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I am planning a trip in mid August from KC to Seattle stopping in CO to visit a friend on the way and have about 5 days to do it (leaving the bike in Seattle). I've never been up to the Northwest or on a 2000+ mile trip on my '04 K12RS so I would appreciate some of the experience others have had in answering the following questions. I will preface my questions by stating that my bike has about 13K miles on it and I performed the Major Service (excluding running the valves) and changed all the fluids including break at just past 12K, also the quick disconnects have been replaced.

Questions:
1. Aside from a quart of oil and the bike's bmw repair kit is there anything else I should take for the bike?

2. Should I join BMOA, AMA or something for the roadside assistance?

3. This is a route question; I think I would prefer going up to Billings, MT from CO and then into Seattle through Spokane rather than Salt Lake to Kennewick to Seattle. Is this a good route?

4. Anything else a newbie distance rider should consider?
 

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mbach said:
I am planning a trip in mid August from KC to Seattle stopping in CO to visit a friend on the way and have about 5 days to do it (leaving the bike in Seattle). I've never been up to the Northwest or on a 2000+ mile trip on my '04 K12RS so I would appreciate some of the experience others have had in answering the following questions. I will preface my questions by stating that my bike has about 13K miles on it and I performed the Major Service (excluding running the valves) and changed all the fluids including break at just past 12K, also the quick disconnects have been replaced.

Questions:
1. Aside from a quart of oil and the bike's bmw repair kit is there anything else I should take for the bike?

2. Should I join BMOA, AMA or something for the roadside assistance?

3. This is a route question; I think I would prefer going up to Billings, MT from CO and then into Seattle through Spokane rather than Salt Lake to Kennewick to Seattle. Is this a good route?

4. Anything else a newbie distance rider should consider?
Answers:
1. Aside from a quart of oil and the bike's bmw repair kit is there anything else I should take for the bike?

--> Check your tires. If they don't have enough tread to make the trip, consider replacing them.

2. Should I join BMOA, AMA or something for the roadside assistance?

--> BMWMOA offers its "Anonymous Book" with phone numbers of BMW riders willing to assist stranded riders. I have never used it, but I always take it on long trips. http://www.bmwmoa.org/
--> Consider buying or borrowing a SPOT satellite messenger. It will allow your family and friends to locate you as you travel, even if you are out of cell phone range. They offer tracking and roadside assistance as options. A SPOT would be an expensive purchase for one trip, but they are very useful to have for backpackers, etc. http://www.findmespot.com/
--> There are many roadside assistance plans available. You may already have one from your auto insurance company. Whichever plan you choose, make sure it meets your needs. Often towing plans are limited to only a few miles before the towing company can charge you a hefty fee, or motorcycles are excluded unless you pay an extra fee (e.g., AAA).

3. This is a route question; I think I would prefer going up to Billings, MT from CO and then into Seattle through Spokane rather than Salt Lake to Kennewick to Seattle. Is this a good route?
<No Response - left to others>

4. Anything else a newbie distance rider should consider?
--> You must stay hydrated in the summer heat, which means drinking as you ride. It isn't sufficient to drink at stops only. Many riders use a Camelbak. I keep a Camelbak liner in my tank bag, and refill it at fuel stops.
--> If your bike doesn't have cruise control, consider buying something to ease your wrist and fingers, such as a cramp buster.
--> Make sure your gear and seat will be comfortable. Consider LD Comfort undergarments. http://www.ldcomfort.com/ They last forever, but may not be worth the cost for one long ride, if you are not planning to ride again. (Do you have other motorcycles?) At least try to find something without seams under your butt or those other sensitive parts. They can start to get hot and painful after a few long miles.
--> The Iron Butt Association specializes in safe long distance riding. Here is their Archive of Wisdom, which may give you additional good ideas.: http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/aow.cfm

Enjoy your ride!
 

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I agree with the route into MT. When you can, grab Hwy 20 for your ride across the Cascades. Nice scenery and good twisty factor. Central and southern WA can be mind numbing unless you like long flat roads.

Since you will be riding multiple days during the heat of summer, hydration will be very important. Some folks like the camelback. I just carry bottles of water in my tank bag and drink frequently. I also drink lots of water at the end of the riding day and get up early enough to do the same before heading out.

Enjoy your trip.
 
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