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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

First post of the forums, so be gentle please. I just joined the motorcycle club at the beginning of November, and went out and bought myself a 2009 DL650 with only 11,000km on her. I gotta say, I love it and the only regret I have is not doing it sooner, as it's winter now in Canada so I have to put her away for a few months :(

Once things warm up again, I plan on going on a few road trips; but in June/July I'd like to do a nice long one, with a friend on his own bike, from Vancouver, BC through Whitehorse, YK up to Anchorage, AK. Then across to Yellowknife, NT, down to Edmonton, AB then across the rest of the Canada and ending in Montreal, QC, but I might just decide to keep going and visit the maritimes while I'm at it.

At any rate, this is quite a trip, over 11,000 km (6800 miles), and having never done anything like this before, in a car or otherwise, I was wondering if I could get some advice on how to prepare both myself, and my bike for such a trip.

Any recommendations on gear, equipment, luggage, places to stay, camping recommendations, etc is greatly appreciated, also I'd love to hear some first hand experiences from anyone who's done something like this or done arms of this trip.

Thank you all so much for any feedback, i look forward to reading it all!
 

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Talcum powder on your junk and boxer briefs

Training you need training so you can ride 8 hrs with only some tiredness and soreness.

I would use real synthetic oil (big oil thread) and for me that is more than the life of tires so somewhere you can count on getting and having them mounted and a good place for an oil change at the same time. Tires purchased and waiting for you to make it.

If your going alone look at a "spot" satellite communicator
 

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If you've never done a trip of that length I would think the first thing to do would be to take at least a couple of shorter trips to see how the bike works for you and shake down the equipment you have.
What you don't want to do is be 3000 miles into a trip and realize that your riding gear doesn't work well all day, the seat is awful and the windscreen is producing so much noise you're going deaf. Better to find that out on a shorter trip and correct those things up front.
If it were me I would want a good waterproof touring boot like TCX, a three season riding suit like a Firstgear Kilimanjaro, an electrically heated jacket liner like Gerbings, at least 2 pairs of gloves, one waterproof and fairly heavily lined and one summer weight pair. Heated grips or heated gloves would be a very nice thing also. I like riding shorts like LD Comfort, I've found they make a big difference in comfort over a long day.
For the bike I would want a Madstad windscreen. I'd have the seat rebuilt by Seth Laam or someone of similar abilities. Crashbars with highway pegs would be nice. I like hard luggage, something fairly tough like givi or a good metal set would do.
Bike should have a thorough service before starting out, carry some type of tire repair kit. I'm not big on carrying a lot of tools and parts as long as the bike is well kept. Fuses, some basic tools, flashlight. Might consider a towing plan if you favor that kind of thing.
 

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Not sure of your overall riding experience, but you likely might want to take some baby steps on multiple shorter trips before doing the big one. Brand new bike to you, and allot of preparation is recommended for a trip like that, sure do like the adventure in ya though. :bom_cowboy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These are all awesome recommendations!

And yes, I most definitely plan on doing some smaller trips before the big one; baby steps :) Im planning on taking the bike out probably some time in March/April, weather depending, and then getting some long distance trips under my belt just to make sure I can undergo something like this.

Since this will be the middle of summer, are heated grips and a heated vest something you'd still strongly recommend?
 

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You face a big learning curve and the short trips idea is a good one. Make a list of everything you want to take and then try packing it on the bike. Keep heavy items as forward and as low on the bike as you can. Talk to experienced touring riders for your list of items to pack. Touring is a blast with weather being one of the major considerations along with route choice. Going slow with frequent stops will increase the enjoyment so don't be in a hurry. I don't know your riding level but I have found taking riding courses will improve the fun of riding a bunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Courses done :) I actually did them before getting my license, through October. I don't think I would have bought the bike had I not done the courses! haha

Any recommendations on what I should pack for a trip like this? Consider there will be 2 people, so the load can be split between bikes. And we'll probably aim at doing 8 hour days, im 2-4 hour stints, stopping along the way for photo ops and food.
 

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You don't mention if you intend to camp or stay in motels - that will greatly impact what you want to bring. Some type of gps would be good. Spare keys to each bike. Duct tape. Zip ties. Small flashlight.
 

