The lost, the bumbling, obviously I'm Norwegian.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Toten, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Heyo.
    Quick'n short about me, I'm 26, bored, and currently jobless.

    So therefore, I'm in the planning stages for a 5'ish month trip in the US.
    Was originally planning to bring my own bike (1200gs) but.. shipping seems to be a pain in the ass, expensive, and alot of paperwork.
    So the plan is now moving towards buying a bike across the pond, and if I like it enough, consider bringing it home.

    The plan, little of it there is, is land somewhere warm (west coast, California 'ish), depending on where I'm most likely to find a bike, or quite simply where I've already found one that is ready for quick lookover and then ride into the sunset.
    Then follow the weather.
    Departure date is somewhen in february.
    End date?
    When my visa expires or my money runs out.
    Whichever strikes first :p

    My plan for sleeping is simple, I'll bring my Amok Draumur Hammock, and find me something to hang it up in as much as possible, if I cant use the hammock I'll probably improvise some cover with a tarp and the motorbike, onto the ground. I'd like to think I'm not too picky!

    The "plan" is to move eastwards following the weather, then north, then down and across the TAT.
    Probably will end up taking a break in Oklahoma visiting family. Then continuing.

    For bike choice, I hope to either find a reputable dealer thats got a used one in stock, or a trusted inmate with one to sell.

    Plan is to get a KTM690 or equivalent (Husky 701?), and ride it pretty much everywhere.

    For gear I'm currently equipped with a set of Rukka jacket/pants, Schubert E1 helmet, Touratech Destino boots, and ortema panzerplate.
    Sporting a Amok hammock, Synmat exped, Cumulus quilt, clean underwear, camera and some gloves, a traveling kitchen the siza of a small bucket, and a sense of adventure.

    The biggest challenge here is the bike of course, I've tried reading up on what I need as a tourist to buy one, and except for insurance (which is given imho), I can't really find much about it, I might need an adress, for whatever reason I cannont understand, but I've got some family in Oklahoma that I'll be able to write down if that's good enough.

    Also would love tips on WHICH insurance company to go for, which phone company to use, routes, tips in general!
    #1
  2. froger

    froger Been here awhile

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    The Tuckers are the people to see about a bike, they do it all the time. Don't know about KTM's or Husky, but at any rate they are a good place to start. Sometimes they buy the bike back at the end of the trip too.

    My experience has been the right agent is more important than which company you insure with. But since a lot a company's got no agents, maybe that don't mean much.

    February's starting early for a lot of the US. The higher mountains for sure. You'll be looking at lower elevations and further south unless you like rain and snow.
    #2
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  3. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    I'm norwegian, rain and snow is summer weather :jkam

    My reason for starting in february is simple, I'm applying for a school that has startup mid august, and a month in norway is probably more expensive than a month on the road.

    But, uh, who/what is/are "The Tuckers"?:confused
    #3
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  4. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    Tuckers are a couple living in California who help folks who are visiting the US to purchase motorcycles. Seem to have a good reputation. A PM to them might help you out. Good luck.
    #4
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  5. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Second that you visit with the Tuckers. They seem to do a very good job on this. Don't know anything about their charges for the service. Do a search here on ADVrider for "Tuckers" and you'll find them. But, if your family in OK can help, and you can navigate all the government rules for buying and registering the cycle, Oklahoma may have lower taxes than California on your motorcycle.

    Also, Air Canada runs affordable shipping of motorcycles if you are also on the plane. This is limited to certain cities and times, and you don't want to ride in Canada in Feb, unless you are Norwegian or a polar bear.

    Other cycles to consider if keeping them after is not too important: KLR 650, V-Strom 650 or 1000, DR-350, BMW 700 or 800. I like KTMs a lot, and own one, but question their maintenance requirements and reliability for such a long trip. But if you are going that way, don't forget the 950 and 990 models.
    #5
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  6. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    I will definately check out the Tuckers, sounds like a great couple.

    Canada Air doesn't ship until start of May, as waiting isnt really an option.. :)

    I dont mind spending a few days slogging it slowly down south through bad weather, which makes me more able to buy further away.
    Bad weather is 90% about clothing, and the last 10% is not driving like an idiot.

    Reason for going for a 690 is the weight, KLR is also on the list.
    What I'm hoping for is the middle ground between weight and power, reliability, and price :)
    #6
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  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Yes, his screen name is TUCKERS in all caps like that. He and his wife live near LAX airport, which is one of the most saturated used motorcycle markets in the USA. He knows how to get them registered to a tourist.

    Although the 701 sounds like a great bike, there are a lot less Husky dealers in the USA than KTM dealers. BMW has even more. You might add the 650/700/800 GS bikes to your list of possibilities.

    Your timeline sounds pretty good. February is a great time to visit the Southern California deserts such as Death Valley. It is also a good time to ride the California coast. Summer heat tends to draw the ocean fog inland, so if you catch a dry spell (very common) the coast will be clear and nice. The California mountain passes will still be closed for the winter, but you can see those at the end of your loop if you are coming all the way back around.
    #7
  8. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    February/early March is also a good time for Big Bend NP in Texas.
    Get a National Parks annual pass at the first one you visit and it will be money very well spent.

    If you're not aware of it, check out the tent space thread here:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/tent-space-map-v2.1215147/

    And my son Samuel in Michigan, who has visited a few times and hopes to go to school in Norway, would not forgive me if I didn't extend an invite.
    So if you find yourself near Pittsburgh, PA feel free to ping me (I should be in England in February and March, but back by the time the weather makes venturing northeast viable).
    And I'm sure Sam, who's a few years older than you, would welcome you if you end up near Kalamazoo - he doesn't ride, but would love a chance to further polish his Norse speaking skills.

