Routr 66 on motorcycle in winter (Jan.~Feb. 2016)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by johnwan12, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Hi ,
    I am from Australia , I have a full motorcycle license and have been a DR650 rider last 3 years (and ride my DR almost every day) and never ride a big cruiser before.
    I am planning on a motorbike (Harley or Victory, yet to be decided) trip from Chicago to Los Angeles via route 66 between Jan.~ Feb. 2016. I am planning to complete the journey in two weeks.
    I would like to ask the fellow riders in this forum the following questions:
    1.) Is this doable for me to solely ride two weeks in winter (Jan.~Feb. 2016) as far as the weather is concerned?
    2.) I am going to hire a motorcycle form some motorcycle rental company near Chicago, what kind of insurance policy I should buy ? I had a look at eagle rider webside, they recommend you to buy the top insurance product, is this necessarily? What kind of insurance policy renters buy normally.
    I am going to purchase some travel insurance via an Aussie travel insurance company www.TDI.com.au to cover some medical bills just in case.
    3.) Would you please recommend me some motorcycle rental companies I can consider, hope they are not too far away from Chicago airport as I will fly to Chicago from Toronto.
    4.) Is camping possible this time of the year? Is the raining or snowing season in USA this time of the year?
    5.) What should I bring myself apart from the riding gear supplied by the rental company?
    6.) Any advice regarding safety, security, places to visit, motel, anything etc. would be more than welcome.
    7.) Is there anyone planning to do the same trip? if so, please let me know.
    Any information and help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Regards
    John
    #1
  2. sandsman

    sandsman Shut up and ride!!!!

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    If I were you, the weather is crappy up north, why don't you fly further south then rent the bike. You would have a better success at riding the Rte 66 than starting way up north. I am pretty sure you could get a flight further south and not be that much more $$. Just remember that this is winter in the US and it will be better to stay as far south as you can be, Florida to Texas to Southern California will be your best riding.
    #2
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  3. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter

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    John, that's a very ambitious ride, in my opinion. January and February are rough in the mid-western part of the US, i.e. snow, ice, and blizzard conditions. It's possible to get a good window of opportunity but I certainly wouldn't count on it. Today, it'll be 3C in Oklahoma City, 0C in Amarillo, TX, -1.6C in Flagstaff, AZ., 3.3C in Chicago and .5C in St. Louis. I usually ride from North Carolina to California in late February and am prepared for just about anything that comes along. I always go due south, like to Mobile, AL, before heading west. Last year, the morning I left San Antonio, TX, the high for the day was -2C with wind gusts to 64 kph. That was unusual but it does happen. One year, I had to "hole up" for two days in Van Horn, TX, well south of Amarillo, for two days because of ice. I tell you this because these things happened close to the border with Mexico. Think about how the weather could be north of there.

    If you decide to do it, get fitted for electric clothing and get a full fairing motorcycle. I've rented from Eagle Rider and they're a good company. I'd get the best insurance they offer and wouldn't consider camping at all.

    Mike
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  4. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    Wrong time of the year for that ride.
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  5. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Remember that in the northern hemisphere January and February are big time winter months, as opposed to Australia. I hate to burst your bubble, but trying riding route 66 is a pretty bad idea even in great weather. Most of it just isn't there anymore. It has been replaced by interstate highways. The funky old gas stations, cafes, motels, and tourist attractions are few and far between. There are probably a hundred other rides in the US that would bring more joy than 66.

    But if you are determined, it is probably possible. Expect to be really cold nearly all the time except for maybe across the Mojave Desert. Also plan to have to hole up in motels for a couple of days at a time while the snow melts. As we speak the stretch from Albuquerque to Oklahoma is closed due to snow. This happens maybe once every few weeks in the winter.
    #5
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  6. SinclairPowerX

    SinclairPowerX n00b

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    I might be making a trip from South Carolina to Albuquerque New Mexico and maybe Death Valley weather permitting. A friend of mine said he got 18" of snow in NM but the roads are good to travel. I'll be glued to the weather reports for the next week or 2.
    #6
  7. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    Absolutely do not do it in February. Do it in May-June or September-October.
    #7
  8. Bikerboy108

