Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
croustibat

From Montreal to California

Recommended Posts

croustibat
Hey there !
 
I'm new here even though I came a few times to get some useful information ! I finally decided to register, and that is because I want to get your opinion on a big project of mine !
 
I live in Montreal and I bought a nice FZ07 2015 in march, I rode 4000 km up until now and I love the bike !
 
Now, what I would like to do is to survive winter to go from Montreal to California next summer during 2 ou 3 weeks.
I realize this is a big project and I need to prepare a lot for it, that's for sure and I will everything that is necessary to have a great trip.
 
What I am asking here is whether you think this big road-trip is doable on a FZ07, or not ?
 
I added a 27cm Ermax windshield to be more comfortable but that's all I modified on my bike.
 
From my 4000 km experience, I'm 99% sure that I will need to upgrade the seat because after an 1 and a half hour, it's starting to get uncomfortable.
 
Thank you for your inputs !
 
Cheers,
Croustibat
 
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fzonly1
Suspension....., I'm way to heavy for the stock set up... I have a full Matris set up heading my way in a few weeks to sort it out.. How are you feeling with the stock suspension? How much do you weigh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
To me, suspension is OK. But I don't really have a comparison in mind, it's my first bike, so it can probably be better ...
 
I am at 65 kg, so 143 lbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zombiphone
I don't think suspension is really going to be a limiter for distance unless you're loading down the bike with a LOT of stuff. But welcome! I'm gearing up to do cross country on the FZ myself in a couple months (I'm in socal, shooting to go from socal to florida, then wherever else weather will permit in winter/early spring months). So far, the mods I'm looking at/already have for the trip include:
 
Panniers/top case for storage (I plan to camp most the trip, so storage is good to have. Not sure if that's your intention)
Wind screen
Handguards (for added wind protection)
GPS mount and accessory outlets
crash protection (Engine guards, frame/axle sliders- in case things go wrong far from home)
A new seat, brand TBD (Agreed on the hour and a half of comfort. Although I'm not feeling corbin's offering so far)
Maybe a small gas canister and a way to mount it
 
And then a slew of non-bike mod related stuff for my own comfort- mostly new gear related (You'll definitely want things like a hydration pack/well vented leathers/etc if you're going through the heat of summer). I don't see any reason this bike can't go the distance. The seating position is comfortable, the power is more than adequate, and yamahas are ultra reliable. I think the small gas tank is going to be the biggest limiter, but otherwise, it all depends on your own endurance. I know plenty of people who have gone from new york to socal on supersport bikes, so it's really just a matter of wanting it
 
I would recommend trying to find fun routes though. I did 400 boring straight miles last weekend on the FZ, and it's not the most enjoyable way to get from point A to B.
 

Published 'Chronicles of a Motorcycle Gypsy' a book about my travels on the FZ, and a writer for Motorcyclist Magazine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Hey Zombiphone, thanks a lot for all your input ! I'll definitely take a good look at everything you said there, there are a lot of good ideas !
 
I'll follow your trip if you write about it :)
 
Agreed for the fun routes, it's definitely not fun to go for 400 boring miles ...
And yeah, the small tank might be a problem, need to take into consideration when planning the trip.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lonerider
Hi,
 
I'm living just north of Montreal and i went to the Canadian Rockies with my SV650S in 2003.  Is the FZ07 can make the trip Montreal-California? For sure. If you want to avoid long days of riding highways, you will definitely need more than 2 weeks.
 
About your concern about the FZ07's seat, you are the best person to judge the comfort or discomfort of this seat. But, don't underestimate the «butt acclimatization factor» on consecutives riding days. For me, the best way to do a lot of mileage is to stop often. A break at each 1,5 hour to 2 hour is the secret for me. 
 
Remember that a road trip of 4 days is similar to a several weeks of road trip. You'll need the same amount of gear. Travel light is the key. For my trip in the western part of Canada, i had a tankbag, soft saddlebag and a dry bag on top of the saddlebag. My camping gear (tent, mattress, sleeping bag and stove) was in the dry bag and in one of my saddlebag.
 
This summer, i did a little trip of a couple of days. I'm 165 lbs, suspension isn't an issue even with all my gear. A windshield is a must for a long trip, imo. But again, we all have our point of view.  Be sure that you have great gear like a jacket that is comfortable under a large range of weather. It's no time to bring 2 different jackets. When getting cold, wet or too hot, the trip will tiring you. Great gears make a lots of difference for a positive trip. Try to avoid the memorable trip that look like hell.   :(
 
Be sure that your bike AND yourself are in good shape.

past bikes: WR250X, KLR650, V-Strom 1000, DR650, FZ-6, SV650S, Seca II, GS400S, Seca 750, YZ80.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Thanks lonerider for your tips !
 
I have an A* Perforated leather jacket and I'm really happy with it.
 
