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Andreas

Long Distance Touring

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Andreas

Hi everyone,

 

I've scoured both the IBA and 07 forums for some long distance stuff but haven't really found what I'm looking for yet.

I have 11 days off for spring break this year and was planning on doing a 6000+ mile trip on my '18 MT07. I have a 2003 ZZR-600 but I'm rebuilding it and honestly don't trust it to make it without stranding me, though it would obviously be a better choice.

 

Here's my (very) rough plan:

Raleigh to Jacksonville, Jacksonville to San Diego IBA 50cc, hanging around the west coast for a couple of days and then heading back via Dallas and New Orleans. Aside from the first 3 days, it seems like I would be covering about 400 miles per day. Being a broke college student I'm hoping to use my gym membership for showers and sleep in a tent when possible 😂

Mod wise I have sliders and a USB outlet...  Don't really feel any fatigue from the seat at all, wind gets to me after about 6 hours without breaks but I have done 14 hours highway in a day before.

 

I've got a few questions for the definitely more experienced people on this forum:

Does this seem feasible?

Are there any mods I should consider doing? (I'm thinking about LED headlight, slightly lower bars, more crash protection)

Should I do any major maintenance or replace parts? Oil change halfway or wait until I get home?

What tires would offer good touring characteristics with grippy sides? I don't wanna cruise all the way to CA only to have rock solid tires riding up Mullholand...

 

I would appreciate any insight, thanks for reading!!

Sorry if this is posted in the wrong place!


Here's a pic of my setup from my Raleigh to Montreal 5 day trip 😁
1695244343_IMG_20181008_180853(1).thumb.jpg.052bac3900ea06a37047bb9c22f252a6.jpg

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DewMan

I would recommend a test ride of at least 100 miles to shake out any issues with the ergos well prior to the start of your extended trip.

 

Sounds like a an exciting trip. Best of luck to you for a smooth trip. ✌️

 

Edit: at this hour my reading comprehension is subpar and I finally noticed you're comments on the 5 day trip. So it seems you've already taken a "test trip" to work out the ergos. It would be good to have all upgrades and general maintenance done ahead of time so you can confirm no issues exist such as loose bolts etc.

 

Michelin Road 5s have received good marks for mileage, grip and rain performance.

 

A brighter than stock headlight is always recommended. The Cyclops LED is popular with users here.

 

A throttle lock could come in handy during your trip when you need to shake out the cramps from your throttle hand.

 

I'd suggest an oil change prior to your trip and a follow up upon your return. Not sure I'd want to hazard an unknown mechanic somewhere along your route if you don't know of a good one along the way. Nevermind if you plan on doing your own oil change while on the road.

 

Take all my suggestions with a grain of salt since I've not done an extended trip such as one you have planned.

 

There are several on this forum with extensive long trip experience who can be of better help than I.


DewMan
 
Just shut up and ride.

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Zephyr

I'm no whiz kid, but it seems to me that you'll likely need to do closer to 800 miles / day in order to have a few days play and also a day to rest once you return.  That would mean 4 days straight at ~12+hrs on the road, 2 days play/rest, then another 4 days straight on the road again at 12+hrs per day in the saddle.  It doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but I'm no youth on spring break either.  A trip like that leaves virtually no room for any "incidents" to occur.  It definitely sounds like an adventure.  I think an effective windscreen would be a good item to have as well as your road side tool kit, puncture repair, extra fuel, etc.  I would upgrade the headlamp if it were me since you'll be doing a bit of riding in low light/dark.  Make a checklist for the bike prior to each days ride and plan for an oil change/chain lube, etc before the ride back should give some peace of mind.

 

If there's no reason for going down to Jacksonville, then I would shoot across through Atlanta and direct to Dallas > El Paso and save some time/mileage.  Plan out stops in advance (food / fuel / rest).  

 

Main thing is to have fun along the way and be flexible.

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kbob2000

That's an intense itinerary.  I've done 4 consecutive days at about 10-12 hours a day and found it pretty rough with the stock seat.  It wasn't that many miles as I stick to 2 lanes since I want to enjoy as much of the ride as possible.  If it were me, I would spend the time more leisurely.  As in, take my time getting to a destination with some great roads and spend a few days enjoying them.  In any case, post up a ride report with what you decide to do!

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Andreas
17 hours ago, DewMan said:

Michelin Road 5s have received good marks for mileage, grip and rain performance.

 

A brighter than stock headlight is always recommended. The Cyclops LED is popular with users here.

 

A throttle lock could come in handy during your trip when you need to shake out the cramps from your throttle hand.

Thanks for all of the advice! I will see if I can get myself a set of Road 5s before leaving and a throttle lock.

