Toronto/Calgary/Arizona - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Travel Registry Help a brother (and sister) out. If you are available to help your fellow V-Strom owners if they are in a situation while trotting the globe, put as much information here to help them as you wish.

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post #1 of 20 Old 01-15-2017, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone,

First, thanks for all the great advice in the many threads. I already have a great idea for what I'm in for this summer and feel a little more confident heading out for a long trip. I'm looking to travel light for this trip and would like to keep it simple.

2008 650/ABS, new Battle wings, new sprockets and chain, auxiliary lights and battery all ready to be installed in the next month or so. Bike has roughly 50000k and and the end of this past season got a clean bill of health from my mechanic with good brake life left.

When packing I'm thinking of going ridiculously light as it is full summer weather when I leave the first week of July and estimate is to return to the Toronto area by Aug19/20. I will be using a 30L soft dry bag from MEC (The Scully) and a couple of 35L side bags. (Would love a recommendation for these as I know that there are other brands than GIVI that might be just as good.) And of course a small tank bag to hold the phone, maps, etc.

So I would love to get some advice on how to keep the packing light. Can I get away with 1 pair of jeans/pants, 2 shorts, some tees and drawers and of course, cold/wet weather gear? Or does this even sound feasible?

I have a ton of other questions, but I'm sure they will come out as this thread builds steam.

Also, if you are travelling to the T.O. area anytime in the Spring or Fall and need a place for a night, pop me off a PM. I have an extra bedroom and looking to pay it forward to friends on 2 wheels.

Brent
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-15-2017, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, I forgot….lol……apparently I'm getting too excited….

I'm heading up to visit family in northern Ontario before shooting across to Calgary to visit friends. From there I'm going directly south to Arizona to catch up with university friends and then meander back through the deep south and up the bourbon trail until I get home.

So, looking for advice on where to stay, what roads to run, great places to find veggie food. This trip is keeping me away from the coast lines as I've driven them before and looking to see the middle part of the continent.

Again, thanks everyone!
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-15-2017, 06:04 PM
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For packing light, check into back packing under wear. I get REI nylon convertible rip stop nylon pants. Or some equivalent. Pants and shorts all in one.
Wash and dry easy.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-16-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will look into them!
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-17-2017, 10:24 AM
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A few things about your route: If it works for you and you have never ridden up to Tobermory and taken the ferry across to Manitoulin Island, I would suggest that. It will allow you to ride on #6 north out of the island towards Espanola which is an amazing ride in the summer and will link you right up to the Trans Canada Highway. The ride across the north shore of Lake Superior is really nice with places to stay along the way - camping or motels. Once you are down in Arizona, the 89A between Flagstaff and Prescott is an amazing road. That is a such a beautiful state! After you run into the deep south think about coming home via Alabama and stopping in at the Barber Museum - it's a moto heaven. Then from there, pass through Deals Gap and then ride the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way north. If you are a CAA member, you can get free maps of every state and Canada. Don't forget to get good travel medical insurance.

For veggie food, I don't eat meat and without knowing where the good local spots are along the way, I now defer back to Subway. I grab a foot long for lunch and only eat half. Then ride until evening and eat the other half for dinner. Cheap and easy and I always know what to expect. When I was down in Alabama and Mississippi, I have stopped into restaurants when riding and since there were no veggie mains on the menu I ordered just sides of veggies and sometimes they come in meat broth/gravy. So now I just do the Subway thing. I stop in to grocery stores and grab a few apples or fruits and trail mix to keep as snacks. I will also say that sometimes I have been told of amazing places by locals in whatever town I am passing through, or Google is your friend.

For luggage, my preference is towards the Givi E41's, because they have a small combination lock top door that allows for easy access to smaller items. They aren't the best looking cases, but they are very strong and withstand many a dropped bike. For a tank bag, I prefer the ones that lock onto the tank, so they are elevated off the tank and allow for quick removal, as opposed others that use magnets or straps and often scratch the bike in some way. I have a Givi tank lock bag that I like very much. Some have map pockets and some have wiring capabilities to help facilitate hard wiring your devices into the bike. If I am riding on a trip and packing light, then I don't bring the side cases and go with just a top case and a 55L dry bag on the passenger seat which acts as a backrest.

For moto gear, if you don't already, you might be well served with a 3 season type jacket/pants that allows you to stay warm in the cool mornings with liners, and then has zippered vents for air flow during the hot mid day portions. I would also suggest a hydration knapsack like a camelback that will allow you to drink whenever you feel like it while on the road. It helps if you have good rain gear.

For inner gear since you are going for 6 weeks I would suggest not packing too light. Know that it can be quite cool in the mornings along the north shore of Lake Superior even in summer. I like wearing Bamboo or Eucalyptus tops because they are super soft on the skin and naturally antibacterial. You can also get athletic wear that is moisture wicking to wear as your base layer. I personally like Brubeck long sleeved athletic tops for all season riding and long distance touring - keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Bring clothes that are easy to wash/dry, so if you need to wash a shirt in a sink it will dry out fast - and the moisture wicking materials are usually much better for this than materials like cotton. They also pack down really small and are very light. For jeans/pants, I would bring pants that have zippers at the knees, so I could wear them as pants if I need to or wear them as shorts, so I get the benefit of both and saves space. Marks Work Wearhouse usually has some decent ones that pack really light.
So for 6 weeks I would pack something like:
3 thin riding socks + 3 casual socks
2 zippered pants
2 shorts
1 pr sandals and 1 pr shoes
4 casual t-shirts
2 long sleeved riding shirts
1 hoodie
Underwear
Electronics (mp3, phone, gps, chargers)
Snacks
Camping gear
Maps, Documents
Copies of your ID and some spare cash hidden on your bike
Rok Straps, tools, chain lube
Small towel for windscreen and helmet visor cleaning
Grocery bag to store dirty laundry in

I'm sure there is more - I'm in Mississauga if you ever need more tips.
You will find a wealth of info about routes and roads in a thread I started a long time ago here: Re: The best roads/routes in Ontario/Quebec/U.S.

