Across the US on a ZX-10R

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by sam0182, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Hey ADV, I'm preparing for a trip across the US on my ZX10R in late Sept.

    About f̶i̶v̶e̶ six years ago (wow, time flies), I had a small thread here documenting a summer of touring the Northwest US, Canada and Alaska on an R6. I'm looking to carry out a similar thread/photo documentary next month with the ZX10R run.

    That old thread below (and a couple photos from those rides).

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/a-summer-of-touring-on-an-r6.916401/

    [​IMG]sammybiker_IMG-20130616-00714_zpsfc2c677e by sam burn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]sammybiker_409_10100822829450253_1156527843_n_zpsc4a89c7d by sam burn, on Flickr
    #1
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  2. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    My Loadout

    For this ride, I'll be running with my 2008 ZX10R with just a little over 20k mikes. Soft saddlebags and probably a duffle strapped on top of those. I'll need to do some more shopping for a tank bag as the one I picked up online doesn't work with the odd gen 3 ZX10R tank. And that's about it!

    As this is a work sponsored demobilization, I won't be roughing it - hotels every night and fuel/meals paid for. I'll also be hot tracking, trying to make it across in a week (or less).

    The route is still to be determined but will start in Pennsylvania and end in Washington State.

    More to follow.

    [​IMG]IMG_1044 by sam burn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1078 by sam burn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]61388246_10104522765768213_7019106455890427904_n by sam burn, on Flickr
    #2
  3. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    have fun, don’t get pinched. There was a time I could ride a 10R on a trip like that (I had an 04) but my sportbike days are drawing to a close ;-(
    #3
  4. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    Have a blast.
    #4
  5. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray Glistening Shaft Supporter

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    Slower, Not Slowest.
    I'm excited to read about it. Be Safe Friend.
    #5
  6. Vrode

    Vrode Wait....what?

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    Should be a good ride. It wasn't bad on an FZ1 (Gen1), but then I was 59. I would suggest some form of throttle relief (throttle lock, rocker, etc) for the long, boring stretches.
    Ride safe, have fun, be cool!
    #6
  7. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Last October I went from Salem ,Ore. to Lexington , Ky. in 6.5 days on a new to me V-1000 Suzuki. The route was mostly 2 laners and included stops at Crater Lake , Big Basin and up Pikes Peak. My advantage being taller handlebars and a throttle lock.
    You've got this.
    #7
  8. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    So what's happening with this ride? Long time since last post.
    #8
  9. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

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    Thanks man, I'm looking forward to it. I remember when the 10R first came out in 2004 and what an insane bike it was at the time. And still is. Would love to have an 04-05 gen 1 some day.

    Thanks!

    Thanks and will do.

    Thanks - I'm looking at the Kaoko throttle lock but haven't pulled the trigger yet. But I know I'll need it. The Madison, WI to Fargo to Billings, MT will be tough.

    Thank you! Yeah, I wish I had more time to take more two lane roads but I won't, unfortunately.

    Sure thing.

    I just took the bike to the local shop here in Bangor, ME to have new sprockets, chain and a set of Pilot Power 2CT tires installed. I had to run the bike over to the shop in my pick-up as I had ran the rear tire down to the wires.

    The shop was kind enough to drop the bike and chip the left fairing and then try to clean it up with some plastic bondo? Sucks as the bike was pretty close to a perfect 2008 specimen but it probably won't be the last scuff she gets.

    Other than that, not much - I'm two weeks out from departure. I'll go in for one last oil change before I leave and do a once over to make sure everything is cranked down tight but that's about it.

    image2 (1).jpeg image1 (2).jpeg
    #9
  10. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    I hope they compensated you for damages! I'd be PO'd.

    And I'd suggest a dry bag to strap down behind you, if it rains no worries. And Frogg Toggs for cheap Breathable rain gear.

    Take as many backroads as possible - watch out for Jonny Law!
    #10
  11. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

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    Thanks @RhinoVonHawkrider - I do have a large dry bag that will keep my laptops and other critical electronics dry inside the duffel bag. And I'm really hoping to avoid the law.

    #11
  12. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    I did a trial fit and ride with all the gear last night to mediocre results. I picked-up a couple extra bungee cords and ratchet straps this morning to beef it up a bit. The duffel ended up being a lot larger than I had anticipated.

    I'll also go through all my shit again tonight and see what I can eliminate. After this West bound trip, I'm traveling for four weeks, so I do need some stuff but perhaps I can cut back a bit more.

    Below was my loadout three years ago on a ZZR600 during a move from Washington State to Houston.

    [​IMG]13669783_10102473779607903_3072580074314204331_n by sam burn, on Flickr

    And below was last night's trial fit...

    MOTO1.jpg



    MOTO3.jpg

    MOTO5.jpg

    I'll continue to experiment.

