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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,

I just bought my first bike over the July 4th weekend (have been riding on/off for ~5 years, but always on a rental or someone else's) and love it. I bought a new 2011 Suzuki DL650 Wee Strom and made it electric yellow. My dad bought one, too, so we are two peas in a pod (its his 2nd bike and he's been riding for 30+ years).

I just scheduled my vacation for the year over the week of Labor Day and would like to take a trip out to the Outer Banks as I have only been once (March 2009) for a few hours on business but really liked it and would love to go back.

HOWEVER, I'm a total n00b since my bike has less than 600 miles on it and while I've taken some small bike trips before, it was never one I actually planned myself. So I need some advice.

  1. I'm in the process of building a farkle wish list and will execute on most of it prior to departure (panniers, tank bag, tools, tire repair, etc) so I'll at least be modestly prepared to travel.Any particular items a n00b (or any rider, for that matter) should never leave home without?
  2. I live around Knoxville, TN so I'll be riding completely across the state of NC and back. My travel dates are flexible but I have a feeling that my initial route of ~1,200 miles for 4 days is pretty aggressive. Is it?
  3. Any suggestions on routes to take between TN and OBX that would be good? It should go without saying that Interstates are verboten with state roads being preferred medium of travel. Currently, I'm planning to go from Knoxville --> Boone --> Roanoke Rapids --> Elizabeth City --> Ocracoke --> Morehead City --> Boone --> Knoxville. Any route suggestions or links to other threads would be great.
  4. Any general experience regarding planning to the OBX that I should factor in?
Thanks in advance!
 

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1200 miles over 4 days is about a 300 mile a day average, that is very relaxing. If you super slab it, your only talking 5 hours of riding. You will do a lot of sitting bored or walking around WallMart stores trying to blow time.

You can easily cover 400-500 in a day with plenty of food and rest stops where you chill for 30-60 minutes. If you hit the road at 9-ish and plan to ride until 8-ish you can rest a lot, say 4 hours of your day.... and still have 6 hours of ride time and make 350 miles.

If you take 2 lanes, you will need to decrease your travel speeds according, and things become a bit more pushed for time.

Depends on how you like to get there. Are you in it for the ride or for the destination? If for the ride, go 2 lane secondary highways and poke along. If your in it for the destination, hit the interstate and get'er done.

Different strokes for different folks. Im partial to the interstates if I want to get to a destination. I can easily make 500-600 mile days without any serious discomfort on the stock DL1000 seat. On the KLR with any seat i've tried, 400 miles has me wanting to push it over a cliff. I do have highway pegs on my crash bars, and I go back and forth from the stock pegs to the highway pegs to allow me to change pressure points around and not develop any sore spots. If I were stuck on the stock pegs only I suspect I would not be so happy about 500+ mile days.... you can only move so much with your feet in one place.
 

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You may want to try a 200 to 300 mile day on the same types of roads you are planning for the big trip to get a sense of your endurance on the medieval seat and general ergonomics of the bike. If that works, try a longer day. For many long trip offer diminishing returns; that is to say the first day you may be good for 400 miles, but with each successive day your endurance diminishes to the point where you're looking at Wrightsville Beach real estate rags at the mention of your return trip..

You might also want to try some nighttime and rain riding at your discretion, so that the first time you encounter either (or worse yet, both together) won't be while you are trying to make it home for work the next day.

And don't forget dear old dad, he may not have your stamina or vice versa.

You'll get lots more help here, have fun, you may want to include some of the Blue Ridge Parkway on your route.

Cheers, Norm
 

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Midas I did a ride last year from Norfolk VA down to Wilmington NC which included the OBX.

Here is a link to my ride report which has a lot of information on whats out there.
http://www.stromtrooper.com/ride-reports-route-sheets/54023-hybrid%92s-nc-va-coastal-maritime-museum-trip.html

The only thing I wish that I could have down was the museum at Kitty Hawk for the Wright Brothers.

On what to take that's a hard one. If you are camping then you will need more. If your staying at a hotel then you will need less. :mrgreen:

The essentials for me is a tire repair (plug kit) and small pump plus some chain lube. Luggage is what ever you want. If I wasnt camping then my two side panniers and top box is plenty. No need for the water proof duffle bag. My tank bag houses only my small stuff that I might need to get to quickly.

Also becareful with sand!!!! It can bite you quick.

Next week I head out for the SC and GA coast. I can't wait!
 

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Midas I did a ride last year from Norfolk VA down to Wilmington NC which included the OBX.

The only thing I wish that I could have down was the museum at Kitty Hawk for the Wright Brothers.
I didn't get to the museum either (didn't know there was one), but I spent several hours walking around the First Flight Memorial and it was gorgeous.
 

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I didn't get to the museum either (didn't know there was one), but I spent several hours walking around the First Flight Memorial and it was gorgeous.
Looks like I am the one that made the mistake, there is only a Memorial. Sorry
 

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Greetings all,

I just bought my first bike over the July 4th weekend (have been riding on/off for ~5 years, but always on a rental or someone else's) and love it. I bought a new 2011 Suzuki DL650 Wee Strom and made it electric yellow. My dad bought one, too, so we are two peas in a pod (its his 2nd bike and he's been riding for 30+ years).

I just scheduled my vacation for the year over the week of Labor Day and would like to take a trip out to the Outer Banks as I have only been once (March 2009) for a few hours on business but really liked it and would love to go back.

HOWEVER, I'm a total n00b since my bike has less than 600 miles on it and while I've taken some small bike trips before, it was never one I actually planned myself. So I need some advice.

  1. I'm in the process of building a farkle wish list and will execute on most of it prior to departure (panniers, tank bag, tools, tire repair, etc) so I'll at least be modestly prepared to travel.Any particular items a n00b (or any rider, for that matter) should never leave home without?
  2. I live around Knoxville, TN so I'll be riding completely across the state of NC and back. My travel dates are flexible but I have a feeling that my initial route of ~1,200 miles for 4 days is pretty aggressive. Is it?
  3. Any suggestions on routes to take between TN and OBX that would be good? It should go without saying that Interstates are verboten with state roads being preferred medium of travel. Currently, I'm planning to go from Knoxville --> Boone --> Roanoke Rapids --> Elizabeth City --> Ocracoke --> Morehead City --> Boone --> Knoxville. Any route suggestions or links to other threads would be great.
  4. Any general experience regarding planning to the OBX that I should factor in?
Thanks in advance!
I to live in East Tennessee. From K'town unless you want to go do the Dragon, I'd take 25E through Newport. It'll take you over to Hot Springs, Nc.

If you want to do the Dragon you could go through Cherokee to Maggie Valley.

Once you get though Ashville take old 74 down through Chimney Rock.

From there I'll have to bow down to a Tarheel with more local knowledge then I.

Hope it helps and give me a shout sometime and we'll get together.
 
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