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Old 04-22-2012, 04:02 AM   #16
NoVa Rider
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You asked for input, so I'll weigh in. Dash across the US with your son on a new to you bike. Fifteen years old? Sure. Kid is old enough to manage the long days, weather and wide temperature swings you will encounter over the route you've posted, and his hydration. Might even stay awake for most of the ride. Five years old? No. No way. Absolutely freakin' not. And I'm no stranger to riding with kids as passengers. One of my daughters has been on the cover of the Aerostich Catalog twice (age 8 and 10). In fact, she's the kid on the current catalog cover.

That being said, the rig for riding with children that you describe is the "Buddy Belt" -- securely attaches your son to you. Looks like they are no longer selling, but may be able to direct you to some available product or current options. . .. http://www.buddybelt.com

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Old 04-22-2012, 08:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVa Rider View Post
You asked for input, so I'll weigh in. Dash across the US with your son on a new to you bike. Fifteen years old? Sure. Kid is old enough to manage the long days, weather and wide temperature swings you will encounter over the route you've posted, and his hydration. Might even stay awake for most of the ride. Five years old? No. No way. Absolutely freakin' not. And I'm no stranger to riding with kids as passengers. One of my daughters has been on the cover of the Aerostich Catalog twice (age 8 and 10). In fact, she's the kid on the current catalog cover.

That being said, the rig for riding with children that you describe is the "Buddy Belt" -- securely attaches your son to you. Looks like they are no longer selling, but may be able to direct you to some available product or current options. . .. http://www.buddybelt.com


Thank you for your input :)

I'll take it as constructive criticism. FWIW it's not a "dash" across the US. It's a slow cruise on a big comfy touring bike with short days and a lot of stops.

I think I mentioned earlier that we've been on several ~300 mile rides, and that was when he was 4 years old, and he did just fine.

Sure he falls asleep, but he'd do the same in a car too, especially when we're in areas where there's nothing much to look at.

Maybe I've been in Asia too long- here motorcycles (scooters actually) are the primary mode of transportation for most people and I've grown accustomed to seeing entire families covering long distances on 2 wheels.


My son's comfort and safety is the main reason why I'm keen to get a Goldwing- the passenger seat is pure luxury and he should be quite comfortable and secure back there, asleep or awake. I will add a safety belt as added security. If I were riding solo I'd be doing it on a sport tourer.

I'm looking mostly at Goldwing GL1500's as they're in my budget and are said to have the most comfortable passenger seat-




We'll be doing short easy days, never more than 300 miles, and he'll be wearing proper gear. If the weather gets bad or he wants to stop, we stop. This trip isn't a race and we'll have more than enough time to get to our destination.

I've started breaking the trip up into legs.

First leg, Minneapolis to Lake Vermillion, South Dakota. Distance 260 miles.


Second leg- Lake Vermillion to Badlands National Park. 256 miles.


Third leg- Badlands to Custer State Park via Sturgis and Mt Rushmore. 205 miles


I reckon we might stay in the Black Hills for a few days at least. I threw Sturgis in there because I've never been, and we'll be there a few weeks before the big rally kicks off. (I have no interest in being there with my son during the rally). Is Sturgis worth a look or should I skip it?

To be continued!

Thank you for your feedback and advice!

Tony
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:56 AM   #18
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I rode the Seattle - Badlands - Sturgis leg during my x-country last summer. The heat was deadly. I was stopping and packing the 'stich with ice at every opportunity. I also carried 160 ozs of water in a coleman cooler, and sipped from that while riding.

I had the wind and sun at my back. Unfortunately, east to west, you'll have the wind and the sun in your face.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVa Rider View Post
I rode the Seattle - Badlands - Sturgis leg during my x-country last summer. The heat was deadly. I was stopping and packing the 'stich with ice at every opportunity. I also carried 160 ozs of water in a coleman cooler, and sipped from that while riding.

I had the wind and sun at my back. Unfortunately, east to west, you'll have the wind and the sun in your face.

Hmmm, I don't remember South Dakota being so terribly hot in the summer, though I'm sure there are times when it does. Since we'll be doing short days and last I checked the sun still comes up in the East I reckon we'll have to sun to our backs and we'll be off the road by early afternoon, so I don't anticipate riding into the setting sun. Wind in your face... Isn't that what riding motorcycles is all about? ;) Though with the size of the windscreens on the Goldwings I think we'll be pretty sheltered from the elements
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #20
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I think we'll probably spend a few days exploring the Black Hills, then on to Bighorn National Forest. 277 miles to Meadow Lark Lake campground-



There are supposed to be some nice scenic drives in Bighorn so the following day we'll so something like this-

Meadow Lark Lake to North Tongue Campground. 227 Miles-


The on to Yellowstone National Park!

