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Old 04-26-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
azrunner OP
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Would this be crazy for a noobie?

I'm thinking about doing a "fly and ride" from Salem, OR to Tucson, AZ about a month from now. The plan is to take an MSF class next weekend, practice riding a friends Yamaha TR250R for a few weeks then fly to Portland, pick up a new Husky TR650 Terra in Salem and ride back to Tucson staying off the interstates. I'm a 53 year old avid bicyclist yearning to try out adventure riding. I've been researching bikes and the Terra seems ideal to me. There's a time pressure in that the Terra's are selling out fast and the later summer is already scheduled for family vacations.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
westcoasttrekker
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This sounds crazy.
Be sure to take lots of pictures and post a ride report when you return safely.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
rogerc
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Woah there pilgrim,
As a rider for a lot of years slow down, yes this is crazy for a beginner. It takes me at least a month to get my bike and gear ready. I just bought a new bike exactly one month ago and have 3000 miles on it and I am still learning this new bike. I took it on a 3 day trip last week just as a test run and to get use to the bike, find out what changes I need to make, and check to make sure the bike is sound.
I have owned well over 25 bikes and know what it takes to set them up for multiple day rides. I have ridden for over 40 years and I would not believe you could ride a bike well enough in this time frame for this type of trip.
Get the bike, ride the hell out of it and do a couple of over nighters and then decide your next trip.

I have bought bikes that I thought would be perfect for a particular type trip only to find out it just wasn't right and selling it in a couple weeks. You don't know this bike until you ride it at least 2000 miles.
When you know what counter-steering is how to do it and have practiced panic braking 100's of times don't take a trip like this, motorcycles can get you killed.
Just my opinion and you are your own man,
RC

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Old 04-26-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
dnrobertson
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If you want to do it, then do it! You are staying on roads, not like you are going to ride the Dakar.

You could get hit by a bus crossing the street.

Take it easy coming home. Start with short bursts on the bike (I assume you will be running it in??) and body and increase length as you get comfortable.

Read the owners manual re: break-in. Most manuals recommend against long legs of sitting on the same throttle setting when the bike is new.

There will somebody along soon to tell you to ignore the manual for break-in, and "ride it like you stole it!".
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
dirtdiver
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I would suggest:

- will you have a week to make the trip? If not at least 4 days then I think you might be asking for it.

- the interstates are safer than the back roads

- will you have much crap to carry? If you are new to riding, it is a new bike AND you have lots of stuff to carry then I think you will be asking for it.

I think it is very doable if you can do at least a few days of 100-150 miles total and you have a small/med backpack, stay in hotels and eat out.

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Old 04-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
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A brand new bike to a brand new rider there is probably not much "setting up" to do. It will take some months to determine what you like and don't like and that begets the "setting up". My opinion.

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Old 04-27-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Giv'r. If you can't handle a few days riding a motorcycle on paved roads after taking a riding class and being an avid bicyclist you've wasted your 53 years. Learning is part of the fun! If you can afford a new bike you can treat yourself to motels at night. So all you need to figure out is how to pack is a Visa card. If you break down more than 20 miles from home you aren't going to walk home any way. (any skeletons you see next to broke down brand new motorcycles are a result of evolution and aren't even worth reporting) May as well be out on a real adventure with a story to tell when you get home.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:41 PM   #8
azrunner OP
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I appreciate the words of encouragement and of caution. I definitely plan to travel light and take it easy staying at motels along the way. I plan on packing no more then I can put in a carry on bag (tail bag such as Wolfman) and the gear I'll wear on the plane. Part of the fun in planning will be deciding on riding gear. I hadn't considered taking the interstates as being safer. I suspect the Husky will cruise fine at 65-75. I'd enjoy riding some of the costal routes but would avoid tackling the winding mountain pass routes to get to them.
I appreciate further recommendations or cautions.

