Help n00b with a Film Project.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by ADVancing, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    So. Here is a short introduction.

    I'm Nate, A 16 year old Junior in highschool with no real riding experience and a large sense of adventure. I've always been interested in motorcycles (much to the peril of my father) and Film. About a week ago I was reading the Sydney to London RR. I was inspired to see as much as I can before I crank down into the ramen-eating, bus-riding experience that is college which will undoubtedly flow into me working till' I die.

    I want to plan a trip that will allow me to see as much as possible and film parts of it into a documentary style film to be used as a Senior Project.

    Key areas to visit are:
    Alaska (Prudhoe Bay??)
    New England (Visit Family, Maybe go into canada at some point)
    Finish the TAT through and through.

    Now I know most of you guys are old enough to be my dad, and even granddad. Which is why I am asking you guys for help with this. I am totally open to you guys going "THIS KID IS CRAZY!" Which I honestly don't mind, if you can give me some help on how to make it far more realistic. I welcome it.

    I have some questions...

    How much would something like this cost? I plan on doing a lot of camping.
    Something I have lots of experience in.

    What is a bike that would be acceptable as a first bike that can be used in relative comfort for a trip this size?

    Anything in particular I should bring?

    Any spectacular routes I should be looking at along the way?

    Is anyone out there willing to loan a couch to my ass soewhere along the way?

    FYI I live in the Seattle area.
    #1
  2. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    .
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  3. BmwRudy

    BmwRudy Braaaaaaaaaap, BRAAAAAAP!

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    +1 on the KLR. Cheap, reliable. Put everything in a water tight bag, strap it on bike, check oil, tire pressure and fuel up and RIDE. The adventures will unfold day by day. You ride out to NJ and I'll show you some local color. Be in Seattle in less then a week myself, riding back to NJ. Dreams are like a good swing with the bat, follow through.
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  4. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    Thanks for the replys guys.

    I enjoy camping unless everything blows up. Plus, how would I update the ride report and complain through the internet too all of my friends??

    Would you guys recommend the old KLR over the new one?
    #4
  5. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    What can YOU afford.

    Dirt lovers bitch about the loss of 1/2 inch travel and 10 lbs gained.

    Street lovers bitch about.........................um.....................

    I find the old school style FUCKIN UGLY!!! Whether it's a Honda, Suzuki or pre-08 KLR, They all look identical.

    Insurance is dirt cheap, mechanically bulletproof, around the world capable. Handle well enough to pound sand in most sport bikes vaginal cavity as long as straight line power isn't required.

    Soon some computer nerd will be along shortly to wallow about the Suzuki being better blah blah blah only because he's inseam challenged and still needs platform shoes to brush his three remaining teeth.
    #5
  6. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    Hahahaha.

    I agree they are pretty fugly. I can afford the new KLR by about $0.16. But I can still afford it. There is one for sale here for $3995 that has the Happy trail panniers. :wink:
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  7. northrider

    northrider Traveler

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    Have a good trip!
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  8. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Solo con rambo

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    I'm glad you enjoyed my ride report. You are not crazy. Do you have any mechanical skills? How tall are you? I'd say those two things would seriously impact what bike I'd recommend.

    My first bike was a nice bike, but I had just as much, and maybe more fun on my beater bikes. Anything will go the distance if you treat it right. If I could become you, I would buy a dr350, a duffel bag, and leave. Maybe take a look at the cheap bike challenge thread in road warriors for some ideas on bikes as well.

    The tent space thread is awesome! Most of the people I met though it are insanely nice, and go out of there way to help a guy bumming a space to sleep(me). I think camping a couple nights then meeting somebody on the tent space thread would be great. Get a shower every third day, keep it cheap, not have to be anywhere at a certain time(the only downside to the tentspace thing is meeting up with people, which means you have to be in a certain town on a certain day) and stay out of hotels. Staying with an inmate through the tent space thread is much nicer than a hotel, trust me.