Bighorn National Park to the Tower Fall Campground in Yellowstone. 219 miles.


Reckon we'll spend at least 2- 3 days exploring Yellowstone. Haven't been there since I was a kid; can't wait to re-visit it with my son!

To be continued!
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:24 AM   #21
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I would recommend getting it setup with comm as well. I find it way convenient even going for a day ride with my daughters to be able to talk to them, even just to ask how they're doing. I really like the 15, despite my previous statement about the maintenance, but you're right about 1200 parts. The main crankshaft seal under the cam net cover went on mine a few k miles ago. Luckily I know someone. We got a replacement seal not to OEM specs bit were able to mill a sleeve to make it fit. I suspect you won't be so lucky on the road.
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Mention to HogWild which way the wind is blowing where you're at, wait 20 minutes, and he'll post a picture of the intersection your at and a Google Earth route of how to get there.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:48 PM   #22
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Lake superior

As long as you'll be in Minnesota don't miss seeing what we call the north shore. Highway 61 along the lake is a can't miss, especially during the summer. If you are coming from New York consider coming this way via Michigan and its upper peninsula. Also if you end up wanting to buy a bike here in Minnesota and need someone to go have a look and take some pictures PM me and I'll try to help.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:26 AM   #23
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As long as you'll be in Minnesota don't miss seeing what we call the north shore. Highway 61 along the lake is a can't miss, especially during the summer. If you are coming from New York consider coming this way via Michigan and its upper peninsula. Also if you end up wanting to buy a bike here in Minnesota and need someone to go have a look and take some pictures PM me and I'll try to help.

Heh heh, I'm from Minnesota originally- that's why we want to be there for the 4th of July so he can see his Grandma, uncle and cousins.

Good times and great memories from Northern Minnesota when he was just 1-

Gooseberry Falls


Brighton Beach


Two Harbors-


I definitely plan to bring my son up to the north shore and re-visit some of the places I took him when he was a baby! I reckon it will be a good opportunity to get comfortable with the new bike and prepare for the big ride out west.

Can't wait!
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:28 AM   #24
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Still looking at bikes- fortunately it seems there are a lot to choose from. I just want to make sure I get one that's been properly maintained and can get us out to California without any drama.

Here are some second hand Goldwings that look good, but as I'm a noobie to Goldwings I'd sure be grateful for any feedback from anyone who might have experience with these bikes.

1999 Honda Gold Wing $6,800, 1,500 cc, 66,175 mi.,
http://www.cycletrader.com/listing/1...Wing-103282641



1995 Honda Gold Wing, $4,850, 1,500 cc, 80,500 mi.
http://www.cycletrader.com/listing/1...Wing-103355174

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/da...966507230.html

1997 Goldwing 1500 SE, 40,360 miles, $6950

I'm thinking that if they have full service records and all service is up to date that the bikes listed above should be good to go for a ~6000 mile ride out to California.

What do you think?

I'd love to hear any thoughts, suggestions or advice!

Thanks in advance!

Tony
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:50 AM   #25
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I like your route A: MN> Badlands> Black Hills> Hwy 14 west from I-90 through Greybull, Cody and into Yellwstone. From there I went over the mountains west through Teton Pass to Idaho Falls, then west to Arco. From Arco went south past Craters-of-the-Moon NM to Twin Falls. Then US 93 south to US 50 and head westerly to Mono Lake. Then over Tioga Pass on Hwy 120 through the gold country to see Columbia State Park, which is a restored mining town. Then to Angel's camp to pick up Hwy 4 west to Stockton.

I did that trip late June 2006. Weather was spectacular, but chilly mornings around Jackson Hole. I've never been to Glacier Park, but the route you planned through the Rockies is very changing all the way west.

Nothing quite like the SD plains. Big change going over the Big Horn Mountains. The valleys between the Big Horns and Yellowsone are rugged red rock country, not unlike southern Utah. The ride south through Idaho and Nevada are starkly beautiful and quite mountainous. Mostly 80mph sweepers through the Nevada ranges. The passes over the Sierra's are mostly granite above the treeline.

I did my trip from Boston in 9 days. I took a day to loop through the Black Hills and the national grasslands.

I'd buy that bike in MN and begin the trip there. Once you hit the Big Horns, it's two lane all the way to Stockton or Sacramento.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #26
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asking for service records one of my first questions. If they owner doesn't have at least a cursory, perhaps even written record of services and maintenance, my price goes down by 10-25% of BB (or asking price) already. Personally, I keep all recordsd including almost all my fillups in an app on my android phone. I can lookup immediately, when, why and how much for all my work. (and I do it all myself) That was a bit of an aside there about me, but to illustrate how important records can be to me.

