I'm going cross country beginning of August , need advice ! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 5:41 pm Thread Starter
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I'm going cross country beginning of August , need advice !

This will be my first long distance trip and I want to be prepared.

What should I take for a cross country trip on the K12LT?

I'm getting tires changed tomorrow , possibly oil though I have synth in her with only 3k on the oil ... usually I go more than that with full synthetic.

I ordered an Airhawk seat cushion. Will take extra tools. Thought about ordering the shift linkage parts .... what else ???

The trip will be about 3-4k round trip.

Any advice is appreciated!

Pete
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post #2 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 5:47 pm
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Get you a Camelback and load it with ice in the mornings before you head out. Drink lots and lots of fluids.

Get some of the Space Saver bags to put your close in and compress all the air out. Lots of little baggies for anything that might melt (deodrant) or liquid.

A GPS is you don't have one.

Under Armor Heat Gear shirts, socks, and the long compression shorts.

Jerry
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post #3 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 6:02 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
Get you a Camelback and load it with ice in the mornings before you head out. Drink lots and lots of fluids.

Get some of the Space Saver bags to put your close in and compress all the air out. Lots of little baggies for anything that might melt (deodrant) or liquid.

A GPS is you don't have one.

Under Armor Heat Gear shirts, socks, and the long compression shorts.
What's a camelback and where do I get one
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post #4 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 6:04 pm
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Hi Pete where exactly are you headed if I may be so nosy?

Paul

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post #5 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 6:06 pm
 
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Read this book b4 you take off!!

Pete,

Do yourself a favor.....go to the local book store and pick-up a copy of "Everything you need to know....Motorcycle Touring" by Dr. Gregory W. Frazier. The book has a gold and black K1200LT on the cover.

Greg has piloted bikes (mostly BMWs) around the world on 4 separate occasions and his experiences will be a tremendous aid to you or anyone else contemplating an extended touring adventure. I am so glad I bought the book because it is a treasure of insight, recommendations, and information for the moto tour buff. The difference with Greg's adventures is that he does not have some chase vehicle following him in a car or truck...no sponsors to buy his meals or fix his motorcycle if it breaks down...he does it all himself and deals with it quite nicely I might add. This guy is the real deal and I hope all serious tourers will eventually have time to check out his adventures, advice, and humor. Cost of the book is $24.95 and it can be usually be found at any Barnes & Nobel, Books a Million, etc. OR just order it from a vendor on the net.

Hope you have a great tour and ride safe!
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post #6 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 6:19 pm
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Camel Bak is a hydration unit worn like a back pack. Or you can put a water bag in your tank bag and have a hose run up to your mouth. Just google it and you can find places to purchase. Or go to your nearest sports store they should have something. As far as the trip goes I hope you have fun and be safe. If you don't wear full armor make sure you take sunscreen!

Neil '00 K1200LT '08 KLR
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post #7 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 7:18 pm
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Pace yourself

No time limit. If you do not want the camelback then just get a cup. Fill it with ice and water. By the time you drink the melted ice, it would be time for a break. My 12060 mile trip to Alaska and back, I stopped every 100 miles, if I needed or not. Drank a lot of water. Keep the breaks short, and if I did not do lunch, it was easy to do a 700 to 800 mile day. I took my BMWMOA book with phone numbers. Did not take any extra parts. Tire pressure very important. Keep the air to the spec. Enjoy the trip and if you need help just post it here and sure help will come.

John
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post #8 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 7:21 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTreeDog
Pete,

Do yourself a favor.....go to the local book store and pick-up a copy of "Everything you need to know....Motorcycle Touring" by Dr. Gregory W. Frazier. The book has a gold and black K1200LT on the cover.

