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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice. I bought my VT1100C here in Prescott, AZ a few months back. As planned I'm gonna ride it back to my hometown in Michigan the first week of May. Longest trip I've ever done is like 200 miles. This is 2,000. First, I was wondering about good routes to take, I'm not completely opposed to superslabs, but I'd prefer the two laners, what about route 66? I'm in no real hurry I'll give myself about a week to do it.

Also, what about maintenance? I'm pretty good about it (changing out the fluids, new tires, etc.) Is there anything essential I should do to prepare for a long one?

Any cool destinations I should hit up between these two states?

Oh, and I'm gonna bring a tent and sleeping bag to camp (backpacking gear) cuz I'm poor. Anybody ever do that?

Any advice will be helpful, cuz for 2,000 miles its just gonna be me, my shadow, and my wits.
 

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Cant offer a route or any stop suggestions, but I will suggest you change you oil ( and gear fluid) before you take of and make sure you have good coolant in the system. Next, take a fair tool kit and extra bulbs for the headlamp and signal lamps, you can never be to careful. If you don’t have a cell, buy a prepaid just in case and write down the phone numbers of a few dealerships in your path. Beyond that, stay hydrated, alert and ride safe. I hope you have a great ride, sounds like a blast. 8)

Cheers
 

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When in the desert gas up at half a tank that is to include but not limit you to Arizona New Mexico Nevada and Utah.
I got a lot of tips I have already posted if you search "Glen's Highway tips" that should bring up a few. One of my favorite is after every state line the first rest area you come to is also a information center with tons of free stuff. stop in sign the guest book and talk to the staff. they will know all the great riding areas.
Do not be afraid of the highway it is statistically the safest place to ride. but do not confine yourself to it.
Glen
 

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Along the lines of what Glen says, if you see one of these signs, make sure you gas up.


As for a route, if you want to get off the superslabs, Rt. 50 is very nice. You can catch it in La Junta, CO and head east for a ways to a route you want to take north. Of course you could always head straight north out of AZ, visit the Canyon Lands in Utah then head east through the Rockies. That's some beautiful country but in early May it may still be a bit iffy weather wise.

Happy Trails!

sanoke
 

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Re: Solo Cross-Country trip! AZ to MI Calling all Iron Butts

JonnyP said:
As planned I'm gonna ride it back to my hometown in Michigan the first week of May.
What part of MI are you heading to? Perhaps we'll be able to get a welcoming committee together to greet ya! :wink:
 

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Plan well

My wife is from MI and we suspect you will have a tough time in May. It is a full 2.5 day trip in the cage where you don't have weather issues and can crank out more miles between stops. From experience, I can tell you that it will be more difficult than you imagine. Since you have to stop more, you will not average more than 45-50 mph. That's 40+ hrs each way. Riding 16 hrs/day (700-800 miles) it will take you 5 full days to cover the 4000 miles round trip. 4-5 iron butt rides in a short period of time is guaranteed to be a challenge. How much time you can spend in the seat depends on a lot of factors beyond your control. With your longest trip to date being only 200 miles, you are in for a real adventure! Since you are relatively new at this, I suspect that you have yet to accumulate a lot of gear. As a minimum you will need a good leather jacket, vest, chaps or protective pants, RAIN SUIT, Gauntlet gloves, balaclava and lots of clothes to layer. A windshield is mandatory for a trip this long. Cold (and probably wet), windy weather will be unavoidable so be prepared. Once you get chilled, you will be unable to concentrate and putting in 16 hrs a day in less than ideal conditions can quickly become a nightmare. Allow an extra day or 2 and know ahead of time how you are going to handle varying weather conditions. You will learn a lot along the way. With the right gear and adequate planning you will do fine, but it will not be easy. Hopefully the weather will cooperate on the leg up to MI. I hope this little dose of reality will make your trip easier. Once you are out on the road there are few alternatives.
Let us know how it goes and please be careful out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice guys. Deeppurple, Luckily its gonna be a one way trip as I'll spend the summer in MI so it'll only be 2000 miles. And Byg, I'll stop off in East Lansing to visit some friends and then down to Troy where my parents live, where are you in Mid-Mich?
 

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some good trips, i am trying to budget in a run from socal to back home st louis this summer.

since vegas is only like 300 miles from me, I am going to do some 1 day turn around practice runs up there
 

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JP, if your body tells you to pull over, pull over. Stretch, walk around and take about 10 minutes to look at your map. If you need more time take it. Your bike will help with the stops since it only has a range of 150 miles. Which is about 2-2 1/2 hours of saddle time. Also make a plan to only ride so many miles in a day.
SD, once you find you can ride for 300 miles, the next three hundred will be as easy as water dripping off a duck's butt. To really make a cheap run ride a it like a 36 hour IBA Bun Burner 1500 or 24 hour Gold. Its addicting.
 

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Have a rag handy so that you can clean the shield when you need to, especially if you're going to ride at night. If you hit a cold spell, tie the rag across your radiator to help keep the engine temp up (I was able to ride around and stay in the middle of the temp range in sub-freezing weather that way).

