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Discussion Starter #1
Ive got a bit of time on my hands, and am wanting to ride from Southwestern Ontario to North Dakota, maybe even as far as Glacier National Park. Leaving in the next few days. Just looking for some routing and general advice input . My thought is to cross into the USA at Port Huron, head up through northern MI, and the then head west, linking up with Hwy 2. Want to avoid interstates as much as possible. Maybe also avoid the camping thing as well, just grab motels as I go ( no reservations ). Travel light. Helmet choice is another thing I haven't sorted. I have a full face ( don't like the slightly limited peripheral field of vision ), and a 3/4 open face helmet ( not so good for face down hard contact, but more comfortable ).
A couple of concerns: 1- Possible heavy tourist activity ( ie. few motel vacancies ), 2 - Must be home within a 10 day window.
Maybe too much distance in too few days? I'll be on a 2006 DL1000 ( only has 7000KMS on it ). Ty
 

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I took 14 days and rode my '02 Vee from Halifax, thru NB crossed at Calais ME...across ME, MH, VT NY back in at Niagara Falls..partied at Port Dover for the 13th Rally....headed NE thru Bruce Penninsula, over Algonquin, down to Gananoque and up across Tremblant in QC over to Quebec City then south home again... 5800+ km.... I had a great time, ran solo, camped where and when I wanted to... paper maps only..No Interstates....

The question is...how hard do you like to ride? How many km's per day is enough for you? If you crossed at Port Huron, you can easy be in Sturgis SD in 3 days even not running the Interstates ( 2000km +/-)

Personally, I love my Nolan N104 Modular helmet...most peripheral I've ever had in a full face, and quietest Modular so far.

Good luck and enjoy the ride regardless of where you end up :) ... maybe just drive west until you hit day 4 and then decide ? :) Sometimes the journey outweighs the destination ;)

just my $0.02 - Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. Im thinking I might be screwed for motel vacancies, if I rely on them exclusively, and bring no basic camping gear. I was wanting to avoid the crowds at Sturgis, hense ND was my alternate. And I cld avoid the Chicargo area by going through N MI. I have an excellent dual sport AFX helmet, but it catches alot of wind, makes for a sore neck. And not as good for side vision as my HJC visor 3/4 helmet. But the bugs in the face can be nasty. The thing is, Im a single dad with a 15 yo daughter, full time, who doesnt want to go 2up with ole dad. "Too boring". Althogh her older brother is around to keep an eye on her. Shes 15 going on 25, if u know what I mean. I took early retirment. My job was to " Serve and Protect". So, I know that stuff can happen. A great kid. Its everyone else that worries me. She says " just go dad ". It wld be an opportunity for her to feel a bit more independant, w/out having her dad being back on K9 duty most of the time. I guess once a cop, always a cop. Im just not getting any younger. Always harder to ride when the bugle sounds:).
 

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Hey Zeke,

For me it depends on how much you want to stop and smell the roses. The distance is doable, but if you went all the way to Glacier National Park, you'd basically just be riding and not leaving much time for other stuff, and maybe that's ok too. It just depends on what you want.

My wife and I just did a 1 week, 2200 mile ride in NM, CO and UT a few weeks ago. We had 1 day off, so we ended up riding about 6 days. I tried to route our trip so we had closer to 300 miles/day, and take in as much awesome scenery and places as possible. One day we had about 430 miles though, and it was a beast of a day, with over 100°F temps in UT. With 300-350 miles/day, we were still able to get to our destination each day with some time to kick back and relax. We definitely didn't want to just ride from dawn to dusk every day. My wife might have preferred a little less "stringent" schedule, but we had destinations we needed to be at, so I had to keep us moving. Traveling alone makes it easier to do what you want, stop when you want, not need as long for eating/rest stops/etc. as well. But I think the main thing is you need to determine if you want to spend all 10 days in the saddle, or just get out and enjoy your ride, stopping where you want, when you want and for how long you want, seeing what you manage to see along the way.

As far as helmets go, I have an AGV helmet with a beak, and had to abandon that on my Wee2 for a new Shoei Qwest. The AGV is a great helmet and I use it on my WRR (with no wind protection), but the Shoei for touring is gobs better on my wee.

I was a single (full-time) dad for 12 years of 2 boys until I recently remarried. Cudos to you!

Enjoy your journey!
 

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You might want to consider running up the Michigan side and cross the macinaw bridge, then head west and across the lower side of Superior up and around Duluth MN to International falls, then loop back over the lake head down to Manitoulin, ChiChiMan (?) ferry across to Tobermory .... or just keep going to Sudbury and run the edge of Georgian Bay back around home...it is an amazing drive and the scenery is to die for along the north and south shores of Superior and Georgian Bay/Huron...Just an option that keeps you a little closer to home...done it a dozen times in the cage and a few on the bike amny moons ago when my Dad lived in Atikokan.... where are you is S.Ont? I grew up in Caledonia....retired OPP? :)
 

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Nice ride.

Zeke01,

I reckon you will have fun. I have ridden the Upper Peninsula, and other parts of Michigan too. Yup, my Florida Wee-Strom has carried me into Michigan six times. Stay away from the Ambassador Bridge; the Blue Water is a cordial place.

