Long distance riding

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by RedDawg, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. RedDawg

    RedDawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    50,478
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    philadelphia/buffalo
    I'm going to be taking the MSF course here in PA this spring and one of the main reasons I will be getting a bike (probably an early/mid 90's kawasaki 600 or something comparable) is for long distance trips, mainly between philly and Buffalo, NY. How strenuous are long distance rides? Should i be more experienced before i attempt a ~7hr. ride? Also, roughly how many miles can a bike go on a full tank?
     
  2. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    First off, good on ya for taking the MSF!
    That really depends on the bike and how you ride it.

    Sportbikes, even older ones, aren't always real comfortable on longer rides. I don't think I'd want to take off on a long ride on a 600 unless I changed a few things.
    First, the seat on most sportbikes kinda sucks. You are also looking for a bike that is gonna have some miles and wear n tear on it. A new seat would be the first thing I do. Next, would be some heli-bars (or similar0 to raise the height of the grips and take some weight off the wrists. A taller windscreen would be a must as well. Wind in the face ain't bad around town. For a couple hours on end... :ugh:

    To be really honest, I'd go for something with a more upright riding position and possibly a bigger motor. Not that the 600 won't handle the ride, its just that its going to have to spin faster while doing it. Also, some smaller sportbikes, don't have much in the way of a fuel tank.
    You'll be stopping every couple hours at least for gas and to stretch out.

    There are a few bikes that come to mind right away though.

    1. Suzuki DL650 VStrom.
    2. Suzuki Katana 750 (these have been around forever)
    3. Kawasaki ZR7S (it will need some upgrades though...they are cheap)
    4. Honda Nighthawk 750 (a real throwback, but they usually just refuse to die...easy to ride but will need mods to make it a decent distance bike)
    5. Maybe an older Yamaha FJR although those may be a little too much for a new rider. Harder to get parts for though...they are getting old.
    I don't know if you are opposed to them, but many of the Japanese cruisers make awesome touring bikes. A late 90's Honda Shadow 1000 with a set of bags would make an awesome distance machine. Ditto for some of the older Kawi Vulcans although I'd be cautious...some of those can be heavy. The standard Kawi Vulcan 1500 is great and they are dirt cheap nowadays.

    Most bikes you can figure on getting high 30's to high 40's for fuel mileage. Some will do better...anything less is gonna require more frequent stops. Tank size is also vitally important.

    Head over to Sport-touring.net and lurk around for a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2005
  3. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Oh, the rides are as strenuous as you want to make them.

    Wear the right gear and pack the correct supplies and rides get much easier. If you're gonna ride in the cold, make sure you buy cold weather gear.
    Setting the bike up is also key. Like I mentioned before, a comfortable seat is going to be worth its weight in gold. Not having back pain and the dreaded numb-ass is sooo nice. The bars need to be at a comfortble height and reach too. You may find some gel-grips to be a wise investment. A tall enough windscreen is key to avoiding fatigue. Having wind blast you in the chest for two hours will tire you out.

    Pick a nice pace and stick to it. Riding balls out may be fun, but it tends to suck down fuel and makes you tired. Set rest points and ride between them. Don't think of the ride as Philly to Buffalo. Think of it as Philly to gas station A 100 miles away. Then gas station A to rest area 1 at 110 miles away. Continue like that till you reach your destination.
    Also, you mentioned Philly is about 7 hours from Buffalo. If that is 7 hours by car, it will be 8-9 by bike. Always figure extra time for riding a bike long distance. Even though they are faster, you'll need to stop more often.

    Let people know your route and check in along the way if possible.

    The keys to long distance riding are proper preparation and avoiding fatigue. Carry some food (powerbars are AWESOME as they fit in little nooks and crannies on a bike) and extra water.

    Most of all, enjoy your trip. You'll find that things you never knew were there, will jump out at you on a bike. The temperature, the smells, the sights. Everything is different when you ride. A bike changes things around a bit...you no longer take a trip for the destination. You take a trip for the ride and the destination just becomes a bonus.
     
  4. RedDawg

    RedDawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    50,478
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    philadelphia/buffalo
    wow, thanks for the very informative tips. I was expecting to get flamed for being a noob at bikes. You recommended a taller windscreen to prevent wind in the face, the helmets im looking at are closed face, but you said wind will give me chest fatigue also?
    I'm really looking forward to taking the class in the spring, been talking about doing this for years, im glad that i'm finally doing it.
     
