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Topic: Noob Question - How Are You All Planning Long Trips?  (Read 2487 times)

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« on: August 05, 2021, 11:49:49 am »

Good morning all.  1st day here, 1st post, please be gentle.    Smile

I've been riding for about 35 years now, most all of it on sportbikes on local backroads and track days all over.  I bought an FJR back in 2012 and was aiming to reach Montana from my home (Maryland), made it to Wyoming and decided to head back home.   I had a great time on that trip but made a lot of crucial mistakes.
    Bought an Aerostitch Roadcrafter one piece suit.  It was the end of June, early July, and I BAKED in that thing.  By 10AM each day I was drenched in sweat as most of my riding was done in 90 degree heat.
    Bought a Garmin and mount but the route planning I programmed into it was AFU.   Didn't have a lot of time before the trip to fully understand how to do this so it was total user error.
    Got Chinese food delivered to the hotel room in South Bend, IN and had the worst stomach for 2 days.  I could elaborate but I'll spare you.    Lol

What I learned on that trip is that I didn't know WTF I was doing but despite it all, I had fun and saw some great sights.  I tried to be like Neil Peart and failed.  I sold the bike when I got home as I didn't have time to really get into sport touring but now I do.  Just put a deposit down on a 2021 FJR and am really looking forward to getting back on the road for a long journey.

My question for those of you that are experienced in 2-wheeled trips involving hundreds or thousands of miles, what approach do you take in researching the routes and what tools do you use to ride these routes?  I'm currently reviewing https://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,78907.0.html#.YQwAgD-SmUk but thought I'd put the question out there.


Thanks in advance...

Mark



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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2021, 01:07:22 pm »

I'm not the best, by a far margin, at long distance travel but will hit a couple things that work for me.

Figure a route, but be flexible. I make hotel reservations the afternoon before where I think I want to stop, and navigation is just an aid where I roughly know where I want to go and how I want to get there.

Everyone is different, so pick gear that works for you. Not people that have bought into the marketing stuff.

Local cuisine on the road can be great, but there are risks. Do your own risk assessment and good luck. I generally don't change my diet that much when I travel.

Try to chill and remember, "adventure is just adversity recounted at leisure".

Smooth trips are boring trips. Getting lost in West Virginia on "Bob's Road", where my GPS didn't even know where I was, is a funny memory that was a bit disconcerting at the time, but survivable. The hardest part was trying to keep my wife from stopping to pet all the animals along the "path" we were riding. She did keep asking me "do you know where we are?" in which I lied and said "Sure!".

But, some people come to the realization that the idea of traveling by motorcycle is a lot better for them in theory than in practice. Be honest with yourself. You will be cold and wet and hot and miserable multiple times on almost every long trip. That's how you know you are alive and out there!

Good luck and welcome.
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2021, 01:11:57 pm »

Hi Mark!

Well, having personally put a few miles on my motorcycles, I'll take a stab at giving you some of my wisdom  Lol

First of all, my mode of traveling has changed considerably over the years. When I was young and single and had limited time, I would try to cram in as many miles a day as possible. Ten hour days were the norm, although pure highway days were usually shorter. Stopping was only useful for fuel and food, and I rarely made stops to "explore". Now a days I (usually) travel with my husband, who does not like long days and we have more time. So we usually make for short(er) riding days and then spend time in whatever place we've landed in for the night.

So how do I plan a trip? This pretty much sums it up:
1. Decide which direction I want to go in, with possible sights to see along the way
2. Based on the time we have, determine how many miles/hours day we have to do things comfortably
3. Spend time on GoogleMaps to look at potential routes
4. Spend time on the internet in general to look up interesting things along the route I might not have known about

During the trip itself we usually have our first night planned out. Once we reach it we look at how the day went, how the forecast looks and if we discovered anything that needs to be seen. If the next day's plan is to keep riding then that night we find an AirBnB or something at our proposed destination.

Repeat until it is time to come home  Cool


As for the GPS, I only use it to map out that day's ride, inputting way points in the morning for what we want to see that day (Garmin Zumo, fwiw).

