How do I plan for a 6000 mile trip? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2008, 5:07 pm Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Germantown, MD, USA
Posts: 66
How do I plan for a 6000 mile trip?

Let me start by saying I'm a noob. I thought I had a good command of searching web sites for this information but I seem to get a lot of unrelated threads when I enter trip, packing for a trip, packing, what to take, what do you take. I run out of things to try. I have found some lists, one on this site I think, that list items for everything you can think of taking. Is there a concise, this is what to bring without any frills list? Is there any literature on doing this?

I'm guessing this has been covered in many threads before and I apologize for bring up a topic that I should be able to find on my own.

We're leaving June 2, 2008. Starting in MD we'll ride south to the "The Tail of the Dragon". North to Chicago. West to Rapid City, SD to ride the Black Hills and see Mount Rushmore. On to CO to ride the Rockies then down to the north rim of the Grand Canyon and back to MD.

I'm concerned that this is a lot of ground to cover in about 20 days. We have some 600+ mile days scheduled. The most I've done before was 400mi on an LT.

Thanks,

Friday
'07 K 1200 GT Deep Blue Metallic
10 Harley Davidson Stree Glide FLHX
History: '74 Honda CB360, '78 Yamaha XS750SE, '02 K1200RS Pacific Blue

"There is never enough time to do all the nothing you want to do" - Calvin and Hobbes
Friday is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2008, 7:59 pm
no power in the 'verse can stop me
 
shook sez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: n.e.ohia, , usa
Posts: 1,126
When you say "we", do you mean two up or you and a friend on their own bike?

Cuz that's a mighty ambitious twenty days you have planned for two up.

Look at the Ironbutt Association website. There's a lot of good advice to be found there.

http://www.ironbutt.com/about/default.cfm

tim-----still on the right side of the frostline

you can't stop the signal
shook sez is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:39 pm
Would rather be riding
 
bonafidebob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Posts: 537
Too many variables

I think the problem you'll run into looking for a concise no-frills list that there are a LOT of variables to consider. Are you 1- or 2-up? How much space on the bike? Are you camping or staying in a hotel? How much time are you spending off the bike? What weather do you need to prepare for? What extra gear is important to you?

I've seen people take multi-day trips with just a tank bag. And I've seen loaded touring bikes with trailers.

I think the best thing you can do is just think it through. Set out all the gear and clothing you think you'll need and then mentally work through the trip, marking or moving the stuff you need as you use it. This will give you a good idea of what to pack where, and what you can probably leave behind.

I've done 4 long (week or more) trips, and I haven't every packed the same stuff twice. One trip was in the early spring (brrr), a couple were solo with a lot of camping, another was 2-up with a week of hiking on the way. The most challenging one was the 2-up trip, which was in New Zealand so we had to pick our gear before we got on the plane and before seeing the bike, and we had a 5 day hike in the middle of it. We purposely overpacked a bit, then left some things at our start/stop point after packing the bike. It worked out great, and luckily my GF was willing to spend three weeks with essentially 3 outfits to wear, all geared towards hiking.

Anyway, I'm planning a similar trip, 5000-ish miles over 3 weeks, going solo from CA to WI and back again for myself this summer. I'll take clothes that can be layered (and do laundry on the way), a small tent and summer weight sleeping bag for camping a few nights, maybe a small laptop, my "good" 35mm camera and lenses, a pocket camera, toiletries, GPS, cell phone, and a credit card. In the middle I'll be visiting family in WI so I'll have a chance to rest and regroup (and probably get new tires.)

And on all of my long trips something has gone wrong that had to be handled on the road. (Tire punctures, broken latch on a bag, broken camera, lost gear.) The credit card is critical.

Last edited by bonafidebob; Apr 18th, 2008 at 10:47 pm.
bonafidebob is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2008, 11:04 pm
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 91
+1 to the above post. Give us more info and we can help out. My rules after several long trips:
Realize that underpacking isn't a problem as long as a Walmart is nearby.
Pack less clothes than your gut tells you.
Two sets of gloves.
Plastic bags or spacebags for dirty stuff.
awlittle is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2008, 8:57 am Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Germantown, MD, USA
Posts: 66
Thanks for the responses.

I'll be riding one up on my '07 GT. I've added a 49L top case so I don't think I have a prob with having enough room. We'll be staying at inns/motels or family/friends. No camping.

A friend is setting up the trip and by looking at his agenda we'll be spending more time on the bike than off. It looks like each days ride is between 400 and 500 miles. To me, that's a really long day.

