How many hours in the saddle?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by ILikeCheese, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Wyngs

    Wyngs Adventurer

    Sep 9, 2013
    350-400 miles is a comfortable solo day for me. An example of what I like to do would be last year. Was kinda pizzed off about some things, woke up on a Thursday morning said screw it and hopped on the Street Glide. Where ever the front wheel went is where I went. Ended up just south of Macinack Mich that night. Spent the next day exploring there and parts of the UP even though it was raining cats and dogs and ended up back down in Greyling. Next day rose early and hit the slab for home because I had to work on Sunday. Funny thing is, even though it rained so hard on the second day most of the day, that was one of the most enjoyable trips that I have ever been on.

    An important lesson learned was to NEVER ride a motorcycle through Detroit :lol3 An Abrams tank would be more to my liking :rofl

    My advice is that it depends on the circumstances. The kind of trip as described above is awesome. But if you have a place in mind that you want to visit and it is a long way to get there and you have limited time away, you will have to bite the bullet and do some hard miles both ways. Just as others have said, take breaks. I tend to get into a routine. Rise about 4, eat and haul azz. Stop about every half tank for 10 -15 minutes which on the Glide is around 150 miles or a little less. The Beemer I havent tried yet. Start looking for a place to stay at about 5 unless the miles need to be made. That is what works for me anyway, everyone is different.

  2. achtung3

    achtung3 Long timer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Central Coast California
    For me the best it to listen to my body, if I feel good I ride up to 10-12hrs

    My own rules: I don't ride after dark or before dawn, if I am tired i stop and rest for the day, it could be as short as 4-5hrs.

    I enjoy riding and there is no reason for me to ride as a chore.
  3. jwallick

    jwallick n00b

    Dec 20, 2012
    For me it depends on if I'm destination driven or journey driven.

    If destination driven and I have good weather, a 500-600 mile day is very doable once you get into a rhythm and have enough daylight.

    If the journey is the most important thing then it depends on what sites I want to take in. I may ride 300 miles one day, but only 100 the next.

    I try never to ride after sundown and never start more than 2 hours before sunrise.
  4. Hausi1

    Hausi1 asd

    Aug 14, 2010
    Somewhere in Down Under
    If I got time on my hands I always try to keep under 200k's a day. When I really just want to get somewhere 500k's are doable in my book without completly ruining the next day.

    I also like to do most of the riding before lunch. 3-5h in the saddle everyday (with rest breaks) is what I found to be quite good, and sustainable.

  5. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

    Aug 11, 2010
    In the middle...
    For me, 550-600 miles a day is comfortably repeatable day after day. I am an early riser and usually have the tent packed and breakfast eaten by sunrise. 300 miles by noon is a good marker with the afternoon left to dawdle around and pick up the rest. Make camp early, rest, eat and recharge. Early to bed. Rinse and repeat the next day.

    Where I get anxious and pack on the miles is on the return trip. The last day on the trip toward the barn is generally a loooong one as I am ready to get home to the wife!
  6. Big bike

    Big bike Adventurer

    Nov 29, 2012
    SE Alaska
    My personal best day is just over 1,100 miles to do a solo SS 1000 while living in AK. I prepared for that one. 400-500 day trips are just fine most any time. My longest trip was about 6,000 miles and 3 weeks from AK to Sturgis and points yonder. I had a general plan but no real schedule or daily itinerary. I had several 600+ mile days and a 120 mile day in the Canadien Rockies. I was slack jawed at the scenery most of that day.
    I've had my GSA for 2 years now and my daily miles have slowed, mostly due to 'the roads/trails travelled'. In late July I did a 425ish mile day that kicked my butt! From home in NM to Mt.Evans and Idaho Sprgs, CO for the night. I mixed in several non-paved passes and roads along with pavement for an incredible day. The hours on and off the bike were something like 14! Some slow, some fast, taking pictures, a couple wrong turns in the mountains, then finally coming off of Mt. Evans in the dark and looking for a place to stay in Id Sprgs. The next 475 mile day back home was easy, except for my stock seat.

    It all depends on how hungry, comfy, and matched you and your bike are I think. I've now got a Seat Concepts seat for that matter. I drink water regularly and try to avoid lots of caffiene and sugars. I snack throughout the day instead of belly buster meals. There's nothing like a yummy meal and a cold beverage at the end of a great day though! I regularly ogle maps, google earth, and my memories for trip and route ideas. Like so many have posted on this thread, Colorado is heaven on earth for riding regardless of which tires you use. All you have to do is get there first. :clap:clap
  7. drsales

    drsales Wondering Why

    Mar 10, 2008
    Sunnyside Tower B&B, Catawba Island, Ohio
    When I am on my way out on a vacation I try to do 550-650 miles per day for at least 2-3 days. After I arrive at the destination maybe 1-300 max. Coming home back to 500+ miles a day. Not enough vacation time to putts along.
  8. kwthom

    kwthom Touring Adventurer

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jaynes Station, AZ

    Excellent material here - not much more to be added.

    The biggest thing for me - is the ride just "to ride" or is there a destination in mind? If it's just "a ride", then the mileage can be all over the place. If there's a destination in mind... :evil
  9. Boricua

    Boricua Been here awhile

    Jul 3, 2009
    Parker, CO (Suburbia, Generica USA)
    Mileage varies according to terrain, road and weather conditions. Anyone can do 500 - 600 miles in the superslab in a day, half that in the twisties and about a quarter when you are on dirt. It translates to 8 to 9 hours of saddle time in a day. More than that and you will probably not enjoy the ride.