As for gear, I used to have a Roadcrafter one-piece and while it did get warm, I can't say that I ever regretted having it as my only gear. Now I have mesh gear and waterproofs and will pack according to the likelihood of the conditions I'll encounter.
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2021, 01:19:23 pm »


Hi Mark!

Well, having personally a few miles on my motorcycles,



Holy crap.  THAT's impressive.   Thank you for the input, much appreciated!
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2021, 01:20:12 pm »


I'm not the best, by a far margin, at long distance travel but will hit a couple things that work for me.

Figure a route, but be flexible. I make hotel reservations the afternoon before where I think I want to stop, and navigation is just an aid where I roughly know where I want to go and how I want to get there.

Everyone is different, so pick gear that works for you. Not people that have bought into the marketing stuff.

Local cuisine on the road can be great, but there are risks. Do your own risk assessment and good luck. I generally don't change my diet that much when I travel.

Try to chill and remember, "adventure is just adversity recounted at leisure".

Smooth trips are boring trips. Getting lost in West Virginia on "Bob's Road", where my GPS didn't even know where I was, is a funny memory that was a bit disconcerting at the time, but survivable. The hardest part was trying to keep my wife from stopping to pet all the animals along the "path" we were riding. She did keep asking me "do you know where we are?" in which I lied and said "Sure!".

But, some people come to the realization that the idea of traveling by motorcycle is a lot better for them in theory than in practice. Be honest with yourself. You will be cold and wet and hot and miserable multiple times on almost every long trip. That's how you know you are alive and out there!

Good luck and welcome.


Great perspective, thank you!!
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2021, 01:49:05 pm »


Try to chill and remember, "adventure is just adversity recounted at leisure".


You don't say  :popcorn:



But, some people come to the realization that the idea of traveling by motorcycle is a lot better for them in theory than in practice. Be honest with yourself. You will be cold and wet and hot and miserable multiple times on almost every long trip. That's how you know you are alive and out there!

Very true. I have to say, some of the most memorable trips had some of the hardest days in my life in them

Alaska: snow in August coming over the North Brooks range and turned away from the only shelter for miles

Mexico: five hours to cover sandy dirt roads, river crossings and rocks - and I really had no idea how to ride off road at the time

Copper Canyon: meeting up with a local who commented on how many friends he's lost to drug violence  Wow

Lesotho: ok, this was spectacular in its own right wrt roads, scenery and people, but this is also where my husband crashed his bike and broke 9 ribs and collapsed a lung.

The point is, the most well-thought out plan is bound to go tits up, and when it does, embrace those tits  Bigok
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2021, 02:13:26 pm »


...Bought an Aerostitch Roadcrafter one piece suit.  It was the end of June, early July, and I BAKED in that thing.  By 10AM each day I was drenched in sweat as most of my riding was done in 90 degree heat....


PHLLLEEEEEEESSSSSEEEEEE.  Lol

I wear non-perforated leathers.  Of course, I was born and raised in south Florida, so I'm used to heat.  I learned to suck down some electrolytes at gas stops and I wear a Camelback hydration system on long rides so I can hydrate without stopping.  I've not lived in Florida since the early 1990s, but I seem to be naturally acclimated to heat.

Okay...my madness....

1.  I have a goal in mind.  Where do I want to end up?  With that, I go into a route planning program and do a straight line and see what's involved.  I program start and end times and allocate 15 minutes per gas stop.  I do this so I know how far I will plan per day and know where I will find gas so there's no panicking during the trip.  Once I see the most direct route, I look to see if worthwhile things are "nearby" I'd rather take over the most direct route.  I tweak my ride plan accordingly.

2.  Each trip teaches me something (normally).  Part of why I haven't done my trip to Alaska is that I don't see it likely that I can do 7 days straight of 12-hour riding to get there from Virginia.  As I age, spending a long time in the saddle is getting more and more difficult.  I currently plan on 10-hour days (including gas stops) or +/- 500 miles.  Gas stops and hotel stops are planned in advance.

3.  I program a GPS in advance.  I use Garmin, so Basecamp software gets my route finalized then loaded onto the GPS.  I tend to over-plan, but that means I know what is and is not available to me should something change during the trip.

4.  I'm on a restricted diet, but I learned to ride on a near-empty stomach, and when I get something for dinner, I stick to stuff I know is safe for me so there's no more surprises.