I'd like to take my mac laptop. How does a computer handle the vibrations of a bike and the heat of being in a case in the sun?? I know my cell phone didn't do well on a trip in my 4runner. I left it in the center console, in the sun, not good.

I'll put tires on at the start of the trip and schedule an oil change along the way.

Bob, roger that on things going wrong. On last years ride the Harley in our group picked up a nail late in the day. All though we had plugs, a pump, CO2 cartridges we weren't prepared for a bike with tube tires. This lead to a very long night.

Another area of concern. How do you protect your bike at a hotel? Do you carry a cover? We're planning on cabling bikes together but cables/chains can be cut. One good thing I've heard is that BMWs aren't really a target for thieves. Still, I'd like to be safe.

Shook I'll check out the link you sent... thanks.

Friday
'07 K 1200 GT Deep Blue Metallic
10 Harley Davidson Stree Glide FLHX
History: '74 Honda CB360, '78 Yamaha XS750SE, '02 K1200RS Pacific Blue

"There is never enough time to do all the nothing you want to do" - Calvin and Hobbes
Friday is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2008, 9:48 am
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 69
one suggestion - if you plan on being anywhere cold and are going to bring heated clothing, bring extra fuses. Being cold sucks
jklotz is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2008, 1:07 pm
hdf
Maestro de Turismo
 
hdf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Madrid, , Spain
Posts: 406
I think you've identified a key issue with one of your comments - you will be spending most of your time on the bike. This, by itself, is a clear indication of what other clothes you will require - virtually none.

I don't know what you ride in, but if it's leathers or a purpose designed riding suit, then that's what you will be in 75 % of the waking hours. So, at least as concerns clothes, all you need is a four days to a weeks supply of appropriate underclothing (type depends on the weather).

Coolmax type undergarments are great (for warm weather) because in addition to the function they serve in keeping you cool, they take up virtually no space, can be washed in a sink in about five minutes and are guaranteed to be dry by the next morning. This helps keep down on the packing.

If you aren't really going to be doing a lot of activities off of the bike then a couple of pants, two or three shirts, shorts, and a pair of comfortable shoes and your set as concerns being dressed. You wont need more - by the time you get done with a long day's ride you'll probably walk into the local diner still wearing your riding gear, have dinner and then head to the hotel to hit the sack.


As for tools and that kind of stuff - tire kits are of course a given, and a minimal set of tools for minor repairs, but lets be real here, the GT is way too complex to do any real roadside maintenance, so no point in packing as if you intend to break her down and rebuild the engine on the roadside. You're not going adventure riding in the Sahara desert, take a cell phone and the AAA card instead.

As for weather changes, again, it depends on what kind of gear you have. I use a gore-tex lined leather suit. I live in Spain where in the summer it gets to over 100ºF and in the mountains (e.g. the Alps - yes, I know they're not in Spain but that's where I go often) can end up with snow - as you can see from the pictures below. These were taken last July where we had days with temperature swings from below freezing to near 100º in a matter of a few hours. I only needed that one suit (no rain gear, no stopping to change under an over-pass while 18-wheelers come screaming past). To keep warm I use a thermal silk or merino wool shirt and an electric vest. To keep cool a Coolmax type, tight fitting t-shirt and open up the jacket to get airflow going.

Definitely need two or even three types of gloves (regular riding leather, rain gloves and I also use some short, very vented summer gloves for when I have to ride through a city at slow speeds and need ventilation). Good thing is they don't take up much space.

A replacement shield for the helmet is also a must for me. I generally take a clear and dark shield, but mostly have a backup because a bad scratch in the wrong place can be a nightmare.

One final suggestion, put all the stuff that you might need to access during the day in the same case - it avoids you from opening everything up looking for that electric vest, different glove, etc. That way the other bags only have to be opened once a day - at the hotel.

Here, these pictures below is how I have travelled - two up - for trips of 3,000 miles (to-from the Alps) over two weeks. When I do long trips solo, I just take the two sidecases (and not even expanded). And keep in mind that on the two-ups the S.O. brings along a damn hair dryer!



hdf is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2008, 3:50 pm
Would rather be riding
 
bonafidebob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Posts: 537
More ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday
I'd like to take my mac laptop. How does a computer handle the vibrations of a bike and the heat of being in a case in the sun?? I know my cell phone didn't do well on a trip in my 4runner. I left it in the center console, in the sun, not good.

Another area of concern. How do you protect your bike at a hotel? Do you carry a cover? We're planning on cabling bikes together but cables/chains can be cut. One good thing I've heard is that BMWs aren't really a target for thieves. Still, I'd like to be safe.
I've got a 12" Mac iBook that I've taken on a couple of these trips. I typically pack it in a side case layered between my clothes to help dampen the vibrations. It's held up just fine, except that on the first trip I didn't put anything between the keyboard and screen, and now there's a faint scuffed-in impression of the key edges on the screen, probably from the vibration.