Anyway, YES, US-2 is a fine road. Duluth is a pretty town, and if you go
about as far uphill as you can, you will get a fine view of Lake Superior.

You may want to explore the source of the Mississippi River,
which is Lake Itasca in Minnesota. There is not much to see at the
spot where the river flows out of the lake, but you will be able to take
note of the origin of one of the most important rivers in North America.

What matters is the RIDE. Get on your bike, and go somewhere far away.
I did that in 1965 and I liked it. Ya know what, I got busy at this and that,
and did not enjoy another long ride until 2006.

So please pay attention to the most important issue.

I will spell it out for you.

R
I
D
E

Got it?
Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you lads, for some great ( and indeed useful ) advice. I'm a wee bit concerned about the travel light thing..that is, I'm not planning on hauling any camping gear. Its the motel lack of vacancy potential that I'm thinking about. While I'm used to going very long stretches sans sleep ( sleep deprivation Id guess you could safely say ), it's generally non compatible when rolling on 2 wheels, or even 4;-).
 

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Bring the full face helmet, it's better in adverse weather, which you will inevitably hit at some point.

When small town motels are full they'll often be able to point you to other options. Hotwire.com, airbnb.com, and couchsurfing.org are all useful for helping get places to stay sorted out, just get a cheap tablet of some sort so you get can on the internet wherever you find wifi (McDonalds is usually a good bet to find it, also Home Depot, Lowes, Starbucks, etc).
 

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Thank you lads, for some great ( and indeed useful ) advice. I'm a wee bit concerned about the travel light thing..that is, I'm not planning on hauling any camping gear. Its the motel lack of vacancy potential that I'm thinking about. While I'm used to going very long stretches sans sleep ( sleep deprivation Id guess you could safely say ), it's generally non compatible when rolling on 2 wheels, or even 4;-).
Just a bit of caution on motels. I believe the fracking (oil/gas) business in ND is very robust at this time. A couple months ago I was traveling from Ohio home to PA and I thought I could find a motel in the WV area. No way. I stopped at no fewer than 6 along the way and they were all full with workers who were involved in this new "gold rush" so to speak. I ended up driving all the way home that night. Not sure what the status is in ND but just relating my experience.
 

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All depends on how much distance you want to cover per day. I don't like to ride over 500km a day (300 miles) so for me a 10 day trip would be no more then 5000km. I like to leave around 10 in the morning and get checked into a hotel about 7pm.

I think distance wise you would be fine, and you can always find a new route if you are running behind after a few days.

If you are really concerned about motels why not book them ahead of time? Figure out where you need to be everyday and book a hotel there. You can always cancel them.

Might not be a bad idea to bring a tarp and a sleeping bag just in case :)
 

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Just got back from a trip from eastern Ontario to California and up to Vancouver island and back through Canada. 18 days and 12,000km. Glad I did it, but the flat part in the middle, isn't overly exciting. Take one day and put in 1200km to get through MN and most of SD/ND. After that the roads get much more interesting. We always pre book motels as it just makes the days so much easier. You know where you need to be at the end of the day, so you can play around while you get there. Definitely full face as the bugs through the prairies will take you face off otherwise.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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I have most often pre-booked rooms or even campgrounds (KOA, for example), but on my last two trips, I found places when I stopped for the day. If I lived where there were an abundance of trees, I'd take a tent-hammock along for a last ditch option.
 

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For me, I like between 300-400mile days. And I will often throw in a rest day or two short riding days. And I like to get out of town the night before I take off so I will have just a two or three hour ride, in traffic the first night and start fresh the next morning after not fighting morning traffic.

I ease up into my riding like 180-250 miles the first real day of riding then the higher mileage as my body becomes more used to riding. I do the reverse when heading back getting the last motel outside the city so I only have a short ride in. I also leave a day off at home before heading back to the office so I can decompress and switch gears back to my normal routine.

We don't often plan for motels unless we are meeting somebody somewhere.
We just wing it and it hasn't bit us. But we also travel during the shoulder seasons since the wife unit spent years in hospitality managment she knows how and when to get the good deals. And well we were busy when it's not shoulder season....
 

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I have done 46 states on my 03 and almost never make reservations at motels. never had a problem, perhaps because I prefer mom and pop places on one level, however another poster was correct about the oil fracking boom in the Dakotas. if I had needed a room there I would have been in a world of trouble. the place is horrible anyway. other than that no trouble except for the obvious tourist traps West Yellowstone, glacier,etc. I just try to stay in smaller towns and always find rooms. have fun!
 

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Looking at a map I'm not sure where SW Ontario is, but maybe crossing at Sault Ste. Marie would keep you away from the crowds more?

This sounds like a good time for a new helmet. :fineprint:

I'd bring some basic camping gear. Tent, sleeping pad and bag. It's good to have options where motel rooms may be scarce.

Enjoy!
 

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I just got back from an 11 day , 4000 km trip from the Toronto area through New york , Vermont , New Hampshire and Massachusetts . Our main goal was to join the NEVA rally , which is an annual must-do . I learned from the gps gurus how to plan each day's run through the most twisted roads on the map .
I like to camp , avoid interstates , and dine in obscure Mom-and-Pops .With companions or solo , I could keep riding this way for months ( if I could get permission : :jawdrop: = her face when I bring it up ... )

Alex .
 
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