Orlando Fl - Alamogordo NM this December on a Honda 919

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Jnich77, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

    Aug 22, 2012
    Orlando Fl
    Well, looks like I might have the opportunity to ride from Fl to NM this December. I have done the trip before and learned from it. As with many things in life, we get better with each iteration and this is no different. So here is my thoughts and solicitation for advice or critique. Please keep in mind that this is a budget trip, I have a wedding to pay for this spring and my tuition... so no expensive farkle for me...lol.

    ( sorry for the long read in advance)

    • The Bike

    2004 Honda 919. Pretty standard riding position, I can go all day and be comfortable. Has more than enough power and great brakes. Doesn't like to be loaded down so I have to keep things relatively light. Runs perferct and has nothing what so ever wrong with it, I am beyond scrupulous with maintaince.

    I am going to have my seat redone, 9 year old foam is not very supportive. The last time I did it, I had a gel pad strapped to the seat. It worked well, but limited my seating position as I like to wiggle around a lot. I am going to have this guy work his magic: http://greatdaytoride.com/FAQ.html

    Tires, I run Conti-Moations in the back and a pretty sticky Pirelli in the front. Nets about 11,ooo miles and they both wear out at the same time. the ride is good and the grip is good, once the rear warms up it sticks just fine, I can hit the edge of the tire with no step out.

    I went up a tooth on my front sprocket, helped drop the RPM's a bit with out killing the fun factor. Bad thing is its a 520 chain w/aluminum sprocket so I have to be very attentive to keeping things clean. The last time I made this trip I ended up trashing a chain and sprocket when I hit the salt/sanded roads (it was already on its way out though). Up side is the chain conversion dropped about 4 poinds, and that made a very noticeable difference coming out of a corner.

    I have a set of Tusk hand guards and they keep the wind off my hands pretty well. I am going to get a set ot Tush hand mitts to go over them. My hands were one thing I couldn't keep warm last time for 15.99 I figure they can't really disappoint. http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/43/53/218/962/-/-/130917/Tusk-Hand-Mitts-Black

    I am going to make a few little mud flaps to help keep junk off my motor, chain and under-tail. They get pretty dirty int he rain.

    I might make a small bash plate for the exhaust. Being a street bike with wrapped pipes they are not very fond of road debris. I am thinking of either having my grandpa bend one up out of some scrap aluminum or seeing if a snow shovel will work...lol.

    Switched to LED running lights to look cool and save some wattage a while back.

    • Gear:

    Older Joe Rocket jacket and pants. Both waterproof and broken in, love 'em! I plan on sewing in resistance wires into the liners to have heated gear. Last time I stayed warm but I had to bundle up pretty good and I didn't like the reduced mobility and time it took to get geared up. Also didn't like feeling like the a marshmallow man...lol.

    I am going to make heated insoles for my boots and might do a set of gloves too, or just keep the grip heaters.

    Made some helmet speakers out of an old set of head phones, works like a charm.

    • Electronics:

    GPS on the cross bar, works great, hard wired into a separate switchable fuse box behind the wind screen along with the rest of my accessories.

    I am going to add Satellite radio (going to use the unit from my truck) next to the GPS, gotta have some tunes...lol. One question though, how did you guys amplify the signal so it could be heard? I have a Boostaroo "booster" but it doesn't have enough a@@ to do it. I have found some inexpensive amps on Ebay, but don't know if they are any good. the antenna will go in the master cylinder.

    I need to get some water proof bags to put the mounts for the GPS and radio in and seal them up so they stay dry. I got reaaaaally wet last time I made this trip, lesson learned.

    Going to do an HID conversion, I found one that is supposed to have no more glare than my stock headlight (919 head lights are not the best). I have the ADV monster spot lights and they work great, but the stock headlight puts off a yellow light that gets drown out and is all but worthless. Another reason for doing it is the watts it will free up to run heated gear, my charging system is does not have a lot left over after running the bike.

    Going to use generic PWM's to control the heated gear off Ebay. Lets me divide up the garments and control them individually and gives me plenty of redundancy should one fail.

    I really want to get a SPOT device, my fiancee and step mom are worry wort's.

    • Luggage:

    I already have a set of Givi bags and love them. Plenty of space and they lock. I had a trunk, but sold it due to the adverse handling characteristics it caused (hung waaaay to far off the back of the bike). The bags have a set of tail/running lights in them and very bright reflectors. I added some bracing to the SW Motech mounts and welded them solid since they had way to much play.

    I am going to get a small tank bag to use for the controllers for my heated gear, charge my phone, amp for the satellite radio, and keep pogie bait handy. I guess I could also toss in a map or two if I feel the need to be prepared and actually know where I am going...lol.

    My old tank bag is pretty big, ok its huge. I am going to bolt it to the rear rack and keep light weight odds and ends (glove/pants/jacket liners) in it that I like to keep pretty handy. I might keep the "twist lock" ring so I can take it off when I stay the night somewhere. It will also let me mount it as far forward as possible yet still remove easily it to get to the seat lock.

    My rain gear will go in a small bag strapped to the seat, I like to keep my seat pretty clear since I can't sit still and like to use the whole thing. Although I don't "need" the rain gear it is noce to put on when the temp really drops. Even though my riding gear is waterproof and blocks the wind... the rain gear seems to take the edge off when it is really cold and keep my gear clean when it gets really nasty (salt spray is no joke).