Greg has piloted bikes (mostly BMWs) around the world on 4 separate occasions and his experiences will be a tremendous aid to you or anyone else contemplating an extended touring adventure. I am so glad I bought the book because it is a treasure of insight, recommendations, and information for the moto tour buff. The difference with Greg's adventures is that he does not have some chase vehicle following him in a car or truck...no sponsors to buy his meals or fix his motorcycle if it breaks down...he does it all himself and deals with it quite nicely I might add. This guy is the real deal and I hope all serious tourers will eventually have time to check out his adventures, advice, and humor. Cost of the book is $24.95 and it can be usually be found at any Barnes & Nobel, Books a Million, etc. OR just order it from a vendor on the net.

Hope you have a great tour and ride safe!
I got the book, it's great.

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post #9 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 7:22 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbuttwannabe
Camel Bak is a hydration unit worn like a back pack. Or you can put a water bag in your tank bag and have a hose run up to your mouth. Just google it and you can find places to purchase. Or go to your nearest sports store they should have something. As far as the trip goes I hope you have fun and be safe. If you don't wear full armor make sure you take sunscreen!
Wally Mart has them also

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post #10 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 7:46 pm
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTreeDog
Pete,

Do yourself a favor.....go to the local book store and pick-up a copy of "Everything you need to know....Motorcycle Touring" by Dr. Gregory W. Frazier. The book has a gold and black K1200LT on the cover.
+1 on this book! Ron Ayers has a great one too (albeit geared towards endurance riding).

Brian
CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015; SLC, 2017
CCR-R: 2018, Russellville
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
Sold but "beloved" ride: K12 LT - "Pepe"
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post #11 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 10:07 pm
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Amazon.com has the book for $16.47 (new)

Jerry
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post #12 of 31 Old Jul 30th, 2007, 10:14 pm
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Pete,
You didn't mention it, so I assume you aren't camping?

Life happens...you control your reaction.

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post #13 of 31 Old Jul 31st, 2007, 11:42 am
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After a coast to coast trip and back . . .

. . . I would do the following:

Bike Prep - complete flush and replace of all fluids if this had not been done within the past 2 years; bleed clutch and brakes; tire tread check; brake pad check; shock absorber check; clean and re-grease every element of the shift linkage; check all lights (including those on the dash to make sure they work); check that all heating elements work; check cruise control operation; check that throttle cables operate smoothly and normally; check condition of windscreen and that it operates smoothly; check that mirrors are attached tightly and that they are tethered properly; check for vacuum condition in gas tank; check that gears operate normally, both up and down.

Rider Prep - join BMWMOA and get Anonymous book; get boots, riding pants, riding jacket, riding gloves that are appropriate for weather conditions; check them carefully if you already own them, and fix the "little" things like a baulky zipper (these will become "big" things during the trip); think carefully about your choice of helmet - will it be too heavy, too hot, too noisy, too uncomfortable to WANT to wear for multiple days in a row, 5 - 10 hours per day; check condition of helmet parts - shield scratched, chin strap loose or frayed, interior smelly, lining ripped, etc., and fix/replace problem parts (or buy a new helmet); put out on the bed all the clothing you think you will want to take, then examine it with a critical eye - do you really need 6 pairs of cotton underwear, or would you be better off with 2 pair of synthetic, one to ride in and the other to wear when you wash/dry the first?; remove everything that is not necessary, and then examine the remainder with the same critical eye; put out all the ancillary stuff - spare eyeglasses, sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, helmet liner, flashlight, spare key, BMWMOA Anonymous book, maps, travel guides, reading material, journal, pens, computer, toiletries, medicines, cell phone, PDA, etc. etc., and then remove everything you don't truely need; assign EVERYTHING to one packing location (e.g., left case bag, main compartment) and then pack to make sure that everything fits (+1 on the Space Saver bags and baggies); take yourself out for a shakedown ride of at least 2 consecutive 500 mile days wearing all your gear and with everything packed on the bike, and honestly appraise both bike condition, gear condition, and your condition at the end of each day; begin to build neck strength (exercises and/or wearing helmet for increasing lengths of time) so the helmet does not give you stiff neck; decide how you will maintain hydration (+1 on the camel back or another water holder called the Platypus. They both have a tube from the water holder to a valve that you bite on to sip water on the go; go online to www.Campmor.com for one source) and then practice using the hydration method during your shakedown rides; decide how you are going to handle a flat tire (if you decide you will fix it yourself, obtain the gear and practice plugging the hole and inflating the tire if possible. If you buy the gear from your dealer it's a good bet that he will give you a used up tire that was removed from a bike on which to practice plugging holes. You can practice inflation by letting all the air out of one of your tires and then inflating it.); decide if and how you are going to structure your riding day (+1 on 100 miles, rest stop, 100 miles, gas/rest stop); plan your route using maps and (if so inclined) gps/mapping software, but keep telling yourself that this plan is tentative and that you will change it during the ride; take a spare credit card (hidden somewhere other than your wallet), and numbers to notify credit card companies of a lost or stolen card; notify your main credit card company that you will be traveling and charging purchases in multiple states; carry a spare key, and consider hiding another spare on the bike itself; enter into the gps (if using one) all of the BMW dealer locations that are in the states you will visit.

