First trip on first bike.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by codeDirtyToMe, Oct 23, 2018.

?

Will I survive?

Poll closed Oct 29, 2018.
  1. Maybe.

    83.8%
  2. Nope.

    16.2%
  1. codeDirtyToMe

    codeDirtyToMe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    NC
    As a child and young adult, I occasionally rode my friends' mini bikes, dirt bikes, and my uncle's Triumph Bonneville once. In other words, not much riding experience at all. However, it was more than enough to provide that itch that needs to be scratched. I've always entertained the idea of eventually getting a license and my own motorcycle, but for various reasons I never really got around to it. There were many times in traffic when I would see a passing Ducati and my mind would, again, consider getting a motorcycle. Not enough money, not enough time, no where to keep it, leaving for the Army soon; the list goes on.

    As luck, or fate, would have it, I met a friend who introduced me to the idea of adventure riding via the "Long Way Round" documentary many years ago. To be honest, before seeing that film, I thought dual-sports and adventure touring bikes were dorky. And to be even more honest, I still think they are pretty damn dorky looking. I was always more attracted to those overpriced naked Italian bikes, and I still am. However, the idea of going on a motorcycle adventure was so damn romantic. And by romantic, I don't mean the adult definition of romantic, I mean the cowboy with two six shooters on his hips riding into the sunset on his horse romantic.

    So, here I am about to buy a dorky looking dual-sport motorcycle instead of some drop dead gorgeous naked bike. Fears of buyers remorse are hard to shake, but I know I'm making the right decision. The first time I'm riding along a paved rode and, with no hesitation, decide to see where that dirt path leads to; that's when I'll know for sure I made the right decision.

    For reasons that I will explain at a later date, the exact route will be kept a secret until after the ride is complete. I can say that it will be this weekend (27 Oct 18). I will be by myself. It will most likely be raining with wind gust up to 15mph, low 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the trip will be approximately 65 miles. Oh, and this will be immediately after buying the bike, as in this is the ride home. And I still only have my learners permit.

    Things I've heard from family, friends, and coworkers:
    1. You're crazy.
    2. You're gonna die.
    3. You know it's gonna be cold, right?
    4. Don't do it.
    5. Wait for better weather.
    6. Just tow it, man.

    Well, just like I don't drink to get sober, I'm not buying a dual-sport motorcycle to only ride it in nice weather. Also, I have the TAT to prepare for in July-August. Remember that friend I mentioned earlier? Yeah, we're doing the TAT. Finally, on a more serious note, when compared to the other difficult and dangerous things I've done in my life, this is pretty damn mild. No, I'm not bragging, it just is what it is.

    Things I've done to prepare:
    1. Took stock of some old Army gear I still have that may be helpful for the trip. Those silk top and bottoms will provide a great first layer. The thermals will do nicely as a second. Picture below.
    2. Ordered winter riding gloves, thick socks, lace protectors, thermal knee pads, and thermal balaclava. It will all be here by Thursday and Friday.
    3. Made a tentative primary route.
    4. Talked my girlfriend into driving me there.
    5. Decided on an insurance provider.

    Things I need to do:
    1. Buy a helmet and jacket. I will do the helmet and jacket on Friday (at a local store). I don't like buying things like these online. An exact fit is important to me. The Icon Airflite looks promising.
    2. Finalize primary and secondary route. I plan to stay off the highway as much as possible.
    3. Find an online owners manual for the bike so that I can familiarize myself with the controls.
    4. Call the insurance company in order to figure out the administrative hoop jumping that I need to do to get the bike insured as soon as I purchase it.
    5. Piece together a recovery kit.

    Before I forget, the bike is a Suzuki DR650s. I was originally dead set on getting the XR650L, but decided against it for a couple reasons. First, the ride height of the XR is just too much. I would need to lower it by at least two inches. Also, I would end up installing an oil cooler, but the Suzuki already has one. There's also the fact that I found a DR for $1000 less than the lowest priced XR I could find.

    As it stands now, I'm no where close to ready for this, but I know this is one of those things that will come together right before it kicks off.

    Here's a picture of what I have for the trip so far...
    20181023_192643.jpg
    It's just the first two layers and my boots (an old pair of Doc Martens). Still, that's like $100 dollars in thermals already taken care of.

