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Thinking about this trip in the Spring....

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So a friend of mine (who has a big dresser Harley) and I (with my DRZ400s) are starting to plan a trip for next Spring.  I'm starting with a budget of 7 days.  We're in the Chicago area.  He's always wanted to do the Blue Ridge Parkway / Tail of the Dragon ride.  It seems like we'd be starting the 3 day ride from Atlanta (so I'm giving us 2 days each way to get from Chicago to Atlanta, and Atlanta back to Chicago).  Does this sound reasonable on the DRZ?   Basically the first two and last 2 days of the trip would be almost 400 mile days.  How tough is that on a stock DRZ with stock seat?  I am bumping up my gearing a bit by putting a 41 tooth rear sprocket on.  Hoping that's good for holding 65-70mph for hours on end.   Am I being overly agressive on the first and last two days you think?   The middle 3 days would look like what's outlined here:

 

http://www.eaglerider.com/motorcycle-tours/self-drive-motorcycle-tour/blue-ridge-parkway-tail-of-the-dragon-motorcycle-tour

 

Thoughts, suggestions, advice all welcome!

 

             Warner

 

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Stock 15/41 SM gearing sucks on the freeway IMO. I bumped it down to a 39t and it's much better, but even going 70mph in a straight line for a few mins down the freeway starts getting anoyying on this bike. But that's just me.

Edited by Kx250FRiDeR651
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Stock 15/41 SM gearing sucks on the freeway IMO. I bumped it down to a 39t and it's much better, but even going 70mph in a straight line for a few mins down the freeway starts getting anoyying on this bike. But that's just me.

Yeah, the SM is stock 15/41, but the S has a stock ratio of 15/44, so by dropping to a 41 on the back, I am gaining about 5mph at highway speeds at the same revs....because of the larger rear wheel on the S vs the SM.

 

                    Warner

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400 mile days on a bike with no fairing is going to be a work out no matter the make or displacement.  That much time in the seat at speed gives the wind a good long opportunity to work you over.  15/41 is a good idea for droning along.  

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400 mile days on a bike with no fairing is going to be a work out no matter the make or displacement.  That much time in the seat at speed gives the wind a good long opportunity to work you over.  15/41 is a good idea for droning along.  

I DO have a windscreen that I could put back on.  Frankly, it looks a little goofy and takes much of the "dual sport" character away from the bike.  But I agree the wind beats the snot out of you.

 

             Warner

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I just got off the freeway on my way to work. I usually take the back streets. 15/39 is absolutely perfect and low rpm chugging along at 65/70mph (according to my probably inaccurate speedo) with not much wind. Once I get into 80 is when it's starting to be real buzzy. I feel like I could go long distance without worrying about too much stress on the bike.

I had to refresh my memory on that one ha

Edited by Kx250FRiDeR651

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Think about it this way, to go 400 miles in a day, you'd have to ride min avg 50 mph that's without any breaks straight for 8 hours. Does that sound like fun to you? My average daily is about 200 miles to be relaxed pace with lots of break.  I run stock gearing and it's fine if you're going 65-70mph it'll just buzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZ the whole time but it's fine. Stock seat is fine but I have Seat Concepts now it is a lot more comfortable, the gel seats was the worst. For me my legs start feeling cramped after a couple of hours on the saddle and need to be stretched.

Edited by outlaws
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ive done 400 miles on the drz in a day once and i was pretty beat up by hour 3.   tail of the dragon (make sure you check out fontana dam its right there), asheville, mt mitchell, grand father mtn, linville gorge, chimney rock are all worth seeing. i was able to squeeze everything into 3 days on my vstrom which is outfitted for touring. i probably wouldve needed atleast another day maybe 2 to make it home. 5 days total to enjoy the trip.  especially with the lack of the day light plus some traffic  youll be surprised how quick the sun dissappears.

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Think about it this way, to go 400 miles in a day, you'd have to ride min avg 50 mph that's without any breaks straight for 8 hours. Does that sound like fun to you? My average daily is about 200 miles to be relaxed pace with lots of break.  I run stock gearing and it's fine if you're going 65-70mph it'll just buzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZ the whole time but it's fine. Stock seat is fine but I have Seat Concepts now it is a lot more comfortable, the gel seats was the worst. For me my legs start feeling cramped after a couple of hours on the saddle and need to be stretched.

 

Yeah, we're going to try to do about 300ish the first two days.  I think we'll be able to average more than 50mph, but that's going to depend on the route, of course.  So more like 6 hours on the seat, but not constantly.  We'll stop for gas/food, etc.  I'm definitely thinking to get the Seat Concepts seat.  Just started a thread on that.  Right now I'm thinking the gripper cover on their tall seat for extra padding and straighter legs while tooling down the highway.   

 

                        Warner

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ive done 400 miles on the drz in a day once and i was pretty beat up by hour 3.   tail of the dragon (make sure you check out fontana dam its right there), asheville, mt mitchell, grand father mtn, linville gorge, chimney rock are all worth seeing. i was able to squeeze everything into 3 days on my vstrom which is outfitted for touring. i probably wouldve needed atleast another day maybe 2 to make it home. 5 days total to enjoy the trip.  especially with the lack of the day light plus some traffic  youll be surprised how quick the sun dissappears.

 

We're going in May.  Hoping to do around 300 a day.  Hopefully it'll be doable.  I'm planning on mounting my windscreen for the ride down there and back, and taking it off while we're down there riding around.  Just for the heavy mile days, I'll have it on.  That will definitely cut down on the wind wear.

 

                     Warner

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