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Old 01-17-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
Babysteps OP
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Advice needed from the other side of the world

Hi Team

So I have the wanderlust again and am planning a month long trip to the US.

I have some friends in Riverside CA that I would like to catch up with so that will be my start and finish point. I've worked out a route that' I think is pretty epic. Some feedback from you 'mericans would be great and if you could answer a few questions for me that would be awesome!

Firstly, are the daily distances too ambitious?

2. I'll be camping as much as possible. I’ve found a site (www.koa.com) that has camp sites at most of my stops. Anyone had experience with these sites?

3. What have I missed? I have 3 spare days in my itinerary that can be filled. I'll be on a rental bike, so no hardcore off-road stuff and I want to stay off Interstates as much as possible. I’m more a “What an awesome road and look at that view!” guy than a “on 1879 this happened here” guy.

4. Recommendations for a bike rental company that will rent me a Vstrom or something similar? All I can find on the net is Harleys rentals!
5. How much should I budget for gas?

I'm looking at doing this July/August 2012

Route can be seen here

Day by day itinerary.
Day 1 Riverside – San Luis Obispo – 271 Miles
Day 2 San Luis Obispo – San Francisco – 255 Miles
Day 3 San Francisco – Tourist
Day 4 San Francisco – Yosemite – 276 Miles – Small Hike afternoon?
Day 5 Yosemite – Las Vegas – 410 miles
Day 6 Las Vegas – Tourist – Parachute with the Flying Elvi?
Day 7 – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – 324 miles – via Hoover Dam
Day 8 Grand Canyon – Loa UT – 412 miles
Day 9 Loa – Salt Lake City – 247 Miles
Day 10 Salt Lake City – Tourist – Day trip to Bonneville
Day 11 Salt Lake City – Moab – 285 Miles
Day 12 Moab – Tourist – White water rafting or day hike
Day 13 Moab – Santa Fe – 370 Miles
Day 14 Santa Fe – El Paso – 308 Miles
Day 15 El Paso – Day trip to Mexico - Tequila!
Day 16 El Paso – Phoenix – 403 Miles
Day 17 Phoenix – Joshua Tree – 340 Miles
Day 18 Joshua Tree – Riverside – 120 Miles
Day 19
Day 20
Day 21

Any feedback, advice, recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Must post my picture in the single men for the women of ADVRider thread :-P

Cheers

Mark.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
cybrdyke
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Not a bad start.
For what it's worth, I make the following suggestions.

Depending on how much you like debauchery and decadence, 1 day in Vegas is not enough. (Some might say that 1 day in Vegas is too much)

I would divert your Salt Lake to Moab further east to see more of Southern Colorado. There you'll find some of the most amazing motorcycle roads in all the US. Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, etc cant be beat.

If you're going to Sante Fe, be sure to stop in Taos. You can also visit Madrid, where Wild Hogs was filmed. Young Guns was filmed in the next town over.

You will circle Monument Valley without seeing it. Dont do that. Ever seen all those John Wayne movies with those amazing rock formations? Maybe you saw them in the Roadrunner cartoons, too.

Ask the Californians for the correct timing to ride up the coast. The scenery is amazing. It's a great drive, but choked with traffic almost all the time.

Good luck. Have fun.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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The daily mileage looks fine.

I doubt you will be happy living at KOA's for a month. Most of them are not anything like the picture or description...and during your time frame they will be packed with screaming kids being ignored by inattentive parents. Seems like their price is a little high for what you get most places as well. The upside of KOA is that if you get a membership, the nightly prices are lower and traveling within their network will allow easy contact from one resort to another.

For your kind of trip, I personally use AAA (American Automobile Association) "Campbook's". I believe that the books can be bought by non-members, but are free to members (as well as their state highway maps). If you join the right "Regional Chapter" you can get motorcycle roadside assistance coverage (but that may also be included in your rental). The Campbooks are directories to hundreds of independent campgrounds indexed by closest town or city that are usually checked every couple years to see that they meet a certain minimum standard. AAA members typically receive discounts at these member campgrounds as well.

After a quick search, the closest place I found that rents V-stroms is in Portland, Oregon:

http://northwestmotorcycleadventures.com/index.php
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
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I found during my travels that KOA were always in the middle of nowhere and very expensive, it was actually cheaper for me to stay in Motel 8s with wifi and near a pub and food. The only camping I did in the states was in national parks which had limited facilities and some even had no potable water(Joshua tree comes to mind)

Anyway, have fun


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Old 01-17-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Your daily mileage looks fine to me. Personally, you couldn't pay me to spend time in Las Vegas but as has already been stated, it is a personal choice. I would also suggest highway 550 in Colorado from Ouray to Durango and highway 12 in Utah from Torrey to Panguitch. For my money these are two of the best roads in the US along with California 1 that you have already included.

Just one other suggestion. Do not pass a gas station in the western US unless you are certain about the distance to the next gas station. On a recent trip I saw signs that said the next gas was 60 miles away, but when I arrived the station had gone out of business. In my case it wasn't a problem because I am super conservative when it comes to gas mileage. Just be aware that in my travels around the western us the most frequent problem I have seen is folks running out of gas.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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Thanks heaps guys, great responses. I'm going to do a bit of tweaking to my route and go from there. Any idea how much I should budget for gas for +/-4K miles?
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
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My Wee-strom gets between 42-47mpg...not the magical 50mpg that you see people talking about on the internet. I always run my fuel budget based on the US average price. Locally, I typically pay much less per gallon since we live closer to some refineries in UT and WY, but 200 miles away in Boise the price is often 15 cents more per gallon.