    You can expect another post on Thursday and/or Friday before the trip. By then I should have just about everything clothing wise that I will need. I have a mountain of tools if anyone (especially DR650 riders) has any suggestions on what I should take for a recovery kit. Obvious things like a pocket knife and 100 mph tape can be omitted from suggestions. I'll try to post the actual trip on Saturday, but I may be busy riding. If so, I'll do it for sure by Sunday evening.
    #1
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  2. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    463
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    You're gonna have too much fun! Members of my tribe envy you :D
    #2
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  3. jojofett.an

    jojofett.an Don't Be Saucy With Me, Bearnaise

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2018
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Shit, you got a woobie. What more would you need?
    #3
  4. Suncoaster

    Suncoaster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    Where the girls are green and the grass is pretty.
    Careful you don't catch those boot laces on your pegs or pedals when you come to a stop !
    :muutt
    DAMHIK
    #4
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  5. ctfz1

    ctfz1 been there

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,694
    Location:
    Waterbury, CT, USA
    My first street motorcycle was traded for in late November. Rebuilt not running. Wasted 4 hours shop time at a dealer (doubt the mechanic ever saw that model, or maybe any before) 66 Benelli 125 four stroke.
    Got it going in late December, put 5,000 miles on between then and June. Thoroughly enjoyed the riding, the learning not so much.
    Putting together gear that worked was hardest.
    Discovering things I did not know was next.
    fwiw what I learned did and still does me well. But I was a semi cautious youngster.
    #5
  6. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,881
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    Great motorcycle choice! Gear is always an ongoing quest, but getting stuff that fits is key so you're wise to try stuff on rather guessing on-line as I find sizing varies greatly from the different manufacturers. You are close enough to home that even a little wet and chilly riding won't be a real issue and you can assess options for the TAT over the months you have to prepare. Keep it fun and get some miles in practicing as much as possible and perhaps ride a bit with a competent area rider that you could trust to provide good feedback and tips on what you are doing well and not so well proficiency wise.

    Have the Dealer email you the vehicle information to include the VIN and contact your insurance company with the date to start coverage. Have them email a copy of the coverage or pick up the proof of insurance if their agent is local and you will have all you need for the registration and/or financing prior to going to pick the bike up.

    Congratulations!
    #6
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  7. HPPants

    HPPants Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    95
    I'm quite certain your military experience will be invaluable. You've picked an excellent first bike. Dead nuts reliable, very lightweight, and forgiving power-wise.

    Resist the temptation to "finalize the plan". Have situational awareness, but leave yourself time to wander. Trust me - the very best stuff finds you when you least expect it.

    Welcome to the group. I'm just a street rider, but it doesn't matter. 2-wheeled therapy of any kind counts. By the end of the week, you will understand the true meaning of freedom, and you will know why the others just don't get it. There is no more box. You are only limited by your imagination. Ride on, my friend.
    #7
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  8. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,636
    Location:
    Northcentral PA
    Tool kit needed for a DR650???
    :lol3

    Gas and go!!!!


    Gearwise-get better boots than those shown. Either true motorcycle boots or a good leather work boot...8-10" high.



    Have fun!!!!!
    #8
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  9. Vrode

    Vrode Hangin' Out

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
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    2,683
    Location:
    Vermont
    The gear requirements vary according to taste, needs, etc and take some time to work thru. You'll get there. In the meantime....
    You have a plan.
    It's only 65 miles.
    Take your time.
    Don't do anything stupid.
    Good luck.
    #9
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  10. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,150
    Location:
    White House, TN
    You've made good decisions up to this point. The Doc Martens will do for now, since you'll be on pavement and this first ride is only 65 miles. Bring an extra pair of socks. It may quit raining, and dry socks can make a miserable experience much better.
    Bring zip ties.
    Is the DR a new one? Either way, don't run it too hard for the first half of the trip, until you're familiar with its comfort zone. Not every bike likes to cruise at 40mph, and not every bike likes cruise at 80mph. Avoiding the interstate isn't a bad idea, but don't be afraid of the big road if the alternative is a million stop lights through suburbia. Soccer moms don't look out their windows.
    You picked a great bike, and once you decide to go more dirt, or more street, you may end up going bigger or smaller, but the DR650 is one of very few bikes that is pretty good at all of it. As far as looks go, it won't take long before you'll see beauty in utility, and you'll learn to love a bare-bones dual sport bike.
    Ducatis are amazing, but if you can only have one bike, get the one that will do everything you want to do. Bikes are meant to be ridden more than looked at, and all that speed and power will get you hurt or in trouble faster than the 40-something hp most 650 thumpers have.
    Take an MSF course, it'll lower your insurance costs a bit, and you may learn something that saves your butt.
    #10
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  11. NickSoOr