    In the western US its hard to avoid long streches of the supreslab between good routes.
  10. honda53rider

    honda53rider n00b

    Oct 28, 2013
    I found yalls post interesting! Iv never been on a trip on a motorcycle or a road trip in anything! I know I can do 230miles in my car in 3.5 hours at 70 mph most of the way. But I have a little xs400 that im wanting to take on an adventure and Iv been looking into routes I can take in a week. Its hard to figure out how far I can really ride in a day. I want to stick to back roads doing 55-60mph and nothing any faster NO INTERSTATE! I figure if I adv 45mph moving and rode for 6 hours a day I could do 270 miles in a day spending a few hours for brakes and food. Im seeing a lot of you post that you are doing 500 miles a day and I can only imagine that you are on big BWM's or some bigger bikes eating tarmac on the freeways.

    This is the idea for my trip:
    6 hours of good saddle time a day
    avg 45mph whille moving (back roads will be slow)
    That puts me at 270 milles per day
    and 1890 for a week long round trip.

    So I live in Charlotte NC so that will be my starting point.
    Now iv just got to figure out what direction to head...

    1. Do a tour of the coast from Norfolk to Savanna.
    2. Try and make it to the grate lakes/Canada (never been up there)
    3. Head down to the gulf
    4. Head west to the planes (probably wont be able to make it much farther than the oklahoma state line)
  11. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

    Jan 26, 2007
    This day started with 1528 miles and then I had to extend the day to 34 hours to complete 2053 miles during the SS2000Gold.


  12. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

    Dec 10, 2005
    Average speed is equally about taking shorter breaks than about going faster. Small bikes when loaded have fewer chances to pass slow traffic so the speed does go down. Then there's the vibration I have from my 360 that requires more breaks. I think your estimate of averaging 45mph is reasonable.

    Is it possible for you to make an overnight trip on a weekend -- ride as far as you want on Saturday and see if you still like that distance on Sunday? If it's your first trip you'll probably spend some extra time getting into the rhythm of riding, but we are each so different that all the posts by all the riders on ADV won't tell what you can do.

    I could not possibly ride 6 hours per day in the summer. When I go on a motorcycle trip I tend to ride my motorcycle. Even with gas stops, food stops and talking to other campers, summer provides 12 to 14 hours of daylight and I'll ride 8 or 9 hours.

    If you don't know your range, planning a trip to the plains or lakes could make you put in longer days than you want. I'd rather have time to kill than be behind schedule. The Atlantic or gulf coasts may provide more interest plus flexibility.
  13. honda53rider

    honda53rider n00b

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thanks Grinnin

    Ya it will be hard to figure out what my millage will be but I want to have a realistic idea of how far I can go in the time line. Dont want to plan on taking 7 days to get down to the gulf and back and be down at the gulf in two days.

    Also im trying to plan in free camping spots. Don't have the $ for hotel rooms, and don't know if id like to just pitch a tent anywhere! So im going to try and make stops at national forest or places that I wont get shot at for camping at.
  14. k woo

    k woo 308Master

    Mar 19, 2010
    Eastern North Carolina
    Hours or miles are best when irrelevant. No tight schedules, go till you feel like stopping, be it 200 or 900+ miles. A comfortable bike and good riding gear is an absolute must.
  15. ta-rider

    ta-rider Returned from Africa

    Jan 14, 2012
    Well how many hours i ride depends on how nice the landscape around me is or if my visa is expiring or not but still the hours in the saddle dont say anything about the milage i do. Some days im happy to cover 20 miles while riding the whole day:


  16. jared p

    jared p Adventurer

    May 10, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    depends on the trip. usually, i go off of daylight, leave at sunrise, and stop at sunset, unless wherever i am at sunset to point of sleeping is a straight shot etc and i'm not missing twisties then, meh, doesn't matter. hours or mileage, really are irrelevant, some days are 16 hours and only 400 miles, some days are 12 hours and 600 miles, some days are 18 hours and 1000 miles, so, meh
  17. justafurnaceman

    justafurnaceman Imaginary

    May 4, 2013
    Hanging out in VA for the time being...
    My last trip was very unplanned so I only had one day where I really put down some miles and ended up doing around 850 miles, but most other days were mild compared to that. One day I only did around 250, but that included Dragon's Tail, Happy Valley Road, and stops by the river, bbq pulled pork for lunch, and a lot of different sites. It was my best trip so far.

    This next trip I'm going west out of Missouri so I'll probably try to get around 700 miles and into Colorado before I can get on some better, more scenic roads. Once I get out there I'll slow it down and enjoy myself.

    The biggest thing is that you have to get out there and try it. It's based on your body, your saddle, your bike, and your timeline.
  18. little foot

    little foot Scratch and Sniff

    Jul 21, 2008
    The Springs, Oklahoma
    My favorite rides are all unplanned, but I pack to be prepaired and I'm not worried about a destination. Oh and I go alone. So pretty easy for me. you will find somedays you want to ride alot and others not so much.
  19. Capri142

    Capri142 Adventurer

    Oct 21, 2009
    North Florida, USA
    Whatever you do, how ever you ride, when you get tired it is time for a stop. Don't try to ride through any sort of fatigue. Coffe and energy drinks, never helped me. The only thing for me to do when I get tired is to either stop and take a nap or stop for the day. It is surprising how much just a 30 minute nap will keep you awake for the next few hours. Sometimes just getting off of the bike and walking around helps a lot. But whatever you do, don't ride tired.
  20. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

    Mar 24, 2004
    The Trans-Mississippi
    500 miles at 50 mph is 10 hours.

    Get up early, ride four or five hours to lunch. Then ride four or five hours to dinner.

    The miles just disappear.