    I want to have bags sewn up to bolt to the back of the mount that holds my Givi bags. Since I switched from the twin under tail pipes to a low mount off a CBR I have plenty of room to spare. I figure it will be a good place for chain lube and degreaser and bike detail spray. They will be 13l x 7h x 4d with a rear/top zipper and reflective panel. Figure I might as well use the space since it is lower on the bike than strapping more things to the seat.

    Still have to figure out where to mount the 30oz MSR fuel bottles. Never needed them, but they are nice to have at midnight in west Texas...lol. I might get some bags sewn up and strap them under the Givi's, or have pockets made in the above described bags to hold them.

    Stuck a small nylon bicycle handlebar bag to the back of my wind screen to hold my kickstand puck and camera. Works great and cost 10.00 at Target. Used 3M "Dual Lock" to mount it, cost like 4.00 at Target.. way cheaper than getting it from Aerostitch.

    • Tools:

    Wrench, socket, and allen wrench for every fastener on the bike
    Screw driver with interchangeable tips
    Shock tool
    Factory wrenches for the axle bolts
    Compressor and tire plug kit
    Jumper cables that plug into the battery tender plug
    Really good flashlight and head lamp
    Wire, connectors, and small tube of dieelectrode grease
    JB Weld
    That stretchy emergency tape that sticks to its self.
    Lots of zip ties
    Hose clamps for every size on the bike
    Extra valve stem caps
    Small roll of Gorilla tape

    The compressor, jumper cables, and tire plug kit are in a under seat bag meant for a mountain bike that I strapped to my frame where the stock exhaust is supposed to run through.

    • Accommodations:

    I haven't figured if I am going to camp this time or just use hotel rooms. Camping gear adds weight and it is nice to sleep in a warm bed every night. I guess money will be the ultimate determining factor. Camping was kind of fun last time and I got to meet some really nice people. Down side is sleeping on the cold wet ground, I have gotten enough of that while wearing a uniform...lol.

    • Route:
    Headed West... trying to stay south of I-10 most of the way to hopefully stay a little warmer. Last time I was on I-20 and I-40 (ended up roaming for a while) during some stupid cold weather. No real specifics other than taking HW90 after San Antonio just to do it.

    • Things I learned last time:

    Two pairs of jeans in over kill, use one wash frequently.
    Running shoes/clothes.. yeah who am I kidding. I might run 20-30 miles a
    week at home but on the road it won't happen.
    No need to carry two days worth of food and a Sterno stove. Never used it. Hit Subway or made a PB&J for every meal.
    Machete and an E-tool are just extra weight (or unrealized implements of bludgeoning)
    Undergarments = carry less, wash more

    • Thoughts?
    • Suggestions?
    • Comments?
    • Concerns?
    • Free gear?
    • Money for fuel?
    I can't wait to take this trip:happay
  2. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    May 14, 2005
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    Wouldn't waste time and effort trying to sew wires into a liner. Just buy a heated vest. They are really thin and with the controller you can dial in as much or little heat as you want. There is also a website for "momandpop" motels. These are often older motels that are independent and cheaper than chain motels. You might find some good options there. Boy Scouts and US Army destroyed my interest in camping in the sticks.
  3. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

    Aug 22, 2012
    Orlando Fl
    While very true, my budget won't allow me to buy them (especially considering my GI bill has been screwed up all summer). I have plenty of time to stitch it together and worst case is I'll buy a heat-troller to control it. Even used the vest are over 100.00 and I can make my own for 35.00.

    Thank you for that bit of advice, definitely going to look in to it.

    Edit: I think I found it:


    Same hear, I have spend enough years as "Doc" in an Infantry unit to value a bed and indoor plumbing..lol.

    Thank you,
  4. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    May 14, 2005
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    Momandpopmptels.com is the site. Downside is you may have to dig somewhere else to find ratings or comments, but its a good place to start.
  5. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

    Aug 22, 2012
    Orlando Fl

    I have almost 6 months... digging in not a problem ;-)
  6. Nesurfer99

    Nesurfer99 Adventurer

    Dec 22, 2011
    New Jersey
    FWIW I made some heated gear a couple of years ago prior to a NJ to FL run in February. Here are a few things to consider:

    1. Without a heat troller, it is really hard to manage heat. I thought I could just turn stuff on and off. Basically, that didn't work for me. I blistered my feet with heated socks because I couldn;t control the heat.

    2. It's real easy to pull more current then your battery can supply. I was riding an FZ1 at the time and the battery was drained by the time I got into Virginia (about 5 hours of riding).

    3. It's not easy to know how much wire is enough, how much is not enough in any given piece of clothing.

    4. Solder the connections from the wire to the plugs. I didn't, and they came apart all the time.

    When it all worked, it was magic. Unfortunately, mostly it didn't.

    I also found that chemical heat warmers worked great in my boots (one under the toes, one on top). No fuss, no muss.

    Good luck!
  7. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

    Aug 22, 2012
    Orlando Fl

    1. I plan on using a PWM controller, basically a generic version of a heat-troller, one for the jacket and a separate one for the boots. If I do the pants, then I will have one for that as well.

    2. Oh I certainly know, I have figured out how much wattage my bike can spare and have figured out by the foot how much the gear will draw ( I know its only an estimation though). I have a volt meter and that helps keep an eye on it, plus I am not going to set it up to get "hot", I am going to set it up to where to where it only gets "warm", its mostly to take the edge off and let me ditch a layer or two, not so where I can wear a speedo under my gear ;-)

    3. lol, it is kind of a guessing game...lol.

    4. Most certainly... lol.

    I have tried the chemical headers, even the ones designed for low oxygen areas, but they won't work for long in my boots for some reason. :cry