 

16 hours ago, Zephyr said:

I'm no whiz kid, but it seems to me that you'll likely need to do closer to 800 miles / day in order to have a few days play and also a day to rest once you return.

I'm hoping to cover distance every day but I think you're right... It would definitely be a tough trip, and I should probably plan to be home a day or two early so I have a bit of space in case something happens. I've looked at a lot of windscreens but can never find one that I like the looks of. Might have to dig deeper and use a windscreen for just the trip.
Jacksonville would be an easier 50cc, but I agree it would make the trip a day longer and almost 5 more hours saddle time. I'll see if I can find a viable route from the NC coast!

 

12 hours ago, kbob2000 said:

I've done 4 consecutive days at about 10-12 hours a day and found it pretty rough with the stock seat.

I find if I just power through it gets better 😂 The MT-07 has a pretty hard seat but I prefer that for longer stuff since you get less strain from sinking into excessively soft seats. I'm hoping to stick to smaller roads near California and anywhere else I can find nice roads but from state to state there aren't that many choices aside from highways in my eyes...

 

Thanks for the replies so far!

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firstyammerha

Doing the Raleigh to Montreal trip was a good preliminary test for your next longer distance ride. I suspect you are going I-10 from Florida across to California. I enjoyed my time in the southwest corner of the country taking in the parks and attractions of Vegas, L.A. and San Francisco. I had my eyes opened by the contrast in scenery from the southeast where I've lived all my life. I'm to the point where my butt can do 300 miles and 6 hours.It only took three years of local riding to get conditioned. Enjoy the trip and safe travels.

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Beemer

I've done a couple fairly long trips where I got in about 700 miles the first day and 600 the next and as far as the things you mentioned that you question getting, those things all depend on how resilient and confident you are. E.G. you don't 'have to have' lowered handlebars ( I never needed them) and they might cause unwanted wrist, arm and neck fatigue/pain. They do with some people but not all. The question of crash protection is up in the air. Of course if you wreck it could be vital as to whether your bike is still ridable or not but if you don't wreck you can do the trip without it and save some money and take some pressure off the ol' wallet seeing that you're on a budget. I've done several trips w/o crash protection (was on a budget also) but I've always been confident that I'm not going to lay a bike down either. How's your confidence? 

 

I might add to give everything that requires it (cables, etc) a good lube and get plenty of sleep before long days in the saddle. I made that mistake once and fell asleep at 70 mph. An angel on my shoulder woke me up in time. GL, stay frosty, have fun!

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FZ07R WaNaB

You obviously haven't heard/read about zombiphone (Tiffani) who is a member of this forum. Her first ride was a solo camping trip from San Diego to Key West on her FZ-07. Here's a recent quote of hers regarding her FZ and mileage:

 

"I've got a pretty decent number! I'm at 67,000-ish miles right now with a couple small crashes, and all it's really needed was the occasional (And not frequent enough) oil changes, a few chains, a few sprockets, and a single fork seal (Turns out, the stock suspension could only take so many rough roads). Other than that, the thing refuses to die despite all my best efforts."

 

You can follow her travels at motorcyclist online as well as checking a book she wrote on her travels on her FZ. You can learn a lot for your trip from checking out her adventures. Enjoy!!!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Motorcycle-Gypsy-States-Tour/dp/0578212838/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

 

Edited by FZ07R WaNaB

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shinyribs

Modern sport touring tires are better than ever, and they get better all the time. Probably any decent sport touring tire will do what you want. You can go with a dual compound tire to gain a bit of extra traction on the sides. 

 

Everything comfort related is going to be subjective. The bike will crank the trip out no problem. I wouldn't want lower than stock bars for a highway trip, but you may find that more comfortable. No seat for bar position is going to be comfy for several hours at a time. You'll just have to sop and stretch. I mean, we can't even sit on the couch for that long without readjusting. 

 

I would consider running a +1 tooth on the front sprocket. Power down low is not noticeably affected, but it helps the engine relax at highway speeds and can net you a few mpg while cruising. You can find those on eBay for under $20, so it's very affordable and would probably pay for itself on this trip alone. 

 

I don't want to discourage you whatsoever, but iron butt rides just aren't for me. If you need to travel that far, that fast in order to reach your destination, then go for it! But if you're just looking to rack up miles..forget the mileage and spend your time actually enjoying your surrounding vs barreling past them at 80 mph. The first long trip I took on a bike, I had a set in stone plan such as yours. I flew down to my destination, spent the planned amount of time there, then flew back home. It absolutely sucked. I spent all the time and effort to see ONE thing, while I rode by 20 things I wished I'd stopped for along the way. I;ve never had time to go back and enjoy the sites I blew past, and I still regret wasting my opportunity like I did. 

 

Whatever you do, enjoy! And be safe. 

