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Old 01-22-2012, 07:30 AM   #16
oldbutspry
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Originally Posted by ilvecchio View Post
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.
That sounds good, except I don't know how much I want to stick to the interstates. I don't want to miss too much scenery just trying to get somewhere.

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Originally Posted by Thanantos View Post
Sounds like sage advice from someone experienced in this area.
Yeah, it would really suck to run out of gas, especially in the summer. At least we are taking 2 bikes - my son's little 250 Ninja has much better range so one of us could go get help if we ran dry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysteps View Post
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.
Thanks! I'm going to be watching this thread closely for ideas. Also, I'm going to take a closer look at that route map. That's what really helps me - I usually just go somewhere and try to figure it out as I make my way. But I'm afraid I'd miss a lot that way on a long trip like this.

Are you going to carry much water for emergency purposes? We are planning on traveling light so I think it will be too much weight to carry more than a little.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:22 PM   #17
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Are you going to carry much water for emergency purposes? We are planning on traveling light so I think it will be too much weight to carry more than a little.
I'm planning on having a 3ltr Camelbak with me and camping at places that have a drinkable water supply. Hopefully that is enough.....
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:30 AM   #18
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The 3 liter Camelback will probably be okay. But be sure to fill it up at gas stops. One of those will not last me all day with hard riding in the summer heat. (Mine tends to leak if I put more than 2L in it.)
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #19
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Mark,

I'm going to be the outlier and suggest that some of your daily mileages are a little optimistic. Sure, you can ride 400 miles in a day, but it means being on the bike most of the daylight hours. At least, that's if you plan to stick to your itinerary. I've traveled with some guys who insist on making it to their planned stop for the night, so we end up skipping places where I'd like to visit.

Everyone is different of course, but just plan ahead that some of your longer days might be a bit too long for you. Be prepared to cut a day in half because you found something cool to stop and see or simply because you have to stop and get out of the sun.

I agree with almost everyone else here that KOAs aren't worth it. They're convenient in that they have a nationwide presence and a website which lists all their locations, but the facilities aren't anything special and they tend to be expensive compared to other similar facilities.

With a little more effort, I'd suggest finding state park campgrounds. Each state has a number of parks, and for the most part, those parks all have modern campgrounds. There's no master list of the parks and the campgrounds (that I know of) though some states publish a list of their own parks. Unfortunately, state park campgrounds have been increasing their prices dramatically. It wasn't too long ago that you could set up a tent for $5-$7 per night, but now I find it's pretty common for a site to be at least double that. When I take a trip, I stay at state park campgrounds most often.

And there are lots of smaller local campgrounds which you probably won't find online. Also, have you given thought to the idea of stealth camping?

For gas prices, I'd suggest using about $4 per US gallon as a guide. California gas prices are generally higher than the rest of the US, as they are in remote and rural areas. The average price of gas in the US may be $3.50, but the places where you're going will tend to be more expensive. For gas prices, I use the free app, GasBuddy.

As Dadodirt pointed out, it's going to be hot. Expect some afternoon temps aproaching 40°C. For that kind of weather, 3L is NOT enough for riding and camping.

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Old 01-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #20
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Hi Team

Thanks heaps for your replies. This is all falling into shape nicely!

I have a couple more questions! (Surprise, surprise!)

Where do I get travel insurance (online) for the bike when in Mexico?

I'm going to open a US bank account to use while I'm over there, I figure its better than filling up my Visa, recommend one for me please
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:59 PM   #21
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Ohhh and I should mention dates have changed from July/August too September/October to avoid heat and crowds
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:04 PM   #22
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Looks like a good route so far, but as Jamie Z said, 400 miles might be a little optimistic some days, especially on the smaller back roads (unless you are planning to take interstates, which removes a lot of the fun of it all). I took a similar trip in Aug-Sept. 2010 and averaged 200-250 miles a day, usually settling to camp when the sun set (I never had a set destination though). And I realize I take more time than most people since I stop for a lot of pictures. There is A LOT of beautiful scenery in southern Utah, so make sure you plot for highway 12...some geological formations like no other (Bryce and Zion National Parks are worthy of at least a look or two). And bring rain gear. I spent many days caught in afternoon thunderstorms, but a nice break from the heat. They Might mellow out later in the season. After labor day, the parks are not as crowded, since most US kiddies are back in school, but there were still lots of euro tourists around the more popular areas which sometimes made finding campsites harder later in the day.

There is always "dispersed" camping on BLM land, when in doubt, ask the forest service, I had good luck with them pointing me in the right direction to set up my tent.

