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Prepping for long road trip - What have I overlooked?

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Hopefully I’ve covered most of my bases….what do you guys/gals think?

 

 

In preparation for my trip from Chicago to North Carolina in May, roughly 2,000 road miles in 8 days, I’ve made the following changes/additions to my DRZ400S:

 

Changed the gearing to 15/41

 

Replaced my 14 year old dry rotted trailwings with Shinko 705 tires

 

Will use my rather large windshield for this trip.  Fatigue from wind blast is for real.

 

Sent my seat to Fisher upholstery to be modified to 11” wide, with soft foam.

 

Bolted on some agri-tubes to my action packer, which each hold a 30 ounce MSR fuel bottle perfectly.

 

Bought a Wolfman Expedition dry duffel, medium size and Rok Straps to secure it.

 

Bought a Wolfman Blackhawk tank bag

 

Bought and installed a waterproof lighter socket and wired it directly to battery (fused)

 

Bought and installed a Ram Mount onto my handlebars for my Samsung phone

 

Bought and installed a Sena headset into my helmet, for music, GPS, and intercom use (if I can get my cheap ass riding partner to buy one)

 

Bought a pair of AGV Sport Telluride waterproof gloves

 

Bought a pair of Sealskinz knee length waterproof socks to wear inside my MX boots (endure sole on the Gaerne boots)

 

Bought a Dowco Guardian Weatherall Plus Motorcycle Cover and Alarm to use while the bike is parked

 

Bought an Olympia Horizon Hi Viz Rain Jacket (I just don’t think my little goretex rain jacket was long enough or high enough on the neck to expect much protection)

 

Test fit all of the stuff that I want to bring with me, which made me realize that I don’t have as much extra free space as I thought I might.  That Wolfman Expedition dry duffel holds a LOT though….so I should be ok, with enough room left over for some souvenir type stuff, shirts and whatnot.

 

                                 What have I overlooked?

 

                                         Warner

Edited by webbie1

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If it was me, I would...

Ditch the extra fuel bottles

Skip the cover

Wear a hydration pack

Road miles generally mean easy fuel access. You don't mention a tent, so all gear could go into hotel room. If you expect wet weather, bring multiple pairs of gloves.

A week straight of wearing Sealskinz would be a drag.

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What have I overlooked?  The size of your gas tank. Stock is 2.6 gallons. Suggest a IMS 4.25 (nice!) or Clarke 3.9 (Ugly tank). At freeway or highway speeds you will hit reserve in way less than 120 miles. Hauling a load at those speeds will suck your fuel faster. 2 MSR bottles is less than a half gallon or roughly 30 miles + -. Also bring a can of chain lube to douse your chain during gas stops. Of course be for sure you have LocTited your CS sprocket and nut.

Do you have a tire repair kit and pump or compressor? Out west here service stations or help is far apart. Back there you do have more places if needed. 

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If it was me, I would...

Ditch the extra fuel bottles

Skip the cover

Wear a hydration pack

Road miles generally mean easy fuel access. You don't mention a tent, so all gear could go into hotel room. If you expect wet weather, bring multiple pairs of gloves.

A week straight of wearing Sealskinz would be a drag.

 

Yeah, we'll probably have easy fuel access.  I'm planning on stopping at least every 100 miles, so I'm not expecting 2 hours without "hydration" to be a major issue.  I'm bringing the cover....just because I think (and have read) that covers are the single best theft-deterrent.   People just don't want to mess with pulling a cover off.  Probably psychological.  There are only 2 nights that we're staying in the same hotel room, so pretty much everything that I bring will ALWAYS be with me on the bike when we're riding, with the exception of that one day (our last night out there before coming home).  Yeah, no camping.  I'd have to get a lot more storage for that.  As far as wearing the sealskinz, I only plan on doing that if it's raining or rain is in the forecast.  Otherwise, just regular socks.

 

               Warner

 

 

PS - The AGV gloves are waterproof.

Edited by webbie1

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What have I overlooked?  The size of your gas tank. Stock is 2.6 gallons. Suggest a IMS 4.25 (nice!) or Clarke 3.9 (Ugly tank). At freeway or highway speeds you will hit reserve in way less than 120 miles. Hauling a load at those speeds will suck your fuel faster. 2 MSR bottles is less than a half gallon or roughly 30 miles + -. Also bring a can of chain lube to douse your chain during gas stops. Of course be for sure you have LocTited your CS sprocket and nut.

Do you have a tire repair kit and pump or compressor? Out west here service stations or help is far apart. Back there you do have more places if needed. 

 

Yeah, planning on stopping at least every 100 miles, so hopefully as or right after I flip to reserve.  I have a can of chain lube as part of my gear, so yep...every time I stop for gas, spray a little silicone chain lube on the chain.   I do NOT have a tire repair kit or compressor.  Hopefully I won't have to deal with that.  If I DO, it's going to cost me I guess.  It's all road miles, so with brand new tires I'm hoping not to have to deal with that issue.

 

                             Warner

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I would not carry the extra fuel.  You should not need it.  Where you are traveling there will be gas stations everywhere.  We did the first half of the TAT last year and had no problems finding fuel.  You could use those tubes for other gear.  The fuel will be just more weight to deal with.  I was concerned about my stock fuel tank being enough when we rode TAT, but we never had a problem.  Take some spare tire tubes and a patch kit.  My two cents.

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Waner, what mods have you done to your Z?