5.  I carry all tools I reasonably will need to fix the bike on the road.  This includes the means to plug and inflate a tire puncture (I've caught 3 nails in one tire on one trip).

6.  Depending on where I go, I pack for any weather.  I'm going out to Utah this month...I may pack my electric vest...just in case.  If I'm going into the northern states or Canada, definitely plan for freezing weather to happen at some point.

7.  Never get too ambitious on trip plans.  Stuff can go wrong.  Detours may be required...and at the most inopportune times.  You don't want to plan on rolling into a hotel at 8 pm then find out you're delayed a few hours.  Better to stop early, get a decent meal, hot shower and go to bed early than push yourself until you're dragging your ass to make it to your planned stop.

8.  Pack hand sanitizer, travel toilet paper, and baby wipes...you never know what will or won't be at a rest stop.

9.  Pack any and all medications you may need for likely issues...especially if you might not find it at a local convenience store (e.g., your preferred allergy and cold medicines).

I could probably think of more stuff.  I've been cross-country a few times and into Nova Scotia and British Colombia on trips, so quite a few thousand miles of hard lessons.
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2021, 04:01:36 pm »

I own/have owned two FJRs. Get rid of the worthless stock luggage rack. I made a DIY rack so I could strap stuff on. One duffel bag across the passenger seat and the other across the DIY luggage rack. With a large tank bag you will have enough for a week or more. This includes tent, pad, bag, cook stuff, rain gear for over your vented gear to protect from rain and cold and etc.

99% of the time we tent camp in KOA type RV parks. Shower, convenience store and laundry there. Save big money!!

I use PAPER maps to plan my trips. Be flexible. Plan your day but if you make good time or can't make the miles you've planned have a back up plan. We have a saying "Whatever happens will be good!"

In hot weather I drink a quart of Gatorade/other at every gas stop and keep a quart of water in my tank bag to pour on myself! It works!



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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2021, 04:05:31 pm »


I use PAPER maps to plan my trips.


I always forget to bring paper maps and then when I'm on the road i wish I had one. They are so much better for getting "the big picture" of where you are and where you want to go.
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2021, 05:52:03 pm »

I have done a few rides over the last 50 or so years.

In the beginning I just packed a couple clean skivvies and socks and took off in the general direction I wanted to go.  It worked OK as I usually got back home at about the right day.  I was young and stupid and abnormally lucky.

Later I decided to ride the Great River Road (the road paralleling the Mississippi) on one of my leaves when I was in the Navy.  I packed the old R75/5 with a couple of changes of clothes and rode down to Venice, LA and then turned around and just followed the signs north until I got to the headwaters.  Didn't have no GPS in 1975, just maps and I forgot to carry one.

Fast forward to a few years back and my son and I decided to go to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.  We plotted a rough route, basically go North and West until we reach Fairbanks, AK and then go straight North.  We had decided to stay on the East side of the Rockies until Canada and then cross over, as there is a highway that diagonals up to the border crossing leading to Fairbanks.  Every night we would recap our travels and determine if we had to speed up or could be leisurely with our travels.

We traveled 10,500 miles in 16 days and had a blast.  After the trip we went back over the sorta planned route vs our actual route and  determined we only traveled on about 50% of the planned highways.

What I am saying is for me, it is more the ride than the destination.  I follow the headlight and wild hair and neither has ever let me down.

The only thing I carry now that I did not in my younger days is a credit card with a good sized open limit.
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2021, 11:37:27 pm »




I always forget to bring paper maps and then when I'm on the road i wish I had one. They are so much better for getting "the big picture" of where you are and where you want to go.


Yes, Ma'am!! Exactly.
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2021, 11:13:11 am »

1. Figure out where to go, what to do.
2. Get a map.
3. Research https://www.roadsideamerica.com/
4. Plan routes to make them interesting with the stops that highlight it all.
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2021, 11:21:49 am »

I appreciate the feedback and input, everyone.  On the sole trip I took I found myself going over a paper map in the hotel room at night and finding a destination 500 miles or so away and inputting that city into the Garmin.  I spent way too much time on superslab highways versus more enjoyable back roads.   Made good time but you can't really enjoy America from the highways, IMO.  