I think I will take 3 weeks of vacation for this trip, meaning I can take my time !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Hello !
 
As I said earlier, I think I will take 3 weeks to follow this itinerary (which is just a first draft) :
 
Google Maps
 
First, do you have any great spots I should go see on this itinerary ?
 
I was thinking of leaving Montreal mid may or at the end of may, do you think it's a good time to leave and to travel through the US at this period ? My thinking was to avoid huge temperatures down south and vacations.
 
Also, do you think 3 weeks is enough ?
 
I bought a tank bag (Nelson-Rigg CL-2020), leather boots (Alpinestars Gran Torino Gore-Tex), an air cushion (AirHawk 2 Cruiser) for the seat during Black Friday.
I'm pretty sure I'll buy some Kriega saddle bags, they seem great.
I will start thinking about the crash protections (any particular ideas ?) and the outlet for the phone/GPS (is there an easy solution for this ?).
 
Thanks !
 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pineappleunderthesea
Not sure if you'll be going through a lot of toll highways, but you might want to look into EZ-Pass or whatever system they use in certain parts of the country so that you don't have to wait at tolls. But this means finding a way to mount the transponder, since you don't want to be holding it in your hands while trying to brake or clutch.
 
The I-95 corridor can suck in terms of traffic, as a FYI. The I-78 might be more scenic, you could hook up to the 81 and go South from there (unless of course you want to visit Philly!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
so1102
Good rain gear, especially if you are going to be travelling in May-June. Can be some nasty stormy weather here in the states during that time. And when you get to AZ, it will be over 100F, so take that into consideration as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sorkyah
all of the south and midwest will be humid(>75%) and hot(85+°F) during the day, and with the exception of arizona, new mexico, and parts of oklahoma. 40-50 at night
Storms are weird, especially here in AZ.... dont get caught in a monsoon/microburst
and whatever you do.... stay away from lorries in PA, TN, and NM
they seem to be the worst for watching their surroundings

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beemer
The question was is the the big road trip doable on an FZ-07 and I believe it is. Depending on your age or how tough your butt is. The question only you can answer is how well your butt can handle the stock seat on a long trip. Without getting carried away I will only suggest after taking into consideration the seat is good for you for an hour and a half and the tank is good for over two hours of riding and most people like to stop and stretch after a couple hours in the saddle or less, you might be OK with the seat and tank the way they are and stop every hour and a half to stretch and get gas. It might not be totally ideal stopping that often but it definitely is doable without spending money on a seat redo or worrying about the tank.
 
Bags of course to carry things. A suspension upgrade may be in order depending on your weight and how much you're loading the bike. If you're going to be stopping at a gas station every hour and a half or so there is always food and drink there so you shouldn't have to pack any survival stuff. As far as the bike itself goes I can't think of anything else it 'has' to have or should have for a trip. The big question, do you think you're tough enough for a long road trip on a bike? I used to be able to say yes but I'm not so sure anymore. I may need a three wheeler with a back rest and drink holder, ha!
 

Beemer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mjh937
I would think about staying further north. Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, through Utah and Vegas. Your route from New Orleans to El Paso will be mind numbingly boring. The weather might be more of a hazard further north in May though. Perhaps others can comment on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Thanks Beemer for your input ! You're right, I didn't really consider that tank capacity would "force" me to stop more often than I thought.
I also bought an air cushion (AirHawk2 Cruiser) to avoid a painless butt.
 
About the suspension, I don't think I will load the bike that much and I weight 150 lbs approximately.
 
Also, thank you mjh for your recomendation on the trip itself. I will take a look to what you suggested. But the Google Maps itinerary I linked in a previous message is just a very brief and default one. I don't plan on riding the highway at all times, I want to see nice scenes !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
marthy
I did few good road trip, West Palm Beach to Montreal with a little detour by Perce end up to be a wonderful 5500 miles round trip. 4000 of those miles were done in 5 days! I did it on my FZ6R, I'm sure the FZ07 will be up to the task.
 
Other than what some mentions let me add my grain of salt from what I learn...
 
1.Cycling shorts with padding, please buy 2 pairs and clean/rotate them as you go... and don't wear underwear underneath! Underwear get stuff in there and this is where 75% of the irritation comes from. A comfy seat is important but don't neglect the underwear.
 
2. Have a plan and be flexible. Ride around the weather. Get a US cel phone and follow the weather with a good weather App. No reason to ride through a storm if you don't need too. Especially if you need to ride up in mountains where it can get cold at night. Don't assume you can pull anywhere and get a hotel room... I got screw like that more than once with nothing available and have to ride in cold/wet weather until late night before I find a room.
 
4. All about prep! Then take a good weekend ride and test your setup to make sure you didn't forget anything. You can always buy and fix on the road but if you don't have too...
 