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I have ridden the North of BC the past two years. Lots of amazing things to see. You will love it. There is a lot to consider.

Get yourself a new seat if your bike is stock. The stock seat will have you in much pain after a day, and you don't want to be thinking about your ass the whole trip. Russell Day Long seats are amazing, and they do take several months to build, so get on that now if you can.

Highway pegs are a must IMO.

Heated grips and heated gear are also imperative. On both of my trips i hit zero degree weather, and i was traveling in July my first year and June the second. It gets really cold up there at night. I had to scrape ice off my bike before departing in the morning. Be ready for it. To flip the coin on this, it also gets very hot during the day sometimes.

I have an Aerostich suit that works perfectly for this kind of trip. It is waterproof and warm and protective, but it does need a heated liner.

You will want a GPS on your bike, a Thermometer, possibly a permanent power waterproof smartphone case on the bike too. Also consider what kind of camera equipment to bring. I have both an DSLR and a GoPro camera, plus i can use my smartphone for junky pictures. With all this you then need extra memory cards, and some way to offload videos. A Laptop, or one of the external backup drives. I have a 500gb external drive that accepts memory cards directly for offloading and backups. It works well and doesn't take up too much space.

With all these electronics, then you need some way to charge them. I built a charging center into my tank bag. i can leave things charging while i am riding around.

With two of you going, you may want to consider buying two double com setups. That way you both can be charging one while using the other and never run out of voice communication.

I guess it all depends on how much money you want to throw into this for comfort and convenience.

On my last trip my chain and sprockets wore out halfway through the trip. I had to return early. Kinda sucked. In 2015 I will be heading to Yellowknife and will be sure my chain is good to go. I put a new 530 on it this Summer.

There are a mountain of tools and parts you should bring. Put some new tires on before you depart too.
 

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Hey Everyone,

First post of the forums, so be gentle please. I just joined the motorcycle club at the beginning of November, and went out and bought myself a 2009 DL650 with only 11,000km on her. I gotta say, I love it and the only regret I have is not doing it sooner, as it's winter now in Canada so I have to put her away for a few months :(
Blasphemy!!! Vancouver Winters are made for riding, I have not parked my bike for any of the 5 so called winters I have been out here.

Get some rain gear and come out and play :thumbup:

I have done 1000+ km's in a day on the stock seat many times, the first month i owned the bike it was hard, now It is no bother at all on any length of a trip.
Run a darkside tire on the back and you will not need to change them during your trip...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll probably be camping it, and doing motels every now and then. I'd rather put the cash into gear, and also experience the outdoors.


@BugMagnet: Thanks for that, those are all great suggestions. I love the idea of building a charging center, ill have to look into how to do that. I do plan on getting a GoPro and mounting it on the bike somewhere, just to film the whole trip. And I will also be buying a DSLR for stopping and taking high quality shots. In addition, I'll have my laptop, cell phone, gps and I was thinking of getting a com system for me and my friend. All this needs juice, haha!


Blasphemy!!! Vancouver Winters are made for riding, I have not parked my bike for any of the 5 so called winters I have been out here.

Get some rain gear and come out and play :thumbup:
My only concern is the stock tires that came with the bike. I know with car tires, as soon as temp drops below 7 you should really be riding on winter tires. But i dont know how bike tires are built.
 

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Since this will be the middle of summer, are heated grips and a heated vest something you'd still strongly recommend?
Yup. You will find that when you travel long distances you are going to be doing a lot of elevation changes and some of them make for one cold SOB of a ride. Its a lot better to have the equipment and not need it than to find yourself freezing and wishing you had it.
A good example is Yellowstone National Park. I've been through it 3 times all at the end of the summer. One ride was shirt sleeve weather, one it poured rain and was cold, the third it poured rain and half snow. If you're going long distances you need to be prepared for those kind of changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, so here's a list of things I'm thinking of getting then:

Heated vest
Heated grips
Hand guards
Crash bars
Highway pegs
Tire patch kit
Basic tools and replacement parts (oil, spark plugs)
GPS
Metal luggage

I've also heard that getting a cage put on the bottom is good as it prevents rocks from puncturing the rad.

