Ad Widget



No announcement yet.

preparing for a long trip

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • preparing for a long trip

    I just had my 4000 mi service on my 05 kat. Im planning on going on a trip to san diego. its about 240 mi away. is there anything i need to do to prepare my bike for the long ride. I dont want to over heat the bike and get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Please offer some suggestions.

  • #2
    condensed from:

    Originally posted by The CyberPoet
    Things to know/do:

    (A) Get the best, most comfortable seat you can find. This may mean replacing the stock one with a replacement corbin or travelcade, sergeant, etc. Or taking your existing one out to an upholsterer and having them rework it. You're looking for a denser foam, spread wider to support more of your thighs and all of your butt.

    (B) Cruise control - vista universal cruise-control or ThrottleMeister. Allows you not have to have your right hand in constant contact.

    (C) Gel palmed-gloves. Personally, I like Olympia Glove's gel-palmed perforated leather gloves -- they have about double the gel of any other brand I've tried and I'm on my third pair...

    (D) Hydrate & urinate hourly. You lose moisture by sweating but also by breathing. Make sure you put down at least 4 to 8 ounces of liquid every hour and try to urinate at every stop. Failure to do so can lead to kidney stones, because the combination of dehydration and vibration can really accelerate crystaline mineral formation in your kidneys. European riders use a special form of kidney belt specifically to combat this issue -- and yes, I own one. Also, if you drink water, consume some salt with it. Otherwise, consider Gatoraide or one of the other drinks to replentish your electrolytes.

    (E) Oil your chain every time you get fuel. Permatex 80075 Chain lube fits under the seat readily (at least under the seat of the 98+ models) and works extremely well in my experience. Do not use chain waxes for long-haul riding -- you want oil, which will fling off dirt when it flings off excess oil (wax will adhere dirt/sand and accelerate chain issues).

    (F) Eat a variety of foods instead of gorging on something specific. You want the energy from the foods to hit gradually over time instead of going on an instant sugar high and then slumping again on the back end. Smorgasboard places can be good for this. Or having bits of smaller meals in a wider variety of places (instead of having a hamburger, fries, pie all at once, have a half a burger at one stop, some fries at the next, etc).

    (G) Pack a proper tool kit. Here's my idea of a proper toolkit (or at least decent beginnings -- I try to carry a tire plug now too): KR Thread - "What's under your seat"?

    (H) Always ask for a room away from the road on the bottom floor. This will let you park the bikes away from prying eyes, and if you're sneaky (I often am), will give you the ability to pull the bikes into the room after they cool off.

    (I) Clothing: wear layers so you can strip down/add on as you need to adjust for the temp or weather. A multi-use jacket (such as one with a zip-in liner or the multi-panel ones out now work well).

    (J) Have a plan for rain in advance -- will you stop or just keep rolling through? Make sure your friend agrees in advance, and the family is aware of it.

    (K) Cell phone charger -- if you carry a cell phone and the trip will be longer than your battery life, bring a charger and charge it when you can. If you plan on running off your MC battery, know that most chargers have the voltage converter built into the lighter-head attachment portion, so you'll need to rig a female lighter socket to take it.

    (L) Before you depart, make a list of Suzuki dealerships (and BMW ones) on your route in case you find you need something. I lost a bolt to heel kickplate last year enroute to the rally, and was glad I knew there was a dealer a mile off the interstate in Marietta to grab another one (they didn't even charge me for it -- they thought it was cool I was going long distances on a Katana).

    (M) Bring a roll of quarters. There will be times you may want to pop by a laundry to throw soaking wet clothes in a dryer after a thunderstorm and find there's no change to be had. Or road tolls with no one at the tollboth. Etc.

    (N) Luggage: Givi hardsided bags are the bomb. BBags are a good second choice if you don't want to plunk down that much cash. If you're travelling with family and they can carry your bag, then you don't need luggage as such and a small seat bag will do you.

    (O) Beverage: try to keep one on hand. Warm coke sucks, but waiting for a tow truck becuase you had a mechanical failure in the hot sun in the middle of no where without a drink sucks worse.

    (P) Wet wipes or those small wet-wipe packs that you get a BBQ places are your friend. They work for everything, including removing bugs from visors, freshening up, and finding out too late that the bathroom you just used has no TP.

    (Q) Don't use the road trip as a test platform. Make sure any changes you make to the bike and your riding gear are done at least a week ahead of time so you can ride with them and be comfortable with them before you hit the road. The last thing you want is to be on the road and find out your last mod is fouling plugs, or causing you great discomfort, etc.

    (R) [Intentionally omitted]

    (S) Unless your family is big on pre-booking, don't make reservations. Let the road and your own feelings set how far you want to go in a day, then get off the main road and find a cheap hotel/motel. Most American-run places that aren't major-chains will even discount heavily if you tell them flat-out you don't need a receipt, will be paying in cash and don't care for the tax man. Not your issue if the night manager pockets it or the owner would rather take it under the table...

    (T) Buy new socks for the trip. A 6-pack or 12-pack is awesome, and like WildKat said, they make you feel refreshed.

    (U) If you have a known destination (like the KR rally or some relatives' house), you can send your goods in advance via UPS or US Mail to yourself C/o whereever you're staying. This can give you more stuff there without the need to carry it. Include a return label and ship your dirty clothes back. Or just travel with cash or a credit card and buy new clothes on the road, then ship the dirties back (I do this in Europe -- after every 5 to 7 days, I ship the dirty stuff back to the USA and buy more clothes; easy way to renew my wardrobe and shipping is cheaper than out-service laundry in most places in Europe).

    (V) Do your pre-ride inspection thoroughly every single day you plan riding. Tire pressure, oil levels, chain tension, etc. Don't put off repairs or maintenance that might leave you stranded otherwise. With the fumoto oil drain valve, I can do an oil change in any parking lot with 1 tool (the hex key to open the access panel for the oil filler cap), and be good for another 3500 miles

    (W) Run your tire pressures a few lbs higher than usual (i.e. - if you normally ride 35/37, go 37/39). If you carry luggage, increase it to compensate for that too. This will help keep your tires cooler and reduce the rate at which they wear away by reducing how much they deform each rotation (and since heat is mostly a product of deformation bending, this reduces the heat build-up).

    (X) Stop and sleep when you are really tired or drained. Even if it's only an hour's nap on a picnic bench. Don't push yourself beyond your limits.

    That's about all I've got.
    =-= The CyberPoet
    Remember The CyberPoet


    • #3
      Originally posted by Firewa11
      No no, +100!

      Originally posted by Firewa11
      What was (R)?
      Don't ask... If you really really really want to know, read the original thread (linked above)

      find / -name "*your base*" -exec chown us:us {} \;

      You must realize that someday you will die-until you know that, you are useless

      If you can't make it fit with a sledge hammer, don't force it!