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Old 04-27-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
glwestcott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.C.Biker View Post
Giv'r. If you can't handle a few days riding a motorcycle on paved roads after taking a riding class and being an avid bicyclist you've wasted your 53 years. Learning is part of the fun! If you can afford a new bike you can treat yourself to motels at night. So all you need to figure out is how to pack is a Visa card. If you break down more than 20 miles from home you aren't going to walk home any way. (any skeletons you see next to broke down brand new motorcycles are a result of evolution and aren't even worth reporting) May as well be out on a real adventure with a story to tell when you get home.
Well said. Well said. Doesn't sound like your the type who has to know where each stop will be when you take a trip. Like he said, pack your visa and have fun. (P.s. I'm pushing 70 and still live that way)
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:02 AM   #10
Adios Pantalones
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Visa, toothbrush, fresh undies, go...


Do not check your gear into luggage, carry it, including helmet.
Don't want to get there and have the airline lose your stuff.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:21 AM   #11
Tucson Jim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adios Pantalones View Post
Visa, toothbrush, fresh undies, go...


Do not check your gear into luggage, carry it, including helmet.
Don't want to get there and have the airline lose your stuff.

this. A 250 may not like a bunch of gear loaded on it's poor back.

Try this: Pack all your stuff and see how the load sits. Unpack your stuff and toss out half the clothes and most of the food.

Eat at Mom & Pop cafes, sleep in cheap motels. At 55 I'm also over the whole 'carry a boatload of stuff, take a cold hooker bath and sleep on the hard ground' riding experience.

Good luck and be safe. Keep it slow and enjoy the sights.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:31 AM   #12
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You would be crazy not to do it.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:31 AM   #13
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Go for it! I took the course, bought a bike, put ~100 mi on it, then rode it to Panama. Not saying it was a smart idea, but it sure was fun! Be sure to share the stories and pics with us when you return!
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:40 AM   #14
manfromthestix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.C.Biker View Post
Giv'r. If you can't handle a few days riding a motorcycle on paved roads after taking a riding class and being an avid bicyclist you've wasted your 53 years. Learning is part of the fun! If you can afford a new bike you can treat yourself to motels at night. So all you need to figure out is how to pack is a Visa card. If you break down more than 20 miles from home you aren't going to walk home any way. (any skeletons you see next to broke down brand new motorcycles are a result of evolution and aren't even worth reporting) May as well be out on a real adventure with a story to tell when you get home.
+1 on this, well said! I'm also an avid cyclist and dude, if you can ride a bicycle safely in traffic I think you will be just fine on a motorcycle. I would caution you, however, to spend your first day after buying the bike in the local area just riding and getting familiar with it before heading out on the back roads. If something happens you need to know where all the controls are and how well it stops, etc. FOOK the interstates, I absolutely disagree that they are safer!! A bunch of cars, buses, trucks, and TT rigs (which weigh ~80,000 pounds) all travelling at 75 mph with you pegged out at top RPM is nothing to mess with as a n00b rider. On the back roads you can futz with riding at different speeds, stop a lot, make less miles, and enjoy them more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adios Pantalones View Post
Visa, toothbrush, fresh undies, go...


Do not check your gear into luggage, carry it, including helmet.
Don't want to get there and have the airline lose your stuff.
I suspect you can even buy your gear at the dealer and fresh undies, toothbrushes, and other stuff along the way. I'm as guilty as the next guy when it comes to hauling too much crap with me - remember your bicycling lessons!

I just bought my 45th motorcycle, a Yamaha WR250R, and while it's certainly not as comfy to ride as my BMW GS, it is perfectly capable of going highway speeds and is just fine for shorter days. We did 222 miles of mixed asphalt and dirt roads yesterday and it was a bit tiring with the wind buffeting on the highway, but it was a blast. I say, DO THIS and never look back!

Doug
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:10 AM   #15
Adios Pantalones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucson Jim View Post
this. A 250 may not like a bunch of gear loaded on it's poor back.

Try this: Pack all your stuff and see how the load sits. Unpack your stuff and toss out half the clothes and most of the food.

Eat at Mom & Pop cafes, sleep in cheap motels. At 55 I'm also over the whole 'carry a boatload of stuff, take a cold hooker bath and sleep on the hard ground' riding experience.

Good luck and be safe. Keep it slow and enjoy the sights.

"Light is right"

If you don't have a camelback, get one. I can't overstate how much better you feel at the end of the day. No matter the temp, a 65mph wind all day will dry you out.
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