5. Most important, enjoy the ride! Unless you plan on behind a IBA member and go crazy... have fun! Not a bad idea to get in touch with some members here that you might cross path. Anywhere from breakfast, lunch, dinner or if you're lucky a place to crash for the night. Have some emergency contact in case shit hit the fan! Plenty of ways to keep few people updated every few hours of your location. Either here or facebook or simply by texting someone.
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Thanks marty for your appreciated input !
 
Yeah, I thought about getting an US cellphone, I'll in the upcoming weeks which plan is the best for only 3 weeks !
 
5 days, 4000 miles ... Waow !
So what was you approximate itinerary ?
 
Yeah I plan on testing the setup as much as I can before I leave.
 
I was thinking to look on Couchsurfing for a few nights, I'll see if I can plan that much ahead. If not, I'll look for a room on the road.
 
Thanks again !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mjh937
As far as cell phones go I would look at a pre-paid cell phone (TracFone or similar). They are fairly inexpensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Yeah Roam Mobility looks pretty good

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beemer
I recommend Depends so you don't have to pull over as often. (kidding) If filling up every 1 1/2 hours is acceptable to you then you will be giving your back side a rest ever hour and a half - food for thought. A lot of people like a rest after that much time of being in the saddle ( I used to like it especially when I was a smoker,) anyways but not everyone is the same. Maybe you'll want to go for longer stretches to make better time? If so a seat redo may be in order. 
 
There are a lot of things that would be 'nice' to have for a long trip to make it more likable but they're not exactly a requirement to travel if you can manage an old school style trip. (less) I think you will know for yourself which little extras are necessary and which aren't.

Beemer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
marthy
Thanks marty for your appreciated input ! 
Yeah, I thought about getting an US cellphone, I'll in the upcoming weeks which plan is the best for only 3 weeks !
 
5 days, 4000 miles ... Waow !
So what was you approximate itinerary ?
 
Yeah I plan on testing the setup as much as I can before I leave.
 
I was thinking to look on Couchsurfing for a few nights, I'll see if I can plan that much ahead. If not, I'll look for a room on the road.
 
Thanks again !
I didn't really had a plan set in stone, that was actually as close as a last minute decision. I got new tires, chain & sprockets and pack the bike. I did carry a tent and minimal camping goodies that I used once. Wish I used it more often but the weather was a bit colder than anticipated and I did get rain too.
 
I went up 95 and git a cabin the first night close by the West entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Did ride that for like 200 miles then hit the flat slab to CT where I spend the night with so.e forum friends. We went for a nice breakfast ride in the morning then head out to ride through Lincoln, NH... that was Bike week that weekend. Camp on the other side of yhe mountain (east side) then cross the New Brunswick border the next day. I was going to spend a day or so in Nova Scotia but there was a massive storm rolling in so I went North and got a room on Perce. Back to Montreal to hang out eith friends and family for a week then back home to WPB.
 
Radio Shack usually have a decent selection of pay as you go phone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pineappleunderthesea
Yeah, I thought about getting an US cellphone, I'll in the upcoming weeks which plan is the best for only 3 weeks !
 
 

You might want to look into adding an International plan to your current plan for that month, it might add up to the same price as getting a phone in the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Thanks for your input Beemer !
 
That's a nice trip you did Marthy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Yeah, I thought about getting an US cellphone, I'll in the upcoming weeks which plan is the best for only 3 weeks ! 
 

You might want to look into adding an International plan to your current plan for that month, it might add up to the same price as getting a phone in the US.
I did the math and it would cost a lot more ... An international plan would cost me 40$CA but it would be ridiculous compared to a simple day-to-day plan from Roam mobility 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croustibat
Hello !
 
Departure is in exactly 6 weeks and a half, I can't wait !
I'm getting the bike back saturday, I ordered a radiator guard, front and rear axle protections and R&G engine and clutch covers.
 
I still need to figure what camera I buy, it's a shame that FUSAR system is not out yet ...
I also need to buy a pair of riding jeans, maybe a USB charger to plug on the bike's battery.
 
I haven't chosen the bags yet and I would love if you give me your opinions !
 
I have seen that Kriega makes excellent ones, so I think I will buy from them.
However, I don't really know what capacity I will need. I already have a Nelson-Rigg CL-2020 tank bag that can hold a little bit more than 20L.
 
I bought a Biltwell Fuel Bottle 1.5L, I'll have to take my rain gear (pants + kway + textile gloves), I will take some MOTUL chain lube and cleaner, leather cleaner, a pair of shoes, a pair of jeans, some tshirts, underwears, some layers (polar pull over, etc...), a towel, shaver and other bathroom stuff, a tire repair kit, probably a camel bag that fits in the tank bag, maybe my tablet.
I'm sure I'm forgetting things but that's a first list.
 
I think that the tank bag + a US-30 Kriega Drypack would be enough, what do you think ?
 
Thank you !
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  


×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.