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Andreas
On 1/31/2019 at 10:45 AM, Beemer said:

E.G. you don't 'have to have' lowered handlebars ( I never needed them) and they might cause unwanted wrist, arm and neck fatigue/pain.

How's your confidence? 

An angel on my shoulder woke me up in time. GL, stay frosty, have fun!

Thanks! I might buy some Renthal Ultra Lows and try them out for a bit, since they're cheap and could easily be switched back to stock within a couple of hours in case I don't like them on the highway. As far as crashing goes, I ride relatively carefully when I know I'm away from home, particularly when touring. Every time I've ever dropped any bike I've owned has been within 1 mile of my residence, 3 times literally within viewing distance. I find that covering long distance makes me more cautious, and I also want to promote a good image for the motorcycling community. I've never fallen asleep on my bike (passenger has many times), that's crazy! I've been close in a car that had radar cruise control and lane keeping, that was scary enough. I'd rather get home without completing my goal than not at all 😶 

 

On 1/31/2019 at 11:39 AM, FZ07R WaNaB said:

You obviously haven't heard/read about zombiphone (Tiffani) who is a member of this forum. Her first ride was a solo camping trip from San Diego to Key West on her FZ-07. Here's a recent quote of hers regarding her FZ and mileage:

I read her articles on Motorcyclist but didn't know she had a book! I'm going to buy it and have a look through some of her posts!!

 

On 1/31/2019 at 12:48 PM, shinyribs said:

I would consider running a +1 tooth on the front sprocket.

 

If you need to travel that far, that fast in order to reach your destination, then go for it! But if you're just looking to rack up miles..forget the mileage and spend your time actually enjoying your surrounding vs barreling past them at 80 mph.

Thanks for the input! I was considering changing the gears when I replace the chain since I don't really like the front wheel coming up during normal acceleration, and during daily highway commutes it sits between 5~6k most of the time. Do you know if this would mess up the speedometer or is it measured off the front wheel? I completely agree with you that riding slowly and enjoying your surroundings is definitely the way to go. The 50cc has just fascinated me so much since I first heard of it, and it's something I want to do while I still have the energy (aka before I turn 21 and become a cranky alcoholic) 😅 My travel style has always been very... erratic? I backpack solo quite a bit, so I'm used to hopping from city to city and seeing the absolute maximum amount of stuff without overloading myself.

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mt7fan

Buy a tank bag about 15 Liter.. You can lean on it, and have place for small things.

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Andreas
7 hours ago, mt7fan said:

Buy a tank bag about 15 Liter.. You can lean on it, and have place for small things.

15 Liters?? I used to have one that was 4 Liters for my past bike, and it felt too big!

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mt7fan

I have the evo City from sw-motech.

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Spitfire

Fwiw, there will always be enough places to visit, no need to do them all in one visit on a marathon run.

I understand the siren call of California, there is so much there that we've all seen from media.

But there is just as much in between there and where you are.

You've done Raleigh to Montreal in a 5 day trip? Road warrior impressive, sort of. So much you didn't see and spent all of your time strapped to your bike on the turnpikes churning wheels and asphalt.

Not trying to be negative or discourage you but there is so much more to see and do beyond the highway miles that you will do.

 

What appeals to you for these long distance short stay marathon runs?

 

Sounds like you're one of the few megamilers who just like to roll and eat up miles. Or???

But that may kill the thrill faster in the long run...

As well, the longer and farther you ride, your odds of an accident from fatigue error increase tremendously. Not smart and not necessary.

 

Why not slow down, enjoy the ride, shorter distances and savor an area? Discover the nooks and crannies, places, little gems, be surprised by the random, spontaneous and unexpected? So much to see and do, so little lifetime.

Why spend it all on long distance drives? 80%hwy and 20% visit?

Why not NOT have a final destination thousands of miles away only to turn around and drive back, but instead just randomly go explore?

Check out motorcycle roads.com for the rides of your life fyi.

In my experience, have found that about 4 hrs riding in a day is about my max while still giving enough time to stop, explore, take pictures, rest, chat with people, really take in the sights and savor the moment, location. I could tell you stories of a lifetime, none of which were on the highway doing long distance mileage.

My only equipment recommendation not mentioned above would be to get a cot that assembles for sleeping. Gets you up off the ground and dry, and not that big.

Check out ADVRider.com to see what and how others are doing it.

 

Edited by Spitfire
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sorkyah

@Andreas we're lucky enough to have several people on the forum that have taken the fz on several long rides. 

