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Hi guys,


I'm going to be in California in late January and wil be renting a bike for a week. I was thinking of a BMW RT but noticed the Honda ST1300 is quite a bit less money.

Do you have any thought which would be a better bike to ride? Is the BMW worth the extra money (about $400 extra). I'll be riding two up with my girlfriend and they don't have Stroms there.

Thanks for any comments!

..Tom

Edit: Title changed for clarity.
 

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Hi guys,

Do you have any thought which would be a better bike to ride? Is the BMW worth the extra money (about $400 extra). I'll be riding two up with my girlfriend and they don't have Stroms there.

Thanks for any comments!

..Tom
Where is "there"? If you're starting your trip in San Francisco, there's a shop where you can indeed rent a V-Strom.

Re: RT vs. ST, I'd say it depends on whether the ST has any of the comfort-enhancing accessories that the RT does, e.g. heated grips, individually heated seats, adjustable windscreen, etc. Those could all make a big difference in the winter, even here in CA... depending on where you're planning to ride, you could encounter some chilly (40s) and rainy weather. Or not.

Having owned an ST1100, and given the price difference, my instinct would be to go for the ST -- I've never ridden a boxer twin without bashing a shin on something. But YM, as they say, MV.
 

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Wee for rent in SF

V-Strom 650

a good company - I have used them three times
 

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Any plans to be getting out to Death Valley?

I would consider it a must see for a winter California visit. Of course the roads over the Sierra Nevada will be closed and/or otherwise very cold but there are other routes at lower elevations in the south. Do you have an itinerary?
 

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I'd get the least expensive bike I could, save the bucks for food and gas. The RT and ST won't make that much difference for a week. Not unless you are thinking of buying one and want a sample ride.
As mentioned, some of the best roads will be wintered in. It's a long way around the Sierra's when they are snowed in. If you are lucky and between storm fronts, the riding may be great in the central and coastal areas. Right now even the mountains in So Cal are snowed up for a few days.
 

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Those guys are right about winter routes, V-Tom. You should be asking about WHERE to ride, not WHAT to ride.

Or WHEN to ride. January will exclude many or most of the best routes, which are predominately in Norcal and the Sierra. Death Valley is OK for a day or so, but riding in the Mojave gets old pretty fast -- the scenery doesn't change a hell of a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I booked the ST.

I realize about the weather and mountain conditions and that's why my route plans are really quite general. This isn't going to be a hard core ride, but rather spending a week on the bike with my GF she's a trooper and has already ridden with me in temps below freezing. The date is tied to a training event so I don't have the luxury of going different days this time (well I would but since work is paying for the flight I want to take advantage of it.

..Tom
 

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(well I would but since work is paying for the flight

Mercenary! I loved traveling on the company dime and made the most of training classes in the Mid West to attend motorcycle rallies there. Most of the central valley, coastal ranges and the coast will not be freezing. You may have a good time in spite of January. Not many other tourists anyway!
 

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I'd suggest Napa and the wine country in the california foothills if you can (Murphy's, Plymouth, etc).

Route 1 along the coast can get a hell of a lot of rain this time of year. The fog in the central valley is no joke and I wouldn't plan on riding if there is a fog advisory. Route 99 and 5 are fairly boring rodes to be on a motorcyle anyway. 5 is a little safer and 99 can be more exciting but for all the wrong reasongs.

If it's not raining, then definitely route 1 and 101.

Joshua Tree in the south would be cool.

Check out Angel's Island if you spend any time in San Francisco.

Yosemite and Sequoia National park in the north would be open unless it is snowing. I would be cautious about snow reports in the Sierra's as well because you can really get dumped on (The Donner party was on the dry side of the Sierras).

It won't be as cold as Canada. I also don't see black ice very often but it's out there I'm sure.

So far, this year has been dry and not foggy. You may get lucky in January as well.
 

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Read BamaRider's website info. He has both and awesome comparison write-ups. Guy Boutin is his name. You can spend days reading his travel logs. Home
 

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As mentioned, some of the best roads will be wintered in. It's a long way around the Sierra's when they are snowed in. If you are lucky and between storm fronts, the riding may be great in the central and coastal areas. Right now even the mountains in So Cal are snowed up for a few days.
But it's always 75° and sunny in Pasadena on New Year's Day.
 

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But it's always 75° and sunny in Pasadena on New Year's Day.

Hey, that's supposed do be a secret! Now everyone will move down here!
 

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But it's always 75° and sunny in Pasadena on New Year's Day.

Hey, that's supposed do be a secret! Now everyone will move down here!
Not much of a secret... the entire country, or at least the entire Rose Parade viewership, sees it every year. :)
 

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I'd second all that was said here about the best rides, ie mountain passes will not be very good or open in January. Napa and some of redwood country might be good, also areas way in the south near San Diego and the desert areas. The deserts aren't really good until about March though when the flowers come out. Some of the higher passes in Death Valley can be snowed in also. I was there in January last year and a few were snowed.

Mid state is pretty decent most of time. I just did a drive down Hwy 1 from S.F. to Morro Bay a week ago and it was some of the best conditions I've seen there, NO FOG, almost zero traffic, and decent temps. Would have been an ideal trip on the bike, grrrr.

All of the coastal places from S.F. down will be reasonable, chilly but clear, and not too many tourists clogging things up.

I booked the ST.

..Tom
I have to ask, where did you rent the bike from?
 

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oakland or san francisco

u & gf r welcome to stay at my place-waterbed & hot tub :)

let us know when if u choose to do so
 

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Discussion Starter #20
u & gf r welcome to stay at my place-waterbed & hot tub :)

let us know when if u choose to do so
I very much appreciate the offer!

We will be picking up the bike sometime in the early afternoon at LAX on Tues Jan 24th. I doubt we will make it up to Oakland that afternoon so it might not work timing wise. Are you around in the daytime on Weds? At the very least it would be nice to say hello if possible.

Thanks,

Tom
 
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