    Best of luck on your trip!
    #8
  9. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

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    I think we might be related :D
    #9
  10. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Cheers, don't know if I'll be up in your area, but if I am I'll try to remember :p
    I'm aware of the tent space, going to use it judiciously.

    Hadnt thought of the National Parks annual pass, will definitely get one!

    Hmmm
    Well there was a lot of norwegian immigrants once upon a time... :thumb
    #10
  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I’m trying to contact OP now.
    #11
  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Thanks everyone. I've sent Toten all the info and service I provide. If anyone is intrigued pm me your email and I'll send it to you. I have three bikes for International travelers sitting at my house right now. Quite varied, 2014 BMW R1200GS, 2013 KTM 690 Enduro R and a 1998 Suzuki DR350! I rarely sell bikes, I buy used bikes for travelers...custom ordered..... then perform any prep they ask for. I also do DMV and arrange insurance. I only troll ADVrider and get my travelers here or by recommendation. I don't have a website. It's not a full time gig, its not even a part time gig, it's a hobby that pays its way. I'm retired. I was a California Licensed Vehicle Dealer......and a DMV expert......but my passion was, is and ever will be motorbikes. (and the Mrs tucker).
    #12
  13. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Communications are indeed in effect!

    I've got a few questions that needs answering from whoever has the answers:
    Phone company, I've got a phone I hope I'll be able to use (Huawei p10), but I'd like to get an american phone number etc for mobile internet and communications if possible, also a phone number I can use for family to contact me without bleeding money :D

    Gas canisters for cooking, I've come to realise there is two types, one you twist on/off, and one that clicks on and is locked, somehow. And here in Norway we've got both kinds avaible, and I've got a kit for the twister, which is superior in my mind since I can take it off to save space etc.
    If you can understand that gibberish; Which is the most readily avaible in the US?

    And are private roads well marked?
    If I get lost and stumble into one, am I screwed if the owner is unhappy or is it his fault for not setting up signs whether it is private road or is it my fault for bumbling about?

    Bear Spray?!

    More to come, probably.
    :thumb
    #13
  14. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    If you have a smart phone get the Skype app and you can communicate very inexpensively over internet with Norway. Costs nothing if the other end is receiving on Skype , a few cents per minute if they are receiving on a land line or other non Skype device.

    Private roads where entry is allowed are usually marked or gated with a reminder that you are entering private property with consent as long as you observe their rules .If they do not want you to pass through at all they will most likely have a locked gate ,chain or cable barricade and signs saying "POSTED " or " Private Road, Do Not Enter " or similar wording .
    #14
  15. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    jetboil.jpg

    I think this is what you mean. Widely available.
    I have never carried bear spray. I don't think you'll need it. Practice good campsite management in areas where bears are a problem.
    It is not as dangerous as you may suspect in the US. We very rarely shoot Norwegians. :lol3
    #15
  16. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Thank you!

    Hopefully that means I can bring my own kit from home that I love and trust to not spontaneously combust.

    Gonna throw it out here: if someone has a dr650 they want to get rid of, I'm getting more attracted to it the more stupid stuff I read about it :D
    #16
  17. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer

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    I sent you a PM.
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  18. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Challenge is I'd like to be able to do that without being reliant on finding some wifi, or using my norwegian sim-card, since that'll eat up funds at an exhorbitant rate.
    Also having an US phone number would cheapen calling workshops ahead of time, order tyres etc.

    Great info on the roads :nod
    #18
  19. froger

    froger Been here awhile

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    I have toured the west a long time, first on street bikes, now as an old FF on a dual sport. Mines a KLR, but still a 650 single.

    If your happy cruising 60-70 most of the time, with enough left over for hills, headwinds, and passing people, you'll like it fine. If you want to go 80 or better a lot, you won't. On paved backroads where speeds not an issue, they are better. Going up a river canyon at 40-50 mph, a street bikes struggles in top, yet the next gear down is too low. 650 dual sports are in their element there, and are happy to plod along.

    Duel sport seats, their beyond awful for touring. You may be young and tough, but would still be better off with a good seat.

    Western freeways are a mixed bag. Not all stink, some are quite nice. The bigger secondary roads are like two lane freeways, with guardrails, passing lanes, and the worst of the corners straightened out. Below these though, are a million miles of paved backroads. They are a bit narrower, a little rougher, and don't need sissy stuff like guardrails. They follow the trails used by the settlers wagons, and the Indians before them. These roads go up canyons and across passes that were the easy way when you didn't have the ability to bulldoze everything in sight. On roads like these, dual sports work great.

    Should you find yourself hungry in a one horse town with no restaurants, the local bars will usually feed you. Depending on where you go, you'll probably see some small towns that are flat on their ass.
    #19
  20. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    I plan to avoid freeways/highways as much as possible, I've traveled that alot already.
    I hope to be able to do so atleast, backroads, gravel and forest roads, avoid big cities, camp in bumfuck nowhere, and ride at a speed I feel safe and comfortable with :)

    Oh yes I've tried the 2x4 seats most dualsports come with. I can deal with it, but it'll be on the list of upgrades I'm planning to get at the start or very early, depending on when I know for certain what bike I'll sit on, where it'll be etc.
    Food I HOPE I'll be able to cook most myself, maybe splurge here and there, but 5$ lunch every day suddenly becomes expensive over a longer period.

    I plan to have space dedicated for food, probably will spend the first few weeks figuring out what canned goods taste best!
    Having a pack of hardboiled eggs, a loaf of bread, and I've got lunch for a few days for very little :D
    #20