I guess where I'm still a bit baffled is, if you do your research and map out backroads that involve a lot of turns, exits, and road changes, what's the best way to ensure you stay on track?  In cycling there are queue sheets you can print out but they're still a PITA and it's really easy to miss your turn or exit.  I guess I could simply get the clear map pocket.

Is anyone still buying and using Garmins with the capabilities found in smart phones now?   One advantage to having a Garmin mounted is that they're rain resistant.  Doing a little research now on the Zumo XT, looks like it has some controls over routes via "adventurous routing" and "avoidances", which could be just the ticket.

What's your take on listening to music when you're touring?   I've always been against the idea on local street rides as I don't want to lose focus but I was really wishing I had some tunes in S. Dakota and some other places where the riding was pretty mundane.

- Mark

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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2021, 11:47:38 am »

Made good time but you can't really enjoy America from the highways, IMO.  


The narrower the road, the better the ride  Bigok


I guess where I'm still a bit baffled is, if you do your research and map out backroads that involve a lot of turns, exits, and road changes, what's the best way to ensure you stay on track?  In cycling there are queue sheets you can print out but they're still a PITA and it's really easy to miss your turn or exit.  I guess I could simply get the clear map pocket.


With my Garmin I input my destination point and then look at the route it has created. I see where it went "wrong" and add way points that force the route to hit the roads that I want.


Is anyone still buying and using Garmins with the capabilities found in smart phones now?   One advantage to having a Garmin mounted is that they're rain resistant.  Doing a little research now on the Zumo XT, looks like it has some controls over routes via "adventurous routing" and "avoidances", which could be just the ticket.


My Garmin Zumo has a "curvy road" choice (in addition to "fastest time" and "shortest route"). I would hate to navigate with a phone, although I know people do it. My Garmin is in a locking mount on the motorcycle - it lives there all of the time. I can use it while riding, even with gloves (although don't tell Garmin that, since I agree not to do such a dangerous thing every time it boots up!  Lol ). It is very much water resistant (proof?) and the screen is large and easy to read for upcoming turns, etc.


What's your take on listening to music when you're touring?   I've always been against the idea on local street rides as I don't want to lose focus but I was really wishing I had some tunes in S. Dakota and some other places where the riding was pretty mundane.


I've never been a fan of riding with music. I tend to get annoyed by the sound quality, the music choice, the volume, whatever. I like being alone with my thoughts and really take in the scenery - even in South Dakota. These days when I travel with my husband we use our Senas and have lovely conversations and it really helps when navigating through some of the crazy villages we stumble through  Thumbsup
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2021, 12:17:31 pm »



I've never been a fan of riding with music. I tend to get annoyed by the sound quality, the music choice, the volume, whatever. I like being alone with my thoughts and really take in the scenery - even in South Dakota. These days when I travel with my husband we use our Senas and have lovely conversations and it really helps when navigating through some of the crazy villages we stumble through  Thumbsup


I'll be riding solo.  I can only talk to myself for so long before I lose interest.    Lol
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2021, 12:33:07 pm »

Most of my miles have been on the east coast of the US and Canada in the Spring, summer, and Autumn -- so we tend to wing it, hammock camp, bathe in nearby streams etc...  The funny thing is my riding buddies are super ANAL regimented ex-military types that plan everything down to the millisecond but are also realists when the plan falls apart -- and they invite me along knowing EVERY plan falls apart as soon as I show up...  

So yes -- they plan every route, I pick what road looks the the most fun or goes near something I'm interested in...  They plan nights at specific campgrounds and figure the mileage for every 2 hour segment of the day, and ralley points to meet at  if we get separated -- I race to get there 1st and then get them to peel off and head down some unknown road because it follows a creek (therefore has good twisties and possible swimming hole) and we end up nowhere near where we planned and the whole day's plan is scrapped...  

In my mind there's always the option to make up time or mileage on the next category larger road -- so if the tiny back road through the valley is too slow -- hit the a two lane road, if you need to go faster find the nearest state route etc...   But the fun comes from exploring and seeing something unexpected off the beaten path..    

