What's the Most Slab Miles You Have Put in One Trip on Your 530EXC?

We are planning a trip to ride the Continental Divide Trail. We are considering riding from L.A. to the start of the CDT (all highway) in New Mexico and then get on the dirt trail there and go north for about 10 days of CDT trail riding and then jump back on the highway to come back to L.A. We are trying to save transportation money.

I have a 530EXC with the HT Oil Cooler.

Does anyone have any idea if this bike can handle that many highway miles? I rode the Trans America Trail which includes some highway mileage but nowhere near the amount this trip would require (on that trip we had someone drive the bikes out to the start of the trail and then back home).

We would probably do about 800 highway miles out to a starting point in New Mexico and then do about 1200 highway miles back.

Thanks for your input.

I would be more worried about the wear and tear resulting from 2,000 EXC highway miles on the rider than the bike. :confused:

As for the bike no problem other than wasting 1/3rd to 1/5th it's life expectancy burning pavement @ 70mph. :thumbsup:

Bruce

As for the bike no problem other than wasting 1/3rd to 1/5th it's life expectancy burning pavement @ 70mph. :thumbsup:

Bruce

Thanks for the response. I have posted this query on other boards as well. The main consensus seems to be that it isn't the best for the bike. What is it about running highway speeds for continuous periods of time that is bad for the bike. Cooling shouldn't be a factor. Is it the limited amount of oil in the engine as well as the gear box? It seems that the motor and gear box would get more load and work doing sandy canyons and desert trails all day at lower speeds, more heat, etc.

I am in no way trying to be argumentative, rather I am trying to understand the mechanical downside of such a trip.

In any event, based on most of the responses, I am leaning towards taking the financial hit of transporting them.

Thanks again.

I would be more worried about the wear and tear resulting from 2,000 EXC highway miles on the rider than the bike. :confused:

As for the bike no problem other than wasting 1/3rd to 1/5th it's life expectancy burning pavement @ 70mph. :thumbsup:

Bruce

I have to think that road riding in the lower half of the RPM range isn't wearing out the motor as fast as it would be off road. I have dualsport tires on my 450 and it the bike really doesn't work hard at all on the road if you keep it to 70 or less. Less resistance and smoother.

I just have a hard time believing that the rebuild interval for road miles = dirt miles

I would think that by mile 800 you would be ready to sell your 530. Not my choice for a long haul.

Rent a pickup from Enterprise or u-haul, i would bet it would be less for rental than a couple of sets of tires on your 530s

You can ride honda trail 90 cross the usa if need be.

Do it.

It is an adventure.

Just be kind to the motor and have fun.

Rent a pickup from Enterprise or u-haul, i would bet it would be less for rental than a couple of sets of tires on your 530s

After rental of 650.00 and 500.00 in gas the whole rent a truck idea is not real appealing to me. It's not like the old days when renting a truck was cheap and gas was $2/gallon or less. They don't rent pick up trucks for one way jaunts - you have to rent the 10' box truck and at 10 - 12 gallons a mile you can see it starts to add up.

My preference would be to truck them out but it is now at the point where that is not such a cheap solution. And remember, we have to do it all again on the end of the ride. So it ends up being 2,000 plus just to get the bikes there and back, thus the question about riding them there.

Thanks for the replies.

As for the bike no problem other than wasting 1/3rd to 1/5th it's life expectancy burning pavement @ 70mph. :thumbsup:

Bruce

This would be my reason to not do it...and I hate riding a little dirt bike on the freeway.. which is why I have a 950 Adventure for such trips.

If I were going to do that ride on my 450EXC I would use my own truck to haul the bike to the midpoint, ride the roads to the start then do the same from the end of the trail back to the truck.

If you consider the bike expendable and have an iron butt... go for it! just check the oil level a each gas stop.

I would be concerned about it blowing its 0.6L of oil out the vents etc. with all that highway riding. Other than that I don't think the highway riding would be any harder on the engine than dirt...it's just that the rider is able to stand riding on the highway for longer and therefore you will wear out the bike "faster". Whereas it might take a year of riding to put that many miles on going for trail rides.

Myself I have only gone about 75 miles on pavement before and that was enough!

^^ I haven't ridden my EXC more than 40 miles on pavement at one time. Stuff went numb. I have a soft seat too. I cannot imagine the feeling in my gut knowing that I had 2000 (800 + 1200) of asphalt ahead of me on a trip. I love my dual sport, but its no highway ride.

Short answer, it will suck. I did a similiar trip thru southern utah and the most slab I did was around 75-100 miles at once. After 30 you want to leave the bike alongside the road and get a rental car. I think the bike could handle it, but would be toast when you arrived.

People over emphasis on the bike not being able to make it, engine wise, which is ridiculous.

