Would this be crazy for a noobie?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by azrunner, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. azrunner

    azrunner Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    25
    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.
    #1
  2. westcoasttrekker

    westcoasttrekker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    131
    Location:
    Stanwood, Wa.
    This sounds crazy. :eek1
    Be sure to take lots of pictures and post a ride report when you return safely.
    #2
  3. rogerc

    rogerc FJRider

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Gilroy, ca
    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
    #3
  4. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Frankston, Australia
    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!". :D
    #4
  5. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    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.

    DD
    #5
  6. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    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.

    DD
    #6
  7. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    southern interior B.C.
    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. :clap
    #7
  8. azrunner

    azrunner Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    25
    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.
    #8
  9. glwestcott

    glwestcott surfnturf

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Stockton, CA
    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)
    #9
  10. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones AdventureDeficitDisorder

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,331
    Location:
    San Diego, not Mex, but I can smell it from here.
    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.
    #10
  11. Tucson Jim

    Tucson Jim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ

    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.
    #11
  12. Tork

    Tork Pinsetter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,550
    Location:
    Duvall, WA.
    You would be crazy not to do it. :1drink
    #12
  13. alpiner84

    alpiner84 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    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!
    #13
  14. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,340
    Location:
    Lexington, Virginia
    +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.

    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
    #14
  15. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones AdventureDeficitDisorder

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,331
    Location:
    San Diego, not Mex, but I can smell it from here.

    :D "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.
    #15
  16. the_sandman_454

    the_sandman_454 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    431
    Location:
    Coleman, Michigan
    I would say put a ton of miles on the 250 for now, and then once you've purchased the new bike, maybe plan to stick around the area for a bit (or find a less populated area) and spend a few hours getting familiar with the handling of the bike, friction zone of the clutch, throttle response, etc.

    After that, I don't see a problem provided you take a route that doesn't involve slab. Interstates are not a terribly fun place to be for a dualsport type bike, given the potentially heavy traffic traveling at high speeds. Interstate highway type speeds are probably not the best for running in a new engine either. I would plan a route involving back roads, and take your time on the way home. May as well explore a little while you're already away from home.

    Pack light since you don't want to have to figure out how to secure a ton of crap on the bike for this.

    Do a ride report, that sounds like it'll be an interesting trip.
    #16
  17. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,394
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast
    Its doable; but it will not be fun. Wrong bike for that trip and if you do it, the trip will take longer than you think.
    #17
  18. bymbie

    bymbie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Canadian Subarctic
    The bike is an excellent choice and the trip is a no-brainer: DO IT :clap Make sure you decide on a break-in procedure in advance, have a plan in place and carry the necessary stuff to do an oil change (or get it done, but I would still carry the oil filter)... Other than that, have fun.
    #18
  19. azrunner

    azrunner Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    25
    I'm really appreciating all the advice and recommendations. I hadn't thought about taking my Camelback but I can see where that would be helpful. I also hadn't thought about doing an oil change along the way. I definitely want to break in the engine correctly.
    I like traveling light. Fortunately, I have a self cleaning body. It always amazes my wife how many days I get away with wearing the same clothes on weekends.
    I've actually riden a bicycle 180 miles in one day through the Colorado Rockies. I've done a century in under 5 hours without getting off the bicycle. The thought of covering 100-300 miles daily at my leisure through senic country excites me.
    #19
  20. ybracing

    ybracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Bad Idea!

    That being said, it is clear that you have already decided to do it.

    Things to think about:

    Drink plenty of water! Yes, buy a camelback backpack for the water and snacks.
    Practice on your friends bike doing long distances (200+miles) for several days in a row.
    Buy a good waterproof riding jacket and pants and waterproof boots. The other option is buy a cheap set of waterproof outerwear (http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/45/80/250/975/-/17000/Firstgear-Sierra-Motorcycle-Jacket). The weather can change in a heart beat. Also a good pair of gloves.
    The information in this link will help you on your journey:
    http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/aowprintout.cfm
    Have a route planned out (however loose you want), mainly for fuel stops, food and lodging.

    The bike:

    Bike seat comfort- the Husky seat is not comfortable after a couple of hours of slab. Plan on stopping every 100 miles or so and get off of the bike to rub your ass and stretch your legs. You will probably need fuel by then anyways. It's not the same as a bicycle.
    Riding a new bike down the interstate for an extended period of time is not a good way to break it in. You need to increase and decrease the rpm constantly during the break in period. This can be done on the interstate if you concentrate on it.
    Research bike shops along your route so you know where you can pick up motor oil (use only oil specifically for motorcycles).
    Carry an oil filter with you. You can stop at the 99 cent store and pick up a gallon of water (water for the camelback) plastic container to use for disposal of the waste oil, a disposable aluminum turkey baking pan and a roll of paper towels.
    Drain the oil into the turkey baking pan then pour it into the gallon container. Use the paper towels to soak up any spilled oil and wipe out the turkey pan when finished. Use the plastic bag from the 99 cent store to put the old filter, used paper towels and the turkey pan in and through in dumpster (I know, not the proper disposal of the filter). Drop the used oil off at the closest auto parts store (they will usually keep the container if you ask them to).
    Call the dealer and make sure the new bike comes with a tool kit with everything you need to change the oil. If not find out what additional tools are needed.
    Check the air pressure in the tires prior to starting your ride. The dealers seem to forget this in their bike prep.
    Check youtube for a video on how to change the oil on that bike.
    Carry a front inner tube (can be used in rear if needed) an air pump and at least 2 tire irons. You might want to practice replacing the tube on your friends bike. It's not the same as a bicycle.

    Ok, all that being said,

    Relax and enjoy the first of hopefully many wonderful adventures on your new bike. :clap

    Remember: This is how truly great adventures start!
    #20