I use my cell phone and google maps or waze for lots of routing since it'll re-route on the fly when I ignore the planned directions...  just make sure to download all the maps to your phone in advance so that you're not dependent on cell service.  The GPS has been relegated to being a backup in case my phone fails...   I also keep a soundtrack on the phone that I can call up for superslab OR really fun roads... My helmet is bluetooth connected to the phone and incoming phone calls, communications from other riders and updated directions will interrupt the music...  On group rides we sometimes pair up our devices or even bring bluetooth enabled UHF-VFH radios...
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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2021, 12:34:01 pm »

 Lol

I understand. That map you saw earlier of my rides? Everything in North America was done without comms or music. Just me, myself and I, singing and chatting and musing. I find it pretty healthy.
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« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2021, 01:09:17 pm »

I'm surprised nobody has suggested using Butler maps for route planning.  They are a great help in finding the squiggliest roads and separating the paved from the unpaved roads.  With a Butler map of the area, a good route planning program like MyRoute, and a Garmin GPS, you are set.  
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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2021, 02:11:32 pm »

Before I had a GPS, I plotted my plan on a computer and made crib sheets with intersections and miles between each point.  Did the job for the most part.  I got a GPS after my first cross-country trip where I got lost 4 times because of rain/darkness keeping me from seeing my notes.

As far as music goes, it's a personal choice.  I use my GPS to link in my phone and play music.  Music helps pass the time.  I don't find it distracting at all.  The only reason I want phone available when on a trip is because you never know when an important call will come through.  On my recent trip to NC, my mom got food poisoning, and while I had no phone until I got to an area with service, it wasn't something I'd want to find out after hours of riding further from home.
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2021, 07:39:26 pm »

I love music on the road! I am old fashioned and "if it ain't broke I don't fix it"!!! I use an old MP3 player with my favorite/varied music. I also use custom fitted ear monitors that are incredible for keeping noise out and music in. If I want quiet I just reach down and turn off MP3 player.

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« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2021, 09:45:58 am »


I guess where I'm still a bit baffled is, if you do your research and map out back roads that involve a lot of turns, exits, and road changes, what's the best way to ensure you stay on track?  In cycling there are queue sheets you can print out but they're still a PITA and it's really easy to miss your turn or exit.  I guess I could simply get the clear map pocket.


Sometimes I'll slab it to a destination then ride those roads. Spend more time at the location(s) instead of the slab but slab gets you distance over time (so there's more time for the better, local roads).

Tank bag with map window. But I quit doing that when I got a GPS. I have the paper map as a backup but put critical turns on 3x5 cards (in the window). After each card target is reached, it gets moved to the back and the next one is visible. I rely on the paper maps for planning, the GPS for overall, and the 3x5 as reminders of turns.

Don't get bogged down in the distractions. Riding is Job #1.

Music? I listen all the time. BUT (big butt here) I use custom-molded ear monitors that double as hearing protection. By putting the audio straight into my ears, I can turn the volume down to just a tick above OFF and it's still easier to hear (and better quality) that helmet speakers blasting full volume to get past ear plugs... AND it's better for your hearing health. The trick is to have it turned way down as background so you can still hear what it going on around you.
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« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2021, 12:43:53 pm »

On my GPS, I program in a sequence of the small towns on the route I semi-plan and just go point to point over and over again. And set it to avoid highways and unpaved roads (if on a sport touring bike, which I turn avoid unpaved roads off when exploring on the T7).

If situations change, it is easy to change destinations and avoidances. Just pull over and take a break to change your route.
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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2021, 01:19:34 pm »




Sometimes I'll slab it to a destination then ride those roads. Spend more time at the location(s) instead of the slab but slab gets you distance over time (so there's more time for the better, local roads).

Tank bag with map window. But I quit doing that when I got a GPS. I have the paper map as a backup but put critical turns on 3x5 cards (in the window). After each card target is reached, it gets moved to the back and the next one is visible. I rely on the paper maps for planning, the GPS for overall, and the 3x5 as reminders of turns.

Don't get bogged down in the distractions. Riding is Job #1.

Music? I listen all the time. BUT (big butt here) I use custom-molded ear monitors that double as hearing protection. By putting the audio straight into my ears, I can turn the volume down to just a tick above OFF and it's still easier to hear (and better quality) that helmet speakers blasting full volume to get past ear plugs... AND it's better for your hearing health. The trick is to have it turned way down as background so you can still hear what it going on around you.



