800 miles to Seattle? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2008, 2:11 pm Thread Starter
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800 miles to Seattle?

Hey GT riders,

I now have about 2000 miles (1400 are mine) on my "new" (demo model) GT. I've been working up in the Seattle area (Boeing plant) and have to go back this week. I am considering hopping on the GT and riding up. Probably my biggest day on a motorcycle has been 250 miles (4-year rider). Seattle is about 800 miles from the SF Bay Area where I live. Looking at the map, I'd love to hug the coast and make an adventure out of it but, reality dictates that I get up there and get to work.

So, any advice before I take off on Wednesday? Weatherman calls for rain in Oregon and Washington but that's not scaring me off since I'll be up there for over 2 weeks and would like to have the bike. I have a well used Roadcrafter (wearing it for 4 years) and waterproof Sidi boots. My gloves aren't waterproof but my experience in the rain so far is that the GT keeps me pretty dry on the road. My first ride from the dealership was in the pouring rain.

I've read a lot of good and bad about the stock seat (can't figure out if I have the new version on my '07) but my backside has never complained on my shorter trips so far.

Concerns you could help me with:

- Any tools that I should take along other than the trusty Torx under the seat?

- Tubeless patch kit; good idea or not?

- Parking outside a medium grade hotel (Holiday Inn Express in Puyallup) for 2 weeks; bad idea? Should I cover the bike at night or does that attract more interest from undesirables? Should I use additional security such as cable or rotor locks, etc.

- I'm going with the BMW 50L sport bag to hold my laptop, clothes (I don't enjoy laundry), etc; stuff that won't fit into the side cases.

My plan is to ride it in one day with an optional overnight breather in Portland if I'm feeling too worn.

I've always run a headlight modulator on past bikes and I feel a little naked without one (haven't had time to install one yet). I know they're not cool but I swear they attract attention at intersections, where many accidents happen. Opinions?

Let me know if you have any advice for a fairly long and mostly uninteresting slab ride. Also, if I can make some spare time, any "don't miss" good rides in the Seattle area would be very welcome.

Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2008, 3:12 pm
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1 - I won't ride without either HID low beam and/or additional fog lights.

2 - Get waterproof gloves.

3 - I carry a patch kit, actually used it once, to patch a tire!

4 - Keep the heavy stuff out of the top case and in the side cases to keep COG low.

5 - I cover the bike to protect the finish. I have never had a problem with theft with my BMWs, and have been told the reason is that we won't buy used parts.

6 - I might carry something I could replace the battery with, but can't think of anything else I could get involved with repairing.

Guy Howard
K12LT 05 (sold)
K12GT 07 - build 12/06 BMSK-P ECU (ASC retrofit), V.3 airbox, new o2 sensor @18k, PowerFrk module @25k
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2008, 3:38 pm
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I ride between Seattle and SoCal fairly frequently. Assuming you have non-rainy weather in CA, you really should take two days. Ride Hwy 1 to Eureka. Stop in Eureka. From Eureka, head over to Yreka on 96 and slab it up I-5 from there.

If you're slabbing it and not used to long days, don't push yourself but you already have na optional stop in Portland so that's a good idea. Carry some sour candy with you. I learned this on the Iron Butt site and it's amazing how it will wake you up.

If you keep a decent pace (8mph over is generally ticket free speed) it'll probably take 12- 13 hours.

Try to plan your timing so you don't hit rush hour in Portland. That can really suck.

Chances ar ethe rain will be more of an on and off deal so you probably won't get that wet.
See comments in red below:

Quote:
Concerns you could help me with:

- Any tools that I should take along other than the trusty Torx under the seat?

- Tubeless patch kit; good idea or not?


Never hurts and doesn't take up much room. Though it's doubtful you'll get a flat.


- Parking outside a medium grade hotel (Holiday Inn Express in Puyallup) for 2 weeks; bad idea? Should I cover the bike at night or does that attract more interest from undesirables? Should I use additional security such as cable or rotor locks, etc.

I always cover my bike. Keeps it out of the rain, keeps dust from settling on it and people are much less prone to mess with it. I'm not familiar with Puyallup so don't know if more security would be wise or not. I always try to park out in the open so it's harder to mess with my bike without being seen. But you never know.

- I'm going with the BMW 50L sport bag to hold my laptop, clothes (I don't enjoy laundry), etc; stuff that won't fit into the side cases.

My plan is to ride it in one day with an optional overnight breather in Portland if I'm feeling too worn.

I've always run a headlight modulator on past bikes and I feel a little naked without one (haven't had time to install one yet). I know they're not cool but I swear they attract attention at intersections, where many accidents happen. Opinions?

Headlight modulators suck - but that's just my personal opinion.