    If you want to go for a long time be prepared to get wet, get dirty, break stuff, get lost, run out of gas and just generally go through a lot of strange obstacles. It happens. Its also a lot of fun. Always remember you want to be where you are, and its supposed to be fun.

    If you are ever around Tucson, Az(Fall, spring), Huntsville, Al(summer), or Aspen, Co(winter, I get around:lol3), I'd be happy to provide a space to sleep, tools, a rescue truck, gas or anything else you may need. Why? because complete strangers did more than that for me.
    #8
  9. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    Thank you!

    The only obstacle right now is my budget.

    I'm looking to do this trip while spending as little money as possible. ( I bet you figured that part out.)

    I'm thinking

    ~$1000 For Camera.
    ~$4000 For KLR & Accessories.
    ~$1000 For ATG.
    ~$750 For Get out of trouble money.
    ~$50/Day for Gas (Highest Common Denominator)
    ~$15/Day for Lodgeing, depending on where and when. (rollover money)
    ~$25/Day for Food. (At one point I lived on $8/Day so this might be a bit flamboyant)

    I have all the camping gear, Stoves from MSR, Tents from MSR (Which the zipper will undoubtedly break on me.) I have the connection to the inside, I mean my dads only worked there for 25 years. So if anything comes up I think I will be able to get it shipped and handled.

    I built a cost program in excel. Hopefully, This will be more than enough.

    EDIT:
    Zephyr I didn't see your post until now.

    I'm Mechanically inclined, 6'1"ish.

    I think the breaking and overall troubles is what makes the entire experience fun.
    Type later at school.
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  10. BmwRudy

    BmwRudy Braaaaaaaaaap, BRAAAAAAP!

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    DON"T overplan, plans usually fall apart anyway. Meeting great people can slow you down, as well as a flat tire. Waterproof bag and ride!!
    #10
  11. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Solo con rambo

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    If you know your way around a tool I would NOT spend 4000 on a bike. You can find a perfectly good bike for much less especially with the bike market the way it is(2000 is a good starting point). Grab a few year old klr, dr, xr, of 600+cc and you can't go wrong. You should have plenty of inseam for any bike you will look at. Don't go overboard with giant hard luggage. I'd say if you have a 1000$ camera, definetly get a case for that, or always carry it with you. But other than that just go to a kayak store get a drybag, some straps and toss it on a rack and go. If you want to be cheap, be simple.

    I spent less than 300 for 10 days a couple years ago. You also seem to plan much more than me. I'd say just save as much as you can, spend what you need to spend(camera, bike, gear), and leave the rest in an account to use when you need it. I think it will be practically impossible to plan how much you will spend on gas, food, lodging, etc. So don't, just keep track of your money as you go.

    Atg means all the gear right? Don't go overboard spending a ton on gear first either, remember this is your first bike, what seems to work well may not, and you may want something different once you get a bit of time under you. Oh yeah, and just get used to being wet, waterproof gear is rarely waterproof.

    I don't know much about cameras but that seems pretty expensive too.

    just my opinion, but I'd spend half what you have allocated for gear and the bike and you could spend even more time on the road.

    :D you will do fine
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  12. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    I am just guessing an overall budget. Plan big. That leaves room (Hear: MONEY) For any problems. (I.E. Random Gimungous Bike Acksplosion, Spontaneous Human Combustion.)

    I think I will slash the bike budget. As for ATG. I need it or else parents will :kboom and I will not be going anywhere.

    I'm shooting a film, Solo. That camera is actually very nice (and second hand)

    Thanks for the help. Keep it up. Any solutions for locking the bike and or camera gear?
    #12
  13. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Solo con rambo

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    Don't think I was saying to not get all the gear, just don't go overboard buying an aerostitch suit first thing. Go to a cyclegear or some other shop and try some stuff on, buy what you like. If it costs 1000 so be it, but I bet you can get good gear cheaper than that.

    Gear is very nice when you are sliding down a wet road or bouncing off the ground. Glad you are planning on getting it.

