Please help brainstorm a cross country trip

Discussion in 'Americas' started by CarKid1989, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Well I figured I would throw up an update...



    We got it nailed down to two options to get this trip going.

    Option 1: Buy Goldwing or other TOURING bike

    Option 2: Take CR-V and take the road trip

    I realize they are going to be two totally different experiences but its what will work best given the budget and timeline.

    Been scouring CL and FB Marketplace for a nice GL1800.

    Thank you for all the input and advice and tips for travel. It means a lot to me and every couple of replies we sit down and I read them to my wife and we discuss. Thank you all.

    I will have to take a very serious look and plan based on the Tent Space thread. I read over some posts related to it and played with the map a bit. I have just been a bit apprehensive to utilize the offers. I guess I just have to ask. I mentioned it to my Wife (Jacie, pronounced Jackie) and it got a positive response. Thank you for the suggestions.

    Ill keep you posted
    #21
  2. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Here's a wrench in yer gears/plans: Why not take a 4x4 PU truck and get into back country? Your willing to ride the biggest MC on earth, why not choose a nice truck and live large between spots to recreate? Our F-150 5.0 V-8 when not towing gets right at 25mpg and believe me its comfy. Hang a rod in back seat for clothes, laundry baskets for other stuff and space left for tents, etc..
    I'd go the CRV route over a GW but that's from a guy who'd never buy a GW for any reason as toooooo big, it's all choices though.
    #22
  3. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    If you are going from an FZ1 to a GL1800, you may find the experience decidedly different than you thought. I know those things eat Interstate miles, but many couples cross the country on far less. That's a lot of weight (anywhere from 800 -900lbs, before you add stuff and people, depending on model and year) to start hauling around cold turkey. Even a BMW R1200RT is several hundred lbs lighter (604 fully fueled); the GS lighter still (525 fully fueled), but with the same or even better luggage capacity. If you have been riding an FZ1 (485 lbs fueled), getting a bike that weighs just about twice that may alter your riding experience significantly. They don't call them Hondapottamuses for nothing.
    Not saying it can't be done, or enjoyed. Many folks have, but likely with a lot of heavy bike experience.
    But before you buy, I'd suggest renting one of these (and the BMWs, and whatever else you are considering) from someone like EagleRider. It's far better than a simple test ride. There appear to be a number of locations in the Cleveland area. https://www.eaglerider.com/locations
    #23
  4. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    I'm a big fan of the touring bike to ride across the country. You'll experience the trip in ways even a convertible will not. This becomes especially true in beautiful areas where unobstructed views up make a difference. A nice grandmother pointed that out to me in Yosemite; I hadn't even thought of how limiting that would have been with a roofed car.

    But, nonetheless, don't overlook using the CRV and pulling a small trailer with your current motorcycle on it. Heck, that is so light you might be able to use the Mazda to pull it. Might be the best solution to your quandary.
    #24
  5. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    Let's not forget your original intent here...there are many other motorcycle options besides a huge Honda land yacht...look at the Yamaha Super Tenere, Kawasaki Versys 1000, Honda NC700, Moto Guzzi Eldorado or California Touring, Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT, etc....get yourself a nice 3-person tent and some good sleeping bags to camp out in some of the fantastic national/state parks/monuments, lie back and look at the stars, have an adult beverage around the campfire, experience the special taste of early morning sunrise coffee, shed your clothes at a natural hot springs, wiggle your toes in some sand, and then check into a motel/bednbreakfast every 3 or 4 days to refresh/recharge...you just can't experience what America has to offer sealed up in a tin can car...BONUS: on a bike your special lady will need to sit close and hold you, what more can a man ask? :thumb
    #25
  6. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    I think the OP is no longer interested in what we have to say....
    #26
  7. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Oh no no. Please done think thats the case. This feedback has been really helpful. Its been a busy week and just had a large landscaping project at home and its taking up a lot of free time to finish up.

    To address a few earlier posts:

    No pickup truck though its a cool idea. It will either be the CRV which we already own or a motorcycle. Along the same lines we were not too keen on the idea of a trailer either for the bike or behind the car. Someone said to pull the bike behind the car but currently I am bikeless.

    Onto the topic of Goldwing vs other bikes. Goldwing was so high on the list because it is designed for this kind of trip. Long distance, comfortable (esp important for my wife). I am open to other idea like the Super Tenere but could not find one in budget. We actually checked one out last week and were happy at the amount of room it had and the comfy upright seating. A Vstrom or Versys might work as well. I keep finding VStrom 650 and wonder without suspension/ seat work if it will be enough for our trip.

