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Old 08-12-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
Blue Sky
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Default Long Distance Riding >> Tips and Advice

Some friends and I are planning a 4 or 5 day ride next month. I know a lot of you have been one some long distance rides and I'm sure quite a few are very experienced with them.

If you don't mind, can you please share some tips on what are some must haves on a long ride? It can be as simple as "make sure you wear earplugs" to recommending a GPS that mounts on your handlebars.

So what are few great ideas that would make a long distance trip much more enjoyable?

We are planning on hotel stays and will be saddle bagging it. No trailers for us this time around.

Thanks in advance.

Frank
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:57 AM   #2
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You'll want to have some sort of drink holder, drink lots of water. Depending on your route, you will want to plan stops for bathrooms at least every tank fill up and probably one stop in between to rest your but. On my 6000 mile trip a couple years ago, I carried {right saddlebag}a tire repair kit and inflators, firstaid kit, toilet paper, extra hand tools, light jacket {left saddlebag}bottles of water, snacks, face wrap, warm gloves, extra glasses, mini tripod.
Make sure to leave time in your day to stop and smell the roses, my first kind of long trip we were running 350-400 miles a day, way too many to have time to enjoy your surroundings. For Glacier we planned for 250-300, did a bit more some days but was a much better pace.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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Highway pegs and ways to change seating/leg position is a must.

I have found if interstating a fairing/windshield is a must for long days of superslabbing.

Comfortable seat.

Like Richard stated, hydrate. I normally carry a camelbak on long trips.

Sunscreen!

I won't take a long trip without music either, but that is just my preference.

Cruise control/throttle lock is a must for me as well.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
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Stop about every hour and get off and walk a few minutes. And the hydrating too. I found 80 to 100 miles and I was ready to get off, so go ahead and fill up and another drink. It worked for me.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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I have a cup holder on my handlebars that holds a 20 ounce water bottle. I carry two one gallon plastic Chevron oil jugs filled with gas, one in each saddlebag, wrapped in a trash bag as there are stretches out west where it might be 180 miles between gas stations. I carry a rain suit. Bring a small can of lemon pledge to wipe your windshield in case it rains.

If you find yourself getting sleepy, stop and sleep for 15 or 20 minutes. I've napped behind gas stations, under park benches, anywhere I can find. I've tried everything else- energy drinks, coffee, soda, etc. But when you get sleepy, your body is telling you it wants sleep, not caffeine. I've actually nodded off before, and it's the scariest thing in the world on a bike. A 15 minute nap can save your life.

I carry a FF helmet for severe wind and rain.

Just as a personal preference, I stay off of freeways and take secondary roads as much as I can, not because I'm afraid of them but because they're just so boring. I've taken routes on the bike I'd never have thought to take in the car.

Get some good sunscreen, SPF 50 or so. I also bought some lighter color long sleeve T shirts to keep the sun off my arms when I ride without a jacket. It's really easy to burn and not notice it on a bike. I also wear a doo rag under my helmet so I can soak it with cold water on hot days and then open the cooling vents on the helmet. It's like having AC for your head.

Have fun!
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Last edited by PatC; 08-12-2012 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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I am assuming that this is not an iron butt ride, so you can travel in a leisurely manner. We like to take a break every hour. Used to be longer between breaks when we were 20 years younger. It's important to keep well-hydrated, and avoid eating heavy food while on the road. Burgers, fries and milkshakes taste good, but they're greasy and really not good for you and are hard to digest. Makes you groggy. Also avoid drinks like colas, tea and coffee. They're diuretics, meaning they rob your body of moisture and make you stop to use the bathroom (or a convenient tree or bush) more often than you'd like.

Carry: 1.) Credit card(s) 2.) Cell phone & charger, 3.) Sunscreen 4.) Camera 5.) rain gear 6.) tire plugger kit 7.) tool kit 8.) Set of good tools to include a good flashlight 9.) Insect repellent 10.) Hat for off the bike

Other tips I can think of: Wear moisture-wicking clothing, particularly underwear and socks. Makes life much more pleasant when it's so hot out. When it's 100 degrees out, that nice breeze is slowly cooking your body and wicking moisture out at an alarming rate. Keep your arms covered and wear gloves, to keep moisture in while staying dry, and to avoid sunburn. Wear your helmet for the same reasons.

If you're not going to be riding where it's extremely humid, consider one of the evaporative cooling vests. They're not expensive, and they feel good when it gets hot out. You soak them in water for a few minutes, until the hydroscopic beads inside soak up the water. Wring it out just enough so it isn't dripping, then put it on over your tee shirt. Works great under a mesh jacket, and the breeze blowing through is like sitting in front of an air conditioner! You'll need to recharge it about every hour, though.

Eat hearty for dinner, but keep the onroad meals light.

Check your tire pressures daily before heading out.

I guess there's a lot more, but it would take up too much space here. I'm sure there's lots of folks with great tips to pass on.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:34 PM   #7
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Everyone has given very good advice. I want to add a link to the Iron Butt Association's Archive of Wisdom. http://ironbutt.com/tech/aow.cfm Even if you aren't running at an IronButt pace the tips are still very pertinent. Especially #1.

To suggest some equipment, a good GPS is a great asset. I use a Garmin 1450LMT for its routing feature. Its Points of Interest feature is very handy at helping to find fuel, lodging and food. A RAM mount on the handlebars keeps it secure.

Above all have a fun time.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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We always carry out own alcohol. Nothing like stopping for the night and finding out there's no booze!
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:17 PM   #9
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Getting Drowzy is first symptom of dehydration ! The rule is drink water till ya gotta pee and if it is yellow drink some more, keep it running clear.
I learned this young, had an instance riding my old 305 dream that I woke up after hitting my lips and teeth on the damper knob !
I had been riding several days in soutern cali when the santa anna's were blowing hotter than hell and fires every where.
Drink Water, not sugar ! not alcohol ! and carry your fav trail mix too. A complex carb will keep you energized for a longer time. Skp the simple carbs at eats time, they'll put ya to sleep too.
Did anyone think to say to drink lots of water ?
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUISERDON View Post
I learned this young, had an instance riding my old 305 dream that I woke up after hitting my lips and teeth on the damper knob !
My first bike was a 1961 305 Superhawk. Wish I still had it!
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04 1500 Classic
Mustang Seat
Sissy bar, luggage rack,
light bar, 2" risers,
Isogrips, Fatbar crashbars,
offset hiway pegs, tank bib,
passenger floorboards,
new brake pedal, throttle lock,
Cobra Lowboy Shotgun pipes,
Baron's Big Air relocated right side,
tombstone tail light,forkbag,
detachable hard leather bags,
alarm, power port, clock,
and a cool cupholder
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