2 Aussies, 2 bikes and a 3 month lap of USA!

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Terry & Janelle, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. WJBertrand

    WJBertrand Ventura Highway

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    With respect to personal property losses such as luggage, that’s usually covered by one’s home owners or renters insurance. Not sure how that would work internationally. Any motorcycle or motorcycle accessories would be covered under the vehicle insurance. Just a note, if you show up at a hospital emergency room here, they legally have to treat you for any life threatening issues. You might be stuck later working out the bills though.


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  2. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Wish it were that easy Jeff.
    Our home insurance only applies to losses in Australia.
    It's the bills afterwards that worry us. And emergency accommodation, follow up treatments etc. Remember we come from a country with free universal health care.

    And then there's emergency return to home (eg family crisis) and trip continue costs as well. Losses for pre booked non refundables. Lost luggage. All that is covered too.

    Travel insurance of some sort is a must. Our question is do we buy in Australia or USA.

    We need to get it as soon as we buy the flights. Another couple of weeks will do it.
  3. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Where’s your sense of adventure?............☠️
  4. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Check out my ‘hit a cow in baja’ on here or google! No insurance for me or the bike! Two broken wrists and eight broken fingers. $100 at the ER in Guerro Negro
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  6. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Bloody Hell! That's fierce! It sucks how your world can change in a second.
    Closest I've come is hitting a roo on my GSX1100 about 30 years ago. We stayed upright but my pillion broke her ankle.
  7. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Been lurking and now that this is looking like it should happen...

    You will want medical insurance, which our German relative found was easier to obtain from your country than once in the US. Yes, hospitals will give you emergency acute care BUT the US medical bills can be staggeringly expensive and if you needed emergency care there will be follow up visits and expenses.

    Nearly all of the PLB emergency buttons go to the same place and can initiate a search to rescue you. It is the rest of the features which separate them and which you compare in shopping for what fits you best. Coverage areas, messaging, one-way vs 2 way, cost, etc.

    As long as I'm in town, the guest bedroom is available and I've had a couple of Aussies come through. Location is about 50 minutes north of DC and same west of Baltimore. Along with the Civil War battlefields and lots of beautiful riding in the countryside, DC has gone through a remarkable renewal for about the last 15 years and become pretty darn vibrant. It also has the best collection of museums in North America with everything from Smithsonian Air & Space, to Natural History, to Native American, to the News Museum, & even a Spy Museum.
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  8. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Hi there. Thanks for all that.

    Yes, your take on insurance is same as ours. We'd already settled on a package but thought it wise to ask here just incase someone had a better idea. We'll likely go with this mob and the add on "Adventure Pack". (if you enter some random dates and the country you'll get the coverage page and see what's included).

    Re PBL's. Ive got some solid advice from Australian Maritime Safety Authority (the ppl who monitor such things here), this little note in particular. "If you purchase your beacon in the US you will be unable to register with AMSA. If you reside in Australia then the PLB should be coded and registered locally to enable the AMSA Search and Rescue immediate access to your registration details to assist with coordination and response." So that settles that. With PBL vs Spot (etc) we don't need the bells and whistles. So an Australian PBL it is. Happy to forward you the full response from AMSA if you want. Lots of tech info in there.

    Re Accom, that sounds totally awesome. Thank you so much. We've marked quite a few days for the DC thing, including a big chuck of time at the Smithsonian. The plan was to hotel it while we're there cause don't want to impose on a family for that long, but I suspect a visit with you for an area briefing would be pure gold!

    As you've seen from other posts, we cant give a accurate date range this far out, but late September/early October will be about right I reckon. If you'll like to PM us contact details we'll record them in our ever growing list of amazing offers.

    Thanks again for your wise comments and we really appreciate your interest in our little adventure.

    T & J.
  9. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    pm to come with contact info.

    Re PLBs - I was referring to the Mission Control Centers which receive the signal and decide what to do with it. With the Aussie address of your device, a signal from your device generated in North America will go to the US or Canadian MCC and be automatically forwarded to the Aussie MCC, which in turn forwards it on to whomever you have listed. It's all behind the scenes and nearly instant magic. Cool stuff.
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  10. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    I've been playing around with video editing. Cause.. you know... Charlie and Ewan.

    We'll be carrying 2 video cams, and likely a drone, as well as a decent DSLR, so would be really nice to get the media side of things right.

    Here's my very amateurish initial efforts from last weekend's coast run on our SV650's. Trust me, it will only get better.
    Lots of edits crammed in to try see how it all looks. I've so much to learn, including labels to identify each rider. (My brake reservoir cap is blue, Janelle's is black. Yes identical bikes, so cute).

    Anyone who has knowledge of this black magic art please feel free to throw you 2 cents worth in.
    And if you know how to save PIP motion key frames while maintaining sizing changes in Power Director 16 please speak up.

    Cheers
  11. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Not sure aboutPower Director but having been using Movavi with success for the little video I do.
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  12. MapleRoad

    MapleRoad Been here awhile Supporter

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    I live near San Jose, was born and raised in this area, and I'm happy to help you with any questions you have about California.

    While you're in Los Angeles, if you have the time, I recommend stopping by Churro Borough. You'll be jumping in the deep end of American gustatory hedonism, combining Mexican fried dessert with ice cream, sandwich style.

