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I am working o a trip next month, about 350 miles each way. It's normally a 5 1/2 hour trip by interstate. My wife doesn't care to run interstate, but she will.

For those of you that travel longer distances on your bike, do you go out of your way to stay off the super slabs, or just suck it up and get to the destination?
 

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i don't ride long. a 200-mile day is big-time for me. every now and then that 200 miles will be entirely on the freeway. other 200-mile rides may include zero or only a few slab miles. i'm happy to be up on two...wherever they may take me. i do stay out of the dirt, though.
 

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I avoid interstates like the plague when I'm touring, unless I absolutely have to make some big miles in a short time. We rode up to Maine in the beginning of June, and the only part of it that we rode on the Interstate was a section of I-81 through eastern PA on the return trip (my girlfriend had to get back to work, so we had to crank out the miles).

Long miles riding a bike on an interstate make me wish I was in a car, and I can't think of a much more damning condemnation than that.
 

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A 300 mile day or less would be mapped out using TyreToTravel mapping software and uploaded to my Garmin as a .gpx file. We would only be taking secondary roads. If we are doing 300+ days and have a schedule to keep, we will do interstate because sometimes, we just have to make time. It isn't fun on the interstate but it isn't terrible either. Keep in mind that most cities have bypass systems in place to avoid going straight through the downtown area. A little strategic planning if you have to take the slab helps tremendously!

We just did a 7480 mile ride from Florida to Upper Michigan and then out to San Diego. I only had about a about 2.5 weeks of actual travel time, so heading west from Michigan was all interstate. Coming back across to Florida was mostly interstate. It was just the only way we could spend extended time with some family members during our summer vacation.

Travel safe and if you have the time, just enjoy the ride!
 

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If I have a destination in mind and there is not much I want to see along the way, I will use Interstates wherever possible. They are safer than most other roads, your average speed is higher, and food/fuel is easy to come by, easy and relatively safe rest areas available. Not necessarily scenic, but I can tell you of some interstate highways I really enjoy riding. When you get to your destination, then look for the most interesting riding.

350 miles each way is enough to test you, your riding gear, and your bike. The reason many don't take long trips or use Interstates is that their bike isn't up to it. That means the bike has to be comfortable after hours in the saddle. Yes, a good seat for you is very important and after a couple hundred miles the fans of some seats will not be quite as vocal about how good they are! Probably second in importance is the windshield. That has been hard to get really good on V Stroms, but there is help coming for that.

You didn't state how long your trip is? That has everything to do with packing, and with the wife along that means careful packing. Carrying a passenger is a lot harder to do longer distances in my opinion. Planning some stops is recommended.

It is common for me to do 600-800+ mile days. It has taught me what works and what you need for long days in the saddle. I left Billings, Montana two Saturdays ago. Arrived in Houston Sunday evening. 1626 miles in two days.
 

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For those long stretches on the slab, I find it most beneficial to stop every 1.5 to 2 hours. Whether I need fuel or not. Stop get a bottle of water to share. Maybe a snack to share something small, find some grass and shade and rest for 10 min or so. It really recharges the batteries and allows you to calm and center yourself. I know it really helped keep the mrs. spirits up to stand and walk and take the helmet off and talk normally.

Safe travels!
 

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I avoid interstates like the plague when I'm touring, unless I absolutely have to make some big miles in a short time. We rode up to Maine in the beginning of June, and the only part of it that we rode on the Interstate was a section of I-81 through eastern PA on the return trip (my girlfriend had to get back to work, so we had to crank out the miles).

Long miles riding a bike on an interstate make me wish I was in a car, and I can't think of a much more damning condemnation than that.

No kidding.

I'll ride way out of my way to avoid interstates. Out here in the west semis go 80+ mph on the interstates. Makes for a miserable ride in their wake and getting by them.

I like to go across rural Nevada to bypass the I15 to head anyplace east of here. Yea it's desolate but in a good way!
 

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A 300 mile day or less would be mapped out using TyreToTravel mapping software and uploaded to my Garmin as a .gpx file. We would only be taking secondary roads. If we are doing 300+ days and have a schedule to keep, we will do interstate because sometimes, we just have to make time. It isn't fun on the interstate but it isn't terrible either. Keep in mind that most cities have bypass systems in place to avoid going straight through the downtown area. A little strategic planning if you have to take the slab helps tremendously!

We just did a 7480 mile ride from Florida to Upper Michigan and then out to San Diego. I only had about a about 2.5 weeks of actual travel time, so heading west from Michigan was all interstate. Coming back across to Florida was mostly interstate. It was just the only way we could spend extended time with some family members during our summer vacation.

Travel safe and if you have the time, just enjoy the ride!
I'm a huge fan of the Tyre program, and have used it for the past couple years. I like that you remove can the interstates as an option when planning a trip, and the program will avoid them. Definitely one of my favorite pieces of freeware.
 

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No kidding.

I'll ride way out of my way to avoid interstates. Out here in the west semis go 80+ mph on the interstates. Makes for a miserable ride in their wake and getting by them.

I like to go across rural Nevada to bypass the I15 to head anyplace east of here. Yea it's desolate but in a good way!
I would say that the only advantage my Harley Road King had over my current touring rig was that, when a truck passed me at 80 mpg, the bow wave from the truck would barely ruffle the feathers of that 900 pound behemoth. My current bike is a little heavier than the V-Strom, but even that one can take a bit of a beating from some of the trucks if I'm on the interstate.

I hear you about desolate in a good way. There's nothing like being in the middle of nowhere in the desert, stopping the bike and getting off for a few minutes, and not seeing or hearing anything but the wind. That's a little slice of heaven right there.
 

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Depends on where you live, where I'm located (central Cal) the first 30 to 50 miles is always slab, after that all smiles.

