We are doing it! Aussie couple's 12 month adventure through the Americas...

Discussion in 'Americas' started by lifetravelled, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Hello from Josh and Stef from Melbourne, Australia.

    We have been planning this trip for a few years but now it is real, we'll be leaving Australia on April 22nd, with a little non moto travel before arriving in LA on May 17th.

    So, the back story, We are both in our early 30s, married for 3 years and have worked hard since graduating university to set ourselves up and now it's time to take a year off for ourselves before life gets too serious. Well first I wanted to sell the house and go travelling for 2 years, but Stef was no where near that adventurist. So we have settled for renting the house out and travelling through North, Central and South America for as long as we can, we’re hoping for a year.

    I’ve been dreaming of travelling for sometime now, I guess its come to a point where its now or never and I definitely don’t want to regret not doing this. My wife Stef, she’s less adventurist. She loves to travel but anything unknown is scary to her and a whole year away from home is just to much to comprehend, her preferred style is 5 star resort, so this should be interesting....

    This is us on a recent weekend ride through the Alpine region of Victoria.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    We would love to meet many ADVriders along the and will hope to use Tentspace, details of our trip to follow...

    So say hello here and hopefully we will say hello in person later this year!

    Josh and Stef
    #1
  2. Treadless

    Treadless avoiding gravity storms if at all possible Supporter

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  3. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    For us this trip will be about being tourists as much as the riding side of things, we have been to the USA before and loved it, there are place below we can't wait to revisit and new ones we can't wait to explore.

    To make it work for us there will be stretch of days off the bike and stretch of days that are riding, I guess we will find a rhythm that works for us but we try to keep saddle time to 4 hours per day.

    Our plan at this stage for USA is around 8 to 10 weeks....

    We will depart LA around the 21st of May taking in the following...

    San Fran
    Yosemite
    Las Vegas
    Grand Canyon
    Utah/Colorado national parks
    Austin
    Houston
    New Orleans
    Nashville
    Blue ridge parkway
    NYC
    Montreal
    Toronto
    Chicago
    Badlands
    Black hills
    Glacier national park
    From there we will head north if we have time before working south to cross into Baja

    Let us know of any must sees you along the way.

    Thanks for reading.

    Josh & Stef
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  4. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud! Supporter

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    Sounds ambitious! I'm in South Carolina and have a full garage and a spare room and shower if you make it anywhere near me.
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  5. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks Strom thingie.

    I ride mainly Tarmac especially when we ride 2up, we only done weekenders together some of those 600km or 360 miles comfortably so this will be a steep learning curve.

    However Stef is a tough pillion, last week we rode 2 days with temps of 43C, 110f, no complaints and ridden in very low temps , heavy rain and fog.

    The longest solo ride I have done is 9 days up the east coast of Aus, 6000kms on a Mt07 (fz07 n the us).

    We are trying to be as flexible as possible
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  6. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    As long as I'm in town, the guest bedroom is available and I've had a couple of Aussies come through. Location is about 50 minutes north of DC and same west of Baltimore. Along with the Civil War battlefields and lots of beautiful riding in the countryside, DC has gone through a remarkable renewal for about the last 15 years and become pretty darn vibrant. Sounds like the kind of place your wife will like. It also has the best collection of museums in North America with everything from Smithsonian Air & Space, to Natural History, to Native American, to the News Museum, & even a Spy Museum.
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  7. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Wow thanks for the offer wreckchecker, we are heading that way so hopefully the stars align and we can make it work.

    Hopefully the other Aussies left a good impression for us.

    Thanks a lot
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  8. kneeslider

    kneeslider Insufficient privileges!