    Locks, well you could carry a giant chain, or a disc lock but I like insurance. Its too easy for a couple guys to pickup and carry a bike away. Its another reason to get a cheaper, older bike. It won't look as "nice" so no one will be interested in it.

    Camera sounds nice, I'd either lock it in a hard case while off the bike, or carry it with me everywhere in a backpack.

    One last thing on security, other than in downtown Chicago, I have not had a problem with anyone taking any of my stuff. I tend to stay out in the country and only visit cities, so I usually don't worry about my stuff.

    Anything else you'd like me to ramble about?:lol3 At least I'm not old enough to be your Dad.
    #13
  14. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    Haha. Naw you got most of my questions answered.
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  15. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Solo con rambo

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    Glad I could help(or ramble too much), just remember all that stuff is just my opinion and do what feels right for you, and write up a report when you go, Good luck!

    btw change the chain and sprockets, clean/change the filters(air/oil), adjust the valves and put a bigger tank(if needed) on any bike you get and you will be golden. Oh and I never did recommend a bike, I'd look at a dr650 or an xr650l along with the klr. All are proven, available, been made for 20 years(cheap), and reliable.
    #15
  16. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    I'd be happy to take your ever so sexy XRR off of you. :evil
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  17. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Solo con rambo

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    Its out of your slashed budget's range. :D I might sell it next spring, but I'm keeping it for at least a year. Get your own bike!:lol3
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  18. ADVancing

    ADVancing Ducati Submissive

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    It makes me all hot inside, Perhaps I might have to take you up on a place to stay. (So /i can visit my crush in person. :tb )
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  19. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Solo con rambo

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    :huh as long as you are referring to the bike...:lol3 Drop by sometime on a bike of your own and you can take it for a ride.

    You're losing focus...film project, travel, all that jazz remember?
    #19
  20. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Sounds like a great plan!

    I've two comments not really addressed too much so far.

    1st, your riding ability will make far more difference in how easily and quickly you get along and how well you are able to cover technical terrain than will bike choice/setup. Piloting an over-weight, loaded down KLR though soft terrain with no real experience isn't going to be terribly easy - not saying you can't do it, just you might want to try to get some significant off road experience before you strike off on the trip or chose a lighter, better handling bike.

    If you still have a bit of time, I'd recommend picking up a cheap used dirt bike (doesn't much matter what, but a KDX200 is a good starting point) and doing some purely off-road riding. You don't need to spend much (solid, $500 dirt bikes aren't impossible to find) and if you pay attention you'll be able to get out of the bike what you put into it.

    The quickest way I've found to learn is to buy a bike and to go trail riding with experienced local riders (look for folks who dabble in GNCC's, hare and hounds, hare scrambles, enduros and that sort of thing). They'll likely be glad to give you some pointers and you can just follow and emulate.

    Second, choice of bike doesn't matter too much. I don't particularly care for the KLR (heavy, low performance, comparatively complex and fragile, poor handling, poor build quality), but lots of folks do like them and one would most likely get the job done just fine. Other possible options would be a used BMW F650GS (older single cyl - can be had for under 4k) if you want something a bit more refined and street oriented; a DR650SE is a bit more reliable imho (no water cooling to worry about, no dohicky, better quality control) and sure footed off road than a KLR with no real comparative disadvantages other than perhaps a smaller stock tank (easily upgraded); an XR650L keeps with the simple, air cooled tradition but adds quite a lot more off road capability; a DR350SE is very similar to the XR-L, but 3/4 scale (might be a particularly good option if you want to stick to a lower budget, especially if you don't get a bunch of riding experience in before you leave - the lighter bike will require much less of you in the technial/soft stuff). There are many more options, but that should give you some things to think about. :)

    You are more than welcome to crash on my couch, but I don't know where that'll be. I'll be in Cambridge (harvard area) until at least next spring when I graduate, then by fall I'll be in the DC area. Don't know where I'll be next summer.
    #20