An engine on the road is going through *much* less wear & stress than it does on the typical enduro/dual sport ride.

Ride 10,000 miles on the tarmac is equal to something like 2000 miles of off-road work.

People ride bicycles around the world, and we complain about the comfort of the EXC on the highway? windblast, noise & vibration are factors, windblast can be fixed by lowering your cruising speed, or putting on a windshield. Earplugs for noise & stock muffler. Install soft grips & anti vibration bar ends.

Go for it.

Iv'e been doing a 60 mile round trip commute on mine , just because it is so much fun to ride. I would say some sort of seat upgrade would be a must. Also consider tire selection and make sure they are balanced. Go for it and report back with details!

An engine on the road is going through *much* less wear & stress than it does on the typical enduro/dual sport ride.

Ride 10,000 miles on the tarmac is equal to something like 2000 miles of off-road work.

Thank you for directing your answer to my actual question. :thumbsup: I really appreciate it. I was wondering about the wear and tear on the bike, not me (at least at this point anyway).

So the bottom line, mechanically speaking, is running at 70 mph for 2 or 3 days on the highway doesn't seem to be something that will destroy the bike or create issues that will hamper its performance once we get on the trail. Fresh oil when we get there and probably swap out tires. I was thinking of starting with some trials tires and then switch to knobbies for the trail.

Somebody suggested to me that I consider higher gearing to keep the rpms lower on the highways. I just don't like the idea of packing around 2 sets of sprockets.

Again, thank you for you insightful response.

Iv'e been doing a 60 mile round trip commute on mine , just because it is so much fun to ride. I would say some sort of seat upgrade would be a must. Also consider tire selection and make sure they are balanced. Go for it and report back with details!

I have heard that for any length of freeway riding the wheels getting balanced is a must. :thumbsup:

Thank you for directing your answer to my actual question. :thumbsup: I really appreciate it. I was wondering about the wear and tear on the bike, not me (at least at this point anyway).

So the bottom line, mechanically speaking, is running at 70 mph for 2 or 3 days on the highway doesn't seem to be something that will destroy the bike or create issues that will hamper its performance once we get on the trail. Fresh oil when we get there and probably swap out tires. I was thinking of starting with some trials tires and then switch to knobbies for the trail.

Somebody suggested to me that I consider higher gearing to keep the rpms lower on the highways. I just don't like the idea of packing around 2 sets of sprockets.

Again, thank you for you insightful response.

There is quite a bit wrong here in my opinion. I would try to run trials rear tire off road, and street tires for the street portion. If you plan on changing tires anyway, get a nice set of street tires for the asphalt. I'm not sure why packing another sprocket would be too hard, especially if you plan on changing tires anyway. If you want some insite. I did 10 miles of street once on my 530, it suck bad. It took 12 minutes, and I wanted off that stupid bike.

Get a smaller sprocket, for the highway so it will cruise better. Check your valves before you leave. Get street tires and get them balanced for the highway. Run extra oil in the engine for the highway. And last of all, nobody has mentioned it, but what if you sprain your ankle or wrist out that far? Thats going to be a long ride home. Keep all of that in mind when you make your decision.

I say just do it. About a month ago I did 480 miles in Death Valley in two days of riding and about half was pved and the other half was mostly improved dirt roads and I had a great time. I was on my 07 525EXC and a friend was on his 11 450EXC and another on a 08 530EXC and none one of us had any problems with any of the bikes or for that matter our selves either. Good luck and have fun.

Ed

There is quite a bit wrong here in my opinion. I would try to run trials rear tire off road, and street tires for the street portion. If you plan on changing tires anyway, get a nice set of street tires for the asphalt. I'm not sure why packing another sprocket would be too hard, especially if you plan on changing tires anyway. If you want some insite. I did 10 miles of street once on my 530, it suck bad. It took 12 minutes, and I wanted off that stupid bike.

Thanks for your insight. I just thought a trials tire would be easier on the pavement than a knobbie and I wasn't quite sure when we would be able to find a shop so if I had to be on the trail for awhile before I was able to get to a shop then at least I would have a suitable tire for the dirt. Easy enough though to find a shop close to the trail head (Southern New Mexico) and put on some knobbies there. I like your idea of balanced street tires. Thanks again

And last of all, nobody has mentioned it, but what if you sprain your ankle or wrist out that far? Thats going to be a long ride home. Keep all of that in mind when you make your decision.

Great point - thanks. That is why I pay for medical air lift insurance, I don't leave home without it. I ride a street bike for touring alot as well. We rode to Alaska and back one summer and talk about being far away from any medical facility, let alone the time it would take to get to us if needed. It was still comforting to know that if I had to be air lifted at least the costs would be covered (not covered in regular health insurance, plus the air medical policy I have will fly family members to me if need be).

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