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    Avoid going thru Atlanta! In fit avoid following Interstates thru any major city!
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  9. brianjonesphoto

    brianjonesphoto Hacked off

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    If you make it up to the seattle area give me a shout. We hosted an Aussie couple a few years ago (turborob and Kath) and would love to do it again.
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  10. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks Brian, we actually in Seattle may 15 for a few days but won’t be on 2 wheels yet, planning on buying a bike down in LA, but still working that through. We haven’t been to Seattle so would love some local knowledge

    Thanks

    Josh


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  11. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks Kneeslider, we are planning on avoiding it but still working out which way to go as we head to the coast


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    If you need assistance buying a bike in Los Angeles and getting paperwork sorted I have a for fee service. You can put your email in "start a conversation' if you like and I'll send details.
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  13. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks Tuckers,

    Part of the reason looking to purchase bike in LA was hopefully being able to use your services.

    PM sent.

    Josh
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  14. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Hi all,

    Would love to hear some ideas on what bike to purchase in the USA, we will be riding 2 up, as mentioned above we will riding a loop around the USA before heading south through Central America and onto South America.

    We won't be doing any hard off road but obviously we will come across plenty of off road along the way.

    Currently thinking late model DL650 or go up to 800gs.

    With were we are going we don't want to go to big but it needs to be big enough to for 2 up and luggage, along with some decent highway sections in the US...

    Josh
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  15. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    Looking forward to following along. When you get to south Florida give me a shout. You can't get to the Florida Keys without being within 6 miles of my house and we are about 8 miles from the entrance to Everglades National Park. We have guest rooms also ready and I have a well equipped shop for any maintenance you might need.

    Good luck on the bike purchase and safe travels.
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  16. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Just thinking about the "live on a motorcycle" aspect of this ride for your beautiful wife, who prefers 5-star resorts to roughing it. This is going to be a HUGE adjustment for her, even with the relaxed pace of 4 hour a day, with several days off. Plus, existing with the luggage a DR650 or even big touring bike can handle for a months at a time, not just a weekend, can break even the toughest pillion who hasn't long time experience. While it may sound like I'm negative on this, I'm really not. This trip could be the highlight of your married life; something you both look back on in 40 years and smile about the awesome adventure you shared together. But, to ask her for a year on a small motorcycle when all she's done to date is a weekend, well you are missing several steps in-between that you should try, like a week and then a couple weeks. Don't screw up your ride-of-a-lifetime because you didn't take the time to work up to it for her. That's just not fair to either of you.

    As you are asking her for a year, you might consider pulling a little cargo trailer behind your motorcycle. It's really not a problem and you'll forget it is there, but it allows her to bring more comforts, and therefore have a better time. (There really is a difference between a motorcycle trip, and a trip you take on a motorcycle. And it sounds like you are taking a trip on a motorcycle.) If this is the way you go, make sure the bike you choose has trailer hitches available from the aftermarket.

    You might consider the largest motorcycle you can for the load and speeds of USA, while keeping it manageable for Central and South America, where many hotels suggest you park it in the lobby or your room. A Gold Wing or Harley touring bike might be best for USA, but horrible for small town SA. A DR650 is just the opposite. I'd think a big ADV bike would be your best compromise, something like a V-Strom 1000 or a Super Tenere 1200. Both are respectable on dirt roads, can carry a big load, powerful enough for USA speeds out west, have a strong charging system for electrics and heated coats, but still light enough to get up steps and inside if you are motivated enough. Plus, there are Suzuki and Yamaha dealers in SA, even if they won't likely have these bike parts in stock they can get them.

    Now, after you buy the bike in Southern California, ride up to northern California and stop by Russell DayLong Saddles for your custom built two-up seat. You will both be so much happier with this than you'll ever be on a stock seat, or even a high-end aftermarket production seat. There are simply parts of North America where you'll want to ride more than 4 hours a day, as you're riding through a lot of nothing, and this seat will make it a happy experience. YOU'LL NEED TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH RUSSELL WELL IN ADVANCE!!! Maybe even before you have selected the motorcycle, just to reserve your slot. It usually takes several months to get an appointment - they are that good.