Having a laptop was great, it meant I could regularly dump the pictures from my digital camera, and occasionally I burned CDs of them and mailed them home so even if my gear was lost or stolen I'd still have the pics. It's also nice at an internet cafe to be able to use your own computer.

I've never worried about the bike at a hotel. If you ask at the front desk they'll often direct you to a good place to park it, often within view of the front desk and/or under a roof. If not you can get a first floor room and park it right outside. I've never bothered carrying a cover on a trip, the bike's meant to get wet, though I did put a garbage bag over my leather seat if it was raining hard -- the hotel will usually give you one or you can pull one out of the trashcan in the room. I recently picked up one of those alarmed brake locks just for peace of mind. (To be honest, it's mainly so I don't forget to take it off before riding... since I don't use it that often it's easy to forget.) GTs are pretty low on bike thieves wish lists and harder to steal than many other bikes, I don't think you need to worry about that.

400-500 miles a day means 8-10 hours in the saddle. While that's certainly a long day, it still leaves a few hours on either end. You will be wearing your gear a lot, and +1 on the polypro underwear (and socks) that you can wash overnight. When I ride like this I like to get a room before dinner, shower and change into jeans before going out to eat/drink/be merry.

When I push for longer days (800+ miles) I'll try to stop for dinner around sunset (it's no fun when the sun is in your eyes) and take a long break, then continue after dark, this also avoids peak critter-crossing time.

+1 on extra gloves too. I have my Held gloves I wear all the time, but I've got some waterproof heavy gloves and some really thin ventilated summer gloves that I take along. I've read about others that get a pair of XXL dishwashing gloves to wear over their regular gloves in the rain, that looks like a great way to save space and still stay dry, I may try it this trip.

The rest of my gear is reasonably waterproof. I do have a rainsuit but I've only worn it once when riding from San Diego to San Francisco during El Nino. Make sure your boots are waterpoof, wet feet are no fun. I don't plan on taking it this summer.

My packing strategy is usually to put the stuff I want to take into the hotel in the side cases, and put the bike stuff and things I'll use during the day in the top case. I leave the top case on the bike when I park it, and take the side cases in with me.
bonafidebob is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2008, 10:45 pm
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: , ,
Posts: 2,680
I'll agree with the others that say 600 miles two-up is a bit ambitious and someone may be looking at a divorce. I'd push for no more than 300 mile days for two-up as it can get pretty boring for her and the GT's aren't exactly known for turbulent-free air around the pillion. I got lectured already on that very issue.

Go invest in a Scorpio alarm with proximity option. Mine went off today while I was at the dealership and it managed to get the goobers away from the bike. I was trying on clothes when the remote fob's alarm went nuts. Had to get dressed fast and ran out finding some guys standing near the bike. Evidently one was going to let his small 4 year old son climb on it for fun and take a picture. Some parents!

I got the alarm after some ingrates knocked the bike over at a motel while I was awaiting an early morning service at an out-of-town dealership. Things happen in the night, maybe with late returning drunks or people who cannot park. It has a proximity alarm now and two-way to the remote fob. I can leave stuff on the bike and hasn't been stolen...yet. I left my gloves on the seat by accident the entire day at work while parked in a public lot and nothing happened.

Mack
GMack is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 2008, 10:57 am
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 438
Wink Steal my bike- please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday
How do you protect your bike at a hotel? One good thing I've heard is that BMWs aren't really a target for thieves.

Your correct. BMW's aren't often a target.
I just park next to a Harley, pull the key out, not even locking my steering, and go to my room. It's insured. If it is there the next morning. I ride. If not. I will get a new bike!

Norris Cooper Andover Kansas USA
06 K1200GT
93 K1100RS
ncooper is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
6000 mile service and pannier problem stevedo K12/1300GT (Next Gen) 2 Sep 21st, 2007 4:22 pm
6000 mile service today- all good John06KGT K12/1300GT (Next Gen) 0 Sep 19th, 2007 3:10 pm
6000 Mile Service Charge yumaLT K12/1300GT (Next Gen) 7 Jun 27th, 2007 4:43 pm
6000 mile service only cost $7,000.00 GMack K12/1300GT (Next Gen) 20 Jan 7th, 2007 12:33 pm
Tires for 6000 Mile Trip camfarm K12/1300R/R-Sport 3 Jan 4th, 2006 2:26 pm

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome