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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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long trips

how are bikes on long trips, i don;t mean comfortable wise, i mean dependability

i have a new 04 gixxer, i put about 3500 miles on it already though in the first month, im planning on riding from orlando to new york, ive done it about 8-10 times on my mr2 in the last 2 years or so and i want to go up their in my bike, what i want to know is should i worry about my bike breaking down in such a long drive, i will be riding it for about 8-10 hours straight with just gas breaks, how is that on a bike? also what do i do if i blow out a tire? what are some other things i need to worry about, and what should i do before the long ride? its about 1000 miles

GSX-R 600 alstare
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 10:38 PM
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Tony since your GSXR is new to you & you have NOT done any long runs. The very idea of 8-10 hrs on the bike frightens me.

I say this because this sportbike is really not a comfortable machine for long distance riding, that it will be your first attempt, & compared to a car you will be fatigued which will lead to you making errors on the road. Believe me 8-10 hrs on a m/c is more like 12 to 14 hrs in driving a cage & since the GSXR is not designed for cruising or long runs, then it will be more like 16 to 18 hrs.

Try using your cage or some more sensible means of transportation for this trip. Once back start out on runs of 3 to 4 to 5 to 6 to 8 hrs & see how you hold up. Many find that 3 to 5 hrs of steady riding, bar fuel stops & stretching still have them in pain.

If you have a flat then that is what you will have & no spare on the bike, like a cage, & in most cases a flat on a sportbike tyre means replacement of the tyre & not being patched up by a shop. Tack on the fact that no local garage will be your answer, like with a cage, & your first m/c shop might be closed or not have the tyre you need or possibly you will be forced to book an appointment a few days from your time of contact not to mention how do you get the bike there with a flat tyre.

It is a very different world out there on a m/c compared to a cage.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 05:20 AM
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I have just logged in 5 hour dive on my ZX12R and it dang near killed me. This was mostly done on the I80 at 85 - 90 mph. I found out that it takes a ton out of you both mentally and physically. By the time I got home and just crashed. Like what was said before I would be looking at taking your car if you had to go much farther.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 06:34 AM
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The bike will make it fine. The rider may not.

Make sure that your tires are good, nearly new, especially the rear. The highway is hard on them on a long trip and you need to have sufficient tread all of the way to the end of the trip in case it rains. It might be a good idea to put on a sport/touring tire instead of the good soft stuff that we like so much for twisty riding. Avon 46 series is one with many good reviews for that duty and is what's going on mine for my trip.

Those bikes with the more aggressive riding positions are harder on you on the long rides but it can be done. I'm going to be riding to Los Angeles from Pittsburgh BUT on a bike that's a little more suited to that kind of riding. The seating position and bar placement isn't quite as aggressive AND I ride a lot, keeping those affected muscles in shape for that.

Stop frequently for a short stretch, AT LEAST every hundred miles, and avoid sitting in one position for very long. At least every gas stop, get a drink to prevent dehydration and wash down your face and arms to keep you feeling fresh. It may sound silly but it helps A LOT. Especially important if it's hot. Move around on the seat right from the start so you don't get stiff. Feet back, feet forward on the pegs, slide a little right, a little left on the seat. Lean down, sit up. Once you get sore, the only cure is a LONG break, like sleeping.

Also a throttle lock like Vista- Cruise or throttle meister so you can give your right hand a break. The vista-cruise is cheap enough and I actually prefer how it functions but takes some creativity to adapt to the newer sport bikes. At the very least, you can get a throttle rocker that just clips onto your grip and lets you hold throttle with your palm instead of with a closed grip. They are cheap, too and aren't permanent. Just snap it on when you want it.

Being 1,000 miles, you should probably split it into two days, 500 each. That will make it very doable IF you are in shape for riding and/or follow the break and positioning guidelines. Set the goal to maintain 50 MPH AVERAGE for the time out. If you are cruising at 70, give or take, that's easily attainable with frequent quick stretch stops and a sit down lunch break of about an hour. It's easy arithmetic, too. You will accumulate reserve all morning, being ahead of your 50 mile average, and then burn it up at your lunch break, an important rest for the balance of your ride.

Fifty miles for every hour means 10 hours out for the 500 you're doing. On the road at seven, destination by 5:00. Shower, sit down for a nice dinner and an evening of relaxing. Take in the local sights and then a good nights sleep. Back at it in the AM. That's the general plan I use and by pacing the day you're able to monitor your progress which is easier on you mentally. You can see your goal being accomplished and know there is an end in sight.

If you stick to a plan like that, you'll make it fine. Leaving even earlier can be nice but the point remains the same. Even if you need more breaks, you can still be off the road by dark, an extra four hours if you need it. Good luck.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 07:23 AM
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You've done some good rides already if you have 3500miles in the first month. As these guys already said, longer rides can really take it out of you, much moreso than in a car. My long legs get crunched up on a bike and I am poor about taking breaks when I ride solo. Around 225 miles, I really start feeling it and longest I've managed in a single day is ~400 miles.

Good luck.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 08:37 AM
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I did 500 miles on my r6 a few weekends ago, doing it again this weekend. Like dad said. Its inportant to break, Break at every rest stop unless they are 20 miles apart. do you breaks for gas sepearate, unless again its so close that is would not make sense. When you get to rest stops, gas station. Get water or maybe a sport drink, Don't drink Soda or stuff. You can have one or so but don't do it every time. Water is much better for you. When I did my trip almost 500 miles, I left around 6:30 am, and got to where I was going by 4:30pm. Thats about 10 hours. But I took my breaks It could of been less if I didn't take some many breaks. You trip is Two Days long don't try to do it stright.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by jrm
... My long legs get crunched up on a bike and I am poor about taking breaks when I ride solo. Around 225 miles, I really start feeling it and longest I've managed in a single day is ~400 miles.

Good luck.
That is the point of scheduling your stops from the very first. You may not feel the need early but it matters for later in the day. Once you get sore, there is no curing it but an overnight stop. That will happen much sooner if you don't take breaks all day. Good luck.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 10:29 AM
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3 words for you man... DON'T DO IT!

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 10:38 AM
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What's up Tony? It's good to see someone else from Orlando on here. I made 2 trips to Texas on the 929 last year and loved it. I just got back from Georgia 2 weeks ago. I took I-4 to Volusia County and went North on I-95 the rest of the way. I-95 is absolutely miserable until Jacksonville because of the construction anytime during the day. As far as blow outs etc. check into AAA or something similar for roadside assistance. I'm a member of (HRCA Honda Rider's Club of America) which offers 24/7 roadside assistance, which is well worth it if you encounter any mechanical problems. I say go for it, you'll have a blast.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 01:08 PM
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A Honda 929 is a much more comfortable bike for long runs & so is a Yamaha YZF600r only latter has to soft a saddle.

I ride the two bikes several times of the week during riding season, clocking 5 to 6 hrs on each, but finding the 929 is more to my liking.

Compared to the extreme lean forward riding position of the GSXR both are more suited for hwy use & long rides.

Anyway some darn good tips above, so it is up to your Tony if you feel you can stand the odds against you or make that one trip by a more sensible means & then tone yourself for longer runs.
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