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I am starting to plan out one of my life-to-do's (infamous bucket list) which is to take the next 3-4 months to travel from Vancouver, BC down through the West coast of the US, across the souther states and up the East coast, see the Maritimes and then back across the top of Canada. I have my trusty 04 Goldwing prepped and ready and now is the time to plan the trip.

For those of you whom might have done such deeds, I would be very appreciative of any and all advice (big or small) that should be considered.

Jim
White Rock, BC
 

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Awsome

All I can say is man do I ENVY you! sounds like a heck of a trip. That's on my bucket list as well, but quite a few years away I'm afraid. fossil92 is going on a long trip this summer maybe you guys can compare notes. Good luck :)
 

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Take what you will need for riding (air compressor, tire repair kit, rain gear, jackets, sweatshirt, etc) and less of other clothing. (there is always a Walmart somewhere). Stuff to stay in touch (cell phone, laptop, GPS). Cash/credit cards and a camera for memories.
 

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Take what you will need for riding (air compressor, tire repair kit, rain gear, jackets, sweatshirt, etc) and less of other clothing. (there is always a Walmart somewhere). Stuff to stay in touch (cell phone, laptop, GPS). Cash/credit cards and a camera for memories.
Thanks TWW. So start to make the preverable list with:

Things for the bike:

Full tool kit (don't like the additional weight but there is always something that needs tightening.
Air Compressor (always carry one)
Tire Repair kit (never used one - will check out)
GPS (have one in the car - rarely used it, recommendations on models?)
What about some sort of tire pressure monitor. Any thoughts on those?

Things for the me:

Rain gear (have a full Rocket outfit for the winters here, possibly a light one for southern portion?).
Cell phone - have one. Look into a plan to cover off calls from stateside.
laptop - have an older Toshisba Satelite (kinda big)
Camera - have a Panasonic HD that mounts (RAM mount) on the bars for video and Nikon D200 with all the lenses for those stills (also kinda big to take) and a Lumix LX3 which is perfect (almost pocket size).

Questions about camping. I hope and prefer to camp and currently have a 6 man tent - should replace for pup? Sleeping bag good to -20'C. What about cooking paraphenalia. All my camping forays on the bike has been with a partner and I carried all the gear and she carried her cloths and shoes and makeup and ... :).

Budgeting? My time will be my own and no destination is written in stone so I am hoping for lotsa of side tracks, distractions and layups.

I expect to cover an average of 2-4 hundrend miles a day. I love my long trips and have done many hard ass trips with 1200klm in 15hours (stops for gas and food included) being my most memorable late last year. At about $25 per fill up (Cdn) , and worst case 4-5 fillups a day, a gas budget of $100 a day should cover this aspect.

Food, (l love to eat), at $30-50 with the frequent stop for a bottle of wine for the end of a days ride celebration.

Accomodations: I thinking every 2nd or 4th day to grab a motel for the prerequisite serious clean up, catch my bearings and take time to put some memories down on the keyboard (or paper). Recharge the battery so to speak. Budget $50-100 per effort.

Thoughts on trailering. I was to the motorcyle show in Abbotsford, BC this winter and saw a great trailer that turned into a full size pop-up tent trailer. I have never tried towing anything behind the bike and sensitive to cross winds (don't like them - never have). Storage would be great but .... thoughts on these?

Jim
 

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If you traveling alone (1 up) then you have the seat behind you for some storage items, like the camping stuff. If you don't have to take a trailer your mileage will be better. If you take a trailer you will find stuff to fill it that's for sure.

Small camera's are pretty cheap and if you get a large SD card you can take video and a lot of stills. You can then download to a harddrive on laptop and clear the card and use again. Kodak and Cannon make some nice cameras with a reasonable price.

GPS units like Garmin Nuvi and Tom Tom work on the M/C. You need to get a Ram mount for them and a plastic bag will keep them dry in case of rain. I have a Garmin Nuvi 680 I bought refurbed off of eBay. Mine has a lot of bells but you only need a basic unit like a 255W or something like that.

Rain gear, I have Frogg Toggs that fold up into a small bag and do a good job in most rain storms. If you want to cover the bike at night, get a half cover like Tour King. A full cover takes up too much room.
 