Also, the single best way to make this trip a lot easier on you will be to get some back support. Either a backrest or some luggage strapped behind you will do the job. It makes a huge difference. With a backrest and highway pegs you will be set.

When you get to East Lansing give me a heads up. I go to school here and vt700c lives here too.
 

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Well time to heed my own advice ... tomorrow night I head from Nevada to New York. The bike has its new bearings.
Glen
 

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I made the cross country trip on a number of bikes over the years. I try to do it once a year. It's really good for the head. Especially alone.

The first thing you have to do is ask yourself if you think your bike would be trouble free for the next 3000 miles if you stayed home. The answer will always be a resounding yes of course. now you can put your breakdown worries to bed.

PLAN YOUR TRIP. Try to avoid major freeways. They are boring and you will get tired faster driving in a straight line for hours. Plan your gas stops. ALWAYS fill your tank when ever you can. Don't try to cover too many miles. ENJOY the journey. Take your time. Plan motel stops ahead of time.

Travel light use laundromats. Extra bulbs is a good thing if you think your bike would have needed them anyway. IF you have spokes don't get a flat otherwise carry a tire repair kit. Tie a sleeping bag rolled up inside the sissybar of you haveone. An excellent backrest and emergency bed.

The bike will hardly wear at all on long trips. Don't worry about breakdowns. You rarely see bikes on the side of the road. They are like Mercedes If they are going to screw up it will be upon a restart after its been sitting.

Plan your trip. Know where you are going to be. I would forget the rain suit. by the time you will need it you will be wet already. unless you want to ride in the rain. I hate it and will stay in a motel all day long if I have to to avoid the wet pavement and terrible visibility.
 

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JonnyP said:
Yeah I have a bit of planning to do yet, anybody have any preferred roads they think I should take, still looking for a good route.
I can guarntee that you will have rain, so as mentioned a good rain suit, also riding a Honda you can join the Honda Riders Club for about $49. a year, very good to have if you break down as they will tow you anywhere or distance for free to the nearest Honda Dealer, someone mentioned rags, well I always carry two large Micro Fibre Cloths, one I keep wet in a zip lock bag and the other dry, good to have to clean bugs off the windshield and lights either on the road and at service stations when gassing up, it's hard to see thru them bugs especially at nite, carry water for drinking and some snacks for rest stops, like others mentioned I usually make a stop around 100/125 miles on long trips for rest and gas, I'm sure you can do 400 miles at least the first day and after a day or two on the road you can probably increase as your butt gets used to it, hope you have a good seat and definetly a back rest, a throttle lock is woth the money especially when making long straight runs, let's you rest the wrist for a little bit, I wear electric gear, a jacket liner and gloves so I don't have to bundle up so much when it's cold and you will have cold weather, Rt 66/Rt 40 is good all the way to Albuquerque, NM as that's as far as I've ridden it, I wish you a great and enjoyable ride, it should be a lifetime experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Eldorado, thats some good info. The $49 is some pretty cheap insurance, I might consider that. So rt-66 sounds good, but a friend told me its broken up, is that where rt-40 comes in? is that I-40 the superslab?
 

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JonnyP said:
Thanks Eldorado, thats some good info. The $49 is some pretty cheap insurance, I might consider that. So rt-66 sounds good, but a friend told me its broken up, is that where rt-40 comes in? is that I-40 the superslab?
Yes the 66 is broken up but still has some good points especially around Gallop New Mexico. I prefer the Lincoln Highway which is still intact and is in fact the first coast to coast rout and much more historic, its just that nobody wrote a song about it.
http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~jlin/lincoln/
http://www.lincolnhwyil.com/history.html
The super slab is your friend if you want to get there safe as there are a lot fewer accidents and drunks and stop signs on the super slab. Do not be afraid of them.
But what do I know I just make about 12 cross country trips a year on a bike
Glen
 

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Before you take off on a trip, you should first take a short ride and camp out for one or two nights to try out your camping gear. Then you can see what you need and don’t need to take on the trip.

The best part of Route 66 is Seligman AZ and Needles. The rest of it is not very exciting and mostly on I-40 and I-44.

It’s a nice ride from Prescott to Show Low. Then ride up to Farmington, then east on US 64 to Taos and the Enchanted Circle. Once you are east of I-25, it gets flat, but not as flat as Florida. US 160 across southern Kansas is not too bad. Stay off of US 50 in central and eastern Kansas, lots of trucks.

http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2082/
 

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JonnyP said:
Byg, I'll stop off in East Lansing to visit some friends and then down to Troy where my parents live, where are you in Mid-Mich?
I'm an hour north, but there are many HSN riders in that area. We are planning some group rides, so don't be a stranger to the Michigan forum on this site. Check out: http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43572 where we are discussing this year's rides.

Be safe, take your time and should you decide to make 1k within 24 hours, make sure you document it! Might as well get an Iron Butt Pin out of the deal!
 
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