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Old 04-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #31
Flyinace1
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Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
OK, we don't want to scare the new guy away. This is Cali, not the Arctic Circle.

What about the OP's other question: what to pack?

I would advise against "generous luggage". You only need about 2-3 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 2 underwear, and 2 pairs of socks. Wearing spandex bike shorts instead of underwear while riding will be much more comfortable since they don't wrinkle under your pants. If you choose your materials wisely, they can be washed and dried in the evenings in a motel room. As soon as you check in, wash them (bring a small bottle of laundry detergent in a ziplock bag), ring them out, and hang them in the shower. Then go out on the town.

You'll want a pair of long underwear and warm riding jacket for coastal or mountain weather. Best thing is to just wear your fall/winter gear and leave the mesh behind. A mesh set of gloves might be a good idea, though, and won't take up too much room. Definitely bring a pair of walking shoes that don't take too much space. Changing out of your riding boots at end of day will be nice. Some prefer canvas shoes like Vans, I like my closed toe sandals.

I always carry some sealed snacks to get me by for those times where the breakfast restaurant is an hour away. Oatmeal Raisin Slim Fast Bars are pretty tasty, and have quite a few calories. Tiger's Milk, Cliff, or other bars work good too. You will also need at least 2 liters of water.
All good advice. I usually won't pack too much in the snacks department cause you can always stop at a gas station and buy something to eat. Also depending on when you come, you may want some summer gear, it reaches into triple digits regularly during the summer in so cal and even at night it usually won't get cold enough to put on a sweater.

And don't forget the sunscreen! Its sunny in cali!
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:48 PM   #32
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I forgot something that has made 2-up riding so much better for my wife: intercom systems!

I recently bought the Sena SMH-5 system from Rocket Moto (Advrider group buy), and it is great for bike to bike wireless intercom. I bought a bunch of extras, and it was still under $250.

Before that, we had a corded setup that I bought for about $20 (you can find them online). That one was a bit irritating, because the microphone hung from the earbud, making it easy to fall out of the ear. Sound quality wasn't a good match for freeway noise either. I'm sure something could be done with it for those on a budget, though. Worth every penny.

It sure is nice to be able to talk to your passenger. She can request a break, point out cool stuff, or visa verse.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:04 PM   #33
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Sound quality wasn't a good match for freeway noise either. I'm sure something could be done with it for those on a budget, though. Worth every penny.
I know the Sena's offer a replacement bracket that uses earplugs instead of speakers. I'm getting those for me and my girl since we do so many highway miles
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:05 PM   #34
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Oh and not to steal things,but hey KiteSurfer I used to Windsurf and Kites were next just never made it there yet
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:37 PM   #35
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I know the Sena's offer a replacement bracket that uses earplugs instead of speakers. I'm getting those for me and my girl since we do so many highway miles
We haven't had any issues with the Sena in our newer quiet helmets. Plenty of volume. They do occasionally lose the Bluetooth signal for a few seconds, but it comes right back.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #36
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We haven't had any issues with the Sena in our newer quiet helmets. Plenty of volume. They do occasionally lose the Bluetooth signal for a few seconds, but it comes right back.
I've never had mine lose signal but I like earplugs better, they block out the wind noise and the sound is far clearer, and my girl has bad hearing in one ear so it gets real difficult for her.
I have SMH-10s so I don't know how different they are from the 5.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:01 AM   #37
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I read this thread with a lot of interest since to steal from Johnny Cash, "I've been everywhere," at least in CA two up. Well, maybe not everywhere, but close!

Anywoo, did I miss a description in your physical sizes? Could make a difference....I toured two up on Viffer and found it a bit tight, but fun. If you are of larger stature, I'd suggest one of the bigger bikes. It is critical that your pillion finds this FUN. Remember she's got nothing to do back there but sit, while you are keeping your brain and body engaged with piloting.

I second the motion for a Sena Blue Tooth intercom system. You and your partner can listen to music and talk to each other. This is good if you like each other. BTW, if you go with this system, get a set of custom molded earplug speakers. You can buy a part that allows you to use these rather than listening thru your helmet speakers.

Good luck. There is much to see and do in CA. The roads, scenery, food, and people are great. If you find yourself in So Cal, look me up. I've got a guest bedroom for ya!

