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Old 10-02-2012, 09:09 PM   #1
Henrik01 OP
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The new guy - with a lot of questions

Hi guys,
guess what. I just got my license.
So now I'm looking to pick your brains for wonderful knowledge.

I took my license because I'm dreaming of doing a cross country trip, with just me and the open road.
but in order to do that, comes the questions.

- what kinda bike should I get? its a long ride, so a rocket bike won't do I've been told. And ofc the fact also that I'm still new to riding, so it probably shouldn't be too wild.

- I'm a exchange student, so I'm on a budget regarding buying a bike. So any clues where to look for a solid bike there can last the trip and not exceed 1.200$ ?

- how cheap is an insurance ? (just an estimate)

- and finally, are there any laws I should be aware off, when doing a cross country ride? ie. needing special permission from some states?

Henrik01 screwed with this post 10-02-2012 at 09:32 PM
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:15 AM   #2
josjor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post
Hi guys,
guess what. I just got my license.
So now I'm looking to pick your brains for wonderful knowledge.

I took my license because I'm dreaming of doing a cross country trip, with just me and the open road.
but in order to do that, comes the questions.

- what kinda bike should I get? its a long ride, so a rocket bike won't do I've been told. And ofc the fact also that I'm still new to riding, so it probably shouldn't be too wild.

- I'm a exchange student, so I'm on a budget regarding buying a bike. So any clues where to look for a solid bike there can last the trip and not exceed 1.200$ ?
The first part is way to open of a question. Guys have gone cross country on 100cc scooters. Others want a 1500cc barcalounger. I would want something of at least 500cc, preferably not a cruiser or crotchrocket. The dollar amount you're willing to spend is going to be the real limiting factor for you. You're going to have a helluva time finding something at that price that I would feel comfortable setting out on such a long journey and relying on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post
- how cheap is an insurance ? (just an estimate)
Cheap for liability for the bike. Maybe $100.00 for a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post
- and finally, are there any laws I should be aware off, when doing a cross country ride? ie. needing special permission from some states?
If you get a license issued by any of the 50 states, you're good to go in all 50 states. You may need permits for some state and federal parks if you plan on visiting or camping there.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:23 AM   #3
jalapenopete
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trip planning

you might look in the "trip planning" thread for more information.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:26 AM   #4
LuciferMutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post
Hi guys,


- what kinda bike should I get? its a long ride, so a rocket bike won't do I've been told. And ofc the fact also that I'm still new to riding, so it probably shouldn't be too wild.
Pre '08 Ninja 250. Comfy (not really a sport bike, just looks like one) reliable, hugely available, and perfect for somebody who just got his license. Practical for trips with excellent fuel range (240-260 miles on a tank) big flat pillion seat for strapping crap down, bungee hooks, center stand for chain maintenance, etc. If you can't find one (and you should be able to) look for a Suzuki GS500 for the same reasons. The American mentality will be you need a huge bike for a cross country trip. They are full of shit. You will see more, experience more and have a more interactive trip on something that doesn't have you blasting down the interstate at 80mph all day.
- I'm a exchange student, so I'm on a budget regarding buying a bike. So any clues where to look for a solid bike there can last the trip and not exceed 1.200$ ?
To find bikes like those I just mentioned, check craigslist.org, cycletrader and local classified ads. It will be hard to find something in that price range that is in suitable condition for a trip like this. If you can swing $2000 it will greatly increase your choices.

- how cheap is an insurance ? (just an estimate)
Per month, probably around $40-60 for those particular bikes. Insurance will vary wildly and is largely dependent on engine cc.

- and finally, are there any laws I should be aware off, when doing a cross country ride? ie. needing special permission from some states?
If you have a US driver's license, you are legal in all states. Sometimes you won't even know you have crossed from one to the next. As mentioned, a few parks and preserves you may need to pay to enter but this will be obvious. I should ask -- you mention you just got your license...is it also endorsed for a motorcycle? A driver's license in the US does not qualify you to ride a motorcycle unless you have taken a special class or passed a riding test. If you get stopped by law enforcement on a bike, they will check for this endorsement on the back of your license and you will be fined without it, and possibly have the bike impounded depending on how bad the cop's day is going. If you already have this worked out, disregard...
Good luck, sounds like a fun adventure.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:31 AM   #5
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A license from one state is good in all 50, as is insurance and the bike's registration. Some states require you to wear a helmet with the DOT sticker, some don't - if you plan on riding without, you'll have to do some research.

