going on a trip of a lifetime on a motorcycle

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by phantomadvr, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. phantomadvr

    phantomadvr Adventurer

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    the trip:

    For 20 years I've wanted to travel around the United States via two wheels...I'm finally seeing this become a possibility. I'm 41 married ( no pics) with a 7 year old boy, I have stage 1 liver disease, back pain and prostate issues (can't piss right,) etc. I'm not getting any younger, my health isn't getting any better, so I decided it's time to do my trip.

    Bikes:

    I have a 2009 KLR 6500 with 2800 miles on it pretty much bone stock
    I have a 1999 HD ElectraGlide Police with 50K bigger cams and pistons
    I have a few others but dont trust them on a long trip.

    Possible routes:

    head west from Texas go up the pacific coast highway , down through Montana back home.
    Go straight up from Texas through Nebraska/kansas explore the midwest, minnesota/wisconsin
    Head east go through Oklahoma, arkansas,missouri, ohio, head towards Maine

    I'm really torn on which bike to take right now, i know the KLR would get me there safely and reliably but slow, and it's only a 650.
    The Harley has had some issues , electrical gremlins etc. it's older but it would be like cruising a recliner.

    Thoughts? Ideas? gear? suggestions?
    #1
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    How long are you planning to be on the road?

    When are you planning to head out? It's starting to get late in the season for places north and/or high elevation if you're still planning on this year.

    What kind of riding do you like? Do you camp/hotel? What kind of trip are you looking for? Do you want to hit all the good roads? Maybe try all the good food? See a lot of historic sites? National Parks?

    Here's a trip I took in 2015 starting and stopping in Memphis.

    walkabout.jpg

    I aimed for a lot of the National Parks in the west, tried to hit as many twisty/curvy roads as I could. Camped most of the way. I was on the road for about four months.

    A trip east would probably look a bit different.

    "Only a 650." :lol3 Now I feel inadequate since I ride only a 500.

    Jamie
    #2
  3. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    @Jamie Z that's one fantastic trip layout you did.
    #3
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  4. phantomadvr

    phantomadvr Adventurer

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    Ill probably do alot of hotels. Do alot of highway and smaller roads. I definitely like food exploring and historic parks!

    In june I did colorado, wyoming/ yellowstone, utah/idao, so that's why I didn't want to go back that direction
    #4
  5. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Safety Second!

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    Forget speed. Reliability wins the day on an epic trip.

    Riding out west is the best without question.
    #5
  6. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    If you're staying on pavement, and it's a reliable bike, the Harley makes more sense.

    I suggest you look into buying an InReach mini to carry on you - not mounted to the bike. Find the subscription plan that works for you, set it to send a location update at 10 minute intervals, and your family can keep an eye on you without the need to fuss with your phone during the day. Here's an example of what that looks like, from a soldier riding to Alaska right now.

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/free...me-to-leave-late.1467257/page-3#post-40872654
    #6
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  7. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    The KLR west route. The KLR will take you places the Harley won't.
    I've done coast to coast to coast and all over the US and parts of Canada on Harley's.
    Still have my Harley's but also have DR650's now. Now I'm really seeing stuff and getting away from cagers.
    #7
  8. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    Have you considered taking the KLR to TN,NC, WV, ?
    #8
  9. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    No doubt, but if the OP doesn't want to go to those places, which would you recommend?
    #9
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  10. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    Definitely NOT

    "Go straight up from Texas through Nebraska/kansas explore the midwest, minnesota/wisconsin"
    #10
  11. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    lol - I meant which bike (KLR or HD), not the route.
    #11
  12. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    Lol oh.
    Well depends on what he wants to see, how long he has and what time of year.
    I've done a lot of 800-1000 mile days. Gets old seeing...Shell this exit. Cracker Barrel next exit. Motel 6 1 mile. Ya know ?
    My riding has really changed from how many miles did I ride to what did I see. Still love long days in the saddle but not passing everything.
    I've done some awesome trips on the Harley's that were more back road focused and they were great. Still, on the DR it's nice seeing gravel, dirt, Jeep trails and seeing where it goes.
    #12
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  13. phantomadvr

    phantomadvr Adventurer

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    I have been looking at that route
    #13
  14. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    TN and Western NC is some of the best riding I've ever done. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful. Lots of Southern hospitality. WV is amazing too. All three, constant winding country and mountain roads. Nice changes in elevation. Everything is so green. Love riding those roads on the Harley, coming out of a turn and rolling on the throttle to pull a nice hill and not even having to change a gear because all that torque just keep pulling. Oh yeah.

    Last year my girlfriend and I took a nice DS trip to that area on our DR650's. Focusing on as much unpaved as possible. That was awesome too. Looking forward to that again
    #14
  15. phantomadvr

    phantomadvr Adventurer

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    that actually sounds really nice! any routes?
    #15
  16. phantomadvr

    phantomadvr Adventurer

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    I have two weeks guys
    #16
  17. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    I'm not sure where you're starting from, but Big Bend Country is great on dirt or pavement. The Southwest is filled will all kinds of excellent riding & hiking, to the point that you could eat up significant time just doing a Southwest loop, leaving out the PNW. I prefer spending more time in a smaller area rather than blitzing through the highlights, but others like seeing all that they can in a relatively short time. I've been through most of @Jamie Z 's excellent route above on different trips, and I could happily spend several months doing it as one big trip.

    If you can define what you do & don't want to do, how long you'll be gone, and when you want to travel, people can give you better suggestions.
    #17
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  18. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    Two weeks to plan, or two weeks to travel?
    #18
  19. phantomadvr

    phantomadvr Adventurer

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    both two weeks to play and two weeks travel
    #19
  20. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    To clarify, are you leaving on this trip in two weeks, and will the trip itself be two weeks long?
    #20