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Penthis, Actually all the things you guys have talked about fall into the scheme. I'm planning a month long trip with the little lady as Matt said. I have a list of things I've put together. I'll Private message you with it when I get a chance. We're going opposite direction of you heading South 1st then across the top.
 

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Thanks TWW. So start to make the preverable list with:

Things for the bike:
...
GPS (have one in the car - rarely used it, recommendations on models?)
What about some sort of tire pressure monitor. Any thoughts on those?

Things for the me:
...
Cell phone - have one. Look into a plan to cover off calls from stateside.
laptop - have an older Toshisba Satelite (kinda big)
...

Questions about camping. I hope and prefer to camp and currently have a 6 man tent - should replace for pup? Sleeping bag good to -20'C. ...
Jim
Consider an iPhone or Blackberry or droid in place of the cell phone/GPS/laptop. It won't do everything as well as all three boxes, but will do enough in a much smaller space, plus you'll only need one power supply.
6 man tent is way overkill. Get a decent 2 man tent and you'll have plenty of room in a much smaller package. The sleeping bag may also be overkill, especially once you get south a bit.
 

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Favourite mountain/camping store is open tomorrow so, off then to check out 2 man tents and a thinner bag.

The six-man was great when things tended to be a little worrisome outside at night as I would bring the horse into the tent. It was a howl to watch the neighbours in the campground watch me back the GW out in the morning. Also allowed me to put everything I had into the tent when I stay a couple of days in one place. No security but never had a problem on any trip I've done. Always found neighbours always looked out for you, especially if you take the time to introduce yourself and share your libations after a full day of riding.

I have a blackberry and as you suggest, its GPS is quite good. Its just the increase on my phone plan is out of this world for downloading the maps etcetera. Thats why I thought a dedicated might be less expensive (bad calculations). Lets see 300 for the unit vs 30 per month for the service for say 4 months. hmmm thats an easy one to decide.

TTW's suggestion on the rain gear is on the list and it looks like the quality is pretty good (for what I see on the web searches).

These recommendations are excellent - thanks everyone - any other thoughts - big or small are truely appreciated.

jim
 

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Get on the road early...less traffic and cooler...stop every 100 miles...don't cook when camping, too much extra to carry, go out to a local dive and hang out....stay hydrated....buy good rain gear....state/national parks are lots cheaper....exercise some everyday....it's about the journey, not the destination....have fun!
 

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Oh yeah....no GPS...no I-phone, no blackberry...just a cell, just in case, leave it off and packed away unless you need it.....I cut up a US atlas, took just the states I'd be in, each evening I laid out the next days trip with roads, mileages etc on paper and slid them in my map pouch of my tank bag...rolled the maps up in a tube so they pack easily....
 

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Rain Suit

I agree with the suggestion of a Frogg Toggs rainsuit. I bought one last fall and it was one of the best purchases I have made. So far, it is the only rainsuit I have had that will keep me totally dry during a Penn State football game and also on the road.
 

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good suggestions all around. Decided on a three man tent (i'm kinda big - rotand so to speak) and like to store most if not all in the tent and then go local riding. I made a mistake on considering the Blackberry for GPS as my trip to the local phone store opened my eyes to what the real cost will be as the data plan required for GPS usage is quite expensive when used over the border (I'm with Rogers - one of Canada's national networks) so its back to looking for a GPS or as Slickster apply puts it - forget the electronics.

Am getting the speakers upgraded to the DB501's as I have to strip the bike down to replace the air cleaner (my excuse anyways).

As many have suggested the Frogg Toggs, I ride in my Rocket suit most of the time and have never had the need for rain gear, but then my forays in heavey rain has been limited to quick downpours. Will look for the Frogg Toggs this weekend.

Upgraded my CAA subscription to Premier (covers having your mt towed 320 klm - two times) and will do the international travel insurance (health) when I am closer to departure dates. CAA like AAA also will sit down with you and help plan out your whole trip with maps, camp locations, places of interest, things to watch out for and local road reports if requested. Unbelievable service for what little cost is associated - don't know how they can supply such great services for so little investment.