    Thats why I keep coming back to the Goldwing. (I went to check out a Wing this weekend to make sure its something I like in person, not just on paper) Purpose built machine for this idea. Not totally set on it but i feel its winning out. Still, I like hte 2nd Gen FJR or Super Tenere.

    Thanks again for the advice and help.
    #27
  8. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    It's worth looking at what ran in the Iron Butt Rally this year. Remember the DNFs are combination of rider related and mechanicals.
    BMW: 29 started, 6 DNF 21%
    Honda 29, 10, 34%
    Yamaha 18 , 6, 33%
    H-D 10, 4, 40%
    And with low entry numbers:
    Triumph 4, 0, 0%
    Kawasaki 3, 0, 0%
    Victory 2, 0, 0%
    KTM 1, 0, 0%
    Suzuki 1 , 1, 100% (this was a Hopeless Class Water Buffalo, out with rider back troubles.)
    Of the BMWs, 14 were RTs and KRTs and the reset were GS variants. Don't you think for a moment these (the GS) aren't up there with a Gold Wing for crossing the country.
    Of the Hondas, 19 were Goldwings, 7 were STs, 2 were Africa Twins, 1 650 Silverwing.
    Of the Yamahas, 14 were FJRs and 4 were Super Teneres.
    If you say that FJRs, STs and RTs were the same class of bike, (sport touring) that makes 35 entries of sport tourers
    And 19 entries of something lighter yet (GS variants and the Super Teneres).
    So 54 (more than half the entire field) were on bikes NOT like the heavy 'Wing. 19 ( less than 20%) were on the 'Wing.
    As you put the Wing high on your list, include some of these others as well. There may be good reasons for the 19 starters choosing a Wing. There may be more good reasons for 54 starters choosing bikes that are hundreds of pounds lighter.
    The top 10 finishers, in order from 1 to 10 (again, the rider has a lot to do with this):
    FJR1300, R1200GSA, ST1300, R1200GS, R1200GSA, R1200GSA, R1200RT, Triumph Trophy, Goldwing, Silverwing.
    #28
  9. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Noted and I appreciated the extra data in that post.
    Budget is the other factor on bike selection but I have seen some pop up with more digging...

    edit: Budget is the tricky thing.

    THough a CTX1300 just popped up in budget...
    #29
  10. Cherch

    Cherch Adventurer Supporter

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    Buy the bike you and your wife want and hit the road. take twice the money and have the stuff. there are 4 main points on the compass. pick one and head out. If the bike turns out to be not the one you guys really like then when you return from your trip, sell it and try something different.
    All these arm chair quarterbacks don't know what you two want. i understand some apprehension on your part. been there done that.
    #30
  11. old scoot

    old scoot Been here awhile

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    In 10 years the cost of this trip will be forgotten but the experience will never be. Take a motorcycle and beg, borrow or steal enough money to motel it the whole trip. That and staying with friends should solve all the issues. I always motel it. I understand that some people prefer camping, it's not a question of cost. But after a long hot day on the bike a hot shower, a good meal and a good nights rest is priceless. That will keep her happy.
    #31
  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Iron Butt riders go pillion? The OP needs BUTT Room and/or camping gear room not how far can you ride in a day bikes? My wife thinks pillion is fun but NEVER would she adopt that tiny patch of seating space for a CC trip and I don't blame her.
    Take the CRV, get yer gear together and take off.
    Gw's have their lovers but I cannot love a MC that is that heavy, nice ride and all that handling and performance stuff is also possible on smaller bikes.
    Your trip style is the determinate factor.
    #32
  13. old scoot

    old scoot Been here awhile

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    The difference between a bike and a car are like night and day on a cross country trip. On a bike you're traveling in the world around you, in a car you're traveling thru it. It's like the difference in seeing the rocky mountains at a movie theater or being in the rocky mountains.
    #33
  14. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Gee, thanks. I've only been riding for 56 years and look what I've been ignoring.:lol2
    #34
  15. old scoot

    old scoot Been here awhile

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    Well when you've been riding 57 years like me you'll understand everything better. It'll all come to you like a vision one day. Until then I'm happy to help.
    #35
  16. old scoot

    old scoot Been here awhile

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    You're not close to Pikeville are you, love riding that area.
    #36
  17. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

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    Iron butt stats have nothing to do with going cross country with your wife who has no long distance experience. Comfort is the answer. Going on a bike increases the discomfort level in rain, cold, heat and distance. But it increases the adventure/memory level greatly.

