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My first touring trip

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I rode a 2007 K1200GT for eight years and the longest trip I took was San Francisco to Las Vegas.


I have a 2009 K1300GT and now that summer is upon us, I am planning a larger ride. San Francisco to Seattle to Denver and back to San Francisco. I expect to take a little less than two weeks for this trip (I do have to get back to work).


I have maps of the states I want to visit, new tires and the bike was just serviced. I'll be using my iPhone for GPS and music.


Being new to touring, I am open to any and all suggestions.



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Welcome Ken! You have found the right place for lots of suggestions on how to get the most out of your motorcycle. I am sure some of the west coast Board members will chime in soon to suggest some roads, food stops, etc for your trip. :thumbsup:


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Take an extra key ... and a credit card with some wiggle room on it and maybe a tire repair kit although I've never needed one - probably because I carry a kit :Cool: Have a great time !

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A good layered clothing system for the varying weather.

Breathable baselayer,insulating mid layer and protective top layer.

Need a waterproof layer if not already part of your top layer.

A heated vest or jacket liner is a welcome and sometimes necessary addition.

Waterproof boots are your best bet this time of year,just in case,as are waterproof gloves in addition to a vented pair.


Portable bike powered air pump in addition to tire repair kit.

Best tire repair kits are the sticky string type,can be found at any auto parts store or Walmart,etc.

There are two good Dynaplug compressors sold at CycleGear,if you have one nearby,otherwise grab the Slime Powersports inflator from Walmart,etc.






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Thanks for those suggestions. I have the BMW tire puncture kit, but I don't have a compressor. I'll have to pick up one of those.


And the layers are also a great idea. What I really want are a good pair of over pants that don't pull up to my shins when I sit on the bike. Being 6'2", it's tough finding pants that fit.

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I'm a good bit taller.

The stock rain pants from everyone do that.

Not talking overpants, there are tall ones out there.

You are riding w/moto boots that come way up right?


Anyways, I use a pair or Stearns rain pants, had for years, found

in a corner of WalMart fishing gear.

Black, very long, even expan at cuff and snap to make it easy to put on over boots (use garbage bag trick).

Work great in rain and for another layer over mesh pants on those days it goes from 40's to 80's or higher.

Packs small.

I'd check those as an option. I think they were $15 or so on sale.

Edited by tallman
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Check road conditions online. With all the rain we've had on the west coast this winter, a lot of roads have full or scheduled closure or contruction delays due to landslides. I could give you a URL for CA, but it'll be easier for you to just remember and google "California Road Conditions", "Oregon Road Conditions", "Washington Road Conditions". CA-1 north from San Francisco is an awesome and beautiful ride. There's currently a closure with detour between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach (over Mt. Tam instead of on the coast), and I think there are several places with one-lane traffic due to construction. Just today, there was a major slide closing 101 about 6 miles north of Leggett, which is where you run out of CA-1 and have to get on 101.


While you're googling, google "motorcycle touring checklist." You'll find lots of tips on what to pack and what not to pack, how to pack it, how to structure your time, etc.


If you can, find a buddy (preferably one with touring experience) to go with you. It's more fun if you have somebody to talk to about stuff.


Twisty roads are way more fun than Interstates, and you'll see a lot more, but they take longer. I'd say your planned itinerary is awfully ambitious for "less than two weeks," especially for a first tour. For example, a couple of years ago, it took me five days to get from San Diego to Moscow, ID. The first two were mostly on freeways, the last three were mostly on small roads (very small, in some cases).


For example, this coastal route (google map) is, according to Google, is 938 miles and will take 20 hours and 21 minutes (this route assumes 101 at Leggett reopens). You might look at that say, well, that's two long days. I would disagree. You will not do a 467 mile day on CA-1 . If you try, you will be exhausted, and will not enjoy the ride, and you may even crash due to fatigue. And Google's time estimates do not include time for fuel stops, food stops, rest stops, and sightseeing stops. Do the math, and you'll see Google assumes you'll average 46 mph for the whole trip. That's hard to do on interesting roads.


Of course, it's possible you're the sort of person whose idea of fun is rolling down the Interstate racking up miles. If that's your thing, you probably have plenty of time.

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