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Just got a 2010 phantom and am planning to do a camping ride across the country in September/October when i (finally) graduate college. I’ve been researching as much as i can about doing this but if anyone here has any advice i could really use it. Anything about bike modifications, routes, gear, clothing, or food for the ride. I’m also doing this on a broke 23 year olds budget so practical and cheap is the goal.
 

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One thing to remember...if you get any work done to the bike, get it done a few weeks before you head out. That way, any bugs will work their way to the surface while you are on your home turf, not 500 miles down the road.
Check out route 50 coast to coast. It seems to be a popular route.
Bandanas and duct tape are a must.

AND....welcome to the forum. You might want to post in the Member Introductions area. Better exposure.
 

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Welcome. That should be an interesting trip. You may want to check out (Virginia to Alaska and back on an '86 Yamaha Radian) on Adventure Rider. The young lady did that trip in rememberance of her brother who was killed by a drunk driver in 2010. She did an excellent job of writing her experiences along the way. This may give you a little insight of what to expect on a long trip.
 

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Just got a 2010 phantom and am planning to do a camping ride across the country in September/October when i (finally) graduate college. I’ve been researching as much as i can about doing this but if anyone here has any advice i could really use it. Anything about bike modifications, routes, gear, clothing, or food for the ride. I’m also doing this on a broke 23 year olds budget so practical and cheap is the goal.
The MOST important aspect to traveling is MY/YOUR SAFETY and State Laws, I feel it is anyhow...
Click the links in my signature for advice and suggestions on Loading your Bike, Safety, State Laws etc...
 

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It will be an adventure,,, Take the scenic routes and avoid interstates. If you've seen 50 miles of interstate, you've pretty much seen everything you're gonna see on interstates. Besides, 80mph seems to be the default speed on them anymore. (85-90 in TX)
 

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Mustang seat or a butt cushion of some sort and a windshield like a Slipstreamer Spitfire would look good and actually works quite well. A large enough duffle to store stuff and be able to use as a backrest that is if got a a "sissy bar" setup and a rack which will packing much easier. Bungee nets (15" sq.) makes lashing down your gear much easier.
 

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Bike Modifications: A windshield really reduces fatigue so you can ride longer and recover quicker. You can probably find preowned.
Routes: Google maps drag and drop will let you stay off the Interstates and plan miles per day. Take a few weekend trips first to find your preferred daily distance.
Gear of course good boots and rain gear. Gloves can be waterproofed by buying X-Large latex gloves at dollar store and put them on top. I have a set of booties that movers/hospital workers wear that cost about $,50 that will somewhat "waterproof" your boots.
Clothing: Buy some polyester or Rayon undergarments. They wick away sweat and dry overnight 2 pair is enough. 3 is luxury.
Food: buy along the way. I took food on a trip and it was just wasted. I also took a frying pan and a bunch of camping cook things and never used them.

Start researching camp sites now because some are very expensive.There are cheaper alternatives in peoples back yards (tentspace?) and hostels are great.
 

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You didn't mention which route you're taking, so some generic advice:

I wouldn't worry much about food since you can pick up what you need along the way. Most gas station sell food anyway. I carry just enough for to make two or three small dinners in case I roll into a campsite in a remote area or set up camp too late to hit the stores. Make sure you have water...not just for drinking, but also for cooking. I bring two canteens to fill up at water fountains along the way. Buying bottled water is expensive.

If you're dining out the whole time, it's also going to get expensive. I pack a few little one-serving cans of Chef Boyardee, some drink boxes, ramen noodles, fruit bars, instant coffee and/or tea bags...you get the idea. Be inventive, but find stuff that won't spoil and is small and easy to transport. Pop-Tarts, for instance, make a quick breakfast or snack, but usually deteriorate into broken pieces on a trip. Don't forget a cook kit. I'm still using one of those boy-scout cook kits with a small primus stove...You can't count on weather dry enough to make a cookfire every evening.

Make sure you have good rain gear, obviously....
And warm clothing, Even if you are travelling during warm weather months, it can get cold in higher elevations and day/night temps can vary wildly.
Pack a sweat shirt and layer as needed. Wearing your rain gear, even when it's not raining, is a good windbreak against the cold.