Now go have a hell of a time riding, and remember that we want a trip report and pics.

Bill
Guilford, CT
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post #14 of 31 Old Jul 31st, 2007, 12:16 pm
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Pete -

If you don't already have the Anonymous book you get as a member of BMW MOA I highly recommend it. If you have any problems on the road there are plenty of BMW folks out there who will render assistance to help get you going again. Pack some tie wraps in case you have to re-tether a mirror or other tie up needs. Pack a small plastic bottle of laundry detergent to take along - you can pack fewer cloths and do some hand laundry at night with fresh put-ons in the morning. That said, there are lots of synthetic clothing items that wash out easily, dry quickly and are suitable for almost any occasion you find yourself in. Think about an extra pair of sun glasses - especially if you wear prescription glasses. If you take daily meds see if your doc will give you a larger Rx or a signed Rx for a refill along the road.

Have a great trip.

Denny
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post #15 of 31 Old Jul 31st, 2007, 12:20 pm
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The first time is a little scary but you'll find it's not much different than a good day ride. I used to take lots of extras but have trimmed back as most of my rides have been relatively trouble free and real problems like failed rear drives aren't something every rider could fix on the road anyway. I would take a good tire repair kit and a few extra wrenches. As to the shift linkage, I do carry one but if you clean, tighten, and grease the fittings before you go chances of a problem are greatly reduced. A Camel Back works well and I do use one but if you're stopping every hundred miles or so a bottle of water at each stop is usually enough unless you're traveling in extreme heat. Put some trust in your bike and have fun. If something does break relax and deal with it. It sucks while it's happening but I've always found that problems make for great stories later and in the case of the time the electrical system on my R100 GSPD went out while crossing Canada I had one of my best ever side trips. I found a local custom bike shop in Regina, Canada that was not only willing to help me but they gave me the keys to one of their shop trucks so I could explore their city. I had no idea how important Regina's history is and would have blasted thru without so much as a gas stop had the bike been running. I could have done without the problems but in exchange I have some great memories and friends I intend to visit next time I'm in the area.
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post #16 of 31 Old Jul 31st, 2007, 11:25 pm
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My first trips I overpacked and packed things all over the place. When I need to get to something everthing had to come out or I forgot where it was. I now pack lean, use Underarmor shorts and tee shirts, BMW socks are also great. Pack all my tools, bike cover, screen cleaner, and things like that in one sidecase and all my rain gear, gloves and anything that i may be taking off or putting on in another case, the right case so that when i park on the side of the road I am not in traffic and things will not all fall out when I open the case. I alway take my Camelback and drink all the time I am riding, you will get dehydrated even if it's not hot out. I also take my cool vest and have it prehydrated in double ziplock bags. Like others have said do some pre runs all packed and see how things are and refine it. I use the big freezer bags for packing clothes and sqeeze all the air out, works good and is cheep. If you haven't moved your top box back to the rear postion do that and you will find more good private storage behind the rear seat (tent poles fit good there), have fun and do a ride report when you get back.

