@sportbiker2000, thank you! I've thought about skipping the backroads here, but I'm not planning on coming back for about a year, and I'd like to see some of the cool roads around where I live now. I may just end up skipping them anyway, but neither my nor my cousin's bike are great highway bikes. Mine's fine, but runs around 6k rpms at 75 (redlines at 10.5k), and my cousin's even higher (although I think he's putting a speed sprocket on it before we leave). Good to know about both the cops on NY-97 and that I should choose a different route than US-209. Also interested to hear that Skyline Drive isn't that great...I'd always read good things about it, but a 35mph speed limit + cops + deer sounds like a recipe for disaster. I'm definitely going to get new tires just before leaving, as well as an oil change (main and final drive) and maybe a new air filter. @DaMonk45, what you're saying about riding smoothly rather than fast makes sense. Now that I think about it, when I hit a series of curves at medium speed but very smoothly, it's much more satisfying than hitting those same curves faster but with more sudden braking and awkward line corrections. As far as completing my route goes, if it were entirely up to me, I would just extend the trip indefinitely to avoid missing things (since I have the time to do so), but I have a couple constraints: a) that my cousin does not want to take a trip of unknown length, and I don't relish the idea of doing lots of riding alone, and b) that I need get to the PNW somehow, so I definitely am going to have to cover miles. I like the idea of building in a rest day every 7 days, since I can imagine having days where I don't want to ride. So, I'll build in a few 0-mileage days. I don't have any paper maps, but I'll be sure to pick some up. The same goes for Rok Straps, although being the cheap bastard that I am, paying for something as simple as straps irks me. However, I'm guessing that the quality (and not having to worry about straps giving way) is worth the price. For pants, @oldtouring B kindly offered both my cousin and myself a pair of pants for the duration of the trip. They're not mesh, but they're durable and are waterproof, and you can't beat free Keeping a journal is something that was suggested to me at the beginning of this thread, and that I'm planning on doing. You recommending it as well makes me even surer that it'd be worth the time. Here are our sizes (keep in mind that these are approximate since it varies a lot between brands): I'm a 30" waist, 30" inseam, small/medium shirt/jacket, small/medium glove, 8.5 shoe. My cousin is a 32" waist, 32" inseam, large shirt/jacket, large glove, and 10.5 shoe. @klaviator, you make some good points on ride reports. From what you've said and from what I've already been thinking, I think I'll probably do a daily quick update by phone, with a very brief summary of where we are, where we're going, etc., and then every few days to a week do a more in-depth update when I have time (if I'm staying at someone's house, or hanging out at a coffee shop with free WiFi, or whatever), and finally after it's over, fill in all the details. I definitely plan on taking lots of pics (or more accurately, having my cousin take lots of pics) since he's a fairly accomplished videographer who's not half bad at taking pictures either. He has a very nice DSLR, but I agree with what you're saying about getting a robust, light point-and-shoot to take pictures with while riding. He was planning to keep his camera in his tank bag, but that's still not super convenient. For charging, I do plan on hooking up a charger to my bike's electrical system, but first I need to make it so that my bike actually charges it's own battery . The stator was (unbeknownst to me) fried when I bought it, and I haven't fixed it yet. I'll probably get a portable battery for charging phones/laptops/etc, although one that can jump start our bikes isn't necessary since both of our bikes can be popstarted (as I have done MANY, MANY times since my battery doesn't charge). In case you didn't see it, I replied both to yours and DaMonk's comments about pants slightler higher in this post. Thank you all for your suggestions!