@zombiphone is probably our mileage leader, great props to her, and on the second trip her partner too, for getting down through south america and back. 
she has a build thread on here somewhere and i think has put almost 70k miles on her bike. 

as for your question about tires im gonna say michelins pr4 or 5  tires will be your friend. had a set of the pr3's that came on my bike, switched to the 4s at about 11k, then needed a new set at 24k. they get pretty good mileage and after having em on the track a couple times, they're more grippy than you would expect from a touring style tire

anyway, welcome and good luck on the trip
maybe ill see ya if you stop in phoenix


 


ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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Andreas

@Spitfire I completely understand what you're getting at. I love driving small roads and seeing everything possible on the way, but I don't feel like I'm in a position to do that right now. Some background: I spent Fall 2017- Fall 2018 in Japan where I had a Ducati ST2. Had a few awesome friends there and we'd go on rides through the mountains via roads barely wide enough for a single car, in the middle of rice fields and many miles from any city light watching shooting stars. Even when I wasn't with them I'd often be 2 up in the mountain passes, working on my lines while my girlfriend was falling asleep on the back. Unfortunately when I came back to the States I just don't know as many people who ride. I know maybe 2 people, and they generally wouldn't agree to anything more than a couple of hours on a Saturday, especially since there aren't that many interesting roads in central NC. Don't even know anyone who trusts motorcycles enough to ride pillion. I don't necessarily like going too hard on any road when I'm alone either as there's nobody to see if I fall, and it honestly just isn't as fun as riding with good friends... Back to the whole touring thing; while sitting on the highway isn't really my favorite thing, I like visiting different places. It's how I usually travel, I'll go to a country for 3 days and see more than most do in a week. By motorcycle seeing beaches turn to forests to mountains in a short time is something I love, as is visiting different cities and trying different foods. There's also the personal challenge of the IBA. To me coast to coast in less than 50 hours is something I want to do once, and that itself would be a story worth repeating in my eyes. Being part of that community is another way I can hopefully meet more riders.

I have a pretty busy schedule as well so I don't get too many chances to do any extended trips. I have 4 day weekends every week so I could do shorter, closer trips basically any time. This summer though I'm going to be in Japan for over 3 months again, so I won't have any opportunities for touring in the States this year aside from the 11 day spring break.

I don't mean to sound like I'm discrediting anything your're saying because I agree with you, it's just that where I'm at personally I want to do cover some distance. Once I get to know more riders (or move somewhere more interesting) I'll of course be out memorizing the back roads!

I plan on going to a few of the roads on the site you linked. I have been through the dragon and cherohala in NC/TN before, and I'm aiming for the twisted sisters on my return path. I've also been to California about 4 or 5 times before, I just haven't been able to drive there before and I know the roads are beautiful! My daily max so far is somewhere around 16 hours, but  it's very weather and road condition dependent of course. In Japan one of the day trips I did with my friends to nippondaira was nearly 18 hours with breaks basically just for food & drinks.

Thanks for mentioning a cot, I'll try to get one so I can stay warm at night 🔥

 

@sorkyah Every single person I've asked, including the tire shop has recommneded the PR5's now, they were actually surprised that my stock Battlax tires have held up for 7k... I'm gonna be switching to the PR5 before I do any distance touring!

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Spitfire

Yeah, you're a mega miler, which is fine since that's what works for you and where you're at in life right now. It's about the drive for you and you can handle it, that's great. Sort of, lol.

Been there done that, Montreal to Vegas, 38 hrs in 52, but in a car. And that's nothing for some. Couldn't even imagine it on a bike.

The only thing that I can add is look over your logistics, weather and elevation changes for that time of year.  Anything above 3000 ft in the winter can and will have snow and ice during winter months. There are some elevation, potential winter weather issues (NM, AZ, Hwy 40, Flagstaff/ ABQ) that can impact your plans and wash them down the drain since your schedule is so tight. Maybe have a plan B en route. Get new tires before you leave, think about sprocket change to reduce hwy rpm and engine wear. Rain gear and energy shots.

Bivouac sleeping bag tent takes least amount of room. Like I said, check out ADV rider.com, that's what they do over there with lots of ride reports.

Download the MyRadar app to your phone for weather radar and oncoming weather.

Met a young dude riding a 90s K75? BMW from NC to Cali in Colorado Springs, had problems with bike at elevation, they had low volume electric pumps in those years and didn't like the elevation. He got caught in hail in the summer and all sorts of things happened to him. But it's all part of the adventure. He did it like you, speed run, in two weeks. 

I've seen hail and dark, cloudy winter conditions in the summer in the CO Rockies that were unbelievable. And White Sands in NM that were so purely white, you'd swear that you were looking at snow. And the aliens in Roswell are out of this world, lol.

It's all about enjoy the ride, experience locations and savor the adventure, how ever you choose to do it. It's all good.

Just ride safe and rest when you need it.

 

 

Edited by Spitfire

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