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post #17 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 12:08 am
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post #18 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 4:05 am
 
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A few things I always pack away in tiny corners...

A roll of electrician's tape, usually a bright colour so I can see where it went after I get home.
A few tie-wraps.
A pint of oil - sometimes you can't find the right oil to do a top-up so take some of your own if you can. I don't know about the US but in Europe you can't buy it in less than litre bottles now, and those are just too big to carry and wasteful to throw away 3/4 of it... You're doing 4000 miles so you might need it - ymmv...
Visor cleaner.
A good quality chamois. Soak it before breakfast and drape it over your screen, then simply wipe away yesterday's bugs.
Emergency puncture repair kit (the BMW one).
Small torch.
Corkscrew and bottle opener.
A good knife.

Apart from that, lay out everything before you pack it and divide into two equal halves. Put one half away and pack the other half. I pack enough socks, t-shirts and shorts for 4 days max and wash them out overnight by jumping in the shower with them on... The rest of the time I'm wearing the riding gear or a pair of slacks and sneakers plus a lightweight top. Who needs shorts and socks if you run out of them anyway - go commando! You do need a good pair to sit on all day on the bike, tho.

As for the bike, I always give it the equivalent of an annual service and most of a 6000 mile inspection before setting off. You can't be 100% sure it'll be perfect all the time, so make sure your breakdown cover hasn't expired (like mine did once ).

Ride and enjoy.
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post #19 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 7:29 am Thread Starter
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WOW ! Thanks for all the advice guys.

I'm going to have to read through this a bit and decide what the necessities are for my trip.

A little more info ... We're heading to Sturgis to take in the sites , will be camping somewhere between there and Deadwood.

A few days there and then we're heading to Cody Wyoming. Cody will be our base of operations for a week where we'll branch out to various destinations then head up through Montana and back home.

I suppose when I said "Cross Country" that was a bit of an exaggeration , but it's a decent bike trip.

For camping I picked up a 3 man Eureka Tent , a +40degree sleeping bag and a self inflating air matress.

Just had the front and rear tires changed , checked brakes and fluids , etc.

A friend gave me a copy of the MOA handbook which I plan on joining when I get back.

Again ... thanks for all the great advice!

Pete
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post #20 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 9:46 am
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Wow Pete you are going to love that part of the country. Lots of places to see and great roads.
Pack light and like I had to teach my wife, there are laundry mats outside of our home town.

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post #21 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 9:47 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotter
Mega-lo-Mart is everywhere.
That's where Hank and Peggy shop.

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post #22 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 10:31 am
 
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Pete,

I'm assuming this is the longest bike trip you've ever taken. If so, let me reassure you that it's not very far. Pack about half of what you're planning to . . . you don't need all that crap. Every trip I take, I'm taking less and less and less. Hydration is the most important thing, with a charged cell phone and an empty Visa card right behind that. Get up early and be on the road before 7:00am. Stop for a small breakfast after 9am, stop for a small lunch around 1pm, and don't ride after dark. You'll be amazed how many miles you can cover like this. And whatever you do, once you start getting tired...STOP and get some rest! You just can't replace sleep with power bars, coffee, soda pop, or what-have-you.

FWIW, I used to stop every 100 miles. Then it was every 150 miles. Nowadays, I stop every 225 to 250. If I stop more than that, it seems to tire me. But this schedule works for me. You need to find what works best for you.

Enjoy.
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post #23 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 12:01 pm
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You really only need two pairs of underwear. Saw someone mention Underarmor
but there are alternatives. rei.com and campmor.com are two great sites for packable, quick dry clothing. Less is better!

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post #24 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 12:08 pm
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Red face Secret's out..

I carry a copy, front and back, of everything (except the money) that is in my wallet and $200 cash in a metal cigar tube hidden on my bike. If I ever loose my wallet, I have a copy of everything, including credit card phone numbers, and some spare cash. The secret is where I hide it!

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post #25 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 12:15 pm
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I've put 30K on my RT in the past two years. And over 6K on the LT since I got it in April.