If you can't sleep at night, you're not going to able to ride safely all day.
The worst mistake I ever made early in my touring days was to assume that since I was traveling out west in the summer, all I'd need was a light felt sleeping bag. I darn near froze my backside off at night more than once. I once ended up sleeping with all my riding bear on, including the boots, and still froze. Luckily, I had tossed one of those metallic space blankets in the luggage and while I wasn't comfortable, I didn't get pneumonia.
I have a fairly expensive REI bag these days, mostly because it's warm, but also because it packs very small.
For the budget traveler, you can try this:
Any decent sleeping bag you can find, even at the thrift store. Make sure the zipper works.
Then get another thin, cheap bag to put inside that other bag if you need more warmth. I bought one for $6.00.
And pick up one of the space blankets I mentioned earlier. NOTE: They are not breathable...don't cover your head. Also, they will condensate.
Get a watch cap. That'll help keep your head warm.
Lastly, sleeping on the ground will sap away a lot of heat. Find and inflatable something...even a swimming pool raft to put your sleeping gear on.

Hope this helps: I got more. :)
 

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You didn't mention which route you're taking, so some generic advice:

I wouldn't worry much about food since you can pick up what you need along the way. Most gas station sell food anyway. I carry just enough for to make two or three small dinners in case I roll into a campsite in a remote area or set up camp too late to hit the stores. Make sure you have water...not just for drinking, but also for cooking. I bring two canteens to fill up at water fountains along the way. Buying bottled water is expensive.

If you're dining out the whole time, it's also going to get expensive. I pack a few little one-serving cans of Chef Boyardee, some drink boxes, ramen noodles, fruit bars, instant coffee and/or tea bags...you get the idea. Be inventive, but find stuff that won't spoil and is small and easy to transport. Pop-Tarts, for instance, make a quick breakfast or snack, but usually deteriorate into broken pieces on a trip. Don't forget a cook kit. I'm still using one of those boy-scout cook kits with a small primus stove...You can't count on weather dry enough to make a cookfire every evening.

Make sure you have good rain gear, obviously....
And warm clothing, Even if you are travelling during warm weather months, it can get cold in higher elevations and day/night temps can vary wildly.
Pack a sweat shirt and layer as needed. Wearing your rain gear, even when it's not raining, is a good windbreak against the cold.

If you can't sleep at night, you're not going to able to ride safely all day.
The worst mistake I ever made early in my touring days was to assume that since I was traveling out west in the summer, all I'd need was a light felt sleeping bag. I darn near froze my backside off at night more than once. I once ended up sleeping with all my riding bear on, including the boots, and still froze. Luckily, I had tossed one of those metallic space blankets in the luggage and while I wasn't comfortable, I didn't get pneumonia.
I have a fairly expensive REI bag these days, mostly because it's warm, but also because it packs very small.
For the budget traveler, you can try this:
Any decent sleeping bag you can find, even at the thrift store. Make sure the zipper works.
Then get another thin, cheap bag to put inside that other bag if you need more warmth. I bought one for $6.00.
And pick up one of the space blankets I mentioned earlier. NOTE: They are not breathable...don't cover your head. Also, they will condensate.
Get a watch cap. That'll help keep your head warm.
Lastly, sleeping on the ground will sap away a lot of heat. Find and inflatable something...even a swimming pool raft to put your sleeping gear on.

Hope this helps: I got more. :)
289079


Me and @Menhir have agreed to disagree about this in the past. As much as I love camping and motorcycling, I never mix the two if I can avoid it. I've got all the lightweight gear for backpacking and back country camping, but it's high dollar and I'll be damned if it will ever get strapped on to the back of a motorcycle.

I haven't seen him on here in a while but @Nuh_auni took a "budget" ride a couple of years ago and it sounded great. Hopefully he'll pop his head in and see this and give you a bit from his perspective.

In addition to all the excellent advice above, a couple of thoughts: Start hitting up friends and family now for food gift cards. Everyone has them. Subway. Micky D's. Cracker Barrel. Everyone. Gas station hot dogs are doable, I've covered many a mile living off of them, but an hour or so sit-down meal can do wonders. Friends and family have also been known to gift pre-paid gas cards and credit cards.

I recommended to @Nuh_auni to check out a site for "couch surfing". I think it turned out good for him.

Others have mentioned quality rain gear. I cannot concur with that enough. Crappy gear, wet clothes = recipe for disaster.... or at least ruining a day. Don't skimp on rain gear. I'm a believer in two piece gear. Pants have to have a stirrup. That's my .02/

Me, I'm more about destinations than the ride itself. Call it a personality quirk. I've crossed this country from coast to coast a number of times. Always had to have a destination. Always had a bit of a plan. I used to enjoy watching Diners/Drive-ins and Dives. I routed to ensure I visited a couple that seemed most interesting. I route to see and visit Americana as well. Go check out that big-assed ball of twine. Do a couple of miles on the old route 66. "Illegally" pull over and get that classic picture of Mount Rushmore.

