San Diego to Maine on 2012 Triumph Scrambler

Discussion in 'Americas' started by shmangzy, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. shmangzy

    shmangzy Adventurer

    Oct 30, 2008
    The short version: I just picked up a 2012 Triumph Scrambler in the San Diego area and I will be riding it to Portland, Maine.

    The longer version: I am a 4th year medical student going to school at Tufts in Boston. I am doing a one month rotation at UCSD Medical Center that will end August 2nd. I have been day dreaming about buying a bike once I got to California, ride it around for the month I am there and then ride it home. My last cross country trip was on a sidecar with my girlfriend and dog the summer before starting med school. I have been craving another trip but didn't think it would happen for a little while due to my limited free time. I was thinking I would get something similar to my first bike (1982 yamaha xj 650) or another cheap reliable 80s japanese bike. However, I was having a little bit of a hard time finding one online in good condition during the weeks leading up to my arrival. Then on my second day in San Diego I went to look at a 2012 Triumph Scrambler with some minor modifications by the previous owner. This was a WAY nicer bike than I expected to look at, but he had it listed at such a reasonable price I had a hard a time not going to at least LOOK. As the title already gave away I ended up buying the bike and now that August cross country trip I've been thinking about will be happening. I had a blast riding around the hills outside of San Diego today and have to say after today I am loving this bike. Although I love older bikes (currently I have a 1972 BMW r75/5 and 1983 yamaha xs 650 (this is going up for sale soon in flea market and on ebay to help cover the cost of the scrambler) I have to admit having some new bike technology i.e. brakes that works is pretty nice. I will be swapping out the knobby Continental tires for a more road worthy tire, that still has some decent tread for some dirt road riding.

    Things I need to do before the trip.
    -change the tires (something better for cross country trip that will be 90% pavement, I'll ship the continentals home for future enjoyment)

    -Find/figure out how to mount a small luggage rack (this is proving harder than I thought)

    -change the oil

    -throw together I light tool kit (didn't fly out to california with tools in my luggage)

    That is about the shortest pre-trip bike check list I have had. I am planning on taking off on August 2nd with a rough route passing through joshua tree, las vegas, zion ntl park, escalante UT, salia CO, chicago, maine. Mostly secondary roads, a few highways when needed. After im out of the rockies I know the trip gets a lot less interesting so I will be putting up some bigger days (500 miles or so for that portion of the trip). Depending on how things shake out I will have between 8 and 13 days to make the journey, MUCH less than I would like but have a 90 year old birthday party to attend in North Bay, Ontario and then back to the hospital to finish up school.

    If anyone has suggestions on luggage rack I would really appreciate your ideas. I don't know anyone in this area but have thought about finding someone who welds. I am trying to do this in the most affordable way possible as the bike ate up more than my budget. I may end up strapping my bag to the passenger seat, but would really prefer a luggage rack and will need one once I get back home anyways.

    Also, any suggestions on cool roads/routes along the general path describes above would be appreciated.

    Here are a few pics of the bike and my ride today. I will also be sure to throw up some pics during my trip back to Maine

    scrambler 1a.jpg
    picking her up

    scrambler 2a.jpg
    quick stop during the first ride

    PS disregard the ohlins sticker, they are progressive shocks (previous owner was VERY clear about that) but as a lark to one of his friends he slapped those stickers on.
    2twisted, mutt550 and powderzone like this.
  2. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud!

    Jul 4, 2006
    Sumter, SC
    I'm of no use regarding luggage rack recommendations but sounds like a great trip and I love the bike.
  3. phoenixdoglover

    phoenixdoglover Where to next?

    May 23, 2010
    Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
    A general idea about going West to East. The plains are wider in the northern States.

    My strategy would be to cross in Kansas and southern Missouri. Head for the Appalachian spine and go northeast.

    This adds a day or two, but lessens time in the flatlands, and avoids the continuous mess from Chicago going East.

    Instead of Chicago, think Springfield, Missouri and Carbondale, Illinois as waypoints. Just my preferences for a more rural and hilly route.

    Have fun! Watch those thunderstorms!
    mutt550 and boatpuller like this.
  4. black 8

    black 8 Long timer

    Dec 11, 2016
    33.2295 -117.3711
    Here's one from Happy Trails and seems affordable at $279.00...
  5. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

    Jan 4, 2012
    Central fly-over land.
    That's not a bad idea, and if the OP wants to he can fab a luggage rack up from that to support a duffle bag. Being he's a poor student with tons of med school debt (I'm assuming) he could use black PVC pipe, a hack saw, and fittings to fab something for about $30. Later on, I could see over-priced distressed leather saddle bags on the pannier racks, and that would look so perfect!

    It will very hot for most of your trip, and humid too once hitting KS. 100+ heat index most days. Over 93 the air actually heats up your skin, so consider the following: And bring lots of water; find a way to drink it on the go. If you rig a back rest, then riding far without a windshield is fine. Otherwise, consider a windshield even if it kills the look of your bike. You'll be fresher at the end of a long day, and therefore safer. Do you have a throttle lock or a big hand rocker (whatever they are called) on the right grip? I presume it does not have a real cruise control.

    Either way, it's a cool trip you are planning, and I wish you the best on it. If you need anything in central MO, reach out to me. I'll be at our farm near Columbia most of August. And oh, I have an XS650 as one of my motorcycles too.