    NickSoOr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Medford Oregon
    As for gear Don't over look you issue gortex pants and jacket . Other than that. Check oil .Top off tank and head home. Listen for any ood noises.
    #11
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  12. NickSoOr

    NickSoOr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Medford Oregon
    Oh and go jump on the dr650 tread and start reading.
    #12
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  13. easyrider88

    easyrider88 POsIng PrO

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    clintonville,wisconsin
    still remember my first bike purchase and ride home.about 15 miles in Milwaukee with my 67 Yamaha big bear,went great until it rained and I HIT the BRAKES a bit to HARD.wouldnt have mattered on dry pavement.BUT I started to slide on the wet.lucky I wasn't going too fast and didn't crash.but I learned a great lesson that day.BE SOFT ON THE BRAKES when its wet.
    #13
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  14. codeDirtyToMe

    codeDirtyToMe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    NC
    Yeah, that's why I got the lace protectors.
    #14
  15. codeDirtyToMe

    codeDirtyToMe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    NC
    Will do. The Docs are temporary. I may even get some tomorrow when I go helmet and jacket shopping.
    #15
  16. codeDirtyToMe

    codeDirtyToMe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    NC
    Yep, I plan on doing the MSF in January/February. It's just too busy at work to take 3 days off in the middle of the week until after the holidays. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I love the company I work for and wouldn't pull a stunt like that in the middle of their busiest season.
    #16
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  17. codeDirtyToMe

    codeDirtyToMe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    NC
    All that stuff got turned into CIF. But good suggestion regardless. I would definitely do that otherwise.
    #17
  18. codeDirtyToMe

    codeDirtyToMe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks for the wisdom and insurance knowledge. I've mostly figured out the insurance stuff by now. It was aggravating, but I figured out how to set it up once I talked to an actual human rep over the phone. One step closer.
    #18
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  19. codeDirtyToMe

    codeDirtyToMe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    NC
    What's new?

    The good:
    More gear arrived. It's still not too much, but it's something. The gloves, helmet, and jacket will be dealt with tomorrow. That should put an end to the... well, I suppose the acquisition of gear never really ends.

    The weather forecast keeps improving. Currently predicting low of 45, high 65, and 8 mph winds.

    The bad:
    The weather forecast keeps improving. It's starting to get less exciting.

    I'm having a hard time getting a hold of the sales department to ask about making the purchase on debit card. I made the down payment on my car with my debit card and that was more than the price of the bike, so I don't see why I can't buy a bike outright with the card. But I just want to make sure in case I have to use cash, or check. It's probably fine, but it's bugging me not knowing for sure.

    Next steps:
    1. Helmet and jacket shopping (and possibly boots).
    2. Nail down some routes and save them in Google maps.
    3. Get all of my gear laid out and accounted for.
    4. Get in touch with the dealership and maybe go and buy the bike on Friday if they are OK holding onto it until Saturday morning.

    P.S.
    I have paid attention to all the replies and suggestions even if I don't mention them specifically. For example, I will now be packing the extra pair of thermal socks, and I have a million zip ties, a few hundred of which I will be packing as well. I especially appreciated the comment about not getting too caught up on the route and being open to changes. After reading that, I realized how I was treating this like a military movement and that I would have executed it as such and not enjoyed it at all. Thank you for catching onto that and bringing it to my attention. As such, some buffoonery will be allotted for.

    Attached Files:

    #19
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  20. NickSoOr

    NickSoOr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Medford Oregon
    Quit thinking like a E6 and more like a E4 mafia. Just don't get lost like a O1 .Lmfao
    Most important thing is Enjoy the ride

    Good luck you'll be fine
    #20
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