 

Besides the ones mentioned (the sprocket, basically) the only real mod that I've done is changed the fuel valve to the Raptor mechanical one.  The bike is bone stock from an engine perspective.  I've done some of the loctite fixes, too.  But I think with the lean stock jetting, it may actually work better in the higher elevations of the mountains.  I DO have a JD Jet kit purchased.....but didn't really plan on installing that or doing the 3x3 mod before the trip.  

 

                     Warner

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I would not carry the extra fuel.  You should not need it.  Where you are traveling there will be gas stations everywhere.  We did the first half of the TAT last year and had no problems finding fuel.  You could use those tubes for other gear.  The fuel will be just more weight to deal with.  I was concerned about my stock fuel tank being enough when we rode TAT, but we never had a problem.  Take some spare tire tubes and a patch kit.  My two cents.

 

TomMH, how difficult is it to swap tube on the side of the road, if need be?

 

         Warner

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Besides the ones mentioned (the sprocket, basically) the only real mod that I've done is changed the fuel valve to the Raptor mechanical one. The bike is bone stock from an engine perspective. I've done some of the loctite fixes, too. But I think with the lean stock jetting, it may actually work better in the higher elevations of the mountains. I DO have a JD Jet kit purchased.....but didn't really plan on installing that or doing the 3x3 mod before the trip.

Warner

With a stock engine (no mods) you should get reasonable gas mileage so your 100 mile limit should work.

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With a stock engine (no mods) you should get reasonable gas mileage so your 100 mile limit should work.

 

Yeah, I've been getting about 60mpg riding back and forth to work, which is about the same type of riding I'll be doing on this trip, I think.  So 100 miles should be do-able. 

 

           Warner

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TomMH, how difficult is it to swap tube on the side of the road, if need be?

 

         Warner

If you are traveling with someone it is very easy.  You can always get creative and find something to use to prop the bike up to get the wheel off.  That is usually the most difficult part.  Carry a good set of tire irons with you and I like to carry a bicycle pump.  I've never had a problem getting a bead to seat with it.  It is one of the little tube shaped hand powered pumps.  Carry a little bit of dish soap with you to help with the beads.  I think you are more likely to have a flat than issues finding gasoline.

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Tubes are easy enough to swap.  

Pull the wheel off. 

Remove valve core. 

Break the bead off one side (or both, depending on clearance).  

Lift the bead over one side.  

Remove the 12mm jam nut(s) on the valve stem.  

Remove old tube.  

Patch or swap tubes.  

Stuff the tube in (most annoying part).  

Flip the bead back over the rim.  

Pressure up and seat the bead.  

Re-install valve core.

Pressure to desired pressure.

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Anyone have a link to a good tire repair kit?

Warner

 

There's no kit available that I'm aware of. Maybe a tube repair kit is what you are thinking of? You just need a tube, spoons, and a way to inflate the tube. I keep a CO2 system on my bike. I recommend 3 spoons (you can do it with 2 but its more difficult), and the longer they are the easier it is. You could get a bead buddy, too, if you have space to carry one (they're small and light).

 

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Edited by ptgarcia
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Anyone have a link to a good tire repair kit?

Warner

motion pro spoons, a 21" tube, and the $9 Walmart air compressor. patching tubes uses a lot of time and energy. do that at the hotel, test it over night, keep if good, toss if bad.

buy some kind of throttle lock or wrist saver. 2000 miles is a lot of nothing on the interstate.

earbuds or earplugs, the drone will get old fast.

there is a reason why you see motorcycles on trailers- interstate sucks

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Not ideal, but I'd simply pack carry a can of 'Fix-a-Flat' instead of all the tools, patches or spare innertubes.

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motion pro spoons, a 21" tube, and the $9 Walmart air compressor. patching tubes uses a lot of time and energy. do that at the hotel, test it over night, keep if good, toss if bad.

buy some kind of throttle lock or wrist saver. 2000 miles is a lot of nothing on the interstate.

earbuds or earplugs, the drone will get old fast.

there is a reason why you see motorcycles on trailers- interstate sucks

 

Thanks.  Yeah, I have a Sena headset with speakers in my helmet, so I feel like earplugs kind of defeat the purpose of that.  I'll bring some foam ones along, but I doubt that I'll use them.  Our longest day is under 400 miles and it's the final day coming home.  I'm planning our route to NOT be on interstate.  Yeah, it'll take more time, but it's not holding the bike at 70mph and droning along the highway.  More like 60 ish or so on highways that are not interstate.  Like I said, longer trip, but less boring, too.  We'll see....we can always change our route if it's taking too long to get places.   

 

                        Warner

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Fix-a-flat isn't going to work on tube tires and will just make a huge mess.

Carry tube, patch kit, tire irons and a bike pump as mentioned earlier. Between now and May, practice changing a tire. Doing it in the comfort of yournown garage will make it easier and give you huge peace of mind when on the road. Even if you called AAA, they'd send a truck and drop you off somewhere you had t wait for shop availability. Flats suck, but just bite the bullet and change it out. Competence = confidence.

For all the fuel talk, you will WANT to get off the bike each tank full to stretch anyway.

FWIW, I found I could only average around 50mph over a day's travel with food, fuel, pee and sightseeing stops and fatigue. When I went on my huge trip, i had to totally rethink my route plan after a couple days, because I wasn't covering the ground I thought i would. Frustrating, too,

Putting on hose Sealskinz after it starts raining seems like a pain, too. Sit in rain, strip pants, boots, old socks and then get all the stuff back on? That's going to eat up time.

Some of these things you just have to figure out on the road, too. See what works for you and adjust. You will have a great trip.

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