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post #6 of 20 Old 01-17-2017, 06:01 PM
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what he said.

Tell us the gear you have now.

If you are not wearing dedicated riding pants then 501 Tac pants are excellent ...some protection and add some knee guards underneath.
Shop 5.11 Pants, Men?s Tactical, TDU & Cargo Pants | 5.11 Tactical

Convertible pants also from Columbia
Men's Silver Ridge? Convertible Pant | Columbia.com
wear really well...pack down small.

Old Navy and Marks has good dri-fit gear.
Take no cotton at all.
I like Columbia fishing shirts as they dry fast and have lots of pockets.

Performance Fishing Gear - PFG Fishing Shirts & Apparel | Columbia

Ex Officio underwear is terrific ...comfortable fast drying ...not so cheap
https://www.amazon.com/ExOfficio-124.../dp/B001M0MMWQ

I like DarnTough socks.
I can pad around in them and they wear like iron.
https://darntough.com

An Oxford thin balaclava is really useful - keeps helmet clean, easier to put on helmet with earphones on ....
https://www.amazon.com/Oxford-OF465-.../dp/B000R57X7G
It's really thin, I never bother with the face portion but keeps your neck warm.

One of the best things is https://shop.antigravitybatteries.co...o-starts/xp-3/
Sooooooo useful, so small.


Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold09 Burgman Exec sold • 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR65093 ST1100 sold
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-17-2017, 08:50 PM
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Not sure if you have decided routing or not but here is a suggestion for getting from Calgary to Phoenix.
Takes in Beartooth Pass, Chief Joseph hiway, Flaming Gorge, Hiway 12 in Utah, Bryce Canyon, possible Zion Park, Painted desert, etc.


Ist leg.
Calgary to Torrey, Ut (note: you can head west of Cody and go through Yellowstone, Jackson and get to Vernal that way as well but it will be slow going through the park.)
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Calg...8691!3e0?hl=en

2nd leg.
Torrey to PHX,
Hiway 12, Bryce Canyon, Zion, North Rim, Painted Desert, Sedona, Jerome, etc.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Torr...3771!3e0?hl=en

Alternative is to head to the west coast. Do Hiway 1 from Astoria, Or to Los Angeles and then head to PHX.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Calg...2342!3e0?hl=en

Last edited by drrod; 01-17-2017 at 08:57 PM.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-22-2017, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Wow…..thanks a lot everyone. I appreciate every bit of advice here. Starting to put together my list of needs and haves. I have a lot of athletic dry/cold gear for running, so I think I'm ahead of the game with the clothes. Definitely going to pick up that balaclava and good socks. I was finding that my feet were burning up last summer in the city heat and I blamed the socks. I have a Tourmaster 3 season jacket and touring pants, both with removable liners.

I like the route suggestions and have my map laid out on the floor already. I'm not much of a camper and don't want to worry about tent/bag, etc. Looking at motels and friends places along the way. Usually, I just wing it and pull into a motel with fingers crossed for a room when travelling, and will probably stick with that as I'm only using it for sleep anyway.

The Givi bags I need to find sooner than later. I had thought about a couple of ammo boxes and having a buddy rig them up to the bike, but maybe the lockable route is the way to go. Will post the pics when I decide.

Oh, and because tank bags are a nightmare to search through online, anyone have a recommendation for a small simple one that can hold a few small things, a bottle of gatorade and my cell phone? Would love to buy this online, but a touch worried I might buy one that doesn't actually fit the wee.

Thanks again everyone.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-22-2017, 02:31 PM
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Tank Bag: I have a few and am currently using this one - and really like it: https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...nklock-tankbag
I also have this one which I used to use until I got my Givi - I would sell it because it's just collecting dust now: .:: Welcome to motopakluggage.com - Premium sportbike and cruiser luggage bags ::.

Motels: When I do longer trips and stay in motels on the fly, I use a website like www.hotelcoupons.com for last minute deals. Basically around 3pm, I know where I will be in a few hours and needing a place to stay. I check the website to see the hotels in that town that have deals going and usually find a good place to crash for $60 or less. For winging it - I have found this website to be a great help.

Side Cases: You can ammo cans that lock, but just remember they are pretty heavy. Lockable plastic or aluminum cases are pretty light.

Socks: A few good pairs of light dress socks are usually really comfortable to ride in. Some will swear by Tilley socks. I wear Sokz for all my long distance travel and love them: Ceramic Sock - Performance Technical Socks

What are you going to do about seat comfort? I find the stock seat pretty horrible for long rides.

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post #10 of 20 Old 01-22-2017, 07:28 PM
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I like my tank bag as so many useful features and not so big as others



https://www.revzilla.com/product/rap...netic-tank-bag

Internally there is a separate bag that is completely waterproof for camera etc and attaches by velcro to the bottom of the bag ....just so many useful features.

I think it looks good on the strom as well





Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold09 Burgman Exec sold • 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR65093 ST1100 sold
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87

Last edited by Macdoc; 01-22-2017 at 07:45 PM.
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