Yes, sir.   I use the custom molded ear plugs now on every ride.   Hearing loss isn't fun.  Used to work on jets in the Marine Corps, used to play the drums...I'm probably going to wearing hearing aids at some point but I'm doing what I can to avoid it.   Riding is a lot more enjoyable without the constant drone of wind noise, for me anyways.   Appreciate the input!
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2021, 03:04:22 pm »

Hearing loss prevention is a given. But I love how when riders first wear ear plugs they are amazed at how much longer they can ride without fatigue setting in.

My issue is that after the 4-5th day of stuffing ear plugs into my ears, my ears start to rebel. Some day I'll research a better solution, but for now, it works well enough.
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« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2021, 03:05:11 pm »

A thought occurred to me. We all travel different so one answer will never be right for everyone related to planning for a long trip. When looking at a week or ten days then a destination in mind is always how I do a long trip. I have never just got on the bike and taken off not knowing where I was going.     Nuts     A trip to visit the redwoods up the coast, a trip to Reg 1 meeting, a trip
Reg 2 meeting, a trip to Mt Rushmore, a trip to the Nat Parks in Utah and Arizona and so on will dictate my route. I always want green/scenic and curvy roads. After all this is a SPORT touring site. I use the freeway to make time through boring country and then the best roads for scenery and sport when I get to my day's destination.

I've been asked to go across the country several times but that doesn't excite me as much as daily destinations in beautiful country. Which can include 200 or 300 miles of freeway. At eighty mph that's only five hours max(includes a lunch). That still leaves many hours for site seeing and relaxation.
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« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2021, 09:36:47 am »


Hearing loss prevention is a given. But I love how when riders first wear ear plugs they are amazed at how much longer they can ride without fatigue setting in.

My issue is that after the 4-5th day of stuffing ear plugs into my ears, my ears start to rebel. Some day I'll research a better solution, but for now, it works well enough.


Custom molded ear plugs help. A dab of neosporin on each before inserting to lube and "protect" your ear canals. Worked for me during the 2003 Iron Butt Rally.
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« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2021, 01:25:01 pm »


Custom molded ear plugs help. A dab of neosporin on each before inserting to lube and "protect" your ear canals. Worked for me during the 2003 Iron Butt Rally.


Yeah, I had a pair before but they were really cheap and not comfortable. I was going to hit the local IMS show this year to look into them again, but Covid had other ideas....
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« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2021, 06:55:21 pm »


Music? I listen all the time. BUT (big butt here) I use custom-molded ear monitors that double as hearing protection. By putting the audio straight into my ears, I can turn the volume down to just a tick above OFF and it's still easier to hear (and better quality) that helmet speakers blasting full volume to get past ear plugs... AND it's better for your hearing health. The trick is to have it turned way down as background so you can still hear what it going on around you.


I would recommend these….

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RW1R81E/?coliid=I11SJCKDMIW6KZ&colid=KCAS71OU0ZLX&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Two types of tips…works as well as foam earplugs.  Insert it deep enough and you have no issue with the wire clearing your helmet.
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« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2021, 06:57:26 pm »


My issue is that after the 4-5th day of stuffing ear plugs into my ears, my ears start to rebel. Some day I'll research a better solution, but for now, it works well enough.


Aside from the Neosporin bit, it’s imperative to clean earbuds daily (soap and water will do) and clean your ears after a hot shower.  Never had an issue with daily wear by doing this.
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« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2021, 07:19:56 am »

Yeah, I had a pair before but they were really cheap and not comfortable. I was going to hit the local IMS show this year to look into them again, but Covid had other ideas....


I have 3 pair. Long cord first. Shorter cord (3') next. Now Blue Tooth and, wired between the 2 only is more convenient but also needs recharging.

I DO NOT care for the looser fitting ones with different tips. Why spend that $$$ when you can put it toward a real fix? Stick with cheap disposable foam if that's your preference IMO.
\
Neosporin was more of a lube, bacteria issue when riding about 15-20 hours a day for 11 days.
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« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2021, 03:38:53 pm »


Hi Mark!