I find on a three or four day ride that the last few hours I'm ready to be home and it's Slab all the way. The trip three weeks ago was 1000 miles and the last 101 miles was four lanes at 80 mph.

But I have ridden to LA more then once straight down 5, talk about boring, but once you get to the traffic in LA, it's lane splitting time!
And my reason for taking the bike was so I could split lanes in their traffic.

If you have never experienced LA traffic....you're lucky. 10 million people all trying to get someplace at the same time.
 

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Long miles & limited time I will take whatever is fastest. Low miles and plenty of time I will take alternate routes and see the sites. I am not afraid of being passed by high speed vehicles, I just keep an eye on the rear view mirror so I don't get surprised.

I would like to get in a trans Canada trip this year, most of which will be on the Trans Canada highway (similar to your interstates). I will not be playing around on secondary roads.

The above being said I will be trying out new tires so to be fair, in my comparison, will be limiting my speed to 100-110 kph. Most of the 110 kph highways in Canada are double lanes while the 100 kph and less are single lanes except for passing lanes.

Make sure your bike is in good condition, wear appropriate gear, if hauling camping equip keep the heavy stuff low and make certain all your insurance is up to date (bike, medical (state/provincial & travel).

Brian
 

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My rule of thumb is that if I have to take the interstate to make time, then I take a car. Unless, of course, I'm going to have lots of fun on the bike at the other end. To me, interstate on a bike is the worst of both worlds. If I'm going to be on slab, I may as well be comfortable.

Also agree with those who advocate frequent breaks--I shoot for 1.5 hrs of riding at a pop, then pull over, get off, drink water, whatever. I've done 700-mile days where I've stayed on the bike for a whole tank between stops, and it's painful. Literal, groaning-inside-my-helmet pain.

One thing that helps with wind is a set of tank panniers. On long hauls, these are great: more luggage capacity and more wind protection. Costs a couple of mpg, though.
 

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The majority of my miles are interstate. I think if you plan to enjoy it you will. A couple of people have already said it, but you have to get off the bike every couple of hours or less. Have a cup of coffee or something while you let the blood flow back into your butt.
 

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I run Interstates without thinking twice about it if I have to put in big miles to get somewhere in a hurry. But if a few extra hours is not a problem, then by all means, secondary roads can be more fun and much more interesting.

Just understand that on secondary roads your time to complete that 350 miles may be almost double what the equivalent miles would be on the Interstate. With traffic, stop lights and so forth, secondary roads can try your patience unless you have the right mindset.

I would say get going early, try to bust out a couple hundred miles by noon if possible, and then you'll have a great afternoon ahead of you to get to your destination. If you get behind, trying to make up miles and time on secondary roads is no fun.

350 miles on secondary roads is nothing to sneeze at or to be taken lightly. But as long as you keep up a decent pace and don't get too bogged down early in the day it is quite doable, and much more pleasant than the equivalent on the slab. Just don't get behind. It is no fun trying to get to your destination when the sun is dipping toward the horizon and you still have a long ways to go.
 

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For me, it's not just about the destination, but also the ride. I stay away from the interstates unless it's a short stint to get to the next road going the direction I want. Mileage depends on the roads of course. You can spend a full tough day riding in the mountains and not go more than 150 miles. Especially if you're enjoying the sites and places. Because I live in San Antonio I usually do close to 600 miles the first day of any long trip (non-interstate). After the first couple of days though you can't get too greedy about the mileage. 350 miles is a decent day in the middle of a two week trip. I agree with leaving early to grab a couple hundred miles then have a comfortable afternoon.
 

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For those of you that travel longer distances on your bike, do you go out of your way to stay off the super slabs, or just suck it up and get to the destination?
There are times to "burn interstate" and it always sucks but it gets it done. Yes, I go way out of my way to avoid..."innnn-er-state".
 

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I shoot for 1.5 hrs of riding at a pop, then pull over, get off, drink water, whatever. I've done 700-mile days where I've stayed on the bike for a whole tank between stops, and it's painful. Literal, groaning-inside-my-helmet pain.
Do you by chance have a custom seat? Because without mine, I would be in the same pickle as you. Now I get mildly annoyed if I have to dismount between fillups;)
 

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I am working o a trip next month, about 350 miles each way. It's normally a 5 1/2 hour trip by interstate. My wife doesn't care to run interstate, but she will.

For those of you that travel longer distances on your bike, do you go out of your way to stay off the super slabs, or just suck it up and get to the destination?
Out here in the west getting anywhere means long hauls on the highways and freeways.

A couple of months ago I did a test run to Bishop just to shake out the bike and accessories/luggage. Four days and a little over 1,200 miles. Perhaps 60% of that was highway with the rest mountain canyons.
 

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I am working o a trip next month, about 350 miles each way. It's normally a 5 1/2 hour trip by interstate. My wife doesn't care to run interstate, but she will.

For those of you that travel longer distances on your bike, do you go out of your way to stay off the super slabs, or just suck it up and get to the destination?
The real question, and the only one that matters, is what you and your wife are comfortable doing.

Many of us can do either way without batting an eye but how comfy are you and you wife at doing so? If you have time and the secondary highways work for you then take them.. If not then take the interstate.

My personal feeling is that stopping every hour and a half is too often... I would plan on every two hours or so (and I'm sure your wife will let you know when to stop in any event!)

..Tom
 

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Do you by chance have a custom seat? Because without mine, I would be in the same pickle as you. Now I get mildly annoyed if I have to dismount between fillups;)
What kind of seat do you have?
@Bucket
What matters to me more than slab or no slab is traffic or no traffic. A crowd of cagers will kill you, especially if you've been on the road for 6 hours and you're fatigued/inattentive.
 
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