Steve
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:46 PM   #38
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Thanks guys looks like I'm going to go forward with the VFR. Test riding these bikes has been really humbling, they don't look nearly as heavy as they are! I checked out the vstrom, way too tall, checked out a more expensive F650 expecting a low seat, and it was the Dakar, had a really high seat and I was on my tippy toes. I asked the owner to make sure he was comfortable with me taking a test ride with so little experience, he said yes, and when I came to a stop on sloped ground, put my right foot down probably too far out, and ooh, oh no noooooooo light boom. I just put down another guy's bike. i felt horrible I kept saying sorry but he said "that's what thesebikes are made for, no damage done" Of course he was right, there was no damage like there would have been with the VFR with all that plastic. Way too high that bike. So that was really discouraging and made me think maybe I'm not big enough (5,7, 160 pounds) for this motorcycling business.

But on the forums it seems I find some VFR owners my size. I'm hoping it's a matter of experience. I should probably put on frame sliders, but I have to ship them in from England it seems and I don't have the tools or skills to cut that fairing.

I guess I'm just pretty discouraged right now. I tried to imagine how I'd walk the owners VFR out of his garage onto the uphill/downhill, and I can't. Probably shouldn't ride it home either so I'm stuck. But this VFR deal is the best value, the owner's is a really honest great guy, and it comes with all the gear I need so I'm pretty set on it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:12 PM   #39
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Also I'm going to hopefully lower it to make sure I have complete control at stops, there's a triangle linkage thing on the back that can lower it by a bit, not sure if it's possible to lower the forks to match need to look into that. Wondering if I can lower preoload on it to make it even lower. I need loooooow feet on the ground.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:15 AM   #40
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Also I'm going to hopefully lower it to make sure I have complete control at stops, there's a triangle linkage thing on the back that can lower it by a bit, not sure if it's possible to lower the forks to match need to look into that. Wondering if I can lower preoload on it to make it even lower. I need loooooow feet on the ground.
When you lower a streetbike, and then put two people & luggage on it, this could be a problem. How much ground clearance is left? Will sidestand, centerstand or footpegs touch down too easily? And how does the suspension work after these mods? Also note, that both ends should be lowered about the same, or you alter steering angle as well.

Esp. for two-up you'll want a bike, that still has a functioning suspension, so careful with the modifications.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:10 AM   #41
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VFR fit me good and as said before those gear drivin cams sound so cool,When I rode it I thought I was getting ready for take off.They have a good reputation for lasting many years with little maintenance.Have fun and don't plug it into a battery tender,ride it to keep the battery alive!
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:47 PM   #42
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Also I'm going to hopefully lower it to make sure I have complete control at stops, there's a triangle linkage thing on the back that can lower it by a bit, not sure if it's possible to lower the forks to match need to look into that. Wondering if I can lower preoload on it to make it even lower. I need loooooow feet on the ground.
If you don't mind me asking, what type of experience do you have?
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:16 PM   #43
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Yeah I know that with passenger and luggage I'll have to add more preload and generally make the suspension stiffer. I just meant when I first ride it and get used to it to lower.

I'm afraid to say I don't have much experience besides the MSF course. That and and tons and tons of research on forums and books that have made me realize I aimed way too high with the 2-up trip. Right now I'm just trying to find out if I will eventuallly get used to the VFR weight, and if it's not an impossibility to have it as a first bike. Obviously I realize it is not ideal as a first bike.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:19 PM   #44
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I'm short and the VFR was not short challenged,and the power was very manageable.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:09 AM   #45
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Yeah I know that with passenger and luggage I'll have to add more preload and generally make the suspension stiffer. I just meant when I first ride it and get used to it to lower.

I'm afraid to say I don't have much experience besides the MSF course. That and and tons and tons of research on forums and books that have made me realize I aimed way too high with the 2-up trip. Right now I'm just trying to find out if I will eventuallly get used to the VFR weight, and if it's not an impossibility to have it as a first bike. Obviously I realize it is not ideal as a first bike.
Josh,

I love your enthusiasm. That being said, operating a motorcycle two up on a long tour presents many opportunities for "learning experiences," not all of them positive ones. I remember when my former wife and I decided on a long tour. I had virtually no experience, so the first thing I did was ride 3500 miles solo to at least give me a little time in the saddle. I did not want my partners health and safety in hands of a guy with little riding time...

This strategy worked well. After some riding on a beater bike I picked up at a lien sale. We purchased an R1100RT and started riding together. Shorter rides, and eventually longer ones. When we stopped being a couple, she had over 40,000 miles as a pillion with never an accident or injury of any sort. I still miss those rides, but at least I've got the memory!

My advice, start slow, build your experience, and plan for many happy hours touring together on the Viffer, the Strom, or any other bike large enough for two up touring.

Good luck,

Steve
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