Let me know if you have any advice for a fairly long and mostly uninteresting slab ride. Also, if I can make some spare time, any "don't miss" good rides in the Seattle area would be very welcome.
Here's some info on good rides in the Seattle area: (PM or email me if you want some free tickets to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle - it's pretty cool and worth stopping by for free.)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=345024


Drivers in the Seattle area are awful - don't let your guard down.

Don't go more than 8 over in WA or you will get a ticket.

Last edited by FlyingDuck; May 26th, 2008 at 3:44 pm.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2008, 4:11 pm
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As far as extra security goes, I've had fairly decent luck just asking the front desk if I can keep the bike under the front canopy. Better than 50% don't have an issue with it. That means that you would NEED to cover it as well.

.....Mike
'10 K1300GT
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2008, 4:45 pm Thread Starter
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Great suggestions so far! Thanks for your help. I'll definitely ask the hotel about up front parking. Dang, I've nearly lived there for the last 6 weeks...

Thanks for the museum ticket offer. I'd definitely like to get up there and do the whole tour. My hosts owe me...

Here's our project:

http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/tic...3502&Symbol=CW
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2008, 5:07 pm
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If you're leaving THIS Wednesday ( two days from now ) You ain't got time to fool around
with installing a modulator....Sure as can be, something will go wrong. Don't bother.

Take a couple days to do the trip right. Up the coast one day and slab to the finish the
next is an excellent idea.

Enjoy the ride.

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

you can't stop the signal
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2008, 8:06 pm
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You haven't said anything about items to improve visibility, such as a reflector vest or additional reflectors on your equipment.

I used to live in Vancouver BC, and always wore a reflector vest. It helped a lot on those gray gloomy days. I still wear it any time that I'm out riding.

I have seen riders who wear bright yellow (tennis ball yellow) jackets. They really grab my attention; same idea.

Here is the reflector vest I use. I like 'em because they are made of some type of plastic fiber that holds up to the wind. Kinda' like a stranded heavy nylon fishing line. The air flows right through it. I replaced my last vest after 20 years - the fabric and reflectors were fine, but the fabric finally got sun-faded enough that I wanted a bright new one. I used it on a motorcycle that had no faring - I got thrashed in the wind, but the vest held up fine.

http://www.jogalite.com/index.cfm?fu...one&product=52
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2008, 7:35 am
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Sorry that I just saw this. I haven't been on the board much at all.

My take on this is I agree with most others.

Having done some serious long rides on this bike, iI find it is t is great with some issues. However, there is more to it than the bike. Preparing yourself is a big part of it. Silly little things like underwear with no seams; helmet rubbing your ears; and limitless other things begin to crop up after several hours.

Keep in mind you are thinking about riding over 50% more miles than you have put on the bike since you bought it in one stint. Slab the whole way and you might not have any issues making it in a day. Up the coast, you should really plan on the half and half 2 day route like the flying duck suggests.

I keep a half cover and use it on the road. It takes a lot more balls to lift the cover and look for something to steal than just walk by and swipe it. Then again, if you dont' have anything on the bike, uncovered is fine.

Make sure to wave when you go by me. I'm on the way...
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2008, 10:15 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbdane
Hey GT riders,

I now have about 2000 miles (1400 are mine) on my "new" (demo model) GT. I've been working up in the Seattle area (Boeing plant) and have to go back this week. I am considering hopping on the GT and riding up. Probably my biggest day on a motorcycle has been 250 miles (4-year rider). Seattle is about 800 miles from the SF Bay Area where I live. Looking at the map, I'd love to hug the coast and make an adventure out of it but, reality dictates that I get up there and get to work.
Some good comments above.

If you are trying to make it in one day you better hit I-5 and head north. Following the coast will add HOURS to the ride. I'd plan doing the coast ride coming back, take 2-3 days and enjoy it.

If this is your first long ride, don't push it too hard. I'd do 150-170 miles a segment, even though the bike will go farther. Make sure you drink some water at each stop and maybe eat a granola bar.

Mike

2011 T100 Bonneville Black
06 Black Griso
06 Yellow KR - SOLD
02 Z-Rex (Green of course)
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2008, 10:47 am
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Riding from No. Cal to WA can be one of the most boring or most exhilarating rides possible - it's all what you make it. Hwy 1 can be challenging at times, especially just So. of Leggett. On the other hand there is nothing like 1 for the coastal view and great twisties. If you want to avoid a lot of the heat take 101, it can be quite fun and the 100 mph 4-lane sweepers are a gas. You might want to stop at Garberville for lunch and gas-up.

Don't short-change the Oregon coast. It can be more scenic than the CA coast. Angle in toward I-5 just No. of Lincoln City on Hwy 18.

Going back down cut to the coast at Grants Pass using 199. It is a good stop for the night too as there are tons of motels and a few good brew-pubs.

The possibilities are endless. Just don't take the slab all the way - much too boring - and hot.
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