Average US gasoline price today is $3.37 USD per gallon. 4000/45mpg*3.37 = $299.55.

Gas prices run higher in the summer, but today's average price is really high for this time of year (locally, I'm paying $2.89 per gallon).
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:54 AM   #8
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Lotsa miles/day.
Gonna be hot down there. Cooler in the mountains.
The KOA's are nice, but more for mobile home campers.
Check out http://www.forestcamping.com/ for National Forest Campgrounds. Less amenities, better experience.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysteps View Post
[FONT=Arial Black][SIZE=3]
Firstly, are the daily distances too ambitious?
On a Harley? No, those figures are nicely conservative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysteps View Post
[FONT=Arial Black][SIZE=3]
2. I'll be camping as much as possible. I’ve found a site (www.koa.com) that has camp sites at most of my stops. Anyone had experience with these sites?
KOA's tend to be kind of pricey but usually have amenities that other campgrounds might not such as WIFI. I tend to avoid them and prefer to cheaper, more rustic camp sites. Obviously that's a personal choice.

For the money I think I would buy a GPS unit that would allow me to search POI's for campground/hotels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysteps View Post
[FONT=Arial Black][SIZE=3]
3. What have I missed? I have 3 spare days in my itinerary that can be filled. I'll be on a rental bike, so no hardcore off-road stuff and I want to stay off Interstates as much as possible. I’m more a “What an awesome road and look at that view!” guy than a “on 1879 this happened here” guy.
Can't help there with anything specific. I would have to search just like you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysteps View Post

4. Recommendations for a bike rental company that will rent me a Vstrom or something similar? All I can find on the net is Harleys rentals!
[FONT=Arial Black][SIZE=3]5. How much should I budget for gas?
Motoquest does rentals of KLR650, F650GS twin, F800GS and 1200GS's out of the west coast and they have a site in Long Beach, CA.

As far as gas goes expect prices anywhere between $3.50 and $4.50 a gallon. You can calculate it from there based on your route and what bike you use.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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Wow! I am so glad I found this thread! I am planning on doing almost the same thing in June. We are planning on trailering the bikes across the country to my wife's cousin's place in Riverside. I don't want to drive as far east as El Paso, but otherwise the route is about what I was thinking of.

I'm concerned about range too. My bike holds 5 gallons but I usually only get a little over 100 miles before the fuel light comes on. I guess I could get to 130 or so before running out. Will I have to carry gas in cans? How much range do you need to safely drive a route like this?
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:33 PM   #11
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Thanatos, you rock!!! Thanks for the link to Motoquest. Its looks great and they offer an ADVRider discount! I realized that Juarez may not be the best city to get on the Tequila so have changed destination to Mexicali.

Updated route is here


From To Miles
Day 1 Riverside San Luis Obispo 271
2 San Luis Obispo San Francicso 265
3 San Francicso San Francicso 0 Tourist
4 San Francicso Yosemite 222 Small Hike
5 Yosemite Las Vegas 420
6 Las Vegas Las Vegas 0 Tourist - Parachute with the Flying Elvi?
7 Las Vegas Grand Canyon 303
8 Grand Canyon Torrey 393
9 Torrey Monument Valley 230
10 Monument Valley Monument Valley 0 Tourist - Hike
11 Monument Valley Moab 150
12 Moab Moab 0 Tourist - White water rafting?
13 Moab Aztec 331
14 Aztec Albuqerque 310
15 Albuqerque Globe 404
16 Globe Parker 305
17 Parker Calexico 275
18 Calexico Mexicali 0 Mexico!! Tequila!!!
19 Calexico Borrego Springs 145 Night Sky walk
20 Borrego Springs Riverside 253
21 Return Bike





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Old 01-21-2012, 07:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbutspry View Post
Wow! I am so glad I found this thread! I am planning on doing almost the same thing in June. We are planning on trailering the bikes across the country to my wife's cousin's place in Riverside. I don't want to drive as far east as El Paso, but otherwise the route is about what I was thinking of.

I'm concerned about range too. My bike holds 5 gallons but I usually only get a little over 100 miles before the fuel light comes on. I guess I could get to 130 or so before running out. Will I have to carry gas in cans? How much range do you need to safely drive a route like this?
If there is any doubt, it is best to ask where the next gas is available when you get gas. Here is one example to think about: If you go from Tonapah to Caliente it is 190 miles and you may (emphasis on may) find gas at Rachel. If the folks at Rachel have been abducted by aliens (inside joke) you could be in trouble.

There is one stretch on I 70 in Utah from Green River west where it is more than 100 miles to the next gas station. The longest stretch that I know of on an Interstate.

Generally though, you should be OK with a 100 mile range provided you are careful.

For example, US 50 through Utah and Nevada has gas about 70 or 80 miles apart these days.

I normally ride my R100 GSPD with a 9.25 gallon tank so it is no problem to help folks who have run out of gas. Frequently I find that they passed up a gas station a ways back - probably because they thought that the price was too high. In my opinion there is no such thing as gas being too expensive in remote areas of the west - especially when it is 70 miles to the next station.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #13
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No problem man, I hope your ride is safe and AWESOME!
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:17 PM   #14
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Sounds like sage advice from someone experienced in this area.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:39 PM   #15
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oldbutspry, happy to share any information I get with you. If you have an iphone, I've found an app called Smart Fuel. Its free for 30 days and looks perfect for what you, and I, need.
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