-to-back-to-back 400 mile days for an extended period. Remember, too, that if you are held up by weather or a mechanical situation for even one day you will need an Iron Butt-like effort the next day to make it up.

But you will go ahead anyway, in spite of my views.:yesnod: US 50 is a good route choice, BTW, especially the stretch from MD through VA, WV and OH. The OH portion will take you very near the Holmes Co. Amish country, which is worth a look.

Oh, wait, your ambitious itinerary does not allow time for a sightseeing detour. Sorry.:biggrinjester:
 

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All good suggestions

Enjoy each day and don't worry about a tight itinerary.

It'll be a great trip!
 

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California-North Carolina on Wee

I did the run from California to North Carolina in 6 days this past August. It was easier than I thought. Key items for me were Madstad bracket, Kaoko throttle lock, Air Hawk seat cushion, tank bag, comfortable clothing that can be washed in sink and dry quickly. I had one major issue that made the trip unbearable at times. My helmet was irritating my forehead. by the end of the trip I had ripped the front of the helmet out. The Airhawk seam irritated my leg so now I'm a believer in getting a proper seat next time. The Airhawk did work well otherwise. I made two long trips before embarking on the cross country to check out my stamina. The Wee Strom did the cross country trip with ease.
 

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MikeB is right on- sometimes it just plain sucks to do 400+ days back to back to back.

BUT, here's what you need to take:

Portable pump and tire plugger kit.
Waterproof duffle
LD comfort shorts
Sheepskin for your butt, or beads for same
A few tools
Rain gear (a must! Having one seems to ward off rainclouds)

You can get this stuff for cheap (comparatively) at motogearoutlet.com. Their watershed bags are awesome!

Have fun, be safe and don't ride after dusk, that's when the critters and the drunks are out. Just my .02
 

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trip

Btw, I like the AirHawk too, just have to allow some time before the trip to figure out how much air to put in it, takes a bit of playing around to find the right amount. What you want is as deflated as possible (in general) that doesn't allow you to bottom out, it's different for each rider and each bike.

You might look at one of the one piece riding suits, minimizes the amout of clothing you need while riding and the good ones are fairly waterproof so can act as your rain suit too. Decent riding boots that are waterproof and comfy are a big requirement, much better protection than the stuff some "riders" wear and then you don't need rain covers either. Not fun the second day after riding all day in the rain to have to put on wet boots.

Btw, I've done lots of trips, this will be the first bike with hard luggage, it's not required by any stretch, it's nice but not required. Bungies in general are awful on bikes, allow the load to change positions too easily. Bags like the RevPack work very well, allow lots of stuff to be packed, they stay put and are waterproof, more so with the rain cover. I've done many thousands of miles on the road with one and always arrive with the clothes completely dry even after riding in all day downpours (not fun). Wet clothes the second day are only slightly better than wet boots <g>.

Oh yeah, have at least two pair of gloves, no matter what you do for rain resistance they eventually all leak, really nice the next day to put on dry gloves.

Bill H.
 

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I've done several Multi State 5-6000 mile 12 - 16 day trips. Absolutely no reason not to go. Mine have been with friends though ... in order to maintain domestic tranquility.

I bought my mini compressor at Harbor Freight (very ugly yellow), cost $8.88 and fits in bag with no problem. And works very quickly and very well. Definitely bring a tire kit. A flat in the middle of the desert or mountains 75 miles from the nearest shop at 7:30 pm is no fun and ruins your day. MTS or whomever can take hours to get there. A plug and patch kit is indispensable. Plus it's like an umbrella. Bring it and it doesn't rain. Forget it and it pours!!

Depending on budget, I would suggest a water resistant / proof 1 or 2 piece suit (Joe Rocket Survivor is I think $399, Teiz is getting great reviews but I have never seen one, Aerositch now has a "light version" that is a little cooler in the summer etc.) that breathes. I have been on many rides where the rain comes and goes ... sometimes several times in One Day. Stopping to put on and remove a rainsuit several times in a few hours is a real irritant .

+1 on a big waterproof duffel. I put on on long way directly in front of top box and it also acts as a backrest. Pus simply untying it and taking into your motel room is very simple. For safety sake I would suggest some fuses and adjustable wrench, Allen Wrench etc to fit under your seat.

Make sure you have comfortable seat. That may be the most important thing. 400 - 500 miles a day on a really sore butt, ruins a trip in a hurry.

Have fun.
 

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7-10 days each way? Dude, you got all the time in the world. Even if you're poking along at 50, that's still plenty of time.

Now as for going alone - don't hesitate. Sometime a riding buddy is fun, and sometimes it's just a distraction. You'll be fine.

I've been cross-country 4 times on different bikes, twice on the strom - by far best of the lot for touring so far, btw. Make sure you're comfy in the seat department and stop worrying about it. Just go.
 

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make it about

Unless you're doing an ironbutt thing. = I suggest you make it about the journey, not the trip.
Don't get caught up in "gotta get there; I'm runnin' late, don't have time for that." Enjoy your ride, you'll be glad you did..
 

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MikeB is right on- sometimes it just plain sucks to do 400+ days back to back to back.

:iagree: I've done several 400 mile a day trips for three or four days. Got old in a hurry on a Wee.
 

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MikeB is right on- sometimes it just plain sucks to do 400+ days back to back to back.
:iagree: I've done several 400 mile a day trips for three or four days. Got old in a hurry on a Wee.
A contrary vote here. :) Doing 600+ for days on end would get to me, but 400-450 a day is no biggie. On the Alaska trip I average about 430/day for 3 weeks, almost all of it 2 lane, and didn't feel pressed.
 

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miles

As I remember from the iron butt guys, the average rider does ok for 450-500 mile days for the first 2 or 3 days then the mileage starts to drop off. I'm about the same, the first 2 days I'm fine for those miles, the 3rd. day I'm usually down about 100 mile from that and then I'm ok with that pace for at least a week. Depends much on the roads you're riding and the interest level. Riding across Kansas might be an easy ride, but it's unbelievably boring, corn followed by corn followed by more corn ;)

Bill H.
 

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Honestly, don't you guys get bored after a while? Once the thrill of motion wears off it's just hour after hour of sitting in the same place and in pretty much the same position.

Unless the scenery is pretty spectacular it's like flying rom LA to Tokyo without the movies. And free beer.:mrgreen:
 

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Honestly, don't you guys get bored after a while?
NO...I'm not sure why, becuase the same trip in a car and I'm totally bored, on a bike I'm not. Can't explain it but I don't get bored on the bike like I do in the car. Don't even miss the music/radio.
 
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