As for the bike, you can get a late 80s UJM for about what you want to spend, but it will likely require some work to get it from one coast to the other. Are you mechanically inclined at all? You'll save boatloads of money doing your own work if you are.

Basic liability is cheap, go for a barebones policy to cover your butt in the event of an accident.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:49 AM   #6
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An 'inexperienced' rider turned loose to tour?

okay..but you assume the risks!

Might think about getting some experience by starting small and building on your skills riding local before you load up a bike and take off..but then, I'm not your babysitter..this is just free 'advice'..good luck anyhow.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:13 AM   #7
hooliken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post
Hi guys,
guess what. I just got my license.
So now I'm looking to pick your brains for wonderful knowledge.

I took my license because I'm dreaming of doing a cross country trip, with just me and the open road.
but in order to do that, comes the questions.

- what kinda bike should I get? its a long ride, so a rocket bike won't do I've been told. And ofc the fact also that I'm still new to riding, so it probably shouldn't be too wild.

Besides the obvious comfort factor.
Stick with a bike that YOU can handle and can lift up off the ground.
One with common tire size and an extensive dealer network.
One that YOU are comfortable working on.

- I'm a exchange student, so I'm on a budget regarding buying a bike. So any clues where to look for a solid bike there can last the trip and not exceed 1.200$ ?

Craigslist, Local Paper

ADVrider Flea Market Bikes

- how cheap is an insurance ? (just an estimate)

As mentioned before. If you do not need full coverage the required liability is pretty inexpensive.

- and finally, are there any laws I should be aware off, when doing a cross country ride? ie. needing special permission from some states?
Helmet laws vary. Make it easy and just wear one all the time.
If you plan on carrying any kind of weapon. Some states you can openly carry a firearm (Not saying you would being an exchange student) but some states also have limitations on the blade length of a pocket knife.

If venturing off the main highways be mindful, especially out west, of venturing on to some reservations. Certain tribes require special persmission to cross their land.


Good Luck and have a Ball!
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:35 AM   #8
SxyRdr
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My son just picked up an 04 KLR650 for $1800 (needs a little TLC). Full insurance with low deductibles costs us a whopping $75 a year.

YMMV


As for the other questions, any bike is capable of being a tourer. I toured on a Honda SuperHawk (VTR1000F) and on a Honda CBR1000RR. I will be touring on the CBR again next summer.

However, obviously those bikes are out of your price range and out of your skill range.

Does your budget leave room to buy gear/accessories? You'll need storage on your bike for your stuff and you'll need a decent selection of gear for a cross-country trip. For example, it was hot the day before we left for our Nova Scotia trip. But a tropical storm came in and it poured down rain on us for 3 days straight. It was a comfy temp when we got to NS and I wore my mesh jacket one day, but the very next day was cold and foggy, requiring me to actually wear my Gerbings heated gear. My husband's cross-country trip had him starting here on the east coast in hot weather but encountering a late spring snow storm as he tried to cross the Rockies.


And I agree with DrLewall about taking some shorter trips to build up to a cross country trip. That's what we'll be doing with our son and his KLR. Even though he knows how to ride (been riding since he was 4) and has ridden all day on dirt bikes, we'll be doing a long weekend trip to introduce him to touring.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:11 AM   #9
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post
Hi guys,
guess what. I just got my license.
So now I'm looking to pick your brains for wonderful knowledge.

I took my license because I'm dreaming of doing a cross country trip, with just me and the open road.
but in order to do that, comes the questions.

- what kinda bike should I get? its a long ride, so a rocket bike won't do I've been told. And ofc the fact also that I'm still new to riding, so it probably shouldn't be too wild.

- I'm a exchange student, so I'm on a budget regarding buying a bike. So any clues where to look for a solid bike there can last the trip and not exceed 1.200$ ?

- how cheap is an insurance ? (just an estimate)

- and finally, are there any laws I should be aware off, when doing a cross country ride? ie. needing special permission from some states?
Where are you at?
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:51 AM   #10
Henrik01 OP
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Thank you guys for all those wonderful responses :)

Quote:
And I agree with DrLewall about taking some shorter trips to build up to a cross country trip. That's what we'll be doing with our son and his KLR. Even though he knows how to ride (been riding since he was 4) and has ridden all day on dirt bikes, we'll be doing a long weekend trip to introduce him to touring.
I have been drive since I've been 13 on mopeds with 3 gears or more. But yes I think you are right, I should defiantly get some more experience before undertaking such an endeavor.