Since you brought it up, and I'm glad you did, I should insist that you don't skimp on asking for records and walking away if it doesn't feel right. I obviously don't know you or how willing you are to haggle etc, so all of this advice is of course yours for taking or leaving.
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Mention to HogWild which way the wind is blowing where you're at, wait 20 minutes, and he'll post a picture of the intersection your at and a Google Earth route of how to get there.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:13 AM   #27
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Any recommendations for good motorcycle-friendly camping sites in Yellowstone? I think there are more than a dozen to choose from in the park and I generally prefer smaller "primitive" sites, away from RV's, generators, noise, etc.
It's been several years since I camped in Yellowstone, so I can't advise on any specifically good for motorcycle camping. When I did camp there, the campground was segregated by "RV area" and "tent-camping area," which was nice for us tent-campers!

What you will need to be really aware of, camping in Yellowstone and Glacier, are the "bear rules." The campground rules are very specific as to how you dispose of trash and storage of food, etc., so follow those carefully and you should be okay.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:46 AM   #28
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Alternate suggestion is to drive, buy something you could sleep in and travel thru the hotter areas in A/C'd comfort.
Then rent motorcycle's at various points of interest and ride for a couple days, then move on.
Lots of moto rental locations now days.

I realize the downside is that moto rental expense is non recoverable (nothing left to sell) and nothing beats riding for epic memories.

If you buy a GW, might want to join the Gold Wing Road Riders Association so you have a network of folks to call on if you need assistance.
Might even find a few free places to stay or folks to ride with.
Don't forget the "Tent Space List" here on ADV.

Spare room available in Norcal, 3 hours from Tahoe, Yosemite, Monterey, North Coast.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #29
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asking for service records one of my first questions. If they owner doesn't have at least a cursory, perhaps even written record of services and maintenance, my price goes down by 10-25% of BB (or asking price) already. Personally, I keep all recordsd including almost all my fillups in an app on my android phone. I can lookup immediately, when, why and how much for all my work. (and I do it all myself) That was a bit of an aside there about me, but to illustrate how important records can be to me.

Since you brought it up, and I'm glad you did, I should insist that you don't skimp on asking for records and walking away if it doesn't feel right. I obviously don't know you or how willing you are to haggle etc, so all of this advice is of course yours for taking or leaving.

Yes, I feel exactly the same and you put it into words better than I could.

Good record keeping demonstrates a responsible owner and definitely increases the resale value of a vehicle in my opinion. You really can't be too careful with a motorcycle since mechanical failure can be deadly, and since I'll be carrying my son on the back I need to be doubly careful.

Fortunately it seems like most Goldwing owners are older responsible guys who take good care of their bikes, but of course there are exceptions to every rule.

From what I've read on some Goldwing sites the Goldwing GL1500 which is the model I'm most interested in is a very reliable bike. Most common problems are, no surprise, the result of owner misuse, such as the guys who wire in way too many lights and farkles and overload their stator. Lots of discussion about the timing belts- the service manual calls for them to be inspected at 100,000 miles, but doesn't say anything about replacement due to age. Since the Goldwing timing belts are rubber (not chains) most guys recommend they not be kept in service for more than 10 years, regardless of mileage. Goldwings that sit around too much sometimes have problems with gummed up carbs, but that's not too difficult to fix. All that weight can blow the fork seals, but that's easy to spot.

I'm not much of a haggler and I'm definitely willing to pay more for a low mileage bike in good condition with records showing it's been properly maintained and service.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:20 AM   #30
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It's been several years since I camped in Yellowstone, so I can't advise on any specifically good for motorcycle camping. When I did camp there, the campground was segregated by "RV area" and "tent-camping area," which was nice for us tent-campers!

What you will need to be really aware of, camping in Yellowstone and Glacier, are the "bear rules." The campground rules are very specific as to how you dispose of trash and storage of food, etc., so follow those carefully and you should be okay.
The internet is a wonderful thing! There is so much information readily available now it makes trip planning so much easier! The National Park Service has detailed websites for every National Park and the site for Yellowstone is very well put together- http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Complete list of all the campgrounds along with facilities makes it easy to figure out which sites are more remote and primitive and which ones are going to be full of RV's- http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisi...ellowstone.htm

I remember when I was a kid all the warnings about the bears and how important it was to not bring any food in the tent. I'll certainly impress upon my son the same cautionary tales that were taught to me when I was his age.

We don't want to be meeting one of these fellows up close!

Good lord is there any question that Wikipedia doesn't have the answer to?!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._North_America

Ah well, ya do what you can and leave the rest up to chance. I guess I can study up on bear fighting on youtube before we go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVS1UfCfxlU <--- Classic!

It can be quite humbling to be reminded that we humans are not really at the top of the food chain
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