    Bikerboy108 Pat from Jersey

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    Snow Tires??
    #8
  9. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Hi Sandsman,
    thanks for your advice, I think the route ( Florida to Texas to Southern California) is much better option than the one I originally planned, now I am planning on this route and trying to find some motorcycle rental company in Florida, some interesting places along the route. Thanks again, it's much appreciated.
    #9
  10. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the detailed information, that is exactly what I would like to know. I am planning to take another route : Florida to Texas to Southern California. I will get electric gloves and clothing , a full fairing motorcycle, a full face helmet etc. I can only hope two weeks would be enough, it should cover the time on road and "hole up" in motel. I can only hope there would be no ice in TX in Feb. as I can handle almost all road condition except ice as we don't have much ice in Australia in general , may be in some high mountain area or Tasmania .
    Thanks again, it's much appreciated.
    John
    #10
  11. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter

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    John, two weeks on the southern roads will be just fine. Past San Antonio on US 90, the road climbs but it's nearly imperceptible. By the time you get to Marathon, TX you're at about 4,000'. If you need any assistance with routing and/or places to stay along the way, I'll be happy to assist.

    Mikr
    #11
  12. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Hi Bluestar,

    I couldn't agree with you more, it's wrong time to tackle route 66 or any kind of riding. The reason I take this route 66 riding in Feb. as I may have an opportunity of a business trip to Toronto at the end of the Jan. 2016.
    I am planning to take another route : Florida to Texas to Southern California, I would like to have a crack with proper preparation including electric gloves, clothing, full face mask etc.
    Do you have any advice regarding road safety, route, places to see, motel etc.?
    Any info and help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Regards
    John
    #12
  13. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter

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    John, I just had a quick look at Eagle Rider in Jacksonville, FL and they have 8 machines available for the dates listed:
    http://www.eaglerider.com/reservation/motorcycles

    Motorcycle Pickup:
    01/07/2016 12:00 PM

    Jacksonville 1515 Wells Rd. Orange Park, FL 32073

    Motorcycle Drop Off
    02/08/2016 12:00 PM

    Los Angeles 11860 S. La Cienega Blvd Hawthorne, CA 90250

    I hope this helps.

    Mike
    #13
  14. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Hi wbbnm,
    Thanks for your advice, it's invaluable to me, this is exactly what I would like to hear from the fellow rider like you.
    I couldn't agree with you more, it's wrong time to tackle route 66 or any kind of riding. The reason I take this route 66 riding in Feb. as I may have an opportunity of a business trip to Toronto at the end of the Jan. 2016.
    I am planning to take another route ( hope a bit warm) : Florida to Texas to Southern California, I would like to have a crack with proper preparation including electric gloves, clothing, full face mask etc.
    Do you have any advice regarding road safety, route, places to see, motels etc.?
    Any info and help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks again.
    Regards
    John
    #14
  15. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Hi Jay547,

    I couldn't agree with you more, it's wrong time to tackle route 66 or any kind of riding. The reason I take this route 66 riding in Feb. as I may have an opportunity of a business trip to Toronto at the end of the Jan. 2016.
    I am planning to take another route : Florida to Texas to Southern California, I would like to have a crack with proper preparation including electric gloves, clothing, full face mask etc.
    Do you have any advice regarding road safety, route, places to see, motel etc.?
    Any info and help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Regards
    John
    #15
  16. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for your information and help , it's much appreciated.
    I would love to have some help/local knowledge regarding the routing and places to stay, we keep in touch.

    Thanks again.

    Regards

    John
    #16
  17. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    Hi Mike,
    I had a look at the link above , yes, there are 8 bikes available in Jacksonville, I will book my flight from Toronto to Florida and book one of them as soon as my flight from Melbourne to Toronto is finalised .
    Thanks again, keep in touch, please see my email below:
    john7wan@gmail.com
    Regards

    John
    #17
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  18. johnwan12

    johnwan12 Been here awhile

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    hi bikerboy108,
    No, no snow tyres, but I am planning to take another route ( Florida to Texas to Southern California) is much better option than the one I originally planned.
    thanks
    John
    #18
  19. Bikerboy108

    Bikerboy108 Pat from Jersey

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    Now you are talking... If you start in the keys and enn at the bottom of California you have 2 of the 4 corners of the us done! Then don't forget Texas hill country and the 4 corners monument ... Corner of Arizona, new mex. ,Colorado and Utah.. If planned correct Mardi Gras in New Orleans?...
    #19
  20. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    Watch the weather VERY close. It changes fast down here.
    How familiar are you with cold?
    #20