Quote:
Does your budget leave room to buy gear/accessories? You'll need storage on your bike for your stuff and you'll need a decent selection of gear for a cross-country trip. For example, it was hot the day before we left for our Nova Scotia trip. But a tropical storm came in and it poured down rain on us for 3 days straight. It was a comfy temp when we got to NS and I wore my mesh jacket one day, but the very next day was cold and foggy, requiring me to actually wear my Gerbings heated gear. My husband's cross-country trip had him starting here on the east coast in hot weather but encountering a late spring snow storm as he tried to cross the Rockies.
Thx, honestly I was hoping to buy used gear as well, to save a few bucks there also.
when doing a tour cross country, is it the possible to have a regular backpack on your back also?


Quote:
Besides the obvious comfort factor.
Stick with a bike that YOU can handle and can lift up off the ground.
One with common tire size and an extensive dealer network.
One that YOU are comfortable working on.
Thanks for those sticking notes,
so far I've found these bike I'm considering.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...299756813.html
This one looks a lot like my old mope (suzuki samurai dm50). So I think this one would be easy enough to handle.

http://martinsburg.craigslist.org/mcy/3260173498.html
I have a friend who did a tour on a vulcan with great succes. so also considering this one.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...#ht_553wt_1165
Finally I've found this one. The owner told me that it easily could last a trip like that. but honestly I have no idea.

- Any advise on the 3 bikes that I've found so far?

Quote:
Helmet laws vary. Make it easy and just wear one all the time.
If you plan on carrying any kind of weapon. Some states you can openly carry a firearm (Not saying you would being an exchange student) but some states also have limitations on the blade length of a pocket knife.
Good to know there might be a limit to the knife blade length. Because I was thinking of camping along the way, so a knife might very well come in handy regarding to some daily tasks. ie. cooking food.


Quote:
If you have a US driver's license, you are legal in all states. Sometimes you won't even know you have crossed from one to the next. As mentioned, a few parks and preserves you may need to pay to enter but this will be obvious. I should ask -- you mention you just got your license...is it also endorsed for a motorcycle? A driver's license in the US does not qualify you to ride a motorcycle unless you have taken a special class or passed a riding test. If you get stopped by law enforcement on a bike, they will check for this endorsement on the back of your license and you will be fined without it, and possibly have the bike impounded depending on how bad the cop's day is going. If you already have this worked out, disregard...
I took the MSF basic riding course. So hopefully they will accept that one in other states :)
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:07 PM   #11
hooliken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post
Good to know there might be a limit to the knife blade length. Because I was thinking of camping along the way, so a knife might very well come in handy regarding to some daily tasks. ie. cooking food.
Short disclaimer: I know some locals restrict the length of blade you carry on your person. It may be different if you have it stored with gear or is a fixed blade knife.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik01 View Post

I took the MSF basic riding course. So hopefully they will accept that one in other states :)
Just to make sure you've understood this: You need to take the MSF certificate to the DMV, and get an endorsement on your drivers license to operate a motorcycle. The paperwork you got from the MSF course itself is not a license!

Make sure you budget for gear. You'll need gloves, a Jacket, a helmet, boots, and overpants if you don't want to skimp on anything. You'll want rain gear as well. This is going to add up, a lot.

Browse around in the flea market here.

uraberg screwed with this post 10-03-2012 at 01:02 PM
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #13
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Laugh Have Fun Good luck!

Use Different colors to make your point! Sometimes changing the font helps
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
Mollygrubber
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I'm jealous Henrik, what an adventure! Good luck with everything, I hope you find a suitable bike. Make sure you've got good rain gear, nothing ruins your fun like being cold and wet. If you get near Vancouver (Canada, not Washington ) there's a spare room here with your name on it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
Henrik01 OP
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That Molly, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to leave the states during my trip :(
If I do, they won't let me back in haha


Quote:
Just to make sure you've understood this: You need to take the MSF certificate to the DMV, and get an endorsement on your drivers license to operate a motorcycle. The paperwork you got from the MSF course itself is not a license!


Yes, my instructor was very clear about that, that for the reminder. I went there yesterday, so now all I need to do is to wait for the new one in the mail

Quote:
Make sure you budget for gear. You'll need gloves, a Jacket, a helmet, boots, and overpants if you don't want to skimp on anything. You'll want rain gear as well. This is going to add up, a lot.

Browse around in the flea market here.
As for rain gear, will a normal rain coat and pants be enough if its pulled over the regular riding gear?

I luckily already have boots, and possible also helmet and gloves :)





Any thoughts about the bikes I've been looking at?


http://martinsburg.craigslist.org/mcy/3260173498.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...299756813.html

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...#ht_553wt_1165
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