Selling everything and riding across Canada in a few weeks

Discussion in 'Americas' started by contactcolecampbell, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. contactcolecampbell

    contactcolecampbell n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Canada
    I have nothing to lose and I need adventure. I work off a laptop, no reason to be in a city right now and every reason to hit the open road.

    Budget of about $5000 CAD for bike, upgrades / repairs and outfitting. Extra budget for non-bike stuff.

    Been riding and wrenching since I was 6 so we're good there. Got a decent toolkit. Got all the camping gear.

    Super flexible on bike, thinking either a DR650, Vstrom or a KLR. Leaning toward the Strom

    Planning to do mostly paved backroads, but I grew up on fire roads and I will definitely hit some dirt and rocks to find the good stuff. Not sure of the backroads limitations of a Strom.

    Right now I'm reading and absorbing this forum and everything else I can find.

    Any comments? Would love to hear about:

    • bike recommendations
    • good threads
    • anything I might not be thinking of

    Thanks!

    Cole
    #1
  2. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,591
    Location:
    The far east of the far east of North America
    You have all the right attitude and all the wrong timing.
    Outfitting a bike for that requires buying fully farkled with skid plates, fuel capacity and luggage or doing it after purchase. Not impossible but on a budget in a hurry because summer is waning, maybe. The old adage of "cheap... fast.... good....pick two" comes to mind.
    I do wish you luck but north is probably not going to happen, pandemic wise. With that said, south is not looking good either right now. Go west young man and enjoy immensely.

    My take on the bike is DR650. Had a KLR and it is the better distance machine but the DR is the riding you are describing. Lighter in the dirt.
    #2
  3. contactcolecampbell

    contactcolecampbell n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I think an iterative approach might be the way to go. Buy a bike - leaning toward a Vstrom - and build it up. Skid plate, tires, luggage then go from there. Might go with the DR depending on what deals I can get and what my roadmap starts to look like

    Stick to the roads til I don't need to anymore.

    North, south, west... we'll see
    #3
  4. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    590
    Location:
    berkshire county
  5. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    590
    Location:
    berkshire county
  6. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    590
    Location:
    berkshire county
    lots of bikes to choose from in the flea market... if you’re not trying to set a land speed record on dirt/gravel, a multi cylinder bike would treat you better on pavement.

    good luck and enjoy your travels.

    be well,

    johnnyg
    #6
    lithodave likes this.
  7. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19,745
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    Posting US bikes for a Canadian won't work out well.

    For 5k, I'd hunt down whichever bike I could get the best deal on that'll include some/many/most of the accessories you're looking for. I think you can pull it off. A Vstrom would be more comfortable day in day out. DR wouldn't be a bad choice either though. I'd add in a kawasaki Versys 650 to the list as well to up your chances of getting a suitable bike.

    What city are you in?
    NB has an outside ban on for travel with the other Atlantic provinces, so that's as far east you could legally get.
    #7
  8. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    590
    Location:
    berkshire county
    yep, my bad. good luck to the op!

    best regards,

    johnnyg
    #8
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,763
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    OP said mostly paved, I'd go with the WeeStrom. Ergos might matter but all mentioned above are tallish bikes. Timing is like said, iffy to really enjoy ones efforts safely.
    #9
    motrhead and ExtraJ like this.
  10. ExtraJ

    ExtraJ Dork Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    There are tons of good bikes out there, even for the ~$3700 USD that you're working with.

    If you are going to ride mostly on the road, it's tough to beat a Vstrom 650. I've ridden around the US on an older one and it was fantastic for that. They do great on gravel roads and do fine on doubletrack if you don't need to go too fast. None of the bikes that you're considering would be particularly fun on singletrack, but there's nothing that's great at everything.

    How tall are you?

    Some other bikes to consider:
    Versys
    DR650
    KLR650
    Older Multistradas
    Aprilia Pegaso
    Husqvarna TR650 (Terra or Strada)
    BMW F650 or G650
    (I'm definitely missing some)

    You could also look at bikes that aren't marketed as "adventure" bikes. Just about anything will do fine on a gravel road, and it might not be worth narrowing your choices too much for the possibility of needing to get down a rocky track once a year.
    #10
  11. lithodave

    lithodave brachy850

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    126
    I would prefer a multi cylinder motor for any bike for the riding you're thinking of.
    #11
  12. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    590
    Location:
    berkshire county
    if the op is open to it, bike shipping companies are probably still crossing the border... might be worth investigating.

    be well,

    johnnyg
    #12
  13. contactcolecampbell

    contactcolecampbell n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I'm 5'11 with a 33" inseam.

    Very familiar with Toronto and eastward so not going past MB for a while.

    Seems like the Strom is the best choice but I'm super open. Seems like it's the best option for highway (90%) while still capable for the rest (10%).

    Closest bike I've owned is a highly modded KLR and they're too slow for me lol.

    Not sure where to get insurance and register my bike - three options of NS, QC or BC. Anyone have a comment on costs?
    #13
    kantuckid likes this.
  14. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19,745
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    NS by far the cheapest of those three. As for buying, Qc has the best used prices in the country.

    #14
  15. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,395
    Buying insurance , ;I may be wrong but I am living with the long standing impression that you are pretty well restricted to buying the compulsory liability insurance locally , based on the place where the bike is registered and where you live in Canada .T
    I’ve never heard of anybody successfully buying motorcycle liability insurance from some other province or that it it saved them money .
    If they did manage to buy it from another territory I bet the rates were rejigged to reflect those of the insurance of territory of residence . E.g , I have never seen a report from a rider living in BC who saved a mint by getting insurance from a Maritime province .
    To get any saving you would need to officially move to the other province , with all associated hassles and costs.
    Time’s awasting , it will be August next week , good riding weather in north will soon start rapidly dwindling .....
    #15
  16. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,763
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    Riding and wrenching since age 6 is quite some statement? I've seen lots of young wrenchers but honestly even when I got my 1st "balloon tire 26" bicycle ~ 1951, I had no damned idea how to fix it! In fact, in spite of early growth that found me proving I was under 12 to get in a Saturday movie for kid rate, I was still using walls, etc., to even get on the thing.:lol2 That said I soon learned, as did most friends to fix a bike flat, adjust a chain, so on...
    Back to your trip- hope ya find a good ride and get gone, not ever in my life at your age, life allowed such freedom to roam, covid or not. Enjoy!:-)
    #16