  5. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    7,504
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    PA
    fuck clean changed his av now i do not reconize him, 7 hr rides are fun ok i lie they will take their toll on you i try to break my trips up into 3 to 5 hour chunks
     
  6. V!

    V! New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28,709
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Local MOTOGP Track
    :rofl: @ this thread

    I rode from Miami, FL to Los Angeles, CA on my 600rr sport bike

    It was the best road trip i have ever taken and i wouldn't hesitate to do it again

    I must warn, long distance rides are not for the weak :eek3:
     
  7. V!

    V! New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28,709
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Local MOTOGP Track
    The only bad experience i had was when my swingarm mounted license plate was hit by a flying hubcap that i barely avoided, lol, gotta watch out for those
     
  8. Imagine

    Imagine New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wilmington, OH
    You can do distance riding on any kind of bike. You just have to condition your body for it. I doubt that you'll be able to just jump on the bike (any bike) and go though. You really need to build up to doing something like that. The more you ride the more your body will get use to sitting in a position like that.

    Riding gear also plays a large role. Biker shorts under good riding pants help a lot also. UnderArmor (or similar clothing) is nice. Talcum powder and baby powder also help keep the moisture down which can cause chafing. Avoid pants/underware with seems in them.

    Stretch regularly.. Before, during, and after you ride.
     
  9. HMan

    HMan grossly deformed

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern Indiana
    State of health is a biggie as well.

    I've got a bad back, neck issues, and a fucked up knee. The most I can handle is around 10 hours in the saddle on my bike. The better shape you are in, the better you can handle a long ride.

    Just remember to stop and stretch often. You stretch BEFORE you get sore, not after. Stay hydrated as well.
     
  10. V!

    V! New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28,709
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Local MOTOGP Track
    I had to stop every hour or so for gas, so it only seemed necessary to stretch every 1 hour or so
     
  11. mnewell

    mnewell Lucy.

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    Messages:
    9,309
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    <----Rode from Florida to Seattle on an Aprilia Mille R.
     
  12. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    7,504
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    PA
    every hour? damn speed demon

    highway i can get about 150 to 160 a tank
     
  13. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Its not so much the wind in the face (the screen or the face shield stops this) its that the wind hitting your helmet means you have to work harder to keep your head up and in position.
    A lot of wind on your chest means you're gonna have to use more muscles to stay upright.

    Long rides are not for the weak. The more comfortable you can make the ride, the more you will enjoy it. Minimize fatigue and you'll ride longer and arrive in more comfort.


    For example, I'm really tired after a full days riding on my Magna. It has no wind protection at all. My head and chest absorb it all. Imagine trying to sit still in 75 mph winds. I rode from Vegas to Laguna Seca on the Magna. Beautiful ride, but I was beat up by the time I got there. Tired and sore are not a good way to ride. I got to stretch every 100 or so miles though as the 3.5 gallon tank on the Magna doesn't last long with the thirsty V4 sucking fuel at 85 mph.

    You're gonna get tired, you need to work to minimize it.
     
  14. HMan

    HMan grossly deformed

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern Indiana
    Depends on the bike. I ride at higher speeds on long trips because the wind helps me in not having to work as hard at holding my weight up off of the bars.
     
  15. V!

    V! New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28,709
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Local MOTOGP Track
    Welcome to Texas

    It was depressing and i was in the middle of nowhere, speeding is the norm......:hsd:
     
  16. Wolf

    Wolf No one plans to take the path that brings you lowe

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    105,186
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Personally, if I did a lot of touring, I think I'd get a Honda VFR Interceptor. :hsughc:
     
  17. HMan

    HMan grossly deformed

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern Indiana
    Rode a buddies and while I have nothing negative to say about the bike... I'd have to say I'd take my bike or an XX over it any day.
     
  18. Wolf

    Wolf No one plans to take the path that brings you lowe

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    105,186
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    How about the VTEC engage? Could you feel it come on?
     
  19. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    You should be supporting your weight with your back anyways.

    I do know what you mean though.
    The best way to improve the VFR line is not with VTEC trickery, but rather with more displacement.

    A VFR 1000 in the same (or similar) chassis they have now would be awesome. Light, powerful and graceful.
    Exactly like the Jaguar ad in the 50's.

    Grace, Pace and Space.
     
  20. HMan

    HMan grossly deformed

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern Indiana
    Yeah you can feel it come on but its worthless. The older VFR had the same torque and horsepower but was smoother. I do NOT want to roll on through a long sweeper and have a sudden change in power.
     
  21. HMan

    HMan grossly deformed

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern Indiana
    I use my thighs and abdomen as do most other people. The back only does some of the work. However, since the back does come into play and mine is all fucked up... I can only do that for so long at a time.
     
  22. azaz

    azaz Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Using earplugs can help with fatigue and also keeps you from getting the ringing in your ears after extended trips. You will also be amazed at how much more aware of your surroundings you will be when you can tone down the sound of your bike, especially if you have aftermarket exhaust. I usually don't even ride on 30 to 50 mile trips without them.
     

Share This Page