The accomadations (tent, bedding, small one burner camp stove, coffee pot - got to have the morning coffee before stripping down the camp and a tea for bed time) have been secured. Got a couple of head mounted led lights for night time forays around the camp and night time reading.

Will follow Slicksters advice and get the map pouch for the bike.

This is all coming together wonderfully. I had this engrained vision of having the bike and myself all setup with tons of equipment (personal and bike). What I am finding in all these discussions is to keep it simple (minimalizum at its best). Bring stuff you truly need to function daily and keep yourself safe. I find I have always taken more than I have ever used, wanting to be prepared for any/everything. Plus I have always had another rider that I carried stuff for.

thank you all for your wonderful support and advice.

Jim
 

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Make sure you take lots of pics/video and post it for all of us to enjoy. Ride safe and have a great trip..
 

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I would also suggest the SPOT satellite tracker. Lets people know where your are and that you are OK. Pricey, but fun to play with. Also, when you get back home you can track where you were.
 

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One other issue you may consider; It sounds like you will have the trip of a lifetime...GREAT:D,
I hope it's all that it can be. Oh ya, that one other thing,;) plan out where and when you will need to replace the rear tire!:eek:

With a fully loaded bike the tire won't probably go beyond 5~6K km; It sounds like this trip might be pushing into that kind of mileage.

It might be a good idea to find dealers/shops along the route so you know approximately where you will get that done and what the cost will be. Ride safe, have a BLAST!:D
I'm in Ontario and was in BC a l-o-n-g time ago, have always wanted to ride out there....maybe soon...:cool:
 

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Trip

Tips for trips

Everyone planes fairly well on prepping the bike for a long ride…
New tires
Oil change
Tune up
Can of fix a flat and tire repair kit
Tool kit

That’s all the bike really needs.

And figuring out what you need to take is fairly straightforward…

Clean under garments for


The trick is “knowing” what to take and what to “plan’ for that will make the ride the most enjoyable and keeping it that way.

The biggest problem most riders have on a long trip is staying hydrated.
Riders don’t want to stop to relieve themselves so they tend to drink less water.

When riding a motorcycle, you loss much more moisture than you do sitting around the house or riding in a car. Also riding in the southwest can be very hot and dry. You will loss moisture faster than you can possibly imagine.
DRINK LOTS of WATER!!!
Plan on drinking a bottle of water every time you gas up the bike.

Plan your stops.
Depending on the route you take finding a gas station can be difficult in the southwest
There are stretches of road that are several hundred miles between gas stations and if you haven’t planed your gas stops well you can find yourself on the side of the road for quite some time waiting for someone to come by that can help out. (Pack a length of small tubing to siphon gas with. I like to keep about 10 feet of clear plastic tubing, like is used with fish tank air supplies. It coils well, takes up very little space on the bike and can be used to replace a bad gas line on the bike.)

El-Paso to Carlsbad is 140 miles but has only one gas station half way between them which is no problem if you had just gased up but if you had a quarter tank and thinking you will look for a station when your low fuel light comes on, you will be in trouble.

A trip like this is rare, so plane on seeing as many points of interest as you think you can stand and check out www.motorcycleroads.us for great roads to include in your trip.

One stretch of road you may want to consider is the road between Gallup and Shiprock New Mexico, it is now called Hwy 491 but it was originally Hwy 666 and was referred to as “The high way to hell”.

A few other things to keep in mind.
While you need to hydrate you also need to stay dry.
Staying dry is the next most important thing to staying hydrated.
If your clothing gets wet you can loss body heat very quickly and wet feet will bring you nothing but misery. If you find your rain gear is just not cutting it, stop at a store and buy garbage bags. Put them on over your dry socks and dry pants then put un another pair of pants over the bag. Also you can put three holes in the bottom of a garbage bag and wear it as a vest over dry clothing. Another set of bags over each arm with finger holes so you can put your gloves on work well too. Of course if you are driving in hot conditions and do not have to worry about hypothermia wet can be good but never your feet. Instead of garbage bags you can use freezer bags for you feet only.

Lastly take Imodium pills with you. The last thing you want is to be tied to a hotel room for days because you ate something that did not agree with you. (keeping hydrated helps prevent this type of problem as well.)

Good luck and happy riding.
 
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