    Rough route is shown below. I'll be trucking the bike from Bangor to Pittsburgh starting Friday 20-Sept at noon. Truck is left in storage in Pittsburgh and the intent is to be on the bike leaving Pittsburgh by Saturday 21-Sept by noon.

    It's been three years since I've done 600+ mile days on a sportbike and I'm not in nearly as good of shape as I was back then. I'm a little apprehensive as to how I'll manage and anxious to start. Shooting for about ~650 miles a day.

    ROUTE.png
    #12
  13. davidaid

    davidaid Adventurer

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    Jun 13, 2008
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    45
    Are those bungee cords? Spend a few extra dollars and get Rok Straps. Much better.
    #13
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  14. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
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    Location:
    West Central Indiana
    Great suggestion!
    Some Rok straps would be perfect.
    Also, might look at some Green Chili (strap system) solutions.

    If you're out of time and leaving sooner than Amazon can get them to you go to the camping section at Walmart a d get some of their $2 or $3 gear straps.

    They're not great bit they're a whole lot better than bungee cords. They're cheap, and they can be cinched down.

    Have a couple of extras though in case one of the closure buckles breaks.
    You can probably get enough with spares for that duffle bag for $8 to $12.

    I also always have 25 to 30 feet of P Cord stowed away someplace just in case.

    Good luck
    #14
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  15. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    West Central Indiana
    If you cut and paste this into the Google search it should shown the straps I talked about

    Walmart # 552644077
    #15
  16. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

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    Thanks gents for the recommendations.
    #16
  17. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    REI has some great straps, walmart sleeping bag straps with aluminum cleats are not bad.
    #17
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  18. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    22
    Day 1 kicked off yesterday from Bangor, Maine. I got up at 530am for work and left work by 12noon. I've got to leave my truck in Pittsburgh so the ZX was in the back for the first part of the journey. No major drama, stayed in Scranton for the night and got going at 7am this morning for Pittsburgh.

    Made it to Pittsburgh today at 12noon. Got the bike unloaded with the help of Bill at StoreXpress storage in Mckees Rocks. He saw all my shit and reminisced some on a cross country trip he had done decades before. Great guy. Got the truck in storage, some beautiful porsches in storage too, a couple mint looking 911s and a 944 that looked like it rolled off the assembly line yesterday. My tacoma rust bucket will be in good company.

    Pittsburgh was fucking hot today. I was sweating getting the bike packed up and that was before putting the leathers on. On they went, triple check of the straps (wasn't able to get any of the recommended straps in time prior to leaving), stuck with bungees and ratchet straps.

    Got on the road by 1pm, leaving Pittsburgh with the goal of getting to Elkhart, Indiana by evening. Google maps loaded, sweet, lets go.

    5 miles later, my 6mo old iphone overheated and shut down. Never happened before, I suppose the heat/sunlight/google maps + pandora from Scranton burned it out. No issues, I flagged down a couple young guys at a sports complex - one must have been high as shit, the other seemed embarrassed and quickly offered some directions to get West going towards Chicago. Find 79 N, keep on that until just after the Cranberry exit and you'll see an exit for Youngstown, Ohio. Take it.

    Boom done.

    The next 350 miles went relatively smoothly. (3) gas stops, a couple close calls with Johnny law but everyone was moving at 85 (indicated) and myself trucking along at 90-95 (indicated) wasn't much of an issue.

    Took some heavy rain this afternoon in Toledo for 10 miles. I forgot how quick leathers get soaked. All good though, once I got through that, had some sun and things dried out quickly at 95mph, all but the socks.

    @RhinoVonHawkrider the dry bag I picked up worked perfectly, thanks again for that. The laptops and essentials are in that, clothes and other stuff in trash bags.

    Made it Elkhart, Indiana, showered and now emptying the Hilton Garden Inn's supply of budlight.

    St. Cloud MN is the target for tomorrow, about 590 miles. I'm sore today but felt I could have gone further. Tomorrow will be a good test to see if I can still do 600 mile days.

    Photos to follow, nothing really of the ride as I was go-go-go today, will try and take more tomorrow.

    Leaving Bangor

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    She's in the back for the first 800 miles Bangor, ME to Pittsburgh, PA

    unnamed (2).jpg

    The Radisson in Scranton PA

    unnamed (1).jpg

    Parking for the night next to a manual miami blue cayman. Being a 911 die hard, I used to hate the cayman until I drove one. Especially when mated with a manual transmission and the mid engine flat screaming right behind your head...ooof.

    unnamed.jpg

    And this is somewhere in Ohio this afternoon.

    unnamed (5).jpg

    This is right now. A couple more of these and then bed and St. Cloud tomorrow. See you ADV.

    unnamed (4).jpg
    #18
  19. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Day 3 started with getting packed up and on the ride by 745 from Elkhart, Indiana with a target to make it to St. Cloud, MN.