I'd definitely get the bike serviced right before doing this too, make sure everything is in proper order.
 

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you don't need to drag plugs and oil around with you. If th bike runs right at all you won't need plugs within the distance of trip you're talking about and these bikes typically don't use oil. Save the space for something useful.
I would not get a heated vest, get a jacket liner, its nice having your arms stay warm. You can essentially wear a long sleeved t shirt and the jacket liner with riding jacket over that and be quite comfortable.
By cage I assume you mean skid plate and yes, its a good idea. Notice that the underbelly of the bike is pretty exposed, in particular the oil filter. Knocking a hole in the case or knocking the filter off would be very bad news.
Lots of skid plates out there. The one I have is Enduro Guardian ad it seems very strong but I'm sure others are as well.
 

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You might want to consider the Mule Pack Panniers They are virtually indestructible.

Pictured are the 28 liter model I kept all my valuable and breakable stuff in the panniers and my tent ,sleeping bag and thermal rest pad in the dry bag.



These are the 38 liter boxes on a friends bike. We both used the 38's on a recent 10 day trip through the Ozarks and no top box or dry bag were required, I had plenty of space in the boxes.

 

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I'll probably be camping it, and doing motels every now and then. I'd rather put the cash into gear, and also experience the outdoors.
I've done numerous moto camping trips and my gear has evolved over time. If you don't have backpacking type gear, you will want to start looking at closeout sales now. A light tent and sleeping bag will save you a ton of space.
 

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If you've never done a trip of that length I would think the first thing to do would be to take at least a couple of shorter trips to see how the bike works for you and shake down the equipment you have.
What you don't want to do is be 3000 miles into a trip and realize that your riding gear doesn't work well all day, the seat is awful and the windscreen is producing so much noise you're going deaf. Better to find that out on a shorter trip and correct those things up front.
If it were me I would want a good waterproof touring boot like TCX, a three season riding suit like a Firstgear Kilimanjaro, an electrically heated jacket liner like Gerbings, at least 2 pairs of gloves, one waterproof and fairly heavily lined and one summer weight pair. Heated grips or heated gloves would be a very nice thing also. I like riding shorts like LD Comfort, I've found they make a big difference in comfort over a long day.
For the bike I would want a Madstad windscreen. I'd have the seat rebuilt by Seth Laam or someone of similar abilities. Crashbars with highway pegs would be nice. I like hard luggage, something4 fairly tough like givi or a good metal set would do.
Bike should have a thorough service before starting out, carry some type of tire repair kit. I'm not big on carrying a lot of tools and parts as long as the bike is well kept. Fuses, some basic tools, flashlight. Might consider a towing plan if you favor that kind of thing.
This is very good advice.
 

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Get the Terry Adcox seat. He's in Manchester, TN. Mine was $250 plus my seat for a core. Best $250 I've spent on a motorcycle! I can't recommend the Adcox seat enough, AND he's a one man operation who does great work...more people should support him!

http://www.stromtrooper.com/general-v-strom-discussion/216586-another-big-thumbs-up-adcox-seat.html

TEST. YOUR. ELECTRONICS.

Yes, all caps...very important! I did a trip a few months ago & was pressed for time. I bought one of those Chinese motorcycle GPS units that come without software and didn't have time to test it before I left. I thought it was a great buy...$149 for a waterproof GPS? Yeah! Well, the only software I could find for it was called iGo8. It sucked. Ruined parts of my trip. Now I have a Garmin, which I'm used to, and I'm certain next trip will be much better because of it!

PS - wanna buy a slightly used (2400 miles) Chinese Motorcycle GPS? It's waterproof and comes with everything you need, including software. :biggrinjester:
 

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GPS advice - if you don't want to spend a lot, buy a Garmin Nüvi and a RAM mount. When it rains, put a ziplock bag over it and you're good. I have a $100 refurbished Nüvi 1350 and it has been rock solid going on 5 years.
 

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After 14000 mi, two different handlebar risers, different bars and just recently a bar adjustment within a year and a half, I have eliminated most of the back shoulder pain on longer trips. I'm no youngster though. Riding 8 hours a day takes a lot of fitness.
 
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