I can't see "modifying" a good bike. Personally, I hate a windscreen. Won't have one though one can protect you from flying crap. Take your bike in to a decent upholsterer and have them tailor your seat. Probably a whole lot cheaper than something aftermarket. Luggage is nice, but your bike is only so big so use common sense. New tires before taking off is a must. Front and rear.

Either way, whatever you decide, I hope you do it. Don't let "common sense" talk you out of it. Every year you get a year older. More responsibilities. Less opportunities. I've did the trip you're talking about. One day I made it 800 miles with ease, the next just a little over 80. Oh yeah, there was a bar, loose women and cold beer involved but that's a whole different story.....

Let us know what happens.
 

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Either way, whatever you decide, I hope you do it. Don't let "common sense" talk you out of it. Every year you get a year older. More responsibilities. Less opportunities.
Absolutely!

You're getting a lot of advice, but don't let it overwhelm you. Cover the basics...safety and health. Muddle through the rest as you go. You'll get'r done.
It makes for a better tale to tell. :cool:
 

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I’ll be starting from Memphis TN. I don’t really have a particular route or destination in mind. My plan is to just get lost in a general direction
I have found that without at least some end goal in mind, the plan soon falls apart. One more difficulty is Covid so you may need to avoid states that are highly infected. Not necessarily because you will catch it but because the bars, motels, some campsites, pools etc may be closed in Sept. mid-west looks good as does the mid atlantic coast: carolinas, virginia.
 

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I’ll be starting from Memphis TN. I don’t really have a particular route or destination in mind. My plan is to just get lost in a general direction
If I could get up and go right now I'd be heading to Alaska.
 

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My Greatest journey was the trip to Sturgis, SD "Black Hills Bike Rally" in 2011...
We "Three D`s" met up & took off from Cordele, GA then returned home on the 14th day...
We logged 600 miles a day going out, then put on 200+ each day in the Black Hills area, rode to Pikes Peak, CO and meandered home though our GREAT Country...
Enjoy the Journey,
Dennis

As "leader of the Pack" or if you prefer, Road Captain, it was my responsebilty to KNOW the LAW in each state we rode through
 

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My Greatest journey was the trip to Sturgis, SD "Black Hills Bike Rally" in 2011...
We "Three D`s" met up & took off from Cordele, GA then returned home on the 14th day...
We logged 600 miles a day going out, then put on 200+ each day in the Black Hills area, rode to Pikes Peak, CO and meandered home though our GREAT Country...
Enjoy the Journey,
Dennis

As "leader of the Pack" or if you prefer, Road Captain, it was my responsebilty to KNOW the LAW in each state we rode through
With the riders, how much work was it to log 600 miles a day?
 

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I’ll be starting from Memphis TN. I don’t really have a particular route or destination in mind. My plan is to just get lost in a general direction
Now me being me, Starting from Memphis, I'd go on the "Great US barbecue tour". Roll through North Carolina and hit up some of their best, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas all have their signature bbq spots as well. St. Louis.... Nuff said. Of course I'd have to bring a pair of running shoes along to work off some of it in the mornings before I saddle up or I wouldn't be able to fit on the bike before I made it to the end of the journey!!
 

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Whenever possible, I try to reduce or at least vary the length of my riding days as I go on long trips:
Home to Sturgis, for example.
1st day 624 miles
2nd day 530 miles
3rd day 306 miles
So each day is a bit easier than the day before. I'm riding my longest day when I'm freshest. It's still a long, sometimes hard riding day, but it's more endurable because I know I'm heading out for my favorite vacation.

I do the same coming back home....longest day first, and so forth.

Now, that was when I was working. I couldn't just lolligag my way back...I only had so much vacation time and I wanted to spend more time at my destination than I did getting there and back.
Now that I'm retired, I can spend more time and wander more on the way home.
 
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With the riders, how much work was it to log 600 miles a day?
Not so much work as RIDING...
Up at daybreak for breakfast Ride all day & in the hot tub before bed...
600 @ 60 MPH is only 10 hours, and there`s 14 hours of daylight this time of year;)
A hearty breakfast, a good supper and 4 tanks of gas,
Dennis

But who runs 60????
 
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