    The day started off rough with some issues with my pack and how it was drawn down with the ratchet strap. It coming loose and shifting over to the right, dragging my right saddle bag down with it. I just made it into gas stop #1 as it was coming loose.

    I spent 10 minutes securing it correctly and got back on my way. Got through Chicago no issues but about 50 miles outside Chicago, the rain came. Light at first and then heavy. I maintained best I could for another ~80 miles before pulling off. I couldn't see, was soaked and after checking the forecast, it was rain all the way up into Minnesota, 99%, until 5PM. The iPhone was also failing again and battery was soon close to dead.

    I called it a day and took the backroads to Madison/South Prarie and grabbed a hotel. Less than 300 miles for the day.

    I slept from 3pm to 10pm and then again from midnight to 630am. I was beat.

    Day 4 got off to a great start. I was moving by 745, pack was stable and required minimal adjustment and I shot through my 100 mile gas stops.

    I generally don't eat during the ride, preferring to mini-fast until after the riding is done. During a 600 mile day, I'll usually pick-up at small redbull at the 300 mile mark but that's it. For me, I feel it helps keep me focused, not sleepy and motivated for that meal (and beer) once finished.

    A little before Eau Claire, I found a running buddy in the form of a not so stock f350. He and I took turns running the speed up for some 30 miles and he eventually took an exit, both of us exchanging thumbs up as we went our separate ways.

    Day 4 ended with little drama in Jamestown, ND. My first 600 mile day on the bike and while beat, I felt great. I was passed out by 730 and up again at 730 the next day.

    Day 5 kicked off at 730 and after packing - legit worst part of the trip, I was on the road by 8am local time.

    As I merged onto 94 West, my visor was hit with what I hoped were bugs but knew were rain drops. 5 seconds later, rain drops were confirmed as a steady but light-med rain started.

    I was able to keep my speed up and keep away from semi-trucks and stay relatively dry for the first 30 miles. Milemark 45 and I could feel the water coming into my boots. By mile 70, the storm had turned South as I came into Bismark and in the distance, I could see light blue skies. Talk about happy.

    North Dakota blew by. Wind was rough at times but reasonable. And then came Montana.

    Eastern Montana was great, low wind and I was able to maintain high cruising speeds consistently. Left lane campers have also been consistent throughout the trip and Montana was no exception. I lost count of how many times semi trucks would attempt to pass another semi with an incline <1 mile. Frustrating but the accepted norm I suppose.

    Just outside Miles City, the wind got bad. After passing through Billings, it was worse. I could barely manage the speed limit and was being thrashed around my lane. 400lbs of bike + 250lb rider w/gear + 100lbs in the tailbag/duffel, getting thrown around. Aside from that, temps had come up and riding was good.

    50 miles outside of Bozeman, the winds died down and the roads got better. Made good times into Bozeman and had a blast on the last 20 miles of fast sweepers before getting into town. Left ND at 8am local time, arrived in Bozeman at 3pm local time (4pm local time ND). That's 682 miles with an average speed of 85mph, including 6 gas stops, one of which I called the girlfriend for 5mins.

    The bike has been running very well, chain is not too loose and weather looks dry albeit chilly tomorrow morning.

    A few photos below but I haven't taken many. I'm very happy to be back out West and look forward to making it home to my family farm tomorrow. Only about 500 miles to go.

    My initial stop a little way outside of Madison, realizing the weather wasn't going away.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 5.07.19 PM.png

    Just before getting into Madison & right before the iPhone went dead.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 5.08.06 PM.png

    My only photo from Day 4 - after checking into the hotel, I grabbed MCD and tied a 6pack onto the passenger seat.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 5.07.28 PM.png

    Today, Day 5, just before coming into Bozeman.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 5.07.58 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 5.07.38 PM.png
    #19
  20. sam0182

    sam0182 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
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    Day 6 started off cold in Bozeman. I was on the road by 745am and racked up the miles pretty quick. 90W in Eastern Montana was a blast and I kept a steady pace and really enjoyed the fast sweepers that were offered up. The miles flew by.

    By the time Idaho come on, the temps had come up and the riding was pure joy.

    I ended up in Spokane at 1145 local time, maintaining a good 82mph pace, especially considering the construction and slower ID and WA roads. Then another hour and something to the family farm where the trip concluded.

    I'm glad I did it and I'm glad it's over. I plan to hit the old spiral highway outside of Lewiston later this week with my brother on his R6 and maybe we'll head down to Enterprise and Joseph.

    Thanks ADV. A few photos from the Day 6 below.

    Quick stop at my sister's place in Spokane, WA

    IMG_3611.jpeg

    Finally home at the family farm in SE Washington.

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    The dog was happy to see me.

    59114124569__FAF76FB4-821E-48AD-96ED-470FE77FD851.jpeg

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    #20