Most of it has already been mentioned, but definitely take:

1-Spare quart of oil
1-Tire repair kit (I like the one that shoots the big rubber mushroom plug)
1-Electric tire pump (the little CO2 bottles just don't do it for me)
1-Tire pressure gauge
1-Good quality rain suit for each occupant
1-Small bundle of nylon "zip" ties
1-Roll of electrical/duct tape

This is the bare minimum for me.

I usually pack the side bags for me and the wife (I get the one with the CD changer, of course) and leave the trunk for all the bike's accoutrements. Somewhere in there, I also heave an atlas (never know when you're going to change your plans), extra pair of gloves in case of rain/temp change, and personal defense mechanism (my choice is 40 cal.)

As an aside, I joined the MOA prior to my first ride to New Mexico and back and paid the extra for the roadside assistance. I've never had to use it yet, and I'm sure there a plethora of guys who will flame me for mentioning it, but that's my deal and I'm sticking with it.
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post #26 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 1:46 pm
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If you're going to Cody, you need to go on the Beartooth I think is what they call it, someone might be able to give you better directions than me. I think it is just a bit farther west than Cody. But it is a fun road to ride on. Just ask when you get into town there is very nice roads right around there. If you've never seen the Tetons it is also worth the drive.
Neil

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post #27 of 31 Old Aug 1st, 2007, 4:29 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbuttwannabe
If you're going to Cody, you need to go on the Beartooth I think is what they call it, someone might be able to give you better directions than me. I think it is just a bit farther west than Cody. But it is a fun road to ride on. Just ask when you get into town there is very nice roads right around there. If you've never seen the Tetons it is also worth the drive.
Neil
Cody will be a base for day excursions ... Beartooth Pass is on the list
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post #28 of 31 Old Mar 6th, 2008, 8:51 pm
 
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Re: I'm going cross country beginning of August , need advice !

Petre

Eight years of traveling in my RV has taught me to pack three things.
1. A good credit card
2. A good roadside tow service
3. A good cell phone

Point the K12 west ,take your time and enjoy the adventure

ezriderfrank
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post #29 of 31 Old Mar 6th, 2008, 9:12 pm
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Re: I'm going cross country beginning of August , need advice !

My how things have changed over the years. 1970, left North Carolina on a Triumph 750, hooked up with a guy from Hawaii on another Triumph, in Arkansas, and hit the west coast 6 days later. Took an extra pair of socks, uns, and a pair of jeans. No tools, no rain gear, no credit cards, never heard of a cell phone, and had a ball.
Then again, I wouldn't try it today (what with the bike being so old )
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post #30 of 31 Old Mar 6th, 2008, 9:29 pm
 
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Re: I'm going cross country beginning of August , need advice !

Seems like everything's covered, most is a matter of preference. One of the biggest things I think of tho, if you're not wearing a helmet be careful with the application of sunblocker on your forehead. I been in rush hr traffic in a large city and sweat that stuff right into the eyes. Not fun.
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post #31 of 31 Old Mar 7th, 2008, 9:36 am
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Re: I'm going cross country beginning of August , need advice !

When you say Sturgis and the first week of August I'm going to assume you're going for the rally,
I guess if you've never done it it will be exiting (the first or second time)

That area of the country has some beautiful riding
but everywhere you go will packed to capacity with HD riders
and it's going to be very hot, at least a week before and after,
if you're alright with that it will be fun,
I'd rather go when not many others are there.

Decide before you ride what your "purpose" is,
are you going to try and do as many miles per day as you can?
or do you want to see as many of the "sights"
you can't do both.

I'll usually do a 500 + mile day the first day out and the last day back
after that my dailey mileage goes way down
because I want to see the sights rather than "blast" past them at warp speed.


I suggest a couple of "shakedown" weekend rides
just to see what you "really" need
and what you brought and never used.

You'll find yourself bringing less and less the more you do it
(unless you bring your wife, then you'll need a trailer")


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Esperanza"
BushtecGenesisTrailer
"Our preferred long distance carrier"



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