In regards to drinking water, I tried to keep about a gallon with me always, (3L isn't too far off), just remember to fill up all the time since there are long stretches of desert without service. The dry air dehydrates you more than you notice.

Might have to look into if your allowed by the rental company to take the bike into Mexico???

Have fun!...there is lots to see around those parts.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:48 AM   #23
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Thanks heaps Alison! Love your website
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:37 PM   #24
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While you are in SLO (San Luis Obispo), you may want to check out Hearst Castle. There is a great state park and a cheap Motel 6 near by.

http://www.hearstcastle.org/visit/slo-state-parks

In San Francisco, check out the Fort Mason Youth Hostel. Clean, cheap, great location.

http://sfhostels.com/fishermans-wharf/

IMHO KOA Kamp grounds are fine. Not the cheapest, but they always have showers. State Parks are great, if they are open (budget cuts) and not full. If you get totally stuck without a place to sleep, if you are out of the city, don’t be afraid to do a little bandito camping (behind churches, graveyards, etc). Arrive late, leave real early.

With Yosemite, make sure you have a reservation before you go. It gets totally booked up, and it is a bit of a ride in and out of the park. But, it is a must see kinda place.

The move to September/October is brilliant, but you may run into some rain. Its has been a strange year for weather on the west coast, so the norms may not apply.

When you are SF area, if you run into any problems or just just want some company for a ride, hit me up.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:07 AM   #25
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Looks like a good route to me. Lots of summer desert. Carry lots of water. I try to always have a gallon. My bike has 150 range and I carry a gallon of gas for those long lonely roads. I've never actually use it, but ahve coasted into several towns on fumes.

I tried to understand your route. A bit convoluted in Utah You are allover that state.

Anyway here are a couple of bits.

East out of Yosemite, hwy 120 to Benton is a fun little road. Then south at Benton to Lone Pine and into Death Valley. I assumed you were going to DV. You can turn south and exit over Salisberry Pass to Shoshone then secondary roads to Vegas. This will keep you off of hwy 95 which is seriously boring thru NV. It will be HOT in DV.

If you exit Grand Canyon to the east, Cameron has gas, food, motel. Motel was $90 three yrs ago. Food was cheap and very good. I did a ditch sleep about 10 mi out of town. There is nothing out there but a lot of empty, just pick a spot.

If you head west across the north side of the Canyon, I really like 95alt. Takes you toward Zion. Very empty road.

On Utah 95 I camped at the bridge that crosses the Colorado River. About a two acre turn out there. Grassy.

I also slept beside the hwy at Mon Valley. If you can swing it, be there in the evening and early morning.

Mark Shiprock and Canyon de Chelly on your check list.

Part of hwy 191 in AZ is very twisty. South of Alpine.

Out of Globe, the road NE thru the Fort Apache Res is scenic dry forest lands and Salt River Valley.
NW out of Globe is also a nice ride. Diversified. Prescott and Sedona have good riding and scenic.

Have a good trip and don't forget your NZ to Merican dictionary.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:55 AM   #26
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Thanks heaps for the tips guys!
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:42 AM   #27
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I'm going to open a US bank account to use while I'm over there, I figure its better than filling up my Visa, recommend one for me please
I'm not sure you if can open an account without being either a US citizen or a legal resident. My mom just tried it (she's a German citizen) and got told that it was impossible.

Anyway, a NZ visa credit card will work here the same as anywhere else in the world. Unless I misunderstood your intentions...
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #28
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No problems with an account. I opened a Wells Fargo when I arrived within two days of being in California

This was in 2009, but I doubt there has been much change, maybe easier if anything


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Old 03-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Babysteps View Post
Hi Team

Thanks heaps for your replies. This is all falling into shape nicely!

I have a couple more questions! (Surprise, surprise!)

Where do I get travel insurance (online) for the bike when in Mexico?

I'm going to open a US bank account to use while I'm over there, I figure its better than filling up my Visa, recommend one for me please
Travel insurance you can buy as you enter the country, like I did but is probably a tad more expensive

Lots of shops to buy it from US side, take your pick they are all much of a muchness

If you are doing extensive travel south, you may want to wade through my blog from Sep 20 2009 as there is lots of border crossing info dotted throughout

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Old 03-14-2012, 01:35 PM   #30
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I'm not sure you if can open an account without being either a US citizen or a legal resident. My mom just tried it (she's a German citizen) and got told that it was impossible.

Anyway, a NZ visa credit card will work here the same as anywhere else in the world. Unless I misunderstood your intentions...
Thanks Uli, Ive found the same thing unfortunately. I can't open one from New Zealand, I have to be in the US and go into a branch. Found a site called Cash passport that looks like it will solve my problem though!
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