Well, having personally put a few miles on my motorcycles, I'll take a stab at giving you some of my wisdom  Lol

First of all, my mode of traveling has changed considerably over the years. When I was young and single and had limited time, I would try to cram in as many miles a day as possible. Ten hour days were the norm, although pure highway days were usually shorter. Stopping was only useful for fuel and food, and I rarely made stops to "explore". Now a days I (usually) travel with my husband, who does not like long days and we have more time. So we usually make for short(er) riding days and then spend time in whatever place we've landed in for the night.

So how do I plan a trip? This pretty much sums it up:
1. Decide which direction I want to go in, with possible sights to see along the way
2. Based on the time we have, determine how many miles/hours day we have to do things comfortably
3. Spend time on GoogleMaps to look at potential routes
4. Spend time on the internet in general to look up interesting things along the route I might not have known about

During the trip itself we usually have our first night planned out. Once we reach it we look at how the day went, how the forecast looks and if we discovered anything that needs to be seen. If the next day's plan is to keep riding then that night we find an AirBnB or something at our proposed destination.

Repeat until it is time to come home  Cool


As for the GPS, I only use it to map out that day's ride, inputting way points in the morning for what we want to see that day (Garmin Zumo, fwiw).

As for gear, I used to have a Roadcrafter one-piece and while it did get warm, I can't say that I ever regretted having it as my only gear. Now I have mesh gear and waterproofs and will pack according to the likelihood of the conditions I'll encounter.


Might I add to your impressive list to note where the motorcycle repair shops are along your way.

And if you're making accommodations while en route this is a trusted site for good deals on family run motels.

http://www.momandpopmotels.com/
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« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2021, 03:45:00 pm »




Custom molded ear plugs help. A dab of neosporin on each before inserting to lube and "protect" your ear canals. Worked for me during the 2003 Iron Butt Rally.


I've been using a custom set with built in transducers for listening to music. These have replaced my trusty Bose  QuietComfort 20's. But they are pricey.

https://www.bigearinc.com/motorcycle-shop-page/
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« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2021, 04:08:14 pm »

I have tried most types of ear plugs, silicone/foam/wax/noise cancelling/music... Most were OK for 5 or 6 hours but then started to hurt my ear canal. At the 4 hour mark I started changing to a different type and that worked pretty well until the 5th or 6th day.

I finally found 3M EARS, foam on a little plastic stick. I can ride 12 hours day after day with no problem with these. I do clip off the ends of the plastic stick handle so it won't contact my helmet. Then I have a Sena Bluetooth in my helmet for music, phone and GPS.

Everyone's ears are different, just like butts and seats. You have to find what works for you.

As far as maps go, I can't read them without reading glasses and my far vision is fine, so I don't wear glasses in my helmet (Shoei GT Air with drop down tinted visor  Inlove ). Having a paper/plastic map in a tank bag clear sleeve is about worthless for me anymore. With my GPS mounted far away as I can get it, I can read it well enough and couple that with a list of roads/towns I want to follow written out on paper with a sharpie. Again, it's what works for me.
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« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2021, 02:47:00 am »


Everyone's ears are different, just like butts and seats. You have to find what works for you.


Exactly. I have tiny ear canals, so the pressure from some foam ones is just too much.


Anyway, this is (somewhat) derailing the original question  Bigsmile
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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2021, 05:39:58 am »


Might I add to your impressive list to note where the motorcycle repair shops are along your way.


Hmmm….  I’d see that as tempting fate unless you’re looking for some place to get new tires during the trip.  Murphy always shows up at the worst time and places.
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« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2021, 10:35:51 pm »

I'm surprised nobody has suggested using Butler maps for route planning.  They are a great help in finding the squiggliest roads and separating the paved from the unpaved roads.  With a Butler map of the area, a good route planning program like MyRoute, and a Garmin GPS, you are set.
And there’s always REVER, which has an app in addition to the desktop site. Requires a subscription for the Butler Maps integration, but they have sales for like $25 for a year. I like to plan basic routes in REVER then export the GPX and bring it into BaseCamp for final tuning.
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« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2021, 08:14:28 am »

Nah, paper maps.            Thumbsup
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