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Old 03-09-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
Telusboats OP
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British Columbia to California

I am planning to go from the Okanagan in British Columbia to Pasadena starting in late May of this year. Does anybody out there have any advice, thoughts for me. I will be traveling on a 1986 Honda Rebel that is in great shape. I want to avoid the main roads as much as possible.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:19 AM   #2
JDowns
Sounds good, let's go!
 
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The 250 Rebel is a fine bike for exploring the 2 lane blacktop backroads from BC to Socal. The fact that it is in good shape mechanically means you can focus on having a fun ride. My advice would be to make sure you know how to remove and replace the wheels and fix a flat with a spare tube and hand pump or 12V Walmart battery powered pump. I believe both tires are 18" so one spare tube is all you need for both. It's only a couple thousand mile trip so with a fresh oil change and tune up you are good to go. Make sure to bring along a spare spark plug and basic tools for adjusting chain, tube patch kit, chain lube and a spare clutch cable. Maybe a spare rectifier for a 25 year old Honda since it might be hard to come by if it craps out. Sheepskin zip tied to the seat might save your butt some. Rebel was known for reliability and bulletproof mechanics in its day, but comfort--not so much.

Further advice would be to consider the weather. If the weather forecast calls for clear weather along the Washington and Oregon coast, I would consider heading west and catching a ferry over to Port Townsend or Port Angeles and heading down the coast. The north Cascades hwy 20 is beautiful from Winthrop to Sedro-Wooley but will likely still be closed in late May. But if for some reason it is open, it is a beautiful ride.

If the weather forecast calls for rain on the coast, I would head down through Osoyoos and the Okanagan valley past Chelan and the generally drier eastern side of the Cascades. It can be raining in the Willamette Valley and beautiful and sunny in Bend. I personally prefer 395 south down through Central Oregon to the busier 97 with all its traffic. And once you get to Alturas or Susanville, you can decide whether you want to go over to the Redwoods and the Lost Coast on 36 or 299 and tootle down dramatic hwy 1 along the coast or head south on 395 along the eastern side of the Sierra with a side trip to Death Valley. DV is still only in the 80s-90s in May .

Sounds like a fun trip!

Best,
John Downs
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JDowns screwed with this post 03-10-2012 at 07:35 PM
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
Telusboats OP
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I forgot to mention the Rebel is a 450.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:35 AM   #4
thetourist
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I agree with JDowns. 97 is better in WA and 395 is better in OR.

From your start you could head to Grand Coulee to Moses Lake and small roads to Condon. I've done this one a few times. Better than it looks on a map. The other road out here is Kahlotus to Pasco. A very nice ridge top road. Out of Condon, cross 395 and go to Kahlotus or take some of the paved farm roads that parallel the freeway.

At hwy 12 head east then south to Wallula then Walla Walla or Hermiston. South to connect with 395.

That may be convoluted but it flows together much better than it sounds.

If you go with 97 take the old road 821 from Ellensburg to Yakima.

South on 97 till 218 then east to connect to 395.

this is all dry deserty terrain so you shouldn't get any serious weather.

Hwy 36 would be a great route over to the coast, but Death Valley would be nice early in the year. So many choices on a long trip. Good Luck and have a good one.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:55 AM   #5
H96669
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How much time do you have? That's a lot of terrain to cover if you want to explore a bit. You can easily spend a couple weeks doing that North/South/North thing, I have done it more than a few times with the beat up Road Atlas I only really look at with coffee in the morning.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
Telusboats OP
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I am thinking of around a month to do the down and return. My daughter is in Pasadena and thought this would be a great way to see her and the land in between.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:38 PM   #7
JDowns
Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Location: Bassett, NE
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Sounds like a really fun trip. I forgot they made a 450 Rebel. My first bike was a 350 Honda back in the 70's. That was a solid reliable bike. It was a mid sized bike back then.

There are few things in life better than a month on the open road with a solid bike and a vague plan. You are very lucky indeed.

Safe trip!

Best,
John Downs
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