    Now, to your trip: From Utah parks to Black Hills requires going through Colorado, and you'll want to spend time there, especially the middle third and southwest quarter, as that's where most of the awesome mountain roads exist. It is one of the best motorcycle destinations here in the USA. Don't cheat yourself on that state.

    And finally, welcome to America! We like nice visitors, and are happy to have you. Just let us know how to make your trip what you want it to be, and we'll try. In case you don't know, the USA has a lot of different cultures in our different regions, and you'll be riding through many of them. Same with Canada (do you speak French?). USA food* tends to be hamburgers and BBQ. Burgers are pretty similar everywhere, but BBQ is vastly different. Most of it is in the SE part of the USA. Draw a line from Missouri to Washington DC; everything south plus Texas does good BBQ, and there are many different styles in the different regions of the south. Strongly suggest you look for little BBQ shacks, best with a wooden screen door and a dog, for the real BBQ experience. You will be welcomed, especially when you tell the owner you're trying it all through the south. Canada has Tim Horton doughnut shops, and French fries with cheese curds and brown gravy, which they seem to like a lot.

    * While there is lots more food options in the USA - most anything served elsewhere in the developed world, and some parts of the developing world, the foods that are thought of when thinking of the USA are Hot Dogs (which we really don't eat that many of outside of ball parks, golf courses, and sidewalks in New York and Chicago), Hamburgers, and BBQ. Those last two we do eat a lot of!
    #16
  17. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    I'm with boatpuller on the working up to it, probably more for her than for you, but you're going to have some surprises too.

    If you don't already have a set of helmet intercoms, get them. They transform the ride especially for the pillion and she's not stuck back there on her own, inspecting the back of your dirty neck for days on end. The Sena series are getting to be the most common in the US and there are numerous other choices. The other thing I'd strongly recommend would be at least a heated jacket liner for her. We'll have snow in June in some of the places you are going to want to see or pass through, while it is over 100F in much of the country, and winters can be rough. btw - A lot of these items will probably be cheaper to buy in the US, especially as your Aussie dollar gets stronger against ours.

    I'm also with boatpuller on the bigger bike thought. While I'm a big advocate of the Super Tenere's ruggedness and reliability, the Strom and GS are also great natural choices. While they are heavier to pick up and I understand your concern about it happening, falling over doesn't happen that often and the Tenere and GS have pivots which help to lift them. (The heavier Tenere is actually easier to lift than a GS and the 800GS lays flatter so is harder than either to start moving.) On the up-side of a bigger bike, they really are more comfortable to live off of, less affected by cross winds, and will be less affected by altitude than smaller engines when loaded down. The 800GS is not a bike that I would want to be on for months of 2-up togetherness. Tuckers has helped a lot of folks and has a good selection to buy a bike for you in the LA area, but you need to guide him with what you like and want and the only way to do that is for you and your wife to take some test rides on various models.

    Once out of the US and in some places within the country too, you want hard luggage rather than soft bags which can be stolen with a few knife cuts. Last week I was talking to a guy who simply went into a store and came right back out to his bike's missing the strapped on luggage. When buying used, a lot of the bigger bikes will already be set up with boxes but not as many of the 650s will be.
    #17
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  18. mutt550

    mutt550 restless soul

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    If you get to Missouri and need anything hit me up. North of I70 south of Hwy 36 so depending on your route to Chicago. Have tent space/garage and tools if needed. Ride safe and enjoy!!
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  19. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    A BMW R1200GS is a good choice. I would think the DL650 a little small for two with long haul luggage. A trailer really isn’t a bad idea. The tent trailers are awesome. Of course the cost needs to be factored. Once you leave USA the rooms are so reasonable it hardly worth camping. Well that is basic rooms. Your 5 star rooms are the same cost as USA. You need a roomy bike with good suspension BMW RT is good too 1100,1150,1200. Personally I’m quite fond of th 1200GS.....it’s just so comfortable and so darn good ON ROAD.
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  20. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Oh boy! Comparisons of GS versus Super Tenere and which oil is best. [j/k]
    :imaposer
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