    I've been long distance touring with my wife for 37 years. By far the most comfortable bike for both of us is the 1800 Gold Wing. While I have toured solo on everything from a Honda Cub to a FLHTC, then lastly a Can Am Spyder the Wing was the best two up.

    Test ride whatever your interested in two up. I love little bikes but they suck long distance with a passenger.
    #37
  18. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Actually, there were a number of 2-up IBR riders this and past years. So yes, they do go pillion.
    And what's a tiny patch one person, may be plenty to another. Depends on size and weight, and we know nothing of the OP and his wife with regards to that. My wife and I have done multiple 2-up trips, and we swap front and back. We are both 5'11" she is 150 and I about 195. The R1200RT had all the comfort we needed as pillion; the stock 1200GS was less so, but still OK. Back when we were 125lbs and 180lb, the stock R90/6 seat worked for 7000 miles in 3 weeks.
    The real test should be, as I suggested earlier, to rent a bike and see. His wife certainly seems as game and willing as anyone would want, and if she and he are not heavy, there are many more comfortable options out there.
    #38
  19. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    What size are you two? My wife and I have done LOTS of 2 up riding. She does not like the backs of Goldwings or Harley baggers much - she was pretty ok on our BMW K1200LT, but really preferred our BMW RT, and she's been on the back of a few GSs that were good too. Sometimes too much "comfort" isn't great. We're about a dozen years ahead of you and I currently ride a Ducati ST2; a week or so ago we did a few hours on it and the wife declared it no longer a good fit for her back... Before you buy anything see if you can do a 30 minute test ride with your wife. Ask her to pay attention to anything that's even starting to bother her.

    I guess all I'm trying to say is you don't need to commit to an interstate cruiser to do this trip. If you are planning all interstate travel and long days it's great, but while capable of twisty work a cruiser won't be as fun for that sort of thing. Goldwing or other big bagger also wins points if you're larger folk AND they are quicker/easier to pack...but it wouldn't be my first choice.


    https://cleveland.craigslist.org/mcy/d/cranberry-twp-bmw-r1200rt/6920624863.html

    https://cleveland.craigslist.org/mcy/d/solon-2013-bmw-r1200rt/6936454854.html

    https://cleveland.craigslist.org/mcy/d/canton-2009-bmw-k1300-gt-low-miles/6936271724.html

    https://cleveland.craigslist.org/mcy/d/jamestown-2011-bmw-r1200rt/6931237512.html

    https://cleveland.craigslist.org/mcy/d/cleveland-2009-black-fjr-1300-sport/6906568216.html

    just a quick cruise of cl - Goldwings are great bikes, but I think all of the above would be more fun to ride while being well suited for comfort of the pillion (depending on your wife's preferences).
    #39
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  20. CarKid1989

    CarKid1989 Been here awhile

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    Well, I am back with a few updates!

    First of all I borrowed a friends 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500 so my wife and I could try something out of the norm to see if it was a possible fit. Put in nearly 200 miles in high 90 degree temps and packed for an overnight trip.
    The main downside was that the bike didn't have a back rest or top case for my wife and therefore a sore back set in. We discussed the issue and figured if it had some backrest of sort it would have been very much a comfortable ride. The only other issue was some knee pain from an old injury that pops up almost daily but with stretches it is manageable.
    The upsides I only realized halfway through today.
    This bike, although a bit porky feeling and a bit worn, could work for a trip like we are planning with minimal tweaks. Talked it over with my wife and we thought it might be doable. (again, not this exact bike but similar)

    Second, I enjoyed all the comments and share them with my wife regularly!

    Passenger comfort is key here for long distance.

    My wife is about 5 ft 3 in and I cant speak of weight for fear of my life but she is a small gal which helps with picking a bike. I am 6 ft. 3in. and 210lbs. Someone mentioned sixing above.

    Laslty , and I should have mentioned it earlier is the budget. We don't want to exceed $5000 for the bike so even though there have been some great bikes posted they blow the budget.
    I have mentioned the FJR to my wife and we sat on one recently but the knee problem might rear its head though the bike would rock.
    We sat on a Super Tenere and that would work but none in budget.
    VStar 1300 touring was great. Goldwing was great.
    CRV is still in the driveway worst case scenario.

    I know its all over but we are trying to make a informed choice.
    #40
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