    If you are coming to San Francisco from Los Angeles, you have several options:

    Interstate 5: bloody awful, boring, full of trucks and clumps of cars rushing to pass the next truck. I hate driving this freeway in my car, and I avoid it on a bike if at all possible.
    Highway 101: more scenic, still a big slab full of cars
    Highway 1: Coastal, beautiful. Unfortunately sections are meters deep in mudslide debris

    Here's a map of what I recommend. It does have a variable, as sometimes Nascimiento-Fergusson Road, which gets you to the coast from inland, can be closed if the Army is using the area for exercises. N-F Road is a beautiful ride, with one minor water crossing that should be dry in August. If N-F Road is closed, you can continue north on 101 and cross over near Monterey and still see the coast while riding north on 1 for a while. There are many beautiful hotels and campgrounds along the coast, and they are probably fully booked on the weekends.

    I recommend a few stops:

    Hearst Castle: I've not yet been, but it's recommended by many
    Monterey Bay Aquarium: it's one of the best in the world, but requires several hours to enjoy, and is best avoided on weekends

    Big Basin Redwoods State Park: (reached via Highway 9 from Highway 1, which is a fantastic ride through the coastal redwoods, and you can continue north via Hwy 35, which is also delightful. You'll see some of the truly gigantic Sequoia Redwood trees, without the crowds you'd fight at more-popular locations like Muir Redwoods, Yosemite National Park, or Great Sequoia National Park)

    Golden Gate Bridge: In my opinion, the GG is best walked rather than ridden. I recommend parking at the South Plaza and walking across. This also helps you avoid the automated toll system for the bridge. There are no toll attendants, so you're unable to pay cash. They'll probably mail you a toll notice based on a picture of your license plate, but who wants to deal with that rubbish. The toll is on the southbound side, so you could leave SF via the GG if your heart is set on riding it and continue north from there.

    The ride from San Francisco to Sacramento on your way east is generally boring. it also tends to be windy, so get ready to lean while you ride. Slabs and cages abound. Once past Sacramento, you climb into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which are awe-inspiring and beautiful. Of the two routes to Nevada, 80 and 50, I would choose 50 if I had time because it is prettier and will take you to Lake Tahoe. If I were in a hurry, I'd choose 80, which is still lovely but is also a much straighter ribbon of concrete.

    I've found CA drivers to be generally aware of motorcycles, and lane splitting is legal here. As far as I know, it is not legal in other states and there are many videos of motorcyclists being pulled over by the constabulary for doing it. Be forewarned: riding in San Fransisco proper sucks. The traffic is usually bad, the drivers are a deceptive mix of courteous eloi and murderous morlocks.

    You mentioned stopping in the San Francisco area to address any issues discovered during your shakedown. I'm sure you can handle your own minor fiddling, but if you need a lift or tools not found in your kit, MotoGuild is an outfit for folks to wrench on their bikes. If you need something major addressed, there are a ton of dealerships of nearly every stripe in the area.

    A useful website for California: Caltrans Quickmap If you fiddle with the options, you can see highway conditions all over the state. There is also a Quickmap for Mobiles website.

    When your schedule firms up, I'd be happy to meet you somewhere along your route and tag along. I'll PM you.
  13. SFDemo

    SFDemo Been here awhile

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    If your lap comes through Ohio, we can set up some of the infamous TATR-TOT, trans ohio trail. Lots of good riding here, and lots of good people.
  14. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Yep, Ohio certainly seems to be on the route. And that sounds like a wonderful adventure. My Awesome Girl wants to visit Niagara. And we're tossing around this crazy idea of loading everything on a boat somewhere up near Minnesota and cruising down a lake for a few days. Haven't explored the viability of anything yet, but we figure we'd have had 3 weeks on the bikes by then and a few days on a boat might be a nice break.

    Any thoughts?
  15. SFDemo

    SFDemo Been here awhile

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    As far as I know, not much commercial passenger boating, but probably some on lakes. There is a ferry from Milwaukee area to Michigan, which skips part of Flatistan (Indiana)


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  16. SFDemo

    SFDemo Been here awhile

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    Columbus Ohio should be on the list for the AMA museum and Cleveland for rock and roll hall of fame, great roads in between and Amish country


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  17. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    We've now had a chance to study the map you put together for us. Thank you so much! Local knowledge is just the best thing ever! Bloody awesome of you mate!
  18. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    The Ferry Michigan-Manitowoc-Michigan is awesomeness. Badger I think.
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  19. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    What kind of boat are you wanting -- Touring Kayaks on Lake Superior near Duluth, MN, Mississippi River cruise on a tour boat, Great Lake Fishing Charter boat, a rental cabin on a lake with boat included? Fill us in on what you want, and we'll try to help.
  20. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

    Joined:
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    Well we haven't really thought much about that. Except to acknowledge that after 3 weeks or so on the bikes, and 2 months ahead of us, something different might be fun for a few days. So, jeez I dunno, a boat big enough for our bikes, and travelling in the right direction. Anything from a passenger liner to a trawler where we work our passage would suit I reckon.

    As I said, except for a little "wouldn't it be fun... " chat, we haven't really discussed it.

    Earlier in the thread we talked about following the Mississippi from Memphis to NOLA. Now a paddle steamer might be kinda cool there too.

    Love to hear your ideas.